Thursday, 8 December 2011

Pictures of Their Punishments


Pictures of Their Punishments

    (1) The Punishment of the People of Hell Will Vary
in Degree

As Hell has various levels, in some of which the torment
and horror is greater than in others, so the people of Hell will be
given different levels of punishment. According to a hadith narrated
by Muslim and Ahmad from Samurah, the Prophet (saw) said, concerning
the people of Hell:"There are some whom the Fire will take up
to their ankles, others up to their knees, others up to their
waists, and others up to their collarbones".
According to
another report, "up to their necks" (Muslim in Kitaab al-Jannah wa
Sifaat Na'imihaa, Baab Shiddat Harr an-Naar, 4/2185)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) has told us about those who
will receive the lightest punishment in Hell. al-Bukhaari reports
from al-Nu'maan ibn Basheer who said:

"I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, "The
person who will have the least punishment among the people of Hell
on the Day of Resurrection will be a man under the arch of whose
feet will be placed a smouldering ember, and his brains will boil
because of it."

In another report also narrated by al-Bukhaari from
an-Nu'maan ibn Basheer, the Prophet (saw) said, "The person
who will have the least punishment among the people of Hell on the
Day of Resurrection will be a man under the arch of whose feet will
be placed two smouldering embers, because of which his brains will
boil like water boils in a mirjal [copper vessel] or qumqum
[narrow-necked vessel].
" (al-Bukhaari in Sahih, Kitaab
ar-Raqaaq, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 11/417,
and Muslim in his Sahih, Kitaab al-Imaan, 1/196, no. 363)

According to a report narrated from an-Nu'man ibn Basheer
by Muslim, the Prophet (Saw) said: The person who will have
the least punishment among the people of Hell on the Day of
Resurrection is a man who will be given shoes and laces of fire,
because of which his brains will boil like water in a mirjal (copper
vessel). He will not think that anyone could be more severely
punished than himself, yet he will be the one with the lightest
(Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, 1/196, no. 364;
Muslim also reports from Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri in the same chapter,
no. 361)

al-Bukhaari and Muslim both narrate from Abu Sa'eed
al-Khudri that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, when his
uncle Abu Taalib was mentioned: "Maybe my intercession will
help him on the Day of Resurrection, so that he may be put in a
shallow part of Hell, with fire reaching to his ankles and causing
his brain to boil".
(al-Bukhaari in Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab
Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 11/417 and Muslim in
Kitaab al-Imaam, Baab Shifa'at an-Nabi (saw), 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib,
1/195, hadith no. 360)

Many aayaat confirm the different levels of punishment
that will be given to the people of Hell:

"The hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the
" (4:145)

"..and [the Sentence will be] on
the Day that Judgement will be established [it will be said to the
angels]: "Cast the people of Pharaoh into the severest Penalty!"

"Those who reject Allah and hinder [men] from the
Path of Allah, for them will We add penalty to penalty, for that
they used to spread mischief [or corruption]"

al-Qurtubi said, "This topic indicates that the kufr
of the person who simply disbelieves is not like the kufr of a
person who oppresses, disbelieves, rebels and disobeys. There is no
doubt that the kuffaar will suffer different levels of punishment in
hell, as is known from Qur'an and Sunnah. We know for certain that
the punishment of those who oppressed and killed the Prophets and
Muslims, and spread corruption and disbelief on earth, will not be
the same as the punishment of those who simply disbelieved, but
treated the Prophets and Muslims well. Do you not see Abu Taalib,
how the Prophet (Saw) will bring him up to a shallow level of Hell,
because he helped him, protected him and treated him well? The
hadith narrated by Muslim from Samurah may be interpreted as
referring to the kuffaar, as there is a hadith about Abu Taalib, or
it may be interpreted as referring to those monotheists who will be
(at-Tadhkirah, p. 409)

Ibn Rajab said, "Know that the different levels of
punishment suffered by the people of Hell will be according to the
levels of their deeds for which they entered Hell". Then he quotes
the evidence for that, such as the words of Ibn 'Abbaas, "The
punishment of those who were extreme in their disbelief and spread
corruption on earth, calling others to kufr, will not be like the
punishment of those who did not do such things". Then Ibn Rajab
says, "Similarly, the punishments of the monotheists in Hell will be
at different levels, according to their deeds. The punishment of
those who were guilty of major sins (kabaa'ir) will not be like that
of those who were guilty of minor sins (saghaa'ir). The punishment
may be reduced for some of them because of other good deeds, or for
whatever reason Allah (swt) wills. Hence some of them may die in
the Fire"
. (at-Takhweef min an-Naar, p. 142-143)

(2) Roasting of the Skin

The Fire of the Almighty will burn the skin of the
kuffaar. The skin is the site of sensation, where the pain of
burning is felt, and for this reason, Allah (swt) will replace the
burnt skin with a new one, to be burnt anew, and this will be
repeated endlessly:


"Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon cast them into the
Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change
them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty. For Allah is
Exalted in Power, All-Wise"


(3) Melting

One of the kinds of torment will be the pouring of
al-Hameem over their heads. al-Hameem is ultra-heated water; because
of its extreme heat, it will melt their innards and everything

"... then as for those who disbelieve,
garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be
poured down over their heads. With it will melt or vanish away what
is within their bellies, as well as [their] skins"

at-Tirmidhi reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the
Prophet (saw) said:

"al-Hameem will be poured on their heads and will
dissolve through until it reaches their sides and all their innards
will drop out, until it comes out of his feet, and everything is
melted, then he will be restored as he was.
(at-Tirmidhi) said, "It is a sahih ghareeb hasan hadith".
(at-Takhweef min an-Naar, p.145, Jaami' al-Usool, 10/540)

(4) Scorching (the

The noblest and most dignified part of a person is the
face, hence the Prophet (saw) forbade us to strike the face. One of
the ways in which Allah (swt) will humiliate the people of Hell is
by gathering them on their faces, blind, deaf and dumb, on the Day
of Resurrection:

"..We shall gather them together prone on their faces,
blind, dumb, and deaf; their abode will be Hell; everytime it shows
abatement, We shall increase for them the Fierceness of the

Then they will be thrown on their faces in the

"And if any do evil, their faces will be thrown
headlong into the Fire; "Do you receive a reward other than that
which you have earned by your deeds?"

The Fire will burn and cover their faces forever, with no
barrier between them and it:

"If only the unbelievers knew [the time] when they
will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces, nor yet from
their backs, and [when] no help can reach them!

"The Fire will burn their faces and they will therein
grin, with their lips displaced"

"Their garments of liquid pitch, and their faces
covered with fire".

"Is then one who has to fear the brunt of the penalty
on the Day of Judgement [and receive it on] his face, [like one
guarded therefrom]?"

Look at this horrific scene that makes one

"The Day that their faces will be turned upside down
in the Fire, they will say, "Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed
Allah and obeyed the Messenger."

Do you not
see that just as meat and fish are turned over when they are cooked,
so their faces will be turned over in the Fire of Hell. We seek
refuge with Allah (swt) from the punishment of the people of

(5) Dragging

Another of the painful torments that the Kuffaar will
suffer is being dragged on their faces into Hell:

"Truly those in sin are the ones straying in mind, and
mad. The Day they will be dragged through the Fire on their faces
[they will hear]: "Taste the touch of Hell."


Their pain at being dragged will be increased by the fact
that they will be tied up in chains and fetters:

"...But soon shall they know - when the yokes [shall
be] round their necks, and the chains, they shall be dragged along,
in the boiling fetid fluid, then shall they be burned".

Qataadah said, "They will be dragged once in the Fire,
and once in al-Hameem."
(Ibn Rajab, at-Takhweef min an-Naar,

(6) Blackening of the faces.

Allah (swt) will blacken the faces of the people of Hell
in the Hereafter:

"On the Day when some faces will be [lit up with]
white and some faces will be [in the gloom of] black; to those who
faces will be black [it will be said]: "Did you reject Faith after
accepting it? Taste then the Penalty for rejecting Faith".

This is intense blackness, as if the darkness of night
had covered their faces

"But those who have earned evil will have a reward of
like evil, and ignominy will cover their faces. No defender will
they have from [the wrath of] Allah. Their faces will be covered,
as it were, with pieces from the darkness of night. They are
Companions [or dwellers] of the Fire, they will abide therein [for

(7) The Fire Will Surround the Kuffaar

The people of Hell are the Kuffaar whose sins and
disobedience surround them, leaving no hasanah for them. Allah
(swt) said, in response to the Jews who claimed that the Fire would
only touch them for a certain length of time:

"Nay, those who seek gain in evil and are girt round
by their sins - they are companions [or dwellers] of the Fire;
therein shall they abide [forever]"

No one will be in such a state unless he is a kaafir and
a mushrik. Siddeeq Hasan Khan says, "What is referred to here by
evil deeds is a certain type of deed, the reasons for which should
be overwhelming, with no way out or means of achieving hasanah.
Eternity in Hell is for the kuffaar and mushrikeen, so evil and sin
in this aayah has to be interpreted as meaning kufr and shirk. Thus
the arguments of the Mu'tazilah and Khawaarij are shown to be false
by the proven mutawaatir reports that state that the sinners among
the monotheists will eventually be brought forth from

Sins and evil deeds surround the Kuffaar like a bracelet
around the wrist, so their punishment should fit their crimes. Hence
the Fire will surround the Kuffaar on all sides, as Allah (swt)

"There will be a bed of Hell [Fire] and over them
coverings [of Hellfire]
" (7:41)

The "bed" is what comes under them, and the "coverings"
are what come over them. What is meant is that fires will surround
them from above and below, as Allah (swt) says:

"On the Day when the torment [Hellfire] shall cover
them from above them and from underneath their feet"


"They shall have coverings of Fire above them, and
coverings of Fire beneath them"
. (39:16)

Some of the Salaf interpreted the "Bed" (al-Mihaad) as
meaning a mattress and the "cover" (al-Ghawaash) as being a blanket
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/168)

The "surrounding" may be interpreted in another way,
which is that Hell will have a wall to surround the kuffaar so that
they will never be able to get out or escape form it, as Allah
(swt) says:

"..Verily We have prepared for the
wrongdoers a Fire whose [smoke and flames] like the walls and roof
of a tent, will hem them in; If they implore relief, they will be
granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces. How
dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!"


(8) The Fire Will Leap Up Over Their Hearts

We have already explained that the physical bodies of the
people of Hell will be made huge in size. In spite of that, the Fire
will penetrate their bodies until it reaches their innermost

"Soon will I cast him into Hellfire! And what will
explain to you what Hellfire is? Naught does it permit to endure,
and naught does it leave alone, Darkening and changing the colour of
" (74:26-29)

Some of the Salaf said concerning the phrase, "naught
does it leave alone" that it meant, "it eats bones and flesh and
brains and does not leave anything untouched"
(Ibn Rajab,
at-Takhweef min an-Naar, p.146)

Allah (swt) says: "By no means! He will be sure to be
thrown into that which Breaks to Pieces. And what will explain to
you what that which Breaks to Pieces is? [It is] the Fire of the
[wrath of] Allah, kindled [to a blaze], that which mourns [right]
to the hearts"
. (104:4-6)

Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurtubee said, "The Fire eats
into him until it reaches his heart, then his body will be created
anew. It was reported that when Thaabit al-Bananee read this aayah,
he said, "The Fire will burn them until it reaches their hearts,
while they are still alive; this is how great their suffering is!"
Then he wept."
(at-Takhweef min an-Naar, p.146)

(9) Their entrails will be spilled out
in the Fire

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Usaamah ibn Zayd that
the Prophet (saw) said: "A man will be brought forth on the
Day of Resurrection and thrown into the Fire. Then his entrails will
be spilled out into the Fire, and he will be forced to walk around
and around like a donkey in a treadmill. The people of Hell will
gather around him and say, "O So-and-so, what is wrong with you? Did
you not enjoin us to do good and forbid us to do evil?" He will say,
"I used to order you to do good, but I did not do it, and I used to
forbid you to do evil, but I used to do it." Then he will walk
around and around like a donkey in a treadmill"
and Muslim, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/642, hadith no.

One of the people whose entrails will be spilled out in
Hell is 'Amr ibn Lahay who was the first to change the religion of
the Arabs. The Prophet (saw) saw him dragging his own entrails in
Hell. Muslim reports from Jaabir ibn Abdullaah that the Prophet
(saw) said, "I saw 'Amr ibn 'Aamir al-Khuza'ee dragging his
own entrails in Hell, and he was the first one to introduce
as-Saa'ibah (a she-camel turned loose for free pasture for the sake
of idols, upon which nothing was allowed to be carried"
(Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/642)

(10) The Chains, Fetters and Hammers of the People of

Allah (swt) has promised that the people of Hell will
have chains fetters and hammers in the Fire:

"For the Rejecters We have prepared iron chains, yokes
and a blazing Fire"
. (76:4)

"With Us are fetters [to bind them] and a Fire [to
burn them] and a food that chokes, and a penalty grievous".


The yokes will be placed around their necks:

"...We shall put yokes on the necks of the
unbelievers. It would only be a requital for their ill [or evil]

"When yokes [shall be] round their necks, and the
chains, they shall be dragged along."

The chains or fetters are something with which Allah
(swt) will punish them:

"With Us are fetters..." (73:12)

The chains are another kind of punishment, with which the
wrongdoers will be tied up, just as criminals are chained up in this
world. See how the Qur'an describes them:

"The stern command will say, "Seize him and bind him,
and burn him in the blazing Fire, further, make him march in a
chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits"

Allah (swt) has promised the people of Hell
hooked rods of iron which are like hammers with which the evildoers
will be beaten when they try to escape from the Fire, and they will
be thrown ever deeper into Hell:

"And for them are hooked rods of iron [to punish
them]. Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish,
they will be driven back therein, and [it will be] said to them:
"taste the torment of burning!"

(11) They will be accompanied by their
objects of worship and their devils in Hell

The Kuffaar and Mushrikeen used to glorify the false
deities that they worshipped instead of Allah (swt); they would
defend them and give of themselves and their wealth in their
worshipping. On the Day of Resurrection, Allah (swt) will cause
those deities that they used to worship instead of Him to enter the
Fire, as a source of humiliation and shame for them, so that they
will know that they were misled and that they worshipped something
that has no power either to benefit them or to harm them:

"Verily, you [disbelievers] and the [false] gods that
you worship besides Allah are [but] fuel for Hell! To it will you
[surely] come! If these had been gods, they would not have got
there! But each one will abide therein."

Ibn Rajab says, "Because the Kuffaar worship their
gods instead of Allah (swt) and believe that they will intercede
for them with Allah (swt) and will bring them closer to Him, they
will be punished by having these gods in Hell with them as a source
of humiliation and shame, and to make them feel deep sorrow and
regret. Because when a punishment is accompanied by the thing that
was the reason for the punishment, the pain and sorrow becomes more
" (at-Takhweef min an-Naar, p.105)

For this reason the sun and moon will be thrown into
Hell, and will be fuel for it, to punish those wrongdoers who used
to worship them instead of Allah. As the hadith says, "The
sun and moon will be rolled up in Hell"
. (al-Bayhaqi in
Shu'ab al-Imaan, and al-Bazzar, al-Isma'eelee and al-Khattabee, see
Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 1/32)

al-Qurtubee says, "They will be placed in Hell,
because they were worshipped instead of Allah (swt). It is not a
punishment for them, because they are inanimate, but that will be
done in order to increase the sorrow and shame of the Kaafireen.
This is what was said by some of the scholars."
at-Tadhkirah, p.392)

For the same reason, the Kuffaar and their devils will be
gathered together, so as to make the punishment more

"And if anyone withdraws himself from the remembrance
of [Allah] All-Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one to be an
intimate companion to him. Such evil ones really hinder them from
the Path, but they think that they are being guided aright! At
length, when [such a one] comes to Us, he says, [to his evil
companion], "Would that between me and you were the distance of east
and west". Ah, evil is the companion indeed! When you have done
wrong, it will avail you nothing, that Day that you shall be
partners in punishment".

(12) Their sorrow, regret and

When the Kuffaar see Hell, they will be filled with
intense regret, at a time when regret will be of no

"...they would declare [their] repentance when they
see the penalty but the judgement between them will be with justice,
and no wrong will be done unto them."

When the Kuffaar looks at the record of his deeds, and
sees his kufr and shirk, for which he deserves eternal Hell, he will
pray for oblivion and death:

"But he who is given his Record behind his back, soon
will he cry for perdition, and he will enter a blazing Fire".


They will repeat their prayer for oblivion when they are
thrown into the Fire and its heat touches them:

"And when they are cast, bound together, into a
constricted place therein, they will plead for destruction there and
then! This Day plead not for a single destruction: plead for
destruction oft-repeated"
. (25:13-14)

Their screams will grow louder and more desperate and
they will call on their Rabb, hoping that He (swt) will take them
out of the Fire:

"Therein will they cry aloud [for assistance]: "Our
Rabb! Bring us out, we shall work righteousness, not the [deeds] we
used to do.
" (35:37)

At that time, they will come to realise the error and
foolishness of their kufr:

"They will further say: "Had we but listened or used
our intelligence we would not [now] be among the companions of the
blazing Fire".

"They will say, "Our Rabb! Twice have You made us
without life and twice have you given us life! Now we have
recognised our sins: Is there any way out [of this]?"


But their prayer will be harshly refused, and they will
be answered as animals deserve to be answered:

"They will say, "Our Rabb! Our misfortune overwhelmed
us, and we became a people astray. Our Rabb! Bring us out of this;
if ever we return [to evil] then shall we be wrongdoers indeed!" He
[Allah] will say, "Be driven into it with ignominy! And speak not
to Me!"

The promise will come true, and they will reach a
destination where no prayer will benefit them and there will be no

"If only you could see when the guilty ones will bend
low their heads before their Rabb [saying], "Our Rabb! We have seen
and we have heard; now then send us back [to the world], we will
work righteousness for we do indeed [now] believe". If We had so
willed, surely We could certainly have brought every soul its true
guidance, but the Word from Me will come true: I will fill Hell with
jinns and men all together. Taste you then - for you forgot the
Meeting of this Day of yours, and We too will forget you - taste the
penalty of eternity for your [evil] deeds!

After that the people of Hell will call upon the
keepers of Hell: "Pray to your Rabb to lighten us the penalty for a
day [at least]! They will say, "Did there not come to you your
Messengers with clear signs?" They will say, "Yes". They will reply,
"Then pray [as you like]! But the prayer of those without faith is
nothing but [futile wandering] in [mazes of] error".

Then they will ask for intercession so that their Rabb
might annihilate them:

"And they will cry, "O Malik [Guard of Hell]! Would
that your Rabb put an end to us". He will say, "Nay, but you shall

Everything they ask for will be refused. There will be no
coming out of the Fire, no reduction in the torment, and no
oblivion. Rather it is ongoing, eternal punishment, and at that time
they will be told:

"...and whether you are patient of it, or impatient of
it, it is all the same. You are only being requited for what you
used to do."

Then their wailing will increase, and they will weep for
a long time:

"Let them laugh a little: much will they weep: a
recompense for the [evil] that they do".

They will weep until no tears are left, then they will
weep blood, and their tears will leave traces on their faces like
the channels cut into rock by water. In al-Mustadrak by al-Haakim
there is a report from 'Abdullaah ibn Qays that the Messenger of
Allah (saw) said: "The people of Hell will weep so much that
if ships were placed in their tears, they would float, and they will
weep blood - meaning, instead of tears"

Anas ibn Maalik reported that the Prophet (saw) said:
"The people of Hell will be made to weep, and they will weep
until they have no tears left. Then they will weep blood until they
have as it were channels in their faces, if ships were put in them,
they would float".

Those evildoers lost their own souls and their families
when they preferred kufr to eemaan. Listen to the wailing and cries
when they are punished:

"The Day when their faces will be turned upside down
in the Fire, they will say, "Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed
Allah and obeyed the Messenger!" And they would say, "Our Rabb,
verily we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us
from the (right) Path. Our Rabb, give them double penalty and curse
them with a very great curse!"

Listen to how Allah (swt) described their condition [we
seek refuge with Allah (swt) from that]:

"As for those who are wretched, they will be in the
fire, sighing in a high and low tone. They will dwell therein for
all the time that the heavens and earth endure, except as your Rabb
" (11:106-107)

az-Zajjaj said, "The high tone (az-Zafeer) is because
of the intensity of their groaning and it is very high. It was
suggested that az-Zafeer means the panting of the breath in the
chest due to extreme fear, so that the ribs become swollen. The "low
tone" (ash-Shaheeq) is a long drawn-out breath, or an intake of
breath; in either case it is an indication of the great extent of
their grief and anguish. Their situation is likened to that of the
one whose heart was overwhelmed by heat and whose soul was
surrounded by it. al-Layth said, "az-Zafeer means that a man will
take deep breaths because of his intense grief, and ash-Shaheeq
refers to his exhaling"
(Siddeeq Hasan Khan, Yaqadhat uli
al-I'tibaar p.72)

(1) Sheikh Naasir ud-Deen al-Albaani narrated these two
hadiths in Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 4/245, no. 1679 and
attributed the first hadith to al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak. al-Haakim
said "It is a hadith whose isnaad is saheeh". adh-Dhahabi agreed
with him. Sheikh Naasir said, "He should have added: according to
the conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim. All the men of its isnaad
are men who narrated the hadith they (al-Bukhaari and Muslim)
recorded. He mentioned that one of them, Abul-Nu'man, whose nickname
was 'Aarim had become confused. Sheikh Naasir quoted the second
hadith in support of the first, and attributed it to Ibn Maajah, and
Ibn Abi-Dunyaa; Yazeed al-Raqqas one of the narrators, is da'eef,
but the rest of the narrators are those from whom al-Bukhaari and
Muslim narrated.


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