al-Jannah wa an-Naar – In the Light of the Qur'aan and Sunnah
Definition and Explanation
Hell is the abode which Allaah (swt) has prepared for those who do not believe in Him (swt), those who rebelagainst His (swt) laws and disbelieve in His Messengers. It is the punishment for His (swt) enemies, theprison for evildoers.It is the ultimate humiliation and loss; there is nothing worse:
"Our Lord! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him, and never will theDhaalimoon [polytheists and wrongdoers] find any helpers"
"Know they not that whoever opposes and shows hostility to Allaah and His Messenger, certainlyfor him will be the fire of Hell to abide therein? That is extreme disgrace"
"The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.Verily, that will be a manifest loss!"
How could Hell be other than we have described, when it is full of utterly indescribable torment, pain andgrief? It is eternal and its inhabitants will remain there forever. Allaah (swt) has condemned them and theirplace in the Fire:
"Evil indeed it [Hell] is as an abode and as a place to dwell"
"This is so! And for the Tagheen [transgressors] - will be an evil final return - Hell! Where theywill burn, and worst [indeed] is that place to rest!"
Paradise and Hell Have Already Been Created
at-Tahhaawi said, in his book on al-'Aqeedah al-Salafiyyah (correct belief in accordance with that of the earlygenerations of Islaam) that is known as al-'Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah.
"Paradise and Hell have already been created. They will never come to an end or cease to exist. Allaah (swt)created Paradise and Hell before the rest of creation, and He (swt) created inhabitants for each of them.Whoever He (swt) wishes (will enter) Paradise by His grace and mercy, and whoever He (swt) wishes (willenter Hell) as a result of His (swt) justice. Every person will behave according to that for which he wascreated, and his destiny will be that for which he was created; good deeds and evil deeds are foreordainedfor all men".
Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abul-'Izz al-Hanafi remarked, in his commentary on this text:
"With regard to his saying that Paradise and Hell have already been created, Ahl as-Sunnah agree thatParadise and Hell have been created and are in existence at the present moment. Ahlus-Sunnah continued tohold this view, until some odd ideas of the Mu'tazilah and Qaadariyyah came along, which denied that. Thesegroups said: "Allaah will create them (ie Paradise and Hell) on the Day of Resurrection." They said thisbecause of their false arguments by means of which they seek to improve regulations on what Allaah (swt)should do; (they say) it befits Allaah (swt) to do this, or it does not befit Allaah (swt) to do that. Theycompare Him to His creation and their actions. This is a kind of anthropomorphism with regard to deeds; theyhave allowed the ideas of Jahmiyyah (a sect of Mu'tazilah named after the deviant, Jahm ibn Safwan) tocreep into their thinking, and have become mu'attalah (those who deny that Allaah can see). They said, "It