Monday, September 17, 2012

SALVATION ACCORDING TO JESUS AND ISLAM AT LARGE: PAUL EXCEPTION

Jesus says:

John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

WHICH COMMANDMENT WAS JESUS REFERRING TO???

Mathew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Ten Commandments in the Qur’an and Bible

0) (Exodus 12: 1-17 & Deuteronomy 5: 6-21)
0) Confirmation in the Quran (Chapter: Verse)

1. Thou shall not take any God except one God.
1. «"There is no God except one God"» (47:19)

2. Thou shall make no image of God.
2. «"There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him"» (42:11)

3. Thou shall not use God's name in vain.
3. «"Make not God's name an excuse to your oaths"» (2:224)

4. Thou shall honor thy mother and father.
4. «"Be kind to your parents if one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not a word of contempt nor repel them but address them in terms of honor."» (17:23)

5. Thou shall not steal.
5. «"As for the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands, but those who repent After a crime and reform shall beforgiven by God for God is forgiving and kind."» (5:38 - 39)

6. Thou shall not lie or give false testimony.
6. «"They invoke a curse of God if they lie."» (24:7) «"Hide not the testimony"» (2:283)

7. Thou shall not kill.
7. «"If anyone has killed one person it is as if he had killed the whole mankind"» (5:32)

8. Thou shall not commit adultery.
8. «"Do not come near adultery. It is an indecent deed and a way for other evils."» (17:32)

9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife or possessions.
9, «"Do good to your parents, relatives and neighbors."» (4:36) Saying of the Prophet Muhammad (P) “"One of the greatest sins is to have illicit sex with your neighbors wife”".

10. Thou shall keep the Sabbath holy.
10. «"When the call for the Friday Prayer is made, hasten to the remembrance of God and leave off your business."» (62:9)


YOU FOR YOUR SIN AND HOW WILL IT BE FORGIVEN?

Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 But if the wicked will turn (REPENT) from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”

QUR’AN SAYS:

"Do not despair of God's mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins".Qur'an (39:53).


"Except those who repent, have faith and good deeds, those Allah will charge their sins for good deeds. Certainly Allah is most forgiving and merciful." (Qur'an 25:70)


HOW TO REPENT?

For repentance to be accepted by Allah, one should go through these four stages:

1- Stop the sin.
2- Regretting deeply and truly for the sin you committed.
3- Return to Allah for forgiveness.
4- Strong intention never to return to that same sin again.

What would help in fulfilling the above four stages?

The repenting person should remember three facts:

1. The grave consequence of sins.
2. The painful punishment for sins and
3. How week a person is when committing such sins.

Abu Bakr Al siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), narrated:

"I heard Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) saying: ‘There isn’t a man who, when he commits a sin, rises, makes ablution, and offers two rak'as of prayers, but Allah forgives his sins.’

ALLAH FURTHER SAYS IN THE QUR'AN:

"Those (are the true believers) who, when they commit an evil deed, or wrong their souls, remember Allah, and seek forgiveness for their sins - and who but Allah forgives sins? They do not insist upon the sins they have committed, and they know (that Allah is forgiving)." (Qur'an 3:135)


SALVATION ACCORDING TO PAUL


1Co 15:14 “And if Christ be not risen (from dead), then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”


1Co 15:3 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”


WHICH SCRIPTURE WAS PAUL REFERRING TO, IS IT JESUS’ OWN?


2Ti 2:8 “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:”


WHERE DID JESUS EVER PREACH HE WILL DIE FOR YOUR SIN ON CROSS???

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Paradise in Islam

"And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; (as for) these, their striving shall surely be accepted."
[17:19]

"(These are) they whose labor is lost in this world's life and they think that they are well-versed in skill of the work of hands."
[18:104]

Our final destination is the life of the Hereafter. Where we end up, Jannah (Paradise) or Jahannam (Hell-fire) depends on what we worked towards in this life. Paradise is the aim and the hope of every Muslim. But like trying to attain any goal, in order to achieve success, one must have a well-defined plan, and it must be implemented to be successful. Allah says,

"O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful."
[5:35]

To prepare for our journey, we need to find out what our destination is like; who are its people, and most importantly, how to get there.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) told us that within Paradise are things that no eyes have ever seen, nor ears have ever heard, and that things in it are beyond our imagination and comprehension, but we all have our own personal ideas of what eternal bliss would probably be like.

Allah says, "And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; (as for) these, their striving shall surely be accepted."
[17:19]

Allah has also described Paradise in many places in the Qur'an, so let us now take a look at what He has in store for the believers.

Description in the Qur'an of Paradise

"The description of Paradise which the Muttaqoon have been promised is that in it are rivers of water, the taste and smell of which are never changed. Rivers of milk the taste of which will remain unchanged. Rivers of wine that will be delicious to those who drink from it and rivers of clear, pure honey. For them will be every kind of fruit and forgiveness form their Lord."
[ 47:15]

"And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). The shade will be close upon them, and bunches of fruit will hang low within their reach. Vessels of silver and cups of crystal will be passed around amongst them, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure of them according to their wishes. They will be given a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabeel, and a fountain called Salsabeel. Around them will (serve) boys of perpetual youth. If you see them, you would think they are scattered pearls. When you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a Great Dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink."
[76:12-21]

"And those foremost (In Tawheed and obedience to Allah and His Messenger in this life) will be foremost (in Paradise). They will be those nearest to Allah in the Gardens of Delight. A multitude of those (the foremost) will be from the first generation (who embraced Islam) and a few of those (the foremost) will be from the later (generations). They will be reclining, face to face, on thrones woven with gold and precious stones. They will be served by immortal boys, with cups and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine, from which they will have neither any headache, nor any intoxication. They will have fruit from which they may choose, and the flesh of fowls that they desire. There will be Houris with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious), like preserved pearls, a reward for deeds that they used to do. They will hear no vain or sinful speech (like backbiting, etc.) but only the saying of: Salam, Salam, (greetings of peace). And those on the Right Hand, who will be those on the Right Hand? They will be among thorn-less lote-trees among Talh (banana trees) with fruits piled one above another, in long-extended shade, by constantly flowing water, and fruit in plenty, whose season is not limited, and their supply will not be cut off. They will be on couches or thrones raised high. Verily, We have created for them (maidens) of equal age, loving (their husbands only). For those on the Right Hand."
[56:10-38]

"Verily, the dwellers of Paradise that Day, will be busy in joyful things. They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones. They will have therein fruits (of all kinds), and all that they will ask for. (It will be said to them): "Salamun" (Peace be on you), a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful."
[36:55-58]

Can you imagine?

Wearing the finest silk clothing and sitting on chairs made of gold and precious stones? Those who disbelieve in the words of Allah, say that this is all a fairy-tale, made up by a would-be prophet. But we know, that Allah is the Truthful and that His Messenger, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, spoke only what was revealed to from the Most Truthful. And even though Allah describes Paradise for us in the Qur'an, He still says, "So no soul knows the delights of the eyes which is hidden for them; a reward for what they did."
[32:17]

Apart from the Qur'anic descriptions of Paradise, the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wassalam) would often describe Paradise to his companions. His descriptions were often so vivid and moving, that many-a-companion would hurriedly rush towards it. This was the case, as Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and his companions proceeded towards Badr and arrived there before the disbelievers (of Makkah). When the disbelievers arrived, the Messenger of Allah said, "None of you should step forward ahead of me to do anything." Then the disbelievers advanced (towards us), and the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "Rise to enter Paradise whose width is equal to the Heavens and the Earth." Umayr Ibnul Humam al-Ansari asked, "O Messenger of Allah, is Paradise equal in width to the heavens and the earth?" He, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "Yes." Umayr said, "Bak'hin! Bak'hin!" (An Arabic word denoting excitement and astonishment) The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, asked him, "What made you say these words: Bak'hin, Bak'hin?" He said, "Messenger of Allah, nothing but the desire to be amongst its residents." He, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "You are surely among its residents." He then took some dates form his bag and began to eat them. Then he said, "If I were to live until I had eaten all of the dates, indeed this life would be too long." Anas then said, "He threw away the remaining dates he had with him. He then fought (the disbelievers) until he was killed."
[Muslim]

What words could have inspired Umair and others like him to long for, and to pay the ultimate price for a place in Paradise? Let's now take a look at what the Messenger of Allah, had to say about Paradise.

Description of Paradise in the Hadith

Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "The people of Paradise will look at the dwellers of lofty mansions (i.e. a superior place in Paradise) in the same way as one looks at a brilliant star, far away in the East or in the West of the horizon. This is because of their superiority over one another (in reward)." One of the people asked, "O Allah's Messenger, are these lofty mansions for the Prophets which no one else can reach?"

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) replied, "No! By Allah, in whose Hands is my life, these are for men who believe in Allah and also believe in the Messenger."
[Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Musa al-Ash'ari narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "Verily, for the believers in Paradise, are tents made of a single hollow pear. The length of which would be sixty miles long from all sides, their wives being therein. The believer will go around them (i.e., visit them) and they will not be able to see each other."
[Sahih al-Jami]

Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "There is not a tree in Paradise, except that its trunk is made of gold."
[Sahih al-Jami]

Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "Verily in Paradise there is a market in which (the inhabitants of Paradise) will come to every Friday. The North wind will blow and scatter fragrances on their faces and on their clothes. This will add to their beauty and their attractiveness. They will then go back to their families after having an added luster to their beauty and their attractiveness. Their families will say to them, 'By Allah you have been increased in beauty and loveliness after leaving us,' and they will say, 'By Allah you too have increased in beauty and attractiveness after us.'"
[Muslim]

Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "(I saw in a dream that) I entered Paradise, and behold, there was a palace built of gold. I asked, 'Whose is this palace?' They (the angels) replied, 'For a man from the Quraysh.' So I thought it might be I, so I asked, 'And who is he?' They said, 'Umar Ibnul Khattab.' Nothing stopped me form entering it except your Ghirah (sense of honor)." Umar said, "My Ghirah would never be offended by you, O Messenger of Allah."
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Anas ibn Malik said that Allah's Apostle (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "I entered Paradise and found myself by a river, by its edges were tents of pearls. Then I tapped with my hands where the water was running, and there was then a beautiful smell of Musk. I asked, 'What is this O Gabriel?' He said, 'This is Kawthar (river in Paradise) which Allah has given to you.'"
[Sahih al-Jami]

Who Are the People of Paradise?

We could go on and on, for the ahadith are vast in numbers, about the Prophet's descriptions of Paradise. But a place that has houses built with gold and silver bricks: where its dirt is made of rubies and sapphires and its inhabitants wear only the finest silk garments, sounds like a pretty exclusive neighborhood to me. Who are these people who will be allowed to live in this enchanting place? The Jews say the Jews. The Christians say the Christians. But Allah says, "And they say: 'None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.' Those are their (vain) desires. Say, 'Produce your proof if you are truthful.'
[2:111]

He also says, "(Namely) those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying (to them), 'Peace be on you, enter you the Garden, because of (the good) which you did (in the world)."
[16:32]

Always in the Qur'an when Allah mentions those who will attain Paradise, He mentions the believers, not the Muslims. He (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says, "Indeed the Muttaqoon will be amongst the Gardens and water-springs."
[15:45]

He also says, "Verily, the Muttaqoon will be in a place of security, among Gardens and Springs, dressed in fine silk and (also) in thick silk, facing each other. This is how it shall be, and We shall marry them to Houris with wide, lovely eyes. They will request therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security."
[44:51-55]

So who are the believers and how do we become one of them? Allah says, "They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and they strive with one another in hastening to good deeds, and those are among the good."
[3:114]

He (subhanahu wa ta'ala) also says of the believers, "But the Apostle and those who believe with him strive hard with their property and their persons; and these it is who shall have the good things and these it is who shall be successful."
[9:88]

He goes on to say, "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain, which you have concluded: that is the achievement supreme."
[9:111]

Of the believers, He also says, "But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the Garden: Therein shall they abide (forever)."
[2:82]

O slaves of Allah know that being among this illustrious group of people who will live in this place of tranquillity and bliss is not something easily attained. Allah says,

"Or do you think that you shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried, 'When (will come) the help of Allah?' Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!"
[2:214]

What Allah and His Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) convey to us is that the people of Paradise are the God-conscious, and the God-fearing. Not everyone, who says, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, just as not everyone who professes the Shahadah, will enter Paradise.

Only those who fear Allah as He ought to be feared, and are motivated by that fear to do acts of righteousness will attain success. The one who is conscious of His Lord, in every aspect of his life, and turns to Him in true submission, will have purchased for himself safety and security on a day, when there will be none, except with Allah. He does not cause a soul to suffer fear twice, the fear of Him in this world, and the fear on The Day of Judgment. About this, the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "Allah says, 'I do not combine for my servants two states of fear, or two states of safety. So if he feels safe from Me in this world I will cause him to fear on The Day of Judgment, and if he fears Me in the world, I will cause him to be safe on The Day of Judgment.'"
[Sahih al-Jami]

It is important, therefore, that Muslims know the characters of those who will be the inheritors of Paradise. But it is unfortunate that many of today's Muslims understand that it is enough for one to pronounce the Shahadah by his tongue for him to be entitled to enter Paradise regardless of whether he lived according to Islam or not! But the Shahadah means and requires more than the mere utterance of it. Actually this fact is one of the most mentioned aspects of Islam in the Qur'an and Sunnah. The essence of Eman is deed. Deeds of the heart and deeds of the tongue and other body parts. Deeds that are to be continued till one leaves this world. That was the reason why the Arabs of Makkah refused to pronounce it. They fully appreciated its implication. They knew it concerned authority and understood that they had to govern their deeds and lives with it. Yet many of those who repeat it today lead life styles that do not resemble those described in the Qur'an and practiced by the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and his companions. The Qur'an warns us that deeds are the basis on which we are to be judged, not only the utterance of the Shahadah, "It is not by your wishes nor the wishes of the People of the Book: whoever does wrong shall be punished for it, and he will find none other than Allah as a protector or helper."
[4:123]

So entering Paradise requires that we live as believers and die as Muslims. That takes knowledge, dedication and determination to see it through to its completion. The fist step is belief in Allah and His Messenger, and the flip side to that is leaving all acts of shirk; this means directing all acts of ibadah to none but Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, whether it be wearing talismans, supplicating to others than Allah or simply showing off. The next step is obeying Allah and His Messenger, avoiding bid'ah and innovations, and carrying out all compulsory acts of worship that He has prescribed. Once we are steadfast and regular in what we must do, we can then proceed to the next level of eman and worship, by doing the things that we have been encouraged to do. By increasing out acts of worship, and remembrance of Allah we will leave off sin and help safeguard ourselves from a Fire, the fuel of which is men and stones.

We Should Also Strive to:

Protect our minds from thoughts, which are evil, because evil actions begin with evil thoughts.

Protect our eyes by lowering our gazes and not looking at forbidden things.

Protect our ears from lewd or evil speech where there is sin. We should also avoid listening to lies, gossip, music, slander, or blasphemy.

Protect our tongues by saying always what is correct and true, and keeping it moist with the remembrance of Allah, and keeping away from backbiting and other evil speech.

Protect our stomachs by eating the halal and keeping away from the haram. We should beware of eating usury, carrion, and swine or drinking intoxicants or taking drugs.

Protect our hands from taking what does not belong to us, or from doing harm to another Muslim.

Protect our legs from taking us to evil and corruption and an ultimate doom.

Protect our private parts from unlawful sexual intercourse.

Protect our wealth by not squandering it or holding on to it too tightly.

Protect our oaths, witnesses and trusts by not breaching or breaking a contract or pledge knowingly. We should not exceed our agreements, testify to falsehood or break our trusts.

Protect our families and children by keeping them away from the things that may be harmful and that may corrupt their minds and their souls.

Now, it is true that only Allah knows who the believers are, but that should not stop us from striving to be among their numbers. For the believers will have eternal bliss and complete success, because of the things that they did in this life. Allah says, "So no soul knows the delight of the eyes which is hidden for them; a reward for what they did."
[32:17]

We now stand at the start of the race, so let us run forward quickly to the finish line, where the gates of Paradise will be open for those who strive as they should. The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, who said, "Paradise is surrounded by hardship and the Hellfire is surround by wishes and desires," has described the road to eternal bliss.
[Sahih al-Jami]

Despite this, Allah and His Messenger have left breadcrumbs along the path, for us to follow to make our journey easier. All roads may lead to Rome, but not all paths lead to Allah and His Paradise. We must plan our journey by using only the road map given to us by Allah and His Messenger, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam.

Ways That Lead To Paradise:

Belief and Righteous Deeds are two of the best routes to Jannah (Paradise). The door of righteous deeds is wide and the ways of obtaining rewards are vast, as Allah says, "And those who believe and do good deeds they are the inhabitants of Paradise, in it they shall abide."
[2:82]

Taqwa is the fear of the Most Merciful, and acting in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam. That is, hoping for the reward of Allah and avoiding disobedience of His Guidance and fearing His Punishment. For Allah says, "Surely those of taqwa shall be in the midst of Gardens and fountains."
[15:45]

The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, also said, "The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is taqwa of Allah and good conduct, and the most common thing which leads people to the Hell Fire is the mouth and the private parts."
[at-Tirmidhi]

Obedience of Allah and His Messenger is a sure way to Paradise. Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, says, "And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will cause him to enter Gardens beneath which rivers flow, and whoever turns back, He will chastise him with a painful chastisement."
[48:17]

Allah's Messenger, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, also said, "All of my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse." It was asked, "O Messenger of Allah, who would refuse?" He said, "He who obeys me enters Paradise and he who disobeys me has refused."
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Fighting in the Path of Allah with one's goods and soul. For Allah says, "O you who believe, shall I lead you to a merchandise which may deliver you from a painful chastisement? You shall believe in Allah and His Messenger, and struggle hard in Allah's Cause with your property and your lives; that is better for you, if you but knew! He will forgive you your sins and cause you to enter Gardens beneath which rivers flow, and goodly dwellings in Gardens of perpetuity; that is the mighty achievement."
[61:10-12]

Repentance erases what came before it as the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "The one who repents form sin is like the one who never sinned."
[Sahih Al-Jami]

And Allah says, "Except such as repent and believe and do good, these shall enter the Garden, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly in any way."
[19:60]

There are countless other means, from building a mosque to seeking Islamic knowledge to obeying our husbands and raising righteous children. All it takes is our time and sincere efforts. With all that Allah has described, it may seem daunting to us at times, that we will ever make it. Eman rises and falls, and with it our good deeds. But we should never lose hope in Allah, for the only one who loses hope in Allah is the one who disbelieves.

So even though we may feel that we are at the bottom of the pile, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) gives us hope. He said, "Mousa, alayhes salam, asked his Lord, 'Who amongst the inhabitants of Paradise will be the lowest in rank?' He (subhanahu wa ta'ala) said, 'He is a man who will come after the people have entered Paradise and it will be said to him: Enter Paradise.' He will say, 'How my Lord? Indeed, the people have settled in their apartments and taken their shares.' It will be asked of him, 'Would you be pleased if there was a kingdom for you like the kingdoms of the earth?' He will say, 'I would be pleased, my Lord.' He will say, 'And for you is the like of that, and the like of it, and the like of it.' He will say at the fifth time, 'I am pleased, my Lord.' He will say, 'This is for you and ten times like it, and for you is what you desire for yourself and what is pleasurable to your eye.' He will say, "I am pleased my Lord."
[Muslim]

This is what Allah has for the least among us. But despite all the glorious castles, the beautiful clothes and mates we will posses, inshaAllah, He still has in store for the believers the greatest honor awaiting them in Paradise. Suhaib ibn Sinan narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "When the inmates of Paradise enter Paradise and the inmates of Hellfire will enter Hell, the announcer will say, 'O people of Paradise, verily you have a promise with Allah and He wishes to fulfill His promise to you.' They will ask, 'What is His promise? Has He not made our balances heavy (with good deed), whitened our faces, admitted us into Paradise, and delivered us from the Hellfire?' Then the screen will be removed and they will look towards Him. By Allah He will not give them a thing more beloved to them and more comforting to their eyes, than the gaze of Himself."
[Sahih al-Jami]

We were created in Paradise, we came out of it and we will inshaAllah go back to it. It is our destination and we shall reach it. But we have to do what Allah has asked us to do, for Paradise is not cheap. The price is true eman that is shown in obedience to Allah according to the sunnah of his Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam. The companions understood that. Their efforts were all for the life of the Hereafter and they gave only what was necessary to this worldly life. As Muslims, everything we do, can be, and should be worship of Allah. Whether we're working at the office to provide for our families; cooking a meal; raising our children, or simply resting, through remembrance of Allah and supplication, we can transform these earthly necessities into fruits that will bear for us in the life of the Hereafter.

So let us keep our eyes on the prize, and strive hard for it, for Allah says, "And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good."
[29:69]

Descriptions of Hell in Islam


The Creation of Hell-Fire

"Fear the fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers."
[Ali'-Imran, 3: 131]

"Truly Hell is lying in wait- a destination for the transgressors."
[an-Naba, 78: 21-22]
(One’s rejection of faith is transgression against Allah and himself).

Abdullah bin Umar (radiAllahu anhu) narrated: “Allah Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘When someone dies, he is shown his destination morning and evening and if he belongs to the people of Paradise, (he will be shown his place) among the people of Paradise, and if he is from the people of Hell, (he will be shown his place) among the people of Hell.’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“There was a dispute between Hell and Paradise during which Hell said, ‘The haughty and the proud will find abode in me.’ And Paradise said, ‘The meek and the humble will find their abode in me.’ Thereupon, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, (addressing Hell) said, ‘You are the means of My punishment by which I punish those of My servants whom I wish.’ (and addressing Paradise), He said, ‘You are My mercy by means of which I will show mercy to those whom I wish. And each one of you will be full.’”
[Muslim]

The Gates of Hell

“The unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowds until, when they arrive there, its gates will be opened..” [az-Zumar, 39: 71]

“And verily, Hell is the promised abode for them all. It has seven gates: to each of those gates is a specific class of sinners assigned.”
[al Hijr, 15: 43-44]

“To them will be said, ‘Enter you the gates of Hell to dwell therein. And how evil is this abode of the arrogant.’”
[az Zumar, 39: 72]

“But those who reject Our signs are the companions of the left hand – on them will be fire vaulted over.”
[al Balad, 90: 19-20]

In Arabic, the phrase “on them will be fire vaulted over” indicates that the gates of Hell be closed. In other words, the fire will encompass the companions of the Fire, and the gates of Hell will imprison them within. As well, the gates of Hell will be locked, vaulted all around, and outstretched columns will cover the doors.

“It is the fire of Allah, kindled to a blaze, which mounts right to the hearts. It will be a vault over them in outstretched columns.”
[al Humazah, 104: 6-9]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
‘When the month of Ramadan begins and the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Levels of Hell

“To all are degrees or ranks according to their deeds.”
[an-An'am, 6: 132]

“Is the man who follows the good pleasure of Allah like the one who draws upon himself the wrath of Allah and whose abode is in Hell – an evil refuge? They are varying grades in the sight of Allah, and Allah sees well all that they do.”
[ali'-Imran, 3: 162-163]

“Indeed the hypocrites are in the lowest depths of the Fire; you will find no helper for them.”
[an Nisa, 4: 145]

Capacity and Depth of Hell

On the Day of Judgment the inhabitants of Hell will see their destined abode face to face and will realize the error of their ways. But, of course, it will be too late. The Qur’an states: “No! When the earth is pounded to powder, and your Lord comes with His angels, rank upon rank, and Hell, that Day, is brought [face to face] – on that Day will man remember? But how will that remembrance profit him?”
[al Fajr, 89: 21-23]

“On the Day We will say to Hellfire, ‘have you been filled?’ it will say, ‘Are there some more?’”
[Qaf, 50: 30]

Ibn Mas'ud (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Hell will be brought on that Day. IT will have seventy thousand reins with seventy thousand angels drawing it by each rein.”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“And his (the disbeliever’s) seat in Hellfire is as much as (the distance) between Makkah and Madinah.”
[at-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported: “While we were in the company of Allah’s Messenger (SAW), we heard a terrible sound. Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, ‘Do you know what that sound is?’ When we answered, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said. “That is a stone which was thrown into Hell seventy years ago and has been constantly falling until now when it finally reached the bottom.’”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Hell and Paradise fell into a dispute during which Hell said, ‘I have been distinguished by the proud and the haughty.’ And Paradise said, ‘What is the matter with me that only the meek and the humble and the downtrodden and the simple enter me?’
Thereupon, Allah said to Paradise, ‘You are the means of My mercy whereby I show mercy to those of My servants whom I wish.’ Then HE said to Hell, ‘You are the means of punishment whereby I punish those of My servants whom I wish. Both of you will be full.’ Hell will not be filled up until Allah puts His foot over it. Then Hell will say, ‘Enough, enough, enough,’ at which point it will be filled up, all of its parts integrated together.”
[Muslim]

Anas bin Malik (radiAllahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Hell will continue to ask, ‘Is there anything more?’ until Allah, the Exalted, and High will place His foot thereon, Then it will say, ‘Enough, enough, by Your honor,’ and some of its parts will draw close together.’”
[Muslim]

The Fuel of Hell-Fire

People:
“Those who has disbelieved – their wealth and their children will never benefit them anything with Allah. And those are the ones who are the fuel of Hellfire.”
[ali'-Imran, 3: 10]

Jinn:
“And there are among us Muslims (in submission to Allah) and others who deviate from justice. And whoever accepts Islam has sought out the right path. As for those who deviate, they will be firewood for the Hellfire.”
[al-Jinn, 72: 14-15]

Stones:
“But if you cannot – and of a surety you cannot – then fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones, which is prepared for those who reject faith.”
[al Baqarah, 2: 24]

“O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are appointed angels, stern and severe, who do not disobey Allah in what He orders them and who do precisely what they are commanded.”
[al-Tahreem, 66: 6]

False Gods
“Verily, you (unbelievers) and what you worship besides Allah are fuel for Hellfire, You will surely come to it. If those had (truly) been gods, they would not have come to it. But all will abide therein eternally.”
[al-Anbiya, 21: 98-99]

“And the Fierce Fire will be brought out before those straying in evil, and it will be said to them, ‘Where are those you worshipped besides Allah? Can they help you or help themselves?’ Then they will be thrown into it (the Hellfire) on their faces – they and those straying in evil and the soldiers of Iblees, all together.”
[ash Shu'ara, 26: 91-95]

The Intensity of its Fire

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated: “When Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘Your ordinary fire is one of the 70 potions of the Hellfire,’ someone commented, ‘O Messenger of Allah, would it (ordinary fire) not be sufficient (to burn the wrongdoers)?’ At that, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, ‘The Hellfire has 69 more portions than ordinary (worldly) fire, and all of them are as hot as this (worldly fire).’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

“Verily, Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a Blazing Fire. Dwelling therein forever, and they will find no protector or helper.”
[al-Ahzab, 33: 64-65]

“But he who is given his record behind his back will soon cry for destruction, and he will enter a blazing Fire.”
[al Inshiqaq, 84: 10-12]

“No, they deny the Hour (of the judgment to come), but We have prepared a blazing fire for such as deny the Hour. When it sees them from a far off place, they will hear its fury and its raging sigh. And when they are cast, bound, in chains, into constricted place therein, they will plead therein for destruction. Do not plead today for a single destruction; plead for destruction oft-repeated.”
[al-Furqan, 25: 11-14]

“The companions of the left hand – what are the companions of the left hand? (They will be) in the midst of a fierce blast (of fire) and in boiling water.”
[al Waqi'ah, 56: 41-42]

“But, he whose scales are light his home will be a pit. And what will make you understand what that is? (It is ) a fire, blazing fiercely.”
[al Qari’ah, 101: 8-11]

“Soon will I cast him into Saqar (the Hellfire). And what will explain to you what Saqar is? It permits nothing to endure, and it leaves nothing alone, darkening and changing the color of man.”
[al Muddaththir, 74: 26-29]

“Their abode will be Hell. Every time it abates. We will increase for them the blaze (the fierceness) of the fire.”
[al Isra, 17: 97]

“Those are the ones, who have exchanged the Hereafter for the gains of this worldly life. The punishment will not be lightened for them, and they will not be aided.”
[al Baqarah, 2: 86]

“So taste, (the result of your deeds), for We will not increase you except in punishment.”
[an Naba, 78: 30]

Anas (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“The most favored man among the dwellers of the Earth will be brought from among the people of the Fire on the Day of Resurrection. He will be dyed in the Fire but once, and then it will be said to him, ‘O son of Adam, have you ever seen good at all? Has any pleasure ever come to you?’ He will say, ‘No, by Allah, O Lord.’ Then the most miserable people in the world will be brought from the people of Paradise and will be dyed with the dye of Paradise. It will be said to him, ‘O son of Adam, have you ever seen any misery, and has any hardship ever come to you? ‘ He will say, ‘No, by Allah, O my Lord. No misery ever came to me, nor did I see any hardship.’”
[Muslim]

The Shade of Hell

“The companions of the left hand – what are the companions of the left hand? (They will be) in the midst of a fierce blast (of fire) and in boiling water and in the shades of black smoke – nothing cool and nothing beneficial.”
[Waqi’ah, 56: 41-44]

“And woe that Day to the deniers (of truth). ([It will be said], ‘Depart to a shadow [of smoke ascending] in three columns, [which yields] no shade of coolness and is of no use against the fierce blaze.’”
[Mursalat, 77: 28-31]

The Sparks of it's Fire

Indeed, it throws about sparks [as huge] as a palace, as if they were yellow camels.”
[al-Mursalat, 77: 32-33]

The Names of Hell-Fire

Jahannam:
“Truly Jahannam (the Hellfire) is lying in wait.”
[an-Naba, 78: 21]

Latha:
“By no means! For it is Latha (the fire of Hell) burning away right to the skull.”
[Ma’arij, 70: 15-16]

Al-Hutamah: (Crusher which Smashes or Breaks to Pieces):
“By no means! He will certainly be thrown into al-Hutamah. And what will make you understand what al-Hutamah is? It is the fire of Allah, kindled to a blaze, which mounts right to the hearts.”
[al Humazah, 104: 4-7]

Sa’eer (the Burning Fire):
“…a group in Paradise and a group in Sa’eer.”
[ash-Shura, 42: 7]

Saqar:
“Soon will I cast him into Saqar. And what will explain to you what Saqar is? It permits nothing to endure and it leaves nothing alone, darkening and changing the color of man.”
[al Muddaththir, 74: 26-29]

Al-Jaheem (The Fierce Fire):
“And al-Jaheem will be brought out before those straying in evil.”
[ash-Shu’ara, 26: 91]

Al-Hawiyah (The Pit)
“But he whose scales are light – his home will be a pit. And what will make you understand what that is? (It is) a fire, blazing fiercely.”
[al Qar’iah, 101: 8-11]

The Keepers of Hell

“Those in the Fire will say to the keepers of Hell, ‘Pray to your Lord to lighten for 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 not but in error.’”
[Ghafir, 40: 49-50]

“O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels, stern and severe, and who do not disobey Allah in what He orders them and who do precisely what they are commanded.”
[at-Tahreem, 66: 6]

“Over it are nineteen. And We have not made the guardians of the Fire except angels. And We have made their number only as a trial for the unbelievers – in order that the People of the Book may be certain and that the believers may increase in faith, and so that the People of the Book and the believers would not doubt, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the unbelievers would say, ‘What example does Allah intend by this?’ Thus does Allah leave to stray whom he pleases and guides whom He pleases. And none can know the soldiers of your Lord except He. And this is nothing other than a warning to mankind.”
[Muddaththir, 74: 30-31]

“They will cry out, ‘O Malik, let your Lord put an end to us.’ He will say, “Surely, you will stay (as you are).’”
[adh-Dhukhrub, 43: 77]

Samurah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Last night I saw [in a dream] two men coming to me. One of them said, ‘The one who lights the fire is Malik, the gatekeeper of Hell; I am Jibreel, and this is Mika’eel.’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) related: “The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘On the night of my ascent to Heaven. I saw Musa (who was a tall, brown, curly-haired man) as if he was one of the men of the Shan’awah tribe. Then I saw ‘Isa, a man of medium height, of moderate complexion inclined to the red and white colors, and of lank hair. I also saw Malik, the gatekeeper of the Hellfire.’”
[Muslim]

The Effects upon the Present World

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“The Hellfire complained to its Lord, saying, ‘O my Lord, my different parts eat each other up.’ So Allah allowed it to take two breaths – one in the winter and the other in the summer. This is [the cause pf] the severe heat and the bitter cold you experience.’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Ibn Umar (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Fever is from the breath of the Hellfire; so cool it with water.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Abu Dharr (radiAllahu anhu) narrated: “While the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was on a journey, he said [regarding the performance of the thuhr prayer], ‘Wait until it gets cooler.’ He said the same thing again until the shade of the hillocks extended, and then he said, ‘Delay the [thuhr] prayer until it gets cooler, for the severity of heat is from the breath of Hell.’” (thuhr period is just before 'Asr)
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

The Great number of inhabitants

“And most of the people are not believers even though you take great care in this respect.”
[Yusuf, 12: 103]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated: “The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘The first man to be called on the Day of Resurrection will be Adam, who will be shown his descendants. And it will be said to them, “This is your father, Adam.” Adam will say, [responding to the call], “Labbayk wa sa’dayk.” Then Allah will say [to Adam], “Bring forth from your descendants the delegations of the Fire.” He will say, “O Lord, how many should I bring?” Allah will answer, “From every hundred, ninety-nine.’”
The companions said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if ninety-nine out of every one hundred of us are brought forth , then what will remain of us?’ The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) stated, ‘My nation among other nations is like a white hair on a black bull.’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

The Size of its inhabitants

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“The molar tooth of an unbeliever or the canine tooth of an unbeliever will be like [Mount] Uhud, and the thickness of his skin will be like a three night’s journey.”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“The distance between the two shoulders of the non-believer in Hell will be like a three day’s journey for a swift rider.”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Indeed, the thickness of the disbeliever’s skin will be the length of forty-two forearms of those of giants, his molar tooth like [Mount] Uhud, and his seat in Hellfire [the distance] between Makkah and Madinah.”
[at-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim]

Some of its inhabitants

Imran bin Husayn (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“I looked into Paradise and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were the poor, and I looked into Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Usamah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) stated:
“I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of the people who entered it were the poor, while those of means were held [for account], except the companions of the Fire, who were already ordered to [be taken to] the Fire. And I stood at the gate of the Fire and [saw that] the majority of those who entered it were women.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) stated: “The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘I looked into the Hellfire, and the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.’ It was asked, ‘Did they disbelieve in (i.e. were ungrateful to ] Allah?’ He replied, ‘They were ungrateful to their husbands and were ungrateful for favors and the good deeds done for them. If you had always been good to one of them and then she saw something in you not to her liking, she would say, ‘I have never seen any good from you at all.”’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Pharaoh:
“And We sent Musa with Our clear [signs] and an authority manifest unto Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they followed the command of Pharaoh. And the command of Pharaoh was no right guide. He will go before his people on the Day of Judgment and lead them into the Fire. And how evil will be the place to which they are led. And they are followed by a curse in this [life] and on the Day of Judgment. And evil is the gift which will be given [to them].”
[Hud, 11: 96-99]

“The Fire – they will be exposed to it morning and evening, and on the Day that judgment will be established [it will be said], ‘Cast the people of Pharaoh into the severest punishment.’”
[Ghafir, 40: 46]

The Wives of Nuh and Lut:

“Allah has given an example of those who disbelieve: the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut. They were under two of Our righteous servants but betrayed them; so they [the two prophets] did not benefit them [the wives] before Allah at all, and they were told, ‘Enter the Fire with those who enter.’”
[at-Tahreem, 66: 10]

Abu Lahab and His Wife:
“May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he. His wealth will not avail him nor that which he gained. He will enter a flaming fire and his wife [as well] – the carrier of firewood – around her neck a rope of palm fiber.”
[Masad, 111: 1-5]

Amr bin Luhayy:
Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“I saw ‘Amr bin Luhayy bin Qam’a bin Khindif, brother of Bani Ka’b, dragging his intestines in the Fire.”
[Muslim]

Amr bin Amir al-Khuya'i:
Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) stated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“I saw 'Amr bin 'Amir al-Khuya'i dragging his intestines in the Fire; he was the first who dedicated to animals to false deities.”
[Muslim]

Abu Talib:
Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Of the inmates of the Fire, the one with the easiest punishment will be Abu Talib; he will be wearing a pair of shoes which will cause his brain to boil.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

“He will say, ‘Enter into the company of communities who passed away before you – of jinn and men – into the Fire.’”
[al-A'raf, 7: 38]

“If your Lord had so willed, He could have make mankind one people, but they will not cease to dispute except those on whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy. And the word of your Lord will be fulfilled: ‘Certainly I will fill Hell with jinn and men all together.’”
[Hud, 11: 118-119]

“Then they will be thrown into it [the Hellfire] on their faces – they and those straying in evil and the soldiers of Iblees, all together.”
[ash-Shu'ara, 26: 94-95]

Categories of its inhabitants

Disbelievers:
“But those who disbelieve and deny Our signs will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein.”
[Sahih al-Baqarah, 2: 39]

“Those who have disbelieved and died while they are disbelievers will have the curse of Allah upon them and the [curse of the ] angels and all of mankind. [they will abide] eternally therein. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will the punishment be postponed.”
[Sahih al-Baqarah, 2: 161-162]

Hypocrites:
“Indeed the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire; you will find no helper for them.”
[an-Nisa, 4: 145]

“The hypocrites are afraid that a surah be sent down about them, showing them what is [really] in their hearts. Say, ‘Ridicule you! But verily, Allah will expose all that you fear.’ If you question them, they declare, ‘We were only talking idly and playing.’ Say, ‘Is it Allah and His signs and His messengers that you were mocking?’ Make no excuses that you were rejected faith after having accepted it. IF We pardon some of you, We will punish others because they were criminals. The hypocrites – men and women are of one another. They enjoin evil and forbid what is just and close their hands [in stinginess]. They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are rebellious and perverse. Allah has promised the hypocrites men and women and the rejecters of faith the fire of Hell; they will dwell therein. It is sufficient for them. And Allah will curse them, and they will have an enduring punishment.”
[at-Tawbah, 9: 64-68]

Polytheists (Those who Associate Something with Allah):
“Those who reject [truth] among the People of the Book and the polytheists were not going to depart [from their ways] until there comes to them clear evidence – a messenger from Allah, rehearsing pure scriptures, wherein are upright laws [or decrees]. Nor did those who had been given the scripture make schisms until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere in religion to Him, to establish regular prayer, and to pay zakah. And that is the upright religion. Those who reject [truth] among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, dwelling therein forever. They are the worst of creatures.”
[al-Bayyinah, 98: 1-6]

People of the Book (Who Reject Islam):
“Those reject [truth] among the People of the Book are the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, dwelling there therein forever. They are the worst of creatures.”
[al-Bayyinah, 98: 6]

Arrogant Rejecters of the Truth:
“But those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance – they are the companions of the Fire, dwelling therein forever.”
[al-A'raf, 7: 36]

Sinners and Criminals:
“Indeed the criminals will be in the punishment of Hell, dwelling therein forever. It will not be lightened for them, and they will be overwhelmed there in despair. And We have not wronged them, but it is they who have wronged [themselves].”
[az-Zukhruf, 43: 74-76]

The Unjust:
“Then it will be said to those who were unjust, ‘Taste the eternal punishment. Are you recompensed except for what you used to earn?’”
[Yunus, 10: 52]

Transgressors:
“But when there comes the Greatest Event – the Day when man will remember what he strove for and the Hellfire will be brought forth for [all] to see – then for him who had transgressed and preferred the life of this world, indeed Hellfire will be his shelter.”
[an-Nazi'at, 79: 34-39]

Concealers of Allah’s Revelations:
“Those who conceal what We have sent down of proofs and guidance after We have made it clear to the people in the scripture- those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who [are entitled to] curse.”
[Surah al Baqarah, 2: 159]
("those who curse" refers to the angels and believers.)

Tyrants:
“But they asked victory, and disappointment is the lot of every obstinate tyrant. In front of him is Hell, and he is given pus to drink. He will gulp it but will hardly be able t oswallow it, and death will come to him from every place, yet he will not die. And in front of him will be a heavy punishment.”
[Ibrahim, 14: 15-17]

“[It will be said to the two angels], ‘Throw into Hellfire every obstinate rejecter [of Allah] – who prevented good, transgressed, and doubted, who set up another god besides Allah – throw him into the severe punishment.’”
[Qaf, 50: 24-26]

Murderers:
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell to abide therein forever, and the warth and the curse of Alllah is upon him, and He has prepared for him a great punishment.”
[an-Nisa, 4: 93]

Persecutors of Believers:
”Those who presect [or draw into temptations] the believers – men and women – and then do not turn in repentance will have the punishment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the Burning Fire.”
[al-Buruj, 85: 10]

Those who Prefer this world and Neglect the Hereafter:
“Whoever wishes for the immediate – We hasten to grant him such things as We will to whom We will. Then We have mark for them hallmark they will burn therein, disgraced and rejected.”
[al-Isra', 17: 18]

Those who Commit Suicide:
Abu Huraiarh (radiAllahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
‘He who kills himself with a steel [weapon] will be eternal inhabitant of Hell, and he will have that [weapon] in his hand and will be thrusting it into his stomach forever and ever; he who kills himself by drinking poison will sip in the fire of Hell, forever and forever. He will kills himself by throwing himself from a the top of a mountain and will constantly fall in the fire of Hell forever and ever.”
[Muslim]

Other Inhabitants:
Harithah bin Wahb narrated (radiAllahu anhu) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) say:
“Shall I not inform you who the people of Paradise are? [They are comprised of] every person who is weak and taken advantage of, but if he swore that Allah would do something, He (suhanahu wa ta’ala) would comply. And shall I not inform you who the people of Hell are? [They are comprised of ] every one who is cruel, proud and arrogant.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is narrated: “The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘The inhabitants of Hell are five: 1) the weak who lack self-restraint, who follow blindly and do not care for family or property (i.e. they care neither for the benefits of the Hereafter nor of this world); 2) the treacherous who does not show himself but his greed is such that he is deceitful even in small things; 3) a person who would betray you morning and evening regarding your family and your property.’ He also made mention of 4) the miser of the liar and 5) one who is in the habit of abusing people and using obscene and foul language.”
[Muslim]

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Paradise and Hell fell into a dispute for, accommodating the haughty and proud, and Paradise said, ‘What is the matter with me that only the meek and the humble and the downtrodden and simple will find abode in me?’ Thereupon, Allah said to Paradise, ‘You are a means of My mercy. I will show mercy through you to whom I will from among My servants.’ Then He said to Hell, ‘You are a sign of My chastisement, and I will chastise through you whom I will from among My servants. Both of you will be full.’ And as regards to Hell, it will not be full until Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, places His foot over it. Then Hell will say, ‘Enough, enough, enough!’ at which point it will be full and will be compressed. Allah will not treat unjustly anyone among His creation. As for Paradise, He will create another creation to fill it.”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“There are two types of inhabitants of Hell whom I have not seen in my lifetime: People who have whips like the tails of oxen with them and will be beating people, and women who will be dressed yet undressed, who will be inclined to evil and will make others incline towards it. Their heads will appear like the humps of Persian camels inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise, nor will they even smell its odor, although will be smelled from long distances away.”
[Muslim]

(When the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) saw Hell, many different kinds of people were there; however, there were two types whom he did not recognize because they did not exist at the time when he was alive, (seventh century). These two types of people are the following:
1) those carrying whips who were beating others (oppressors)
2) women wearing revealing outfits much like the fashionable clothing of today. These women have unusual hairstyles, perhaps like the ones worn by modern-day women. Through this hadith the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) predicted the nature of women’s clothing in the future- he foretold that clothing considered fashionable would reveal much of the body – and he also predicted the nature of the hairstyles and wigs of modern times worn by those women who will be among the inhabitants of Hell).

The Food of Hell

"No food will there be for them except bitter dhari (a thorny plant), which will neither nourish nor satisfy hunger."
[Surah al-Ghashiyah, 88: 6-7]

“Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinful. Like molten brass it will boil in their insides like the boiling of scalding water.”
[ad-Dukhan, 44: 43-46]

“Is that (Paradise) the better hospitality or the tree of Zaqqum? For We have truly made it as a torment for the wrongdoers. For it is a tree that springs out of the bottoms of Hellfire; the shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils. Truly they will eat from it and fill their bellies with it. Then on top of that they will be given a mixture of boiling water.”
[as-Saffat, 37: 62-67).

“Then will you truly –O you who have gone astray an denied – you will surely eat of the trees of Zaqqum. Then will you fill your stomachs with it and drink boiling water on top of it, and you will drink boiling water on top of it, and you will drink like diseased camels, raging with thirst. Such will be their hospitality on the Day of Requital.”
[al-Qaqi’ah, 56: 51-56]

“With Us are yokes (to bind them) and fire (to burn them) and food that chokes and a grievous punishment.”
[al-Muzzammil, 73: 12-13]

“So he has no friend here this Day, nor does he have any food except what comes from the washing of wounds, which none will eat except the sinners.”
[al Haqqah, 69: 35-37]

“Thus, All this. But indeed for the oppressors will be an evil place of final return. It is Hellfire – they will burn therein, and how evil is that bed, Thus, then will they taste it – a boiling fluid and a filthy fluid of pus and blood and other penalties of a similar kind to match them.”
[Sad, 38: 55-58]

Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) recited the following verse: ‘Fear Allah with the fear due to Him, and do not die except as Muslims.’ Then he said, ‘If a drop of Zaqqum would have fallen into a house in this world, it would have spoiled all the provisions of the people of this world. Then how will it be with one whose food it has become?’”
[at-Tirmidhi, Surah ali'-Imran, 3: 102]

“Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans are only eating fire into their bellies. They will soon be driven into a blazing fire.”
[an-Nisa, 4: 10]

“Truly, those who conceal what Allah has revealed from the scripture and exchange it for a small price – they are not taking into their stomachs except fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Judgment, and He will not purify them. And they will have a painful punishment.”
[al-Baqarah, 2: 174]

The Drinks of Hell

Hameem (Boiling Water):
“Here is a parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised. In it are rivers of water, incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, delicious to those who drink; and rivers of honey, pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits and forgiveness from their Lord [Can those in such bliss] be compared to such as will dwell forever in the Fire and be given boiling water to drink that will cut up their bowels?”
[Muhammad, 47: 15]

“This is the Hell which the criminals deny. They will go back and forth between it and boiling hot water.”
[ar-Rahman, 55: 43-44]

“Thus. Then will they taste it – a boiling fluid and a filthy fluid of pus and blood and other penalties of a similar kind to match them.”
[Sad, 38: 57-58]

“Has the story reached you of the Overwhelming Event? Some faces, that Day, will be humiliated, laboring hard, weary. They will be driven into a blazing fire. They will be given drink from a boiling spring.”
[al-Ghashiyah, 88: 1-5]

“To Him will be your return all of you. The promise of Allah is true. It is He who begins the process of creation and repeats it that HE may reward those who believe and work righteousness with justice. But those who reject Him will have a drink of boiling fluids and a painful punishment because of their rejection.”
[Yunus, 10: 4]

“Then will you truly – O you who have gone astray and denied – you will surely eat of the trees of Zaqqum. Then will you fill your stomachs with it and drink boiling water on top of it, and you will drink like diseased camels raging with thirst. Such will be their hospitality on the Day of Requital.”
[al Waqi’ah, 56: 51-56]

“Truly they will eat from it and fill their bellies with it. Then on top of that they will be given a mixture of boiling water. Then their return will be to Hellfire.”
[as Saffat, 37: 66-68]

Ghassaq (a Fluid of pus & blood which has oozed from their skins) “Thus, then will they taste it – a boiling fluid and a filthy fluid of pus and blood and other penalties of a similar kind to match them.”
[Sad, 38: 57-58]

“In front of him is Hell, and he is given pus to drink. He will gulp it but will hardly be able to swallow it, and death will come to him from every place, yet, he will not die. And in front of him will be a heavy punishment.”
[Ibrahim, 14: 16-17]

Water Like Molten Brass:
“Say, The Truth is from your Lord, so let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject it.’ Indeed We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls surround them. If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass that will scald their faces. How dreadful the drink. How evil the resting place.”
[al Kahf, 18: 29]

The Garments of Hell

Garments from Fire:
“These two opponents dispute with each other about their Lord. But those who disbelieve will have garments of fire cut out for them. Over their heads will be poured boiling water.”
[al Hajj, 22: 19]

Garments from Black Pitch:
“And you will see the criminals that Day bound together in chains and yokes- their garments of liquid pitch and their faces covered with fire.”
[Ibrahim, 14: 49-50]

Beds and Bedcovers of Hell

“They will have from Hellfire a bed and over them from it coverings. Thus do We reward the unjust.”
[al-Araf, 7: 41]

“It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you revert to your sins. We will revert to Our punishments. And We have made Hell a mat for the disbelievers.”
[al Isra', 17: 8]

Yokes, Chains and Maces

“Do you not see those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah – how they are turned away from truth? Those who reject the Book and that with which We sent Our messengers – soon they will know. When the yokes will be round their necks and the chains. They will be dragged in the boiling water. Then in the Fire they will be burned.”
[Ghafir, 40: 69-72]

“They will conceal their regret when they see the penalty. And We will put yokes on the necks of the unbelievers. Are they recompensed except for what they used to do?”
[Saba, 34: 33]

“For the disbelievers We have prepared chains, yokes and a blazing fire.”
[al Insan, 76: 4]

“With Us are yokes to bind them and fire to burn them.”
[al Muzzammil, 73: 12]

“And you will see the criminals that Day bound together in chains and yokes.”
[Ibrahim, 14: 49]

“It will be commanded, ‘Seize him and bind him. Then drive him into the Hellfire. Then in a chain whose length is seventy cubits bind him.’ For indeed, he would not believe in Allah, Most Great, and would not encourage the feeding of the poor. So he has no friend here this Day.”
[al Haqqah, 69: 30-35]

“And for them are maces of iron to punish them. Every time they wish to get out from it and from anguish, they will be returned to it, and it will be said, ‘Taste the punishment of the Burning Fire!’”
[al Hajj, 22: 21-22]

Variance in Degree of Penalties

“Indeed the hypocrites are in the lowest depths of the Fire; you will find no helper for them.”
[an Nisa, 4: 145]

“The Fire – they will be exposed to it morning and evening, and on the Day, that judgment will be established [it will be said], ‘Cast the people of Pharaoh into the severest punishment.’”
[Ghafir, 40: 46]

“Those who disbelieved and hindered [mankind] from the path of Allah – We will increase them in punishment over [their] punishment, for they used to spread corruption.”
[an Nahl, 16: 88]

Samurah bin Jundub (radiAllahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“There will be some to whose ankles the fire will reach, some to whose knees the fire will reach, some to whose waists the fire will reach, and some to whose collarbones the fire will reach.”
[Muslim]

Nu’man bin Basheer (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Verily, of the inmates of the Fire, the one with the easiest punishment will be one who will have a pair of sandals and s traps of fire. His brain will boil from them as a kettle boils. He does not see that anyone is suffering a punishment more severe than him, while he is the one with the easiest punishment.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“Of the inmates of the Fire, the one with the easiest punishment will be Abu Talib; he will be wearing a pair of shoes which will cause his brain to boil.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Examples of Punishments

“No, but stain has covered their hearts from that which they have earned. Verily, they will be concealed [and prevented] from their Lord that Day. Then they will enter Hellfire. Then it will be said to them, ‘This is [the reality] which you used to deny.’”
[al Mutaffifeen, 83: 14-17]

Skins Will be Roasted:
“Those who have disbelieved in Our signs – We will burn them in fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We will exchange them for other skins so that they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
[Surah an-Nisa, 4: 56]

Skins and Intestines will be Scalded:
“These two opponents dispute [with each other] about their Lord. But those who disbelieve will have garments of fire cut out for them. Over their heads will be poured boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bellies as well as [their] skins.”
[al-Hajj, 22: 19-20]

Faces will be Burned:
“And you will see the criminals that Day bound together in chains and yokes – their garments of liquid pitch and their faces covered with fire.”
[Surah Ibrahim, 14: 49-50]

“But those who scales [of good] are light, those are the ones who have lost their souls; [they will abide] in Hell eternally. The fire will burn, their faces, and they will [appear to] grin therein, their lips displaced.”
[al Mu’minun, 23: 103-104]

“If only the unbelievers knew [about] when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, and [that] they will not be helped. No, but it will come to them suddenly and confound them. And they will not be able to avert it, nor will they be given respite.”
[al Anbiya, 21: 39-40]

“The Day that their faces will be turned from side to side in the fire, they will say, ‘We wish that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.’”
[al-Ahzab, 33: 66]

“Is, then, one who will confront with his face the evil of the punishment on the Day of Judgment [like one protected from it]? It will be said to the wrong-doers, ‘Taste what you used to earn.’”
[az-Zumar, 39: 24]

Sinners will be Dragged:
“Truly, the criminals are in error and madness. The Day they will be dragged through the Fire on their faces, [they will hear], ‘Taste the touch of Hell.’”
[al Qamar, 54: 47-48]

“Do you not see those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah – how they are turned away [from truth]? Those who reject the Book and that with which We sent Our messengers – soon they will know. When the yokes [will be] round their necks and the chains. They will be dragged in the boiling water. Then in the Fire they will be burned.”
[Surah Ghafir, 40: 69-72]

Faces will Be Darkened:
“Do not be like those who are divided among themselves and fall into disputes after receiving clear proofs, for those will have a great punishment on the Day when some faces will be white and some faces will be black. As for those who faces are black, [it will be said], ‘Did you reject faith after accepting it? Taste, then, the punishment for what you used to reject.’”
[ali'-Imran, 3: 105-106]

“For those who do good is good – and extra! No darkness or shame will cover their faces. They are companions of the Garden. They will abide in it forever. But those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil; humiliation will cover their faces. They will have no defender from [the wrath of] Allah. Their faces will be covered with pieces of the darkness of night. They are the companions of the Fire. They will abide in it forever.”
[Yunus, 10: 26-27]

Fire will Surround Them from All Directions:
“On the Day that the punishment will cover them from above them and below them, layers. With this Allah warns His servants, ‘O my servants, then fear Me!’”
[az-Zumar, 39: 16]

“Say, ‘The Truth is from your Lord, so let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject [it].’ Indeed We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls surround them. If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass that will scald their faces. How dreadful the drink. How evil the resting place.”
[al Kahf, 18: 29]

Fire will Mount Right up to the Hearts:
“[It is] the fire of Allah kindled [to a blaze], which mounts right to the hearts. It will be a vault over them in outstretched columns.”
[al Humazah, 104: 6-9]

Intestines will come out of Bellies:
Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) stated that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“I saw ‘Amr bin ‘Amir al Khuya’I dragging his intestines in the Fire; he was the first who dedicated animals to false deities.”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“I saw ‘Amr bin Luhayy bin Qam’a bin Khindif, brother of Bani Ka’b, dragging his intestines in the Fire.”
[Muslim]

Abu Zayd Usamah bin Zayd bin Harithah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“On the Day of Judgment a man will be brought and thrown into Hell. As a result of this, his intestines will come out of his belly, and he will circumambulate, holding his intestines like a donkey running a mill. His companions in Hell will say to him, ‘O so and so, what is this? Did you not ask people to do good and avoid evil?’ He will say, ‘That is true. However, I told others to do good but did not do it myself, and I forbade them to do evil, but did it myself.’”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

No Defense:
“Upon you, [O jinn and mankind], will be sent a flame of fire [to burn] and [molten] brass. You will have no defense!”
[ar-Rahman, 55: 35]

Weeping, Sighing and Sobbing of Its Inhabitants:
“Those who are wretched will be in the Fire. In it there will be for them the sound of exhaling and inhaling. They will dwell in it for all the time that the heavens and earth endure, except for what your Lord wills. For your Lord is the sure accomplisher of what He intends.”
[Hud, 11: 106-107]

“Verily, you [unbelievers] and what you worship besides Allah are fuel for Hellfire. You will surely come to it. If those had [truly] been gods, they would not have come to it. But all will abide therein eternally. There, for them will be heaving, deep signs, and they will not hear there [anything else].”
[al Anbiya, 21: 98-100]

“Therein they will cry out [for assistance], ‘Our Lord, remove us [and ] we will work righteousness – other than what we used to do.’ But did We not give you long enough life that whoever would be reminded therein could be reminded, and the warner had come to you? So taste [the result of your deeds]. There is no helper for the wrongdoers.”
[Fatir, 35: 37]

Regret, Grief and Self-Recrimination:
“They will conceal their regret when they see the penalty. And We will put yokes on the necks of the unbelievers. Are they recompensed except for what they used to do?”
[Saba, 34: 33]

“For those who reject their Lord is the penalty of Hell, and evil is such a destination. When they are cast therein, they will hear the terrible drawing in of its breath even as it blazes forth. It is almost bursting with fury. Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask, ‘Did no warner come to you?’ They will say, ‘Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ‘Allah has revealed nothing. You are but in great delusion.’ And they will say, ‘Had we listened or used our intelligence, we would not now be among the companions of the Blazing Fire.’ So they will confess their sin, but far will be forgiveness from the companions of the Blazing Fire.”
[al Mulk, 67: 6-11]

“If only you could see when the criminals hang their heads before their Lord, [saying], ‘Our Lord, we have seen and we have heard, so sent us back [to the world]; we will work righteousness, for we are indeed certain [now].’ If We had willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its guidance, but the Word will be realized: ‘I will fill Hell with jinn and men all together. Taste, then- for you forgot the meeting of this, your Day, We, [too], will forget you. And the taste the punishment of eternity for what you used to do.’”
[as Sajdah, 32: 12-14]

“They will say, ‘Our Lord, our misfortune overwhelmed us, and we were a people astray. Our Lord, remove us from this; if ever we return [to evil], then we will indeed be wrongdoers.’ He will say, ‘Remain humiliated therein, and do not speak to Me!’”
[al Mu'minun, 23: 106-108]

“For We had certainly sent unto them a Book which We had detailed with knowledge, a guide and a mercy to a people who believe. Are they waiting for it to be realized? On the Day it is realized, those who disregarded it before will say, ‘Indeed, the messengers of our Lord came with the truth. Are there no intercessors [now] to intercede on our behalf? Or could we be sent back to do other than we used to do?’ They will have lost their souls, and lost from them is [all] that which they used to invent.”
[al-A’raf, 7: 52-53]

“They will say, ‘Our Lord, you have made us lifeless twice and You have given us life twice. Now we have confessed our sins, so is there any way to get out?’ [The answer will be], ‘That is because when Allah was invoked alone you rejected [this], but if partners were associated with Him, you believed. The ruling [judgment] is with Allah, the Exalted, Most Great.’”
[Ghafir, 40: 11-12]

“How clearly they will see and hear the Day that they will come to Us. But the unjust today are in manifest error. But warn them of the Day of Regret, when the matter will be determined; yet, they are unmindful, and they do not believe.”
[Maryam, 19: 38-39]

Abu Sa’eed (radiAllahu anhu) reported: “Allah Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said,
‘Death will be brought on the Day of Resurrection in the form of a white-colored ram. [Abu Kurayb added: “Then it will be made to stand between Paradise and Hell.”] It will be said to the inhabitants of Paradise, ‘Do you recognize this?” They will stretch forth their necks and look towards it, saying, ‘Yes, it is death.” Then it will be said to the inhabitants of the Hellfire, ‘Do you recognize this?” And they will stretch forth their necks, look, and say, ‘Yes it is death.” Then the command will be given for slaughtering the ram, and it will be said, ‘O inhabitants of Paradise, [there is now] eternity and no death.” And then it will be said to the inhabitants of Hellfire, “O inhabitants of Hell, [there is now] eternity and no death.”’ Allah’s Messenger (SAW) then recited the following verse, pointing with his hand to this material world: ‘But warn them of the Day of Regret, when the matter will be determined; yet, they are unmindful, and they do not believe.’”
[Muslim, surah Maryam, 19: 39]

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) related that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“None will enter Paradise except that he will be shown the place that he would have occupied in Hellfire if he had been evil – so that he will be more thankful; each one of those who enter Hellfire will be shown the place that he would have occupied in Paradise if he had been good – so that he will increase in regret.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

We hear and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord!
To You is the journey's end.
[surah Baqarah, 2: 285]

Ameen

Friday, September 14, 2012

Misconceptions about Allah - Is Allah God?

Yes, Allah is God. He is Allah, the One and Only. He is the same God worshipped in the Jewish and Christian faiths and is recognisable as such. Across the globe and throughout history people of all faiths and beliefs have turned towards God, or a supreme deity, the Creator of the universe. He is Allah. Allah is God. God the Creator. God the Sustainer.

The word God is spelled and pronounced differently in many languages: the French call him Dieu, the Spanish, Dios and the Chinese refer to the One God as Shangdi. In Arabic, Allah means the One True God, worthy of all submission and devotion. Jewish and Christian Arabs refer to God as Allah, and He is the same One True God referred to in the Biblical passage,

“Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is One”. (Deuteronomy 6.4 & Mark 12.29)

In all three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) God and Allah are the same. However, when asking the question, Is Allah God, it is equally important to understand who Allah is not.

He is not a man, nor is He an ethereal spirit, therefore when Muslims talk about Allah there is no concept of a trinity. He was not begotten nor does He beget, therefore He does not have sons or daughters. He does not have partners or underlings; therefore, there are no demi gods or minor deities inherent in the concept of Allah. He is not part of His creation and Allah is not in everybody and everything. Consequently, it is not possible to become allahlike or attain allahhood.

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the Unique) One. Allah, the Eternal (Foundation). He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (Quran 112)

The Quran, God’s book of guidance for all of humankind was revealed in Arabic; therefore, non-Arabic speakers can become confused about terminology and names. When a Muslim says the word Allah, he is talking about God. God the Supreme, God the Magnificent, God the Omnipotent. The Creator of all that exists.

“He has created the heavens and the earth in truth. High be He Exalted above all they associate as partners with Him.” (Quran 16:3)

Muslims believe that Islam is the final message of God to humankind, and they believe that God gave the Torah to Prophet Moses as he gave the Gospel to Prophet Jesus Muslims believe that Judaism and Christianity, in their pristine forms, were divine religions. In fact, one of the tenants of Islam is to believe in all of God’s revealed books. The Prophets of Islam include the same Prophets present in Jewish and Christian traditions; they all came to their people with the same message – to recognize and to worship the One God.

“...were you witnesses when death approached Jacob? When he said unto his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We shall worship your God, the God of your fathers, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and to Him we submit (in Islam).” (Quran 2:133)

Muslims love and respect all the Prophets and Messengers of God. However, Muslims believe that the Quran contains the only concept of God that has not been tainted by man made ideas and idolatrous practices.

He, Allah/God made it very clear in Quran that He had sent messengers to every nation. We do not know all the names, or the dates; we do not know all the stories or the calamities, but we do know that God did not create even a single person and then abandon him. God’s message of mercy, love, justice, and truth was made available to all of humankind.

“And verily, We have sent among every community or nation, a Messenger (proclaiming), "Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid all false deities... ". (Quran 16:36)

“And for every nation there is a messenger...” (Quran 10:47)

For thousands of years humankind has lived and died across this wide earth. Every time a woman looks towards the sky in search of a Creator, she is turning to Allah. Every time a man buries his face in his hands and begs for mercy or relief, he is asking Allah. Every time a child crouches fearfully in a corner, his heart is searching for Allah. Allah is God. Whenever a person is thankful for the bright new day, or the cool refreshing rain, or the wind whispering in the trees, he or she is thankful to Allah, thankful to God.

Humankind has taken the purity of God and mixed it up with wild imaginings and strange superstitions. God is not three, He is One. God does not have partners or associates; He is Alone in His majesty and in His dominion. It is not possible to become godlike because there is nothing comparable to God. God is not part of His creation; He is beyond it. He is the first, and the last. God is Allah, the Most Merciful.

“… There is nothing like unto Him…” (Quran 42:11)

“And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (Quran 112:4)

“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of every thing.” (Quran 57:3)

Yes! God is Allah.

Misconceptions about Allah- The moon god

Misinformed people sometimes refer to Allah as a modern interpretation of an ancient moon god. This gross misrepresentation of Allah is often combined with strange unsubstantiated claims that Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, resurrected this god and made him the focal point of the religion of Islam. This is categorically untrue. Allah is God, the One, and Only, the Most Merciful. Allah is the God of Abraham, the God of Moses, and the God of Jesus.

“There is no god but Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the One and the only True God, Who has neither a wife nor a son). And indeed, Allah is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Quran 3:62)

Very little is known about the religion of the Arabs before Prophet Abraham. There is little doubt that the Arabs wrongly worshipped idols, heavenly bodies, trees, and stones, and that some of their idols even had animal characteristics. Although a number of minor deities across the Arabian Peninsula may have been associated with the moon[1] there is no evidence of the Arabs ever worshipping a moon god above other gods.

On the other hand there is evidence that the sun, constructed as a feminine god was worshipped throughout Arabia. The Sun (Shams) was honoured by the several Arabian tribes with both sanctuaries and idols. The name Abdu Shams (slave of the sun) was found in many parts of Arabia. In the North the name Amr-I-Shams, “man of the Sun” was common and the name. Abd-al-Sharq “slave of the Raising one” is evidence for the worship of the rising sun.[2]

One of Prophet Muhammad’s uncles was named Abdu Shams, so to was the man nicknamed Abu Hurairah , a renowned Islamic scholar from the first generation of Muslims. When Abu Hurairah converted to Islam, Prophet Muhammad changed his name to Abdu Rahman (slave of the Most Merciful).

Muslims believe with complete certainty that, since the beginning of creation, Allah has sent prophets and messengers to guide and teach humankind. Therefore, humankind’s original religion was submission to Allah. The first Arabs worshipped Allah, however, over time their worship became corrupted by man made ideas and superstitions. The reason for this is shrouded in the mists of time but they may have fell into the practice of idolatry in much the same way as the people of Prophet Noah.

The descendents of Prophet Noah were one community, believing in the Oneness of Allah, but confusion and deviation crept in. Righteous men tried to remind the people of their obligations to Allah but time passed and Satan saw an opportunity to lead the people astray. When the righteous men died, Satan suggested to the people that they build statues of the men to help them to remember their obligations to Allah.

The people built statues in their meeting places and their homes, and Satan left them alone until everyone had forgotten the reason the statues existed. Many years later, the devious Satan appeared amongst the people again, this time suggesting that they worship the idols directly. An authentic narration of Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, sums up the beginning of idolatry in the following way.

“The names (of the idols) formerly belonged to some pious men of the people of Noah, and when they died Satan inspired their people to prepare and place idols at the places where they used to sit, and to call those idols by their names. The people did so, but the idols were not worshipped till those people (who initiated them) had died and the origin of the idols had become obscure, whereupon people began worshipping them.”[3]

When prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael rebuilt the Holy House of Allah (the Kaba) most of the Arabs followed his example and returned to the worship of the One God, however as time passed the Arabs fell into their old habit of worshipping idols and demi-gods. There is little doubt and much evidence to suggest that in the years between Prophets Abraham and Muhammad the religion of Arabian Peninsula came to be dominated by idol worship.

Each tribe or household had graven images and statues, the Arabs believed in seers, used divining arrows to predict future events and performed animal sacrifices and rituals in the name of their idols. It is said that the principle idols of Noah’s people were found buried in the area of present day Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and distributed amongst the Arabian tribes[4]. When Prophet Muhammad returned triumphantly to Mecca, the Kaba[5] contained more than 360 different idols.

The most well known idols that existed in pre Islamic Arabia were known as Manat, al Lat, and al Uzza.[6] There is no evidence linking any of these idols with moon gods or moon The Arabs worshipped these idols and called on them for intercession. Allah repudiated this false idol worship.

“Have you then considered al-Lat, and al-’Uzza (two idols of the pagan Arabs). And Manat (another idol of the pagan Arabs), the other third? Is it for you the males and for Him the females? That indeed is a division most unfair! They are but names, which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the Guidance from their Lord!” (Quran 53:19-23)

In the midst of overwhelming paganism and polytheism the pre Islamic Arabs never called upon a moon god as a supreme deity, in fact there is no evidence that they ever called upon a moon god. For generation after generation they did not loose their belief in One supreme ruler of the universe (even though most of the time they held the wrong concept of belief in Allah). They were aware of His blessings and His punishment and believed in a Day of Judgement. Poets of the time referred to Allah regularly.

Nabigha, a well-known poet of the 5th century CE said, “I took an oath and left no margin of doubt for who else can support man, besides Allah, and Zuhair b. Abi. Salma affirms his faith in the Day of Judgement by saying “The deeds are recorded in the scroll to be presented on The day of Judgement; Vengeance can be taken in this world too”. Quran also testifies to the fact that the pre Islamic Arabs were aware of Allah –God – the One.

“If you were to ask them “Who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon?” They will surely reply, “Allah.” How then are they deviating (as polytheists and disbelievers)? Allah enlarges the provision for which He wills of His slaves, and limits it for whom (He wills). Verily, Allah is the All Knower of everything. If you were to ask them, “Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death?” They will surely reply, “Allah.” Say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah!” Nay! Most of them have no sense.” (Quran 29: 61-63)


Footnotes:

[1] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/31651/Arabian-religion/68308/Pre-Islamic-deities

[2] Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Article “Ancient Arab”, Vol. 1, p. 661.

[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[4] Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpur, (2002) The Sealed Nectar, revised 2nd edition. Darussalam, Riyadh.

[5] The cube shaped building, in the centre of the Holy Masjid, in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

[6] Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, Kitab al-Asnam, edited by Ahmad Zaki Pasha. (Cairo, 1927), pp. 9-14.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Let There Be No Compulsion in Religion

Description: In no way does Islam preach forced conversions, rather, this is something forbidden by clear texts.

One of the fundamental truths established by the sacred texts is that no one can be compelled to accept Islam. It is the duty of Muslims to establish the proof of Islam to the people so that truth can be made clear from falsehood. After that, whoever wishes to accept Islam may do so and whoever wishes to continue upon unbelief may do so. No one should be threatened or harmed in any way if he does not wish to accept Islam.

Among the many decisive pieces of evidence in this regard are the following. God says:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256)

God says:

“If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” (Quran 10:99)

God says:

“So if they dispute with you, say ‘I have submitted my whole self to God, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: ‘Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in God’s sight are all of His servants.” (Quran 3:20)

God says:

“The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” (Quran 5:99)

It is important to note that these last two verses were revealed in Medina. This is significant, since it shows that the ruling they gave was not just contingent on the Muslims being in Mecca in a state of weakness.

Some people might be wondering that if Islam indeed advocates such an approach, then what is all this we hear about jihad? How can we explain the warfare that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and his Companions waged against the pagans? The answer to this is that jihad in Islamic Law can be waged for a number of reasons, but compelling people to accept Islam is simply not one of them. As for conversion, this is to be done peacefully by disseminating the Message with the written and spoken word. There is no place for the use of weapons to compel people to accept Islam.

The Prophet, said in his letter to the Roman governor Heraclius:

“I invite you to accept Islam. If you accept Islam, you will find safety. If you accept Islam, God will give you a double reward. However, if you turn away, upon you will be the sin of your subjects.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Once people have heard the Message without obstruction or hindrance and the proof has been established upon them, then the duty of the Muslims is done. Those who wish to believe are free to do so and those who prefer to disbelieve are likewise free to do so.

Even when the Muslims are compelled to fight and then, as a consequence, subdue the land, their duty thereafter is to establish God’s law in the land and uphold justice for all people, Muslim and non-Muslim. It is not their right to coerce their subjects to accept Islam against their will. Non-Muslims under Muslim rule must be allowed to remain on their own faith and must be allowed to practice the rights of their faith, though they will be expected to respect the laws of the land.

Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the Prophet would never have commanded the Muslims to refrain from hostilities if the enemy relented. He would not have prohibited the killing of women and children. However, this is exactly what he did.

During a battle, the Prophet saw people gathered together. He dispatched a man to find out why they were gathered. The man returned and said: “They are gathered around a slain woman.” So God’s Messenger said:

“She should not have been attacked!” Khalid b. al-Walid was leading the forces, so he dispatched a man to him saying: “Tell Khalid not to kill women or laborers”. (Sunan Abi Dawud)

Therefore, even in the heat of battle against a hostile enemy, the only people who may be attacked are those who are actually participating in the fighting.

Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the rightly guided Caliphs would not have prohibited the killing of priests and monks who refrained from fighting. However, this is exactly what they did. When the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, sent an army to Syria to fight the aggressive Roman legions, he went out to give them words of encouragement. He said: “You are going to find a group of people who have devoted themselves to the worship of God (i.e. monks), so leave them to what they are doing.”