Question: The 103rd verse of Mu'minun Sura says (what means), "Those whose scales are light are the ones who have ruined their own selves. They will remain in Hell forever." Does this not prove that the Muslims who enter Hell, too, will remain therein forever?
No, it does not. It is disbelievers (kafirs) who will remain in Hell forever. Muslims who have many sins will burn in Hell as much as their sins if they are not forgiven or benefit from intercession. This wrong thought is the result of reading the translations of the Qur'an and interpreting the Qur'an according to one's own opinion.
Everyone will enter Hell. Some will get out of it without suffering any torment. Some will remain in it a little while; some, quite a while; some, forever. As a matter of fact, a Qur'anic verse says (what means):
(There is not one among you who will not come to Hell. This is an absolute decree of your Lord. We will save from there those who avoid transgressing the divine limits, and We will leave the unjust [disbelievers] therein on their knees.) [Maryam 71, 72]
(Those who believe and do not taint their belief with shirk are safe from remaining in Hell eternally. This fear will not be on them.) [Al-An'am 82]
Anyone who enters Hell and then gets out of it will be an eternal dweller of Paradise. Another Qur'anic verse says (what means):
(Every human will taste death. On the Day of Resurrection you will certainly be paid your rewards. He who is kept away from the Hellfire and is admitted to Paradise has indeed been saved.) [Al-i 'Imran 185]
Our master the Prophet, explaining these Qur'anic verses, says:
(Allahu ta'ala will inflict torment in Hell on people who have faith as much as their sins. Afterwards, He will send them to Paradise eternally because of their faith.) [Abu Nu'aym]
(He who has a mote of faith in his heart will not remain in Hell eternally but will be taken out of it.) [Bukhari, Muslim]
(Some inhabitants of Hell will not die or be free from the torment or attain a new life. Some of them, however, will die and become like coal. Then permission will be granted for intercession to be made. They will be brought as near as the shores of Paradise. It will be said to the inhabitants of Paradise, "Wash them in the rivers of life." After they are washed, they will revive like a newly grown grass.) [Muslim, Ibn Majah, Darimi]
(When some people of tawhid [those who believe in the oneness of Allah] enter Hell because of their sins, idolaters will say to them, "Your belief in Allah has not benefited you." Thereupon, Allahu ta'ala will get angry with it, and He will bring people of faith out of Hell and have them washed in the river of life. They will enter Paradise clean.) [Abu Nu'aym]
(Everyone, good or evil, will enter Hell, but it will be cool and peaceful only for Believers, as the fire became cool for Ibrahim. Allah will rescue people of piety [taqwa] but will leave the unjust therein on their faces.) [Ibn Majah]
(I will go on interceding, and my intercession will be accepted. I will say, "O my Lord, accept my intercession for everyone who said 'La ilaha ill-Allah Muhammadun rasul-Allah.'" Thus, no person with a mote of faith will be left in Hell.) [Daylami]
(Countless people will enter Hell, and I will be permitted to make intercession. I will prostrate myself and ask for intercession. At that time it will be said to me, "Raise your head. Your intercession has been accepted.") [Tabarani]
(I swear by Allah that a Believer who enters Hell cannot get out of it before staying therein for 80 years.) [Daylami]
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani stated:
"When those with faith enter Hell because of their sins, their faces will not be made black, nor will they be chained. They will be taken out of Hell after suffering punishment [for their sins]" (Vol. 2, Letter 67).