Question: Today, it is claimed that atheists, Buddhists, fire-worshipers, Christians, and Jews will enter Jannah (Paradise). Are they not disbelievers? Will disbelievers not enter Hell?
When a man of religion said that all the above-mentioned disbelievers would go to Hell, some artisans came to him and argued, "Sir, we do not agree with you. There are other men of religion who say that disbelievers, too, will enter Paradise." He responded, "It is not my view. In fact, no one's personal view is regarded as proof or evidence in Islam. This is Allahu ta'ala's decree which He explicitly stated in the Qur'an al-karim." However, they went on voicing objections, "If there were Allah's explicit decree, would other men of religion say the contrary?" Hence, we feel compelled to write this article so that it may be an answer to those who try to put even disbelievers into Paradise.
There are four sources in our religion. Adopting only the Book and the Sunnah, some strived to eliminate Qiyas al-fuqaha and Ijma' al-ummah. Recently, they have made an effort to remove the Sunnah as well. Thus, only the Book [the Qur'an] remained. Now they are striving to shake the confidence people have in the Qur'an al-karim.
The fact that all non-Muslims (kuffar; sing. kafir) will remain in Hell (Jahannam) eternally is not our own personal opinion, but the categorical command of Allah, Most High. It is firmly established by the Quran and Sunnah. There are more than a hundred Quranic verses that inform us of this fact:
(Certainly, all disbelievers, be they from among the Ahl-i Kitab [Jews and Christians] or from among polytheists, will be in the fire of Hell. They will abide therein eternally. They are the worst of creatures.) [Al-Bayyinah 6]
(Beware of the Fire prepared for disbelievers.) [Al-i 'Imran 131]
(Whoever rebels against Allah and His Messenger and oversteps His bounds [rules of religion], Allah will make him enter a Fire, where he will abide forever.) [An-Nisa' 14]
(Whoever opposes the Messenger and follows a path other than that of the Believers, We will leave him in that path and make him enter Hell. What a bad place it is!) [An-Nisa' 115]
(Allah never forgives rejecters and the unjust. He guides them to the path of Hell, where they will abide forever. And this is easy for Allah.) [An-Nisa' 168, 169]
(Those who say, "Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam" have become disbelievers. Allah forbids Paradise for him who ascribes partners to Him. His abode is the Fire, and there are no helpers for the unjust.) [Al-Ma'idah 72]
([Allah] said to [Shaitan]: Exit from there as being disgraced and expelled from mercy! Get out! Verily, I will put those who follow you and all of you into Hell.) [Al-A'raf 18]
(The end of disbelievers is the Fire.) [Ar-Ra'd 35]
(Enter Hell, where you will abide eternally. How bad is the abode of the arrogant!) [An-Nahl 29]
(We made Hell a dungeon for disbelievers.) [Al-Isra' 8]
(Those whose scales are light and thus have become losers will abide in Hell eternally.) [Al-Mu'minun 102, 103]
(We prepared a blazing Fire for those disbelievers who do not believe in Allah and His Messenger.) [Al-Fath 13]
(O Prophet, carry out jihad against disbelievers [with arms] and hypocrites [with advice, proof, documents]. Be stern against them [if advice does not prove useful, either]. What a bad abode Hell is, where they will go!) [At-Tawbah 73, At-Tahrim 9]
(Hell is the place that waits for taghut [disbelievers].) [An-Naba' 21, 22]
(Fajirs [disbelievers] are in Hell.) [Al-Infitar 14]
(For disbelievers is the Fire of Hell. They will not be killed, so that they should die [thus being saved]. Nor will the torment of Hell be lightened. It is in this way that We punish him who goes too far in his disbelief.) [Fatir 36]
It is not sufficient to believe in the Creator
Question: Will all non-Muslims, be they believe in a god or not, go to Hell? Are there any Quranic verses concerning this matter?
Yes, all non-Muslims will enter Hell. There are many Quranic verses on this matter:
(Beware of the Fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is humans and stones.) [Al-Baqarah 24]
(Those disbelievers who deny Our aayaat are the people of Hell. They will abide therein eternally.) [Al-Baqarah 39]
(Those whose wrongdoings [sins] have encompassed them are the people of Hell. They will abide therein eternally.) [Al-Baqarah 81]
(I give sustenance to the rejecter [disbeliever] a little while. Then I will subject him to the torment of Hell. What a bad place it is!) [Al-Baqarah 126]
(Hell is sufficient for him who is seized by more pride because of his sins when he is said, "Fear Allah." What an evil bed it is!) [Al-Baqarah 206]
(The friends of rejecters [disbelievers] are taghut. They take them out of the light into darkness. Such are the people of Hell. They will abide therein eternally.) [Al-Baqarah 257]
(Those who practice usury again [by regarding it as lawful] are the people of Hell. They will abide therein eternally.) [Al-Baqarah 275]
(Neither the wealth nor the children of rejecters [disbelievers] will avail them in the sight of Allah [they cannot save them from punishment]. They are the fuel of Hell.) [Al-i 'Imran 10]
(Say to the rejecters: "You will be vanquished and driven to Hell. What an evil place it is!") [Al-i 'Imran 12]
(We will cast terror into the hearts of disbelievers because they ascribe to Allah partners for which He has not sent down any proof. Their destination is Hell. How bad is the destination of the unjust!) [Al-i 'Imran 151]
(Let it not deceive you [your Ummah] that the rejecters travel and knock around the countries [in clover]. It is but a small [ephemeral] advantage. Their destination is Hell. What a bad place!) [Al-i 'Imran 196, 197]
(We will soon [certainly] make those who reject Our aayaat and thus become disbelievers enter the Fire.) [An-Nisa' 56]
(Whoever kills a Believer intentionally [for the reason that he is a Believer], his punishment will be Hell, where he will abide eternally. Allah is angry with him, has cursed him, and has prepared for him a great torment.) [An-Nisa' 93]
(Their [those who take Shaitan for their friend in preference to Allah] abode is Hell. They will find no refuge from it.) [An-Nisa' 121]
(Those who disbelieve and deny Our aayaat are the people of Hell.) [Al-Ma'idah 86]
(Those who deny Our aayaat and put on airs are the people of Hell. They will abide therein eternally.) [Al-A'raf 36]
(Verily, We have created many genies and humans for Hell. They have hearts, but they do not understand. They have eyes, but they do not see. They have ears, but they do not hear. They are like animals, even worse than they.) [Al-A'raf 179]
(Those who persist in disbelief will be gathered into Hell.) [Al-Anfal 36]
(Polytheists do not have the authority to maintain Allah's mosques. All their deeds [that they like] will come to nothing; they will remain in the Fire eternally.) [At-Tawbah 17]
(Hell will certainly encompass disbelievers.) [At-Tawbah 49]
(Do they not understand this fact that there is certainly Hellfire to abide therein eternally for him who opposes Allah and His Messenger?) [At-Tawbah 63]
(Allah has prepared for hypocrites, both men and women, and disbelievers the Hellfire, where they will abide eternally. That Fire is sufficient for them. Allah has cursed them. There is a never-ending torment for them.) [At-Tawbah 68]
(Neither the Prophet nor the Believers can plead for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they are their relatives, after it has become clear that they are the people of Hell.) [At-Tawbah 113]
(The shaqis [those who are subjected to torment] are in the Fire, groaning and breathing terribly.) [Hud 106]
(If you are to be surprised [at anything], then you should be surprised at their saying, "After we have become dust, will we be created anew?" Such are those who disbelieve in their Lord and will be fettered with iron collars around their necks. They are the people of Hell, and they will abide therein eternally.) [Ar-Ra'd 5]
(Curse be upon those who break their pledge with Allah after taking a solemn pledge, who sever the ties that Allah has commanded to be kept [who sever the ties of kinship], and who make mischief in the earth. For them is the evil abode [Hell].) [Ar-Ra'd 25]
(Those [polytheists] who are ungrateful to Allah's blessing and have led their people to the Abode of Ruin [Hell] will enter there. How evil place it is to settle in!) [Ibrahim 28, 29]
(We will assemble them [disbelievers] on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf. Their destination and abode is Hell.) [Al-Isra' 97]
(We have prepared Hell for disbelievers as a dwelling place.) [Al-Kahf 102]
(You and what you worship other than Allah [idols] will be fuel for Hell.) [Al-Anbiya' 98]
(Those who debate to distort Our aayaat and who make mischief are the people of Hell.) [Al-Hajj 51]
(Hell will encompass the disbelievers who ask you to hasten the coming of the torment.) [Al-Ankabut 54]
(Allah has cursed disbelievers and prepared for them a blazing Fire.) [Al-Ahzab 64]
(Disbelievers will be driven to Hell in groups. The keepers there will say, "Did messengers not come to you, who conveyed your Lord's aayaat and who warned you that you would meet this Day." They say, "Yes, they did." But the promise of torment [the promise that I will fill Hell with disbelieving genies and human beings] has been fulfilled upon disbelievers.) [Az-Zumar 71]
(Deviators [disbelievers] have become firewood for Hell.) [Al-Jinn 15]
(We have prepared for disbelievers chains, iron collars, and a flaming Fire.) [Al-Insan 4]
In order for a person to become a Muslim, it is not sufficient that he/she merely possesses some outward signs of Islam. It is absolutely necessary that he/she should not deny any of tenets of belief that must be indispensably believed and known and should also like them. If he/she does not believe in angels or prophets, or any of prophets, or if he/she says, It is enough to say Laa ilaaha illallah to become a Muslim, and there is no need to also add the phrase Muhammadun rasoollullah, he/she is considered to have denied a tenet of belief that must be indispensably known.
Question: Takathur Sura says (what means), "If you had certain knowledge, you would definitely see Hell." Why is it not said "You would know" but said "You would see"?
What is meant by seeing is to see through the eye of the heart. That is, it is meant, "If you knew for certain the things that were communicated and believed in them, you would see them with the eyes of your hearts," because knowing with the knowledge of certainty causes one to see Hell with one's heart's eye. According to some scholars, what is meant in this verse is to see in the next world and the addressees are disbelievers. It means, "You will certainly see Hell [and the torment you deserve] in the next world." (Tafsir al-Qurtubi)
The things you worship
Question: The 98th verse of Anbiya' Sura says (what means), "Both you and the things you worship other than Allah will enter Hell." An atheist said, "According to it, Hadrat 'Isa, whom Christians worship, will enter Hell, too." What answer can be given to this?
Reading the translations of the Qur'an results in such misunderstandings. The term ma that appears in the original text wa ma ta'buduna is used for inanimate objects. What is meant by "the things you worship" therein is idols. As a matter of fact, Hadrat Ibn Abbas stated:
This verse being revealed, the polytheists said, "Our gods are being insulted." When idolaters asked, like atheists, "Will 'Isa go to Hell, too?" the following verse was sent down (which means), "Those for whom good was decreed beforehand by Us are far away from Hell." [Al-Anbiya' 101] (Tafsir al-Qurtubi)
Question: By saying "Christians are disbelievers. Atheists are irreligious. All of them will go to Hell," how hasty you are in sending people to Hell. From where do you get the authority to judge a person and decide that he/she will go to Hell?
It is Allahu ta'ala who states that Muslims will go to Paradise and disbelievers will go to Hell. We do not judge them. Why do some people resent it? Only those who regard disbelievers as their friends reject the above-mentioned Qur'anic verses.
Hell is eternal
Question: Though Ibn Taymiyyah was declared to be a non-Muslim on account of his saying, "The disbeliever will not remain in Hell eternally," why was Ibn Arabi not declared to be a non-Muslim on account of his saying the same thing?
That disbelievers will remain in Hell eternally has been declared by many Qur'anic verses:
(The wealth and the children of disbelievers can never save them from the torment of Allah. They are the people of Hell, and they will remain therein eternally.) [Al-i 'Imran 116]
Since this verse is explicit, it cannot be interpreted. Hence, Ibn Taymiyyah fell into disbelief according to this verse. Hadrat Ibn Arabi, who said the same thing as Ibn Taymiyyah, was excusable because he said it while in a state of spiritual ecstasy. That is, he was in a state of mystical intoxication, so he was not aware of what he said. He dived into Allahu ta'ala's sea of mercy, seeing everywhere covered with His mercy. Thereupon, he said, "Even disbelievers will not remain eternally in this sea of mercy." As he saw the Hell belonging to sinful Muslims, after they got out of there, as being covered with meadow, he supposed that all the seven Hells would be like that, thus being mistaken while in mystical intoxication. He did not say so intentionally. Otherwise, a conscious person does not utter such a statement that causes disbelief. As for Ibn Taymiyyah, he said so consciously and fell into disbelief. There are many differences between these two. While there is mystical intoxication in of them, there is Wahhabite intoxication in the other.
The regret of disbelievers
Question: Some people claim, "Disbelievers will not believe nor have regrets in the next world, either. The torment of Hell will not harm them. They will get accustomed to the Fire as the time passes." Are these views not contrary to our religion?
Of course they are. On the Day of Resurrection, everybody will see the truth, and disbelievers will regret not believing while in worldly life. They will say, "Send us to the world so that we do good deeds there." It will be said to them, "Did you not come from the world?" When they see the severe torment, they will say, "If only we were dust." (An-Naba' 40; As-Sajda 12; Ibrahim 44)
Those who claim "Disbelievers will not have regrets in the next world" will have rejected these verses. It is clearly stated in the Qur'an al-karim that the torment of disbelievers will not be reduced in the least but will be increased and that they will regret much. (Al-Baqara 86, 162; Al-i 'Imran 88; An-Nahl 85; Fatir 36; Al-Mu'min 49, 50; Az-Zukruf 75)
How can these Qur'anic verses be denied?