The Description of Fire and the Situation of its People
By Sh.Salah al Budayr
1) The objective behind creating the creations.
2) The description of Hell Fire.
3) The torment of the people of Hell.
4) Taking refuge in Allaah from Hell.
5) A warning against Hell and encouraging repentance.
O Muslims! Allaah created the creations so that they would worship Him. He provided them with evidences proving His greatness in order that they may fear Him; He described to them the harshness of His torment and the place of His punishment in order that they would control themselves from corruption and sinfulness and in order that it would be an incentive for them to achieve success and to be guided. Beware of that which Allaah warned you against, and fear that which He scared you from.
Fear the Hell Fire which He described in His Book and through His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. It is a dwelling which has its own fury and roar. Its heat is great. It is black and dark, depressing and burning. Allaah says which means, “It lets nothing remain and leaves nothing (unburned). Altering (i.e. blackening the skins. Over it are Nineteen (angels).” (Al-Muddaththir: 28-30).
Its flame never extinguishes; a dwelling in which Allaah deprives its people from being close to Him and from joy and happiness, Allaah says that which means, “Hell, which they will (enter to) burn, and wretched is the resting place.” (Saad: 56).
The mention of its levels and its steep bottom surrounding walls terrifies the hearts of the people fearful of Allaah. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said as narrated by Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, “I swear by The One in Whose Hand my soul is, if you saw what I saw you would laugh little, and cry excessively”, people said, ‘O Prophet of Allaah! What did you see?’ He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied, “I saw Paradise and Hell” (Muslim).
Nu’maan Ibn Al-Basheer, may Allaah be please with him, said ‘I heard the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam saying, “I warn you of the Fire, I warn you of the Fire” until his over garment fell from his shoulders to his feet’ (Ahmad and others). He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said, “Do not forget the two great things, do not forget the two great things: Paradise and Hell”. Then he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said while crying, "I swear by The One in Whose Hand the soul of Muhammad is, if you know what I know, you would climb the mountains and pour dust on your heads (out of fear)" (Abu Ya'laa) .
O Muslims! Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Paradise is closer to one of you than his shoelace, and Hell is likewise” (Bukhaari).
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said, according to the narration of Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, “The fire which you light is one of the seventy parts (of heat) from the fire of Hell. It (Hell Fire) was increased by sixty nine parts, each part is just as hot” (Bukhaari).
What you feel from heat during summer is but a small breath from Hell to remind you with it. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “The Fire complained to its Lord saying, O Lord! I am eating up myself (burning), so Allaah allowed it to release two breaths, one during the winter and one during the summer; the coldest days you experience result from the breath of Zamhareer (cold punishment in Hell), and the hottest days you experience result from the breath of Fire” (Bukhaari)
Hellfire will come on the Day of Resurrection being led by seventy thousand handles. Each handle will be pulled by seventy thousand angles. It will come in an angry state and the criminals will be certain of the consequence of their deeds which they are to face, when they see it. Nations will drop to their knees, and Man will remember what he had set forth. Allaah says, which means, “And brought (within view) that Day, is Hell - that Day man will remember, but how (i.e. what good) to him will be the remembrance? He will say: 'Oh. I wish I had sent ahead (some good) for my life.' So on that Day none will punish (as severely) as His punishment, And none will bind (as severely) as His binding (of the evildoers). (Al-Fajr: 23-26).
It takes seventy years to reach its bottom. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said when he heard a sound of a rock, “This is a rock which was thrown in Hell Fire seventy years ago, and it just reached its bottom now” (Muslim).
The Siraat (a bridge) will be set over Hell with all the harshness of its Fire and its hooked rods. The believers will pass over it with a speed according to their deeds, some will pass as fast as the blink of an eye, some as fast as the blowing of the wind, some as birds fly, and some as fast as quick horse. Some people will pass safely, others will be scratched and others will be taken down into the Fire. The Fire will reach up to some people’s ankles, while it will reach others to their knees, others to their waists and yet others to their throats. The people of Hell will be led to it tired and scared. They will be pushed towards it and shoved. They will be dragged in its heat and then thrown into its flames. Fire will be boiling with them in it like water boils in a pot, Allaah says, which means, “When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a (dreadful) inhaling while it boils up” (Al-Mulk: 7).
They will ask for food, and they will be granted the most revolting rations which have been prepared for the wrong doers, Allaah says which means, “Indeed the tree of Zaqqum, is the food for the sinful. Like murky oil, it boils within bellies. Like the boiling of scalding water” (Ad-Dukhaan: 43-46).
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said when he heard the sound of a rock, “If a drop from Zaqqoom (a tree in Hell) were to be dropped on earth, it would make people’s life bitter, so how would the case be for those whose food is Zaqqoom, and have nothing else as food” (Ahmad).
When they ask for help they would be provided with a poisonous thorny plant, which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger. It will have thorns which will neither reach their stomachs nor come out of their mouths. They would ask for help and they would be given as food the filth from the washing of wounds, pus and blood which comes out of the flesh of the people of Hell. When their thirst reaches its ultimate, they would be given water from a boiling spring with extremely high temperature, which would split up their stomachs, damage their sinful bodies, and burn their disobedient faces. Allaah says which means, “And say, 'the truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever disbelieves - let him disbelieve.' Indeed We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds (their) faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.” (Al-Kahf: 29).
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said when he heard the sound of a rock, “Boiling water will be poured on their heads and it would pierce their skulls until it reaches their stomachs; this will make their guts melt and go down to their feet, then everything would be returned to its original condition again” (Ahmad & Tirmithi).
An-Nu’maan Ibn Al-Basheer, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said when he heard the sound of a rock, “The least among the people of Hell in punishment is one whose sandals and laces are of fire from which his brain boils as a pot of water would boil (when set on fire), he will not think that there is anyone being punished more than him, but in reality, he is the least in punishment” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
They will suffer in Hell in different ways: torment of fire, garments made of pitch which solid strong mountains cannot tolerate. They will be tied up with their hands and feet to their necks in fetters, its chains overburdening them. Their feet will be tied to their foreheads and their faces will turn gloomy as a result.
Doors will become sealed and the hardship that lies therein will be great, Allaah says which means, “It has seven gates; for every gate is of them (i.e. Satan's followers) a portion designated” (Al-Hijr: 44).
They will cry and be saddened, and will cry out loud from the severity of the torment while they are in its valleys, Allaah says which means, “And they will call:' O Maalik, let your Lord put an end to us!' He will say, 'Indeed you will remain.' ” (Az-Zukhruf: 77).
Their sorrow will be continuous, so they will never feel happy. Their destiny is certain (in fire) and they will never depart from it, the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said as narrated by ‘Abdullaah Ibn Qays, may Allaah be pleased with him, “The dwellers of Hell will cry so much that ships can sail in their tears, and their tears will be of blood” (Al-Haakim).
They will be crying because they wasted their lives without taking provisions from it for the hereafter, and the more they weep the more they feel the craving to cry. What a moment to regret for having their Creator angry with them! They will call, as Allaah says, which means, “And they will cry out therein, 'Our Lord, remove us; We will do righteousness - other than what we were doing! But did we not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the Warner had come to you? So taste (the punishment), for there is not for the wrongdoers and helper.'" (Faatir: 37)
. And also, “If you could but see when the criminals are hanging their heads before their Lord (saying), 'Our Lord, we have seen and heard, so return us (to the world); we will work righteousness. Indeed, they are (now) certain” (As-Sajdah: 12). Also, “They will say, 'Our Lord, our wretchedness overcame us, and we were a people astray. Our Lord, remove us from it, and if we were to return(to evil), we would indeed be wrongdoers.'” (Al-Mu’minoon: 106-107).
They will call unto to the Lord Whom they continued to disobey, transgress His boundaries, and were enemies of His devout slaves; they will be calling unto The Lord whose judgment is just on them, and His wrath and punishment befell them. Allaah says which means, “He will say, 'Remain despised therein and do not speak to Me.'” (Al- Mu’minoon: 108).
That day, the one who cries is not sympathized with, and the one who supplicates is never responded to; it is too late to get what they desire. Their sins surround them. They continue to hope for rescue until a sound calls saying, O people of Paradise it is an eternal life which has no death, O people of Hell it is an eternal life which has no death. A Fire which cannot be resisted, and a soul which does not die, Allaah says, which means, “Indeed, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal – indeed, for him is hell; he will neither die therein nor live.” (Taa Haa: 74).
They blame each other and belie each other, Allaah says which means, “(Allaah) will say, 'enter among nations which had passed on before you of jinn and mankind into the Fire.' Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them will say about the first of them, 'Our Lord, these had misled us, so give them a double punishment of the Fire.' He will say, 'For each is double, but you do not know.'” (Al- A’raaf: 38). Also, “And (Ibraheem) said, 'You have only taken other than Allaah idols as (a bond of) affection among you in worldly life. Then on the Day of Resurrection you will deny one another and curse one another and your refuge will be the Fire, and you will not have any helpers.'” (Al- ‘Ankaboot: 25).
They become furious with those who led them astray and increased their misguidance, Allaah says, which means, “And those who disbelieved will (then) say, 'Our Lord show us those who misled us of the jinn and men (so) we may put them under our feet that they will be among the lowest.'” (Fussilat: 29).
The one who blinded himself from the remembrance of Allaah would say to his intimate companion who hindered him from the Qur’aan and made disobedience look appealing. Allaah says, which means, “At length, when such a one comes to Us, he says to his evil companion: Would that between me and thee were the distance of East an West! Ah! Evil is the companion indeed!”(Az- Zukhruf: 38).
But this would not benefit them because they will be sharing the punishment, Allaah says, which means, ““(Allaah) will say, 'enter among nations which had passed on before you of jinn and mankind into the Fire.' Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them will say about the first of them, 'Our Lord, these had misled us, so give them a double punishment of the Fire.' He will say, 'For each is double, but you do not know.'” (Al- A’raaf: 38).
Slaves of Allaah! These are some of the descriptions of the Fire and its people, so ask Allaah to protect you from Hell Fire. Ask Allaah to keep you away from any words or deeds which would bring you closer to Hell Fire. We live in a time during which evil and trials are successive; trials of doubts and fast busy life, which lead anyone who falls in its trap to turn away from his faith, manners and behavior. Abu Baarzah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Amongst the things which I fear on you the most are following your desires regarding your provisions and private parts and doubts (regarding the religion)” in another narration he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “and trials” (Ahmad).
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Paradise is surrounded by difficulties and Fire is surrounded by temptations” (Bukhaari).
Overcome these difficulties and awaken your hearts from its heedlessness. Keep yourselves away from the sources of temptations and guard yourselves with the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Know that you have time now, yet you are awaiting a sudden death. One who will not benefit from his present life, certainly will not benefit from what will come after. There is no disaster greater than being heedless and having a dead heart. There nothing which will warn you better than the graying of your hair, and no destiny worse than Hell. Allaah says, which means, “and We have not made the keepers of the Fire except angels. And we have not made their number except as a trial for those who disbelieve – that those who were given the Scripture will be convinced and those who have believed will increase in faith and those who were given the Scripture and the believers will not doubt and that those in whose hearts is disease (i.e. hypocrisy) and the disbelievers will say, 'What does Allaah intend by this as an example?' Thus does Allaah lead astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him. And it (i.e. mention of the fire) is not but a reminder to humanity. No! By the moon, and (by) the night when it departs, and (by) the morning when it brightens, Indeed, it (i.e. the Fire) is of the greatest (afflictions), as a warning to humanity – To whoever wills among you to proceed or stay behind.” (Al-Muddaththir: 31-37).
O Muslims! Protect yourselves from the Fire, and take lessons from those who came before you, before those who come after you take lessons from you. Follow the footsteps of those who repented, and take the path of those who returned to Allaah, because this is the time to turn to Allaah and ask His forgiveness and abandon sinning.
Slaves of Allaah! O you who transgressed the boundaries and stayed away from the right path! Hasten to repentance, and wash yourselves from the filth of sins; protect yourselves from Hell. I do not know how sinners can live comfortably while Allaah says, which means, “And if you could see when they are terrified but there is no escape, and they will be seized from a place nearby” (Saba’: 51).
Salves of Allaah! Rescue yourselves from the Fire. Beware of the wrath of The Compeller, ‘Uday Ibn Haatim, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Allaah will speak to each one of you without an interpreter; you will look to your right and see only what you set forth from your deeds, look behind and see only what you set forth from your deeds, and look in front of you and see Hell facing him; so protect yourselves from Hell even if you spend as little as half a date, or a kind word” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
Slaves of Allaah! Protect yourselves, your wives, your children and those under your responsibility from Hell. Abandoning prayers, imitating the disbelievers, looking at prohibited things via satellite channels, consuming alcohol, and women not adhering to the Islamic dress code of hijaab, are all from the deeds and actions of the people of Hell. Every disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger is from the deeds of the people of Hell; so protect yourselves from the Fire, Allaah says, which means, “And whoever disobeys Allaaah and His messenger and transgresses His limits – He will put Him into the Fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment.” (An-Nisaa’: 14).
O Muslims! O You who accepted Allaah as your Lord, Islam as your religion and Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as your prophet and messenger, respond to Allaah, repent to Him and listen to His call, Allaah says, which means, “Oh you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are appointed angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allaah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded” (At-Tahreem: 6).