Hell. We grow up hearing about it, but forget about its severity. We must do absolutely
everything in our power to not get desensitized to our sins and lose the fear of entering the gates of Jahannam. Jahannam has 70,000 rings, on each ring contains a rope which contains 70,000 angels – a total of 4,900,000,000 angels hold down Jahannam, because it is never satisfied with its consumption; It wants to eat everything, acting untamed, like a wild beast, and is always craving for more, hence why Allah (swt) states in Surah al-Qaf,
“On the Day We will say to Hell, “Have you been filled?” and it
will say, ‘Are there some more?”
-Surah al-Qaf, Ayah 30
Jahannam’s fires has been lit for 1000s of years, resulting in the color of the fire to turn pitch black. The depth of Jahannam reaches such a great extent, that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) stated that a stone being thrown into Hell would take 70 years until it reaches the bottom pit.
Malik is the chief guardian angel of Hell and has never smiled since the creation of Jahannam.
Surely, the disbelievers will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever. (The torment)
will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets,
sorrows and in despair therein. We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers. And they
will cry: ‘O Malik! Let your Lord make an end of us’ He will say: ‘Surely, you shall abide
forever.’ Indeed We have brought the truth to you, but most of you have a hatred for the truth”
Surah al-Zukhruf, Ayahs 74-78
A person was on the outside of Hell, and felt just a slight breeze, yet they thought they were in the lowest pits of Jahannam, called “Wael”. Prophet Muhammad (saw) stated that “Wael” is explained as the scariest valley of Jahannam, that Hell itself is afraid of it.
There are 7 layers/gates of Jahannam, with a distance of 500 years from each gate:
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.
Surah al-Hijr 43-44
- Jahannam – “deep pit”
- Ladha – “blazing fire”
- Saqar – “intense heat”
- Hutamah – “broken pieces”
- Jaheem – “fire”
- As Sa’eer – “blazing flame”
- Hawiyah – “abyss”
Jahannam has a food source that comes from a treacherous tree called Az-Zaqqum. Its roots are embedded in the bottom pit of Jahannam, and Allah (swt) states in Surah Saffaat that,
“Verily the tree of zaqqum has a fruit that resembles the head of shaytaan and if you bite into it, it will burn your insides.”
This hadith is narrated in At-Tirmidhi:
“If one drop from Az-Zaqqum were to land on this world, the people of earth and all their means of sustenance would be destroyed. So how must it be for the one who must eat it?” The fruit of the tree will boil their insides, resulting in one’s guts to defecate from their mouths, but they have no choice but to eat it, because they feel like they are dying from starvation – although they will never be able to truly die in Jahannam. In Surah Ibrahim, Ayahs 16-17, Allah (swt) states,
“Before him is Hell, and he will be given a drink of purulent water. He will gulp it but will hardly [be able to] swallow it. And death will come to him from everywhere, but he is not to die. And before him is a massive punishment.”
–Surah al-Ibrahim, Ayahs 16-17
The people of Hell will be made massive to the point where their molar teeth will be the size of Mount Uhud, and their chairs will be the size of the distance between Makkah and Madinah, which is around 500 km. The bigger the body, the more surface area there is to torment, resulting in more suffering. “Indeed, those who disbelieve in Our verses – We will drive them into a Fire. Every time their skins are roasted through, we will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment.”
Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted in Might and Wise”
-Surah an-Nisa, Ayah 56
On top of that, Surah Naba states that Jahannam is a place of ambush, so there are hideous, gruesome creatures of fire that will bite and torture the people of Jahannam endlessly. Taking one’s own life is seen as a major sin in Islam, and those people will inevitably be decreed Hell.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his `Abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”
The first 3 to enter Hell will be an Alim (a scholar in Islam), a rich donator of wealth, and a mujahid (warrior or martyr for Allah (swt)). The scholar will enter because, although he was given strong Islamic knowledge, he did not spread that knowledge to benefit the ummah and please Allah (swt), but rather himself. This scholar will be of someone wanting to be known for his knowledge and gaining popularity, rather than being known as a humble servant of Allah (swt). The rich donator will enter Hell because of a similar reason – he would have only donated to make it apparent to his community that he was a generous person, not because he wanted to genuinely help the people or make Allah (swt) satisfied. The mujahid will enter Hell because he desired people to declare him as brave, and so monuments would be made for him after his death – not because he wanted to genuinely please the Lord. These situations all have a common theme
where they wanted to please the creations, rather than the Creator Himself. A sincere niyaah or intention is pivotal in Islam, and is essentially the root of all of our actions. Allah (swt) knows what is in our hearts, so we must not try to deceive Him, nor ourselves. Jahannam is the worst place imaginable, the ruthlessness of the punishments is beyond human comprehension. There are no signs of happiness, no hope for peace/mercy/love, and anxiety and depression will be increased to an unutterable extent. No amount of grief, worry, or unhappiness in this dunya will amount to the pain Jahannam has in store for the wrongdoers.
Anas ibn Malik narrated:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When I was taken on my night journey, I passed by people who had metal hooks in their hands and they were clawing at their faces and necks. I said: Who are these, O Jibreel? Jibreel said: These are the ones who ‘eat the flesh of people and attack their honor.”
This Hadith is in reference to people that backbite one another. Backbiting, or gheebah, is when one talks about someone else without their knowledge and states negative facts about that person that they would not have liked to spread around. If someone states lies about someone else however, it is called slander. All you have to do is control your tongues to prevent this – a simple concept that unfortunately many Muslims cannot do. Next time you want to speak ill about someone, think about if you are willing to eat their literal flesh, and if you would want them to take away your good deeds that you worked so hard to accumulate.
“Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, then let him speak good or remain silent.” (Al- Bukhari)
With all things said, being a practicing Muslim is not difficult, because we have the Qur’an and Sunnah as direct guidance. Islam was made to be simple and easy to follow. There is hope for all of us, up until our last breath, to deter ourselves from the punishments of the Hellfire.
The sins you have committed your entire life – major or minor – do not define the person you are now. Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful, and He will see the positive changes you make now to change your life around to enter Jannah. Repent, follow the Sunnah, pray Salah, memorize the Qur’an, honor your parents, give charity, cleanse your heart of any unnecessary worldly desires, temptations, and impure intentions, because once you pass away and leave this dunya, every sin you did not genuinely repent to Allah (swt) for will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment, and it will be too late.
Always remember that feeling regret is A GOOD THING – once you lose that feeling is when Shaytaan completely caught you. That regretful feeling is a blessing if you asked for forgiveness and promised to never commit that sin again. You have that opportunity in this dunya, but just remember, you will have no second chances in the akhirah. Allah (swt) has given you another sign and opportunity through reading this article to change your ways, and Insha’Allah you take this chance, because you never know when it could be your last.
“And those who followed would say: “If only We had one more chance…”; Thus will Allah show them (the fruits of) their deeds as (nothing but) regrets. Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire”
-Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 167
Duas to memorize and recite to save us from the Hellfire:
Rabbana Aatina Fiddunya Hasanatan Wa Fil Aakhirati Hasanatan Waqina Azaabannaar
Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire
Allahaumma Ajurni Minan Naar
O Allah! Save me from the fire of Hell
Rabbana Innana Amanna Faighfir Lana Thunoobana Waqina Aathaba Alnnaar
Our Lord! Surely we believe, therefore forgive us our faults and save us from the chastisement of the fire
Say Astaghfirullah and Alhamdulillah as many times as you can throughout the day as well! May Allah SWT accept all our efforts, bestow his peace and blessings upon us, and grant us the highest levels of Jannah. Ameen