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Judgment and Hell Behind the Veil of Islam

There are more than one billion people in the world who now claim to believe in the writings of the revelations given to the prophet Muhammad who lived in the 7th century AD. What does Islam teach about life after death, judgment, and hell?

Death is a great mystery to most people. According to Islam, at the moment of death, everyone knows his or her destiny; heaven or hell. In Islam, man is not seen as essentially fallen or sinful. Islam teaches that people are born innocent and remain so until each makes himself or herself guilty by a guilty deed. As a result, there is an all-pervasive Quranic concern and insistence on a day of judgment at the end of history when all will be held accountable for their beliefs and actions.

For the disbelievers of Muhammad and the Quran, death is a horrible event; the angels beat them on the faces and rear ends as they snatch away their souls:

And had you seen when the angels will cause to die those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and their backs, and (saying): "Taste the punishment of burning."

I swear by the angels who violently pull out the souls of the wicked.

Events Related to the Day of Judgment

The Quran describes the events of the Day of Judgment. First, this day will not be established till Hajj (pilgrimages) are abandoned.

“Narrated Shu’ba extra: The Hour (Day of Judgment) will not be established till the Hajj (to the Ka’ba) is abandoned”

In addition, according to Muhammad, Doomsday will be preceded by an unfit transfer of power.

Narrated Abu Huraira: While the Prophet was saying something in a gathering, a Bedouin came and asked him, "When would the Hour take place?" Allah’s Apostle continued his talk, so some people said that Allah’s Apostle had heard the question, but did not like what that Bedouin had asked. Some of them said that Allah’s Apostle had not heard it. When the Prophet finished his speech, he said, "Where is the questioner, who inquired about the Hour?" The Bedouin said, "I am here, O Allah’s Apostle." Then the Prophet said, "When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour." The Bedouin said, "How will that be lost?" The Prophet said, "When the power or authority comes in the hands of unfit persons, then wait for the Hour."

It is a day filled with dramatic depictions of the cosmic and catastrophic events that surround the final resurrection and the appearance of all humankind before the judgment seat of Allah, heaven and hell:

A day when the heaven with the clouds will be rent asunder and the angels will be sent down, a grand descent.

But watch thou (O Muhammad) for the day when the sky will produce visible smoke.

The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.

And when the heaven splitteth asunder and becometh rosy like red hide

When the planets are dispersed, so when the stars are put out.

When the seas are poured forth.

Only Allah knows when that day is. Angel Israfil will sound the trumpet and all living creatures, mankind, angels, and jinn then living, will die. Another blast and all will be raised to life. Two trumpet blasts are blown, one for the Day of Judgment and the other to signal the standing before judgment:

And they esteem not Allah as He hath the right to be esteemed, when the whole earth is His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens are rolled in His right hand. Glorified is He and High Exalted from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him). And the trumpet is blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are in the earth swoon away, save him whom Allah willeth. Then it is blown a second time, and behold them standing waiting! And the earth shineth with the light of her Lord, and the book is set up, and the prophets and the witnesses are brought, and it is judged between them with truth, and they are not wronged. And each soul is paid in full for what it did. And He is best aware of what they do.

The Day of Judgment

The Quran says little about what happens to individuals between the time of bodily death and resurrection at the eschaton, but Islamic tradition has willingly filled in a great many of the details, with varying degrees of authenticity and reliability. One of the

most commonly accepted narratives, reiterated by some contemporary Muslim writers, is that describing the immediate events after death. As a kind of “dry run” of the final journey to God, the good soul, which slips easily and painlessly from the body, is wrapped in perfumed coverings and taken by angels up through the seven successive layers of heaven. Souls of the less fortunate, those who rejected the signs of God and wreaked corruption on earth, have to be pulled forth from their bodies painfully, "like skewers out of wet wool." They are evil-smelling and noxious, and upon reaching the lowest of the seven heavens are forced to turn back, as the angels therein will not grant them admittance.

Muslims believe in a resurrection and final judgment. Islam teaches that a day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and the dead will be resurrected for judgment by Allah.

For Islam, resurrection and judgment day are virtually the same belief and event. The Quran refers to the coming Day of Judgment more than any other topic except monotheism. The judgment day is described in various ways: day of wrath, day of decision, day of retribution, and day of truth. Not only individuals with their guardian angels but nations will assemble before the great judge Allah, and their deeds will be weighed.

On that day, all men and women from Adam to the last person will be resurrected from the state of death to stand before Allah and be judged.

How (will it be with them) when We have brought them all together to a Day of which there is no doubt, when every soul will be paid in full what it hath earned, and they will not be wronged.

But those who disbelieve say, "The Hour (i.e. the Day of Judgment) will not come to us." Say, "Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [God is] the Knower of the unseen." Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds. Those will have forgiveness and noble provision. But those who strive against Our verses [seeking] to cause failure – for them will be a painful punishment of foul nature.

Also during this time Allah’s throne will appear in the clouds, carried by 8 angels. Believers will receive a book of their deeds in their right hand, and unbelievers their left hand.

On that day shall the great event come to pass, And the heaven shall cleave asunder, so that on that day it shall be frail, And the angels shall be on the sides thereof; and above them eight shall bear on that day your Lord’s power … Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he will say: Lo! read my book: surely I knew that I shall meet my account. So he shall be in a life of pleasure, … And as for him who is given his book in his left hand he shall say: O would that my book had never been given me: And I had not known what my account was: O would that it had made an end (of me): My wealth has availed me nothing: My authority is gone away from me. Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him, Then cast him into the burning fire, Then thrust him into a chain the length of which is seventy cubits. Surely he did not believe in Allah, the Great, nor did he urge the feeding of the poor. Therefore he has not here today a true friend, nor any food except refuse, which none but the wrongdoers eat.

In fear, men will look for someone to plead with Allah. They will go to Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, but find no help. At last they will turn to Muhammad and Allah will judge.

Hell

"Jahannam" is often used in the Quran as a synonym for fire. Islamic descriptions show hell as a place made up of concentric layers of increasing depth. The Jahannam proper, generally put in the higher zone, is reserved for members of the Muslim community who have committed grave sins for which they have not repented and whom God, in accordance with His threats, decides to punish for a time with infernal torments. Even those Muslims who uphold the eternality of hell, admit that Jahannam will cease to exist when the last repentant sinner leaves it to enter paradise.

According to the Quran the tortures of the fire are fearful – it has crackling and roaring flames, fierce boiling waters, scorching wind, and black smoke. The inhabitants sigh and wail, wretched in their torment, their scorched skins exchanged for new ones so that they can experience the pain again and again; they drink foul liquids in the hopeless effort to assuage their thirst; boiling water is poured over their heads, melting their insides; iron hooks drag them back if they try to escape.

Note some of the equally vivid and materialistic descriptions of hell that are found throughout the Quran:

Garments of fire shall be cut, and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatsoever is in their bellies and their skins shall be melted; for them await hooked iron rods; as often as they desire in their anguish to come forth from it, they shall be restored into it, and taste the chastisement of the burning.

Death will be brought on the Day of Resurrection in the form of a white-colored ram.

Then it will be made to stand between Paradise and Hell. It will be said to the people of Paradise, "Do you recognize this?" They will raise up their necks, look towards it and say, "Yes, it is death." Then a command will be given to slaughter it, and it will be said, "O people of Paradise, there is everlasting life for you and no death." Then [addressing] the people of Hellfire, it will be said, "O people of Hellfire, there is everlasting life for you and no death …"

Hell according to the Quran has 7 gates and is composed of 7 stories forming a vast crater. Above is a bridge, named Sirat, thrown the whole length across it. This bridge which is sharper than the edge of a sword and thinner than a hair has to be crossed by the souls in order to enter Paradise.

In tradition the bridge belongs to the well known representations, It will be erected over Hell and there will be horny thongs upon it, These will grasp man and torture him in different degrees, according to his works. … The First to pass will be Muhammad and his community. The cry of the Prophets during this ordeal will be: "allahumma, sallim, sallim." According to some traditions the redress of griefs will take place on the bridge.

The souls of righteous cross it in a moment; those of ordinary righteous people take a longer or shorter to cross it, while those of the unrighteous do not reach paradise but fall into the gulf. Faithful Muslims believed that they will cross over it in the "twinkling of an eye" and enter Paradise. Other Muslims may fall into Hell, but will later be released. Unbelievers will fall into Hell and remain forever.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The people said, "O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" He replied, "Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear night?" They replied, "No, O Allah’s Apostle!" He said, "Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?" They replied in the negative. He said, "You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way. On the Day of Resurrection, people will be gathered and He will order the people to follow what they used to worship. So some of them will follow the sun, some will follow the moon, and some will follow other deities; and only this nation (Muslims) will be left with its hypocrites. Allah will come to them and say, "I am Your Lord." They will say, "We shall stay in this place till our Lord comes to us and when our Lord will come, we will recognize Him." Then Allah will come to them again and say, "I am your Lord." They will say, "You are our Lord." Allah will call them, and As-Sirat (a bridge) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Apostles to cross it with my followers. Nobody except the Apostles will then be able to speak and they will be saying then, "O Allah! Save us. O Allah Save us."

Hell or Purgatory?

Some people who will be scorched by Hell (fire) as a punishment for sins they have committed, and then Allah will admit them into Paradise by the grant of His Mercy. These people will be called, ’Al-Jahannamiyyiin’ (the people of Hell).

This is reminiscent of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory.

If Hell is a purifying place for our sins, and all of us must pass over it, then it is highly possible that Allah will use it to purify the sins for even those who are the worst of the creation and then admit them to Heaven.

In Surah 4:48 it says, “God forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with God is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.”

In this verse, when Allah says that He won’t forgive shirk (associating partners with him), he is saying that whoever does shirk will end up in Hell. This verse certainly shows that any sin or crime that you might commit in life can be forgiven by Allah. He may not, in other words, punish you in hell for it. He might erase it from your bad record. The only sin that is guaranteed that will not be erased from the bad record is shirk.

However, we may further deduce that doing shirk will end the person in punishment, but not necessarily a never ending one. Therefore, when Allah says that he won’t forgive shirk, he is not saying that it will never get cleansed away from the mushrik (the person who does shirk). Since hell is a purifying place and Allah is “merciful”, even shirk does get cleansed away in Hell!

Hell: Eternal or Temporary?

The eternality of Hell and punishment by Allah has not been unanimously agreed upon by Muslim scholars. "The Koran appears to hesitate a little on the question of the eternity of punishment in hell; the passages, which refer to this point, do not quite agree. Perhaps this uncertainty is due merely to the fact that Muhammad, who was not a speculative philosopher, was not able clearly to face a question into which there entered such an abstract conception as eternity."

Note the differences between the very Quranic verses and the Hadiths:

Such is the requital of the enemies of Allah,- the Fire: therein will be for them the Eternal Home: a (fit) requital, for that they were wont to reject Our Signs.

And as to those who are made happy, they shall be in the garden, abiding in it as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord please; a gift which shall never be cut off.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: He who killed himself with steel (weapon) would be the eternal denizen of the Fire of Hell and he would have that weapon in his hand and would be thrusting that in his stomach for ever and ever, he who drank poison and killed himself would sip that in the Fire of Hell where he is doomed for ever and ever; and he who killed himself by falling from (the top of) a mountain would constantly fall in the Fire of Hell and would live there for ever and ever.

This, according to the Imam Ashari, “is contrary to the words of the Koran (4:116): ’he will pardon all else except idolatry to whom he will’ and to this traditional saying of the prophet: ‘he shall make men come out of hell after they have been burned and reduced to cinders.’ This Imam’s view is that which has prevailed in Islam.” According to this Imam and the consequently prevailing view of Islam, Hell will eventually be empty.

The Levels of Hell

Muhammad had only quite a rudimentary notion of the structure of hell. There are variations in the degrees of heat in Hell, and in the levels of punishment which Allah has prepared for its inhabitants; there is not just one level. It appears from the Quran
that Hell will have 7 levels with 19 Guards:

And verily, Hell is the promised abode For them all! To it are seven Gates: For each of those Gates is a (special) class (of sinners) assigned.

Over it are Nineteen (i.e., guards). And We have set none but angels as Guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers – in order that the People of the Book may arrive at certainty, and the Believers may increase in Faith – and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book and the Believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers may say, ’What symbol doth God intend by this?’ Thus doth God leave to stray whom He pleaseth, and guide whom He pleaseth: and none can know the forces of thy Lord, except He and this is no other than a warning to mankind.

The hypocrites will be in the most painful one:

The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them.

Interestingly, the Quran hardly mentions the kinds of sins which render the different punishments in the Muslim Hell; we have to go somewhere else to find out.

The Food and Drink in Hell

Hell is before him, and he is made to drink a festering water.

The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about; and if they cry for water, they shall be given water like molten brass which will scald their faces; evil the drink and ill the resting-place.

Surely with us are heavy fetters and a flaming fire, And food that chokes and a painful punishment, on the day when the earth and the mountains shall quake and the mountains shall become (as) heaps of sand let loose.

At the lowest stage of hell is a tree called Zakkum which has for flowers the heads of demons, a caldron of boiling and stinking pitch, and a well which reaches to the bottom of all things.

Is that the better entertainment Or the Tree of Zaqqum? For We have truly Made it (as) a trial For the wrongdoers. For it is a tree That springs out Of the bottom of Hellfire: That shoots of its fruit-stalks Are like the heads Of devils: Truly they will eat thereof And fill their bellies therewith. Then on top of that They will be given a mixture made of Boiling water. Then shall their return be to the (Blazing) Fire.

The verses are pretty much self explanatory. Life in Hell is really hell! The food that will be offered is from the Tree of Zaqqum, which fruits-stalks look like heads of devils, and the drinking water will be boiling water.

The Severity and Variation of the Heat

The following Hadith is a statement for the variation in degrees in the punishment of those in Hell:

The least torture in the Hell on the Day of Judgment is that of a man whose foot sole is laid on a live coal which causes his brain to boil just like a boiler. He does not think that any other person is tortured more severely than him although he is in the least torture.

This fire of yours which burns the son of Adam (in this world) is the seventieth part of the heat of the Hell. They say: "We swear by Allah, our fire is quite enough." The Prophet said: "It is sixty-nine times more and each part of it is like the heat of your fire."

The Inhabitants of Hell

According to Islam, about 99% of humanity will be in Hell.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, "Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), ’O Adam.’ Adam will reply, ’Labbaik wa Sa’daik’, and all the good is in your Hand.’ Allah will say: ’Bring out the people of the fire.’ Adam will say: ’O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?’ Allah will reply: ’From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.’ At that time children will become hoary headed, every pregnant female will have a miscarriage, and one will see mankind as drunken, yet they will not be drunken, but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah." The companions of the Prophet asked, "O Allah’s Apostle! Who is that (excepted) one?" He said, "Rejoice with glad tidings; one person will be from you and one-thousand will be from Gog and Magog."

The Quran speaks at length of the evil deeds for which those who will abide in the Hell forever deserve their never-ending fate. The response will be that they deserved Hell because they disbelieved in the Messenger (Muhammad) and his Message.

Notice some of the most heinous sins and crimes according to Islam:

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam …”

Concerning those who disbelieve the Quran and associate partners with Allah, Allah says:

Those who reject the Book and the [Revelations] with which We sent Our Messengers: but soon shall they know, when the yokes [shall be] round their necks, and the chains, they shall be dragged along. In the boiling fetid fluid, then in the Fire shall they be burned. Then shall it be said to them, "Where are the deities to which you gave part-worship in derogation to Allaah? They will reply: "They have left us in the lurch. Nay, we invoked not, of old, anything [that had real existence]. Thus does Allah leave the unbelievers to stray. That was because you were want to rejoice on the earth in things other than the Truth, and that you were want to be ignorant. Enter the gates of Hell, to dwell therein and evil is [this] abode of the arrogant.

Allah does not accept adherence to any religion other than Islam. “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter.”

“Then as to those who disbelieve …”

Muslims believe that all of the non-Muslims will be sent to Hell. Those who die while not believing that “There is no true god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God” or are not Muslim will lose Paradise forever and will be sent to Hellfire.

Then as to those who disbelieve, I will chastise them with severe chastisement in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have no helpers.

Because the disbelievers and polytheists will remain in Hell forever, it is considered to be their abode or dwelling place, just as Paradise is the abode of the believers.

O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them; and their abode is hell; and evil is the resort.

Their abode will be the Fire; and evil is the home of the wrongdoers.

Surely We have prepared for the unbelievers chains and shackles and a burning fire.

Who are some of these people who disbelieve? “Surely those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book and the polytheists shall be in the fire of hell, abiding therein; they are the worst of men."

Here "followers of The Book" refers to Christians and Jews. Therefore, according to prophet Mohammed, Christians, Jews, and pagans are the vilest of all creatures in the world.

“And as for him whose good deeds are light …”

Islam is a religion of works (sufficient personal merit and righteousness). Muslims believe that on a Day of Judgment, all people will be rewarded by God according to their beliefs and deeds:

For such is the state of the disbelievers, until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord, send me back that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind (i.e. in that which I neglected)." No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected. So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another.

The books will be opened and men’s works weighed on scales (mizan). In the Quran we see the image of a scale used for balancing the individual’s good thoughts, deeds, and desires against his bad ones (the worst is associating other gods with Allah).

So when the trumpet is blown, there shall be no ties of relationship between them on that day, nor shall they ask of each other. Then as for him whose good deeds are preponderant, these are the successful. And as for him whose good deeds are light, these are they who shall have lost their souls, abiding in hell eternally. The Fire will sear their faces, and they therein will have taut smiles” (i.e. their lips having been contracted by scorching until the teeth are exposed).

According to Islam, what are the evil deeds that lead one to Hell? Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah replies:

The deeds of the people of Hell are: Associating partners with Allah; disbelieving in His Messengers; kufr (ingratitude, disbelief); hasad (malicious envy); lying; treachery; oppression and wrongdoing (dhulm); promiscuity; back-stabbing; cutting off the ties of kinship; cowardice at the time of jihad; miserliness inconsistency between what is in one’s heart and the face one shows to people; despairing of the mercy of Allah; feeling secure from the plan of Allah; panicking blindly at the time of crisis; pride and extravagance at the time of plenty; abandoning one’s duties towards Allah; transgressing His limits; violating His sanctity; fearing a created being instead of the Creator; showing off; going against the Qur’an and Sunnah in word or deed; obeying a created being in some act of disobedience to the Creator; blindly supporting falsehood; mocking the Signs of Allah; rejecting the truth; withholding knowledge and testimony that should be revealed witchcraft and magic; disobeying one’s parents; killing any soul forbidden by Allah except for reasons of justice; consuming the wealth of the orphan; riba (usury); desertion from the battlefield; slandering the reputation of innocent, chaste, believing women.

And according to the Hadith,

The people of Hell are five: the weak who lack the power to (avoid evil); the (carefree) who pursue (everything irrespective of whether it is good or evil) and who have no concern for their families and their wealth; the dishonest people whose greed cannot be concealed even in the case of minor things; and those who betray you, morning and evening, with regard to your family and your property. He also mentioned misers, liars, and those who are in the habit of abusing people and using obscene, foul language.

Therefore, if in this life, a person does not follow Islam and does not believe in Islamic scripture, Allah will store Hellfire, hot water, molten brass, thunderbolts, and other humiliating punishments in the life hereafter for him.

Additional Concerns of Judgment

God punishes a deceased if his relatives wail or weep.

Narrated Abu Burda: That his father said, "When Umar was stabbed, Suhaib started crying: ’O my brother!’ ’Umar said, ’Don’t you know that the Prophet said: "The deceased is tortured for the weeping of the living’?"

When you speak badly about a deceased, the deceased will go to hell. Mohammed said,

You praised this, so Paradise has been affirmed to him, and you spoke badly of this, so hell has been affirmed to him. You people are Allah’s witnesses on earth.

Lying against Muhammad:

Narrated ’Ali: The Prophet said, "Do not tell a lie against me for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then he will surely enter the Hell-fire."

Interestingly, the majority of people in hell are women.

I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women."

Men and women appear to have different roles in the hereafter than those they have had on earth. A tradition relates that, at the coming judgment day, women will increase in number and m en will decrease so that fifty women will be looked after by one man.

Angels:

The disbelievers among the jinn (angels) will enter Hell just like the disbelievers among mankind, for the jinn are held responsible for their actions just as human beings are: On the Day of Resurrection, the jinn and mankind will be gathered alike: "And on the Day when He will gather them all together, and say: ’O assembly of jinns! Many did you mislead of men.’"

Children:

Then how, if ye disbelieve, will ye protect yourselves upon the day which will turn children grey.

Utensils:

Abd al-Rahman reported on the authority of his mother’s sister Umm Salama who said that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: He who drank in vessels of gold or silver he in fact drank down in his belly the fire of Hell.

How to Save Oneself From the Fire

As it is kufr (to show ungratefulness to Allah and not to believe in Him and His religion) that will condemn a person to eternal Hell, the way to be saved from Hell is through eemaan (faith and trust in Allah) and righteous deeds:

Our Rabb! Not for naught have You created [all] this, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. Our Rabb! Any whom You admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame, and never will wrongdoers find any helpers. Our Rabb! We have heard the call of one calling [us] to faith: "Believe in your Rabb," and we have believed. Our Rabb! Forgive us our sins and blot out from us our inequities, and take to Yourself our souls in the company of the righteous. Our Rabb! Grant us what You did promise unto us through Your Messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgement, for You never break Your Promise.

Many a hadith speaks in detail about this matter and describe the deeds that will protect one from the Fire, for example, love of Allaah: “By Allaah, Allaah will never throw one whom He loves into the Fire."

Fasting is also a source of protection from the Fire: “Allaah says, ‘Fasting is a shield with which one may protect oneself from the Fire. If fasting is accomplished at the time of jihad against the enemy, then that is a great victory. “Whoever fasts for one day when he is engaged in jihaad for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will remove him [lit., his face] seventy years distance from the Fire."

Other means of salvation from the Fire are fear of Allaah and jihad for His sake: “But for him who fears the standing before his Rabb, there will be two gardens [i.e. in Paradise]”

No two feet that get dusty for the sake of Allaah will ever meet in the Fire of Hell.

A Kaafir (unbeliever) and the one who kills him will never meet in the Fire of Hell.

We may also be shielded from the Fire by seeking protection with Allaah from it: "Those who say, "Our Rabb! Avert from us the wrath of Hell, for its wrath is indeed an affliction grievous." Evil indeed is it as an abode and as a place to rest in."

A woman whose two or three children have died, can be saved from Hell by them.

Narrator Abu Said Al-Khudri: Some women requested the Prophet to fix a day for them as the men were taking all his time. On that he promised them one day for religious lessons and commandments. Once during such a lesson the Prophet said, "A woman whose three children die will be shielded by them from the Hell fire." On that a woman asked, "If only two die?" He replied, "Even two (will shield her from the Hell-fire)."

Conclusion

Islam is very emphatic that nobody will know his destiny until the Day of Judgment. As Al-Faruki explains, the scale of justice “is infinite, and there is no point at which Muslims may carry their titles to paradise, as it were, in their pockets. Everyone strives, and some strive more than others. … Religious justification is thus the Muslims’ eternal hope, never their complacent certainty, not for even a fleeting moment.”

Because of this tragic and miserable existence, many Muslims die in fear because they don’t know. Many suspect that the balance of their scale is probably not going to be tipped in the right direction.

Contrast this with the blessed words and assurance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved …" (Acts 16:31)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)

What great news it is to know that you don’t have to depend on your good works or even worry that your fate is in the hands of an unknowable and arbitrary “Allah.” How much more blessed it is to rely and cast all your weight of sin, worry, fear and guilt upon the Almighty Lord Jesus Christ and receive His glorious assurance and eternal salvation!

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

Tyndale Theological Seminary, Conservative Theological Journal Volume 8 (Tyndale Theological Seminary, 2004; 2006), vnp.8.23.106-8.23.127.

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