The greatest sin one can commit is to rebel against Allah, the Creator and Giver of Life. Created to be a servant to Allah, man, if he conflicts with the purpose of his creation, naturally deserves a punishment befitting his wrongdoing. Hell is the place where this punishment is administered. Most people spend their whole lives in a kind of intoxication without thinking about this at all. One of the most important reasons for this intoxication is their inability to make a correct assessment of Allah. Many people esteem Allah for his affectionate, merciful and forgiving attributes; they do not feel a deep and heartfelt fear of Allah as they are supposed to. This causes these people to be insensitive to the commands and counsels of Allah. Allah particularly forewarns people in the Quran about this danger:
"O mankind! Guard against (the punishment of) your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah." (Quran 31:33 Translated meaning)
Truly, Allah, Possessor of the most beautiful names and attributes, is affectionate, merciful, and forgiving. However, it must also be remembered that Allah, at the same time, is everlastingly Just, the Subduer of all, and the Compeller; that Allah is close to the believers but remote from idolaters, unbelievers and hypocrites; that He is the Lord of retribution; and that hell is the place where His latter attributes will most perfectly be embodied.
People, for some reason, have superstitious beliefs on this subject. The people of scriptures assume that after they die, they will go to hell to pay for the sins they committed in the world, but will then go on to paradise after their punishment is over and abide there forever. Allah, however, informs us in the Quran that life both in hell and paradise will last eternally and that no one will be released from either unless Allah so wills.
And they say: "The fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days:" Say: "Have you taken a promise from Allah, for He never breaks His promise? Or is it that you say of Allah what you do not know?" Nay, those who seek gain in evil, and are girt round by their sins, they are companions of the fire: Therein shall they abide forever. But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the garden: therein shall they abide forever. (Quran 2:80-82 Translated meaning)
People will there encounter such torments as fire, heat, darkness, smoke, narrowness, blindness, constriction, hunger, thirst, festering water, boiling water, and the poisonous tree of zaqqum. In addition to physically injurious penalties, they will also suffer a great spiritual torment that mounts right to the hearts. (Quran 104:5-9). The dreadful torments that people who disregard Allah's existence will undergo in hell are described in detail in the Quran. The verses reveal how important this subject is for man. The wrath of hell is so great that it cannot be compared to any distress in this world.
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