Monday, November 20, 2017 - 1 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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If someone is admitted to hell, will he stay there forever?

If someone is admitted to hell, will he stay there forever?

Answer

I am always reluctant to discuss the point of who goes where in the life to come. Heaven and hell belong to God, and He decides who goes where and for how long.

When we speak about this issue, we must not make any firm statement, because we do not know who earns God’s forgiveness, and who incurs His punishment. Even if we see someone committing many types of sin, we do not know how he will be and what he will do toward the end of his life. He may do some good actions, with a pure heart and total dedication. That may earn him God’s forgiveness, and perhaps a rich reward.

In the Qur’an, God tells us that everyone, no matter who he is, will be certain to come close to hell, but then people will be either saved or left there.

“By your Lord, We shall most certainly bring them forth together with the evil ones, and then We shall most certainly gather them, on their knees, around hell; and thereupon We shall draft out from every group those who had been most obstinate in their rebellion against the Most Gracious. For, indeed, We know best who most deserves to be burnt in the fire of hell. There is not one among you who shall not pass over it; this is, for your Lord, a decree that must be fulfilled. But we shall save those who are God-fearing, and leave the wrongdoers there, on their knees.” [Marium — 19: 68-72]

There is a clear reference here to people going out of hell after having gone into it. Moreover, the Prophet, peace be upon him, says: “A person with even an iota of faith shall not remain in hell.” This Hadith tells us that no matter how great one’s sins are and how weak one’s faith is, a person will not stay in hell for ever, if he or she believes in God’s oneness. [Some scholars extend this to include the belief in Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the final messenger of God.]
 

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