The Difference between a sinner and a kafir remaining in Hell
Abdul Aziz ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him): There are some major sins mentioned which state the offender will dwell in Hell forever. There are various kinds of major sins. The scholars have a general rule regarding major sins: every sin mentioned which Allah promises a person Hell, His anger, His curse or a capital punishment in this world. The sins that don’t have these consequences are considered acts of disobedience.( i.e minor sins.)
Some major sins mention a person will remain in Jahannam forever.i.e Zina, murder and Riba. Allah says about Riba:
وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
but whoever returns [to Riba (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein (Al-Baqarah 275)
Additionally, it has been mentioned that a person who commits suicide will remain in Hell forever. These acts of disobedience and others similar state that the offender dwells in the Fire forever, however the dwelling mentioned here ,isn’t the one Allah promises the Kafir. There are two kinds of dwelling in Hell.
1- The dwelling in Hell forever. This is for the Kafir. Allah says :
يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ
They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom, and theirs will be a lasting torment (Al-Ma’idah 37).
This is the deathless state of the disbelievers in Hell. We seek Allah’s refuge.
2- Remaining in Hell for a long period of time. The time he spends in Hell will ultimately end. This type of abiding in Hell applies to the person who kills himself or others. Allah says:
وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَآؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا
وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ
whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him (Al-Baqarah 93)
This duration in Hell is temporary. This applies to the person who dies while devouring Riba. This length in Jahaanam isn’t forever, only Allah knows the exact duration. The person could dwell in Hell one year and another person one hundred years. Another person will remain in Hell for a thousand years. People will stay in Hell longer or shorter than others according to their sins.
Nonetheless, their duration in Hell will end at some point in time. The arabs used to say to the person who stayed for a long time in a place: “You stayed forever”
A poet said:
“They established something so they remained forever” (Questions in the Majmu’ 1/37)
- If a sinner enters Hell he will exit due to his belief in Allah alone.
- Many sinners won’t be forgiven, but will be punished in Hell according to their sins.
- There are an enormous amount of texts from the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) that mention the sinners will burn in Hell due to their sins.
Translated by: Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle Sr.
Taken from Sublus Salam Sharhu Nawaqidil Islam – By Abdul Aziz bin Baz.
Doha, Qatar ©