Fearing Hellfire – Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Hellfire

A description of the state of the denizens of the realm of agony

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī

 

 

Fearing the Fire

Allāh, Most High, says

“In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of the night and day, there are signs for people with intelligence: those who remember Allāh, standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: ‘Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! Safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, those You cast into the Fire, You have indeed disgraced. The wrongdoers will have no helpers.'”[1]

 “Say, ‘Shall I tell you of something better than that?’ Those who have taqwā will have Gardens with their Lord, with rivers flowing under them, remaining therein timelessly, forever, and purified wives, and the pleasure of Allāh. Allāh sees His servants: those who say, ‘Our Lord, we have believed, so forgive us our wrong actions and safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.'”[2]

“The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk lightly on the earth and, who, when the ignorant speak to them, say, ‘Peace’; those who pass the night prostrating and standing before their Lord; those who say, ‘Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell, its punishment is inescapable pain. It is indeed an evil lodging and abode.'”,[3]

“…they are hoping for His mercy and fearing His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is truly something to be feared.”[4]

“…those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord.”[5]

 “That is the reward of those who fear My station and fear My threat.”[6]

 “Some of them will come up to others and they will question one another. They will say, ‘Beforehand we used to live in fear among our families. But Allāh was gracious to us and safeguarded us from the punishment of the searing wind.'”[7]

 

Ibrāhīm at-Taymī said, ‘Let the one who does not feel sadness fear that he be one of the denizens of the Fire because the People of Paradise say, “Praise be to Allāh who has removed all sadness from us.”[8] Let the one who does not feel fear, fear that he not be of the People of Paradise because they say, “Beforehand we used to live in fear among our families.”[9]

 

The Prophet (SAW) would frequently seek refuge from the Fire and command that this be done within the prayer and outside of the prayer. The aḥādīth concerning this are many.

 

Bukhārī records on the authority of Anas that he said, ‘The most frequent supplication of the Prophet (SAW) would be, “Our Lord, grants us the best in this world and the best in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Fire.”[10]

 

Nasāʾī records on the authority of Abū Hurayrah that he heard the Prophet (SAW) saying, “Allāh, I take refuge with from the intense heat of Hell.”

 

Abū Dāwūd and ibn Mājah record on the authority of Jābir that the Prophet (SAW) said to a person, “What do you say in the prayer?” He replied, ‘I say the tashahhud and then I say, “Allāh, I ask you for Paradise and I take refuge with You from the Fire.” I am not able to formulate the likes of your supplications and the supplications of Muʿādh.’ The Prophet (SAW) then said, “It is around these two matters that we supplicate.”

 

This ḥadīth was also recorded by Bazzār with the wording, “And what do Muʿādh and I supplicate for except that we may enter Paradise and seek refuge from the Fire?”

 

Aḥmad records on the authority of Sulaym al-Anṣārī with an isnād that is munqaṭiʾ that the Prophet (SAW) asked him, “Sulaym, how much of the Qurʿān have you memorised?” He replied, ‘I only ask Allāh for Paradise and I take refuge with Him from the Fire for by Allāh I am not able to formulate the likes of your supplications or the supplications of Mu ʿādh.’ The Prophet (SAW) said, “Our supplications do not exceed asking Allāh for Paradise and seeking refuge with Him from the Fire.”

 

The ḥadīth of Suwayd ibn Saʿīd and Ḥafṣ ibn Maysirah; on the authority of Zayd ibn Aslam; on the authority of ibn ʿUmar has been related to us that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Those to enter Paradise will be the ones who hoped for it and those to avoid the Fire will be the ones who feared it, and Allāh only shows mercy to those who show mercy to others.”

 

This ḥadīth was also recorded by Abū Nuʿāym and his wording is, “…Allāh only shows mercy to those who His servants who are merciful.” He then said, ‘Gharīb from the ḥadīth of Zayd to the Prophet (SAW) for it was singularly reported by Ḥafṣ. It was also reported by ibn ʿAjlān on the authority of Zayd as a mursal report.’ The fact that it is mursal is closer to the truth.

 

Abū Nuʿaym records that ʿUmar said, ‘If a caller were to announce from the sky, “O Mankind, all of you will enter Paradise except for one man amongst you,” I would fear being that person.’

 


 

[1] Āli ʿImrān (3): 190-192

[2] Āli ʿImrān (3): 15-16

[3] al-Furqān (25): 63-66

[4] al-Isrāʾ (17): 57

[5] al-Maʿārij (70): 27

[6] Ibrāhīm (14): 14

[7] al-Ṭūr (52): 25-27

[8] Fāṭir (35): 34

[9] al-Ṭūr (52): 26

[10] al-Baqarah (2): 201

 

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