Often, when we hear or read things about hell, about its punishments and torture, even the thought of being close to such a place gives us goosebumps. It troubles our very soul to imagine a place where such punishments exist. But no matter how much we wish such a place did not exist, it exists and none of us knows whether he/she will be of the companions of hellfire or of those that dwell in peace in jannah (heaven). This state of not knowing, feels ever so frightening because of the implications of failing. What if we didn’t make it? What if our intentions were flawed? Were we really working for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exhalted is He) when we thought we were? We all know how much we sin, how many mistakes we have made and how many people we have wronged. Or at least we are aware of the fact that our misdeeds far outweigh our good ones. Even then, it feels terrible even imagining how it would be like if we were among those dragged to hell. It hurts to think of ourselves as being companions of the most wretched place that exists. It burns imagining its heat and perpetual nature.
Its punishments feel so very severe. The fire causes physical pain and continued torture so the thought of an eternity in hell causes mental pain and anguish. But what of the spiritual pain that is caused by being away and outcast from the mercy of the Lord who is Most-Merciful (swt)?
Imagine for a moment not being able to ‘see’ the Creator of all Beauty. Imagine being from among those that have lost the right to speak to Him (swt). If you were ever scared of being alone in this world, jahannum (hell) is as lonely as it gets. In this dunya (worldly life), despite the worst of your loneliness, you could call on Allah (swt), you could cry out to Him and make du`a’ (supplications), you could ask Him to forgive and mend your hardened heart. If the tears of repentance did not come, you could ask Him (swt) for eyes that were always moist with His love and fear and He would respond. Mistake after mistake, sin after sin and a single heartfelt du`a’ and He would forgive you. Imagine not having made that du`a’. In this dunya, you could call Him and He would respond. Imagine calling out in jahannum but getting no response.
Imagine being eternally away from Allah (swt).
What greater misfortune could there be than earning the displeasure of the Rabb (Lord) that was so easy to please?
Allah (swt) says:
“I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Buhkari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah)
May Allah (swt) enshroud us and shade us in His mercy, compassion and love, for we are weak, prone to error and oblivious to our duty to Him. May Allah (swt) guide us to forgive those who have wronged us and put forgiveness in the hearts of those who we have wronged. May Allah (swt) forgive us, for He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, the only One who can forgive. May Allah (swt) grant us protection from the place in which people are eternally despised by Him and grant us the eternal life in the Garden that is closest to Him. May Allah (swt) bring out the best in us and guide us to be humble, sincere and full of love and hope, for none of us can make it there on the basis of our deeds alone. Ameen.
Any good herein is due to Allah (swt) alone, only the shortcomings are my own and for them I seek refuge in Allah. Peace, respect and love.