Advanced search
Visit
8931
Last Updated: 2012/03/10
Summary of question
If there are levels for heaven, are there levels for hell?
question
If there are levels for heaven, are there levels for hell?
Concise answer

What is understood from Quranic verses and the ahadith is that, similar to heaven,[1] hell has different levels, and sinners will be put into these levels depending on the number and type of their sins.

In a hadith from Imam Baqir about the verse: “لَها سَبْعَةُ أَبْوابٍ لِكُلِّ بابٍ مِنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَقْسُوم[2] “It has seven gates, and to each gate belongs a separate portion of them.” the Imam says: “I have been informed that God has made seven levels for hell.”

The first level which is the highest is called “Jahim”. People at this level stand on hard rocks and their brains boil from the heat.

The second level is called “Ladhaa”. At this level, the heat peels off the skin of the feet, hands and head. The fire calls to itself the people who opposed God’s commands and gathered wealth.

The third level is called “Saqar”. In it is a fire that does not leave anything and nothing is immune from it. It completely changes the form of the skin. Nineteen angels are in charge of this level.

The fourth is “Hutamah” and from it rise flares the size of palaces. They rise so fast, as if they are yellow camels that disperse in every direction. Whoever is touched by them turns black, like kohl.

The fifth is “Haawiyah”[3] (falling to the Asfal al-Safilin, i.e., the lowest of the low) in which groups of people call out: “O Owner [the name of an angel there]![4] Help us.” When the angel comes to them, he brings yellow and red dishes to them in which is a bad-smelling water. When they drink the water their skin becomes like heated metal. Once they pick up the dish to drink from it, the flesh on their face falls into it due to its heat. This is what the following verse refers to: “وَ إِنْ يَسْتَغيثُوا يُغاثُوا بِماءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ بِئْسَ الشَّرابُ وَ ساءَتْ مُرْتَفَقاً[5] “If they cry out for help, they will be helped with a water like molten copper which will scald the faces. What an evil drink, and how ill a resting place!” Whoever goes to that level of hell will be in fire for seventy years, and every time his skin burns, new skin will replace it.

The sixth is called “Sa’ir” in which there are three hundred tents of fire, and every tent has three hundred palaces of fire and every palace has three hundred houses of fire and every house consists of three hundred types of pain and torture caused by fire. This is what God is referring to when He says: “إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنا لِلْكافِرينَ سَلاسِلَ وَ أَغْلالاً وَ سَعيراً[6] “Indeed We have prepared for the faithless chains, iron collars, and a blaze.)”

The seventh and last level is called “Jahannam” in which is “Falaq”. Falaq is a ditch in hell that when opened, fire blazes out.  This level consists of the most painful of punishments….[7]

 


[1] See: The Seven Heavens, Question 1859 (site: 1915).

[2] Hijr:44.

[3] The reason for this name is that “Hawiyah” is derived from the root word “هوی”, which means to fall. The name refers to falling into Asfal al-Safelin.

[4] The name of the angel guards of Hell.

[5] Kahf:29.

[6] Insaan:4.

[7] Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 8, pp. 289-290, al-Wafaa’ Institute, Beirut, 1409 AH.

 

Question translations in other languages
Comments
Number of comments 0
Please enter the value
Example : Yourname@YourDomane.ext
Please enter the value
Please enter the value

Thematic Category

Random questions

  • Who are the infallibles (ma’sum)?
    7160 Traditional 2008/08/23
    Infallibility is a spiritual power and inner virtue that restrains one from even imagining and thinking of sinning, let alone committing sin and in Islamic terms, means for one to be protected from sin, mistake and forgetfulness.Infallibility can be divided into ...
  • If the imams are essentially infallible, can we follow them as role models?
    6178 عصمت 2015/05/03
    This question emanates from incorrect notion about the concept of infallibility that considers it something mandatory and gifted by God without a cause or reason. Obviously, if we are to consider infallibility as something forced, then we would consider the infallibles as people lacking free will and ...
  • Is it possible for a human to get married with a jinn?
    6817 Laws and Jurisprudence 2009/07/19
    Thank you for your question. First of all, it should be kept in mind that knowing the answer to such questions has no effect on our lives. There is no spiritual or material benefit for knowing these things. Secondly, although it is possible for ...
  • Why is a child that has been born from a temporary marriage given to the father?
    14701 Laws and Jurisprudence 2010/09/05
    Temporary marriage is an easy and simple marriage for people that can’t practice permanent marriage, legitimized by God for a number of reasons, one of which is to prevent fornication and sexual corruption. Consequently, God has excluded a few of the rulings and conditions required in permanent marriage ...
  • What is Shirk?
    34269 Traditional 2007/01/21
    Literally, shirk means to allocate; technically, in Quranic terminology, shirk – in contrast to hanif – signifies the process of allocating someone/thing as the Almighty Allah’s partner or equal. Hanif means being inclined towards righteousness and moderation; hence, the term has been coined onto those who have disassociated themselves from ...
  • What does Islam say about life on other planets?
    22054 Exegesis 2007/02/22
                Man has always pondered the thought of whether or not there are other living organisms or intelligent life forms in other galaxies or on other planets; however a definite answer has yet to be found.
  • What is Islam’s ruling on listening to music?
    13374 Laws and Jurisprudence 2010/11/21
    Music is essentially sound, and watching it (without listening) has no ruling; the only ruling there is, has to do with producing and the sale of instruments, teaching and learning, playing, and listening to it. Most scholars consider listening to and producing lahwi music to be haram and ...
  • How was the Holy Quran compiled?
    16168 Quranic Studies 2012/04/21
    According to the history of the compilation of the Quran, the Prophet (s) himself chose the verses where to be placed. It was not the companions who arranged the verses or the number of the chapters. The Quran, which is presently in our hands and which is ...
  • Who are the Ismaeili Bahreh Shias and what do they believe in?
    7591 تاريخ بزرگان 2010/04/19
    The "Bahreh Davoodis" are a branch of the "Ismaili" sect. The "Ismailis" believe Ismail, the son of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) which passed away during his father's lifetime, to be the seventh Imam. The followers of this sect have unique beliefs that we will explain in the detailed ...
  • What are the effects of contentment on our lives and how do we distinguish it from stinginess?
    43285 Practical 2012/05/14
    Contentment has been defined as a resting of the mind without craving something else. The word “qana’ah” which is the Arabic equivalent for contentment has been used to refer to satisfaction and happiness in an absolute and unrestricted way. As for the difference between contentment and stinginess, ...

Popular