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"And We have not made the wardens of the fire others than angels, and We have not made their number but as a trial for those who disbelieve, that those who have been given the book may be certain and those who believe may increase in faith, and those who have been given the book and the believers may not doubt, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the unbelievers may say: What does Allah mean by this parable? Thus does Allah make err whom he pleases, and He guides whom He pleases, and none knows the hosts of your Lord but He Himself; and this is naught but a reminder to the mortals."
M.H. Shakir Translation



San Andreus Fault - By the firmament which returns And by the Earth which is cracked [86:11,12]

By the firmament which returns 
And by the Earth which is cracked


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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 3rd January, 2005/ 22 Zhul-Qadah, 1425

What is Hell?- The Gates of Hell

Compiled by Hj Zaynab El-Fatah and Hj S. Abidin
Acknowledgements to Shariq Ali Khan and Dr Mohammad Humayoun Khan, Harun Yahya Organization for main illustration.

° Introduction

° Gates of Hell

° Shariq Ali Khan's Article

° The Holy Prophet's (s) Question

° In What Manner Can Mankind be Doomed? 

Artists impression of the Gates of hell

° Outer Core of the Earth

° The Seventh Gate

° Tsunamis

° Conclusion

° References

We warn you of doom at hand. A day when a man will look on what his own hand has sent before,
and the non-believers will cry: 
"Wish that we were dust” 


"27. And what will make you realize what hell is?"
28. It leaves naught nor does it spare aught.
29. It scorches the mortal
30. Over it are nineteen ( angels)"
[Surah 74:27-30] Shakir Translation

Many artists' impressions illustrate what hell could be like and the Harun Yayha's artist impression above illustrates his impression of the gates of hell? So while we Muslims understand that hell exists as described in al-Qur'an, many still do not understand what "the gates of hell" are. This article will endeavour to compare two written works written by Muslims to discuss what and where hell could be and what the gates of hell are as explained in Islamic teachings from the book called "Manazelul Akherah – Stages of the Hereafter" by Shaikh Abbas Qummi in a comparison to the article by Shariq Ali Khan on Victory News Magazine called "Geology- The Earth". In addition we include a quote from the article "Al-Mulk- The Kingdom" from Victory News Magazine, which states:

Shaykh Haeri discusses the kingdom of Allah being manifest in seven layers with  each layer being placed upon another, being connected yet retaining its own characteristics. He states that “it is also found amongst the ahadith (prophetic traditions) and the sayings of the Imams that the earth has seven layers. In fact, there is a common supplication in which it is said:

"Rabbu-s-samawati-s-sab`i wa rabbu-l­ aradini-s-sab'i, the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the seven earths.” ( Zayn Al-Abidin, 04)

In the book called "Manazelul Akherah – Stages of the Hereafter" by Shaikh Abbas Qummi it states:

Allah says in His Holy Qur’an:

Surah al Hijr

“It has seven gates, for each of those gates is a (special) class (of sinners assigned).” 
[Surah 15:44]

The Shakir Translation in English states:

43:"Surely hell is the promised place of them all:
44: It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them"
[Surah 15: 43-44] M.H. Shakir Translation

It is related in “Anwaare No’maniyah” and ‘Biharul Anwaar’ that when Hazrat Jibra’eel descended with the above verse of the Qur’an, the Holy Prophet (saws) requested him to explain to him about the qualities of hell. Jibra’eel replied,

“O Prophet of Allah (saw)! Verily there are seven gates in hell. 

The distance between each of these gates is equal to the length of seventy years, and each one of them is hotter than the other. 

The names of the gates are:

  • Hawiyah (Lit. meaning a pit) – And this gate is for the hypocrites (munafeqeen) and disbelievers (kuffar).

  • Jaheem – it is for the polytheists (those who associate someone or something with Allah)

  • It is for the sabians (star worshippers)

  • Lazza – It is for Shaitaan and his followers and the magians (fire worshippers)

  • Hutamah (Lit. meaning that which crushes to pieces) – It is for the Jews

  • Sa’eer (Lit. meaning a blazing fire) – It is for the Christians. (Shaikh Abbas Qummi,99)

When Jibra’eel came to describe the seventh (7th) gate he became silent....

From the article called "Geology - The Earth" by Shariq Ali Khan on Victory News Magazine, we can examine the above explanations further in a geological context.

And Allah says in the Qur’an:

"Allah is He Who created seven Firmaments and of the earth a similar number. Through the midst of them (all) descends His Command: that ye may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah comprehends all things in (His) Knowledge." 
[Surah 65:12]

The earth is built up of certain layers, three main layers as defined in modern geography are the crust, the mantle and the core going from the outer to the inner layers. The crust is divided into two separate structures of  rocky material, the mantle into three different regions and the core into two subdivisions (see Compton's Encyclopaedia, "The Earth's Layer's".) These vary in substance and density and consist mainly of magma (liquid rock), iron and nickel. So they are exactly seven, as stated in the Qur'an in the verse above (Ali Khan, 99).

Illustration of the seven layers of the earth

The Prophet ('s) lifted his head and was so much grieved that he became unconscious (Shaikh Abbas Qummi, 99).

When He regained consciousness, He said:

"O Jibra’eel verily you have made my trouble two-fold. Will my people also go to hell?”

Then he started weeping. After this incident he did not communicate with anyone for some days, and whenever he recited Namaz, he wept bitterly. Because of his intense weeping, all his companions too wept. They asked him the reason for his grief, but he did not reply. Imam Ali ('a) was out on some mission, and so the companions went to the house at the time when she (Lady Fatimah bint Mohammad ('a) was grinding the millstone (Shaikh Abbas Qummi, 99).

She ('a) was reciting the following verse of the Qur’an:

"While the Hereafter is better and more lasting" [Surah 87:17]

"While the Hereafter is better and more lasting"
[Surah 87:17]

The companions related to her the state of her father....

Sayyeda Zahra ('a) saw that due to excessive weeping the face of the Holy Prophet ('s) had turned pale, and his cheeks had sunk in, and as related by Kashfi that the earth where he was sitting had turned wet with tears. She ('a) told her father,

"May my life be your ransom, why do you weep?”

The Prophet ('s) replied,

“O Fatimah! Why should I not weep? For verily Jibra’eel has revealed to me a verse (Ayah) describing the qualities of hell, that it contains seven gates, which in turn have seventy thousand fissures of fire. And in each fissure there are seventy thousand coffins of fire, and each coffin contains seventy thousand types of punishment.” 

When Sayyeda Fatimah ('a) heard this she cried out,

“Verily the one who is fed to this fire is doomed.”

And Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And He spread the earth (Walarha bada dza_lika daha_ha_)"  
[Surah 79:30] 

And Allah says in the Qur'an: 

"It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection. Do ye feel secure that He Who is in heaven will not cause you to be swallowed up by the earth when it shakes (as in an earthquake)?"  
[Surah 67:15-16]

By the description of the relation between night and day and the overlapping exchange of the light in we can clearly see, that the change from night to day and vice versa are movements similar to the coiling or winding of a cloth around a ball shaped object. The word "yukaw wirul" in Arabic stands for the coiling movement of the turban around the head. This must have been written down after oral revelation through the Creator of the earth, because it was in a time without distant sea travelling leave alone space flight and the predominant theory of the churches stated that the Earth was flat (Ali Khan, 99).

The second Ayah shows us additionally that this ball shaped earth must have been spread or squeezed, since daha is the Arabic word for an ostrich egg, which is oval shaped. This is completely true, since the rotating centrifugal force of the earth around its axis causes it to spread towards the equator and flattens it at the poles. The diameter at the poles is approximately 43km less than at the equator. This difference keeps varying because of the liquid state of the inner mantle and liquid (Ali Khan, 99).

So the Earth has a certain plasticity left from the time of its early stage of being a liquid magma ball over 4 billion years ago.

Finally, the two last verses indicate that the Earth had to be made manageable for mankind to be able to travel through it and enjoy it fully. This indicates clearly that the hard crust and stable surface of the Earth did not always exist and in the second verse it is immediately mentioned that the Earth could still "swallow us up", like it would have done in the early stages when it was unstable and earthquakes were more frequent. Life, leave alone mankind, could not exist without this manageability of the Earth commanded to it by the Creator and we are asked to appreciate it and travel through it and enjoy it as long as we fear Him and His punishment. One way of punishing ignorant men is through earthquakes, which can swallow whole cities (Ali Khan, 99).

The Holy Prophet ('s) told him (Angel Jibra'eel) to describe the seventh gate, to which Jibra’eel replied;

“It is for the proud people of your ummat, who die without repenting for their sins.” 

Sayyeda Fatimah ('a) responded to her ('a) Father ('s) after fainting with the news of the revelation of the punishment of hell and said:

"O the best of creatures! Who is worthy for such a punishment?”

The Prophet ('s) replied,

“Those from my ummat who follow the passions of their self and neglect Namaz, and this punishment is quite less when compared to the other punishments.” (Shaikh Abbas Qummi, 99).

The Holy Qur’an says:

"40: In gardens, they shall ask each other
41: About the guilty:
42: What has brought you into hell?
43: They shall say: We were not of those who prayed;"
[Surah 74: 40-43] Shakir Translation

And in the article "The Physics of the Day of Judgement", Dr Mohammad Humayoun Khan has stated that: Allah says in in the Holy Qur'an:

"When earth is shaken with her final earthquake"
[Surah 99:1]

Gravity is due to minute differences in time at different heights. Time passes at a slightly faster rate at the top of a mountain, as compared to the sea level. This difference in time, although imperceptible to us, is enough to make things fall to earth, and can be measured with the aid of atomic clocks. If time reverses in the contracting phase of the universe, then this time difference will also reverse. This will cause gravity to reverse so that everything will fall upwards, producing an earthquake of a magnitude never seen before. The earth along with the mountains will be suddenly lifted up from under our feet and subsequently come crashing down. (Dr Mohammad Humayoun Khan, 01)

"When the trumpet is blown one blast
The earth with the mountains
Shall be lifted and crushed with one crash."
[Surah 69:13-14]

The reversal of gravity will cause the earth to literally explode and turn inside out. The mountains will fall apart. The red-hot lava will be thrown out lighting up the sky like molten copper. (Dr Mohammad Humayoun Khan, 01)

"When the sky will be like molten copper
And the hills will be like flakes of wool"
[Surah 70:8]

We are reminded when tsunamis (tidal waves) occur, that Allah says in His Holy Qur'an,

"When the Oceans are suffered to burst forth;
And when the Graves are turned upside down;-
(Then) shall each soul know what it hath sent forward and (what it hath) kept back."
[Surah 82:3-5]

Magma is generated at subduction zones where dense ocean plates are pushed under lighter continental plates.

Are the seven gates of Hell spoken of by Angel Jibra'eel and the Pit of Fire spoken of in al-Qur'an in fact the Earth's seven physical layers with it's molten, burning interior, as described in the article written by Shariq Ali Khan? And Allah (swt) only knows.

With all the signs that we are given, we can only dedicate ourselves more to the worship of our Lord and Creator of the universe and remain sincere in our salat and continue to purify ourselves from sin through charity and fasting, insh'Allah.

And Allah (swt) say in the Holy Qur'an:

"Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation, and reason with them in the best way. Lo! Your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who are rightly guided." 
Surah 16:125]

Khan, Dr Mohammad Humayoun (2001). The Physics of the Day of Judgement. Victory News Magazine.

Khan, Shariq Ali (1999). Geology - the Earth. Victory News Magazine.

Qummi, Shaikh Abbas (1999). Manazelul Akherah – Stages of the Hereafter. Translated by AejazAli TurabHusain Bhujwala (al Husainee). Mumbai, India: Madinatul Ilm Islamic Centre, Pp196-199.

Shakir, M.H. Translation of the Holy Qur'an (2003) Ansariyan Publications, Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran.

Abidin, S.(2004). Al Mulk- The Kingdom, Victory News Magazine


Authors: Hj Zaynab El-Fatah and Hj S. Abidin
Illustrations: Courtesy of IFSA Yahoo Group and Harun Yahya.
Chief Editor: Hj Nurzaynab El-Fatah
Production: Hj S. Abidin
Published Date: 3rd January, 2005/ 22 Zhul-Qadah, 1425

Modification Date: 2nd February, 2009/ 6 Safar, 1430
Publication ID: 05hellGates. What is Hell?- The Gates of Hell
Copyright: © Victory News Magazine, 2010


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