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Subject : Hell will never Cease to Exist

Fatwa Number : 568

Date : 23-03-2010

Classified : Eschatology and Related Matters

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

In Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, Abu Hanifa (May Allah have mercy on him) said: "Believing that Hell will cease to exist-the torment of the Kaafireen (Disbelievers) won`t last forever-is Kufr (Disbelief)." I have also read this in several books of Shafi, Maliki, Hanafi, and other scholars, although some of them have books indicating that Hell will never end and the Kaafireen will be tormented there forever, as supported by a great deal of evidence from the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. As far as I know, this is by `ijma`(Consensus) of the scholars. However, a few days ago, I read a book where it was stated that Hell will cease to exist and the torment of the Kaafireen won`t last forever. There is also a view that these Kaafireen will eventually be admitted to Jannah (Paradise). This view felt so strange to me. Is it permissible for a Muslim to believe that Hell will cease to exist? Is saying so considered Kufr or going astray? What is the ruling of Sharia on this?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


The truth is what Abu Hanifah mentioned in his book [Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar] for this is the belief of both the Salaf  and Khalaf , and Imam Abu Hanifa is one of the Salaf.

Amongst the clear pieces of evidence on which the Salaf based this view are the following verses and authentic Hadiths:

First: "for any that disobey God and His Apostle,- for them is Hell: they shall dwell therein forever." {Al-Jinn, 23}.

Second: " They will abide therein: Their penalty will not be lightened, nor will respite be their (lot)."{Al-Baqara, 162}.

Third: "Verily God has cursed the Unbelievers and prepared for them a Blazing Fire,- To dwell therein for ever: no protector will they find, nor helper."{al-Ahzaab, 64-65}.

Fourth: "Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire." {Al-Baqarah, 167}.

Fifth: "This, because ye used to take the Signs of God in jest, and the life of the world deceived you:" (From) that Day, therefore, they shall not be taken out thence, nor shall they be received into Grace." {Al-Jathiyah, 35}.

Sixth: Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

Allah's Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "On the Day of Resurrection Death will be brought forward in the shape of a black and white ram. Then a call maker will call, 'O people of Paradise!' Thereupon they will stretch their necks and look carefully. The caller will say, 'Do you know this?' They will say: 'Yes, this is Death.' By then all of them will have seen it. Then it will be announced again, 'O people of Hell !' They will stretch their necks and look carefully. The caller will say: 'Do you know this?' They will say: 'Yes, this is Death.' And by then all of them will have seen it. Then it (that ram) will be slaughtered and the caller will say: 'O people of Paradise! Eternity for you and no death O people of Hell! Eternity for you and no death." Then the Prophet, recited:-- 'And warn them of the Day of distress when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness (i.e. the people of the world) and they do not believe." {Related by Bukhari & Muslim}.

This is by consensus of the Muslim Ummah, as reported by more than one from among the people of knowledge. However, whoever claims that Hell will cease to exist can`t protect themselves from it since Allah is the One Who protects all while He isn`t protected of any. We ask Allah to protect us from Hell and every deed that draws us closer to it. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

[1] The Salaf were the scholars who lived during the first three centuries after the Hijrah of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam.

[1] The Khalaf were the scholars who lived after the first three centuries



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