22 November 2006

Do moderate Muslims believe in hell?

Christians are divided on hell. Some believe in it, some don't. And those that do aren't sure what it's like or who goes there. That's not surprising since the Bible has no clear, consistent teaching about hell (or anything else).

But the Quran has no such problem. If you believe in the Quran, you believe in hell. You know what it's like and who is going there.

I counted 98 passages in the Quran that mention hell. Here's a summary.

Who is going to hell?

  1. Those who deny the existence of hell

    This is hell which the guilty deny. They go circling round between it and fierce, boiling water. 55:43-44

  2. All non-muslims

    They who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of hell. 5:10

    But those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are owners of hell-fire. 5:86

    Those who disbelieve will be gathered unto hell. 8:36

    Lo! hell verily is all around the disbelievers. 9:49

    We have appointed hell a dungeon for the disbelievers. 17:8

    Lo! We have prepared hell as a welcome for the disbelievers. 18:102

    That is their reward: hell, because they disbelieved, and made a jest of Our revelations and Our messengers. 18:106

    Hell verily will encompass the disbelievers 29:54

    But as for those who disbelieve, for them is fire of hell; it taketh not complete effect upon them so that they can die, nor is its torment lightened for them. 35:36

    This is hell which ye were promised (if ye followed him). Burn therein this day for that ye disbelieved. 36:63-64

    Those who disbelieve are driven unto hell in troops. 39:71

    Those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are owners of hell-fire. 57:19

  3. Anyone who kills a Muslim

    Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hell for ever. 4:93

  4. Muslims that refuse to serve and fight for Allah

    When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end. 8:15-16

    Those who scorn My service, they will enter hell, disgraced. 40:60

  5. Muslims that oppose or disobey Allah, Muhammad, or the Quran

    Whoso opposeth the messenger after the guidance (of Allah) hath been manifested unto him, and followeth other than the believer's way, We appoint for him that unto which he himself hath turned, and expose him unto hell - a hapless journey's end! 4:115

    Know they not that whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, his verily is fire of hell, to abide therein? 9:63

    Whoso disobeyeth Allah and His messenger, lo! his is fire of hell, wherein such dwell for ever. 72:23

What's it like in hell?

On the day when it will (all) be heated in the fire of hell, and their foreheads and their flanks and their backs will be branded therewith. 9:35

Hell is before him, and he is made to drink a festering water, Which he sippeth but can hardly swallow, and death cometh unto him from every side while yet he cannot die, and before him is a harsh doom. 14:16-17

Hell, where they will burn, an evil resting-place. Here is a boiling and an ice-cold draught, so let them taste it. 38:56-57

Lo! the guilty are immortal in hell's torment. It is not relaxed for them, and they despair therein. 43:74-75

Take him and drag him to the midst of hell, Then pour upon his head the torment of boiling water. 44:47-48

On the day when they are dragged into the Fire upon their faces (it is said unto them): Feel the touch of hell. 54:48

Then the welcome will be boiling water And roasting at hell-fire. 56:92-94

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are some moderate Muslims (like Cat Stevens?) that don't believe in hell. If so, I'd love to hear about it.


Anonymous said...

What I find particularly despicable is this tendency to make fun of your victims. Allah repeatedly mocks hells inhabitants.

Anonymous said...

Islam does advocate belief in Hell. However, your schema for categorization is not exactly accurate. No human being has the authority or ability to designate who will go to Hell. "Disbelief" is not exactly explained in your list (and I would say this ambiguity is abused by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.)

Furthermore, there are so many levels at which all of these verses you have cited are understood, and I encourage you to do a more in-depth study, rather than a superficial compilation.

I think it's interesting, though, that you are equating "moderate" religion with an unattachment to disbelief in Hell. Why is this a marker of moderate practitioners of religion? It's definately coming at it from a particular bias (yes, we all come at everything with a particular bias...)

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the Quran states that ultimately all but a very small number of people consigned to hell will be pulled out by God. Some Quranic scholars have referred to hell as a purification process. Because of the chronological ambiguity of some of the Surahs it is hard to tell whether this is was an early belief, whether this belief reverberated throughout the 30+ years of revelations, or if Mohammed used more harsh descriptions of hell bound peoples prior to battles.

Unknown said...

This is wrong information. The only one who has the right to divine christianity is God. The God of the bible that is the God of Abraham, Isac and Jacob. If a Christian is following the bible that is called bible based Christianity and there is no other kind. There are many groups who espouse to be Christians, but that does not make them a Christian.The bible definately gives a clear cut view on hell and a clear cut view on who is going there. The bible does not however say that a man can decide who goes. The bible also says that God prepared hell for the devil and his fallen-angels.And that it is not God's will that any man should go there. Then the bible also says that all men are condemned to hell from inception as they have a sinful nature. The bible tells us what sin is and then the bible tells us the solution to sin is to be redeemed this is the result of grace which is what you recieve when you recieve Jesus Christ because of repentance. Every single human being on this earth including muslims are exspected to recieve Jesus not only so they can say they are saved in passing but to live for Jesus in this life. To obey and keep his commandments. The bible then says who ever does not will go to hell. I don't think it could have sent any clearer of a message!