When our interim on earth comes to an end (4:78), we return to our Lord (2:156, 84:6) with our records attached to our necks (17:13), which are basis of our compensation at Him while our destiny is either Hell or Heaven. Hell and Heaven are mystery to many of us and there are many versions of them around us from man-made resources, even personal views of those who claim themselves scholars. However, there are many references of Hell and Heaven throughout the Quran but their descriptions are significant to us to reflect that Hell being the abode of immense suffering while Heaven being the abode of immense joy as our compensation at God. He has also made it clear in the Quran that both our good and bad works will be recorded and judgment will take place based on our records. If we can contribute our righteous works to our records leading a righteous life through perfect beliefs and practices, we can make Heaven but if we fail to do that, we will go to Hell.
However, our interim compensation starts at the time of our death and extends until resurrection, and precise compensation will be given on the Day of Judgment followed by resurrection. As interim compensation, the unrighteous are shown Hell day and night (8:50, 40:46) as Hell does not exist while their precise compensation will be entering Hell through any of its seven gates to suffer their portion of retribution in Hell on the Day of Judgment. On the other hand, as interim compensation, the righteous enjoy the existing Heaven (16:32, 36:26) while their precise compensation will be entering of any of two Heavens on the Day of the Judgment.
Gathering before God
On a Day of the Resurrection we all will be gathered before God to be shown our records (99:6). We will come to Him as individual (19:95) but will line up with one of the 4 groups according to our records: (1) some will be very close to God (56:11), (2) some will be on His right (56:27) and (3) some will be on His left (56:41) as indicated in (56:7) while (4) others will be farther from Him (7:46):
[67:24] Say, “He is the One who placed you in the earth, and to Him you will be gathered.
[4:87] God, there is no god except He. He will surely gather you on the Day of Resurrection, there is no doubt about it. And Who is more truthful than God in saying?
[101:4] The day when the people come out like swarms of butterflies.
[19:95] And all of them will come to Him on the Day of Resurrection as individual.
[56:7] And you will be stratified into three kinds.
[56:11] They are those who will be closest (to God).
[56:27] Those of the right side, will be on the right side.
[56:41] Those of the left, will be on the left.
[7:46] And between them is a barrier, and people will be on the elevated platform (farther) who will be recognizing all by their look. And they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise: “Peace be upon you!” They have not entered it, but they are hoping.
Heavens and Hells
On a Day of the Judgment, the universe consisting of seven heavens will be removed and replaced with new heavens (21:104, 81:11) while Hells will be created (81:12) and Paradises (Heavens) will be recreated (81:13). There will be 2 Hells – 1 for humans and 1 for Jinns whereas there will be 4 Heavens (Paradises) – 2 for humans and 2 for Jinns. Paradise is the abode of eternal unlimited happiness and joy while Hell is the abode of eternal suffering of pains and sorrows. There is a significant difference between Higher Heaven and Lower Heaven but if anybody barely misses the Hell and makes it a Lower Heaven, it will be a great triumph for him or her (3:185):
[21:104] A day we will fold the heaven (al-samaa-a), like the folding of a scroll for records as we have initiated the first creation. We will repeat it, a promise of ours. Indeed, we have been executors.
[81:11] And when the heaven (al-samaa-a) is removed.
[81:12] And when the Hellfire is ignited.
[81:13] And when the Paradise is presented.
[3:185] Every soul (person) is tasting the death, and you will be paid your exact compensation on a Day of the Resurrection. Then whoever is pulled away from the Fire and has been admitted into Paradise, then certainly, he has succeeded. And the life of the world is not but an enjoyment of the delusion.
- Those who have believed and have done the righteous deeds deserve Paradise wherein they will abide forever. It is God’s laws that those who obey Him and His messengers, He will admit them into it. The dwellers of Paradise along with their spouses will be in beautiful houses having comfortable furnishings and will enjoy whatever they wish for. They will not hear any nonsense therein except peace:
[2:82] And those who believed, and did righteous works, those are the dwellers of Paradise; they abide in it forever.
[32:19]As for those who believe and do righteous works, then for them are the eternal Paradises, for what they used to do.
[4:13]These are God’s limits, and whoever obeys God and His messenger, He will admit him to gardens with rivers flowing beneath, abiding therein forever. And that is the greatest success.
[20:76] The gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow, will be their abode forever. And that is the reward for him who purifies himself.
[36:55] The dwellers of Paradise, on that day will be joyful with their compensation.
[36:56] They and their spouses will be in beautiful shades, relaxing in comfortable furnishings.
[36:57] They will have fruits therein and will have whatever they call for.
[36:58] They will be greeted with peace from a Most Merciful Lord.
[56:25] They will not hear any vain talk therein, nor sinful (utterances).
[56:26] Except the utterance: “Peace, peace.”
- God has given us general description of Heaven throughout the Quran and has specified the recompense for those who have deserved Heaven in accordance with their ranks attained at Him. Some of them will be granted higher Heaven while others will be granted lower Heaven. The believing men and women who will be radiating their light ahead of them enter higher Heaven while the believing men and women who will be radiating their light to their right enter lower Heaven:
[4:49] Did you not see those who boast about themselves? No, it is God who purifies whomever He wills, and they will not be wronged in the least.
[20:75] But he who comes to Him as a believer who had done righteous works, for them will have the high ranks.
[46:19] And for all are ranks for what they did, and that He will recompense them for their works, and they will not be wronged.
[57:12] The day will come when you see the believing men and the believing women with their light radiating ahead of them and on their right. Good news is for you today gardens with flowing rivers from underneath them wherein you will abide forever. That is what, is the greatest success.
[66:8] O you who believe, you shall repent sincere repentance to God. Your Lord will then remit your sins and admit you into gardens with flowing streams. A day, God will not disappoint the prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will radiate in front of them and on their right. They will say: our Lord, perfect our light for us, and grant forgiveness to us; indeed, You are Most Powerful over everything.”
- God is so efficient in reckoning that He has also spelled out rewards for the dwellers of higher and lower Heaven (99:7) but anyone who barely misses Hell will be extremely fortunate. The descriptions of Paradise can be found in different verses across different suras in the Quran but the distinction between higher and lower Heaven is specifically mentioned in sura 55 al-Rahmaan and sura 56 al-Waaqiah to inform us what awaits the righteous when they will meet their Lord:
[55:45] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:46] And for those who reverenced the Majesty of his Lord, are two Heavens. [55:47] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:48] Full of provisions.[55:49] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:50] In both of them, there are two springs flowing (tariyaani).[55:51] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:52] In them every fruit is two kinds. [55:53] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:54] While relaxing on furnishings lined with satin and in both Heavens fruits are within reach. [55:55] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:56] In both of them, there are pure mates never touched by any human or Jinn. [55:57] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:58] They are like gems and coral. [55:59] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny?
[56:10] And there are the elite of the elite. [56:11] These are the closest ones (to God). [56:12] In the Heavens of bliss. [56:15] On luxurious furnishings. [56:16] Enjoying of them being neighbors. [56:17] There will wait on them immortal youths. [56:18] With containers and pitchers and cups from inexhaustible drinks. [56:19] They will neither get bored nor will they be intoxicated. [56:20] And fruits of their choice. [56:21] Meat of birds from what they desire. [56:22] And beautiful mates. [56:23] Like protected pearls. [56:24] A reward of what they used to do.
[55:61] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:62] Besides these two, there are two (other) Heavens. [55:63] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:64] Side by side. [55:65] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:66] In both of them, there are two springs gushed forth (naddaakhataani). [55:67] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:68] In both of them, there are fruits and date palms and pomegranate. [55:69] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:70 In them are beautiful mates. [55:71] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:72] Pure ones confined in the tents. [55:73] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:74] Not touched by a human nor a jinn. [55:75] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny? [55:76] Relaxing on green cushions and beautiful carpets. [55:77] So which of your Lord’s favors will you deny?
[56:27] Those of the right side, will be on the right side. [56:28] In lush orchards. [56:29] And fragrant fruits. [56:30] And extended shade. [56:31] And abundant water. [56:32] And abundant fruits. [56:33] Unlimited and not forbidden. [56:34] Luxurious furnishings. [56:35] Indeed, we have created them as mates. [56:36] And we have made them virgins. [56:37] Perfectly matched. [56:38] For those on the right side.
The general description of Heaven (Paradise) is found in many verses of the Quran while the distinction between Higher and Lower Heaven is found in certain verses of suras 55 and 56. The description of the Higher Heaven is found in 28 verses and that of the Lower Heaven in 29 verses of these suras. Hence, the description of Higher and Lower Heaven is found in 57 verses of 2 suras, and if the relevant verse and sura numbers are added, the sum is a multiple of 19 => 2793 = 19x147 as shown below:
Note: This mathematical confirmation is a physical proof that Hell and Heaven do exist related to our judgment system defined by God to concentrate to save us from the Hell, the worst abode even knowing the difference between Higher and Lower Heaven so that we can make efforts at least not to miss the Lower Heaven.
Hell (Blazing fire)
- God is not only merciful but He is also strict in enforcing punishment. He has promised a terrible and everlasting retribution for those who have committed sins. He has prepared a painful retribution for those who have disbelieved in God and His revelations as well as have transgressed His laws. Hence, those who are disbelievers, hypocrites and atheists including those who have committed murder, adultery, suicides and illicit gains of properties will enter Hell at the time of their death along with bad records. There are many verses in the Quran dealing with the wicked and the guilty who will enter Hell but here is a few just as examples:
[17:18] Whoever prefers this life, we provide herein for him what we will intend for him, then we have made Hell for him, he will burn therein as disgraced and rejected.
[4:14] And whoever disobeys God and His messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will admit him to a Fire (Hell) wherein he abides forever, and he will have a humiliating retribution.
[4:10] Indeed, those who consume the orphans’ properties unjustly, eat fire into their bellies, and they will burn in a Blazing Fire (Hell).
[4:93] Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his retribution is Hell, abiding therein forever, and God is angry with him, and condemns him, and has prepared for him a terrible retribution.
[4:18] And it has not been the acceptance of repentance for those who commit the evil deeds until when the death has come upon one of them, then he said: “Indeed, I have repented now!”, nor for those who die while they are disbelievers. Those – for them we have prepared a painful retribution.
[22:57] And those who disbelieved and rejected our revelations, those will have a humiliating retribution.
[31:7] And when our revelations are recited to him, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard them, as if there is deafness in his ears. So give him news of a painful retribution.
[2:174] Indeed, those who conceal what God has revealed in the scripture, and trade it with a cheap price, eat in their bellies but the Fire. And God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. And for them is a painful retribution.
[42:42] It is the (wrong) path for those who oppress the people and aggress in the land without justification. For them, there is a painful retribution.
- Those who have incurred Hell will suffer a painful and everlasting retribution precisely equivalent to their sins. The Hell will have seven gates and each guilty will be committed to enter it through the gate to suffer a specific share of his retribution in it and there is no exit from it:
[2:80] And they say, Hell will not touch us, except for a limited number of days. Say, Have you taken a pledge from God, so God will not break His pledge or are you saying about God what you do not know?
[2:81] Indeed, those who have earn sins and have surrounded by their evil works will be the dwellers of Hell; they abide in it forever.
[3:91] Indeed, those who disbelieved and died as disbelievers, then an earthfull of gold will not be accepted from any of them, even if he offered it as ransom. For them there is a painful retribution, and for them there are no helpers.
[20:74] Indeed, he who comes to his Lord guilty, then indeed, for him is Hell. He will not die in it nor will he live.
[5:37] They will want to exit out of the Fire (Hell), but they cannot exit out of it; for them the retribution is everlasting.
[99:7] whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it.
[99:8] whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.
[28:84] Whoever comes with a good deed, he will have a better than it, and whoever come with an evil deed, then those who will not be recompensed except what they used to do.
[39:72] It will be said, “Enter the gates of Hell, wherein you abide forever.” What a miserable destiny for the arrogant!
[15:44] It will have seven gates. Each gate will get a specific share of them.
[4:145] The hypocrites will be in the lowest level of the Fire (Hell), and you will not find any helper for them.
Our interim compensation will continue as precise compensation for both the righteous and the unrighteous on the Day of Judgment followed by the end of the world and Resurrection. Hells will be created while Heavens will be recreated on the Day of Judgment, and the existing seven universes will be removed and replaced with new universes. There will be 4 Paradises – 2 for humans and 2 for Jinns while there will be 2 Hells – 1 for humans and 1 for Jinns. The Paradise is the abode of eternal happiness and joy while the Hell is the abode of eternal suffering of pains and sorrows. There is a significant difference between High Heaven and Lower Heaven but if anybody barely misses the Hell and makes it a Paradise, it will be a great triumph for him or her (3:185).
We will be gathered before God into 4 groups: (1) some will be nearest to Him, (2) some will be on His right, (3) some will be on His left and (4) others will be gathered far from Him (elevated platform). Those who are gathered close to Him will be invited with greeting to enter the Higher Heaven while those who are gathered on His right will also be invited with greeting to enter the Lower Heaven. But those who are gathered on His left will be forced to enter the Hell through its specific gate to suffer a specific share of their retribution (15:44), and the hypocrites will be placed at the pit of the Hell. However, God would be merciful on those who are gathered far from Him will also be allowed to enter the Lower Heaven (7:49). Finally, the judgment will be ended praising to the Lord of the universe (39:75).
Even though the description of Heaven and Hell is symbolic, but God has made it clear for us leaving no room for any doubt about our life and consequences in the Hereafter. Heaven is the place of immense joy for its dwellers while Hell is the worst abode of immense suffering for its dwellers. God’s judgment is facts-driven and there is no way to ignore it to make our life miserable when we will meet Him. Hence, those who believe in God and the Hereafter should concentrate to His judgment system to devote their life in worshipping Him avoiding their evil behavior as well as not being arrogant to accept the truth. Even, there is physical evidence that Hell and Heaven do exist in the judgment system defined by God. Now if we can reflect to the fact and make our all efforts, we may enter Paradise at the time of our death and will enter either Higher or Lower Heaven on the Day of Judgment, avoiding Hell, which is the worst abode for its dwellers.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.