The Regret Disbelievers Feel When They See Hell
On the Day of Judgment, once their accounts are taken, people will be gathered and will be driven to Hell in "divisions." Amongst this crowd will be everyone who denied the religion and existence of Allah throughout history and those who were arrogant and turned away from the signs of Allah. There will be also those who enjoyed wealth and fame. To their disappointment, however, those things they attached importance to in the world will not save them from eternal punishment. Allah informs us in the Qur'an that all disbelievers will be disgracefully dragged into Hell. Before Hell's gates, the keepers will make them confess their crimes for a last time and take them in. Upon this, the gates will be closed behind them for all eternity. Allah describes the way disbelievers are driven to Hell in the Qur'an as follows:
Those who are disbelievers will be driven to Hell in companies and when they arrive there and its gates are opened its custodians will say to them, "Did Messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord's Signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this Day of yours?" They will say, "Indeed they did," but the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the disbelievers. They will be told, "Enter the gates of Hell and stay there timelessly, for ever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!" (Surat az-Zumar: 71-72)
"That is because you exulted on the earth, without any right to do so; and strutted about. Enter the gates of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!" (Surah Ghafir: 75-76)
Not a single person among this crowd can come out and say that he was not warned against this day. Because Allah, Who is the Just, had sent messengers to every individual to remind him about the existence of Allah, the Day of Judgment, Paradise and Hell. Therefore, disbelievers will acknowledge that they deserved the torment in Hell.
They remained arrogant although they were warned and knowingly avoided to serve Allah, the One Who created them. Allah informs man that such people will be humiliated in Hell in the Qur'an:
Your Lord says, "Call on Me and I will answer you. Those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell abject." (Surah Ghafir: 60)
Allah's Messenger (saas) emphasized the same point in a hadith:
...Shall I inform you about the people of the Fire? They comprise every cruel, violent, proud and conceited person. (Bukhari)
Considering themselves to be all-powerful in the world, some of these people insolently rebelled against their Lord. Power, they assumed, would provide deliverance. When they were reminded about the attribute of Allah, the al-Qahhar (The Subduer), the existence of Hell and Paradise, and were offered guidance to the way favored by Allah, they retorted:
"Why does Allah not punish us for what we say?" Hell will be enough for them! They will roast in it. What an evil destination! (Surat al-Mujadala: 8)
In response to their rebellion, they will be taken in through Hell's gates and never again allowed out unless Allah wills otherwise. The moment they see the fire, they will feel an unbearable regret for their wrongs. Allah reveals in the Qur'an that this is the moment they explicitly realize there is no way out of Hell:
The evildoers will see the Fire and realize they are going to fall into it and find no way of escaping from it. (Surat al-Kahf: 53)
Comprehension will be very sharp in Hell; everything disbelievers feigned ignorance about in the world will appear to be very clear then. They will realize that they spent all their lives on vain purposes and they will ultimately understand that, in exchange for minor and temporary benefits, they must now remain in torment in the afterlife. The few decades they had in the world seemed a long period of time to them and meanwhile they never thought about the Hereafter. Rather than a perfect and blissful life where one is not vulnerable to physical weaknesses such as hunger and exhaustion, they preferred this world where one finds himself incurably dissatisfied. No sooner they enter by Hell gates than they comprehend that they have no escape. Thus, as a last recourse to avoid torment, they seek salvation by offering a ransom: a ransom of everything they possess in this world. These vain efforts are described as follows:
...But as for those who do not respond to Him, even if they owned everything on the earth and the same again with it, they would offer it as a ransom. They will receive an evil Reckoning. Their shelter will be Hell. What an evil resting-place! (Surat ar-Rad: 18)
However, these last efforts displayed upon facing the fact of entering Hell will be in vain. Allah informs us that these attempts bring no benefit:
So today no ransom will be accepted from you or from those who were disbelievers. Your refuge is the Fire. It is your master. What an evil destination! (Surat al-Hadid: 15)
There is certainly an important reason why these attempts bring no results. Allah warned them against Hell when they were still in the world. Everything was made clear to them; that no man will be able to help another and that no one will be able to offer any ransom. They were further reminded that no ransom will be accepted. A verse Allah revealed to warn people about this fact is as follows:
Have fear of a Day when no self will be able to compensate for another in any way. No intercession will be accepted from it, no ransom taken from it, and they will not be helped. (Surat al-Baqara: 48)
Yet, in spite of all the warnings, they insisted on their denial and they knowingly prepared such an end for themselves. On that day, they will acknowledge one important fact: that their own deeds earned them Hell.
This regret-unless Allah wills otherwise-will be a great torment they will find no salvation from eternally. That is because they encountered one important fact: had they devoted themselves to earning the favor of Allah instead of striving for vain goals, they would not be at the entrance to Hell but to Paradise. Due to their failure to comply with the right way, they suffer terrible loss.
As Allah states in the twentieth verse of Surat al-Balad, "above them is a sealed vault of Fire." Once they enter by the gates of Hell, they will be locked inside. Behind these gates exists the torment of Hellfire with no certain end, which they will suffer for as long as Allah wills. For the disbelievers, there is no possibility to escape from this torment. Allah calls this fire "the Shatterer." These verses in Surat al-Humaza read:
And what will convey to you what the Shatterer is? The kindled Fire of Allah reaching right into the heart. It is sealed in above them in towering columns. (Surat al-Humaza: 5-9)2009-02-26 02:26:11