The Fire is an intense punishment, in which there are different types of torment, to escape which people would give the dearest possessions that they own:
As for those who reject Faith, and die rejecting – never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is [in store] a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers. (Aali Imran 3:91)
As to those who reject faith – if they had everything on earth and twice repeated, to give as ransom for the Penalty of the Day of Judgement, it would never be accepted of them. Theirs would be a grievous Penalty. (Al-Ma’idah 5:36)
Muslim reports from Anas ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said:
“One of the people of Hell who found the most pleasure in the life of this world will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection, and will be dipped into the Fire of Hell. Then he will be asked: ‘O son of Adam, have you ever seen anything good? Have you ever enjoyed any pleasure?’ He will say, ‘No, by Allah, Oh Rabb’” 1
Just a few short moments will make the kuffar forget all the good times and pleasure that they had enjoyed. Bukhari and Muslim report from Anas ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu alayhi wasallam said:
“On the Day of Resurrection, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will say to one whose punishment in the Fire is the lightest, ‘If you had whatever you wanted on earth, would you give it up to save yourself?’ He will say, ‘Yes.’ Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will say, ‘I wanted less than that from you: when you were still in the loins of Adam, I asked you not to associate anything in worship with Me, but you insisted on associating others in worship with Me.’” 2
The horror and intensity of the Fire will make a man lose his mind, and he would give up everything he holds dear to escape it, but he will never be able to:
…the sinner’s desire will be: would that he could redeem himself from the Penalty of that Day by [sacrificing] his children, his wife and his brother, his kindren who sheltered him, and all, all that is on earth, so it could deliver him. By no means! For it would be the Fire of Hell! Plucking out [his being] right to the skull! (Al Ma’arij 70:11-16)
This horrendous ongoing punishment will make the life of these evildoers one of continual sorrow and pain.
1 – Reported by Muslim; Mishkat al-masabih, 3/102
2 – Reported by Bukhari in Kitab al-raqaq, Bab sifat al-jannah wa’l-nar, Fath al-Bari, 11/416. See also Mishkat al-masabih, 3/102.
- Transcribed from: Paradise and Hell in Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah – Dr Umar Sulaiman Al-Asqar