Hell is one, and is contrary to paradise, as winter is contrary to summer, and cold to heat. He therefore who would describe the misery of hell must needs have seen the paradise of God's delights.
'O place accursed by God's justice for the malediction of the faithless and reprobate, of which said Job, the friend of God: "There is no order there, but everlasting fear!" And Isaiah the prophet, against the reprobate, saith: "Their flame shall not be quenched nor their worm die." And David our father, weeping, said: "Then shall rain upon them lightning and bolts and brimstone and great tempest." O miserable sinners, how loathsome then shall seem to them delicate meats, costly raiment, soft couches, and concord of sweet song! how sick shall make them raging hunger, burning flames, scorching cinders, and cruel torments with bitter weeping!'
And then Jesus uttered a lamentable groan, saying: 'Truly it were better never to have been formed than to suffer such cruel torments. For imagine a man suffering torments in every part of his body, who hath no one to show him compassion, but is mocked of all; tell me. would not this be great pain?'
The disciples answered: 'The greatest.'
Then said Jesus: Now this is a delight [in comparison] of hell. For I tell you in truth, that if God should place in one balance all the pain which all men have suffered in this world and shall suffer till the day of judgment, and in the other one single hour of the pain of hell, the reprobates would without doubt choose the worldly tribulations, for the worldly come from the hand of man, but the others from the hand of devils, who are utterly without compassion. O what cruel fire they shall give to miserable sinners! O what bitter cold, which yet shall not temper their flames! What gnashing of teeth and sobbing and weeping! For the Jordan has less water than the tears which every moment shall flow from their eyes. And here their tongues shall curse all things created, with their father and mother, and their Creator, who is blessed for ever.'
An Islamic Perspective and Commentary
The following is a selection of verses from the Holy Quran concerning Hell. May Allah save us all from it. Ameen.
004.056 Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for God is Exalted in Power, Wise.
014.016 In front of such a one is Hell, and he is given, for drink, boiling fetid water. 014.017 In gulps will he sip it, but never will he be near swallowing it down his throat: death will come to him from every quarter, yet will he not die: and in front of him will be a chastisement unrelenting. 014.018 The parable of those who reject their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a tempestuous day: No power have they over aught that they have earned: that is the straying far, far (from the goal).
020.074 Verily he who comes to his Lord as a sinner (at Judgment),- for him is Hell: therein shall he neither die nor live.
035.036 But those who reject (God) - for them will be the Fire of Hell: No term shall be determined for them, so they should die, nor shall its Penalty be lightened for them. Thus do We reward every ungrateful one! 035.037 Therein will they cry aloud (for assistance): "Our Lord! Bring us out: we shall work righteousness, not the (deeds) we used to do!" - "Did We not give you long enough life so that he that would should receive admonition? and (moreover) the warner came to you. So taste ye (the fruits of your deeds): for the wrong-doers there is no helper."
037.062 Is that the better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum? 037.063 For We have truly made it (as) a trial for the wrong-doers. 037.064 For it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-Fire: 037.065 The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils: 037.066 Truly they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith. 037.067 Then on top of that they will be given a mixture made of boiling water. 037.068 Then shall their return be to the (Blazing) Fire. 037.069 Truly they found their fathers on the wrong Path; 037.070 So they (too) were rushed down on their footsteps!
039.071 The Unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowd: until, when they arrive, there, its gates will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not apostles come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing to you the Signs of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of This Day of yours?" The answer will be: "True: but the Decree of Punishment has been proved true against the Unbelievers!" 039.072 (To them) will be said: "Enter ye the gates of Hell, to dwell therein: and evil is (this) Abode of the Arrogant!"
050.030 One Day We will ask Hell, "Art thou filled to the full?" It will say, "Are there any more (to come)?"
070.015 By no means! for it would be the Fire of Hell!- 070.016 Plucking out (his being) right to the skull!-
074.026 Soon will I cast him into Hell-Fire! 074.027 And what will explain to thee what Hell-Fire is? 074.028 Naught doth it permit to endure, and naught doth it leave alone!- 074.029 Darkening and changing the colour of man! 074.030 Over it are Nineteen. 074.031 And We have set none but angels as Guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers,- in order that the People of the Book may arrive at certainty, and the Believers may increase in Faith,- and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book and the Believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers may say, "What symbol doth God intend by this ?" Thus doth God leave to stray whom He pleaseth, and guide whom He pleaseth: and none can know the forces of thy Lord, except He and this is no other than a warning to mankind.
078.021 Truly Hell is as a place of ambush, 078.022 For the transgressors a place of destination: 078.023 They will dwell therein for ages. 078.024 Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink, 078.025 Save a boiling fluid and a fluid, dark, murky, intensely cold, 078.026 A fitting recompense (for them). 078.027 For that they used not to fear any account (for their deeds), 078.028 But they (impudently) treated Our Signs as false.
098.006 Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.