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In this website the author of the article claims:

Hell consists of seven levels. The torment inflicted in each level is severer than the torment inflicted in the level above it. (Faraid-ul-Fawaid)

  • The first level: Its name is Jahannam, which is the least severe in torment. Sinful Muslims will be inflicted torment there.

  • The second level: Its name is Sa'ir, whose fire and torment is severer. Jews will suffer torment there.

  • The third level: Its name is Saqar, which is much severer in torment. Christians will suffer torment there.

  • The fourth level: Its name is Jahim, where those who worship the Sun and stars will be inflicted torment.

  • The fifth level: Its name is Hutamah, where Zoroastrians, Buddhists, and Brahmans will be inflicted torment.

  • The sixth level: Its name is Lazy, where atheists, polytheists, and heathens will be inflicted torment.

  • The seventh level: Its name is Hawiyah, which is the severest in torment. Hypocrites and apostates (murtads) will be inflicted torment there.

Are those levels supported by evidence from the Quran or Sunnah? And also isn't Christianity and Judaism just Islam, so why would they go to Hell according to this article?

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  • sinful Muslims will also be punished in hell, as you quoted : Sinful Muslims will be inflicted torment there .
    – user2724
    Aug 3, 2014 at 3:16
  • Please edit your question to have one question only. To know about non-Muslims in hell or heaven read this question: "Do non Muslims have a chance to go to heaven"
    – Sohaeb
    Aug 3, 2014 at 8:11

4 Answers 4

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Your question consists of two parts:

The status and fate of Jews and Christians

The orthodox creed is that the current Jews and Christians are disbelievers and will be in Hell in the hereafter. Accepting Judaism and Christianity to be the same as Islam or acknowledging the followers of these religions to be 'believers' - is considered heretical.

وأن من لم يكفر من دان بغير الإسلام كالنصارى، أو شك في تكفيرهم، أو صحح مذهبهم، فهو كافر

Whoever does not acknowledge the Kufr of religions other then Islam, such as the Christians, or doubts their disbelief or considers their religion to be correct - then he himself is a Kafir

Rawdat al-Talibeen- Imam Nawawi

أو لم يكفر من دان أي تدين بغير الإسلام، كالنصارى واليهود أو شك في كفرهم، أو صحح مذهبهم فهو كافر

Whoever does not acknowledge the Kufr of religions other then Islam, such as the Christians or Jews, or doubts their disbelief or considers their religion to be correct - then he himself is a Kafir

Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ - Al-Bahooti

وقائل هذا كله كافر بالإجماع على كفر من لم يكفر أحدا من النصارى واليهود وكل من فارق دين المسلمين أو وقف في تكفيرهم أو شك

There is scholarly consensus on the fact that the one who does not regard any of the Jews and Christians ... as disbelievers, or who refrains or hesitates to describe them as disbelievers, is himself a disbeliever.

Shifa - Qaadi ‘Iyaad

That is because of their false beliefs regarding Allah (e.g. Trinity) and their rejection of Muhammad ﷺ and the Quran. There are numerous verses where Allah has explicitly and implicitly called them disbelievers and differentiated between their religions and Islam, such as in : 2:91, 2:120, 2:135, 3:19, 3:67, 3:70, 3:98, 4:150-151, 4:155, 5:65, 5:68, 5:72, 5:73.

Them being in Hell is also stated within the Quran:

إن الذين كفروا من أهل الكتاب والمشركين في نار جهنم خالدين فيها أولئك هم شر البرية

Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.

Quran 98:6

And in Sahih ahadith:

لا يسمع بي أحد من هذه الأمة يهودي ولا نصراني ثم لم يؤمن بالذي أرسلت به إلا كان من أصحاب النار

Whoever amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state, he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim 153

كان غلام يهودي يخدم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فمرض، فأتاه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعوده، فقعد عند رأسه فقال له ‏"‏ أسلم ‏"‏‏.‏ فنظر إلى أبيه وهو عنده فقال له أطع أبا القاسم صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فأسلم، فخرج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يقول ‏‏ الحمد لله الذي أنقذه من النار ‏

A young Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet (ﷺ) and he became sick. So the Prophet (ﷺ) went to visit him. He sat near his head and asked him to embrace Islam. The boy looked at his father, who was sitting there; the latter told him to obey Abul-Qasim and the boy embraced Islam. The Prophet (ﷺ) came out saying: "Praises be to Allah Who saved the boy from the Hell-fire."

Sahih Bukhari 1356

Also refer to: Do modern-day Jews, Sabians and Christians have "nothing to fear or to regret" (Qur'an 5:69)?


Levels of Hell

There are multiple gates / levels of Hell. This is evident from the following verse:

وإن جهنم لموعدهم أجمعين لها سبعة أبواب لكل باب منهم جزء مقسوم

And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all. It has seven gates; for every gate is of them a portion designated.

Quran 15:43-44

Similarly it is proven that some groups will be in the lowest level and receive the severest punishment:

إن المنافقين في الدرك الأسفل من النار

Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire

Quran 4:145

ويوم تقوم الساعة أدخلوا آل فرعون أشد العذاب

And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment."

Quran 40:46

قال الله إني منزلها عليكم فمن يكفر بعد منكم فإني أعذبه عذابا لا أعذبه أحدا من العالمين

Allah said, "Indeed, I will sent it down to you, but whoever disbelieves afterwards from among you - then indeed will I punish him with a punishment by which I have not punished anyone among the worlds."

Quran 5:115

Some have held that the levels are the same as gates, while some have held that the gates are independent of the levels.

The seven names جهنم and لظى and حطمة and سعير and سقر and جحيم and هاوية are present in the Quran as names of Hell - however it is not evident that they are names of individual gates \ levels within hell as appears in some traditions.

What you have quoted regarding the seven levels of hell and its residents seems to be an adaptation of the traditions that have been narrated in the exegesis of verse 15:44.

قال ابن جريج : النار سبع دركات : أولها جهنم ، ثم لظى ، ثم الحطمة ، ثم السعير ، ثم سقر ، ثم الجحيم ، ثم الهاوية . ... وقال الضحاك : في الدركة الأولى أهل التوحيد الذي أدخلوا النار ، يعذبون بقدر ذنوبهم ثم يخرجون ، وفي الثانية النصارى ، وفي الثالثة اليهود ، وفي الرابعة الصابئون ، وفي الخامسة المجوس ، وفي السادسة أهل الشرك ، وفي السابعة المنافقون

Ibn Jurayj said: Hell has seven levels: first one is Jahannam, then Lazaa, then Hatamah, then Sa’eer, then Saqar, then Jaheem and then Haawiyah ...

Dhahak ibn Muzahim said: The first level is for the people of tawheed (Muslims) who would enter the fire, they will be punished to the extent of their sins and then will be removed from hell. The second is for Christians, the third is for Jews, the fourth is for Sabeans, the fifth is for Zoroastrians, the sixth is for the Polytheists and the seventh is for the Hypocrites.

Tafsir al-Baghawy also see Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim and Tafsir al-Tabary

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According to Imam Razi, the number 7 may be a notion of multiplicity, as was custom in the Arab language. Thus, Paradise having 8 gates, would mean something along the lines of "Many plus more than that." Thus, it may not be a literal 7 gates, but simply a shorthand for "Many gates." like "Seven Seas".

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Lets see what the Qur'an says:

"Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve." Qur'an (2:62)

" Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. " Qur'an (5:69)

We must realise Islam is the Deen of the Fitra (Religion of the innate self). If a man who does not know anything about Islam, or does not know much about Islam... and for some reason was not able to reach the truth of what Islam is. But what if that man did everything that was Good. His innate self (The Fitra) told him to do Good; tell the truth, help others, give charity, sacrifice, stand with the oppressed, etc... Then isn't that man in actuality following Islam! Because he is following his Innate Religion, the call from his heart!

He wasn't guided towards Islam is sort of a secondary issue because Allah is Guider of men, the provider of knowledge, the sustainer of truth... But if he followed his innate Goodness Allah Places in his Heart...

Then How can Allah, the most merciful, the most loving, the most beneficent... The one who is Love in his essence, the one who is Mercy in his essence... How can such a being, Allah. See such a man burn and torment within the flames and fire of Hell???

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  • In the Ayahs you have quoted haven't mentioned "before Prophet Mohammad". quran.com/2/62
    – Murtaza
    Aug 3, 2014 at 8:35
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    @Murtaza the Arabic version doesn't say before the prophet and doesn't use the past tense. This is a form of changing the meaning of ayah and should be avoided.
    – user4456
    Aug 3, 2014 at 11:46
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Let's see this in the light of Qur'an and Ahadith:

Does Hell consist of 7 levels:

It has seven gates; for every gate is of them a portion designated."
لَهَا سَبْعَةُ أَبْوَابٍ لِّكُلِّ بَابٍ مِّنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَّقْسُومٌ 15:44

This verse suggests: No. It has seven gates and every gate has God knows how much levels.

What does quran say about this?

As @Ali have mentioned, there are many verses suggesting that Christians/Jews can go to heaven:

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.(2:62)

Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.

These two verses suggest that the only condition is believing in God and judgement day.

In addition we have this verse:

So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it. 99/7-8

This verse doesn't say: Muslims who do good will see it, it says whoever.

At last, I would say that this is a very complex issue, we can't answer it by

All x group will go to heaven/hell.

To show the complexity of this issue, let me clarify some points:

  1. It is possible for people to go to hell then go to hell: In fact, most(all?) people will go to hell but the difference is in the time people will remain there.

    And there is none of you except he will come to it. This is upon your Lord an inevitability decreed.
    Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees. 19:72

This verse doesn't say that Allah will save Muslims, it says he will save those who fear him.**

2. It is possible that two people, doing the exact same thing one to go to hell and the other to heaven.

You ask: how?

This is due to many reasons:

  1. Niyah (intention)

    allah says:

    Whoever should desire the immediate - We hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend. Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished.

    But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer - it is those whose effort is ever appreciated [by Allah ].

    To each [category] We extend - to these and to those - from the gift of your Lord. And never has the gift of your Lord been restricted. Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.

  2. Knowledge and brain:

For example Allah wouldn't treat a philosopher the same as he treats a 6 year old boy for example. Because the first has the knowledge to show him the difference between good and bad while the other doesn't.

There are many examples that I can't cover in the answer. The important thing is to know that there are people who will go to hell and people who will go to heaven and work to be with the latter.

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    awesome! but, This verse suggests: No: this statement, however doesn't mean that the punishment in hell is uniform. I would also like to add the list of different hell fires : [ Click Here], which strongly suggest different levels of punishment in hell. Allah knows best.
    – user2724
    Aug 3, 2014 at 16:07

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