The Qur'an clearly states that Hell is eternal. Of course I do not think Ibn Tamiyyah is correct, but I am asking because it is unusual for someone who so repeatedly talked of and condemned bid'ah, and creates such a huge one himself.

From his book

ﻭﺣﻴﻨﺌﺬ ﻓﻴﺤﺘﺞ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻓﻨﺎﺋﻬﺎ ﺑﺎﻟﻜﺘﺎﺏ ﻭﺍﻟﺴﻨﺔ، ﻭﺃﻗﻮﺍﻝ ﺍﻟﺼﺤﺎﺑﺔ – ﻣﻊ ﺃﻥ ﺍﻟﻘﺎﺋﻠﻴﻦ ﺑﺒﻘﺎﺋﻬﺎ ﻟﻴﺲ ﻣﻌﻬﻢ ﻛﺘﺎﺏ، ﻭﻻ ﺳﻨﺔ ﻭﻻ ﺃﻗﻮﺍﻝ ﺍﻟﺼﺤﺎﺑﺔ -. ﺃﻫــــ

“In which case, the argument for the ending of Hellfire is supported by the Quran, the Sunnah, and the statements of the Sahabah; while the affirmers of its eternality have with them no Quran, no Sunnah, and no statements of the Sahabah.”

He even claims that he has the Qur'an on his side. I just want to know what is his side of the argument other than the fact that he thinks eternal hellfire is against "Divine wisdom"?

(the "contradiction of divine wisdom" claim is also from his book)

  • i Think it's based on the verse "لَّابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا"
    – Kilise
    Dec 16, 2017 at 10:34
  • i dont understand... does "dwell thein for ages" mean a limited period? Sahih international adds "unending" in brackets. Also, is the verse really used and pointed out by him?
    – Acha Bacha
    Dec 16, 2017 at 20:20
  • quran.com/3/7 Dec 16, 2017 at 20:28
  • 1
    You may want to refer to bn Taymiyyah's book The response to those who claim that the Jannah and Hellfire will perish. The quote you mentioned is on pp. 67 attributd to At-Tabarani who attributed it to Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi (as did Al-Qurtubi). What is your source that this is what Ibn Taymiyyah said?
    – III-AK-III
    Dec 17, 2017 at 4:39

3 Answers 3


There's lots of untruths attributed to Ibn Taymiyyah (rh). We can see from some of his writings that he did acknowledge that Hell is eternal. One such source is the following:

"The Salaf of the Ummah and its leading scholars, and all of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah are agreed that there are from the created things those which will not cease to exist, and will never entirely perish, such as Paradise and Hellfire, the Throne and other than that. And none spoke of the expiration of all of the created things except a faction from the innovating Ahl al-Kalaam, such as al-Jahm bin Safwan and whoever agreed with him from the Mu'tazilah and their likes. (Majmu' al-Fatawa 18/307).

Islamweb explains a little on this confusion:

"..it is not true that Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon him said that Hell is not imperishable and nothing of this has been found in any of his printed and commonly-used books. What actually happened is that his student, Ibn Al-Qayyim may Allaah have mercy upon him reported on his authority that the righteous predecessors had two opinions concerning this issue and he mentioned some relevant citations reported on the authority of the Companions may Allaah have mercy upon them. However, in his own books, Ibn Taymiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon him confirmed the eternal nature of Paradise and Hell. He also reported the scholars’ and Imaams’ consensus on this issue.

As for those who had the opinion that Hell may eventually be empty ('empty' doesn't necessarily mean 'non-eternal') formed their view based on verses such as Hud 107 and Al An'am 128 in which Allah (ﷻ) says that people will abide there eternally "EXCEPT for what Allah wills". -- Is this opinion wrong? Yes. Would that make any scholar with this view an innovator? No, because they are drawing this Ijtihad (independent reasoning) from the texts [Qur'an]. Scholars can be wrong in their Ijtihad from time to time, because they too are only human and can err. Doesn't make them an 'innovator'. (Innovators are generally not concerned with deriving their views from the texts).

  • 1
    True that a lot of attributions to Ibn Taymiyyah are false: either truncating an opinion of his, or expressing an opinion that is not his (especially the ones he includes in his books to refute) as his opinion, or by misquoting, etc.
    – III-AK-III
    Dec 17, 2017 at 4:15
  • Well, i think an answer from Islamweb would be biased since they themselves are hanbali/wahabbi and follow most of the teachings of Ibn Tamiyyah. I read that what you quote are just his earlier writings; the fact that he had this opinion before does not change the fact that he had a new opinion later. Anyways, my intention was not to ridicule Ibn Tamiyyah but to see his reasoning, because it just seems so unusual...
    – Acha Bacha
    Dec 18, 2017 at 0:22
  • 2
    Well, did you consider that perhaps wherever you are reading things from are biased and Islamweb is just speaking the truth? Bias can be on either side.. and as I said, lots of people try to smear this particular scholar.
    – Muslimah
    Dec 18, 2017 at 21:04

The question of eternity rests on the assumption that time as we know it, or the passage thereof, will be similar in the "ahira" to as we know it in the "dunya". We cannot answer such a question going on an assumption.

That being said, and assuming that time in the ahira is similar to what we currently witness, the following similitude might help clarify.

We shall go by the premise Muslim belief that everyone is born Muslim, in a state of total submission to his/her creator and sustainer. Later, as a toddler, this state of total submission starts becoming corrupted by the other beliefs and indoctrination of his/her upbringing in a non-Muslim household. However, no matter how far this faith corruption goes in the course of his/her lifetime, there will always be that smidgen of faith in the one and only God, albeit deep within the heart and subconscious.

Since you only need a smidgen of faith to eventually get out of hell, then the logical conclusion is that hell can be a very long time, but in the end is temporary even for the most ardent denier.



HI, I believe this link has the answer to your question.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .