JAHANNAM - جَهَنَّم
The place in which people who accept the created things like nature and causes as Ilah instead of Allah and who become servant and slave to their desires or other people and creatures instead of Allah will be punished by Ilahî justice. All Prophets, ‘ulamâ and awliyâ who follows the Prophets informed us about the existence of Jahannam as a proven knowledge. Substantially Allah’s justice requires the existence of it.
In general, the word Jahannam expresses any kind of âkhirah torment. Particularly it expresses the first degree of Jahannam.
“There must, in addition, be a realm of punishment appropriate to Allah's glory and dignity. For generally the dhâlim leaves this world while still in possession of his might, and the oppressed whilst still subjected to humiliation. These matters are therefore deferred for the attention of a supreme tribunal; it is not that they are neglected. It sometimes happens too that punishment is enacted in this world. The torments suffered by disobedient and rebellious people in previous centuries show that man is not left to his own devices, and that he is always subject to the blows that Allah's glory and splendour may choose to inflict on him.
Is it at all possible that man should have the most important duty in all of creation and be endowed with the most important capacities; that man's Rabb should make Himself known to him with all His well-ordered works, and man should then fail to recognize Him in return, through îmân -or that Allah should make Himself beloved of men through the numerous adorned fruits of His rahmah, and man should then fail to make himself beloved of Allah through ‘ibâdah- or that Allah should demonstrate His love and rahmah to man through His variegated ni’mahs and man should then fail to respect Him with shukr and hamd - is it at all possible that man should remain unpunished, left to his own devices, or that Zuljalâl One, Possessor of honour and glory should not make ready for him a realm of requital?
Is it at all possible, on the other hand, that He should not prepare a realm of reward and eternal bliss for those mu’mins who respond to Ar-Rahmân Ar-Rahîm's making Himself known by recognizing Him with îmân; to His making Himself beloved by loving Him with ‘ibâdah; and to His rahmah by offering shukr and veneration?” The Words ( 76 )
Jahannam is expressed in Qur’an with different articulations. (15:44) The seven well-known names of Jahannam are as follows:
1: Jahannam جَهَنَّم The first degree of the torment of Jahannam. (2:206)
2: Ladhâ لَظٰى Jahannam with the severe flame. (70:15) (92:14)
3: Hudamah حُطَمَةِ Jahannam that swallows by riving and comminution. (104:4-8)
4: Sa‘îr سَّع۪ير Inflamed Jahannam. (81:12) (35:6) (4:55) (42:7)
5: Saqar سَقَر roasting and engulfing Jahannam. (54:48) (74:26-31-42)
6: Jahîm جَح۪يمِ (2:119) (26:91) (37:23-55-64) (40:07) (81:12)
7: Hâwiyah هَاوِيَة “dark as-asfal” the lowest degree of Jahannam. (101:9-11) (4:145)
Other than these degrees there are different places and kinds for torment in Jahannam. Ghayyâ غَيًّاۙ (19:59), Wayl وَيْل (38:27), As-samûm السَّمُومِ (52:27) (56:42), Dâr ul-khuld دَارُ الْخُلْد (41:28), Dâr ul-bawâr دَارَالْبَوَار (14:28)
“Where is Jahannam?
The Answer : قُلْ اِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ ٭ لاَ يَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ اِلاَّ اللّٰهُ 1 According to some riwâyât, Jahannam is beneath the earth. As we have explained in other places, in its annual orbit, the globe of the earth traces a circle around an area that in the future will be the place of the resurrection. It means Jahannam is beneath the area of its orbit. It is invisible and imperceptible because it consists of veiled and fire without nûr. In the vast distance travelled by the earth are many creatures that are invisible because they are without nûr. Like the moon loses its existence when its nûr withdraws, so we are unable to see numerous globes and creatures without nûr which are before of our eyes.
There are two Jahannam, the Lesser and the Greater. In the future, the Lesser will be transformed into the Greater and is like its seed; in the future, it will become one of its habitations. The Lesser Jahannam is under the earth, that is, at the earth's centre. It is the inside and centre of the globe. It is known in geology that in digging downwards, the heat for the most part increases one degree every thirty-three metres. That means that since half the diameter of the earth is around six thousand kilometres, the fire at the centre is at a temperature of around two hundred thousand degrees, that is, two hundred times hotter than fire at the circumference; this is in agreement with what is related by riwâyât of Hadiths. This Lesser Jahannam performs many of the functions of the Greater Jahannam in this world and al-‘âlam al-barzakh, and this is indicated in Hadiths. Just as in al-‘âlam al-âkhirah, the earth will pour its inhabitants into the arena of the resurrection within its annual orbit, so too at the Ilahî command will it hand over the Lesser Jahannam within it to the Greater Jahannam.
Some of the Mu'tazilite imams said that "Jahannam will be created later," but this is mistaken and foolish, and arises from Jahannam not having completely opened up at the present time and developed into a form entirely appropriate to its inhabitants. In order to see with our worldly eyes the dwelling places of the world of the âkhirah within the veil of the Ghayb and to demonstrate them, either the universe has to be shrunk to the size of two provinces, or our eyes have to be enlarged to the size of stars so that we can see and specify their places. وَالْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ , the dwelling-places of al-âlam of âkhirah are not visible to our worldly eyes, but as indicated by riwâyât, the Jahannam of the âkhirah is connected with our world. It is said of the intense heat of summer, مِنْ فَيْحِ جَهَنَّمَ 2 That is to say, that Greater Jahannam is not visible to the tiny and dim eyes of the minds of this world. However, we may look with the nûr of the Name of Al-Hakîm, as follows:
The Greater Jahannam beneath the earth's annual orbit has as though made the Lesser Jahannam at the earth's centre its deputy and made it perform some of its functions. The possessions of Al-Qadîr Zuljalâl are truly extensive; wherever Ilahî hikmah pointed out, He situated the Greater Jahannam there. Yes, a Qadîr Zuljalâl, a Hakîm Zulkamâl Who is the owner of the command of 3 كُنْ فَيَكُونُhas tied the moon to the earth before our eyes in perfect hikmah and order and with vast qoudrah and order tied the earth to the sun, and has made the sun travel together with its planets with a speed close to that of the annual rotation of the earth, and with the majesty of His Rubûbiyyah, according to one possibility, made it travels towards shams ash-shumûs4 , and like a fleet decked out with electric lights has made the stars luminous witnesses to the sovereignty of His Rubûbiyyah. It is not far from the perfect hikmah, tremendous qoudrah, and sovereignty of Rubûbiyyah of one thus Zuljalâl to make the Greater Jahannam like the boiler of an electric light factory and with it set fire to the stars of the samâ which look to the âkhirah, and give them heat and power. That is, give nûr to the stars from Jannah, the world of nûr, and send them fire and heat from Jahannam, and at the same time, make part of that Jahannam a habitation and place of imprisonment for those who are to be tormented. Furthermore, He is a Fâtir Al-Hakîm Who conceals a tree as large as a mountain in a seed the size of a finger-nail. It is surely not far then from the qoudrah and hikmah of such a Zuljalâl One to conceal the Greater Jahannam in the seed of the Lesser Jahannam in the heart of the globe of the earth.
In Short: Jannah and Jahannam are the two fruits of a branch of the tree of creation which stretches out towards eternity. The fruits' place is at the branch's tip. And they are the two results of the chain of the universe, and the places of the results are the two sides of the chain. The base and heavy are on its lower side, the luminous and elevated on its upper side. They are also the two stores of this flood of shuûnah and the ma’nawî produce of the earth. And the place of a store is according to the variety of the product, the bad beneath, the good above. They are also the two pools of the flood of beings which flows in waves towards eternity. As for the pool's place, it is where the flood stops and gathers. That is, the obscene and filthy below (asfal), the good and the pure above (a’lâ). They are also the two places of manifestation, the one of beneficence and rahmah, the other of wrath and tremendousness. Places of manifestation may be anywhere; Ar-Rahmân Zuljamâl, Al-Qahhâr Zuljalâl, establishes His places of manifestation where He wishes.
As for the existence of Jannah and Jahannam, they have been proved most decisively in the Tenth, Twenty-Eighth, and Twenty-Ninth Words. Here, we only say this: the existence of the fruit is as definite and certain as that of the branch; the result as the chain; the store as the produce; the pool as the river; and the places of manifestation as definite and certain as the existence of rahmah and wrath.” The First Letter-Third Question