Quran Contradiction

Will people stay in Hell forever, or not?

Sam Shamoun with Jochen Katz

The Quran teaches that the people who are sent either to hell or to paradise will remain there forever. They will be there for eternity and never again leave these places:

and those that followed say, 'O if only we might return again and disown them, as they have disowned us!' Even so God shall show them their works. O bitter regrets for them! Never shall they issue from the Fire. S. 2:167 Arberry

But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal home: Therein shall they have spouses purified: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening. S. 4:57

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 Judgment, it would never be accepted of them, theirs would be a grievous penalty. Their wish will be to get out of the Fire, but NEVER will they get out therefrom: their penalty will be one that endures. S. 5:36-37

"Taste ye then - for ye forgot the Meeting of this Day of yours, and We too will forget you - taste ye the Penalty of Eternity for your (evil) deeds!" S. 32:14

Such is the requital of the enemies of Allah,- the Fire: therein will be for them the Eternal Home: a (fit) requital, for that they were wont to reject Our Signs. S. 41:28

Enter ye therein in Peace and Security; this is a Day of Eternal Life! S. 50:34

As if the above wasn’t clear enough this next citation says that Allah’s wrath will never be turned back:

If they accuse thee of falsehood, say: "Your Lord is full of mercy all-embracing; but from people in guilt never will His wrath be turned back. S. 6:147

There are other texts, however, that say people may not abide in hell or paradise forever, but for as long as Allah wills or for the duration of heaven and earth:

One day will He gather them all together, (and say): "O ye assembly of Jinns! Much (toll) did ye take of men." Their friends amongst men will say: "Our Lord! we made profit from each other: but (alas!) we reached our term - which thou didst appoint for us." He will say: "The Fire be your dwelling-place: you will dwell therein for ever, except as God willeth." for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. S. 6:128

Those who are wretched shall be in the Fire: There will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs: They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: for thy Lord is the (sure) accomplisher of what He planneth. And those who are blessed shall be in the Garden: They will dwell therein so long for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: a gift without break. S. 11:106-108

The expression "except as God willeth" indicates that IF God wills he may terminate the stay in hell for (some) people, but it is not stated clearly whether it is actually his will to do so for some people, let alone whether he wills to do this for all people.

Regarding the phrase, "for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure", there are several aspects that need to be pondered. Are heaven and earth eternal, or will they perish? If heaven and earth are eternal (according to Islam), these verses imply that the dwelling in hell will be eternal as well (except if God wills otherwise for some). If the heavens and the earth are not eternal, i.e. they will be destroyed at a certain time, then these verses merely say that these people will stay in hell or paradise (at least) as long as heaven and earth exist (unless God’s will is to terminate their stay earlier). These statements only define a lower limit for the length of time of their stay in hell. It does not say that they will leave hell at the point in time when heaven and earth end. They might continue to stay in hell afterwards, if paradise and hell are somewhere outside of the heavens and the earth. On the other hand, if paradise and hell are part of the heavens and the earth, they will cease to exist with them, but where will their inhabitants go to afterwards?

Notice, also, that the same expression, "for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure", is used not only in reference to the stay in hell but also in reference to the stay in the garden/paradise. If we are to conclude from this passage that the term in hell is limited, does this not equally mean that the term in paradise is limited as well?

In other words, if Muslims insist that the believers will stay in paradise forever then nothing in these verses suggests other people will not stay in hell forever. These verses open up only the possibility that the period in hell (and paradise) may be limited, but they do not give a definite promise or conclusive statement in that regard.

In fact, the last phrase of S. 11:108, "a gift without break", seems to indicate that paradise is a gift to the believers which will not end, and may in turn imply that the heavens and the earth are also thought to be eternal.

Nevertheless, as we will see in the following, a number of Muslims take the above passages as evidence that the punishment in hell is not eternal.

Here is a passage that seems to be more definite in limiting the time of hell, and thus more clearly in contradiction to the first block of verses:

[On that Day,] verily, hell will lie in wait [for those who deny the truth] – a goal for all who are wont to transgress the bounds of what is right! In it shall they remain for a long time. S. 78:21-23 Asad

The late Muslim scholar and translator Muhammad Asad noted that the Arabic word for "long time" does not mean forever:

12 I.e., not forever, since the term huqb or hiqbah (of which ahqab is the plural) denotes no more than "a period of time" or "a long time" (Jawhari) - according to some authorities, "eighty years", according to others, "a year" or simply "years" (Asas, Qamus, Lisan al-Arab, etc.). But however one defines this term, it is obvious that it signifies a limited period of time, and not eternity: and this is in tune with many indications in the Qur'an to the effect that the suffering described as "hell" is not eternal (see note 114 on the last paragraph of 6:128), as well as with several authentic sayings of the Prophet (e.g., the one quoted in note 10 on 40:12). (The Message of the Qur’an; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Here, also, is what he wrote regarding Q. 6:128:

114 I.e., unless He graces them with His mercy (see verse 12 of this surah, and the corresponding note). Some of the great Muslim theologians conclude from the above and from the similar phrase occurring in 11 : 107 (as well as from several well-authenticated sayings of the Prophet) that - contrary to the bliss of paradise, which will be of unlimited duration - the suffering of the sinners in the life to come will be limited by God's mercy. (See in this connection the hadith quoted in note 10 on 40: 12.) (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Asad isn’t alone since the late Maulana Muhammad Ali of the Ahmadiyya sect argued along similar lines concerning the temporal nature of hell:

Another consideration which shows that this chastisement is of a remedial nature, is that, according to the Qur’an and the Sayings of the Prophet, all those who are in Hell, shall ultimately, when they are fit for a new life, be released from it. This is a point on which great misunderstanding prevails even among Muslim theologians [sic]. They make a distinction between the Muslim sinners and the non-Muslim sinners, holding that all Muslim sinners shall be ultimately taken out of hell, but not the non-Muslim sinners. Neither the Qur’an nor the Tradition uphold this view. There are two words khulud and abad used in connection with abiding in Hell or Paradise, and both these words, while, no doubt, indicating eternity, also bear the significance of a long time. Not only do all authorities on Arabic lexicography agree on this, but the use of these words in the Qur’an also makes it quite clear. The word khulu has been freely used regarding the chastisement in Hell of Muslim as well as of non-Muslim sinners. One example of its use for Muslim sinners is that after stating law of inheritance, it is said: "These are Allah’s limits; and… whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and goes beyond His limits, He causes him to enter fire, to abide in it (khalidin), and for him is an abasing chastisement" (4 : 13, 14). Here clearly Muslim sinners are spoken of, and yet their abiding in Hell is expressed by the word khulud.

Take the other word abad. This word occurs thrice in the Qur’an, in connection with the abiding of sinners in Hell. Ordinarily, it is taken as meaning for ever or eternally, but that it sometimes signifies only a long time, is abundantly clear from the fact that both its dual and plural forms are in use. Raghib says that this is owing to the fact that the word is, in that case, used to express a part of time. And explaining its verb form ta’abbada, he says it signifies the thing existed for abad, and is taken to mean what remains for a long time. Thus a long time, as the significance of abad, is fully recognized in Arabic lexicography. That in the case of those in Hell, it signifies a long time and not for ever, is clear from the fact that the abiding in Hell of even the unbelievers is elsewhere stated to be for ahqab, which is the plural of huqbah, meaning a year or many years (LA.)., or eighty years (R.). At all events it indicates a definite period of time, and hence serves as a clear indication that even abad, in the case of abiding in Hell, means a long time.

The two words khulud and abad, which are generally construed as leading to an eternity of Hell, being thus disposed of, the verses which are generally adduced in support of the idea that those in Hell shall for ever and ever suffer its endless tortures may be considered: "Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they will not escape from the fire" (2 : 167). "Those who disbelieve, even if they had all that is in the earth, and the like of it with it, to ransom themselves with it from the chastisement of the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them and theirs is a painful chastisement. They would desire to come forth from the fire, and they will not come forth from it, and theirs is a lasting chastisement" (5 : 36, 37). "Whenever they desire to go forth from it, from grief, they are turned back into it" (22 : 22). "And as for those who transgress, their refuge is the Fire. Whenever they desire to go forth from it they are brought back into it, and it is said to them, Taste the chastisement of the Fire, which you called a lie" (32 : 20).

These verses are self-explanatory. Those in Hell shall desire to escape from it but shall not be able to do so; even if they could offer the whole earth as a ransom, they would not be able to get out. The evil consequences of sin cannot be avoided, howsoever one may desire, and even so is the fire of Hell. None can escape from it. But not a word is there in any of these verses to show that God will not take them out of it, or that the tortures of Hell are endless. They only show that every sinner must suffer the consequences of what he has done, and he cannot escape them; but that he may be set free when he has undergone the necessary chastisement, or that God may, of His boundless mercy, deliver the sinners when He pleases, is not denied here. (Ali, The Religion of Islam [The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam (Lahore) U.S.A., Eighth Edition 2005], Chapter VI. Life After Death, Remedial nature of Hell, pp. 231-233)

The Arabic lexicons support Ali’s conclusions in that they do say that the word doesn’t necessarily refer to perpetuity but can mean a long time. Note, for instance, how the following lexical source defines abad:

Alif-Ba-Dal = he remained/stayed, abode, dwelt constantly/permanently, to render perpetual, time (in an absolute sense), LONG TIME, endless/eternal/forever, unlimited/indivisible, lasting/everlasting, unsocial/unfamiliar, never (when used in negative construction).

abad n.m. 2:95, 4:57, 4:122, 4:169, 5:24, 5:119, 9:22, 9:83, 9:84, 9:100, 9:108, 18:3, 18:20, 18:35, 18:57, 24:4, 24:17, 24:21, 33:53, 33:65, 48:12, 59:11, 60:4, 62:7, 64:9, 65:11, 72:23, 98:8

Lane's Lexicon, Volume 1, pages: 41 42 (Project Root List; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

The late Maulana also used Q. 6:128 and 11:106-108 to prove that the Arabic term abad doesn’t necessarily mean that hell will last forever:

Even if abad is taken to mean eternity, the abiding in Hell, according to the Qur’an, must cease at some time, because a limit is placed on it by the addition of the words except as Allah pleases (ila ma sha’a Allah) which clearly indicate the ultimate deliverance of those in Hell. The following two verses may be noted in this connection: "He will say, The Fire is your abode – you shall abide therein, except as Allah pleases. Surely thy Lord is Wise, Knowing" (6 : 129). "Then as to those who are unhappy, they will be in the fire; for them will be sighing and groaning – abiding therein so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord pleases. Surely thy Lord is the mighty Doer of what He intends."

But these verses show that the abiding in Hell must come to an end. To make this connection clearer still, the Qur’an has used a similar expression for those in Paradise but with quite a different ending: "And as for those who are made happy, they will be in the Garden, abiding therein so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord pleases – a gift never to be cut off" (11 : 108). The two expressions are similar; those in Hell and those in Paradise abide, each in his place, as long as the heavens and the earth endure, with an exception added in each case – except as thy Lord pleases – showing that they may be taken out of that condition. But the concluding statements are different. In the case of Paradise, the idea that those in it will be taken out of it, if God pleases, is immediately followed by the statement that it is a gift that shall never be cut off, showing that they shall not be taken out of Paradise; while in the case of Hell, the idea that those in it will be taken out is confirmed by the concluding statement, that God does as He intends. (Ibid., 232-233)

Ali further sourced a specific narrative to establish his interpretation:

This conclusion is corroborated by Tradition. The Prophet is reported to have said: "Then Allah will say, The angels have interceded and the prophets have interceded and the faithful have interceded and none remains but the Most Merciful of all the merciful ones. So He will take a handful from the fire and bring out a people who have never done any good" (M 1 : 72). Three kinds of intercession are spoken in this tradition – of the faithful, of prophets, and of the angels – and the intercession of each is undoubtedly meant for people who have some sort of close relation with that class. The faithful will intercede for people who have come in contact with them personally; the prophets will intercede for their followers; the angels, who move men to do good, will intercede for people who are not followers of a prophet, but who have done some good. And the report adds that the most Merciful of all still remains, so He will bring out from the fire even people who have never done any good. It follows that, thereafter, none can remain in Hell, and in fact the handful of God cannot leave anything behind. (Ibid., 233-234)

The following Quranic reference provides additional attestation that Allah will eventually take some (many?) people out of hell:

It is the inevitable decree of your Lord that every one of you will be taken to hell. We will save the pious ones from the hell fire and leave the unjust people therein in crowded groups. S. 19:71-72 Muhammad Sarwar

A.J. Arberry’s translation reads:

No one of you there is, but he shall go down to it. That for thy Lord is a thing decreed, determined. Then We shall deliver these that were God-fearing; and the evildoers We shall leave there, hobbling on their knees.

And here are two additional versions:

There is not one of you who shall not pass through the confines of Hell… N. J. Dawood

No one is there of you who shall not go down unto it… J. M. Rodwell

Thus, Allah will deliver from hell certain individuals who were pious which provides support that at least some (perhaps even many) will not suffer eternal torment.

There is another Quran passage which speaks of people being removed from the fire so as to enter paradise:

Every soul will taste of death. And ye will be paid on the Day of Resurrection only that which ye have fairly earned. Whoso is removed from the Fire and is made to enter paradise, he indeed is triumphant. The life of this world is but comfort of illusion. S. 3:185 Pickthall

Notice how the version of Shakir renders the verse:

Every soul shall taste of death, and you shall only be paid fully your reward on the resurrection day; then whoever is removed far away from the fire and is made to enter the garden he indeed has attained the object; and the life of this world is nothing but a provision of vanities. Shakir

Both the ahadith and Islamic commentaries also support this point. For instance, a commentary attributed to Ibn Abbas explains Q. 11:107-108 this way:

(Abiding there) they will stay in the Fire forever (so long as the heavens and the earth endure) for as long as the heavens and the earth remain, from the moment they were created until the moment they lapse (save for that which thy Lord willeth) and your Lord has willed that they will abide in the Fire forever; it is also said: those who are damned will abide therein forever for as long as the heavens, the earth and the children of Adam subsist, except those whom Allah wills to change from damnation to felicity by His saying: (Allah effaceth what He will, and establishes [13:39]); it is also said that this means: they will abide in the Fire for as long as the heavens and the earth subsist: the heaven of the Fire and the earth of the Fire unless Allah wills to get the people who believed in Allah’s divine Oneness out of it, those whose wretchedness was caused by a sin less than disbelief. Allah will enter these into Paradise because of their pure faith. (Lo! thy Lord is Doer of what He will) as He will. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; bold and italic emphasis ours)

(And as for those who will be glad) those who were decreed to be felicitous ((that day) they will be in the Garden, abiding there) in Paradise (so long as the heavens and the earth endure save for that which thy Lord willeth) when He wills to turn them from felicity to damnation due to His saying (Allah effaceth what He will, and establishes [13:39]); it is also said: they will abide in Paradise for as long as the heavens and the earth subsist: the heaven of Paradise and the earth of Paradise unless Allah wills to torment some people before making them enter Paradise, such that He puts them first in Hell and then gets them out of it and puts them in Paradise, to abide therein forever: (a gift) a reward for them (unfailing) undiminished and uninterrupted. The Quran also alludes to the fact that everyone enters hell, and only the faithful will come out; (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Muhammad is reported to have made the following comments concerning people exiting hell:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Allah's Apostle said, "When the people of Paradise have entered Paradise, and the people of the Fire have entered the Fire, Allah will say, ‘Take out (of the Fire) whoever has got faith equal to a mustard seed in his heart.’ They will come out, and by that time they would have burnt and became like coal, and then they will be thrown into the river of Al-Hayyat (life) and they will spring up just as a seed grows on the bank of a rainwater stream." The Prophet said, "Don't you see that the germinating seed comes out yellow and twisted?" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 565)

And:

Narrated Anas:
The Prophet said, "Some people who will be scorched by Hell (Fire) as a punishment for sins they have committed, and then Allah will admit them into Paradise by the grant of His Mercy. These people will be called, ‘Al-Jahannamiyyin’ (the people of Hell)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 542)

Again:

… We, the companions of the Prophet said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the bridge?"

He said, "It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa'dan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hell (Fire). The last person will cross by being dragged (over the bridge)." The Prophet said, "You (Muslims) cannot be more pressing in claiming from me a right that has been clearly proved to be yours than the believers in interceding with Almighty for their (Muslim) brothers on that Day, when they see themselves safe.

"They will say, ‘O Allah! (Save) our brothers (for they) used to pray with us, fast with us and also do good deeds with us.’ Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one (gold) Dinar.’ Allah will forbid the Fire to burn the faces of those sinners. They will go to them and find some of them in Hell (Fire) up to their feet, and some up to the middle of their legs. So they will take out those whom they will recognize and then they will return, and Allah will say (to them), ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one half Dinar.’ They will take out whomever they will recognize and return, and then Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant),’ and so they will take out all those whom they will recognize." Abu Sa'id said: If you do not believe me then read the Holy Verse:--

‘Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) but if there is any good (done) He doubles it.’ (4.40) The Prophet added, "Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession.’ He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life.

They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by the torrent grows. You have noticed how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. Those people will come out (of the River of Life) like pearls, and they will have (golden) necklaces, and then they will enter Paradise whereupon the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Beneficent. He has admitted them into Paradise without them having done any good deeds and without sending forth any good (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘For you is what you have seen and its equivalent as well.’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)

Thus, even the hadiths of Muhammad are contradicting certain parts of the Quran!

Maulana Muhammad Ali mentions a few other reports as well as comments from Muhammad’s companions and Islamic scholars:

Other traditions state even more explicitly that all men shall be taken out of Hell. "Surely a day will come over Hell when it will be like a field of corn that has dried up after flourishing for a while." (KU.). "Surely a day will come over Hell when there shall not be a single human being in it" (FBn. IV , p. 372). And a saying of ‘Umar, the second Caliph, is recorded as follows: "Even if the dwellers in Hell may be numberless as the sands of the desert, a day will come when they will be taken out of it" (FBn. IV , p. 372). A similar saying is recorded from Ibn Mas‘ud: "Surely a time will come over Hell when its gates shall be blown by wind, there shall be none in it, and this shall be after they have remained therein fro many years."49 Similar sayings are reported from many other Companions such as Ibn ‘Umar, Jabir, Abu Sa‘id, Abu Hurairah, etc., and also from learned men of the next generation (Tabi‘in) (FBn.). And later Imams, such as Ibn ‘Arabi, Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn Qayyim, and many others, have held similar views (ibid.). Thus there can be but little doubt left that Hell is a temporary place for the sinner, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, and this also supports the view that the chastisement of Hell is not for torture but as a remedy, to heal the spiritual diseases which a man has incurred by his own negligence, and to enable him to start again on the road to the higher life. The truth of this has already been established from the Qur’an, but a tradition may also be quoted here which expressly speaks of the inmates of the fire as being set on the road to the higher life; "Then will Allah say, Bring out (of the fire) every one in whose heart there is faith or goodness to the extent of a mustard seed, so they will be taken out having become black; then they will be thrown into the river of life and they will grow as grows a seed by the side of the river (Bu. 2 : 15). This report is conclusive as to the remedial nature of Hell and establishes beyond a doubt that all men ill ultimately be set on the way to the higher life.

49 IJ – C. XII. P. 66. (Ali, The Religion of Islam, p. 234)

Conclusion: The Quran is clearly contradicting itself since in certain places it claims that those who enter the fire will abide forever, whereas other texts say that the punishment of hell is not eternal!

These contradictory teachings leave Muslims with problems. For instance, the reader may recall that the first set of verses we quoted expressly said that those who go to hell would live in it forever. These citations made no exceptions to this general rule, i.e. not everyone who goes to hell would have to stay there for eternity.

Yet other Quranic references say that abiding in hell forever is dependent upon Allah’s will, which presupposes that Allah may not desire that the torment of hell should last forever, but for a specific period of time; or that it is limited for some, and unlimited for others.

Furthermore, with the exception of Q. 19:72 which refers to Allah taking out the pious, we are not told what will happen to those individuals whom Allah doesn’t desire to abide in hell forever, i.e. will they be wiped out of existence or will they be granted access to paradise?

Moreover, the Quran expressly says that the guilty, those astray etc. enter hell:

Whoever comes to his Lord (being) guilty, for him is surely hell; he shall not die therein, nor shall he live. S. 20:74 Shakir

As a side comment, the inhabitants of hell are said to be neither dead nor alive! So what are they, zombies?

Those who will be gathered to Hell (prone) on their faces, - they will be in an evil plight, and, as to Path, most astray. S. 25:34

O Prophet! Strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, - an evil refuge (indeed). S. 66:9

In light of the foregoing statements that all say it is the guilty, the ones astray, the hypocrites etc., who end up in hell why then does the Quran speak of Allah taking out the pious from there? What were they doing in hell when they should have been in paradise? And if they are in hell how could they be pious?

In fact, some of the very narrations that we sourced expressly stated that the Muslims (who are supposed to be the pious ones mentioned in Q. 19:72) whom Allah will take out of hell have done absolutely no good thing:

… and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession.’ He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life.

They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by the torrent grows. You have noticed how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. Those people will come out (of the River of Life) like pearls, and they will have (golden) necklaces, and then they will enter Paradise whereupon the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Beneficent. He has admitted them into Paradise without them HAVING DONE ANY GOOD DEEDS AND WITHOUT SENDING FORTH ANY GOOD (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘For you is what you have seen and its equivalent as well.’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)

This accounts for why they were in hell in the first place, i.e. apart from testifying that Allah is God and Muhammad was his messenger they didn’t obey the teachings of their prophet. Yet the following citation emphatically warns that such persons who disobey their messenger will abide in hell forever!

"Unless I proclaim what I receive from God and His Messages: for any that disobey God and His Apostle, - for them is Hell: they shall dwell therein for ever." S. 72:23

Again, if such individuals were to spend eternity in hell then how could Allah take them out from there? Doesn’t this make it pretty obvious that the Quran contains more problems than it does answers?

All Quranic quotations taken from the Abdullah Yusuf Ali version, unless noted otherwise.


Further Reading

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/muslims_in_hell.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/muslims_in_hell2.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/karim_in_hell.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/muslims_in_hell_ahadith.htm

Here is an article written by a Quran-only Muslim, a follower of the late Rashad Khalifa, Edip Yuksel who attempts to prove from the Quran that hell doesn’t last forever:

http://www.yuksel.org/e/religion/hell.htm

Another Muslim who has attempted to prove from the Quran that hell isn’t forever is Osama Abdallah (1, 2). He actually believes that hell will eventually be emptied of all its dwellers, which means that even Satan will be saved! Osama has since removed these articles, obviously due to pressure and criticism from his fellow Muslims:

After much insistence from my teammates, and after taking a vote from them, I decided to remove this section. (Hell will eventually be empty according to Islam; source)

I like the way Osama does theology – simply take a team vote to see whether his writings are kosher or not!


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