By Bassam Zawadi
This article is in response to Denis Giron’s article found here “Islamic Hell: Absurdity of Science and Logic” http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/denis_giron/islamhell.html
The scientific problem
To discuss Hell with a Muslim is an exercise in futility that quickly becomes an exhibition of Islamic idiocy. Muslims are quick to proclaim scientific miracles within their texts, even though they have no desire to really discuss science at all. While they try to portray their texts as being compatible with modern secular science, they ignore the many scientific errors in their text, or claim that the critic of such texts does not know the true interpretation.
Denis fails to show any scientific errors in the Quran. But he wants to brainwash the readers into thinking so.
The idea of Hell is both illogical and scientifically absurd. How can eternal fire be any kind of divine punishment that one should fear? You cannot be burned for eternity. Your body only offers a given and finite amount of fuel for fire. Eventually there will be nothing left to burn.
Trying to get around such arguments, the believer in Hell will claim Hellfire consists of "smokeless fire" and that it "burns, but does not consume". If the fire does not consume one's flesh, there is no pain! Pain is caused by neural receptors in the brain alerting you to cells being destroyed. If the fire does not consume one's flesh, no cells are destroyed, and thus there is no pain!
Perhaps some supporters of the Hellfire theory will offer the idea that your "soul" is sent to Hell and not your body. If one is without their body, they are without cells, without neural receptors, and therefore without pain. These are scientific facts about pain that primitive cultures were not aware of. Those who believe Hell exists can only describe eternal damnation as a "phenomenon which science cannot explain".
It is truly amazing that Denis points this out. Because he is right. How can someone burn in hell forever? The answer to this question is only found in the Quran and in no other holy scripture.
I am going to quote from Dr Zakir Naik in his debate with Dr William Campbell “Qur'an And Bible In The Light Of Science “,which can be accessed here http://www.aswatalislam.net/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=50027&TitleName=Zakir_Naik
Previously the doctors, they thought that the brain was only responsible for feeling of ‘pain.’ Today we have come to know besides the brain, there are certain receptors in the skin, which are responsible for feeling of the pain, which we call as the ‘pain receptors.’ Qur’an says in such Surah Nisa Ch. 4, Verse 56, that… ‘As to those who reject Our signs, We shall cast them into the hell fire, and as often as their skins are roasted, We shall give them fresh skin, so that they shall feel the pain. Indicating that there is something in the skin, which is responsible for feeling of pain, which the Qur’an refers to as ‘pain receptors.’ Professor Thagada Tagada Shaun, who is the head of the department of Anatomy, in Chang Mai University in Thailand, - Only on the basis of this one Verse, he proclaimed the Shahada, in the 8th Medical conference in Riyadh, and said …(Arabic)…. That… ‘There is no God but Allah, and that Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, is the Messenger of Allah.
So besides showing an error in the Quran, Denis points out a miracle! Thank you Denis!
While such a description makes belief in Hell something of the realm of fantasy, there are still stern arguments against such a concept. Whether there is pain or not, eternal flames is not a true punishment to be feared. If it is eternal, there is ample time to grow accustomed to one's environment. Surely eternity is enough time to develop a higher tolerance of pain. There have been examples of human beings who reached a mental state where they do not feel pain. An example would be Buddhist monks in Viet Nam who could set themselves on fire, and show no reaction while burning to death. Such people would have nothing to fear from Hell.
The reason why the monks grew accustomed to the pain is because their skin was burnt off and therefore the meat under the skin does not feel the pain because there are no pain receptors. As long as there are pain receptors then the person will feel pain. God will always make sure that there are those pain receptors (Surah 4, verse 56).
Who is sent to Hell?
In Islam people are sent to Hell for not believing in God. Unfortunately this is a vague reason, as in Islam it is not immediately clear who is a believer and who is not. Different schools of thought offer different explanations as to what is qualifies one as a believer.
In Islam we believe that those who have received the true message of Islam and rejected it knowing that it is the truth, those are going to hell. God does not punish those who have not received the true message. God never puts anyone in Hell for no reason or if the person does not deserve it.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Haa Meem verse 46:
46 Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His servants!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verses 7-10:
7 And verily the Hour will come: there can be no doubt about it or about (the fact) that Allah will raise up all who are in the graves.
8 Yet there is among men such a one as disputes about Allah without knowledge, without guidance, and without a Book of Enlightenment.
9 (Disdainfully) bending his side in order to (lead men) astray from the Path of Allah; for him there is disgrace in this life and on the Day of Judgment we shall make him taste the Penalty of burning (Fire).
10 (It will be said): "This is because of the deeds which thy hands sent forth for verily Allah is never unjust to His servants!
One amongst the many Noble and Exclusive Attributes of our Lord Creator is that He is the ‘Al-Aadil’ or the All-Just; and it does not behove and befit His Majesty and His Mercy to ever be unjust to any in His creation.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verses 13-15:
13 Every man`s augury We have fastened on his own neck: on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll which he will see spread open.
14 (It will be said to him:) "Read thine (own) record: sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee."
15 Who receiveth guidance receiveth it for his own benefit: who goeth astray doth so to his own loss: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent Our messenger!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 26 Surah Shuaraa verses 208-209:
208 Never did We destroy a people but had its warners
209 by way of reminder; and We never are unjust.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 35 Surah Faatir verse 24:
24 Verily We have sent thee (O Prophet) in Truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a warner: and there never was a people without a warner having lived among them.
And just to make absolutely sure that this Just-Law is implemented and that one who has not received the Message of their Lord is punished, every time a people are about to be cast into the dungeons of the Hell Fire, they will be asked by the guardian Angels of the Hell Fire whether or not a warner from their Lord came to them and recited to them the Warning and the Message of their Lord! And every wrongdoer at the gates of Hell Fire on that Tumultuous Day will indeed admit and confess himself that Allah’s warner did indeed come unto them, but it was they themselves who in their arrogance rejected Allah’s Message and His Warning!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 67 Surah Mulk verses 6-11:
6 For those who reject their Lord is the Penalty of Hell: and evil is (such) destination.
7 When they are cast therein they will hear the (terrible) drawing in of its breath, even as it blazes forth.
8 Almost bursting with fury: every time a group is cast therein its keepers (the Angels) will ask "Did no warner come to you?"
9 They will say: "Yes indeed: a warner did come to us but we rejected him and said `Allah never sent down any (Message): ye are in nothing but an egregious delusion!` "
10 They will further say: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence we should not (now) be among the companions of the Blazing Fire!"
11 They will then confess their sins: but far will be (Forgiveness) from the Companions of the Blazing Fire!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verses 71-72:
71 The unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowds; until when they arrive there its gates will be opened and its Keepers (the Angels) will say "Did not messengers 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!"
72 (To them) will be said: "Enter ye the gates of Hell to dwell therein: and evil is (this) abode of the arrogant!"
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 35 Surah Fatir verses 36-37:
36 But those who reject (Allah) 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 ones!
37 Therein will they cry aloud (for assistance): "O 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 fruit of your deeds): for the wrongdoers there is no helper."
The following verse from the Qur'an may shed some light on the issue:
Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. (Qur'an 5:69)
While Shia, Sufi, and Submitter schools of thought agree that the above verse proves Jews and Christians can go to heaven, Sunnis strongly disagree. Most Sunnis will state that the above verse has been abrogated by the following one:
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (Qur'an 3:85)
Those Jews and Christians refer to the people at the time of the prophets who accepted the true message, which is Islam. Its talking about the Jews (true followers of Moses), Christians (true followers of Christ).
This explanation is agreed upon by the 4 most respectable commentators.
While Rashad Khalifa, founder of the Submitter sect, argued that Islam was Arabic for "submission (to God)" and therefore included Jews and Christians, Orthodox Sunni Muslims rejected such a possibility. Furthermore, teachers of Sunni law have argued that "Islam" means Sunni Islam only, and sects such as Shia, Ahmedi, Sufi, Qadianni, et cetera, will also be sent to Hell. In trying to explain why all the other sects are displeasing to Allah, Sunnis offer the following verse from the Qur'an:
Do not be like those who split up their religion and became sects, they invented new things in the religion (bid’ah) and followed their vain desires, each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.” (Qur'an 30:31-32)
Sunnis make up roughly 90% of all Muslims, and have thoroughly oppressed the much smaller sects. Rashad Khalifa himself was murdered in 1990 while visiting a Mosque in Arizona. Shias are the targets of much violence in Pakistan, and it is actually against the law to be a Shia in Malaysia! Many Islamic Sheikhs speak out against Sufi Islam, and countless Sunni religious leaders openly preach violence against those of the Ahmedi and Qadianni sects. Such oppression is easily accepted by Sunnis, as they believe they are punishing heretics, whom God himself hates. This is especially true of Shias, as many Sunnis believe that Shia Islam was started by the Jews.
Rashad Khalifa should not even be paid any attention to. His opinion means nothing. http://www.answering-christianity.com/rk_cult_exposed.htm
Denis is trying to show that the Quran is confusing and no one can determine who is right because all claim to follow the Quran.
Well that is not true. You have the Ahmedi sect accepting another Prophet after Muhammad and the Quran clearly states that Muhammad is the last Prophet.
You have Shias saying that the Quran is not preserved while the Quran says that it is preserved.
It is very obvious who is abiding by the Quran and who is not. There is no confusion.
Why send people to Hell?
Regardless of sectarian politics, all Muslims agree that those who do not believe in the God of Abraham will be sent to Hell. This includes Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and of course Atheists. Most Muslims also now feel that Christians who worship Jesus as God (which is the vast majority of Christians) will be sent Hell also. The question is why are all these people sent to Hell?
According to Islam, God (Allah) has ordained a very specific path for mankind. Those who stay on the path are rewarded with paradise, while those who stray from the path are severely punished (with Hellfire). Apparently Allah is very concerned about who is worshipping Him. So concerned, that He uses bribery and coercion to keep people in line.
The contradiction between the concept of a merciful God, and one that sends disbelievers to Hell, is one that cannot be reconciled. While Muslims, and the Qur'an, refer to God as Ar-Rahman (The Most Merciful), Allah is not very merciful at all. The God of Islam punishes those who do not recognize His dominance and acknowledge His superiority. This depicts Allah as being insecure, and having an inferiority complex. Psychologists could say a lot about Allah's aggressive nature, and desperate need to be worshipped.
In short Islam is a spiritual dictatorship. Allah is not loved by His followers, but feared. No person is allowed to live their life the way they want to. Fortunately for mankind, Allah is an impotent dictator. He is no longer able to carry out His punishments, and the iron fist with which He rules has grown soft. All that is left are His henchmen: Muslims, the pawns of the oppressor hurling hollow threats of a mythical place called Hell.
These comically misguided mercenaries patiently await the day Allah will come and destroy the infidels, and create an Islamic paradise for the faithful. Sadly they do not realize that their violent desert deity is a myth. The concept of Hell was created by a primitive society who's understanding of how a God should act was based on the behavior of the oppressive rulers of that time. While primitive cultures were terrorized by the thought of such a place, those who can think rationally should discard belief in such absurdities.
Denis has offered no evidence what so ever to disprove the concept of Hell. It is just something that he does not agree with due to his subjective opinions, which no offense to Denis are worthless. All these comments he has made could be answered, I recommend visit the following links
http://www.carm.org/atheism/God_good.htm and http://www.carm.org/questions/hell.htm, (this is a Christian site, but has good material on refuting atheism)
For any comments contact me at