Can you explain the characteristics of the hellfire?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
أُوقِدَ عَلَى النَّارِ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ حَتَّى احْمَرَّتْ ثُمَّ أُوقِدَ عَلَيْهَا أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ حَتَّى ابْيَضَّتْ ثُمَّ أُوقِدَ عَلَيْهَا أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ حَتَّى اسْوَدَّتْ فَهِيَ سَوْدَاءُ مُظْلِمَةٌ
"The Fire was kindled for one thousand years until it reddened, then it was kindled for one thousand years until it whitened, then it was kindled for one thousand years until it became blackened, so it is dark black."
Jami’ at-Tirmidhi (2591)
Abu Isa said (regarding the above hadith from al-Tarmizi), the hadith is mauquf with just Yahya bin Abu Bukair Abu Syarik who rafa’ (links it to the Prophet PBUH) it.
Ibnu al-Mubarak narrated from Abu Hurairah, he said: “The Hell-Fire was kindled for one thousand years and turned white. Then it was kindled for another thousand years and it turned red. Then it was kindled for another thousand years and it turned black. So, it is black like the darkest night.”
Malik narrated from his uncle Abu Suhail bin Malik from his father from Abu Hurairah, he said: “You will see it like all the fires combined. It is blacker than asphalt.”
Ibnu al-Mubarak from Sufyan from Sulaiman from Abu Zhibyan from Salman, he said: “Hellfire is black and without glowing ember.” Then, he recited the following:
كُلَّمَا أَرَادُوا أَنْ يَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا مِنْ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُوا فِيهَا وَذُوقُوا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ
Every time they want to get out of Hellfire from anguish, they will be returned to it, and [it will be said], "Taste the punishment of the Burning Fire!"
Surah al-Hajj (22)
Malik narrated from Abu Zinad from al-A’raj from Abu Hurairah, he said the Prophet PBUH said: “The fire which sons of Adam burn is only one-seventieth part of the Fire of Hell. His Companions said: By Allah, even ordinary fire would have been enough (to burn people). Thereupon he said: It is sixty-nine parts in excess of (the heat of) fire in this world each of them being equivalent to their heat.” (Sahih Muslim)
Ibnu Majah Narrated from Anas bin Malik, he reported the Prophet PBUH said: “This fire of yours is one-seventieth part of the fire of Hell. Were it not that its heat has been reduced by water twice, you would not have been able to benefit from it.” (Sunan Ibnu Majah)
In another narration from Ibnu Abbas: “This fire has been reduced with sea water seven times, if not, it would not be of benefit.” (Narrated by Abu Umar)
Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrated that the Prophet PBUH said: “This fire of yours is one-seventieth part of the fire of Hell. Were it not that its heat has been reduced by sea water ten times, you would not have been able to benefit from it.”
Ibnu Abbas was once asked what made the fire available in this world, thus he answered: “From the fire of hell, but it has been reduced 70 times with water. Were it not has been so, you would not be able to come near it, for it is from the hellfire.”
Muslim narrated from Anas bin Malik, the Prophet PBUH said: “That one amongst the denizens of Hell who had led a life of ease and plenty amongst the people of the world would be made to dip in Fire only once on the Day of Resurrection and then it would be said to him: O, son of Adam, did you find any comfort, did you happen to get any material blessing? He would say: By Allah, no, my Lord. And then that person from amongst the persons of the world be brought who had led the most miserable life (in the world) from amongst the inmates of Paradise. and he would be made to dip once in Paradise and it would be said to him. 0, son of Adam, did you face, any hardship? Or had any distress fallen to your lot? And he would say: By Allah, no, 0 my Lord, never did I face any hardship or experience any distress.”
Ibnu Majah narrated a hadith from Muhammad bin Ishaq from Humaid Ath-Thawil from Anas bin Malik, the Prophet PBUH said: “On the Day of Resurrection the disbeliever who lived the most luxurious will be brought, and it will be said: ‘Dip him once in Hell.’ So he will be dipped in it, then it will be said to him: ‘O so- and-so, have you every enjoyed any pleasure?’ He will say: ‘No, I have never enjoyed any pleasure.’ Then the believer who suffered the most hardship and trouble will be brought and it will be said: ‘Dip him once in Paradise.’ So, he will be dipped in it and it will be said to him: ‘O so-and-so, have you ever suffered any hardship or trouble?’ He will say: ‘I have never suffered any hardship or trouble.’”
Ka’ab al-Ahbar said: “In the name of the One who holds the soul of Ka’ab, if you are standing in the east and the hellfire is in the west, then it is opened, thus your brain will melt and flow out through your nose due to its extreme heat. O Human, are there not limits set for all of you in this world? Will you be able to endure the punishments in the hereafter? O human, obeying Allah is easier for you from bearing this punishment, hence, obey Allah SWT.”
Al-Bazzar (narrated in his Musnad) from Abu Hurairah. He said, the Prophet PBUH said: “If there are more than a hundred thousand people, then a person from hell exhales, all of them would be burnt.”
The prophet PBUH said: “The fire used by the son of Adam is 1/70 from the fire of hellfire.” It means that if all the fire used by human are assembled, then it only made up one part of the fire from hellfire. If all of the wood on earth are collected to be burnt, then it is just one part from the 70 parts of the heat compared to the heat of hell, as stated in other hadiths.
Furthermore, the Prophet PBUH also said: “If (إن) all is collected” the letter (إن) here is a mukhaffafah thaqilah according to linguists from Basrah, as stated in the phrase (إن هو)
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطاً لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيداً وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلاَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ
“And thus, we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed, Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.”
Surah al-Baqarah (143)
It means, indeed, if all of them are assembled in terms of quantity, the Prophet PBUH said: “it exceeds in terms of measurement and degree of heat which is also 69 times hotter.”