Regardless of your religion or beliefs at some point in your life you heard about hell. And whether it was from tv or from your religious and judgy aunt, the result is the same. We all have a general idea about hell. And despite the fact that some believe in it or not, the concept of hell managed to become a stable topic of discussions in our society. So, what is hell? What does hell look like? Who created it and why? Who is going there?
Well, according to some of the major religions the concept of hell is surprisingly one of the few things that major religions agree on.
The concept of hell in Judaism
Thought-out my research I’ve noticed that Judaism has the most distinctive version of hell. While the other religions see it as an eternal fire and punishes and burns the bad and deserving people. Judaism doesn’t see it so much as a physical place. It is more of an afterlife realm that souls go to after committing sins in this life time. According to the Jewish doctrine, there are three types of sins that could get you to hell or Gehinnom as it is called. And those three types are, sins against God, sins against another person, and sins against yourself.
But if it is not made out of fire then how does hell look like? Well, it is believed that after the transition from this world. This realm is best compared to a very intense feeling of shame. People being ashamed of their wrong doings and sins. this constitutes suffering which makes up for the bad deeds.
The longest that one can be there is said to be 12 months, however there has been the occasional noted exception. Aron moss even compared it to a washing machine. As ones soul that can be fixed enters and is cleansed of all its mistakes to be able to be at peace. As a way for the soul to repent and being cleansed and reborn.
The description of hell according to the Quran.
As the classical description of hell stemmed from Islam and Christianity, this might sound a little more familiar. In the holy Quran it is said that, hell or Jahannam is not a pit of fire but a roaring raging beast. That is held down by 70,000 chains holding each chain is 70,000 Angels. The fire of Jahannam was ordered to be kindled in advance for 1000 long years so its flames became red. Again, it was heated for another thousand years till its colour became white. Still again it was burnt for further thousand years and its white colour flames turned pitch black.
The food that the inhabitants of hell will have is, Zaqqum. Which is a prickly tree, so bitter. That even if a single molecule of it were to spill onto this earth. It would make all the foodstuff of the world bitter and unpalatable. They will also be provided with hot, boiling puss mixed with blood, matter, urine and tears etc. of the dwellers of Hell.
There are seven levels of hell that go down, as the levels of heaven go up. the first is called Jahanam, the second Ladhaa, the third al-Hutamah, the fourth as-Sa’eer, the fifth Saqar, the sixth al-Jaheem, and the seventh al-Hawiyah. Each level having a different type of punishment for different types of people.
Every person being deserving of their place there. Prophet Muhammad (saw)said concerning the people of Hell: “There are some whom the Fire will take up to their ankles, others up to their knees, others up to their waists, and yet others up to their collarbones.” [Muslim]
Hell’s description according to Christianity and the bible
In Christianity similar to Islam hell is seen as the final destination after death for the non-believers. It is a cruel place created for the punishment and suffering. For the people who didn’t do good with their time on earth. But how does hell look like?
Hell begins with the biggest punishment of it all, the eternal separation and complete from god and his mercy. And then with the gashing of teeth, darkness and fire.
- “Shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
- “Realm of darkness” (Nahum 1:8)
- “Thrown outside into the darkness” (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 25:30)
- “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12)
- “Fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9)
- “Eternal fire” (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41)
But not everybody goes to hell, only the most deserving in the eyes of gods highest judgment. He is merciful but also fair. So, he will not hesitate to punish anybody who truly deserves it. “For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.”(2 Peter 2:4)
Christian Mortalism, is the doctrine that all humans must die, and do not continue and are not conscious after death. Therefore, Annihilationism also includes the doctrine in which “the wicked” are also destroyed rather than tormented forever in the lake of fire.
and whether you believe in these stuff or not. it is still fascinating to learn about the origins of such influential places like heaven and hell.