Jahannam (Arabic: جهنم‎) is the Arabic language equivalent to Hell. The term comes from the Greek Gehenna, itself derived from the Hebrew geographical name for the Valley of Hinnom.[1][2][3]


Jahannam in the Qur'an

According to the Qur'an only God Knows who will go to Jahannam (Hell) and who will go to Jannah (heaven). Those who ignored, or only pretended to believe in Allah remain in Jahannam after Qiyamat (Judgment Day).

Muslims believe that unfaithful Muslims not true to their religion will be punished in Jahannam. Sunni Muslims believe that such Muslims will eventually be forgiven. Muslims also believe that a disbeliever or non-muslim, for not believing while on Earth, may remain there in Jahannam for eternity—each person is judged according to their own circumstance. However, those who commit shirk, that is, the sin of polytheism, will be condemned to worst punishments in Jahannam for eternity.[4] As well Allah Said: "The one who is not performing his prayer intentionally is truly an unbeliever". Verse 6:128 of the Qur'an states Allah may choose make the punishment of hell temporary if Allah wills it according to Allah's wisdom and knowledge.[5]

The Qur'an and Sunnah offer detailed descriptions of the methods of torture in Jahannam. The Qur'an states the punishments will be: the burning of skin, only to be replaced for reburning;[6] garments of fire will be worn, and boiling water will scald the skin and internal organs;[7] faces on fire;[8] lips burnt off;[9] backs on fire;[10] roasting from side to side;[11] faces dragged along fire;[12] bound in yokes then dragged through boiling water and fire.[13] The sunnah introduces punishments, reasons and revelations not mentioned in the Qur'an, The least-suffering person in Jahannam will have their brain boiling from standing on hot embers;[14] and that 'if somebody commits suicide with anything in this world, he will be tortured with that very thing on the Day of Resurrection'[15] and in Jahannam.[16]

Those who are doomed for Jahannam will eat Zaqqum and drink scalding water. Zaqqum is a tree that grows in Jahannam. It has fruit, shaped like devils' heads, which the damned are compelled to eat to intensify their torment. The Qur'an says:

[44.43] Surely the tree of the Zaqqum,
[44.44] Is the food of the sinful
[44.45] Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies,
[44.46] Like the boiling of hot water.[17]

Other verses in the Qur'an describe different kinds of foods for the doomed in Jahannam, even exclusionary suggestions:

[88.6] No food will there be for them but a bitter Dhari (thorn-fruit)[18]
[69.36] Nor hath he any food except the foul pus from the washing of wound,[19]

It is said that different people in Jahannam will have to eat any of these three different types of food.

Islamic sources indicate that all evil creatures, both human and jinn (including Satan (Iblis) himself) will be tormented by the Angel Maalik and his Zabaniyah.

Jahannam in other Arabic literature

The word Jahannam also appears in secular texts and colloquial expressions,[20] and in Arab Christian writings.[21] However it is used to refer to Hell and not specifically the Islamic concept of "Jahannam."

See also


  1. ^ Cyril Glassé, Huston Smith The new encyclopedia of Islam 2003 p175 "Hell. The place of torment where the damned undergo suffering most often described as fire, a fire whose fuel is stones and men. Names of hell used in the Koran are an-nar ("the fire"), Jahannam ("Gehenna"), ."
  2. ^ Mohd. Nor bin Ngah Kitab Jawi: Islamic thought of the Malay Muslim scholars: No.4 1983 -p17 "41 Allah also created seven Hells for the non- believers and sinners: Jahannam (Gehenna) for the sinners among Muslims, Sa'ir for Christians, Saqar for Jews, Hamim for proud people, ..."
  3. ^ Richard P. Taylor -Death and the afterlife: a cultural encyclopedia 2000 "JAHANNAM From the Hebrew ge-hinnom, which refers to a valley outside Jerusalem, Jahannam is the Islamic word for hell."
  4. ^ “Know they not that whoever opposes God and His Messenger (Muhammad), certainly for him will be the Fire of Hell to abide therein? That is the extreme disgrace.” (Qur'an 9:63)
  5. ^ 6:128 "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 Allah willeth." for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge."
  6. ^ 4:56: "Those who have disbelieved in Our signs — We will burn them in fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We will exchange them for other skins so that they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise."
  7. ^ 22:19-20: "These two opponents dispute [with each other] about their Lord. But those who disbelieve will have garments of fire cut out for them. Over their heads will be poured boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bellies as well as [their] skins."
  8. ^ 14:49-50 "And you will see the criminals that Day bound together in chains and yokes — their garments of liquid pitch and their faces covered with fire."
  9. ^ 23:103-4 "But those who scales [of good] are light, those are the ones who have lost their souls; [they will abide] in Jahannam eternally. The fire will burn, their faces, and they will [appear to] grin therein, their lips displaced."
  10. ^ 21:39-40 "If only the unbelievers knew [about] when they will not be able to ward off the fire from their faces, nor from their backs, and [that] they will not be helped. No, but it will come to them suddenly and confound them. And they will not be able to avert it, nor will they be given respite."
  11. ^ 33:66 "The Day that their faces will be turned from side to side in the fire, they will say, 'We wish that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.'"
  12. ^ 54"47-8 "Truly, the criminals are in error and madness. The Day they will be dragged through the Fire on their faces, [they will hear], 'Taste the touch of Hell'"
  13. ^ 40:69 "Do you not see those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah — how they are turned away [from truth]? Those who reject the Book and that with which We sent Our messengers — soon they will know. When the yokes [will be] round their necks and the chains. They will be dragged in the boiling water. Then in the Fire they will be burned."
  14. ^ Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0414, "Nu'man b. Bashir was delivering an address and saying: I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: the least suffering for the inhabitants of Hell on the Day of Resurrection would be for the man under whose soles would be placed two embers and his brain would boil on account of them."
  15. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 73.
  16. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 126; Volume 2, Book 23, Number 445:
  17. ^ Quran 44:43-46
  18. ^ Quran 88:6
  19. ^ Quran 69:36
  20. ^ Larousse: Dictionnaire Arabe-Français 2008
  21. ^ e.g. وان اعثرتك يدك فاقطعها .خير لك ان تدخل الحياة اقطع من ان تكون لك يدان وتمضي الى جهنم الى النار التي لا تطفأ . Mark 9:43

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jahannam — Le Jahannam (arabe: جهنم, turc: cehennem, bosniaque: džehennem) est l equivalent de l enfer dans l islam. Selon le Coran, Dieu seul sait qui est voué au Jahannam et qui ira au Jannah. Ceux qui ont ignoré ou feint de croire en Allah y demeureront… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jahannam — ▪ Islam       Islāmic (Islām) hell, described somewhat ambiguously in the Qurʾān and by Muḥammad. In one version, hell seems to be a fantastic monster that God can summon at will; in another description, it is a crater of concentric circles on… …   Universalium

  • Jahannam — noun Islamic concept of hell, where unfaithful Muslims not true to their religion will be punished, but will eventually be forgiven. See Also: Gei Hinnom, Zaqqum, Jannah …   Wiktionary

  • Jahannam —    The purgatorial or first stage of the Islamic hell, Daru el Bawar. From this word comes the biblical term Gehenna …   Who’s Who in non-classical mythology

  • Afterlife — For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). After death , Life after death , and Hereafter redirect here. For other uses, see After death (disambiguation), Life after death (disambiguation), and Hereafter (disambiguation). Ancient Egyptian… …   Wikipedia

  • Hell — This article is about the theological or philosophical afterlife. For other uses, see Hell (disambiguation). Medieval illustration of Hell in th …   Wikipedia

  • Meaning of life — This article is about the philosophical concept. For other uses, see Meaning of life (disambiguation). Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? One of Post Impressionist Paul Gauguin s most famous paintings. The meaning of life… …   Wikipedia

  • Underworld — For other uses, see Underworld (disambiguation). The Underworld is a region which is thought to be under the surface of the earth in some religions and in mythologies.[1] It could be a place where the souls of the recently departed go, and in… …   Wikipedia

  • Islam and masturbation — This is a sub article of Sexuality in Islam and masturbation.OverviewIstimna (استمناء) is the Arabic term for masturbation. Some believe that masturbation may possibly only be done in fear of committing adultery, nor is it preferred (either… …   Wikipedia

  • Kakrail Mosque — is a very renowned Mosque of the world to the Tablighi Jamaat .It is a very old mosque located in kakrail area at Ramna Park.Once upon a time it s name was Malwali Masjeed .Once upon a time this mosque was very small; but gradually got larger as… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.