Do you know that paradise and hellfire once having a debate? Yes, we will never know until the Prophet ﷺ informed us about that.
In a hadith from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (may Allah blesses him), that the Prophet ﷺ said:
احْتَجَّتِ الْجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ فَقَالَتِ النَّارُ فِيَّ الْجَبَّارُونَ وَالْمُتَكَبِّرُونَ وَقَالَتِ الْجَنَّةُ فِيَّ ضُعَفَاءُ النَّاسِ وَمَسَاكِينُهُمْ فقضى الله بينهما إِنَّكَ الْجَنَّةُ رَحْمَتِي أَرْحَمُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ وَإِنَّكِ النَّارُ عَذَابِي أُعَذِّبُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ وَلِكِلاكُمَا عَلَيَّ مِلْؤُهَا
“Paradise and Hellfire argued with each other. The Hellfire said: The tyrants and the arrogant are in me. Paradise said: The meek among people and their poor are in me. Allah judged between them: You, Paradise, are my mercy that I bestow upon whomever I will. You, Hellfire, are my punishment with which I punish whomever I will. You will both be filled” [Saheeh Muslim].
The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) informs us that Paradise and Hellfire argued before their Lord. Meaning that each of them presented the proofs of its superiority, each claiming to be better than the other.
Paradise argued with Hellfire, saying that the weak and poor from mankind will be in it. For most of them are those who incline towards the truth and submit to it.
Then Hellfire argued that the tyrants – who are stern and harsh – will be in it, as well as the arrogant – who are haughty, proud, despise others and deny the truth. The tyrant and arrogant are the inhabitants of Hellfire – Allah’s refuge is sought – because most of the time they do not submit to the truth.
Then Allah, the Almighty, judged between them, saying to Hellfire: You are My punishment with which I will punish whomever I wish. And will exact revenge upon whomever I wish.
Then He said to Paradise: You are My mercy with which I will show mercy to whomever I wish. Meaning that it is the abode that was created out of the mercy of Allah. It is not His mercy that is one of His permanent attributes, rather, the mercy mentioned here is a creature.
‘You are My mercy’ means ‘I created you from My mercy, and with you I will show mercy to whomever I wish.’ The inhabitants of Paradise are the people of Allah’s mercy, whereas the inhabitants of Hellfire are the people of Allah’s punishment.
Help us to spread more Islamic teaching by giving your donations at topislamic.net/support