`Abd al-Husayn Objects to the Hadith, “The Fire Will Not Be Filled Until Allah Places His Leg in it.”

`Abd al-Husayn’s Objections Against the Hadith Regarding the Descending of Allah Towards the Sky of the Earth Every Night
December 4, 2015
`Abd al-Husayn Objects to the Phenomena of Viewing the Countenance of Allah on the Day of Qiyamah
December 8, 2015

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‘Abdul Hussain Objects to the Hadith, “The Fire Will Not Be Filled Until Allah Places His Leg in it.”


He reproduces the hadith, “The fire will not be filled until Allah places His leg in it,” on page 67-69.

Al Bukhari and Muslim report from ‘Abdur Razzaq — Ma’mar — Hammam — from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who says:


قال النبي(ص)  تحاجت الجنة والنار فقالت النار أوثرت بالمتكبرين والمتجبرين وقالت الجنة ما لي لا يدخلني إلا ضعفاء الناس وسقطهم قال الله تبارك وتعالى للجنة أنت رحمتي أرحم بك من أشاء من عبادي وقال للنار إنما أنت عذابي أعذب بك من أشاء من عبادي منهما ملؤها فأما النار فلا تمتلئ حتى يضع رجله فتقول قط قط فهنالك تمتلئ ويزوى بعضها إلى بعض

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “A debate took place between Jannat and Jahannam.

Jahannam said, ‘I have been granted superiority by means of the proud and oppressive.’

Jannat will ask, ‘What is the matter with me? Why will the weak and lowly enter into me?’

Allah the most blessed and exalted responded to Jannat saying, ‘You are my mercy, I bestow my mercy upon whoever I wish by means of you.’

He then said to Jahannam, ‘You are my punishment, I punish whoever I wish to from my slaves by means of you.’

Each one of them will be filled. Jahannam will not be filled until He places His leg upon which it will exclaim, ‘Enough! Enough!’ At this juncture, some areas will overlap the others.”[1]


The author begins his search for inconsistencies saying:


إن هذا الحديث محال ممتنع بحكم العقل والشرع، وهل يؤمن مسلم ينزه الله تعالى بأن لله رجلا ؟ وهل يصدق عاقل بأنه يضعها في جهنم لتمتلىء بها ؟ وما الحكمة من ذلك؟ وأي وزن لهذا الكلام البارد – إلى أن قال- وبأي  لسان تتجاج النار والجنة؟! وبأي حواسهما أدركتا ما أدركتاه وعرفتا من دخلها وأي فضل للمتجرين والمتكبرين لتفخر بهم النار وهم يومئذ في اسفل سافلين ؟ وكيف تظن الجنة أن الفائزين بها من سقطة الناس وهم من الذين انعم الله عليهم بين نبي وصديق وشهيد وصالح ما أظن الجنة والنار قد بلغ بها الجهل والحمق والخرف إلى هذه الغاية ؟

This hadith is impossible according to both sources, intellect as well as the Shari’ah. Does any Muslim who believes that Allah is pure from having a leg believe this? Will any intellectual believe that He will place it in Jahannam so that Jahannam may be filled? What is the wisdom behind that? How does this derogatory statement make any sense? In which language did Jannat and Jahannam debate? Did they have senses to feel and realise what kind of people entered them? Is there anything virtuous about the proud and oppressive which would make Jahannam proud (that they will enter it), whereas they will be on that day the lowest of the low? How can Jannat regard those who have entered it to be the lowly people whereas they are the ones whom Allah had blessed? The one who enters will either be a nabi, siddiq, shahid, or a pious person. I do not think that Jannat and Jahannam have reached this level of ignorance, stupidity, and waywardness!


Our comment: It is sheer obstinacy and totally irrational to take the literal meaning of these words if there is no proof to do so. The basic principle is that when a word cannot be understood literally, then the figurative meaning should be taken into account. Figurative speech is used quite often in this language. By means of example, it is said, “The city went out to welcome the pilgrims.” The obvious meaning of this is that majority of the inhabitants of the city went out to welcome them.

In the same manner, this hadith as well as all the verses which are used by the anthropomorphist’s (such as the verse of istiwa) should be interpreted figuratively. Rejecting this hadith on the basis of what the author terms anthropomorphism and likening Allah to His creation, would demand that all the verses that are similar to this should also be rejected. No Muslim will accept this. Therefore, just as those verses were interpreted according to their figurative meaning, similarly some ahadith should also be interpreted in the like manner. This is because those ahadith were said in accordance to the style and temperament of the glorious Qur’an.

If he refuses to accept that they should be taken figuratively, then we say to him: in that case, it will be necessary in our example to believe that the city along with its buildings, masajid, houses, and trees should go out, whereas this is illogical and impossible. It has never happened. Thus, it is necessary to take the figurative meaning. Refusing to take the figurative meaning will be a rejection of the linguistic principle that the articulate, eloquent, and the common Arabs have always accepted, since they were discovered. Many verses of the glorious Qur’an and many ahadith of the trustworthy Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be understood in accordance with this principle.[2]

What are the grounds and reasons for rejecting this hadith and finding it strange? If it is the fact that it mentions that Allah will place His leg therein, then the Qur’an also mentions a hand, face, eyes, the coming of Allah, etc. Allah says:


وَيَبْقٰى وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

Only the countenance of your Rabb the possessor of majesty and benevolence shall remain.[3]


كُلُّ شَىْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلاّ وَجْهَهُ

Everything will perish but His countenance.[4]


وَقالَتْ الْيَهُوْدُ يَدُ اللهِ مَغْلُوْلَةٌ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيْهِمْ وَلُعِنُوْا بِمَا قَالُوْا بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوْطَتَانِ يُنْفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَآء

The Jews say, “Allah’s hand is tied up!” It is their hands that are tied up and they have been cursed because of what they say. Indeed, Allah’s hands are spread out wide, He spends as He pleases.[5]


مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لمِاَ خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَىَّ

What has prevented you from prostrating to what I have created with my own hands?[6]


وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِنِّيْ وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلٰى عَيْنِيْ

I had cast on you love from Me, so that you may grow up under my supervision.[7]


In essence, to allow the intellect to be the judge regarding matters relating to Allah is itself a sign of weakness of the intellect. Most of those who are deluded by their intellect eventually turn into heretics. Thus, it is in the best interest of the intellect, especially this sick one, to restrict its contemplation to those things which it is able to digest. When the intellect is unable to independently discover the secret behind life within the human body, and it cannot completely understand a grain of sand from the desert, then how can it be possible that it will be able to discover the creator of the entire universe?

If for a moment we have to accept that the intellect is sufficient to judge the correctness of this hadith, then too we will need the answers to a few questions. Whose intellect will be the judge? The philosophers? They differ amongst themselves. Every philosopher disagrees with the views of his predecessors. Should we take the view of the eloquent ones? They are totally unfamiliar with the subject as they concentrate upon rare events and stories. Should we take the intellect of the doctors, engineers and mathematicians? All of them do not understand the subject.

Would you allow us to use the intellect of the Muhaddithin? This will not impress you. In fact, you accuse them of being dim-witted and simple minded. If we are to accept the intellect of the jurists, then they differ. Added to that, you believe that their intellect is the same as the Muhaddithin. Should we accept the intellect of the heretics? They believe that your faith in the existence of Allah is a result of ignorance and superstition. If you say that we should accept the intellect of those who believe in Allah from amongst them, then let us look at some of their different groups:

  1. Those who believe that Allah possesses the bodies of humans, who then become deities.
  2. Those who believe that the soul of Allah wears a body which is then considered a deity.
  3. Those who believe that Allah and His creation are one entity.
  4. Those who believe in the trinity.
  5. Those who believe that cows, rats, and frog should be worshipped.

You may say, “We wish to accept the judgement of those who believe in one deity in accordance with Islam.” We will then ask you, “Whose intellect from amongst them will you accept? The Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah?” This will not satisfy the Shia and the Mu’tazilah. Should we accept the intellect of the Shia? This will not satisfy the Ahlus Sunnah and the Khawarij. Should we accept the intellect of the Mu’tazilah? This will not satisfy any of the Muslims. Thus, whose intellect will you be happy with?[8]

The call towards judging ahadith on the basis of intellect is an old one. The Mu’tazilah called for it in the early times, and the orientalists, followed by Ahmed Amin in recent times. He listed a few authentic ahadith which, according to his opinion, are illogical. If he intends by this that which is obviously untrue, then this was done by the Muhaddithin. The scholars of hadith criticism laid down a few principles by means of which a fabricated hadith could be recognised. Amongst them is that the hadith opposes that which is obvious or it opposes a known fact of din, history, medicine etc., in this manner, they rejected thousands of ahadith and labelled them as fabrications.

If he intends any other meaning when saying that ‘the intellect does not find it acceptable’, then this is something that differs from person to person. It is greatly affected by the culture and surroundings of a person and there is no way that it can be codified. How often do we not see that a certain thing seems unacceptable to one person, yet a second person considers it absolutely normal? There are many amongst us who could not understand how a car moves without being pulled by horses as they had not seen cars, at a time when cars had already become a norm for westerners. Similarly, a villager could not believe that something like a radio exists and he would believe that it is one of the lies of the city-dwellers. If he had to see it for the first time in his life, he would think that it is the voice of the devil, just as a child would think that a human is speaking from within it.

Nevertheless, we do not need the intellects’ of ‘Abdul Hussain, Ahmed Amin, and Abu Rayyah. The views of the ‘Ulama’ regarding this type of words are well known. The pious predecessors believe in them without any interpretation, after exonerating Allah from any similarity with His creation…[9] With regards to the intellect of ‘Abdul Hussain it seems as if Allah decreases it with every example. Why else would he react to this hadith in the manner that he had done whereas the Shia scholars have used it as proof under their explanation of the saying of Allah:


يَوْمَ نَقُوْلُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلأْتِ وَتَـقُوْلُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍ

On the day, we ask Jahannam, “Are you full,” and she will reply, “Is there more?”[10]


They did not object or belie it in any way, irrespective of who narrated it, whether it was Abu Hurairah, Anas (as reported by al Suyuti in al Durr al Manthur) or Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhum (as reported by Imam Ahmed in his Musnad).

After reporting the following hadith of Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his Tafsir al Mizan, which was reported by al Suyuti in al Durr:


لا تزال جنهم يلقى فيها وتقول هل من مزيد حتى يضع رب العزة فيها قدمه فيزوي بعضها إلى بعض وتقول قط قط وكرمك ولا يزال في الجنة حتى ينشئ الله لها خلقاً آخر فيسكنهم في قصور الجنة

People will continuously be thrown into Jahannam, but it will say after each time, “Is there more?” This will continue until the Rabb of honour will place His leg in it. Thereupon some portions of it will be overlapped by others and it will exclaim, “Enough! By Your honour, Enough!” Jannat on the other hand will remain unoccupied until Allah creates a certain creation whom He will grant place in its palaces.[11]


Al Tabataba’i (shia) says:


أقول: وضع القدم على النار وقولها : قط قط مروي في روايات كثيرة من طرق أهل السنة

Placing of the leg upon Jahannam and her exclamation, “Enough! Enough!” Has been narrated in many narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah.


Similarly, this hadith was also used as proof by the philosopher of the Shia, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Sadr al Din al Shirazi who was granted the title, ‘Sadr al Muta’ahhilin’ in his Tafsir al Qur’an al Karim. His exact words are:


ألا ترى صدق ما قلناه النار لا تزال متألّمة لما فيها من النقيص وعدم الإمتلاء حتى يضع الجبّار قدمه فيها كما ورد في الحديث وهي إحدى تينك القدمين المذكورتين في الكرسي

Do you not see the truth of our statement? The Fire will remain in anguish due to a lack of people and because it will not be filled. Thus, the All-Powerful will place His leg in it as reported in a hadith. This leg is one of the two legs which appear in the Kursi.[12]


Al Sayed Muhammadi al Rayy Shahri (shia) also uses this hadith as proof in his voluminous encyclopaedia Mizan al Hikmah under the chapter of “Is there more”.[13] This is the true scale by which the ahadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are weighed. They are reported without paying any attention to the chain. Thereafter, the knowledge therein is attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

‘Abdul Hussain said:


بأي لسان تتحاج النار والجنة ؟ وبأي حواسهما أدركتا ما أدركتاه وعرفتاه من دخلهما

In which language did Jannat and Jahannam debate? Did they have senses to feel and realise what kind of people entered them?


Our comment: These questions definitely expose the gross ignorance of ‘Abdul Hussain regarding the Qur’an. If he is surprised that Jannat and Jahannam had a conversation, then does he know that the Qur’an states that Allah addressed and spoke to the skies and the earth saying:


ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِيْنَ

Come to us willingly or unwillingly! Both replied: “We shall come willingly.”[14]


Further, Allah also says:


يَوْمَ نَقُوْلُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلأْتِ وَتَـقُوْلُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيْدٍ

The day we will say to Jahannam: “Are you full,” and she will reply, “Is there more?[15]


Thus, Jahannam spoke! It asked: “Is there more?” Why did ‘Abdul Hussain not read a verse from the Qur’an? Why did he not feel shy to ask, “What is the wisdom behind that? Is there any sense in this ridiculous speech?” Glory be to Allah! The speech of Allah is considered ridiculous and senseless by this ‘learned scholar’! Have you ever seen an erudite scholar of his like? He understands nothing of the Qur’an, nothing of the pure and sublime Sunnah and even nothing of the ahadith of the Ahlul Bayt!

However, I do not think that he has really reached this level of ignorance. I do not believe that he did not come across the books of hadith, fiqh, tafsir, rijal etc., as he has been bestowed the title of ‘Ayatollah’. The most realistic possibility is that the author seeks to attack Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in any possible manner, even if that leads to ignorance regarding the verses of the Qur’an and pure Sunnah. What gives support to this view is that these very ahadith, which have been narrated by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and rejected by him, are found in their books as well. The Shia have narrated those ahadith which prove that Jannat, Jahannam, and the wind will speak, all from those whom they consider infallible.

Bihar al Anwar reports under the chapter regarding Jannat and its bounties from Sakuni from Jafar ibn Muhammad — his father (al Baqir) — his forefathers — ‘Ali rahimahu Llah — from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


تكلم النار يوم القيامة ثلاثة: أميراً وقارئاً، وذا ثروة من المال فتقول للأمير: يامن وهب الله له سلطاناً فلم يعدل فتزدرده كما يزدرد الطير حب السمسم وتقول للقارئ : يا من تزين للناس وبازر الله بالمعاصي فتزدرده ، وتقول للغني يا من وهب الله له دنيا كثيرة  واسعة فيضا وسأله الحقير اليسير قرضا فأبى إلا بخلا فتزدرده

The Fire will speak to three people on the Day of Qiyamah; a ruler, a scholar, and a wealthy person.

It will say to the ruler, “O the one whom Allah granted authority but he did not do justice!” Then it will tear him up just as a bird tears a sesame seed.

It will say to the scholar, “O the one who beautified himself for the people but brazenly disobeyed Allah,” and then it will tear him apart.

It will then say to the wealthy person, “O the one who Allah granted excessive and abundant worldly possessions but refused to loan a poor downtrodden person some wealth.” Thereafter it will tear him apart.[16]


Bihar al Anwar also reports under the chapter regarding Jannat and its bounties from Abu Basir from Abu Jafar who says:


 إذا كان يوم القيامة نادت الجنة ربها فقالت : يارب أنت العدل قد ملأت النار من أهلها كما وعدتها ولم تملأني كما وعدتني ، قال: فيخلق الله خلقاً لم يروا الدنيا فيملأ بهم الجنة طوبى لهم

On the Day of Qiyamah Jannat will cry out to Allah saying, “O my Rabb, You are the Most Just. You have filled Jahannam with its occupants as You promised it but You did not fill me as You promised me.” Thereupon Allah will create some people who did not even see the world and Jannat will be filled. Glad-tidings to them.[17]

Al Qummi says in his Tafsir:


{  يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلأْتِ وَتَـقُوْلُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيْدٍ} هو استفهام لأنه وعد الله النار أن يملأها  فتمتلئ النار ، ثم يقول لها : هل امتلأت ؟ وتقول هل من مزيد ؟ على حد الاستفهام ، أي ليس فيّ مزيد ، قال : فتقول  الجنة : يا رب وعدت النار أن تملأها ، ووعدتني أن تملأني فلم لا تملأني وقد ملأت النار ؟ قال: فيخلق الله يومئذ خلقا يملأ بهم الجنة ، فقال أبوعبدالله (ع): طوبى لهم إنهم لم يروا غموم الدنيا وهمومها

“The day we will say to Jahannam, ‘Are you full,’ and she will reply, ‘Is there more?’[18]

This is a question as Allah had promised the Fire that He will fill it. Thus, it will be filled. Then He will ask it, “Are you full,” and it will reply, “Is there more?” i.e. the meaning of this is it is a rhetorical question meaning, “there is no space left in me.” Thereafter Jannat will say, “O my Rabb, You promised the fire that You will fill it and You done so. You also promised to fill me so why have You not filled me?” He says, “Thereupon Allah will create a nation who will be used to fill Jannat.” Abu ‘Abdullah said, “They will be fortunate indeed. They did not see the grief and worry of the world.”[19]


Muhammad ibn Muslim narrates:


قال لي أبو جعفر (ع) كان كل شيئ ماء وكان عرشه على الماء فأمر الله الماء فاضطر نارا فأمرالله النار فخمدت فارتفع من خمودها دخان فخلق الله السموات من ذلك الدخان وخلق الله الأرض من الماء ثم أختصم الماء والنار والريح ، فقال الماء جند الله الأكبر وقالت النار أنا جند الله الأكبر وقالت الريح أنا جند الله الأكبر ، فأوحى الله الى الريح أنت جند الله الأكبر

Abu Jafar said to me, “Initially, there was only water and His throne was upon that water. Then Allah commanded the water, so it produced a fire. Allah then commanded the fire to subside. As soon as it subsided, smoke began to emerge from it, so Allah created the skies from that smoke, and Allah created the earth from the water. Thereafter the water, fire, and the wind began arguing.

The water said, “I am the greatest army of Allah.”

The fire said, “I am the greatest army of Allah.”

The wind objected, “I am the greatest army of Allah.”

Subsequently, Allah revealed to the wind, “You are the greatest army of Allah.”[20]


Bihar al Anwar, under the chapter of Jannat and its bounties, from Dawood al ‘Ijli Mawla Abi al Mi’za:


سمعت أبا عبد الله (ع) يقول : ثلاث أعطين سمع الخلائق : الجنة ، والنار ، والحور العين ، فإذا صلّى العبد وقال اللهم أعتقني من النار وأدخلني الجنة وزوجني من الحور العين قالت النار : يا رب إن عبدك قد سألك أن تعتقه مني فأعتقه وقالت الجنة : يارب إن عبدك قد سألك إياي فأسكنه ، وقالت الحور العين : يا رب إن عبدك قد خطبنا إليك فزوجه منّا ، فإن هو انصرف من صلاته ولم يسأل من الله شيئا من هذا قلن الحور العين : إن هذا العبد فينا لزاهد وقالت الجنة : إن هذا العبد فيّ لزاهد ، وقالت النار : إن هذا العبد فيّ لجاهل .

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying, “Three bodies are able to hear the entire creation; Jannat, Jahannam, and the Hur al ‘Ayn (maidens of Jannat). When a person performs salah and says, ‘O Allah grant me freedom from the emancipation from the fire, entrance into Jannat, and grant me in marriage the Hur al ‘Ayn.’ The fire says, ‘O my Rabb, Your slave has asked You for emancipation from me, so grant him emancipation.’ Jannat responds, ‘O my Rabb, Your slave has asked You for me, so grant him residence (in me).’ The Hur al ‘Ayn say, ‘O our Rabb, Your slave has proposed to us through you, so grant us to him in marriage.’ If, however, he turns away after completing his salah without supplicating in the above manner, then the Hur al ‘Ayn say, ‘Indeed this slave is not interested in us.’ Jannat says, ‘This slave is not inclined towards me.’ And the fire says, ‘This slave is indeed ignorant regarding me.’”[21]


It is really strange how this extremely righteous author cannot digest the hadith of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu about the debate between Jannat and Jahannam, yet he does not object to their hadith which is narrated from their Imams that the sun spoke to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu! How did the sun speak to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and in which language? In Bihar al Anwar, under the biography of Amir al Mu’minin, chapter of the sun returning because of him and the sun speaking to him. It is reported from Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn Jafar from his forefathers who narrate from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu:


يا أبا الحسن كلّم الشمس فإنها تكلمك ، قال علي (ع): السلام عليك أيها العبد المطيع لله ، فقالت الشمس وعليك السلام يا أمير المؤمنين وإمام المتقين !!!

O Abu al Hassan, speak to the Sun as it is speaking to you. ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam said, “Peace be upon you, O obedient slave of Allah.”

The Sun replied, “Peace be upon you too, O Amir al Mu’minin and Imam of the muttaqin (pious).”[22]


Has ‘Abdul Hussain’s hatred for Islam and the Sahabah, especially Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu become clear? He tries to attack him in every possible manner. He forgets that his religion contains many more narrations of this type and their content is quite extreme as well. Does ‘Abdul Hussain really not know these verses and the ahadith of those whom he considers totally infallible, which is the first possibility, as he says, “In what language were Jannat and Jahannam debating?” If he does not know in which language they were debating, then this is indeed unacceptable ignorance.


NEXT⇒ ‘Abdul Hussain’s Objections Against the Hadith Regarding the Descending of Allah Towards the Sky of the Earth Every Night

[1]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Jannat.

[2]Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 238-239.

[3]  Surah al Rahman: 27.

[4]  Surah al Qasas: 88.

[5]  Surah al Ma’idah: 64.

[6]  Surah Sad: 75.

[7]  Surah Taha: 39.

[8]Al Sunnah, pg. 39.

[9]  ‘Abdul Mun’im al ‘Ali: Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah, pg. 260.

[10]  Surah al Qaf: 30.

[11] Tafsir al Mizan, 18/362.

[12] Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Sadr al Din al Shirazi: Tafsir al Qur’an al Karim, 1/58, 156.

[13] Muhammadi al Rayy Shahri: Mizan al Hikmah, 2/178-179.

[14]  Surah al Fussilat: 11.

[15]  Surah Qaf: 30.

[16] Bihar al Anwar, 8/285.

[17] Bihar al Anwar, 8/198.

[18]  Surah Qaf: 30.

[19]Tafsir al Qummi, 2/326; Bihar al Anwar, 8/133, 292-293; al Burhan, 4/228.

[20]Tafsir al Burhan, 2/207, refer to al Jawahir al Saniyyah as well.

[21] Bihar al Anwar, 8/155-156.

[22] Bihar al Anwar, 41/169.

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