the idea of Hell existing. To oppose it is to support non-existence, which is to support the elimination of innumerable friends’ happiness.
Yes, Hell is an awesome, majestic, existent land which performs the wise and just function of being the place of incarceration of the Glorious Sovereign of the sphere of existence, which is pure good. It performs numerous other functions, besides that of prison, and fulfils many purposes and carries out many duties connected with the eternal realm. It is also the awe-inspiring habitation of many living creatures like the Angels of Hell.
S e c o n d P o i n t : There is no contradiction between the existence and ghastly torments of Hell, and infinite mercy, true justice, and wisdom with its balance and absence of waste. Indeed, mercy, justice, and wisdom require its existence. For to punish a tyrant who tramples the rights of a thousand innocents and to kill a savage animal who tears to pieces a hundred cowed animals, is for the oppressed a thousandfold mercy within justice. While to pardon the tyrant and leave the savage beast free, is for hundreds of wretches a hundredfold pitilessness in place of that single act of misplaced mercy.
Similarly, among those who will enter Hell is the absolute disbeliever. For through his disbelief and denial he both transgresses the rights of the Divine Names, and through denying the testimony of beings to those Names, he transgresses their rights, and by denying the elevated duties of glorification of creatures before the Divine Names he violates their rights, and through denying their being mirrors to and responding with worship to the manifestation of Divine dominicality, which is the purpose of the universe’s creation and a reason for its existence and continuance, he transgresses their rights in a way. His disbelief is therefore a crime and wrong of such vast proportions it may not be forgiven, and deserves the threat of the verse,
God forgives not [the sin of] joining other gods with Him.1
Not to cast him into Hell would comprise innumerable instances of mercilessness to innumerable claimants whose rights had been transgressed, in place of a single misplaced act of mercy. Just as those claimants demand the existence of Hell, so do Divine dignity and majesty, and tremendousness and perfection most certainly demand it.
Yes, if a worthless rebel who assaults the people says to the proud ruler of the place: “You can’t put me in prison!”, affronting his dignity, if there is not a prison in the town, the ruler will have one made just to throw the ill-mannered wretch into it. In just the same way, through his
Qur’an, 4:48, 116.