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Hell

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Hell

    Also known as al-Nar and Jahannam. Punishment assigned to evildoers and unbelievers in the afterlife. Described in the Quran as a place of eternal fire with crackling and roaring flames, fierce boiling waters, scorching wind, and black smoke. Often depicted as having seven gates or levels. Evildoers will tumble from the Bridge of Sirat into the fire below. Inhabitants sigh and wail, drinking foul liquids in a hopeless effort to assuage their thirst. Scorched skins are exchanged for new ones so that pain can be experienced repeatedly. Boiling water is poured over heads, melting the insides. Iron hooks drag people back if they try to escape. Many commentators interpret these descriptions as metaphors for the awareness of guilt and deprivation of divine presence.

    See also Afterlife

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