Verse 6: Those who disbelieve in their Lord will suffer the punishment of Hell. What an evil destination!
This verse is connected to the last part of verse 5 where Allah ﷻ says, “and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.” In verse #5, Allah ﷻ is referring to the devils that are pelted and stoned with stars when they try to steal information from the gatherings of the Angels. That’s their punishment in this world, being pelted and stoned with stars, and in the hereafter Allah ﷻ has prepared a severe punishment for them in a blazing fire.
Similarly, Allah ﷻ has prepared the punishment of Hell for those who disbelieve. The punishment of hell for all of eternity is reserved for those who reject the existence and oneness of Allah and reject the message of the messengers. The word Kāfirun is the plural of the word kāfir, which means one who knowingly and willingly rejects and denies the truth. The word Kāfir is a general term or category; it refers to anyone who rejects, denies, and disbelieves in Islam. This includes atheists, agnostics, polytheists, Buddhists, Zorastrians, Jews, and Christians. It includes anyone who doesn’t believe in Allah ﷻ, the Messenger ﷺ, and life after death. It also includes those who consciously and knowingly reject or deny any definitive and undeniable belief or practice of Islam. It is very important for us to understand that this is not some sort of derogatory word or some sort of insult. This is simply a way of classifying and categorizing human beings with respect to faith and belief. With respect to faith and belief, there are two general broad categories: 1) Believers and 2) Non-believers. Allah ﷻ tells us in Surah al-Taghābun, “He is the One Who created you, yet some of you are disbelievers while some are believers. And Allah is All-Seeing of what you do.”
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هُوَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌۭ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
Now, rationally speaking denying the existence of Allah ﷻ is absurd and doesn’t make sense. How can this entire universe with all its beauty, perfection, and precision be the product of random chance? How could it be that our existence is just some big coincidence or accident? That is why rejecting the existence of God and disbelieving in Him is considered to be the worst thing a person can do; it is a violation of the exclusive right of Allah ﷻ. It is belittling the might, power, magnificence, glory and greatness of God.
For some of us it may be difficult to understand why disbelief is such a great offence. That is because we have this “notion that wrongs must have a discernible victim. But in Islam, we recognize not only the rights of man, but, more importantly, the rights of God. God’s rights are inviolable and non-negotiable.” Within the framework of Islam we acknowledge and recognize two sets of rights: 1) the rights of man and 2) the rights of Allah . If we violate the right of man it seems tangible and we know that we have to make up for it in some way. There are consequences in this world as well. However, when we violate the rights of Allah ﷻ it may seem a little intangible because the consequences of doing so will be experienced in the hereafter. And as I mentioned the rights of Allah in terms of belief and worship are inviolable and non-negotiable.
- Imagine, Allah ﷻ is the One who created us, fashioned us, provides and sustains us, bestowing countless blessings and favors, and in response we refuse to believe in him or we associate partners with him? That is an affront to God and that is why it is describes as a major injustice.
Allah ﷻ is telling us that the consequence of disbelief, the consequence of consciously refusing to believe in Allah ﷻ and His message is Jahannam and it is “an evil end”. It is the absolutely worst, most horrible, and terrible place for anyone to be.