Are the Paradise and The Hell already existed?
Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shalih al Uthaymeen was asked:
Are the paradise and the hell already existed?
Yes, indeed, the paradise and the hell are already existing. The indication of this matter culd be find inside the Qur’and and the sunnah.
In the Qur’an, Allah decreed regarding the hell:
Which can be translated as, “and do have fear of the Fire which awaits those who deny the Truth,” (Chapter Aali Imran/The Family of Imran:131)
And regarding the paradise, Allah the Exalted decreed,
“And hasten to the forgiveness of your Lord and to a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the God-fearing” ( Chapter Aali Imran/The Family of Imran:133)
In the sunnah, it is said in the book of valid hadith of both Al Bukhari and Muslim and other scholars, about the story of the solar eclipse, in which the Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- stood up to offer prayer, and then the paradise and the hell were shown to him.
He saw the paradise thus he was eager to reach a sign of it, but in reality he –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- didn’t do it. Next, he saw the hell, and he saw that in the center of the hell, there was ‘Amru bin Luhay Al-Khaza’i’ whose intestines were protruding from his stomach to the hellfire. Because he was the first person who introduced polytheism among the Arabs. Therefore, he received the share of punishment of the people after him (who followed his example of polytheism).
The Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- also saw a woman who was being tortured because of a cat that she tied up until it died of starvation, since she didn’t feed it or untied it so that it could find its own food. These indications point out that the paradise and the hell are already existing now.
[Rewritten from the book “Fatawa Anil Iman wa Arkaniha”, compiled by Abu Muhammad Asyraf bin Abdul Maqshud, with Indonesian title, “Soal-Jawab Masalah Iman dan Tauhid”, page 50-52, Pustaka At-Tibyan]