Jibril (‘alayhis salam) describes Jahannam

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “Jibril (‘alayhis salam) came to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) at an unusual time. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stood up and said, ‘O Jibril, why has your complexion changed?’ Jibril (‘alayhis salam) replied, ‘I have only come as Allah has ordered regarding the keys of Jahannam.’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘O Jibril, describe the Fire for me!’ He replied, ‘Allah commanded that it burn for a thousand years until it turned white, and then it burned for a thousand years until it turned red and He commanded again that it burn for a thousand years until it turned black. It is black and dark, its embers are never extinguished, its flame never subsides. By Him Who sent you in truth, if the amount of the head of a needle from Jahannam had to be opened, everyone on earth would die from its heat. By Him Who sent you in truth, if one of the garments of the fire had to be hung between the sky and earth, all the inhabitants of earth would die due to the heat.By Him Who sent you in truth, if one of the gatekeepers of Jahannam were to show his face to the people of the world and they gazed at it, they would all die due to the ugliness of his face and his stench. By Him Who sent you in truth, if a link of the chain which Allah has described in His Book, were placed on the mountains of the earth, they would melt.’

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, Enough O Jibril, lest my heart split and I pass away.’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then looked at Jibril who was crying and said, ‘O Jibril, why are you crying whereas you hold [a lofty position] in the sight of Allah.’ Jibril (‘alayhis salam) replied, ‘Why should I not cry? Perhaps in the Knowledge of Allah, I may not be as I am currently. What do I know, perhaps I could be tested just as Iblis was tested, for he was from the angels or perhaps I could be tested just as Harut and Marut were tested…’”



Imam Tabarani (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Umar ibnul Khattab (radiyallahu ‘anhu).

(Al Mu’jamul Awsat, Hadith: 2604. Also see: Sifatun Nar of Imam Ibn Abid Dunya, Hadith: 157 and At Targhib Wat Tarhib of Abul Qasim Al Isbahani, Hadith: 1029)


The chain contains a narrator who has been declared extremely weak by the Muhaddithun.

(Mizanul I’tidal, vol. 2 pg. 165, number: 3192, Taqribut Tahdhib: 2702. Also see: Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 10 pg. 387 and An Nihayah Fil Fitani Wal Malahim, vol. 2 pg. 131/132)


And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala


Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

This answer was collected from The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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