Allah azza wa jall, the Only Creator, the Only Sustainer, the Only Judge guided me to this beautiful religion, and may he guide me to the right path and keep me fastened firmly to His Rope, Ameen.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِذَا دَخَلَ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ، وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ ”
So I spent 2 days wondering about the many gates through which we move as Muslims and citizens. What are these other gates? From my limited research, it looks like there are 7 gates to Hell, Audhu Billah, and 8 gates to Heaven, and our actions and beliefs in this life will determine which gates we enter through.
May Allah make us among those for whom the gates of Hell are close, and multiple gates of Heaven are opened, Ameen.
The 7 Gates of Hell
Two different sources that I ran across point to Imam Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa’di’s description from his tafsir. From the different words Allah azza wa jall used to describe Hell—Jahannam, Ladha’, Saqar, Al Hutamah, Jaheem, Sa’eer, and Al Haawiyah—Imam as-Sa’di (and/or the people that translated his work to English) described the 7 Gates, the punishments endured in those districts, and the crimes people and jinn do in this life to earn punishment in the next.
I’m not going to go into any detail on these. In general, the main—and only unforgivable crime—is to associate partners with Allah or worship other than Him, and if we believe, pray to Him alone, fast seeking His pleasure alone, avoid being a jerk, and work as hard as we can to be as good as we can be, in all facets of our lives, InshaAllah we’ll be saved from punishment.
And Allah alone knows best.
If you want to read more check out the links above and do some research. For me, I’m more interested in how I can avoid the punishment than what the punishment entails, and may Allah forgive me.
“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
The 8 Gates of Heaven
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “Anybody who spends a pair of something in Allah’s Cause will be called from all the gates of Paradise, “O Allah’s slave! This is good.’ He who is amongst those who pray will be called from the gate of the prayer (in Paradise) and he who is from the people of Jihad will be called from the gate of Jihad, and he who is from those’ who give in charity (i.e. Zakat) will be called from the gate of charity, and he who is amongst those who observe fast will be called from the gate of fasting, the gate of Raiyan.” Abu Bakr said, “He who is called from all those gates will need nothing,” He added, “Will anyone be called from all those gates, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He said, “Yes, and I hope you will be among those, O Abu Bakr.”
That amounts to 4 of the 8, and the scholars appear to be divided on the others, but they revolve around, performing Hajj, controlling anger and forgiving people, sincere faith (Islam, Iman and Ihsan), Ilm (sound knowledge), satisfaction with the decree of Allah, and the like.
So… Pray, Struggle (against the desiring self and those who persecute Muslims), give in Charity, Fast, and, more or less, follow the Quran and Sunnah, try to be a decent person, and avoid being a jerk. InshaAllah, with some effort, not only can we save ourselves from the Fire, but also be among those who are called from many gates.
Our Lord, give us in this world good and in the Hereafter good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire, Ameen.