Abu Talib as the person receiving the least punishment on the Day of Resurrection

Q: Some Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim say that Abu Talib will be the least punished person on the Day of Resurrection. There are also other Hadith that say that the members of the Prophet’s family, who did not believe in him, will be in Hellfire, and others that say that the Prophet’s father will be in Hellfire. Would you please explain whether this means that they will abide eternally in Hellfire?


(Part No. 1; Page No. 488)  A: Abu Talib is the person who will receive the least punishment on the Day of Resurrection, due to the Prophet’s intercession for him for this. Thus, Allah will reduce his punishment due to the Prophet’s intercession, as recorded in a Hadith by Muslim, on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) stating that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The most lightly punished of the people of Hellfire will be Abu Talib; he will be wearing a pair of shoes (of Fire) which will cause his brain to boil.” It is also reported by Muslim and others on the authority of Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib, who asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Have you availed Abu Talib in any way, as he used to protect you and show anger for your sake?” He (peace be upon him) said, “Yes, had it not been for me, he would have been in the lowest depths of Hellfire.” In another narration, on the authority of Al-`Abbas, he said, I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Abu Talib used to protect you and support you, has this availed him?” He (peace be upon him) said, “Yes, I found him in thick depths of Hellfire and I brought him out to a shallow part.” It is also reported by Muslim on the authority of Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudry that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was once reminded of his uncle, Abu Talib, and he said, “Perhaps my intercession will benefit him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be placed in a shallow part of Hellfire, reaching his ankles, which will cause his brain to boil.” All those who die as Kafirs (disbelievers) will abide in the Hellfire eternally, whether they were related to the Prophet (peace be upon him) or not, as indicated by the general meaning of Allah’s Saying (which means): But those who disbelieved (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) and denied Our Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they will be the dwellers of the Fire, to dwell therein forever. And worst indeed is that destination. Beside other Ayahs that carry the same meaning. (Part No. 1; Page No. 489) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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