Thu 17 Jm2 1435 - 17 April 2014
22836

The ratio of people of Paradise to people of Hell

ar
In Saheeh al-Bukhaari there are two ahaadeeth (nos. 6529 and 6530 according to the numbering of Fath al-Baari). In hadeeth no. 6529 it says that the number of “those who are to be sent to Hell is ninety nine from every hundred.” And in hadeeth no. 6530 it says that the number of “those who are to be sent to Hell is nine hundred and ninety nine from every thousand.” I hope that you could comment and explain this. May Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.  

The first hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari (6529) from Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first one to be called on the Day of Resurrection will be Adam. He will be shown his progeny and it will be said, ‘This is your father Adam.’ He will say, ‘Here I am at Your service.’ He will say: ‘Bring forth those who are to be sent to Hell from among your progeny.’ He will say, ‘O Lord, how many should I bring forth?’ He will say, ‘Bring forth from every hundred ninety nine.’” They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, if ninety nine are taken from every hundred of us, what will be left of us?” He said, “My ummah, among the other nations, is like a white hair on a black bull.” 

The second hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari (3348) and Muslim (222) from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will say, ‘O Adam!’ and he will say, ‘Here I am at Your service, and all goodness is in Your hand.’ He will say, ‘Bring forth those who are to be sent to Hell.’ He will say, ‘Who are those who are to be sent to Hell?’ He will say, ‘From every thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine.’ At that point the young will turn grey, every pregnant female will abort, and the people will appear intoxicated although they are not. But the punishment of Allaah is severe.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, which of us will be that one?” He said, “Be of good cheer, for there will be one man from among you and one thousand from among Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj.” Then he said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I hope that you will be one quarter of the people of Paradise,” and they said, “Allaahu akbar!” Then he said, “I hope that you will be one third of the people of Paradise,” and they said, “Allaahu akbar!” Then he said, “I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise,” and they said, “Allaahu akbar!” Then he said, “Among the people you are like a black hair on the hide of a white bull, or like a white hair on the hide of a black bull.” 

According to the first hadeeth, the number of those who will be saved on the Day of Resurrection is ten in a thousand. According to the second hadeeth it is one in a thousand. 

The scholars have reconciled between these two ahaadeeth in several ways, such as the following: 

1 – The numbers are not to be taken literally, so stating a particular number does not mean that there may not be more than that. What is meant by the two numbers mentioned in the two hadeeth is the small number of believers and the large number of kaafirs. 

2 – The hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri may be understood as referring to all the progeny of Adam, so there will be one in every thousand (who goes to Paradise), and the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah may be understood as referring to everyone except Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj, so that the number is ten in every thousand. This is supported by the fact that Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed but not in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah. 

3 – It may be that the division will happen twice: once involving all the nations who came before this ummah, when the number will be one in every thousand, and again for this ummah only, when the number will be ten in every thousand. 

4 – It may be that what is meant by “those who are to be sent to Hell” is the kaafirs and the sinners [from among the Muslims] who will enter it, so that from every thousand nine hundred and ninety nine kaafirs are sent, and from every hundred ninety-nine sinners are sent. 

These answers were mentioned by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, 11/390. 

And Allaah knows best.

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