Dante produced the image of hell in parts which have an authority to punish the sins of a particular degree.1 According to Dante, there are nine circles that constitute the hell and are located within the earth. The religion of Islam has also got a very vivid image of hell which is explained in great detail in its literature i.e. Quran and Hadith. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is believed to have visited the hell himself when he went on Miraj” (Quran 17:1). Muslims belief in hell is quite different from Dantes hell in many ways. These differences are discussed in the coming paragraphs.
The first difference between the two hells is of location. Dantes hell is believed to be within the earth, preferably underground. Muslims hell, on the other hand, is not located within the earth. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) traveled at more than the speed of light upwards in the sky. That gives us an idea of how far the hell is from the earth. He travelled seven skies and it is not possible for normal human beings to go beyond the boundary of even the first sky while they are alive. Second really important difference is of the constituents of the two hells. Dantes inferno consists of nine circles namely Limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, treachery. Muslim hell is one gargantuan place which is larger than the planet earth. Another distinction between the two concepts is that in Dante’s inferno, people who prayed for forgiveness before their deaths are not found in hell but they labor for their freedom from their sins. Islam teaches that this world is a place of doing good deeds and refrain from sins. Forgiveness is granted in abundance by Allah. Even a person who has committed a hundred murders can be forgiven in his life at once if he asks for Allah’s forgiveness from the deepest pit of his heart and does not repeat his sins.
The first .circle of Dante’s hell is Limbo. Limbo contains the people from different religions and beliefs who did not accept Christ but were good and pious and refrained from committed sins.