What is the correct meaning of the word 'waredha' in 19:71

Indeed, there is none among you who will not 'waredha'
(pass by it).
This, to your Lord, is a preordained certainty.

Some interpreters who derive their claims and convictions from hadith, even when it conflicts with clear Quranic truth, have adopted the belief that all Muslims are initially destined to enter Hell for a while after which they will be rescued and taken out of Hell by prophet Muhammad with his intercession! This claim is based on a fabricated hadith as well as an erroneous interpretation of the Quranic verse above. This doctrine also violates a number of Quranic truths.

First, let us analyse the Quranic verse above (19:71) to determine the correct meaning of its words.

Indeed, there is none among you who will not 'waredha' (pass by it). This, to your Lord, is a preordained certainty. 19:71

The key word in this verse is the Arabic word 'waredha'.

This word was wrongly interpreted to mean 'entering it' with the word 'it' referring to Hell.

Thus they interpret the verse to mean:

There is none among you who will not enter it (Hell).

The reference to Hell is correct, but does the word 'wared' really mean 'entering'?

The most accurate method of determining the correct meaning of any Quranic word is to examine other Quranic verses where the same word is employed, then derive a common meaning that is in harmony with all verses.

The following verse gives us confirmation of the correct meaning of this word:

When he (Moses) 'warada' (came to/passed by) the water of Midyan, he found there a crowd of people watering. 28:23

It is obvious that this verse does not speak about Moses entering the water of Midyan! Moses was not exactly going for a swim! However, if we interpret the word 'warada' correctly as (came to/passed by) then we would get the correct meaning.

When the correct meaning of the word 'warada' is applied to 19:71, we find that the verse is speaking about the fact that all humans will pass by Hell.

All believers will pass by Hell and see it. This is not the same as physically entering Hell. They will not enter Hell because God tells in the Quran that the believers will be shielded from Hell and that no harm will come to them:

So God shielded them from the horrors of that Day, and granted them radiance and happiness. 76:11

On the Day of Resurrection, you will see the faces of those who lied about God blackened. Is there not in Hell a home for the arrogant ones? God will save those who were reverent. And for their triumph, no harm will touch them, nor will they grieve. 39:60-61

The same confirmation is found in Sura 43:

O My servants, no fear is there concerning you today, nor will you grieve. 43:68

We notice that the use of the word 'waredha' in the Quran is different from the Arabic word 'dakhel' which means entering. It is the latter that is consistently used to link the disbelievers with Hell, such as:

Your Lord said, "Implore Me and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will 'yadkholoon' (enter) Hell humiliated." 40:60

The deliberate choice of words by God so as to ascribe the word 'dakheloon' (which means entering), when the subject is the disbelievers and the word 'waredha' (pass by it), when the subject includes the believers, is obvious and indeed significant.

Now we must inquire why is it decreed by God that all believers must pass by Hell and see it? We read in Sura 39 how the believers will testify on Judgement Day that God's promise was truthful:

They said, "Praise be to God who fulfilled His promise to us and made us inherit the earth, allowing us to settle in Paradise wherever we may please." What a beautiful reward for the workers! 39:74

God's promise is two fold:

1- That the believers who lead a righteous life would enter Paradise.
2- That the disbelievers will end up in Hell.

On Judgement Day, all humans (believers and disbelievers) will see Hell to know that God's promise is truth.
The believers will see both Hell and Heaven to know that God's promise was fulfilled. The disbelievers will end up in Hell and also know that God's promise was true. We may ask, will they also be allowed to pass by and see Heaven? The Quran tells us that they will not be able to pass by or see Heaven (they do not deserve to) as a barrier will separate them from the believers who will be in Heaven:

A barrier lies between them. 7:46

By passing by Hell and seeing its disasters, the believers are also able to truly appreciate and enjoy the rewards of Heaven.

In addition, God never contradicts Himself! We read in numerous Quranic verses that the believers will receive their reward from God on Judgement Day and that they will have nothing to grieve about (see 2:112). Consequently, to claim that the believers will enter Hell, even for one second, would contradict the message of 39:60-61 and 2:112.

Finally, it is indeed easy to realise that the hadith that claims that prophet Muhammad stated that all believers are to enter Hell until he will save them through his intercession, is totally false and against the truth of the Quran.

First, the concept of intercession is in total violation to the Quran which states categorically, that there will be no intercession on Judgement Day. For details of this issue please go to: The Myth of Intercession

Moreover, this hadith contradicts the Quranic truth which states that prophet Muhammad does not know the future:

Say (O Muhammad), "I am not a novelty among the messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I follow nothing other than what is revealed to me. I am no more than a clear warner." 46:9

It is difficult to justify the hadith that claims that Muhammad predicted that all believers will enter Hell for a while, when the Quran states that he does not know what will happen to himself or to others!

For other verses that confirm that prophet Muhammad does not know the future please see (6:50, 7:188, 10:20, 11:31, 27:65).