A Harry Potter Explanation of Heaven and Hell or “Not Slytherin, Eh?”

When Harry put on the Sorting Hat that fateful first night at Hogwarts, he was told he had the qualities to make it in Slytherin. But he fought that option with all his might because it was so repulsive to him. His second year at Hogwarts, during the battle with the basilisk, he is given the sword of Godric Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat because he had proven himself to be a true Gryffindor. Dumbledore explained that it was Harry’s choice that made him deserving of the place in Gryffindor.

Like Harry had a spot in both houses waiting for his decision, so do we.

Ibn Katheer said in his tafseer: “Ibn Abi Haatim said – and he quoted to the isnaad going back to Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“There is no one among you who does not have two positions, one in Paradise and one in Hell. The believer will have a house built for him in Paradise, and his house in Hell will be demolished”.

A similar report was narrated from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr.

In Umar Sulaiman Al-Ashqar’s “Al-Janna wa An-Naar,” this is further explained:

“Allah has given two positions to every descendent of Aadam: a position in Jannah and a position in Jahanam. Then whoever is destined to damnation of the kuffaar and mushrikeen will inherit the positions in Hell that had been allocated to the people of Paradise, and those of the people of Paradise for whom eternal bliss is decreed will inherit the portions of Paradise that had been allocated to the people of Hell.”

Since we all have a place in heaven and a place in hell, it means we have in ourselves an inherent ability to be good and to be evil. We have an equal shot at going to either place.  It is the choices we make that decide where we end up. If we reject the people of hellfire and their attributes (as Harry did Draco Malfoy and his snobby friends) we can save ourselves from the hellfire Inshallah.

A disclaimer: I’m not endorsing the Harry Potter series or its movies. I’m aware that it discusses haram matters, such as magic, in a very light way and thus provides a confusing example for our kids. Nevertheless, I acknowledge the popularity of the series and a need to put it in a more Islamic context.  Hence this post.

4 Responses to “A Harry Potter Explanation of Heaven and Hell or “Not Slytherin, Eh?””
  1. Umm Sulaym says:

    Mashaa’Allah, really liked how you once again brought something not very halal yet very popular in the context of Islam. Totally got the point across which was obviously your goal.

    Looking forward to reading more from you inshaa’Allah.
    Much love,
    asalamolaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

    • Inshallah my intention in doing so is to use it as a bridge for those who aren’t quite into the “deen scene” yet to at least start looking at their world in a more Islamic manner. But I depend on you guys to help guide me from overstepping the boundaries between halal and haram. I appreciate all of your positive feedback, may Allah (SWT) reward you for reading and commenting. AsSalaamuAlaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu

  2. ZtheWayfarer says:

    There are so many wonderful things I could say about this particular entry. All I will say is that I love the blog, and love this article!

    May Allah guide to good constantly and make that path easy. Ameen.


    • Jazakallahu Khairan Z! May the writing and its reading be heavy on both of our scales of good deeds on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.
      May Allah (SWT) grant us true guidance and knowledge which will benefit us.

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