Essentially what constitutes the sense of suffering (or burning) in hell is the environmental conditionings, the value judgments resulting from them and the emotions that spawn from them.
Whenever you find yourself saying, “This must be like this" or "it has to be like that” behold, you’re going to suffer, it’s inevitable!
For, like it or not, at some point it’s going to change or turn into something else, and this is going to cause you to suffer!
The great majority of the people start suffering while still living on Earth. Some start suffering upon death, after departing their biological bodies, as this is the biggest loss of what they thought they owned!
So, why is suffering a grace?
Why do people of paradise burn in hell first?
Because one can only go to paradise if one is completely free from their conditionings and incorrect value judgments, and this only happens via burning.
Grace causes one to burn, to suffer and become cleansed! Burning rids one of unrealistic thoughts, emotions and conditionings!
People suffer when they encounter ideas or situations that go against their conditioned beliefs. If the person can get over their fear of ‘what others might think or say’ and proceed towards their true purpose, in alignment with their beliefs they will be saved from most of their suffering…
Adopting and practicing the truths of Sufism enables one to recognize their essential reality and saves them from burning while still on Earth. If there was no hell and we weren’t subject to the cleansing process through burning, we could never reach and experience the state of paradise.
Thus, burning is actually an amazing mechanism of mercy and grace, similar to amputation done to remove a diseased organ.
As for the creatures of hell…
There are conscious beings specific to each level and dimension of life. Just as there are conscious life forms on every planet, every layer of existence in the universe also has forms of life specific to them, all of which have been referenced as ‘angels’ in religious terminology.
Because our brains have been programmed to evaluate only the data received through the five senses, we are oblivious to all the life forms that fall outside this perception range. Yet, besides all the life forms on other planets, we’re not even aware of the jinn who constantly try to manipulate and affect our brains!
The Quran refers to the conscious creatures that live in the Sun as ‘zabani’. They are also a type of angel. Due to their luminous knowledge (nur)-based makeup and the fact they are formed within that environment, they live under what may seem extreme conditions to us, without being adversely affected, like water is the natural living environment for fish.
They have extremely large bodies and the ability to move very quickly compared to other beings. Just like fish dwell in water, swallow water and breathe water, the zabani dwell in fire, they eat and breathe fire. They play with the humans and jinn that go there as though playing with a ball, picking on and bullying them for not listening to those who warned them about hell…
Just like we think we have the liberty to treat animals however we like, caging them, taming them, punishing them to teach them certain skills and domesticate them, the zabani do the same to those in their living environment, oblivious to whether this causes them suffering!
The word zabani means ‘to degrade, humiliate, insult, etc.’ They are domineering and commanding beings of such enforcing power that anyone that is subject to their harassment is bound to be ridiculed, insulted, degraded and caused to suffer. Similar to some people who are possessed by the jinn and end up on the streets miserable and distraught, or the circus animals who are put through so much torture or the animals used in laboratories for experimental purposes!
No doubt, the best thing to do is to avoid such places!
I’m assuming I’ve sufficiently explained why hell is grace and, contrary to common thought, people aren’t sent to hell so they suffer but as the natural consequence of their actions that results from their incorrect thoughts and emotions, that is, suffering is the resulting effect of such false conditionings.
As a side note, if only those who are moralized with the morals of Allah can enter paradise, what then are the morals of Allah? Something to think about...
Now on to specific grace…
Specific grace is a distinct form of grace, specified for those whom He has chosen for Himself…