Every man is liable to suffer in hell, and it is difficult to be certain of exemption therefrom. According to the Prophet, there are 70,000 apart­ments in hell, each apartment containing 70,000 doors, each door having 70,000 serpents and 70,000 scorpions; and the unbelievers and the evil-minded cannot help passing through each of them. . . .

Such is the description of hell, and of its subdivisions which correspond to the number of earthly desires. The factor seven in the sub­divisions corresponds to the seven organs used in the commission of sins.

If you wish to know your destiny, you should look at your character, since your natural inclina­tions presage your destiny. If they tend to good, you are not intended for hell; if they tend to evil, you are destined therefor. As the Qurân says, “The virtuous are to be blessed in heaven, the vicious are to suffer in hell.”

Here is a secret. When death takes away the earthly veil (the body), the desire-nature is yet more or less tainted with earthly impurities. In some cases the mirror of the soul may be too dark­ened to admit of any cleansing. Such a soul is eternally barred from the Divine Presence. In other cases, (i. e. unrighteous believers), the rust is capable of being cleansed, and so the desire-nature is exposed to hell-fire to the extent of the purifica­tion needed. The time varies from a brief moment to 7,000 years. No man quits this earth without some impurity, however slight, in him.—Letter 99.