Hell is the abode which Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala has prepared for those who do not believe in Him, those who rebel against His laws and disbelieve in His messengers. It is the punishment for His enemies, the prison for evildoers.
It is the ultimate humiliation and loss; there is nothing worse:
“Our Lord! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him, and never will the dhalimoon [polytheists and wrongdoers] find any helpers.” (3:192)
“Know they not that whoever opposes and shows hostility to Allah and His Messnger, certainly for him will be the Fire of Hell to abide therein? That is extreme disgrace.” (9:63)
“The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!” (39:15)
Paradise is the tremendous reward which Allah, the All-Powerful, has prepared for His beloved (awliyaa’) and those who obey Him. It is perfect joy and pleasure, where nothing is lacking and nothing can disturb its purity. What Allah, the Almighty, and His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) have told us about it makes up mystified with the undescribable joy because our minds are not able to comprehend the greatness of such blessings.
Listen to the words of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala in this hadith qudsi [sacried words of Allah narrated by the Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam]:
“I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear heard, and has never crossed the mind of any human being.” Then the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam said, ‘Recite if you wish:
No person knows what is hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. (33:17).”
The joys of Paradise are far greater than the pleasures of this world, which pale into great insignificance in comparison. Bukhari reports from Sahl ibn Sa’d as-Sa’idee radiyallahu ‘anha that the Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam said: “A space the size of a whip in Paradise is better than this world and all that is in it.”
Because admittance to Paradise and salvation from the Fire are according to Allah’s Will and Judgment, it is a great victory and tremendous success, as Allah subhaana wa ta ‘aala says:
“…Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, will have indeed attained the object of life [or: been successful]….” (3:185)
“Allah has promised to believers – men and women – Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein [forever], and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme felicity [or success].” (9:72)
“…And those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing underneath, to abide therein [forever], and that will be the supreme achievement.” (4:13)
[taken from ‘Umar al-Ashqar’s Paradise and Hell]