Quran 11:96. And We sent Moses with Our signs and a clear mandate.
97. To Pharaoh and his nobles, but they followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command of Pharaoh was not wise.
98. He will precede his people on the Day of Resurrection, and will lead them into the Fire. Miserable is the place he placed them in.
99. They were followed by a curse in this, and on the Day of Resurrection. Miserable is the path they followed.
100. These are of the reports of the towns—We relate them to you. Some are still standing, and some have withered away.
101. We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves. Their gods, whom they invoked besides God, availed them nothing when the command of your Lord arrived. In fact, they added only to their ruin.
102. Such is the grip of your Lord when He seizes the towns in the midst of their sins. His grip is most painful, most severe.
103. In that is a sign for whoever fears the punishment of the Hereafter. That is a Day for which humanity will be gathered together—that is a Day to be witnessed.
104. We only postpone it until a predetermined time.
105. On the Day when it arrives, no soul will speak without His permission. Some will be miserable, and some will be happy.
106. As for those who are miserable, they will be in the Fire. They will have therein sighing and wailing.
107. Remaining therein for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills. Your Lord is Doer of whatever He wills.
108. And as for those who are happy, they will be in Paradise, remaining therein for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills—a reward without end.
109. So be not in doubt regarding what these people worship. They worship only as their ancestors worshiped before. We will pay them their due in full, without any reduction.
There's a whole bunch of commentary.
This limitation on the duration of abiding in hell — except as thy Lord please — is given twice in the Holy Qur’ån, here and in 6:128, and it shows clearly that the punishment of hell is not everlasting. A comparison with the verse that follows makes it clearer. There, too, we have that those in paradise will abide there as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord please, but the statement is immediately followed by another: A gift never to be cut off. This shows that in fact there is no limitation upon the eternity of paradise, and the words except as thy Lord please have been used, in the case of paradise, only to express the unbounded power and greatness of the Divine Being and the fact that it is due to God’s pleasure that they are there. In the case of hell, however, the words except as thy Lord please are followed by a statement which corroborates the limitation thus placed, for, Fa“ål, as an attribute of the Divine Being, indicates that He does even those things which seem impossible to others, the word being an intensive form of få‘ßl, meaning doer. It should be noted further that in both cases it is Rabb, lit., the Nourisher to perfection, Whose will is to be exercised. The end is in both cases the same. Man is ultimately to be brought to perfection, but this cannot be, unless those in hell are taken out of it and set on the road to spiritual progress, thrown into the river of Life as a ƒadßth has it.
Various sayings of the Holy Prophet corroborate the statement made above. For instance, the concluding portion of a ƒadßth which is met with in one of the most reliable collections runs thus: “Then will Allåh say: The angels and the prophets and the faithful have all in their turn interceded for the sinners, and now there remains none to intercede for them except the most Merciful of all the merciful ones. So He will take out a handful from the Fire and bring out a people who never worked any good”. According to this ƒadßth, such people are called Ôulaqå al-Raƒmån, or the freed ones of the Beneficent, Who exercises His mercy towards those who have done nothing to deserve it. There are also other sayings in the Kanz al-‘Ummål: “Surely a day will come over hell when it will be like a field of corn that has dried up after flourishing for a while”; and again: “Surely a day will come over hell when there will not be a single human being in it”. There is also a saying of ‘Umar on record: “Even if the dwellers in hell may be numberless as the sands of the desert, a day will surely come when they will be taken out of it”.
One question, however, remains to be answered, and that is the use of the word abad, which is generally considered as meaning forever. The abiding in hell for abad is mentioned thrice in the Holy Qur’ån, in 4:169, 33:65 and 72:23. It is, however, stated by all lexicologists that abad signifies a long time , being synonymous with dahr ∆awßl or a long time, as also time without end. It is due to its significance as a long time that it has a plural form åbåd, which it could not have if eternity were its only significance. The Qur’ån makes this use of the word clear by stating in 78:23 that the disbelievers will remain in hell for aƒqåb, i.e. long years, the word being plural of ƒuqbah, which means seventy or eighty years.
In accordance with what is said here in connection with the heavenly life, that it is a gift which shall never be cut off, we have in 15:48: “Nor will they be ejected therefrom”.
Heaven is forever. Hell..... well maybe it's a second chance that no one asks for but soon earns.
I think the Quran is saying some.... a few.... who have been judged and sent to Hell will be able to earn their way out. Is this the Quran's version of Purgatory?
You know... come to think of it.... some creatures are so hurt that they need the fire of Hell to make them teachable.
Have you ever seen one of those commercials on TV about the wounded and abused animals. Some are so hurt they need to be caged for a long time before they realize that not all humans are abusive. To me... it sounds like that might be what the author is talking about in these verses. Some of the people who will go to Hell.... might just deserve, and therefore, will received a reprieve. They will be rehabilitated and they will have.... their own "forever home" in Heaven.
Hey.... that's what Jesus is there for. Jesus is the Appeals Lawyer. Jesus is there to whisper in God's ear.... "hey.... this is one of those I was telling you about... not really bad.... just taught wrong.... just abused". Maybe this is a hint that even in the Quran Jesus is the Son of God..... capable of understanding what humans go through when dealing with temptations. Maybe God put Jesus here to dot the i's and cross the t's.
At any rate..... That last verses says.... if we get to Heaven.... it's not really likely we're going to get booted out.
We have an opportunity.... we can't earn our way to Heaven.... we can only earn our way out of Hell.
Heaven is a gift.