Commenting on the Hadīth:
مَا مِنْ صَاحِبِ ذَهَبٍ وَلَا فِضَّةٍ لَا يُؤَدِّي مِنْهَا حَقَّهَا إِلَّا إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ صُفِّحَتْ لَهُ صَفَائِحَ مِنْ نَارٍ فَأُحْمِيَ عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَيُكْوَى بِهَا جَنْبُهُ وَجَبِينُهُ وَظَهْرُهُ كُلَّمَا بَرَدَتْ أُعِيدَتْ لَهُ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ حَتَّى يُقْضَى بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ فَيَرَى سَبِيلَهُ إِمَّا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَإِمَّا إِلَى النَّارِ
If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among servants, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.”
(Narrated by Muslim)
Zayn ad-Dīn al-‘Irāqī may Allah have mercy upon him in the Tarh at-Tathrīb, a commentary of at-Taqrīb said:
In this Hadīth, the wa’īd (threat) concerns both the muslims and the kuffār. Truly, the one who see his sabīl (way) toward the garden, is the muslim. As for the one who see his sabīl toward the fire, then it is possible that he is upon the sabīl of ta’bīd (eternization) in it and this is the case for the kāfir. It is also possible he is upon the sabīl of ta’źīb (punishment) and tamhīś (purification) and then his entering into the garden and this is the case for the muslim.
With regard to the inclusion of the muslim in this wa’īd, is a rebuttal against the Murji’ah who says:
Truly ma’śiah (disobedience) does not injure with al-Islām as how tā’ah (obedience) does not benefit with al-kufr.
The Kitāb and the Sunnah are both ladened with what contradicts their view. They made an excuse against that by saying that what is intended by it is an intimidation to deter people from ma’śiyah and it is neither it’s haqīqah (reality) nor it’s zhāhir (apparent). This is bātil. If their view is śahīh, the wuthūq (authority) of whatever that comes with the syarī’ah will surely be lifted and this will be implied in everything that comes from it. This will lead to the destruction of syarī’ah and the collapse of its benefits.
With regard to the inclusion of the kāfir in this wa’īd, is a proof that the kāfir is the mukhātab (spoken to) when it comes to the furú’ of the syarī’ah. This is the opinion of our aśhāb (i.e. Shafiites), contrary to the mu’tazilites and the hanafites. In fact, they necessitated that what is intended is their entering into the fire is upon the sabīl of ta’źīb, not the sabīl of takhlīd (eternization) as there is nothing in the lafzh what points to that.
Allah knows best.