>Punishment is judged according to the nature and result of the crime and the intention of the criminal in committing it, not to how long it took the criminal to commit the act.
The punishment of murder, which in most cases takes five minutes or even seconds, ranges from imprisonment for many years or for life to death. What is considered here is the nature and result of the crime, not the duration of its committal. Unbelief is infinitely graver than murder. If you accuse a truthful, innocent one of lying and deception, he will be very angry with you. Likewise, unbelief means the denial of the true testimony of innumerable creatures, from atoms to huge galaxies, to the existence and Unity of their Creator, and accusing them of lying or false testimony. Again, unbelief is the denial of God, Who is the Unique Creator, Sustainer and Administrator of the whole of existence, and degradation of His innumerable works of art. Unbelief is also an accusation of more than one hundred thousand Messengers, who, according to the testimony of history and the people of each, are the most truthful of humankind, of the most abased form of lying, deception and trickery. Again, unbelief means accusing the followers of the Messengers of following the greatest tricksters of human history. It is also is an insult to and accusation of deception and deviation against innumerable believing men from the time of Adam. For all these and other similar reasons, it is pure justice to condemn unbelief to the eternal punishment of Hell.