Do All Non-Muslims Go To Hell?

Discussion in 'Islamic Theology and Ideology' started by Abdullah11, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Abdullah11

    Abdullah11 A wannabe neologist

    From my reading of the Quran, the answer is an obvious “No!” – but this requires some explanation along with some beautiful insights that may have the power to positively transform the way we interact with each other, and with the Quran, insha’Allah.

    The Quran is unequivocal about one thing: true believers (mu’minun) earn and deserve their place in Heaven and ‘Kafirs’ earn and deserve their place in Hell. I couldn’t agree more with this concept. All virtuous qualities, all noble values are assigned to the Quran’s description of the ‘believer’ and all vices and human faults that cause harm are assigned to the Quran’s description of the ‘disbeliever’ or ‘kafir’. Which begs the question…

    What Is A ‘Kafir’?

    There are two ways to explain the word ‘kafir’. The way the Quran actually uses the term, and the way Muslims commonly use it. Linguistically and spiritually, there is immense beauty in the way the Quran uses the term ‘kafir’. A ‘kafir’ is literally ‘one who covers or hides’. It is the active participle of the word ‘ka-fa-ra’ and refers to a farmer who’s job it is to cover up and protect his crop from the elements. So, the spiritual meaning of the ‘kafir’ is the one who covers up and hides the truth. My preferred translation: ‘the one who is in denial’.

    This is the ultimate sin of the heart – having the truth in front of you, and even acknowledging that it is the truth, but denying it and hiding it because you might lose something – wealth, status or power – if you accept it. This was the main reason that during his time, some people did not follow Muhammad, peace & blessings be upon him.

    Unfortunately, the way Muslims have come to use the term ‘kafir’ is very different from the way the Quran uses it. Muslims, originally for legal purposes, and now out of habit and social conditioning, have come to use the word ‘kafir’ to refer to anyone who is not Muslim. This is the beginning of a multitude of social problems Muslims face in the West.

    Who Is A True Kafir?

    The key distinction we need to draw for the Quranic concept of ‘kufr’ to have any relevance in real life is: we don’t know who is which. And we won’t know, until the Day of Judgement, at which point we won’t be concerned with anyone but ourselves.

    It is a fatal error for Muslims, especially those in the West, to assume that:

    a) All Muslims are ‘believers’ as the Quran describes them

    b) All those who are not Muslim are ‘kafirs’ as the Quran describes them.

    Unfortunately, the majority of Muslims – students and teachers – particularly in the Muslim world, make this generalisation all the time, as though it’s a fact, and as though if you challenge this misconception there would be a fault with your own faith.

    This idea is completely wrong, and actually quite dangerous when taken to its logical conclusion. I can’t imagine how closed minded I would have to be, and how much hate I would need to harbour in my heart, in order to believe that my next door neighbours and dear beloved friends who are not Muslims, are actually “kafirs”, in the Quranic sense of the word. That 2 dimensional world view has lead to some disastrous consequences – including terrorism. No terrorist could kill innocent non-Muslims without first making the huge leap to equating “non-Muslim” to “kafir”.

    If all Muslims were ‘true believers’ as the Quran describes them, we would never miss a prayer, we would all understand and purify ourselves through the Quran on a daily basis, we would never cheat in business, avoid taxes, touch intoxicants, fornicate, or commit adultery and we would all give to charity, help the needy, bring up orphans, and… you get the point. This is obviously not a reflection of reality.

    If all non-Muslims were ‘kafirs’, then upon reading the Quran we would have to conclude that they are ignorant, arrogant, evil people who seek the destruction of Earth for no reason other than selfish greed. This is an equally inaccurate view of reality, if we take a look at the ‘non-Muslims’ all around us.

    Many Muslims would agree that it’s true that not all Muslims are ‘believers’ as many Muslims profess faith, but their faith is weak or they don’t believe at all, which places them under the 3rd category that the Quran is explicit about: hypocrites.

    However, there is a 4th category that we’re missing out on here. It’s a category that the Quran alludes to but remains silent about. It’s a category that the majority of people on the planet fall under. Think about this for a minute:

    Believers are those that are Muslims and embody the noble qualities the Quran encourages
    Kafirs are those that are not Muslims and embody the harmful vices the Quran discourages
    Hypocrites are those that claim to be Muslim and embody the harmful vices the Quran discourages
    What’s missing?
    Obviously, those that are not Muslim, but embody the noble qualities the Quran commends. What does the Quran say about these people (that might make up a few billion of our sisters and brothers in humanity today)? Nothing. At the most the Quran alludes to their existence, but doesn’t actually say anything about them – there’s especially no mention of whether or not they go to Heaven or Hell.


    That’s a great question. My theory is that the Quran doesn’t talk about this category specifically because, in reality no-one falls under this 4th category. We ALL fall under ALL of the first 3 categories – Muslim or not. Let me explain…

    Being born into a Muslim family isn’t enough to make you a ‘true’ believer as the Quran talks about believers. If it did, we wouldn’t need to fast or pray or do good, we would have a free ride to Paradise. That would be great for me – not so great for my friend Jonny Raynor who grew up down the street from me. Unfortunately virtually every page of the Quran emphasises that this is not the case. You simply cannot read the Quran and come away with the idea that because you were born into a certain family, you are saved. To the contrary, by talking about Heaven and Hell, the Quran emphasises that you must take full responsibility for every decision you make. Your choices must be conscious, as there will be consequences both material and spiritual, in this life and the Next – regardless of your colour, caste, tribe, family, etc.

    Similarly, being born into a non-Muslim family just isn’t enough to make you ‘kafir’. You don’t get a free ride to Hell just because you were placed in the wrong club from birth. It doesn’t work that way – at least not from the Quran’s point of view. To get to Hell you need to do some seriously messed up, evil things and feel no remorse about them. Or let them happen in front of you and be silent, allowing your soul to decay a little each day on the inside (remember Nazi Germany?).

    As for the ‘hypocrites’, well, in a way, we’re all hypocrites. We all have social masks we use to hide our true selves from other people. We all crave to have the people around us think of us as ‘good’ – we all want people to ‘like’ us. As a result, we sometimes make how other people see us a far more important part of our lives than how Allah sees us.

    In reality, every one of us, Muslim or not, has all 3 archetypes living inside of us right now. As we read the Quran we’re brought face to face with the best and worst parts of ourselves. By making us face all parts of ourselves, the Quran purfies our inner ‘kufr’ and increases our spiritual strength & resolve.

    Do Non-Muslims Go To Heaven?

    This is a dumb question. You might as well ask: “does a human being go to Heaven?” Like I mentioned earlier, we all fit into one or more of the 3 categories laid out at the beginning of the Quran: true believer, kafir (rejector; one in denial of truth), or hypocrite. So a non-Muslim, just like a Muslim will be judged by the only One who can judge – the One who can see right through us. The One who happens to be the All-Loving, All-Knowing, All-Wise.

    That being said, is it possible for someone who is not Muslim to fall under the Quranic description of the ‘believer’? From experience, I can safely say ‘yes!’. I know plenty of people who pray, meditate, fast, are extremely ethical and conscious of what they feed their bodies with, are constantly seeking answers to the big questions in life and yet are not Muslim because they were not born into Muslim families. Many of these people do not follow any religion, and some of them are atheists, sincerely seeking meaning in life. It seems obvious to me that if that person knew what I know of the Quran, they would believe in it whole-heartedly. If they were brought up how I was, and taught the Quran the way I was, of course they would believe in it as I do!

    Ultimately, I can’t see into their hearts – only Allah can. I don’t know if I or they are true believers. Only Allah does.

    We simply do not know who goes to Heaven or Hell. This knowledge is reserved for Allah alone.

    So, whether you call yourself a Muslim or not, and whether you act in front of others as a Muslim or not, the Quran is drawing our attention to something much deeper, much more spiritual, and truly universal that goes on inside every one of us:

    The ongoing battle between light and darkness within ourselves. The fight between the truth of who we really are, and the false images and masks we put on so people will like us. The struggle to do what is best for ourselves and humanity in the long term, versus the easy path of seeking our short-term selfish interests and immediate pleasures. This is the true battle between Islam and Kufr and it rages on inside each of us – Muslim or not.

    » Do All Non-Muslims Go To Hell? Quran For Busy People
  2. Abdullah11

    Abdullah11 A wannabe neologist

    Any thoughts on the above?
  3. Ibn Abbas Al-Misri

    Ibn Abbas Al-Misri Well-Known Member

    A waste of time akhee, barakah Allah feek.

    I am really unsure why you even posted it akhee?
    Abul Hasan likes this.
  4. Ibn Abbas Al-Misri

    Ibn Abbas Al-Misri Well-Known Member

    خطبنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأسند ظهره إلى قبة أدم . فقال " ألا لا يدخل الجنة إلا نفس مسلمة . اللهم ! هل بلغت ؟ اللهم ! اشهد ! أتحبون أنكم ربع أهل الجنة ؟ " فقلنا : نعم . يا رسول الله ! فقال " أتحبون أن تكونوا ثلث أهل الجنة ؟ " قالوا : نعم . يا رسول الله ! قال " إني لأرجو أن تكونوا شطر أهل الجنة . ما أنتم في سواكم من الأمم إلا كالشعرة السوداء في الثور الأبيض . أو كالشعرة البيضاء في الثور الأسود " .

    Narrated by Imam Muslim

    Imam Al-Nawawi said:

    هذا نص صريح في أن من مات على الكفر لا يدخل الجنة أصلا وهذا النص على عمومه باجماع المسلمين
    Tuwaylib and ahmad10 like this.
  5. Ibn Jafar

    Ibn Jafar Well-Known Member

    The one comment left at the site:

    Sums it up.
  6. muslimah911

    muslimah911 <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    I found it quite interesting.What I feel is being said here is that Allah truly knows who is Munin and who is kaffir.

    And Allah knows best.
  7. Abu Hawwa

    Abu Hawwa Formerly 'LionofIslam'

    well all ignorant kuffar have a chance of entering Jannah if they submit to the single command that Allah commands them in the akhira. However if the message has reached you and you deny than die than the pen has all ready been lifted and the ink has been dried.

    There is one opinion by Ibn Taymiyya (and there was a long debate about this) which he held that the fire would eventually end however at the same time they wouldn't enter Jannah. Allahu Alim
  8. al-Qanun

    al-Qanun أمريكي

    if by non-muslims you mean those jews, christians and sabians who used to believe in Allah and the last day, then no. so specifically these and those who were hanif. that means they were not upon shirk, but because they did not have access to any prophets or revealed scriptures that had not been corrupted, they will be excused.

    one is not a muslim until knowledge comes to them, so Ibrahim was hanif, which just means he rejected shirk but he wasn't a muslim until Allah had chosen him as a prophet and guided him through revelations, the same with Musa and Muhammad salAllahu 'alayhi was-sallam. there is also the case of Zayd ibn 'Amr who wasn't muslim either.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  9. Abdullah11

    Abdullah11 A wannabe neologist

  10. خالد

    خالد New Member

    Killing innocents is haram. Full stop. But it has nothing to do with the word "kafir." Khawarij have never been too shy to spill Muslim blood. Maybe we should declare that there are no kafirun at all (a la neo-Murji'ah) in order to be on the safe side?

    And I'm not sure how considering people to be kafirun is dangerous or closed-minded. I've known and know quite a few kafirun, as am sure most of us do, and I treat them all kindly and give them their due rights. I myself actually feel sorry for them at times, and I make Du'a asking for them to be guided towards Haqq. So if you can't treat people whom you consider kafirun nicely, it's your personal problem not a theological one.

    Woah. He's mixed everything up. You can be a true believer and a sinner. And having weak faith does not mean you're a hypocrite.

    Also being a kafir doesn't mean all of one's actions are super-evil. For example: Abu Talib. He was the Prophet's (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) beloved uncle and was one of his foremost protectors. Yet he died a kafir and will go to hell.

    No, you don't. Where in Islaam does it say that? Let's read this hadith:

    "Allah's Apostle said, "A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger." Allah's Apostle further said, (Allah knows better) Allah said (to the woman), 'You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the insects of the earth." (Sahih Bukhari Book 40, Hadith 553)

    I know that letting a cat starve to death is a bad thing but it's hardly a "seriously messed up, evil thing" that the author is speaking of, and yet this woman was put in Hell for this deed.

    He's playing with the words too much. No, we're not all munafiqun in a way. If we were, none of us would go to Heaven.

    According to Sheikh Al-Munajjid, people who hear the message of Islam in a sound and correct form and reject it, will have it as evidence aginst them on the Day of Judgement.

    The brother is a bit too emotional, saying "dear beloved friends who are not Muslims," and he also misunderstands the concept of nifaq. He needs to know that true belief is Tawhid first and foremost, not one's actions. Those who ascribe to Shirk and atheism are the worst of people, it doesn't matter what their other actions are.
  11. Tuwaylib

    Tuwaylib Anti-Defeatist

    This is precisely the modernist stuff that needs to be refuted. If you believe there is more than one way to Jannah than what's stopping you from trying that other way?
    muslimah911 likes this.
  12. muslimah911

    muslimah911 <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    I did not read the whole article so JazakAllah kyran for pointing these things out.
  13. Abu Dharr

    Abu Dharr Off the Manhaj

    We judge by what's apparent.
  14. Smi Ler

    Smi Ler New Member

    Though i do have some reservations especially with the wording I've been reading the Quran with it's English translation and it says when the people of hell and the people of heaven have settled there will be a group of people in between. This people will mostly be of other faiths but who did good deeds and fought for the truth although not Muslim. they will plead will Allah not to throw them in hell, and Allah will say to those in hell, are these the people you said would not have mercy from their Lord? Allah will grant them mercy and let them enter paradise to show how merciful he is.

    This clearly states not all non muslims will go to hell but Allah states here the righteous and truthful of the non believers will be shown mercy, and it's our job to give these people the message as best we can. As mentioned only Allah knows who is best for paradise and hell and the condition of weakness or strength in our faith.

    An act of kindness/mercy combined with knowledge is always a good start start for da'wah.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2 Beta-5
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  15. Ibn Abbas Al-Misri

    Ibn Abbas Al-Misri Well-Known Member

    What translation made you arrive at that conclusion?
    Where did you read this? The matters of the Hereafter are matters of the unseen, they are not subject to your personal speculations or desires. For you to speak about such matters you have to bring evidence from the Quran or the authentic narrations. What you feel, or what you assume have no place in such matters.
    ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that she asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allaah, during the Jaahiliyyah, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jad’aan used to uphold the ties of kinship, set captives free and honour his guests (and she mentioned a number of good characteristics, but he was a mushrik and died as such). Will that be of any benefit to him?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No, for he never said, ‘O Lord forgive me my sins on the Day of Reckoning” (Narrated by Imam Muslim)

    عن عائشة قالت قلت يا رسول الله ابن جدعان كان في الجاهلية يصل الرحم ويطعم المسكين فهل ذاك نافعه قال لا ينفعه إنه لم يقل يوما رب اغفر لي خطيئتي يوم الدين
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
    Smi Ler likes this.
  16. Smi Ler

    Smi Ler New Member

    I stand corrected about the other faiths bit, but i can't edit the post to take it out

    Smiler ;)
    Ibn Abbas Al-Misri likes this.
  17. Abu Hamzah

    Abu Hamzah Formerly 'Tawbah'

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] Ibn Mas'ood said, "Indeed Allah looked into the hearts of the servants and found the heart of Muhammad (saws) to be the best of the hearts of His servants and so He chose him for Himself and sent him as a Messenger. Then He looked into the hearts of His servants after Muhammad (saws) and found the hearts of the Companions to be the best of the hearts of the servants. So He made them ministers of His Messenger (saws) fighting for His Deen. So whatever the Muslims hold to be good then it is good with Allah and whatever the Muslims hold to be evil it is evil with Allah." [Ahmad, at-Tayalasee]

    Similarly the opposite could also be true. That Allah looked at the hearts of the worst of His servants and He made them kuffar and the dwellers of the Hellfire.
    Smi Ler likes this.
  18. Abu Hamzah

    Abu Hamzah Formerly 'Tawbah'

    I've asked my Sheikh, and he said it was a matter of ghayb therefore I shouldnt have said what I said here.

    Hence I withdraw it.

    Sorry for the confusion I caused.
  19. wahhabi dissident

    wahhabi dissident New Member

    Allah said He will not forgive shirk, but He may forgive sins that are less than that. so those people who have not heard the name of the Prophet saaws and that is why they did not believe in islam, then as long as they did not commit shirk, Allah says He may forgive them. there is one hadith in Bukhari that says some people Allah will take them out of the Fire even though they sent no good deeds before them.

    so this may be those people who were hanif like someone mentioned zaid ibn amr ibn nufail. he did not pray salah or give zakat or fast, because he did not know about these things, but he did not commit shirk and he tried to search for the truth. he went to a rabbi and a priest and he chose to follow ibrahim as best as he could. he would adopt peoples daughters so they could not kill them and he did not eat the meat that was slaughtered in the name of the idols.

    also i think in the story of the boy and the king, the boy was learning from a christian monk and the king was a jew. this is what i read in the sealed nectar. these people who were thrown into the ditch they became christians, but i assume not those who believe in the trinity. it does not mention in this story that they were muslims though, but this is before Quran was revealed.

    i think we have to remember that before Quran was revealed there was a lot of confusion. the tawrat and injil were only in the hands of rabbis and it was also corrupted, so even if someone was sincere and wanted to follow the truth they would not be able to because it was no longer available. that is why before the Quran was sent down it was the time of jahiliyyah. so best thing people could do is not commit shirk, black magic, murder and just try to do some good like feed the poor.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

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