- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Will all Muslims eventually go to Paradise, even if they temporarily have to go to Hell?
This is not true. According to the Quran, after the creation, God Almighty settled man on the planet earth. The planet earth is a selection ground. Here man is constantly under divine watch, and God Almighty will select those men and women, on the basis of merit, who prove to be deserving candidates for Paradise.
Being a candidate for Paradise is not a matter of being a ‘Muslim’. When we use the term ‘Muslim’, it connotes a person who is a member of a certain community.
According to Islam, the selection for Paradise depends completely on an individual’s personal record and not on his or her being a member of a particular community.
A common misconception is that those who are not practicing Muslims, God shall temporarily keep them away from Paradise and later wipe out their sins.
Eventually, they too shall be made to enter into Paradise. I, however, do not subscribe to this notion, as it is not validated from the Quran. Some unauthentic traditions are the basis of this misconception.
The Jewish community also held this misconception during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, in which context God sent the following revelation:
They say, ‘The Fire is not going to touch
us, and [even if it does], it will only be for a
few days!’ Say [to them], ‘Have you received
a promise from God—for God never breaks
His promise—or do you attribute something
to God which you do not know?’ Truly,
those who do evil and are encompassed by
their misdeeds, shall be the inmates of the
Fire. Therein they shall abide forever, but
those who believe and do good works are
the heirs of Paradise; there they shall abide
forever. (Quran 2:80-82)
These verses of the Quran clarify this misconception held by many Muslims.
The sole concern of Islam is to inculcate piety and Godrealization in human beings. It is this that will qualify them in the category of those deserving of the eternal abode of the Hereafter. There is no exception to this
rule, even for one who is born in a Muslim family. God Almighty shall judge all human beings with the same yardstick.