Thursday, September 17, 2009

Disbeliever's Good Deeds: Can They Take Him to Paradise?

Article from I was quite shocked when I heard stories about Muslims believing that even the Kaafir (disbeliever) will be able to enter Jannah (Paradise). Either the person is still ignorant about this fact or that he/she has been taught or have read the wrong form of Tauheed/Aqeedah (basic Islamic belief).

Name of Questioner: Abdol - Iran
Title: Disbeliever's Good Deeds: Can They Take Him to Paradise?

As-Salamu` alykum. I heard some Muslims saying that only good Muslims go to Heaven. But what about the other good people who are kind, generous, support the poor but are the Christians or Jews. Do they go to Heaven or not ?

Date: 18/Jun/2002
Name of Counsellor: IOL Shari`ah Researchers

Topic: Muslim Belief


Wa`alykum As-Salaamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for showing keenness on knowing the teachings of Islam, and we appreciate the great confidence you have in us. We hope our efforts meet your expectations, yet we apologize for the late reply.

As regards your question, we’d like to make it clear that Allah Almighty never disregards any good deed, be it from a believer or a disbeliever; He gives good reward for it. But the point here is, as a believer does good deeds, he does so with certain belief that he will be rewarded in the Hereafter; i.e. whatever he does, it’s for the sake of Allah, and he will get its reward in the Hereafter. However, there are people who are good and benevolent by nature, and many of them love their brothers and sisters in humanity, despite that they are not believers.

Explaining the type of reward granted to such people, the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence makes it clear that there is surely a reward in this world for people who, despite lacking iman (belief), contribute to the progress of mankind, are good by nature, giving charity…etc.

But the criterion for getting reward in the Hereafter is belief.
This is based on the Hadith, in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, states: “Allah never disregards a good deed of a believer; he reward him for it in this world and in the Hereafter. As for a disbeliever, he is rewarded for the good deeds in this world so that when he is in the Afterlife, no more reward will be there for him.”.

In making this point more clearer, clarifying that Jannah (Paradise) is for believers, Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, states:

“No one will enter Jannah (Paradise) except a believer. Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an,

{'And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise: "Pour on us some water of anything that Allaah has provided you with." They will say: "Both (water and provision) Allaah has forbidden to the disbelievers.'}
(Al-‘Araaf: 50)

Also the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe.” (Agreed upon hadith)

This is one of signs of Allah’s absolute justice, because when a disbeliever does something good in this world, he or she does it for the sake of a worldly gain, and it is granted to him/her. On the contrary, a believer does his or her action for the sake of seeking reward in the Hereafter, and it is on this basis he or she is granted reward according to his or her intention.

Thus, Allah gives everyone what he or she has striven for. The believer has striven and worked for the success in the Hereafter, and as such he or she is given the same recompense for his work. But as for the disbeliever, as long as his deeds do not spring from belief (part of which is believing in the Hereafter), then he or she is not admitted to Paradise. The Kafir, or disbeliever, does not seek or strive for what is in the Hereafter, rather he or she wants to attain the pleasures in this life such as seeking people’s admiration, peace of mind, etc.

If the Kafir wishes and really seeks the reward in the Hereafter, he or she would right away believe in Allah, the Hereafter, and follow the messengers of Allah and never disbelieve in any of them, because disbelieving in anyone of them would be counted as disbelieving in all messengers since the message they all brought is the same and each Prophet believed in whoever came before him and gave glad tidings to the Prophet who would come after him.

In brief, Jannah is only granted for those who strive for it and there are some conditions to be met for a person to be admitted to Jannah. Whoever works in this life for the sake of the Hereafter and fulfills the conditions of Jannah, he or she will be admitted to it. Conversely, those who fail to work for Jannah or work for it but do not fulfill its conditions will never enter it. This is the absolute justice of Allah, and Allah does not do injustice to any body.”

Shedding more light on this issue, Sheikh `Attiyah Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states the following:

“ In terms of the reward of the Hereafter, it is totally agreed upon that a disbeliever receives no reward in the Hereafter nor does a believer who offers good deeds out of showing off. However, when talking about the reward of this world, the case is different in the sense that every one is paid for his deeds whether bad or good. Thus, a disbeliever receives reward for the good deeds he offers in this world. Almighty Allah says:

{'And (remember) when Ibraahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allaah and the Last Day." He (Allaah) answered: "As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!"} (Al-Baqarah: 126)

Almighty Allah also says: {'Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therien, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire, and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.”} (Hud: 15-16)

All these Qur’anic verses make it clear that both a believer and a disbeliever get reward in this life for their good deeds. However, there is another reward for a believer in the Hereafter while a disbeliever is denied such a reward, due to his disbelief. Muslim reported that `Aisha, may Allah be pleased, asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:

“O Messenger of Allah! It was the trait of Ibn Jud`aan in pre-Islamic period to feed the needy and keep ties of kinship, will he benefit from these good deeds?(in the Hereafter)” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “No, for he never said: ‘My Lord! Forgive my sin on the Day of Judgment" i.e. he was doing all that while insisting on disbelief.”

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Allah Almighty knows best.

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