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ʿAqāʾid Course Notes Index and FAQ – Qiyamah

Please refer to Lesson 4 of the Class 8 Madressa manual.

If a child is given a PhD certificate, he/she won’t understand its worth and it will not hold any value for him/her. However, if that same child, after years of struggle, goes through primary and secondary school, then completes his/her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree and then finally completes his/her PhD, that same PhD certificate will now hold enormous weight in his/her eyes. The same is true for a believer when he/she enters Paradise after years of trials and difficulties in this world. It is out of the Mercy of Allāh (SWT) that He has allowed us to partake in the grand scheme of things, such that when we inshaAllah reach Paradise, we can feel a sense of accomplishment.

The life of Prophet Ibrāhīm (A) is a very good example. He went through many extremely difficult trials:

  1. Everyone in his community was against him and he was thrown into a huge fire.
  2. He didn’t have any children until a very old age. When he was finally granted a child, he was commanded by Allāh (SWT) to abandon this baby and its mother in a faraway desert.
  3. After many years, when he returned to the desert to once again meet his child, he was now commanded to slaughter this child as a sacrifice to Allāh (SWT).

Prophet Ibrāhīm (A) passed each one of these difficult trials and each time he passed a trial, his station in front of Allāh (SWT) also increased:

  1. He was first made a nabī
  2. Then he became a rasūl
  3. Then he became the special Friend of Allāh (SWT) (khalīl Allāh)
  4. Then finally, he became an Imām

Paradise is a special place and it needs preparation before one is fit and capable of entering it. Just as a foetus needs to first develop within the womb of its mother before it is fit and capable to enter into this world, we too need to first go through this phase of existence before we are capable of entering Paradise. The trials and difficulties of this world are necessary factors to enable spiritual growth within human beings making them capable of admittance into Paradise. Imām al-Bāqir (A) has thus said:

“Paradise is surrounded by trials and patience. So whoever endures trials in this world will enter Paradise. Hell is surrounded by pleasures and desires. Thus, whoever allows himself its pleasures and desires (of the world) will enter the Fire.”

In Islam, no human being is given the privilege and authority to pass judgement on who will end up going to Paradise or Hell. This is the exclusive domain of Allāh (SWT).

Every human being’s test in this world is different and their final position in the Hereafter is dependent on the extent to which they submitted to the truth that was available to them in this world. Just as it is possible for someone who is only Muslim by name to end up in Hell, it is possible for a non-believer to end up in Paradise, because he/she submitted to what they truly felt was the truth.

In today’s world, due to the mass misrepresentation of Islam in the media, many people only get exposed to grossly skewed versions of Islam. While if they were exposed to the correct understanding of Islam, they too would have quickly entered into the folds of Islam. It would thus be wrong to pass quick judgements on all non-Muslims as being bound to Hell.

This reality is also seen in the Qurʾān. For example, Allāh (SWT) says:

“For all those who believe in Allāh and in the Last Day and do good deeds – be they either believers, Jews, Sabaeans or Christians – neither fear shall fall upon them, nor shall they have any reason to grieve.” [5:69]

The Qurʾān is clear that Hell is the destination of the “kāfir”. However, it is incorrect to label every non-believer as a “kāfir”. This title exclusively refers to those people who are aware of the reality of God, yet decide to reject this knowledge. Most non-believers do not in fact fall into this category.

Every human being was created with the potential and ability to reach Paradise as their final destination. If someone’s final destination is Hell, it is only because they chose to go out of their way to disobey Allāh (SWT) and commit evil. As Imām al-Sajjād (A) once remarked, it is not a surprise for someone to achieve Paradise. However, given the endless Mercy of Allāh (SWT), it is a great surprise and shock how someone can end up in Hell. They must have been extremely wretched people!

Having said that, if Allāh (SWT) had only created those human beings who would end up going to Paradise, this would have nullified the whole purpose of the test of this world. The potential for some people to end up going to Hell is a logically necessary part of the free will given to man.

It is also important to remember here that Divine Knowledge of every human being’s eventuality in the Hereafter does not equate to pre-destination.

Please refer to Lessons 3 & 5 of the Class 11 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lesson 5 of the Class 8 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lesson 4 of the Class 9 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 4 & 5 of the Class 11 Madressa manual.