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Do good non-Muslims get sent to hell?

First. We must clarify who do we mean by the word 'non-Muslims'? The term 'non-Muslims' includes many groups of people such as 'the people of the book' i.e. the Jews, the Christians, the other adherents of the pre-Islamic heavenly-sent religions, pagans, atheists, disbelievers and etc.

Second. To have a methodical and systematic treatment of the issue, the question must be addressed from two different angles: A) 'confessional' and B) 'non-confessional'. By the word confessional I mean from religious [Islamic] point of view and by the word 'non-confessional' a purely 'rational' perspective.

Third. Non-Muslims cannot be called ‘good’ if they abide by their own hereditary dogmas and show no flexibility towards the truth. Good non-Muslims should be beautified with the actual qualities.

Fourth. To tackle the very question from a non-confessional perspective, we can argue that a wise man has always the will and intention to live a prosperous life, even if he restricts the realm of life to the earthly one. To win a prosperous life, all necessary means and measures must be taken. Theoretically talking, an important part of his worldly prosperity rests on intellectual harmony he should enjoy while explaining the world, the purpose of his life and his status after death. He who -committed to no monotheistic values- lacks a coherent system of beliefs on the purpose of his life in this world and his status in the hereafter, will not be able to experience the sweet taste of success and joyful moments; because the darkness of doubt, sheer ambiguity and pure uncertainty about the aftermath can cause him aggravating pain. To avoid such disturbing thoughts, everyone is expected to conduct reliable researches on the validity or invalidity of propositions pertaining to the afterlife. Finall, a rational agent can never remain indifferent to his destiny particularly if he gives the probability that his destiny might be of a fatal kind.

Fifth. To treat the issue from a confessional perspective, to a Muslim it is clear that since Allah is the Creator, Benefactor and Possessor of all, and All-Aware of everyone's intentions and actions, He has the existential power and legitimate authority to put conditions for every one's salvation. According to His final say sent to the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his progeny), only those who meet the two conditions of observing sincere 'faith' and carrying out 'virtuous deeds' will win eternal paradise. Indeed, Allah, the All-Wise, has not meant by the word ‘Muslims’ those who are nominal Muslims. Only the real Muslims whose actions translate their thoughts in the concrete world, will be granted salvation. Those who hold Muslim names and identities but their true interior beliefs are not reflected in the exterior world, will be deprived of a happy life in the hereafter. The true practicing Muslims who absolutely surrender their intentions and actions to Allah, will be awarded or granted eternal paradise. Non-Muslims can follow the suit.

The conclusion:

What Allah, the Almighty, hates most is his creatures' blatant ingratitude (Chapter al-Isra/ 67,89; Chapter al-Furqan/ 50) and their stubbornness and obstinacy in abiding by sheer falsehood (Chapter Yonus/ 33). Those non-Muslims who find the truth and again defy their Lords' commands obstinately, should wait the grave consequences of their actions and the choices they make. Those non-Muslims who have not found the truth altogether, or are deeply involved in polemic doubts or are in their ways to find the truth in coming days, will not be sent to hell; because Allah, the All-Wise, will act in accordance with the implications of His attributes of absolute justice and mercy. As such, the people of the book will win eternal salvation on condition that they remain committed to their true religious worldview and act upon their religious-moral principles. 

May Allah, the Compassionate, bless us all a happy life in this world and a happier life in the hereafter.

References:

1. The Quran.

Edited by S. Shuja

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Salam 

(Here I use your terms of confessional and non-confessional the same way you explained)

With due respect sir, Why is it important for us to determine whether someone goes to Hell or Heaven? is it our job? or don't we have any better cases to judge about? ^___^.

As you said, let have some non-confessional view:

Have we ever been to Hell or Heaven? Do we know the final rules? Do we know how exactly Allah calculates things? Or even whether He does at all? Do we know for sure whether our actions by themselves turn into heaven or hell or they are just there to buy us "entry tickets"? Do we know how exactly our actions contribute to our final state? how others' actions help us? 

If you go with non-confessional view, what is so good about being a Muslim? can you prove or disprove philosophically that if you do an action while you are a Muslim it will be different than when you do it as a non-muslim? What the difference between going to bed with a girl after saying marriage woes and before them? don't you do the same thing and many times with the same intention? then what is the different? (will you like me to list many actions here that it is impossible to talk about them in a non-confessional view?)

Then how are we supposed to JUDGE whether a non-muslim ( good or bad ) will go where after death? And what good will it bring us if we can't be SURE about it? any practical benefits? (since there is no intellectual benefits, since we won't reach knowledge and certainty)

Since when we have Allah in a non-confessional view? Allah is a special name, revealed only to some prophets, the last of them ours...do you reckon it will be right to bring Allah in this view? and then say "since he is All-wise then such and such" ? out of our religious view, we barely have anything as All-Wise or Absolute Justice etc. They are revealed to us through revelation, and if not by that, we would never use those terms for the source of all realities, for the Truth itself. These terms you are using are available to us through process of revelation...in non-confessional view we don't have access to them...the same way we don't have access to Hell or Heaven that easily! The existence of after-life is acceptable even in a non-confessional view, but Hell or Heaven? and then the day of Judgment?

My point is: If we want to go in pure philosophical (or as you said non-confessional) view, we can't bring that much of difference between a muslim and non-muslim, if they do the same actions. And we can't judge, since we don't have any certain facts to do so...that's why we need a religion brother! that's why!

 

 

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On 10/5/2016 at 1:51 PM, Totoro said:

Salam 

(Here I use your terms of confessional and non-confessional the same way you explained)

With due respect sir, Why is it important for us to determine whether someone goes to Hell or Heaven? is it our job? or don't we have any better cases to judge about? ^___^.

As you said, let have some non-confessional view:

Have we ever been to Hell or Heaven? Do we know the final rules? Do we know how exactly Allah calculates things? Or even whether He does at all? Do we know for sure whether our actions by themselves turn into heaven or hell or they are just there to buy us "entry tickets"? Do we know how exactly our actions contribute to our final state? how others' actions help us? 

If you go with non-confessional view, what is so good about being a Muslim? can you prove or disprove philosophically that if you do an action while you are a Muslim it will be different than when you do it as a non-muslim? What the difference between going to bed with a girl after saying marriage woes and before them? don't you do the same thing and many times with the same intention? then what is the different? (will you like me to list many actions here that it is impossible to talk about them in a non-confessional view?)

Then how are we supposed to JUDGE whether a non-muslim ( good or bad ) will go where after death? And what good will it bring us if we can't be SURE about it? any practical benefits? (since there is no intellectual benefits, since we won't reach knowledge and certainty)

Since when we have Allah in a non-confessional view? Allah is a special name, revealed only to some prophets, the last of them ours...do you reckon it will be right to bring Allah in this view? and then say "since he is All-wise then such and such" ? out of our religious view, we barely have anything as All-Wise or Absolute Justice etc. They are revealed to us through revelation, and if not by that, we would never use those terms for the source of all realities, for the Truth itself. These terms you are using are available to us through process of revelation...in non-confessional view we don't have access to them...the same way we don't have access to Hell or Heaven that easily! The existence of after-life is acceptable even in a non-confessional view, but Hell or Heaven? and then the day of Judgment?

My point is: If we want to go in pure philosophical (or as you said non-confessional) view, we can't bring that much of difference between a muslim and non-muslim, if they do the same actions. And we can't judge, since we don't have any certain facts to do so...that's why we need a religion brother! that's why!

 

 

Dear Brother Totoro

Salamun Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah; 

Special thanks to you for your engaging reply. 

You posed bundles of complicated questions that can be hardly and properly dealt with in our brief posts. Anyhow, I am going to address your last paragraph that played the role of a conclusion and it's begun with 'My point is …'.

It seems as if you have criticized my 'non-confessional approach' to the issue, claiming that from a purely philosophical perspective, we can't bring that much of difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim.

Let me explain more and otherwise what I have meant from a non-confessional approach:

When we are going to deal with subject like that of God, religion, revelation and hereafter, first and foremost, the Muslims stand in dire need of a non-confessional way to prove the necessity of God, religion, afterlife and many other fundamental concepts. They can take them for granted for a while to begin talking about them. Thus, the great Muslim theologians and philosophers, prior to depicting the picture of their ideal God, explaining the content of revelation and revealing the details of afterlife, have invested extensively to treat the necessity and philosophy of such issues. When they could win the hearts and minds [satisfaction] of truth-seekers, then the turn would come to talk about those issues and the pertaining details.

In other words, had the philosophers and theologians failed to prove the importance and necessity of topics such as creator, revelation and afterlife from a purely philosophical [non-confessional] perspective; talking about the actions of creator, the quality of revelation and the details of life hereafter would have been in vain and meaningless. You can never ever take recourse to revelatory insights to prove the necessity of revelation because methodically talking it will be wrong. So, the necessity of creator, revelation and afterlife should have been proven first and from a purely logical, rational and philosophical [non-confessional] way; so that the path should be paved to accept the details of these issues. Moreover, one can make use of both rational and transmitted [Naqli=نقلی] methods to prove the details of his creator, revelation and afterlife; for some of the details, are of purely philosophical and rational nature like that of divine attributes. In respect with the details of afterlife, I must agree with you that a greater part of the whole story depends on revelation and those transmitted traditions we have received from our Noble Prophet and his righteous successors.

To wrap up:

1.  Before dealing with the content of revelation, we have to make ourselves or our addressee convinced of the necessity of addressing such issues from a purely rational [non-confessional] way. Otherwise, methodically talking, our arguments would fall victim to logical problems.

2.  In proving the details of God, revelation and depiction of afterlife, indeed, we will be more reliant on transmitted knowledge and the traditions we have received from the legitimate channels such as infallible Prophet and the Great Saints [Imams].

May Allah, the Most Compassionate, Bless us All.

Edited by S. Shuja

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10 hours ago, S. Shuja said:

It seems as if you have criticized my 'non-confessional approach' to the issue, claiming that from a purely philosophical perspective, we can't bring that much of difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim.

Salam

your answer is really good and clear. The only thing is, you haven't answered my question! I accept that we need some non-confessional approaches towards religion, and that's exactly how you described. But the question is, can we draw a line between a Muslim and a Christian here? can we prove a muslim is better than a christian by a non-confessional approach?

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30 minutes ago, Totoro said:

Salam

your answer is really good and clear. The only thing is, you haven't answered my question! I accept that we need some non-confessional approaches towards religion, and that's exactly how you described. But the question is, can we draw a line between a Muslim and a Christian here? can we prove a muslim is better than a christian by a non-confessional approach?

Dear Totoro

Once again Salam Alaikum 

Why not? We can make use of non-confessional ways to prove that a Muslim is far better than a Christian. If the yardstick of betterment is obeying one's master and seeking proximity to Him, the faithful practicing Muslims are more loyal to their master's words than that of the practicing Christians. Because historically taking, the Christians have been given the good tidings of a Prophet who would appear after Jesus, the Christ, and they were supposed to believe in his teachings! Due to the very historical fact, their faithful priests have always wanted to see the promised prophet. Thus, some of them have come to reside at surroundings of Arab Peninsula. If some of them failed to follow their own Prophet's words, it can be termed as a mishap [or disobedience] from a non-confessional perspective. 

Moreover, the latest orders of masters are more authoritative, obligatory and valid than that of his former commands. We have due respect to the validity and legitimacy of Christianity during the presence of Jesus, the Christ. But when the Master or Possessor of all heavenly-sent religions commands His creatures to abide by certain a religion and religious rituals at a certain time, all are required to follow what they are ordered and none should deny or defy their Lord's orders. At least we can give the probability that a Wise Master can command us to obey different regulations at different circumstances! If winning His pleasure is a criterion to forms a happy life for everyone including the Christians and Muslims, then all should be submissive of His commands!

Finally, if you had100, you will never long for 90! For ninety is within 100 and 100 covers more than that. From a non-confessional perspective, to remain committed to a religion that consists of all other and previous versions, seems more rational and neutral. 

Thanks for your attention 

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@S. Shuja

Salam again.

thanks for you reply. It explains a lot.

Yet again, if we go in a non-confession way, how are we sure that a latter religion is for sure better than an earlier one? Is it a logical rule or what generally is true? we know something general might not be true is some cases after all.. How do we know Islam is a world-wide religion and not a local one? Maybe Islam were for Arabs and whoever lived nearby? And christianity were for Palestinians and Syrians..... Maybe there is no advantage here... It is reasonable that each society has its own sets of rules...maybe Islam is for some societies and Christianity is for others? Since the core teaching is the same, details might not be that crucial? 

 

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@totoro

Salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah, 

You can give a look at the content of the teachings! You might argue that it won't be a non-confessional way! But sometimes we can study a subject without having a sympathetic approach towards that phenomenon. In respect with the religion of Islam, it can be rationally explained this way that since Islam is supposed to be the final religion, and the prophet of Islam as the seal of prophets, Islam must be the most complete version of all divine religions and accordingly its prophet must be the best of all other prophets as well. As a general rule we can deduce that the All-Wise creator chooses the best of his prophets for the best of his religions. Otherwise, everyone would have doubted on sanity of divine wisdom! that He, God forbid, replaced a true religion, with another one which is lower in content and form. Moreover, had one accepted the authenticity of the prophet Muhammad, then His all sayings would be a kind of proof for or against him. One of the attributes of the Quran is 'مهیمن' meaning that every other heavenly sent scriptures would be subordinate to the Quran. As such the prophet was asked about different attributes and levels of prophets, and he said all would stand behind him. Anyhow, the great theologians have proffered the argument of completion and finality of religion; i.e. the final religion should be the most complete and comprehensive one otherwise the contrary case would be more illogical and irrational. 

Thanks

Edited by S. Shuja

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1 hour ago, Totoro said:

Thank you for your reply. I guess this much of reasoning is enough and now this topic can be counted as complete. Thanks for your time and effort.

May Allah bless you.

Sincere Thanks to your patience and participation in our mutual exchanges of perspectives. 

God Bless You, Dear @Totoro.

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On Wednesday, October 05, 2016 at 9:21 PM, Totoro said:

With due respect sir, Why is it important for us to determine whether someone goes to Hell or Heaven? is it our job? or don't we have any better cases to judge about? ^___^.

Of course it is important. Since Allah [SWT] spoke about salvation in His Book, and who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell.

Edited by E.L King

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