Assalaamu alaykum. I have a question regarding the faith of the children of the disbelievers. There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars. Some scholars believe that they will end up in hell while some believe that they will be tested. The belief that they will be tested seems to be the most correct. Is it right to regard the first opinion - that they will end up in hell - as being part of ijitihaad - one in which all views are accepted and not denounced. If yes, then what is the wisdom behind this since we know that Allaah does not punish his servants before they commit sins? How can one reconcile the belief that Allaah is just and the belief that the children of the disbelievers will end up in hell (assuming that the first opinion is right). I ask this question because satanic thoughts keep coming to my mind saying that Allaah is not just by punishing the kids of the disbelievers (assuming that the first opinion is right). I seek refuge by Allaah. Your help in this matter would be highly appreciated.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
There are different pieces of evidence regarding the fate of the children born to non-Muslim parents. Some suggest that they will be in Hellfire and others suggest that they will not. In fact, some reports stated the prohibition to discuss such matters. It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Rajaa' Al-ʻUtaaridi that he heard Ibn ʻAbbaas on the pulpit, say, “The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, ‘This nation will continue to be good till they start arguing about the fate of the children and the qadar (Divine predestination).’” [Ibn Hibbaan - Al-Albaani graded it saheeh (sound)] Ibn Hibbaan remarked, "The hadeeth refers to the children of the disbelievers and polytheists.”
This warning is proven correct, as manifest in the case of the dear questioner.
We have previously underlined in our fataawa that the scholarly opinion suggesting that the children of the disbelievers will be in Hellfire is an outweighed view. Please, refer to fatwa 2740.
However, it should be noted that the scholars who maintained this view do not hold that Allaah will punish the children of the disbelievers while they do not deserve such a punishment. Rather, they hold that Allaah knew that if they were to live longer, they would have followed the example of their disbelieving parents and embraced disbelief and polytheism. This is the rationale behind the scholarly view adopted by those scholars.
In any case, if you came to know that this view is outweighed and incorrect, then why do you bother delving into it any further? Why do you expose yourself to such satanic whisperings to begin with? Why do you allow the devil to instill doubts and confusion in your heart?
We advise you to disregard such whisperings and abstain from thinking about this matter any further. You should refer the matters about which you are confused to the entirely clear Islamic principles in this regard, submissively accepting that Allaah, The Exalted, is All-Wise. He does not create or do anything in vain, nor are His actions devoid of any meaning; all of His actions are based on great wisdom. All praise be to Him. Human beings cannot encompass His wisdom behind His creation and decrees. Verily, al-qadar (Divine Predestination) is Allaah's secret in His creation since nobody knows al-qadar's essence except Him. His actions are the manifestations of His perfect justice and grace; verily, He never wrongs anyone.
Allaah knows best.
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