Fate of one who has not heard of Islam
Fatwa No: 85624

  • Fatwa Date:26-2-2003 - Thul-Hijjah 25, 1423
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Question

In our community we spend a lot of time talking about Islam and someone brought up a question where none could answer: If someone never heard of Islam and lives in the middle of nowhere how could someone like he/she enter Paradise?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Allah, The Exalted, says: {Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).} [17:15]
It is a great divine blessing on His creation that Allah will not hold anyone responsible for his deeds unless the divine message reaches him by Allah's Prophets, and Messengers. And Allah will not cause him to enter the Hell-Fire except after sending a messenger to him to teach him the religion to show the right, to warn him against falsehood, to demonstrate the divine message, to show proofs and to state the divine teachings, and there is no difference between one time and another time, one place and another place. In other words, one who does not receive any knowledge about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), will not be responsible whether he lives in USA, the Amazon, Russia or any other place.
It is reported in the sunnah that such people will be tested on the Day of Judgement.
Imam Ahmad reported Allah's Messenger (SAW) said: "Four people will produce their excuses on the Day of Judgement. They are deaf, idiot, dotard and one who died before advent of Islam. The deaf will say: O Lord! I was a deaf when Islam came. The idiot will say: O Lord! Children were throwing dung at me when Islam came. And the one who died before Islam will say: O Lord! No messenger came to me. So, He put them under an obligation that they would obey Him. Then, He will send (angel for example) to them ordering them to enter the Hell-Fire. By whom Muhammad's soul in His hand: "If they enter it, they will find it safe and cool." The Hadith indicates that Allah will test those four people (mentioned in the Hadith) and He will order them to enter the Fire. If they do, they will enter Paradise, and if they do not, they will enter the Fire. This is an indication that those who will obey Him, they would obey His messenger in the present life, and vice versa. It is an absolute justice of Allah, the Maker.
Allah knows best.

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