Muslims Who May Enter Hell Before Going to Paradise
Fatwa No: 86740

Question

I heard from some friends that according to Hadith some Muslims who are not very pious or who follow some innovations (Bid'ah) will go to Hell for some time and then enter Jannah. Is this true? I know so many verses in the Holy Quran that says something different.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The questioner did not mention the text of the Hadeeth so that we could make a judgement on it, and did not mention the verses which contradict the Hadeeth –in his opinion –so that we may clarify the concordance between the two.

The questioner should know that there are some Ahadeeth of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) confirming his intercession.  These Ahadeeth are narrated by many narrators and it is absolutely impossible for them to tell a lie.  Some of these Ahadeeth are about the intersession of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in general on whoever said ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah’ (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and died without having associated any partners with Allah.

The innovators and sinful people are included in this generality.  However, there is a condition for the innovators, which is that their innovation has to be one which does not take them out of the fold of Islam and that they visit on indulging in it although the evidence of their wrongdoing was presented to them.

If their innovation takes them out of the fold of Islam and the evidence is presented to them, then no intercession would benefit them. Among these Ahadeeth is a Hadeeth reported by Muslim:

Every Prophet had one accepted supplication (Du’aa’), and every one of them hastened to have his supplication (to happen in this world). As far as I am concerned, my supplication to intercede for my Ummah (nation) will be said on the day of Judgement and it will be granted for me. It will include, Allah willing, whoever (from my Ummah) died without having associated anything with Allah.

Another Hadeeth is the one reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, which reads: “Whoever said ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah’ (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and has faith in his heart, equal to the weight of a barley grain, will be taken out of the fire.

There is also another Hadeeth reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, the meaning of which is as follows: “…. then I would ask for the fourth time, I would Praise Him (Allah), and Glorify Him, and would prostrate to him, then Allah would say “Oh Muhammad! Raise your head, speak you will be heard; ask, your request will be granted, and seek intercession and you will be granted intercession”; I would say: “Oh Allah! Give me permission (to intercede) on whomever said ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah’ (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah).” Allah would Say: “I swear by My Glory, Praise, Greatness, and Might that I will take out of the Fire everyone who said ‘La Ilaaha Illa Allah’.

It is also confirmed that the sinners (disobedient people) will be taken out of the fire by the intercession of the Angels and believers.  Allah will also take out some of them by His Grace without the intercession of anybody, as reported by Muslim in Hadeeth No. 183; the wording of which is as follows:

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported: Some people during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Messenger of Allah! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection? The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘Yes’, and added: “Do you feel any trouble in seeing the sun at noon with no cloud over it, and do you feel trouble in seeing the moon (open) in the full moonlit night with no cloud over it? They said: “No, Messenger of Allah!” He (the Prophet) said: “You will not feel any trouble in seeing Allah on the Day of Resurrection any more than you do in seeing any one of them. When the Day of Resurrection comes a caller would proclaim: ‘Let every people follow what they used to worship.’ Then all who worshipped idols and stones besides Allah would fall into the Fire, till only the righteous and the vicious and some of the people of the Book who worshipped Allah are left. Then the Jews would be summoned, and it would be said to them: What did you worship? They will say: We worshipped 'Uzair, son of Allah. It would be said to them: “You tell a lie; Allah had never had a spouse or a son. What do you want now?” They would say: “We feel thirsty, O our Lord! Quench our thirst.” They would be directed (to a certain direction) and asked: “Why don't you go there to drink water?” Then they would be pushed towards the Fire (and they would find to their great dismay that) it was but a mirage (and the raging flames of fire) would be consuming one another, and they would fall into the Fire. Then the Christians would be summoned and it would be said to them: “What did you worship?” They would say: “We worshipped Jesus, son of Allah.” It would be said to them: “You tell a lie; Allah did not take for Himself either a spouse or a son.” Then it would be said to them: “What do you want?” They would say: “Thirsty we are, O our Lord! Quench our thirst.” They would be directed (to a certain direction) and asked: “Why don't you go there to get water?” But they would be pushed and gathered together towards the Hell, which was like a mirage to them, and the flames would consume one another. They would fall Into the Fire, till no one is left except he who worshipped Allah, be he pious or sinful. The Lord of the Universe, Glorified and Exalted be He, would come to them in a form recognizable to them and say: “What are you looking for?” Every people follow that which they worshipped. They would say: “Our Lord, we kept ourselves separate from the people in the world, though we felt a great need of them; we, however, did not associate ourselves with them.” He would say: “I am your Lord.” They would say: “We take refuge with Allah from you and do not associate anything with Allah.” They would repeat it twice or thrice, till some of them would be about to return. It would be said: “Is there any sign between you and Him by which you will recognize Him?” They would say: “Yes”; and the things would be laid bare. Those who used to prostrate themselves before Allah of their own accord would be permitted by Allah to prostrate themselves. But there would remain none who used to prostrate out of fear (of people) and ostentation but Allah would make his back as one piece, and whenever he would attempt to prostrate he would fall on his back.

Then they would raise their heads and He would assume the Form in which they had seen Him the first time and would say: “I am your Lord.” They would say: “You are our Lord.” Then the bridge would be set up over the Hell and intercession would be allowed and they will say: “O Lord, keep safe, keep safe.” It was asked: “Messenger of Allah, what is this bridge?” He said: “The void in which one is likely to slip. There would be hooks, tongs, spits like the thorn that is found in Najd and is known as Sa'dan. The believers would then pass over within the twinkling of an eye, like lightning, like wind, like a bird, like the finest horses and camels. Some will escape and be safe, some will be lacerated and let go, and some will be pushed into the fire of Hell till the believers will find rescue from the Fire. By One in Whose hand is my life, there will be none among you more eager to claim a right than the believers on the Day of Resurrection for (saying their) brethren in the Fire who would say: “O our Lord, they were fasting along with us, and praying and performing pilgrimage.” It will be said to them: “Take out those whom you recognize.” Then their persons would be forbidden to the Fire; and they would take out a large number of people who had been overtaken by Fire up to the middle of the shank or up to the knees. They would then say: “O our Lord! Not one of those about whom You did give us command remains in it.” He will then say: “Go back and bring out those in whose hearts you find good of the weight of a Dinar.” Then they will take out a large number of people. Then they would say: “O our Lord! We have not left anyone about whom You commanded us.” He will then say: “Go back and bring out those in whose hearts you find as much as half a Dinar of good.” Then they will take out a large number of people, and would say: “O our Lord! Not one of those about whom You commanded us we have left in it.” Then He would say: “Go back and in whose heart you find good to the weight of a particle bring him out.” They would bring out a large number of people, and would then say: “O our Lord, now we have not left anyone in it (Hell) having any good in him.”

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri said: “If you don't testify me in this Hadeeth, then recite if you like: {Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom's weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.} [Quran 4:40] Then Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, would say: “The angels have interceded, the Prophets have interceded and the believers have interceded, and no one remains (to grant pardon) but the Most Merciful of the merciful. He will then take a handful from Fire and bring out from it people who never did any good and who had been turned into charcoal, and will cast them into a river called the river of life, on the outskirts of Paradise. They will come out as a seed comes out from the silt carried by flood. You see it near the stone or near the tree. That which is exposed to the sun is yellowish or greenish and that which is under the shade is white. They said: “O Messenger of Allah! It seems as if you had been tending a flock in the jungle.” He (the Prophet) said: “They will come forth like pearls with seals on their necks. The inhabitants of Paradise would recognize them (and say): ‘Those are the people who have been set free by the Compassionate One, Who has admitted them into Paradise without any (good) deed that they did or any good that they sent in advance.’ Then He would say: “Enter Paradise; whatever you see in it is yours.” They would say: “O Lord, You have bestowed upon us (favors) which You did not bestow upon anyone else in the world.” Allah would say: “There is with Me (a favor) for you better than this.” They would say: “O our Lord! Which thing is better than this?” He would say: “It is My Pleasure. I will never be angry with you after this.”

As for the Hadeeth narrated by Sif’ah about intercession, it was reported by al- Bukhaari; the text of which is as follows:

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )   said: “The believers will be kept (waiting) on the Day of Resurrection so long that they will become worried and say, 'Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord so that He may relieve us from our place.'

Then they will go to Adam and say, 'You are Adam, the father of mankind. Allah created you with His Own Hand and made you reside in His Paradise and ordered His angels to prostrate before you, and taught you the names of all things; will you intercede for us with your Lord so that He may relieve us from this place of ours? Adam will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will mention his mistakes he had committed, i.e., his eating from the tree though he had been forbidden to do so. He will add, 'Go to Noah, the first Prophet who was sent by Allah to the people of the Earth.' The people will go to Noah who will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will mention his mistake which he had done, i.e., his asking his Lord without knowledge. He will say (to them), 'Go to Abraham, whom Allah has taken as an intimate friend.' They will go to Abraham who will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He would mention three words by which he told a lie, and say (to them), 'Go to Moses, a slave whom Allah gave the Torah and spoke to, directly and brought near Him, for conversation.'

They will go to Moses who will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will mention his mistake he made, i.e., killing a person, and will say (to them), 'Go to Jesus, Allah's slave and His Prophet, and a soul created by Him and His Word.' (Be: And it was.)” They will go to Jesus who will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking but you'd better go to Muhammad, the slave whose past and future sins have been forgiven by Allah.' So they will come to me, and I will ask my Lord's permission to enter His House and then I will be permitted. When I see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him, and He will leave me (in prostration) as long as He wills, and then He will say, 'O Muhammad, lift up your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything) for it will be granted.' Then I will raise my head and glorify my Lord with certain praises which He has taught me. Allah will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people) I will take them out and make them enter Paradise.” (Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that, the Prophet said, “I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and then I will return and ask my Lord for permission to enter His House and I will be permitted.)” When I will see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him and He will leave me in prostration as long as He wishes to let me (in that state), and then He will say, 'O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, your request will be granted.'” The Prophet added, “So I will raise my head and glorify and praise Him as He has taught me. Then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.” (Qatada added: 'I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, “I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and I will return for the third time and will ask my Lord for permission to enter His house, and I will be allowed to enter.)” When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration before Him, and will remain in prostration as long as He wills, and then He will say, 'Raise your head, O Muhammad, and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, for your request will be granted.' So I will raise my head and praise Allah as He has taught me and then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.” (Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that the Prophet said, “So I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, till none will remain in the Fire except those whom Quran will imprison (i.e., those who are destined for eternal life in the fire).)” The narrator then recited the Verse: {It is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.} [Quran 17:79] The narrator added: “This is the Station of Praise and Glory which Allah has promised to your Prophet.”

The Madhab of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah, is that no person of the Ummah of Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) will be eternally in the fire even if he had committed a great number of sins as long as he bears witness: that ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad Rasoolu Allah, (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger).

Allah knows best.

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