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What Is The Punishment for Suicide Bombing?



Reply Date

Jan 11, 2017


A Muslim friend of mine told me that, in Islam, Muslims are still punished in hell for their sins, but then once punishment is done they are received into heaven. So, a suicide bomber - as I recall suicide is forbidden and punished with eternity in hell - would eventually be brought into heaven? Is this true? May I see any doctrine to back up these claims or claims against it? Thank you.



Salam (Peace) Mike,

Thanks for contacting About Islam with your question. 

I will try to tackle the points you raised here through the concept of justice in Islam, for all these points revolve around the issue of evaluation of deeds and what should be the proper recompense for human acts. 

Brother, Almighty Allah created this universe and set its order according to the principle of justice. If this divine order is shaken, it will bring about disruption to the entire system governing the universe.

That’s why Islam places great emphasis on the duty of upholding justice, for this will serve the greater interests of all humankind and all creation. Allah says in the Quran:

{O you who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that you do.} (Quran 5:8)

You see, this verse makes it clear that a Muslim must not only strive for upholding justice for the sake of his fellow Muslims. Rather, his quest for justice should be for the interests of all humankind and even for all creation. 

With this message, Allah sent all His prophets and messengers to maintain truth and justice. He sent them to convey the message of truth and justice to humankind, to deal with them and administer their affairs under the principles of justice. 

Justice will be the basic reality of the judgment in the afterlife, on the Day of Reckoning. This is when all people will stand before God, Who will call them into account. 

Allah says:

{We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least, and if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account.} (Quran 21:47

It’s under the principle of justice that some people will enter Paradise, while others will enter Hell. But the matter does not end here.

Alongside the principle of justice, God’s Divine Mercy works. As He has made it clear in His divine scriptures, that it’s never His Pleasure to cast people into Hell; His mercy overcomes His wrath. 

So, He has made it clear that rather than dwell in Hell forever, some people who mix good deeds with bad ones, then die without repenting for their sins, will serve punishment for those evil deeds and afterwards be admitted into Paradise. 

How can this be? It is due to the light of faith that kindles in their hearts. So, it is a well-known fact that no one will abide in the Hell-Fire forever except for the unbelievers who deny the Existence of God or associate partners with Him in His Divinity.

Those are the people who prefer to be hostile to their Lord, disbelieving in Him and rejecting all His rules. 

But the Quran makes it clear that if anyone shuns the major sins, then Allah Almighty forgives his minor ones. This is a sign of His mercy that works with His justice. Allah says:

{Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults, verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, and when ye are hidden in your mothers’ wombs. Therefore, justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil.} (Quran 53:32

So, here I’m trying to correct the understanding of your friend about those who will be made to enter Hell and later given an entry to Paradise. According to the eminent scholar, the late Sheikh Ibn Baaz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia, says: 

Almighty Allah may forgive people whose sins fall short of polytheism. He may throw them into Hell, if He likes, according to the nature of their sins, then release them from Hell due to intercession offered by some of His servants, like Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), His angels or some of the believers. Even those who remain in Hell (for not being covered by such intercession) may be taken out of Hell by Allah’s mercy, as long as they die with faith in their hearts. 

The Prophet (pbuh) refers to this point in the following hadith (recorded saying): 

Anyone who utters the words ‘there is no god but Allah’ with a morsel’s weight of good deeds in his heart will be taken out of Hell. The same applies to anyone who utters the words ‘there is no god but Allah’, with an atom’s weight of good deeds in his heart. (Narrated in Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmad, Nassa’i, Ibn Majah and Trimidhi) 

You see brother, how justice and mercy work in tandem? This is the message of Islam. 

It’s also in the light of justice that we are to assess the conduct of suicide bombers. Islam makes it crystal clear that suicide and killing innocent civilians is forbidden and both are major sins.

Anyone who takes his own life or lives of others, without any justifiable reason, has transgressed the limit. It is because he has taken what he doesn’t possess, i.e. life. All life was created by and belongs to God alone. Thus, he has tampered with justice, and his fate is to be doomed in the Hereafter. 

So, it is through justice that we can fairly assess people’s conduct. Again, it is justice that determines people’s fate in the Hereafter, as the Prophet (pbuh) made it clear: 

On the Day of Judgment, rights will be given to whom they are due and (wrongs) will be redressed. (Narrated in Saheeh Muslim and Musnad of Imam Ahmad) 

I hope this answers your question. Once again, thanks a lot for contacting us.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Islam and Social Justice (Part 1)

Islam and Social Justice (Part 2)

Is Muhammad’s God Vengeful?

Understanding God’s Attributes

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