Does God’s Guidance Reach Everyone?

11 December, 2016
Q I have some questions in my mind. 1. Why does Allah Punish non-Muslims so they will be in Hell their whole life without entering Paradise? 2. If Allah is more merciful and loves mankind, then why does He gives children to non-Muslims and make them suffer in Hell? 3. Do you think Allah's guidance is reaching every non-Muslim in the world?

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum Tuan,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Let me make it clear that God (Allah) is the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate. These are two of His Divine Attributes in which every Muslim has a firm belief. Also God is the Most Just and He can never be unjust to anyone. We read in the Quran:

{God does not wrong people at all– it is they who wrong themselves.} (Yunus 10:44)

Doing good is greatly rewarded and doing evil is heavily punished. Even the level of rewards in the Hereafter is not the same. Some good deeds are given more blessings than others. At the same time, bad deeds are not equally punished. Minor sins are not punished in the same way as major sins.

As for the issue of who will go to Paradise and who will go to Hell, it is not for anyone to decide on this issue and give a judgment. The whole issue is left to God the Almighty. Out of His Mercy, God rewards whom He wishes and punishes whom He wishes.

What Muslims believe is that associating others with God is one of the most grievous of the major sins for which there is a grave punishment in the Hereafter. But again it is not for anyone to decide the fate of anyone whether he or she is Muslim or non-Muslim. We read in the Quran:

{And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day when He will gather them together [and say], “O company of jinn, you have [misled] many of mankind.” And their allies among mankind will say, “Our Lord, some of us made use of others, and we have [now] reached our term, which you appointed for us.” He will say, “The Fire is your residence, wherein you will abide eternally, except for what Allah wills. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing”.} (Al-Anaam, 6:128)

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: 

The fate of disbelievers is left only to Allah to decide.

The equation goes like this: God created people to worship Him alone. This is the very purpose of our creation. God sent messengers and prophets to guide people to His path. Those who follow the footsteps of the prophets will be rewarded. However, if some people do not follow God’s guidance, they will be punished in the Hereafter.

If there is an equal treatment of good and evil, this is itself unfair. Therefore, out of God’s justice, He rewards for good deeds and punishes for bad deeds. God does not have an interest in punishing anyone. Everyone decides for themselves. Both options are equally offered. We can choose the right path and be rewarded, or insist on choosing the wrong path and be punished.

With regard to the issue of giving children to non-Muslims, this is also a part of God’s justice. Non-Muslims live their lives normally as human beings. They are completely free to do what they wish in this world. They are granted freedom of worship and freedom of expression. They are given the opportunity to believe in the true and only God.

This world will eventually vanish. So, it is not worth much in the sight of Allah; what is important is the Hereafter, which is everlasting. Sahl ibn Saad narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him-PBUH) said:

If the world to Allah was equal to a mosquito’s wing, then He would not allow the disbeliever to have a sip of water from it. (At-Tirmidhi)

Until a certain age, children are not held accountable for being non-Muslims. Once they reach puberty, they are given a chance to rethink the religion of their parents. If they decide to embrace Islam, they will be rewarded. If they decide to follow the religion of their parents, they will face the same fate of their parents.

Speaking about conveying God’s message to all people, it is the duty of every Muslim to do something to make the message of Islam heard by everyone, everywhere. In the age of modern technology, nothing is impossible. Dawah (inviting to Islam) can reach most people if websites like this one are marketed and promoted well.

Every Muslim should talk with his non-Muslim neighbors about Islam and present it to them in a gentle way. While traveling, every Muslim should seize the opportunity to talk about Islam with the people. We can print books and distribute them in the places we will visit. Islamic Centers in non-Muslim countries should invite non-Muslims and introduce Islam to them.

If it happens that some people do not hear about or fully understand the message of Islam, it is out of God’s mercy that He will not punish them for not following Islam. Allah says:

{[…] And never would We punish until We send a messenger.} (Al-Israa, 17:15)

I hope this helps answer your questions.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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

Do Non-Muslims Who Believe in God Go to Heaven?

Isn’t It Unfair that Only Muslims Will Go to Heaven?

Will Only Muslims Go to Paradise?

Does Allah Answer the Prayers of Non-Muslims?

Why Are So Many People Accepting Islam?