The Hereafter

Is it true that Islam says that all non-Muslims are going to hell?


People have told me that it is unfair how Islam says that non-Muslims are all going to hell, regardless of whether or not they have done good deeds in this world. Why is this fair? Shouldn’t they be rewarded for their good deeds, and how are they supposed to know about Islam if they were born and raised in a non-Muslim family?


In short, according to the Holy Quran and the principles of Islam, only the following people will end up in hell:

– People who deny the existence of God and thus do not worship Him, are denying the most obvious truth, and so there is no place for them in paradise.

– People who learn the truth about Islam but reject it because of worldly desires, arrogance, or whims.

As for people who believe in other divine religions and are good people, and who never learnt the truth about Islam, they will be rewarded for their good deeds and can end up in heaven.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

For more information, you can refer to the lectures of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei, one of the prominent panelists on this website, who has dealt with this issue in length in his series titled ‘Journey to the Unseen World’ Vol.1 lessons 17 to 20.

What is the Barzakh (purgatory)?


Can you please briefly explain what the Barzakh (purgatory) is?


The term Barzakh (1) literally means a barrier between two things. In Islamic terminology, it is meant for a world between Here and the Hereafter.

Since the world of Barzakh is still beyond the knowledge of man (2), all what we know is from the Quran and the Ahadith. In general, Barzakh is an intermediate world in which all souls will live until the Great Day of Judgment occurs. The righteous souls will be temporarily rewarded, as the souls of criminals will be temporarily punished.

According to some traditions the souls will be clothed with a body similar to the worldly body of the person in this world. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said to Yunus: “When Allah collects the soul of a believer, He will accommodate his soul to a body like his worldly body. Then they eat and drink and when a visitor sees them he recognises them in their worldly image.”

(1): The term purgatory is not the translation of the Islamic term ‘Barzakh’. For in Roman Catholicism, Purgatory (from the Latin purgare, “to cleanse”) is the place or state after death where those who have died in a state of grace but not free from imperfection, expiate their remaining sins before entering the visible presence of God and the saints; the damned, on the other hand, go directly to hell. This doctrine was rejected by leaders of the Reformation who taught that people are freed from sin through faith in Jesus Christ and go straight to heaven. The Orthodox church also rejects the theology of Purgatory, although it encourages prayers for the dead in some undefined intermediate state. – Arendzen, John Peter, Purgatory and Heaven (1960).

(2): Many people of different backgrounds are reported to have had a vision about a world after death. This is called Near Death Experience.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Can you prove that the hereafter can possibly exist?


Please provide proofs that a hereafter and a resurrection day can possibly exist.


Proofs for the Possibility of the Hereafter

1. First Creation

The human body is made up of several chemical elements. The elements include minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, etc. Mankind is created from soil and will return to soil. Therefore, as the creation of man from soil happened the first time, it can happen again on the Day of Resurrection.

2. Might of God

Another way to prove the possibility of Resurrection Day is to consider the might of God. As the belief in Hereafter comes after believing in God, we are logically permitted to present religious proof. The Almighty God is capable of bringing the disintegrated parts of bodies back to normal. The Quran 36:81, 46:33

3. Resurrection of Plants

The third way to prove the possibility of resurrection is the continuous resurrection of plants. Every year we observe the law of death and return to life, in the world of plants. They all die in winter and return to life in spring. Also, dead soil returns to life after absorbing the first drops of rain. The Quran 7:57, 35:9, 50:9-11

4. Resurrection of Energy

We are living in a world in which everything dies and its remains remain. However, among all dying things, the death of energies is more astonishing. They seem to die forever, yet they change to a different type of energy. The basic law of physics dictates that energy is conserved and can only be changed from one form to another or into matter. That’s what makes the energy renewable. Solar energy for instance, is a renewable energy which replenishes itself naturally in a relatively short time. Therefore, the light of the sun being a solar energy never really dies. It will be stored in another matter, though in a potential form like a compressed spring, until it is released. That’s the secret behind creating energy by burning a piece of wood. Therefore, when a piece of wood is burnt, it is as if a dead solar energy resurrected again. The Quran 36:79-80.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

What is death according to Islam?


What is death according to Islam? Does it mean annihilation and perishing? Is our physical death the end of our existence? Is there any life after death? If there is, then is it spiritual or physical or both?


Death, a General Law

Aging and extinction are the inevitable characteristics of the life of this world. All contingent beings will taste death: “Every living creature shall taste death.” [3:185]. Man may deny everything, even his Creator, but he cannot deny death.

Conception of Death in Islam

Death, in Islam and in all Divine Religions, is nothing more than a transition. It is like a passage through which you enter another world higher and more advanced than the present one. It is therefore, a birth to an eternal life.

From the Islamic point of view, there are at least three different interconnected stages of life. Each one comes after the other. Also, each one is more perfect than the one before. The first is the world of matter in which we are living with both our body and soul. The second is named the world of Barzakh (intermediate) which is the world of souls with a certain type of body similar to our physical body. The third and the final world is the Hereafter in which every soul will unite with its original worldly body.

The world of matter is the place of action. The third world, i.e. the Hereafter, in contrast, is the world of reward and/or punishment. As a matter of fact, the Hereafter is the reflection of the world of matter. Here and Hereafter are, therefore, different interconnected stages of life. The world of Barzakh is like a small version of the Day of Judgment in which the souls of humans (and perhaps the jinn) will receive their temporary rewards or punishment. During that period their worldly actions – good or evil- will possibly grow until the Day of Judgment.

Islamic Definition of Death

Death in Islam is not ‘Fout’ (annihilation), it is ‘Wafaat’ (Thorough collection). “The Angel of Death put in charge of you will (fully) take you (Yatawaffaa), then shall you be brought back to your Lord.” [32:11] (See also: Holy Quran: 16:28 & 32, 39:42). Therefore, ‘death’ has an existing concept: “(Allah) Who created death and life” [67:2].

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei