Who will go to heaven according to Islam, and who will be sent to hell?
A person who believed in God and was not stubborn against the truth or deliberately opposed after it had become clear to them, will, by God’s Will, be allowed to enter paradise.
Therefore, a non-Shi’a Muslim, or a believer in any other Divine religion, who truly thought they were following the right path, and were not exposed to the truth of the path of the Ahlul Bayt in the right way during their life, will not be punished by God.
However, if a person saw and was convinced by the truth, but rejected it for personal or other reasons, will be held accountable and punished on the Judgment Day.
The Almighty God has divided humans into four categories:
1) Believers, who will be in Paradise,
2) Koffar (disbeliever); who will be in hell. the Kafir in the expression of the Quran is the one who knowingly and arrogantly rejected the truth:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. [Al-Baqarah: 6]
3) Hypocrites who are also Koffar in the real sense and hence hell bound
4) Mostad’afeen (as mentioned in Surah 4, Ayah 98) they are those who were not exposed to the truth of Islam to believe in it, yet they were honest and modest in their life. Many people in the world would fall into this category. It is against Divine Justice to send them to Hell, so they won’t. But His mercy is not against His justice therefore it is expected from the Merciful God to grant them a peaceful position in Paradise, and God knows best.
For further information, please see related Q&As here.
Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei