Sahih Muslim Book 37. Repentance And Exhortation Of Repentance

Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire. 'Umar b. Abd al-'Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him).

Now this contradict with the following Quranic verse

"Say: What! shall I seek a Lord other than God? And He is the Lord of all things; and no soul earns (evil) but against itself, and no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another; then to your Lord is your return, so He will inform you of that in which you differed"

Quran (006:164)

Do I have to accept this hadith as authentic even it is in direct contradiction to Quranic Verses because scholars accept this hadith as authentic?

  • 1
    Where's the contradiction?
    – Sayyid
    Jun 7, 2014 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


When scholars call a hadith authentic, it is usually according to sanad i.e. the chain of narrators. There still remains the task of validating the matn i.e. the reported content in the light of Qur'an and other factors. It is a known practice. For example, Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (392–463AH) writes in al-Kifaya:

ولا يقبل خبر الواحد في منافاة حكم العقل وحكم القرآن الثابت المحكم , والسنة المعلومة , والفعل الجاري مجرى السنة , وكل دليل مقطوع به

A khabr-i wahid (a technical alias of hadith) cannot be accepted which is against sense and intellect, is against an established and explicit directive of the Qur’an, is against a known Sunnah or is against a practice which is observed like the Sunnah or its conflict with some conclusive argument becomes absolutely evident.

(I could not find its translation in English. Here is an indirect reference.)

Therefore, being against the Qur'an you may not accept it. You may also look for its explanation that does not contradict the Qur'an.

Al-Nawawi (631–676 AH) also notes this contradiction in his commentary of Sahih Muslim and interprets this and similar hadiths in the light of another hadith:

لكل أحد منزل في الجنة ومنزل في النار فالمؤمن إذا دخل الجنة خلفه الكافر في النار لاستحقاقه ذلك بكفره

For everyone there is a place in the Paradise and a place in Hell. When a believer enters Paradise a Kafir takes his place in Hell because he deserved it due to his Kufr.

(A variant of this hadith is available here.)

Hence, according to this explanation the Jews and Christians will go to Hell only due to their own beliefs which is in accordance with the Qur'anic principle.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .