Should people die as Muslims to get the chance to go to Paradise? If they don't die as Muslims, will they get punished in hell forever?


9 Answers 9


Do non-Muslims have chance to go to Paradise?

If they were following their prophet at his time, then they have a chance to go to heaven. For example Jews have a chance to go heaven at the time of Moses (pbuh) and Christians also have that chance at the time of Jesus (pbuh). But if any one follows any religion other than Islam after Mohammed (pbuh) became the prophet then no chance to go to heaven as stated clearly in Quran:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.

[Quran 3:85]

The Tafsir for the above Aya is:

The following was revealed regarding those who apostatized and became disbelievers: Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him and in the Hereafter he shall be among the losers, because he will end up in the Fire, made everlasting for him.

[Tafsir Aljalalyn]

And from Sunnah:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لاَ يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ إِلاَّ كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ

By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.

[Sahih Muslim]

  • just note that Islam in Quran has a more complex meaning, see this, and check the two verses preceding this one where it and its derivatives are used. If the intended meaning of the OP by Muslim is what this verse is referring to then your answer is correct.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 0:18
  • 1
    I did not come to this conclusion by my self. This is how the Scholars explains it. I added the Tafsir and a link to it.
    – user37
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 0:27
  • I know it is not just your own conclusion, and I know that some scholars do interpret it that way. I don't think there is anything wrong with your answer (though I don't personally agree with it, and some scholars have interpreted the verse differently) I just wanted to point out the context of the verse. :)
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 0:31
  • 1
    I have many pages which explains this deeply but in Arabic. this and this and this and this
    – user37
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 0:35
  • Thanks for the links, I looked at the fatwas. (btw, for me it is usually more informative to know who has given the fatwa than the name of the site, so I can look the scholar up. :) Similar views are held by some Shia scholars. و الله اعلم.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 1:06

As adopilot said, no one on Earth deserves to go to Jannah but Allah is All Merciful. If He wills someone to go to Jannah than it is up to Him and the same is if he wills someone to go to Hell. It is said in the Qur'an Allah will not punish anyone who the message was not sent to.

Whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger.

Quran 17:15

But those who heard the message and became or chose a different religion after hearing the truth and becoming aware of it than those are the losers Allah says:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.

Aal Imran Ayah 85

Allah can do as He wills, he can forgive whom He wills and punish Whom He wills and there is no one who can stop Him, and remember if Nations gathered to benefit you, they can only benefit you with what Allah has prescribed for you.


It seems to me that not all the Muslims (i.e. being titled as Muslim, Shia or Sunni) are easily sent to heaven and not all those titled as Non-Muslims are sent to hell. It depends. Allah has explained this as:

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).(Aal-Emran:85)

But the point is that Islam here points to being a true obeyer (Tasleem) to God, not necessarily Muslim as is commonly understood from the title. Evidence for this the following verse:

Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).(Aal-Emran:64)

According to Shia Islam, if I'm right, whoever that is not considered as an enemy of God and his friends has the chance to go to heaven, as they may don't know about the God's friends (like the prophet S.A. and his Ahl-ol-Beit A.S.). It is not hard to understand. Someone who is not enemy of another it means he either like him or doesn't know him carefully. For example is it close to impossible that a Christian who respect honesty and trustworthy and forgiveness and any other good attributes dislikes Allah (who has asked him to respect the goods and avoid the bads) and his friends (the best patterns for gathering all the good attributes in one person). Also note the following verses in this respect:

Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. (3:113)


Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. (3:110)


And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account. (3:199)

Also maybe a key explanation of that is the Al-Asr surah whose listener is Man (people) and not only Muslims by title:

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),

Verily Man is in loss,

Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.

And that:

Allah forgiveth not (The sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, Hath strayed far, far away (from the right). (An-Nesaa':116) -- (similar is also An-Nesaa':48)



The answer to your question is no. But that does not mean every Muslim will go to heaven.

It is given in the Quran -

By time,
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [Surat Al-`Aşr 103:1-3]

It means that there are certain criteria for a person to attain Paradise.
They are -

  1. Those people who do good and believe in doing good for others as said by this part - those who have believed and done righteous deeds
  2. Those people who tell truth and make others tell truth as said by - advised each other to truth
  3. Those people who have patience and tell others to be patient as said by - advised each other to patience

There is also a point said earlier in the Quran -

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. [Surat 'Āli `Imrān 3:85]

But that does not mean that all Muslims will go to Paradise. He also has to accept and follow the above 3 points as well.

So in all we need to follow 4 points to be sure of going in Paradise.

Additional Information

But then you might ask -
But how do i know your religion and God is true?

Then I answer-

Take the case of Christianity. Never in the whole Bible did Jesus (PBUH) say that he is God.

Following are his words from the Bible-

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. [Gospel of John Ch-5 V-30]

Another verse

You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.[Gospel of John Ch-14 V-28]

Here Father is referred to God.
Another verse

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all [Gospel of John Ch-10 V-29]

Another verse

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God. [Matthew 12:28]

And another verse

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know. [Acts 2:22]

Also Jesus' ancestor / forefather Abraham (PBUH), who was also a prophet, Allah says in the Quran to worship as he worships.

Say: "(Allah) speaketh the Truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans" (Quran 3:95).

Allah also mentions

Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah (which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah" (Quran 3:67).

Even in Judaism the story is similar. (i have not read any Jewish scriptures so i do not quote from them) I leave a quote from the Quran.

Also mention in the Book (the story of) Moses: for he was specially chosen, and he was a messenger (and) a prophet.
And we called him from the right side of Mount (Sinai), and made him draw near to Us, for mystic (converse).
And, out of Our Mercy, We gave him his brother Aaron, (also) a prophet. [Surah Maryam 19:51-53]

Allah considers Moses, the most important prophet in Jewish scriptures, as his own prophet and Allah even says that he was specially chosen as a messenger to spread the word of Allah.

Even in Hinduism there is said to be a Muhammad Veda which says a lot about the prophet and his teachings (I haven't much researched on this topic)

  • Hinduism say only those people will go to heaven who have done good deeds for all(religion), please read the concept of karma, rebirth and liberation, and remove the last line from your answer.
    – user24430
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 11:58

It depends on what you mean by Muslim. The term in Quran has a complex meaning and often used to refer not to the followers of our prophet and the set of laws that he was given (i.e. the Muslim used these days) but to refer to those who truly submit to God's will. The followers of the prophet are typically referred to as "الذین آمنوآ" i.e. "those who believed". See my post here for further explanation of the usage and meaning of the words "Muslim" and "Islam" in Quran.

If your intended meaning is the later one, then then entering seems hard and regarding this meaning, Quran says in verse 3:83-85:

أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ

Do they seek for other than the religion of God?-while all creatures in the skies and on the earth have, willingly or unwillingly, submitted to his will, and to him shall they all returns.

قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

Tell: "We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in what was given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: we make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God do we submit."

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

If anyone desires a religion other than submission to God, never will it be accepted of him; and in the hereafter he will be among the losers.

(Though it will be God's decision and he may forgive whomever he wants to, so this phrase doesn't mean they may never enter paradise.)

Regarding the other meaning of "Muslims" which is more common these days and is probably what you meant, i.e. the followers of the prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in verse 2:61 Quran states:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Those who believe [in you, i.e. Muslims], and those who are Jewish, and Christian, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the last day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

This has been interpreted as stating that whomever believes in God and the last day and does good will go to paradise. So according to Quran, non-Muslims can go to paradise.

There are also verses where it stated that those who are called Muslims (i.e. following the Islamic culture and laws) may go to hell. From Quran's perspective, what is mainly important is believing in God and the last day and doing good, being member of a culture or a religion doesn't imply much by itself. For example, verse 2:214 says:

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلِكُم ۖ مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ

Or did you think that you would enter the garden [of paradise] without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the messenger and those who believed with him said: "When is the help of God?" Know, the help of God is close.

Or in verse 29:2 it says:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

Did people think that they will be left alone [with no problem] [just] because they said: "we believe" and that they will not be tested?


Nobody on earth who lived do not desert to go to paradise without Allah's mercy.
According to this only Allah dž.š. can only judge who will be in Paradise.

There is one story about men who lived nice Islamic life devoted to Allah and when he died, He was asked do you want to be judged by God's mercy or according to your works. Man said I want to be judged by my works. Then he was told your works and life value only as your one eye.
Idea of this is story to told us, everybody is depend on Allah's mercy.

We have Qur'an , Sunnet to follow and to hope for the Best at Judgment Day, nobody beside Allah should declare someone inhabitant of hell or vice versa


This answer can also be found under this thread [ Do disbelievers automatically go to hell? ]

Traditional scholarship tend to have this opinion that anyone who is not a Muslim, doesn't have any chance at salvation. The evidence that is brought forward for this is from Ale-Imran.

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. [Surat 'Āli `Imrān 3:85]

However, IMHO this opinion stems from a misconception that Islam started with Muhammad and only a person who follows this brand of Islam has a chance at salvation.

Quran negates this concept. It emphasizes that titles or relation with a certain sect is not a basis of salvation. It gives the example of Abraham, by saying that he was neither a so called "Muslim", a "Christian" or a "Jew" but was a true believer.

Islam according to my understanding is not a separate religion per se, but a continuation of all that was revealed before. As far as Quran is concerned, 'Muslim' is not a title. A person despite belonging to any of the above groups would be a Muslim if he performs the act of submission. It doesn’t limit salvation to any group but lays down 3 criterion in Al-Baqarah:62.

  1. belief in God,
  2. belief in the Day of Judgment,
  3. and righteous action in life

Now all that being said, what about those people who still miss on some of the above criterion? For example, Agnostics, Polytheists, Atheists, etc. Do they have no chance at salvation?

To answer this, we have to rely on our common sense, natural law, and sense of justice. When Quran speaks about Justice, it’s not speaking of it in sense that is alien to us. It talks about justice exactly how we under what justice is. If somebody is unable to fathom or understand to his satisfaction any of the above defined criteria, his case rest with Allah. Since Allah proclaims that he is Just, he would stay true to the requirements of Justice as we know it in this world. If somebody have valid reasons, and justice demands that he be pardoned, He would do it.

A major problem that I find with most traditional understandings is that they tend to adopt a very strict opinion from the word go. And when that opinion doesn’t fit our sense of justice in certain valid situations, exceptions are introduced to the original opinion. I don’t mean to offend any one but simply want to point out the answer given above by @RehanUllah as an example of introducing such exceptions.

From the translation Muhammad Asad:

(2:62) VERILY, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians [49] - all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds - shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. [50]

  • [50] The above passage - which recurs in the Qur'an several times - lays down a fundamental doctrine of Islam. With a breadth of vision unparalleled in any other religious faith, the idea of "salvation" is here made conditional upon three elements only: belief in God, belief in the Day of Judgment, and righteous action in life. The statement of this doctrine at this juncture - that is, in the midst of an appeal to the children of Israel - is warranted by the false Jewish belief that their descent from Abraham entitles them to be regarded as "God's chosen people".

Another scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamdi has emphasized the same fact in his book Meezan, which is in Urdu. I am pasting a link to an article (in English) written by one of his colleague from his website. http://www.javedahmadghamidi.com/renaissance/view/will-christians-enter-paradise-or-go-to-hell

  • Contrary to what you are saying the Qur`an does call Abraham a muslim: maa kaana ibraaheem yahoodiyyan wa laa nasraaniyyan walaakin kaana haneefan musliman wa maa kaana min al mushrikeen, "Abraham was not a jew nor a christian, but he was a true in faith muslim and was not of the polytheists." (3:67)
    – aross
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 10:04
  • You should try and read the full post instead of running away with a sentence and leaving its context behind. Now read the following from the previous and next paragraph. However, IMHO this opinion stems from a misconception that Islam started with Muhammad and only a person who follows this brand of Islam has a chance at salvation. As far as Quran is concerned, 'Muslim' is not a title. A person despite belonging to any of the above groups would be a Muslim if he performs the act of submission. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 12:29
  • Reading this back 6 years later, don't remember why I neglected to respond back then. But I pointed out an error in your answer, your response to that is "look over there". There's still a factual error in your answer...
    – aross
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 10:29

According to Shi'a Islam, the answer is Yes.

Islam classifies non-Muslims into two groups,

  1. To whom the message of Islam has reached and who have understood its truthfulness but are stubborn and don't accept the truth.
  2. To whom the message of Islam has not reached, or it has been presented to them in a very incomplete and untruthful manner.

The latter group i.e. group 2, have a chance to go to heaven, if they satisfy certain conditions.

For more information about the conditions, please refer


For all we know, non-Muslims may indeed have a chance to avoid hellfire. The actual statements regarding hellfire are directed in the first instance against those who are Muslim, telling them that they must not abandon Islam. Hellfire properly awaits those who reject the truth. It is not clear what happens to those who never hear the truth.

As for paradise, it is a reward for those of faith who do good. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى‎) could direct non-Muslims to paradise though I doubt it. It would seem to me more just to simply make them non-existent, especially if that is what they believe will happen to them anyway. But why should we worry about what happens to them? It is not for us to judge the judgement of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى‎). Furthermore, how do you know that at the exact moment of death every living thing is not given the proof that is necessary to see the true path? We must have faith that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى‎) is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-just, all-merciful. If Allah (سبحانه و تعالى‎) wills it, it will be done and remember that a true unbeliever will reject Allah (سبحانه و تعالى‎) even when the unbeliever acknowledges the truth.

In addition, you must remember that the Quran was revealed orally to a community and it was to that community that it was directed. That is similar to statements in the Bible. Basically, once a Muslim, always a Muslim. As to the rest, well, the Quran does not really speak too much about them directly. Why should it? It does indicate that other people of the book are saved if they follow their book because those were also given by prophets. The Quran is directed at those who hear the word. By the way, one should not read it in translation anyway.

Muslims spend too much time worrying about what happens to others and what will happen to themselves. This is a very narrow view. A proper approach is submission. Submit to the will of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى‎) and trust His judgment.

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