As far as I know, if an Infant or a little kid or child dies he/she goes automatically to Jannah, because he/she hasnt done anything bad. Now My Question is: Isn't it a bit unfair that they don't have to be tested like all of us, and they directly go to jannah for the eternity. Shouldn't we be judged equally? on the same basis? That's just not right.
According to imam an-Nawawi in his commentary of sahih Muslim (شرح النووي على مسلم) first of all there is/was a dispute about if any little child would go to jannah as there are many hadiths showing that this even wasn't clear for Muslim children.
- But most Scholars say any little Muslim child will go to jannah (Heaven) as they aren't considered to be in charge or responsible!
About the children of Mushrikyn
- most say they will go to jahanam (Hell)
- others say they will go to jannah and this opinion is according an-Nawawi the most correct.
- some scholars didn't fix or specify an answer!
These are briefly the different opinions about the matter!
And now here is what i could find about it:
- Here are the references for those who said all little children go to jannah
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity or Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira recited the holy verses: "The pure Allah's Islamic nature (true faith of Islam) (i.e. worshipping none but Allah) with which He has created human beings. No change let there be in the religion of Allah (i.e. joining none in worship with Allah). That is the straight religion (Islam) but most of men know, not." (30.30)
Abu Huraira reported from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upom him) many ahadith and one amongst them is that he is reported to have said: An infant is born according to his (true) nature. It is his parents Who make him a Jew, a Christian, just as a she-camel gives birth to its young ones. Do you find any deficiency in their limbs? You cut their ears (i. e. after birth). They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: What is your opinion about him who dies in infancy? Thereupon Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) said: It is Allah alone Who knows best what they would be doing.
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) and his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?"
Note: the 3 hadiths above have in Arabic a slightly different beginning
( مَنْ يُولَدُ يُولَدُ,كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ , مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ إِلاَّ يُولَدُ )
but the same meaning. I would prefer the translation of the 2nd one for the word Fitra (An infant is born according to his (true) nature) as it is nearer to the original Arabic text! The other translations say it's the Islamic nature this maybe an explanation but not a 1:1 translation.
In Sahih al-Bukhari you can find in a long hadith in the Book of Interpretation of Dreams and in Riyyadu-as-salihyn of an-Nawawi (with some extension in the book of prohibited actions) (Narrated Samura bin Jundub) the following extract:
And the tall man whom you saw in the garden, is Abraham and the children around him are those children who die with Al-Fitra (the Islamic Faith). The narrator added: Some Muslims asked the Prophet, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! What about the children of pagans?" The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, "And also the children of pagans." The Prophet (ﷺ) added, "My two companions added, 'The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.'"
- Now here are the references for those who either said they go to jahanam or they didn't make a decision neither for Muslim children or non Muslims!
'A'isha, the mother of the believers, said that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was called to lead the funeral prayer of a child of the Ansar. I said: Allah's Messenger, there is happiness for this child who is a bird from the birds of Paradise for it committed no sin nor has he reached the age when one can commit sin. He said: 'A'isha, per adventure, it may be otherwise, because God created for Paradise those who are fit for it while they were yet in their father's loins and created for Hell those who are to go to Hell. He created them for Hell while they were yet in their father's loins.
This hadith seem to me a bit vague as it doesn't clearly say if a little child would go to jannah or not. It only makes clear that one shouldn't say something like: "you will go to hell or you will go to paradise" as only Allah knows it best!
Ubayy b. Ka'b reported that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: The young man whom Khadir killed was a non-believer by his very nature and had he survived he would have involved his parents in defiance and unbelief.
From this hadith one only could deduce that from a certain age on a child is responsible and I can't see at which age this child was "killed" by al-Khidr!
'A'isha, the mother of the believers, reported that a child died and I said: There is happiness for this child who is a bird from amongst the birds of Paradise. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Don't you know that Allah created the Paradise and He created the Hell and He created the dwellers for this (Paradise) and the denizens for this (Hell)?
As one can read from the sum of those ahadith at first view it is not clear whether little child go automatically to jannah or not. But one should have more knowledge in the hadith sciences to know in what occasion they where said, when was that (year,...) and so on. And maybe one should also know when the Sahaba who narrated these ahadith came to Islam? These are matters that only people who are into this complex science know, for example i once read a thesis about the method منهج of Imam Malik in rating ahadith in his madhab.
As far as i know abu Hurraira (may Allah be pleased with him) was under the latest Sahaba to convert to Islam and his hadith is mutawtir. And Samara bin Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him) was a child when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Medina and he was born after jahiliya.
To me it seems clear that a newborn and children and any person who isn't able to make a difference between right and wrong is still on the fitra (the true nature mentioned in the Hadith of abu Hurraira) and would go to jannah. As we know that brain-sick people are also regarded as non responsible!
On the authority of Abdullah ibn Masood (ra), who said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and he is the truthful, the believed, narrated to us, “Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a nutfah (a drop), then he becomes an alaqah (clot of blood) for a like period, then a mudghah (morsel of flesh) for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows his soul into him and who is commanded with four matters: to write down his rizq (sustenance), his life span, his actions, and whether he will be happy or unhappy (i.e., whether or not he will enter Paradise). By the One, other than Whom there is no deity, verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is but an arms length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him, and so he acts with the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it; and verily one of you performs the actions of the people of the Hellfire, until there is but an arms length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he acts with the actions of the people of Paradise and thus he enters it.” [Bukhari & Muslim]