If non-believers who haven't heard the message of Islam can go to heaven, why spread Islam?

I've always thought they would be judged on other criteria. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Surely, we're just increasing the chance that they would go to hell because there's a chance they disbelieve?

3 Answers 3


The Qur'an implies they will not be punished (see e.g. SeekersHub):

... And never would We punish until We sent a messenger.
Qur'an 17:15

This does not imply they will go directly to heaven. One scholarly stance (among others) is that they will be judged after death (see e.g. Islam Q&A).

It was mentioned in a Hadeeth that these people will be tested on the Day of Judgment itself. The Prophet, sallaallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, mentioned that four people would be excused on the Day of Judgment: the deaf, the insane, the senile and a person of Ahl Al-Fatrah. They will argue that they did not believe because they were not sent any Messengers. They will pledge obedience to Allaah The Almighty and He will order them to enter the Fire; if they obey Him, that fire will be cool and peaceful for them. [Ahmad]

Islam Q&A describes the situation as follows:

There are several points of view, the most correct of which is that they will be tested on the Day of Resurrection.
Islam Q&A

However, I suspect we simply don't know the answer (e.g. it might be different from person to person).

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The fate of disbelievers is left only to Allah to decide.


Why did the 4 righteous caliphs spread islam? When disbelievers can go to heaven?

  1. Spreading islam is fard-e-kifayah. Communal obligation. And not fard-e-ayn.

  2. A muslim will be accused of concealing knowledge.

  3. Establishment of proof against the disbeliever. Allah says we do not punish anyone unless a messenger has been sent.

  • 2
    That would indeed mean that the best course of action would be to eradicate Islam from history. Only those participating in it would be punished, but they would do a noble sacrifice: Everyone else would be saved because they'd have no chance of knowing about Islam. Spreading Islam seems like a moral conundrum: By not spreading it you are risking your own punishment but by spreading it you are risking the punishment of everyone who learns it from you (and those who learn from them and so on). <- Is it really like that? Could you elaborate in your answer? Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 15:49

Prophets came to the world to teach the worship of one and only one God. Prophets came to all communities. And ever since first Human Adam (As), Islam is there. The problem where with hypocrites who added up and reduced from the religion. The prophet right before Muhammed (saw) was Jesus (As), where we Muslims and Christians both agree him as the Messiah, Christ, Virgin birth, re coming etc. In the bible where the words of Jesus are recorded, no where does he say worship him or he's the God incarnated or taught Trinity. Instead in many many places he quoted God is only One, worship only Him (These are just a very few to help you find some, Google it to read yourself; Mark 12:29, John 17:3, John 5:44, Luke 18:19) . Still Christian missionaries who preached later invented and innovated Trinity. Still, even for today, anyone who put their observance in reading bible, the words of Jesus (As), they can see the truth in worshiping One and only one God. Quran in multiple places states that there were many among the people of books who are believers. There's a case stated where some Christians came to visit prophet Muhammad SAW and accept him where they say they were already a believer before. In the case of other religions like Hinduism, there's also monotheism prescribed in their Vedas, there are in many places this is written; here are few "Ekam evadvitiyam" "He is One only without a second." [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]1

"Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah." "Of Him there are neither parents nor lord." [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]2

"Na tasya pratima asti" "There is no likeness of Him." [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]3

The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form:

"Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam."

"His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye." [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]4

There were the case where God cursed some people to be monkeys when they missed prayer and disobeyed. Their descendants might be the some isolated tribes living without touch to outer world. There are some tribes where they worship One and only one God.

  • 1
    How does this answer the question? Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 16:44

You must log in to answer this question.