So there is a hadith mentioning the fact that there will be people on the day of judgement who have not heard of Islam / received the message from God in their lifetime,and from what I understand they will enter "hell " but that this "hell" will not be burning , but rather cool and safe.

Here is the hadith:

Al-Aswad ibn Saree reported that the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“There are four (who will protest) to Allaah on the Day of Resurrection: the deaf man who never heard anything, the insane man, the very old man, and the man who died during the fatrah (the interval between the time of ‘Eesaa (Jesus, upon whom be peace) and the time of Muhammad SAWS (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The deaf man will say, ‘O Lord, Islam came but I never heard anything.’ The insane man will say, ‘O Lord, Islam came but the children ran after me and threw stones at me.’ The very old man will say, ‘O Lord, Islam came but I did not understand anything.’ The man who died during the fatrah will say, ‘O Lord, no Messenger from You came to me.’ He will accept their promises of obedience, then word will be sent to them to enter the Fire. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them.”

My questions:

1) With regards to the deaf man, why would him being deaf prevent him from learning the message? Surely God is more than capable of informing a deaf person of Islam.

2) I don't understand how the second man is insane. Islam came and children ran after him and threw stones... ok? So what? How does that make him the insane man? Is it implied that he is insane for not following Islam because he was attacked? It just makes no sense whatsoever. I would love some insight on that.

3) Again, with regards to the old man who was unable to understand; well then I don't see what prevented God from reaching out to him prior to him being in this state, and even so, couldn't he make him understand anyway? Surely God is more than capable of not allowing this to be an obstacle.

4) The fatrah I believe is a time in which there were no prophets( If i'm not mistaken), and thus people were "excused" for not following anything in particular. Again, this situation is only allowed to happen by the will of God so why would there be a fatrah? What purpose does it serve to have humans roam freely and do as they please for this fatrah without being given the proper religion to follow?

5) Why are these people sent to "hell"? Even if it's safe for them and they will not be tortured, it certainly isn't heaven and it seems they are barred from entering heaven, so how is this fair?


1 Answer 1


1) That is his excuse, that Allah made him deaf thus he was not able to hear his message. There are many reasons Allah could have made him deaf among which are to test those around him (would they help him?).

You will surely be tested in your possessions and your souls, and you will surely hear from those who were given the Book before you and from the polytheists much affront; but if you are patient and God-wary, that is indeed the steadiest of courses. (3:186)

2) This man is complaining that he had mental insanity (psychological illnesses) when Islam came to him so he could not understand the message. Allah allowed this for similar reasons as the above.

3) This man is complaining that he was too old to understand the message of Islam when it came to him. Similar reasons as the above (to test his children whether they will take care of their parent).

4) This one is not because of Allah's direct action, this is just because of human free will. Allah gave prophets many thousands of times. People just kept corrupting the message and forgetting the true one. So, this man is complaining that he was in a time when the message was so corrupted that he could not find the truth. Not Allah's fault, it is human's fault.


“Four types of people will be tested on the day of judgement: a deaf man who cannot hear anything, a mad man, an old aged man and a man who died during fatrah (a period of time when no messenger was sent to people). The deaf man will say: “Oh Allah, Islam came while I cannot hear anything!”. The mad man will say: “Oh Allah, Islam came while the boys throw animals’ excrement on me!”. The old aged man will say: “Oh Allah, Islam came while I can understand nothing”. And the man who died during a fatrah will say: “Oh Allah, I witnessed no messenger from You”. Then Allah takes a promise from them to obey Him. Then He will command them to enter hell, and who enters it will find it peace and cool, and who disobeys will be dragged to hell

They are not sent to hell. Allah is testing them. Basically, what happens is that Allah takes from them a promise that they will obey him. Then, he commands them to enter what looks like the fire of hell. Those who obey will find it cool (they will not be hurt), and they pass the test. Those who refuse to obey Allah after promising they would, will be punished for their disobedience.

As for the people who obeyed Allah and submitted to his command:

Certainly whoever submits his will to Allah and is virtuous, he shall have his reward near his Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve. (2:112)

They will be rewarded.

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