Suppose a person studies Islam with a sincere heart, but does not find the arguments in favor of Islam genuinely convincing, and dies as a non-Muslim.

Does Islam differentiate between such an individual, and someone who denies Islam due to his caprices, or someone who does not even bother studying Islam?

Are all three cases the same from the perspective of Islam wrt. their fate in the afterlife, i.e., are they all destined to go hell?

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    I don't think if anyone really sincerely studied Islam they will not be convinced.
    – Yusha
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 15:49
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    This option is regarded as impossible. Because knowledge leads to certainty and knowledgeable people as said to e those who fear Allah in the qur'an. While doubt and uncertainty lead to disbelief.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:55
  • @Medi1Saif Impossible by who? Can you cite a few sources?
    – SpiderRico
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 22:00
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    This is like saying, a person who studies math sincerely and committed won’t ever learn the true fundamentals of mathematics. Like@Medi1Saif mentioned, knowledge leads to certainty. The more you’re aware of something after exposing yourself with good knowledge will lead you to be more confident. Commented May 7, 2021 at 16:19
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    @Epistemophile.Bibliophile math is deductible from the logic. Belief, by definition, isn't. If it were, it wouldn't be belief.
    – SpiderRico
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 5:18

3 Answers 3


Anyone to whom the message of Islam reaches and they do not accept Islam will be in Hell. Regardless of whether they are deluded into think that their rationale is sound. That is because they fall under the meaning of the following texts:

ومن يبتغ غير الإسلام دينا فلن يقبل منه وهو في الآخرة من الخاسرين

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

ومن لم يؤمن بالله ورسوله فإنا أعتدنا للكافرين سعيرا

And whoever has not believed in Allah and His Messenger - then indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers a Blaze.

Quran 48:13

لا يسمع بي أحد من هذه الأمة يهودي ولا نصراني ثم لم يؤمن بالذي أرسلت به إلا كان من أصحاب النار

Whoever 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, he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim

These texts are general and there exists no exception in them or in any other text for those who exert effort but remain unconvinced.

There are also several texts which say that no excuse will be accepted from the disbelievers:

فيومئذ لا ينفع الذين ظلموا معذرتهم ولا هم يستعتبون

So that Day, their excuse will not benefit those who wronged, nor will they be asked to appease [Allah].

Quran 30:57

And 'I studied it sincerely but was not convinced' is a type of excuse.


وقد ثبت بالكتاب والسنة والإجماع أن من بلغته رسالة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلم يؤمن به فهو كافر لا يقبل منه الاعتذار بالاجتهاد

It is proven by the Quran, Sunnah, and Ijma' that whoever receives the message of the Prophet ﷺ and does not believe in it, then he is a disbeliever and no excuse of ijtihad is accepted from him.

Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa

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    One should note that this assumes the message of Islam was rejected after being conveyed clearly and accurately. With so much ignorance and misinformation being spread in the name of Islam, rejecting those false teachings is not the same thing at all.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 2:32

Based on my understanding that's impossible. It's like you're asking if someone is put in front of the sun and doesn't feel warm then can he say I'm still cold?

The manner of light that Islam or truth for that matter offers, is just like the sun.

Having that said there are no guarantees that what one reads is true Islam. Muslims are split into two major sects (Shias and Sunnis) and then between them are many more sects.

So if a person meets true Islam and doesn't feel it, I say that's impossible. But if you just want to be hypothetical. Then yeah Allah doesn't blame us for not understanding and he won't enter hell.

Yet again Allah has blessed us with wisdom. If that wisdom isn't good enough to help us find out right from wrong then what good is it for?! Similarly he's blessed us with Quran and instructions from The 14 infallibles. If the guidance and light provided by them isn't enough then again it's considered low quality work from Allah and his apostles. But such a conclusion is wrong.

If the person has got his Islam from bad sources (books, instructors) ie he hasn't seen the sun truly then yeah very much Allah treat him differently. But I'm on board that God/Allah didn't make us creators with ever unanswerable doubts. He made us curious but then has given us opportunities to find answers.

In Islam we have three groups of people.

  • Believers (مومنین)
  • Unguided/Misguided (ضُلّال / مستضعفین)
  • Disbelievers (کفار)

Disbelievers are lesser than the other two combined.

Additionally while the Islam offered today isn't as good as the Islam offered when the prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), seal of messengers was present and living it. Today you have to learn Islam from a multitude of bad scholars and a very few good scholars, yet at the same time access to Islam, forums that answer every question is much easier.


I agree with what UmH said, it is the orthodox Islamic position, and won't go further on that.

I want to share another perspective, as I am a person who has been dealing with severe doubts about Islam and have pondered about this a lot.

If you ultimately reach the point where you no longer believe that Islam is the truth, then the answer to this question should no longer matter to you, as you do not believe in Islam as a whole.

However, if you are at a point where you are stuck in doubts and are not sure whether Islam is true or false, then the answer to this question is of enormous importance. In the end, you have lean towards one and take a leap of faith. You can't put your feet in two boats and expect to go somewhere.

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