Will cruel sinners not enter Paradise?

The Details of the Question

The Qur'an declares that those who slander Allah, unbelievers, oppressors, sinners, and magicians will not attain salvation....
My question is, will they not enter Paradise? For example, can you explain the cruel wrongdoers? Will they not attain salvation?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There are hadiths stating that anyone who has belief in his heart and dies with this belief will eventually enter heaven, even if he enters Hell before. (Bukhari, Tawhid 19, 31, 36, 37; Muslim, Iman 322, 334; Muwatta, 1/212)

The first condition for entering heaven is to have belief in Allah (swt). Even if a believer is a sinner, after serving his punishment, he/she will go to heaven in the end. All kinds of troubles, diseases and calamities that happen to a person are a reason for the reduction of his sins.

Those who are stated to stay in Hell forever in the verses are unbelievers. However, it is known that those who lack good deeds will also be punished.

The meaning of the related verses is as follows:

“Those to whom We gave the Scripture recognize him to be a true prophet as they recognize their own children. Those who have ruined themselves will never believe. Who does more wrong than those who fabricate lies against Allah or deny His signs? Indeed, the wrongdoers will never succeed. (Surah al-An’am, 6/20-21)

Zamakhshari and many other tafsir scholars stated in the verse that it was the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who was expressed as familiar to Jews and Christians, and some said it was the Quran. (Zamakhshari, Shawkani, Ibn Ashur, Elmalılı interpretation of the relevant verse)

In fact, it can be said that both meanings are meant in the verse.

Although Allah (swt) explicitly states the belief of tawhid (oneness) in the Qur'an, arguing that He made idols partners with Him, who is more unjust than the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) who claim in their books that Allah does not give information about the Qur'an and Muhammad (pbuh).

It is said that the following meaning can also be deduced from the verse:

Let us assume that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had fabricated some words and attributed them to Allah, as the polytheists claim; would he not have been the worst of the wrongdoers and the unjust people? However, since he is a person known for his respect and honesty towards Allah, what he reports is definitely the word of Allah.

As for the topic in the question:

The word muflih, which is derived from falah and means "attaining salvation and eternal bliss", is used in the Qur'an as "muflihun", in its plural form, as an expression of praise only for believers.

In the terminology of the Qur'an, the word "falah" generally refers to getting out of Hell and entering Paradise in the hereafter and obtaining the approval of Allah, (al-Mu'minun 23/1; al-Mujadila 58/22)

- to those who spend their life by believing in the unseen and performing prayers, sharing the blessings bestowed upon them with others, believing in the books given to the prophets and the day of judgement. (al-Baqarah 2/2-5),
- those who call others to goodness, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil
- to those who do not consume interest (Aal-i Imran 3/104, 130),
- for those who stay away from evil traps like alcohol, gambling, shirk (polytheism), and fortune-telling (al-Ma’idah 5/90),
- those who avoid from cruelty and injustice (al-An’am 6/21, 135; Yusuf 12/23),
- to those who strive (jihad) in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives (at-Tawbah 9/88),
- for those who fulfill their duty of servitude to Allah and do good deeds (al-Hajj 22/77),
- and those who perform their prayers in khushu (awe) and constantly, avoid empty words and do not engage in useless deeds, protect their chastity and honour, observe the trust and fulfill the covenant (al-Mu’minun 23/1-10),
- believing women and men who try to act in accordance with Allah's orders and repent for their sins (an-Nur 24/31),
- those who cleansed themselves of spiritual evils such as Kufr (unbelief) and sin (al-A’la 87/14; ash-Shams 91/9)

In hadiths, falah is generally defined as

- to attain Allah's forgiveness and affection, to obtain His consent (Musnad, 1/257; 3/127);
- Believing in Allah’s oneness and avoiding shirk (Musnad, 3/492; 4/341),
- Following the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) way (Musnad, 2/188)
- and who can stay away from fitnah (mischief) (Musnad, 2/441)
It is stated in the hadiths that believers described above can attain salvation under these conditions.

In addition to having a sincere belief, Islam also attaches importance to the realization of every good and useful work that is believed, it recognizes that the bliss of the world and the hereafter depends on the harmony of belief and righteous deeds (amal salih).

The aim of religion and being religious is to ensure the peace of individual and community life and to attain the happiness of eternal life by applying the practices offered by the religion regarding forms of worship, ethical rules and inter-human relations together with a sincere belief.

However, it is expected that sincere believers will complete their shortcomings in the field of religious practices over time since it is almost impossible to attain perfection and all virtues.

The believers who pass on to the hereafter without completing them will obtain eternal bliss either after receiving divine forgiveness or after being punished for a while.

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