People Who Have Not Heard Of Islam


If those who live in the mountains, in a desert, in a cave, in a forest or on an uninhabited island and who have never heard of any religions or any prophets find out or do not find out the existence of Allahu ta'ala through their minds, how will they be treated?

Those who live in any of the mentioned places and who have never heard of any religions will not go to Jannat [Paradise] because they do not have iman (belief). They will not go to Jahannam [Hell] either because they have not heard of and do not deny the existence of Allah, Jannat and Jahannam. After rising from death and being questioned about their deeds, they will be annihilated like all animals. They will not stay in any station forever. (Maktubat-i Rabbani, Faraid-ul-fawaid)

One who lives in the mountains or in a desert and has not heard of prophets is called shahiq al-jabal. Such people are excusable; they are not commanded to believe in prophets. (Ithbat-un-nubuwwa)

A man who never heard of the Prophet but thought and believed to himself that "Allah exists and He is One" and died having only this faith, will go to Paradise, too. (Islam and Christianity)

Those scholars from the city of Bukhara said, "An injunction is not done before the appearing of a prophet and his teaching the religion." Imam-i Ash'ari says the same. This is the preferred statement, too. Those scholars said that the meaning of the statement, "One who is wise enough cannot be exempted from (the liability of) knowing of the existence of a Creator inasmuch as one sees the sky, the earth and oneself," conveys the connotation that "one will not be exempted after learning the fact from prophets." (Radd-ul-mukhtar)

Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani declares:
There were scholars who said that one had to discern the existence and Oneness of Allahu ta'ala through one's mind. However, though Allahu ta'ala has created the mind so that it will distinguish right from wrong, it cannot find the right path by itself unless mind is informed of that way. In the Hereafter, those who have not heard of prophets will suffer as much torment as their crimes require at the place of judgement. After everyone is given their rights, such people will be annihilated like all animals. (First Volume, 259th Letter)

It is purported in an ayat-i [2] karima:
(We do not torment unless We send a prophet before [without communicating the religion].) [Surat-ul-Isra' 15]

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] ayat: A verse of al-Qur'an al-karim; al-ayat al-karima.