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Will a Believer Who Doesn’t Practice Islam Go to Paradise?

Answered as per Maliki Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: If someone who doesn’t pray salah, doesn’t give zakat, doesn’t fast basically he doesn’t do anything Islamic, would that person ever enter paradise?

Answer: Allah forgives all sins except associating partners with Him.

If a person’s final state was that he or she was a believer, it is possible that they are forgiven for all their sins. Allah says, “Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less that that for whom He wills” (Quran 4:48).

Forgiveness is Up to Allah

Thus, regardless of the sins of a person, as long as they were a believer, it is possible that they can be forgiven. This is referred to as a person being in the “mashe’ah”, which means it is up to Allah whether or not to punish them. But, if a person left this life without faith in Allah, then the cannot be forgiven, as the verse mentions.

Deeds Are By Their Final Action

One thing to point out is that a Muslim should never rely solely on the hope that they will leave this life with belief, and thus be forgiven for all their sins. There is no guarantee of that a person who professes the belief in Allah will die with that belief. In a Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, and listed by Nawawi in his 40 Hadith collection.

“By the One, other than Whom there is no deity, verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it. Then that which is written overtakes him, and so he acts with the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it.”

Imam Nawawi, in his commentary on his 40 Hadith collection says that this is a proof that we cannot be guaranteed that a specific person will enter Paradise. The only people that we can say that are those who Allah or His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) stated where in Paradise. The same Hadith prevents us from guaranteeing any specific person is going to Hell, unless we have revelation to prove that.

And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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