Question: How could disbelievers possibly be a ransom for believers from the Hellfire? How can one soul bear the sin of another?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
The hadiths that mention that some disbelievers will be a ransom for some believers from the Hell-Fire does not contradict the Qur’anic principle that no soul bear will bear the sin of another. This is because it is not a direct exchange. (Fath al-Bari)
One such hadith says, ‘On the Day of Rising, Allah will give every Muslim , Jew or Christian and say, “This is your manumission from the Hell-Fire.” ‘ (Muslim)
It simply means that a disbeliever will deserve the Hell-Fire and enter it, while a believer may deserve it but will be forgiven. It also tells us that believers are at risk of entering the Hell-Fire forever if they die outside of Islam. (Fath al-Bari)
With the bottom of our hearts, we should wish that all the disbelievers who live around us accept to call Islam and grab us by the hand to Paradise. But everyone has free will, and everyone is answerable for their own choices.
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.