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Why Would God Create Some People Knowing They Would End Up in Hell?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question Summary

Why would God create some people knowing they would be sent to hell? Would it not be better that He never created them in the first place to spare them of eternal punishment?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah guide us to the belief and way of life that is pleasing to Him. Thank you for your question.

Purpose of Creating Humans

The purpose for which Allah created humans is not to place them in Heaven or Hell. The purpose of creation is to serve Allah. Allah says: “I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me.” [Qur’an 51:56]

About this verse, Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “I have only created them so that I might command them to worship Me, not because I need them.”

Life is a Test

Allah created life and death as a test. Allah says: “˹He is the One˺ Who created death and life to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving.” [Qur’an 67:2]

A teacher may give his students an exam while knowing, based on his observations, that some of his students will fail. The teacher can’t fail a student without testing, as this would be unfair. The student would say, “but I wasn’t given a chance to prove myself,” and the student would be correct.

The fact that Allah knows the outcome of the tests does not change the nature of the tests concerning us. Humans choose to do well in the test or fail it, and Allah knows best.

A Parable

To Allah belongs only the best and most perfect examples. We make the following example to simplify the matter for our human understanding.

When a parent gifts their child a bicycle, this is an act of kindness. The parent knows that the child will fall and likely hurt themselves, but this does not mean that the act of giving is futile or malicious, but it remains an act of kindness. Without the gift, the child would not have the opportunity to learn and ride.

When Allah creates humans, it is an act of His Mercy. Allah knows that some of us will make bad choices and face negative consequences, but this does not mean that His act of creation is futile or malicious but remains an act of His Mercy. Without the gift of life, we would never learn, grow, worship Allah, and have the opportunity to earn eternal success, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.

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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