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Will Everyone be Forgiven in the Hereafter?
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Posted on: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - Hits: 2114

A renowned Sufi scholar, Dr. Martin Lings, in a rare public appearance, gave a lecture at LUMS on the life after death. In his lecture, he quoted a hadith, which said that the Almighty will eventually forgive all human beings, and they will enter Paradise. He claimed that this hadith was correct, as the sequence of narrators has been traced. What do you think about this view?

The question whether the Almighty will forgive every one or not in the Hereafter has been dealt with most unequivocally in the Qur’an in a number of verses. Perhaps the clearest passage in this respect is the one where the Almighty has responded to a misunderstanding of the Jews which is similar to the one mentioned in your question. The Qur’an says:

The Jews say: ‘‘The fire shall not touch us except for a few days.’’ [O Messenger], say: ‘‘Have you obtained such a promise from Allah which He would not break? Or do you assert against Allah what you do not know?’’ Nay! Those who commit evil and become encircled in sin are the inmates of Hellfire; they shall live there forever. (2:80-81)

In another passage, the Qur’an says:

Surely Allah will never forgive the one who commits the sin of shirk and may forgive anyone else if He so pleases. One who commits shirk has indeed gone far away from the Right Way. (4: 116)

I cannot understand how one can form an opinion contrary to what has been mentioned so clearly in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the book of Allah, preserved for all times to come (the Qur’an, 15:9). It is al-Furqan: the ultimate criterion for sifting right from wrong (the Qur’an, 25:1). The Prophet (sws) was required to follow each and every word of it (the Qur’an, 10:15). I am not inclined to imagine for a moment that he could have said anything that goes against a clear verdict of the Qur’an.


Dr Khalid Zaheer

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