Question: If those who do not have any good deeds or acts of worship and who spend their years sinning say the Kalima-i shahâdat with ikhlâs and die with this faith, will they go to Jannat [Paradise]?
It is very difficult for those who shun acts of worship and who are totally immersed in sins to die with îmân. However, if they should die with îmân, they will certainly go to Paradise after being subjected to punishment as much as their sins. A hadîth-i sharîf says:
(He who has a mote of îmân in his heart will be taken out of the Fire.) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Tirmudhî]
We should not underestimate the importance of good deeds and acts of worship. A good deed that we consider trivial may cause us to attain salvation. Another hadîth-i sharîf says:
(A Muslim who had not done any good deeds in his life removed a thorn from a road [lest it would prick another Muslim’s foot]. This deed of his was accepted before Allah, and he entered Paradise.) [Abű Dâwud]
Question: It is said that those with a mote of îmân will certainly go to Paradise. What is meant by “a mote of îmân”?
A person who has belief in the six tenets expressed in the Âmantu and who says “I believe, like, and accept all of what Hadrat Muhammad communicated” will have obtained a mote of îmân.
If one says, “Allah’s Mercy is immense, so it is not necessary to say ‘Muhammadun Rasűlullah,’” in this case, the connection with Islam is severed and there is not a mote of îmân. The purport of a hadîth-i sharîf is as follows:
(He who has obtained a mote of îmân by saying “Lâ ilâha ill-Allah Muhammadun Rasűl-Allah” will be taken out of Fire.) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Tirmudhî]
If one believes in the six tenets of belief but if one does not believe in one thing among them, e.g., one of the prophets, or if one does not like one of the fards or sunnats, then one cannot be a Muslim. In other words, one is not considered to have faith in the six tenets of belief.
On the other hand, in order to die with a mote of îmân, people must avoid the harâms and perform the acts of worship because the sins they have committed may extinguish the light of îman. That is, those sins may lead them to disbelief.
Question: Will all people who say the Kalima-i shahâdat and have died with îmân definitely go to Paradise?
Those who have a mote of îmân will definitely go to Paradise. Even so, a person who does not perform acts of worship and who does not abstain from sins cannot safeguard his îmân and falls into kufr [disbelief]. However, the abode of a person who preserves it will certainly be Paradise.
Hadrat Mu’adh narrates:
The Messenger of Allah stated, “O Mu’adh! What is the right of Allahu ta’âlâ on His born servants and His born servants on Him?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” Upon this, he declared, “Allahu ta’âlâ’s right on His born servants is that they should worship Him [by believing as He commanded and by liking] and should not attribute partners to Him. His born servants’ right on Allah is that He should not punish anyone who does not attribute partners to Him.” When I asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall I give this good news to people?” he answered, “No, you shall not. Then they depend on it, and as a result, they may give up doing good deeds [they may ignore the other acts of worship, and thus, they may be drifted into perdition].” (Bukhârî, Muslim, Tirmudhî)
When Allah’s Messenger said, “Allahu ta’âlâ has made the Fire harâm for all people who testify with ikhlâs that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger [and who safeguard this faith and die Muslims],” I asked him, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall I inform people of this fact?” He declared, “Then they depend on it and give up good deeds.” (Bukhârî, Muslim, Tirmudhî)
Hadrat Mu’adh, in order to extricate himself from the sin of withholding what one knows from others, informed people of this fact a little before his death.
Question: Will Muslims who commit grave sins go to Paradise, too?
If they get benefit from shafâ’at [intercession], they will go to Paradise without entering Hell at all. Shafâ’at will be for grave sins. Those with a mote of îmân will be blessed with a great blessing on the Day of Resurrection. Our master the Prophet swears that these are facts:
(I am telling the following by swearing:
1. Even a Mu’min who is fâjir [who commits various sins] and who is so idiot as not to earn his livelihood will go to Paradise.
2. He who is burned in Hell-fire on account of his sins will go to Paradise.
3. On the Rising Day, Allahu ta’âlâ will forgive Mu’mins in a manner undreamed of by anyone.
4. Allahu ta’âlâ will forgive so many people that even Iblis will raise his head, thinking whether he, too, may be forgiven.) [Bayhaqî]
(Whoever has the following qualities, Allahu ta’âlâ makes Hell harâm for his body and protects him against Shaitan and his nafs: He who curbs his nafs and does not go after it when it craves for something [sinful] and who does it [a good deed or an act of worship] when his nafs does not want it overwhelms the desires and fury of his nafs. Also, whoever has the following qualities, Allahu ta’âlâ, inundating him with His Mercy, puts him into His Jannat: providing shelter for a poor person; feeling sorry for a wretched one; treating your servant well; spending on your parents.) [Daylamî]