Question: By and large, who will go to Paradise and who will go to Hell?
Those who believe in Allahu ta'ala, live by His prohibitions and commandments, and like all of them, that is, those who die Muslims, will go to Paradise. Those who do the opposite of what has been said will go to Hell. By and large, people with good morals will go to Paradise while people with bad morals will go to Hell. A hadith-i sharif says (what means):
(Listen attentively; I am describing those who will go to Paradise: They are weak, downtrodden, and incapable. When they take an oath to do something, Allahu taala will certainly fulfill these Muslims' oaths. Listen, I am describing those who will go to Hell: They are severe and arrogant.) [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]
Which one is easier to attain?
Question: Is entering Paradise or entering Hell easier?
Both are easy. Those who believe correctly and die Muslims will go to Paradise while those who do not believe and die disbelievers will go to Hell.
It is very easy for those who follow their nafses to go to Hell and very difficult for them to go to Paradise. One does not have to refrain from any prohibitions to go to Hell, but there are many rules and regulations to be observed to be able to enter Paradise, i.e., first having a correct faith, then abstaining from prohibited things and performing acts of worship. As a matter of fact, two hadith-i sharifs say (what means):
(Hell is surrounded with things that the nafs likes while Paradise is surrounded with things that the nafs dislikes.) [Bukhari]
(Neither the one who desires Paradise nor the one who is afraid of Hell can sleep. Paradise is surrounded with obstacles. As for the world, it is filled with pleasures and lusts. Let its pleasures and lusts not distract you from Paradise.) [Ramuz]
Animals that will enter Paradise
Question: Which animals will enter Paradise as an exception to the rule?
The animals that will enter Paradise are as follows:
1. The camel of Salih 'alaihis-salam,
2. The calf of Ibrahim 'alaihis-salam,
3. The ram of Ismail 'alaihis-salam,
4. The cattle of Musa 'alaihis-salam,
5. The fish of Yunus 'alaihis-salam, which is called Yunus.
6. The donkey of Uzayr 'alaihis-salam,
7. The ant of Sulaiman 'alaihis-salam,
8. The hoopoe that was sent to Bilquis,
9. The dog of the Ashab al-Kahf, which is called Kitmir,
10. The camel of Muhammad 'alaihis-salam.
It is reported that these animals will enter Paradise in the form of rams. (Mishkat-ul-Anwar, Explanation of Shir'at-ul-Islam)
Will an insane person go to Paradise?
Question: Where will an insane person go in the Hereafter? What will happen if he/she is insane from birth or if he/she becomes insane later?
In faith and acts of worship, Allahu ta'ala does not charge His servants with more than they have strength to carry out. Therefore, though a person who becomes insane when he/she is Muslim or a person who dies while he/she is sleeping is not in a state of confirmation of his/her faith, his/her being a Muslim continues. On the other hand, though a person who becomes insane when he/she is a disbeliever does not declare his/her disbelief, his former state of disbelief continues.
A Muslim's child who is insane from birth will go to Paradise. There are seven different reports with regard to the children of disbelievers. According to one of them, they, too, will go to Paradise. According to another report, they will be turned into dust after reckoning.
The importance of one's last word
Question: What is meant by the hadith-i sharif "He who breathes his last with the phrase La ilaha ill-Allah will enter Paradise"? If a Believer dies suddenly and cannot say "Allah," will he/she go to Hell?
It is not imperative that one's last word should be the Kalima at-Tawhid because those who die with faith (iman) will enter Paradise sooner or later. What is meant by the hadith-i sharif "He who breathes his last with the phrase La ilaha ill-Allah will enter Paradise" is that it gives glad tidings for such a person that he/she will go to Paradise without stopping by Hell. Otherwise, every Muslim, be he/she a sinful Muslim, will enter Paradise even after they suffer the punishment for their sins. (Ibn Abidin)
This means to say that breathing one's last with the Kalima at-Tawhid is special glad tidings.