Critique of a hadith that Muslims will go to heaven simply based on testimony of faith.

Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 25:70)

Ponder this hadith that is used as a proof text that all Muslims will eventually get to heaven no matter what they have done.

(ISIS in heaven), (Al Qaeda in heaven)…..

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
“Once Mu’adh was along with Allah’s Apostle as a companion rider. Allah’s Apostle said, “O Mu’adh bin Jabal.” Mu’adh replied, “Labbaik and Sa’daik. O Allah’s Apostle!” Again the Prophet said, “O Mu’adh!” Mu’adh said thrice, “Labbaik and Sa’daik, O Allah’s Apostle!” Allah’s Apostle said, “There is none who testifies sincerely that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is his Apostle, except that Allah, will save him from the Hell-fire.” Mu’adh said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Should I not inform the people about it so that they may have glad tidings?” He replied, “WHEN THE PEOPLE HEAR ABOUT IT, THEY WILL SOLELY DEPEND UPON IT.” Then Mu’adh narrated the above-mentioned Hadith just before his death, being afraid of committing sin (by not telling the knowledge). Source: (volume 1, Book 3, Number 130 Bukhari)

Notice some strange things about the text (matn).

1) “Then Mu’adh narrated the above-mentioned Hadith just before his death, being afraid of committing sin (by not telling the knowledge). “

This is additional information. This is obviously not said by Mu’adh but by the redactor.

2) Such an important theological point notice that there were was no command from the Blessed Prophet (saw) to narrate this to anyone. In fact the indication is that he (saw) did not want this to be public knowledge.

3) Even though it can be argued that the Blessed Messenger (saw) didn’t explicitly tell Mu’adh not to narrate this hadith it does indicate that Mu’adh seemed to know better than the Blessed Messenger (saw) by letting the proverbial ‘cat out of the bag‘ so to speak.

4) It seems odd that a companion like Mu’adh (who knows he could die at any moment) and yet had this bothering his conscience would conveniently wait to be on this death bed before transmitting this information. No way to verify information from a dead man right?

5) It makes the Blessed Messenger (saw) say something about the future which we all know to be patently false. “WHEN THE PEOPLE HEAR ABOUT IT, THEY WILL SOLELY DEPEND UPON IT.”

A) Even the Ash’ari do not rely solely upon it. They rely upon other hadith like the following:

‘Ubadah bin As-Samit reported: Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “He who bears witness that there is no true god except Allah, alone having no partner with Him, that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, that ‘Isa (Jesus) is His slave and Messenger and he (Jesus) is His Word which He communicated to Maryam (Mary) and His spirit which He sent to her, that Jannah is true and Hell is true; Allah will make him enter Jannah accepting whatever deeds he accomplished”. Source: (Bukhari & Muslim)

Even the above is an oddly worded Shahadatayn  (testimony of faith)

They also rely upon things like the Shafaat (intercession) of the Blessed Messenger (saw).

B) It is not the position of Sunni Muslims who do not hold to the Ash’ari doctrine.

C) It is not the position of Muslims who hold to the doctrine of the Ahl al-Tawhid wa al-Adl (The Proponents of Divine Unicity and Justice)

So the only way possible to salvage point 5 is to simply assume that there was some group of Muslims living past, present or future who will hold such a position. Even this comes across as desperate apologetic.

The previous five points are all arguments from the text and consistency.

The following point is a rational argument.

6) It cannot possibly be a reference to a Muslim who made such a statement with sincerity and than later became a Christian or Atheist or a Hindu. Unless now someone is going to argue that it doesn’t matter if they associate partners with Allah (swt), or deny Allah (swt) in total because they said this statement once in their lifetime with conviction.

7) The hadith is against the Qur’an

“O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.” (Qur’an 5:67)

8) The hadith is against the Qur’an.

“But the hypocrites say, “We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger, and we obey”; then a party of them turns away after that. And those are not believers.” (Qur’an 24:47)

The conclusion:

There is no one among the Muslims who believes that certain statements alone are sufficient to get you into heaven. All of it has to be contingent upon something else.

Allah (swt) knows best and the help of Allah (swt) is sought.



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2 responses to “Critique of a hadith that Muslims will go to heaven simply based on testimony of faith.

  1. “Even the above is an oddly worded Shahadatayn (testimony of faith)” What do you mean by this brother? Is the word shahadatayn not in accordance with the prophetic speech?

    • It is a comment that I perhaps could have left for another occasion as my intention was to be primarily focused on one particular hadith itself. It seems that this shahdatayn was focused towards people who are Christians and Allah (swt) knows best.

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