Can we judge based on a deceased person’s deeds in this world that he would be in Paradise or hell?


Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa was asked whether one could judge, based on a deceased person’s deeds in this world, that they would be in Paradise or Hell. 

In a letter dated 4 February 2020, Huzooraa gave the following reply: 

“Allah the Exalted sends prophets to call people to righteousness so that they may inherit the eternal rewards of the Hereafter by living the temporary life in this world according to His commands and so that they may abandon the evil ways and avoid the punishment of the Hereafter. Therefore, it is obligatory to believe in Allah and His prophets. The Holy Quran has elucidated this subject in various places.

“Nevertheless, the decision to send someone to Heaven or Hell is with Allah the Exalted because He is the Master of everything and He says that He forgives all sins except shirk [associating partners with God]. Therefore, no ordinary person has the authority to issue a fatwa for others on whether they would go to Heaven or Hell. 

“However, since God’s prophets and messengers receive knowledge of the unseen from God, when they make a statement about someone, it is in fact based on the knowledge from God Almighty and the absolute truth. 

“Hence, it is mentioned in a hadith that a funeral procession passed by the Holy Prophetsa. People praised the deceased. The Holy Prophetsa said that Paradise had become obligatory for him. Then another funeral procession passed by and the people criticised the deceased. The Holy Prophetsa said that Hell had become obligatory for him. He further said that the believers were witnesses of Allah on earth. [Sunan al-Nisai, Kitab al-Janaiz, Bab al-Thanaa]

“Moreover, it should be remembered that Allah the Exalted is Gracious and Merciful. He definitely rewards one for even the smallest good deed. Hence, it is narrated in the hadith that a companion said to the Holy Prophetsa that while in a state of disbelief [before converting to Islam], he had donated plenty of wealth to the poor just to please God Almighty. He asked if he would be rewarded for that. The Holy Prophetsa said that it was that charity that had drawn him to Islam. [Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Bab bayani hukmi ‘amali li-kafiri idha aslama ba‘dah]

“Therefore, it is not up to every common man to declare, upon the demise of a person, whether the deceased would go to Heaven or Hell on the basis of that person’s religious beliefs. This is the job of God Almighty or that of His prophets and messengers on His behalf.” 

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