Originally Posted by Mu'maneen
People Who Have Never Heard the Message Will be Tested in the Hereafter
By Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
Ibn al-Qayyim discussed the topic of those who did not hear the message in his books Tariq al-Hijratayn and Ahkam ahl al-dhimah (619/2-656) although he was talking about the children of the unbelievers.
He came with ten sayings in this topic. The last one was that they will be tested in the Hereafter. Allah will send them a messenger in the Hereafter. Whoever obeys the Messenger will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys him will go to Hell. Therefore, some of the people who did not receive the call to Islam will go to Paradise and some to Hell.
This is the saying adopted by the people of Sunnah. The hadith related by al-Ash`ar in his book al-Ib�nah, was also mentioned by Ibn Farak and Abu al-Qasim b. `Askir in Tasnf. It is also narrated by Muhammad b. Nasr al-Mirwaz on his reply to Ibn Qutaybah and mentioned his evidences.
Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned these evidences and supports them. Then he said: We cannot rule whether such people are believers or unbeliever because disbelieving means denying something while in their case, they did not know about the message from the first instance. As they were neither believers nor unbeliever they should have a different rule on the Day of Judgment. If we say that they are disbelievers, then we would say that the condition for them to be punished in the Hereafter does not apply. They have to be warned about that. Allah will not punish them without a previous warning. This should be in the language he understands.
Many scholars, including Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Kathir and Ibn Baz, have adapted the saying that the people who have never had an opportunity to come to know about Islam will be tested in the Day of Judgment.
Allah says: Nor would We punish until We had sent a messenger (to give warning).[Surah al-Isra: 15]
Those who pass the test and obey the commands will go to Paradise and those who are disobedient will go to Hell.