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What if I never knew about Islaam?

The Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said:*

أربعة (يحتجون) يوم القيامة رجل أصم لا يسمع شيئا ورجل أحمق ورجل هرم ورجل مات في الفترة فأما الأصم فيقول رب لقد جاء الإسلام وما أسمع شيئا وأما الأحمق فيقول رب لقد جاء الإسلام والصبيان يحذفوني بالبعر وأما الهرم فيقول ربي لقد جاء الإسلام وما أعقل شيئا وأما الذي مات في الفترة فيقول رب ما أتاني لك رسول فيأخذ مواثيقهم ليطيعنه فيرسل إليهم أن ادخلوا النار قال فوالذي نفس محمد بيده لو دخلوها لكانت عليهم بردا وسلاما

"Four kinds of people (will protest on) the Day of Resurrection (to Allaah): the deaf man who doesn't hear anything, the insane person, the very old man, and a man who died in the interval (the time between the two Messengers of Allaah, 'Isaa and Muhammad (salla Allaahu 'alayhimaa wa sallam)).

The deaf man will say "My Lord! Islaam came and I didn't hear anything." The insane will say "My Lord! Islaam came but children were chasing me with stones." The old man will say "My Lord! Islaam came but I didn't understand anything." As for the one who died in the interval, he will say "My Lord! No messenger from You came to me." So Allaah will take their covenant that they will obey Him. Then He sends them the word that they must enter the Fire. The Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said "By Him in Whose Hands is Muhammad's soul, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them.""

In another narration, the Prophet (salla Allaahu 'alayhy wa sallam) said at the end:**

فمن دخلها كانت عليه بردا وسلاما ومن لم يدخلها يسحب إليها

"So whoever enters it, it will be cool and safe for him. And whoever doesn't, he will be dragged into it."

Nobody is left out. Allaah, the Most Wise and the Most Judge, doesn't punish anybody unless He has sent him a messenger:***

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا

"And We (Allaah) never punish until We have sent a messenger (to give warning)."

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* Musnad Ahmad (15712), al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer lit-Tabaraanee (839), and Saheeh ibn Habbaan (7481). The Hadeeth is classed as Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee (as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 1434)

** Musnad Ahmad (15712)

*** Surat al-Israa', verse 15

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