True Conception of the Ahmadiyya Movement

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

The Eighth Distinction: The Significance of Paradise and Hell Properly Explained

Belief in the punishment or reward for one’s actions in another life is common to all religions. But Islam has explained this phenomenon in a scientific manner. For instance, paradise and hell are not only meant for the life hereafter but, also, they have their beginning in this life:

“And for him who fears to stand before his Lord there are two Gardens.”1

The one garden (jannat, paradise) is of this life and the other of the life to come. The soul that attains perfection also sees its own paradise in this life. To the contented soul, the Quran says:

“So enter among My servants and enter My garden.”2

Similarly, the fire of hell is described as rising above the hearts of men:

“It is the fire kindled by Allah, which rises over the hearts.”3

And the hell in the hereafter is just another form of blindness in this life:

“And whoever is blind in this world, he will be blind in the Hereafter.”4

But these matters remain hidden from the eyes of the common people and only come to light on the day of Resurrection, therefore on that day hell and heaven would become manifest.

“Thou wast indeed heedless of this, but now We have removed from thee thy veil, so thy sight is sharp this day.”5

Commencement of paradise and hell in this life shows that the reward or punishment in fact (whether we are conscious of it or not) takes place simultaneously with our deeds. Then another point is emphasized: that every action begets results according to whether the doer is a believer or non-believer. If a non- Muslim does a good work the result will naturally be good and if a Muslim does something bad it will have a bad consequence:

“So he who does an atom’s weight of good will see it and he who does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.”6

Again, it has been explained that hell is a place for the purge and betterment of human ills and shortcomings. This is a means of purification of man so that for this progress, he may get another opportunity in the life to come which he has wasted in this life. And because this is only by way of remedy, therefore, sooner or later all the inmates of hell will come out of it. According to a saying of the Holy Prophet a time will come when the morning breeze will be striking against the doors of hell;7 and it will become a devastated place. Similarly, about paradise it should be remembered that man is capable of making unlimited progress therein. Those who have once entered into it will never be taken out of it again. This makes it abundantly clear that future reward in Islam means various aspects of man’s progress and punishment (‘adhab [azab]), the stages of his decline and decadence. But Muslims lost sight of these matters of deep wisdom and thought the ‘adhab [azab] and thawab [sawab] only meant for future life of the world. They also thought that non-Muslims did not receive any reward for their good actions, and that Muslims will all go to paradise and the kafirs will burn in the fire of hell forever. Ahmadiyyat, however, brought the original teachings of Islam to light and removed all such errors. It also explained that even the worship of God was also meant for man’s own advancement, for by worshipping God man in fact tries to come into real contact with God for the purpose of imbuing himself with Divine attributes.



  1. The Holy Quran, 55:46.
  2. The Holy Quran, 89:29, 30.
  3. The Holy Quran, 104:6–7.
  4. The Holy Quran, 17:72.
  5. The Holy Quran, 50:22.
  6. The Holy Quran, 99:7–8.
  7. For detailed references please consult Maulana Muhammad Ali’s The Religion of Islam, Part II, Chapter 6.