|Will Those from the 72 Misguided Sects Remain in the Hellfire Forever? – Shaykh Fahad Ibn Sulaymaan Al-Fuhayd||Oct 12, ’10 8:21 AM
Question: Regarding the hadeeth of the saved sect, ‘all in the hellfire except one’, will those from the other 72 sects ever come out of the Hellfire or will they reside in the Hell forever so that they may be called kuffaar (Disbelievers), or will they come out of it after some time?
Answer: This question has 2 parts. The first part is that it is apparent that the questioner has misunderstood and has made a mistake pertaining to a very important matter. He has assumed that whoever was threatened by the Fire is a Kaafir (Disbeliever) or that the ruling of kufr (disbelief) is applicable to him; this is a big mistake. This is a big mistake because Allaah سبحانه وتعالى may have threatened them with the Fire due to their disobedience and not due to their being from the Disbelievers.
No doubt, the Disbelievers will abide in the Fire. Those disobedient to Allaah سبحانه وتعالى, for example the one who eats ribaa (usury) and the one who is undutiful to his parents and the likes of this; they are threatened with the punishment of the Fire. However, they are under the Will of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى which is the ‘Aqeedah (Creed) of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. If they are punished in the Fire they will not remain there forever because they are from the People of Tawheed.
As for the second part of this question, as it relates to statements of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم concerning the deviant sects “all of them in the fire except one.” Firstly, ‘all of them in the fire’ (meaning the rest of the groups), does not mean that they are all Disbelievers, as previously mentioned.
Secondly, the meaning of this hadeeth is that whoever goes against the manhaj (methodology) of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions falls into following one of these deviant groups. So he is a sinner, committing a sin and great disobedience (to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) and is subject to punishment in the Fire.
Thirdly, from the People of Knowledge who are firm on this Deen from the `Ulamaa’ of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, is that from amongst the misguided groups are:
- those who are wrong or make mistakes
- those who disobeyed
- those who commit sins (faasiq)
- those who disbelieve e.g. they fall into extreme innovation, the likes of the extremists among the Raafidah, and the Jahmiyyah who deny the attributes of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى
- the atheists
- the hypocrite who acts upon disobedience
- the ignorant people who make mistakes;
These deviant groups are not on the same level; rather they are on different levels.
From another angle, Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah believes that if an individual (not the group) errs and goes against the manhaj of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sahaabah, there are conditions which must be satisfied before he may be considered a disbeliever i.e. the conditions (which necessitate the ruling of takfeer) must be present altogether and the obstacles (which prevent the ruling of takfeer) must be negated. Then, the ruling of disbelief may be considered if the individual makes a statement of disbelief or if he is upon an aqeedah of disbelief.
We differentiate between the statement which is possibly a statement of disbelief and between the one who made the statement. So they generalize by saying that “someone who makes a statement of disbelief is generally considered a disbeliever”.
As for takfeer of a specific individual, then they are required to examine his condition i.e. the conditions (which necessitate the ruling of takfeer) must be present altogether and the obstacles (which prevent the ruling of takfeer) must be negated.
This is the answer by and large, therefore it is not correct to generalize the pronouncement of disbelief on these Muslim groups that they are all in the Fire. Rather, Allaah سبحانه وتعالى has commanded us to be just and the likes of this. Indeed, regarding the ruling of a specific individual being in the Fire, his affair is only with Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. Inshaa Allaah this is beneficial to our brother the questioner.
Answered by: Shaykh Fahad Ibn Sulaymaan Al-Fuhayd
Title of Lecture: UIK Educational Seminar
Date of the Lecture: Saturday, September 16, 2006
Listen to Lecture: Click Here
Read the Transcribed Lecture: Click Here
 Reported in Sunan Ibn Maajah 2/1322 (#3993), Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami` (#2042)