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Fate of Children on the Day of Judgment


Question

What shall happen to children on the Judgment Day?



Question from Pakistan
Answer

The reward or the punishment that a man shall face on the Day of Judgment will be the result of the intentional and consciously done good or bad deeds. Children who die before reaching the age of mental maturity shall obviously not deserve to be punished for their mistakes - whether in adhering to any beliefs or in adopting any practices. The Qur'an is very clear in this respect that only those who reject the truth (Kafir), after the truth has become completely apparent to them, shall be put to punishment in the hereafter. It, therefore, seems far from the concept of mercy and justice that a child be put to punishment.

Thus, in my opinion, a child shall not be put to punishment. However, the question remains that if a child shall not be put to punishment, would he then be rewarded with the eternal bliss of paradise, like other honest seekers of the truth. This question cannot be answered, as no guidance has been given in this respect in the Qur'an or any reliable narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh). Nevertheless, we can rest assured that whatever the eternal fate of such children it shall be decided by the just and the ever-merciful Lord of the worlds. Therefore, even if we do not possess any knowledge of that fate, we can be hopeful that such children shall be dealt with in a manner most suited for the ever-merciful Judge.

4th December 1999


Answer published by Moiz Amjad