Do Non-Muslims Get Rewards For Doing Good Deeds?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

 

Question 

I heard someone saying that the punishments of stoning and forced conversions do not upset him, but non-Muslims will not get any rewards for good deeds. How do I answer him?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide our hearts, tongues, and deeds to that which perpetually pleases Him.

Contextualizing Misconceptions

It appears that the person in question has some misunderstanding about Sacred Law. First, punishments of stoning are there as a preventative measure against adultery, murder, treason, etc., and this prevention method has undoubtedly proven true historically.

Second, there is no such thing as a forced conversion. Anyone who converts under coercion has not converted at all. Allah says: “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is clearly distinguished from the wrong.” [Qur’an 2:256] 

Sacred Law forbids the destruction of places of worship and allows people who follow other religions to continue doing so. Allah says: “…Had God not driven back the people, some through others; there had been destroyed cloisters and churches, oratories and mosques, wherein God’s Name is much mentioned. Assuredly God will help him who helps Him – Surely God is All-strong, All-mighty.” [Qur’an 22:40] 

Rewards for Disbelievers

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When a disbeliever does a good deed, he is rewarded for it in this world. For believers, Allah saves their good deeds to reward them in the Hereafter and provides them sustenance in this life as a reward for obedience.”

Another narration reads: “Allah does not deal unjustly with a believer regarding a single good deed. He is given blessings for it in this world and will be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. The disbeliever is given sustenance as a reward for good deeds in this world, so when he comes to the Hereafter, there are no more good deeds for him for which he can be rewarded.” [Muslim]

As indicated in the above Prophetic narration, disbelievers will receive their rewards in this life and Justice in the Hereafter as Allah is The Just, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. He served as the resident Imam of Masjid al-Munowar in Retreat, Cape Town for several years.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.