Will God-Fearing Scholars Enter Paradise Without Reckoning?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question Summary

Will God-Fearing scholars enter Janna without reckoning? Will they cross the Bridge at the speed of light? I sincerely desire to have security from the punishment of the grave, be blessed with the highest rank in Janna, experience no punishment or judgment, and cross the Bridge with the speed of light. How could I attain this?

Question Answer
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him.

What a beautiful desire you have. May Allah bless you and all of us with all of that and more in the Hereafter, Amin. Thank you for your beautiful question.

Who Will Enter Paradise Without Reckoning?

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “I was shown the nations. One Prophet passed by with a group, another with a small band, another with ten followers, another with five, and another alone (no followers). I looked and saw a huge multitude, and I said, “O Jibril, are these my nation?” He said, “No, but look at the horizon.” So, I looked and saw a huge multitude. He said, “These are your ummah, and at their head, there are seventy thousand who will not be brought to account or punished.”

I said, “How come?” He said, “They do not use cauterization (which was used as a form of treatment at the time), or seek ruqya[1] (a form of cure through legitimate incantations and the like), or believe in bad omens; they put their trust in their Lord.”’

‘Ukhashah ibn Mihsan (may Allah be pleased with him) stood up and said, ‘Please pray to Allah to make me one of them!’ He [the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace)] said, ‘O Allah, make him one of them.’ Then another man stood up and said, ‘Pray to Allah to make me one of them.’ He said, ‘Ukashah has beaten you to it.’” [Bukhari]

Only Seventy Thousand?

Seventy thousand is not many, and the Companions outnumbered that figure already. The commenters of the Prophetic narrations explained that this is probably a figure of speech meaning, ‘a colossal number,’ and not an exact figure. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

This interpretation is congruent to what we learn from another Prophetic narration. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “My Lord promised me that seventy thousand of my nation would enter Paradise without being brought to account or being punished. Each thousand of them will be another seventy thousand, plus three handfuls of the handfuls of my Lord, may He be glorified.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja]

Allah alone knows what the above exactly amounts to, but we pray that we are among them.

Entering Paradise with a “Light” Reckoning

Other than those the Prophetic narrations speak of who will enter Paradise without reckoning, far more will enter Paradise, but they will experience a “light” reckoning. A light reckoning consists of a presentation of deeds to their doers for acknowledgment, but without punishment.

‘Aisha narrated that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever is examined thoroughly at the Reckoning will be punished.” I said: Didn’t Allah (The Exalted) say: “He surely, will receive an easy reckoning” [Qur’an 84:8]? He said: “That is the presentation of deeds.” [Agreed Upon]

Scholars on the Day of Judgement

God-fearing scholars stand a greater chance of salvation in the Hereafter because they had more knowledge to put into practice. Scholars do not possess automatic free passes, though, especially since their knowledge also carries a grave responsibility. Successful are those who sincerely learn and sincerely practice what they learn of Allah’s Sacred Law.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) spoke of the first people to be judged in the Hereafter. One of them is the ostentatious scholar: “The first to be judged on the Day of Judgment is […] A man who acquired knowledge, taught it, and recited the Qur’an. He will be brought, and Allah will remind him of His favor [upon him], which he will recognize.

Allah will say: ‘What did you do as a token of gratitude for that favor?’ He will say: ‘I acquired knowledge and taught it, and I recited the Qur’an for Your sake.’ Allah will say: ‘You have lied. You learned so it would be said that you were a scholar, and you recited the Qur’an so it would be said that you were a reciter, and that was said.’ It will be commanded that he be dragged on his face until he is thrown in the Fire….” [Muslim]

Crossing the Bridge at the Speed of Light

While we are not aware of a specific means from the Qur’an and Hadith on how to attain this, we offer the following advice. To hasten the speed at which you would cross over the Bridge on the Day of Judgement, always try to be the first to do good deeds, just like ʿUkasha in the hadith above. Allah says: “Everyone turns to their direction ˹of prayer˺. So, compete with one another [race] in doing good. Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together ˹for judgment˺. Surely Allah is Most Capable of everything.”

Security from the Punishment of the Grave

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “A chapter in the Qur’an containing thirty verses will intercede for a man so that he will be forgiven. It is the chapter: ‘Tabarak aladhi bi yadihi al-mulk’ [Sura al-Mulk].”  [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Maja]

We should follow the Prophetic advice as much as possible and try to recite the above chapter every night. You do not need to memorize the chapter, but that would be a bonus, and Allah knows best.

Earning the Highest Ranks in Janna

Allah says: “Successful indeed are the believers: those who humble themselves in prayer; those who avoid idle talk; those who pay alms-tax (zakat); those who guard their chastity except with their wives or those “in their right hand’s possession,” for then they are free from blame, but whoever seeks beyond that are the transgressors; ˹the believers are also˺ those who are faithful to their trusts and covenants, and those who are ˹properly˺ observant of their prayers. These are the ones who will be awarded Paradise as their own (Al-Firdaws, the highest place in Paradise.) They will be there forever. [Qur’an 23:1-11]

I pray that this benefits, that Allah guides us to every success in this life, and the ultimate success in the Hereafter, Amin.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

[1] A secondary but important note is that seeking cures is lawful and recommended by Sacred Law as the general practice of believers. The special group of seventy thousand avoided cures not because they are unlawful but because of their heightened sense of reliance upon Allah alone, which is a commendable but extremely rare quality and not recommended for the majority of believers. [Nawawi, Minhaj]
One who isn’t of that high level will actually be endangering himself and possibly even his faith by shunning the permissible means at his disposal. [Usmani, Fath Al-Mulhim]

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. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

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.