Who goes to hell in Islam?

First of all I want to thank you for all the effort you make on this blog clearing up misconceptions etc. May Allah SWT reward you. I’m wondering whether it’s true that all non-muslims count as kafir. Many Muslims have told me this but it sounds like a logical fallacy to me. If they don’t know that Islam is the true religion then why should they be punished.

The most logical explanation I’ve heard so far is from NAK. He said that kafir were people who got Islam in it’s pure form, knew it made sense , had prophets coming to them, knew the scriptures, and knew it was part of their fitrah yet chose to not follow it. This explanation makes much more sense than that Muslims will get paradise and non-muslims hell. However many are criticising this view and saying that it goes against the scholar consensus. Could you explain the issue better.

Please see the section “A Clarification on Kufr (Disbelief / Infidelity) and God’s Justice” in my essay God, Evolution and Abiogenesis. I also deal with this question in my essay Quran-Focused Islam.

In short, the Quranic view is that kufr refers to rejecting God while having the capacity to believe in Him. In other words, committing kufr is an act against one’s own conscience. The person believes in God and in the truth of the religion that has been presented to them, but they reject it out of greed, hatred, selfishness and other motivations. I haven’t studied NAK’s view but from what you described it appears that he has the same view as the one I described.

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