Children in the hereafter

Are children who die before the age of puberty tested on the day of judgement and sent to heaven or hell? or, do they all go straight to heaven (even non-Muslim)?

Wa alaykum as-salam,

The children of Muslims go to Paradise according to the hadith: "A Muslim parent will not lose three children who did not reach the age where one is held to one's word except Allah will cause him/her to enter Paradise because of his/her love for them." Bukhari and others. Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari specified that the children themselves will be waiting at the gates, opening them for their parents as narrated in similar versions by Ibn Majah (hasan) and al-Nasa'i (sahih) in their Sunan. See al-Suyuti's monograph Bard al-Akbad `an Faqd al-Awlad ("Consolation at the Loss of One's Children"), ed. `Abd al-Jalil al-`Ata (Damascus, 1992).

There are nine views or more on the issue of the children of non-Muslims. The safest view is that of Imam al-Shafi`i -- may Allah be well-pleased with him -- whereby they are entirely dependent on Allah's will for them due to the hadith: "... When Allah created them he knew best what they would have done [if they had lived]" (Bukhari, Muslim and others). Another strong view is that they are in Paradise because Allah said: "We do not punish until after we send a Messenger" and other evidence. And Allah knows best.


GF Haddad