From the entry under Martyrs in The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam by Cyril Glassť:
This is also expressed in various hadiths. For example we find in Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 621:
Our Prophet has informed us our Lord's Message that whoever of us is martyred, will go to Paradise.
The following passages of the Qur'an support the general Muslim belief that the martyrs go to paradise immediately:
Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead.
Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord;
-- Sura 3:169
Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods;
for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise):
they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain:
a promise binding on Him in truth,
through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an:
and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah?
then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded:
that is the achievement supreme.
-- Sura 9:111
On the other hand, we read also that,
Or as Arberry translates it more literally:
This verse tells clearly that all Muslims [everybody] will go to Hell, (inevitable, decreed, determined) and only some of them will eventually be rescued from Hell, while others will be left there forever.
Obviously, it cannot be that all go through hell (Sura 19:71) and that martyrs go directly to paradise, being spared hell, and "they live (present tense), finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord."
Besides being contradictory, Sura 19:71-72 must be incredibly disturbing to Muslims, who can only look forward to go to Hell when they die. At least it was disturbing to Sultan Muhammad Khan, who was moved to carefully study everything that Islam says about salvation and later became a Christian because of his research. You can read about this in his testimony.
Side remark on Sura 9:111 stating that "theirs is the garden: they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah?" -- There are no such passages in the Torah or the Gospel which promise paradise to those slain in a military battle for God. This is another false claim in the Qur'an. I am not sure there is even any such concept as us fighting a military battle for God. It is usually God who fights for us. God is much more powerful and glorious that he needs our weapons or strength to fight for him.
Contradictions in the Qur'an
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