For those who die before the day of Judgement there is a state of waiting called barzakh. (meaning the heights)

The concept of the Heights in Islam is not identical to that of Purgatory in Catholicism. Basically, the Heights are a place between Heaven and Hell reserved for people who aren’t good enough to enter Heaven, nor evil enough to enter Hell. It’s a state of limbo, where the people there can see all the suffering in Hell and long not to go there, while at the same time seeing the delights of Paradise and longing to be there. A fixed term must be served to make those people realize how close they came to perishing, after which God, in His infinite mercy, will allow them to enter Paradise.

Imam al-Ghazzali reflects the Sunni understanding of al-A`raf which is a temporary place for those that will be tested before they reach their ultimate destination for one of several reasons, either because their good and bad deeds are equal, or because the Divine Message did not reach them, or because they died before reaching the age of legal responsibility, or for other reasons.

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DIRECT PATH TO GOD AND SALVATION THROUGH ISLAM IS NOT SO DIRECT AS THE TEXTBOOKS CLAIMS.

 

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