Based upon our stand on justice and grace is our view that ”whatever God has promised as reward for any good work, He will fulfil it; but whatever He has threatened as punishment for any bad work, it is upon His discretion. If He meted out the punishment, it will be by His justice; if He forgives it, it will be by His grace.” 1
We are confronted both by the Kharijites and Mu’tazilites on one side and the Ash'arites on the other. The Mu’tazilites and Kharijites say that it is incumbent upon God to fulfil His threats also. He has no power to forgive. The Ash’arites, on the other hand say that it is not incumbent upon Him even to fulfil His promises of rewards. They go so far as to say, “even if Allah was to send the Prophets to Hell, and Satan to Paradise, it is not against virtue, because there is no inherent demerit in any action.”
- 1. Ash-Shaykh as-Saduq, al-I`tiqadat.