A point of major concern that many have with the Islamic religion is its guarantee of salvation. What is quite striking is that even the best Muslims don’t know what Allah is going to do with them on judgment day. According to the Koran not even Muhammad himself knew this (see Surah 46: 8-9). For instance, one of Muhammad’s closest companions Abu Bakr would say that “If I had one foot in paradise, I would still fear Allah’s deception.” What this means is that not the Muslim today, Muhammad himself, or Bakr knows what Allah is going to do with them on judgment day.
Considering this if the best Muslim can’t be certain what Allah is going to do to him then what hope is there for the bad Muslim? If the “bad” Muslim spends life drinking, partying etc. then how could he ever feel safe? He can’t, but there is one way for him to feel safe and know that he will be accepted by Allah. That would be Jihad, which is war waged on unbelievers.
When Muhammad and his followers were an insignificant, tiny minority they preached a message of peace and tolerance. When Muhammad started gaining a larger following, but wasn’t yet strong enough to subjugate non-Muslims, he was ordered to wage defensive Jihad. Here the Muslims would fight unbelievers but only if the unbelievers did something to provoke a reaction. However, when Muhammad and his followers became the most powerful force in Arabia they were commanded to wage offensive Jihad. Here they violently subjugated and fought non-Muslims simply because they were non-Muslims. In Sahih al-Bukhari 2787, Muhammad says that “Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid [the jihadi, someone who wages jihad] in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”
Thus, declares Muhammad, if the Muslim is killed while waging Jihad Allah will guarantee him a place in Paradise. This is enticing for the bad Muslim since if he has lived many years violating basic Islamic teachings, Allah still makes him an offer. That is to indiscriminately kill unbelievers, an act that shall earn him his salvation. The bad Muslim is compelled to accept Allah’s offer of salvation in exchange for martyrdom. This is explains why Islamic doctrine nurtures such radical extremism, as Bin Laden once remarked: “We stress the importance of martyrdom operations against the enemy, these attacks that have scared Americans and Israelis like never before.”