When God judges your life, He bases His decision on the performance of the substitute. With all good deeds and no bad deeds, your record is perfect. For the Muslim who is concerned about which way the balance scale will tip, this is great news. Jesus’ substitution in your place affects both sides of the scale. His death cancels all your bad behavior, eliminating the weight of your bad deeds. His perfect life weighs down the side that measures your good deeds. With no bad deeds on one side and all good deeds on the other, the scale of justice is tipped in your favor.
In the movie Avengers: Infinity War, the supervillain, Thanos, presents his “adopted” daughter with a double-ended blade. Balancing it on his finger, he notes it’s “perfectly balanced, as all things should be.” Maybe Thanos’ vision for the universe is balanced, but when it comes to Allah’s judgement on your fate, you don’t want balance—you want the scales to tip in your favor. At least, that’s what Muslims want.
Islam has a merit-based system of salvation. Whether you enter into paradise or not is based on your works. Two angels follow you during your life. One angel tracks your good deeds and another tracks your bad deeds. At the final resurrection, all of your good and bad deeds are placed on a scale (surah 21:47, 7:8–9). If your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to paradise. If your bad deeds outweigh your good deeds, you go to Hell. Although some Muslims tell me that additional factors can play a role in your destiny, they confirm that the Islamic system of salvation is based on individual merit.