If you ask a Muslim what the status of non-Muslims would be in the next world, they would say that they will all burn in hell. The stance of Christians is pretty much the same. Judaism is not a missionary religion and they believe that the Jews are the chosen people of God and as such would receive preferred treatment from God.
On the other hand we have modern Sikhs who ignorantly preach that all religions lead one to God. They preach that different religions are like different paths to the same destination. They quote some pankitis from Gurbani to backup their claim but Gurbani does not preach this stance. Gurmat preaches that everyone will eventually have to adopt one true path to reach Vaheguru:
ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਅਨਹਦਿ ਰਾਤਾ ਏਕ ਲਿਵ ਤਾਰ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰ ॥੪॥
Translation: Only one Gurmat Dharma is perfect and complete (Poora) for jug jug i.e. eternity. If someone adopts this Dharma (ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ) he gets continuous concentration or Smadhi. Such Gurmukh attains the Untouchable and Infinite God.
Guru Sahib in Gurbani has declared that Vaheguru is attainable only through the true Guru:
ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
Translation: No one has attained Vaheguru without the true Guru, no one has attained Vaheguru without the true Guru.
It has been repeated two times that no one has attained Vaheguru without the true Guru, in order to emphasize how crucial it is to have the true Guru to attain Vaheguru.
Now what’s the status of other religions. Gurmat has declared that no other path except for Gurmat can lead one to the perfect spiritual state of being in union with Vaheguru. But it does not condemn the followers of other religions to eternal burning in hell, as Islam and Christanity do. Basically, the unverse or the creation is divided into 5 Khands or spiritual realms as explained in Siri Jap jee Sahib. They are listed as follows:
The destination of a true follower of Guru Nanak Dev jee is Sachkhand, which means the eternal place or realm. Karam Khand and Sachkhand are eternal realms but other realms are created and destroyed by Vaheguru at will.
Heavens and hells are in Dharam Khand. Spiritually higher destinations like Baikunth (Siri Krishna’s dwelling), Shivpuri, Brahmapuri, Buddha’s Nirvana etc. exist in Gyan Khand. More elevated souls move on to Sharam Khand and even more elevated non-Sikh souls can go as far as Karam Khand as was the case with Bhagat Sahibaan whose baani is in Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee.
Basically, one gets what one strives for. What does the follower of Buddha want? He wants Nirvana, a thoughtless state where there is no dukh or sukh but there is no deity either. In Siri Jap jee Sahib, while describing Gyan Khand, Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee has placed Buddha and his followers in this Khand. Same way the followers of Kahna (Siri Krishna), Shiva etc. are also in this realm. There must be many levels within Gyan Khand as is the case with Dharam Khand.
So what happens to good people who are not Sikhs or followers of other religions? Well, they go to heaven, which is in Dharam Khand. In this Khand, Dharam Rai, the spiritual justice appointed by Vaheguru, holds all souls accountable for their deeds done in this world. The bad people go to many hells that are situated in this realm. The good people who lack spirituality go to heaven for limited time to get the reward of their good deeds. After accounting for the good or bad deeds, the residents of heaven and hell come back to this world so that they may work towards their journey to Sachkhand. In the same way, the residents of Gyan Khand too have to come back to this world, once they exhaust their good deeds.
A very interesting tale from the Buddhist literature goes as follows. There was once a woman who was residing in the spiritual realms along with her husband and many servants. She was having good time in the garden along with her family that she had to go inside her house to get something. As she came to her house her time to live in this realm had exhausted. She was immediately sent back to this world. Here she grew up, did meditation, good deeds and as a result of this was sent back to the spiritual realm she belonged to. It so happened that due to time difference, her absence was not even felt in the spiritual world. Her many years in this world were equal to only few minutes there. She came back to the garden and her family did not even know that she was gone. This tale is just to illustrate the fact that one cannot live eternally in these spiritual realms. Only Karam Khand and Sachkhand are eternal.
Ask a Muslim what his spiritual destination is. He will answer that it is Jannat. Jannat has many levels but these levels seem to be in Dharam Khand only and perhaps the few upper levels qualify to be of Gyan Khand. Same way, the Christian wants Heaven and heaven as stated above is part of Dharam Khand.
Before Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee, the concept of Sachkhand was not known to this world. If one is not aiming for Sachkhand, how can one get there. How can a Muslim, who is aiming for Jannat and a Christian who is aiming for Heaven, reach Sachkhand instead? Jaisi Mansha, Taisi Dasha. One’s condition is equal one’s wish. A Hindu who worships Siri Krishna can only reach Siri Krishna. He can’t reach Vaheguru by worshipping Siri Krishna. The conclusion of this vichaar is that one gets what one aims for. A Sikh aims for Sachkhand and he will get to Sach Khand.
Now the question as to whether other religions are divinely inspired, I would say yes. The avatars and prophets were sent by Vaheguru to uphold Dharma. They preached as much Dharma as they themselves were aware of. They did not have completed divine knowledge and for this reason could not preach complete Dharma that was preached the Guru-Avatars. It is all part of the grand scheme of Vaheguru. Vaheguru’s Guru form was working behind all this drama but this Guru form came out in open, in Kalyug, in form of Siri Guru Nanak Sahib and his 9 spiritual successors.
Below is a small writeup from Bhai Sahib’s writing citing the status of Avatars:
ਭਾਵੇਂ ਰਾਮ ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਆਦਿ ਅਵਤਾਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਕਲਾ-ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਮੀ-ਛੋਹ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਗਿਣਤੀ ਮਿਣਤੀ ਦੇ ਜੀਵਾਂ, ਆਖਰਖਣੇ ਗਏ ਅਹਿਲਿਆ, ਕੁਬਜਾ, ਗੋਪੀਆਂ ਆਦਿਕ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਉਧਾਰ ਹੋਣਾ ਮਖ਼ਸੂਸ ਹੈ ਸੀ, ਪ੍ਰੰਤੂ ਜਗਤ ਜਲੰਦੇ ਸਮੱਗਰ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਤੱਤ-ਉਧਾਰ, ਕੇਵਲ ਗੁਰੂ-ਅਵਤਾਰ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਤਿਨਾਮ ਦੇ ਜੀਅ-ਦਾਨ-ਜੋਤਿ-ਜੁਗਤਣੀ-ਪਾਰਸ-ਕਲਾ ਪਰਵੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰ ਉਤੇ ਹੀ ਮੱਬਨੀ ਅਤੇ ਮਖ਼ਸੂਸ ਹੈ। ਲੇਖ ਦੀ ਲੜੀ ਜੋੜੀ ਰਖਣ ਲਈ ਏਥੇ ਜੋ ਗਲ ਦਰਕਾਰ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਇਹ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਅਵਤਾਰਾਂ ਅੰਦਰ ਆਤਮ-ਜੋਤਿ-ਕਲਾ, ਬਲ-ਤੇਜ-ਪਰਤਾਪ-ਕਲਾ ਜੋ ਸੀ, ਅਤੇ ਜਿਤਨਾ ਚਿਰ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਅੰਦਰ ਰਹੀ, ਉਹ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਦੀ ਕਲਾ, ਯਾ ਐਉਂ ਕਹੋ ਕਿ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਦੀ ਨਿਜ-ਵਰਤਾਈ-ਕਲਾ ਸੀ
Loose Translation: Although, through Avatars like Rama and Krishna, the salvation (limited salvation) of few chosen creatures like Ahilya, Kubija, Gopi etc. was done but the real salvation of the creatures of whole world is possible only through the Guru-Avatars (10 Guru Sahibaan) using the power and base of Satnaam (the true Naam). Continuing with the subject of this article (Gurmat Lekh article), the thing to remember is whatever spiritual power the Avatars had was the power of Akal Purakh.
In the light of this paragraph from Bhai Sahib, it becomes clear that the founders of other religions had limited power or shakti given by Vaheguru but these avatars and prophets were not perfect and complete. Only Guru-Avatars are perfect and complete.