Thursday, 19 March 2015
The Sharing Group Discussion: Is Salvation Exclusive to Muslims Alone?
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following was posted by me, on The Sharing Group, on the 06th March, 2015: “Is Salvation only for Muslims? Do we believe that other religions have a share of Divine Truth, or is this exclusive to Islam and every other faith is irredeemably corrupted? What do we base our belief on?”
Brother Shaun Burdis: I believe that Salvation is for all mankind and that all religions are all connected. Maybe the indifference is supposed to be there to make people more intellectually viable just for the matter of a debate?
Sister Amy Taylor: I feel that a believer has the opportunity to enter Heaven. I believe that Allah (s.w.t.) is Universal and Singular, and I see the universal message of Allah (s.w.t.) in many faith traditions all with the same singular message of stressing kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and humility.
Brother Shaun Burdis: There is proof that even non-believers enter Heaven just by their good deeds. Some people devote their whole life to good deeds and never devote themselves too one God. I believe it is because they are already spiritually enhanced with in the body and know what will come.
Sister Danielle Brayak: I believe in Salvation for all three Abrahamic faiths
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Personally, I do not believe that Salvation is only for Muslims. It does not say that in the Qur’an. It does state that the believers enter Jannah, and only Allah (s.w.t.) Decides who is such.
Sister Zakeena Seethi: Then why convert, Brother Terence?
Brother Jon Beatty: I think there are certain criterion to gain Salvation but in all three Abrahamic faiths, the criterion are pretty much the same.
Brother Shaun Burdis: Salvation is for those that are true in heart, as I believe.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: What about what I have said precludes my need to convert, Sister Zakeena Seethi? Do you worship God for His Paradise, or for Him?
Brother Shaun Burdis: I converted for love and now, after almost three years, I cannot understand why I did not do it sooner. I feel so much healthier and more spiritually enhanced. I worship Him for what I have been Given and anything else is a bonus.
Sister Zakeena Seethi: No, I do not have any opinion on your post. I just wanted to know your view. That is all.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Our religion is based on doctrine derived from the Qur’an and the sunnah. For everything, there has to be a dalil. As I mentioned, the Qur'an does not state that Muslims alone go to Jannah. The next question then, is what makes Islam the Preferred diyn?
Brother Jon Beatty: If you go by the Qur’an and the last ayat Revealed on this:
... This day have I Perfected your religion for you…. (Surah al-Ma’idah:3)
Either Islam, the current Revelation, is Completed, or if you want to go on a grander scale the overall progression of Revelation over ages and several different prophets and messengers is completed, so to have the ‘final draft’ is the preferred way.
Brother Moied Ahmed: It depends on how you interpret the Qur’an, right?
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Interpretation of the Qur’an must have a basis, and that basis requires knowledge of its sciences.
Sister Samra Hussain: It does not make sense that Allah (s.w.t.) would put people in Hell for the sole reason of being non-Muslim because He Designed everyone to be conditioned at birth to their culture’s beliefs and ways. It would be difficult for everyone to break out of that and believe that Islam is the number one religion. But I do feel like people can definitely come to a monotheistic understanding through deeper reflection and see the oneness of life regardless of their parent’s religion and culture, and in a way, that is the core of Islam.
Brother Jon Beatty: Well, Sister Samra, there is a difference between a kafir and a ghayr muslim.
Brother Shaun Burdis: Islam, if you follow the Qur’an to the letter, helps to prolong your life and becomes fundamental to the relationship you have with your community. I have no argument there and it also instils a good basis for continually gaining knowledge.
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: Actually, I get Sister Zakeena Seethi’s question. She is basically asking that if you feel other religions will go to Heaven, then why convert to Islam? If I feel I could get into Heaven just fine being a pork-eating, whiskey-drinking guy who did not pray except over food sometimes, but because I believed in God and Jesus (a.s.). So why become Muslim? For me, it is because this is the closest I have ever felt to Him. Even working for a church, being a music leader, I never felt as close to Allah as I do now. I still cry sometimes during swalah when I think of what He has Done for me. It is like I had a Pentecostal experience through Islam, the whole ‘born again’ thing. Would Allah have Saved me and Brought to His Paradise if I remained how I was? Only He Knows this. But I am grateful for Islam and the submission I have to Him that I was missing. Islam might not be the only religion that goes to Heaven, but to me, it is the best one.
Sister Samra Hussain: I think religion and how it makes us feel is very personal. Some people feel Christianity or Judaism or any other faith has brought them much closer to God and made them a better person.
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: You are right, Sister Samra Hussain. It is more about how we connect with the Creator. And for me, Islam is the best of religions and I know Wahhabi would stone me for what I am about to say, but it may not be the best path for everyone. I think some of the rules and regulations if it would cause people to feel more disconnected to Allah than it could connect them to Him, not that Islam is just about rules and such per se. But if a person does not find love and closeness to God though actions like swalah, if they feel it is even a burden or chore, and it actually pushes them away, then I would rather that person have joy and freedom of loving God in something not so stringent. But Allah Knows best. Swalah is actually what drew me to Islam.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: If one believes that the purpose of our Creation is to go to Heaven, then Islam may not be necessary. But Allah (s.w.t.) Says in the Qur’an:
… “To Allah we Belong and to Him is our Return.” (Surah al-Baqarah:156)
Islam is not the only way by virtue of His Rahmah; but it is the best way. There is a difference. On the Day of Judgement, it is our Prophet (s.a.w.) who intercedes for all Creation. And it is his ummah that enters first. It is the foremost amongst his ummah alone that are Granted a vision of the Divine Face, and a moment in the Divine Presence is greater than an eternity in Paradise. It is his ummah that is Granted a drink from the hawdh of Kawtsar. Those are treasures beyond reckoning.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: I would say Islam is the truth but I do not think other religions are irredeemably evil or corrupted. Other religions still produce God-fearing people of conscience. And it is not my place to assume too much, or anything really, about how God will Judge them.
Brother Waqar Ali: Forgive me for the lack of references I am not in front of my books at the moment. Allah’s Promise of everlasting paradise is for Muslims only, who are the people who accept Him as their God and His Messenger, Muhammad (s.a.w.) as His last and final messenger. Please revisit Surah ‘Ali ‘Imran and Surah al-Fath, the latter part of Surah an-Nisa’ the opening verses of Surah al-Bayyinah and Surah al-Baqarah.
There is nothing the Qur’an at all giving the green light to the disbelievers. In fact, it is always encouraging the mushrikun, the Christians and the Jews and the other non-believers to become Muslims. There is nothing in the Qur’an to give the justification that other religions are valid. This perennialism people are engaging in are driven by the nafs. It may make you feel good, but the result of holding such beliefs are dire. There can never be true following of the Torah or the Injil unless and until one accepts Rasulullah (s.a.w.) and all that he brought with him. This is also demonstrated in the Qur’an. A person who says that ‘Islam is a great religion’ along with saying ‘Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism is a great religion’ is an idiot for suggesting that two opposites are simultaneously valid.
Our Master, Rasulullah’s (s.a.w.) promise of his blessed shafa’ah, intercession, on the Day of Judgment is only for Muslims, and that no kafir shall attain his shafa’ah. Whoever believes that any kafir shall attain our Master Rasulullah’s (s.a.w.) shafa’ah is negating explicit verses from the Qur’an and numerous swahih ahadits and making a mockery of Allah’s Promise.
Brother Moied Ahmed: Brother Terence, does the Qur’an not say that mushrikun go to hell forever? I am having difficulty reconciling what you are saying with what the Qur’an seems to say based on the translation that I read. I have had people make takfir on me for believing what you believe. I personally believe only those who know that Islam is true yet deny it will go to Hell and be denied Paradise. Everyone else will eventually go to Paradise as Allah is Merciful.
Brother Waqar Ali: Brother Moied, that is kufr, and many types of kufr exist.
Brother Moied Ahmed: The other stuff you reiterated to me did not make much sense to me. What Terence believes makes a lot of sense to me.
Brother Waqar Ali: Side point, but if you read Imam ar-Rabbani’s (q.s.), letter he holds the view that those who have never heard of Islam shall be annihilated into oblivion and he states that this is an unimaginable Mercy in itself. This, his view, not one that is widely accepted. I was using it to demonstrate a point. Now with that being said what about folk that have!
Brother Moied, only the heretics rely solely on their rational mind; we do not reject naql. You can look up the Qur’anic references in my first post; check their tafsir.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Perhaps because I am a convert, I see things differently. Putting aside the Qur’an for a moment, my example is my grandmother. She was the most pious, god-fearing, kindest person I know. I have never met a Muslim better than her. Because she is my grandmother, there is no shaykh better than her. I cannot believe that there is a God Who would condemn her to Hell on the lottery of religion.
I spent 16 years in a Muslim organisation. I have taught in the mosques. I have met a lot of Muslims who are less than stellar. Am I to believe that by lottery of the shahadah they will be admitted to Paradise when good people of other religions are condemned to the Fire? This is merely an example of Muslim exceptionalism. It is less grounded on religion than it is on tribalism. I would reject the opinion any scholar who states thus solely based on legalism. I have no use for such thinking.
This is extracted from my article, A Muslim Convert Once More: Is Damnation Permanent? On the issue of damnation, there are several opinions of the scholars. Many scholars, including Imam Ash’ari (r.a.) himself, say that there are those who are Sent to the Fire without hope of Salvation. And there are opinions that state that the disbelievers, the hypocrites and the polytheists abide in forever.
There are verses in the Qur’an that may be read such. The word ‘ila al-abad’ is translated as ‘forever’. However, it may also be understood as a very long time, beyond human reckoning. Also, we must also consider the following verses, the Shaykh ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali (r.a.) translation:
Those who are wretched shall be in the Fire: there will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs: They will dwell therein for all the time that the Heavens and the Earth endure, except as thy Lord Willeth: for thy Lord is the (Sure) Accomplisher of what He Planneth. And those who are Blessed shall be in the Garden: they will dwell therein for all the time that the Heavens and the Earth endure, except as thy Lord Willeth: a Gift without break. (Surah Hud:106-108)
We must understand that Allah (s.w.t.) only Promised a Gift without end for the dwellers of Paradise. He has Promised that those in Paradise will not be Removed except to a better place. And we understand that with regards the hadits that speak of those who see the Face of God, those in the Divine Presence. Those, the Elect, are in Union with the Divine.
There is an atsar on the authority of Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (r.a.) that I know of. One of the few places that it is mentioned is in Kashf al-Mahjub of Imam ‘Ali ibn ‘Utsman al-Hujwiri (q.s.). In it, Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (r.a.) says that there will come a time, when the gates of Hell will be hanging on their hinges and Hell will be like a wheat field that has been mown, empty. It references the hadits of when the Prophet (s.a.w.) spoke after the Isra’ wa al-Mi’raj, where he explained his shafa’at.
In that hadits, the Prophet (s.a.w.) described the different categories of people who are Removed from the Fire through the intercession of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the other prophets, the pious, the parents, the children, the single dzurrat of faith until there remains those in the Fire who have not even that, not even a moment where they remembered God. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said that there would still be multitudes in the Fire. And then Allah (s.w.t.) will Decree, “Remove from the Fire those which the Hand of God can Hold.” And that is understood to mean that all are Removed. By then, the fires would have burned to embers and these souls will be like ashes.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said that these souls will be Thrown into the River Ridhwan and there they will reform again. And Allah (s.w.t.) will Ask the same Question that was Posed to us when he Drew Forth and Assembled the Children of Adam in ‘Alam Alastu bi Rabbikum: “Am I not your Rabb?” And they will finally acknowledge.
When thy Lord Drew forth from the Children of Adam ― from their loins ― their descendants, and Made them testify concerning themselves, (Saying), “Am I not your Lord (Who Cherishes and Sustains you)?” ― They said, “Yea! We do testify!” (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment, “Of this we were never mindful.” (Surah al-A’araf:172)
This hadits also explains our entire purpose of Creation. We are here to be ‘abdullah all the time; we are to acknowledge in all states, that He is Indeed God, our Nourisher, our Creator and our Sustainer. We were always Created to Return to Him. Even Heaven will eventually pass away for only Allah (s.w.t.) can Exist Eternally. We are drops of water in the rivers of time and we must eventually return to the Ocean of Unity, Bahr at-Tawhid.
Going back to the non-Muslims, there is actually nothing in the Qur’an that states only Muslims will enter Paradise. Not one single ayat to that effect. It Mentions only believers. And it States clearly that only Allah (s.w.t.) is privy to that. What it does state is that these people will avail to the intercession of their prophets. The Christians will have Jesus (a.s.), and the Jews will have Moses (a.s.), and so forth.
On the issue of the hadits that Allah (s.w.t.) does not Forgive shirk, this is in reference to major shirk during its commission. Allah (s.w.t.) has Made it His Prerogative to Forgive any sin without limit, even during its commission. The only exception is major shirk. The Qur’an Mentions that such people will be Told on the Day of Judgement to ask from their ‘gods’. What the hadits does not say, however, is that Allah (s.w.t.) will never Forgive. That would contradict the rest of the Qur’an, and the Perfect Religion cannot be incongruent. As such, the moment a person repents from it, he may seek Forgiveness and it will be Given, insha’Allah.
It is a form of shirk, however, for Muslims to decide who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell. Only Allah (s.w.t.) is Maaliki Yawn ad-Din. The fact that Muslims would wish damnation upon people simply because they have a different understanding of the Divine speaks of an inadequacy in their religion, and a limited understanding of Allah (s.w.t.). And that is the separation between a faqih and an ‘arif.
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: Quite Beautiful Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis. I think you summarised my entire thought on hell in a nutshell. The bottom line, as you said, is Allah is the Only and Final Judge.
Brother Moied Ahmed: Brother Terence, can I believe that an atheist or a Jew or a Christian or a Hindu can end up in Jannah? I was told if I believe this I will end up in Jahannam because said belief implies denial of Qur’anic verses.
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: Well, for true they were not in vain. And al-Hamdulillah from the Guidance you were given you are able to assist to guide others. I remember some of the stories you told of Muslims who were, or are, the scum of the Earth: beat their wives, used black magic, killed people or tried to kill them, and so forth. Like you said, it is a fallacy, and an abhorrent one to say these people are preferred over others just because they said “Laa ilaha illa Allah.”
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Which verse specifically and why, Brother Moied Ahmed?
Brother Moied Ahmed: Okay, I will start learning Islam from scratch. Brother Waqar just quoted some verses I think. None of this makes sense to me. The Qur’an never says that anyone who disbelieves in God will go to Jannah. It always says they will go to Jahannam. A child molester who happens to be Muslim will enter Jannah nevertheless. An atheist who builds orphanages and hospitals will go to Jahannam forever nevertheless. That is what I gathered from this religion and therefore, I stopped practicing as it did not make any sense to me.
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: Well, ask yourself this. If someone did not believe in God or want to believe in God, why would they want to go to Jannah? Why would they want to be in a place where His Presence is in Fullness, not just reflection, and everlasting?
Brother Moied Ahmed: The fact that someone does not believe in God does not infer anything about whether or not they would like there to be a God and / or Paradise. People like Nietzsche thought religion was good but false. I know atheists who want God to exist but think they have been unable to rationally establish that He Exists and thus they disbelieve in His Existence. I do not have much knowledge about Islam but I am starting to think these attempts to broaden the scope of salvific exclusivity with respect to Islam are attempts to whitewash Islam. I am sorry, this is my honest sentiment. I hope I can change my mind one day.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The problem here is that people are using all the different terms interchangeably without understanding or realising what they mean. There are Muslims and there are non-Muslims. When we use the term Muslim, there are three specifically different meanings depending on the context of the verse. A Muslim may refer to one who submits to the Will of God. That is all Creation since it is impossible to not do so. It may also refer to those who submitted to Divine Revelation. And finally, in the modern context, the followers of Islam as commonly understood.
When we say non-Muslims, they are simply ghayr muslimin. There are several categories of ghayr muslimin, both righteous and sinners. To be non-Muslim, as in not being part of the religion of Islam, does not automatically make one a sinner. Amongst them, the Qur’an references believers, mu’minun; the People of Scripture, Ahl al-Kitab; the Christians, Naswara; Jews, Yahudi and polytheists, mushrikun. A kafir may be a Muslim or a non-Muslim. And the same with a munafiq. These are descriptive terms of attributes. There are dozens of such terms, both good and bad.
Muslims want to judge who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell when they barely know their Qur’an. They think because the words look familiar, they know what it means. Most Muslims do not even realise that ‘islam’ has different meaning in different parts of the Qur’an. It is a verb as well as a noun. Please refer to this article from my blog: A Muslim Convert Once More: ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’ & ‘Shari’ah’ as Understood from the Qur’an.
Brother Waqar Ali: Syncretism and perennialism is a result of desires, and as Brother Terence demonstrated, he started his post with some emotional whirlwind. His conclusions are based of his desires, major ta’wil and his own sharah to an extent. Islam is one nation. All of kufr is another nation. Imam Abu Bakr al-Jaswswasw (r.a.) said in his legendary Ahkam al-Quran, “Indeed it [this verse] has established that kufr is all one nation. Because the verse points to those from them, with their various different religions, who did not accept Islam. Then their religion is rendered as one religion, and the religion of Islam as another religion and it is established that kufr, with its varying persuasions, is eventually one nation.”
This was in reference to the following verse:
Nor will ye worship that which I worship. (Surah al-Kafirun:3)
Brother Moied Ahmed: Brother Terence, you said, “When we say non-Muslims, they are simply ghayr muslimin. There are several categories of ghayr muslimin, both righteous and sinners. To be non-Muslim, as in not being part of the religion of Islam, does not automatically make one a sinner.” Is not disbelieving in the Divine Authorship of the Qur’an a sin de facto?
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Brother Moied Ahmed, I would actually say the reverse. The plain meaning of the Qur’an is that anyone who believes in God, the Last Day and does righteous deeds will have nothing to fear or grieve. And there are even wider texts than that. It is the exclusive minded people who want religious provincialism who bend and twist the meaning of these texts. Perennialism is more extreme than saying that some Jews and Christians will make it to Jannah.
Brother Waqar Ali: I have linked this before, but please do watch it, Brother Terence. I am assuming you have a basic command of the Arabic language: Shaykh Sa’dah al-Fawdah on Shaykh ‘Adnan Ibrahim Concerning Islam & the Ahl al-Kitab.
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: It is interesting. Islam and Christianity both teach that all sin will be Forgiven. In fact, Christians overlook that verse quite a bit. The major sin in all three Abraham faiths is shirk, that is to worship anything except God or to attribute the power of God to something else.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Even the strict perspective would be that the original followers of Jesus (a.s.) and the original followers of Moses (a.s.) can be saved. And there are a lot of different positions between stopping there and going all the way to perennialism. Different scholars have different understandings of how much flexibility there is exactly.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Waqar Ali, you would notice I have quoted the ayat with tafsir, and I explained the meaning of key words. I have also mentioned an atsar on the authority of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and several ahadits in passing. You have cited the opinion of one scholar, Imam al-Jaswswasw (r.a.) without the context of why he said that. It is an exegesis, not an ahkam. Whilst he was a great Hanafi jurist, his opinion was not something accepted throughout the madzhab in its entirety.
Brother Moied Ahmed, there are two things here. Non-belief is not a sin. A sin is non-compliance with shari’ah. Every ummah has its own shari’ah. Regarding Salvation, you do not ‘earn’ it. That is an inadequate understanding of religion. Ours is not the worship of merchants. Salvation is a Divine Prerogative. It is neither a right to be demanded, nor payment to be expected.
Brother Waqar Ali: This is a hadits from Swahih Muslim: “By He in Whose Power the life of Muhammad rests, none from this ummah hears of me, whether a Jew or a Christian, and dies without bearing faith in that which I was sent with, except that he will be in Hellfire.” Shaykh Sa’id stated in the video that ummah, people, towards whom Rasulullah (s.a.w.) was Sent is ummat ad-da’wah, not ummah al-istijabah, the nation that accepted his message, which is us, Muslims. And “that which I was Sent with” meaning Qur’an and shari’ah.
Actually, Brother Terence refer back to the books of tafsir. I have also mentioned the creed of Imam as-Sanussi (r.a.) prior to this.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: What does “hears of me” mean? If I am a non-Muslim and all I know about Islam is what Pamela Geller tells me, would God hold me responsible for not choosing Islam?
Brother Ishaq Mohammed: This verse in the Bible is one of those that led me to Islam:
31 “And now I tell you this; there is pardon for all the other sins and blasphemies of men, but not for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 32 There is no one who blasphemes against the Son of Man but may find Forgiveness; but for him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit there is no Forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come.”
Essentially Jesus (a.s.) is saying that not only will sins be Forgiven, and even blasphemy, even if one is wrong about Jesus (a.s.) himself. This showing he is not Allah (s.w.t.). However, if one speaks against the Holy Spirit, which in this context is the Power of God, it will not be Forgiven. This was in response to Jesus (a.s.) healing someone and the Pharisees said that it was by demons that he cast out demons, thus attributing the Power of God to Satan. This is shirk, or a form of it.
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: People who think only one kind of people go to Heaven are people who live in a narrow tunnel. There is a big world out there with all kinds of stripes. I do not care what some link or scholar says. I can post Qur’an verses that talk about the contrary. People cannot help where they are born, or what kind of propaganda they are raised with. A Muslim who lives in the Middle East cannot guarantee if they were born to a family say in the U.S. or whose parents were atheist, or whatever circumstance that is not Muslim, that they would become Muslim. And being a Muslim is not about getting a “Get Out of Hell Card’ anyway. Anyways I had taken this up with my Creator and I am reassured of this belief. Also, I think Muslims should not be too interested telling a convert’s parents that they are going to Hell. But I find it a waste of time to try and convince Muslims with that view. It is like pouring medicine on a dead man.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: There are multiple texts which suggest that tawhid is enough. It is recorded in Swahih Muslim, that it was narrated on the authority of ‘Utsman (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, “He who died knowing that there is no god but Allah entered Paradise.”
It is also recorded in Swahih Muslim, that it was narrated on the authority of Mu’adz ibn Jabal (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, “Mu’adz, do you know the right of Allah over His bondsmen?”
Mu’adz (r.a.) said, “Allah and His Apostle know best.”
He said, “That Allah Alone should be worshipped and nothing should be associated with Him.” He then asked, “What right have they upon Him in case they do it?”
Mu’adz (r.a.) again said, “Allah and His Apostle know best.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “That He would not punish them.”
It is recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, that Anas (r.a.) narrated, “I was informed that the Prophet (s.a.w.) had said to Mu’adz, ‘Whosoever will meet Allah without associating anything in worship with Him will go to Paradise.’
Mu’adz asked the Prophet (s.a.w.), ‘Should I not inform the people of this good news?’
The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, ‘No, I am afraid, lest they should depend upon it.’”
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Waqar Ali, regarding the hadits you quoted from Swahih Muslim, the Prophet (s.a.w.) was referring to the people who met him personally and had the opportunity to attest to his prophethood, but they rejected the Sign. It does not refer to people for all time. There is no hadits without a sharh. We have to consider, that the only thing we know about Islam is from Muslims. And Muslims are not good advertisements for the faith. Consider this thread, for example, and remember that we have a lot of non-Muslims in this group. Would they find a religion of love in some of the things that are written? I know I would not. If Muslims are unable to be that shining example of the Prophet (s.a.w.), and are indeed, the reason why people move away from Islam, could non-Muslims be blamed? Who would know our Prophet (s.a.w.) based on the current examples?
On the document above, I find it inadequate and I feel that those point have been adequately addressed in my previous posts. We must understand that there is more to our doctrine than blind legalism, and dry textual understanding.
Going back to kalam, Allah (s.w.t.) is ar-Rahman and a-Rahim. And we reference the hadits about Divine Love, where the Prophet (s.a.w.) mentioned about the woman and the baby after al-Fath al-Makkah. And he said, just as a mother would not put her child in the Fire, Allah (s.w.t.) Loves each one of us more than all that, more than all the love of Creation, and He Kept 99 parts of the Rahmah to Himself. We Know that the intercession of the Prophet (s.a.w.), his shafa’at is for all Creation. He is Mentioned in the Qur’an as Rahmatan li al-A'alamin. And we know that it will not be denied. And we know that Hell is not for punishment. Punishment is our perception. It is for purification. I believe my points have been stated clear enough. I leave it for the members to decide.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Here's a hadits which is even more interesting because it strongly implies how the real criterion are actually easier than a lot of people think. Allah (s.w.t.) is more Merciful than we can imagine but keep it on the down low and do not take Him for granted.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (r.a.), “We were sitting around the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.). Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were also there among the audience. In the meanwhile the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) got up and left us. He delayed in coming back to us, which caused anxiety that he might be attacked by some enemy when we were not with him; so being alarmed we got up. I was the first to be alarmed. I, therefore, went out to look for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and came to a garden belonging to the Banu an-Najjar, a section of the Answar. I went round it looking for a gate but failed to find one. Seeing a streamlet flowing into the garden from a well outside, drew myself together, like a fox, and slinked into where God’s Messenger (s.a.w.) was.
He asked, ‘Is it Abu Hurayrah?’
I replied, ‘Yes, Messenger of Allah.’
He asked, ‘What is the matter with you?’
I replied, ‘You were amongst us but got up and went away and delayed for a time, so fearing that you might be attacked by some enemy when we were not with you, we became alarmed. I was the first to be alarmed. So when I came to this garden, I drew myself together as a fox does, and these people are following me.’
He addressed me as Abu Hurayrah and gave me his sandals and said, ‘Take away these sandals of mine, and when you meet anyone outside this garden who testifies that there is no god but Allah, being assured of it in his heart, gladden him by announcing that he shall go to Paradise.’
Now the first one I met was ‘Umar. He asked, ‘What are these sandals, Abu Hurayrah?’
I replied, ‘These are the sandals of the Messenger of Allah with which he has sent me to gladden anyone I meet who testifies that there is no god but Allah, being assured of it in his heart, with the announcement that he would go to Paradise.’
Thereupon ‘Umar struck me on the breast and I fell on my back. He then said, ‘Go back, Abu Hurayrah. So I returned to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), and was about to break into tears. ‘Umar followed me closely and there he was behind me.
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) asked, ‘What is the matter with you, Abu Hurayrah?’
I said, ‘I happened to meet ‘Umar and conveyed to him the message with which you sent me. He struck me on my breast which made me fall down upon my back and ordered me to go back.’
Upon this the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) asked, ‘What prompted you to do this, ‘Umar?’
He said, ‘Messenger of Allah, my mother and father be sacrificed to thee, did you send Abu Hurayrah with your sandals to gladden anyone he met and who testified that there is no god but Allah, and being assured of it in his heart, with the tidings that he would go to Paradise?’
He said, ‘Yes.’
‘Umar said, ‘Please do it not, for I am afraid that people will trust in it alone; let them go on doing deeds.’
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, ‘Well, let them.’”
This is from Swahih Muslim.
Brother Waqar Ali: Brother Terence, did you watch the video? And the document is pure Qur’anic references. You can check the books of tafsir. I am using Tafsir al-Jalalayn as we speak. Some of what Shaykh Sa’id says include, “The Mercy of Allah Ta’ala is Infinite; and also, His Wrath is never ending.” Some heretics say that this is a contradiction. He also says, “Mercy of Allah is Infinite,” if they mean that it reaches disbelievers and polytheists as well - this is incorrect; and neither anything in Scripture nor by rational evidence, can it be deemed to be necessary because His Mercy is not the only thing Mentioned. Rather, His Wrath is also Mentioned and these are His Divine Actions, and He Does what He Pleases. Thus, ‘contradiction’ does not exist except in their own minds; and if Infinite Mercy was according to their understanding, then Allah Ta’ala would not punish the kuffar, and the sinners even for an instant, let alone lengthier periods.
That which is implicit in the argument above, is that the malahidah, atheists, claim that because of His Infinite Mercy, Allah Ta’ala will Forgive the kafirun too and bring them to Jannah, because if His Wrath were infinite too, then it would cause a contradiction; and since there ought not to be a contradiction, His Mercy Prevails and therefore the kuffar will be Forgiven. Shaykh Sa’id refutes this saying that if Infinite Mercy should be understood as your claim, then nobody should be punished even for an instant - why the punishment for a period before being Forgiven?
This video addresses Brother Terence’s points on the Ahl al-Kitab: Atonement Means the Cessation of Oppression.
And this is another one: The Advent of Heresy.
Here, the different types of kufr are explained: What is the Definition & Types of Kufr.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Brother Moied Ahmed, it is not just an issue of Heaven or Hell. Even if you go to Paradise, you still might go to the Fire for a billion years first.
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: The way I see it for Muslims as long as you submit yourself to God, help others and have a relationship with him, where you are after will take care of itself. I will not sweat on it. It is all about striving to do your Best; not being perfect but having the intention of getting better in the things I mentioned above. I have not worried about what comes later for Muslims or non-Muslims. I have a beautiful set of parents who will never be Muslim, much to do with where we are at in the world, but they are godly as two people can get and committed their life to helping others. No shaykh, link or scholar would or could tell me otherwise on how Allah feels about them and Allah’s Comfort in that matter is all I need.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I went through the document posted, Brother Waqar Ali. I have already stated I found it inadequate. We do not base our doctrine on lists of verses taken without context, and neglecting their relationship with other aspects of Revelation.
I took a look at the video. I do not know this scholar, but he does not know enough of Christian doctrine to address it. I was a Catholic theologian prior to my conversion to Islam. I have only met one Muslim scholar whom I would consider my equal in that subject. I am not impressed.
There are so many Muslims who play god deciding whom to condemn and whom to save, especially amongst the Christians and Jews. The fact it, they may barely know their religion, and they know virtually nothing about Christianity or Judaism. It is ignorance and arrogance. The need to make Jannah exclusive is a sign of an inadequate ‘aqidah. If, for example, you find non-Muslims in your Jannah, does that diminish your Islam? A conditional Islam is no Islam. It is pretension.
Brother Waqar Ali: Shaykh Sa’id al-Fawdah is one of the leading Ash’ari scholars of our time, and one of the most meticulous experts of our time on the creed of Shaykh ibn Tamiyyah (r.a.). However, one does not need to know the Christian doctrine to address the topic being discussed, neither do we need to know Taoist doctrine, Hindu doctrine or anything else.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I am quite aware of what the Ash’ari doctrine states. I have already mentioned its position above, Brother Waqar Ali. I also stated why I found it inadequate and said I disagreed with it. We must understand that these doctrines developed primarily to address the nature of the Divine Attributes. They were a response to the Mu'tazilah heresy. Neither the Ash’ari nor the Maturidi have the definitive answer. The Thahawi does not even speculate on this.
I believe that Salvation is not exclusive to the Muslims, and I have given my dala’il above. None of that has been refuted. And I believe, that I am not alone in this belief, not that this is a popularity contest, but we know God by our closeness to Him, not by text.
Brother Waqar Ali: It is all there, Brother Terence, I suggest you follow the shaykh’s refutation of Shaykh Adnan Ibrahim the heretic. He also expressed similar views to you. I suggest you also speak with Shaykh Gibril on the erroneous belief of shafa’at of the Prophet (s.a.w.) extending to the kuffar. I see no use in pursuing this any further, May Allah Guide as all to the truth.
Brother Adam Kishanov:
Those who believe (in the Qur'an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians, any who believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness, shall have their Reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Surah al-Baqarah:62)
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: That verse above led me led me to Islam in the first place. If The Prophet (s.a.w.) did not think Christianity or Judaism did not lead to a piece of the pie, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would have destroyed the churches and synagogues just like he did the pagan shrines. His promise to St. Catherine’s monastery, and his constitution of Madina are cases in point.
Brother Waqar Ali: That verse refers to early nations. Please refer to Tafsir al-Jalalayn.
Brother Adam Kishanov: It is amazing that sometimes you have to actually open the Qur’an and point to this verse to show Muslims what we believe in.
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: I have heard that interpretation of that verse mentioned and find that 90% of the scholars that I studied with concerning this passage believe it refers to ‘many’ or ‘some’, but not ‘before’. And this is the same of the many Qur’anic commentaries of that verse I have read concerning this verse.
Brother Colin Turner: Thank God that He is more Merciful than those who claim to worship Him.
Brother Adam Kishanov: I do not think it would make much sense if only referred to ‘before’. I do believe, however, it refers to true followers though, those who believe in unchanged versions of their prophets’ teachings.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I have read Shaykh Adnan Ibrahim and watched his videos extensively, and I actually agree with him on many things. And there is nothing in his view to make him a heretic, merely unorthodox. And I have met Gibril Haddad personally. We first met more than 12 years ago. He is also a convert. One half of his family is Catholic, and the other half is Orthodox. He stays in Brunei now, and visits Singapore on occasion. We were from the same thariqa’. We do not always agree amongst ourselves on these things. But we have not declared takfir amongst ourselves on the basis of these minor disagreements. That is a Wahhabi disease, and sad to say, a problem with Muslims from the Indian subcontinent.
Brother Waqar Ali: Are you serious? Adnan Ibrahim the same guy that says something along the lines of the following: “It is sufficient to acknowledge that Sayyiduna Muhammad (s.a.w.) is a prophet and remain on his religion [a Jew or a Christian]. It is not necessary for him to obey any command or deem Islamic law binding upon himself.” This is nonsense. He also believes that Allah Ta’ala will annihilate Hellfire. He probably got this from Shaykh ibn Tamiyyah (r.a.). It begs the question: Will Fir’awn be waiting outside of Heaven’s door with Guns ‘n Roses playing in the background?
Shaykh al-Fawdah said, “What? Is it some sort of political reciprocation that they did thus, so we, too, should match them? And he [Adnan Ibrahim] says, ‘It is necessary for us as well to say that Salvation is possible for non-Muslims despite their remaining as non-Muslims.’
In my life, I have not seen this kind of ijtihad, this kind of methodology. If a president or a minister [of government] or a journalist says such things, it can be understood. But you [Adnan Ibrahim] claim that you are a mujtahid in fundamentals of religion and that its necessary aspects, and speak like this? This is strange; very, very strange.’”
Anyway, Brother Terence, if you have command of the Arabic language, I invite you to Aslein Forums, where the noble shaykh and many others answer questions and conduct questions and answers.
Brother Moied Ahmed: Brother Terence makes more sense in light of reason and my conscience. Brother Waqar makes more sense in light of Scripture.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Brother Waqar Ali, considering I wrote exactly that, and I quoted the book and the atsar. Contrary to your belief, it is not from Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.); he merely reported it from an earlier source.
Regarding the verse above, it is not only for the umam before Revelation since the Qur'an is for all time. That means every verse is applicable should conditions apply.
Regarding Heaven and Hell, they are not eternal. Only Allah (s.w.t.) is. It is inconceivable that Creation is co-eternal with the Creator. Their time will come. And as much as you find it distasteful, yes, even Fir’awn will enter Heaven eventually, once his time in Hell is up. I am not sure about the Guns ‘n Roses soundtrack since I cannot find a dalil for that one.
Brother Waqar Ali: Brother Moied, you might be surprised by I totally understand why folk would come to the opposing position based on emotion, this is hard to swallow for some. A PDF has been uploaded of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) extremely rare and hard to find book they have been hiding, where he affirms an end for the Hellfire and in the first paragraph on page 83, he asserts that it would be a contradiction of Allah’s Wisdom and Mercy to leave the disbelievers in there forever - thus contradicting the Qur’an, the sunnah, the way of the Salaf, the Ijma’ of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah in an issue that is known about the religion by necessity - meaning everyone down to little Muslim children know it, much less the scholars of Islam. Yet one of his and his followers’ favourite lies about the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is that our theologians ‘put their intellects before revelation’. Astaghfirullah! Now what is he doing?
If you do not believe me, please print page 83 and ask your teacher to translate the first few lines for you: ar-Radd 'ala man Qala bi Fana' al-Jannah wa an-Naar. This just got uploaded a few days ago after years of talk on the manuscript.
Brother Moied Ahmed: Not really. Reason dictates that an eternal punishment for a finite crime is infinitely unjust. To believe what you do, Brother Waqar, I need to turn off my brain.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I respect your shaykh’s position, but I disagree with him. In the worst case, we leave it to God to Decide between us. May He Grant us all the Divine Presence.
Brother Waqar Ali: Brother Moeid, actually ‘aql and naql come to the opposite conclusion.
Brother Moied Ahmed: Brother Waqar, how do you access the naql without using your ‘aql?
Brother Waqar Ali: How about the devil himself, Brother Terence?
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: The following is a relevant article: Get the (Eternal) Hell Out of Islam.
Brother Waqar Ali: Hell and Paradise will never perish; this is dururiyyat.
Brother Billy Johnston: There are many non-Muslims who probably come closer to the true spirit of Islam than even some who proclaim themselves Muslim. I suspect that when it comes to Jannah, our deeds and hearts will matter more than the human labels we give ourselves.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Perhaps it would be better to have a separate thread on the role of the Devil in Islam.
Brother Colin Turner: Hell may never perish, but punishment may come to an end.
Brother Waqar Ali: I read Imam as-Subki’s (r.a.) treatise that explicitly says there is ijma’ that disbelievers will be punished forever, and therefore it is kufr to believe otherwise. Imam Siraj ad-Din (r.a.) also mentions this in his Bad’ al-Amali.
Brother Colin Turner: There is no consensus as to the precise definition of consensus.
Brother Waqar Ali: That, I agree on.
Brother Colin Turner: Then we cannot use it in arguments, brother. Also, it is primarily a juristic term and thus has no locus in the context of speculative theology. Wa Allahu ‘alam.
Brother Waqar Ali: It is not speculative but dururiyyat; refer to any basic credal work.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: It is always speculative because the Day of Judgment has not come so no one knows for sure. They are all learned opinions, but opinions nonetheless. None of them can definitively prove the other wrong. There are equally valid arguments on the Maturidi, Shaykh ibn al-‘Arabi (q.s.), and Imam ‘Ali ibn ‘Utsman al-Hujwiri (q.s.) and so forth. They are all great scholars.
Brother Waqar Ali: And many ‘ulama have talked about the works of the esoteric and how folk abuse them, so let us not use Sufi books for matters of creed.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Every single one of these ‘ulama are Sufis. Their positions are equally valid. We cannot take one side and leave out the other side simply because one has an inadequate understanding of it, or dislike it. These are books of kalam and ‘aqidah as well.
Brother Colin Turner: Matters of creed cannot be believed in imitatively. Sufis and other mystics have helped us to understand credal issues through their own investigative approaches. To say that we should not use Sufi books for matters of creed is like saying that we should not use books of exegesis to help us understand the Qur’an.
Brother Billy Johnston: Many classical scholars would probably frown at a lot of us on Facebook today, as some of us take too absolute opinions in subjective matters more suited to be debated amongst scholars rather than by the general public. Unfortunately such absoluteness on such speculative and narrow themes has resulted in unnecessary harm and greater fragmentation of the Muslim community over topics we should not obsess about. If we are to discuss such issues, we should with the proper mind and maturity.
Brother Colin Turner: Most of the exoteric ‘ulama who refute and denigrate the esoteric scholars do so almost always because they do not understand them.
Brother Jon Beatty: The only thing Imam an-Nasafi (r.a.) and Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) say in terms of Hellfire is that it is certain it exists, not that it is permanent.
Brother Waqar Ali: Brother Jon Beatty, please refer to point 106 in Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s translation of ‘Aqidat ath-Thahawiyyah. Point 89 also.
Brother Jon Beatty: Do you mean this point, Brother Waqar: “Those of the ummah of Muhammad (s.a.w.) who have committed grave sins will be in the Fire, but not forever, provided they die and meet Allah as believers affirming His Unity even if they have not repented. They are subject to His Will and Judgement. If He wants, He will Forgive them and Pardon them out of His Generosity, as is Mentioned in the Qur’an when He Says:
… but He Forgiveth whom He Pleaseth other sins than this [shirk]... (Surah an-Nisa’:116)
And if He Wants, He will Punish them in the Fire out of His Justice and then Bring them out of the Fire through His Mercy, and for the intercession of those who were obedient to Him, and Send them to the Garden. This is because Allah is the Protector of those who recognise Him and will not treat them in the Next World in the same way as He Treats those who deny Him and who are bereft of His Guidance and have failed to obtain His Protection. O Allah, You are the Protector of Islam and its people; Make us firm in Islam until the day we meet You.”
Brother Waqar Ali: Nope.
Brother Jon Beatty: That is an excerpt from ‘Aqidah ath-Thahawiyyah, brother, ‘Aqa’id an-Nasafi does agree with you to an extent though.
Brother Waqar Ali: It says here, “Paradise and the Fire are both Created. However, they neither perish nor terminate.” And, “People of mortal sins amongst the community of Muhammad (s.a.w.) will not bide in the Fire forever, as long as they died monotheists. This includes even the unrepentant that, nonetheless, met God as knowing believers. They are in His Judgement and Decree. If He Pleases, He Pardons them by Hi Grace, as He Mentioned in His Book:
Allah Forgiveth not that partners should be set up with him; but He Forgiveth anything, else to whom He Pleaseth... (Surah an-Nisa’:48)”
Brother Jon Beatty: Brother, you do realise you posted the same thing I did and you refuted yourself right?
Brother Waqar Ali: It is not the same thing. Imam an-Nasafi (r.a.) wrote, “Paradise and the Fire are true, and both have been Created and already exist. They are permanent, and will not perish nor will their inhabitants perish.”
Brother Jon Beatty: Yes, that is why I said Imam an-Nasafi (r.a.) agrees with you but Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) does not. I think we are having some kind of miscommunication.
Brother Waqar Ali: I just posted that Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) explicitly said that Hellfire and Paradise are Created, and neither will perish.
Brother Jon Beatty: I did not deny that brother, but what was denied is the idea that people cannot and will not be Pulled out of Hellfire based on Rahmah.
Brother Waqar Ali: Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) asserts that the polytheists will never escape the fire. Now you were wrong. Your original premise was that the only thing an-Nasafi (r.a.) and Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) say in terms of Hellfire is that it is certain it exists, not that it is permanent. Let us not move the goal posts.
Brother Jon Beatty: Who was discussing polytheists? I was discussing permanent in terms of inhabitants.
Brother Waqar Ali: You are moving the goal posts again. Your original premise was, “The only thing an-Nasafi (r.a.) and Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) say in terms of Hellfire is that it is certain it exists, not that its permanent.”
Brother Jon Beatty: Now please do not get an attitude. I am being very cordial when you have clearly illustrated a lack of understanding in certain areas. Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.) states that the places are Created and permanent, not the inhabitants. Go reread it please.
Brother Waqar Ali: If you were referring to inhabitants, why did you not make that clear? You are just moving the goal posts as you were wrong on your original premise.
Brother Jon Beatty: No, brother, I am not, and accusing me of such is a bit ridiculous.
Brother David W Roesler: I believe all faiths, even ancient pagan faiths, contain Divine truths. The rise of our distant ancestors from primitive hunter gatherers to masters of agriculture, architecture, mathematics and poetry attest to Divine Inspiration. Whenever man asks the question, ‘Who made me? What is my purpose?” God Answers us in our dreams and fantasies the better to know Him and ourselves.
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: I am sure glad, Brother Waqar, that Allah (s.w.t.) Revealed this to me:
Those who believe (in the Qur'an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians, any who believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness, shall have their Reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Surah al-Baqarah:62)
This led to my interest in reading the Qur’an and interest in Islam and becoming a Muslim. If I had listened to certain opinions of what some scholar, I would lf been turned off right at the beginning. Are you trying to get the last word and nobody can have a different opinion then yours? I just find it fascinating that some people think they have the keys to the Kingdom of Paradise based on a few scholars and your love affair for them. I think we all need to pray to God and ask Him, if according to Brother Waqar Ali, we are all walking in God’s Will or not. My prayer for tonight, “O Allah, what does Brother Waqar Ali have for my life, and what does he think about this?”
I also find it fascinating when a Muslim throws the word ‘kafir’ out like it has been used a few times on this thread. And thrown out there with glee at that. And we know who I am referring to, Brother Waqar Ali. Sorry to get off on the subject, but this has to be said that people who do not know what the word ‘kafir’ means are either ignorant or bigoted. A kafir is not simply a non-muslim. A kafir is one that covers up the truth. In classical Arabic, that is what a kafir is. If someone does not know the truth, then how can they cover it up? Being simply not a Muslim does not make one a kafir. What would make one a kafir is they learn about Islam recognise it is the truth and, in insolence, turn away from Islam.
Brother Waqar Ali: I have not called anyone here a kafir, yet alluding to a position being kufr does not entail takfir on an individual. Even Ahl al-Kitab are kafirun.
Sister Annee See: “Even Ahl al-Kitab are kafirun”? Brother Waqar Ali, if I am not mistaken, the Ahl al-Kitab are not kafirun according to the Qur’an. There are many verses in the Qur’an that put the People of the Book in a high status hence that is why we can eat the meat they slaughter and marry a Christian or a Jew. There is a huge difference between the kafirun and the Ahl al-Kitab.
Brother Waqar Ali: Rawdhat ath-Thalibin of Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) covers this: “And the one who does not declare kafir the ones who profess a diyn (religion) other than Islam, such as the Christians, or doubts in the takfir (declaring kafir) of such people, or authenticates [or praises] their religion, he is a kafir even if he displays Islam alongside this [filthy belief] or [claims and shows he] believes in it; and likewise takfir certainly applies on everyone who says things that imply towards stating that the entire ummah is misguided or [a person doing] takfir (declaring kafirun) of the swahabah. And likewise [takfir is declared on] the one who does a deed that the Muslims are united on the fact that it cannot be committed except by a kafir, even if the perpetrator claims Islam by his [other] deeds, such as prostrating to the cross or fire, or walking to churches with their congregations in their specific attire like their zunnar (sashes or ropes tied around their waist as part of their uniform).”
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: Brother Waqar, I truly consider it a Blessing that your Islam is not my Islam. Why did Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) allow Jews and Christians to worship freely in his land? And in your own words, not what someone told you to say or something you have to look up to see if it is okay to say. I pray that Allah (s.w.t.) Give him empathy and tolerance. And perhaps he can read about how the Prophet (s.a.w.) treated Jews and Christians in their worship versus on how he treated the idols that were in Makkah when he had taken over.
Brother Waqar Ali: Pick up any fiqh manual and you will see what ahl adz-dzimmah are referred to.
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: I will continue to study, read the Qur’an and pray. Allah (s.w.t.) has Answered all the questions I have asked and, sometimes, even before I ask. It has served me well. Thanks but no thanks anyway, brother. I wish you well. I am glad Allah (s.w.t.) has Showed my some of the mysteries of the Qur’an without having a scholar tell me what I am supposed to think. When I have questions, I go to Allah (s.w.t.). I research it myself. I see various opinions and weigh the evidence and ask Allah (s.w.t.) for Guidance. I have a scholar who I ask when I am stumped and he is on here and there is a few others who I would respect to ask them and I think we know who they are. Still, even he would agree that when we ask Allah (s.w.t.) to Guide us, He will Guide us. There are scholars on every side of every issue. I do not put my faith in much of them. I am sorry if that offends anyone. I just believe 100% that Allah (s.w.t.) can Guide you alone on many issues. The issues concerning the nature of this thread, I have 100% confidence in what Allah (s.w.t.) has Guided me. Anyways, Blessing for this site and Blessings to all on here.
Brother James Harris: Brother Waqar, your translation says, “...he is a kafir even if he displays Islam alongside this [filthy belief]…” Nice sentiments, Brother Waqar Ali. I cannot seem to find in the Qur’an or ahadits, or any other early source where Christianity and Judaism are described as ‘filthy beliefs’. Can you help us out with this one?
Brother Jon Beatty: I have never heard of Jews or Christians being referred to in any ijma’ or any other source as kuffar. He posted the name of a text.
Brother James Harris: He posted a translated text which has been defaced with takfiri insults in brackets.
Brother Jon Beatty: In any book I have read on ‘aqidah or fiqh, they have always been referred to as Ahl al-Kitab, not kafirun. I think the different categories of believers or disbelief need to be understood before we take a text at face value. But maybe there is something in the Arabic text that is not conveyed and since I do not know Arabic, that is something I will have to wait for. Even Shaykh ibn Tamiyyah (r.a.) addressed the Christians of Cyprus with more respect when they attacked Islam. I do not know where this view comes from.
Brother James Harris: I have some idea of where it comes from, but I do not accept it. The only place we can find this sentiment is in Wahhabi translations of the Qur’an, which add information not contained in the Arabic to make the message hostile to Christians and Jews. Consider as an example their translation of al-Baqarah, verse 62: “Believers, Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right - shall be Rewarded by their Lord.” The Saudi English edition contains with this verse in parenthesis: “No other religion except Islam will be accepted from anyone.” This is not in the Arabic.
Brother Muslim Mike: When that is done, it changes the meaning and message of the verse.
Terence Helikaon Nunis: I thought the issue had been resolved earlier in the thread? So in summary, this is not an issue of jurisprudence, fiqh. One cannot legislate who go to Heaven or Hell, and their status therein. Secondly, on the issue of kalam, creed, all this is speculative, and we are working on our understanding of God. When we consider the position of the Ahl al-Kitab, I wrote this article to explain it: A Muslim Convert Once More: The Ahl al-Kitab.
This should be a good lesson to all of us what happens when we find our religion only by the reproduction of texts without understanding. It is not what is written in the book, but what is in the heart. In the early days of Islam, the exoteric scholars were trying to explain the position of the religion with regards non-Muslims. Their textual understanding led many of them to conclude that there was no share in Salvation for the non-Muslims. It as a legal necessity, they believed, to protect the position of the community, and combat heresy.
The esoteric scholars, the possessors of the two horns of knowledge, differed. They saw God as more than just a tribal deity, and understood His Rahmah to be Greater than our comprehension. And they sought to avoid projecting the inadequacies of humanity on their conception of God. This was the refinement of tawhid. That is why, much earlier in the thread, I quoted the gnostics, the ‘arifin. One who knows God by texts is nothing compared to one who knows God by experience. Especially considering the converts here, I understand the distress of considering one's loved ones damned by lottery of religion. We have left that behind. Rather, it is important to understand that each of us, if we die as believers, has the opportunity to intercede for our family. So be the best of Muslims.
For those who think otherwise and limit their God to only a portion of humanity, let God Address them for it. Our coming to Islam is not because we were better, or saw something or were fortunate. It is a hadits, that the cousin of Khadijah (r.a.), Hakim ibn Hizam (r.a.) approached the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said that he used to rescue orphaned baby girls and prevent female infanticide, that he would raise these children as his own daughters and marry them off. He asked, “Will Allah Reward me for the good deeds I performed before Islam?”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “It is because of that, Allah Made you Muslim.” The full story is here: A Muslim Convert Once More: No Arrogance in Faith.
So if you are a convert, then know that your Islam is a Gift, not just to yourselves, but to your family and friends. You were Chosen. We have threads like this to explain the position of the knowers of God and expose the members to the different levels of understanding, that they may be Guided.
Brother David W Roesler: While I consider the Gospels and the Qur’an Divinely Inspired texts, I do not place absolute faith in them. I consider any written text to be somewhat corrupted by man either intentionally or unintentionally. Even if every word was absolutely true, you cannot contain Gods entirety in any one book or set of books or the greatest library on earth.
When reading any scripture, it is important that you first be aware of the text within us all. The unalterable text that allows one to discern the Divine from the mundane. Only those who have travelled upon the way are able to access this text. For the uninitiated, when reading scripture, just ask yourself if God would want us to hurt each other or hate each other. It is a very simple test for the most outrageous alterations of sacred text. God is Good and His Teachings are about love, not hate; brotherhood, not dissension and persecution. It does not take much travel upon the way to that simple fact.
Brother Louis Llewellyn Shann IV: Excellent post, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, and the blog, A Muslim Convert Once More. I read this while back and forgot to save it, and it slipped from my memory. It is a good historical analysis. So many people in this world just not aware of all the history of these diverse groups especially the ones nearing extinction. I do recall Mithras being popular in the Roman army in the 3rd and 4th centuries. This world is so full of colours and who paints better colours then al-Muhaymin. Great statement before the thread as well: Islam is a Gift, not a lottery ticket.
Brother Syed Zuhaib Quadri: Subhanallah, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis. Superbly articulated.
Brother Waqar Ali: Please refer to this:
The same text in Arabic, and the commentary of the other text is added to Surah al-Baqarah, as Surah Ali ‘Imran tells us Allah (s.w.t.) will accept no other religion except Islam.
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah) never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost. (all spiritual good). (Surah Ali ‘Imran:85)
I suggest you pick up any comprehensive fiqh manual such as Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar, Bahr ash-Shari’at or anything else.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I am familiar with this exegesis. What is not mentioned clearly in this section, is that it pertains to those who had encountered Revelation such that there is no doubt, laa rayba fih. The Quraysh, the Christians of Najran and those like them would be the ones Addressed here. A random non-Muslim in an age of fitan such that the Muslims themselves are not exemplars of the Diyn would not be liable thus since no soul is given a burden greater than it can bear, laa yukhalifu nafsan illa wus’aha.
Brother Waqar Ali: Brother Terence, this is in reference to Ahl al-Kitab being kafirun; it has nothing to do with Salvation. I am questioning whether you know Arabic at a decent level as what you just said is totally unrelated to the extract I posted.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: It is most certainly related to all your points. And that has been my contention all along: they are not automatically kafirun. The average Muslim, even many of the scholars, do not know enough of Christian doctrine to state thus. The Qur’an Addressed the doctrine of the Trinity, and yet still Named them as Ahl al-Kitab. The Shafi'i position disagrees, for example, stating that it applied only to those before the Muslims, and I consider that in error. Our scholars are not perfect. They make mistakes and their positions can be outdated.
Brother James Harris: That was the position of all four Sunni madzahib a’immah, brother, not just the Shafi’i, as far as I am aware.
Brother Waqar Ali: There is consensus on the disbelief of the one who does not state disbeliever anyone from the Christians or Jews and all those who are aloof from the religion of Muslims, or refrains from doing takfir of them or doubts their being kafir. Qadhi Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (r.a.) said it is because explicit primary texts and the consensus of the ummah are unanimous on their kufr. Therefore, he who refrains from calling them kafir, is denying the explicit primary texts and consensus, or doubting them. And such denial and doubt can only be expressed by a kafir. This is in ash-Shifa’ of Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.).
Sister Nimah Nawwab: We all refer to the Ahl al-Kitab and there are numerous references to them including a verse on how some of al Ahl al-Kitab are moved to tears by verses of the Qur’an. At the end of it all, who are we say who enters Heaven? That lies in His Hands and by The One's Mercy, Infinite Mercy and Decree.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Muslims believe that the Qur’an is for all time. It is without error and irrefutable for those who have taqwa. Allah (s.w.t.) has Stated the characteristics of the mu’minin, and it is for all time. Allah (s.w.t.) has Stated the characteristics of the mushrikin, and it is for all time. This if these are the characteristics of the Ahl al-Kitab, they are for all time. The Qur’an is not just for Muslims but for all mankind. It is thus addressing the Ahl al-Kitab now as well.
There have been some asatidzah who have said that the Christians in the Qur’an are not the same as the Christians now. Christianity as we know it was already settled in its doctrines, liturgy and the composition of the Bible by the time of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). The last of the Ecumenical Councils addressing the major points of Christian creed, were over by the middle of the 3rd Century CE. There is little doctrinal difference between Christianity then and Christianity now. By the advent of the last Prophet (s.a.w.), two of the three Christian denominations, Catholicism and the Orthodoxy, had already been in existence for more than half a millennium. The Protestant movements would only appear after the Reformation. This is from my blog post: A Muslim Convert Once More: Are the Jews & Christians Ahl al-Kitab?
Based on this, I reject the idea that the Christians and the Jews are automatically kafirun. And it is erroneous to believe that such a positon is an ijma’ when it is not. It is an inadequate position of people who do not know the doctrines of the Ahl al-Kitab. It cannot be that the Qur’an Calls them the nearest in belief, and some Muslims consider them kafirun.
Going back to the Arabic, a kafir is someone who knows the truth and then covers it, denying its veracity. A non-Muslim need not necessarily be a kafir. We must also consider the circumstances of rulings. At one time, it was said by the Maliki madzhab that any marriage with the Ahl al-Kitab is haram. But this as in a period of the Reconquistador. We cannot take a ruling meant for a specific time and place and make it a general ruling. That is the problem here, Brother Waqar Ali. You are reproducing texts and dropping names, but you are unable to reconcile them with what the Qur’an States and the current zaman.
I believe that there should be a re-evaluation of the fiqh. We are not living in the 7th century Arabia, and the issues of the Muslims then are not necessarily our issues. What we should take is the methodology, and not necessarily the rulings. And I must state, Brother James Harris, that actually, only the Shafi’i madzhab seems to have the explicit ruling that the Christians and Jews now are not Ahl al-Kitab unless they can trace their silsilah to before the Prophet (s.a.w.). Whilst there is some wara’ in this, it runs contrary to the spirit of the Qur'an, which is to err on the side of Rahmah.
There are those of the Hanafi, the Maliki and the Hanbali madzahib that hold a similar view. But we must remember that the Maliki position was shaped during the Reconquistador and the others were shaped by the Crusades. There is an evolution of the position. Simply reproducing fatawa does us all a disservice since it ignores the geopolitical realities that shaped these positions. This is akin taking ahadits without the sharh. And to use it as a means to make takfir on those who disagree is a Wahhabi disease. This is not a major point of ‘aqidah such that to believe otherwise either side of the coin puts one outside the fold of Islam. It is the surest sign of impiety and ignorance.
The following article I recently wrote proves that unless the position of ‘aqidah was so untenable that it ascribed an inadequacy to the Divine Status, or disparaged the prophethood of Rasulullah (s.a.w.), our ‘ulama refrained from takfir of even the Khwarij, the Qadariyyah, the Mu’tazilah and even the Rafidha sect, the most extreme group of the Shi’a and still considered them Muslims. To then declare takfir, implicit or explicit, upon other Muslims for a minor difference of opinion is untenable. The details are in this blog post: A Muslim Convert Once More: On the Takfir of the Wahhabi Sect.