What is Islam ?

The Call for the Unity of Religions

The Call for the Unity of Religions 1

Kaffir – “One who rejects”, specifically rejects belief in Allah, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, in Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments, good or bad), etc.; a Non-muslim. Plural is kuffaar. Not a derogatory term or slur. Describes a condition or state of being.

Kufr – State of disbelief in any of the articles of Islamic Faith and they are: to believe in Allah (God), His angels, His messengers, His revealed Books, the Day of Resurrection, and Al-Qadar (i.e. Divine Preordainments whatever Allah has ordained must come to pass).. A muslim can be in kufr and still be a muslim. Certain acts of kufr nullify one’s Islam. All non-muslims are in kufr.

Mushrikeen – Polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in tawheed.

Shirk – Polytheism; To associate a partner in worship with Allah, swt

Tawheed -Islamic Monotheism. .

The Call for the Unity of Religions
is a False and Dangerous Call

The Noble Quran 3:67
{Ibrâhim (Abraham) was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (Islâmic Monotheism – to worship none but Allâh Alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikûn}.

Hadith – Saheeh Muslim, vol. 1, no. 284
«By Him (Allah) in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, there is none from amongst the Jews and the Christians (of these present nations) who hears about me and then dies without believing in the Message with which I have been sent (i.e. tawheed), but he will be from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire».

The Noble Quran 4:89
{They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Auliyâ’ (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allâh (to Muhammad SAW). But if they turn back (from Islâm), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliyâ’ (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them}.

Narration – Ibn Taymeeyah in Al-Jawaabus-Saheeh Liman Baddala Deenal-Maseeh (The Correct Response for those who Altered the Religion of ‘Eessa) [Riyaadh, KSA: Daarul ‘Aasimah, 1414/1993] vol. 2, pp. 212-213.
“As to whether Jews and Christians of our times are from the People of the Book or not, one first should understand what the term “People of the Book” means. It means that original Books were revealed to their prophets, Musa and ‘Eessa, respectively. When they held to the beliefs of ‘Eessa and Musa, they were not kuffaar. However, when they continued to believe in the altered and abrogated forms of these Books and commit shirk, they because kuffaar, even though they are still referred to as “People of the Book”. Allah knew they would alter the Books and warned them against that. He, saaws, still refers to themin the Qur’an as “People of The Book,” and clearly states that they have committed kufr and deviated from the path of tawheed which their prophets called them to adhere to.”

The Noble Qur’an 3:85
{And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers}.

The People of The Book, who later accept the revelation of The Qur’an as the final revelation and believe in Islamic monotheism (tawheed), are promised a double reward.

Hadith – Bukhari and Muslim, vol. 4, no. 255, p. 158.
It has been confirmed that the Prophet said: «Three persons will get their reward twice [i.e. a double reward]. [One is] a person who has a slave girl and he educates her properly and teacher her good manners properly [without violence] and then manumits and marries her. Such a person will get a double reward. [Another is] a believer from the People of the Scriptures who has been a true believer [in his Prophet ], and then he believes in the Prophet [Muhammad]. Such a person will receive a double reward. [The third is] a slave man who observes Allah’s rights and is sincere to his master [and observes the rights of his master]».

The Noble Qur’an 5:82
{Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikûn (see V.2:105), and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud}.

Are Christians our Brothers?
The misguided believe that because Christians believe in God, that they are believers and hence the brothers of Muslims. Yes, they are believers… in something… but not in Islamic Monotheism. When the Qur’an refers to the believers, it means believers in tawheed (Islamic monotheism), specifically the belief in “La ilaha ilAllah, Muhammad ar-Rasool-Allah”.

To be a muslim, one must testify “La ilaha ilAllah, Muhammad ar-Rasool-Allah”. While Christians claim to believe in one God alone, at the same time, they also worship Jesus as God’s god-like child. Doing so nullifies an individual’s confession of “La ilaha ilAllah, Muhammad ar-Rasool-Allah”. The act of worship in both its major and minor forms, should be reserved for Allah, swt, alone.

If a Muslim abandons his salah, he nullifies his Islam and becomes a kaffir (disbeliever). Surely the non-Muslims, who obviously don’t even make salah, are already kuffaar (disbelievers, plural of kaffir).

Please note that abandonment is not necessarily the same as neglecting a single salah. For example, if a husband walks outside his house, he has not necessarily abandoned his family; he may have just been going to the store and has intentions of returning. A Muslim who neglects to do salah is in kufr (the state of disbelief) until returning to salah, and neglecting it to the point of abandonment makes him a kaffir. Allahu Alim as to when the sin changes from that of neglect to complete abandonment. Keep in mind: you do not want to die in a state of kufr, so fear Allah, swt, and be faithful in your salah.

Hadith – Related by Ahmad, Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, anNasa’i and Ibn Majah
Buraidah reported that the Prophet said: «The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever».

The Noble Qur’an 5:17
{Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allâh is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary). Say (O Muhammad): “Who then has the least power against Allâh, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?” And to Allâh belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allâh is Able to do all things}.

The Noble Qur’an 5:73
{Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no ilâh (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them}.

They remain as people of the Book since a Book was revealed to their respective Prophets. Whoever says he is a believer in their Books, even in their altered forms, is from the People of the Book. Any Christian or Jew who dissociates himself from his respective Book and denies it, cannot be considered as being from the People of the Book.

On the other hand, Allah, the All-Wise and All-Just, legislated certain guidelines that define certain relationships between the Muslims and the People of the Book. Amongst such relations, is marriage to the ‘afeefah (chaste) women of them, eating their lawfully slaughtered meat, etc. Such distinctions do not make them true believers in Allah.

Shaykh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymeeyah commented on the following aayaat (verse, proof from the Qur’an):

The Noble Qur’an 98:1
{Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikûn, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence}.

The Noble Qur’an 3:20
{So if they dispute with you (Muhammad ) say: “I have submitted myself to Allâh (in Islâm), and (so have) those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and to those who are illiterates (Arab pagans): “Do you (also) submit yourselves (to Allâh in Islâm)?” If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message; and Allâh is All-Seer of (His) slaves}.

He said: “And other aayaat like those above address those who exist [i.e.from the Jews, Christians, and mushrikeen]. The Scripture that is referred to is the Book in their hands in which alterations and abrogations were carried out, and does not refer to those who held to the Scriptures before they were altered and abrogated, because they were not kuffaar then. Also, they were not [the ones being addressed] by the Qur’aan as “you People of the Book,” because they died before the Qur’aan was revealed. So, all those who believe in the existing Books [altered and abrogated], are from the “People of the Book,” and they are kuffaar because they hold to altered and abrogated Books, and they are, like all other kuffaar, in Hell forever, although Allah, the Exalted, commanded that they pay jizyah* and made it permissible to eat their food and marry their women.” (Quoted in Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa, vol. 35, pp. 227-228).

*Jizyah is a head-tax imposed by Islam on the People of the Book and other people who have a revealed book when they live under Muslim rule, wherein they and their properties and wealth are protected.

Are Jews our brothers?
Hadith – Sahih Muslim
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: «By the One in whose hand my soul is, no Jew or Christian of this community hears about me – that is from the community of people from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) until the Day of Judgement – and then does not follow me – or he said does not believe in what I brought – except that he is from the inhabitants of the Hell-fire».

The Noble Qur’an – Al-Baqarah 2:75
{Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allâh [the Taurât (Torah)], then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it?}

Who are the Disbelievers?
Anyone who disbelieves in the complete truthfulness of The Qur’an or even one single ayat (verse) from the Qur’an, is a disbeliever and is not a brother or sister to the muslims.

Often as Muslims, we do not fully understand verses, but that is not the same as disbelief. If, however, we deny the truth of what is plain, or claim disbelief or corruption in any ayat of the Qur’an, we are calling the Words of Allah, swt, a lie and are in disbelief, thereby nullifying our Islam, i.e. becoming disbelievers.

The Noble Qur’an Al-Maa’idah 5:86
{But those who disbelieved and belied Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they shall be the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire}.

The Noble Qur’an Al-‘Imraan 3:85
{And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers}.

In addition, Ibn Taimiyah said: “[The following is] a disbeliever: Whoever believes that churches are the houses of Allaah in which He is worshipped or who thinks that what the Jews and Christians do are valid acts of worship of Allaah and obedience to Him and His Messenger, or loves or approves of what they do, or aids them in having such places and establishing their religion, and he does so thinking that is a way of getting closer to Allaah or worshipping Allaah”, He also stated: “If someone believes that visiting the Jews and the Christians in their places of worship is an act that brings him closer to Allaah, then he is an apostate”.

Sect or Denomination?
The call to unity of religions is made by two types of people:
1. Those who are muslims and have formed a sect:
Those Muslims whose intentions are to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet saaws and the salaf, know better than to divide themselves into a sect (a dissenting or schismatic religious body; especially one regarded as extreme or heretical).

“And this Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects all of which except one will go to Hell and they (i.e. the« Saved Sect) are those who are upon what I and My Companions are upon (i.e. those who follow My Way and the Way of my Companions.)». [Reported by at-Tirmidhee – Hasan]

Verily those before you from among the People of the Book split into seventy-two sects and verily this« religion . . .», and in another narration: «. . . this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects: seventy-two will be in the Fire and one in Paradise and that is the Jamaa’ah». [Reported by Abu Daawood – Sahih].

The Noble Qur’an 6:159
{Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad SAW) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allâh, Who then will tell them what they used to do}.

2. Certain denominations of Non-muslims
Of these non-muslims, there are:

A. Certain christian groups and other religions

The Noble Qur’an 2:120 – {Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him) till you follow their religion}….

The Noble Qur’an 68:9- {They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you}

B. People who call themselves Muslims but associate partners with Allah, swt. These people are kaffirs because they nullify their professment of “Laa ilaha ilAllah” through major shirk.

Anyone who has a fundamental belief that a man named Elijah Muhammad came as a Messenger after Prophet Muhammad, saaws, is not a Muslim. Neither is anyone who believes that a man named Mohammed Fard was God. People who hold such beliefs do not have a minhaj (methodology) for making determinations in faith that is based on Qur’an and Sunnah.

What type of dialogue SHOULD we be having with non-Muslims?
We are ordered to call non-Muslims to the way of Allah, and this is in the best of their interest and thus da’wah (calling) to Allah is the best advice given to them. One of the great ways of da’wah is to deal with them justly and to call them to Allah in the best way, which is based upon good knowledge.

The Noble Qur’an 29:46
{And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islâmic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong, and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our Ilâh (God) and your Ilâh (God) is One (i.e. Allâh), and to Him we have submitted (as Muslims)}

The above ayat calls the believers to argue with the People of the Book in a way that is better, i.e. inviting them to Allah with His aayaat (verses, proofs, evidences, etc.), using the clearest indicative words which proves the objective and to avoid being harsh save with such of them as do wrong. (See Tafseer ibn Jareer At-Tabaree for this aayah as well ibnul Qayyim’s Madaarijus-Saalikeen (Beirut, Lebanon: Daarul-Fkir, checked by Muhammad Haamid Al-Fiqee, n.d.] vol. 1, pp. 445-446. ]

It is not a call for interfaith dialogue. It is a call for a common word between them and us. This word has been defined by Allah, most High, in the following Aayah:
The Noble Qur’an 3:64
{Say (O Muhammad ): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allâh, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims}.

Muslims are not to compromise the basics of his/her deen. It also does not mean that Muslims should indulge with the kuffaar in any aimless dialogue such as: “Tell us how you pray and we will tell you how we pray,” as done by some people who engage in such dialogue. The real issue is: Who deserves to be worshipped Alone?

They worship idols, images, men, etc. We worship the true God of all creation. So we call them with the right knowledge to abandon shirk and to submit to Allaah in tawheed. The best manhaj (methodology) of da’wah is that exemplified by the Prophet when he sent Mu’aath ibn Jabal r.a. to the “People of the Book” in Yemen. The first thing he commanded him to do is to call them to tawheed and belief in Muhammad as His Messenger. Then he told him: «If they obey you to do so, then inform them that Allah has enjoined upon them five salawaat [prayers] in every day and night [in twenty-four hours], and if they obey you and do so, then inform them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay sadawa [zakaat] from their properties and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to poor among them». [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, vol. 2, no. 478. Also reported by Muslim].

The efforts to gain the friendship of the Jews and Christians are useless, as they will never be pleased with the Muslims until the Muslims follow their religion.

The Noble Qur’an 2:120
{Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’ân), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper}.