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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > What Muslims really believe about interfaith : " The Call for the Unity of Religions is a False and Dangerous Call "

What Muslims really believe about interfaith : " The Call for the Unity of Religions is a False and Dangerous Call "

"Anyone who disbelieves in the complete truthfulness of... the Qur'an, is a disbeliever and is not a brother or sister to the muslims".
May 23, 2005

Definitions:
Deen - Way of Life
Kaffir - Disbeliever 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.
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.

"...We hear nowadays a strange call by organized groups involving some Christians , Jews , and "Muslim" intellectuals calling for wahdatul adyaan . They claim that these three religions stand for the same belief that there is One God and should unite in their call for the implementation of great moral values..."

"...In the name of defending Islaam against political and media distortions in the West, some organizations are compromising the basics of the Islaamic creed through what is called "Bridging the Faiths..."[1]

See complete essay below : http://www.al-sunnah.com/unity_of_religions.htm

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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-Mushrikűn.

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 Peace and Blessings be upon him 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 Peace and Blessings be upon him], and then he believes in the Prophet [Muhammad Peace and Blessings be upon him]. 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-Mushrikűn (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 Peace and Blessings be upon him 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 Peace and Blessings be upon him): "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-Mushrikűn, 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 Peace and Blessings be upon him) 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 Peace and Blessings be upon him): "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 Peace and Blessings be upon him when he sent Mu'aath ibn Jabal r.a. to the "People of the Book" in Yemen. The first thing he Peace and Blessings be upon himcommanded him to do is to call them to tawheed and belief in Muhammad Peace and Blessings be upon him 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.

  • Any muslim who doubts the kufr (disbelief) of non-Muslims, is a kaafir himself.
  • The only deen accepted to Allah is Islam.
  • Islam is the last and final message to all mankind and jinn.
  • The Qur'an is the true Word of Allah and it abrogates all the previously-revealed Scriptures.
  • The Torah and al-Injeel (message of Jesus) as they exist in the hands of the "People of the Book" are altered. Even if their original forms are to be found at any time, then they are still abrogated by the Qur'an.
  • The call for "Unity of Religions," aims at eliminating everything which distinguishes Islam from kufr.
  • Calling and supporting the concepts of the "Unity of Religion" is considered riddah (apostasy). [Fatwa by the Permanent Committee for Islamic and Educational Research in Saudia Arabia on the 25th of Muharram, 1419 - 5/31/97, no. 19402].
  • The muslim disassociates himself from all forms of kufr and shirk.
  • The believer distinguishes between the natural love he has for his father, mother, wife, husband, son, daughter, etc., from the unbelievers and enmity towards them because of their kufr. The natural love is something recognized by Islam, but does not permit us to compromise our deen.
  • Don't even think about having a "Multi-Faith Pot-luck Dinner", or other social or "cultural" events between kaffirs and Muslims.
  • Do not allow non-Muslims in the Masella (the room which is reserved for the Muslims for salah, etc.). Do, however, invite non-Muslims to other areas of the Masjid, but only for calling them to Islam. Visitors must come appropriately covered (women must cover head, hair and neck with a scarf, have arms and legs covered in clothing; men must have knees covered up to and including the belly button, recommended to have shoulders and arms covered as well), be escorted by a Muslim at all times, and respectfully comply with gender segregation and other traditions of the Muslims.

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http://www.al-sunnah.com/unity_of_religions.htm

Dr.Saleh As-Saleh

We hear nowadays a strange call by organized groups involving some Christians , Jews , and "Muslim" intellectuals calling for wahdatul adyaan . They claim that these three religions stand for the same belief that there is One God and should unite in their call for the implementation of great moral values. Some of those involved call for the establishment of centers containing churches, synagogues, and massaajid side by side, printing the Qur'aan, the Bible, and the Torah in one binding, etc. In the name of defending Islaam against political and media distortions in the West, some organizations are comprimising the basics of the Islaamic creed through what is called "Bridging the Faiths."[1] This is a very dangerous call because it mixes the truth with falsehood and thus practically implies the elimination of the truth perfected in the deen of Islaam. The Christians and Jews want the Muslims to be like them. That is why they support this deceptive call for "unity". Allaah I spoke of their attempts and called the Muslims to be aware of them:

{ وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً } [النساء، 89].

They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). [Qur'aan, soorat an-nisaa' (4:89)].

One of the fundamental beliefs in Islaam is the kufr (unbelief) of the Christians and Jews because they reject the Qur'aan and the message of Muhammad (r) to them. They have also altered their books in such a way that it permits or even enjoins worship of other than Allaah and (or) the association of partners with Him in worship. Any Muslim who doubts their kufr is a kaafir himself.

Some Mulsims who do not understand certain texts from the Qur'aan and (or) authentic sunnah and may be easily deceived by the call for "unity of religions". It is important to know that if certain texts are not clear to some they are clear to others from those who are firm in the knowledge of the deen .[2] Consequently, nothing stays unclear for those who are seeking the truth and not just following vain desires. For example, some may understand that the following text is evidence that the Jews and Christians are not kuffaar :

{ إنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا والنَّصَارَى والصَّابِئينَ مَنْ آمنَ باللهِ واليَوْمِ الآخرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلا خَوْفُُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا هُمْ يَحزَنُون} [البقرة، 62].

Verily! Those who believe and those Jews and Christians , and Sabians,[3] whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Rabb , on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Baqarah (2:62)].

Shaykh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymeeyah said: "The aayah (above) tells about the followers of these four unaltered milal (Paths) before abrogation [by the advent of Prophet Muhammad' s complete message]."[4] It, therefore, addresses those who believed in tawheed and followed the Path of Allaah as was known to them. Those who continued on this belief and did not alter the Scriptures must follow the Qur'aan and the Message of Islaam as explained by Prophet Muhammad (r). Furthermore, the order of the above aayah, as ibn ‘Abbaas رضي الله عنهما explained, was canceled by aayah 3:85, which states:

{ وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإسْلامِ دِيناً فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ في الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الخَاسِرِين } [آل عمران، 85].

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. [Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan (3: 85)].

Following the alterations in their religion, most of the People of the Book turned kuffaar and few remained on the original teachings of the Torah and the Gospel. This is clear in the Qur'anic texts where Allaah, the Most High, says:

{ وَلَو ءامَنَ أهلُ الكتابِ لكان خيراً لهم منهُم المؤمنونَ وأكثَرُهُم الفاسقون} [آل عمران،110].

And had the People of the Scriptures believed,[5] it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith,[6] but most of them are al-Faasiqoon [Disobedient to Allaah and His Messenger, and rebellious against Allaah's Command]. [Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan (3:110)].

Following the above description, Allaah I said:

{ ليسوا سوآءً من أهلِ الكتابِ أمَّةُ قائمةٌ يتلون ءاياتِ اللهِ ءانآءَ الليلِ وهُم يَسْجُدُون* يؤمنونَ باللهِ واليَومِ الآخِرِ ويأمُرُونَ بالمَعْرُوفِ وَينَهَونَ عَنِ المنكَر وَيُسَارِعُونَ في الخيرات وأُولئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِين } [آل عمران: 113، 114]

Not all of them are alike; a party of the People of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the aayaat of Allaah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in Allaah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and they hasten in (all) good works; and they are among the righteous. [Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan (3:112-114)].

This party includes those who held to the original Scriptures before they were abrogated by Qur'aan and sunnah . They were on the right religion enjoining tawheed and forbidding shirk , just as Allaah described the believing followers of Műsa u:

{ وَمِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى أمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بالحَقِّ وَبهِ يَعْدِلُون } [الأعراف، 159]

And of the people of Műsa there is a community who lead [the men] with truth and establish justice [i.e. judge men with truth and justice]. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-A'raaf (7:159)].

Whoever held to these qualities amongst them (i.e. to the true revelations), prior to the advent of Prophet Muhammad (r), was a believer. The believers from the People of the Book who accepted the Prophet's Message of Islaam will receive a double reward:

{ والَّذِينَ يُؤمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ وَبالآخِرَةِ هُم يُوقِنُون } [البقرة، 4].

And who believe in that which has been sent down [revealed] to you [Muhammad r][7] and in that which was sent down before you [the Torah and the Gospel, etc.] and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Baqarah (2:4)].

{ وإنَّ مِنْ أهلِ الكِتَابِ لَمَنْ يُؤمِنُ باللهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إليَكُم وَمَا أُنزِلَ إلَيْهِم خَاشِعِيَن للهِ لا يَشْتَرُونَ بِئاياتِ اللهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً أُوْلئِكَ لَهُم أَجْرُهُم عِنْدَ رَبِّهِم إنَّ اللهَ سَرِيعُ الحِسَاب } [آل عمران، 199]

And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allaah

and in that which has been revealed to you, and that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allaah. They do not sell the aayaat of Allaah for a little price, for them is a reward with their Rabb [Allaah]. Surely, Allaah is Swift in account.[8] [Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan (3:199)].

{ الَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَاهُمُ الكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ هُم بِه يُؤمِنُون وَإذا يُتلَى عَلَيْهِم قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إنَّهُ الحَقُّ مِنْ رَبَّنَا إنَّا كُنَّا مِنْ قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِين أُولئِكَ يُؤتَوْنَ أجْرَهُم مَرَّتَينِ بِمَا صَبَروا وَيَدْرَءونَ بالحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةِ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُم يُنْفِقُون } [القصص، 52-54].

Those to whom We gave the Scripture [i.e. the Torah and the Injeel (Gospel) etc.] before it,—they believe in it [the Qur'aan]. And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Rabb . Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves to Allaah in Islaam as Muslims [like ‘Abdullaah ibn Saalam and Salmaan Al-Faarisee, etc.]."These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend [in charity] out of what we have provided for them. [Qur'aan¸ Soorat Al-Qasas (28:52-54)].

It has been confirmed that the Prophet (r) said:

"ثلاثة يؤتون أجرهم مرتين: الرجل تكون له الأمَةُ فيُّعلِّمها فيحسن تعليمها، ويؤدبها فيحسن أدبها، ثمَّ يُعتِقُها فَيَتَزَوَّجها فله أجران. ومؤمن أهل الكتاب الذي كان مؤمناً (وفي لفظ مسلم: بنبيه) ثم آمن بالنبي-صلى الله عليه وسلَّم-فله أجران. والعبد الذي يؤدي حق الله وينصح لسيده (ولمسلم: وحق سيده)." [البخاري ومسلم].

"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 teaches 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 -r]. Such a person will receive a double reward. [The third is] a slave man who observes Allaah's rights and is sincere to his master [and observes the rights of his master ]*."[9]

The Qur'aan also mentions the case of believing monks and priests who followed the true teachings of ‘Eessa u and who believe in the revelation to Prophet Muhammad (r) and would love to be from the ummah of Muhammad (r):

{ لَتَجِدَنَّ أشدَّ النَّاسِ عداوةً للذينَ ءامَنُوا اليَهُودَ والَّذِينَ أشْرَكُوا وَلتَجِدَّنَ أقْرَبَهُم مَوَدةً للذِين ءامَنُوا الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلكَ بأنَّ مِنهُم قِسَّيسِينَ وَرُهباناً وأنَّهُم لا يَسْتَكْبِرون* وإذا سَمِعُوا مآ أُنزِلَ إلى الرَّسولِ تَرَى أعْيُنَهُم تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ ممَّا عَرَفُوا مِنَ الحَقِّ يَقُولون ربَّنا ءامنَّا فاكتُبنا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِين * وَمَا لَنَا لا نَؤمِنُ باللهِ وَمَا جآءَنَا مِنَ الحقَّ وَنَطْمَعُ أن يُدخِلَنا رَبُّنا مع القَوْمِ الصَّالحِين* فأثَابَهُمُ اللهُ بما قَالُوا جَنّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فيها وذلكَ جَزآءُ المُحْسِنين } [المائدة، 82-85].

Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers [Muslims] the Jews and pagans; and you will find the nearest amongst them in love to the believers those who say: "We are Nassara (Christians )."[10] That is because amongst them there are priests and monks, and they are not proud. And when they [who call themselves Christians] listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger [Muhammad (r)], you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say: "Our Rabb ! We believe, so write us down among the witnesses [Muhammad (r) and his nation]. And why should we not believe in Allaah and in that which has come to us of the Truth [tawheed ]? And we wish that our Rabb will admit us [in al-Jannah on the Day of Resurrection] along with the righteous people [Prophet Muhammad (r) and his companions رضي الله عنهم]. So, Allaah rewarded them with Gardens under which rivers flow [in al-Jannah ], they will abide therein forever, because of what they said. Such is the reward of good-doers. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Maa'idah (5: 82)].[11]

The aayaat cited above are some of the qualities of the believing Christians . In our times, any "Christian" who carries similar beliefs and lives in a remote place where he (she) is unable to know about Islaam, are, inshaa' Allaah, believers. If they know about Islaam, they must declare their acceptance of it unless it will result in their death. They are called to migrate to daarul-Islaam , and Allaah knows best.

Question: Some Muslims say: "But Allaah I had mentioned in the Qur'aan that there are churches, synagogues, and monasteries where the Name of Allaah is mentioned. So, how can we understand this in light of the above explanations about the People of the Book ?"

All praise is due to Allaah. The aayah in the Qur'aan where the above places are mentioned is:

{ وَلوْلا دَفعُ الله النَّاسَ بعضَهُم ببعضٍ لهُدِمَت صَوامِعُ وبيعُ وصَلَواتُُ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذكَرُ فيها اسمُ الله } [الحج، 40].

Had it not been that Allaah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and masaajid, wherein the Name of Allaah is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. [Qur'aan, Sooarat Al-Hajj (22:40)].

The masaajid are the places where the Name of Allaah was and still being mentioned. When they were on their original faith, the People of the Book mentioned the Name of Allaah in their places of worship. However, because of the alterations in their religions, shirk in worship was introduced, even though some of them may mention the Name of Allaah. Hence, their places of worship cannot be considered as boyoutullaah (Houses of Allaah), because they committed kufr and their places contain a wide range of blasphemous symbols (pictures, crosses, etc.).

Imaam ibnul Qayyim said:[12] "Had it not been for Allaah's checking of one set of people by means of another, these places (mentioned in the aayah ) which were beloved to Allaah before Islaam (i.e. in its final and comprehensive form), would have been pulled down. After Islaam, these places are known to Allaah, but hated. Allaah, for example commanded special treatment to the People of the Book under the Islaamic Rule, including their protection, yet He I hates them. He commanded the defending of their places of worship, yet He hates them because other than Him is being worshipped in such places..."[13] Ibn ‘Atiyyah said: "He (r) checked them when they were on the Truth before the alterations and abrogation [i.e. of their religions]."[14]

In Light of The Above, all the present nations of Jews , Christians , Sabians (if any are left), and those who worshipped Allaah based upon their fitrah ,[15] must come to the Final Message from Allaah, and submit to Him alone in Islaam.

The People of the Book as they exist now, accepted other than Allaah as deities. No doubt that they are kuffaar as Allaah (r) refers to them. When they followed Műsa and ‘Eessa عليهما السلام, according to the unaltered Torah and the original Gospel, respectively, they were Muslims then. Does a knowledgeable Muslim believe that those who think of ‘Eessa as Savior, a son of God, Three in One, etc. are believers?

{ لَقَد كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إنَّ اللهَ هُوَ المسِيحُ ابن مَرْيَم } [المائدة، 17].

Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allaah is the Messiah, son of Mary! [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Maa'idah (5:17)].

Are those who believe in Trinity believers in tawheed ? Allaah says about them:

{ لقد كَفَر الذين قالوا إنَّ الله ثالثُ ثلاثَة، وما من إلهٍ إلاَّ إلهٌ واحِد } [المائدة، 73]

Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allaah is the third of the three [in a Trinity]." But there is no True God but One God [Allaah]. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Maa'idah (5:73)].

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, Allaah, 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,[16] eating their lawfully slaughtered meat, etc. Such distinctions do not make them true believers in Allaah.

Shaykh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymeeyah commented on the following aayaat:

{ لم يكنِ الَّذِين كَفَرُوا من أهل الكتابِ والمشرِكينَ مُنفَكَّينَ حتَّى تأتيهُم البيِّنة } [البينة، 1]

Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians ] and al-Mushrikeen,[17] were not to leave [their disbelief] until there came to them clear evidence. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-bayyinah (98:1)].

{ وَقُل للذِينَ أوتُوا الكِتابَ والأمَّيينَ ءَأسْلَمْتُم فإن أسلَمُوا فَقَد اهتَدَوا } [آل عمران،20].

And say to those who were given the Scriptures [Jews and Christians ] and to those who are illiterates [Arab pagans]: "Do you [also] submit yourselves [to Allaah in Islaam]?" If they do, they are rightly guided,[Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan(3:20)],

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,[18] although Allaah, the Exalted, commanded that they pay jizyah [19] and made it permissible to eat their food and marry their women."[20]

In Conclusion:

1. The only deen accepted to Allaah is Islaam.

2. Islaam is the last and final message to all mankind (Christians , Jews , Buddhists, Hindus, etc.)

3. Islaam abrogated all religions.

4. The Qur'aan is the true Word of Allaah and it abrogated all of the previously-revealed Scriptures.

5. The Torah and al-Injeel as they exist in the hands of the "People of the Book " are altered. Even if their original forms are to be found at any time, then they are still abrogated by the Qur'aan.

6. Had their Prophets been alive they would all follow and abide by the teachings of Muhammad (r). This is the Covenant which Allaah took upon all the Prophets.[21]

7. Every believer should firmly believe that the Jews and Christians are kuffaar and enemies of Allaah, His deen , the Prophet Muhammad (r) , and the Believers.

8. The kuffaar who die on kufr will dwell forever in the Hell of Fire. However we don't judge that a particular kaafir is in Hell except when their is a specification from the Qur'aan and (or) authentic sunnah .[22]

9. The call for "Unity of Religions" sometimes misleadingly called a "Comity of Religions, aims at eliminating everything which distinguishes Islaam from kufr .

10. Calling and supporting the concepts of the "Unity of Religion" is considered riddah (apostasy).[23]

11.The above does not mean that the Muslim abandons calling the kuffaar to Islaam.

We are ordered to call them to the way of Allaah, and this is in the best of their interest and thus da'wah to Allaah 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 Allaah in the best way which is based upon good knowledge.[24] This does not mean that the Muslim compromise the basics of his deen . It also does not mean that Muslims should indulge with the kuffaar in an 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 most important thing is: Who deserves to be worshipped Alone?[25] 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 methodology (manhaj ) of da'wah is that exemplified by the Prophet (r) when he sent Mu'aath ibn Jabal t to the "People of the Book " in Yemen. The first thing he (r) commanded him to do is to call them to tawheed and belief in Muhammad (r) as His Messenger.[26] Then he told him, "If they obey you to do so, then inform them that Allaah 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 Allaah has made it obligatory for them to pay sadaqa [zakaat] from their properties and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to poor among them." [27]

I wrote about this matter several years ago when some Muslim brothers started to engage in "dialogue" with the People of the Book . I cautioned our brothers to establish that the "dialogue" should transform into a way for da'wah and not "negotiations" because we cannot negotiate on shirk . Now with the call for "Unity of Religion," I urge all the Muslims to advise each other about the dangers of this concept and to direct their respective communities to disassociate from this Path of kufr . May Allaah Who is the Most High, above everything, guide the misguided and preserve and protect our ummah from all afflictions and innovations in deen . Aameen.

12. The Muslim disassociates himself from all forms of kufr and shirk .

13. The believer distinguishes between the natural love he has for his father, mother, wife, husband, son, daughter, etc. from the unbelievers and enmity towards them because of their kufr . The natural love is something recognized by Islaam, otherwise Allaah would not have permitted marriage from chaste women of the People of the Book . This natural love of the kinsfolk and the just and good treatment of the thimmi ,[28] non-harbi ,[29]mu'aahad ,[30]and the musta'min ,[31] does not necessitate that we love them the love which obliges friendship and alliance. This kind of love is forbidden by Allaah because they oppose Allaah and His deen . The believer stands in a state of walaa' (alliance and loyality) and baraa' (disassociation): alliance with the Believers who are obedient to Allaah and His Messenger, and enmity and disassociation from the unbelievers and those opposing Allaah and His Messenger (r). Allaah I says:

{ لا تجد قوما يؤمنون بالله وباليوم الآخر يوآدُّون من حادَّ الله ورسوله ولو كانوا آباءهم أو أبناءهم أو إخوانهم أو عشيرتهم أؤلئك كتب في قلوبهم الإيمان وأيَّدهم بروح منه ويُدخِلُهُم جنَّاتِ تجري من تحتها الأنهار خالدين فيها رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه أولئك حزب الله ألا إنَّ حزب الله هم المفلحون } [المجادلة، 22].

You will not find a people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, loving [by having friendship and alliance] with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger [Muhammad r], even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk. For such He has decreed true Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh [proofs, light and true guidance] from Himself. And We will admit them into the gardens of [al-jannah] beneath whose trees rivers flow, and they will dwell therein forever. Allaah is pleased with them and they with him. They are the party of Allaah. Indeed the party of Allaah are the successful. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Mujaadalah (58:22)].

This strengthening mentioned in the aayah applies to everyone who does not love the enemies of the Messengers, even though they may be one's close relatives. This love is not the same as the natural (jibilli ) love, but it is the love of nusrah which entails giving allegiance to them. Dealing justly with the none-combatant from the unbelievers is commanded by Allaah. Hence:

(a) The natural love is created by Allaah. He permitted it to occur.

(b) The enmity towards the unbelievers because of their disbelief and rejection of Allaah is legislated by Allaah.

(c) Dealing justly with the none-combatants from the unbelievers is commanded by Allaah.

Since the three matters are all from Allaah and since He I says:

{ لا يكلف الله نفسا إلاَّ وسعها }

burdens not a person beyond his scope,

[Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Baqarah (2:286)]

then all three matters are within the scope of the believer and they are just and not contradictory:

{ ولو كان من عند غير الله لوجدوا فيه اختلافا كثيرا } [النساء،82].

Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely have found therein much contradiction. [Qur'aan, Soorat An-Nisaa' (4:82)].

This is the Path of the prophets. Contemplate about Prophet Nooh u and His son when the just decree of Allaah (the Deluge)[32] came upon the kuffaar from the people of Nooh:

{ ونادى نوح ابنه وكان في معزل يا بني اركب معنا ولا تكن مع الكافرين } [هود، 42].

And Nooh [Noah] called out to his son, who had separated himself [apart], ‘O my son! Embark with us and be not with the unbelievers.' [Qur'aan, Soorat Hood (11:42)].

His son chose the way of the unbelievers and thought that he will be saved from the water if he takes himself to a mountain. Nooh u invoked Allaah:

{ ونادى نوح ربه فقال رب إن ابني من أهلي وإن وعدك الحق وأنت أحكم الحاكمين } [هود،45].

And Nooh [Noah] called upon his Rabb [Allaah] an said, ‘O my Rabb! Verily my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true, and You are the Most Just of judges.' [Qur'aan, Soorat Hood (11:45)].

"Verily my son is of my family!" This is the natural relationship, the jibilli one. Allaah, Most High, reminded Nooh u of His command of Legal disassociation (al-baraa' ash-shar'i) from the kuffaar :

{ قال يا نوح إنه ليس من أهلك إنه عمل غير صالح فلا تسألني ما ليس لك به علم إني أعظك أن تكون من الجاهلين} [هود، 46].

Allaah said: "O Nooh ! Surely, he is not of your family [not from the believers of your family]; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorants." [Qur'aan, Soorat Hood (11:46)].

The immediate submission of Nooh was clear in his saying:

{ قال رب إني أعوذ بك أن أسألك ما ليس لي به علم وإلا تغفر لي وترحمني أكن من الخاسرين } [هود،47].

Nooh said: "O my Rabb ! I seek refuge with You from asking You that which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers." [Qur'aan, Soorat Hood (11:47)].

There was a clear distinction between the jibilli and shar'i perspectives in the relationship between Nooh and his son. Contemplate also the relationship with parents:

{ ووصينا الإنسان بوالديه حملته أمه وهنا على وهن وفصاله في عامين أن اشكر لي ولوالديك إلي المصير * وإن جاهداك على أن تشرك بي ما ليس لك به علم فلا تطعهما وصاحبهما في الدنيا معروفا } [لقمان،14-15].

And We have enjoined on man [to be dutiful and good] to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years—give thanks to Me and to your parents—unto Me is the final destination. But if they [both] strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, yet deal with them justly and kindly in this life.‎ [Qur'aan, Sooart Luqmaan (31:14-15).

Friendship and alliance and pleasing those who oppose Allaah is an indication of either lack of faith or its weakness in the heart of the believer. It is against reason that a person can have walaa' for someone who is an enemy of the one he truly loves. You find those who have walaa' for the unbelievers doing things which will earn the love and friendship of the unbelievers by any means. Those who know the truth regarding this matter must remind them of the command of Allaah that:

{ يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تتخذوا آباءكم وإخوانكم أولياء إن استحبوا الكفر على الإيمان ومن يتولهم منكم فأولئك هم الظالمون } [التوبة، 23].

O you who believe do not take as friends and protectors your fathers and your brothers if they choose unbelief to belief, and whoever of you takes them as friends and protectors is one of the transgressors. [Qur'aan, Sooart At-Tawbah (9:23)].

He, the Mighty and Majestic, set for us the example of Prophet Ibraaheem u by saying:

{ لقد كانت لكم أسوة حسنة في إبراهيم والذين معه إذ قالوا لقومهم إنا برآء منكم ومما تعبدون من دون الله كفرنا بكم وبدا بيننا وبينكم العداوة والبغضاء أبدا حتى تؤمنوا بالله وحده } [الممتحنة، 4].

There has been for you an example for you to follow in Ibraaheem and those who with when they said to their unbelieving people: ‘We are free of you and whatever idols you worship besides Allaah, and we deny what you are upon and we reject you; and because of your disbelief in Allaah and your worship of others besides Him, enmity and hatred has arisen between us for ever, unless you believe truly in Allaah, and single Him out, and worship Him alone.' [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Mumtahinah (60:4)].

The efforts to gain the friendship of the Jews and Chrisitans are useless, as they will never be pleased with the Muslims until the Muslims follow their religion. Addressing Prophet Muhammad (r), the Imaam of the Muslims, Allaah, the Exalted, warned him that:

{ ولن ترضى عنك اليهود ولا النصارى حتى تتبع ملتهم } [البقرة، 120].

Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you [O Muhammad (r)] till you follow their religion.

[Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Baqarah (2:120)].

Hence, the command to abstain from following the paths of the Jews and Christians applies to the entire Ummah of Muhammad (r):

{ إنّ في ذلك لذكرى لمن كان له قلب أو ألقى السمع وهو شهيد } [ق، 37].

Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.

[Qur'aan, Sooart Qaaf (50:37)].

B

All Praise is due to Allaah, and may His salaah and salaam of Allaah be upon Muhammad , his family, his companions, and those who follow their path in righteousness until the Day of Resurrection.

Seeking forgivness from Allaah,

Saleh As-Saleh.

P.O.Box.3228, KSA [T/Fax: 966-6-364 1441].

‘Unayzah, 81888, KSA.

Te/Fax: 966-6-364 1441.

The 1st of Rajab,1419;

October 21, 1998.


[1]In a testimony before a U.S. House sub-committee on National Security, International Affairs and Criminal Justice, Atif Harden, the Executive Director of the American Muslim Council (AMC) said, "I am weary of hearing and seeing Islam and Muslims portrayed as foreign and different. We are cousins of Jews and Christians. We worship the same God, follow the teachings of the same Prophets, and believe in the same books. We are all followers of Abraham." [The full text was published by the Saudi Gazette (an English Daily), Monday the 15th of October, 1998, p.9].

This concept is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Qur'aan and authentic sunnah. Those who associate partners with Allaah in worship and (or) worship Prophets are not believers in Allaah. The books of the Jews and Christians contain alterations and are completely abrogated by the Qur'aan. The Jews and Christians are not followers of the faith of tawheed of Ibraaheem (Abraham) for Ibraaheem was neither a Christian nor a Jew, he was a pure Muslim, as Allaah I says:

{ ما كان إبراهيم يهوديا ولا نصرانيا ولكن كان حنيفا مسلما وما كان من المشركين } [آل عمران، 67]

Ibraaheem was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Haneefan (who worshipped none but Allaah Alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikeen. [Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan (3:67)].

Had they been true followers of their Prophets, the Jews and Christians would believe in the Prophet Muhammad (r) and his message of Islaam. The Prophet (r) said:

"والذي نفسُ محمد بيده لا يسمع بي أحد من هذه الأمة يهودي ولا نصراني، ثم يموت ولم يؤمن بالذي أرسلت به إلاَّ كان من أصحاب النار ."

"By Him (Allaah) 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." [Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh (English Translation), vol. 1, no. 284].

The belief in the Prophet Muhammad (r) is the attestation with full acceptance and submission, not just mere attestation, that what he brought forth is the truth. That is why Aboo Taalib (the uncle of the Prophet r) did not become a believer in the Messenger (r), despite his attestation to what the Prophet (r) brought forth and his witness that it is the best of religions.

[2]Allaah I says:

{ ولو ردوه إلى الرسول وإلى أولي الأمر منهم لعلمه الذين يستنبطونه منهم } [النساء،82].

If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to ulil amri [scholars and those charged with authority] among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them [directly]. [Qur'aan, Soorat An-Nisaa' (4:83)].

It was the norm for the sahaabah to ask the Prophet (r) in his life of what they did not know. Then after his death they asked the learned amongst them, and so did those who followed their path in righteousness. Asking the learned scholars, therefore, was the way of the salaf especially if something doubtful arose.

[3]A past nation who used to live in al-Mawsil (‘Iraq) and said, "La Ilaaha Illallaah." They were neither Jews nor Christians .

[4]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, Műsa and ‘Eessa, respectively. When they held to the beliefs of ‘Eessa and Műsa, they were not kuffaar. However, when they continued to believe in the altered and abrogated forms of these Books and commit shirk , they became kuffaar, even though they are still referred to as "People of the Book". Allaah knew they would alter the Books and warned them against that. He I still refers to them in the Qur'aan 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.

[5]Like the belief of Muslims who accepted the Message of Muhammad (r).

[6]Includes those amongst them who had faith before Muhammad (r) was sent to mankind. The believers whom Allaah described:

{ وَجَعَلنا في قُلوبِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ رأفةً وَرَحْمَة } إلى قوله تعالى { فئاَتَينَا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُوا مِنهُم أجرَهُم وَكًثيِرُُ مِنْهُم فاسِقُون } [الحديد، 27].

And We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him (‘Eessa ) compassion and Mercy...So, We gave those among them who believed their (due) reward, but many of them are Fassiqoon. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Hadeed (57:27)].

[7]The revelation includes the Qur'aan and the authentic sunnah .

[8]Ibn Taymeeyah explained that some of the sahaabah (e.g. Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, ibn ‘Abbaas, and Anas ibn Maalik رضي الله عنهم) as well as most of the scholars mentioned that the aayah (Qur'aan 3:199), was revealed concerning the faith of an-Najaashi , the king of Abasseenyah known as "as-hamah" (‘Atiyyah, in Arabic), who knew that the Message of Muhammad (r) was the truth confirming that of ‘Eessa before him. He accepted Islaam but was unable to migrate to daarul-Islaam (where Islaam is the apparent and practiced deen ), nor he was able to declare it amongst his Christian nation. After the Prophet (r) knew of his death, he called upon the sahaabah and performed the funeral prayers in absentia on an-Najaashi, thus confirming his belief in Islaam. The aayah, therefore, may apply to anyone from the People of the Book or the mushrikeen who lives in daarul-harb (a land in which the kuffaar are prevailing, or land of the kuffaar between whom and the Muslims there is no peace) and who believes in Allaah and in Muhammad (r) as Allaah's Final Messenger, yet unable to declare his faith openly or unable to migrate to any Muslim country. He does what he is able to do from the acts of worship and as he knows them. [See ibn Taymeeyah's Al-Jawaabus-Saheeh], pp. 202-210.

[9]Collected by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim. The text is as reported by Al-Bukhaari in his saheeh, vol.. 4, no. 255, p. 158. The (*) refers to some parts of the text as reported by Muslim.

[10]Those who claim to be followers of ‘Eessa u and the true Injeel (Gospel) should have a general love for Islaam and its people, because the teachings of ‘Eessa u were based upon mercy and kindness:

{ وجعلنا في قلوب الذين اتَّبَعُوه رأفةً ورحمة } [الحديد، 27].

And We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and Mercy. [Qur'aan, Soorat Al-Hadeed (57:27)].

In fact they must submit to Allaah and His deen because the messages of ‘Eessa and Muhammad عليهما الصلاة والسلام, in calling the people to the tawheed, are the same.

[11]See Shaykh-ul-Islaam's Al-Jawaabus-Saheeh, vol. 2, pp. 201-213.

[12]In Badaai' At-Tafseer (The Unprecedented of Tafseer) , which is a collection of explanations of certain aayaat of the Qur'aan, collected by Yusri as-Sayed Ahmad [Dammaam, Saudi Arabia: Daar ibnul Jawzi, 1414/1993], vol. 3, p. 214.

[13]Allaah willed them to exist, yet He hates the shirk practiced by them. He willed and created Iblees (the Devil) and He hates him. This is His Universal Will: al-iraadah al-kawniyyah. Allaah's Judicial Will: al-iraadah ash-shar'iyyah is to protect their places of worship as long as they do not openly carry out their worship outside such places, and they conform to all of the rules regarding their interactions with Islaamic Law.

[14]Quoted in Fathul-Bayaan fee Maqassidil-Qur'aan (The Eloquent Clarification to the Objectives of the Qur'aan), by Sidique Hassan al-Khanouji Al-Bukhaari [Sidon, Beirut, Lebanon: ad-Daar al-'Assriyyah, 1412/1992], vol. 9, p. 57.

[15]Fitrah: natural inclination to worship Allaah alone.

[16]Certainly it is advised to marry the Muslim woman even if a chaste woman of the people of the Book offers herself for marriage to a Muslim. There are so many problems associated with marriage to women from the People of the Book in our times. The Muslim must be very careful about such a decision if it deems necessary.

[17]Mushrikeen: Those who commit shirk including pagans, polytheists, idolaters, and unbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah and in His Messenger Muhammad (r).

[18]If they die on their beliefs.

[19]Head-tax imposed by Islaam 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.

[20]Quoted in Majmoo' Al-Fataawaa, vol. 35, pp. 227-228.

[21]Allaah says (what means): And [remember] when Allaah took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: ‘Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah [understanding of the Laws of Allaah], and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger [Muhammad r] confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.' Allaah said: ‘Do you agree [to it] and will you make up My Covenant [which I conclude with you]?' They said: ‘We agree.' He said: ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses [for this].' [Qur'aan, Soorat Aal-'Imraan (3:81)]. Furthermore, in the hadeeth reported by Imaam Ahmad and others, the Prophet (r) said (what means), "If Műsa were alive and present among you, it would not be permissible for him to do anything but to follow me." [Shaykh Al-Albaani stated that it is reported by Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqee, and Ad-Daarimee, Al-Laalkaa'ee, Al-Harawee and others, and that its degree of authenticity is hasan. See Mishkaatul-Masaabeeh, vol. 1, no. 177].

[22]Example Aboo Taalib is in Hell, and Fir'awn is in Hell, as well as others specified in authentic texts.

[23]This ruling has been published as a religious verdict (fatwa ) by the Permanent Committee for Islamic and Educational Research in Saudi Arabia on the 25th of Muharram, 1418 (corresponding to 31-5-1997), no. 19402.

[24]The aayah in Soorat Al-'Ankaboot (29:46):

{ ولا تجادلوا أهل الكتاب إلاَّ بالتي هي أحسن إلاَّ الذين ظلموا منهم وقولوا آمنا بالذي أُنزِلَ إليكم وإلهنا وإلهُكم واحد ونحن له مسلمون }

(which means), "And do not argue with the People of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians), unless it be in [a way] that is better, 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 Ilaah [God] and your Ilaah [God] is One [i.e. Allaah], and it is to Him we submit [in Islaam]," calls the believers to argue with the People of the Book in a way that is better, i.e.inviting them to Allaah 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-Fikr, 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 Allaah, Most High, in the following Aayah:

{ قل يا أهل الكتاب تعالوا إلى كَلِمةٍ سواءٍ بيننا وبينكم ألاَّ نعبُدَ إلاَّ الله ولا نُشرِكَ بهِ شيئاُ ولا يَتَّخِذَ بعضنا بعضاً أرباباً من دون الله فإن تولَّواْ فقولوا اشهدوا بانَّا مسلمون } [آل عمران،67].

[which means] O People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians]: Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims." Qur'aan, Soorat Aal ‘Imraan (3:64 )]. Certainly it is not a call for "comity" or "unity of religions."

[25]Five years ago I wrote a book as well as a short treatise entitled, "Who Deserves to be Worshipped Alone?" Inshaa'Allaah it is helpful to address people from all religions.

[26]Not just the so-called "recognition" given by some theologians from the People of the Book in our times!

[27]The text is in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari (Arabic/English), vol. 2, no. 478. It is also reported by Muslim.

[28]Thimmi: A none-Muslim living in a Muslim country and upon whom the jizyah applies. Those none-Muslims are under the protection of the Muslims.

[29]The none-combatants from the unbelievers.

[30]An unbeliever between whom and the Muslims a term of peace has been made for a definite time.

[31]The unbeliever who is permitted into the Muslim land by the approval of the Muslim governor, e.g. visiting, business, etc.

[32]The great flood in the time of Nooh u.

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Obligation of a Muslim Towards a Non-Muslim
Author: Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz
Question: What is obligatory upon a Muslim with respect to non-Muslims concerning different types of interactions and also with respect to holidays and festivals?

Response: The responsibility of a Muslim towards non-Muslims are many, including:

First: He must call them to the way of Allâh. This is to preach to them and to make clear to them the reality of Islam, according to his ability and if he has the knowledge to do so. This is the greatest and best good deed that one could do toward his fellow citizen and for those who live together with Jews, Christians and other disbelievers. On this point, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"The one who guides to good gets the same reward as the one who performs it." [Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also told Ali, when he was sending him to Khaibar to encounter the Jews, to invite the Jews to Islam. He told him,

"By Allâh, if Allâh guides one person by you, it is better for you than the best types of camels." [al-Bukhârî, Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward similar to the reward of the one who follows him, without the reward of either of them being lessened at all." [Muslim, Ahmad, Abű Dâwűd, an-Nasâ'î, at-Tirmidhî, Ibn Mâjah]

Calling them to Islam, preaching Islam to them and advising them concerning that is one of the most important deeds and is one of the best ways to get closer to Allâh.

Second: [The Muslim] may not wrong the other person with respect to his life, wealth or honor, if the non-Muslim is a citizen of the Islamic state or has attained other protection, he must fulfill the other's rights. He may not wrong him with respect to his wealth by stealing from him, deceiving him or cheating him. He cannot harm him in his body by beating or killing him. His protection from the state guarantees his safety from such things.

Third:There is no prohibition concerning buying, selling, renting or other such business transactions with them. It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) bought things from the polytheistic disbelievers. He also purchased items from Jews. In fact, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) died, his shield was being held as collateral with a Jewish person in exchange for food for his family.

Fourth:One should not give them the greetings of peace first. However, one responds to their greetings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Do not give the greetings of peace first to the Jew or Christian." [Muslim]

He also said,

"If the people of the book give you the greeting of peace, then say, 'Wa Alaikum (and upon you)."' [al-Bukhârî]

Therefore, a Muslim does not greet a non-Muslim first. But when a Jew, Christian or other disbeliever greets him, he replies, "And upon you also,"as the Prophet (peace be upon him) has ordered. This is from the rights of conduct between a Muslim and a disbeliever. He also must be neighborly toward his non-Muslim neighbor. If your neighbor is good to you, you do not harm him and you may even give him charity if he is poor or give him a gift if he is rich. You may also advise him concerning what is good for him. All of this may lead him to want to learn about Islam and become a Muslim and because neighbors have very great rights. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"The Angel Gabriel kept advising me concerning the neighbor until I thought he was going to inherit [from his neighbor]." [al-Bukhârî, Muslim]

Allâh also says in the Quran,

"Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and drove you not from your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity" [al-Mumtahinah (60):7].

It is recorded in an authentic hadith from Asma bint Abu Bakr that her mother, who was a polytheist, visited her and asked for her assistance - this was during the time of the peace treaty between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the disbelievers so she went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to ask him about that and he told her to keep the ties of kinship with her and be righteous towards her.

Fifth:A Muslim should not participate with them in their greetings and festivals. However, one may give them condolences upon the death of someone if he finds some legal benefit in doing so. He may say to them, "May future bring good to you," or something of that nature. He may not say, "May Allâh forgive him,"or, "May Allâh have mercy on him," if the person who died was a disbeliever (see Quran9 :113). That is, one may not make prayers for a dead disbeliever although one may ask for guidance for those who are alive and so forth.

MIM: For Jews considering interfaith it is worth noting that majority of Muslims believe it is impossible to of recognise or accept the existence of Israel.

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Articles

The Dilemma of Recognizing Israel

by Imran N. Hosein

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To ´recognize´ the Jewish State of Israel, or not to ´recognize´, that is the dilemma which confronts so many governments in today´s world of Islam. It is a dilemma for them because there is only one force in the world today which stands in the way of Jewish Israel achieving universal acceptance and recognition from the gentile international community, and the security and guarantee of survival which, it assumes, is assured by that recognition, and that is Islam.

The impoverished Muslim masses resolutely oppose the ´recognition´ of the State of Israel, and they are a force to be reckoned with since Islam is rapidly re-emerging as a most significant actor in international affairs. The predatory elite in the Muslim world, on the other hand, are shifting their position and moving in the direction of an accommodation with Israel which would protect their vested interests. This is described as the ´peace process´. The predatory Muslim elite, accustomed to power and privilege, is terrified at the prospect of resurgent revolutionary Islam winning power in Egypt, Pakistan etc., and then dealing with them in the manner in which revolutionary Islamic Iran dealt with them. And so the pressure to recognize Israel comes from a terrified Muslim elite living in mortal fear of the impoverished Muslim masses and of Islam´s stern and uncompromising justice.

The pressure to recognize Israel also comes from USA and its allies and clients, and from the international Monetary Fund etc. Growing Jewish influence over (Middle East) foreign policy in these governments, and over decision-making in these international organizations, and the perception of a long-term Islamic threat to Israel, to western capitalism and democracy and to the secular model of society which was designed to sustain them, lie at the very heart of that pressure which Muslim governments now face.

The capacity of Muslim governments to resist such pressures becomes weaker and weaker as political and strategic vulnerability and the economic strangle-hold of riba (usury) increase! Indeed the supreme game in the games of dominance which constitute the New World Order is political and strategic blackmail and economic and financial imperialism. No where is this supreme game played more resolutely than in the effort to preserve and promote the security of the Jewish State of Israel.

The act of ´recognition´ of the Jewish State of Israel implies, ipso facto, acceptance of Israel´s legitimacy. One cannot ´recognize´ a State and yet maintain that it is illegitimate! But acceptance of the legitimacy of the State of Israel is fundamentally different from the acceptance of the legitimacy of any other State in the world because of the following:

i) recognition of the State of Israel implies acceptance of the basic claim of the Jews that Allah gave the holy land (of Palestine) to them as and exclusive and ever-lasting possession! Even to this day the land still belongs to them since Allah gave it to them.
ii) the land of Palestine is recognized in the Torah and Qur´an as the holy land. The Jews believe that they are the chosen people of Allah, that Allah made a covenant with them, and that the covenant is still valid. They believe that they have the right to take possession of the holy land because of their special status with Allah. They believe that their success in taking control of the holy land validates their beliefs about themselves, their religion, and their claim to Truth. Recognition of the State of Israel implies acceptance of Judaism´s right to control the holy land and, thus, validates Judaism´s to Truth!

When the Qur´an is used to examine these claims they are found to be falsehoods uttered against Allah and hence to be shirk! Most Muslims have faithfully abstained from that act of shirk.

This book attempts to use the divine revelation which came after the Torah and the Gospel, i.e, the Qur´an, as the criterion (al-Furqan) with which to determine whether Allah did the following, as claimed in the Torah:
1) Exclude Ishmael from His Covenant,
2) Give the holy land of Canaan (modern-day Palestine) to the Jews as and exclusive and everlasting possession,
3) Give to the Jews unconditional title to the holy land.
The conclusions to which we arrive will determine the implications for Muslims of recognition of the Jewish State of Israel.
The Qur´an thus supports the claim of the Torah that the land of Canaan, described as the holy land, was given to the Israelites (Banu Israel).

The position of the Qur´an, however, is that Allah did not give to any people exclusive and unconditional title to the holy land. The holy land belonged to Banu Israil so long as they were true to the religion of Abraham. Righteous conduct is the very foundation of the way of life which was ordained by the one God. The Jewish conduct with Moses was wicked. They violated the very substance of the religion of Abraham. And so they were punished. The punishment was that they were denied entry into that holy land for forty years (Qur´an 5:29).

From today´s Jewish perspective, Allah had excluded Ishmael from the Covenant. This claim implied that Jews were the (exclusive) chosen people of Allah. They understood that to mean that divine revelation was their exclusive preserve. As a consequence they believed that Prophethood, also, was their exclusive preserve since divine revelation and Prophethood were located at the very substance of the Covenant! If this Jewish claim is true then it follows that Ishmael could not, therefore, be a Prophet. The Qur´an, however, affirms that Ishmael was a Prophet of Allah, hence, it follows that he was included in the Covenant. Therefore the statement in the Torah concerning the exclusion of Ishmael from the Covenant did not have come from Allah.

Also, if Isaac was the only child of the Covenant and Ishmael was excluded, as the Jews claim, it would follow therefrom that no Prophet could arise from the seed of Ishmael - Prophethood being the very essence of the Covenant. It would also follow that none but an Israelite/Hebrew (today known as Jews) could receive divine revelation. In the Qur´an, however, Allah affirms that Muhammad was a Prophet and Messenger of Allah. He also affirms that the Qur´an was revealed to him (Muhammad) in order that he might admonish a people whose forefathers had received no admonition.

Moreover, if Isaac was the only child of the Covenant and Ishmael was specifically excluded from the Covenant, it follows that Isaac and not Ishmael should have been the child of the sacrifice (when Abraham was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son). In this regard, the Torah asserts that the son who was to be sacrificed was the only son of Abraham. This assertion too does not stand the test of scrutiny because the Qur´an very significantly places the ´good news´ to Abraham, of the coming birth of Isaac, immediately after the narration of the event of the sacrifice (Qur´an 37:100-112). Thus when the event of the sacrifice took place Ishmael was the only son of Abraham. And at no time was Isaac ever the only son of Abraham. The fact that the reference to only son has survived in the Torah indicates that the original Torah must have named Ishmael as the child of the sacrifice.

Furthermore, if Isaac was the only child of the Covenant, and Ishmael was excluded, it follows therefrom that Isaac, not Ishmael, should have been the son chosen by Allah to assist his father Abraham in the building of the first House of Allah - the first temple (masjid) - and in instituting the annual pilgrimage to that holy temple! Here again, the Qur´an informs us that it was Ishmael and Abraham who built the first House of Allah and Isaac was not present (Qur´an 2:127). From this it follows that Ishmael was most definitely within the Covenant rather than excluded from the Covenant (Qur´an 2:127).
The Qur´an also informs us of the prayer of Abraham while he was constructing the building (i.e., the Ka´aba) in which he prayed that a Prophet should arise from that part of his family (Hagar and Ishmael) which he had settled in Makkah (Qur´an 2:129). The fact that Allah responded to the prayer of Abraham and sent Muhammad as a Prophet from the seed of Ishmael, proves beyond any doubt that Ishmael was not excluded from the Covenant. It is the amended Torah which declared that he was excluded from the Covenant. It is false!

As the final proof that Ishmael was indeed included in the Covenant with Abraham, consider the following: the Torah clearly states that circumcision shall be the sign of the covenant between Allah, Abraham, his offspring and those who follow him (Genesis 17:10-14). It is a fact of history that there have been only two people in the world who have circumcised their males as a religious duty all through history - Banu Israil (today´s Jews being the remnant) and Banu Ismail (the Arabs) both of whom are from the seed of Abraham. Prophet Muhammad specifically confirmed the order of circumcision as a fulfillment of the sunnah (the way) of Abraham. But he was only required to confirm circumcision to the Arabs. Although they were a pagan idolatrous people he did not have to ask them to do something new. The pagan Arabs were practicing circumcision for thousands of years prior to the birth of Muhammad.

The question therefore arises, why were the pagan idolatrous Arabs practicing circumcision even before it was confirmed by the Prophet Muhammad? After all, no people other than the Jews were doing it. There can only be one answer to that question. The pagan Arabs were doing it because they were the seed of Ishmael and because circumcision, as the ´Sign of the Covenant´ had been made obligatory on the seed of Ishmael. The historical fact of circumcision in Arabia thus confirms the existence of an essential link with the religion of Abraham.

Indeed there was such universal conformity amongst the Arabs with the rite of circumcision that the Qur´an did not have cause to devote even a single verse to the subject. And this is a matter of more than passing importance. It is Allah´s way of provoking thought for an explanation for the practice of circumcision amongst pagan Arabs. And yet, how few Jews and Christians have been provoked to think of the subject.

In conclusion, whoever did the rewriting of the Torah, and set out to exclude Ishmael from the Covenant, realized that Ishmael had to be demonized before his exclusion could make any sense. And so we find this terrible description of Ishmael in the Torah: "a wild ass of a man; his hand against every man (i.e., he will be a highwayman). And everyone´s hand against him (i.e, all will hate and fight against him)." Does the Qur´an support his description of Ishmael in the Torah? It does not! Rather it praises the faith, character and spiritual personality of Ishmael (Qur´an 19:54-55). The Qur´an also praises Ishmael for his patience, constancy and determination; and declares that Ishmael was amonst those who, as a result of divine favors conferred uon them, were raised in status above all mankind (Qur´an 6:86). The Qur´an thus very clearly exposes the falsehood about Ishmael in the amended Torah. In doing so the Qur´an restores Ishmael to the status of a worthy son of Abraham fully eligible to the Covenant from Allah, and as such, rejects the Jewish claim as the only chosen people of Allah to the exclusion of Ishmael and his descendents.

As to the Jewish claim that they have the ever lasting possession the holy land is also denied by the Qur´an. The Qur´an maintains that the possession to the holy land depended on adherence to the religion of Abraham and on righteous conduct. Jews violated both of these conditions and Qur´an recorded many instances of such violations, among them: changing the Word of God, taking gods besides Allah, violating prohibition against riba (usury), slandering Maryam, rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, killing the Prophets of Allah, and leading people astray.

Some of these acts were forgiven by Allah, but others placed them in the position of a people with whom Allah is so very angry that He has placed a curse on them!
What the above material clearly confirms is that the Jewish people no longer enjoy the status of being a people included in the Covenant Allah made with Abraham, and this is because of a curse Allah has placed upon them until the Last Day in consequence of their numerous acts of shirk and kufr and Zulm.

The implications for Muslims of the recognition of the Jewish State of Israel are enormous and dangerous. It would be an act of kufr (disbelief) since it would require them to a repudiate the Qur´an. Muslims would be following in the footsteps of Jews if, despite all that is in the Qur´an, they still decide to extend recognition to the Jewish State of Israel. They would be throwing the Qur´an behind their backs in the manner in which the Jews responded to the advent of Prophet Muhammad.

It would be a betrayal of Allah and Prophet Muhammad since Allah sent the Prophet and created the Community of Muslims (ummah) to pursue a basic mission of restoring and preserving the religion of Abraham. This was achieved by the Prophet in his lifetime. The recognition by Muslims of the Jewish State of Israel would imply an abandonment of the religion of Abraham! The danger which we face today is that of so-called Muslim scholars and so-called leaders of the Muslim community who are either themselves profoundly misguided in respect of this subject or, worse, are engaged in an act of betrayal of Allah, His Messenger, the religion if Islam and the ummah of the Prophet. Such co-called Muslim scholars support the recognition of the Jewish State of Israel and are actively and deliberately engaged in leading their largely unsuspecting followers astray.

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MIM:The Islamic claim that Christians, Jews and Muslims believe in the same God has been debated mostly from the Christian side. Muslims believe that non Muslims are calling God by the wrong name and worshipping him in the wront way . Therefore non believers have to accept Islam which means submission. The question could be asked as to how Muslims can say Christians and Jews worship the same God if they call then infidels (non believers ). Below is an example of an Islamic version of the Biblical story of Abraham who refers to God as Allah. A form of 'scriptual revisionism' as it were.

http://www.benadir-islam.com/ismail.htm

Benadir Islam

PROPHET ISHMAEL(ISMAIL)

One day, Abraham woke up and asked his wife Hajar to get her son and prepare for a long journey. In a few days Abraham started out with his wife Hajar and their son Ishmael. The child was still nursing and not yet weaned.

Abraham walked through cultivated land, desert, and mountains until he reached the desert of the Arabian Peninsula and came to an uncultivated valley having no fruit, no trees, no food, no water. The valley had no sign of life. After Abraham had helped his wife and child to dismount, he left them with a small amount of food and water which was hardly enough for 2 days. He turned around and walked away. He wife hurried after him asking: "Where are you going Abraham, leaving us in this barren valley?"

Abraham did not answer her, but continued walking. She repeated what she had said, but he remained silent. Finally she understood that he was not acting on his own initiative. she realized that Allah had commanded him to do this. She asked him : "Did Allah command you to do so?" He replied: "Yes." Then his great wife said: "We are not going to be lost, since Allah Who has commanded you is with us."

Abraham invoked Almighty Allah thus: "O Our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House (the Ka'ba at Mecca); in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayers perfectly (Iqamat as salat) so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah." (Ch 14:37-38)

Ibn Abbas narrated: "The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. she used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah (by dragging it). Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him to a place near the Kaba under a tree on the spot of ZamZam at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water so he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates and a small water skin containing some water and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother followed him saying: "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything to enjoy?" she repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him : "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said: "Yes." She then said: "Then HE will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards. On reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Kaba and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers: "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks." (Ch 14:37)

Ibn Abbas's narration continued; "Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had) When the water in the water skin had been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty, She started looking at him (Ishmael) tossing in agony. She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. she too on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended for As Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble till she crossed the valley and reached the mountain of Al Marwa. There she stood and started looking expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. she repeated that running between Safa And Marwa seven times."

The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "This is the source of the tradition of the Sa'y (rituals of the hajj, pilgrimage) the going of people between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwa). When she reached Al Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said: "O whoever you maybe! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing) till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water skin with water with her hands and the water was flowing out water she had scooped some of it."

The Prophet (pbuh) added: "May Allah bestow mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the zam-zam flow without trying to control it, or had she not scooped from that water to fill her water skin, Zam zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth."

The Prophet (pbuh) continued: "Then she drank water and suckled her child. The angel said to her: "Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people." The House (Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left.

"She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child as they (the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada. they landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. they said: "this bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley." They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water and returned to inform them of the water. SO they all came towards the water. Ishmael's mother was sitting near the water. They asked her: "Do you allow us to stay with you?" She replied: "Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water." They agreed to that. Ishmael's mother was pleased with the whole situation, as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people, so they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (Ishmael) grew up and learned Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them."

The Prophet (pbuh) continued: "After Ishmael's mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael's marriage in order to see his family that he had left before but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael's wife about him, she replied: "He has gone in search of livelihood." Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, "We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,' complaining to him. He said: "When your husband returns, convey my salutations to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).'

"When Ishmael came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife: 'Has anyone visited you?' she replied, 'Yes, an old man of such and such description came and asked me about you and I informed him and he asked about our state of living and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.' On that Ishmael said: 'Did he advise you anything?' She said: 'Yes he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.' Ishmael said: 'It was my father and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.' so, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from among them (Jurhum).

"Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ishmael. So he came to Ishmael's wife and asked her about Ishmael. She said: 'he has gone in sof our livelihood.' Abraham asked her; 'how are you getting on?' asking her about their sustenance and living. she replied: 'we are prosperous and well off (we have everything in abundance).' then she thanked Allah. Abraham said: 'What kind of food do you eat?' she said: 'meat.' he said: 'what do you drink?' she said: 'water.' he said: 'O Allah! bless their meat and water.""

The Prophet (pbuh) added: "At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain he would have also invoked Allah to bless it. If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected unless he lives in Mecca."

The Prophet (pbuh) continued: "Then Abraham said to Ishmael's wife: 'When your husband comes give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.' When Ishmael came back he asked his wife, 'did anyone call no you?' she replied: 'yes, a good looking old man came to me,' so she praised him and added: 'He asked about you and I informed him that we were in a good condition.' Ishmael asked her:' did he give you any piece of advice?' she said; 'yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.' on that Ishmael said: 'It was my father, and you are the threshold of the gate. He has ordered me to keep you with me.'

Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them afterwards. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zam Zam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Abraham said: 'O Ishmael! Allah has give me an order.' Ishmael said: 'Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.' Abraham asked:'Will you help me?' Ishmael said: 'I will help you.' Abraham said: 'Allah has ordered me to build a house here,' pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it.

"Then they raised the foundations of the House (the Kaba). Ishmael brought the stones while Abraham built and when the walls became high Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham who stood over it and carried on building. While Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying: "Our Lord! Accept this service from us, verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower." (Ch 2:127 Quran)

the Prophet (pbuh) added: "Then both of them went on building and going round the Kaba saying O our Lord! Accept this service from us, verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower."; (Sahih Bukhari).

Ibn Abbas narrated a slightly different version: "When Abraham had differences with his wife (because of her jealousy of Hajar, Ishmael's mother), he took Ishmael and his mother and went away. They had a water skin with them containing some water. Ishmael's mother used to drink water from the water skin so that her milk would increase for her child. When Abraham reached Mecca, he made her sit under a tree and afterwards returned home. Ishmael's mother followed him and when they reached Kada, she called him from behind: 'O Abraham! To whom are you leaving us?' He replied: '(I am leaving you) to Allah's care.' she said: 'I am satisfied to be with Allah.' She returned to her place and started drinking water from the water skin and her milk increased for her child.

"When the water had all been used up, she said to herself: 'I had better go and look so that I may see somebody.' she ascended As-Safa mountain and looked hoping to see somebody but in vain. When she came down to the valley, she ran till she reached Al Marwa Mountain. She ran to and for (between the two mountains) many times. Then she said to herself; 'I had better go and see the state of the child.' she went and found it in a state of one on the point of dying. She could not endure to watch it dying and said to herself: 'If I go and look I may find somebody.' she went and ascended al-Safa mountain and looked for a long while but could not find anybody. thus she completed seven rounds of running between As-Safa and Al-Marwa. Again she said to herself: 'I had better go back and see the state of the child.' but suddenly she heard a voice, and she said to that strange voice. 'help us if you can offer any help.' lo! it was Gabriel (who had made the voice) Gabriel hit the earth with his heel like this (Ibn Abbas hit the earth with his heel to illustrate it), and so the water gushed out. Ishmael's mother was astonished and started digging."

Abu Al Qasim, the Prophet (pbuh) said: "If she had left the water, (flow naturally, without her intervention, ) it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth."

Ibn Abbas continued narrating: "Ishmael's mother started drinking from the water, and her milk increased for her child. Afterwards some people of the tribe of Hurhum saw some birds while passing through the bottom of the valley and that astonished them. They said: "birds can only be found at a place where there is water." They sent a messenger who searched the place and found the water and returned to inform them about it. Then they all went to her and said: "O Ishmael's mother! Will you allow us to be with you (or dwell with you)?" Then they stayed there.

"Later on her boy reached the age of puberty and married a lady from them. Then an idea occurred to Abraham, which he disclosed to his wife (sarah). 'I want to call on my dependants I left at Mecca.' When he went there he greeted Ishmael's wife and said: 'where is Ishmael?' She replied: 'He has gone out hunting.' Abraham said to her: 'When he comes, tell him to change the threshold of his gate.' When Ishmael came she told him the same and whereupon Ishmael said to her: 'you are the threshold so go to your family (you are divorced).'

"Again Abraham thought of visiting his dependents whom he had left at Mecca, and told his wife (Sarah) of his intentions. Abraham came to Ishmael's house and asked: 'Where is Ishmael?' Ishmael's wife replied: 'He has gone out hunting,' and added: 'will you stay for some time and have something to eat and drink?' Abraham said: 'what is your food and what is your drink?' she replied: 'our food is meat and our drink is water.' he replied: 'O Allah! Bless their meals and their drink.'

Abu Al Qasim (the Prophet)(pbuh) said: "Because of Abraham's invocation there are blessings in Mecca."

Ibn Abbas continued: "Once more Abraham thought of visiting his family he had left at Mecca and he told his wife (Sarah) of his decision. HE went and found Ishmael behind the Zam-zam well, mending his arrows. He said: 'O Ishmael, your Lord has ordered me to build a house for Him.' Ishmael said: 'Obey the order of your Lord.' Abraham said: 'Allah has also ordered me that you should help me therein.' Ishmael said: 'Then I will do so.' So both of them were saying: "O our Lord! Accept this service of us, verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower." (Ch 2:127)

When the building became high and the old man (Abraham) could no longer lift the stones to such a high position, he stood over the stone of Al Maqam and Ishmael carried on handing him the stones and both of them were saying: "O our Lord! Accept this service of us, verily You are the All Hearer, the All Knower.""

Allah the Almighty told us of Abraham's affliction with his beloved son: And he said after his rescue from the fire: "Verily! I am going to my Lord. He will guide me! My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous." SO We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: "O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what do you think!‎" "O my father! Do that which you are commanded InshAllah (if Allah wills), you shall find me of the patient."

Then when they had both submitted themselves to the Will of Allah and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering); and We called out to him: "O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream (vision!" Verily! Thus do Wereward those who perform good deeds, totally for Allah's sake only. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (a ram;) and We left for him ( a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. "Salamun (peace) be upon Abraham!" Thus indeed do We reward the Muhsineen (good doers). Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves. (Ch 37:99-111 Quran)

Time passed. One day Abraham was sitting outside his tent thinking of his son Ishmael and Allah's sacrifice. His heart was filled with awe and love for Allah for His countless blessings. A big tear dropped from his eyes and reminded him of Ishmael.

In the meantime, three angels descended to the earth; Gabriel, Israphael, and Michael. they came in human shapes and saluted Abraham. Abraham arose and welcomed them. He took them inside his tent thinking they were strangers and guests. He seated them and made sure that they were comfortable, then excused himself to go to his people.

His wife Sarah arose when he entered. She had become old and white haired. Abraham said to her: "We have three strangers in the house." "Who are they?" she asked. "I do not know any of them," he answered. "What food have we got?" He asked. Half a sheep." she replied, "Half a sheep! Slaughter a fat calf for them; they are strangers and guests." he ordered while leaving.

The servants roasted and served a calf. Abraham invited the angels to eat and he started eating so as to encourage them. He continued, but when he glanced at his guests to assure they were eating, he noticed that none of them had touched the food. He said to the them: "Are you not going to eat?" He resumed eating, but when he glanced at them again he found that they were still not eating. Their hands did not reach out for the food. HE began to fear them.

Abraham's fears increased. The angels, however were reading his inner thoughts and one of them said: "Do not fear." Abraham raised his head and replied: "Indeed I am in fear. I have asked you to eat food but you do not stretch out your hands to eat. DO you intend me evil?"

One of the angels smiled and said: "We do not eat. We are Allah's angels." One of them then turned towards his wife and conveyed the glad tidings about Isaac (Ishaaq).

Almighty Allah revealed: Verily! There came Our Messengers to Abraham with glad tidings. They said: "Salaam (greetings or peace)!" he answered: "Salaam (greetings or peace)!" and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf. But, when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: "Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lot." And his wife was standing there and she laughed (either, because the Messengers did not eat their food or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Lot). But We gave her glad tidings of Isaac, and after him of Jacob.

She said (in astonishment): "Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband an old man? Verily! This is a strange thing!" They said: "Do you wonder at the Decree of Allah? The Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be on you, O the family (of Abraham). Surely, He (Allah) is All praiseworthy, All-Glorious." (CH 11:69-73

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http://www.icsfp.com/EN/Contents.aspx?AID=334#permission

A letter from the Muslim World to all humanity. We, the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), are a nation that is not bound to, or represented by, any state or country. We do not identify ourselves with any race, color, or language. We do not call to any ideology or belief system of our own manufacture, nor do we wish to impose upon the world the norms and customs that stem from our history and our unique cultural perspective. Instead, we are a nation that wishes to call humanity to God and convey to them the message of their Creator.

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  1. Preamble

  2. The Messengers and the Message

  3. Who is Gods Final Messenger?

  4. Muhammad the Prophet(pbuh)

  5. Persecution Suffered by Muslims

  6. Emigration from Mecca to Madina

  7. Permission to Fight

  8. The Campaigns of the Prophet

  9. Muhammad(pbuh) being a Messenger of God

  10. Conclusion

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

Preamble
This is an open letter from the Muslim World to all humanity. We, the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), are a nation that is not bound to, or represented by, any state or country. We do not identify ourselves with any race, color, or language. We do not call to any ideology or belief system of our own manufacture, nor do we wish to impose upon the world the norms and customs that stem from our history and our unique cultural perspective. Instead, we are a nation that wishes to call humanity to God and convey to them the message of their Creator.

We do not presume to have the right to concoct such a message on our own and present it to humanity, since no human being is capable of bringing forth a message that encompasses a sure promise of both worldly prosperity and eternal reward. No human being can think to say of his own accord: "Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions." To do so would be to claim divinity for oneself, like Pharaoh did, and set oneself above the rest of humanity. We affirm that it is the right of all people to reject such a presumptuous claim. No one needs ever to submit himself to the worship of another human being.

Therefore, we do not present this letter to the world on behalf of our heritage, our civilization, or ourselves. We advance no economic or political agenda. We present this letter as a nation who follows the religion of the Creator besides whom there is no God.

We are the followers of the religion of Islam. It is the religion that God has chosen for His creatures, by which He brings them from darkness into light and through which He offers to them both success in this world and felicity in the Hereafter. Islam is the only religion that can offer such a promise, since it is the religion that God sent with His final Messenger to humanity, Muhammad (peace be upon him). Since it is the religion sent by the Creator, it can ensure human welfare, for the Creator knows best what is good for His creation. "Should He not know,- He that created?" To Him alone belong the world and its affairs. It is He alone who possesses the ability to reward the righteous and punish the iniquitous.

We see it as a self-evident fact that the religion that the Creator establishes for His creatures and by which He makes clear to them the path to success is the only true way to achieve success. Humanity cannot hope to find any alternative.

We also see as self-evident the existence of God. The universe is a most eloquent testimony to His existence. In its precision, detail, and wondrous variety, it is an expression of His greatness and of His unlimited knowledge and wisdom. Humanity still endeavors to unlock its unlimited secrets. It is inconceivable that this universe was created in vain and without purpose. "Did ye then think that We had created you in jest, and that ye would not be brought back to Us (for account)?"

God created this universe for a purpose. There must be a purpose for humanity as well, since He blessed us with the gift of reason by which we have been able to gain mastery over much of the physical world. Do we, then, have the right to define our own purpose for existence when we did not have a hand in it? Furthermore, since defining that purpose is the right of God alone, can we even hope to know what that purpose is on our own?

For this reason, it is clear that humanity needs to have this purpose presented to him. It is from the wisdom and mercy of God that He does not leave us without guidance. This is why God sent us His Messengers. They conveyed to us the true religion and taught us how to attain success in both this world and the Hereafter. They informed us of the purpose for our existence and how we can fulfill it. We would have never been able to learn all of this on our own. It follows, then, that it is the obligation of humanity to believe in the Messengers and to obey them.

The purpose for sending the Messengers is clearly stated in the Qur'ân: "Messengers who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the messengers, should have no plea against God: For God is Exalted in Power, Wise."

We assert that God sent Messengers to many nations to convey to them His Message, and that Noah, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus (peace be upon them all) were among the many Messengers that He sent. Then God sent Muhammad (peace be upon him). His mission, therefore, was nothing new.

The Qur'ân states this fact explicitly. "We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not;- and to Moses God spoke direct;- Messengers who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the messengers, should have no plea against God: For God is Exalted in Power, Wise."

Anyone who accepts in principle that God sent Messengers to humanity cannot reject Muhammad (peace be upon him) simply because he claims to be a Messenger.

It is unlikely that someone who believes in God would reject the idea that God sent Messengers, since God would certainly convey to us the purpose for our existence.

Someone might, however, try to reject the Message of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the grounds that there is insufficient proof for his being a Messenger. We maintain that the evidence for this is more than sufficient and that anyone who comes to know this evidence will find that the truth of his being a Messenger to be among the clearest of facts. Our purpose in conveying this message is to present in brief some of this evidence, inviting those who sincerely seek the truth to explore the matter further.

Before doing so, we would like to pose the following question to those who accept the Messengers who came before Muhammad (peace be upon him), namely the Jews and the Christians: What evidence do you have for the true claim that Moses or Jesus (peace be upon them) were Messengers? We are confident that whatever you offer as evidence, we will be able to provide something similar and even more decisive as evidence for the Messengership of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Moreover, we can provide stronger and more varied evidence for the Messengership of Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) than the Jews and Christians themselves will be able to muster.

Though what we will mention will be brief, we believe it to be sufficient as a starting place for a sincere and objective seeker of truth. The message that we want to present to humanity is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God and that he was sent with the religion of Islam and the Word of God embodied in the Qur'ân, in the same way that the Torah was sent with Moses and the Gospel with Jesus (peace be upon them both).

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The Messengers and the Message
The Messengers were sent only to convey to humanity the religion given to them by God. We were created to worship God. Our worship, however, is of no benefit to God. Instead, it benefits us. We are commanded to worship God so we may reap the benefits that worshipping Him provides for us.

In spite of the fact that God is the one who sent these Messengers to humanity, there are people who turn away from the guidance that they brought. They not only reject the Message, they try to suppress it and fight against those who wish to follow it. In the past, some of these people had gone so far as to kill the Messengers of God. Can we reasonably assume that God will just leave such people alone and not hold them accountable for what they do?

This question is addressed in the Qur'ân: "What! Do those who seek after evil ways think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds,- that equal will be their life and their death? Ill is the judgment that they make. God created the heavens and the earth for just ends, and in order that each soul may find the recompense of what it has earned, and none of them be wronged."

We must all recognize that God, in His wisdom, has made this worldly life a transient one. He has decreed for us another life to follow this one. It is in that life that the reckoning will take place. It is therein that the righteous who adhere to God's religion shall receive there reward and the iniquitous who go against it shall be punished.

We proclaim that God chose Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be His final Messenger, the last in a long line of Messengers, and that He chose the religion of Islam to be the religion until the end of time.

The Qur'ân says the following in this regard: "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets: and God has full knowledge of all things."

Muhammad (peace be upon him) described his relationship to the previous Messengers in the following way:

My relationship to the Prophets who came before me can be compared to a house that a man built in a perfect and complete manner, except that one brick was missing. People began going into the house and were impressed by it, but they would say: "It would be perfect if it was not for that missing brick." I am that brick. I have come as the final Prophet.

He also said: "I have been sent to all humanity, and I am the last of the Prophets."

We as Muslims, therefore, believe that the Message that was sent with all the Messengers throughout time is the truth from God. We assert that all of them taught the same basic principles. They all called to monotheism. They all called to the omnipotence of the Creator who has absolute control of all of the affairs of Creation. They all taught that nothing takes place in Creation except with His knowledge and by His will. All of them called humanity to proper moral conduct and prohibited lewdness and indecency. These teachings form the basis of the Divine Message throughout the ages.

There was a succession of Prophets who came to the people of old. For as soon as one Prophet died, the people quickly turned away from his teachings and from their faith. They would often go so far as to tamper with their scriptures and sometimes introduced things that were diametrically opposed to the principles of the religion, like the idea that God has partners in His divinity or even children. Whenever this happened, God would send another Messenger to bring them back to the truth. This is what Moses did after the people deviated from the teachings of Jacob and Joseph (peace be upon them all). This is what Jesus (peace be upon him) was sent for. This is, finally, why Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to humanity.

We maintain, however, that belief in the earlier Prophets is to no avail to those who reject the latest Prophet who was sent to them. For example, those among the Children of Israel who rejected Moses (peace be upon him) were unbelievers, no matter how much faith they might have had in the teachings of Jacob or Joseph (peace be upon them). Likewise, whoever rejects Muhammad (peace be upon him) after his Message comes to them; they are unbelievers, whether they are Jews, Christians, or adherents of some other faith.

It follows that the Qur'ân takes precedence over all the previous scriptures and abrogates them, even if some of those scriptures were to reach us in their original form without any alterations or corruptions.

Therefore, we see it as our duty as the followers of the final Prophet to convey the religion of God to humanity.

We see it as the right of every living person to hear this Message. They must be given the opportunity to understand it correctly, to contemplate it, and look into every aspect of it. The decision that we make regarding our relationship to God is the greatest decision that we make in our lives, since our success in this world and the Hereafter hinges upon it.

For this reason, we assert that no one has the right to prevent others from hearing this Message or giving it their full consideration. We maintain that this is necessary so that people can make their own decision about it, free from any constraint or compulsion.

We ask everyone to think carefully about what we are saying in this letter and to explore further the matters touched upon herein, so that they can make an informed decision. We wish to do our duty of conveying the Message clearly, accurately, and in all frankness.

We maintain that the Message of Islam is the truth in the most absolute possible meaning of the word and that it is from God. However, we also believe that it is the right of every person to be completely free in making his or her decision about it. It is within our power to embellish what we are saying and make it more agreeable to a wide spectrum of people, as it is also within our power to present Islam as just one option among a number of equally alluring alternatives. However, we recognize that, though such an approach is recommended for certain matters of human interest, it would be a dereliction of our duty to God and to humanity to do so here. We are here conveying the Message of our Creator, not our own thoughts and opinions.

It is our duty to our Lord, to our Messenger, and to all humanity that we tell the people about the Messenger who was sent with the final Message. Whoever believes in this Messenger thereby believes the religion that he brought from his Lord and whoever rejects him rejects that religion.

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Who is God's Final Messenger?
God selected for His Messenger Muhammad the son of `Abd Allah the son of `Abd al-Muttalib. He was from the clan of Banű Hâshim within the tribe of Quraysh, the noblest house in Arabia, a lineage that stretched back to the Prophets Ishmael and Abraham (peace be upon them both). He was known by his people for his impeccable character and sharp intellect as well as for his honorable bloodline.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in Mecca in the lunar month of Rabî` al-Awwal during the year 570 AD. He was born an orphan. His grandfather `Abd al-Muttalib, who was at that time Mecca's leading nobleman, assumed custody of him.

When he was only six years of age, his mother passed away. Soon afterwards his grandfather died. Abű Tâlib, his uncle, then assumed custody of Muhammad (peace be upon him). He loved his nephew immensely.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) grew up in his uncle's care. As a child, he worked as a shepherd. Then as he grew older, he worked with his uncle as a merchant. During his childhood, it became evident that God took special care of him.

He earned the respect of his people. He was known for his blessed character, his noble behavior, his impeccable manners, his honesty, his trustworthiness, and his unwavering justice. He was respected for his manliness, his insights, and his keen intellect.

God protected him from the deplorable customs and idolatry of his people who were steeped in ignorance. His people had originally been on the monotheistic religion of Abraham and Ishmael (peace be upon them both), but they had long since corrupted their faith just like the Christians and Jews had done.

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Muhammad the Prophet
In the year 610 AD, when Muhammad reached the age of forty, he began loving solitude. He would go to a cave outside of Mecca and worship his Lord. Though he did not realize it at the time, God was preparing him for the great burdens that he was going to have to assume.

In the month of Ramadan of that year, the angel Gabriel approached him while he was in seclusion in the cave with prophecy from his Lord as that angel had done for the Messengers who came before him. Gabriel recited to him some verses of the Qur'ân. It was the first time the word of God was heard on Earth since the departure of Jesus (peace be upon him).

"Read in the name of your Lord who created, created the human being from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. He who teaches by way of the pen; Who teaches man what he knew not."

These verses proclaimed at the dawn of this religion that it would be a religion of knowledge, of culture, and of civilization. Its first command was to "read" and it extolled the use of the pen, reading and writing being the two skills that enable humanity to learn and teach and build their civilizations.

This turn of events was quite frightening to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He returned home and his wife consoled him, reassuring him that God would never abandon a man like him who upheld his ties of kinship, helped the poor and destitute, was generous to his guests, and came to the aid of those in distress.

He was then consoled by Waraqah b. Nawfal who was a man from his people who had knowledge of the previous religions and knew that those religions foretold his coming.

Revelation continued to come to Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the form of verses from the Qur'ân. Among these verses were those commanding him to covey the Message to others and to bear patiently the abuses he was to receive from the people when he did so. At first, he conveyed his Message discreetly. Those who knew him the best were the most ready to accept Islam, because they knew more than anyone else how honest, trustworthy, and intelligent he was and they were aware of how blessed his life was. Among these first Muslims were his wife Khadîjah, his close friend Abű Bakr, and his cousin `Alî the son of Abű Tâlib.

Thereafter, he proclaimed his Message openly in the markets and other places of public assembly. He called to Islam, reciting the Qur'ân. He commanded them to believe in God alone and to worship no one else. He spoke against the evils of idolatry and the falsehood of their belief that God had partners and children. He also called them to wholesome living and spoke against immoral behavior. He called them to honesty, generosity, justice, mercy, and forgiveness. He taught them that people must fulfill their trusts, be modest and chaste, honor their parents, be charitable, and help the weak and oppressed.

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The Persecution Suffered by the Muslims
Though his followers increased daily, so did his enemies. As their hatred grew, they worked increasingly to suppress his Message. Fearing that more people would accept the new faith, they began to lie about him, calling his a magician, a soothsayer, and a poet. They started persecuting those who accepted Islam, torturing and killing many of them. Matters grew so severe that many were forced to emigrate to Ethiopia as refugees.

The unbelievers of Mecca then placed a strict boycott on the Muslims and anyone who tried to help them or protect them. No one was allowed to buy anything from them or sell anything to them. No one was allowed to contract a marriage with any one of them. They were confined to one small area of Mecca. This boycott lasted for three years. It was so severe that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers were often forced by hunger to eat the leaves off the trees and the bones of animals.

In spite of all the abuse, the slanders, the mockery, and the torture that the unbelievers in Mecca meted out, nothing grieved the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than their persistence in unbelief. In the Qur'ân, God speaks about the state the Prophet (peace be upon him) was in during this time.

"Then maybe you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this Message."

God, in the Qur'ân, consoles him, telling him that their rejection is not because they truly disbelieve, but it is their pride and arrogance that prevents them from accepting faith. God then tells him that this is the way it always was whenever a Messenger came to his people.

"We know indeed the grief which their words cause you. It is not you they reject, but the signs of God which the wicked condemn. Messengers indeed have been denied before you, and they were patient under the denial and the persecution until Our help reached them. There is none who can alter the words of God. Already there has reached you some of the tidings of the Messengers We sent before)."

His people did everything in their power to deter him from his Message. They tried persecution and torture. They demanded miracles from him. Then, when some of these miracles took place, they just demanded even more.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) merely grew in patience and resolve. He continued to show mercy to his tormenters, hoping that faith would enter their hearts. He never once wished God to send down His punishment upon them.

Both his wife Khadijah and his uncle Abű Tâlib died during the boycott. They had been his strongest supporters. Khadîjah had been the first person to believe in him. She assisted him with her good counsel and financial support. Abű Tâlib had used his considerable power and prestige within the tribe to protect his nephew. Their deaths grieved the Prophet (peace be upon him) and caused the persecution from his enemies to grow even stronger.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) started reaching out to the other Arab tribes that came to Mecca and called them to Islam. He met with nothing but rejection, because of the strong opposition that came from his own people who made sure to spread their lies to the other tribes before the Prophet (peace be upon him) had a chance to meet with them.

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Emigration from Mecca to Madinah
The Prophet (peace be upon him) spent ten years like this without finding support from any of the Arab tribes. Then during the pilgrimage season, he was approached by a delegation from the tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj from the city of Madinah which was situated a little more than 400 kilometers north of Mecca. The prophet (peace be upon him) presented Islam to them and they accepted it and they pledged their allegiance to him on the basis of the Message that he brought from their Creator. After performing the pilgrimage, they returned to Madinah and began calling their people to Islam with considerable success. The following year, a much larger delegation came to the Prophet, accepted Islam, and pledged their support.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then commanded his followers in Mecca to emigrate to Madinah where they could escape the persecution that had become unbearable to them and practice their religion freely. They also went to teach Islam to their new brethren in faith in Madinah and to call others to it.

This was the third time that Muslims emigrated from Mecca. Twice before, some Muslims were forced to immigrate to Ethiopia. Now they were all going to Madinah.

The Muslims of Mecca left their beloved homeland, leaving behind their homes, their families, and their property. They sacrificed their worldly concerns for the opportunity to live according to their faith, please their Lord, and attain salvation and the rewards of the Hereafter.

They had to leave Mecca stealthily, individually and in small groups, since the unbelievers of Mecca had every intention of preventing them from doing so. The Meccans were well aware that the consequence of the emigration would be the establishment of a state based on Islam in Madinah.

After most of the Muslims had immigrated to Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was permitted by God to do so as well. He had spent thirteen years in Mecca calling people to Islam.

The Meccans were very concerned about his attempting to emigrate and did everything in their power to prevent him from doing so. They went so far as to try and assassinate him. God, however, protected him and made it possible for him to leave Mecca accompanied by his dearest friend Abű Bakr.

They reached the outskirts of Madinah at a place known as Qubâ' on the morning of Monday, the 12th of the lunar month of Rabî` al-Awwal, corresponding to September 20, 622 AD. The Muslims received them there, both the emigrants and the native al-Aws and al-Khazraj. They had heard about his successful departure from Mecca and were waiting expectantly for his arrival. The day of his arrival was an auspicious and historical day for the Muslims. The year of his emigration marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.

The first thing he did when he arrived in Madinah was to build a mosque and his house beside it. He instructed his companions to make neither the house nor the mosque luxurious, but to build them like the mud hut that Moses (peace be upon him) lived in. The Prophet (peace be upon him) worked alongside his companions in the construction effort, carrying the mud bricks and setting them in place.

The Islamic state was established in Madinah. The call to prayer was first made from its mosque, heralding the founding of a nation that pleased the Lord. This call was tied in with prayer, one of the five pillars of the religion of Islam. The first pillar of Islam is the testimony that there is no God but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. The second is prayer. The others are alms, fasting during the lunar month of Ramadan, and making pilgrimage to the house of God in Mecca.

Shortly after his arrival, most of the inhabitants of Madinah who had not yet embraced Islam entered into the faith. There were two groups who did not accept Islam. The first of these were the hypocrites who embraced Islam openly while secretly harboring unbelief in their hearts. They hid their unbelief because of Islam's strength but made every clandestine effort to work against it. Though they were few in number, they were very dangerous to the Muslims. They were like a hidden sickness and they were always willing to act in collusion with the Muslims' external enemies, acting as spies and sources of intelligence.

The other groups of non-Muslims were the Jewish tribes who inhabited Madinah. They recognized the Prophet (peace be upon him) for who he was and had no doubt that he was the final Messenger of God, since this had been foretold to them in their scriptures. However, they were taken aback that this Messenger came from the progeny of Ishmael instead of from themselves. They saw themselves as God's chosen people and that all other people were supposed to be servile to them. They had consequently been heedless of the description of the Prophet found in their own scriptures. They were equally heedless of the fact that they were obliged to accept the Prophet chosen by God no matter what ethnic group or lineage he came from. They also failed to grasp that there was no relationship between the ethnicity of this Messenger and his universal Message that was meant for all humanity without making any distinctions on the basis of color, nationality, or language. Out of bigotry, envy and rancor, the Jews became some of Islam 's most ardent enemies, except for a handful of them whose eyes and hearts became open to the truth so they embraced Islam, seeking the good of both this life and the Hereafter.

All this meant that the difficulties of conveying the Message did not decrease after the Muslims emigrated to Madinah. The Meccans were still doing whatever they could to hinder Islam. They were now being assisted in their efforts by the hypocrites and the Jews in Madinah. The Prophet, in turn, was no less concerned about the guidance and salvation of all of these people. He expended every effort to guide them, showing the utmost mercy and wisdom in doing so. He presented the arguments that his Lord revealed to them and was supported by the miracles that God brought forth at his hands.

With the continued aggression being meted out to the Muslims, they felt that it was time that they were allowed to defend themselves. After coming to Madinah, they were united and were stronger than before. During their thirteen years of persecution in Mecca, they were not allowed to lift a finger against their enemies, even when they themselves were being killed. They knew that conflict was inevitable, since they knew from history that the people of falsehood would never leave the people of truth in peace, and the people of truth would have no recourse but to defend themselves. They also knew that it was their duty to spread the truth to those who were ignorant of it and who would readily accept if once they come to know of it. As for the truth itself, they knew that it was supported by God, for He says:

"Fain would they put out the light of God with their mouths, but God will perfect His light however much the unbelievers may detest it. It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may proclaim it over all religions, even though the idolaters may detest it."

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Permission to Fight
After the emigration from Mecca to Madinah, God permitted the Muslims to fight. This permission was revealed in the most eloquent manner in a number of verses of the Qur'ân that show the justice behind the permission to fight. It is clarified that the reason for this permission is the aggression from which the Muslims had to suffer and from which they were still suffering, though they did nothing to deserve this aggression but to say "Our Lord is God" without lifting a finger against anyone, though they were in the right. After establishing the justice for their right to fight, the Qur'ân goes on to say that the fight between truth and falsehood is the natural order of the world and that it is not something new. Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and many other Prophets (peace be upon them all) had fighting enjoined upon them. This is a point of faith shared by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. It is mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel that is read by the Jews and Christians up to this day. Then, most importantly, the objective of fighting is stated and that is so the religion of God may be allowed to flourish on Earth. No worldly objective is allowed. Then it concludes with mentioning that all the Prophets faced the same rejection and resistance and that success was ultimately theirs.

"Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely God is well able to assist them; Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: ‘Our Lord is God'. And were it not for God repelling some people by others, certainly monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which Gods name is much remembered would have surely been pulled down; and surely God will help those who help His cause; most surely God is Strong, Mighty. Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and to God is the end of affairs. If they reject you, so did the peoples before them (reject their Prophets),- the People of Noah, and Âd and Thaműd; and the people of Abraham and Lot; And) the dwellers in Midian. And Moses was denied; but I indulged the disbelievers a long while, then I seized them, and how terrible was My rejection of them."

These are the circumstances under which jihad was permitted. The verses mentioned above are the verses that revealed this permission. From them it is clear that jihad only exists so people can defend themselves against falsehood and be free to disseminate the truth.

Jihad is for two reasons and two reasons only:

1. Defending the inalienable rights of the human being. These include life, religion, honor, wealth, and a homeland. No one can object to the legitimacy and justice of these rights except those who desire to enslave others and deny them their freedom.

2. Spreading the message of truth to those who are prevented from hearing it. It is the duty of the nation established on truth to ensure that others have the right to hear the Message. A nation established on falsehood works hard to suppress what they know to be the truth from their Lord. They deny this truth out of arrogance and are unwilling to allow a nation established on truth to thrive or to spread the Message of their Lord while they have the power to prevent it. This is because they are aware that they are on falsehood and that their falsehood will not survive when exposed to the light of truth. Therefore, they make sure that the people are prevented from hearing the message of truth, fearing that many of them will accept it. Under such circumstances, it becomes the duty of a nation established on truth to confront those that suppress the truth and ensure that people will be able to freely learn about the true religion of God.

The conquests of Islam have never been to coerce people into changing their religion. As Muslims, we believe it is wrong to do so. We believe it is as wrong to coerce people into accepting Islam as it is for other nations to repress it.

Islam forbids us to force people to abandon their faith. This is not because we accept those other faiths to be legitimate. It is our belief that all other religions beside Islam are unacceptable. However, a person cannot be forced to change what he believes in his heart. Enticement and coercion are not the means by which a person attains faith. True faith can only come about by way of personal conviction; therefore, a person must be free to choose what he believes. He must have the opportunity to ponder the evidence and make an informed decision.

The campaigns that took place in Islam were only against those nations that prevented their people from hearing about Islam or accepting it. The objective of jihad in this case was merely to give people access to the Message and afford them the opportunity to make their own decision in an atmosphere of religious freedom where they would not be pressured by anyone. This is the meaning of the verse: "And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for God. But if they cease, then truly God sees all that they do."

The overarching principle governing these matters is articulated by the following verses of the Qur'ân:

"There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. So whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things. God is the Protector of those who have faith. From the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Those who reject faith, their patrons are the evil ones. From light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be denizens of the fire, to dwell therein."

These verses make it quite clear that there is no role for coercion in a person's acceptance of faith. However, it also makes it clear that the reason for this is that truth is clear. Therefore, a free choice can only be made in the presence of choices. For people to choose truth, the Message of truth must be freely accessible. When the truth is not made clear, then there really is no choice to be made. In circumstances where people are prevented access to the truth, they are being compelled in their beliefs though they are most probably unaware of it.

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The Campaigns of the Prophet
The first armed conflict between truth and falsehood occurred a roughly year and a half after the Muslims emigrated from Mecca to Madinah. The battle took place about 155 kilometers south of Madinah in a place called Badr.

To understand the reason this battle took place, we must be aware of the fact that when the Muslims left for Madinah, the Meccans unlawfully confiscated all of their wealth and property, adding it to their own wealth and taking a good portion of the Muslims' wealth along with them for sale on their annual caravan journey to Syria. We must also keep in mind that there were still a number of Muslims in Mecca who were not able to emigrate and continued to suffer considerable abuse.

Madinah, wherein the Muslims had become a united force, was situated very close to the trade route between Mecca and Syria. The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw it as appropriate to attack them on the economic front by targeting this important trade route while at the same time reclaiming for the Muslims some of the property that was taken from them. If they could teach the Meccans a lesson and expose to them their economic vulnerability, it might cause the Meccans to decrease the injustices that they were still carrying out against the Muslims.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) learned that the Meccan trade caravan was nearing Madinah on its way back from Syria, he commanded his companions to go out and meet it. However, the Meccans got word of the Muslims' advance and were able to divert their caravan in time. When news of this reached Mecca, it was not well received. They considered the Muslims' attempt to reclaim their property a presumptuous insult. The Meccans did not permit the caravan to return, but instead mobilized an army to meet the Muslims.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) learned of their advance and remained in Badr. The Meccan army was considerable and it advanced with great pomp and circumstance. They vastly outnumbered the Muslims, but in spite of this were decisively defeated. This was the first military victory of Islam.

A year later, the Meccans mobilized a force to attack Madinah directly, seeking revenge for their defeat at Badr. The advancing Meccan army that the Muslims went out to meet at the mountain of Uhud was three times as large as the Muslim army. Initially, the Muslims were able to drive the Meccans back with ease, but the Meccans were ultimately able to inflict heavy casualties on the Muslims before returning back to Mecca.

In this was a lesson for the Muslims: that people on the truth can face material defeat. Christians may well remember the persecution that they suffered at the hands of the pagan Roman Caesars in the early years of Christianity. The Christians were slandered and accused of the most atrocious things and the Romans used their considerable wealth and the machinery of state to justify their cruelty, but this did not make the pagan religion of the Romans true or the faith of the Christians false. We must also recall what the Jews suffered at the hands of the Pharaoh.

The weakness exhibited by the Muslims in Uhud emboldened their enemies throughout Arabia. Many Muslims who had gone out to propagate the faith among the various tribes were killed.

During this time, the Jewish tribe of Banű al-Nadîr in Madinah broke their treaty with the Muslims and turned against them. The Muslims were able to contain this threat that erupted within Madinah and lay siege to Banű al-Nadîr until they agreed to leave Madinah. A similar attempt at treachery had already been attempted by the Jewish tribe of Banű Qaynuqâ' after the Muslims returned from Badr, which also resulted in that tribe being expelled from Madinah.

In the fifth year of after the emigration, the Arab tribe of Banű al-Mustalaq decided to advance against the Muslims. This tribe lived roughly 100 kilometers north of Mecca. They were allied to the Meccans, and had participated in the Battle of Uhud. The tribe was prestigious among the pagan Arabs since they were the custodians of one of the Arab's chief idols, Manâh. The Prophet (peace be upon him) decided to make a preemptive strike against them in which the Muslims were victorious. This battle again made the Muslims a force to reckon with in Arabia.

The Meccans reacted to this by calling upon all the tribes of Arabia to join with them in a decisive attack on the Muslims in Madinah that would put an end to the Muslims once and for all. They managed in this way to mobilize the massive army that they wanted. The army was united only by the tribes' commitment to idolatry and was ten times larger than the army that had gone to Badr.

The Muslims learned from Uhud that the zeal which caused them to go out to meet the enemy was going to be of no benefit to them, so they decided to stay in Madinah and benefit from the protective ring of mountains that surrounded it. Madinah was only exposed on one side and the Muslims decided to dig a trench between the mountains on that side of the city to completely fortify it. Everyone, including the Prophet, participated in digging the trench and it was completed in an astoundingly short time.

The battle that ensued is known in history as the Battle of the Trench, or alternatively, the Battle of the Confederate Tribes. The trench took the confederate army by surprise. Whenever any of them tried to breach the trench, they were driven back by a volley of arrows from the Muslim archers. Nevertheless, the Arabs continued the siege of Madinah for 24 days. During this time the Muslims suffered from hunger and more seriously from the insurrection of the remaining Jewish tribe in Madinah, Banű Qurayzah. Banű Qurayzah decided to wage war against the Muslims from their position within the protective ring of mountains surrounding Madinah. They also attempted to facilitate entry of the Arab army from their location.

The Muslims remained resolute and put their faith in God. The Arab tribal army ultimately wearied of the siege, especially after being forced to endure a long spell of harsh weather. Their alliance broke up and tribe after tribe departed for home. The Meccans were among the last to leave.

The Muslims, against all odds, were victorious. The Meccans showed themselves to be incapable of defeating the Muslims. The only thing that remained was to deal with Banű Qurayzah.

That tribe had broken its treaty with the Muslims in the most horrible way possible. They had clearly attempted to eradicate the Muslims and had come close to realizing their goal. They were clearly the most dangerous threat the Muslims had to deal with simply because of their proximity to Madinah.

The Muslims laid siege to Banű Qurayzah for 25 days until they finally surrendered, agreeing to allow a Muslim who had a covenant with them to decide their affair. They assumed that this man, Sa`d b. Mu`âdh, would show them more mercy than anyone else. However, he decreed what they deserved to receive for their treason. He ruled that every man among them capable of bearing arms should be killed and that the women and children should be taken as captives. In total, about 400 men were killed.

It should come as no surprise that the Jews objected to this sentence. Few criminals are pleased with the punishments they receive for their crimes, no matter how just that punishment might be. The situation becomes more aggravated when the parties concerned are enemies. What is surprising, however, is that objective people could raise any objection to what happened in spite of what is mentioned in the Torah about the battles of the Prophets (peace be upon them) and the number of people that the Torah claims were killed at their hands and in spite of the number of civilian casualties, including women and children, that have been justified during wars in recent history.

A year after the Battle of the Trench, the Prophet (peace be upon him) departed to Mecca with 1,400 of his companions with the intention of making pilgrimage. When the Meccans heard of this, they considered it a great insult and an attempt to belittle them, especially considering the humiliating defeat they suffered the previous year. At the same time, they were cognizant of the fact that they had no right to prevent people from visiting the Sacred House and knew that the other Arabs would take objection to their doing so.

When the Muslims reached Hudaybiyah which was roughly 22 kilometers from Mecca, the Meccans declared that they were forbidden from entering the city, but they entered into negotiations with the Prophet (peace be upon him). This was the first time the Meccans gave any formal recognition to the Muslim presence in Arabia. The Meccans had formerly rejected any concession to the Prophet (peace be upon him), but now circumstances forced them to initiate negotiations.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was more than pleased with this concession itself and contented himself with the severe wound to their pride and reputation that their negotiating with him brought them. He, therefore, accepted in the treaty that was drawn up conditions that appeared very harsh towards the Muslims. In fact, it was a moral victory for the Muslims since it dispelled the notions that the unbelievers had been advancing for so long and opened the door for the Muslims to freely propagate Islam.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) made use of this opportunity to expand the reach of Islam's message. During this time, he even called the kings of foreign lands to Islam.

In the eighth year of after the emigration from Mecca, the Romans began massing a number of forces in their Arab satellite state that was situated in what is now Syria and Jordan and that exhibited hostility towards the Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) organized a force of three thousand men under the leadership of Usâmah b. Zayd to deal with this new threat. The two armies met in Mu'tah in what is now southern Jordan. The combined Roman and Arab forces numbered 200,000 to the Muslims' 3,000. The Muslims fought fiercely and heroically. After the death of three generals, leadership of the Muslim army was assumed by Khâlid b. Walîd who saw that continuing to fight would only result in the small Muslim army being exterminated. He crafted his retreat that made it seem like he was baiting them and had reinforcements waiting to attack. Because of this, the enemy army did not pursue them and the Muslims were able to return from such an ominous confrontation with minimal casualties.

Later the same year, the Meccans broke their treaty with the Muslims by assisting some of their allies in attacking a tribe aligned with the Muslims. Moreover, the Meccans did not even attempt to make amends and renew the treaty until much later after learning that the Muslims were mobilizing an army against them.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was able to mobilize an army of ten thousand men, indicating just how many people converted to Islam since the treaty of Hudaybiyah. He managed to keep the Meccans in ignorance of how large the army was.

When the Meccans became aware of the army advancing towards them, they pleaded for the treaty to be renewed. Some of them came forward and announced their acceptance of Islam.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his army arrived at Mecca, he dispatched a message to them that he would not fight anyone who did not attack them. He announced that whoever entered his home, the mosque, or Abű Sufyân's house would be safe. Abű Sufyân was at that time the leader of Quraysh.

In 630 AD, the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered Mecca with his army and met with almost no resistance. He did not enter Mecca as a conqueror, but he entered it humbly with his head bowed. He announced that all hostilities must cease. He stood in front of the Sacred House with his enemies of more than twenty years gathered around him, all of them fearing revenge. He addressed them saying: "What do you expect me to do with you?"

They replied in fear and trepidation: "Good. You are a noble brother and the son of a noble brother."

He replied: "There will be no reproach on you today. May God forgive you all."

These were the battles of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They were not fought for revenge or to enslave or break the will of the people. They were not waged for worldly gain. If he had responded in kind to the Meccans, it would have been just. But the Prophet (peace be upon him) preferred forbearance.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) returned to Madinah and continued to convey the Message of his Lord. He passed away on the ninth of June, 632 AD at he age of 63. He had spent 23 of those years calling people to Islam.

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Some Evidence for Muhammad Being a Messenger of God
All Prophets come with signs and evidences furnished by God that they truly are what they claim to be. Among these signs are miracles witnessed by the people that defy the laws of nature.

Generally, miracles are experienced only by the people who were there when the miracle actually occurred. God, however, furnished the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with a miracle that would endure for all time. That miracle is the Qur'ân. It is appropriate that the final Messenger should have an enduring miracle, since his Message is binding on Creation until the Last Day.

The Qur'ân is the revealed word of God that God has preserved from corruption. The Qur'ân reads: "Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian." "No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it. It is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of Praise."

In the Qur'ân, God challenges the Arabs to produce something like it. "Say: ‘If the whole of humanity and the Jinn were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'ân, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support."

This challenge was reduced even further to the point where only one chapter of the Qur'ân was needed: "And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides God if you are truthful. But if you do not do it, and never shall you do it, then fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers."

This is Islam's eternal miracle. The challenge remains open and unmet to this very day. There are many aspects of the Qur'ân's miraculous inimitability. Among these are its eloquence and its style.

The Arabs were given this challenge and they were the masters of their language and were well known for their eloquence. Not one of them, however, could produce a single chapter comparable to the Qur'ân.

Today, we are conveying this challenge once again to all humanity. This challenge has stood for over 1400 years and continues to be a testimony to the truth of the Qur'ân and the Messenger who brought it. The enemies of Islam have always had in this challenge a perfect opportunity to prove Islam false. They definitely had enough reason to try. It would have surely been much less strenuous for them to pick up the pen and write then to pick up the sword and die trying to suppress Islam. It would have been far less costly than the time and money they spent on fighting against Islam.

We feel that by conveying this challenge we have done our duty. It becomes the duty of the one who hears it to hear the Qur'ân in its entirety and not to rely on unbelievers for their information but go directly to the source.

Another proof that Muhammad (peace be upon his) is God's Messenger is the strength of the religion that he was sent with and the fact that it has been preserved from corruption. We can see all the scholarly disciplines that developed around it over the ages and how Islam was able to respond to all the changes that took place throughout history. Islam has retained its strength while the Muslim world has passed through periods of strength and weakness and of freedom and occupation.

Among the evidence that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a Prophet of God is the fact that his coming was foretold by the Prophets who came before. In their books and their statements they described him and his followers. They even mentioned him by name. The Qur'ân states this fact in the following verses:

"And when Jesus the son of Mary said: ‘O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the Messenger of God unto you, confirming that which was revealed before me in the Torah and bringing glad tidings of a Messenger who cometh after me, whose name shall be the Praised One.' Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic."

"Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel which are with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honor him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they will be the ones to prosper."

In spite of the distortions and deletions made by some Jewish rabbis and Christian priests to their sacred texts, and in spite of the incorrect interpretations they imposed on them, there still remains within those texts enough to establish the proof of Muhammad (peace be upon him) being a prophet of God. To highlight a few of the places in their texts wherein his coming is foretold, we request from you to look at the following: Deuteronomy [33:1] and [18:15-19], Isaiah [42:1-5], Habakkuk [3:3], Song of Solomon [72:1-19], John [14:16] and [14:26], and 1John [2:1].

Another proof that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a prophet of God is the history of his mission, the events of his life, the success of his followers, and how swiftly Islam spread throughout the nations of the world.

The attributes of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his mode of conduct show us that he was truly a prophet of God. He was, in every aspect of his character, an exemplary human being and history has never witnessed anyone else like him.

He was of good appearance and was always neatly dressed, preferring to wear white. He was clean and commanded others to observe cleanliness. When a person approached him and told him that he liked to wear nice clothes and nice shoes, the prophet (peace be upon him) replied by saying: "God is beautiful and He loves beauty." He was of impeccable taste and had a discriminating palate, but was never ostentatious or frivolous. He said: "A son of Adam can fill no vessel worse than his stomach It is enough for him to eat enough to keep him standing straight. If he must consume more, then he may fill a third of his stomach with food, a third with drink, and a third should be left for air." His manners were refined and he was well spoken. He was cheerful and would greet people with a smile. Those who met him liked him instantly and would never tire of his company or conversation. In fact, those who sat in his company would often forget everything else in the world while they were with him. They felt in awe of his presence, not because he was powerful like a king or despot, but because of the strength of his character and his devotion to God.

One of his most pronounced character traits was his capacity for mercy. He had great love and compassion for the poor and preferred to sit and partake of meals in their company. He showed great empathy for the sick and would go out of his way to help them. He would not leave a sick person or a child in need without fulfilling that need. He showed mercy to the orphans and encouraged people to care for them. He had great affection for children and would often carry babies and make them laugh. He taught his followers that children had the right to play and to be humored.

His mercy extended even to animals. He commanded his followers to be kind to the animals in their care and prohibited abusing them He instructed that animals used for food should be slaughtered carefully and with compassion. He reprimanded a man for overburdening his camel and failing to give it sufficient nourishment. He also informed us that a woman once was consigned to Hell for her mistreatment of a cat. She had locked it up and denied it food until it starved to death. Conversely, a prostitute received God's forgiveness and entered heaven because she showed pity on a thirsty dog and gave it water. Once he was asked if people were rewarded for the good treatment they gave to animals. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "For every creature possessing a liver there is a reward."

Added to his mercy was his courage. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was among the most courageous of people. His was not the courage of tyrants but a courage that stemmed from faith in the promise of God. It was the courage of someone who lived according to the religion of God and considered the pleasure of God more important than life itself. He was always present in the battlefield during war, and when things became severe, he would be seen fighting in the front lines. He would remain firm even when other brave men would turn to flee.

He never hesitated in the face of falsehood and never ceased to call to the truth, even when most of the people of the Earth were opposed to him. He never wavered on any of his principles but continued to enjoin what was right and forbid what was wrong.

He was also very forgiving to those who wronged him. He never became angry or hateful on a personal level. No matter how greatly someone wronged him when he was weak, he would show that person clemency when he was in a position of power. He would accept excuses even when he knew that the one making the excuse was lying. He would even make excuses for those who wronged him and did not offer excuses of their own.

He was the most generous of people. He gave in charity like a person who had no fear of poverty. He never once refused to give to someone who asked. He gave everything that came into his possession to the poor and the needy. He would prefer his guests to himself and the members of his household. He usually sufficed himself and his family with dates and water and months would sometimes go by without a cooking fire being lit in his house.

He was at the same time a most exemplary husband. He was very affectionate and caring. He was quick to overlooked mistakes. He never once hit one of his wives, nor did he ever raise his voice to them or ridicule them. He always showed kindness. He would indulge them in anything that was not sinful. He shared in the housework and took care of himself. He mended his own clothes and shoes. He always exhorted his male followers to be good to their wives and warned them against mistreating them. He made sure to do so during his greatest sermon which he gave during his farewell pilgrimage.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was kind to his servants. He commanded his followers not to overwork their servants and commanded that they must eat the same food that the members of the household eat and wear clothing of the same quality. Anas b. Mâlik said: "I worked as a servant for the Prophet (peace be upon him) in his residence and on his journeys. No matter what I did, he never once said to me: "Now why did you do that?" Likewise, no matter what I might have failed to do, he never once said to me: "Now why didn't you do that?"

Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a man beating his slave. The Prophet said to him: "God is more capable of punishing you than you are of punishing him."

Upon hearing this, the man stopped and said: "I set him free for the sake of God."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said: "If you did not free him, you would have been touched by the fire."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was extremely shy and modest. He hated foul speech He never once uttered a foul word. He said: "A strong sense of shame is a good quality in every way." He also said: "Nothing but good comes from having a strong sense of shame."

He was also very humble. He taught his followers: "None will enter Paradise who has within his heart an atom's weight of pride." He used to sit on the floor and eat. He forbade his companions from standing in honor when he entered the room. When he walked, he never expected anyone to move out of the way. He never allowed himself to stand out in his dress or his steed. He never seated himself in a place of honor when he was in the company of others.

Above all of these qualities was his devotion to God. He immersed himself in worship and eschewed the pleasures of the world. The remembrance and praise of God was always on his lips. He always sought the forgiveness of his Lord. His reverence of God often brought him to tears. He fasted so much that it sometimes seemed that he never went a day without fasting. He spent long stretches of the night standing in prayer until his ankles would swell. When he was asked why he worshipped so much when God had forgiven him all of his past and future sins, he replied: "Should I not then be a grateful servant?"

These are just a few of his noble qualities. There is no way we can do justice to him in such a short time. The combination of worldly and spiritual perfection that he exhibited was a miracle in and of itself and a testimony to his truly being a prophet of God.

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Conclusion
What we have just presented is an extremely brief account of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the life that he led. It is what we wish to present to the world. Some people may find it surprising that they never knew these things about Muhammad (peace be upon him) before reading this. One reason for this is our being deficient in our duty to spread the Message. Another factor, however, is that there are those who wish to keep this truth from the people, who do everything they can to misinform them and keep them away from it.

We would like to remind all people that among the obstacles that keep people from accepting the truth are treating traditions and customs as sacred, harboring bigotry for one's own people, and being unable to admit to one's mistakes. We must be objective in our decisions and not allow ourselves to be prejudiced.

We must also be aware that our vain desires and the pursuit of pleasure can distract us from the truth or make us averse to accepting it. We need to bear in mind that God did not create us in vain. He knows what is best for us and has brought us Islam as the only means of attaining true and enduring happiness.

Whoever is concerned with attaining true success should consider well what is written here and do justice to it. We are confident that whoever studies this matter properly and seeks the help of God to overcome all obstacles will find the truth and, by the grace of God, accept it.

Whoever embraces Islam, regardless of his or her ethnicity, race, or country of origin, should help to share this Message with the rest of humanity.

"This is a clear Message for humanity in order that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is only One God, and that people of understanding may take heed."

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