The Call for the Unity of Religions (Wahdatul Adyaan): A False and Dangerous Call – Dr Saleh as Saleh

In the Name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful

…I begin to write:

All Praise is due to Allaah. We praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah, Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whomever Allaah guides cannot be misguided, and whomever He leads astray cannot be guided. I testify that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allaah, alone, without partner or associate. I further testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).1 May Allaah’s salaah and salaam also be granted to the Prophet’s pure family and to all of his noble companions.

“O you who believe! Fear Allaah [by doing all that He ordered and abstaining from all that He forbade] as He should be feared [obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always] and die not except in a state of Islaam” [Qur’aan, Soorat Aal-’Imraan (3:102)].

O mankind! Be dutiful to your Rabb [2] [Allaah], Who created you from a single person [Adam] and from him [Adam] He created his wife [Eve], and from them both He created many men and women. And fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual [rights] and [do not cut the relations of] the wombs [kinship]. Surely, Allaah is ever an All-Watcher over you. [Qur’aan, Soorat An-Nisaa’ (4:1)].

O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him, and speak [always] the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger has indeed achieved a great success. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Ahzaab (33:70-71)].

To proceed:

The most truthful speech is that of Allaah’s Book [the Qur’aan] and that the best of guidance is that of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The worst of evils are the muhdathaat (newly-invented matters [in the deen] [3], and every innovated matter (in the deen) is a bid’ah; every bid’ah is a dalaalah (misguidance), and every dalaalah is in the Fire of Hell.

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 compromising the basics of the Isamic creed through what is called “Bridging the Faiths.”[4] 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 (Azza wa Jal) spoke of their attempts and called the Muslims to be aware of them:

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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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.[5] 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 kufaar:

Verily! Those who believe and those Jews and Christians, and Sabians,[6] whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Rabb [Allaah], on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Baqarah (2:62)].

Shaykh-ul-Islaam bin 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.].” [7] 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Furthermore, the order of the explained, رضي الله عنهما above aayah, as ibn ‘Abbaas was canceled by aayah 3:85, which states:

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 kufaar 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:

And had the People of the Scriptures believed,[8] it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith,[9] 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 (Azza wa Jal) said:

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 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 Mûsa (alaihis salam):

And of the people of Mûsa 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم), was a believer. The believers from the People of the Book who accepted the Prophet’s Message of Islaam will receive a double reward:

And who believe in that which has been sent down [revealed] to you [Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم]10 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)].

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.[11] [Qur’aan, Soorat Aal-’Imraan (3:199)].

Those to whom We gave the Scripture [i.e. the Torah and the Injeel 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 bin 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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 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-صلى الله عليه و سلم]. 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]*.” [12]

The Qur’aan also mentions the case of believing monks and priests who followed the true teachings of ‘Eessa (alaihis salam) and who believe in the revelation to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and would love to be from the ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم):

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).” [13] 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 [(صلى الله عليه و سلم)], 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his So, Allaah rewarded them .[رضي الله عنهم companions 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)].

The aayaat cited above are some of the qualities of the believing Christians, who believed in the true Message of Jesus (a’leihis-salaam). In our times, any “Christian” who holds to similar beliefs and hears of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) must accept him and accept that which he is entrusted with (i.e. Islaam). Then he is a believer. If they know about Islaam, they must declare their acceptance of it unless it will result in their death. They are called then to migrate to daarul-Islaam if they are able to.Otherwise they are called to exert that which they are able to, and Allaah knows best. [14]

And in case he never heard of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), then his case rests with Allaah15 in light of Allaah’s saying: “And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.” [Qur’aan, soorat al-Israa’, 17: 15].

Question: Some Muslims say: “But Allaah (Azza wa Jal) 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:

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 assuredly have been pulled down. [Qur’aan, Soorat 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: [16] “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 Islamic Rule, including their protection, yet He (Azza wa Jal) hates them. He commanded the defending of their places of worship, yet He hates them because other than He is being worshipped in such places…” [17]

Ibn ‘Atiyyah said: “He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) checked them when they were on the Truth before the alterations and abrogation [i.e. of their religions].” [18]

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,[19] 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 kufaar as Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) refers to them. When they according to ,عليهما السلام followed Mûsa and ‘Eessa 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?

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:

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,[20] 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:

Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] and al-Mushrikeen,[21] were not to leave [their disbelief] until there came to them clear evidence. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Bayyinah (98:1)].

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 abrogation were carried out, and does not refer to those who held to the Scriptures before they were altered and abrogated, because they were not kufaar 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 kufaar because they hold to altered and abrogated Books, and they are, like all other kufaar, in Hell forever,[22] although Allaah, the Exalted, commanded that they pay jizyah [23] and made it permissible to eat their food and marry their women.” [24]

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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم). This is the Covenant which Allaah took upon all the Prophets. [25]
7. Every believer should firmly believe that the Jews and Christians are kufaar and enemies of Allaah, His deen, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and the Believers.
8. The kufaar 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.[26]
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).[27]
11. The above does not mean that the Muslim abandons calling the kufaar 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.[28] This does not mean that the Muslim compromise the basics of his deen. It also does not mean that Muslims should indulge with the kufaar 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? [29] 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) when he sent Mu’aath ibn Jabal (radhi Allaahu anhu) to the “People of the Book” in Yemen. The first thing he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded him to do is to call them to tawheed and belief in Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as His Messenger.[30] 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.” [31]

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,[32] non-harbi,[33] mu’aahad,[34] and the musta’min,[35] 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 loyalty) 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Allaah (Azza wa Jal) says:

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 صلى الله عليه و سلم], 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 non-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 non-combatants from the unbelievers is commanded by Allaah. It is forbidden to harm them, especially if they are under the protection of a Muslims or in a Muslim land permitted by the Muslim ruler as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Whoever killed a mu’aahad shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of fourty years (of traveling). [Al-Bukhaari, v. 9, no. 49].

So, this matter is not a “political” affair, rather it is from the Deen of Allaah. And the “evil of these actions, is that it causes the distortion of Islaam, since the enemies of Islam will capitalize on such occurrence in order to distort the reputation of Islam and to turn people away from it, although Islaam is innocent of such acts…” [36]

That is why all believers in Allaah who love Islaam should disassociate themselves from these deviant paths even if they raise “attractive” banners, remembering that the early dissidents (al-Khawaarij) were foremost in worship of Allaah, yet they deviated from the true Path. Since the three matters are all from Allaah and since He (Azza wa Jal) says:

Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope, [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Baqarah (2:286)]

So, the three matters outlined above are within the scope of the believer and they are just and not contradictory:

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 (alaihis salam) and His son when the just decree of Allaah (the Deluge) [37] came upon the kufaar from the people of Nooh:

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 (alaihis salam) invoked Allaah:

And Nooh [Noah] called upon his Rabb [Allaah] and 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 (alaihis salam) of His command of Legal disassociation (al-baraa’ ash-shar’i) from the kufaar:

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 ignorant.” [Qur’aan, Soorat Hood (11:46)].

The immediate submission of Nooh was clear in his saying:

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:

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 are 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:

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 (alaihis salam) by saying:

There has been for you an example for you to follow in Ibraaheem and those with him, 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 Christians are useless, as they will never be pleased with the Muslims until the Muslims follow their religion. Addressing Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), the Imaam of the Muslims, Allaah, the Exalted, warned him that:

Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you [O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)] 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم):

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)].

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

Seeking forgiveness from Allaah,
Saleh As-Saleh.
Revised on the 21st of Rajab 1425,
September 5, 2004.


[1] (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam): The salaah and sa-laam of Allaah be upon His Prophet Muhammad. The salaah of Allaah upon Prophet Muhammad is His Praise of the Prophet before the angels who are close to (but below) Allaah, the Most High, who istawaa (ascended) His ‘arsh (Throne), which is above the seven heavens, in a manner that suits His Majesty. The angels also praise the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The salaam is Allaah’s safeguarding of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) from deficiencies and any kind of evil, and the protection of the Message with which he was entrusted. When the Muslim says صلى الله عليه و سلم (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he invokes Allaah to grant His Praise and Security to Prophet Muhammad and the protection of the Message of Islaam which was revealed to him (صلى الله عليه و سلم). [See Ibnul Qayyim’s Jalaa’ul Afhaam fee Fadlis-Salaati-wa-Salaam ‘alaa Muhammadin Khairil Anaam, [Damascus, Syria: Daar ibn Katheer, and Al-Madeenah, KSA: Daarut-Turaath, 1408/1988], p.128.

[2] Rabb: Allaah is Ar-Rabb. He is the One Who gave all things the power to grow, to move and to change, to Whom belongs the Creation and Commandment; the Master Who has no equal in His Sovereignty, Predominance, and Highness, The One Who Provides for and Sustains all that exists.

[3] Deen: The practical and doctrinal aspects of deen are more comprehensive than the Western concept of religion. The deen of Islaam is the way of life prescribed by Allaah.

[4] So often one hear the following: “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.” 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 (Azza wa Jal) says:

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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his message of Islaam. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the attestation with full acceptance and submission, not just mere attestation, that what he brought forth is the truth. That is why Abu Taalib (the uncle of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not become a believer in the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), despite his attestation to what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) brought forth and his witness that it is the best of religions.The brother who uttered the aforementioned statement should repent to correct it, and declare the truth in the best ,تعالى Allaah possible way.

[5] Allaah (Azza wa Jal) says:

If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to ulil-amr [learned 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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.

[6] A past nation who used to live in al-Mawsil (‘Iraq) and said, “La Ilaaha Illal-laah.” They were neither Jews nor Christians.

[7] 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, Mûsa and ‘Eessa, respectively. When they held to the beliefs of ‘Eessa and Mûsa, they were not kufaar. However, when they continued to believe in the altered and abrogated forms of these Books and commit shirk, they became kufaar, 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 (Azza wa Jal) 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.

[8] Like the belief of Muslims who accepted the Message of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

[9] Includes those amongst them who had faith before Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was sent to mankind. The believers whom Allaah described:

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 [rebellious, disobedient to Allaah]. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Hadeed (57:27)].

[10]The revelation includes the Qur’aan and the authentic sunnah.

[11] Ibn Taymeeyah explained that some of the sahaabah (e.g. Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, ibn ‘Abbaas, and Anas ibn Maalik as well as most of the scholars mentioned that رضي الله عنهم 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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 kufaar are prevailing, or land of the kufaar between whom and the Muslims there is no peace) and who believes in Allaah and in Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) 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.

[12] 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.

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

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 in ,عليهما الصلاة والسلام messages of ‘Eessa and Muhammad calling the people to the tawheed, are the same.

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

[15] This is correction of the original statement “in shaa’ Allaah, believers,” and which came in the first print as well as in the first print of “The Message and the Messengers.” And Allaah’s forgiveness is sought in case of any error.

[16] 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.

[17] 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 Isamic Law.

[18] 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.

[19] Fitrah: natural inclination to worship Allaah alone. Every human is born on this state. That is why if someone reverts to Islam, then he/she returns to his initial state of submission to the only true God, Allaah.

[20] 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.

[21]Mushrikeen: Those who commit shirk including pagans, polytheists, idolaters, and unbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah and in His Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

[22] If they die on their beliefs.

[23] 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.

[24] Quoted in Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa, vol. 35, pp. 227-228.

[25] 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 صلى الله عليه و سلم] 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 (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said (what means), “If Mûsa were alive and present among you, it would not be permissible for him to do anything but to follow me.” [Ash-Shaykh Al-Albaani stated that it is reported by Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqi, 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].

[26] Example Abu Taalib is in Hell, and Fir’awn is in Hell, as well as others specified in authentic texts.

[27] 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.

[28] The aayah in Soorat Al-’Ankaboot (29:46):

(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:

[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.”

[29] In the year 1415 (1995), I wrote a book as well as a short article entitled, “Who Deserves to be Worshipped Alone?” In shaa’ Allaah (Allaah Willing) it is helpful to address people from all religions. The article is available on the site:

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

[31]The text is in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari (Arabic/English), vol. 2, no. 478. It is also reported by Muslim.
[32] Thimmi: A non-Muslim living in a Muslim country and upon whom the jizyah applies. Those non-Muslims are under the protection of the Muslims.
[33] The non-combatants from the unbelievers.
[34] An unbeliever between whom and the Muslims a term of peace has been made for a definite time.
[35] The unbeliever who is permitted into the Muslim land by the approval of the Muslim governor, e.g. visiting, business, etc.
[36] From the fatwa of or Shayekh, Muhammad bin Salih al-‘Uthaimeen (may Allaah’s Mercy be upon him), concerning the bombings that took place in al-Khubar (Saudi Araia) in the year 1419. See al-Fataawaa ash-Shar’iyyah fil Qadaayaa al-Mua’aasirah (Legal Verdicts Regarding Current Issues), pp. 80-87, collected by Muhammad bin Fahd al-Husayyin, with an introductory by Shayekh Salih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him). Shayekh bin ‘Uthaimeen enumerated many other evil consequences of such actions, including spreading ciaos in the land, destruction of humans and their wealths, and more.
[37] The great flood in the time of Nooh (alaihis salam).

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