Questions About Belief

Question and answer details
Mohammad Murtaza Mahmud
As-salamu `alaykum. I have the following questions.1. I was born into a Muslim family. I was asked to believe in Allah, His angels, scriptures, messengers, life hereafter, qadar (divine destiny), etc. and to reject all other religions. If I do so I will go to Paradise and if I don't I will go to Hell and remain there forever. My question is: Does belief in any theory depend on one's whim or on the truthfulness of the theory and one's realization of that?2. How can I be sure that Islam is true and all other religions are false?3. I have heard that only Muslims will go to Paradise because of their faith in Islam, although they commit many bad deeds, and all people of other religions or no religion will go to Hell and they will remain there forever because they don't believe in Islam although they do many good things for mankind. Is it really true? Is it their fault that they were born into non-Muslim families?4. If the message of Islam (with proper evidence) does not reach those people, how can we expect them to accept Islam?5. I think everyone should try to know the true theory, but the ability of our five senses and our brain is limited. Different people may believe in different theories according to their different realizations although the truth is unique. Will anyone who believes in a wrong theory remain in Hell forever, just because of his limitations of ability to know the real theory?Jazakum Allah khayran.
Shahul Hameed
Salam, Mohammad.

Thank you for your questions.

You know that every being, living or non-living, obeys what are usually called "the laws of nature." From the Islamic perspective, these laws are Allah Almighty's own laws, which all beings have to necessarily follow.

There are other laws of Allah, often called "moral laws," that are not meant to be followed compulsorily by all beings. For the very nature of these laws demands that beings have discretion and freedom of choice in order to follow them. As humans are blessed with reason and freewill, Allah commands them to follow these moral laws, freely and willingly, not compulsorily.

All the prophets of Allah taught His religion (namely, submission to Allah Almighty) to their respective peoples. But in the course of time, the religion as learned and practiced by the people underwent many changes. So the original and pure religion had to be restored and completed "in the fullness of time." This was the mission accomplished by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the final prophet of Allah. Thereafter it is the duty of his followers to teach to the people the same laws that were taught by the prophets of Allah.

With regards to your first question, in His Qur'an Allah Almighty commands:

*{And so, set thy face steadfastly towards the [one ever-true] faith, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man: [for,] not to allow any change to corrupt what God has thus created this is the [purpose of the one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not.}* (Ar-Rum 30:30)

This verse means that Islam is the natural religion meant for all humans regardless of race, nationality, age, and background.

There is a well-known saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "Every child is born with a natural disposition (fitrah); it is only his parents that later turn him into a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian" (Al-Bukhari).

Here, "the natural disposition" stands for man's instinctive awareness of God, to Whom he naturally submits. This submission is basically Islam, whereas his parents (and other similar influences) may turn him off toward religions other than Islam.

The foregoing means that people's acceptance of Islam does not depend on their whim, but on their innate nature that moves them to submit to their Creator.

So how can you be sure that Islam is true? It is obvious that Allah does not want to impose His religion on humans; otherwise no one could have been a disbeliever.

Man is free to choose and he is given intelligence, imagination, and discretion. He can use all these to observe, compare, study, and arrive at his own conclusion about the truthfulness or otherwise of the path he is choosing. So we can use all our available faculties and resources to find out whether Islam is the true religion or not.

With regards to your third and fourth questions, Muslims are people who lead a life of obedience to Allah, which means they take care to avoid doing bad deeds. Of course, as humans, Muslims also can occasionally forget or err. In that case, they immediately repent and return to God. God will forgive their lapses and admit them to Paradise.

How can those people who refuse to accept Allah and His religion wish to receive the rewards He offers to those who accept Him and His religion? It is absurd for such people to expect reward from Allah.

If some people do not know of the message of Islam, they cannot be judged on the basis of the teachings of Islam. But remember that Allah will never commit even an atom's weight of injustice, as He has said in the Qur'an what means:

*{The Word changes not before Me, and I do not the least injustice to My servants.}* (Qaf 50:29)

We can see that in all humans there is a natural tendency toward God and His laws. Those who have never known of the message of God will be judged on the basis of this innate and natural tendency toward good.

Finally, Mohammad, all humans are Allah's creation. He knows all about the strengths and weaknesses of each of us. Similarly, Allah knows how we measure up in His scales of judgment, and it will be on that basis that He judges the actions of people. He never ever does injustice to any one; that is certain.

So only those who deserve punishment will be punished. There will not be any miscalculation or misjudgment on the Day of Reckoning, as Allah Himself guarantees in His Book of Guidance.

I hope my answer helps. Thank you for your question, and please keep in touch.


Useful Links:

The Justice of Divine Judgment

The Justice of the Day of Judgment

Man in His Essential Nature Proclaims One God

People Unaware About Islam: Will They Go to Hell?