How Do Muslims View Jews and Christians?

Question and answer details
Hello, I am seventeen years old and was born a Muslim, but I only recently embraced the religion. I have a couple of questions. I have heard an explanation about the Quranic verse that says what means: {And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee, and surely I am of those who submit.} (Al-Ahqaf 46:15) What I heard is that it indicates that any human who dies prior to reaching the age of 40 goes to heaven. Is this true? Also, some Christians I know want to know what the Quran says about how Muslims should interact with Jews and Christians. They believe Islam promotes violence against people of other religions. Also, what is the fate of Jews and Christians when they die? So, can you help me in answering this question? Thank you so much.
Shahul Hameed

Salam Dear Farzin,

Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

I understand that the belief you mentioned, namely that “anyone who dies before he or she attains forty years goes to heaven” is not warranted by the teachings of the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The verse you mentioned does not mean that explanation at all.

Your second question is about Islam and violence. For articles on the topic, visit the following link: Religion and Violence

Islam teaches that all the prophets of God (including those mentioned in the Bible (like Abraham, Moses and Jesus) taught basically the same religion: namely Islam or a life of complete peaceful submission and obedience to the One and Only God. So Islam, we may say, is the latest of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

As all the three religions were based on divine guidance, all their true followers were “Muslims” (those who submitted peacefully to the One and Only Creator), because they lived a life of submission to God alone.

In this sense, all the pious Jews and Christians who worshiped the One God as taught by their prophets, were Muslims. That is to say, to Muslims the Jews and Christians are brothers and they hope that the Jews and Christians will have the same attitude and approach towards them.

Islam teaches that those who believe in the One True God, and live a life of obedience to that God, expecting reward in the Hereafter, will have nothing to fear and will not grieve. Because the Quran is clear that Allah will not punish any one unjustly, that He will not do even the least bit of injustice, for He says what means:

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

And Allah knows best. Thank you and please keep in touch.


Useful Links:

Destiny of People of the Book

Killing the “Other” to Please the “LORD”!

Harming or Respecting People of the Book?

Islamic Dealing with People of the Book