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Path to Salvation

Path to Salvation

Muslim, Christian, Jew, idol-worshipper or atheist — every single person is united in the belief that death is inevitable. Death itself is not an end. Rather, it is a bridge to the next life, the eternal life of the Hereafter. The life of the Hereafter is simply a matter of either heaven or hell. Every person will eventually find his permanent abode in either one of these places. The question is: Who will gain salvation by means of his entry to Jannah (paradise) and who will be doomed to Allah Ta’ala’s wrath and punishment?



In order to understand this matter in its proper perspective, it is first necessary to consider some basic realities. Allah Ta’ala, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, with His power granted every human being the gift of life. He created and fashioned this human being in the most fascinating manner. In the dark factory of the womb Allah Ta’ala granted him hands and feet, those dainty eyes and ears, that little heart, his brain and intellect and all the limbs and organs of his body. Before he is even ushered into this world, Allah Ta’ala creates the sustenance for this miraculous creation in the bosom of his mother. Finally he comes into this world. He comes gasping for breath. He requires air to breathe. Allah Ta’ala provided air for him free of charge. He needs water desperately to live. Allah Ta’ala poured down the water for him from the skies. He needed vegetation for himself and for the animals that he would slaughter for food. From the hard ground Allah Ta’ala brought out the vegetation he required. Thus Allah Ta’ala provided all his needs for him.

He then sent His noble Messengers (alaihimus salaam) to guide man. Finally His last and final Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was sent as a guide for all mankind till the last day. Upon this final Messenger Allah Ta’ala revealed His last book — the Glorious Qur’an, the eternal miracle. Allah Ta’ala has thus commanded all mankind through His final Messenger and His Qur’an that the only path to salvation is the path of Islam.



Among the very basic fundamentals of Islam is to believe in the oneness of Allah Ta’ala and not to ascribe any partners to Him, to believe in and accept the Messenger of Allah Ta’ala, Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), as being the last and final Prophet and to believe and accept the Qur’an as the last book of Allah Ta’ala. Rejection of any of these fundamentals, among others, renders a person out of the pale of Islam. Such a person is committing the worst treason against his Creator, the One who gave him life, who gave him the air to breathe, who granted him his mind and intellect and every other gift.. Such a person, according to the promise of Allah Ta’ala, will never enter Jannah. And Allah Ta’ala does not contradict His promise. All his actions, in the face of the worst form of treason (kufr) that he commits, pale into total insignificance. Hence Allah Ta’ala declares: “And he who rejects Imaan his actions are destroyed. And in the Hereafter he is from among the losers” (5:5). Imaan is the soul of any action. Take away the Imaan and it is merely a lifeless form. However, Allah Ta’ala, only out of His grace, will compensate a disbeliever for his good deeds, such as charity, caring for people, etc. in this world. Anas bin Malik (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Verily when a disbeliever does a good action, Allah Ta’ala grants him something in lieu of it in this world” (Sahih Muslim). As for salvation in the Hereafter, Imaan is a pre-requisite.



The Qur’an clearly proclaims that the only religion acceptable to Allah Ta’ala is Islam. Allah Ta’ala says: “Verily the only religion in the sight of Allah (Ta’ala) is Islam” [3:19]. Another verse proclaims: “And whosoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers” [3:85].



Disbelief (kufr) in terms of the Qur’an and Hadith is to reject any fundamental aspect of Deen. Rejecting a single verse of the Qur’an is disbelief. Addressing the disbelievers Allah Ta'ala says: “Do you believe in part of the book and commit kufr (disbelief) with part of it? And what is the recompense for the one who does that except disgrace in the wordly life, and on the day of Judgment they will be returned to the severest punishment” [2:85]. Rejecting the Messenger of Allah Ta’ala is also kufr. Allah Ta’ala declares: “Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and they intend to differentiate between Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul and they say ‘we believe in some and disbelieve in some’ and they intend to tread a path between that (belief and disbelief). They are the disbelievers in reality” [4:150,151].



The Qur’an, in spite of having explained the principles of Imaan and kufr, spells out certain types of disbelief. Hence Allah Ta’ala says: “Verily, those people have committed kufr who claim that Allah is Maseeh (Eesa alaihis salaam) the son of Maryam” [5:72]. Similarly, Allah Ta’ala says: Verily, those have committed kufr who claim that Allah Ta’ala is the third of the three (the trinity)” [5:73]. Likewise, Rasulullah (sallallhu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “By him in whose hand is the life of Muhammad, no person who hears of me, be he a Jew or a Christrian, and then dies without believing in that with which I was sent (the Qur’an and Hadith) except that he will be from among the dwellers of the fire” (Sahih Muslim).



Allah Ta’ala says: “Verily, those who commit kufr and die while they are disbelievers, even the earth filled of gold will never be accepted from them if they gave it in compensation (to be saved from hell)” [3:91] Another verse states: “Verily, those who commit kufr and falsify our verses, they are the people of the fire. They will dwell therein forever” [2:39]. And Allah Ta’ala also declares: “Verily, Allah Ta’ala has cursed the kaafireen (disbelievers) and prepared for them a blazing fire. They will dwell therein forever” [33:64].

Thus the Qur’an clearly spells it out. Salvation is dependent upon Imaan (belief) in the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala, the apostleship of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Imaan upon every word and letter of the Qur’an and upon all the other fundamentals of Deen. The one who rejects any fundamental aspect of Deen rejects Allah Ta’ala. He rejects his Creator and Sustainer. He commits the highest form of treason. Such a person, according to the promise of Allah Ta’ala, will never gain salvation.

May Allah Ta’ala grant hidayat to one and all. Aameen.

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