As Salaam Alaikum
Hi, I came across a website looking to find help in understanding a few Surah's that a friend of mine and I were discussing. I've taken some time to look around the site trying to get a better understanding of his beliefs.
We discuss Islam often and I've other Muslims I've known as well and to be honest I find Islam honorable. However, my friend is determined that I am destined to be one and we often become stagnated on a few of my views and it frustrates him that I can't see it his way or the Islamic way. While reading I came across the following paragraph and was wondering if you could possibly elaborate on it a bit for me if you can.
---A Muslim believes that faith is not complete when it is followed blindly or accepted unquestioningly. Man must build his faith on well-grounded convictions beyond any reasonable doubt and above uncertainty. Islam insures freedom to believe and forbids compulsion in religion (one of the oldest synagogues and one of the oldest churches in the worlds is in Muslim countries).
Also I was wondering if you would be kind enough to answer a few questions for me.
In Islam is it the idea that if you're not Muslim, but you are of another God fearing religion that you will be turned away because you did not follow Allah's word?
Can you or should you convert to Islam if you don't agree with a particular part of the faith?
Thank you very much for your time and any help that you can give me have a splendid day.
In the Name of Allah, The All Knower
Walaykum salam sister,
In response to your first question, Allah says in the Holy Quran, “ Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”. (Surah Al-Baqara , ayat 62).
This verse explains that: “Those who believe in Allah (the Only One God without any Partners and nothing similar to Him) as did the original followers of Musa (a.s.), Sabians and the original followers of Issa (Jesus a.s) during their time; and those who believe in the Hereafter and do righteous deeds (i.e. pray to Allah, help the poor etc.) should have their reward. This is because the original followers did not distort the original message of the Prophets. For instance, the present Christians believe in the concept of the Trinity which did not exist or preached during the life of Jesus, but adopted about 500 years after him.
Additionally, Allah also says in surah Al-Imran (3:84-85) “Say (O Muhammad (swa): We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the sons of Jacob and what was given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted (in Islam). And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” (i.e. after the coming of Prophet Muhammad (swa) on the earth, no other religion except Islam (submission to one God, Allah only) will be accepted from anyone.)
In response to you second question, the basic beliefs of a Muslim falls into six main categories, which are known as the "Articles of Faith": faith in the unity of God (Allah); faith in Angels; faith in the Prophets; faith in the Books of Revelation, faith in an Afterlife and faith in Destiny/divine decree. A person must believe in ALL this six Articles of Faith in order to become a Muslim or to convert to Islam.
Compulsion in religion: Allah says:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut (anything worshipped other than the real God –Allah) and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. An Allah is All-Hearer, All Knower)” (Quran 2:256)
It is the duty of every Muslim to establish the proof of Islam to the people so that truth can be made clear from falsehood. After that, whoever wishes to accept the creed of Islam and its way of life may do so and whoever wishes to continue upon disbelieve may do so. No one should be threatened or forced in any way if he/she does not wish to accept it.
It is also important to mention that Islam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. So, our faith is well founded and certain. When the Quran began to be revealed, the first word of its first verse was 'Iqra' that is, read. Allaah says, (what means): "Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not" [Quran, 96: 1-5]
Allah commanded His Messenger to seek more of it. Allaah says (what means): "and say: `My Lord! Increase me in knowledge" Quran, 20:114]. Additionally, the Prophet (swa) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he explained that "the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body". He said that the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention did not leave behind any money, rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. Furthermore, the Prophet said that seeking knowledge is a way leading to Paradise. He said: "Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him." (Al-Bukhaari)
I hope I answered all your questions.