بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Answer to Question
The People of Al-Fatra, the Jews and the Christians
To: Sheikh Asim Al-Jabari
After our Master Muhammad (saw) was sent, will those who remain on the Jewish or Christian religion be counted among the people of Paradise? What is the fate of those who did not receive the Message of Muhammad (saw) and they worship idols or other creations? Please clarify the answer to the differences mentioned.
Please inform us, may Allah bless you.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh.
It is as if you are asking about the people of time period (Ahl al-Fatrah), and here is the following:
1- To begin with, it must be emphasized that Jews and Christians are kuffar. Similarly, are the idolaters, and everyone who worships something other than Allah (swt), they are all kuffar; a kaffir is a non-believer, a non-Muslim. Allah (swt) says: [إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ]“Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” [Aal-i-Imran: 19]. Allah (swt) says:[وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِيناً فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ]“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him” [Aal-i-Imran: 85]. A non-Muslim is a disbeliever; if he dies, he will be in Hellfire eternally. The pagan, the Jew, the Buddhist, the Christian, and the Communist are equal. All of them are disbelievers, and all of them are non-Muslims who are non-believers, and they will abide eternally in Hellfire on the Day of Resurrection. The verses of the Qur’an described everyone who does not believe in Islam as a kaffir, and considered non-Muslims to be kuffar without any difference between a disbeliever and another. Allah (swt) said about the Christians: [لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَآلُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ] “They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mariam” [Al-Ma’ida: 72].He (swt) says: [لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ]“They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." [Al-Ma’ida: 73]. He (swt) says about the People of the Book, who are the Jews and Christians: [يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ]“O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the verses of Allah” [Aal-i-Imran: 70]. And He (swt) says about disbelief of the polytheists and the People of the Book alike: [مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلاَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ]“Neither those who disbelieve from the People of the Scripture nor the polytheists wish that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord” [Al-Baqara: 105]. And He (swt) says: [لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ]“Those who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists were not to be parted [from misbelief] until there came to them clear evidence” [Al-Bayyina: 1]. And He (swt) says: [إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ]“Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell,” [Al-Bayyina: 6]. When the Messenger (saw) expelled the Jews of Banu al-Nadir, Allah (swt) sent down: [هُوَ الَّذِي أَخْرَجَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مِن دِيَارِهِمْ لِأَوَّلِ الْحَشْرِ] “It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering” [Al-Hashr: 2]. These texts and others prove that the Jew is a Kaffir, the Christian is a kaffir, and the polytheist is a kaffir, and that they are all disbelievers and that they are in Hell.
2- On 18 Ramadan 1439 AH corresponding to 3/6/2018 CE, we had previously answered a question about the people of Al-Fatra, and it included the following:
[This means that the people in between the Bi’tha of the Messenger (saw) and the previous Bi’tha of the Prophets (i.e., people of Al-Fatra) are saved from Hellfire because they did not receive a message; this is if they were polytheists or did not follow a message. However, the people of the Book (Ahl al-Kitaab) have followed a message but they changed it; they followed a messenger, therefore they were given a message, but they changed it. Therefore, they are not considered as the people of Al-Fatra… Similarly, the Kuffar of the West are not considered the people of Al-Fatra, because Islam reached them, so how is it then for the kuffar who live among Muslims? The people of Al-Fatra are those who did not receive the call; anyone else is not from the people of Al-Fatra.] End.
It is clear from this answer that the People of the Book from among the Jews and Christians who changed the religion of their prophets are not considered among the people of Al-Fatra and are not saved even before the Prophet’s mission, so how about after his mission (saw) and their knowledge of his Message?
3- With regard to the Jews and Christians who remained true to their Deen after the mission of the Messenger (saw), as stated in the question; a clear text was mentioned regarding them in the Hadith of the Prophet (saw) which Muslim included in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Huraira on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (saw) who said: «وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ»“By Him in whose hand Muhammad’s soul is, anyone of this people, Jew or Christian, who hears of me and then dies without believing in my Message, will be among those who go to hell.”
It is clear from this noble Hadith that the Jews and Christians who did not follow Muhammad (saw) after his mission are not among the survivors, but rather are from the companions of the Fire.
4- As for what came in your question about the idol worshipers and the worshipers of other creatures, who did not receive the Message of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), we rule out that there is no one on earth who has not been exposed to the Message of Islam. The world has become like a small village and what happens in its east is known to the people in its west in minutes as a result of the huge development in communications. Islam is the talk of people everywhere. The major countries, and the affiliated countries to them, are fighting Islam under the name of “terrorism.” Their leaders and politicians mention Islam in their statements daily. There are programs that are broadcasted about Islam and the Prophet of Islam (saw). Muslims are spread throughout the world and they have contact with non-Muslims. Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs know Islam and they know Muslims. And idolaters in Africa know Muslims. Therefore, as we mentioned above, we rule out that there will be someone on earth who has not heard of Islam and who has not been exposed to the call of Islam.
But if we assume that there are those who have not been exposed to the call of Islam in our time, from the idol worshipers or the worshipers of other creations who do not follow the message of a prophet from among the prophets, then these people take the rule of the people Al-Fatra; they will not be punished for not following the Message of Muhammad (saw), because they do not know of it and did not hear of it or of the Messenger (saw). This is because Allah (swt) says: [وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً] “And never would We punish until We sent a messenger” [Al-Isra: 15]. And His (swt) saying: [... لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ]“…so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers.” [An-Nisa: 165]. But I reiterate it is in unlikely that there is someone who was not exposed to the call of Islam. However, if we assume that this happened, then he is from the people of Al-Fatra.
This is what I see in this matter and Allah Knows Best, He is Most Wise.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
16 Shawwal 1443 AH
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page.