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Most of my knowledge is about Judaism. Within Judaism, it is not considered necessary for all non-Jews to convert to Judaism. Consequently, non-Jews do not have to follow all 613 of the laws in the Torah. Instead, non-Jews are required (according to Judaism) to follow just 7 laws, and if they follow these 7 laws, they are considered to be doing everything that is required of them. For example, Jews do not believe that Muslims should be keeping the Jewish Sabbath. Even though it is considered prohibited for Jews to, for example, drive on the Sabbath, Jews do not consider it a sin at all when a Muslim drives on the Sabbath.

My question is, what is the level of obligation for non-Muslims (according to Islam) to follow the laws of Islam? If a person does not convert to Islam and accept all of the laws, is that person considered to be doing something wrong? For example, if a Jew drinks alcohol, would he be considered to be sinning according to Islam, or is it not a problem since he is not Muslim? Would that person be punished in the afterlife for having consumed alcohol even though he was not Muslim?

For the purposes of this question, let us assume that the person is aware of Islam, but chooses to remain loyal to his religion.

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According to Jews, Judaism is only for the children of Israel while laws of Noah are applicable to all humanity. Therefore laws of Judaism are only expected to be fulfilled by Jews, but the 7 laws of Noah are expected to be observed by everyone.

Muslims believe that Islam is universally applicable. So, it should be observed by all. As user4841 answered, not believing in Islam and not following its rules is considered sin. Non-believers will be punished in afterlife. So, Muslims are expected to advice people about it, i.e. preach the religion.

As for how Muslims perceive un-Islamic activities like alcohol consumption. That will depend on their country and culture too. Though Muslims do not approve of alcohol but they can not really object to its consumption by non-Muslims. There is also a difference between sin and crime in democratic states. For example, in my country alcohol is banned for Muslims but not for non-Muslims.

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In Islam the non Muslim is always under the obligation to convert to Islam for his own good in the hereafter. It is a canonical belief than Non Muslims will goto hellfire even if they are Monothiests and do good deeds throughout:

Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures. (Quran 98:6)

The basic rule in Islam is that all things which are bad for humans are prohibited and all things good for humans are enjoined. Hence if pork is prohibited then it means in general it is bad for human consumption and even non Muslims should be discouraged from eating pork as it is good for his health that he avoids pork.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

The above generic verse is applicable to each Muslim irrespective of the environment he lives hence even in a non Muslim country it is an obligation for a Muslim to ensure that sins like Idolatry, Obsenity,Alcoholism are prohibited , in the sense he should try to get Alcohol banned or discourage other people from Alcoholism but not force this upon people.Yes non Muslims are required to follow these restrictions in Muslim countries as they can be enforced easily , but in a Non Muslim country it is the individual obligation of Muslims to discourage sin.

  • I have edited your answer a bit. Please let me know if you think the edit is not representative of what you are trying to say. – Daniel Jun 29 '14 at 13:35
  • @Daniel yes approved – user4841 Jun 29 '14 at 13:39
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    I think the first verse quoted refers to non-muslims who rejected Islam out of arrogance and bigotry after its truthfulness were demonstrated to them. There are traditions to the contrary that non-muslims who have not had the chance to learn about Islam and its truthfulness will be treated differently than those who rejected it for selfish reasons. – infatuated Jul 30 '14 at 10:39
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This question is too broad. Because you're a Jew, your question is mostly about Jews, I would prefer to restrict this answer in terms of Muslim-Jew relationships, and not talk "in general". (So, this answer will not talk about Non Muslims in general and only mostly about the 'people of the scripture' especially Jews if possible. Or in other sense, Jews still follow most of the laws which were enjoined upon them)

what is the level of obligation for non-Muslims (according to Islam) to follow the laws of Islam?

I kinda think, you're trying to make sure you will be safe, in the after life, even with respect to the so called 'Islam' which people are talking about.

Within Judaism, it is not considered necessary for all non-Jews to convert to Judaism

Within Islam, it is highly preferred that people completely submit (become Muslims or enjoin Islam) themselves to God/way of God as did the Prophets (peace be upon them) of the past, like David, Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc.

Consequently, non-Jews do not have to follow all 613 of the laws in the Torah

There are two things. 1) Behavior with God 2) Behavior with followers of God.

Since, Jews are expected to submit themselves to God / way of God (fulfilling the 1) Behavior with God), God gave an option to them, i.e. "either follow/abide by the Book which was given to you perfectly" or "follow/abide by the Book which is given to the new prophet in which the laws are mostly varied to the minute extent possible or abrogated as deemed necessary".

But how do they come to you for decision while they have the Taurat (Torah), in which is the (plain) Decision of Allah; yet even after that, they turn away. For they are not (really) believers. (Qur'an 5:43)

You can read more context.

About the Christians it is said in this way...

Let the people of the Injeel (Gospel) judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed (then) such (people) are the Fasiqun (Qur'an 5:47)

After the fundamental requirement of oneself submitting (becoming a Muslim) to God, he is expected to obey God (which could constitute a part of 1) Behavior with God and mostly 2) Behavior with followers of God). That he can do by acting upon what God has commanded him to do, no matter what his religion is.

May the creator guide us all.

  • You have completely misunderstood my intent. I'm not asking this question "to make sure that I will be safe." I'm asking a neutral question for the purpose of academic understanding of Islam, which is the entire point of this website. I have no idea why you say this question is too broad, nor do you justify that claim. – Daniel May 22 '15 at 11:15

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