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I was reading the Qur'an in English, when I came to verse 62 of Surat Al-Baqara I was really confused with the verse.

As the English translation of the verse says -

Verily! Those who believe and those who are Christians, Jews and Sabians who believe in one god and perform good deeds, they will surely be rewarded and they should not fear

The above sentence is so clear that those who believe in oneness of god and do good deeds can go to heaven (I am emphasizing its BELIEVE not BELIEVED and its WHO ARE CHRISTIANS.. and not WHO WERE CHRISTIANS...)

So why we (Muslims) attempt to convert other religious people to Islam?

We can ask them to follow the oneness in God, that's enough for them?

I read in many sites but answers were not convincing.

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Literally "Islam" means "submission" so "Islam" is called "Islam" because the sole criteria which has to be satisfied in Islam is one's submission to the will of God.

Literally speaking, all Divine religions from Adam to Mohammad can be called "Islam" because they share the same criteria as mentioned before. They all require man to surrender himself to only One God and worship none other than Him.

On the other hand as we all know, Islam is the last religion whose book is Holey Quran which was brought down by Prophet Mohammad(pbuh).

The word "Islam" has been used in Quran in both ways:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلامُ وَ مَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتابَ إِلاَّ مِنْ بَعْدِ ما جاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْياً بَيْنَهُمْ وَ مَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِآياتِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَريعُ الْحِسابِ
Indeed, with Allah religion is Islam, and those who were given the Book did not differ except after knowledge had come to them, out of envy among themselves. And whoever defies Allah's signs should know that Allah is swift at reckoning.(3:19)

In this verse, the word "Islam" has been used in the literal meaning because of the rest of the verse. The first part of the verse is followed by some sentences describing how the People of Book differed among themselves. In order for the first part to make sense we have to say that the literal meaning of "Islam" is intended in the verse. So the meaning of the verse can be explained as follows: "The religion with Allah is only one which is submission to the will of Allah and accepting willingly His commands and ordinances. Although these commands and ordinances differed in quantity and quality from one religion to another due to the various levels of perfection in every religion, they are all the same in essence owing to the fact that they were all conveying the same message which was surrendering oneself to the will of God. In spite of knowing the truth and being aware of the fact that the religion with Allah was only one as explained before, the People of Book differed among themselves on account of envious and jealousy.

The word "Islam" has been used in the second meaning as well:

وَ مَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلامِ ديناً فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَ هُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخاسِرينَ

Should anyone follow a religion other than Islam, it shall never be accepted from him, and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter (3:85)

It should be noted that Quran can be interpreted by itself which means that verses interpret each other. The above-mentioned verse is clearly saying that your understanding of the verse 62 of Surah Baqarah is not correct. There is only one religion accepted by Allah. AS a result the verse 62 of Surah Baqarah is interpreted as follows:

No one go to the Paradise because they are called Muslim, Jew or Christian. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and act righteously will be rewarded by Allah and now that the Quran has been sent down, whoever believes in Allah consequently should believe in His last Book, Quran which will result in believing in the verse 85 of Surah Al-e-Imran. The same rule applies for the people who lived at the time of revealing other Holey Books.

Moreover, if we accepted your interpretation of the verse, how would you justify numerous Quranic verses inviting People of Book to convert to Islam?

  • Fair enough! It would be better if you also explained why 'Islam' in the first verse is interpreted literally and not in the second verse you quoted. The evidence could be hadith, historical or textual context. – infatuated Sep 3 '14 at 14:50
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Short Answer

It is obligatory on all Muslims to give Da'wah to the kuffar, and if Da'wah reaches the Kuffar, and do not enter Islam and follow Muhammad, then they will be of the people of hell fire. Now if Muslims force non-Muslims, then this is wrong and should not happen, as for why some might do that I do not know. Lastly asking people to follow the oneness of God is not enough, they must follow the Prophet Muhammad, and what was revealed to him.


Long Answer

There should be no forcing to revert to Islam or to believe, as is clear in the following Ayah that belief cannot be forced into someone and there is no forcing someone to believe:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

There is no compulsion in the acceptance of the deen

As for the Ayah in your question, the more accurate translation is:

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve

The meaning of the Ayah is those who were in the times of their Prophets not those who existed in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or after him. And that those in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and after who knows of Islam and the true way but chooses not to follow will be in hell fire:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ: يَهُودِيٌّ، أَوْ نَصْرَانِيٌّ، ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ، إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ

By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.

  • Assalamuwalaikum. I know muslims believe in Allah and prophet mohammad(PBUH). But what about other relegions, is for them is it exceptional to beleive in mohammad. I read in online there were different meanings of that verse. In some of the cases BELEIVE in the verse has written as BELEIVED so that the verse mean to past people. I donot know arabic, I should refer to english only. I am not sure whom to beleive and whom to not. Is arabic is so difficult to translate between present and past. Allah knows the best. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:24
  • Please dont go to other verse to explain. I beleive each and every verse by Allah is true. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:34
  • That's a nice answer. Perhaps you could explicitly mention the verse that says how da'wa should take place exactly i.e. using wisdom, nice preaching and debate. It's a crucial point to highlight at this historical juncture I believe as these days we hear more and more about many muslims who actively ignore that important guideline and do the exact opposite of it! – infatuated Aug 29 '14 at 3:06
  • It would be nice to see the reference for It is obligatory on all Muslims to give Da'wah to the kuffar. – servant-of-Wiser Mar 12 '16 at 12:46
  • See this answer why the interpretation of 2:256 ("no compulsion in religion") can be quite different than your answer describes it to be. – G. Bach Mar 20 '17 at 11:46
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First of all I edited your question with correct translation and also here is it same translated Surat Al-Baqara;

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans - those who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
Source

You can clearily see that this Ayah of Qur'an is talking about past and the sentence those who were Jews or Christians is before the era of our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) so it is clear.
Also one more thing, we Muslim definably believe in oneness of Allah but we also believe that Our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is the last Prophet of Allah which Jew and Christian don't believe and this makes us Muslim. There is one Hadith which makes sense that who is real believer.

A man brought the Prophet (ﷺ) a black slave girl. He said: Messenger of Allah, emancipation of believing slave is due to me. He asked her: Where is Allah ? She pointed to the heaven with her finger. He then asked her: Who am I ? She pointed to the Prophet (ﷺ) and to the heaven, that is to say: You are the Messenger of Allah. He then said: Set her free, she is a believer.
Source

This Hadith says that the believer is the one who believe in Allah and in Our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

  • Assalamuwalaikum. I know muslims believe in Allah and prophet mohammad(PBUH). But what about other relegions, is for them is it exceptional to beleive in mohammad. I read in online there were different meanings of that verse. In some of the cases BELEIVE in the verse has written as BELEIVED so that the verse mean to past people. I donot know arabic, I should refer to english only. I am not sure whom to beleive and whom to not. Is arabic is so difficult to translate between present and past. Allah knows the best. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:22
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Brother please bare in mind that before Islam was revealed there was Christians and Jews who believe in Allah and worship him it does not mean that there efforts and worship will not be accepted, which explains "Verily! Those who believe and those who are Christians,Jews and Sabians who believe in one god and perform good deeds, they will surely be rewarded and they should not fear".

Plus some of those relegions has reached such a high level of contradictary like the trinity or the promised land etc..., and we have been assured by god that his book will not change or to be altered and this is the one which will lead to the righteous path in life, following the books of other religions is not following the word of god because they have been altered.

There are other versus which mention Islam is the religion to follow as below, in the gospel and the torah we have been told that a prophet named muhammed will come and to follow him.

[3:19] Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah , then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account.

[3:20] So if they argue with you, say, "I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me." And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, "Have you submitted yourselves?" And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away - then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.

--- Sahih International ---

Hope my answer helped if not delete it as i would not like to mislead others, plus Muslims dont force other people to join their relegion this is against Islam!!!

  • Assalamuwaalaikum bro. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:05
  • Quran came during prophet mohammad(PBUH) time. Then why allah is telling that verse. I read in online there were different meanings of that verse. In some of the cases BELEIVE in the verse has written as BELEIVED so that the verse mean to past people. I donot know arabic, I should refer to english only. I am not sure whom to beleive and whom to not. Is arabic is so difficult to translate between present and past. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:14
  • Allah Knows all. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:14
  • Please dont go to other verse to explain. I beleive each and every verse by Allah is true. – Aslam anwer Aug 29 '14 at 2:32
  • @Aslamanwer, Allah knows best. brother Mujahid has left a nice answer, the word in arabic is used in the quran to reffer to muslims as well in diffrent versus, but like Mujahid has mentioned in the last verse of his answer – Aboudi Aug 29 '14 at 9:16
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Ah! Alas for (My) Servants! There comes not a messenger to them but they mock him!. (Qur'an 36:30)

The reason Muslims proselytize is because God wants the believers to be warned from a very great punishment which will last forever 'The Hell'. Else, in the hereafter they would surely say, "There did not come to us any warner to warn or guide us. Lest we would surely have been guided."

But the scenario of hell is like this,

It almost bursts with rage. Every time a company is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, "Did there not come to you a warner?" They will say," Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ' Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.' " (Qur'an 67:8-9)

But warn by the Quran, him who fears My Threat. (Qur'an 50:45)

So remind, if the reminder should benefit; (Qur'an 87:9)

And Qur'an 2:62 is abrogated by

And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers. (Qur'an 3:85)

May the creator guide us all.

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Assalamuwa-alaikum

I have seen other religion people what they do. They don’t have guidance towards a better life. I have seen people drinking, girls not doing hijab and lot many uncountable things. Obvious they are not the good things even if we speak scientifically.

My conclusion is that a person cannot be a good person without accepting ISLAM (Believe in god (Allah) and Mohammad (PBUH)) and following its principles.

In other religions there is no guidance for a good human being at all. They are always in the wrong path. So I feel its our (ISLAMIC People) duty to preach non-believers what ISLAM is.

We can teach them slowly until they get to know the truth. If they are stubborn not to accept the ISLAM even after knowing the truth we have to do what Quran says.

Allah the all wise and all knower.

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