Muslims believe that the Quran has Divine authorship, and thus should have no incorrect statements.

However, 2:111 says

And they say, "None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian." That is [merely] their wishful thinking, Say, "Produce your proof, if you should be truthful."

The Quran is criticizing the Jews for this belief. However, this is completely false. Jews believe, and are the only religion that believe, that non Jews can go to heaven. It says so explicitly in the Talmud, which pre-dated the Quran. I think Mohammed also learned a little of it too. There is no record of Jews ever believing the opposite.

So do Muslims have a resolution to this issue?

  • 1
    this verse infact emphasizes the point that non jew can enter heaven , which can be proven from their own torah
    – user940
    Commented May 12, 2013 at 6:15
  • 1
    "It says so explicitly in the Talmud" is not sufficient. You should provide the necessary references for the completeness of your question.
    – Seeker
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 22:28
  • I know of one place in which the concept that non-Jews in general can enter paradise is referenced in the talmud. Sanhedrin 105a, a continuation of a section beginning on 101b which discusses a teaching that seven people who are utterly banned from heaven forever. Bilam is the only one among them. If non Jews in general were not able to enter heaven, there would be no reason to single out Bilam. come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_105.html Commented May 21, 2014 at 5:12

2 Answers 2


Just because they say something doesn't necessarily mean that they speak true. Even the remainder of the ayah indicates that what they said was nothing more than their own wishful thinking, rather than actual fact.

What really matters in this case is understanding who "they" is referencing — based on the facts in OP, it's unlikely to be the Jews in general — and why "they" would say something that is so apparently untrue.

Luckily for everyone here, I don't have to start working out any elaborate conspiracy theories involving little-known deviant sects of Judaism that just happened to be in existence during the time of the prophet (which is too bad, I had a couple of good ones). Pulling back a bit in the Qur'an to get some context makes it quite clear who is actually speaking here:

2:109 Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them. So pardon and overlook until Allah delivers His command. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.

"They" isn't referring to all of the Jews, it's not even referring to most of the Jews. And it's definitely not referring to the actual teachings of the Jewish Scriptures.

"They," in this case, is referring to a specific subset of the People of the Scripture (which includes both the Jews and the Christians). Those who, rather than going their own way with their own religion, actively wish to turn the Muslims away from Islam.

They are the ones who say "None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian." They may actually even believe it, or they may be lying just to win their point, I couldn't say. Even nowadays, there are plenty of people who play fast and loose with the facts in their own Scriptures (Muslims included), people who are less concerned with relaying the true message of God than they are about proving others wrong.

But their actions, and their claims, hardly reflect Judaism (or Christianity) as a whole.

  • 1
    But it says Many of the people. Doesn't sound like a tiny subset. How come there's no record of this people? (except for the Quran). And the last part of the verse says produce your proof presumably because it goes against Muslim beliefs...
    – Robbie
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 22:56
  • @Robbie I never claimed they were a tiny subset, or that they were even a people. Please read my answer carefully.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 23:10
  • @Robbie I think here 'Many' means 'a significant number' maybe not even a 'significant portion' of Jews. Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 10:42
  • Tafseer of this ayat, says the jews and christians at the time said this that only they will go to heaven tafseer here. Changing 'they' from christian and jews, to some unknown people is wrong. Wanted to correct this.
    – muslim1
    Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 1:16

Here lets clarify a few things..

1) The verse says "they say" which implies belief of people not teachings of the torah, mishnah or gemara.

2) The verse DOES NOT say "they all say", so does not hold true for the beliefs of all jews.

3) To further bolster this opinion, lets look at the christians (who are also a part of this verse ), you will find roman catholics say "believe in the blood of christ to be saved", while some anglicans say that there might be other roads to salvation.

4) Resolution: The last line of this verse is your resolution, which rhetorically ask "produce your proof, if you are truthful" implying no such concept exists. and it will be hard for a jew or christian to find any evidence of the same.

I would also take a small exception to something you mentioned in your question..

"Jews believe, and are the only religion that believe, that non Jews can go to heaven"

Islam too believes that...

"Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve." [Quran 2:62]

  • 2
    surely you are referring to monotheistic jews, christians and sabians and not the ones who take gods beside Allah?
    – user361
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 5:05
  • "does good" implies no shirk, charitable, praying regularly etc
    – islam101
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 5:31
  • @Robbie, see this question and my answer there. Also see my answer here.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 20:23
  • Yes, but the verse (See the Tafsir Ibn Kathir of it) is talking about the Jews before Jesus (Peace be upon him) and Christian before Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Because: At that time that was the only accepted religion, bt this is not now.///The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, no one of this nation, Jew or Christian, hears of me then dies without having believed in that with which I was sent, but he will be one of the people of the Fire.” Narrated by Muslim, 153./// Moreover in Quran 3:85, we see only accepted religion is Islam. Commented May 15, 2020 at 8:08
  • See Islamqa on this. Commented May 15, 2020 at 8:12

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