Abrahamic Faiths

'Ali al-Timimi

Disbelief of Ahlul-Kitaab in the Messengers

What is the relationship between Islaam and the previous scriptures and revelations? Does Islaam acknowledge them and if so to what degree; does Islaam reject them and if so to what degree? Are the people of the previous religions believers, will they win Paradise or are they unbelievers and will be condemned to Hell? These are questions which Muslims misunderstand and as a result a lot of debate and argumentation revolves around these issues. Let us investigate this.

We know that in the second soorah, al-Baqarah, Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa summarizes the characteristics of those people who will benefit from the Qur'aan. Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa says:

"Alif Laam Meem. Dhaalikal Kitaabu laa rayba feehi hudal-lil muttaqeen." [2:1-2] "This is a book, there is no doubt regarding it, it is a guidance for those people who have taqwaa, those people who fear Allah."

Then Allah describes them and among His descriptions that He mentions about them is that they believe what is revealed to them and what was revealed before them. So they believe in the revelation which came to the Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu `alaihi wa sallam as they believe in the revelation which came before Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu `alaihi wa sallam, being the revelation given to the Prophets, like the Gospel to `Eesaa ibn Maryam, like the Tauraah to the Prophet Moosa `alaihis salaam, like the Zaboor or the Psalms which was given to Daawood `alaihis salaam. And likewise we find in the final verses of soorat al-Baqarah also a description of the matters of belief, where Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa says that the believers and the Messenger, all of them believe in Allah and His Angels and His Scriputres and His Messengers; they make no distinction between them [see 2:285]. Meaning that they do not believe in some of them and disbelieve in others, like the Jews.

The Jews believe in the Prophets of Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa mentioned in their Tauraah, but they disbelieve in Jesus. They disbelieve that Jesus is son of Mary, they dont accept him as Messiah. In fact, they strove to crucify him, even though they didn't crucify him and killed him, as Allah tells us in the Qur'aan, but they tried to. And so therefore they are His enemies and that is why before the Day of Judgement when `Eesaa comes down he will fight them and their king, the Antichrist. And also the Jews disbelieve in the Prophet Muhamad sallAllahu `alaihi wa sallam and they fought him. So they distinguish between the messengers. And the Christians, even though they believe in the Prophets and they believe in `Eesaa, they denied the prophet Muhammad sallAllahu `alaihi wa sallam.

But as far as our Ummah, we do not distinguish betwen the Messengers, in the sense that we believe in them all. And likewise we believe in all the revelations sent by Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa to His Prophets. We believe in this. So therefore our faith is a comprehnsive faith. Indeed, we believe in the Messengers who were not mentioned to us in the Qur'aan. As Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa mentions a number of Messengers in soorat an-Nisaaa', the fourth soorah [see 4:163], and then He says "Messengers which we have sent, giving glad tidings and warning" [see 4:165] and He subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa also says "some of them We have mentioned to you and some of them We did not mention to you" [see 4:164].

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