If Islam is the true religion, why are there so many people who deny it and who are members of other religions in the world? Who prevents people from being Muslims?

The Details of the Question
If Islam is the true religion, why are there so many people who deny it and who are members of other religions in the world? Who prevents people from being Muslims?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, we should not forget that the number of the members of the religion of Islam is probably in the first or at least in the second place. If whether a religion is a true religion or not depends on the number of its followers, the religions of Christianity and Islam are true religions. One out of every three people in the world is a Muslim today. This majority in number is a sign of an important truth.  

Throughout history, no religion has been able to make all people in the world follow it. If this point is taken into consideration, it is necessary to believe that no religion is the true religion. This thought is obviously wrong.

Those who do not accept the religion of Islam are divided into two groups:

First group: They do not accept Islam without based on any evidence for or against it. It is called denial without accepting. That is, they are the people who are not interested in whether Islam is right or not, who are interested in their own pleasures, who do not want to reject Islam based on any evidence or who do not think of exerting any efforts to accept Islam based on any evidence.  Most of the people who do not accept Islam are people like that. They do not want to keep away from their pleasure by accepting Islam, which aims to discipline people’s lives by laying burdens and responsibilities on them. This group, which is indifferent to Islam, is a complete victim of ignorance.

Second group: They are the people who are allergic to Islam with prejudice, who do not heed any evidence in favor of Islam and who regard every weak or slight sign as evidence against Islam. They are very few people and they have never been able and never will be able to refute the truths of Islam through real scientific and logical evidence without prejudice. On the contrary, many non-Muslims have embraced Islam throughscientific and logical reasoning throughout history. Even today, thousands of people, among whom are hundreds of scientists and clergymen, who were members of Christianity, which is a religion claiming to be universal, have embraced and continue to embrace Islam.

The evaluations of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi throw light upon the issue:

According to Nursi, there are eight barriers that prevent Islam, which is a universal religion and which makes all of its issues accepted by the mind, from spreading all over the world. They can be listed as follows:

1. The ignorance of foreigners / non-Muslims. Even the People of the Book could not discriminate between the white and the black because they were so ignorant.

2. They led a life that was away from civilization. Therefore, they were far away from understanding the beauty of the Islamic civilization.

3. Especially the People of the Book displayed great bigotry in their religion. This bigotry prevented them from seeing the Islamic truths.    

4. The domination and arbitrary power of the clergy and religious leaders. This despotism did not allow the people to reason freely and to make a choice.

5. The people obeyed and followed the clergy and religious leaders blindly. The fact that the minds of the people were grabbed by them did not allow the people to think of the possibility that the truth could be somewhere else.

6. The individual and social domination and despotism that the Muslims had. This despotism harmed the beauties of Islam and the civilization of the Quran despotically and caused a scene that was deemed as unpleasant by foreigners.

7. Various kinds of immorality among Muslims that originated from the acts that were contrary to Islam. This non-Islamic immorality harmed the attraction of the sun of Islam and prevented that bright sun like dark clouds from reaching the minds. These two obstacles have also started to disappear with the rise among mankind of the idea of freedom, and the desire to search for the truth.

8. The eighth barrier was the existence of the delusion that there were some controversies between some issues in the Quran and the facts that were approved by science. Due to this wrong delusion, many scientists kept away from Islam, committing a grave mistake.

According to Nursi, the first, second and third barriers have been destroyed by the virtues of knowledge and civilization, and they have begun to disperse.

The fourth and fifth obstacles have started to disappear since the idea of freedom and the tendency to search and find the truth have occurred among people. 

The sixth and seventh obstacles will disappear as despotism will be eliminated and as the ugly side of immorality will become visible. The fact that the separate despotic power residing in a single individual is now declining indicates that the fearful despotism of larger groups in society and of committees will also decline in thirty to forty years time. And the great upsurge in Islamic zeal, together with the fact that the ugly results of immorality are becoming apparent show that these two obstacles are about to decline; rather, that they have begun to do so. Inshaallah, they will completely disappear in the future.

The eighth obstacle is bound to disappear as it becomes clear that there is no controversy between the correctly perceived facts of the Quran and the correctly understood new discoveries of the exact sciences. In the past, the scientists and philosophers opposed Islam because they did not know about the facts of Islam well. This situation has changed completely now.   .

“In the 'Treatise on the Miracles of the Quran, the Risale-i Nur points out flashes of the Qur'an's miraculousness that lie beneath each of all the verses that science attacks, and it sets forth clearly the elevated truths, which the hand of science cannot reach, in those sentences and phrases of the Holy Quran that the scientists suppose to be points of criticism; it compels even the most obstinate philosopher to submit. It is clear and self-evident, anyone who wishes may look.”

“The future shall be Islam's and Islam's alone. And its ruler shall be the truths of the Quran and belief… We, Muslims, who are students of the Quran, follow proof; we approach the truths of belief through reason, though, and our hearts. We do not abandon proof in favor of blind obedience and imitation of the clergy like some adherents of other religions. Therefore, in the future, when the intellect, science and technology prevail, of a certainty, that will be the time the Qur'an will gain ascendancy, which relies on rational proofs and invites the intellect to confirm its pronounce.”[Hutbe-i Şamiye (Damascus Sermon)]

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