What is the state of the non-Muslims who are not informed about the religion of Islam?
Submitted by on Sat, 31/10/2009 - 20:37
Dear Brother / Sister,
Every human being is born with the fitrat (innate potential from creation) of Islam; there is faith in the human nature. For human has the capacity to know that not even a simple table can be made and built by itself. Even idolaters have known that a being created them, but they have not been able to know this being correctly and they have wrongfully tried to satisfy the need for worship in their nature through lifeless objects.
Just like it is not guaranteed that each human being born in a Muslim environment or in a Muslim family will definitely be Muslim, it, too, is not certain that everybody born in a non-Muslim vicinity or a family will be a disbeliever.
In addition, although He has given each human the reason to comprehend the truth, Allah states that He will not punish the people whom Islam did not reach. (The Qur'an, Al-Isra', 17:15)
Human has responsibility in accordance with being informed about Islam or not. In other words, this does not mean that everybody who is not Muslim will definitely go to Hell. So, then, what is it to be informed about Islam?
Fatrat (interregnum) means pause and interval. As a religious term, it refers to the time between two prophets.
Qus bin Saida and Zayd bin Amr mentioned in the first category will, on the other hand, be resurrected in the Hereafter individually as separate ummah (community) by Allah, as they were believers in Allah’s existence and oneness among thousands of people, as they were not the community of any prophet because then no prophet was sent, and as they could not reach the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They are the people of salvation and they saved their eternal lives because of their faith. When resurrected, they will be present in the place of gathering on the Day of Judgment as “community of only one person”. These are ‘exceptional’ people and will be bestowed with Allah’s favors and benevolence.
It is obvious that the people of fatrat are not responsible for worship and religious decrees. However, there is a disagreement between the two sects of belief of Ahl-u Sunnah, Maturidi and Ash’ari, about whether they are responsible for believing or not. According to the belief system of Maturidi, those people must make use of the reason and intellect given to them by Allah and thus understand the existence of Allah by contemplating the heavens and the earth and what is between them. According to Ash’ari, on the other hand, the people of fatrat are not obliged to believe in Allah. This is because they were not sent a prophet. Allah says in the Qur’an: “We would never punish (a person or community for the wrong they have done) until we have sent a messenger.” (4). Therefore, they do not deserve punishment because they were not sent a prophet.
Bediuzzaman, an Islamic scholar who lived and published works in the 20th century, brings the mentioned verse as evidence and says:
Badiuzzaman, who states that at the end of time, a kind of fatrat is being experienced, points out that such kinds of innocent people who die in the world wars will also be among the people of salvation. Beadiuzzaman says:
“As at the end of time (akhir zaman), there came over the religion and the religion of Muhammad (PBUH) a veil of indifference to the degree of fatrat, and as at the end of time the real religion of Prophet Jesus will reign and will become shoulder to shoulder with Islam. For all these reasons, of course the calamities suffered by the Christians who follow Prophet Jesus are a kind of martyrdom for them.” (6)
2. The Qur’an, Fussilat , 14.
3. Tajrid-i Sarih trns, 4:544.
4. The Qur’an, Isra, 15.
5. Letters (Mektubat), 360-361.
6. Kastamonu Lahikası, p. 77.
Questions on Islam
- What is the view of Islam about the faith of those who lived before Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), i.e. those who lived in fatrat (interregnum)? Will they go to Hell because they passed away without faith?
- What is the state of the people of fatrah (interregnum) who did not know about Islam? Will they go to Hell because they die without having any belief?
- Why do the calamities that visited on the former communities not happen now?
- In Surah Al-Tawba, it is announced, Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. (9/5) How do you explain this verse?
- What are some important incidents that took place in the first year of the Migration?
- Will Prophet Muhammads mother and father enter Paradise? What do Islamic scholars think about their belief?
- What are the criteria for social intercourse with non-Muslims? Is it permissible to be business partners with them?
- How are Muslims, Jews and Christians related?
- What is Bid a (Innovation) and what is it not?
- Is the most effective method in spreading and establishing Islam is war or calling into religion?