Salvation in Islam
What kind of salvation is provided in Islam?
First of all, I want to mention to you, when I came to Islam, that was my concern, what kind of salvation do you get in Islam? Because I need to be saved,
I grew up in a mentality of people. Although I was a Protestant and not particularly a Baptist, but I hung out with the Baptist because there were many in our area and it was the closest church. I use to go there all the time, especially when they had their nightly revivals, when they had their special services, especially music services, choir groups and everything and I heard them preach a message over and over. Once you're saved you're always saved, declare Jesus as your savior and that you’re a Baptist and then you will be saved.
But when I went to the Muslims and tried to convert a Muslim, I thought for sure they'd be impressed with our method of salvation, just say Jesus died for your sins and you are saved. Then I was amazed because the Muslim told me, “I’ll go to your religion if your religion is better then my religion.” I thought “there’s a deal! There is no religion easier then Christianity.”
You do not have to pray as a Christian, you don't have to stand and bow and prostrate like the Muslims do, you don't have to fast the month of Ramadan, you don't have to pay charity, you can, it’s good for you. You don't have to make a pilgrimage to the holy land like Muslims do. You don't have to keep up with the 33. 000 gods like the Hindus have, according to their own books. You don't have to do some kind of weird lotus positions and be a Buddhist.
The point is, in Christianity you don't have to do anything. All you have to do is say I believe in Jesus and that he died as a sacrifice for my sins and he is god in the flesh and he is one in three (trinity), etcetera. That's what we were told.
So, it’s got to be an easy religion. The Muslim said, but “ but I’ll go to your religion if it's better then my religion, BUT you’ll have to have proof.” This is what you are asking me about today in your question. What is the proof? For sure the proof of Islam is amazing.
But let me continue just for a second. When we call to Islam, we do not promise you that if you're a Muslim you’re saved, and we don't tell you that the best of the people we have are our teachers and leaders and they’re going to the highest place.
In fact, what we can guarantee you when you come to Islam is that a person can go to hell, there is no doubt about that. If you want to go to hell, that's easy, just be disobedient to Allah, deny Him and that's where you will go. As far as our leaders and teachers, if they do not practice what they preach and if they preach one thing but live another, if they are, what we call “Munafiq” or hypocrites, they will be in the lowest part of hell, and Allah will start the fire of hell with them.
You might say “That's not very merciful.” No it’s not, unless you look at it from God's point of view, It’s very merciful. It means that the people who get mercy are those who give mercy, and the ones who are dealt with in truth are those who dealt with the truth. And the liars deal with their problems.
So if you are a clean hearted, clear minded, loving soul going through this life doing your best serving your Lord, the God of the universe, to the best of your ability, according to what you know, you are on the path of salvation. It is up to Allah, the judge of all of the universe, to decide. It is up to Him to look in the heart of a person to see who is sincere, and who is not. But His mercy is prevailing over His wrath. This is what He said, that it was written in His book which was put up with Him before He began the creation, that His mercy will prevail over His wrath, His anger.
To give a demonstration of His mercy, throughout the Quran, 114 chapters, 113 of those chapters begin with “Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim,” in the name of Allah The most Beneficent, The most Merciful. Ar-Rahman is from the word “Rahmah” and it means mercy. All the chapters except one. But then we find inside of one of the other chapters, it talks about Solomon wrote a letter to Sheba and he began the letter with “Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim,” for a total of a 114 times in the Quran, equaling the number of the Surahs in the Quran. How many times Allah has said “Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim,” in the name of Allah the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, the most Beneficent.
He is the All-Merciful, He is Mercy He is compassionate, All-Forgiving, but only for those who deserve it. Because He is also All Fair (Al-Adil), which means that He is totally and completely just. It means those who are deprived in this life receive in next life. Those who cheat in this life will find what’s waiting for them in the next life. There is a balance, there is retribution, there is restitution, there will be compensation, and all of this is on the day of “Yawm ul Haqq,” the Day of absolute Truth which is waiting for all of us. “Yawmul-Hisab,” the Day of payback is waiting for all of us. “Yawm al Qiyamah,” the Day of Resurrection to be brought forth again to be recreated as we were in the first place, is all promised in the holy Quran. It teaches that over and over that those people who were here in this life will be brought back again.
The good news in Islam is that every single soul will be recreated as a human being, they will be brought back. Every Jew, every Christian, every Hindu, every Buddhist, every atheist, every Muslim, every single human and every Jinn will be recreated again.
But the bad news is not all are going to paradise. The vast majority of the human beings will go to hell because of their disobedience to the Almighty. The good news for them is all of them will get out of hell except those who refuse, and who would refuse? Those who refused Allah in this life they will refuse Him in the next life. And they will not be allowed out of the hell fire. But everybody else, every bad Muslim will eventually get his pay back and he will get out of there and get to go to paradise. But if he wasn't a true Muslim, regardless of his name or country... These people think that it's going to work just because it says “Muslim” on your passport? No way!
Those who really tried, they believed in God and tried to do Gods will. But when they understood that something better came they would go to that. As an example: the Jews at the time of Jesus knew Jesus was the Messiah, many of them knew and they rejected him. Those who followed him understood that the message was being updated, because it has been corrupted. This is mentioned by Jesus and he calls the scribes names like “snakes” and “scum" because of their corruption of the religion. This is mentioned in the Gospel, Jesus is calling them names. Jesus curses the people who were in charge at the San Hadrian because of their misapplication of funds (the money changers), their corruption of texts and teaching, and he accuses them of that. These are the people who will be in the lowest hell fire.
Then when Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) came, many of the Christians recognized him as being who he was suppose to be, the Paracletos mentioned by Jesus, the one who would come and be the comforter, the counselor, the spirit of truth. Look in the Gospel of John, chapter 14 and 16 and see what it says. Get the Koine Greek though and look at Paracletos, that’s the word. Jesus talked about a prophet like unto me will come. I go that he can come, if I do not go, he cannot come. Then the people thought, that’s the holy ghost.
It doesn’t say that, this is something that people came up with on their own. Where did they get this stuff from? By the way, the holy spirit, there is no holy ghost, but holy spirit is the name of Jibril (Gabriel) That’s his title. If you look in the Gospels you will find very clearly that the angel goes to Mary and tells her she is going to have a baby. That same angel is the one that goes to Joseph and tells him that Mary is going to have a baby, but it's of the holy spirit, but this doesn’t mean that the holy spirit, as in angel, is having sex with Mary. No! It means that he has told her about it because she’s a virgin, that means she didn’t have sex. Anyway I don’t want to get in that part of the subject.
The point that I’m making here is what is salvation in Islam. It’s to believe in all of the prophets; Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, the twelve tribes, all of the prophets all the way from David to Salomon to Jesus (Peace be upon him) and to believe in Muhammad as the prophet and messenger of God. You have to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, he is the miracle birth, he is the word of almighty God, he is created in a miracle way, like Adam and like Eve. You don’t worship him and you don’t worship Eve, you don’t worship Adam and you don’t worship Muhammad, you worship the God of them. You have to believe in the books. God sent many books. We believe in all of the books, we believe in all the prophets in their original form in their original teaching. When you believe that and you believe in the angels, the day of Resurrection and you believe in predestination of God, then you’re a Muslim. At least you’ve got the belief of the Muslim. If you act on it and try your best, what else could you be but a Muslim? Even if you don’t know what a Muslim means.
I received an email saying somebody believed in God, didn’t believe Jesus was anything more then a Prophet, did believe that Muhammad is a Prophet, does want to follow the commandments and they want to pray with Muslims, but they don’t want to make their Shahadah. They don’t want to say “I want to enter Islam.” They said, “can you tell me what’s wrong with me praying and fasting along with Muslims? What would be wrong with that if I still want to be a Christian, but don’t try to convert me, First of all I can’t convert anybody. A person reverts to their natural inclination. When you’re born, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) taught us, as a child you are born into Islam and born into submission to God. You are already in the right way already doing what God wants you to do, but it’s your parents who will raise you up to become a Christian or Jew or fire worshipper.
The understanding in Islam is that a child is born innocent, and to be a Muslim is to be innocent. By that I don’t mean that you didn’t make any sins. It means that you are trying your best to live up what God wants you to do and when you make a sin you are honest about it, you say “I made a sin and I’m sorry.” You repent to God, you don’t tell other people what you did, but you talk to God and tell Him you're sorry and He forgives you, because He is the only one who can forgive you. There isn’t anybody else to forgive you except Him. When you are honest, and sincere, and say "God forgive me", He forgives because He is the Merciful. The only thing He doesn’t forgive is, He told us in the Quran, Chapter 4, verse 48, I do not forgive that people associate partners with Me in worship (Shirk). But anything less then this, I can forgive. Eventually. I didn’t say you don’t go to hell at all, but there are people who have murdered and done a lot of bad stuff, but still in their heart they believed in God, they did try to some extent to be Muslim or surrender to God, the way of God But they messed up, yet they repented, and if they were sincere in their repentance, they don’t have to stay in the hell fire forever. That’s kind of good news. I say that because I don’t want to go to hell at all!
The ones who will never get out of hell are only those people who refuse to believe in God and obey Him. But if you said, “what about the people who never heard about God, they are somewhere in a desert island so the message didn’t get to them?” Did God create them? Of course He did. Is He the one who took care of them through their life? Yes, well you say, “He never gave them the message.”
Believe it or not everyone is born with a sense of what is right or wrong. If they really believe in God and they really want to do what God wants them to do, its still going to be up to Him on the Day of Judgment to judge them. Not you or me, he will deal with them in justice, He promised that, He will ask them: “Do you believe in me?” “Yes of course.” Because on that day, what else is there to believe? Then He will set up a test for them. In one example it says that He will tell them to jump in the fire and ask: “Will you obey Me?” If they refuse, they won't get to go to Paradise. But if they obey Him, they will find that it’s not really a fire and they end up going to Paradise. Alhamdulillah.
So his Mercy prevails over His anger, His wrath. His Mercy is so much so that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that Allah has 100 parts of Mercy, and only 1 of the 100 parts of Allah’s mercy has been used in His creation, and all of the mercy that extends over all the creation like the mother has for the baby. And how much mercy does the mother have for her baby? You can’t measure it. All of the mercy people show each other is only 1 part of the mercy of the Almighty Allah of out of His 100 parts of Mercy and the other 99 parts of His mercy are waiting for the believers on the Day of Judgment. This gives us some idea of the mercy of Allah. It extends beyond what you or I can imagine. But Allah’s mercy is not illogical, that mercy is for those who really do try their best and God knows who is trying. He forgives according to His judgment and we ask for His mercy in His judgment to be fair and easy for us. Ameen
Sheikh Yusuf Estes