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Inviting to Islam

08 March, 2023
Q I have known many Hindus in my life. As I do not know much of their religion, I find it rather difficult to invite them to Islam. Could you explain to me why shirk is a sin not forgiven by Allah? A certain Hindu asked me about the judgment of his father, who died a Hindu. His father knew hardly anything about Islam, and nobody spread the word to him. What does Islam say regarding this? He may have died a mushrik although he was not introduced to Islam.


Asalamu Alaikum Hasnet, 

Thank you very much for your question. 

To answer your question fully, I need to explain two important concepts in Islam: (1) the concept of sin, and (2) the concept of shirk (associating partners with Allah). 

The Concept of Sin

From many verses in the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him-PBUH), it is quite clear that sin is a conscious violation of any of the commandments of Allah, the Merciful.

If a Muslim, for instance, drinks alcohol because he or she is ignorant of its unlawfulness, he or she does not commit a sin. On the other hand, if the same person–after knowing that drinking alcohol is unlawful–drinks it consciously, he or she is committing a sin. 

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The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: 

Actions are by intention, and every human being will have that which he or she intended. Thus, he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger. And he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit, or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that which he migrated. (Bukhari) 

In other words, Allah’s reward for good actions comes on the basis of the motive behind them. Similarly, a sinful action is one where the motive is evil.

A person may do an apparently good action, but with a bad motive or intention; in that case, he commits a sin, though others may not see anything wrong with it. Allah alone will judge a deed and the hidden intention behind it on the Day of Judgement

The Concept of Shirk

Now consider shirk

The Holy Quran, as well as the earlier revealed scriptures, clearly teaches that Allah is the singular Creator, Sustainer, Controller, and Sovereign of the universe. All beings are His creatures.

Allah alone deserves worship and unconditional obedience and allegiance. Anyone who violates this principle is, in effect, questioning His Singular Authority and Sovereignty. 

As understanding and faith in Allah’s Oneness (tawheed) is the basis and foundation of Islam, any action undermining that foundation is the most serious of all sins. Other sins are committed against other creatures, or even against oneself.

No other transgression can be more egregious than a transgression against Allah, the Source and Fount of all existence. 

mushrik (one who associates partners with Allah) disrespects Allah by giving His rights to another, namely a created being—be it in the form of a son, saint, or idol. For this reason, shirk is the most serious of evils. 

If the father of your Hindu friend had no chance of knowing the message of Islam, he cannot be held accountable for his not being a Muslim. From the Holy Quran, we understand that Allah will never do even an atom’s weight of injustice.

Allah says:

{and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone.} (Quran 18:49)

Inviting to Islam

Furthermore, the classical theologians have cited the following Quranic verse as proof that a person who has been neglected by the Islamic invitation (dawah), through no fault of his or her own, is not responsible for being Muslim.

Allah says:

{Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit; who goes astray does so to his own loss; no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another, nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent an messenger (to give warning).} (Quran 17:15)

On this basis, we can say that a man, who hypothetically lived with no knowledge of Islam as a factor of his complete isolation from Muslims and any knowledge of the religion of Allah, will not be accountable for his dying without Islam.

However, if he had been exposed to Islam at one point and chose not to listen nor pay heed to the message of tawheed (not associated partners with Allah-monotheism), he is accountable for his lack of concern for the purpose for which he had been created. And Allah knows best. 

Allah has made death the only known fact to all people of sound mind, be they Muslim or non-Muslim. He has put clear signs of His Existence all around us, at all times. And it is incumbent upon ever sane person to seek the purpose of his or her existence.

Thus, while a person who has never received word of Islam is not responsible for being Muslim, he is responsible for using his intellect and the evident natural signs of Allah around him to arrive at a belief in monotheism.

In other words, he is responsible for tawheed, to the best of his ability, but not responsible for the dictates of the sharia (Islamic law). And again, Allah knows best. 

Furthermore, as the nation (ummah) of Muhammad (PBUH), the last and greatest nation in which there are to be no more prophets, Allah has blessed us Muslims with the effort of prophets, namely calling ALL of humankind to the worship of the Creator.

Allah says:

{And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.} (Quran 51:56)

If we have grasped the reality of this verse, we would never rest contented with our actions. The most honorable and important effort in the world is to call our fellow human beings back to this purpose. This was the job of the Beloved of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH), and now this responsibility has been transferred to us. 

Your heart-felt concern for your friend and his eternal well-being is the first stage in fulfilling this auspicious duty. 

And Allah knows best. 

Thank you for your question and please stay in touch. 

Walaikum Asalam. 

(From Ask About Islam archive)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Does Islam Follow the Cast System like Hinduism?

Why Shirk Is So Serious

Can Acts Of Shirk Be Forgiven?

How To Perform Dawah

Isn’t It Unfair If Good Non-Muslims Go to Hell?