Are Jews and Christians Going to Heaven?

25 April, 2017
Q Are Jews and Christians Going to Heaven?

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:

Transcript:

Aisha Khaja: Dr. Shabir, the question that we have today the viewer is asking to elaborate on surah 2 verse 62. And the question’s basically asking how is it that Jews and Christians can go to heaven as well, even though they don’t fast, pray, etc. 

Dr. Shabir Ally: Meaning, like we do obviously, right? Because they do fast and do pray. 

Aisha Khaja: Yes, sorry, yes, yes. 

Dr. Shabir Ally: I know you’re just reflecting the question as it was asked. Now, it is a frequently asked question.

And it comes from a reflection on the verse that what was mentioned, where it says {Quoting Quran in Arabic} those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians {Quoting Quran in Arabic} whoever believes in God and the last day {Quoting Quran in Arabic} and does righteous deeds.

Then it continues {Quoting Quran in Arabic} no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.

So, the surface reading of this seems to indicate that Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Sabian’s, if they believe in the right [way], will all go to Paradise. And we are then dealing with the four communities and saying OK from among these four communities and even beyond that because what follows is man aminah whoever believes, even outside of these four communities.

But these are mentioned specifically. So, this has posed a problem for Muslim interpreters. How do you interpret this verse? Does it mean that Jews and Christians will go to paradise as well?

And then for the Muslim, following, who are trying to pray and fast, as we do and all of the good deeds, they might be thinking well, if people outside of the religion of Islam are going to go to paradise without doing all of the things that we struggle to do daily, then is it really fair and what’s the point.

To make sense of all of this, it seems that it is best to say that this is not one of the last passages of the Quran to be revealed. We have other passages in the fifth chapter of the Quran, which is said to be one of the last surahs to be revealed.

And it seems that as more time was given to people to become accustomed to the message delivered by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the message began to be stricter and stricter. So, maybe initially people knew very little about the message delivered to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

So, they’re allowed to continue to follow the previous revelations. But then as it comes later, that now the onus is on them to follow the Prophet as now they are being guided through to this revelation.

And we can say to Muslims who are struggling to do all of these things that you have to do what God has already guided you to do. Knowledge brings responsibilities and you cannot place yourself in the same footing as somebody who does not know.

You know. You have to do. 


I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

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

How did the Prophet’s Persian Companion Convert to Islam?

Prophetic Respect for Christians and Jews