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Is It OK to Believe in God But Not in Islam‏?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 30, 2019

Question

Salaam. Recently I read about a new sort of 'conviction' in my philosophy book, in which I was studying for my exam. It was called 'philosophical theism', or deism, I cant remember correctly, and it concerns those who, by thinking and pondering, come to the conclusion, for themselves, that there must be a God.

Generally, they are not associated with a religion. I have some friends who believe in this, they say they believe in God, but not in religion. I don't really know what to think of that. Since I believe in religion, I thought, how can one show his devotion to God, without being a member of a religious community?

When asked how they see God, they answer he is the Supreme Being who created everything, that He is One. They don't give him a face or a body like Christianity does (because Christians believe that God created men resembling himself). This is much like our vision of God, am I right ? When asked what 'being religious' means, they generally say it is 'doing good'. Meaning: helping others, helping the poor, support charity, protect the environment, be kind to animals, etc..

Most of them - I shall just refer to them as 'philosophical believers' to make it easy - say they have lost their faith in religion, or they don't want to be part of an organized religion, because they believe it is the cause of so many problems in the world : intolerance, wars and also because it is so intertwined with politics and capitalism. However, philosophical believers don't reject the religion of others, they don't necessarily believe that Muslims, Christians, etc., are 'wrong'. They don't believe in the exclusivity of their conviction. They are often extremely tolerant towards the beliefs of others..

In short, they aren't organized and don't have as many rules as we do. And of course they don't follow a particular book. Even though I think not having specific rules or obligations to fulfill weakens ones faith, I cannot think of my friends, and others who have the same conviction, as 'unbelievers'. They clearly believe. In the Oneness of God.

I have read an interesting article on this site a couple of weeks ago, that Islam explains us that 'belief' is natural, and it can draw to a person, just by thinking and pondering, even if that person is all alone for example, living in a cave, with no one around to teach him religion. So it is possible? Hence, I can't believe 'philosophical believers' are kouffar and will end up in Hell, just because they aren't Ahl-al Kitaab. What is the Islamic view on this (to this sort of belief) ?

Consultant

Answer


God

Short Answer: It is not really our business, nor should we spend much time or thought, to decide who will go to Paradise, and who is destined for Hellfire. This is the sole right of Allah, Glory to Him in the Highest. We do not even know for sure where we will end-up. What we should focus on, and spend as much effort as possible, is the spreading, by word and deed, the message of Islam. Islam is for all mankind. We can only do our best to help others understand Islam better by being the best examples, as Prophet Muhammad was, peace be upon him, of what it really means to be a Muslim, and by showing the benefits and strength of being a member of a worldwide community or Ummah of believers.

………….

Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Indeed, this is something that all of us as Muslims deal with. We meet many people like those you have mentioned who follow a moral code that they themselves have developed. This code may have been influenced by one or more beliefs from different sources, religious, philosophical, etc.

Thus, their conduct often gives us the impression that they are good people and live according to the values and morals that most people adhere to. Most people are good natured, well-meaning, and kind to others, regardless of their backgrounds.

We often think to ourselves, “This person would make an excellent Muslim, if only they could understand Islam better and believe in its message of the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him).”

Meaning of Kafir

The word kafir literally means, “One who covers” and in pre-Islamic Arabia “kafir” was a word used to refer to farmers who buried seeds and covered them in the soil. A kafir in Islam, therefore, is one who covers or hides the truth. One who rejects Islam as a way of life is considered a kafir.

There are many disbelievers (kuffaar) who openly oppose Muslims and Islam, and work hard to limit its spread and influence, much as the Quraish did at the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many of them were well aware, as was Abu Jahl, worst enemy of Islam, that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was indeed sent by Allah, and he was speaking His words, not his own.

For selfish and worldly reasons of power and influence, they fought Islam with every bit of their strength. Unfortunately, these types of people continue to treat Muslims the same way today and will until the Day of Judgment.

The Truth of Islam

Most people today, however, are simply unaware of the truth of Islam and the universality of its message. This is largely due to those who cover the truth about Islam and the truth of Muslim character, so that Islam does not spread. They do this to maintain their power and control over people, not for the good of mankind, only for their own selfish goals.

Many, however, as you have mentioned, have a strong belief in God, or that there is a Supreme Creator, but have trouble following any particular religious belief, or associating with any religious community.

They may recognize much of Islamic beliefs and practices as being sound and beneficial, but cannot bring themselves to adopt it as a way of life because it does not suit their unique, self-created “religion”.

So while they generally practice good, their way of life is often stained by unhealthy practices and inaccurate beliefs about what is right and wrong (drinking, gambling, nudity, etc.), leading us to believe that they must be bound for a good place in the next life.

{But if they do not hearken to this, know well that they only follow their lusts and who is in greater error than he who follows his lusts without any guidance from Allah? Allah does not guide those given to wrong-doing.} (Al-Qasas: 28:50)

When we follow the commands of Allah, we benefit in this life and the next. When we follow mainly our desires, and some of what Allah has revealed, as these types of people do, we open many doors of misguidance and suffering that may eventually lead us to the Hellfire.

Our Focus

It is not really our business, nor should we spend much time or thought, to decide who will go to Paradise, and who is destined for Hellfire. This is the sole right of Allah, Glory to Him in the Highest. We do not even know for sure where we will end-up.

What we should focus on, and spend as much effort as possible, is the spreading, by word and deed, the message of Islam. Islam is for all mankind. We can only do our best to help others understand Islam better by being the best examples, as Prophet Muhammad was, peace be upon him, of what it really means to be a Muslim, and by showing the benefits and strength of being a member of a worldwide community or Ummah of believers.

I hope this has helped you with your question. May Allah guide us to what pleases Him.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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

Why must I embrace religion as long as I’m a good person?

What Is Agnosticism?

Can One Be An Agnostic Muslim?

 

 




About Waleed Najmeddine

Waleed Ahmed Najmeddine is a Canadian born Muslim and public school administrator. He is an active member of the Muslim community and enjoys educating Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam. He currently holds a Master of Education degree in leadership and school improvement.

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