Is Islam the only religion accepted by Allah? Some people say that it does not matter which religion you follow as long as you are a good person.

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, Islam is the only religion accepted by Allah Most High. This is explicitly mentioned in the Holy Quran.

وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, then it will never be accepted from him. And he will be amongst the losers in the hereafter. (Surah Ali Imran, 85).

Many Muslims are overly influenced by culture. Sadly, this often includes people of knowledge. This can lead people, to say, propagate or even believe things that are diametrically opposed to the Islamic teaching.

Not only is it abundantly clear in the Holy Quran and blessed Sunnah that Islam is the only true religion and the only religion accepted by Allah Most High, but that was the entire mission of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. The blessed Prophet ﷺ spent his life bringing people from other religions to Islam. The Prophet ﷺ would not have done this if all religions were acceptable.

As well as the absolutely unequivocal verse above, there are so many verses in the holy Quran that reject perennialism or perennial philosophy. Which is to consider all religions to be acceptable to God (Most High). Religion is not based on the desires of individuals or cultures. Rather it is based on revelation. A truly religious person will turn away from cultural norms and follow revelation from Allah Most High.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَنْ يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

Indeed, Allah does not forgive the one who associates partners with Him, whilst He forgives anything He wishes apart from that for whomsoever he wills. Whoever associates partners with Allah has indeed gone far astray. (Surah al-Nisa, 116).

Despite these clear verses, and numerous others like them, some people choose misguidance over the truth. They promote perennialism, saying all religions are accepted by Allah Most High, as long as you are a good person then you will be successful in the afterlife. They forget that part of being a good person is to believe in the revelation of Allah Most High and to follow the Prophets (peace be upon them).

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ، وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ، ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ، إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ

(Sayidina) Abu Hurairah (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘By the One Who holds the soul of Muhammad in His hand, no person from this nation, be it a Jew or a Christian, will hear of me and then he dies whilst not believing in that with which I was sent, except that he is from the companions of the fire.’ (Sahih Muslim, 240-153).

ثُمَّ أَمَرَ بِلاَلًا فَنَادَى بِالنَّاسِ: إِنَّهُ لاَ يَدْخُلُ الجَنَّةَ إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَةٌ، وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَيُؤَيِّدُ هَذَا الدِّينَ بِالرَّجُلِ الفَاجِر

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded (Sayidina) Bilal (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) to announce, ‘Indeed none will enter Paradise except a Muslim. Indeed Allah (Most High) may support this religion through a sinful man.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 3062).

The numerous verses of the Holy Quran and Hadith of the blessed Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) were so clear on this issue that scholars confirmed a consensus, stating that Islam is the only religion accepted by Allah. They unreservedly condemned perennialism.

ولهذا نُكَفّر من لم يُكَفّر من دَان بِغَيْر ملّة الْمُسْلِمِين مِن المِلَل أَو وَقَف فِيهِم أَو شَكّ أَو صَحَّح مَذْهَبَهُم وإن أظْهَر مَع ذَلِك الْإِسْلَام وَاعْتَقَدَه وَاعْتَقَد إبْطَال كُلّ مذْهَب سِواه فَهُو كَافِر بإظْهَارِه مَا أظْهَر من خِلَاف ذَلِك. (الشفا بتعريف حقوق المصطفى)

And due to this, the one who does not consider those that are of a religion other than the religion of the Muslims, or withholds his opinion, or has doubts (regarding them), or considers their religion to be sound, is himself a disbeliever (Kafir). Even if he manifests and believes (in other tenets of) Islam alongside (this corrupt belief), and even if he believes that every other way is invalid, he is still a disbeliever because of the contradiction he has made manifest. (Imam Qadi Iyaad, Kitaab al-Shifaa).

In the Nass (text) above, Imam Qadi Iyaad makes it clear that even doubting the Kufr of people who follow other religions nullifies one’s Imaan. He goes on to say that even if such a person genuinely believes in the truth of Islam, promoting such corrupt beliefs will render him a Kafir (disbeliever). Perennialism is no small matter, believing in it takes a person to Kufr.

وَأخْبر تَعَالَى عَن الْكفَّار فَقَالَ {وَلَئِن سَأَلتهمْ من خلقهمْ ليَقُولن الله} فَأخْبر تَعَالَى أَنهم يعْرفُونَ صدقه وَلَا يكذبونه وهم الْيَهُود وَالنَّصَارَى وهم كفار بِلَا خلاف من أحد من الْأمة وَمن أنكر كفرهم فَلَا خلاف من أحد من الْأمة فِي كفره وَخُرُوجه عَن الْإِسْلَام. (الفصل في الملل)

And He Most High has informed (us) regarding the disbelievers saying: (And if you ask them who created them. Indeed, they will say: Allah). Then He Most High informed (us) that they know it is true and they do not deny it. And they are the Jews and Christians. They are disbelievers (Kufaar) without any dispute from anyone in the Ummah. Whoever denies their disbelief (Kufr), then he himself is in a state of disbelief (Kufr) and has left Islam, there is no dispute (or difference) from anyone in the Ummah regarding this (too). (Imam Abu Muhammad Ibn Hazm, al-Fasl fi al-Milal).

Some say that people of other religions are Kufaar (disbelievers). However, the Jews and Christians are not. This argument has been addressed in the evidence and Nusoos above, and proven false without doubt. There is also a separate answer going into even more detail regarding this misguidance (see the link below).

There really should not be any doubt about the issue of all non-Muslims being disbelievers (Kufaar). Since, Quran, Hadith and the authoritative scholars of Islam are all very clear on this issue. However, due to the Fitnah of a very small but loud minority of so-called scholars, some people have been misguided and they imagine that the religion of some or all non-Muslims is also acceptable.

Such beliefs are clear misguidance and actually jeopardise the validity of one’s own Iman. However, since there are cultural pressures and loud minority voices saying such things, it has become a Fitnah, and must be addressed.

And Allah Most High Knows Best

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (17.05.2022)

-Special thanks to Sidi Yusuf Asghar for assisting with Nusoos translation.

See also:
Are Jews and Christians Kufar?
Is it obligatory for Muslims to be different to Kufaar?

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