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The Hopes of the People of the Book Print E-mail

Allah made the confusion of the Jews and the Christians clear, since they claim that no one will enter Paradise, unless he is a Jew or a Christian. Similarly, Allah mentioned their claims in Surat Al-Ma'idah:

﴿نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ﴾

(We are the children of Allah and His loved ones) (5:18).

Allah refuted this false claim and informed them that they will be punished because of their sins. Previously we mentioned their claim that the Fire would not touch them for more than a few days, after which they would be put in Paradise. Allah rebuked this claim, and He said about this baseless claim, m

﴿تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ﴾

(These are their own desires). Abu Al-`Aliyah commented, "These are wishes that they wished Allah would answer, without basis.'' Similar was stated by Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. Allah then said,


(Say) meaning, "Say O Muhammad:''

﴿هَاتُواْ بُرْهَـنَكُمْ﴾

("Produce your Burhan...'') meaning, "Your proof'', as Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas stated. Qatadah said that the Ayah means, "Bring the evidence that supports your statement,

﴿إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ﴾

(if you are truthful) in your claim. ''

Allah then said,

﴿بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ﴾

(Yes! But whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follows Allah's religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin) meaning, "Whoever performs deeds in sincerity, for Allah alone without partners.'' In a similar statement, Allah said,

﴿فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِىَ للَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ﴾

(So if they dispute with you (Muhammad ) say: "I have submitted myself to Allah (in Islam), and (so have) those who follow me.'') (3:20)

Abu Al-`Aliyah and Ar-Rabi` said that,

﴿بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ﴾

(Yes! But whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah) means, "Whoever is sincere with Allah.''

Also, Sa`id bin Jubayr said that,

﴿بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ﴾

(Yes! But whoever submits) means, he is sincere,


(his face (himself)) meaning, in his religion.

﴿وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ﴾

(and he is a Muhsin) following the Messenger . For there are two conditions for deeds to be accepted; the deed must be performed for Allah's sake alone and conform to the Shari`ah. When the deed is sincere, but does not conform to the Shari`ah, then it will not be accepted. The Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَد»

(Whoever performs a deed that does not conform with our matter (religion), then it will be rejected.)

This Hadith was recorded by Muslim. Therefore, the good deeds of the priests and rabbis will not be accepted, even if they are sincerely for Allah alone, because these deeds do not conform with the method of the Messenger , who was sent for all mankind. Allah said regarding such cases,

﴿وَقَدِمْنَآ إِلَى مَا عَمِلُواْ مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَآءً مَّنثُوراً ﴾

(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) (25:23)

﴿وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَآءً حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئاً﴾

(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing.) (24:39) and,

﴿وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَـشِعَةٌ - عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ - تَصْلَى نَاراً حَامِيَةً - تُسْقَى مِنْ عَيْنٍ ءَانِيَةٍ ﴾

(Some faces, that Day will be humiliated. Laboring, weary. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire. They will be given to drink from a boiling spring) (88:2-5).

When the deed conforms to the Shari`ah outwardly, but the person did not perform it sincerely for Allah alone, the deed will also be rejected, as in the case of the hypocrites and those who do their deeds to show off. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ يُخَـدِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَى يُرَآءُونَ النَّاسَ وَلاَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ﴾

(Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salah (the prayer), they stand with laziness to be seen by people, and they do not remember Allah but little.) (4:142) and,

﴿فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ - الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَـتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ - الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَآءُونَ - وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ ﴾

(So woe unto those performers of Salah (prayers) (hypocrites). Those who delay their Salah (from their stated fixed times). Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men). And withhold Al-Ma`un (small kindnesses)) (107:4-7).

This is why Allah said,

﴿فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَـلِحاً وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدَا﴾

(So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord) (18: 110).

He also said in this Ayah,

﴿بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ﴾

(Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (follows Allah's religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin).

Allah's statement,

﴿فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ﴾

(Shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve) guaranteed them the rewards and safety from what they fear and should avoid.

﴿فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ﴾

(There shall be no fear on them) in the future,

﴿وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ﴾

(nor shall they grieve) about what they abandoned in the past. Moreover, Sa`id bin Jubayr said,

﴿فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ﴾

"(There shall be no fear on them) in the Hereafter, and

﴿وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ﴾

(nor shall they grieve) about their imminent death.''


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