Other religions, beliefs or non-faith

Last updated: 9 November 2017 From the section FAQ on Islam

What do Muslims think of Jesus?

Muslims hold Jesus and his revered mother, Mary in great esteem. The Qur'an says that Jesus (peace be upon him) - referred to as Isa - is the outcome of a miraculous birth without a father.

But Islam rejects the Christian doctrine of Trinity and only considers Jesus to be a prophet. Like Christianity, Islam preaches that Jesus was sent to guide the Children of Israel with a new revelation: al-Injil (Arabic for "the Gospel"). Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad came to complete Jesus' message, rather than refute it. The Qur'an also states that disrespecting Jesus is a sign of disbelief. A person cannot be Muslim without believing in the prophethood of Jesus.

Lo! The likeness of Jesus with God is the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then He said unto him: Be and he is.

Qur'an 3.59

According to the Qur'an, Jesus's miracles are unmatched by any other prophet. He is the only person in history to talk and give a sermon as a newborn. He began speaking soon after his birth in defense of his mother's piety. God's other gifts to him included curing the blind and the sick, reviving the dead, making a bird out of clay and most importantly, the Biblical message he was carrying. These miracles were given to him by God to establish him as a prophet.

In fact, the Qur'an speaks more often about Jesus than Muhammad (peace be upon them). The name of Prophet Muhammad appears in the Qur'an 4 times, while that of Jesus (Isa) appears 25 times. Jesus Christ is discussed directly and indirectly over 180 times. It does this as most of the Qur'an depicts itself as a text addressed to Muhammad - it therefore talks less about Muhammad than it does to Muhammad about other subjects, including previous prophets such as Jesus (pbuh).

Jesus is believed to be a prophet who neither married nor had any children and is reflected as a significant figure, being found in the Quran in 93 ayaat (Arabic for verses) with various titles attached such as "Son of Mary" and other relational terms, mentioned directly and indirectly, over 187 times.

Jesus is the most mentioned person in the Quran by reference; 25 times by the name Isa, third-person 48 times, first-person 35 times, and the rest as titles and attributes.

Wikipedia - Jesus in Islam

Muslims also believe in the second coming of Christ. According to the Qur'an, Jesus was not crucified but was raised into Heaven. Instead, a traitor (known as Judas Iscariot in Christian scriptures) was transformed to look like Jesus, as a divine punishment for betraying him. Jesus' enemies crucified Judas, thinking that he was Jesus.

Jesus will return once again to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal ("the false messiah" known as the Anti-christ).

Will the good actions of the nonbelievers be wasted?


So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it,

And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it.

Qur'an 99:7-8

This means that the nonbelievers who have done good will be rewarded in this world for their good deed. On the other hand, those who do good if they are also sincere in submission to God (that is Muslims), they will be rewarded not only in this world but also in the Hereafter. However, the final Judgment is up to God himself.

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.

Qur'an 2:62

Is Islam intolerant of other religious minorities?


Islam recognises the rights of the minority. To ensure their welfare and safety, Muslim rulers initiated a tax (Jizyah) on them. This has at times been misinterpretated and misexplained as penalty imposed on non-Muslims for their refusal to accept the Islamic faith. In fact, it was a financial obligation on those who could not pay zakah (mandatory 2.5% of one's excess wealth paid by Muslim to charity) or who's religion did not allow them to serve in the army, in return for the protection secured for them by the arms of the Muslims. It was viewed as a covenant between the Muslims and non-Muslims. There has been instances where the Muslim army returned huge amounts from the state treasury to the non-Muslims as they were unable to fulfill the covenant and protect them.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) forbade Muslim armies to destroy places of worship such as churches and synagogues. Caliph Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) did not even allow them to pray inside a church. Jews were welcomed and flourished in Muslim Spain, and when they were persecuted in Spain and the rest of Europe after the exit of Muslims, Turkey gave the Jews refuge. The Jews consider that part of their history as the Golden Era. In Muslim countries today non-Muslims live in prosperity, hold high government positions, and attend their places of worship. Minorities are allowed to establish and operate their faith schools, hospitals, and celebrate their religious festivals openly.

However, the same religious tolerance is not always available to Muslim minorities as seen in the past during Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades, or as seen now by the events in Bosnia, Israel and India. Nevertheless, people around the world are aware that the actions of their ruler - including Muslim countries - do not necessarily reflect the teachings of their religion, and are for most part driven by power, greed and dominance.

How should Muslims treat Jews and Christians?

The Qur'an calls the Jews and Christians as "People of the Book", i.e. those who received Divine scriptures before Muhammad. Muslims are told to treat them with respect and justice and do not fight with them unless they initiate hostilities or oppose their faith. The Muslims ultimate hope is that they all will join them in worshipping one God and submit to His will.

Say (O Muhammad): O people of the Book (Jews and Christians) come to an agreement between us and you, that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall take no partners with Him, and none of us shall take others for Lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are those who have surrendered (unto Him).

Qur'an 3:64,

What about Hindus, Bahai, Buddhists, members of other religions or people without any faith?

Respect for freedom of belief is a basic Islamic principle. Diversity, including religious diversity, is part of God's divine plan. As such every person in the world, regardless of their faith or non-faith, should be treated with love, respect, and understanding to make them recipients of the invitation to Islam.