Is Belief in Muhammad (sws) Necessary?
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Some people argue on the basis of the following verse of the Qur’ān that it is not necessary for Jews and Christians and people of other religions to profess faith in Muhammad (sws):

Those who profess faith [in the Qur’ān], and those who are Jews and Christians and the Magians, and who believe in God and the Last Day, and do righteous deeds shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (2:62)

These people go on to affirm that if a person fulfils the other requirements mentioned in the verse, he will be saved in the Hereafter. Is this true?


The verse does not mention belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (sws) for the simple reason that this belief is not an absolute requirement of salvation. Let me elaborate on this: One of the obvious conditions for salvation in the Hereafter is that a person is not guilty of any such sin as deserves eternal punishment in the Hereafter. We know from the Qur’ān that sins like intentional murder (4:93), polytheism (4:48), living a life of sin (2:81) and knowingly denying the messengers of Allah (98:6) are sins which make a person worthy of everlasting punishment in the Hereafter even if he believes in the three things mentioned in this verse. Consequently, just as a person who believes in Allah, in the last Day and does righteous deeds but is guilty of murdering a person shall be doomed in the Hereafter, similarly, a person who fulfils these three criteria but still knowingly denies a messenger of Allah will not be saved in the Hereafter. In other words, if a person is convinced of the Prophethood of Muhammad (sws) but still does not profess faith in him, he shall be doomed in the Hereafter.

It must be appreciated that if the message brought by Muhammad (sws) never reached a person or reached him in a distorted way, he would be given the allowance justice demands. So, if he is judged to have a legitimate excuse, he will not be held accountable for not professing faith in Muhammad (sws). In this case, he will only be held accountable on the basis of the three things the verse mentions.

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