Are All Non-Muslims Deemed “Kafir”?
One former Christian and now a Muslim brother is convinced that when we ask a non-Muslim to say ‘there is no god but ALLAH and Muhammad alaihissalam is his messenger’ and he rejects this invitation, he becomes a Kafir and if he dies, he will go to the hell. He backs up this argument by saying that letters sent by Prophet pbuh to the Kings only included such few lines and the letters are still present to be witnessed.
Can you please give me more details about this topic? I don’t know much and couldn’t find anything on your website as well.
Please tell this brother to read verse 98:6 to learn God’s views that a Kafir is a person who is worse than all beasts and that he will be destined to hell-fire for all times to come. The same God says that He is not going to be unfair to anyone even to the slightest degree: 50:29. He informs us that the famous Kafirs were the ones who knew what the truth from God was and then they denied it: 27:14. In view of these facts it is imperative that we make sure that the claims we are presenting should conform to the understanding emerging from these verses. The non-Muslims who were presented with Islam’s message through the prophet’s letters either knew the truth of Islam and thus became Kafirs on denying it or the information about this entire affair was faulty. There is no way that the verses I have referred to above and the apparent understanding of the incident you have referred to could be simultaneously correct.
There is no way we can accept a notion about Islamic teachings which is against the clear understanding of the Quran and is creating an impression that God Almighty was unfair. Let’s not draw people away from God’s message by suggesting about it an understanding which was not reflecting its correct teachings.
It is a little puzzling for me that some new entrants to Islam forget that there was a time when they too were not properly introduced to the message of Allah. Instead of praying for their non-Muslim brothers and sisters that they too should enter the fold of Islam, why are they in a hurry to dispatch them to the hell-fire? Why can’t they assume that the non-Muslims were the Umars in their first six years of the prophetic mission after which they will enter Islam by the grace of Allah through the good behaviour and effective preaching of Muslims?
The letters the prophet, alaihissalam, wrote to the rulers of the surrounding kingdoms were sent only after he had completed the process of itmame hujjah (undeniable presentation of God’s truth). The kingdoms were asked to allow the message of Islam to reach all citizens of their territories. None of them was forced to convert to Islam. Most certainly, the rulers were forced to give way to Islamic message to reach everyone. However, in the process, they weren’t declared Kafirs. While asking someone to give way to get the message delivered is one thing, to describe such a person, because of that demand, a Kafir who is worse than beasts and who will roast in the hell-fire for ever is quite another.