December 19, 2012 By

Exclusivism of Islam

exclusivism of islam_0

I am a Muslim by name. I don’t follow my religion, or any religions for that matter. The reason simply is that all religions talk against one another and cut the throat of one another. Muslims say that their religion is what has been practiced by Jesus, Moses and all. But this argument, rather than taking it as bridge among various religions, is posed in order to assert the superiority of Islam over all other religions? All believers function like a travel agency which send people to  hell. All one can do to revolt against this tendency is not to believe. That is the best way (SirathulMusthaqeem) towards being kind-hearted, is not it?

Travel agencies that send people to wrong places need to change their orientation. It’s not good to close all agencies overnight, merely because they are not functioning in the way they ought to, is it? Because, there are people who want to travel to heaven. There is verses in the Quran which question claims of exclusive rights over truth and heaven. See them:


The Jews say “The Christians have nothing [true] to stand on,” and the Christians say, “The Jews have nothing to stand on,” although they [both] recite the Scripture.  Thus the polytheists speak the same as their words. But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ.(2:113)

And they say, “None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian.” That is [merely] their wishful thinking, Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be  truthful.” (2:111)


And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper. (2:120)

The ‘Jews’ and ‘Christians’ in the above verses are not merely Jews and Christians. But all communities, including Muslims, who say that they have divinely-ordained  advantage over other communities. The following verses attest to this:


Indeed, those who believe (Muslims) and the Jews, the Christians or Sabeans- 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.(2:62)
Indeed, those who have believe, the Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – no fear will  there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (5:69)

That the Quran rebuffs all exclusivist claims over truth through these verses is also borne out by Fazlur Rahman’s reading of the first set of verses quoted here.

He says:
The Quran’s reply to these exclusivist claims and claims of proprietorship over God’s guidance, then, is absolutely unequivocal: Guidance is not the function of communities but of God and good people and no community may lay claims to be uniquely guided and elected. The whole tenor of the Quranic argument is against election:

When Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [ Allah ] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.” [Abraham] said, “And of my descendants?” [ Allah ] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.” (Major Themes of the Quran)


Despite these injunctions, the missonary activists in all religions speak in such a way as to have owned the proprietorship over truth and guidance. It’s such arrogant ones who send people to hell. Their world view is too limited as compared to that of the Quran to understand that heaven and hell in the holy text remain entwined with the ethics and values. That is why those who quote all verses on hell have nothing to say about, say, justice.

Last but not least, by not believing, one need not be large-hearted. That is a statement akin to the arrogant ‘Missionary position.’ It’s tantamount to claiming proprietorship of non-belief over kindness. Adolf Hitler was not a believer, was he?

Posted in: Q&A