[Q]: All praises are for Allaah, Lord of everything that exists and may His peace and Prayers be upon Muhammad, his family and his Companions. As to proceed:
O Shaykh there is found in America a religious sect who call themselves “The Nation of Islam” and they claim to be upon Islaam. Their beliefs are as follows:
- That generally, every black person is an incarnate of Allaah, specifically he is in the form of a man named Fard Muhammad, and that all whites are devils.
- That Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was not the seal of all Prophets and Messengers and that Elijah Muhammad was indeed the last prophet and that he is the messiah and Mahdee expected to appear in the last days. They also deny Allaah resurrecting the creation and they consider the Resurrection to be a metaphor of one exiting from ignorance and gaining knowledge, and they have many other aspects of creed which are clear disbelief.
So the question, O Shaykh, is firstly: Is this sect a disbelieving sect, outside of the fold of Islaam. Second, what is the ruling on the common folk from amongst them? Third, are these individuals excused due to them living far away from the Scholars of Islaam and fourth, what is your advice to those who hesitate in declaring these individuals to be disbelievers?
[A]: In the name of Allaah the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful, all praises are for Allaah, and may His peace and prayers be upon His Messenger, the one whom Allaah sent as a mercy to the whole of mankind, and has made him the seal of all Prophets and Messengers. Thus, there is no prophet or messenger that will come after him.
These individuals, who were described in these three questions, are not Muslims. Did they accept Islaam before this as to say that they are even apostates?! It is not clear to me that they ever accepted Islaam. Their belief is a branch of that of the Hulooliyyah (those who say Allah becomes incarnate with His creation), however they claim that Allaah became incarnate within the blacks, and they claim that the whites are devils. And this is something that they use to offend and spite the whites. So in reality, the Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, and a condition for one to enter Islaam, is to testify that no deity has the right to be worshipped in truth except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and there is no prophet after him. The Muslim also believes in Allaah, His Angels, His revealed Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection, and believe in His Pre-Ordained Decree, the good and bad of it. Whoever does not believe in this, they are not a Muslim or a Believer (mu‘min). So whoever’s belief and creed is the likes of what was mentioned in the questions are not Muslims. Rather they are not Jews or Christians. Without a doubt, there is no Jew or Christian that comes after the sending of Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) except none of their actions will be accepted if they do not believe in Muhammad and enter the true Religion of Allaah. The destination of this person will be the Hellfire.
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said,
“There is not a Jew or Christian who hears about me and then dies not believing in what I was sent with (i.e. Islaam) except they will be from the people of the Hellfire.” [Related by Muslim (no. 240) and Ibn Mandah in Kitaabul-Eemaan (no. 401).]
Furthermore, I do not think that a Muslim who understands Islaam can have any doubt and hesitate in the disbelief of these individuals. There is no doubt in the disbelief of these individuals, and the common folk amongst them are not excused! The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) did not excuse the disbelievers from the Arabs who died and those who remained living up until Muhammad was sent. He did not say they are excused because of their ignorance. Rather, he mentioned when a person came to him and asked him,
“What was the end result of my father?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Your father and my father are both in the Hellfire.” [Related by Muslim (no. 203).]
Allaah the Most High says,
“It is not for the Prophet or those who believe to seek forgiveness for the disbelievers, even if they were relatives.” [Sooratut-Tawbah 9:113]
Therefore it is not permissible for any Muslim to seek forgiveness for anyone who died upon disbelief. As for these individuals (i.e. the Nation) there is no doubt regarding their disbelief, and there is no doubt in the disbelief of those who know what they are upon and then say, “I do not declare them to be disbelievers.” The truth is that there is no such thing in this world as religions.
“Indeed, the only religion accepted by Allaah is Islaam.” [Soorah Aali-’Imraan 3:18]
Also, Allaah says,
“Whoever desires a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted from him.” [Soorah Aali-’Imraan 3:85]
So you find people who say, “religion, religion.” There are no religions in the world because whoever follows a religion other than that of Islaam, they are following a religion of falsehood. There is no difference between a Jew, Christian, Magian, or the idol worshipper who does not know about any of these religions but rather worships graves and other gods that they invent and call upon. All of this is disbelief, without a shadow of the doubt.
However, it is incumbent that these individuals (i.e. the nation) be advised for those who are able to do so. Allaah the Mighty and Majestic did not become incarnate with anything from His creation, nor did anything from His creation become incarnate with Him. This is merely the belief of the people of Hulool who distorted this from those who believe in Wahdatul-Wujood, meaning that everybody is Allaah and Allaah is everybody. And more amazing than this are these individuals who call to Wahdatul-Wujood and call themselves the Hulooliyyah, they do not exempt even the animals. They say that there is no such thing as the servant and Allaah (being separate) and all of this is clear misguidance, except that which the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was upon and his Companions.
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and with a good admonition, and debate with them in a way that is better.” [Sooratun-Nahl 16:125]
And He says,
“Say (O Muhammad): This is my path, I invite to Allaah upon clear knowledge, me and those who follow me.” [Sooratul-An’aam 8:153]
It is incumbent upon those who are prepared to call them (i.e. to Islaam) to be gentle with them and also to clarify to them that they are only inviting them (i.e. to Islaam) with the desire to save them from a lasting painful torment. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to ’Alee (Ibn Abee Taalib) during the expedition of Khaybar,
“That Allaah guides through you just one person, is better for you than red camels.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 2783) and Muslim (no. 2406).]
The most precious of the wealth of the Arabs in al-Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic times of ignorance) was the camels. And the best of the camels were the red camels.
So the Messenger of Allaah said this to ’Alee and this hadeeth is in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. That if Allaah guides just one person through you is better for you than having the most precious of wealth. So we ask Allaah first and foremost to guide the misguided Muslims and then that He makes the Muslims…[speech unclear]. On top of this our souls should be tranquil because the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said,
“There will not come a time, except the time that comes after it will be more evil than it, up until you meet your Lord.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (13/22).]
Also worship will not correct except that which was legislated by Muhammad. It is not for anyone to worship from what they deem to be good. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said,
“Whoever does an action not in accordance with our matter, it will be rejected.” [Related by Muslim (no. 1718).]
This hadeeth is in al-Bukharee and Muslim.
[Q]: So that I may be sure, it is not permissible that we have doubt about them being disbelievers?
[A]: No, how free is Allaah from all imperfection! A person of intellect will not have doubt regarding their disbelief. The disbelievers of old from Arab did not even say that Allah took on the form of the creation!
[Q]: So it is correct that we say that they are from the original disbelievers and never entered into Islaam?
[A]: They never entered into Islaam! Those who we say about them they are apostates are those who entered into Islaam and then left it. This is another aspect. The Prophet said,
“Whoever changes their Religion then kill them.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6922).]
And there is the other hadeeth,
“The blood of a Muslim is not permissible except due to one of three: Adultery, a life for a life, or the one who changes his Religion and departs the Jamaa’ah.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6878) and Muslim (no. 1678).]
Meaning, he departs Islaam.
End of Shaykh Saalih al-Luhaydaan’s words.
Translation by Abu Suhayl Anwar Wright