Questions and Answers > Paradise > Salvation in Islam

Is salvation possible with the Qur'an?

Muslims think that if Allah never will turn their heart into evil practices, they will go to paradise. According to the Qur'an, Allah is entirely responsible for man’s destiny and that man is a dependent and helpless creature. Man adopts a path, because Allah had already made it for him. Therefore a Muslim is not sure about going to paradise. Isn’t there a way in the Qur'an to attain certainty about salvation? Muhammad cannot help the Muslim for his salvation according to the Qur'an:

"Of no profit will be my counsel to you, much as I desire to give you (good) counsel, if it be that Allah willeth to leave you astray: He is your Lord! and to Him will ye return!" (Qur'an 11:34).

"If thou art anxious for their guidance, yet Allah guideth not such as He leaves to stray, and there is none to help them" (Qur'an 16:37).

"Say: To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession: to Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: In the End, it is to Him that ye shall be brought back" (Qur'an 39:44).

"Then, he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) heavy, Will be in a life of good pleasure and satisfaction. But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light,- Will have his home in a (bottomless) Pit. And what will explain to thee what this is? (It is) a Fire Blazing fiercely!" (Qur'an 101:6-11).

In the Qur'an we read that Allah loves the good ones and hates the bad ones, and that you are not sure to which side you belong. Should we say that our God is bad? No, God is good, he is the Beneficent (Ar-Rahman) and the Most Merciful (Ar-Raheem). God is certainly not that cruel and merciless. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). He did not create man to be condemned like this. He desired his company. He does not make a man to do good or evil. It is man himself who chooses to do whatever he likes in all freedom. See the example of Adam and Eve. God warned them and let them do their free will. Because they disobeyed his commands, they suffered the consequences. Since that first sin, no man could keep himself free of sin, except Jesus who was faultless.

This leads to the question: is a sinner able to have access to the holy presence of God and can he do that without his sins are removed from him? Can he do that himself? Let’s read the Qur'an:

"Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (Qur'an 2:62).

This means that belief (Iman), good deeds (Aamal-e-Hasna) and the most intercession by the prophet may help in the salvation of man. The requirements for the belief are to recite the Creed (Kalima) and believe in One God and his angels, the Holy Books, the prophets and the Last Day. The good deeds include prayer, fasting, giving help to the poor and pilgrimage. The intercession of Muhammad is believed to help all Muslims to go to paradise. However, the Qur'an denies, as we have seen earlier, in Qur'an 7:188, 11:34, 4:123, 16:37, 9:80 and 39:44. So what is the benefit of it, when every human being has to suffer hell, before the righteous ones are selected from those who go to hell? The only hope comes from the following verses, in case they are not blocked by the earlier mentioned Qur'an verses:

“If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful” (Qur'an 4:110).

See also Qur'an 3:89, 5:39 and 4:122. It is also the case that on the Last Day, Allah shall select the righteous to him I his goodly company and the disbelievers will be punished in hell. But again, there is a warning in the following verse:

"Knowest thou not that to Allah (alone) belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth? He punisheth whom He pleaseth, and He forgiveth whom He pleaseth: and Allah hath power over all things" (Qur'an 5:40).

So we don’t know the fortunate one’s who will be in Allah’s goodly company. Isn’t there a way out? The Qur'an provides a way out to study the Torah:

"All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel (Jacob) made unlawful for himself, before the Torah (of Moses) was revealed. Say: "Bring ye the Torah and study it, if ye be men of truth" (Qur'an 3:93).

“Believe in God his word and also in his spirit, is sent down from your Lord as mercy and guidance” (Qur'an 4:171, 16:102). Look for guidance at Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses and David. But human beings are weak because Satan has power on earth to take people away from God. God intended to give life without end to the first man, but Adam’s sin destroyed this. To restore the gateway to eternal life, God came with a rescue plan. The Word of God was sent (Qur'an 3:45) to deal with the power of the Devil forever by putting on weak human nature taken from the virgin Mary (Qur'an 19:20-22). Jesus was born of the virgin Mary by the Spirit of God without her being touched by a man. The righteous character of Jesus undid the effects of death for all others:

"(I have come to you), to attest the Torah which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me" (Qur'an 3:50).

Note that the “Sign” in this verse refers to the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The Qur’an refers to the crucifixion:

“’That they said (in boast), ’We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God’; But they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge. But only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not: Nay, God raised him up unto Himself: and God is Exalted in Power, Wise’” (Qur'an 4: 157-158).

The Qur'an it is not saying that Jesus was not crucified. It only denies that the Jews killed Jesus. They were not. It only looked like that was the case. The truth is that it was the eternal plan and purpose of God according to the words of the prophets.

The Sign, which refers to the cross of Jesus, cancelled the effect of the sin of Adam on the rest of humanity. The crucifixion of Jesus stopped the power of death and made possible the gift of eternal life for others. Jesus rescued humanity from wrongdoing and from slavery to Satan by submitting to death in order to raise to life those subject to death. Jesus also says:

"When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: "Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me" (Qur'an 43:63).

He invites all of us to receive his love, peace and salvation. Nobody can escape Judgment Day. That day will be too late to look for salvation. Jesus has made the dark future look bright by sacrificing his own life to erase our sins. His invitation is open to all. There is a promise of Allah:

"Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (Qur'an 2:62).

Christians who believe in Allah and the Last Day are righteous. The Qur'an confirms the Bible (the Book) and recommends it for further study:

"Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help." Allah said: "Do ye agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you?" They said: "We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses" (Qur'an 3:81).

In order to believe and follow Jesus Christ we must read about his life. We can do this by reading the Gospel which Allah gave to Jesus containing the guidance and the light:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

You can be assured about going to paradise and have peace in your heart with God:

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

Is the Qur'an a bridge to Christian faith?