We Love Labels and Following Our Desires


Neither your love for someone nor their apparent kindness or goodness cancels out their shirk or disbelief. Allah says, “Only those are believers who believe in Allah and His Messenger then doubt not…” (49:15).

Even if you wish to interpret the ayaat in the Qur’an about the believers amongst the People of the Book as referring to religious people today, their belief would be subject to the same conditions as any believer. A professed Muslim falls outside the fold of Islam if he or she disbelieves in anything from the Qur’an.

How much more a person who disbelieves in all of it?

And what of a person who has heard of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, yet has not even uttered belief in him? Allah says, “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” (3:85).

But perhaps you wish to make these people Muslim due to your love for them, especially if they die and you want to pray for them? Yet Allah says, “Verily, you guide not whom you love, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are guided” (28:56).

—an excerpt of PAIN. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah

We are a people who love labels and following our desires, so much so that when we read Allah’s words, we fixate on labels and what we want instead of obvious spiritual concepts and what is actually being said.

We have an entire Qur’an filled with Allah telling us that believers are only those who believe in all of Allah’s Books and Messengers—making no distinction or exception amongst any of them—and that shirk and kufr prevent humans from entering Paradise. Yet we read three ayaat that mention the believers amongst Jews, Christians, and Sabians, and this is enough to make us throw away every other ayah in the Qur’an and declare that anyone with these labels is a believer and can enter Paradise.

…So long as they are “good people” of course.

No matter that these “good people” commit kufr in saying Allah is part of a Trinity, while Allah says, “Surely, they are disbelievers who say, ‘Allah is the third of three [in a Trinity]’” (5:73).

No matter that these “good people” commit shirk by setting up prophets, angels, and “saints” as partners in worship alongside Allah, while Allah says, “Verily, Allah forgives not [the sin of] setting up partners in worship with Allah” (4:116).

No matter that these “good people” claim to believe in their prophets but reject Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), while Allah says, “Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make a distinction between Allah and His Messengers [by saying], ‘We believe in some but reject others,’ and wish to adopt a way in between, they are in truth disbelievers…” (4:150-151).

No matter that Allah Himself calls them disbelievers when He says, “O people of the Scripture! Why do you disbelieve in the ayaat of Allah, while you [yourselves] bear witness to the truth” (3:70).

Oh, but we are a people who love labels and following our desires. So we ignore the foundational condition of emaan in the ayaat about Jews, Christians, and Sabians—and in every other ayah in the Qur’an—and we fixate on the religious name that some believers have historically shared with disbelievers of the same label.

Yet even the label “Muslim” holds no spiritual benefit if it is not rooted in proper Islamic beliefs.

So think, dear soul, what then is the case for one carrying a label other than Islam?

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