I had a very serious question which jumped up into my mind: Shall my lord ask me on the Day of Recompense about pope Shenoudah?
Shall He ask me: Why did he die as a disbeliever and why did not he embrace Islam?
Have you called him to Islam?
Have you set the proof against him?
Have you offered Islam to him?
Have you argued with him in a way that is best?
Unfortunately, the answer was: No, it did not happen; how can I reach him? How could I meet him? I do not see him except on TV.
It is difficult, but rather impossible.
Myself tried to answer the question very quickly to escape that situation:
No, I shall not be asked about him and I shall not bear any of his burdens.
Then, the most critical question jumped up into my mind:
So, what is the status of the people who have the same belief?
What is the stance of those who live with us without embracing Islam?
We see and speak to them, and they share our works, business, and live with us.
If pope Shenoudah is far away as I mentioned; what is the ruling of those people? A man to whom you speak everyday or meet him by accident, or meet him during a journey, ..etc.
Indeed, it is a calamity.
What is our stance toward those people?
Then, I stopped and recalled the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: "By Him in Whose Hand my life is, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire."
Should not we call those people to Islam to save them from Hell?
Should not we guide them to the reality of Islam?
Should not we tell them that Islam is the religion of all Prophets and that Jesus was the servant of Allah and His Messenger who came to give glad tidings with the message of Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last of all Prophets and Messengers, and to remove the blindness from their eyes?
This is true.
The reality which we live is that we had abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in treating the People of the Scriptures or you may say: treating non-Muslims in general.
Was not it true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to visit their sick as was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari in the story of his visit to the Jewish child?
Was not it true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to invoke Allah to grant them guidance?
Did not he invoke Allah for the tribe of Daws: "O Allah! Grant guidance to Daws." Moreover, he invoked Allah for Thaqif: "O Allah! Grant guidance to Thaqif." He also invoked Allah for the mother of Abu Hurayrah: "O Allah! Grant guidance to the mother of Abu Hurayrah."
They knew about the mercy of the Prophet (peace be upon him), therefore, they would sneeze before him so that he would say to them: "May Allah show mercy to you!"
However he would say: "May Allah guide you and reform your conditions."
Was not it true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to argue with them in a way that is best?
Why do not we follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in treating non-Muslims? Of course, we should take into consideration the meaning of Al Wala' wal-Bara' (loyalty and disassociation for Allah's Sake) and deepen the true Islamic creed in the souls of Muslims.
It is enough motivation for you the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "If a single person is guided by Allah through you one, it would be better for you than a herd of red camels."
Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Invite (mankind, O Muhammad peace be upon him) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur'ân) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Knower of those who are guided." [Surat An-Nahl: 125].
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