The Council of Senior Scholars of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued the following verdict or fatwaa (no. 19402); dated the 25th of Muharram 1418H:
Praise be to Allaah alone. May the blessings and peace be upon the one after whom there is no other Prophet; and upon his Family, Companions and those who follow them upon goodness, until the Day of Resurrection.
The Council for Islaamic Research and the Giving of Legal Opinions has reviewed the enquiries presented to it, as well as the views and articles that were propagated in the mass media, concerning the call for the Unity of Religions (wahdatul-adyaan) – Islaam, Judaism and Christianity. [It also reviewed] the consequences of this, such as the call to build mosques, churches and synagogues in a single complex – especially in universities, airports and public places; the call to print the Noble Qur’aan, the Torah and the Bible in one book; and other effects of this call, such as establishing conferences, symposiums and societies in both the East and the West [for this purpose].
After careful consideration and study, the Council resolved upon the following:-
Firstly: From the fundamental beliefs of Islaam – which is known from the Religion by necessity and upon which the Muslim [scholars] are agreed – is that no true religion is to be found upon the face of this Earth, except the Religion of Islaam. It is the last of the Religions and supercedes all previous religions, sects and codes of law. Indeed, no religion remains upon the face of the earth, by which Allaah can be worshipped, except Islaam. Allaah the Exalted said:
“Whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:85]
And Islaam, after the sending of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, refers to whatever he came with, to the exclusion of all other religions.
Secondly: From the fundamental beliefs of Islaam is that the Book of Allaah the Exalted – the Glorious Qur’aan – is the final Scripture and Covenant revealed by the Lord of the Universe. It abrogates all the previous Scriptures, such as the Torah, the Psalms, the Bible and others, and it is a judge and guardian over them. No other Divinely-Revealed Book or Scripture remains [intact] by which Allaah can be worshipped, except the Noble Qur’aan. Hence, Allaah the Exalted said:
“And We have sent down to you the Qur’aan in truth, which confirms the Books that were before it and stands as a guardian-judge (ar. muhaymin) over them. So judge between them by what Allaah has sent down and do not follow their vain desires.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:48]
Thirdly: It is obligatory to believe that the Torah and the Bible were abrogated by the Noble Qur’aan and were changed and tampered with by additions and deletions to them, as has been explained in the verses from the Noble Book of Allaah, such as the statement of Allaah the Exalted:
“So because they broke their covenant We cursed them and hardened their hearts. They distort words from their [correct] places and have forgotten portions of that which they were reminded of. And you will continue to observe deceit from them, except from a few of them.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:13]
Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said:
“So woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say:’This is from Allaah,’ in order to sell it for a miserable price. So woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for their earnings.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:79]
And Allaah the Most Perfect said:
“Indeed, amongst them is a party that distort the Book with their tongues as they read it, so that you may think that it is part of the Book whereas it is not from the Book. And they say: ‘This is from Allaah,’ but it is not from Allaah; and they forge a lie against Allaah knowingly.” [Soorah Aal -‘Imraan 3:78]
This is why whatever is correct from it, has been abrogated by Islaam, whereas whatever is not, has either been distorted or altered. Indeed it has been confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became angry when he once saw ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, with a sheet containing some passages from the Torah. The Prophet ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam said:
“Are you in any doubt O Ibn al-Khattaab? Have I not brought it [the Message] pure and white? Even if my brother Moses were alive, he would have no recourse except to follow me”1
Fourthly: From the fundamental beliefs of Islaam is that our Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is the last of the Prophets and Messengers, as Allaah the Exalted stated:
“Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is not the father of any man amongst you, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last of the Prophets.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:40]
As such, no Messenger remains, whom it is obligatory to follow, except Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If any of Allaah’s Prophets were living today, they too – along with their followers – would have no recourse except to follow him, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; as Allaah said:
“And remember when Allaah took the Covenant from the Prophets, saying: Take whatever I have given you from the Book and the Wisdom, and then when there comes to you a Messenger (Muhammad) confirming what is with you, you must then believe in him and aid him. Allaah said: Do you agree to uphold My Covenant? They replied: We agree. Allaah said: Then bear witness; and I am with you amongst the witnesses.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:81]
When the Prophet of Allaah, Jesus – ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam – comes down in the final period, he will be a follower of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alalyhi wa sallam, judging according to his sharee’ah. Allaah said:
“Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel.” [Soorahal-A’raaf 7:157]
Futhermore, from the fundamental belief of Islaam is that Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sent to the whole of mankind, as Allaah the Exalted said:
“And We have not sent you, except to the whole of mankind, as a bringer of good news and as a warner. But most of mankind do not know.” [Soorah Sabaa’ 34:28]
And Allaah, the One free from all imperfections, said:
“Say: O mankind! Indeed I am the messenger of Allaah, sent to you all.” [Soorah al-A’raaf 7:158]
Fifthly: From the fundamentals of Islaam it is obligatory to believe that whoever does not enter into Islaam – whether he be a Jew, a Christian, or other than that – is to be designated as an unbeliever (kaafir) and an enemy to Allaah, His Messenger and the believers, and that he is from the inhabitants of the Hellfire; just as Allaah stated:
“Those who disbelieve from the People of the Book and the pagans were not going to part [with their disbelief] until their came to them the clear evidences.” [Soorah al-Bayyinah 98:1]
Allaah the Mighty and Majestic also said:
“Indeed those who disbelieve from the People of the Book and the pagans will be in the Hellfire forever; they are the worst of creatures.” [Soorah al-Bayyinah 98:6]
It is confirmed in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad! Any person from this ummah – be he a Jew or a Christian – who hears of me and dies not believing in what I was sent with, will be one of the inhabitants of the Hellfire”2
Due to this, whoever refuses to declare the Jews and Christians to be unbelievers, is himself an unbeliever – in accordance with the principle of the Sacred Law:
“Whoever does not affirm the disbelief of a disbeliever, is himself a disbeliever.”
Sixthly: In light of these fundamental beliefs and sharee’ah realities, the call to the unification of religions and seeking to amalgamate them is considered to be a wretched and evil call. Its objective is to mix-up the truth with falsehood, destroy Islaam, demolish its foundations and to lead the Muslims to clear apostacy; which is attested to by the Allaah’s saying:
“And they will never cease fighting against you until they turn you back from your religion, if they are able.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:217]
Allaah the Majestic said:
“They desire that you reject faith, as they have rejected faith, so that you may become alike.” [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:89]
Seventhly: The implications of this evil call are:-
- Nullification of the differences between Islaam and disbelief, truth and falsehood, good and evil.
- Breaking the barriers of alienation such that nothing remains of allegiance (walaa), disassociation (baraa), jihaad, and fighting to make Allaah’s Word supreme upon His earth. Allaah the Majestic said:
“Fight against those who do not believe in Allaah, nor the Last day, nor forbid what Allaah and His Messenger have declared unlawful, nor do they submit to the Religion of truth – from those who were given the Scripture, until they pay the Submission-Tax (jizyah), feeling themselves subdued.” [Soorah at-Tawbah 9:29]
Allaah the Exalted [also] said:
“And fight against the pagans collectively, as they fight against you collectively, and know that Allaah is with the pious.” [Soorah at-Tawbah 9:36]
Eighthly: This call to the Unification of Religions, had it emanated from a Muslim, it would be viewed as clear-cut apostacy (riddah) from the Religion of Islaam! This is because it conflicts with the fundamental beliefs; is content with blasphemy against Allaah the Exalted; nullifies the truth of the Qur’aan, in that it has abrogated all [previous] Scriptures; and negates [the fact] that Islaam has abrogated [the validity of] all previous religions and codes of law. Based upon this, its concept is rejected by the Sacred Law and it is catagorically prohibited by the proofs from the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the scholarly consensus (ijmaa).
Ninethly: Based upon the aforementioned:-
1 – It is not permissible for any Muslim who believes in Allaah as Lord; Islaam as the [true] Religion; and Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam as the Prophet and Messenger, to call to this abominable ideology, or to encourage others to join it, give it currency amongst the Muslims; let alone to accept it and to attend its conferences and seminars and affiliate with its assemblies.
2 – It is impermissible for any Muslim to print copies of the Torah or the Bible; so how can it be permissible to print the the Noble Qur’aan along with them in one book! Whoever does or advocates this has indeed strayed far [from the right path]. Since doing this entails mixing the truth; which is the Noble Qur’aan, along with the distortions and abrogated truths of the Torah and the Bible.
3 – It is not permitted for any Muslim to respond to the call for building a mosque, church and synagogue in one complex. For this entails accepting [the validity] of a religion by which Allaah can be worshipped, other than the Religion of Islaam. [It also entails] denying the supremacy of Islaam over all other religions; an acknowledgement that there are three [valid] religions for the people of this earth and that any one of them can be adopted as a religion, because they are all on an equal footing; and that Islaam has not superceded the previous religions. There is no doubt that affirming, believing or being pleased with this is actually a rejection of faith and misguidance, because it clearly violates the Noble Qur’aan, the pure Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslim [scholars]. It would also imply an affirmation that the [textual] corruptions committed by the Jews and Christians are from Allaah – exalted is He above this.
Moreover, it is not allowed to call churches ‘the houses of Allaah’ or [to believe] that its people worship Allaah in them with a correct and acceptable worship, since they worship upon other than the guidance of Islaam. Allaah the Exalted said:
“Whoever seeks for a religion other than Islaam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be amongst the losers.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:85]
Rather, they are places in which disbelief (kufr) occurs – and we seek refuge in Allaah from disbelief and its people. Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah the Exalted have mercy upon him, said in Majmoo’ Fataawaa (22/162):
“They [i.e. churches] are not houses of Allaah, rather the houses of Allaah are the mosques (masaajid). On the contrary, they are houses wherein disbelief in Allaah occurs; even though Allaah’s Name is mentioned in them. For houses are according to the status of its people; and these people are disbelievers (kuffaar), so these are houses wherein disbelievers worship.”
Tenthly: From that which is obligatory to know is that calling the disbelievers, in general – and the People of the Book, in particular – to Islaam is incumbent upon the Muslims according to the explicit texts of the Book and the Sunnah. However, this should be done with clear proofs, good argumentation and by not forfeiting anything from the laws of Islaam. This will lead to them being convinced about Islaam and accepting it, or it will lead to establishing the proof against them. Allaah the Exalted said:
“Say: O People of the Book! Come to a word that is fair between us and you; that we worship none but Allaah; that we associate no partner along with him in worship; and that none of us shall take lords besides Allaah. Then if they turn away, say: I bear witness that we are Muslims.” [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:64]
As for debating and meeting with them, or holding dialogues with them such that they may bring about their desires, achieve their objectives, vanquish Islaam and destroy faith, then this is falsehood and is rejected by Allaah, His Messenger and the Muslims – and we seek Allaah’s aid against what they ascribe to Him. Allaah the Exalted said:
“Beware of them, lest they turn you away from a part of what Allaah has revealed to you.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:49]
Thus the Committee, in resolving upon this and clarifying it to the people, sincerely advise the Muslims in general, and the People of Knowledge in particular, to fear and obey Allaah the Exalted; to be concious of Him; to defend Islaam; safeguard the ‘aqeedah of the Muslims from misguidance and its callers, and from disbelief and its adherants; to warn people about this invitation to misguidance and disbelief – the call to the Unification of Religions – and against falling into its traps. We seek refuge in Allaah for every Muslim, from becoming a cause for bringing such misguidance into the lands of the Muslims and from spreading it amongst them.
We ask Allaah the Most Perfect, by His beautiful Names and lofty Attributes that He protects us all from being afflicted with misguidance; that he makes us rightly-guided and rightly-guiding; and makes us defenders of Islaam upon guidance and light from our Lord, until we meet Him and He is pleased with us. With Allaah lies all success. May Allaah extol and send the blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad; and upon his Family, Companions and followers.
The Commitee for Scholarly Research and Verdicts; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (president)
‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin ‘Abdullaah aalush-Shaykh (vice president)
Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (member)
Bakr ibn ‘Abdullaah Aboo Zayd (member)
1 Reported by Ahmad (3/387) and others, and it is hasan. Consult: Takhreejul-Mishkaat (no.177) of al-Albaanee.
2 Reported by Muslim (no.240).