I have a question that may seem queer but it haunts me often. Islam is the religion of the Lord of all the worlds. The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is the Messenger for all the worlds. But has Islam reached all the people of the earth in a perfect and proper way? Islam has not reached many of the people of in the world in a proper way. They do not know it or they know it in a distorted way that may drive them away from even reading or searching about it; besides, there is no honest translation about Islam in any language. How will Allah hold them accountable for something they knew nothing about? Also, do the people of the Scripture know that they are wrong and that Islam is the religion of Allah?
I see many of them believing that they are right. Some persons say to me that they have to search for the truth. But I wonder, if any of us hears about a new religion propagated by someone, would we go and examine it? Or would we avoid conducting any research because we believe that we are right? Similarly, they believe that they are right; so why should they conduct such a research? Is this a trial that Almighty Allah put the people of the Scripture to and relieved it from those who have been born as Muslims in Muslim families without any hardship?
All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and his companions. It seems that the question can be reduced to: Has Islam reached all the people? The answer is that Islam has not reached all the people, but it may reach all of them in time because in one hadith we read, “The Hour of doom will not come until there is no house – be it a tent or a building – but this religion will enter it with might or with humility.” [Reported by Ahmad (16957) al-Bayhaqy in his Sunan (9:181), al-Tabarany in al-Kabeer (1280)] Hence, the religion will spread. Media channels and globalization that has turned the earth into one village have provided tools to allow Islam to enter every house. Muslims have to make committed efforts to convey Islam to others.
As for whether this has taken place or not, it may have not taken place yet. Those who are punishable by fire are those whom the religion has reached but they did not believe in it. Almighty Allah said, “Say: ‘This Quran has been revealed to me [as a means] with which to forewarn you and whomever it reaches.’ ” [6:19]; that is, to forewarn you and all those whom it reaches, even if they have not seen me or talked to me. Thus, whoever the Quran has reached has been forewarned by it. Hence, we have to convey it to all the people. When the Quran reaches them, the proof against them becomes established. On the other hand, the proof is not established against those whom the Quran has not reached. Their case is rather like the case of the people who lived in the interval between the prophets, such as those who lived before the prophetic mission. Almighty Allah said, “Never do We torment [any nation] until We send forth a messenger [with heavenly guidance],” [17:15] and also said, “Whenever any throng [of non-muslims] is cast into it [the fire], its keepers say to them: Did there not come to you a forewarner? They will say: Oh yes! There did, indeed, come to us a forewarner.” [67:8-9] Almighty Allah has sent the messengers so that people would have no proof against Allah. The proof becomes established, complete and overwhelming – “Say: Yet to Allah belongs the all-conclusive proof,” [6:149] – when the message reaches a person and he does not believe in it out of bigotry, turning away from it, hating it, or disbelieving and denying it. Almighty Allah said, “Thus, even though, within their souls, they were certain of them (the signs), they disavowed them, wrongfully and haughtily.” [27:14] They do not want to see the truth, “They enfold [unbelief within] their breast.” [11:5]
Many of the non-Muslims these days may be in this situation. Perhaps some of them have seen the truth and the facts have become clear for him, but they stick to their habits and love the power they have, or their hatred towards Muslims drives them to be fanatic and turns them blind, and thus they turn away from reflecting on the Book of Allah. Such turning away from reflection, in spite of it being possible, and turning away from the message, in spite of the ability to know it, make the person punishable, “Indeed, the [true] religion with Allah is Islam” [3:19] “And so, anyone who seeks a religion other than Islam, never shall it be accepted from him.” [3:85] In this world we live together and, “none should be forced to embrace any religion ……..” [2:256] This is our position and this show we call people in other countries to Islam. This does not mean that the truth is many. The truth is one. It is this religion which is the last religion and the one that has dominance over all other religions. This, in short, is the answer of this question.