Suppose someone is born into a family that practices shirk...

Q: Suppose someone is born into a family that practices shirk. Consequently, he grows up practicing shirk himself, thinking it to be right. Suppose no one conveyed to him about the oneness of God—at least not in a manner of the level of etmam-e hujjat—and this man dies while still believing in shirk.

Given that God is all-just and all-merciful and that this person did not choose to be born and socialized in a family that practices shirk and that God made him to be born in such a family, can such a person be condemned to damnation in Hell? Is it his fault for not coming out ofshirk if no one came to him to explain to him, in a convincing and proper manner, that shirk was wrong?

A: This question was raised to an Islamic scholar. He replied in short: Jaisi tabligh waisa muhasabah. That is, the person concerned will be judged according to the knowledge he gained. This is because accountability is based on one’s intention.

Q: A fundamental duty of Muslims is to engage in dawah. Many Muslims regularly pray, give zakat and so on but do not engage in dawah, directly or indirectly. In fact, by wrongly considering others as their enemies and entering into conflict with them, they actually work against the prospects of dawah.

Do you think that in this way these Muslims themselves have a major role to play in reinforcing shirk (not only by not engaging in dawah but also, through their actions and attitudes towards other people, actually working against it?). For this, do you think they might deserve Divine punishment? If people who engage in shirk deserve punishment for their shirk, do you think these Muslims deserve similar punishment for not engaging in dawahand convincing these people to abandon shirk?

A: According to my knowledge, such Muslims are not forgiveable. This opinion of mine is based on a verse from the Quran which says: ‘O Messenger, deliver whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord. If you do not so so, you will not have conveyed His message.’ (5:67)

Q: Presently, some Muslims in Kashmir are agitating about a controversy over banning beef.

1:   Do you think banning beef is justified? Is it an infringement on Muslims’ rights, as some might claim?

A: It is not a matter of Muslims’ rights. It is a matter that pertains to the Constitution. Therefore, only the experts of the Constitution can tell whether or not a ban is justified.

2:  From the dawah perspective, how should Muslims respond to such issues? 

A: Muslims need to avoid such issues, because the way of reaction jeopardizes the doing of dawah.