The Presidency of Islamic Research and Ifta, Riyadh, Under The General Supervision of the Grand Council of Scholars.

Fatwa No.19402

The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta has reviewed the inquiries, opinions and essays propagated in the mass media concerning the "Call for the Unification of Religions," i.e. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, and studied what has resulted from this call, including:

-The building of a Mosque, a Church, and a Jewish Temple in one area, especially in universities, airports, and public squares, etc.

-A call for printing the Noble Qur'an, the Torah, and the Bible in one book.

-Conferences, symposiums,and solicitations established both in the East and the West.

After comprehensive study, the committee resolves the following:

1. One of the fundamentals of Faith in Islam, which is known as an essential part of the religion and upon which all Muslims have agreed, is that there is no true religion on the earth except Islam, and that it is the Final religion which abrogated all previous religions and creeds. Therefore, no other religion remains on earth by which Allah can be worshiped except Islam.

Allah The Most High 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." [Al-Qur'an 3:85].

2. One of the fundamentals of faith in Islam is that Allah's Book (the Qur'an) is the last Book that was revealed by the Cherisher of the Worlds. It abrogated all the Books revealed by Allah before it, such as the Torah, the Psalms, and the Bible, and as such, no other Book is left by which Allah can be worshiped except the Qur'an.

Allah, The Most High, says, "And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (the Qur'an) in truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it, and trustworthy in highness and a witness over it (old scriptures). So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires." [Al-Qur'an 5:48]

3. It is our belief that both the Torah and the Bible were abrogated by the Qur'an, and that they were changed, by means of additions and deletions, by their followers. This is indicated in some verses in Allah's Book - the Noble Qur'an.

Allah, The Most High, says in His Qur'an, "So because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them." [Al-Qur'an 5:13]

"Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, 'This is from Allah,' To purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn thereby." [Al-Qur'an 2:79]

"And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongue (as they read), so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say, 'This is from Allah', but it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it." [Al-Qur'an 3:78]

Accordingly, even whatever is considered as correct in these Books has been abrogated by Islam. The remaining parts are altered. This is proved by the following incident. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) got angry when he saw 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab holding a sheet containing some verses from the Torah, and he said to him, "O 'Umar! Are you in doubt? Have I not brought (the Message) as clear as white? If my brother Musa ('alaihi salaam) were alive, he would have followed me." Narrated by Ahmed, Ad-Daarimi and others.

4. Another fundamental of Faith in Islam is that our Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) is the seal of all the prophets and messengers.

Allah says, "Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything." [Al-Qur'an 33:40]

As such, no other messenger is left to be followed except Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). If any of Allah's Prophets and Messengers had been alive, they too, along with their followers. would have followed Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam).

Allah, The Most High, says, "And (Remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets saying 'Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allah etc.) and afterwards there will come to you a messenger (Muhammad) confirming what is with you. You must then believe in him and help him.' Allah said: 'Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My covenant (which I conclude with you)?' They said, 'We agree'. He said, 'Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this)." [Al-Qur'an 3:81]

When Jesus ('alaihi salam), the Prophet of Allah, comes in a later time, he will follow Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) and rule according to Muhammad's (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) legislation.

Allah, The Most High, says, "Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Taurah (Torah) [Deut. CVIII,15] and the Injeel [Gospel of John XIV,16]" [Al-Qur'an 7:157]

In addition, one of the basic pillars of faith in Islam is that Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) was sent to all human beings, and

Allah says, "Say (O Muhammad) 'O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as a Messenger of Allah - to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, none has the right to be worshiped but He." [Al-Qur'an 7:158]

5. One of the fundamentals of Islam is that any Jew or Christian who does not embrace Islam must be considered and designated as an unbeliever (Kaafir) as well as an enemy of Allah, His Messengers, and the Believers (Muminoon), and such people will be the people of the Fire. This is in accordance with Allah's Saying that,

"Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) and among al-Mushrikoon (Polytheists), were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence." [Al-Qur'an 98:1]

And Allah says, "Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an, and the Prophet Muhammad, sallalahu 'alaihi wassallam) from among the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) and al-Mushrikoon (Polytheists) will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures." [Al-Quran 98:6]

It was narrated in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) said, "Anyone of this Ummah, whether a Jew or a Christian, who heard about me and died without believing in what was revealed to me, he will be among the people of the Hell-Fire."

Based on the above, anyone who does not charge Jews and Christians with Kufr will be a Kaafir himself, according to the Shari'ah principle (i.e., anyone who does not charge the Kaafir with Kufr will be Kaafir himself.)

6. Adulterating the fundamentals of Islamic Faith and the facts of Islamic Law (Shari'ah) to serve the call (for the unification of religions), by mixing them together and casting them in one mold is but a wicked call. It aims at mixing the Truth with Falsehood, destroying Islam, demolishing its foundations and bringing all Muslims to clear apostasy (Riddah). This can be seen in the saying of Allah, The Most High,

"And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism), if they can." [Al-Qur'an 2:217].

Allah Says, "They wish that you reject faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you will become equal (like one another)." [Al-Qur'an 4:89]

7. The inevitable consequence of such evil calls are:

-The cancellation of differences between Islam and Kufr, Truth and Falsehood, and complete negation of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.

-Breaking of barriers of alienation between Muslims and Kafiroon (unbelievers) so that no loyalty nor Jihad nor struggle for the sake of elevating Allah's Word on Allah's earth may take place. Allah, The Most High, commands

"Fight against those who (1) do not believe in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, (4) those who acknowledge not the religion of Truth - i.e. Islam - among the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." [Al-Qur'an 9:29]

"And fight against the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the oneness of Allah) collectively, as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with the pious." [Al-Qur'an 9:36]

If this call (for unification) emanates from a Muslim, it will be considered explicit Riddah (apostasy) from Islam, as it is in conflict with the principles of Islamic faith, and accepts disbelief in Allah - The Glorified. This call annuls what was proved by the Qur'an as true, and denies that the Qur'an has abrogated all the books that preceded it, and also negates that Islam had abrogated all the previous religions.

Based on this, the call for unification is rejected according to Shari'ah and is strictly prohibited by all evidences of Islam as found in the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and Ijmaa' (consensus).

Based on the aforesaid:

-It is not permissible for any Muslim who believes in Allah as the Rabb (Creator/Provider/Owner), in Islam as the religion, and Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) as a Prophet and Messenger, to call for this abominable belief, or encourage others to join it, or spread it among other Muslims, let alone accepting it, attending its conferences or symposiums, and affiliating with its assemblies.

-It is prohibited for any Muslim to print the Torah and the Bible even independently. So how could it be permissible to print them with the Qur'an in one book? Accordingly, whoever does that, or calls for it, has strayed far away (from the Right Path), as this is but a combination of the Truth (the Noble Qur'an) with the altered or abrogated books of the Torah and the Bible.

-It is prohibited for any Muslim to respond to that call for building a mosque, a church, and a temple in one complex, as this would imply a confession that there are religions besides Islam by which Allah can be worshiped This would also involve a denial that Islam is the purest of all the religions. It would also imply a serious admission that religions are three and that people on earth may adopt whatever they wish of them, equally, and that Islam has not superseded the religions that preceded it.

-Undoubtedly, approving, believing, or accepting this call is considered Kufr (disbelief) and explicit error as it plainly contradicts the Noble Qur'an, the Purified Sunnah, and the Muslim Ijmaa' (consensus). It would also imply an agreement that the alterations done by the Jews and Christians are from Allah - Glory Be to Him. Moreover, it is not permissible to call churches "Allah's houses," as the Christians do not perform worship that is acceptable to Allah, and it is a kind of worship not based on Islam.

Allah, The Most High, 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." [Al-Qur'an 3:85] Rather, they (churches) are houses where Kufr Billah is practiced. We seek refuge with Allah from Kufr and those who belong to it.

Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah rest his soul in peace) stated in "Majmoo` Al-Fatawa" (collection of Islamic Rulings) 162/22, the following: "Churches and Synagogues are not Allah's houses, but Allah's Houses are the Mosques. Rather, they (churches and synagogues) are houses of Kufr even though Allah's name is mentioned in them. Houses are judged according to the creed of the people. These people rejected Allah's last Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam) and as such they are Kuffaar (disbelievers), and hence their houses are but houses designated for the worship practiced by the Kuffaar."

It is noteworthy that calling the Kuffaar in general, and the People of the Book in particular, to Islam is incumbent upon all Muslims as per the explicit texts of our Noble Book, the Qur'an, and the Sunnah. However, a response may not be achieved except through kind words and sound arguments. It should, nonetheless, be done on condition not to drop any of the rules of Islam, so that they might either be convinced of Islam and embrace it, or reject it and die after a clear warning (had been given) to them.

Allah, The Most High, Says, "Say (O Muhammad) 'O People of the Scripture! (Jews and Christians) Come to a word that is Just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords, besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say, 'I bear witness that we are Muslims.'" [Al-Quran 3:64]

However, debates, meetings, and dialog held with them in order to enable them in achieving their desires, fulfilling their aims, breaking the bonds of Islam, and bending the Fundamentals of Islamic Faith are all considered invalid, rejected by Allah, His Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wassallam), and all believers.

Allah, The Most High, ays,"And follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you (O Muhammad) far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you." [Al-Qur'an 5:49]

The committee, in resolving and issuing this verdict for all people, also advises all Muslims in general and scholars in particular, to fear Allah and protect Islam and preserve the Muslim Creed from error, and its callers to error and from Kufr and its people. It also urges them to take precautions against this obvious Call for Unbelief (for the Unification of Religions) and against falling into its traps. We seek refuge with Allah for every Muslim from becoming a conduit for bringing such an error to the Muslim nations and spreading it among them. We ask Allah by His Supreme Names and Attributes to protect us from these devious afflictions and make us guides and be guided to The Right Path, and make us protectors of Islam deriving light and guidance from our Rabb till we meet Him and he is pleased with us. He is the Granter of success, and may His salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu 'alaihi wassallam) his family and all his companions.

The Permanent Committee for Academic Research and Ifta (Verdict) Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz, President Abdul-Aziz Ibn Abdullah Al-Shaykh Abdullah, Vice President Salih Ibn Fawzan Al-Fawzan, Member Bakr Ibn Abdullah Abu Zaid, Member Our final call is indeed, all praises are for Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds. May His prayers and peace be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his family and Companions and on all those who strive to follow them in goodness.



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November 21, 1998

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