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Answering Islamophobic Claims

Is Islam based on works and actions only?

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Christian missionaries often make the argument that Islam is all about works, and that our salvation depends on whether we have more good deeds than bad. So if we’re more good than bad, then the Muslim is safe, so Islam is purely a works based religion that’s really devoid of spirituality.

Now to make it clear, this claim is false, Islam is not a purely work based religion, meaning that Islam does not teach that you will be saved simply based on your actions, that if you do more good deeds than bad, then you will be saved.

Yes, Islam does have a concept of good deeds helping you attain salvation, but it is not the only means of attaining salvation. In Islam, it is a mix of faith, and works, hand in hand that assures a Muslim of his salvation.

So Islam is not about works only, but it’s also not about faith only, it’s about both of them together complimenting one another.

The Quran makes this very clear when it says:

To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward (5:9)

103.001 
By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),

103.002 
Verily Man is in loss,

103.003 Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy. 
 

So as we read, the Quran says that those who believe and do good deeds, shall be saved, it doesn’t say those who only do good deeds will be saved, in fact we challenge the Christian missionaries to produce a single Quranic verse, or a single hadith that says Muslims will be saved only by their actions.

In fact, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) explicitly said the opposite, that a Muslim will not be saved by his actions alone:

Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 470:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "The deeds of anyone of you will not save you." They said, "Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise)."

And in another hadith he said:

Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 471:

Narrated 'Aisha:

Allah's Apostle said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah's is the most regular and constant even though it were little."

So here you have the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) clearly telling the Muslims that their good deeds alone will not be enough to save them, directly contradicting the arguments of the Christian missionaries. Now are we going to take Islamic theology from Christian missionaries, or the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself? It seems missionaries want to assert their own ignorance on Islam and then say this is what Islam and Muslims believe in.

Coincidently, the book of James in the Bible teaches the same thing, that Christians will be saved by both faith and works. The author of James was in fact refuting the apostle Paul and his followers, who were arguing that salvation is mainly based on faith alone, rather than works:

My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead! Suppose someone disagrees and says, “It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds.” I would answer, “Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them.” You surely believe there is only one God. That’s fine. Even demons believe this, and it makes them shake with fear. Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless? Well, our ancestor Abraham pleased God by putting his son Isaac on the altar to sacrifice him. Now you see how Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend. You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.

So according to James, salvation is based on works and faith, as he says, even demons believe in one God, but does that make them believers? James goes as far as calling the people who don’t believe in this concept as being stupid! According to James those who simply believe it’s all about faith and has nothing to do with works, are stupid people.

So according to James, salvation is based on works and faith, as he says, even demons believe in one God, but does that make them believers? James goes as far as calling the people who don’t believe in this concept as being stupid! According to James those who simply believe it’s all about faith and has nothing to do with works, are stupid people.

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