Assalamu’alaikum wr wb,
I am a student of inter-religious studies and, Alhamdullillah, have been a follower of Shaikh Nazim since one year ago. What I want to ask here is about universal salvation. I know that my non-Muslim friends become non-Muslim because they are born from non-Muslim family, just like I became a Muslim because I was born into a Muslim family. I know that God is most merciful. Is His mercy is also extended to non-believers? I also want to ask about some Muslim groups that are–especially in my country, Indonesia–labeled as apostates, such as Ahmadis and Shiites. Those people are born with their unique religious belief and they can hardly release such belief because they know that their belief is true. Do they also deserve God’s mercy? I’m sorry if my question is inappropriate. I’ll be glad if your answer is detailed and thorough.
Countless Muslims were originally born and raised in non-Muslim families and this may happen to your friends also. As for Divine mercy extending to non-Muslims it is stated explicitly in the Qur’an 17:18-21 and that is one of the meanings of al-Rahman, i.e. He is the All-Beneficient, giving all the goodness of this life to everyone. As for non-Muslims being hardly able to relinquish their religious beliefs, again many people are born and grow up into non-Muslim religious faiths that are older than Ahmadism and Shiism, in more traditional places than Indonesia, yet Allah can and does guide many of them to a better path. So it is up to Him, not you or me or them.
Hajj Gibril Haddad