Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others

Paperback | January 2, 2013

EditorMohammad Hassan Khalil

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A recent Pew survey of American Muslims found that the majority (56 percent) believed that "many religions" can lead to Paradise; only one-third held that Islam "is the one, true faith leading to eternal life." Ours is a world of ever-increasing interconnectedness. More and more Muslims todaywork with, befriend, and marry non-Muslims. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that a significant number of American Muslims would choose to believe that God will save their Christian parents, Jewish spouses, Buddhist neighbors, Hindu friends, or even atheist coworkers. The essays in this volume look at the views of Muslim theologians on this matter. Most maintain that while faith in the fundamental doctrines of Islam is theoretically required for salvation, God will excuse non-Muslims who never encountered the divine message conveyed by the Prophet Muhammad.(Whether such "unreached" non-Muslims still exist is the subject of much debate.) Some go a step further, and hold that God may redeem non-Muslims who were never exposed to the message in a manner that could prompt contemplation and encourage conversion. A third group of theologians-not the kind typically found at major Islamic seminaries and universities-argues that God may even save and reward non-Muslims who had a "compelling" encounter with the Islamic message yet chose to remain outside the fold. The diverse advocates of this last approachface a daunting task: demonstrating that their seemingly modern doctrine is compatible with the Islamic ethos. In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to this debate, and indeed the larger question of non-Muslim salvation. How one regards the Other undoubtedly affects how one interacts with the Other: Should I marry her? Should I call him to the faith? Should I pray for her even though she passed away without ever converting to my religion? Should we establish missions? Should we show our love to Others to encouragerectification, or, given that their path is crooked, should we shun them? Between Heaven and Hell is intended to foster appreciation for the diverse and novel approaches taken by scholars of Islam when addressing the consequential topic of soteriology (the discourse and doctrines of salvation) andthe fate of Others.

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A recent Pew survey of American Muslims found that the majority (56 percent) believed that "many religions" can lead to Paradise; only one-third held that Islam "is the one, true faith leading to eternal life." Ours is a world of ever-increasing interconnectedness. More and more Muslims todaywork with, befriend, and marry non-Muslims....

Mohammad Hassan Khalil is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University.

other books by Mohammad Hassan Khalil

Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 2, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199945411

ISBN - 13:9780199945412

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Salvation: The Known and the UnknownAcknowledgmentsA Note on ConventionsContributorsMohammad Hassan Khalil: Introduction: Grappling with the Salvation QuestionPart I: Historical Dimensions1. A. Kevin Reinhart: Failures of Practice or Failures of Faith: re Non-Muslims Subject to the Sharia?2. Mohammad Fadel: ''No Salvation Outside Islam'': Muslim Modernists, Democratic Politics, and Islamic Theological ExclusivismPart II: Diversity and Mercy3. William C. Chittick: The Ambiguity of the Qur'anic Command4. Reza Shah-Kazemi: Beyond Polemics and Pluralism: The Universal Message of the Qur'anPart III: Supersessionism and Mercy5. Yasir Qadhi: The Path of Allah or the Paths of Allah? Revisiting Classical and Medieval Sunni Approaches to the Salvation of Others6. Tim Winter: Realism and the Real: Islamic Theology and the Problem of Alternative Expressions of GodPart IV: Reconceptualizing Pluralism7. Muhammad Legenhausen: Non-reductive Pluralism and Religious Dialogue8. Sajjad Rizvi: Oneself as the Saved Other? The Ethics and Soteriology of Difference in Two Muslim ThinkersPart V: Otherness and the Qur'an9. Farid Esack: The Portrayal of Jews and the Possibilities for Their Salvation in the Qur'an10. Jerusha Lamptey: Embracing Relationality and Theological Tensions: Muslima Theology, Religious Diversity, and FatePart VI: Otherness and Inclusion11. David M. Freidenreich: The Food of the Damned12. Marcia Hermansen: Acts of Salvation: Agency, Others, and Prayer beyond the Grave in Islam13. Bruce B. Lawrence: Citizen Ahmad among the Believers: Salvation Contextualized in Indonesia and EgyptGlossary of Select TermsIndexIndex of Qur'anic Verses