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The Unacceptable Reasons for Christian Rejection of Islām 

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

How ignorance, customs, honour, peer pressure, jealousy, and hatred contribute to the Christians’ refusal to embrace Islām.

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH) said:

We—and others besides us—have argued with a group among them [the Christians]. When the corruption of that which they have adopted becomes plainly evident to some of them, they say: If we were to embrace Islām, we would be from among the most despicable, unimportant Muslims, while we occupied a place of authority among the people of our religion, exercising our reign over their wealth and their standings, and possess a station of great honour among them.

Was the refusal of Pharoah and his people to follow Mūsá not for the exact same reason?


The reasons that prevent one from accepting the truth are quite numerous. Among them is ignorance. This is the reason that applies to the majority of people. When someone is ignorant of a subject, they tend to oppose it and its people.

If, in addition to ignorance, one also harbours hate, enmity, and jealousy for the one commanding him with the truth, then prevention from accepting the truth becomes all the more potent, ever stronger.

Habits and Customs

If, in addition to the aforementioned, we add one’s habits and that which he shows affinity towards, him being raised upon the way adopted by his forefathers and those he loves and respects, prevention from accepting the truth is further strengthened.

Honour and Standing

If we then were to add to this him surmising that the truth he is being invited towards represents an impediment between himself and an honourable standing among the people, or occupying a powerful station among them, or is contrary to his own desires or goals, then prevention from accepting the truth further increases in strength.

Peer Pressure

If we then add to this fear of his companions, close family, and his people with regards to himself, his wealth, and honour—as was the case with Hercules the king of Christians in al-Shām during the time of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم)—the force that prevents one from embracing the truth is further strengthened. For, indeed, Hercules recognised the truth and desired to embrace Islām. However, his people chose not to follow him. So, he feared for his life because of them. This led, ultimately, to him choosing disbelief over Islām after true guidance was plainly evident to him.

Jealousy and Hatred

Among the greatest reasons that prevent one from accepting the truth is jealousy. For it is a hidden sickness that resides in the soul. It causes the jealous person to gaze upon the one he harbours jealousy for thinking that he has been favoured over him. That he was given that which his counterparts have not been granted. So, his jealousy will not allow him to show submissiveness to him, becoming among his followers.

Did Iblīs refrain from prostrating to Ādam for no other reason other than jealousy? For, indeed, upon seeing Ādam being favoured and elevated over him, he choked on his own saliva [an expression of extreme jealousy and rage], and chose disbelief over īmān after being among the angels.

This is the very same sickness that prevented the Jews from believing in Īsá ibn Maryam. All the while they knew undoubtedly that he was indeed a messenger of Allāh who had come to them with clear proof, evidence, and guidance. Likewise, their jealousy caused them to choose disbelief over īmān, all of them behaving in agreement with one another. While among them there were rabbis, scholars, ascetics, jurists, kings, and leaders.

Also, the Messiah ruled in accordance with the Torah, and did not come with legislative action that opposed it, nor did he fight with them. He only made permissible some of that which was forbidden for them as a way of ease, mercy and goodness. He came to complete the legislations of the Torah. Despite all of this, the Jews all chose disbelief over īmān.

If such was their behaviour with regards to the Messiah, then what do you think will be their state with a prophet who came with a separate legislation that has abrogated all legislation that precedes it. While blaming and reproaching them for their treachery and despicable nature, bringing attention to their shameful acts, extricating them from their dwellings, while they fought and waged war in opposition to him. In every meeting with them, this prophet was made to be victorious over them and allowed to gain the upper hand. Him and his companions were raised over them, who had accompanied and stayed by his side even in lowly, hard times.

So how, then, would their hearts not be full of jealousy and hatred? For what is their circumstance with regards to him in comparison to their situation with the Messiah—who they all agreed to disbelieve in even after his guidance was made plainly evident to them.

This reason—in and of itself—is sufficient to cause them to reject the truth. What can we reasonably then presume if the loss of authority and wealth is further added?

Source: Hidāyah al-Ḥiyārá: 39-41
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: December 29, 2023
Edited: December 29, 2023

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