Dialogue between Muslims and Christians
Fatwa No: 84844


What is the ruling about the discussion between Muslims and Christians; and what are its benefits?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Muslims are commanded to invite others to Allah, spread Islam and convey the true religion to the Christians and others.
Allah Says (what means):

• {Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.} [Quran 16: 125]

• {Say, "This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah; and I am not of those who associate others with Him."} [Quran 12: 108]

Besides, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Convey on my behalf even if it were only one (short) verse from the Quran.” [Al-Bukhari]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him: “…Then ask them to embrace Islam and tell them about their obligations. I swear by Allah! If Allah guides one single man (to Islam) by your efforts, that will be better for you than possessing an abundant number of red camels (a very expensive breed of camels which is considered as the most valuable property in the sight of the Arabs)." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

There is no doubt that an invitation requires holding meetings, and conferences, presenting Islam, and demonstrating the falsehood of other religions and sects.

It is expected that such dialogues would achieve the following:

1) The people who are invited would convert to Islam.

2) Showing them the evidence so that anyone who died might die after the evidence is established against him.

3) Fulfilling the Divine Order concerning calling them to Islam.

4) Neutralizing some disbelievers and putting them aside from the way of Islamic propagation. Such a situation results from recognizing the greatness of Islam and clarity of proofs.

However, dialogues between Muslims and non-Muslims bring about some disadvantages such as:

1) It is possible that some people who cannot present Islam well will understate such dialogue.

2) Some Muslim participants may have doubts in their true religion.

3) Holding such meetings in front of the common people could constitute a great danger if Muslim participants cannot present facts well. Thus, only scholars should be allowed to undertake such dialogues and not to hold general discussions except in special cases and in accordance with clear and fixed conditions that permit fair presentation of the Islamic position. In addition, participants should avoid dealing with misconceptions.

4) It is also possible that some ignorant and deviant people will take part in such dialogues. Many such people believe that Muslims, Christians and Jews are followers of Prophet Ibrahim, may Allah exalt his mention, and that they should be united to fight disbelief and atheism. It is also worse if some deviant participants believe that Christians are not disbelievers, but the People of the Book.

In other words, if certain ignorant people take part in this dialogue, Christians could be encouraged to holdfast to their false belief. They may think that it is inappropriate to desert their religion if there is no difference between Islam and Christianity?

5) Missionaries could exploit some statements of some people who invite Christians to Islam as a rapprochement between Christians and Muslims.

Our advice is that such dialogues should be supervised by some Islamic institutions that are interested in Da'wah. Such circles or institutions will nominate and choose the best persons to achieve such a task, and the best place and suitable time. In addition, participants should be provided with what they need, i.e. books, references, cassettes and so on.

However, it is every Muslim's duty to invite others to Islam as long as he possesses good knowledge of other religions.

For more benefit on calling non-Muslims to Islam, please refer to Fataawa 85577, 3670, 84349, 91563, 21363, 30315 and 90486.

Allah knows best.

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