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Why Muhammad Didn't Die for Muslims' Sins?

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8355 2008/04/02 2024/07/17
Article translated to : Español

though he is a mercy to all, prophet muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not die for muslims' sins. it is to be made clear that the entire concept of someone dying for our sins is in utter contradiction with the islamic view of the nature of man and god. in islam, every individual is responsible for his/her own salvation. everyone, male or female, can directly approach god without any intermediary of a prophet, saint or priest. 

"in order for us to be able to understand the islamic position regarding this issue, it is important to be clear about certain points.

first, islam, unlike christianity, does not teach a concept of “original sin”. adam’s sin was his and his alone; and, according to the qur’an (for the qur’anic narration of the story of adam and eve, see: the qur’an:

“35. and we said: "o adam! dwell you and your wife in the paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight, of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the zâlimûn (wrong-doers)."

36. then (satan) made them slip therefrom (the paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. we said: "get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. on earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time."

37. then adam received from his lord
words.(to repend) and his lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). verily, he is the one who forgives (accepts repentance), the most merciful.


 we said: "get down all of you from this place (the paradise), then whenever there comes to you guidance from me, and whoever follows my guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.

39. but those who disbelieve and belie our ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) - such are the dwellers of the fire. they shall abide therein forever.”(al baqara:35-39)


“120then shaitan (satan) whispered to him, saying : "o adam! shall i lead you to the tree of eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?"

121then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from paradise for their covering. thus did adam disobey his lord, so he went astray.

then his lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance. “(ta ha : 120-122)


god forgave both adam and eve when they turned to god in repentance; accordingly they were once again restored to divine mercy. hence there is no concept of adam passing on to his progeny an original sin, and therefore no need for stipulating a redeemer for such sins.

second, as there is no original sin, every one is born into a state of fitrah, a state of natural innocence; sin is acquired later by our own conscious and willful actions. the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “every child is born into a state of fitrah or natural state of innocence.” 

third, islam teaches that god is all-compassionate and all-merciful; he is not bound by the rule of a blood sacrifice in order to forgive his servants. to assume that god can forgive only by accepting a blood sacrifice and therefore to state that jesus or muhammad died for our sins is not acceptable in islam. allah says: “o my servants who have wronged against their souls! do not despair of allah’s mercy! for allah forgives all sins; for he is indeed forgiving, compassionate. turn to your lord repentant, and submit to him before the torment overtakes you when you shall not be helped.” (az-zumar: 53-54)

fourth, islam teaches that every individual is responsible for his/her own salvation. not abraham, or moses, or jesus, or muhammad can save us; they are only capable of saving themselves through god’s grace. in the words of the qur’an: “whoever commits a sin commits it only against himself. allah is knowing, wise.” (an-nisa': 111); “allah does not charge a soul with more than it can bear. it shall be requited for whatever good and whatever it has done.” (al-baqarah: 286); “each soul earns only on its own account, nor does any laden (soul) bear another’s load.” (al-an`am: 164) “he who is rightly guided, it is for himself; and he who goes astray, it is to his own detriment. no soul can bear another’s burden.” (al-isra': 15)

fifth, everyone, male or female, can directly approach god without any intermediary of a prophet, saint or priest. god is closer to us than our own jugular veins. almighty allah says in the qur’an: “we created man, and we know the promptings of his soul, and we are nearer to him than his own jugular vein.” (qaf: 16) “when my servants ask you about me, tell them i am nigh, ready to answer the prayer of the suppliant when he/she prays to me; therefore let them respond to me and believe in me, that they may be rightly guided.” (al-baqarah: 186)

so the entire concept of someone dying for our sins is inimical to the islamic world-view or understanding of the natures of man and god. islam beckons us all to respond to god’s message and receive his grace and salvation through faith, good works and leading a responsible moral and ethical life." 

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