Praise be to Allah.According to Islam and for the Muslims, taking a position of enmity is not something haphazard. On the contrary, it is governed by principles and guidelines, and thus is like all the other rulings of Islamic sharee'ah. These principles and guidelines come from Allaah, Who is above having any shortcomings and to Whom belong the Most Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes. The sources of rulings for us are the Qur'aan and the proven Saheeh (authentic) Sunnah (the words and deeds of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). The Qur'aan and Sunnah brought a clear message and ideology, which is the belief in Tawheed (Divine Unity) based on the testimony that there is no god except Allaah, and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the Messenger of Allaah, the Seal of the Prophets [i.e., the final Prophet] and the Imaam (or leader) of the Messengers. We do not associate any other god in worship with Allaah; on the contrary, we regard Him as Unique in His Divinity and Lordship, and in His Names and Attributes. We do not claim that He has any spouse or son. We take as friends those whom Allaah takes as friends, and regard as enemies those whom He regards as enemies. We hate those who slander Him and attribute to Him a wife or son, for Allaah is Unique, He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who begets not nor was He begotten, and He has no wife or son. Glory be to Him, how can He have a child? To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth. He has no partner and He does not need children as human beings do. He is the Creator of the father and of what the father begets. Muslims follow the commands of Allaah and have no choice with regard to His rules and regulations, rather they adhere to the rulings of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error" [al-Ahzaab 33:36]
Among these rulings is that we should love for the sake of Allaah and hate for the sake of Allaah.
But there is also plenty of room for debate with the Muslims; indeed, in His Book Allaah commanded the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his ummah (nation) after him to engage in debate and dialogue with the People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Say (O Muhammad ): 'O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allaah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allaah.' Then, if they turn away, say: 'Bear witness that we are Muslims.'" [Aal 'Imraan 3:64]
We believe in Jesus ('Eesa) - peace be upon him - as a Prophet sent by Allaah, but God forbid that we should describe Jesus as a god or lord as the Christians claim, and fail to distinguish between the Messenger and the One Who sent him, between the Creator and His creation. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And (remember) when Allaah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): 'O 'Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: 'Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allaah?' He will say: 'Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden (and unseen). Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allaah) did command me to say: "Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them; and You are a Witness to all things.' (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world)." [al-Maa'idah 5:116-117].
And Allaah says - addressing you and your fellow-Christians, and you will be blessed if you respond - (interpretation of the meaning):
"O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allaah aught but the truth. The Messiah 'Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allaah and His Word, ('Be!' - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him; so believe in Allaah and His Messengers. Say not: 'Three (trinity)!' Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allaah is (the only) One Ilaah (God), glory is to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allaah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs." [al-Nisaa' 4:171]
Islam is the religion of guidance, mercy and love, but there are people who force the Muslims to fight when they stand in the way of their conveying the guidance to mankind. The Muslims do not fight anyone until they have told them about the religion of Allaah and given them the choice between two things, either accepting Islam or, if they refuse Islam and keep their own religions, paying the Jizyah (tax) to the Muslims in return for protection. If they refuse both of these choices, then they are to be fought.
When we Muslims fight, it is for the sake of saving people from worshipping other people, and teaching them to worship the Lord of the Worlds, and bringing them out of the injustice of other religions to the justice of Islam, and freeing them from the constrictions of this world so that they may enjoy the bounty of this world and the Hereafter.
We believe that Jesus ('Eesa) - peace be upon him - did not die, but Allaah took him up to Himself. Jesus will come back to this world at the end of time and will rule according to Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
"Jesus will descend to Damascus, by the white minaret." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4/117; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him).
Islam cancels out the messages that came before it, and Allaah will not accept any other religion from anyone who comes to know of Islam during his lifetime. If people submit in Islam to the Lord of the Worlds, follow the Best of the Messengers, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and do righteous deeds, then Allaah will be pleased with them and will bless them with a good life in this world and the next. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Whoever works righteousness - whether male or female - while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islâmic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)." [al-Nahl 16:97]
We hope that we have answered your questions. We ask Allaah to guide us all and help us all to follow the truth. Peace be upon those who follow true guidance.