Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In his book Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question (Oxford University Press, 2012), Mohammad Hassan Khalil masterfully approaches a difficult topic. What happens to non-Muslims when they die? Who is accountable for accepting Muhammad’s prophethood? Could any sane person possibly reject the truth were it clearly revealed to her? In order to address these questions and others, Khalil’s probes some of the most prominent premodern and modern voices in Islamic history. The author unearths not a monolithic consensus but instead a cacophony of opinions concerning soteriological matters, which overwhelmingly envisions a heaven filled with Muslims and non-Muslims. As an added bonus to Khalil’s robust and provocative study, his adroit prose reads smoothly and his storytelling is exquisite. That combined with meticulous attention to transliteration and precise, fluid translations, makes Khalil’s monograph an absolute pleasure to read and should appeal to specialists and non-specialists.