158. What is salvation?

The root idea of Salvation is deliverance from evil. It is deliverance from everything that interferes with the enjoyment of God’s highest blessings. It includes deliverance from sin itself as well as from the various evils which are the consequence of sin. (Psalm 51; Jeremiah 31 verses 31-34; Ezekiel 36 verses 25-29). In the approach of the Messianic period and the coming of Jesus Christ, salvation becomes the saving from sin. In the Old Testament complete trust in God was the most important of the human conditions for salvation. It also developed into the obedience to God’s moral law as expressed in the various codes of the law. God was not satisfied with mere fulfilment of the letter of the law. In Jesus preaching people heard a new way to God through faith and trust in him, the Son of God.’ Jesus said he came to seek and save those who were lost in Luke 19 verse 10, and that salvation is through faith in Him, the incarnate Son of God (John 3 verse 16).

There seems to be no definition of salvation in the Qur’an. The Muslim is completely dependent on the Mercy of Allâh to go to Paradise, but it is imperative that the Muslim does as many good deeds (Surah 21Al Anbiya ayah 94) as possible, and refrains from anything evil (Surah 9 Al Tawbah ayah 23). Surah 61 Al Asaff ayat 10-12 tells us: ‘O ye who believe shall I lead you to bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty? That you believe in Allâh and His Messenger, and you strive (your utmost) in the cause of Allâh, with your property, and your persons: that will be best for you, if you but knew. He will forgive you, your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions and Gardens of eternity: that is indeed the supreme Achievement.’