The word “salvation” means being saved from sin and its effects. It also means being saved from hell. It is generally believed that there will be Judgment Day when all people in the world will be called upon to God to give account of their lives ion earth. Those who believe in God and whose good deeds are acceptable to Him, would be rewarded by being taken to heaven or paradise. On the other hand, those who do not believe in God would be punished by being sent to ‘hell’. According to both Christians and Muslims, those who would be sent to heaven or paradise are said to have got “salvation”.
(a) How to gain Salvation
Christianity teaches that in order to gain salvation, a person should believe in the word of God. He should know that he is a sinner, and therefore must repent and accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior. The Bible further teaches that Christians can be saved by the love and grace of God.
There are also certain facts in the Bible which can guide the Christian to gain salvation. The following are some of these facts about salvation:
i. The soul of man can die and be destroyed because of sin. But salvation and eternal life can be ours as a gift of God if we believe in His work (Romans 6:23).
ii. Just as sin brought death to all mankind, so does the grace of God bring eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:21).
iii. If we receive salvation and everlasting life through believing in Jesus Christ, we will then not perish (John 3:16).
iv. Salvation can never be the result of our good deeds alone (Ephesians 2:8,9).
v. Although salvation is received by the grace of God, we should still obey God’s laws and try to live righteous lives (Romans 6:15).
vi. When you are saved you are made pure by God. You become special to God and you live by doing good (Titus 2:14).
It is because of God’s love for mankind that He sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, so that all those who will believe in Him will have everlasting life.
(b) How to gain Salvation in Islam
Some of the things to do so as to avoid sin and gain salvation are the following:
i. A Muslim must have full faith in the “Kalima”, I.e., “There is none worthy of worship except God, and Muhammed is the Messenger and Prophet of God”.
ii. He should try to learn and observe the teachings of Islam.
iii. He should carry out sincerely the Divine commandments of God so that he may prosper (Quran 2:6).
iv. He should feel truly sorry, repent of his sins, and ask God for forgiveness. He should vow not to disobey God again (Quran 3:136; 39:54-56).
v. The aim of a Muslim is to love God and His Prophet, and his faith should be stronger than that of anyone or anything else in the world (Quran 3:32; 89:30-31).
vi. He should remain steadfast in his faith and should continue to obey God and the Prophets all the time (Quran 39:54-56).
vii. He must always avoid sin such as adultery, fornication, stealing, falsehood, alcoholism, and dishonesty in money matters (Quran 19:73; 8:30).
viii. He should take part in preaching and spreading Islam.
ix. He should develop the habit of saying the midnight prayer, (“Tahajjud”) and remember God always (Zikr) and read the Holy Quran daily (Quran 91:10).
x. He should acquire love and perfect knowledge of God, do good deeds in accordance with that knowledge, and attain nearness and union with God.