(111) وَقَالُواْ لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُوداً أَوْ نَصَارَى تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ قُلْ هَاتُواْ بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
(112) بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
111. " And they said: ' None shall enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian.' Such are their fancies. Say: ' Bring your proof, if you are truthful '."
112. " Yes! Whoever submits himself entirely to Allah, and he is a doer of good, his reward is with his Lord; no fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve."
In the above verses, the Qur'an has referred to one of the other vain, inappropriate statements of a group of the Jews and the Christians, and then, it has responded to them with a knockdown answer. It is as thus:
" And they said: ' None shall enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian '. ..."
In reply to them, at first, it says:
"... Such are their fancies....", and they will never reach such wishes. Then, addressing the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) it says:
"... Say: ' Bring your proof, if you are truthful '. "
* * * *
Every claim needs its own proof for verification. When the fact became clear that they had not any proof for their claim and that their insistence that Paradise was exclusively theirs, which was merely a bare desire of theirs, the essential basic criterion for entering Paradise was given, as a general law in this verse, as it says:
" Yes! Whoever submits himself entirely to Allah, and he is a doer of good, his reward is with his Lord; ..."
Therefore, "...no fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve."
In short, the fact is that entering Paradise, the reward of Allah, and attaining felicity and salvation in the coming eternal life is exclusive to no tribe or particular race, but these merits belong to the ones who have the following two attributes:
The first attribute is that the person should submit himself wholly to the commands of Allah, and obey all of His commandments without considering any difference between this ordinance or that one. It should not be so that he accepts those commandments that are compatible with what he considers his benefit and puts aside those that are opposite to that which he desires. Yes, such ones are entirely submitted to Allah's Will.
The second attribute is that the effect of Faith is illustrated in their deeds in the form of good actions. These people are good to all human beings in all of their affairs.
By this statement, in fact, the Qur'an, as a general rule, nullifies the inappropriate racial bigotries, and absolutely dismisses true salvation and happiness from the confinement of a special tribe. To sum it up, the verse distinguishes Faith and good deeds as criterion for true felicity.