Question: What is the responsibility of a person who is not informed of the Qur’an?
Such people’s responsibilities are not associating partners with God, always following the truth, and doing the things they know to be right.
Each person, through his observations, understands that God exists and He is the one and only deity.
Allah the Almighty says:
“Remember, Your Master said to the children of Adam, when He took their descendants from their loins and made them testify of themselves, <Am I not your Lord?>. They said, <Yes, we have testified>. Now you cannot say on the Day of Rising, <We were definitely unaware of this>.
Now that you cannot say, <It was only our fathers that joined others with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done?>
Like this, We explain the verses in detail. Maybe they will return.” (Al-A’raf / The Elevated Place 7:172-174)
“.. taking from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants.. “ means, retrieving the seeds to reproduce the next generations. That is, the person becomes an adult and reaches the age to be able to have a child. Mankind starts looking for Allah during his childhood by asking questions around. Finally, he fully understands Allah’s presence as one God. With all the signs he finds, Allah seems to be asking him “Am I not your Lord?” and with all the determination he replies “Yes, You are my Lord, I have testified.” This incident recurs as man observes his surroundings. For this reason, each individual acknowledges Allah’s presence as One, and that he owes everything to Him and he must be His servant.
Later on, man worships Allah either directly or indirectly. Direct worshipping of a man, who is not informed on the prophet’s message, is by following Allah’s set laws on nature or by other words, the truths, already known and confirmed by traditions (maruf) which are universally accepted. Those are the ones on the straight path.
Some behave with self-truths; prioritize their interest and mostly follow ancestors’ path. Even though it does not feel right, they don’t disobey.
The universe is Allah’s created book; the ones Prophets brought are His revealed books. Universal values and science are derived from Allah’s created book and His revealed books consist of the rules and laws of these values. The Qur’an is the last edition of Allah’s revealed books.
Allah the Almighty says:
“We have sent you with the Truth to proclaim good news and a warning. Never has there been a nation but a Warner came to it.“ (Al-Fatir / The Initiator 35:24)
Since every nation was sent a messenger, it is possible to find this message in the essence of every existing religion. But people assimilated those messages to their own will right after their Messengers. First, religious leaders class was made up. Then, spiritual beings were established to bow and obey unconditionally before Allah. Religious leaders used these spiritual beings to attribute sacredness to themselves and to impose their will as Allah’s, by showing them as if those beings were respectful near Allah and should be used as mediators to reach Him.
There cannot be a solid basis for these claims. People stick with these beliefs not because they are true, but with the effect of the people around them and the traditions. This way, their relation with Allah falls apart. Having their freedom sold to these men and establishments, first they become their servants, then Allah’s. Thereby they become to join others with Allah. Nobody would be able to say the words below, since they could not be able to find legal grounds for joining others with Him:
“Or you cannot say, <It was only our fathers that join others with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done?>” (Al-A’raf / The Elevated Place 7:173)
Prophets told people “do not worship anything but Allah”. Because, it means to become servants to other gods and it abolishes freedom.
The essence of a religion is faith. The essence of faith is to accept sincerely and approve by heart. This approval can only be known by Allah and the individual himself. For this reason, nobody can be forced to accept or deny a religion. Allah the Almighty says:
“There cannot be any compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from the False. Whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah, grasps the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. Allah hears and knows everything.” (Al-Baqarah / The Cattle 2:256)
So, the main task of an individual who is not informed by the message is to resist becoming a servant of anything other than Allah.
Allah the Almighty says:
“Indeed, Allah does not forgive joining others with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom that deserves. (…)” (An-Nisa / The Women 4:48)
While numerous evidence is available everywhere to prove Allah’s presence and uniqueness, there is nothing about the ones that are considered to join partners with Him. Therefore nobody will fall into the pit of polytheism by joining others to Allah if he uses his common sense. If not, then even getting the best Islamic education would not help because “(…)and Allah will place abomination upon those who do not use their minds.” (Yunus / Jonah 10:100). Therefore, whether an individual is informed about the message or not, the main responsibility for everyone is not to join others with Allah.