Is Islam the only right path? Is as-Siratul Mustaqim (the right path) a single phenomena or are there multiple paths leading to the same destination? What happens to the non-Muslims who live a decent life and do not violate the rights of other people? Do they gain salvation, and go to Paradise or not? These are some of the burning questions of the modern era. The concept of religious pluralism is not new; it has been discussed in one form ot another by past philosophers and theologians of various schools. However, the increased interaction between followers of different religions and inter-faith dialogues, religious pluralism has taken a new life in the stream of current thought.
When the great philosopher, ‘Allamah Murtadha Mutahhari, wrote his seminal work, ‘Adl-e Ilahi (The Divine Justice) about thirty-five years ago, the debate on religious pluralism had not yet become that popular in Iran.
What you have in your hands is the translation of ‘Adl-e Ilahi’s last chapter on “Good Deeds of Non-Muslims”. The more appropriate place to discuss religious pluralism and it’s related issues would be under the theme of “nubuwwah - prophethood” when discussing the finality of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood, however the question “What happens to the good deeds of non-Muslims?” is also connected to the theme of Divine justice; and so Allamah Mutahhari has answered it at the end of his ‘Adl-e Ilahi. Nonetheless. before discussing that question in detail, Ayatullah Mutahhari had also briefly stated his views on religious pluralism itself.
As you will read yourself, he expresses the prevailing view of the Muslim theologians and philosophers that Islam is the only right path. However, and more importantly, he cautions the readers not to jump to the conclusion that since Islam is the only right path therefore all non-Muslims will be doomed in the Hereafter.