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Ahl al-Fatrah

In Islamic theology, the term Ahl al-Fatrah (Arabic: أهل الفترة‎, ahl al-fatrah) refers to everyone whom the da‘wah (message of Islam) has not reached in an uncorrupted manner: the people who live in ignorance of the teachings of Islam, either in geographical isolation, or in times predating Muhammad. The intended meaning is that people living at a time of an interval between two prophets so that they are never exposed to divine revelation.

There is disagreement among Muslim scholars regarding those who had no access to the call of any prophet during their lifetime. Some Muslim scholars[who?] maintain that this group of people should have pondered over God's Creation till they perceive the truth. If they managed to reach the truth by their deep thinking, then they will be spared God's Punishment, but not otherwise.

Other Muslim scholars[who?] state that people are to adhere to religious ordinances and to proclaim faith only if God sends them a divine legislation through a prophet. This group backs their view by citing the following verse:

Whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger. (Al-Isra 15)

Qur'anic verse,

Indeed, We have sent you with the truth as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And there was no nation but that there had passed within it a warner. (Fatir 24)

is cited to the effect that a messenger was, indeed, sent to all people. But by the Islamic concept of corruption of divine revelation over time (tahrif), there may still be "people of the interval" who have access only to such corrupted revelations.

See also