Al-Albaani: Regarding the brother I want to say that his reward is doubled, this is what our Prophet عليه السلام stated in the authentic hadith which Imaam Bukhaari reported in his Saheeh, “Three people will be given their reward twice …” and from those three he mentioned, “… and a man from the Christians who believes in me and becomes a Muslim, his reward is doubled,” this means that he was a believer beforehand in the legislation of Jesus, peace be upon him, then when the truth became clear to him [concerning the fact] that what Muhammad عليه الصلاة والسلام brought is the truth he also believed in that, such a person’s reward is recorded twice for him.
This is not the case with anyone who was an unbeliever [mulhid] from the Christians, [someone who was] not a Christian or a Muslim and who then embraced Islaam, such a person is rewarded once, but as for the person who was truly a Christian including whatever deviation that may entail then he is a believer and he is rewarded twice, and I say, ‘… including whatever deviation the Christians have …’ because when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم uttered this hadith, saying, ‘… he will be given his reward twice …’ he was referring to the Christians who were present in his time عليه الصلاة والسلام, those Christians about whom Allaah عز وجل said in the Noble Quraan, “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allaah is the third of three,’” [Maaidah 5:73] and these are the people whose sacrificial slaughter it is permissible for us to eat, thus it is not fitting that a Muslim doubts or questions [himself] about these Christians [saying] that they say, ‘The father, the son and the holy ghost are one,’ in response we say that they were like that in the time of the Messenger عليه السلام and they are the ones who the Lord of mankind referred to in the previous verse, “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allaah is the third of three.’”
Thus, any person from the People of the Book who embraces Islaam and believes in Allaah and His Messenger will be rewarded twice: one time for his previous eemaan with all its flaws and defects, and a second time for his subsequent eemaan which is all truth containing no falsehood.
So firstly we ask Allaah to grant you firmness, and then [we ask Him to grant you] steadfastness upon the truth.
And it is obligatory upon you–and the religion is but to sincerely advise–to be eager to become acquainted with the correct Islaam, and unfortunately I say, ‘… the correct Islaam …’ because the Muslims have been afflicted with that which those who came before them were afflicted with, the Muslims have been stricken with that which befell the Jews and Christians in terms of becoming divided in the religion, and this is a confirmation of the statement of the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام, “You will certainly follow the ways (and habits) of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered a lizard’s hole, you would follow them.” We said, “O Messenger of Allaah, the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Who else?” [Muslim] Namely, they will have power and influence at that time.
This narration,“You will certainly follow the ways (and habits) of those who came before you, handspan by handspan …” is true concerning most of the Muslims today, the Muslims have become divided. So if Allaah عز وجل has blessed you with the greater [type of] guidance …