A verse from Surah al-Maidah reads: "Those who believe (in the Qur'ān), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." I heard a religious scholar saying that whoever does not follow the Shariah of Muhammad (sws) will be thrown into Hell. His good deeds will be of no avail to him. Please explain.
Your question comprises two parts. First part is related to the meaning of the verse you have mentioned and the second is about the opinion of the religious scholar. In the verse, the divine stratagem of the deliverance of man on the Day of Judgment has been revealed. The centre of our belief hinges upon the fact that we believe in Allah, the lord of the worlds and our accountability in His court. Belief in divine books, angels and prophets are its branches. (The head of these three is the belief in divine Messengers. Belief in the books and the angels is corollary of the belief in the prophets.) Absence of this belief can lead a person to Hell.
Therefore, in our opinion, if a person clearly knows that someone is a divine Messenger and still refuses to accept his call and does not follow him, then his belief in Allah and in the Hereafter will be of no benefit to him.
Now I think you can understand that the scholar you are talking about has not cleared his point. Complete argument is that if that pious non Muslim person believes that he is a true divine Messenger and knowingly rejects his call then he is committing a horrible crime. Consequently he might end up wasting his good deeds and being thrown into Hell.
Translated by: Abid Mahmood Hashmi