It is the responsibility of each person to make at least as much of an effort into finding spiritual success as we put into finding material success. The reason people put a lot of effort into finding the right university and the right job is that material success is important to them. If a person does not put an honest and concerted effort into finding the right religion, it means that spiritual success is not as important to him, and this is something we are accountable for before God Almighty. Allah Almighty has established in the Holy Quran:
Surely, the true religion with Allah is Islam.(Surah Al-e-‘Imran, 3:20)
And whoso seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the life to(Surah Al-e-‘Imran, 3:86)
comehe shall be among the losers.
When God Almighty sends a prophet and a law, following them becomes obligatory. In principle, following Islam is necessary for salvation, and seeking a religion other than Islam is a sin. About Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the Promised Messiah as said:
Coming into the awe of another nation and being a yes-man, after(Malfuzat, vol. 3, p. 554)
allhe reached the point that in his final days he considered those who believe in the trinityto have achieved salvation. The ultimate result of compromising (principles) is that one has to become one with those people. That is why it is in the Holy Quran:
And the Jews will by no means be pleased with thee, nor the Christians, unless thou follow their creed (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:121).
To please others, one has to call their religion good as well, that is why a believer should refrain from compromising [principles].
However, on an individual level, there can always be exceptions based on circumstances. Ultimately, Allah Almighty alone knows which individual will achieve salvation. Hadrat Musleh Mau‘ud ra said:
A Hindu, a Christian, a Jew, an atheist, a Sikh, and a(Review of Religions, July 1935, April 26, 1935, p. 11)
non-Ah madi, dying in a state of kufr [disbelief ], according to our belief, may be admitted to heaven, on the ground that as far as it lay in his power he endeavouredto cultivate piety, did good deeds, and that there was no opportunity for him to be acquainted with the true teachings of Islam.
Our belief is that if an atheist is born and lives in a country where he has not the means to become acquainted with the true religion, say, for instance, he lives in a mountainous region, far away from all contact with civilization and religion but he leads his life in strict conformity with the laws of nature, and does good to others, abjuring all evil ways and practices and acting unjustly towards nobody, such a one in spite of his atheistic views and beliefs, will go to heaven.(Review of Religions, July 1935, April 26, 1935, p. 15)