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I have often asked myself: Why am I a Muslim?
Am I a Muslim because I have been born to Muslim parents only? Could it be that the truth has been hidden away from me? Could it be that my faith is among those whose followers have been born non-Muslims?
The question rang in my chest for many years. However, every day I witnessed yet another evidence of God’s favors upon me.The greatest of which has been, I have opened my eyes to Islam. And God has guided me to it since the first breath of life has been blown into me as a fetus in my mother's womb. Allah says in Sura Al-A’raf, verse 43: “(and they shall say: “Praise be to Allah, who has guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah: indeed it was the truth, that the messengers of our Lord brought unto us." And they shall hear the cry: “Behold! The garden before you! Ye have been made its inheritors, for your deeds (of righteousness).”
Doubtless many of those who have been born into faiths other than Islam genuinely maintain that the truth is enshrined in their faith and their beliefs.However, given the opportunity to know the facts about it; make a serious review of their beliefs and rituals, I firmly think they would have reached a similar conclusionas mine. Unfortunately, they have remained captive to convenient systems.They have preferred this status-quo on contemplation and reflection...Allah says in Sura Al-Baqara: (“When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah has revealed:" They say: "Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers Were void of wisdom and guidance? (170) the parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom. (171)).
The Qur’anhas reproved the unbelievers for shutting their minds. They have simply followed the stepsof their parents and ancestors in adhering to obsolete beliefs.Allah Almighty said in Sura Al-Maida, verse, 104:(“When it is said to them: "Come to what Allah has revealed; come to the Messenger": They say: "Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following." what! Even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance?”)
Ignorance and disabling the mind are an intrinsic character ofunbelievers:To thisAllah says in Sura Al-Baqara, verse 171:(“The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom”). They do not understand, despite the availability of evidence calling to the faith.Alas, it won’t save them from the utterignorance crippling their minds. Again Allah says in Sura Al-An’am, verse 111(“Even if We did send unto them angels, and the dead did speak unto them, and We gathered together all things before their very eyes, they are not the ones to believe, unless it is in Allah's plan. But most of them ignore (the truth)”).
The Holy Qur’analways affirms the mind’s roleto reach the truth. It is still exhorting us to make use of our thought and mind: (“Will you not understand”).This is mentioned inSura Al-Baqara, verse 65. And in another position in Sura Al-An’am, verse 165: (“Perchance you may understand”). In SuraAsh-Shu'ara, verse 28 Allah reminds us the use of our mental capabilities (“if ye only had sense”).The mind is God’s gift to man; with it, he has favored him above the animal kingdom.Hence, whoever excludes theuseof it properly will be worse than a beast.The Qur’an states in Sura Al-Anfal, v. 22:(“For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb, - those who understand not”).
I have found that religions totally fear the power of science. Faced with the influence of the mind, faith will dwindle to nothingness and wither to oblivion. Perhaps some theorists will provide silly talk and nonsense stating that: “reason and faith do not mix.”They claim them to be an antithesis. Then they have given people the option between two natural tendencies (science and faith). The fact is that these two are parallel not opposite. A reasonable religion doesn’topposescience.Furthermore,Religion doesn’t fear the mind which it considered to be one of the most important tools and means of acquiring knowledge.
There’s no such thing in Islam to prove what the ancients have said: “shutyour mind and follow me.”The verses of the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh)teem with the commands of using the mind and reviving the sub-conscious.The two sources endeavor at liberatingthe intellectfrom the bondage of superstition and fallacies. Indeed, they have given the minda free rein to prove the origins of religion and the most important of its structures.Once proven to be certain without a shade of doubt and supported by evidence and corroboration, a Muslim is required to accept detailed and sub-secondary matters.
The Prophet (pbuh) used intellectual argument to prove the origins of religion. Once, he has met withHusayn Al- Khuzai, said to him: “O Husayn how many gods will you worship today? He said, seven, six on earth,and one in the sky.”He said: “which one of themwill you call for your desires and your fear? He said,“Theone in the sky.”Then the prophet said to him. “O Husayn you rely on Allah in matters you desire and others you fear; and when the time to worship, you associate others with Him. These man-made gods do neither harm nor good.”Allah says in Sura Al-Haj, verses 12 & 13: (“They call on such deities, besides Allah, as can neither hurt nor profit them: that is straying far indeed (from the Way)! (12) (Perhaps) they call on one whose hurt is nearer than his profit: evil, indeed, is the patron, and evil the companion (or help)! (13)”)
Now, one must realize that the divinity,the Onenessand the uniquenessof Allah are the most important pillars of faith.Hence, the clearproof thereof is plainlyevidenced in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This proof will defythe understanding of those who don’t believe in the revelation of the Qur’an.Allah says in Sura Al-Mu’minun, verse 91:(“No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him”). Divinity requires that God will be completein His will, ability and behavior.Diversity, on the other hand, requires the presence of several absolute wills and capabilities.So, if we wanted to gatherthis willpower andfuse it in the power and the ability of one, their multiplicity would be in vain. Thus, one of these gods will be sufficient to act on behalf of the others.
If thesewills and numerous of those capabilitieswere to differ- as it should be - then,it would be inevitablethat the alleged gods will share spheres of influence and control.No one God will rule other parts around the world because it is not in his jurisdiction.Gods won’t fight and wrestle each other, as in the religion of the Hindus. These believe in the multiplicity of gods; their holy booksare filled with the stories of gods fighting each other. The Greek, however, solved this dilemma peacefully. They have made each one ofthem a lord of something.This one is the god among the stars, that one the god of the wind, and another for love, and a fourth for hatred.They have devised this clever ploy to avoid gods fighting each other. Multitude of gods and competition among them would not have given rise to civilization or the establishmentof civiliansociety. Allah says in Sura Al-Anbiya, verses 21-22:(“Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who can raise (the dead)?(21) If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! but glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him”)
Furthermore, Islam has called for people to usetheirbrains to verify the second issueof faith, which is the prophecy of the Prophet (PBUH). The unbelievers were denying his prophecy, and they said: he was a magician, poet, priest,anda mad man. Here God invited them to use their minds to check their claim. Allah states in Sura Saba, verses 46-47 the following:(“Say: “I do admonish you on one point: that ye do stand up before Allah, - (It may be) in pairs, or (it may be) singly, - and reflect (within yourselves): your Companion is not possessed: he is no less than a warner to you, in face of a terrible Penalty.” Say: "No reward do I ask of you: it is (all) in your interest: my reward is only due from Allah: And He is witness to all things.”)
Al-Qurtuby said: “Allah said in (pairs or singly), because the mind is a proof from God upon people. It’s the intellect that has differentiated human fromthe beast. Therefore, who is more endowed with intellect will be highly favoredby Allah. So, if they have been singly, the idea will be one, but if they were pairs, they may be in agreement. Hence, they will both agree about what has seemed difficult to the single person.”
The Zamakhsharimakes an additionalexplanation to the above issue.He says, “two types of men would deal with such claims: a mad man who wouldn'tcare if he has been caught in a lie whenasked to provide evidence. The other, a sapientwho doesn’t pretend to know it all, yet he will prove it with sound argument. What would a wise person gainby claimingsomething he has no proof of? You know full well that Muhammad (pbuh) is not a mad man. He is indeed the most levelheaded person in Quraish, as well as the kindest person. He was magnanimous andendowed with the sharpest mind in addition to being the sincerest in his discourse.Mohammad has gathered all qualities worthy of praise in a man. Hence, positive should outweigh negative thoughts about him, and the side of honesty to lie.” In Sura Yunus, verse 16 Allah states:(Say: "If Allah had so willed, I should not have rehearsed it to you, nor would He have made it known to you. A whole life-time before this have I tarried amongst you: will ye not then understand?").
It must be also stated that resurrection after death has been the most difficult issue faced by the prophets; peace be upon them.Unbelievers are indolent in this matter, they used to repeat what Allah has revealed in Sura Qaf, verses 2/3:(“So the Unbelievers say: "This is a wonderful thing!(2)"What! When we die and become dust, (shall we live again?) That is a (sort of) return far (from our understanding).”)The fools of previous nations have also preceded them in repeating a similar claim. The argument they have put forward hasn’t changed since. Here again, Allah ascertains their claims in Sura Al-Mu’minun: (“On the contrary they say things similar to what the ancients said. (81) They say: "What! When we die and become dust and bones, could we really be raised up again? (82) "Such things have been promised to us and to our fathers before! They are nothing but tales of the ancients (83)”).
The issue of resurrection after death is a metaphysical issue.It has eluded and defied those who believe in tangible matters only. They see the corpse fall to decomposition and decay as time goes by. Day after day, the state of the cadaver takes itfurther away from the possibility of returning to life. Thus, the unbelievers’ denial of resurrection is based solely on their limited senses, which is beyond their comprehension.
The Qur’an, however, resorted to awaken their mindswith irrefutable evidence. The mere sight of scattered bones of the dead denuded of their flesh rendered them helpless. Here, the Qur’an reminds themthat the one who has created heavens and earth, and all the bodies that float in space won’t be able to create a human?Indeed, he can. He is the creator of this tiny creature that lives in a small planet on the edge of our vast universe.Again, here is a testimony to the might and ability of Allah in Sura Ghafir, verse, 57 (“Assuredlythe creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most men understand not”).
Furthermore, the One who has created humanity from nothing the first time is definitely capableof re-creating it from decomposed remains.(“Doth not man see that it is We Who created him from sperm? Yet behold! He (stands forth) as an open adversary!(77)And he makes comparisons for Us, and forgets his own (origin and) Creation: He says, "Who can give life to (dry) bones and decomposed ones (at that)?"(78)Say, "He will give them life Who created them for the first time! for He is Well-versed in every kind of creation!-(79)"The same Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! Ye kindle therewith (your own fires)!(80)"Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like thereof?" - Yea, indeed! For He is the Creator Supreme, of skill and knowledge (infinite)!(81)”).
When quoting the signs of resurrection,the Qur'an, constantly, reminds the readerof Allah’s attributes.These traits have always been omitted or forgotten by those who deny resurrection.Had they learned to remember the greatness of the Lord and full ability; the matter of reviving dead bones willseeman easy matter.In Sura Al-Ahqaf, verse 33 Allah asks them the following question: (“See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and never wearied with their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yea, verily He has power over all things.”)Furthermore,Allah has refuted their erroneousclaim. For the unbelievers claimed, once dead, they will never be resurrected. This fact is quite evident in the following Sura, At-Taghabun verse 7:(“The Unbelievers think that they will not be raised up (for Judgment). Say: "Yea, By my Lord, Ye shall surely be raised up: then shall ye be told (the truth) of all that ye did. And that is easy for Allah."(7)”); and in Sura Al-Qiyama, verses 3/4: (“Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?(3) Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.(4)”).
Science tells us about the single-cell organism that carries the entire owner’s DNA and personal and accurate genes, and their properties.These, have enabled scientists to clone a creature from a single cell. It's God who has deposited all information about this individual into that tiny cell.The Qur'an and Sunnah indicated the issue of resurrection; they have pointed to theperfection of God’s knowledge.Furthermore, Allah keeps a book where He preserves the work of His creation and their appointed time. He records their characteristics as well as their and where will be their abode after their re-creation.(We already know how much of them the earth takes away: With Us is a record guarding (the full account). The following hadith explains some of this book of records. The Prophet (PBUH) has said:“Allah will send water from the sky. Peoplewill sprout as herbs. Nothing will be leftfrom a maneverything will disintegrate. One single bone will remain; the tailbone.From that, Allah will assemble the creation on the Day of Judgment.”
Allah and His prophet (PBUH) have given a paradigm to the people on how life will be given again to the dead. This example has been taken from their own environment. They have witnessed it repeatedly. Rain comes down on parched, barren and arid land after a lengthy drought spell; suddenly,lifegushes forth through it.Thus Allah also revives the dead.
Once Abu Razeen al-Aqili asked the prophet (PBUH): O! Messenger of Allah, how does God revive the dead? What is the sign in His creation thereof? He answered him by giving an example he sees every day aroundhim: “Have you ever passed by a barren valley? Have you gone by it vibrating with life after rain? Have you seen it in a state of drought? Well, God revives the dead, and that his sign in his creation.” Allah supports this in Sura Al-Hajj, verses 5-7: (“you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs). (5) This is so, because Allah is the Reality: it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who has power over all things. (6) And verily the Hour will come: there can be no doubt about it, or about (the fact) that Allah will raise up all who are in the graves. (7)”).
Unlike other religions, there is no such thing in Islam that faith is outside the sphere of understanding and intellect. These faiths claim that everything, including principles and branches must be recognized or accepted blindly. They don’t have any compunction if matters have been in total contradiction to evidence, and have been rejected by sound mind.
Whoever carefully inspects the doctrines of Islam and its basics, even its branches, will not miss the guidance and lightGod has set down in this faith. Additionally, Allah has invited us to believe in them in a manner not found in other religions of the world. For instance, Islam provides the only notion that venerates the Almighty God as befits His Majesty and His Glory.Furthermore, such system establishes the proper relationship between a person and God.
To start with, the acknowledgment and recognition of the existence of God are a matter anchored deeplyintoman’s psych. The evidence is that all human nations approve of the reality of this Lord. Nobody denies hisexistence except atypical people. Strange as it may seem, even current atheist schools now believe in the existence of God.However, they deny him therightful attribute of divinity.To these, He is an ancientGod, who has created the universe and abandonedit.
Once a Bedouin has been asked: how have known Allah? He replied with honest spontaneity: The droppings show acamel, and donkey’s dung indicates its presence; and footprints indicate man’s tracks. Wouldn’t a sky adorned with stars and constellations, and oceans with furling wavessignify a Mighty creator?
Hidden matters may infer apparent meanings.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
If the subject of Allah’s existence has been shared by people of other religions, what unique advantage has Islam over them?
Islam is the only religion that has exalted God and absolved him of any partner, counterpart or equal. The Qur’an states the following in Sura Ash-Shura, verse 11: (there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things))He is the only One and Only, the Eternal and the Absolute.Here is another statement from Sura Al-Ikhlas, verse 3:(He begetteth not, nor is He begotten).
As for the belief of others, it hasn’t been devoid of any form of polytheism. In this vein Allah (SWT) says in Sura Yusuf, verse 106: (And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (other as partners) with Him!). They have associated stones, trees, and humans, Angels or Jinns in their worship.However,these do not have any proof of God’s approval on the suitabilityof their worship.These acts have been the result of their own desires, and inspired by their demons. Allah says in Sura Al-Hajj verse 71: (Yet they worship, besides Allah, things for which no authority has been sent down to them, and of which they have (really) no knowledge: for those that do wrong there is no helper). Allah (SWT)hasn’t revealedsuch nonsense at all. He has sent all his messengerswith the message of pure monotheism, and to disavow any association with Him. Here what Allah says in this issue, Sura Az-Zukhruf, verse 45: (And question thou our messengers whom We sent before thee; did We appoint any deities other than (Allah) Most Gracious, to be worshipped?).
Islam, except other religions, has refusedall manifestations of polytheism. It has fought against all its forms, even of those deceitful pretenders of monotheism. Clear evidence in pure monotheism is mentioned in Sura Az-Zumur, verse 3:(But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): "We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah). Allah, according to these people, is indeed worthy of worship.However, they associate with Him something else that will bring them closer to Him. Sura Ar-Ra'd; verses 33/34 describe them clearly: (And yet they ascribe partners to Allah. Say: "But name them! Is it that ye will inform Him of something he knoweth not on earth, or is it (just) a show of words?" Nay! to those who believe not, their pretence seems pleasing, but they are kept back (thereby) from the path. And those whom Allah leaves to stray, no one can guide. (33) For them is a penalty in the life of this world, but harder, truly, is the penalty of the Hereafter: and defender have they none against Allah).
Islam has rejected some simple aspects of polytheism to protectmonotheism.The Prophet (PBUH)describes it as:“It’s the duty of mankind towards God to worship Him without associating anything with Him,"However, with the satisfactionof the Muslim’sheart with polytheism; Islam does not accept the usage of paradoxes that might affect pure belief. A man came to the Prophet (PBUH)and said: With the will God and your will! He said to him: “You have equated me with God; it’s His will alone.”The prophet disliked the idea that his will would be mentioned. He is after all a weak servant compared to the will of God (SWT) that doesn’t know any limit.
To protect and safeguard the sanctity of monotheismfurther, the prophet (PBUH) forbadepraying in cemeteries. This prohibition comes as a measure to prevent people from believing that prayer is an act of worship to its dead.Furthermore, he has strongly forbidden people to pray at his tomb. At the time when he was at the throes of death, he has uncovered his face and said: “Godhas cursed the Jews for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”The narrator of this hadith said: a severe warning against what they have done.
Aisha, the messenger’s wife, Allah be please with her, has said: “otherwise, his tomb would have been raised; he has been fearful it would be taken as a mosque.”
I have reflected about all religions. I haven’t found in them honest and true worship to God similar to that in Islam. Everyone else haselevated his prophet or scholar to the level of divinity. They have gone even further as to make this mortal human being Saint or deity. These are the two characteristics of the true God.In Sura AT-Tawba, verses 30 and 31, the Qur'and clearly chronicles their claims over 1400 years ago.“(The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (30) They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him) (31)”
If these are the cases of religions that call themselves monotheistic such as Judaism and Christianity, what would be the state of those who explicitly believe in the multiplicity of gods?They admit there aregods oflove, winds, and the seas.This is a multitude of gods whosecountsare known only to the Almighty God.
Islam is also completely distinct from other religions in keeping Allah above everything that would disgrace His Majesty in nouns, adjectives and actions.It is the religion of Allah and his revelation. Hence, the believers will not call God names, except what he has called Himself with:the beautiful names that describe His perfection and Majesty. He has indeed described Himself to us saying in Sura Al-Hashr, verses: 22-24:“(Allah is He, than whom there is no other god; - Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. (22) Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him. (23) He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (24))”
It is improper at all what we read in the books of non-Muslimsabout God. They attribute remorse, forgetfulness, fatigue, poverty and other inappropriate weakness to Allah. The Qur'andisapproves such things. In Sura Al-Imran, verse 181, Allah draws their attention to this fact:(Allah hath heard the taunt of those who say: "Truly, Allah is indigent and we are rich!"- We shall certainly record their word and (their act) of slaying the prophets in defiance of right, and We shall say: "Taste ye the penalty of the Scorching Fire!).And here again in Sura Al-Maida, verse 64, Allah refutes their claims:(The Jews say: "Allah's hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He gives and spends (of His bounty) as He pleases).
We find in the books of others what horrify readersof the characteristics attributed to God. The case is in the words of the Torah, the Jews and the Christiansbelievein. God wanted to punish the Egyptians; however, the Israelites were living with them. So, he ordered them to smear their doorsteps with blood to distinguish them from the houses of the Egyptians: “(12 )On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”(Exodus13, verses 12-13).
Furthermore, we read that God was afraid of the decision of the people of Babel to build (what is known in modern term as) a “sky scraper."The book of Genesis mentions that The Lord said the following:
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.(Genesis11, verses 5-7). Such misunderstanding of on another has put a halt to the completion of the tower.
Thus, dear reader,Islam is distinct from other faiths in its veneration of God. It has described Him with what’s biffing His Divinity.This is what has appealed to me and encouraged me to become a Muslim.Praise be to Allahfor much of his bounties.
There is another important issue not found in any other religion but Islam.The veneration and respect of the prophets of God are non-existent in other faiths.Thus, asanemind will be conscious that a Prophet sent by God must be a reflection of the sender.WhenAllah selects some humans to carry his message; he will choose them among the pious, honest and the consummate of the society.Allah says in Sura Al-Hajj, verse 75: (Allah chooses messengers from angels and from men for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things))
However, all religions disregard the position of prophecy. The non-revealed religions andunbelieving nations share a common trait, and that is the denial of prophecy and the prophets.They even reach of the levels of murderand cruelty. Sura Al-Qamar, verses 23-25 give evidence to this claim: (The Thamud (also) rejected (their) Warners. (23) For they said: "What! a man! a Solitary one from among ourselves! shall we follow such a one? Truly should we then be straying in mind, and mad! (24) "Is it that the Message is sent to him, of all people amongst us? Nay, he is a liar, an insolent one!)
The abjurers have always held the belief that prophets are human beings like the rest of the prophets.Theysay that God's messengers should be of the genus' Angels. The reply to this denial and claim are found in Sura Al-Isra, verses 94-95. “(What kept men back from belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has Allah sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger?"(94) Say, "If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger. (95)”
As for the followers of Christianity and Judaism, they havebelieved in the principle of prophecy. They have also acknowledged the Prophethood of many of the prophets.Nevertheless, they attributed vice and immorality to them that lay men wouldn’t dare to do, let alone noble and notable people. Christian and Jews’ books have sometimes gone further in their contempt of the messengers of God. This is something that even ragtag and bobtailwouldn’t dare to do. Incest cannot be perpetrated today by the lowest of the worst of people? However, the Torah of the Jews and Christiansattributed such heinous acts to the prophet Lot, a manof virtue and purity.
The mystery of the horrorand brutality the Nazi Hitler has used when ordering the burning of his enemies in the gas ovens boggles the mind. Any man wouldn’t understand how such heinous crimes have beenattributed to such a noble prophet like David? They accused him of gruesomely dismembering people with saws.This Prophet who has been sent with goodness, mercy and compassion,the Torah, in the book of Samuel, accuses him(PBUH) –perish their thoughts- of similar ghastly crimes. They claim when David conqueredsome cities in Palestine, he has (and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brick making. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.)(2) Samuel 12/31).These atrocities will be the deeds of a man whose heart is filled with criminality and brutality.
David is the Prophet (PBUH) whom Allah has praisedin Sura Sad verses 17-20; saying:(Have patience at what they say, and remember our servant David, the man of strength: for he ever turned (to Allah). (17) It was We that made the hills declare, in unison with him, Our Praises, at eventide and at break of day, (18) And the birds gathered (in assemblies): all with him did turn (to Allah). (19) We strengthened his kingdom, and gave him wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision.).
The Qur'andhas commended all of God's prophets and messengers.It has described them in the best of terms, worthy of their positions as herald of good and beautiful news. Allah says in Sura Al-An’am, verse 84-90: (We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided: and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron: thus do We reward those who do good: (84) And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous: (85) And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and Lot: and to all We gave favour above the nations: (86) (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren: We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way. (87) This is the guidance of Allah: He giveth that guidance to whom He pleaseth, of His worshippers. If they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them. (88) These were the men to whom We gave the Book, and authority, and Prophethood: if these (their descendants) reject them, Behold! We shall entrust their charge to a new people who reject them not. (89) Those were the (prophets) who received Allah's guidance: Copy the guidance they received; Say: "No reward for this do I ask of you: This is no less than a message for the nations."(90)).
I have also believed in Islam as a religion, because it’s consistent in its principles and its branches with the inherentnature of Allah’s creation.In Sura Ar-Rum, verse 30, Allah ascertained this: (So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the Faith: (establish) Allah's handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand not.).
Images of this harmony withinstinct are innumerable and diversified.It is the religion that combinesthis world and the Hereafterfor its followers. It does not give them the choice between them. The Lord Almighty has promised thehappiness in this world and the Hereafter for the believers. Such guaranteecomes despite what may punctuate it from a lack of money, children or health or other life’s pleasures. Allah will certainly shield people from trials and testif they are true believers. A further comforting guaranty to this is in Sura An-Nahl, verse 97:(Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.).
Other religions have given their followers the option between this world and the hereafter. They have dealt with this issue as if life, and the hereafter are sworn enemies.The New Testament-the Christiansbelieve in- claims that Christ said to one of his followers:(Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God).(Matthew 19/24 - 25). According to this Christian text, a wealthy person will not be able to enter the kingdom- paradise- unless he rids himself of his money, and shiftsfrom the state of being rich to poverty and destitution.
In another text, the Bible adds another reason to enter the kingdom of God: (…and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He, who is able to accept this, let him accept it.).(Matthew 19/12).How can faith be logic if the religion fights humaninstinctand needs that God has instilled into man?However,Christianity makes it the only condition to enter Paradise.
Now, compare this with the wide-ranging system in Islam.It hasn’t separated life and the hereafter; nay, they are all inclusive together. Here what Allah says in Sura Al-Qasas, verse 77:(But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief.).The above quoted verse makes both life and afterlife a sought-after aim all Muslims strive for. Furthermore, our Lord Allah has taught us to seek these worlds. Once more, Allah Almighty encourages the faithful to ask for the good of this ephemeral existence and the everlasting abode. We read in Sura Al-Baqara, verses 201/202: (And there are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!" (201) To these will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account. (202)).
Allah has promised the believers the finer things of this life. He has also promised themthe reward of the afterlife, which is greater and better. In Sura An-Nahl, verse 41, we read:(To those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, after suffering oppression, - We will assuredly give a goodly home in this world; but truly the reward of the Hereafter will be greater. If they only realized (this)!). Allahin His glorious wisdom has granted ourfather Abraham this favor. Allah says in Sura An-Nahl, verse 122: (And We gave him Good in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the Righteous.)
Islam’s harmony with human instinct has led to a balancebetween the needs of the soul and the body.Allah has created man composed of both elements spiritual and carnal.Human will never achieve happiness without this combination. Unlike the allegationsof eastern religions followed by the Christian faith, thesehave compromised the right of the body.Their claim: the Spirit does not transcend orelevate unless through the torture of the body and the denial of its pleasures andneeds.They also assertthat(The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.) (Romans 8/7).They consider eating, drinking, sleeping, and marriage, and other innate human needs will castman outside the fold of religion. Such a person has provoked the anger ofAllah Almighty and antagonized Him! Does all this make sense?
In the New Testament,there are texts devoted to this false divide between the soul and the body. We see this clearly in the words of Paul: ( For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these things are opposed one to the other, that ye should not do those things which ye desire). (Galatians 5/17). This simulated conflict between spirit and body distorts human life. Henceforth,happiness will never be achieved until the desires of the Spirit, and the needs of the body have been met.
In exchange for this injustice done to the spirit; we find that Islam makes a fair balance between the requirements of spirit and body. It doesn’t allow any one of them to take over the other.The prophet (PBUH) warned Othman bin Madh’oon,who wanted to torture his body by abandoning sleep, women, and keep on fasting: “O Othman, are you abandoning my Sunna? I sleep and pray, and I fast and break the fast, and I marry women. Fear Allah, Othman, your family, your guest and yourself all have rights over you.Fast and break the fastpray and sleep.”
Three of the companions came to the houses of theProphet (PBUH)asking how he worships Allah.One of them said: I always pray the night long. The other one said: I fast the entire year, and not breakit. The third said: I keep away from women and will never get married. Then,came the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to them and said: “By Allah, I am very fearful of Himand most pious. However, I fast and I eat; I pray and sleep, and marry women, whoever forsakes my Sunna; he is not from me." Islam does not accept this abhorrent schism between the soul and the body, or between this life and the hereafter.
Among the aspect of harmony of Islam to human instinct, it has come up with a greatand upright law suitable to life. It’s a Sharia that preserves the five essentials around which revolveworldly and otherworldly interests of the people.These are: religion and the self, the progeny and money. Ibn al-Qayyim said: “The law is based on governance and the interests of people in living and after death.The whole of it is justice and mercy, benefits and wisdom. If any of these elements will be destabilized it won’t be part of Shari’a. Sharia is therefore, God's justice among his servants, and His mercy among his creation. It is His shadow on His earth; itis also His wisdom,a sign to His singularity and the sincerity of His messenger. It is the defensive shieldto the people, and the foundation of the world.With it Allah holds heaven and earth to cease to exist.When Allah Almighty wants to destroythe world and fold the creation, He would raise the remains of its ruins. The Sharia that Allah has sent His Messenger with, is the mast of the world and pole of success. It is the happiness in this world and the Hereafter.”
The magnificence of this law and its validity is manifest at any time and place.Allah has inscribed in it good things, and has prohibited all evils. Hence, the Prophet (PBUH)has been sent fitting the description of his Lord. Allah says in Sura Al-A’raf, verse 157:(for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him, - it is they who will prosper).Again Allah mentions good and evil in Sura Al-A’raf, verse 32: (Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand).
Allah Almighty has prohibited bad manners and deeds; polytheism, injustice and oppression; greed, debauchery and immorality; disobedience and murder without right. In Sura Al-An’am, verses 151/152 Allah says: (Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. (151)And come not nigh to the orphan's property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear;- whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the covenant of Allah: thus doth He command you, that ye may remember.(152)).
In Sura Al-A’raf, verse 33, Allah says: ( Say: the things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to Allah, for which He hath given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which ye have no knowledge).
Allah has prohibited us the acts of immorality and evil. He has permitted us all the good things that He has created for us, andwe have also been created to enjoy them. Allah invites us as well to do noble deeds and cultivate virtues such as honesty and fairness, bashfulness and modesty and chastity.Allah gives us in Sura An-Nahl, verses 89/90 the following advice: (We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. (89) Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition (90)).
Islamic divine law has been also characterized by combining idealism and realism. In its laws, Shari’a did not intend to create the perfect world. This world exists only in the minds of dreamers’ imagination.This notion has been conceived in Plato’s mind in his virtuous City. However, ithas remained confinedto his mind and his notes.
While the law of Islam has rejected unrestrained phantasmagoricideas,it hasn't neither come to terms nor recognizedthe miserable reality crippling society.Nay, it has worked to correct this fact in a perfectly realistic way.If we were to give an example, we would take what has been said in the Bible and the Qur’an. Let’s take, for instance, how both religions deal with the transgressor and the unjust.The Gospel of Luke tells us in the words of Christ:(bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him, who takes away your cloak; do not withhold your tunic either)(Luke 6/28 - 29).The Evangelical text tells about an ideal that would entice aggressorsto perpetrate more aggression. Let us imagine for a moment; if every good person exposes his face to slaps, and home furniture and clothes for thieves, the world will become a breeding ground for wanton and oppressors.The old adage will remain vivid in the minds of people: «whoever feels secure from punishment, will misbehave».
In return Islam’s Shari’a hasn’t made revenge the only way to respond to transgressor and establish justice.It has decreed enough punishment and retribution that would deter the offender and prevent him from going too far.Furthermore, it has made pardon and forgiveness a desirable course of action. In Sura Ash-Shura, verses 40/43,Allah Almighty says: (The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loves not those who do wrong. (40) But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame. (41) The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous. (42)But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. (43)).
What I have written is merely a part of my feelings that have convinced me of the advantage of Islam over all other religions. Allah doesn’t accept a religion other than Islam. Read what Allah says in Sura Al-Imran, verse 85: (If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).After all, it is the religion that Allah desires for His creatures.In Sura Al-Maida, verse 3 states: (This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful).
I have submittedwillingly to AllahLord of the worlds for these and other reasons. I give thanks to Him alone for theconstant blessingHe has showered me with.
Munqith Bin Mahmoud Al-Sakkar
Researcher at Muslim World League
Translated by Sadok Salehi
Translator at Muslim World League