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Post The True Religion   Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:32 pm

THE RELIGION OF ISLAM



The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about

Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of

Islam is not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which

was named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gotama Buddha, Confucianism

after Confucius, and Marxism after Karl Marx. Nor was it named after a

tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the

Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah" and as such, its

name represents the central principle of Allah's "God's"

religion; the total submission to the will of Allah "God". The

Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's

will to the only true god worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone

who does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies

"peace" which is the natural consequence of total submission

to the will of Allah. Hence, it was not a new religion brought by

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) I in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the

true religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form.

Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the

first prophet of Allah, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent

by Allah to mankind. The name of God's religion lslam was not decided

upon by later generations of man. It was chosen by Allah Himself and

clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the final book of

divine revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah states the following:



<blockquote>


"This day have I perfected your religion for you,

completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your

religion". (Soorah

Al-Maa'idah 5:3)

</blockquote>







<blockquote>


"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam

(submission to Allah (God) never will It be accepted of Him" (Soorah

Aal'imraan 3:85)

</blockquote>





<blockquote>


"Abraham was not a Jew nor Christian; but an upright

Muslim." (Soorah

Aal'imraan 3:67)

</blockquote>



Nowhere in the Bible will you find Allah saying to Prophet Moses'

people or their descendants that their religion is Judaism, nor to the

followers of Christ that their religion is Christianity. In fact, Christ

was not even his name, nor was it Jesus! The name "Christ"

comes from the Greek word Christos which means the annointed. That is,

Christ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew title "Messiah".

The name "Jesus" on the other hand, is a latinized version of

the Hebrew name Esau.

For simplicity's sake, I will however continue to refer to Prophet

Esau (PBUH) as Jesus. As for his religion, it was what he called his

followers to. Like the prophets before him, he called the people to

surrender their will to the will of Allah; (which is Islam) and he

warned them to stay away from the false gods of human imagination.

According to the New Testament, he taught his followers to pray as

follows: "Yours will be done on earth as it is in Heaven".



THE MESSAGE OF ISLAM





Since the total submission of one's will to Allah represents the

essence of worship, the basic message of Allah's divine religion, Islam

is the worship of Allah alone and the avoidance of worship directed to

any person, place or thing other than Allah.Since everything other than

Allah, the Creator of all things, is Allah's creation; it may be said

that Islam, in essence calls man away from the worship of creation and

invites him to worship only its Creator. He is the only one deserving

man's worship as it is only by His will that prayers are answered. If

man prays to a tree and his prayers are answered, it was not the tree

which answered his prayers but Allah who allowed the circumstances

prayed for to take place. One might say, "That is obvious,"

however, to tree-worshippers it might not be. Similarly, prayers to

Jesus, Buddha, or Krishna, to Saint Christopher, or Saint Jude or even

to Muhammad, are not answered by them but are answered by Allah. Jesus

did nottell his followers to worship him but to worship Allah. As the

Qur'aan states:



<blockquote>


"And behold Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary

Did you say to men, Worship me and my mother as gods besides Allah He

will say-"Glory to you I could never say what I had no right (to

say')" (Soorah

Al-Maa'idah- 5:116)

</blockquote>



Nor did he worship himself when he worshipped but rather he

worshipped Allah. This basic principle is enshrined in the opening

chapter of the Qur'aan, known as

Soorah Al-Faatihah, verse 4:



<blockquote>


"You alone do we worship and from you alone do we seek

help".

</blockquote>

Elsewhere, in the final book of revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah also

said:





<blockquote>


"And your Lord says:"Call on Me and I will answer

your(prayer)."(Soorsh

Mu'min 40:60)

</blockquote>



it is worth noting that the basic message of Islam is that Allah and

His creation are distinctly different entities. Neither is Allah His

creation or a part of it, nor is His creation Him or a part of Him.

This might seem obvious, but, man's worship of creation instead of

the Creator is to a large degree based on ignorance of this concept. It

is the belief that the essence of Allah is everywhere in His creation or

that His divine being is or was present in some aspects of His creation,

which has provided justification for the worship of creation though such

worship maybecalled the worship of Allah through his creation. How ever,

the message of Islam as brought by the prophets of Allah is to worship

only Allah and to avoid the worship of his creation either directly or

indirectly. In the Our'aan Allah clearlystates:



<blockquote>


"For We assuredly sent amongst every people a

prophet,(with the command) worship meand avoid false gods " (Soorsh

Al-Nahl 16:36)

</blockquote>



When the idol worshipper is questioned as to why he or she bows down

to idols created by men, the invariable reply is that they are not

actually worshipping the stone image, but Allah who is present within

it. They claim that the stone idol is only a focal point for Allah's

essence and is not in itself Allah! One who has accepted the concept of

the presence of God's being within His creation in any way will be

obliged to accept this argument of idolatry. Whereas, one who

understands the basic message of Islam and its implications would never

concede to idolatry no matter how it is rationalized. Those who have

claimed divinity for themselves down through the ages have often based

their claims on the mistaken belief that Allah is present in man. They

merely had to assert that although Allah according to their false

beliefs, is in all of us, He is more present in them than in the rest of

us. Hence, they claim, we should submit our will to them and worship

them as they are either God in person or God concentrated within the

person.

Similarly, those who have asserted the godhood of others after their

passing have found fertile ground among those who accept the false

belief of God's presence in man. One who has grasped the basic message

of Islam and its implications could never agree to worship another human

being under any circumstances. God's religion in essence is a clear call

to the worship of the Creator and the rejection of creation-worship in

any form. This is the meaning of the motto of Islam:

"Laa Elaaha lllallaah" (There is no god but Allah)

Its repetition automatically brings one within the fold of Islam and

sincere belief in it guarantees one Paradise.

<blockquote>


Thus, the final Prophet of Islam is reported to have said,

"Any one who says: There is no god but Allah and dies holding

that (belief) will enter paradise".(Reported by Abu Dharr

and collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).

</blockquote>



It consists in the submission to Allah as one God, yielding to Him by

obeying His commandments, and the denial of polytheism and polytheists.



THE MESSAGE OF FALSE RELIGION





There are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and

movements in the world, all of which claim to be the right way or the

only true path to Allah. How can one determine which one is correct or

if, in fact, all are correct? The method by which the answer can be

found is to clear away the superficial differences in the teachings of

the various claimants to the ultimate truth, and identify the central

object of worship to which they call, directly or indirectly. False

religions all have in common one basic concept with regards to Allah.

They either claim that all men are gods or that specific men were Allah

or that nature is Allah or that Allah is a figment of man's imagination.

Thus, it may be stated that the basic message of false religion is

that Allah may be worshipped in the form of His creation. False religion

invites man to the worship of creation by calling the creation or some

aspect of it God. For example, prophet Jesus invited his followers to

worship Allah but those who claim to be his followers today call people

to worship Jesus, claiming that he was Allah!

Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic

principles to the religion of India. He did not claim to be God nor did

he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today

most Buddhists who are to be found outside of India have taken him to be

God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness.

By using the principle of identifying the object of worship, false

religion becomes very obvious and the contrived nature of their origin

clear. As God said in the Our'aan:

That which you worship besides Him are only names you and your

forefathers have invented for which Allah has sent down no authority:

The command belongs only to Allah:



<blockquote>


He has commanded that you only worship Him; that is the right

religion, but most men do not understand ". (Soorah

Yoosuf 12:40)

</blockquote>



It may be argued that all religions teach good things so why should

it matter which one we follow. The reply is that all false religions

teach the greatest evil, the worship of creation. Creation-worship is

the greatest sin that man can commit because it contradicts the very

purpose of his creation. Man was created to worship Allah alone as Allah

has explicitly stated in the Our'aan:



<blockquote>


"I have only created Jlnns and men, that they may worship

me"(Soorah

Zaareeyaat 51:56)

</blockquote>



Consequently, the worship of creation, which is the essence of

idolatry, is the only unforgivable sin. One who dies in this state of

idolatry has sealed his fate in the next life. This is not an opinion,

but a revealed fact stated by Allah in his final revelation to man:



<blockquote>


"Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners

with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that for whom so ever He

wishes"(Soorah

An- Nisaa 4:48 and 116)

</blockquote>





THE UNIVERSALITY OF ISLAM





Since the consequences of false religion are so grave, the true

religion of Allah must be universally understandable and attainable, not

confined to any people, place or time. There can not be conditions like

baptism, belief in a man, as a saviour etc., for a believer to enter

paradise. Within the central principle of Islam and in its definition,

(the surrender of one's will to God) lies the roots of lslam's

universality. Whenever man comes to the realization that Allah is one

and distinct from His creation, and submits himself to Allah, he becomes

a Muslim in body and spirit and is eligible for paradise. Thus, anyone

at anytime in the most remote region of the world can become a Muslim, a

follower of God's religion, Islam, by merely rejecting the worship of

creation and by turning to Allah (God) alone-It should be noted however,

that the recognition of and submission to Allah requires that one

chooses between right and wrong and such a choice implies

accountability. Man will be held responsible for his choices, and, as

such, he should try his utmost to do good and avoid evil. The ultimate

good being the worship of Allah alone and the ultimate evil being the

worship of His creation along with or instead of Allah. This fact is

expressed in the final revelation as follows:



<blockquote>


"Verily those who believe, those who follow the Jewish

(Scriptures), the Christians and the Sabians any who believe In Allah

and the last day, and work righteousness *hall have their reward with

their Lord;They will not be overcome by fear nor grief (Soorah

Al-Baqarah 2:62).

</blockquote>





<blockquote>


If only they had stood by the law, the Gospel, and all the

revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have

enjoyed happiness from every side. There Is from among them a party on

the right course; but many of them follow a course that Is

evil.". (Soorah

Al-.Maa'idah 5:66)

</blockquote>





RECOGNITION OF ALLAH





The question which arises here is, "How can all people be

expected to believe in Allah given their varying- backgrounds, societies

and cultures? For people to be responsible for worshipping Allah they

all have to have access to knowledge of Allah. The final revelation

teaches that all mankind have the recognition of Allah imprinted on

their souls, a part of their very nature with which they are created.

In Soorah

Al-A'raaf, Verses 172-173; Allah explained that when He created

Adam, He caused all of Adam's descendants to come into existence and

took a pledge from them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all

replied, " Yes, we testify to It:'

Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He

is their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said,

"That was In case you (mankind) should say on the day of

Resurrection, "Verily we were unaware of all this." That is to

say, we had no idea that You Allah, were our God. No one told us that we

were only supposed to worship You alone. Allah went on to explain That

it was also In case you should say, "Certainly It was our ancestors

who made partners (With Allah) and we are only their descendants; will

You then destroy us for what those liars did?" Thus, every child is

born with a natural belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship

Him alone called in Arabic the "Fitrah".

If the child were left alone, he would worship Allah in his own way,

but all children are affected by those things around them, seen or

unseen.

<blockquote>


The Prophet (PBUH) reported that Allah said, "I created my

servants in the right religion but devils made them go astray".

The Prophet (PBUH) also said, "Each child is born in a state of

"Fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew, Christian or a

Zoroastrian, the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have

you noticed any that were born mutilated?" (Collected by Al-Bukhaaree

and Muslim).

</blockquote>

So, just as the child submits to the physical laws which Allah has put

in nature, his soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allah is his

Lord and Creator. But, his parents try to make him follow their own way

and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of his life to

resist or oppose the will of his parents. The religion which the child

follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allah does not

hold him to account or punish him for this religion.



Throughout people's lives from childhood until the time they die,

signs are shown to them in all regions of the earth and in their own

souls, until it becomes clear that there is only one true God (Allah).

If the people are honest with themselves, reject their false gods and

seek Allah, the way will be made easy for them but if they continually

reject Allah's signs and continue to worship creation, the more

difficult it will be for them to escape. For example, in the South

Eastern region of the Amazon jungle in Brazil, South America, a

primitive tribe erected a new hut to house their main idol Skwatch,

representing the supreme God of all creation. The homage to the God, and

while he was in prostration to what he had been taught was his Creator

and Sustainer, a mangy old flea-ridden dog walked into the hut, The

young man looked up in time to see the dog lift its hind leg and pass

urine on the idol. Outraged, the youth chased the dog out of the temple,

but when his rage died down he realized that the idol could not be the

Lordof the universe. Allah must be elsewhere. he now had a choice to act

on his knowledge and seek Allah, or to dishonestly go along with the

false beliefs of his tribe. As strange as it may seem, that was a sign

from Allah for that young man. It contained within it divine guidance

that what he was worshipping was false.

Prophets were sent, as was earlier mentioned, to every nation and

tribe to support man's natural belief in Allah and man's inborn

inclination to worship Him as well as to reinforce the divine truth in

the daily signs revealed by Allah. Although, in most cases, much of the

prophets' teachings became distorted, portions remained which point out

right and wrong. For example, the ten commandments of the Torah, their

confirmation in the Gospels and the existence of laws against murder,

stealing and adultery in most societies. Consequently, every soul will

be held to account for its belief in Allah and its acceptance of the

religion of Islam; the total submission to the will of Allah.

We pray to Allah, the exalted, to keep us on the right path to which

He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is indeed

the Most Merciful. Praise and gratitude be to Allah,the Lord of the

worlds, and peace and blessings be on prophet Muhammed, his Family, his

companions, and those who rightly follow them.

Author:

Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
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