THE MESSAGE OF FALSE RELIGIONS
There are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and movements in the world, all which claim to be the right way or the only true path to God! How can one determine which one is correct or whether, in fact, all are correct? One 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 upon which they call, directly or indirectly. False religions all have in common one basic concept with regard to God: they either claim that all men are gods, or that specific men were God, or that nature is God, or that God is a figment of man’s imagination.
Thus, it may be stated that the basic message of false religion is that God may be worshiped in the form of His creation. False religions invite man to the worship of creation by calling the creation or some aspect of it God. For example, prophet Jesus (p) invited his followers to worship God, but those who claim to be Jesus’ followers today call people to worship Jesus (p), claiming that he was God.
Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles in 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 they prostrate themselves to idols made in their perception of his likeness.
By using the principle of identifying the object of worship, we can easily detect false religions and the contrived nature of their origin. As God said in the Qur’an:
“That which you worship besides Him are only names and you and your forefathers have invented for which Allah has sent down no authority; the command belongs only to Allah: He has command that you worship Him; that is the right religion, but most men do not understand.” (Qur’an 12:40)
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 God alone as Allah has explicitly stated in the Qur’an:
“I have only created jinns and men, that they may worship Me.” (Qur’an 51:56)
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 option, but a revealed fact stated by God in His final revelation to man (The Quran
“Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that for whomsoever He wishes.” (Qur’an 4:48,116)