THE TRUE RELIGION OF GOD
A man is born in a society which is not of his own choosing. The belief of his family or the ideology of the state is thrust upon him from the very beginning of his existence in this world. By the time he reaches his teens, he is usually fully brain-washed into believing that the beliefs of his particular society are the correct beliefs that everyone should have.
However, when some people mature and are exposed to other belief-systems, they begin to question the validity and authenticity of their own beliefs. The seekers of truth often reach a point of confusion upon realizing that each and every religion, sect, ideology and philosophy claims to be the one and only correct way for man. So, which one is right? They cannot all be right since each claims all others to be wrong.
God gave us all minds and intellects to enable us to make this crucial decision. It is the most important decision in the life of a human being. Upon it depends his future. Consequently, each and every one of us must examine dispassionately the evidence presented and choose what appears to be right until further evidence arises.
However, it must always be kept in mind that one can only determine the true path by putting aside emotions and prejudices, which often blind us to reality. Then, we will be able to use our God-given intelligence and make a rational and correct decision.
There are several arguments which may be advanced to support Islam’s claim to be the true religion of God. The first point is based on the Divine origin of the name of the religion and the comprehensiveness of its meaning. The second deals with the unique and uncomplicated teachings concerning the relationship between God, man, and creation. The third argument derives from the fact that Islam is universally attainable by all men at all times. These are the three basic components of what logic and reason dictate necessary for a religion to be considered the true religion of God.
THE RELIGION’S NAME
The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about Islam is what the word “Islam” itself means. The Arabic word “Islam” means peace and it also means submission or surrender of one’s will to the only true God, known in Arabic as “Allah”. One who submits his will to God is termed in Arabic a “Muslim”.
The religion of Islam is not named after a person or people, nor was it decided by a later generation of man. Islam (submission to the will of God) is the religion which was given to Adam (pbuh), the first man and the first prophet of God, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent by Allah to mankind.
إِنَّ ٱلدِّينَ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلْإِسْلَٰم
Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. (Qur’an 3:19)
Furthermore, its name was chosen by God Himself and clearly mentioned in the final scripture which He revealed to man. In the final revelation (the Qur’an)
ٱلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلْإِسْلَٰمَ دِينًۭا
This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. (Qur’an 5:3)
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ ٱلْإِسْلَٰمِ دِينًۭا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ مِنَ ٱلْخَٰسِرِينَ
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (Qur’an 3:85)
Hence, Islam does not claim to be a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) into Arabia in the seventh century, but rather to be a re-expression and fulfilment in its final form of the true religion of Almighty God, Allah, as it was originally revealed to Adam (pbuh) and subsequent prophets.
OTHER RELIGION’S NAME
Nowhere in the Bible will you find God revealing to Prophet Moses (pbuh) that their religion is called Judaism, or to the followers of Christ (pbuh) that their religion is called Christianity.
Christianity was named after Jesus Christ (pbuh), Buddhism after Gautama Buddha, Confucianism after Confucius, Marxism after Karl Marx, Zoroastrianism after Zoroaster, Sikhism from sisya after guru Nanak, Judaism after the tribe of Judah, and Hinduism after the Hindus.
In other words, the names “Judaism” and “Christianity” had no divine approval. It was not until long after their departure that the name “Christianity” was given to Jesus’ (pbuh) religion.
What, then, was Jesus’ (p) religion in actual fact, as distinct from its name? His religion was reflected in his teachings, which he urged his followers to accept as guiding principles in their relationship with God. Like the prophets before him, he called upon the people to surrender their will to the will of God (which is what Islam stands for). In the New Testament, it is stated that Jesus (pbuh) taught his followers to pray to God as follows:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 11:2; Matt. 6:9-10)
This concept was emphasized by Jesus (pbuh) in a number of his statements recorded in the Gospels. He taught that only those who submitted to the will of Allaah would inherit Paradise.
“None of those who call me ‘Lord’ will enter the kingdom of God, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)
“I cannot do anything of myself. I judge as I hear and my judgment is honest because I am not seeking my own will but the will of Him Who sent me.” (John 5:30)
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John:6:38)
There are many reports in the Gospels which show that Jesus (pbuh) taught that God (Allaah) is one and not three in one. Jesus make it clear that the first of all commandments is belief in oneness of God which is the shahada. For a man to be a Muslim he/she must believe in oneness of Allaah (God)
28. And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
If we are to agree with the common terms in the Bible and Qur’an, then we will come to the conclusion that Islam is the way to eternal life (jannat), because Moses believed God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4) Jesus believed same (mark 12:29) and the seal of all that were sent testified that Allaah is indeed one Qur’an 112:1-4.
Jesus (pbuh) like the prophets before him and the one who came after him taught the religion of Islam: submission to the will of the One true God.
By Bashir Habeeb for knowislam.com.ng