Straightforward approach to religion

Javed Ahmad

 

As a young man, I crossed a time when I used to wonder –

 

  • Who or what is god?
  • Why are there so many religions? Which one is the right one?
  • What is this life all about? What is death?
  • Why is there so much suffering around?
  • Why some are rich and some are poor? Etc.

 

In order to find the answers to my questions I took a crash program of independent self study and research by reading as much as I could. It was a long non-stop struggle for six years until I was satisfied with the answers I discovered.

 

I needed this for myself in order to set a goal for my life with full comprehension about my self being and surrounding I am living in with so many lucrative choices around to choose and pick from. But my interest was in seeking out the truth and not any glitters.

 

I was born in a so called Muslim family that was basically secular. Some offered prayers and some didn’t. Some fasted in the month of Ramadan, some didn’t. But regardless, the Islamic claim of self identity as a Muslim (practicing or not) was there. I too grew up as such a Muslim with no deep understanding of the religion Islam that we claimed to follow. Majority of the Muslim folks in Bangladesh are in that condition even today. Therefore, I began with exploring Islam first.

 

During those years, I have spent a large amount of my personal savings and my parent’s money in purchasing books on Islam from the local market on various topics written by different authors. I kept on reading books after books day and night gradually building a personal library of my own. I had a wooden closet in our veranda where I used to keep all my treasures, which were my books.

 

Ironically, instead of enriching myself with knowledge and learning, I got more and more confused as my reading expanded eventually finding myself in a total confusion with contradicting answers. What I noticed in most of the books that often a same verse or saying of the Prophet (s) was interpreted differently or even wrong! So, I had to stop and rethink my strategy.

 

I said to myself, if all these books are just translations and interpretations of the Quranic verses and Prophet’s (s) traditions or saying then why not I directly venture into those books instead?

 

My grand father had two volume set of the English translation of the Holy Qur’an done by Abdullah Yusuf Ali with commentaries who was basically a historian that he brought along with him upon his return from hajj back in the 60’s; and my grand mother had Bangla translations of both the Qur’an and Hadith (single volume version) from Jhinuk Prokashoni at home. I picked up those books that collected dusts over the years, cleaned them and began to read one by one. First I read the Bangla Qur’an, but could not grasp much out of it, because as per my estimate it was not an easily understandable translation. Since my upbringing was in English medium schools, I had the courage to pick up the English translation to read after finishing the Bangla one.

 

Ah! That was a turning point of my life. As I got deeper and deeper into my reading of the Qur’an I began to feel that I am getting all my questions answered one by one, as if the mystery box has been unlocked for me. Since then Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English translation of the Holy Qur’an is one of my favorite books.

 

Later in my life I have read translations done by other famed scholars, but did not enjoy reading as I did with Ali’s. One of the advantages of Ali’s translation was inclusion of the commentaries that helped me to understand the verses and the messages therein in contemporary terms. Not just in simplification of the verses in translations the author also demonstrated his mastery of knowledge of world history remarkably. Keeping the verses rhythmic like the original Qur’an, which is poetic and rhythmic, the author managed the job with excellent skills. May Allah reward him for his effort, amen.

 

It was not always an easy reading though. There were times when I had to read a passage over and over again to understand the meaning often contemplating for days, even months. Once I was done reading, I picked up the book on hadith to read. While reading the book I realized that I also need to read the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) in order to get a clear picture of him as most of the ahadith were credited to his references and sayings. So I looked for a source. And bingo! I found a copy of a book on Prophet’s (s) life in Bangla called “Nobi Porichoy” in the personal library of my uncle who was a professor at the University of Dhaka and went to Australia for his PhD. So, I took the liberty and read the book. It was a good book, which is currently out of print and no longer available.

 

Contempt with my changed learning strategies, I then asked myself. Okay then, what about the other religions? Why are they still in existence? How valid or authentic are they?

 

Sheikh Ahmed Deedat (May his soul rest in peace) of Islamic Propagation Center International (IPCI) was at the top of his popularity during the time that used to distribute free booklets in English on comparative religion out of South Africa. So, I wrote to him to send me a set of his books; and he did! It was a charming experience to read his research on religious studies. I also wrote to Aisha Bawany Wakf in Pakistan to send me their set of book, and they too sent me a set as gifts without any cost to me! All these collection of books gave me rock solid start in my journey to the unknown. I even attempted to learn “Arabic by Radio” offered by Radio Cairo at that time and they too sent me a set of books as a part of their program when I inquired. May Allah reward them all for spreading the message of Islam, amen.

 

In the area of my residence, we had a Christian church in our neighborhood and a Bible office next door where they translated the Bible into Bangla language. So I went there and asked if I could get a copy of the Bible. They gladly gave me a Bangla as well as a copy of the English Bible to read. I read them both, but felt comfortable reading the English version of it. Now that I was fully inline with the Quranic messages, it was somewhat easy for me to understand and relate to many references in the Bible that were common. I was thrilled to see similar stories in the Bible that was also present in the Qur’an, which instantly gave me the confidence that all the scriptures were revealed from the same source and by the same God but by different prophets at different times and to different people.

 

It was the New Testament I read first to discover later that there is another Bible called the Old Testament (i.e., Torah), which was not a common reading by the modern day Christians for some reasons and was not an easy find. So I wondered why?

 

While searching for an answer to this inquiry, I got to know that today’s Christians are basically Pauline Christians following the Saint Paul version of the religion who was a disciple of Saint Barnabas but later defected and went on preaching his own version of the religion, and that has become the New Testament today. It is a brutal and bitter struggle between the Unitarians (the original followers of Prophet Isa (as) known to the Christians as the Jesus the Christ) and the Trinitarians (followers of the Paul) where the Trinitarians eventually triumphed pretty much eliminating the Unitarians under of the power of ruling Roman Empire’s army swords. Pauline Christianity was established by the swords. Today, Unitarians are a minority living mostly scattered in Europe.

 

Who was this Saul (or Paul) of Tarsus (present day Turkey)? He was Roman citizen and a self proclaimed disciple of Jesus Christ who never saw or met the Christ. He was a student of Barnabas who was one of the companions of Jesus the Christ and among those who recorded the gospels of the Christ along with Matthew the other close companion who was literate. Both of them compiled the “Gospel of Jesus” (Injil), which is more commonly known as the “Gospel of Barnabas” today. I was introduced to this book by Aisha Bawany Waqf where this book was one of the books in the set. This gospel could be compared with the ahadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (s) as recorded by his companions. For some obvious reasons today’s Christians no longer read the gospels and do not accept them as authentic, because many of the teachings in the gospels directly contradicts with the Bible.

 

Although claimed by the present day Christians, the Bible that we read today is not or cannot be the book of God; as the information revealed or recorded was not through direct inspiration form God through any angel rather they were sayings of Prophet Isa (as) in his own terms and understanding. And this fact alone makes the difference between the Qur’an and the Bible. Qur’an was revealed through direct revelations from God through angel Gabriel and none of the words uttered by the Muhammad (s) during the time of revelations were his own rather were repetitions of what he heard from the angel as relayed to the Prophet directly from God.

 

The original copies of the writings of the gospels are lost today and cannot be traced anymore. There are different versions of the Bible that are in existence today that makes the situation even more complex than it originally was. It is said that there are over two thousand versions of the Bible alone and none of them are alike different churches endorsing different versions to their followers.

 

The interesting fact is, Jesus the Christ never called himself a “Christian”, rather he was a “Jew” who asked his followers to “keep the commandments” of Prophet Musa or Moses (as). His primary objective was to reinstate the lost traditions of the Judaic laws removing the corruptions. The Pharisees of his time disliked what he intended to do and therefore joined hand with the Roman Empire to get rid of him and his followers; and succeeded.

 

Our forefather Prophet Abraham (as) as well as all the followers of earlier and later prophets identified themselves as “Muslims” which basically means “one who submits to will of Allah”. Later for whatever reasons, people began to use labels to identify or separate themselves as a covenant from the rest of the people who were not members of their group. And by doing this, they have created divisions among themselves. Basically, there are only two groups among mankind – believers and disbelievers. The labels that people use today are basically a show that carries no meaning as most of the label holders do not understand meaning those labels carries.

 

And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.  "Our Lord! make of us muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.  ( سورة البقرة  , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #127 - 128)

 

The gospel and the Qur’an both tells us that Prophet Isa (as) was taken up to heaven and will return to Earth again at a future time to redeem the Kingdom of God; where as the Bible says that he was killed on the cross and will be resurrected for a second reign.

 

The concept of “trinity” is found in the Bible and not in the gospels. The concept of three entities the Father (meaning God), Son (meaning the Christ) and the Holy Ghost (meaning the holy sprit) has been blended together into one thus leading to blasphemy. What it should have been is that the God, the Prophet and the Angel are all working together in achieving the same goal of leading people to truth maintaining separate identities. Therefore, God objected to this idea of trinity in the Qur’an by saying –

 

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not "trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.  (  سورة النساء  , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #171)

 

They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.  (  سورة المائدة  , Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #73)

 

In the same token, what we see is that today’s Jews are more into the Talmud than the Torah (the Old Testament) itself. In their case too the original Torah is lost for good. Besides, they did not accept any teachings of the Christ who wanted to reform it from corruptions. Today, both the Jews and Christians ignore the Old Testament.

 

Interestingly, the divine books inform us that the People of the Book are from a common ancestry – i.e., Semitic; but what we find today two different groups of Jews. One group is Semitic and the other is mostly of Western European origin (Khazars) with red complexion (white) that adopted Judaism as their religion and settled in present day Palestine creating the Zionist state of Israel.  Therefore, in our present day, we have a blend of two different types of “Jews” – one of Semitic origin and the other non-Semitic. The occupiers of Palestine are not the real Semitic Jews. This matter gets clarified from the following hadiths –

 

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet said, "On the night of my Ascent to the Heaven, I saw Moses who was a tall brown curly-haired man as if he was one of the men of Shan'awa tribe, and I saw Jesus, a man of medium height and moderate complexion inclined to the red and white colors and of lank hair. I also saw Malik, the gate-keeper of the (Hell) Fire and Ad-dajjal amongst the signs which Allah showed me." (The Prophet then recited the Holy Verse): "So be not you in doubt of meeting him' when you met Moses during the night of Mi'raj over the heavens" (32.23) Narrated Anas and Abu Bakra: "The Prophet said, "The angels will guard Medina from Ad-dajjal (who will not be able to enter the city of Medina)."  (Bukhari, Book #54, Hadith #462)

 

In the hadith above, Prophet Muhammad (s) is describing Prophet Isa (as) or Jesus as a man of medium height and moderate complexion. Point to note here that Jesus was a Jew of Semitic background. Now note the following hadith –

 

Narrated Salim from his father: No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, "While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka'ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, 'Who is this?' The people said, 'He is the son of Mary.' Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, 'Who is this?' They replied, 'He is Ad-dajjal.' The one who resembled to him among the people, was Ibn Qatar." (Az-Zuhri said, "He (i.e. Ibn Qatan) was a man from the tribe Khuza'a who died in the pre-lslamic period.")  (Bukhari, Book #55, Hadith #650)

 

The above hadith is refuting the claim that the Prophet (s) said Jesus was of red complexion as some hadith mentions. Rather it establishes that that fact that Jesus was a man of brown complexion, which is the natural complexion of the Semitic people. Now carefully note the second part of the hadith that says Dajjal is to appear as a man of red complexion clearly indicating the fact that he will not be from a Semitic background. We can therefore rest the case concluding that the Dajjal will be form the non-Semitic Jewish background. This should be an alarming point for the Semitic Jews (i.e., Bani Israel) to wake up and disassociate themselves from the Zionist Sate of Israel and revert to Islam. In fact there is a prediction where we get to know that the Bani Israel people will eventually revert to Islam and join the Muslim army –

 

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace he upon him) saying: You have heard about a city the one side of which is in the land and the other is in the sea (Constantinople). They said: Allah's Messenger, yes. There upon he said: The Last Hour would not come unless seventy thousand persons from Bani lsra'il would attack it. When they would land there, they will neither fight with weapons nor would shower arrows but would only say:" There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest," that one side of it would fall. Thaur (one of the narrators) said: I think that he said: The part by the side of the ocean. Then they would say for the second time:" There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest" that the second side would also fall, and they would say:" There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest," that the gates would be opened for them and they would enter therein and, they would be collecting spoils of war and distributing them amongst themselves that a noise would be heard and It would be said: Verily, Dajjal has come. And thus they would leave everything there and would turn to him.  (Muslim, Book #041, Hadith #6979)

 

From our above discussion we can see that both the Judaism and Christianity religions are on shaky ground. Jews are not following the original teachings of Prophet Musa (as) and the Christians have deviated from the Judaic teachings of Prophet Isa (as) and established a new religion under the leadership and authorship of Paul.

 

Now let’s have a look at Hinduism. This religion is not fully understood by its followers. Because there are many information in some of their holy books that coincides with Islamic teachings. This harmony is largely overlooked by the Hindus.  For instance, coming of Prophet Muhammad (s) was predicted in many books of the Hindu religion that was never correctly interpreted or understood by its followers. The book “Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures” explains this mystery in details. Ved Prakash Upaddhayaya said at the introduction of his original book “Kalkii Autar aur Muhammad Sahib” –

 

“A strong desire and ambition to undertake research in historical matters has always been close to my heart. It is a proven fact that Muhammad fits the description of the Ultimate Sage, whose coming has been prophesied in the Vedas, the Bible and the Buddhist scriptures. My heart was therefore aroused with the inspiration that TRUTH must be revealed, even though it could be distasteful to some people…”

 

The followers of Hinduism if they are true and sincere to themselves and truly believe in their own scriptures should revert to Islam on this ground alone. Similarly, the Jews and Christians too should do the same as coming of Muhammad (s) was also predicted in their scriptures. Through out “The Gospel of Jesus according to Saint Barnabas and Matthew” we find mention of Prophet Muhammad (s).

 

In my study of comparative religion I therefore drew my conclusion that all religions have come from the same God whose name is Allah. All His messages were revealed through His nominated or appointed prophets for different people at different location or region of their time and place which is essentially the same although in limited form, but people gradually moved away from the true messages and practices and lost their true identity as a common bond of mankind.

 

The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His apostles. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His apostles." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."  (  سورة البقرة  , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #285)

 

Say: "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)."  (  سورة آل عمران  , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #84)

 

Eventually, Allah has sent his last and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (s) for all of mankind with His final message called the Holy Qur’an. With the predictions of coming of “Muhammad” our Lord God Almighty wanted mankind to prepare for his arrival and accept him as a Messenger of Allah by following him.

 

Muhammad is the apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurat; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward.  (  سورة الفتح  , Al-Fath, Chapter #48, Verse #29)

 

Muhammad is no more than an apostle: many Were the apostle that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then Turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah. but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.  (  سورة آل عمران  , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #144)

 

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.  (  سورة الأحزاب  , Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #40)

 

But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad - for it is the Truth from their Lord,- He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition.  (  سورة محمد  , Muhammad, Chapter #47, Verse #2)

 

To Allah, who is the creator and sustainer of the worlds, there is no difference between human beings on the basis of race, color and origin as we perceive. To Him all human beings are same and therefore addresses mankind as a whole as a single entity –

 

Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight.  (  سورة البقرة  , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #213)

 

We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.  (  سورة سبأ  , Saba, Chapter #34, Verse #28)

 

The purpose of creation of mankind was to allow them to worship Allah alone.

 

I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me.  (  سورة الذاريات  , Adh-Dhariyat, Chapter #51, Verse #56)

 

Not just mankind, Jinn too were created for the same purpose. But instead of worshipping Allah, men and jinn adopted worshipping other men, jinn and idols offending the Creator -

 

Say: "Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah." Say: "Do ye then take (for worship) protectors other than Him, such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?" Say: "Are the blind equal with those who see? Or the depths of darkness equal with light?" Or do they assign to Allah partners who have created (anything) as He has created, so that the creation seemed to them similar? Say: "(Allah) is the Creator of all things: He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible."  (  سورة الرعد  , Ar-Rad, Chapter #13, Verse #16)

 

How do we worship others? We do it by following their commands and ideologies instead of following the commands and ideologies of Allah as laid down in His scriptures.

 

Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy,- evil ones among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception. If thy Lord had so planned, they would not have done it: so leave them and their inventions alone.  (  سورة الأنعام  , Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #112)

 

We have been warned against the evil deceptions of Iblis who is the satanic force and our avowed enemy –

 

Behold! We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam": They bowed down except iblis. He was one of the jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrong-doers!  (  سورة الكهف  , Al-Kahf, Chapter #18, Verse #50)

 

Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for satan doth sow dissensions among them: For satan is to man an avowed enemy.  (  سورة الإسراء  , Al-Isra, Chapter #17, Verse #53)

 

"Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed?-  (  سورة يس  , Ya Seen, Chapter #36, Verse #60)

 

Falling prey into Satan’s deceptions and following him would result in total disaster because he will deny all association with his followers on the Day of Judgment –

 

When they are told to follow the (Revelation) that Allah has sent down, they say: "Nay, we shall follow the ways that we found our fathers (following). "What! even if it is satan beckoning them to the Penalty of the (Blazing) Fire?  (  سورة لقمان  , Luqman, Chapter #31, Verse #21)

 

"I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah." Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest.  (  سورة النساء  , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #119)

 

Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desires; but satan's promises are nothing but deception.  (  سورة النساء  , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #120)

 

And satan will say when the matter is decided: "It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you but ye listened to me: then reproach not me, but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrong-doers there must be a grievous penalty."  (  سورة إبراهيم  , Ibrahim, Chapter #14, Verse #22)

 

The only way to seek refuge from the deceptions of Satan is by seeking protection from Allah -

 

When thou dost read the Qur'an, seek Allah’s protection from satan the rejected one.  (  سورة النحل  , An-Nahl, Chapter #16, Verse #98)

 

Practicing Muslims who truly believe in Allah are protected by Allah from the evil deceptions of satanic forces. In order to protect mankind from evil forces Allah has sent Islam as a religion as well as a way of life –

 

…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.  (  سورة المائدة  , Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #3)

 

But the enemies of Allah are trying hard to diffuse this system of Islam –

 

Fain would they extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).  (  سورة التوبة  , At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #32)

 

It is impossible to win a war against Allah, because He can read our hearts and our minds. How can one win someone so powerful like Allah?

 

Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal?  (  سورة البقرة  , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #77)

 

Those before them did (also) devise plots; but in all things the master- planning is Allah.s He knoweth the doings of every soul: and soon will the Unbelievers know who gets home in the end.  (  سورة الرعد  , Ar-Rad, Chapter #13, Verse #42)

 

Mighty indeed were the plots which they made, but their plots were (well) within the sight of Allah, even though they were such as to shake the hills!  (  سورة إبراهيم  , Ibrahim, Chapter #14, Verse #46)

 

That is exactly why He is asking us to accept Islam and drop all other ideologies, because no other ideologies are accepted to Him anymore mainly due to the fact that all of them are corrupt and outdated.

 

O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.  (  سورة آل عمران  , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #102)

 

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).  (  سورة آل عمران  , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #85)

 

Just mere belief in Islam and becoming a Muslim with secular attitudes would not suffice; one needs to get involved whole heartedly –

 

O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.  (  سورة البقرة  , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #208)

 

But keep in remembrance the name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him whole-heartedly.  (  سورة المزمل  , Al-Muzzammil, Chapter #73, Verse #8)

 

It is not possible to implement all Islamic principles and practice Islam whole heartedly without the presence of an Islamic State. Hence the concept of Caliphate is reviving in the Muslims majority nations and talks on Shariah Laws are now common even in the non-Muslim countries as their political, social and economical foundations as now collapsing.

 

The holy Qur’an is the constitution of an Islamic state where the traditions of the Prophet (s) are the by-laws for judiciary and economic systems. Unlike any other religion, Islam is a complete way of life. And this fact alone makes Islam distinctly separate from other religions. Therefore, those who say that all religions are the same are dead wrong. From concept of god to rituals and governance philosophy, nothing is similar to Islam when it comes to comparative religion. In all respect Islam is unique.

 

The foundation of an Islamic state was established and demonstrated live by the Prophet Muhammad (s) himself during his lifetime that continued till the time of the four rightly guided caliphs. Historically it did last almost thousand years in different nature and forms not exactly in the manner and style of the original method. But during that period people lived in peace and harmony. Problems became a worldwide phenomenon when Islam was cornered and secularism prevailed.

 

In order to bring back Islam as a state system a struggle (jihad) in grand scale will be needed regardless of race, color and ethnic or geographical origin. Now that the enemies of Islam are not showing any mercy and have adopted fighting, Muslims too now have no other recourse other than adopting the same. At present this seems to be the only way out of the mess and oppression.

 

Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.  (  سورة البقرة  , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #216)

 

Try finding similar information presented above (from the Qur’an) from the scriptures you read or follow or believe in. Be prepared to be disappointed as none of the religions other than Islam is so rich in contents that moves ones heart.

 

You must be wondering what answers have I found in my long search to questions I posed at the beginning of the article. Therefore, to conclude this article I will provide the answers that satisfied me. If you know any better answer and do not find my answers convincing then please feel free to convey your own.

 

Who or what is god? I have discussed the matter in details in my paper “Faith, logic and the truth” that you could read online by clicking on the link.

 

Why are there so many religions? Which one is the right one? All religions came through different prophets or messengers of Allah at different times for different group in different regions. When the world population was low people lived in scattered communities, therefore imposition of a worldwide religion was not feasible at that time. Besides, people were required to be intellectually graduated in order to bring them at the level where they would have the mental capacity and knowledge to understand the messages. We find one such clue in the Bible where Jesus Christ said,

 

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (The New Testament, John 16:12)

 

So what is the catch? We find another clue to this in the same chapter,

 

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (The New Testament, John 16:13).

 

According to many scholars this Spirit of truth is none by Prophet Muhammad (s), because he did not speak of himself, whatever he heard from the angel he spoke, and have predicted or shown things to come.

 

So we see that the purpose of the predictions in the scriptures of coming of the last prophet is allowing people to prepare to accept him when he comes. But unfortunately, most of mankind still did not or does not accept him. Hence we have so many religions still present today. Since Muhammad (s) is the last of the prophets, there will be no more revelations coming from Allah. Therefore, Islam is the last and final religion, which is the truth.

 

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the seal of the prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.  (  سورة الأحزاب  , Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #40)

 

All messages prior to Islam were basics of Islam and was not intended to be preserved, but the final message of Islam that came through Prophet Muhammad (s) is meant to be preserved as this is the last and final message for all of mankind –

 

We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).  (  سورة الحجر  , Al-Hijr, Chapter #15, Verse #9)

 

What is this life all about? What is death? The purpose of this life is to worship Allah by following His divine laws laid down in the Qur’an and as demonstrated by His messenger Muhammad (s) as recorder in his traditions. Islam views this life as a temporary place where all our acts and actions will be taken into account on the Day of Judgment after our resurrection from death. On that day we will be handed over our rewards as we have earned during our life on Earth which could be either heaven or hell. Death in Islam is seen as a transition to the last and final life where we would continue to live forever.

 

To them will be passed round, dishes and goblets of gold: there will be there all that the souls could desire, all that their eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein (forever).  (  سورة الزخرف  , Az-Zukhruf, Chapter #43, Verse #71)

 

The sinners will be in the Punishment of Hell, to dwell therein (forever):  (  سورة الزخرف  , Az-Zukhruf, Chapter #43, Verse #74)

 

Why is there so much suffering around? In Islam, pain and suffering is seen as a mechanism to purify someone through test and trial.

 

O ye who believe! Allah doth but make a trial of you in a little matter of game well within reach of your hands and your lances, that He may test who feareth him unseen: any who transgress thereafter, will have a grievous penalty.  (  سورة المائدة  , Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #94)

 

Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. to Us must ye return.  (  سورة الأنبياء  , Al-Anbiya, Chapter #21, Verse #35)

 

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested?  (  سورة العنكبوت  , Al-Ankaboot, Chapter #29, Verse #2)

 

A Muslim is advised to stand all tests and trials with patience to overcome them when they come; because it is Allah who rescues His followers.

 

When they disregarded the warnings that had been given them, We rescued those who forbade Evil; but We visited the wrong-doers with a grievous punishment because they were given to transgression.  (  سورة الأعراف  , Al-Araf, Chapter #7, Verse #165)

 

Therefore, facing suffering is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather it should be seen as a positive matter in the consideration that Allah is trying us for a purpose, and we must pass the test.

 

Why some are rich and some are poor? For the same purpose of test and trial as we find in the following verse,

 

Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and ye shall certainly Hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil,-then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.  (  سورة آل عمران  , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #186)

 

Therefore, being rich and resourceful could increase the possibility of frequent and harder test and trials. Sustenance comes from Allah. Islam teaches its followers not to compete in livelihood as it would be a futile effort as it is Allah who provides it as per His discretion.

 

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.  (  سورة الأنعام  , Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #151)

 

There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependeth on Allah. He knoweth the time and place of its definite abode and its temporary deposit: All is in a clear Record.  (  سورة هود  , Hud, Chapter #11, Verse #6)

 

Allah doth enlarge, or grant by (strict) measure, the sustenance (which He giveth) to whomso He pleaseth. (The wordly) rejoice in the life of this world: But the life of this world is but little comfort in the Hereafter.  (  سورة الرعد  , Ar-Rad, Chapter #13, Verse #26)

 

Would you still continue to defy your own soul by depriving it from acknowledging and worshipping the true One God, Allah? Join Islam and become a Muslim!

 

Say: "O ye men! If ye are in doubt as to my religion, (behold!) I worship not what ye worship, other than Allah. But I worship Allah - Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers,  (  سورة يونس  , Yunus, Chapter #10, Verse #104)

 

Say: "O ye men! Now Truth hath reached you from your Lord! Those who receive guidance, do so for the good of their own souls; those who stray, do so to their own loss: and I am not (set) over you to arrange your affairs."  (  سورة يونس  , Yunus, Chapter #10, Verse #108)

 

References:

 

Muslims are Reinforcing a Jewish Criminal Class as a Religion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWf81AFwwIo

 

The Hidden History - The Khazar Empire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2oW63XkBhw

 

Helen Thomas Asserts Israeli Jews Not Semites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvdI1XsgSmA&feature=related

 

Forbidden Knowledge - History of the Khazar Empire [Lecture by Jack Otto]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVomYbbb3L0&feature=related