By Noor Mohamed
We live in a multi racial and multi religious society in which we co-exist with people who happens to profess different ways of life, creeds and religions. How do we justify that we have a large groups of people who have different set of belief systems and emotionally each and everyone are attached to their own belief systems ? Life and principles are woven around such beliefs and devotion were put in with sacrifice and even wars were even waged in the name of various religions. Is there a need to reconcile each and every religion and make it into one universal belief for the common good of all ? What makes religion different from each other ? Do we have to simply accept each and every religion as the truth and acknowledge each other just because we want to co-exist with each other ?
When we talk or discuss about religion, specifically what are we talking about ? Are we talking about practices, rituals , morals, God , do’s and don’t’s or a mixture of everything ?
Is it proper to accuse others of having a false religion and claim ours as the truth ? To whom does religion belongs to ? Do we have a certain monopoly of religion that we claim as our own and start to compare with others as we compare our belongings to others ?
Well being Muslim, in this age of terrorism certainly brings a lot of skepticism if a Muslim brings about ideas or concepts which may criticized other religions as Muslim will always be portrayed as a group of people who believes that their religion is the only one which is the truth and everyone else is going to hell ? How do we deal with this subject matter in a manner that is proper but might not sounds nice to others but at least it would shed some light and expose the truth about our religious beliefs.
Before we proceed to discuss the subject further, we need to first acknowledge that religion can be divided into two broad main areas. As we agree on these two major points , only then we could shed some light on the truth that we are looking at without prejudice and come to a conclusion to the subject matter we are discussing.
Firstly, religions can be divided into a] Concept of God and secondly b] Morality. As far as Morality is concern, each and every religion are formalized on good morals as a foundation and that we need to accept the fact that all major religions, teaches humanity to have sound morals by encouraging them to do nothing but goodness to mankind.
Having said that, now we examine the area in which we differ most in religious belief which is , The Concept of God.
I would not want to resort to my own opinion on this subject matter but I would rather look into The Quran and let the Quran explains itself as to what constitute as an acceptable differences which can be tolerated as far as the Concept of God is concern. What is it that the Quran rejects about other religions and on what grounds is that rejection ?
Let us examine , what the Quran first say about religion and what should constitute the components of a religion which is suited for mankind and how do we recognize such a religion ? There are few verses in the Quran which describes about religion and the Quran explains clearly in very explicit terms what is a religion ?
Quran – Chapter 2 : Al-Baqarah verse 193
…..wa ya kuna al-dinu lillah........
...and the way [ religion ] belongs to God.....
Here the Quran explains that religion or din….belongs to God. Mankind are not suppose to own any religion and if there is a group of people which claim that religion belongs to them, truly they are competing against God. So here we began to make distinction , religion that belongs to God and the one that belongs to mankind or created by man for himself.
The word religion in the Quran is DIN in Arabic which means “the way”. The Quran went on to explain that, “the way” is created by God for mankind and communicated through various prophets and the last of these chains of prophets is Muhammad who delivered The Quran explaining to us God’s way.
Quran – Chapter 3 Al-Imran verse 19
Behold, the only way [din] in the sight of God is Islam [ self surrender unto Him]….
Here, the Quran explain that , the way that belongs to God is given a proper name which is Al-Islam. Al-Islam means, self surrender to God or submission which results in peace for mankind. The whole of the Quran actually explains clearly , of the terms of our surrender or submission to God in His Way.
Quran – Chapter 3 Al-Imran verse 83
Do they seek, perhaps, a way other than in God although it is unto Him that whatever is in the heavens and on earth surrenders itself, willingly or unwillingly since unto Him all must return.
We need to look around in nature to witness that all creations surrender unto God in His Way and God is asking mankind , are we seeking other ways other than submission to His Way ?
Quran – Chapter 4 An-Nisa verse 146
But excepted shall be they who repent and live righteously and hold fast unto God and grow sincere in God’s way, for these shall be one with the believers and in time God will grant to all believers a mighty reward.
Sincerity is the key component of maintaining to be aligned in God’s Way which differ from all the ways created by men and we are required to grow in sincerity in God’s Way through our dedication to worship God alone without associating any partners unto Him.
Quran – Chapter 8 Al-Anfal verse 39
…..Wa ya kuna al-diinu kullu hu Lillah…
….All ways belongs to God….
Here the Quran explicitly claims that
ALL WAYS…supposedly belongs to God. Men shall not have any other ways or religions except for the one , which in its entirety belongs to God alone..
Quran – Chapter 24 An-Nur verse 2
As for the adulteress and the adulterer , flog each of them with a hundred stripes and let not compassion with them keep you from [carrying out] this Way of God [dinnilah], if you believe in God and the Last Day, and let a group of the believers witness their chastisement.
The Quran explains that God’s Way also requires believers to follow a code of conduct specific to God’s requirements and whenever such conduct was breach, a suitable punishment shall be put in place in order to ensure enforcement.
Quran – Chapter 39 A-Zumar verse 2
….worship Him, sincerely in His Way. Is it not all sincerity is due only to God’s Way ? and yet they who take for their protectors other beside God [are wont to say] , “We worship them for no other reason that they bring us nearer to God.
Here the Quran clearly defines that all sincere worship is for God alone in His Way. The different concepts of God created by men in the names of religions which give equality to beings other than God and worship them together with God is no where to be found in God’s Way. All other concept of God be it trinity, duality , pantheism or any other which move away from worshiping One True God, is unacceptable and is actually a lie attributed to God.
Quran – Chapter 110 – An-Nasr verse 2
….and thou seest people enter God’s way in hosts…..
God supports His Way and eventually mankind will not be able to resist God’s way and enter into Islam in throngs which happens rapidly at the beginning of the Islamic revolution just after the demise of the last prophet. This phenomena will repeat itself again in the near future when God’s help comes unto those who supported His Way.