IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?Dr. A.A.B. Philips Nov. 2010
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?5IS THERE A GOD?Before looking at the main question this brief bookletseeks to answer, which is: ...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?6is merely a chance product of accidental combinations ofits elements. Consequently, the question...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?7reported that 87% of their population believes that Godexists. Furthermore, contrary to popular ...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?9DID GOD COMMUNICATE WITH HUMANS?ARE ALL RELIGIONS CORRECT?Even though belief in God is prevalent...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?10not, or else they are all true. If they all are true, they haveto share similar beliefs. It is ...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?12they know what was expected of them if and when theyreported. The same would be true in a hospi...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?13practices. They do not limit themselves to this informationalone; instead they try to determine...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?14concerns confronting trading nations today.Human beings have not changed for hundreds ofthousan...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?15human being is required to reflect on his or her situationand to choose what is, in fact, corre...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?16Buddha who lived in India some time before Christ.Islam, on the other hand, means “submission.”...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?17at the Christian scriptures, for example, one will not findJesus stating to his followers, «You...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?18have been present in earlier scriptures. In the languagesspoken at the times of each of the pro...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?19worship anything of His creation, as everything other thanGod is part and parcel of His creatio...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?20Idols were made to symbolize his claimed crucifixion, andhe became the most popular object of w...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?215 - Purity of TeachingsIslamhasretaineditsoriginalmessagesincethebeginningof time. Islam teache...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?22from a few harmful ones. In all cases, for each andevery forbidden thing there are many other p...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?23kneeling, they don’t wear headcovers (with the exceptionof nuns and at marriages or funerals), ...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?247 - Clear Definition of the Purpose of LifeThe reason for the creation of human beings shouldbe...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?25Eve that they would disobey Him and sin by eating fromthe forbidden tree, so He taught them how...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?26The worst possible sin a person can commit is an offenseagainst the Creator of the universe – a...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?27salvation has been restricted to their immediate followers.On the other hand, Islam teaches tha...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?28be upon him) mentioned that there were 124,000 prophetssent throughout the world at various tim...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?29acknowledging the message of the true religion wheneverexposed to it and responding to it by su...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?30that time would obey His messenger in the present life aswell. Thus, no one will pass out of th...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?31and unaltered since its initial revelation until the presenttime. It was not necessary to prese...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?32today have memorized the entire Qur’an from beginningto end. Since the time of Prophet Muhammad...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?33made bones from the lump, and I covered thebones with flesh; then I developed him intoanother c...
IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?34known centuries ago, except by Almighty God. Thoughit contains an abundance of scientific knowl...
Is There A True Religion ?
Is There A True Religion ?
Is There A True Religion ?
Is There A True Religion ?
Is There A True Religion ?
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Is There A True Religion ?

  1. 1. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?Dr. A.A.B. Philips Nov. 2010
  2. 2. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?5IS THERE A GOD?Before looking at the main question this brief bookletseeks to answer, which is: “Is there a true religion?” itis necessary to consider the source of such a religion, ifit should exist. Therefore, assuming that we seek divinereligion rather than a manmade one, the first questionto be answered is: “Is there a God?” The variety andcomplexity of the intricate systems which constitute thefabric of both human beings and the world in which theyexist indicate that there must have been a SupremeBeing who created them. Design indicates a designer.When human beings notice footprints on a beach,they immediately conclude that human feet left thoseimpressions in the sand some time recently, even thoughthey did not see it occur. People would not normallyimagine that the waves from the sea settled in the sandand coincidentally produced depressions looking exactlylike human footprints. Therefore, it is both illogical andunreasonable to claim that God does not exist. Throughout the ages, however, there has beena minority among humans who have denied the existenceof God. In their opinion, matter is eternal, and humankind
  3. 3. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?6is merely a chance product of accidental combinations ofits elements. Consequently, the question “Is there a truereligion?” is completely irrelevant to them simply becausetherewasnoGodtocreateit. Andaccordingtothem,thereis absolutely no purpose for existence since everything isa product of one big cosmic accident. Nevertheless, thevast majority of humankind over the ages has believedand continues to believe in the existence of a SupremeBeing who created this world for a purpose. For those ofintelligence it was and still is important to know about theCreator, the purpose for which He created human beings,and the religion in which this is correctly taught. Despite the relatively recent spread of atheisticbeliefs in capitalist and communist countries, statisticscontinue to show that most people believe in God.Reader’s Digest recently reported a survey that wasconducted in no less than fourteen countries in Europe inregard to their belief in God. The findings show that sevenoutofeverytenEuropeansbelieveintheexistenceofGod.They found that 97% of the people of Poland, formerly acommunist country, affirmed His existence. Surprisingly,the people of Russia, the birthplace of Communism,
  4. 4. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?7reported that 87% of their population believes that Godexists. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, accordingto polls surveying scientists specializing in astronomy,geology, and other natural sciences, it was revealed thatthe majority of scientists acknowledge the existence ofthe Creator.
  5. 5. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?
  6. 6. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?9DID GOD COMMUNICATE WITH HUMANS?ARE ALL RELIGIONS CORRECT?Even though belief in God is prevalent worldwide, beliefin organized religion is generally weak, especially in theWest. Some feel that because there are so many religionstoday, how can a person know which one to follow?Others point out that each religion claims to be the onetrue religion, so the easiest conclusion is that they must allbe false since they cannot all be true. The consequenceof this position in secular western countries has been tolabel all religions as personal beliefs and declare equalacceptance of all religions. Furthermore, it has led toofficial disapproval of any faith which claimed superiorityover others. Interfaith dialogues, which have becomepopular, assert that it does not matter what religion onefollows as long as the follower is sincere about it. Theidea of insisting that any religion is the only true one hasbeen declared outdated, uncivilized, politically incorrectand extreme. Despite the fact that many participate in interfaithdialogues and appear to embrace the idea that there isno one true religion, people, nevertheless, still uphold thebelief that their own religion is best. The mere fact thatthey have chosen to follow a particular religion proves thispoint. Either one religion must be true and all others are
  7. 7. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?10not, or else they are all true. If they all are true, they haveto share similar beliefs. It is impossible, however, for allof them to be true because each religion possesses aunique set of ideologies. Therefore, the reality is that onlyone can be the true religion revealed by God Almighty.IS THERE A NEED FOR RELIGION?Some people claim that the earth and its inhabitants aretoo insignificant in relationship to the vastness of theuniverse for God to be personally bothered with. In theirview God created the world and left it to run on its own.They suggest that God created human beings but didnot provide them with guidance on how to live their lives.This claim is totally unreasonable because Gods wisdomis absolute. It would be contrary to His nature for Him tocreate people and not guide them to the correct path forsuccess in this world and in the hereafter. If God createdhuman beings and did not lay down regulations to whichthey should adhere (i.e., religion), then we could expectthat humankind would be confused and chaos wouldensue in which only “the law of the jungle” would rule. Thepresent condition of the world is such because people areunaware of or do not adhere to God`s regulations.If a factory was set up and its employees hired withoutinforming them of their duties and responsibilities, in allprobability they would not report to work on time nor would
  8. 8. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?
  9. 9. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?12they know what was expected of them if and when theyreported. The same would be true in a hospital, schoolor any other institution. In the same way that everyestablishment clearly lays out its expectations, God, thealmighty Creator of the universe and its contents, hascreated man and prescribed a way of life by which manshould abide in order to be successful in this world, andmore importantly, in the next. The claim that God did notreveal a religion is essentially the same as saying thereis no God. Proper belief in God requires not only beliefin His existence, but in the true religion He revealed tohumankind.Thus, when God created the first human beings, Adamand Eve, He provided them with instructions concerninghow to live in this world. That religion, provided by Godfor all human beings, was the one true religion. God didnot reveal a variety of religions, which would have causedconfusion. So the question is: «Which religion amongthe multitude of world religions is the right way – theone God intended for His creation?» In order to find theanswer, people have to be open-minded and not simplyfollow a particular religion because their parents chose it.Human beings have been given intelligence in order toinvestigate and choose the religion which can logically beproven to be the true religion of God.When setting up a business, human beings typically taketime out to first thoroughly research successful business
  10. 10. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?13practices. They do not limit themselves to this informationalone; instead they try to determine what innovative stepsthey can take to make their business thrive. Why do somanypeopletakebusinesssoseriouslybutwhenitcomesto religion become so lax? Moreover, many people tendto adhere fervently to a religion only when they reach anadvanced age.Others criticize religion blaming it for many wars, humansuffering, and acts of terrorism. However, if one comparesWorld War I, World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnamwars, and the current wars of Iraq and Afghanistan tothe wars that have been fought for religious reasons, itis clear that the numbers of people who have died fromreligion-based conflicts are far less than the numbers whohave died in other armed conflicts. Therefore, this cannotbe considered as a valid reason to avoid searching forand choosing a religion.For the person who truly believes in God, it is abundantlyclear that He must have prescribed a way of life for Hiscreatures. Furthermore, it does not make sense that theprescribed way should be different for different people,since people are basically the same. The code of laws ofHammurabi from 1,750 B.C. deals with the same issueswith which modern societies are faced today. The mostancient Hieroglyphics of the Egyptians thousands ofyears before Hammurabi also address the same issues.The famous Rosetta Stone discussed similar business
  11. 11. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?14concerns confronting trading nations today.Human beings have not changed for hundreds ofthousands, if not millions of years. Why then shouldGod prescribe one way of life for one set of people andanother way for another set of people? The logical thingis that God would prescribe only one way appropriate forhuman beings from the time the first human being wascreated to the end of the Earth. If God indeed prescribedsuch a way of life for His creation, then it should havecertain characteristics which make it appropriate forhuman beings throughout every period of time and inevery corner of the world.RELIGION OF CHOICEGod has given human beings the ability to discern whatthe correct religion is. No religion should be consideredthe true religion simply because it was inherited, i.e.,because one’s parents and grandparents followed it.God gave human beings intellect to be able to makecorrect choices in all aspects of their lives. However,people commonly tend to use their intelligence in theirworldly lives but turn it off in their spiritual lives. Theyoften willingly accept ridiculous religious practices simplybecause it is an inherited custom. However, it is God’s willthat people are born into different religious traditions. Hewill not reward or punish people for the religion they werereared from early childhood to follow. However, each
  12. 12. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?15human being is required to reflect on his or her situationand to choose what is, in fact, correct. In order to do so,one must have a set of criteria to determine objectivelywhat the right religion is. One may start by examining theclaims of each religion as to why it considers itself to bethe true religion of God. In the following brief pages, some of the mainevidences for Islam’s claim to be the true religion of Godwill be presented and analyzed.CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TRUERELIGION1- External Characteristics: The Religion’sNameIn identifying the one true religion meant for all humanitythe world over, at all times, it would be required that itsname not be affiliated with any particular person, group orlocation. Thus, Christianity named after Christ, Buddhismafter Buddha, Judaism after the tribe of Judah, andHinduism (from the Indus valley) are all related either to aperson, a group or a specific location and therefore cannotbe universal religions. It is impossible for Christianity tobe the religion that was prescribed by God from the time ofAdam, as it is based on Christ’s existence at the end of aline of Jewish prophets. Likewise, Buddhism, an offshootof Hinduism, only came into existence with the person of
  13. 13. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?16Buddha who lived in India some time before Christ.Islam, on the other hand, means “submission.” It is aprinciple addressing the essence of worship – completesubmission to the will of God. It is appropriate as thefoundation of God`s religion from the time of Adam untilthe end of this world. Submission to God is the essenceof the message brought by all of His prophets, and it wasthe name of their religion. It does not matter whether aperson uses Hebrew or any other language to expressthe concept of submission. The name “Islam” is anArabicterm used by the final prophet, Muhammad (blessingsand peace be upon him) because he delivered God’s finalmessage to the people of Arabia. So the claim of Islam,first and foremost, is that its name is suitable as a namefor the true religion of God. It is not personal, which is whyMuslims reject being called “Mohammedans.” It is neithertribal,grouprelatednorlocationspecific. Furthermore,thecentral teaching of Islam is reflected in the name itself. Itscentral principle is the essence of worship that has beenconsistent among all the prophets of God – completesubmission and worship of the one and only true God.This is why only Islam can logically claim to have beenthe religion of Adam and Eve and all the prophets of God.2 - Scriptural Basis for Its NameLogically, the name of the true religion of God should befound in the scripture of the religion itself. If one looks
  14. 14. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?17at the Christian scriptures, for example, one will not findJesus stating to his followers, «You are Christians.» Theonly such reference is in Paul’s writings to the «followersof Christ» in Antioch. It was some time after Jesus’departure that Christians adopted the name. Similarly,one will not find in the Jewish scriptures, neither theTorah nor the Psalms, any mention of God saying, «Yourreligion is Judaism.» Nor is there any proof that Buddhasaid to his followers that their religion is Buddhism. Sincescriptures are supposed to be from God, it is reasonable toassume that the name of the religion would be containedin the scripture itself. When it is not, there is a strongimplication that humans invented it. In contrast, God clearly announces the name«Islam» in the Quran:“This day I have perfected for you your religionand completed My favor upon you and haveapproved for you Islam as religion.” (Quran 5:3)Furthermore, God reiterates that point by proclaiming itsvalidity to the exclusion of all others:“And whoever desires a religion other thanIslam, never will it be accepted from him.”(Quran 3:85)This verse clearly articulates the fact that Islam is the truereligion. Since Islam is an Arabic term, another word withthe same meaning of submission to God’s will should
  15. 15. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?18have been present in earlier scriptures. In the languagesspoken at the times of each of the prophets from Adamon, equivalent terms for submission would most likelyhave been used as the name of the religion. The conceptof submission can actually be found in the writings of theNew and Old Testaments where the prophets, includingJesus, spoke about doing the “will of God.” For example,in Matthew 7:21, Jesus is quoted as saying:“None of those who call me ‘Lord’ will enter thekingdom of God, but only the one who does thewill of my Father in heaven.”However, the name meaning «submission» or «Islam»in Hebrew and other languages of revelation was laterreplaced by tribal names like “Judaism” or personalnames like “Christianity.”3- Internal Characteristics:The Central MessageSince there is only one true God, it is obvious that allof creation owe their existence to Him alone and thatthe needs of all creatures are ultimately fulfilled by Himalone. Therefore, seeking help from others besides Himis futile, as He is in control of everything that exists. Thetrue religion of God must have as its central messageand confirm that only He should be worshipped. Thereligion that claims to be the one true religion shouldinstruct human beings to worship God alone and not to
  16. 16. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?19worship anything of His creation, as everything other thanGod is part and parcel of His creation. No other humanbeing, animal, plant or object deserves to be worshipped,as none of them are able to help others on their own.Ultimately, nothing can benefit the creation without thepermission of God, its creator. So the essence of therelationship between human beings and God should beone based upon worship of Him alone. It is only Islamthat commands people to worship God alone in boththeory and practice. Only in Islam is the unique onenessof God preserved in both scripture and religious rites.On the other hand, Christianity advocates the worship ofGod alone only in theory. For example, in the Gospelaccording to Luke 4:8, it is recorded that the Devil askedJesus to worship him, promising him the authority andglory of all of the kingdoms of this world, “And Jesusanswered him, ‘It is written, you shall worship theLord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”Therefore, the essence of Jesus message is that Godalone deserves to be worshipped and that the worshipof anyone or anything besides Him or along with Him isfalse. However,thatsimple,cleardivinemessagebecamelost with the transformation of Jesus’ unitarian teachingsinto a trinitarian philosophy in Greece and Rome. Jesuswas elevated to the status of “God, the Son” who sharedthe Godhead with “God, the Father” and “God, the HolySpirit.” In fact, Jesus was declared “God Incarnate.”
  17. 17. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?20Idols were made to symbolize his claimed crucifixion, andhe became the most popular object of worship among themass of Christians down through the ages.Likewise in Hinduism, according to the Upanishads, thePuranas, the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, thereis only one formless God, Brahman, who is “without asecond.” However, Brahman manifests itself as “Brahma”(generator), “Vishnu” (organizer) and “Shiva” (destroyer),and from Vishnu comes the “Avatars” (Brahman’sincarnations in every age), all of whom Hindus worship asGod in anything and everything through countless idols.4 - Comprehensiveness of WorshipIn Islam the concept of worship entails doing all thatGod has commanded and not merely glorifying Him andcalling on Him for human needs. The first priority consistsof mandatory obligations, the second priority comprisesvoluntary acts done for God’s pleasure, and lastly,refraining from things that God has prohibited. So, forexample, giving charity, fasting, making Hajj (pilgrimage),helping the less fortunate, and visiting the sick are allconsidered acts of worship. As pointed out previously,the central message of Islam is to worship God alone.So all these acts of worship are directed toward God,seeking His acceptance.
  18. 18. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?215 - Purity of TeachingsIslamhasretaineditsoriginalmessagesincethebeginningof time. Islam teaches that the religion of all the onehundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, beginningwith Adam and ending with Muhammad (may God’speace be upon them all), was one and the same, Islam:to worship only God, to reject any partners associatedwith Him and to submit oneself unconditionally to Him.God says in the Quran:“I have sent to every nation a messenger,[saying], ‘Worship God and avoid [the worshipof] false gods.’” (Quran 16:36)Islam further teaches that human beings who inviteothers to worship them, who claim that they are God,or that they have God within themselves have deceivedtheir followers, misguided them and diverted them fromthe true religion of God. The essence of worship in Islamcan be found in Verse 5 of the first chapter of the Qur’an,known as al-Faatihah, which means “the opening,”:“It is You [alone] we worship and You [alone]we ask for help.”Complete submission and obedience to God is what thefirst human beings, Adam and Eve, were commanded.They were put in a garden and instructed to eat fromany tree they wished, except for one solitary tree. In alleras of human existence people have been directed bythe prophets to do certain beneficial acts and to refrain
  19. 19. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?22from a few harmful ones. In all cases, for each andevery forbidden thing there are many other permissiblethings similar in form. For example, pork is forbidden toconsume and interest prohibited to give or receive, butthere are countless other animals of the land, sea andair that are permissible to consume, and numerous otherbusiness transactions which may be conducted.However, many people tend to become obsessed withprohibited things such as drinking alcohol and committingfornication, mistakenly claiming that abandoning thesepractices will make life very difficult. In reality, theseprohibitionshavebeenlegislatedinordertoprotecthumanbeings. While there is good in all that God creates, theharm in some elements of creation outweighs the benefit,and for that reason they are forbidden by God.6- Consistency of TeachingsThe true religion of God should be consistent in itsteachings. Its fundamental tenets should not changeit with time. For example, the early followers of Christwere indistinguishable from the Jews of their time in theway they married, prayed, dressed, ate and spoke. Theywere polygamous, they prayed prostrating on the ground,their women wore headcovers, they did not eat pork, theygreeted each other saying, “Peace be upon you,” andhomosexuality was considered a major sin punishableby death. Today, Christians abhor polygamy, they pray
  20. 20. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?23kneeling, they don’t wear headcovers (with the exceptionof nuns and at marriages or funerals), they eat pork andthey greet each other by saying, “Hi.” Since the 1970s,the majority of Protestant Christians have acceptedhomosexuality to the point that gay priests are nowcommonplace. Likewise, Hindus of the past ate meat,had their women burned on the funeral pyre of their deadhusbands (sati or suttee), and enjoyed temple prostitutes(devadasis). Now most devout Hindus are vegetarian,suttee was outlawed by the British Authority’s HinduReformers in the 19th century, and in the 20th centurydevadasis were abolished. In contrast, the teachings and practices ofIslam have remained unchanged from the time of itsfinal revelation until today. Polygamy is still legitimate,Muslims continue to prostrate in prayer, their womencover themselves, pork is prohibited, they greet one otherwith “peace be upon you,” and homosexuality remains amajor sin. More importantly, they continue to worship onlyone unique God, while Christians who from Christ’s timedid the same became labeled as heretics. It was in thefourth century when a triune god replaced the unitarianGod of Jesus and all the prophets before him. Similarly,though the early scriptures of Hinduism prohibited idolatry,Hindus today have millions of gods whom they worship inthe form of idols.
  21. 21. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?247 - Clear Definition of the Purpose of LifeThe reason for the creation of human beings shouldbe clearly defined within the true religion of God. Itshould be spelled out in no uncertain terms in the veryscriptures of the religion. However, if Hindus are askedabout the purpose of human existence as taught in theirreligion, most either admit ignorance or state a variety ofphilosophical explanations given by modern gurus withno clear scriptural references. The same can be saidfor Christians who have no unequivocal statements inthe scriptures of the Old or New Testaments identifyingthe purpose of life. On the other hand, in the unchangedscripture of Islam, the purpose of creation is stated byGod in no uncertain terms:“I only created the jinn and humankind toworship Me.” (Quran, 51:56)The purpose of life is to worship God, which shouldlogically be the central tenet of any religion, and especiallyof the true religion. In actual fact, this is the case only inIslam.8 - Access to SalvationAnother essential characteristic of the true religion isthat it should contain in its teachings equality concerningaccess to salvation. Deliverance from sin should requireno intermediaries because only God alone can ultimatelyforgive human sins. God knew before creating Adam and
  22. 22. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?25Eve that they would disobey Him and sin by eating fromthe forbidden tree, so He taught them how to repent fromsin. Consequently, when they sinned, they repented andHe forgave them. To not have taught them how to repentfrom sin would have been unfair, and to cause their sinto be inherited by all subsequent generations until thetime of Jesus would have been even more unfair. It isthus logical to assume that God, who is absolutely fair,taught them how to repent. In fact, this historic eventis described in the Qur’an. Furthermore, every humanbeing is responsible only for his or her own sins and notfor those of parents or children. No one can carry the sinsof others, nor can others carry their sins. Such are theteachings found in the Qur’an:“No bearer of sins can carry the burden ofanother.” (Qur’an 53:38)Rather, every individual should turn in repentance directlyto God, and He, in turn, has promised to forgive all sins.God says in the Quran:“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressedagainst themselves [by sinning], do not despairof the mercy of God. Indeed, God forgives allsins [of those who repent].’” (Qur’an 39:53)Since the purpose of creation is to worship God, and thisis the central pillar of the true religion, the greatest sina human being can commit is neither murder nor theft(although both are major offenses against humanity).
  23. 23. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?26The worst possible sin a person can commit is an offenseagainst the Creator of the universe – association of equalswith Him. If a person lives his life associating equals withGod, whether directly or indirectly, and dies in that state,all of his or her good deeds will be invalidated by thisblasphemy. God attests to this in the Qur’an:“Indeed, Allah does not forgive the association[of others] with Him.” (Qur’an 4:48 and 4:116)By uttering the testimony of faith and entering the foldof Islam, God will forgive all of one’s past sins, includingeven the sin of directing acts of worship to other than Him.If this oath is taken sincerely with full knowledge of itsmeanings and implications and the commitment to livein accordance with it, then that person has accepted thekey to Paradise.9 - Universal Religious Access to SalvationFor any religion to be considered the true religion, it musthave in its teachings equal access to salvation for allhuman beings everywhere and from every era, regardlessof whether or not they had heard its message. Humanshave no say regarding the circumstances in which theywere born and therefore cannot be held responsible fornot having had access to the true religion.Those who never heard the divine message from Mosesor Jesus, nor from Buddha or Confucius,for example,have not had access to their teachings. Consequently,
  24. 24. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?27salvation has been restricted to their immediate followers.On the other hand, Islam teaches that from the beginningof humankind until the end of time, those who havesubmitted sincerely and wholeheartedly to God withoutassociating anything in worship with Him will be rewardedin the Hereafter. God says in the Qur’an:“Indeed, those who believe [in Islam] andthose who were among the Jews, Christiansor Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] whobelieved in God and the Last Day and wererighteous will have their reward with their Lord,and no fear will there be concerning them, norwill they grieve.” (Qur’an 2:62)According to Islam, those who sincerely followed Moses,those who followed Jesusand those who followed any ofthe prophets sent by God to various nations throughouthuman history are all considered Muslims because theysurrendered themselves completely to the one and onlytrue God and worshipped Him alone. All prophets who conveyed the true message from Godwere sent to be believed and followed. Anyone whorejected their message, whether they rejected Moses,Jesus or any other of the true prophets who were sent tothe world before them, – to Africa, India, South America,the Philippines or elsewhere, will have no salvation in thelife to come. Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace
  25. 25. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?28be upon him) mentioned that there were 124,000 prophetssent throughout the world at various times. Each andevery one of them came with the same message: “Nodeity is worthy of worship except the one true God.” According to the teachings of Islam, all humanbeings received this message before their physicalexistenceinthisworld. WhenGodfirstcreatedhumankind,He gathered together all the souls ofAdam’s descendantsand informed them of their obligation to worship Him,and all the souls bore witness to that obligation. Thistestimony is imprinted on the soul of every human andforms the basis of the natural inclination shared by alltowards knowing and worshipping God. When faced witha calamity, even the atheist, who openly professes hisdisbelief in God, will usually call on God for help. As Heconfirms in the Qur’an:“And [mention] when your Lord took from theloins of the children of Adam their descendantsand made them testify of themselves, [sayingto them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They replied,‘Yes, we have testified.’ This was so you couldnot say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Indeed,we were unaware of this.’” (Quran 7:172) This occurred in the spirit world prior tohuman existence in the physical world. Once a personenters adulthood, he or she becomes responsible for
  26. 26. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?29acknowledging the message of the true religion wheneverexposed to it and responding to it by submitting himselfor herself fully to God. However, there may be somepeople who have never heard and will never hear thetrue message of Islam during their lifetime. Perhaps it isbecausetheyarelocatedinremoteareasoutsidetherangeof the message; or perhaps they are unable to properlyunderstand the message due to a mental condition or thatthe information they receive is so distorted that the truth isnot recognizable. According to statements of Prophet Muhammad(blessings and peace be upon him), those people will betested on the Day of Resurrection and Judgment. Theywill be resurrected at a mature age and with their facultiesfully functioning. Then God will take a covenant fromthem that they would obey Him, and from a wall of firebefore them, a messenger will emerge who will explainto them God’s message, His unique oneness and that Healone is to be worshipped. The messenger will instructthem all to enter the fire from which he came. Those whoobey and enter it will find on the other side gardens ofParadise, and their destiny will be Paradise. But thosewho refuse to enter the fire will be led to the Hellfire.They are the ones who would have refused to accept themessage had it reached them during their worldly lives.It is also an indication that those who would obey God at
  27. 27. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?30that time would obey His messenger in the present life aswell. Thus, no one will pass out of this world and comebefore God for judgment without the message havingbeen relayed to him or her. As God said in the Qur’an:“I will never punish people until a messenger issent to them.” (Qur’an 17:15) All human beings were inspired with themessage of Islam prior to conception so that they wouldhave a natural inclination to worship God. Further, manypeople are exposed to and shown the truth in this life andgiven an opportunity to accept it. They are given a choiceabout the matter, so no and one can truly blame theirparents or grandparents for their misguidance becausefreedom of choice is universal. Additionally, God giveshumankind signs throughout their lives which will causethem to search for the true religion if they are honest.These signs are all around and inside each and everyone of them, as God stated in the Qur’an:“I will show them My signs in the horizons andwithin themselves until it becomes clear to themthat it is the truth.” (Qur’an 41:53)10 - Preservation of Scripture For any religion to be a successful candidate forthe true religion, it should have at its foundation a fullypreserved unadulterated scripture that contains the truewords of God. This scripture must have remained pure
  28. 28. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?31and unaltered since its initial revelation until the presenttime. It was not necessary to preserve the earlier divinescriptures because God continued to send other prophetswith updated scriptures after the earlier ones. However,when God chose to send His final messenger and lastof the prophets, the scriptural message he brought hadto be perfectly preserved because no other prophetswere to come after him. Out of all the ancient worldreligions, Islam is the only religion whose scripture, theQur’an, can be confirmed as unchanged. The scripturesof other religions have not been preserved in their originalform. Leading scholars from among the various religionsreadily acknowledge the fact that their scriptures havebeen altered and distorted with the passage of time. Theyalso admit that their scriptures were written long after thedeath of their founders and that the exact words of thosefounders are not known. In most cases, the scribes orauthors of the existing scriptures are unidentified. So it is only in the final message of IslamcontainedintheQur’anthathumanbeingshaveascripturedivinely preserved as was no other text before it. It is atext that will undoubtedly remain unchanged until the lastday of this world, and this is stated within it. The Qur’anis preserved not only in a single written text but also hasbeen memorized and stored in the minds and hearts ofcountless thousands of Muslims down through the ages.Over a hundred thousand Muslims living around the world
  29. 29. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?32today have memorized the entire Qur’an from beginningto end. Since the time of Prophet Muhammad (blessingsand peace be upon him and upon all the true prophets ofGod), millions throughout the centuries have committedthe whole Qur’an to memory.11 - The Final Proof: The Qur’anic MiracleThe final characteristic of the true religion is that theprophet who conveyed it would have to leave behinda miracle accessible to humankind until the end of thisworld. Only in Islam is that eternal miracle evident. Thescripture itself contains scientific knowledge from a futureera. Modern scientists have identified within some ofthe Qur’an’s verses a number of recently discoveredscientific facts which could not possibly have been knownto Muhammad 1,400 years ago. For example, they wereastonished to find in the Qur’an a precise description ofthe embryo in the womb at a stage when the embryo isvirtually invisible to the naked eye. A microscope, firstinvented one thousand years after the revelation of theQur’an, is required to see the embryo at the stagesdescribed. God says in the Qur’an:“And certainly I created man from an extractof clay. Then I placed him as a sperm-dropin a firm lodging [i.e., in the womb]. Then Imade the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, andI made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and I
  30. 30. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?33made bones from the lump, and I covered thebones with flesh; then I developed him intoanother creation. So blessed is God, the bestof creators.” (Qur’an, 23:12-14) Dr. Keith Moore, one of the world’s leadingexperts in the field of anatomy and embryology, wrote themost commonly used embryology textbook in universitiesaround the world. In it he stated that no one knew muchabout the development of the human embryo until theemergence of the microscope, at around the fifteenthor sixteenth century. Dr. Moore was asked to attenda conference and review the Qur’anic verses whichpertained to embryology. After reading it, he affirmed, “Ithas been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statementsin the Qur’an about human development. It is clear to methat these statements must have come to Muhammadfrom God because almost all of this knowledge was notdiscovered until many centuries later. This proves to methat Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.”When asked whether he believed the Qur’an was theWord of God, he replied, “I find no difficulty in acceptingthis.” The Qur’an contains many other scientificmiraclespertainingtonaturalelementssuchasmountains,seas and clouds that could not have possibly been
  31. 31. IS THERE A TRUE RELIGION?34known centuries ago, except by Almighty God. Thoughit contains an abundance of scientific knowledge, theQur’an is not primarily a book of science; its fundamentalpurpose is to convey God’s communication to humankind.It addresses every human need and contains the cure forall spiritual and psychological ailments of the hearts andminds. Therefore, every human being owes it to himselfto read this divinely revealed book of true guidance.For a more detailed reading of this evidenceand about the experience of Dr. Moore,visitwww.islam-guide.com

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