As we have mentioned last week, Islam is the exception amongst religions and not the rule. This follows the same exception and truth on which Islam is founded: La ilaha illa Allah. Translated… there is no god except Allah. Basically, the disbelief in any deity except for the Creator of Heavens and Earth: Allah. Islam is therefore the exception to all other faiths since it is the only one that is true.
How do we know this or discover this? It is by reading the Quran. The word Quran, most likely comes from the Arabic word Qira-ah which means reading/recited. The last part “an” is a suffix used to express greatness and importance. Therefore, the Quran is the greatest book ever known by man. Presumptuous… For those who have never read it; likely. But exact, for those who have had the privilege of reading it. Let’s see why.
The Quran tells the stories of past civilizations, yet it is not a history book. The Quran is written in perfect Arabic, yet it is not a grammar book. The Quran has rules of conduct, yet it is not a law book. The Quran contains predictions to future events, yet it is not an esoteric script. The Quran explains natural phenomenon, yet it is not a science manual. However, the Quran is all that and much, much more. It is the word of Allah revealed to his last prophet, Muhammad (ppuh). Overall, it is a guidance for one who wishes to be guided.
In a mere 600 pages; it has managed to underline the essential guidance to live on this Earth and dwell in the hereafter. It is the summum of truth, the pinnacle of righteousness, and the essence of faith. It cannot be mimicked, reinvented, or compared; for it is the word of the Almighty to us mortals.
As we have just mentioned, the Quran has many ways of presenting its proofs; and for good reason, not one person has the exact same perception as someone else. Yet these multiple ways have the same goal; to guide.
The Quran, just like any book, scripture, or message from Allah, helps guide all to the truth. Whether it is via, monotheism, signs, miracles, messengers; all are ways of guidance towards the truth. Let’s visit them one by one.
It is the belief in the existence of One Unique God. Simple to say, anyone can say it; but what does it imply? The implications of such an assertion have ramifications that will test the belief of the most pious; the endurance of the most patient; the worthiness of the bravest; and the soul of man.
Such implications are so straightforward, so clear, so liberating, so reassuring; that they leave no place for injustice or decadence. In turn, this does not bode well with established norms. Why? Because it involves change; not change where you must start from scratch, but change from within. This change from within will then manifest itself in an obvious manner: through your habits, your manners, your actions. It is something that pushes you… No… launches you towards things that are of no material benefit to you whatsoever.
That is where the greatness of Allah comes into play; Allah is greater than all. Not only is greatness imposing, intimidating, and majestic; it leaves enormous place for mercy, compassion, and kindness. For the One who possesses all can give as much as He wills.
By believing wholeheartedly in the One Unique Creator, you get back this investment tenfold… even more. And I’m not talking about after death; I mean now: peace of mind, satisfaction, fulfillment. Not tangible, not measurable; neither in what you must believe in to obtain them. I ask you, can a man be rich if he still wants more; can a person be content when he needs the approval of his peers; can someone be tranquil if he feels insecure?
As for disproving something, you need a contradiction. Not only is there no contradiction in Islam, but the Quran also brings up all the arguments of its detractors and puts them down one by one. Oddly enough, the arguments that were in vogue 1400 years ago are pretty much the same ones used today. It’s funny how man doesn’t change!
Whenever the word of Allah (i.e. the Quran) is challenged, it always rises up to the occasion. So why not put all other beliefs to the same test, the same standard, and see if they can produce the counterarguments, the logic, and the proofs that undeniably come with the word of Allah.
The fact that all other religions contain incongruities, incoherencies, lies, fabrications, and flawed logic (see last week’s blog: Climbing Hilltops); is a testament to the truthfulness of the Quran. Don’t think that these incoherencies apply only to religions, but philosophies and theories. These philosophies and theories have become beliefs and laws in their own respect. They all advance claims and interpretation, but none advance proof nor truth.
The Quran even challenges anyone to find a kink in it or to produce something similar in its grandeur. This is also apparent in multiple verses:
And it was not [possible] for this Qur’an to be produced by other than Allah, but [it is] a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds.
Or do they say [about the Prophet], “He invented it?” Say, “Then bring forth a surah like it and call upon [for assistance] whomever you can besides Allah, if you should be truthful.”
Surah Younus (10 – 37-38)
As it goes for the scientific knowledge in the Quran, it is undoubtedly true. Some of it is clear-cut and gives a pretty exact description of phenomena explained in the Quran; yet unexplained at the time; such as the stages of development in the womb, all living beings need water, and dozens more. This has only recently become evident in part because of scientific research and progress. Other bits of knowledge leave place for interpretation and seem ambiguous since it is not explained in intricate detail. And parts, might never even be understood in our lifetime altogether.
In any case, the Quran encourages one to contemplate, find explanation and meaning of these signs in nature and in the Universe in order to better appreciate and thank Allah. It gives us trails to follow in order to uncover the laws that govern this Universe so we can use them.
Inclusiveness of past scriptures and prophets:
Islam is not an exclusive religion; it is an ideology that is inclusive. Not only because of the insignificance of race, gender, or rank; but the fact that it is timeless, in the future, and in the past.
As for past prophets and scriptures that were from Allah, all embraced Islam. Adam, the first human is Muslim; the original Torah brought the message of Islam. Muhammad’s predecessors that embraced this way of life are highly regarded and are mentioned in hundreds of verses throughout the Quran.
Even if the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad, his name is only mentioned 5 times. In comparison to other prophets such as Moses 136 times, Abraham 69 times, Noah 43 times, Jesus 29 times, Joseph and Lot 27 times, Adam 25 times, Aaron 20 times… I think it is pretty clear.
Just as the prophet Muhammad said in one of his Hadith:
“My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: ‘Would that this brick be put in its place!’ So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets.”
Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Vol. 4, Book 56, Hadith 735.
Laws and justice:
Justice is an ambiguous notion, but it shouldn’t be. A definition of justice is that everyone is equal under the law. If that criterion is met, the rule of law applies. However, laws come and go just like humans; they change with time. So, in order to have absolute justice, laws must be immutable; therefore, not human laws, but divine laws.
A more adequate definition of justice is that justice implies the absence of injustice. Redundant isn’t it; yet, necessary and true. Justice is not just a question of applying the law but ensuring the absence of any collateral damage in doing so. For injustice is what makes laws necessary and by default limits its consequences. For laws are based on the greater good and social responsibility.
A lot of people have the misunderstanding that laws only deal with criminal or penal matters; that is only the tip of the iceberg. You have civil laws, environmental laws, commercial laws, zoning laws… and the list goes on… In Islam, it is no different. The only difference is people attack these laws without looking at the background or the context in which they are being applied or enforced. It is like saying “killing someone” without adding “in self-defense”.
It is a grave misconception that Islamic law is draconian, violent, and discriminatory. When taken out of context, anything can be misrepresented. Mass media has been doing a bang-up job at just that; yet, that is to be expected. However, the truth always resurfaces.
In sum, there is no sphere of life that has not been covered by this religion, the religion of Allah. The reason, so that it cannot be disproven, but leaves enough place for belief and faith.
All in all, faith is a process, with ups and downs, questioning and findings, clarity, and searching… It is a process that we all go through; with different outcomes for each and every one of us.
On the other hand, this process has one and only one goal; the truth. And since there can be only one truth, the objective must be unique.
Now, after reading this, if one does not aspire to the truth; then you have been warned. This truth is not true because I said so, or I believe it to be so; it is because it is true. We’ve overviewed most arguments; logical, scientific, social… but unfortunately without going into immense detail… So one must dig deeper and truly question one’s self: “Will I follow the truth or not?”
As for the ones who answer yes to this question, one must back up his word, with actions, deeds… change! Talk is cheap, it is what one does in a situation that defines one’s worth. Moreover, answering yes is not a one-time event; as we’ve said, it is a process, one that will last your entire existence on this Earth.
Therefore, one must keep in mind that the reason for one’s actions should always be for the word of Allah to prevail. That is the single most important reason why anything should be done: from smiling to a friend to giving to a complete stranger; from your choice of employment to your means of transportation; from the food you eat to the clothes you wear… All must be done with the same intention. If one follows this, it is a recipe for success, here and the hereafter. Regardless of all obstacles and adversity, sticking to this process is a guarantee of a better today and a brighter tomorrow. This is not my guarantee, nor your guarantee; but a pact ordained upon Himself, promised to be fulfilled in full by The Creator of Heavens and Earth, The One who has written upon Himself to be the Most Merciful, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise: Allah The Glorious and Exalted.