Q / A
10. The Unity of Divine Revelations
Thank you for your questions, that can be summarized in three points:
1- Why did Allah not send the same religion?
2- Does everyone have free will to choose his own religion?
3- Knowing our fate, why does He (SWT) allow many to hold the wrong faith(s), and hence become accountable to Him?
1- Allah did not send different faiths or religions. Rather all His Messengers carried – in essence – the same message: to worship Him (SWT) Who has no partner nor son, and to follow His Guidance in this life, in order to gain His pleasure in the Hereafter:
· Surely the religion in the Providence of Allah is Islam. And in no way did the ones to whom the Book was brought differ (among themselves) except even after the knowledge came to them, being inequitable among themselves. (English meaning of Qur’an 3: 19)
This was the message of Adam, Noah ,Ibrahim, Moses and Jesus as well as the Seal of Messengers Muhammad (peace be upon him).The details developed gradually to cope with the evolving human knowledge, until it was ripe enough to send the complete final message of Islam, supported by the eternal intellectual proof and guidance, i.e. Qur’an. In contrast to the Book of Islam, preserved intact and followed by every Muslim past and present, the original books of Moses and Jesus i.e. Tawrah and Injeel either disappeared or were corrupted:
· O population of the Book why do you confound the Truth with the untruth and keep back the Truth, and you know (that)? (English meaning of Qur’an 3: 71)
Other religions practiced nowadays or in the past are either:
a- Corrupted versions deviating from the original messages and books of the prophets of Allah. Examples are the current versions of Judaism and Christianity, that are largely different from the original teachings of Moses and Jesus. What is included in the Old Testament (48, +10 books) and New Testament (20, +7 books) are all human writings not related to the original texts of Tawrah and Injeel, apart probably from some parts of the chapters on Genesis, and some sayings attributed to Jesus in the Gospels.
b- Human inventions derived from philosophical whims and primitive pagan myths, e.g. Buddhism and Hinduism.
2- Allah’s Knowledge encompasses everything and He controls all His creation. Yet, His Wisdom has bestowed the human race with freedom of thought and making decisions. Neither the angels nor other creatures have this sort of free will. Man was endowed with intellect and, through His Messengers, with guidance to differentiate between good and evil and to act accordingly:
· Have We not made for him two eyes. And a tongue, and two lips, And guided him on the two highways (of good and evil)? (English meaning of Qur’an 90: 8-10)
It is true that we cannot totally control our fates, but we should honestly admit that we have a certain range of freedom to: think, choose and make many decisions in our life and, Allah wills, GET THEM DONE. You can prove this yourself if you contemplate your own personal actions, and reactions to different situations.
3- Since we are innately free to think, believe and act, it is precisely on our stand within this range of freedom that we are accountable towards Allah. Everyone is born equally pure and innocent. According to the Prophet (peace be upon him):
“ An infant is born according to his (true) nature. It is his parents who make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Further, Allah did not leave us alone unguided, glimpses of His knowledge and Wisdom have been passed to us through His Messengers. These were sent to every generation till the final Message Islam:
· Surely We have sent you with the Truth, a constant bearer of glad tidings and a constant warner. And decidedly no nation there is, except that there has passed in it a constant warner. ( English meaning of Qur’an 35: 24)
It is the duty of everyone to find out the truth. If one fails to receive the proper message of Islam from any source, he would not be accountable on not being a Muslim:
· Whoever is guided, surely he is guided only for himself; and whoever errs (away), then surely he errs (away) only upon himself; and no encumbered self will be encumbered of another (self); and in no way are We tormenting (anyone) until We have sent forth a Messenger. (English meaning of Qur’an 17; 15)
It would be the guilt of governments and institutions that censor(ed) by force the message of Islam. Equally responsible are media and clergy propagating false and misleading information to shun their people and followers away from Islam. Also, it is the duty of Muslims to convey the message of Islam to every human on earth:
· And thus We have made you a middle nation to be witnesses over mankind, and (for) the Messenger to be a witness over you. (English meaning of Qur’an 2: 143)
Their negligence to carry this mission will surely burden them with their share of guilt. Allah knows best
Islam for Everyone (Islam, the True Message of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad)