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ISLAM: The True Message of

Chapter 1: Introduction


Man and Universe:

     The Human mind is the device through which man can explore the surrounding world, and transform into ideas and meanings whatever his senses (hearing, sight, touch and smell) perceive. These ideas and meanings then undergo a sophisticated analytical process that enables man to hold such ideas and meanings as indisputable beliefs. The most important of these beliefs is that concerned with the vast surrounding cosmos: its creation, essence, beginning and destination, i.e. such matters that cannot be perceived by man’s limited faculties. We cannot see objects emanating light whose wavelength is less than 4 to 7 x 10 meters. We can hear clearly only those sounds in the frequency range of 2500 to 4000 per second. So, we can neither hear or see any creature beyond these sound or light ranges, even if they were within reach of vision or hearing, and even if they live or move around or within us.  If we look into space, with our naked eyes or through telescopes, or if we to overhear sounds from outer space via or certain instruments (such as wireless receivers) we find out that our sight and hearing are limited by the time and speed taken by light and electromagnetic waves to reach us. While the light of the sun, the star nearest to earth, takes 8 minutes to reach us, the light of other distant stars takes many light-years. Other distant galaxies are millions or billions of light-years away from earth. Thus our senses and devices – however advanced - cannot and will not detect all that is going on in the universe right now. It is likely that there have been many momentous events that occurred long, long ago before we could see them and their aftermath reaches us afterwards.

Why Messengers?:

       Thus are man’s affairs when compared to the Almighty’s infinite might and His absolute infinitude in His Attributes, time, space, and creation. Allah’s infinitude is self-evident and can be perceived by a sound mind that confesses that there should be Infinite Creator to the Universe. Allah is the First from time immemorial and the Everlasting. As for the infinitude of  space, modern science, has disclosed the boundless vastness of creation that leads to unknown horizons. Whenever we look into space and see celestial bodies or phenomena that are thousands or millions of light-years from earth, we understand that such celestial bodies and phenomena have been there since a time similar to these light-years.
       The dazzling diversity of structure and functions of millions of creatures on earth, and that they contain billions of cells, genes, compounds and atoms is indicative of the infiniteness and diversity of creation in the billions of celestial bodies that no one but Allah knows them. If so, we come to the conclusion that our minds alone cannot even imagine the universe: its creator, limits, beginning and future, which in turn means that our minds alone cannot be guided to the True Religion without Divine assistance.   
         Allah’s Favor, thus, is extended to man, who has been endowed with existence, mind and senses, to guide him to the True Knowledge through divine messages and messengers. Messengers were supported with material miracles so that men might trust them and believe in their messages. When man’s logic became sufficiently developed to be convinced through argumentation and intellectual texts, the Divine Scriptures were revealed i.e. the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an.

Islam: the Same Divine Message:

       All Messengers share the same essence: Monotheism, the guiding path of Allah. All Divine Scriptures address reason and disenchant it from ignorance and whims and propose logic-based argumentation as a standard method for guidance and convincing. They unfetter man from thoughtless following of his clan, tribe, fathers and elders.

Man’s limited mind satisfies itself with the perceivable matters and refrains from the great unseen facts that are beyond man’s perception. Man adores idols, pictures and men or holds them as sacred means of nearness to Allah. Nothing can free him from this narrow-mindedness except Allah’s guidance, sent by chosen messengers from among all nations throughout history, who were aided by material and logical proofs that suited each stage of development of the human mind.


Qur'an: The Final Proof:

     The first proofs took the form of physical miracles and supernatural events that affected former nations. As the impact of these miracles vanished with the passage of time, man reverted to his limited conceptions and inclinations. Gradually, the human mind reached enough sophistication to receive an everlasting proof that gains more solidity and clarity with scientific advances. This was time for the accomplishment of Allah’s guidance to His creatures on our tiny planet earth, and the sealing of prophethood. Allah’s message is one, in spite of the differences of time and place the in which it was conveyed. The mission of all prophets was one and the same, and everyone of them confirmed and renewed the message of his predecessors. Thus the final message came as a complement and confirmation of all previous messages. Allah preserved it both in letter and spirit ever since, and to the end of time.


Authenticity of Qur'an:

The Holy Qur’an began to be revealed, and continued to be sent over a period of twenty-three years. Whenever a Divine Message was revealed, Prophet Muhammad pbuh (peace be upon him) dictated its words to a scribe. The written text was then read back to the Prophet, who, having satisfied himself that the scribe had committed no error of transcription, would hold the manuscript in safe custody. The Prophet used to instruct the scribe about the sequence in which a revealed message was to be placed in a particular Surah (chapter). In this manner, the Holy Prophet continued to systematically arrange the text of the Qur'an until the end of the chain of revelations. Many of the Companions learned the whole text of the Qur'an, every syllable of it, by heart. After the death of the Prophet, the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, assembled all the Huffazh (memorizers of the Holy Qur’an), among whom was Zaid bin Thabit, to compile the written records of the Holy Qur'an and with their help the whole text was put in Book form. In the time of `Uthman copies of this original version were made and officially dispatched to the Capitals of the Islamic World. Two of these copies exist, one in Istanbul and the other in Tashkent. Whosoever is so inclined may compare any printed text of the Holy Qur'an with those two copies and shall find no variation. How could one expect any discrepancy, when there have existed several million Huffazh in every generation since the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and in our own time?


Qur'an vs. Bible:


       Both Torah (Old Testament) and Gospels (New Testament) differ highly from the Holy Qur’an with regard to the process of recording. The recording of Torah, the book revealed to Moses, was not started until three centuries following his mission (1300 BC) and continued for about 1000 years thereafter. The oldest written text of Torah dates back to the 5th century A.D. It is ascribed to Saint Ibronimas and is known as the Vulgate Edition, which is believed to be derived from texts called the Masury, Hebrew and Samiri texts, which were lost since the 3rd century.  

Sources of Old Testament:


       In the Torah, Allah’s words were mingled with the legislative, political, literary, historical and folk heritage of the Israelites. The Torah under discussion now contains the Bible known to Christians as the Old Testament. It includes the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, in addition to historical books and poetry and wisdom and the books of the prophets sent to the Israelites.  

Sources of the Gospels:


       The Gospels of Jesus were believed to have been originally recorded in Aramaic, but no part of it survived. At the end of the 1st century A.D. and during the 2nd century A.D. the recording of the Gospels started again, which included the biography of Jesus and his teachings as narrated by narrators. The Gospels thus have more in common with the Prophet Muhammad’s biography (Sirah) and tradition (Hadith) than with a divine text.


History of the Gospels:


       It is historically proven that there were tens of Gospels until the 4th century A.D. when the Emperor Constantine convened the Nikaia Communion in 326 A.D. to settle the disagreement between the monotheists, who believed in the manhood of Jesus and were a majority, and the party who claimed the divinity of Jesus. The latter party won over the monotheists when the monotheists were forced to withdraw. All gospels were thereafter discarded except the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Christian theologians and historical analysts studied the history of the recording of the gospels and identification of their sources through comparing the events, phrases and styles occurring in the four gospels and within each gospel, and by referring to other religious and historical texts. It is believed that the four gospels were derived, with equivocal degrees, from older unknown documents and in turn through other intermediary documents which also disappeared.  

The Four Gospels:


       As for the gospels of Matthew, studies reveal that it might have been written by Matthew, the tax collector, not Matthew the disciple of Jesus around 90 A.D. It is believed that most of this book was derived from an ancient unknown document and another intermediary document attributed to Mark. Regarding the gospel of Mark, there has been considerable controversy as to whether its writer was one of the seven disciples. Was he an Egyptian carrying the same name? Was he Mark, the cousin of the disciple Barnabas? Was he a companion of Peter in Rome? It is believed that this gospel was written around the year 70 A.D. in a Greek church in Syria or Asia Minor. According to the Encyclopedia Britanica, the author of the gospel of Mark is anonymous. Perhaps the author of the Gospel of Luke was Luke, the disciple of Paul during the early 2nd century A.D. It is also believed that he was the author of Acts, one of the books of the New Testament. Probably some of its content was derived from the two Gospels of Matthew and Mark, in addition to the teachings of Paul and some other unknown references. The Gospel of John differs greatly from the other three gospels in its excessive tendency to establish the divinity of Jesus. Some researchers claim that it was written exclusively to advance this dogma. However, historical analysis of the text of this gospel casts many doubts regarding its author. According to the Encyclopedia Britanica, the author of this gospel was not John, the disciple of Jesus, but rather a scholar in the Church of Alexandria who was influenced by the Greek philosophy that claimed the existence of many gods.


The Gospel of Barnabos:


       The four gospels authorized by all Christian churches, the Acts of the Apostles, the epistles of Paul, Jacob, John and Revelation, form what is called the “New Testament”. At the beginning of this century the gospel of Barnabas, one of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, was discovered. It was found that a version of this gospel had been in the Pope’s library since 383 A.D. listed among the banned books. Another version of it was transferred to the public library in Vienna, where it was kept until today. In 1907 Oxford University published an English version of this gospel (Carendon print) which was rendered into English by a translator called Raj. While the version disappeared from the market, two English versions remain in the libraries of the British Museum in London and the library of the Congress in Washington.


Authenticity of the Bible?:


       Henceforth, we come across a great deal of ambiguity covering the relation between the recent texts of the Torah and Gospel and what was first revealed by Allah to the prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them). Both fall far behind Qur’an in authenticity, no word or letter of which has ever been changed. 
       Neither Torah nor Gospels have even been subject to as much verification criteria as that of the Prophet Muhammad’s tradition (Sunnah), i.e. to assure the continuity of the chain of transmission without any interruption up to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and to satisfy  the condition that each narrator in the chain should be contemporary with the one from whom he narrated and actually met in person, and that all narrators were acknowledged as accurate and just, not to mention other conditions stated in the books of hadith.  



       In this review, we will refer to the Pentateuch in the Old Testament and the four Gospels in the New Testament, in addition to the Gospel of Barnabas, in their capacity as the only available historical texts that recount what is attributed to the prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them), due to the absence of, and hence inability to refer to the original texts.  

       This is an invitation to consider in depth the   present texts of the Torah, Gospels and Qur’an concerning monotheism, i.e. Allah’s Oneness (Tawhid) and rejection of all claims of associating others with Him, and to grasp the connection between the three divine messages: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We shall see that they are all in essence a prolongation of the Monotheism called for by Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), and that both the Torah and Gospels carried tidings of the approach of the sealing message of Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is all expressed in the Qur'an (English meaning):
Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them: and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." ( 2:136)

Also: And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); but say, "We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)." 

 And: Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will)."