Thursday, October 06, 2011

How Do We Know Islam Is the Truth?


Shahul Hameed
AnswerSalam, Viola.

Thank you very much for your question.

In the following paragraphs, I present in a nutshell a few aspects of Islam, based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him. I hope and pray that this will convince you of the truth of Islam:

All religions have tried in one way or another to explain the meaning and mystery of life. And they have all declared that there is a Creator-Sustainer for the universe. This Source of all being is recognized as the One True God and He is called with different names such as – Yahweh, Brahma and Allah. But they all signify the same Supreme Being who willed this universe into being and sustains it every moment.

Islam means: Submission; and as the name of the religion, it stands for: "Unconditional submission to the One and Only Creator-Sustainer". All beings in the universe owe their existence to the Creator-Sustainer, who alone is without beginning, without end.
And among the created living beings, only man is endowed with reason and freewill – two special traits that together form the basis of human creativity. Man's unique position in the universe as well as his inherent creative potential was meant to take him to the peak of material progress, and to benefit humanity as a whole.

But those very same qualities have also a tendency to generate in him a diabolic sense of self-conceit and hubris: And so man needs Divine guidance for his own good and real success.
From the very inception of man on earth, God had been sending to mankind His chosen prophets, who included among others, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and the Final Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon them all.

And there never was a nation to whom a prophet was not sent. These prophets, with the help of Divine revelation taught humanity, ways of tempering their passions to lead on earth a life of virtue and peace seeking the general welfare of all.

Generation after generation, as humanity made progress through centuries, the guidance of God had been available to them in the teachings of the prophets as well as in the Divine books revealed to them.

But as mankind came of age at the dawn of modern civilization as it were, a Prophet came, through whom God completed and perfected His Guidance. His name is Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) and the book of God revealed to him, is the Quran.
In the Quran, Allah Almighty tells us how He took the covenant of all the human souls who would come to live on earth generation after generation:
*{ When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful }* (Al-A`raf 7:172)

This means that Allah made all the souls before their birth on earth to testify that He is their Lord. In other words, every child is born with a natural belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone. The foregoing also means that there is a Day of Judgment when each soul will be held responsible and answerable for their willful actions.

But later as each soul is born into this world and lives here, they are in a state of forgetfulness and are unaware of the covenant made in primordial time before God. Besides, they come under various influences that prompt them to ignore their innate and natural yearnings towards God.
But there are signs in all regions of the earth and in their own souls, which awaken from time to time the glimmerings of the truth of God. And they may hear from the four corners of earth the echo of their own testimony before God: "I bear witness that there is no god other than Allah".
And so, if the people are honest with themselves, they will reject their false gods and hasten towards Allah.

Islam as a religion is not only natural, but also rational, in the sense that it bases its fundamental beliefs on principles furnished by reason. In fact the elemental simplicity of its creeds points to its natural and rational basis. It is no wonder therefore, that its creeds devoid of any theological complexity and are so easily understandable to ordinary humans.

One can mention the egalitarianism of Islam as a great service to the cause of humanity. As H.A.R Gibb has noted: "No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavors so many and so various races of mankind... Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both." (H.A.R. Gibb: "Whither Islam" London, 1932, p.379.)
"History shows that the Muslims increased in civilization and progressed in relation to the strength of the truths of Islam; that is, to the degree that they acted in accordance with that strength. And history also shows that they fell into savagery and decline, and disaster and defeat amidst utter confusion to the degree of their weakness in adhering to the truths of Islam." (Nursi)

Allah in the Quran commands Muslims to learn lessons from history, so that old mistakes are not repeated and new ways of solving problems are discovered while making headway in different areas of life. Deriving inspiration from the Quran, Muslims ought to not only undertake the quest for knowledge with the intention of discovering the meaning of existence, but also to work for the welfare of all human beings, indeed of all creation: In fact the Holy Quran, as well as the Example of the Prophet, teaches them to combine faith in God with love for His creation.

The foregoing means that Islam can lead the world to peace, progress and happiness in the future, IF only Muslims once again "hold fast to the Rope of Allah all together" (Aal `Imran 3:103) and "strive with their might and main" (At-Tawbah 9:20) in the Way of Allah Almighty.
Nursi, Bediuzzaman.

Useful Links:
What Is Islam?
Wanting to Know More About Islam
Islam: A Solution for Contemporary Problems?
Islam and the Future of Mankind
Searching for the Real Islam
Islam From a Muslim Perspective
Interested in Islam
Islam: God's Bounty on MankindIslam: The Alternative

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