The Religion and Way of Life That God Prescribe to Humanity; Fully Submitting to God
Jesus Christ came to affirm, teach, and preach the previous law of the Prophet Moses PBUH. Jesus Christ, like the Prophet Moses PBUH, prayed, fasted, and observed the Sabbath as all Jews did. He never ate pork and was circumcised as Jews should be. The word Christianity was not invented until long after the departure of Christ. Neither Jesus Christ nor the Prophet Moses PBUH ever used or heard of the word Christianity, nor is it mentioned anywhere in the Bible. Because Christianity is a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, it could not have been the religion that God prescribed to past Prophets and humanity, as Jesus Christ was born and came after the previous Prophets of God. He was the second-to-last Prophet of God! How can one think that Christianity is the religion that God prescribed for all humanity from the start?
If Christianity was not the religion that God prescribed to all previous Prophets, then what was it? Was the religion that God prescribed to humanity Judaism? While the Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus PBUT were Jews, both Prophets never called their religion Judaism, nor is the word Judaism found anywhere in the Old or New Testaments. Nor had both Prophets of God heard of the term Judaism. This term comes from Judah, who resided in the land of Judea. He was the Son of the Prophet Jacob PBUH (also called Israel) and the grandson of the Prophet Abraham PBUH. Before Judah, the previous Prophets of God, including the Prophet Abraham PBUH, could not have been Jews, as Judah had not been born at that point.
Then the question arises: What was the religion of Prophet Abraham and all the previous Messengers and Prophets of God until the Prophet Adam PBUT if it could not have been Christianity or Judaism? It was Islam! Islam, by definition, means the act of submitting fully to God. Islam is the voluntary “submission” or “surrender” to the Will of God. Islam, or submitting fully to God, was the way of life that God prescribed to all previous Messengers, Prophets, and humanity.
All the previous Messengers and Prophets of God were Muslim. A Muslim, by definition, is someone who submits to God. Islam truly is the oldest and only religion and way of life God commanded humankind to follow. Islam, therefore, is the only religion acceptable to and ordained by God. Islam and God’s final Book to humanity, the Holy Quran, abrogates all previous scriptures and becomes the Book of guidance for all humankind until the end.
Islam is the admittance of and voluntary submission to the One Supreme God and being, who is All-Mighty, All-Powerful, All-Loving All-Knowledgeable, All-Seeing, All-Hearing, and the only One worthy of worship and veneration. The Religion of Islam teaches and encourages one to submit to the will of God to gain peace and contentment in this life and the Hereafter. The word Islam is the synonym of the noun aslama, which means “resigned or submitted.” In the context of religion, it means “to submit one’s will, to the will of God.” Only when one submits to God, by believing in Him and obeying His commandments, does one achieve an innate and lasting sense of security, true peace of mind, and surety of heart. The word Islam is derived from an Arabic root word that means peace, purity, safety, salutation, submission, acceptance, surrender, and obedience. With submission, one would attain peace within themselves and their Creator and fellow beings.
Man cannot live peacefully or successfully without religion, and this religion cannot be man-made. Religion must be utterly Divine, with no human alteration. Today, the only Revelation that still rings true is the final Book, the Holy Quran, God’s last and final Testament. All other Revelations were lost in the annals of time or underwent endless human modifications that rendered them impractical for humanity.
Islam is not named after a particular person, in the same way Christianity is named after Jesus Christ or Buddhism is named after Siddhartha Gautama. Nor is Islam named after a tribe, as is the case in Judaism, which is named after the tribe of Judah, or Hinduism, which is named after Hindus.
Islam is a monotheistic religion. Islam stresses only One God — the same God of Prophet Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus, and Prophet Muhammad PBUT. Islam demonstrates that God has continued to bless humanity with holy Prophets through the centuries, who come bearing the same general message. The Message of all Prophets of God was simple: one should worship God Alone with no partners, love Him with all their heart, and follow His Commandments. No other being is worthy of worship. This has always been God’s Message to humanity, as conveyed through the words of Prophets and Messengers.
Prophet Moses PBUH declared to the people of Israel: Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:4). One thousand five hundred years later, Prophet Jesus PBUH repeated the same message to the people of Israel: The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord. (Mark 12:29). Finally, 600 years later, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH called out:
“And your God is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Beneficent, the Especially Merciful” (Quran 2:163)
Throughout history, anyone who practiced monotheism by submitting to the will of God and following his Prophet was considered a Muslim. Human beings have been practicing Islam since the creation of the Prophet Adam PBUH. Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not a new religion that came into existence 1400 years ago in the 7th century. Islam has existed since the first moment that man set foot on the Earth.
“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam (submission to Him)” (Quran 3:19)
Islam is the only religion that God commanded humankind to follow. Therefore, it is the only religion acceptable to and ordained by God. Allah states in the Quran:
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers” (Quran 3:85)
The final Prophet of humanity, Prophet Muhammad PBUH, was not the founder of Islam, nor was he the first to present Islam — as many people mistakenly think. Instead, he was sent as the last and final Prophet, one delivered from the hand of Almighty God to convey God’s same message to our nation, the final nation. The message of God needed reform because certain people had made changes to the Revelation and religion of God over the years.
Islam is not a religion based solely on creeds, customs, and rituals; instead, Islam is a complete way of life that guides man and society in every field and aspect of this sometimes perilous existence, including social life, economics, and politics. Islam teaches the art of living — how one should steer and navigate their life. Islam instructs us about the things in this life that are beneficial to us and those ultimately destructive acts that should be avoided.
Islam guides followers in every aspect of their lives. Islam emphasizes how the belief in God empowers one to become more righteous, obedient, moral, and ethical overall, rejecting all forms of evil. Islam changes a person’s thoughts, actions, and life perspective, helping them prepare for the afterlife.
Muslims believe that Islam neither neglects this worldly life’s needs, wants, hopes, and aspirations nor abandon the preparation needed to ready oneself for the Hereafter, where man shall live eternally. Islam takes the middle path. Each person is expected to devote time to their present life and ponder the events of the life to come. One should, in summary, ponder deeply about their future and live a good life in anticipation of their future eternal life.
Islam is based on faith, love, compassion, peace, mercy, goodwill, and the ethical treatment of God’s creations, including humankind, animals, and plants. Islam is a religion based on self-righteousness, in which Muslims strive to perform good deeds toward the attainment of their salvation — and the ultimate goal of entering Paradise with God’s Mercy in the afterlife.
A person who submits their will to Almighty God and follows His commandments is a Muslim, by definition. A Muslim does not follow his desires, lusts, and impulses. A Muslim does right, stands for good, and loves God with all their heart. The act of knowing and loving God is the only thing that can bring about true contentment in the soul. If one does not have a relationship with his Creator, his soul eternally will seek something to fill the emptiness in their heart. This world’s wealth and material goods could never fill a vacant soul’s void. Happiness is not derived from the gathering of possessions: real wealth is obtained only from the richness and contentment of the heart and soul. Moreover, the only true poverty is the poverty of the spirit and heart.
Islam answers the fundamental questions that malign the conscience of every human being. Why was I created? What am I doing here? What is the purpose of my existence? Islam imparts meaning to one’s life and the guidance needed to fulfill one’s purpose. Other religions do not answer life’s big questions, such as who made us? Why are we here, and where are we headed? Man cannot live peacefully in this World without knowing who he is, who has created him, where he is headed, what his role is, and how to fulfill that role. The Almighty implanted the need to answer these questions within man’s inner nature. However, the human intellect alone cannot answer these questions unaided. Muslims believe that man needs divine guidance to discover these all-important spiritual answers. The answers lie in Islam.
Islam teaches people that they were created to worship God and that the basis of all true worship is God-consciousness, a concept that includes the fear of God, the love of God, His recognition, piety, and loyalty. Since Islam encompasses all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness should be used to execute all human affairs.
Unlike other religions, Islam is not confined to a particular place or act, nor is Islamic worship limited to religious rituals such as praying and fasting. Instead, Islam clarifies that everyday human actions such as eating, drinking, greeting others, sitting, learning, dressing, sleeping, giving charity, and being good to one’s parents are all acts of worship if done to please God and under the guidance of His Divine Laws and guidelines. The teachings of the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhamad PBUH can supply both ethereal mercy and healing for the human soul. They provide the ultimate guidance for leading a productive and successful life.
God created man to be a follower and a worshipper. If he is not devoted to God, he will devote himself to others — whether they be false gods, saints, idols, philosophers, his own desires, etc. — following them with thoughts and actions that lead him astray. In Islam, Muslims do not worship the creations of God, such as the sun, the moon, or an idol; instead, they worship the Creator Himself, the one that created everything, including the false gods that are falsely worshiped. Islam recognizes that God has created humans with an innate eagerness, with the ability to seek God and acknowledge and understand their Creator’s existence.
The highest and most significant thinkers of the past never would deny the various signs that point to the existence of their Creator. However, what led many people of the past astray is the lack of knowing God properly and the fact that they did not have access to a true and preserved Revelation originating from God. Aimed at the ones that deny God’s existence, God poses an argument in the Quran stating:
“Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and the Earth? Rather, they are not certain” (Quran 52:35–36)
The aim of these verses is for humanity to reflect and ponder that they could have come into existence from nothing, nor could they have created themselves. In another Verse, God states that the skies and the Earth are fashioned perfectly, proving they originated from and were designed by a Creator.
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and Earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the Earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the Earth are signs for a people who use reason” (Quran 2:164)
The miracles of nature, the Earth, the Universe are enough evidence to show humanity that there is something bigger than us. Humanity does not need God to show them anything more to believe; the world is already enough of a miracle.
“It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals]. He causes to grow for you the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. In that is a sign for a people who give thought. And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. In that are signs for a people who reason. And [He has subjected] whatever He multiplied for you on the Earth of varying colors. Indeed, in that is a sign for a people who remember. And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful. And He has cast into the Earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided, And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided. Then is He who creates like one who does not create? So, will you not be reminded?” (Quran16:10–17)
Surely these words will answer the questions and address the doubts of those who ponder, think, and reflect.
The Religion of Islam states that God forces no one to submit to His Will. He has laid out a clear path for human beings to follow while making it known that humans must choose from two routes: The straight path that leads to Paradise or the wrong way, which leads to the ultimate punishment, hell. Human beings are free to make their own choices. Islam forces no one to submit. A human who worships God, pledging their devotion to Him and obeying His commands, has grasped the firm handhold and eternal bond that never will break. Whoever denies God’s existence or worships anyone other than Allah stands to face eternal punishment.
Life is a test of one’s faith. Due to His abundant Love and Mercy for humanity, God the Almighty has not left us in pure darkness, leaving us alone and unenlightened to discover the right path through the frailties of guesswork or trial and error.
God gifted humanity with an intellect and a logical mind that can reason, ponder and reflect. God bestowed upon humanity the gift of Divine Guidance, which outlines the Criterion for ultimate truth and knowledge.
One is expected to use their intellect and reason to contemplate and recognize God’s signs, build a relationship with Him, and follow His guidance. These signs serve to speak loudly, without talking to God directly, which would not require any effort or reflection by the human.
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer — We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do” (Quran 16:97)
The disbelievers, the rejecters of the truth, the deniers of God, will live a narrow, depressed life in this World and abide in hellfire forever in the Hereafter.
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance — indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind” (Quran 20:124)
The goal of Islam is to become a faithful servant of God. Judgment Day is a blink away. You live, die, and will inevitably be resurrected to face your Lord for your grand evaluation, who will judge you based on your beliefs, deeds, and how you lived your life.
“…Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him, we will return” (Quran 2:156)
“And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow…” (Quran 2:25)
The faith of Islam has spread more rapidly throughout the world than any other religion without military conquest. Within its first hundred years, Islam dominated the Middle East, Northern Africa, parts of Asia, and Europe. Islam remains the largest growing religion in the World, despite all the negative publicity and wrongful actions perpetrated by misguided extremists committed in the name of this faith. The faith boasts 1.8 billion followers, equating to 24% of the global population. Islam is not limited to one ethnicity or group of people. Muslims originate from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, races, cultures, and national origins.
Islam is projected to surpass Christianity soon as the largest religious group in the World. Although the World contains more Christians than Muslims, the religion with the most followers actively practicing their faith and rituals are Muslims. Islam boasts a higher percentage of Muslims practicing Islam than Christians practicing Christianity.
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