Islam and the Quran

Our Perspective on Religion

THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE: GOD IS ONE, THERE IS NO DEITY OTHER THAN HIM.

God has been in touch with the human since the creation of the first human being. He did not turn the man adrift, as He sent His guide (the Divine Books) to the world via His chosen servants (prophets/messengers).

Those guides sent by God throughout human history were in parallel to each other. Each and every Book coming from God was carrying and does still carry the same message at their core, and that is:

God is the one ultimate deity without any partners or rivals.

We may clearly observe this very message in the Tanakh (Old Testament), in the Gospel and in the Quran.

The Tanakh: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from Me, there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). “To whom will you compare Me? Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One (Isaiah 40:25).

The Gospel: Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30).

The Quran: Say: He is God, the One and Only, the Ever-Sufficient to fulfill every will, He never begot, nor was He begotten. There is no equivalent to Him” (The Quran 112:1-4).

 

OUR COMMON ENEMY: THE EVIL

All the Books sent down by God to guide the humans

  • command to stay away from the evil and their path
  • and present the main principle of true living as going straight on the path of directly worshipping God:

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the assembly of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and over His law he ponders day and night” (Psalms 1:1-2).

“Oh, you who believe! Go into full submission. Do not follow the footsteps of the Devil. He is your manifest enemy” (The Quran, 2:208).

“God sent down in Books: ‘Whenever you hear that God’s verses are denied and mocked, do not sit along with them until they change to another topic, or else you will become like them’” (The Quran, 4:140).

 

 

RELIGION AND LIFE

Religion is a manner of living. If we succeed to sustain a life complying with our human nature, we automatically enter the religion of God. Since the owner of both religious law and nature is the same authority, we will not achieve the optimal life unless we adhere to the laws sent by God and follow the path that He shows.

“Turn your face directly to this religion, that is, the laws made by God that apply to all beings. He has created humankind in compliance with it. There is nothing that may substitute for the creation of God. This is the true religion, though most people know not” (The Quran 30:30).

Each and every created being on the earth is in a state of surrender to the laws of nature. This is an inevitable submission. No one may ever declare “I will not abide by the law of breathing anymore”, as he cannot live otherwise. We are in submission to these natural laws set by God, thus continue our lives and maintain our health, just like any other animate or inanimate being.

God has also set laws in His Books to regulate our lives. Unlike the created laws (the natural laws made by God) which we cannot live without surrender, it is in our willpower to comply with the laws sent down by God. If we choose to follow the rules in Divine Books, we become in FULL submission to God, because in such case:

  • We were already in submission to His created laws (inevitably).
  • We have submitted ourselves to His written laws (by choosing voluntarily).

The combination of obedience to both the created laws and the written laws means full submission.

In Arabic, the proper name of this “full submission” is “islam”, and “the person who has fully submitted himself to God” is “muslim”. Then, if we willingly obey the laws sent down by God, we become a “Muslim” just like any other being in nature. The following verses in the Quran are essential regarding this matter:

“Are they seeking something other than God’s religion when all beings in the heavens and earth, willingly or unwillingly, are submissive to Him? They will all be (resurrected and) returned to His presence” (The Quran, 3:83).

“The religion in the sight of God is full submission to God (Islam)” (The Quran, 3:19).

 

THE MESSENGER WHO CONFIRMS THE PREVIOUS

God took covenants from nations through His prophets that they will

  • follow the Book that He has given them,
  • and accept the awaited Book which will again be sent down by Him:

When God took a covenant from each of the prophets, He said: “If I grant you the Book and the Wisdom, and then comes to you a Messenger/a Message confirming that which is with you, you will surely believe in him (It) and support him (It). Do you agree and accept this heavy burden (the responsibility of Isr)?” They said: “We have accepted.” God said: “Bear witness, then. I am with you as one of the witnesses” (The Quran, 3:81).

This promise from every Book-given population also emerged among the Children of Israel. Thus, they need to trust and support the prophet who confirms what they have.

In the Quran, God reminds the Children of Israel this promise they have made, and commands them to believe and trust this Book which confirms what they have in their hands:

“Oh, Children of Israel! Keep in mind the blessings which I bestowed upon you. Keep the commitment you have made to Me so that I shall keep My commitment to you. Be mindful of Me and protect yourselves (from doing wrong to Me)!  Believe in what I have sent down (the Quran) which is confirmative of what is with you. Do not become the first of those who ignore It! Do not trade My verses off for a trivial gain. Refrain from opposing me” (The Quran, 2:40-41).

As Mohammad (peace be upon him) is the final messenger of God, the duty to wait for an upcoming messenger is terminated forevermore:

“They (those who trust God’s verses) are the ones who follow this scripturally illiterate[1] Prophet Messenger whose description they find in the Torah and the Gospel with them. That Messenger commands them to comply with the norms of the Quran and forbids them from improper conduct. He legitimizes/permits the things which are clean and makes unlawful the things which are unclean/impure. He casts off their burden (the responsibility of trusting and supporting the next Messenger) and the shackles upon them. Those who believe in him, support him, help him and follow the light (Book) sent down with him, are the ones who will achieve what they hope” (The Quran, 7:157).

 

HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE BOOKS OF GOD

In order to believe and trust the Book of God, at first, we must recognize it. This operation has various criteria which were of course determined by God.

The uppermost criterion to accept a Book which is claiming to be God-given, is the relation of “confirmation” between the Books. All the Books of God have the common message of obeying the One True God, and they do not conflict.

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, and says, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and serve them’, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).

If a book assembles the masses to follow another deity other than God or puts other authorities/beings/ideas in front of God, that book cannot ever be a book coming from God. The Quran, the final link of the revelation chain, just like other links, invites humankind to submit the self to One True God:

(O Messenger) Say: “Oh, Experts in the Book! Come to a word that is common between us and you: “Let’s not be servants of anyone or anything other than God. Let’s not associate partners with Him. Let none of us consider anything else as deities by interposing those between ourselves and God.” If they turn their backs, then say: “Bear witness that we are people who have submitted themselves to God” (The Quran, 3:64).

Jesus (peace be upon him) invited humans to observe the content of the message to distinguish the true prophets from the false ones:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So, every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize the false prophets” (Matthew 7:15-20).

The Quran includes a crucial reminder after telling the story of Jacob and his son Joseph in parallel to the one in the Torah:

“In their (Joseph and his brothers) stories there is certainly a lesson for people of integrity. This (The Quran) is not a fabricated narrative but a confirmation of what is before It[2] and the detailed explanation of all things. It is a guide and a mercy to a people who believe” (The Quran, 12:111).

Another way to recognize the Book of God is realization of the prophecies in it. This criterion is clearly stated in the Torah:

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a Message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a Message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).

The Quran absolutely fulfills this criterion, as there are several events in the Quran which are announced that they would be realized, and they did indeed realize during the revelation of the Quran. Some of them are:

  • The announcement that the Roman army will defeat the Persian army within 3-9 years. (The Quran, 30:3-4).
  • The announcement that if they expel Mohammad from Mecca, they will not protect Mecca and will eventually lose the city (The Quran, 17:76-77).
  • The announcement that Muslims will gain victory against pagans and will experience great joy (The Quran, 30:4-6).
  • The announcement that the city of Mecca will be conquered (The Quran, 48:1-3).
  • The announcement that, despite the acts of prevention, Muslims will be able to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca (The Quran, 48:27).
  • The announcement that humans will willingly come to become Muslims in masses (The Quran, 110:2).

etc.

As these foretold events in the Quran occurred, the doubts about whether these are words of God or not, were totally eliminated. Some of the experts of their Book from the Children of Israel, who lived during the revelation period of the Quran, hence believed the Quran:

Say, “Have you thought: what if it (Quran) really is from God and you cover it up although a trusted person from the Children of Israel testifies that it is the equivalent of (what is in hand) and believes in it, and yet you are too arrogant (to believe)? God certainly does not guide the wrongdoing people” (The Quran, 46:10).

The great success of the messenger Mohammad (peace be upon him) who spread the message of Quran to humankind is also significant evidence that he was tasked and supported by God, because the Torah tells:

“As for the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that very prophet shall die.’” (Deuteronomy 18:20).

“I am the Lord...who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners” (Isaiah 44:25).

In accordance with these passages in the Torah, The Quran confirms this information:

“If he (Muhammad) had fabricated some sayings regarding Us, we would indeed seize him strongly, and then cut off his aorta. None of you would be able to prevent it then” (The Quran, 69:44-47).

Along with all these proofs and criteria, there is a significant amount of information and good tidings about the upcoming prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) both in the Torah and in the Gospel.

[1]  The word Ummi refers to the goyim/gentile in Jewish literature. It is used to describe the person who is not informed about the Books of God, and more specifically, to signify a person who is not from the lineage of Children of Israel. Jesus  (pbuh) drew attention that the awaited prophet will not be from within the Children of Israel: “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit”(Matthew 21:43). The Quran indicates that Mohammed (pbuh) did not have any knowledge about any Book of God and the faith described in them.
(The Quran 42/52). Thus Mohammed (pbuh) was a non-Israelite who had no knowledge about the previous Books (Tanakh, Gospel), namely, he was a Scripturally illiterate person.

[2]  The Quran is the final Divine Book that was sent down in Arabia in the 7th century. “What is before the Quran” is the Scriptures and relevant true information that existed before the revelation of the Quran and do still exist since then. As all the Divine Books are from the same source, the Quran includes information that confirms them.

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