042 Single religion for all humanity
Materialist philosophy denies the existence of a creator. It considers all the existence to be consisting of matter which it believes is eternal. As a result, it attempts to explain every event based on matter and intellect. One of the theories posed by materialists when creating the skeleton of their own belief systems is the "Theory of Natural Law".
According to them, no law, no state and no external pressures exist in the nature. The nature manages its course of action based on its own unique laws. Natural laws are the laws of intellect and understanding and they are above all the other human laws. In the beginning times when everything was originated from the nature, natural laws, that is, the law of intellect and understanding ruled everything. Humans obeyed the natural commandments of goodness and fairness.
So, according to them, in a nutshell, "intellect" was the source of justice and law.
Dear readers, this materialist approach appears to be very true in the first sight. When we observe the societies which are deprived of religious beliefs and practices, however, we see that intellect has failed to create any justice and law system but that, on the contrary, everyone became lost in the race of protecting their own interests and getting the biggest share.
Dear readers, this is a very natural result because intellect is a mental mechanism which is programmed in suitable way to protect an individual. It is not a mechanism which can create a "law system". By means of this thinking mechanism, humans get to know their environments; they make analyses, syntheses and interpretations which enable predicting future events. And based on these, they render judgments and decisions. In those individuals who don't have the divine education, however, such interpretations and decisions are always under the control of "ego" and in the direction of its desires and wishes.
Social ethics is a characteristic which an individual gains subsequently by divine education. In all societies, some established value judgments expressing "goodness" such as justice, honesty and politeness which everyone considered to be right were transmitted to those societies through the messengers of Allah.
In the case of those human beings who have not attained divine education, the interpretations and decisions of intellect are always in the direction of the ego’s desires. Therefore, such an individual will consider anything which suits to their ego as “good” and anything otherwise as "bad". And this is the biggest enemy of the sense of justice because that person is caught in between two senses of acting justly and protecting their own interests. An individual who has not got divine education will always prefer their own interests in the face of this dilemma.
The concepts which take an individual to objective goodness such as justice, honesty and patience can only be obtained by being subject to the divine will. And the start point for this is "faith". If a person believes in Allah (swt) and submits himself to His will, the virtues of almighty Allah will begin to manifest in that person. As the number of believing individuals increase in a society, the objective value judgments such as justice, patience and mercy, which are not based on personal interests of these faithful people, will become the common values of that society in time.
Dear readers, in our day, many individuals believe that prophets brought different religions such as Judaism, Christianity and, Muhammadanism. However, no prophet actually introduced a different religion. Since the time of Prophet Adam, all the prophets introduced a single religion. And that religion is "the religion of believing in one Creator who has no equal, similar or partner, and submitting to His will". This religion was finally communicated to Muhammad (a.s.) in the Arabian Peninsula, where unbelievable evils reigned. It was named as "Islam" which means "submission" in Arabic. Those who submitted to the Creator's will were called "Muslims".
Dear readers, the religion which all the prophets from Adam (a.s.) to Muhammad (a.s.) communicated to all humanity is Islam. That is, "the religion of submission to Allah's will". And all the prophets were also Muslims. So they were people who bowed to the will of Allah, and who act according to His commandments and advice. It was expressed in the Quranic verses that:
"Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah's (which is Islám), and he joined not gods with Allah." [Al Imran, 67]
"The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein." [Shura, 13]
All the books that God's messengers brought to teach us Allah's messages, orders and prohibitions (the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospels and the Quran) are also the books of Islam. Each book was sent to confirm the previous one. The religion declared in each one of them is Islam. Each of these books corrected the misinterpretations made about the previous one, indicated the right path for humanity again, and made some warnings to humanity about the afterlife:
"Say: We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." [Al Imran, 84]
With the Holy Quran, the protection of which has been personally assumed by Allah, misinterpretations regarding the beliefs and practices of the previous years were corrected, universal rules which all humanity is required to comply with until Judgment Day were shown, and good and bad behaviors were exemplified with lifestyles of prophets and ancient civilizations.
As can be understood from the above explanations, Islam, that is, the religion of believing in Allah (swt) and submitting to His will, is the only religion of all times and all humanity. As a matter of fact, there is no religion other than Islam in the sight of Allah:
" The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His Will)." [Al Imran, 19]
"And verily this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other)." [Muminun, 52]
"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost." [Al Imran, 85]
Dear readers, as you can remember from my previous articles, the Holy Quran was written down as soon as it was communicated, and it was compiled with a great sensitivity by the scholars of the time by being marked with suitable punctuation marks so as to prevent any misunderstanding and thus, it was protected without a change of a single letter until today. For this reason it is the most reliable divine source.
Our glorious Creator declared His name as Allah in the Quran. He notified us His characteristics in detail and wanted from us to qualify Him with those characteristics. So:
Allah (swt) is one. He has no equal, similar or partner. He created everything. He does not look like anything He created. He is eternal. "He begetteth not, nor is He begotten." He needs nothing to sustain His existence. But each living being needs Him for survival. It is He who sustains everything. He is the owner of the earth and heavens, of all the visible and invisible realms. It is He who gives their energy, power and strength to everything. He has power to do everything. He knows, sees, hears and speaks everything. He has will. It is not difficult for Him to simultaneously manage trillions of events occurring in the universe. He is the one who creates both good and also bad deeds of humans. But he likes their good deeds and dislikes their bad deeds. He is fair and impartial. He does not persecute anyone, but humans persecute themselves by disregarding His rules. He has a great mercy towards His creatures. He is the greatest friend and helper of believers.
Dear readers, Allah (swt) bestowed humans with innumerable blessings. Having completed these blessings with a divine educational system like Islam, He wants to carry them to the summit of maturity:
" Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you, that ye may be grateful." [Maida, 6]
The blessing doors of Allah (swt) are open to everyone at any moment. However, only the possessors of "faith" believing in Him may benefit from this divine mercy. The faithless cannot benefit from that.
"Faith" means believing in the existence and unity of Allah, giving up one's own will (desires of one's ego) and submitting to the holy will of Allah (swt) (His prohibitions, orders and recommendations).
A human being who fulfills the requirements of religion, if they are sincere with their belief and deeds, will soon attain all the beauties that make a person a real human being. Ethically, they will reach the summit of maturity. They will become a respectable person possessing high manners.
Such a human being who is mature and well-mannered will be far from any extremity. They are clean. They will not commit acts which are forbidden by their Creator such as adultery, alcohol, gambling, sorcery, false testimony, gossip, commercial transactions involving interest, theft, bribing, usurpation, homosexuality, etc. They will not use drugs. They will not cheat with measurement or weighing. They will not envy. They will not feel grudge against anyone. When fulfilling the desires of their selfhood, they will never exceed the limits drawn by his Creator. They will not become arrogant or look down on or make fun of anyone. They will not break anyone's heart. They will strive to the extent possible to fulfill such orders of their Creator as prayer, fasting, alms, pilgrimage, etc. They will be obedient towards their mothers and fathers and always try to please them. They will never encroach anyone's right. They will always behave justly even if this is to their detriment. They will not lie. They are honest. They always tell the truth. When they make a promise, they will keep it. When anything is entrusted to them, they will protect it as their own goods. When they are oppressed by someone, they will forgive them. If someone apologizes from them, they will accept it. They will not hurt anyone or damage their belongings.
They will frequently visit their kin and relatives. They will try to help them if they have any problems. They observe the rights of their neighbors and do nothing that will disturb them. If they are disturbed by their neighbors, they display patience against them. They deal with the problems of their neighbors. If there is anything that they can do for them, they will do it. They will greet anyone regardless of if they know them. They are interested with poor, ill, disabled, elder, powerless people and widows and orphans around them. They are generous. They will not show off over the favors they make. They show respect towards their elders and love, compassion and mercy towards their juniors. They are also compassionate towards animals. They will never damage their environment or the ecosystem in which they live.
They try to earn their life through lawful ways. They are abstinent. They feel gratitude for the blessings provided by Allah. They are patient against the problems and troubles they encounter. In each opportunity, they attempt to recommend good and beautiful things to people and discourage them from evil things. They will love whatever Allah (swt) loves and avoid whatever Allah (swt) does not love. They respect the laws and orders of the state in which they live. They keep away from terror, anarchy and all kinds of illegal activities. In summary, a believer is a complete gentleman, a perfect individual who is respected and approached lovingly by everyone from whom they will only expect good, and take a great pleasure from being together with them.
Dear readers, all these beautiful characteristics that I listed above which make a human being a mature and perfect individual can only be possessed by believing in Allah (swt) and sincerely submitting to His will. Our Creator sent numerous prophets beginning with Adam. We should be grateful to each of them. All these favors and beauties have reached us through prophets. These are universal favors and beauties which are the common value of all times and all humanity as explained in all the books of Islam.
So let's not stay indifferent to these. Let's believe in Allah (swt) and get under His umbrella of mercy as soon as possible so that all these beauties may manifest in our lives as well. Also, let's not forget that these are the key of an eternal happiness covering the world and the Hereafter.
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus
[Related article: How to become a Muslim?]