In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
THE RELIGION WITH ALLAH IS ONLY ONE.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord and the Cherisher of the Universe. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), his household, companions and the followers of the right guidance till the Day of Judgment. Allah, the Exalted, says in the Qur'an:
"The same religion has He (Allah) established for you (Muhammad) as that which He enjoined on Noah, that which We have sent by inspiration to thee (Muhammad) and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus: Namely that you should remain steadfast in Religion and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah hard is the (way) to which you call them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him in repentance). And they became divided only after knowledge reached them through selfish envy as between themselves. Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord for an appointed time, the matter would have been settled between them: but truly those who have inherited the Book after them are in suspicious doubt concerning it (Allah's true religion)." Q42:13-4.
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men but (he is) the Apostle of Allah and the last of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” Q33:40
And our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH), on the unity of divinely revealed religion, said: "My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: 'Would that this brick be put in its place!' So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets." (Bukhari 4.735 related by Abu Huraira).
Just as the intellectual and technological advancement of mankind has been gradual, so also was the religion of Allah, the Almighty God. Allah started the revelation of His religion with Adam (PBUH) in the form of a simple rule, "eat of everything in the Garden but not from that tree". The revelation was increased gradually and continued with Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (PBUT). The problem has been that people deviate from the original message preached and practiced by these men of God after they left the world.
It should be noted that the people of Noah (PBUH) had a religion they were practicing before he started preaching words of Allah to them. "Noah said: "O my Lord! They have disobeyed me but they follow (men) whose wealth and children give them no increase but only Loss. And they have devised a tremendous Plot. And they have said (to each other) abandon not your gods; abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa neither Yaguth nor Yauq nor Nasr. They have already misled many; and grant Thou no increase to the wrongdoers save error."" Q71:21-4. This is clear evidence that not all religions of the world are from Allah. Some people have been making religions for themselves from their idols, ancestors and heroes. Allah destroyed Noah's (PBUH) people because they refused to change. Prophet Noah (PBUH) and the few that believed with him were however saved.
Now, how do we know the religion from Allah? The only true religion from Allah is the monotheistic religion in the real sense of the word that has link with Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) because Allah made covenant with him that all prophets after him will be from his progeny.
"And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled; He (Allah) said: "I will make thee an Imam to the nations." He (Abraham) pleaded: "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He (Allah) answered: "But my promise is not within the reach of evil-doers."Q2:124. And Ibrahim (PBUH) prayed: "Our Lord! Make of us SUBMISSIVE to Thy (Will) and of our progeny a people SUBMISSIVE to Thy (Will) and show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning Most-Merciful." Q2:128.
The Qur'an further states that: "And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Truly, We chose and rendered him pure in this world: and he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the righteous. Behold! His Lord said to him: "SUBMIT (thy will to me)". He said: "I SUBMIT (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the universe." And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons and so did Jacob; "O my sons! Allah has chosen the faith for you; then die not except in the faith of Islam (submission to the will of Allah)." Q2:130-2. All prophets of Allah submitted to Allah's Will and preached His words. Submission to Allah's Will in Arabic is Islam.
Allah, the Exalted, says: " Those Messengers We endowed with gifts some above others: to one of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honor); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit (Arc angel Gabriel). If Allah had so willed succeeding generations would not have fought among each other after clear (Signs) had come to them but they differed- some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed they would not have fought each other; but Allah fulfills His plan." Q2:253
In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah(RA): the Prophet(PBUH) said, "There was no Prophet among the Prophets but was given miracles because of which people had security or had belief, but what I have been given (as miracle) is the Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me(Qur'an). So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other Prophet on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari 9.379).
If we study the trend of monotheistic religion from the time of Moses (PBUH) till today, we would see that all prophets after him followed Allah's laws established by him with few changes in mode of worship but the belief in oneness of Allah remained unchanged till the advent of Jesus (PBUH). Although Jesus (PBUH) preached oneness and supremacy of Allah (Mark12:29-30) and said he came not to destroy the laws (Matthew5:17-19), people laid more emphasis on his miracles and personality and we all know the results. The oneness of Allah is however re-established by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Despite the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) performed physical miracles, he referred to the Qur'an as the miracle of his prophethood. Why? Inquiring minds may want to know. The reason is that Allah in His Knowledge knows the capabilities of human intelligence. During the time of Moses and Jesus (PBUT), Allah gave them miracles that people could see physically, which fit their mental development. But nowadays, everybody is following science, human intellectual development is at its peak. The Holy Qur'an meets the present state of human mental development. The Qur’an states many scientific facts that scientists are just discovering, the linguistic excellence of the Qur'an dazzles the native speakers of the language and the language of the Qur'an has remained unchanged up till now and till the end of the world. The languages of the other scriptures have undergone tremendous changes, some are no more spoken by people. Interested persons can visit www.islam-guide.com for more information on some scientific statements in the Qur’an that are recently discovered by science.
Unfortunately, the same single religion that Allah revealed to all prophets has been divided into different religions each with many sects. (Q42:13). This is not Allah's intention, human beings are misusing the freewill Allah has given them, they misinterpret and extrapolate Allah's words and make a new religion or sect out of that. The similitude of Allah's revealed religion is like the government of a nation. The nation had different leaders with different missions and capabilities at different time. Each leader builds on the achievements and tries to correct the mistakes of his/her predecessor, changing the constitutions to reflect the new realities at hand. Does the change in leadership of a nation change the sovereign status of the nation? Can a group of people refuse to recognize or follow the new leadership and constitutions because they were supporters of the previous government?
The truth is that Allah revealed His religion to different prophets in different dispensations and places with little change in the laws to reflect the realities of the dispensation of prophets but the fundamental beliefs in oneness of Allah and doing righteous deeds and avoiding evil deeds remain the same. Study all the monotheistic religions, you will find these fundamental beliefs and other similarities.
Allah says, “One day We shall raise from all peoples a witness against them from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee (Muhammad) as a witness against these (Muslims): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things a guide a Mercy and glad tidings to Muslims.” (Q16:89). " Those who believe (in the Qur'an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians and who believe in Allah and the last day and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve." (Q2:62)
Each prophet will be a witness against the people who lived during his dispensation. The dispensation of a prophet ends with the arrival of a new prophet and people that follow the old prophet are expected to follow the new prophet for continuity as we do when there is a change of government. The verse, Q2:62, refers to people who lived during the dispensation of the prophets associated with those religious names. The Jews that lived during the time of Jesus (PBUH) but did not believe in him will be questioned on the Day of Judgment for their disbelief. Likewise, all the people who heard about the message of the last of Prophets, Muhammad (PBUH), will be questioned on the Day of Judgment for their disbelief because we are in the dispensation of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Qur’an informs us that every prophet was the only way to Allah during his dispensation. And every prophet made a similar statement made by Jesus (PUBH) that “I am the way and the light no one comes to the father except through me”. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.” (Muslim 284)
Praise be to Allah for Muslims believe in all prophets and Scriptures before Muhammad (PBUH). Allah commands, “Say you (Muslims): "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 submit to Allah (in Islam)" ” Q2:136.
However, despite Allah’s caution on division: “And hold fast all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you) and be not divided among yourselves…” (Q3:103). It is unfortunate that Muslims have been divided into sects. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on this said, “There will befall my Ummah exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra'il, so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah one who will do that, and if the people of Isra'il were fragmented into seventy-two sects my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: Allah's Messenger, which is that? Whereupon he said: It is one to which I and my companions belong (the sect that strictly follow the Qur’an and Sunnah).” (Tirmidhi 171)
Muslims should evaluate their beliefs. Do the beliefs conform to the Qur’an and the sunnah? May Allah guide all of us aright.
Peace be on you.