Within this “Era of Globalisation” there exists, among many Muslims, confusion about Islam’s place within the “religions” of the world. Those who promote “Globalisation” also promote the doctrine of “Comparative religions”, that is the doctrine of the validity of all religions, by promoting the understanding of the “essential unity” of all religions. They would have mankind believe that all religions are universally valid.
In order to clarify this confusion, we must look to the teachings of Islam. Islam teaches that all true religions, as they were originally revealed, were identical in fundamentals of belief (usul) – the Oneness of Allah, the Final Judgement, heaven and hell. In this sense, “…We make no distinction between any of His messengers…” [s2:v285].
Each prophet brought particular rules and rites (furu’), which differed in some ways to the rules and rites of previous messengers:
“For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow” [s22:v67].
The anciently revealed religions that are found today, were valid in their own eras and naturally exhibit similarities to Islam, the primordial religion, but this does not prove their “essential unity”, their validity alongside Islam. The One who revealed the religions tells us that not only have their beliefs and scriptures since been altered by the hands of men [s5:v13], but also that their rites and laws have been “abrogated” by those revealed to the Final Messenger (saw).
This is how Allah explains the similarities and differences between religions and any “comparative” approach beyond this will never lay claim to the truth.
Many Muslims are exposed to incorrect theories about the validity of other religions and are unaware that, it is unbelief (kufr) to believe in what remains of formerly valid religions, such as Christianity or Judaism as they are unacceptable to Allah Most High, since the sending of His Final Messenger (saw) to the entire world.
“Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted of him, and he will be of those who have truly failed in the hereafter.” [s3:v85]
“Surely those who believe, those of the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians – whoever has faith in Allah and the Last Day, and works righteousness, their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be upon them, and neither shall they sorrow.” [s2:v62].
This verse was revealed about the former companions of Salman the Persian, himself a former Christian, after talking about them to the Prophet (saw): “They used to pray, fast and believe in you, and testify that you would be sent as a Prophet.” The Prophet (saw) replied, “Salman, they are denizens of hell. By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this community, any Jew, or any Christian who hears me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be an inhabitant of hell.” [Muslim – Sharh al-Sunnah].
The faith of the Jews was to abide by the Torah and the Sunnah of the Prophet Mosses (as), until the coming of the Prophet Jesus (as). When Jesus was sent, the belief in the Torah and the Sunnah of Mosses was abrogated.
The faith of the Christians was that, whoever adhered to the Injil and the precepts of Jesus, their faith was valid and acceptable to Allah (swt) until the coming of Prophet Muhammad (saw) when the Sunnah of Jesus and the Injil were abrogated.
From the Hadith above, we can see that no one’s way or spiritual deeds are acceptable unless they conform to the Sacred Law brought by Muhammad (saw). As regards the people before the coming of Muhammad (saw), if they had followed the messenger of their time, they were guided on the right path.
It is clear therefore, from the Qur’an Hadiths that the only “Deen” acceptable to Allah Most High is the Deen of Islam. This means that the practice of the rules and rites (furu’) of all the remaining religions or systems of life are worthless. Therefore, all the various sects of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, etc., have no value in the sight of Allah Most High. The only way acceptable to Allah Most High is Islam!
Muslims cannot “exchange” one “deen” for another as moneychangers exchange currency for currency! “And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But remind (them) with it (Al-Qur’an) lest a person be given up to destruction for that which he has earned, when he will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allah, and even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him…” [s6:v70].
Christians would have the world believe that “salvation” can only be achieved through Christ Jesus! Jews would have us believe that only they will be saved! “An they say, ‘None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.’ These are their own desires. Say, ‘Produce your proof if you are truthful’.” [s2:v111].
Do not be misled by the tactics employed by those who “brandish globalisation” as the answer to mankind’s woes. The Presidents and Prime Ministers of the world are not our A’imma! “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” [s4:v59]
And what is their real aim? “They want to extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kafirun hate it.” [s9:v32] .
By Br. Khalid Sayfullah
[This article was published in the 19th issue of Nida’ul Islam magazine (http://www.islam.org.au), July – August 1997]
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