by Imran H. Khan

One of the distinct sense that I got in reading Quran was that God is not owned by any one religious group. Instead He relishes belonging to all different groupings.

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)”. Quran 49:13

Then He goes further on to state that He sends a messenger to all nations and therefore will not judge any nation without having given them adequate warning.

Surely We have sent thee with the truth good tidings to bear, and warning; not a nation there is, but there has passed away in it a warner“. Quran 35:24

You will not hear this kind of talk from a mullah, rabi or pastor. This would be considered heresy in nearly all religious denominations as they define each other by their differences. Their are unfortunately no Chosen people with God gifted lands as far God in Quran is concerned.  He goes further to state:

“Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous”.  Quran 3:113, 114

It seems that the real Quranic definition of a ‘Muslim’ is someone who believes in the Absolute Oneness of GOD Almighty and associates no partners (idols or humans or any other creations) with Him. This makes any Unitarian and Monotheist a ‘Muslim’. That is why Islam is called ‘The Religion of Abraham’, because Abraham, peace be upon him was a true Monotheist and associated no partners with GOD Almighty. So Salvation is not just reserved for the Noble Quran’s Believers only.

To support my statement above, let us look at the following Noble Verse:

“Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For God did take Abraham for a friend“.Quran, 4:125

If you reflect on what God is really saying to all mankind in the Holy Quran is that He will treat you all equally and will be fair to everyone and each group.  So it should surprise no one that for such a populated region as the South Asian subcontinent, God must have sent thousands of messengers and prophets. The only other Holy book that strikes me very similar to Quran is the Bhagavad Gita.  In it Lord Krishna also said the same thing to Arjuna in the battlefield of Mahabharata:

“Whenever there is decay of righteousness O! Bharatha And a rise of unrighteousness then I manifest Myself!”

“Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the book [of Psalms]” . Quran 4:163

Lord Krishna in Holy Gita describes this as follows-

” But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, fixed and immovable–the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth–by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me. ” Holy Gita 12.3-4

Now lets see what Al-Quran has to say about this:

“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.” Quran 24:35

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great” . Quran 2:255

“I am the goal, the Sustainer, the Master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.” Holy Gita 9:18

“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous”. 2:177 Quran

These are the reasons you will not see Muslims burning Bibles or painting cartoons of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH). God states in multiple places in Quran that as far as He is concerned He wants people to do Good deeds and Believe in Him. The definition of good can be had from the messenger sent to your group. If you did not get it, your heart will tell you.  That is the bottom line.

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2 Responses to “Ramadan: Day 3 Messengers”

  1. Fatima Khan on August 14th, 2010 8:49 pm

    Islam is the only religion that is defined as a verb and not a noun. This goes very well with what you say above that God wants belief and action. Another way to define the word “Islam” other than the common definition of submission, is what Tariq Ramadan calls, “active acceptance.” This definition not only enfolds in it the doing of submission and deeds based on this submission, but also an active belief in God at every moment.

    Thus whoever is in a state of active acceptance of the message from God can hope for salvation. Of course, one always looks for the latest edition of any book.

    Thank you for blogging.

  2. SR on August 18th, 2010 8:42 pm

    The main problem I have with all this is that there is way too much emphasis on ethereal concepts like ‘salvation’ and ‘belief’… And hardly a cursory mention, as if just in passing, of real life issues like ‘actions’ and ‘deeds’…

    Diligence, hard work, striving to be better at doing something, etc., etc., are rarely mentioned. The ratio if extremely skewed towards the non-practical and the irrelevant.

    No disrespect intended.