THE MESSAGE OF FALSE RELIGION
There are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and movements in the world, all
of which claim to be the right way or the only true path to Allah. How can one determine which one is correct or if, in fact,
all are correct? The method by which the answer can be found is to clear away the superficial differences in the teachings
of the various claimants to the ultimate truth, and identify the central object of worship to which they call, directly or
indirectly. False religions all have in common one basic concept with regards to Allah. They either claim that all men are
gods or that specific men were Allah or that nature is Allah or that Allah is a figment of man's imagination.
Thus, it may be stated that the basic message of false religion is that Allah may be worshipped in the form of His creation.
False religion invites man to the worship of creation by calling the creation or some aspect of it God. For example, prophet
Jesus invited his followers to worship Allah but those who claim to be his followers today call people to worship Jesus, claiming
that he was Allah!
Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles to the religion of India. He did not claim to be
God nor did he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today most Buddhists who are to be found outside
of India have taken him to be God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness.
By using the principle of identifying the object of worship, false religion becomes very obvious and the contrived nature
of their origin clear. As God said in the Our'aan:
That which you worship besides Him are only names you and your forefathers have invented for which Allah has sent down
no authority: The command belongs only to Allah:
He has commanded that you only worship Him; that is the right religion, but most men do not understand
". (Soorah Yoosuf 12:40)
It may be argued that all religions teach good things so why should it matter which one we follow. The reply is that all
false religions teach the greatest evil, the worship of creation. Creation-worship is the greatest sin that man can commit
because it contradicts the very purpose of his creation. Man was created to worship Allah alone as Allah has explicitly stated
in the Our'aan:
"I have only created Jlnns and men, that they may worship me"(Soorah Zaareeyaat 51:56)
Consequently, the worship of creation, which is the essence of idolatry, is the only unforgivable sin. One who dies in
this state of idolatry has sealed his fate in the next life. This is not an opinion, but a revealed fact stated by Allah in
his final revelation to man:
"Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that
for whom so ever He wishes"(Soorah An- Nisaa 4:48 and 116)
THE UNIVERSALITY OF ISLAM
Since the consequences of false religion are so grave, the true religion of Allah must be universally understandable and
attainable, not confined to any people, place or time. There can not be conditions like baptism, belief in a man, as a saviour
etc., for a believer to enter paradise. Within the central principle of Islam and in its definition, (the surrender of one's
will to God) lies the roots of lslam's universality. Whenever man comes to the realization that Allah is one and distinct
from His creation, and submits himself to Allah, he becomes a Muslim in body and spirit and is eligible for paradise. Thus,
anyone at anytime in the most remote region of the world can become a Muslim, a follower of God's religion, Islam, by merely
rejecting the worship of creation and by turning to Allah (God) alone-It should be noted however, that the recognition of
and submission to Allah requires that one chooses between right and wrong and such a choice implies accountability. Man will
be held responsible for his choices, and, as such, he should try his utmost to do good and avoid evil. The ultimate good being
the worship of Allah alone and the ultimate evil being the worship of His creation along with or instead of Allah. This fact
is expressed in the final revelation as follows:
"Verily those who believe, those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures), the Christians and the Sabians any
who believe In Allah and the last day, and work righteousness *hall have their reward with their Lord;They will not be overcome
by fear nor grief (Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:62).
If only they had stood by the law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their
Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There Is from among them a party on the right course; but many of
them follow a course that Is evil.". (Soorah Al-.Maa'idah 5:66)
RECOGNITION OF ALLAH
The question which arises here is, "How can all people be expected to believe in Allah given their varying- backgrounds,
societies and cultures? For people to be responsible for worshipping Allah they all have to have access to knowledge of Allah.
The final revelation teaches that all mankind have the recognition of Allah imprinted on their souls, a part of their very
nature with which they are created.
In Soorah Al-A'raaf, Verses 172-173; Allah explained that when He created Adam, He caused all of Adam's descendants to come into existence and took a pledge from
them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all replied, " Yes, we testify to It:'
Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He is their creator and only true God worthy of worship.
He said, "That was In case you (mankind) should say on the day of Resurrection, "Verily we were unaware of all this." That
is to say, we had no idea that You Allah, were our God. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship You alone. Allah
went on to explain That it was also In case you should say, "Certainly It was our ancestors who made partners (With Allah)
and we are only their descendants; will You then destroy us for what those liars did?" Thus, every child is born with a natural
belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone called in Arabic the "Fitrah".
If the child were left alone, he would worship Allah in his own way, but all children are affected by those things around
them, seen or unseen.
The Prophet (PBUH) reported that Allah said, "I created my servants in the right religion but devils made
them go astray". The Prophet (PBUH) also said, "Each child is born in a state of "Fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew,
Christian or a Zoroastrian, the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any that were born mutilated?"
(Collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).
So, just as the child submits to the physical laws which Allah has put
in nature, his soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allah is his Lord and Creator. But, his parents try to make him
follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of his life to resist or oppose the will of his
parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allah does not hold him to
account or punish him for this religion.
Throughout people's lives from childhood until the time they die, signs are shown to them in all regions of the earth and
in their own souls, until it becomes clear that there is only one true God (Allah). If the people are honest with themselves,
reject their false gods and seek Allah, the way will be made easy for them but if they continually reject Allah's signs and
continue to worship creation, the more difficult it will be for them to escape. For example, in the South Eastern region of
the Amazon jungle in Brazil, South America, a primitive tribe erected a new hut to house their main idol Skwatch, representing
the supreme God of all creation. The homage to the God, and while he was in prostration to what he had been taught was his
Creator and Sustainer, a mangy old flea-ridden dog walked into the hut, The young man looked up in time to see the dog lift
its hind leg and pass urine on the idol. Outraged, the youth chased the dog out of the temple, but when his rage died down
he realized that the idol could not be the Lordof the universe. Allah must be elsewhere. he now had a choice to act on his
knowledge and seek Allah, or to dishonestly go along with the false beliefs of his tribe. As strange as it may seem, that
was a sign from Allah for that young man. It contained within it divine guidance that what he was worshipping was false.
Prophets were sent, as was earlier mentioned, to every nation and tribe to support man's natural belief in Allah and man's
inborn inclination to worship Him as well as to reinforce the divine truth in the daily signs revealed by Allah. Although,
in most cases, much of the prophets' teachings became distorted, portions remained which point out right and wrong. For example,
the ten commandments of the Torah, their confirmation in the Gospels and the existence of laws against murder, stealing and
adultery in most societies. Consequently, every soul will be held to account for its belief in Allah and its acceptance of
the religion of Islam; the total submission to the will of Allah.
We pray to Allah, the exalted, to keep us on the right path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from
Him, He is indeed the Most Merciful. Praise and gratitude be to Allah,the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be on
prophet Muhammed, his Family, his companions, and those who rightly follow them.