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Published On:11 July 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

OPINION: Islam existed before Muhammad’s teachings

By Mohammed Shahid

As Buddhism/Buddhist, Jainism/ Jain and Christianity/ Christian which are named so after their founders, Islam is often called Muhammadanism and its followers Mohammedans, especially by the West, which implies as if Mohammed sallallaho alaihe wasallam was the founder of the religion. However, if we see Islam in the light of Quran, we find that the word Muhammadanism or Muhammedan is not only a misnomer for Islam and Muslims but offends its very spirit because Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam was neither its founder nor progenitor as is generally believed. Islam, in fact, is not a new religion preached by Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam. It is in essenc, the same guidance and message which Allah revealed to all His prophets before Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam.

In Quran Allah commands: “Say thou we believe in Allah and the revelations given to us and Abraham,Ismail, Ishaq, Jacob and the tribes, that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to other prophets from their Lord ; we make no difference between one and another of them and we submit.” (Al Quran 2:136)

The above verse while on one hand expresses the continuation of Allah’s message or religion on the other it mentions three points which form the creed of Islam. These are (1) to believe in one universal God (2) to believe in the message to us through Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam and in the saying as interpreted on the basis of personal responsibility and (3) to believe in the message of other prophets in the past. Some of the prophets (Moses and Jesus) left scriptures which are still extant though not in their true form. Islam does not make any difference between these prophets. Their message in essence, was one and that forms the basis of Islam.

The story begins with the fall of Man (Adam). Adam disobeys God at the instance of Iblis (Satan) and is stripped of all honour and glory he hitherto enjoyed in heaven. As a punishment he is expelled from heaven and sent to earth. He finds shaitan (Satan) already there with a vow to stray man from the path of Allah. Miserable, dejected and ashamed over his sin, Adam in his agony repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness. Allah, the most merciful as He is, grants the prayer and Adam is given the assurance of guidance. If man, with his free will follows the guidance, he is free from any fear of present and future or any grief or sorrow for the past. The soul, thus freed, grows nearer to Allah and ultimately regains the lost honour and glory.

This guidance which is the worship of one God and man’s complete submission to His will, which Islam stands for, was given to Adam himself and after him to his progeny through prophets in all ages. As the assurance of guidance is given to mankind as a whole, every people or group or nation received the guidance or the message of God through prophets or messengers from among themselves who taught the message to them in their own language. “ We sent not a messenger except to teach in the language of his own people in order to make things clear to them (Al Quran 14:4)

Thus Allah revealed Himself in one or the other way through His prophets. If the message was ignored or rejected or it was twisted or misused the Day of Reckoning will come when the perfect justice will be done and truth revealed. All the prophets of God, known and unknown, from Noah to Abraham through Ismael, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Christ gave the same message---worship of one universal God---to their people. However the form of the message or the inspiration may vary according to needs and exigencies of the time it was delivered at.That form was different as given to Moses, then to Jesus and then to Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam. As the human civilization gradually evolved and progressed from its infancy to a more mature form, the form of God’s message also varied accordingly. Some revelations to one prophet were substituted with some thing better or similar in the case of the other and sometimes even to the same prophet. Allah’s revelations through the ages are ‘The Book’. Every prophet received only such portion of the revelations as his people in his age could assimilate.

The law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus were the portions of the Book The Quran completes the revelations and is par excellence The Book of Allah. This view of Quran (3:13) is justly corroborated by the New Testament. In the Gospel of St. John Christ in his farewell discourse while talking about the future comforter says: “ I have still many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the spirit of truth comes he will lead you to complete truth.”(XVI-13)

Here the comforter is certainly Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam who through Quran, par excellence The Book of Allah, revealed the complete truth and not the Holy Spirit Christians believe, because the Holy Sprit was already with Christ.

Thus the message which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam is Islam in its comprehensive and final form. And while the messages of other prophets were meant for the people among whom they were sent the message through Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam is for all people and all ages. The Jews claimed this for themselves and Christians in their origin were a sect of the Jews. Even the modern Christian Churches, though they have consciously or unconsciously, been influenced by the time spirit, including the historical facts of Islam, yet cling to the idea of Vicarious Atonement which means that all those who do not believe in Christianity or who lived previously to the death of Christ are at a disadvantage spiritually before the Throne of Allah.. The attitude of Islam is entirely different. Islam existed before the teachings of Muhammad sallallaho alaihe wasallam on this earth: Quran expressively calls Abraham a Muslim (Al Quran 3; 67) .Its teachings (submission to Allah’s Will) have been and will be the teachings of religion for all time and all people.

[Mohammad Shahid is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on July 11, 2011. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on July 11, 2011. Filed under , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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