Part 2 of a lecture I transcribed, you can find part 1 here, What is the purpose of life?
What do you know about Islam?
Not what you heard about Islam, not what you have seen in the actions of Muslims because there’s a difference between Islam and Muslims. There’s a difference between a man and a father. A man who has children he is a father but father is a responsibility, if a man does not fulfill those responsibilities he is not necessarily a good father. Islam is a rule and an order. If a Muslim does not fulfill these rules and orders they are not good Muslims. So you cannot compare Islam by Muslims.
We hear the terms Islam and Muslims quite often and we read about Islam and Muslims. We hear and we see a lot of inaccurate and misleading and purposeful misinformation, through the media and some of this misinformation and misrepresentation has been perpetuated by Muslims themselves. Yet there are 1.6 billion Muslims in this world out of 7 billion people. How is it if there are 1.6 billion Muslims that we don’t know something about Islam, the facts about Islam.
What is it that joins over 30 nations and this universal configuration into a common fraternity? What makes the brotherhood throughout the world with different cultural and psychological differences? What is it about Islam that automatically embraces us and joins us together as a brotherhood? What makes a person in Pakistan my brother and another person in Indonesia my brother? What are the accurate characteristics of this misunderstood way of life that is followed by the great part of humanity?
Facts alone do not lead to understanding but rather a combination of tolerance, ambition and the ability to appreciate and accept the truth when you hear it.
The word Islam means ‘surrender, submission and obedience’ to the law of almighty God. You can say the creator, the supreme God, the supreme force, the all-wise, all of those are his names. We say Allah because in Arabic there’s no other expression like it. This expression Allah cannot be applied to any created thing. Other words we use for the almighty people apply to created things e.g. the almighty dollar, oh he’s the greatest etc.. Allah can only be applied to the one that has created all.
The word Islam is derived from the root Salama – it means to be at peace or to have security. Therefore a Muslim is a person that surrenders, submits and obeys to the law of almighty God and through this submission obtains peace and security for themselves.
All the prophets and messengers in history came from the same almighty God with the same message with the same chain of transmission and they said one thing, obey God. Adam, Noah, David, Solomon, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, John the Baptist, peace be upon them.
Worship almighty God and fulfill the purpose of life and do good actions and you will be rewarded with another life. Not one of those prophets said I am God worship me. You will not find it in any book or from the speech of any prophet. All the prophets submitted and surrendered themselves to God, called the people to God, asked the people and insisted upon the people to do deeds of righteousness. The 10 commandments of Moses, The speech of Abraham, The Psalms of David, ‘And they were commanded not but that they should worship Allah’, Quran 98:5. By the same token, it is also appropriate to consider the prophets and messengers as Muslims.
Jesus Christ peace be upon him was a Muslim. His blessed mother was a Muslim. Abraham and Moses pbut were Muslims, but they came to their people and they spoke different languages. The prophet Muhammad pbuh spoke the language of Arabic.
Where there is a conflict it is a result of fabrications, exaggerations, personalised interpretations of alleged writers, historians, scholars and individuals.
He states when he was Christian he looked at before he became a Muslim and didn’t understand it. How come throughout the old testament God is always refered to as one? And the first commandment given to Moses pbuh, he didn’t allow anyone to worship any graven images or to bow down to anything in the heavens or the earth and repeated this throughout the old testament. Then all of a sudden there are 4 testimonies – the 4 gospels called Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Mathew who? Mark who? Luke who? John who? 4 different gospels written 48 years apart and none of these men who did not collaborate with one another, none of them wrote their last name? If I gave you a cheque for your pay this month and i wrote my first name on the cheque and told you to take it to the bank would you accept that cheque? No you wouldn’t.
Could you get a passport with your first name? Did your mother and father only give you 1 name? Where in the history of man is one name acceptable as a documentation? Nowhere except in the Bible and how can you base your faith on 4 men who didn’t seem to know their last name? And this is the first time God is called a man, three and the son.
The advent of the prophet Muhammad pbuh did not bring a new religion, the prophet confirmed the life and message of all the previous prophets through his personal conduct and divine revelation he received from the almighty.
The sacred scripture that was revealed to Muhammad pbuh is called the Quran, it means that which is recited. Muhammad did not write the Quran, he did not author the Quran but the angel Gabriel recited it to him and God made his heart a receptacle of that. Just like the satellite dish is a receptive of waves that gives you the TV image.
We have this Quran that has been preserved for over 1400 years without any change, is there any other book in the world that has been preserved as it was revealed? No book only the Quran.
Each of the prophets and messengers also received a scripture and in the Quran these prophets their scripture, their story, the principal of their mission is mentioned with profound detail. Did Muhammad pbuh meet with them and talk with them and collaborate with them to write their biographies? No, of course he didn’t.
In the Quran Muhammad pbuh is referred to as the prophet and messenger of almighty God and the seal of the previous prophets which is the limit of his role as a human being. Muslims do not worship Muhammad pbuh. As the final scripture and final revelation the Quran makes clear and concise statements, ‘This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you and have chosen Islam as your religion’, Quran 5:3.
Another distinction about Muhammad pbuh, unlike his predecessors he did not come to the Arabs or his own people exclusively, therefore Islam is not a religion of the Arabs. Muhammad was born in Makkah in current day Saudi Arabia and he was Arab by birth, choice of the almighty. The Quran was also revealed in the Arabic language and protected to make it pure, clear and precise. Allah says ‘And we have sent you (oh Muhammad) not but as a mercy for mankind and all that exists’, Quran 21:107.
Background information about the Quran
The Quran makes the claim it’s the product of divine revelation. It was sent down from God to Muhammad pbuh. Prophet Muhammad pbuh is not speaking from himself, his own ideas and ambitions or his own emotions and feelings but this a revelation which has been revealed to him.
Therefore if we are to convince the people of the authenticity of the Quran we must prove that it was impossible for Muhammad to manufacture such a book, also we must prove it is impossible for any human being to have created it.
The Quran states in chapter 75 verse 38, talking about the human embryo, ‘Then he became a clot; then Allah shaped and fashioned in due proportion’. How did the prophet know this? How did he know the embryo started out as a clot hanging and clinging to the wall of the uterus of the mother? Did he have a telescope? Did he have a cystacope? Did he have some kind of x-ray vision? How did he receive this knowledge when it was just discovered over 50 years ago?
How did he know that the oceans have a barrier between them to separate the salt and the fresh water, ‘And it is he who let free the two seas, this is palatable and sweet, and that is salt and bitter; and he has set a barrier and a complete partition between them’, Quran 25:53.
How did he know that the sun and the moon and the planets are all swimming in an orbit that has been ordered for them ‘It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit’, Quran 36:40. How did he know that? When these things have just been discovered over 30 years ago by technology and science. How did Muhammad pbuh 1500 years ago know this? An uneducated shepherd, a man raised in the desert, he could not read or write how could he produce something like this?
Also if this is not enough, the Quran has 114 chapters, over 6000 verses and there were 100’s of people in the time of the prophet pbuh who memorised this book entirely. Are they some kind of geniuses? Did anyone memorize the Gospel, the Torah, the Psalms, the old testament, the new testament? But there are millions of Muslims today that have memorised the entire Quran and this is the ambition of every Muslim, Not just some.
How many Christians have you ever met in your life that have memorised the Bible? Not even the pope. You have never met a Christian who knows what was the whole Bible because the Christians themselves have over 700 different denominations and there are approximately 39 different versions of the Bible. With different books and versions and different amounts of verses and they don’t even agree to that, so how can they memorize what they don’t agree to? The Shaikh says he’s not speaking of this in a condemning manner but as a former Christian who found this out through research and is sharing the information. Over turning some rocks for you to look under and ultimately it’s up to you to decide.
The Quran has been universally preserved without any alternation in 15 centuries. If all this is true, would you agree this book is quite profound and unique to say the least? Would you be honest enough to say that? Of course you would if you are honest within yourselves.
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill whether they accepted Islam openly or not they came to that conclusion. That there is no literature in the world as profound as the Quran as a source of wisdom, healing and direction.
The basic themes of the Quran
The supreme oneness of almighty God which includes his names, attributes, the relationship between the almighty and his creatures and how man should maintain that relationship.
The continuity of the prophets and messengers, their lives, their messages and their overall mission. The insistence of following the final and universal example of Muhammad pbuh the seal of the prophets and messengers. Reminding the human beings of the shortness of this life and calling them towards the eternity of the hereafter because when you die you are going somewhere whether you accept that or not, you are going there and you are responsible because you have been told even if you have rejected it.
Because the object of this life is not for you to sit here and after this do nothing and have no affect because every cause has an effect and we came into this life for a cause and a purpose and it must warrant some sort of effect. You don’t go to school to stay there, you don’t go to work not to get paid, you don’t get a suit made and don’t wear it, you don’t grow up as a child and don’t become an adult, you cannot live without expecting to die, you cannot die without the expectancy of the grave and you cannot expect that the grave is the end because that would mean God has created you for a foolish purpose. And you did not go to school, or worked or chose a wife for a foolish purpose so how can you assign to God something less than yourself?
In an attempt to capture and convince the imagination and faculties of reasoning the Quran goes through great length and beauty to expound upon the oceans, the rivers, trees and plants, the birds and insects, the wild and domestic animals, the mountains, the valleys, the expansion of the heavens, the celestial bodies and the universe, the fishes and the aquatic life, the human anatomy and biology, the human civilization and history, the description of paradise and hell fire, the evolution of the human embryo, the mission of all the prophets and messengers, the purpose of life on earth and how can a man in a desert who couldn’t read and write expound upon things he was never exposed to 1500 years ago?
The most unique aspect of the Quran is that it serves to confirm all the previous scriptures.
Islam is simple, bear witness there is none worthy of worship but the almighty. People bear witness my son is my son and my wife is my wife and I am who I am, but why is it people hesitate that almighty God is 1 and God is our lord and creator? Are you arrogant? Do you possess something God doesn’t possess? Or are you confused? That’s a question you have to ask yourself.
But people think they going to live a little while and they want to enjoy some things. You want to drink a little bit more scotch, you want to lie down with a few more girls, you want to wear a few more fancy suits and of course you’re not ready to pray every day. That’s because you think you’re going to live a while, but how much is a while?
Angel Gabriel was sent with the duty of revealing the revelation to the prophet Muhammad pbuh. There will be final day of judgement for all people, all good and evil has been proportioned by all mighty God. There will be a resurrection after death and we all as our ultimate goal want to attain eternal paradise.
If you have further questions please ask me or a Muslim.
Faith is something you cannot take for granted, if you do not put it into practise you lose it like a fragrance.
To listen to the full lecture click here, it is in 6 parts.