## Religion Demystified: Demystifying Religion in True sense Part 1

As-salamu ‘alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu to our Muslim Ummah and a Warm Welcome to all Seekers of True Knowledge

Religion Demystified

Article is available here:

Refutation by Brother Md. Zeeshan Akhtar assisted by Brother Neer

The artice is divided into 3 parts:

(Part 1) Demystifying Religion in True sense

(Part 2) Refuting the false and wrong informations given by Agniveer about Islam in his article.

(Part 3) Response to points raised about Eastern religion and Miscellaneous Religions

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[PART 1]: Demystifying Religion in True sense

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After going through Agniveer’s article, I found the need to really Demystify Religion in Real sense critically.

‘Religion’ what it actually means ?

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect.

A religion, if it has to be from our Creator, Almighty God, it has to be universal and not bound and based to any ‘Man’, ‘Place’, ‘Region’ and it cannot have any other founder except our Creator, Almighty God. It has to be a natural disposition. A natural realization, a natural instinct, a natural bond between us and our creator, which has to exist from the time the first man stepped on this world. It can not be founded later on.

As soon as We begin to describe any religion as ‘the religion of the Hindus or Muslims’, or ‘the religion following the teachings of so and so’, or ‘the religion founded by so and so, except the True God’, or ‘the religion founded so many years back’ we introduces a category which does not fit, the category of ‘religion’.

Having said this, let us look at some of the major religions and their possibilities of being the universal religion from Our creator.

Hinduism = According to Agniveer, Hinduism is the collection of Easterly Religion. It is a blanket term for an assortment of religious beliefs whose founders were supposed to be exalted souls who realized truth in their own way. (See Agniveer’s same article under the heading Easterly Religion/Hinduism point (a)). It’s a Strange fact, but True, that even Agniveer believes that their so called religion was founded by exalted souls, and Not by our Creator, Almighty God.

‘Hindu’ is actually a Persian word that stands for the inhabitants of the region beyond the Indus Valley. Thus it is also cultural and region specific and hence cannot be a universal religion, existing from time immemorial.

Christianity = Christianity (from the Greek word Xριστός, Khristos, “Christ“, literally “anointed one“) is a (supposedly) monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament.

Here again we find that this religion is based on the teachings of a ‘Man’ and hence Not founded by our Creator, Almighty God. People before Christ were not christians. Hence we find this is time specific religion.

Sikhism = Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in the fifteenth century Punjab on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and ten successive Sikh Gurus (the last one being the sacred text Guru Granth Sahib Ji)

Same as above. Founded in the 15th century and based on the teachings of mortal ‘Men’, so it can not be a religion of God, because religion of God has to exist from the beginning.

A Sikh is a disciple of the Guru (Guru Nanak and 10 successive Gurus). Again it is a person specific religion.

Buddhism = Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (Pāli/Sanskrit “the awakened one”). The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Indigenous sources use terms like Dharma (‘the Law’), Buddha-dharma (‘Buddhist doctrine’), Buddha-śāsana (‘teachings of the Buddha’) and Buddhavacana (‘the word of the Buddha’).

Same as above. A follower of Gautam Buddha, would be called a Buddhist. It is ‘Person’ specific.

Jainism = Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Jain Religion is not an apauruseya religion, i.e., a religion propounded by a non-human being or based on a sacred book of non-human origin. On the contrary it is a religion of purely human origin and is preached by one who has attained omniscience and self-control by his own personal efforts. In short, Jain Religion is the substance of the preaching of those perfect souls who have attained the state of Jainas.

Again it is clearly, a religion not by Our Creator, Almighty God and is also not a religion which existed since time immemorial.

Zoroastrianism = Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra, in Avestan). It was probably founded some time before the 6th century B.C. in Persia (Iran).

Same as above. It is quite interesting to note that If many teachings and concepts within the Vedas are similar to those of Zoroastrian religion, and hence it is not surprising enough to conclude that Vedic Religion has been derived from Zoroastrianism, because the Parsis (Zoroastrians) consider their religion older than the Vedic Religion

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Islam
= The word إسلام Islām is derived from Arabic triconsonantal root sīn-lām-mīm (SLM [
س ل م
])., meaning “submission” (i.e. entrusting one’s wholeness to the only one and True God). “One who submits” is signified by the participle مسلم, Muslim (fem. مسلمة, muslimah).

We Muslims refer to our creator, Almighty God with the name “Allah”

This religion is not bound to any person, place, region, space etc and is neither defined in terms of these restrictions and limits contrary to the literal meanings of the various world’s major religions. This religion is not bound to anything except Our Creator.

Then which is actually the True Religion ?

For what does ‘Religion’ now mean to the occidental? At best, for the ordinary man, it means a way of spending an hour or so on Sundays in practices which give him some support and strength in dealing with the problems of daily life, and which encourages him to be friendly towards other persons and to maintain the standards of sexual propriety; it has little or nothing to do with commerce or economics or politics or industrial relationships. At worst it fosters an attitude of complacency in the more prosperous individuals and breeds smugness.

Some people may even look at religion as an opiate developed by exploiters of the common people in order to keep them in subjection. How different from the connotations to the Muslim of the verse (3:19): ‘the true religion with God is submitting yourself to God (Islam)! The word translated as ‘religion’ is Deen, which, in Arabic, commonly refers to a whole way of life.

It is not a private matter for individuals, touching only the periphery of their lives, but something which is both private and public, something which permeates the whole fabric of society in a way of which men are conscious. It is all in one theological dogma, forms of worship, political theory, and a detailed code of conduct, including even matters which the European would classify as hygiene or etiquette.

The universatality of the religion of ‘Submitting to Our Creator’ is quite obvious and this is the only religion which is universal in nature.

Thus after going through only the literal definition of the various major world religions, it is quite obvious that religion has to be something from our one and only creator and also Universal not bound to any limits and that only religion living upto it’s definition is Islam (Submitting to Our Creator).

Given Below is the definition of a True Religion which is right and straight mentioned in the Qur’an and which is a universal definition and no one can object to that.

• Qur’an 12:40“You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not.
• Qur’an 30:30So set you (O Muhammad SAW) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allahs Fitrah (i.e. Allahs Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not. (Tafsir AtTabaree, Vol 21, Page 41)
• Qur’an 98:5
And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the religion Right and Straight.

Muslim :: Book 33 : Hadith 6425

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: No child is born but upon Fitra. He then said. Recite: The nature made by Allah in which He created man, there is no altering of Allah’s nature; that is the right religion.”

Sahih Muslim :: Book 33 : Hadith 6426

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: No babe is born but upon Fitra. It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist. A person said: Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion if they were to die before that (before reaching the age of adolescence when they can distinguish between right and wrong)? He said: It is Allah alone Who knows what they would be doing.

Allah says in The Qur’an in Chapter 3 verse 73

﴿قُلْ إِنَّ الْهُدَى هُدَى اللَّهِ﴾

(Say: (O Prophet) “Verily, right guidance is the guidance of Allah.”)

Can we say that My Religion is better than yours and more Superior?

Absolutely No. Neither can a Jew argue by saying that Our Book is the best Book and our Prophet (Musa) is the best Prophet. ‘

Nor can a Christian argue like that and neither can any follower of Islam argue by saying, There is no religion except Islam, our Book has abrogated every other Book, our Prophet is the Final Prophet.

Allah says in the
Qur’an in Chapter 4 verses 123-124:

It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah.

And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a datestone), will be done to them.

Qatadah said, “We were told that the Muslims and the People of the Scriptures mentioned their own virtues to each other. People of the Scriptures said, Our Prophet came before your Prophet and our Book before your Book. Therefore, we should have more right to Allah than you have.’ Muslims said, Rather, we have more right to Allah than you, our Prophet is the Final Prophet and our Book supersedes all the Books before it.’ Allah sent down,

﴿لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ﴾

(It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof),

﴿وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِيناً مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ﴾

(And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah; and he is a Muhsin.) Allah then supported the argument of the Muslims against their opponents of the other religions.” Similar statements were attributed to As-Suddi, Masruq, Ad-Dahhak and Abu Salih. Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas commented on this Ayah ﴿4:123, “The followers of various religions disputed, the people of the Tawrah said, Our Book is the best Book and our Prophet (Musa) is the best Prophet. ‘ The people of the Injil said similarly, the people of Islam said, There is no religion except Islam, our Book has abrogated every other Book, our Prophet is the Final Prophet, and you were commanded to believe in your Books and adhere to our Book.’ Allah judged between them, saying,

﴿لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ﴾

(It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof).” This Ayah indicates that the religion is not accepted on account of wishful thinking or mere hopes. Rather, the accepted religion relies on what resides in the heart and which is made truthful through actions. It is not true that when one utters a claim to something, he attains it merely on account of his claim. It is not true that every person who claims to be on the truth is considered as such, merely on account of his words, until his claim gains merit with proof from Allah. Hence Allah’s statement,

﴿لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ﴾

(It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof), meaning safety will not be acquired by you or them just by wishful thinking. Rather, the key is in obeying Allah and following what He has legislated through the words of His honorable Messengers. This is why Allah said afterwards,

﴿مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ﴾

(whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof,) Similarly, Allah said,

﴿فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ – وَمَن يَعْـمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ ﴾

(So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.)

﴿وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِيناً مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله﴾

(And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face to Allah.) meaning, performs the good actions in sincerity for his Lord with faith and awaiting the reward with Allah,

﴿وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ﴾

(and he is a Muhsin) following the correct guidance that Allah legislated in the religion of truth which He sent His Messenger with. These are the two conditions, in the absence of which no deed will be accepted from anyone; sincerity and correctness. The work is sincere when it is performed for Allah alone and it becomes correct when it conforms to the Shariah. So, the deed becomes outwardly correct with following the Sunnah and inwardly correct with sincerity. When any deed lacks either of these two conditions, the deed becomes null and void.

God chose only One way of life for all of Us, the way of submitting our will to Him.

Allah says to this Ummah in The Qur’an 42:13:

﴿شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الِدِينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ﴾

(He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you,) Allah mentions the first Messenger who was sent after Adam, that is, Nuh, peace be upon them, and the last of them is Muhammad . Then He mentions those who came in between them who were the Messengers of strong will, namely Ibrahim, Musa and Isa bin Maryam. This Ayah mentions all five, just as they are also mentioned in the Ayah in Surat Al-Ahzab, where Allah says:

﴿وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ﴾

(And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and `Isa son of Maryam.) (33:7).

Why do we need Messenger’s or Prophets?

The messenger’s duty is only to convey the message of Our Creator and this is mentioned in several places in the Qur’an

• Qur’an 24:54 ….If you obey him (the messenger), you shall be on the right guidance. The Messengers duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way).”
• Qur’an 13:40 (your duty is only to convey and on Us is the reckoning)
• Qur’an 24:54 The Messenger’s duty is only to convey in a clear way)
• Qur’an 88:21-22 –  (So remind them — you are only one who reminds. You are not a dictator over them.)

Did different Prophets/Messengers preach different things?

The Message which all the Messengers brought was to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, as Allah says:

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ ﴾

(And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.) (21:25).

And according to a Hadith (the Prophet said):

«نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ، دِينُنَا وَاحِد»

(We Prophets are brothers and our religion is one.) In other words, the common bond between them is that Allah Alone is to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, even though their laws and ways may differ, as Allah says.

﴿لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً﴾

(To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way) (5:48).

How then did so many Religions come to evolve?

In the very Next verse (The Qur’an 42:14) Allah says ;

﴿وَمَا تَفَرَّقُواْاللَّهِ إِلاَّ مَنبَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ﴾

(And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them,) means, their opposition to the truth arose after it had come to them and proof had been established against them. Nothing made them resist in this manner except their transgression and stubbornness.

How come then that all religion preach goodness?

As already mentioned, different religions evolved from the same root Islam, due to the transgression, stubbornness, desires and group leadership of some so called spiritual people.

Since there had been from the very beginning, the only religion of submitting to God, it is obvious that all the different religions which came will have traits of goodness from the original religion.

It’s similitude is like a barrel of Pure water (Islam) having various qualities, from which many different people took a bottle of and mixed their own motive, desires, etc in it and presented it in the form of a new religion. Hence it is obvious that these different bottles had some mixtures of good water in them, like different religions have some goodness. But the bottle did not have the same original pure water.

Similarly all religions though they preach goodness yet are not the same fully. They have been distorted from the same one religion of ‘Submitting to God’.

We need to take water from the Pure Barrel, not from the bottles containing mixture.

All religions basically teach followers to do good deeds. Why should a person only follow Islam? Can he not follow any of the religions?

As already mentioned, we should follow that which is pure, which is from God, which is without any mixture rather than following the one which has been mixed with various things including desire, malpractices, profits etc.

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