With the name of Allah; who never dies, the sustainer of everything, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. And May Peace be upon His Prophets and His Angels.
"Islam calls to the unity of the Mankind!"
Assalamu 'alalikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
Prophet Adam (alaihi salam) was created from mud. Iblis (devil-satan) was created from fire. Iblis (devil) became racist (thus proud & arrogant) and denied the command of his God to prostrate before Adam. Sadly, among the children of Adam, there came up many people who too preferred themselves above others, merely on the basis of race, color, gender, wealth, nationality etcetera.
Al-Qur'an mentions [ Yunus -- 10:19 ]:
وماكان الناس الا امة واحدة فاختلفوا ولولا كلمة سبقت من ربك لقضي بينهم فيما فيه يختلفون
- Mankind was one nation, then they differed. And if your Lord had not already given His word, the matters in which they differ would have certainly been decided.
Allahu Ta'ala also says [ Hud -- 11:118-119 ]:
ولو شاء ربك لجعل الناس امة واحدة ولايزالون مختلفين
الا من رحم ربك ولذلك خلقهم وتمت كلمة ربك لاملان جهنم من الجنة والناس اجمعين
- If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one nation: but they will not cease to dispute/differ.
- Except those on whom your Lord has mercy ; and for this did He create them; and the word of your Lord is fulfilled: Certainly I will fill hell with the jinn and the men, all together.
There are different religions, however almost all of them have some similarities:
However, Iblis (devil) was a devotee of the Rabil 'Aalameen (Lord of the Universe, Allah). Iblis/Devil also knew that there is no one worthy of worship except the One God. We also know that Iblis (Devil) also believed on the day of Judgment. But why did Satan become outcaste?
Islam, as well as many other religions, tell us about Prophets from God. The God sent Prophets to their people, to GUIDE them towards UNITY, towards ONE straight path that leads to the ONE Lord (Allahu ta'ala). Various people have different views about things/matters and if everyone follows whatever he/she wishes then the unity is impossible and chaos is the conclusion! The God sent Prophets to resolve their issues and standardise the regulations, this is the way which Islam teaches us and this is how the mankind can be united. Think about how iron becomes magnet!
Al-Qur'an recalls [ Al-Baqarah -- 2:213 ]:
كان الناس امة واحدة فبعث الله النبيين مبشرين ومنذرين وانزل معهم الكتاب بالحق ليحكم بين الناس فيما اختلفوا فيه وما اختلف فيه الا الذين اوتوه من بعد ماجاءتهم البينات بغيا بينهم فهدى الله الذين امنوا لما اختلفوا فيه من الحق باذنه والله يهدي من يشاء الى صراط مستقيم
- Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight.
But even after many Prophets were sent to their people, why do we still have various religions? An obvious reason is the discimination between Prophets. For example, Bani-Israail (Children of Jacob, peace be upon him) were favoured with many Prophets but they denied many and unjustly killed some of them (because of their vain desires) .
And when Prophet Isa/Jesus (peace be upon him) Son of Mary (peace be upon her) was sent to them, their Rabbis denied him (because of their worldly-gain, status etc). A group among the Jews accepted Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) but many others denied him and even tried to kill him but Allah saved Jesus ('alaihi salam) and he will certainly return back to this earth, in the last days, to complete his task and to taste the death (just like every Prophet has tasted).
Al-Qur'an [ al-Bakarah -- 2:87 ]:
ولقد اتينا موسى الكتاب وقفينا من بعده بالرسل واتينا عيسى ابن مريم البينات وايدناه بروح القدس افكلما جاءكم رسول بما لاتهوى انفسكم استكبرتم ففريقا كذبتم وفريقا تقتلون
- To Moses We gave the Book (Torah) and sent after him other Messengers in succession; then We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear Signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit (Gabriel). Why is it that whenever there came to you (Bani Israel) a Messenger with a message which did not suit your desires, you became so arrogant that to some of them you called impostors and others you killed!
Al-Qur'an [ Aal-e-Imran -- 3:55 ]:
اذ قال الله ياعيسى اني متوفيك ورافعك الى ومطهرك من الذين كفروا وجاعل الذين اتبعوك فوق الذين كفروا الى يوم القيامة ثم الى مرجعكم فاحكم بينكم فيما كنتم فيه تختلفون
- Allah said: "O Jesus! I am going to recall you (from your mission) and raise you up to Myself. I will clean you of those who rejected you and exalt your followers above the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return and I shall judge those matters in which you have been disputing.
Al-Qur'an [ an-Nisaa' -- 4:157 ]:
وقولهم انا قتلنا المسيح عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله وماقتلوه وماصلبوه ولكن شبه لهم وان الذين اختلفوا فيه لفي شك منه مالهم به من علم الا اتباع الظن وماقتلوه يقينا
- They (Jews) even say: "We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah." Whereas in fact, neither did they kill him nor did they crucify him but they thought they did because the matter was made dubious for them. Those who differ therein are only in doubt. They have no real knowledge, they follow nothing but merely a conjecture, certainly they did not kill him (Jesus).
So Jews denied and even tried to kill the expected Messiah, Jesus (Isa ibn Maryam, peace be upon them), when he came to them with clear signs. Later on, many among the Jews and Christians denied the Prophet Muhammad ( 'alaihi salam), because of racism, status, worldly-desires and stubbornness; even though they did recognise him, as they expected the last Prophet's arrival (from their books), as much as they recognised their own sons.
Islam invites all kinds of humans to the One God or One true Religion, the religion of Abraham and all the Prophets. There is no such thing as "Chosen people of the God" or greatness of 'born with faith'. A born Muslim is equally the brother of a revert Muslim. There were many Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) who were following other creeds before they accepted Islam and later some became the leaders of the Muslims! Islam is not a new religion, it is the religion of the previous Prophets and those who truely followed the previous Prophets are also considered to be Muslims. Similarly Qur'an says:
Al-Qur'an [ al-Baqarah -- 2:62 ]:
ان الذين امنوا والذين هادوا والنصارى والصابئين من امن بالله واليوم الاخر وعمل صالحا فلهم اجرهم عند ربهم ولاخوف عليهم ولاهم يحزنون
- Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
Now the big question is "Can the Jews and Christians of this time be called 'Muslim'?"
First of all, the true Christians are those who follow the Gospel (Injeel). Similarly the true Jews are those who follow the Torah. Since Torah and Gospel commanded its followers to follow every Prophet who is sent to them and help that Prophet. Unfortunately, many of the Jews denied Jesus (peace be upon him) and later on many of the Jews and Christians denied Prophet Muhammad (salallaho 'alaihi wasallam), when he too was sent with clear signs. How can Jews and Christians be called Muslims (true Jews and Christians) when they denied a part of their own Books and denied the Prophet(s) who came to them with clear signs?
Al-Qur'an [ al-A'raaf -- 7:157-158 ]:
الذين يتبعون الرسول النبي الامي الذي يجدونه مكتوبا عندهم في التوراة والانجيل يامرهم بالمعروف وينهاهم عن المنكر ويحل لهم الطيبات ويحرم عليهم الخبائث ويضع عنهم اصرهم والاغلال التي كانت عليهم فالذين امنوا به وعزروه ونصروه واتبعوا النور الذي انزل معه اولئك هم المفلحون
قل ياايها الناس اني رسول الله اليكم جميعا الذي له ملك السماوات والارض لااله الا هو يحيي ويميت فامنوا بالله ورسوله النبي الامي الذي يؤمن بالله وكلماته واتبعوه لعلكم تهتدون
- Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi (unlettered)
,whom they find written down with them in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel(Gospel) (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.
- Say: O people! surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, of Him Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth there is no god but He; He brings to life and causes to die therefore believe in Allah and His messenger, the Ummi(unlettered) Prophet who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him so that you may walk in the right way.
How can people be united when they are denying Prophets who are sent from the God! Allah commands us to believe in all the Prophets sent from Him and not to discriminate between any one of them. All of them brought the truth from their Lord and they are greatly respected by Muslims. This is how Islam tries to unite the mankind!
Al-Qur'an [ Aal-e-Imran -- 3:84 ]:
قل امنا بالله وماانزل علينا وماانزل على ابراهيم واسماعيل واسحاق ويعقوب والاسباط ومااوتي موسى وعيسى والنبيون من ربهم لانفرق بين احد منهم ونحن له مسلمون
- O Prophet, say: "We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants; and in that which was given to Moses, Jesus and other Prophets from their Lord; we do not discriminate between any one of them, and to Allah do we submit in Islam."
After the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho 'alaihi wassalam), Muslims (including true Jews and Christians) are required to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The change of the Qiblah (direction of Prayer) was a clear test to check who is actually following the Prophet Muhamad (peace be upon him). Allah says:
Al-Qur'an [ al-Baqarah -- 2:143 ]:
وكذلك جعلناكم امة وسطا لتكونوا شهداء على الناس ويكون الرسول عليكم شهيدا وماجعلنا القبلة التي كنت عليهاالا لنعلم من يتبع الرسول ممن ينقلب على عقبيه وان كانت لكبيرة الا على الذين هدى الله وماكان الله ليضيع ايمانكم ان الله بالناس لرؤوف رحيم
- We have made you a moderate Ummah (nation) so that you may testify against mankind and that your own Messenger may testify against you . We decreed your former Qiblah only to distinguish those who are the real followers of the Messenger (Muhammad) from those who would back away from the faith. It was indeed a hard test except for those whom Allah has guided. Allah wants not to make your faith fruitless. Allah is Compassionate and Merciful to mankind.
Again, Islam is not a new religion. Islam is the submission to the One God. Iblis (Devil) failed to submit (because of racism & arrogance) to the command of his Lord (to prostrate before Adam). God commanded mankind to follow the Prophet who comes to them with clear signs. Many Jews failed to follow Jesus (peace be upon him) and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as many other Prophets. Many of the Christians also failed to follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Whereas, Muslims do not discriminate between any one of the Prophets of God. Islam propose the unity of mankind by following the true standard, so maybe mankind could be united with other obedient creatures of the God (Allahu ta'aala).
Wa Assalamu 'alaikum.
'Abdullah ibn Adam