Beloved Ummatal Muslimeen! On the contrary, Islam had been taught by all the Prophets’ Alayhim Salaam before Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, and the true followers of Nabee Ebrahim, Nabee Moosa as well as those of Nabee Esa (Jesus Christ) Alayhim Salaam. They were all called MUSLIMS. Islam therefore has been, and will continue to be, the true universal religion of Almighty Allah, because Allah is One and Changeless, and because human nature and major human needs are fundamentally the same, irrespective of time and place, of race and age, and of any other considerations. Almighty Allah informs us in verse 78 of Surahtul Al Hajj:
Of all the major religions of the world, Islam stands apart in that it does not derive its name from a tribe or a person, like Judaism (from Judea), Christianity (from Christ), Buddhism (from Buddha) or Zaroastrianism (from Zarathushtra). Islam does not derive its name from the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Islam derives from two sources, Taslim, i.e. submission, and Salam, i.e. peace, and it is, in essence, a complete and integrated ideology that governs the relationship between man and his Creator and the relationships of human beings amongst themselves.
Bearing this in mind, the Islamic concept maintains that religion is not only a spiritual and intellectual necessity but also a social and universal need. It is not to bewilder man but to guide him. It is not to debase him but to elevate his moral nature. It is not to deprive him of anything useful, or to burden him, or to oppress his qualities but to open for him inexhaustible treasures of sound thinking and right action. It is not to confine him to narrow limits but to launch him into wide horizons of truth and goodness. In short, ISLAM acquaints man with his Creator as well as with himself and the rest of the universe. This is by no means an oversimplification of the functions of religion.
O you who believe! Islam educates man and trains him in hope and patience, in truthfulness and honesty, in love for the right and good, in courage and endurance, all of which are required for the mastery of the great art of living. Moreover, Islam insures man against fear, and spiritual losses, and assures him of Almighty Allah’s aid and unbreakable alliance. It provides man with peace and security and makes his life meaningful. That is what Islam can do for humanity, and that is the concept of religion in Islam.
When the purpose of true religion is carefully examined, it will be found that Islam satisfies the spiritual and moderate material needs of man. It unties his psychological knots and complexes, sublimates his instincts and aspirations, and disciplines his desires and the whole course of life. It purifies the soul from evil, clears the mind from doubts, strengthens the character and corrects the thinking and convictions of man. ISLAM, which constitutes the first stage, consists of pronouncing verbally the twofold testimonies [Shahadatayn], i.e.
Imaan, which is the second stage consists of the gnosis of the import of the Shahadatayn, and it is the dividing line between the faithful one and the hypocrite, for the hypocrite is someone whose outward conduct differs from his inner character. That which is implied by the Shahadatayn is gnosis of the Unity of the Glorious Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and the Truth of all that which the Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has brought. Its effect on one’s outward conduct would be to abandon the worship and service of anything other than the One Creator – Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala and to obey and follow the Sunnah of Rahmatul Liel Ala’meen – Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. We are commanded in verse 153 of Surahtul Al-An’am:
Alal Muslimeena Jami’ah! Islam not only shatters previous forms in the name of the spirit, however, it also imposes its own form in place of those it has shattered. It is that form, or exterior, which constitutes the gateway to its spirit, or interior, which, by virtue of its content and the position of Islam in the line of succession of revealed religions, is more comprehensive that any other. Islam does not violate the truths of the previously revealed religions; rather it confirms them. What Islam shatters is what is false in the other religions because of corruption and deviation or because of the temporal limitations of their validity as we learn from verse 18 of Surahtul Al-Anbiyaa:
Ayyatuhal Muslimeen! Another area of variance between Islam and Christianity is the concept of original sin. According to the Bible, the devil tempted Eve [peace be upon her] to eat from the forbidden tree, and then she tempted Adam [peace be upon him.] to do the same: thus committing the sin. They were then punished by being banished in shame to planet earth, with more blame befalling Eve as the prime perpetrator:
The idea of vicarious sacrifice is therefore alien to Islam, and the claim that Jesus (Alayhis Salaam), or anyone else, had to be crucified in atonement for human sins, is totally unacceptable. Almighty Allah’s forgiveness, in Islam is to be sought through sincere repentance and doing righteousness, without need for bloodshed. The role of forgiveness, whether between individuals, tribes or nations, is of the essence of Islam. Even when the law intervenes by meting out a punishment commensurate with an aggression, the wronged party is encouraged to forgive: (Surahtul Ash-Shura verse 40).
Alhumdulillah! An individual can ask Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala any time, any place, for forgiveness directly; he or she needs no intermediary or intercession, for every human being, male or female, has a direct line to the Glorious Creator: whenever they cry and beg for mercy and forgiveness. Almighty Allah Most Merciful responds and forgives. To go to a fellow mortal for confession, upon which he would say something to the effect of, “Go my child, you have been forgiven,” has no place whatsoever in Islam”. Forgiveness is the domain of Almighty Allah Alone, and no one else is ever in a position to play His role. These doctrinal differences are neither trivial nor to be ignored, yet it would be foolish and counterproductive to fight or hate one another over them. Debate over differences of belief should abide by the highest ethics of civilized debate as shown to us in verse 46 of Surahtul Al-Ankabut:
Ma’a sheral Muslimeen! Notwithstanding the serious differences between the views of Christians and Muslims, Islam is very keen on expounding the common grounds and enjoying their spaciousness: [Surahtul Al-i-Imran verse 64].
Beloved people of Imaan! Beyond that, relations should remain peaceful and friendly. The philosophy of love as a basic motivation is not new, but in our times most people do not seriously embrace it. It extends across religion and race, hence the importance for its adherents to reach out and join one another. It is a need felt by all of humanity. Yes, the world could change. But that will never come about without diligent, selfless effort on the part of those who believe in its importance.
And Almighty Allah knows best.
Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.
Abdul Hamid Lachporia
my Khutbah’s for propagational purposes without my prior consent.