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Why So Many Religions

If there is only one God, then why are there so many religions? All religions originated with Allah and then people began to add or take away from the teachings so as to take control over each other.

{This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.} [Holy Quran 5:3].

Allah does not force anyone to submit to Him. He has laid out a clear path and then made it known to them the two ways (Heaven or Hell). The person is always free to make his or her own choice.

The Search for Inner Peace

The topic of inner peace addresses a universal need. There is nobody on this planet that does not desire inner peace. It is not a desire that is new to our time; rather, it is something that everybody has been searching for throughout the ages, regardless of colour, creed, religion, race, nationality, age, sex, wealth, ability or technological advancement.

People have taken a variety of different paths in trying to achieve inner peace, some through accumulating material possessions and wealth, others through drugs; some through music, others through meditation; some through their husbands and wives, others through their careers and some through their children’s achievements. And the list goes on

Yet the search also goes on. In our time we have been led to believe that technological advancement and modernisation will produce for us physical comforts and through these we will attain inner peace.

Israa and Miraaj

Israa’ literally means a journey by night and Miraaj literally means an elevator, i.e., an instrument which lifts something up. But, in Islam, Israa’ refers to a miraculous night-journey made by the last Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) from Makkah to Jerusalem, and Miraaj refers to the vehicle which took the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) from Jerusalem, up and out of the universe, through the seven heavens, and into the direct presence of Allaah.

Towards the end of a calm night, one year before the Hijrah, the roof of Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) house split open and angel Jibreel (Gabriel) descended into the Prophet’s (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) room. He went over to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), opened his shirt and cut open his chest. He then removed his heart and washed its inside with Zam Zam water. After he had completed washing it, he then brought a gold dish filled with Imaan (faith) and Hikmah (wisdom), emptied it into the Prophet’s (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) chest and then closed it all up.[1]

The Need for Revelation

      In the previous two parts of this series, we answered the two “big questions.”  Who made us?  God.  Why are we here?  To serve and worship Him.  A third question naturally arose: “If our Creator made us to serve and worship Him, how do we do that?” In the previous article I suggested that the only way we can serve our Creator is through obeying His mandates, as conveyed through revelation.

But many people would question my assertion: Why does mankind need revelation?  Isn’t it enough just to be good?  Isn’t it enough for each of us to worship God in our own way?

Regarding the need for revelation, I would make the following points: In the first article of this series I pointed out that life is full of injustices, but our Creator is fair and just and He establishes justice not in this life, but in the afterlife.  However, justice cannot be established without four things—a court (i.e., the Day of Judgment); a judge (i.e., the Creator); witnesses (i.e., men and women, angels, elements of creation); and a book of laws upon which to judge (i.e., revelation).

The Story of Mary in Brief

       In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the five greatest prophets sent by God to mankind.  Muslims’ knowledge about Jesus is based on the two main sources of Islamic knowledge: the Quran and Hadeeth (prophetic sayings).  In the Quran, Jesus is referred to as Isa ibn Maryam, or Jesus, the son of Mary.  The story of Mary and Jesus is best described in the Quran in chapters 3 and 19.

Mary: A Precocious Girlhood

The story starts with Mary, who was blessed as a child with God’s protection.  Mary was born to the pious household of Aal Imran, or the family of Imran.  Many people argued for the honor of taking care of the child, but the responsibility was given to Zechariah, an elderly and childless man, who immediately noticed that the young girl was special.  One day, Zechariah noticed that the girl had in her possession certain provisions for which he could not account.  He asked her how she came by the food and she answered,

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