Islamic Concepts and Beliefs

Islam – The True and Living Faith

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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Promised Messiah & Imam Mahdi (as)

The Promised Messiah (as) wrote over 80 books in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Excerpts of his collected works have been translated into English and organised by topic.

The Review of Religions is pleased to present these excerpts as part of a monthly feature. Here the Promised Messiah (as) describes the countless blessings and enduring signs of Islam.

Extracts from The Essence of Islam – Vol. I. pp. 14-33

This is the second part of a multi-part series.

A study of the religions of the world reveals that every religion, except Islam, contains some mistake or the other. This is not because they were all false in their origin, but because after the advent of Islam, God gave up the support of other religions. They became like neglected gardens, which had no gardener to look after them, and for the irrigation and upkeep of which no arrangement had been made, so that gradually they began to decay. Their fruit-bearing trees became dry and barren, and thorns and weeds spread all over. Those religions lost all spirituality, which is at the root of all religions, and nothing was left but bare words.

God did not allow this to happen in the case of Islam, as He desired that this garden should flourish throughout. He made provision in each century for its irrigation and thus rescued it from decay. Although at the beginning of each century, when a man of God was appointed for its reform, the ignorant people opposed him and were averse to the reform of anything which had become part of their habits and customs, yet God Almighty adhered throughout to His way. In these latter days also, which is the time of the last battle between guidance and error, finding the Muslims heedless and neglectful in the beginning of the fourteenth century, God recalled His promise and made provision for the revival of Islam. But other faiths were never revived after the advent of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] and they all died. There was no spiritual life in them and errors took root in them, as dirt accumulates in a garment which is much in use but which is never washed. People who had no concern with spirituality and who were not free from the stains of earthly existence corrupted these faiths to a degree that they no longer resemble the originals.

Consider the case of Christianity, how pure was its origin. The teaching set forth by Jesus was not perfect as compared with the teachings of the Qur’an, because the time had not yet come for the revelation of the perfect teaching and people were not yet strong enough to bear it, yet that teaching was an excellent one and was appropriate for its own time. It guided to the same God to Whom the Torah guided; but after Jesus, the god of the Christians became another god who found no mention in the Torah and was not at all known to the children of Israel. Belief in this new god upset the whole system of the Torah and all the guidance contained in the Torah for deliverance from sin and attaining true salvation and a pure life was frustrated. Salvation and deliverance from sin now depended upon the confession that Jesus had accepted crucifixion for the sake of the salvation of mankind, and that he was the very God Himself. Many permanent laws of the Torah were abrogated and the Christian faith was so changed that if Jesus were to come back to the earth he would not be able to recognise it.

It is a matter of surprise that the people who were admonished to adhere to the Torah set aside its commandments at one stroke. For instance, it is nowhere stated in the Gospel that though the Torah forbids the eating of the flesh of swine yet it is now permitted, nor does the Gospel say that though circumcision is prescribed in the Torah yet that commandment is now abrogated. But all this was done and that which had never been said by Jesus became part of religion. However, as it was God’s design to establish a universal religion, namely Islam, the decay of Christianity was an indication of the appearance of Islam.

It is also well established that Hinduism had been corrupted before the advent of Islam and that throughout India idol worship had become common. Part of this corruption resulted in the doctrine that God Who is not dependent upon matter for the exercise of His attributes is, according to the Aryas, essentially dependent on the availability of matter for the creation of the universe. This led to another false doctrine that all particles of matter and all souls are eternal and uncreated. Had they considered deeply the attributes of God, they would never have said so; for if in the exercise of His eternal attribute of creation, God is dependent on matter like a human being, then how is it that in the exercise of the attribute of hearing and seeing He is not so dependent as man is. Man cannot hear without the agency of air and he cannot see without the aid of light. Then is God also dependent upon light and air for seeing and hearing? If He is not so dependent, be sure that He is not dependent upon matter for the exercise of His attribute of creation. It is entirely false that He is dependent upon matter for the exercise of any of His attributes. It is a great mistake to attribute human weaknesses to God; for instance, that He cannot create something from nothing. Man’s being is limited and God’s Being is unlimited. By the power of His Being, He can create another being. This is the essence of Godhead. He is not dependent upon matter for the exercise of any of His attributes, for had that been so, He would not be God. Nothing can obstruct Him. If He were to desire to create a heaven and earth instantly, He would be able to do so. Of the Hindus those who, in addition to knowledge, partook of spirituality also and were not committed to bare logic, never believed that concerning God which the Aryas set forth today. This is the result of the lack of spirituality altogether.

All this corruption, some of which is unmentionable and is opposed to human purity, was an indication of the need of Islam. Every reasonable person is bound to confess that a short while before Islam, all other faiths had become corrupt and had lost all spirituality. The Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] was a great reformer in the cause of truth who restored the lost verities to the world. No prophet shares with him the pride that he found the whole world in darkness and by his advent that darkness gave place to light. 

—Lecture Sialkot, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 20, pp. 203-206

Perfect Reality of Islam

First of all, it is necessary to set out what is the reality of Islam, what are the means of arriving at that reality and what are the fruits of following that reality; for this knowledge is essential for the purpose of understanding many mysteries. It would be of great benefit for our opponents from among the Muslims that they should study these matters with attention, for many of the doubts which assail their minds are the result of their failure to reflect upon the complete and perfect reality of Islam, its sources and its fruits…The opponents of religion also would benefit greatly by this study. They would understand what religion is and what are the signs of its truth.

In the idiom of Arabic, Islam means money paid as earnest to conclude a bargain, or to commit some affair to someone, or to seek peace, or to surrender a claim or point.

The technical meaning of Islam is set out in the verse:

بَلَىٰ ۚ مَنۡ أَسۡلَمَ وَجۡهَهُۥ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٞ فَلَهُۥٓ أَجۡرُهُۥ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ [1]

This means that a Muslim is one who commits himself wholly to the cause of God Almighty; that is to say, one who devotes himself to God Almighty, to following His designs and to winning His pleasure, and then becomes steadfast in doing good for the sake of God Almighty and devotes all his faculties to that cause. In other words, he belongs entirely to God Almighty both doctrinally and in practice.

Doctrinal belonging means that one should esteem one’s being as something which has been created for the recognition of God Almighty and His obedience and the seeking of His love and pleasure. 

Practical belonging means to do all the good that is related to every one of one’s faculties with such eagerness and attention as if one beholds the countenance of the True Beloved in the mirror of one’s obedience. 

—A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp. 57-58

The reality of Islam is to present one’s neck to God like the sacrificial lamb; to give up one’s own designs and to be devoted to the designs of God and His pleasure; to lose oneself in God and to impose a type of death upon oneself; to be dyed in the personal love of God and to obey Him entirely for the sake of that love; to obtain eyes that see only through Him, and to obtain ears that hear only through Him, and to develop a heart that should be wholly devoted to Him, and to obtain a tongue which would speak only at His command. This is a stage where all search ends; human faculties complete their functions and man’s ego dies completely. Thereupon divine mercy confers a new life upon the seeker through His living words and His shining light. He is honoured with the delightful converse of God. A fine light, which is not discoverable by reason and is not recognisable by the eyes, approaches close to his heart, as is said by God:

 وَنَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيدِ  [2]

We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein.

In this manner, God honours mortal man with His nearness. Then the time comes when blindness is removed and eyes are given insight and man beholds God with his new eyes, hears His voice and finds himself wrapped in the mantle of His light. Thus, the purpose of religion is fulfilled and having beheld God, man casts aside the dirty garment of his lower life and puts on a garment of light. He waits for a sight of God and of heaven not merely as a promise to be fulfilled in the hereafter, but in this very life. He achieves the bounties of sight and converse and heaven. As Allah the Exalted has stated: 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَٰمُواْ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُواْ وَلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ وَأَبۡشِرُواْ بِٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِي كُنتُمۡ تُوعَدُونَ [3]

This means that: Angels descend upon those who affirm that their God is the One Who possesses all perfect attributes and Who has no associate in His Being or His attributes, and after their affirmation, they are steadfast and no earthquake and calamity and no confrontation of death can shake their faith. God speaks to them and reassures them not to be afraid of calamities or of enemies and not to be sorrowful over past misfortunes. He reassures them that He is with them and that He has bestowed upon them in this very world the paradise that was promised to them in which they should rejoice.

These are not statements without testimony, nor are they promises that have not been fulfilled. Thousands of the faithful in Islam have tasted of the spiritual paradise that is promised in this verse. The true followers of Islam have been made heirs by Almighty God to all the previous righteous ones, and bounties that were bestowed upon them have been bestowed upon the Muslims. 

—Lecture Lahore, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 20, pp. 160-161

A person can be held to be a Muslim when the whole of his being together with all his faculties, physical and spiritual, is devoted to God Almighty, and the trusts that are committed to him by God Almighty are rendered back to the True Giver. He should demonstrate his being a Muslim not only doctrinally but also in practice. In other words, a person claiming to be a Muslim should prove that his hands and feet, heart and mind, reason and understanding, anger and compassion, meekness and knowledge, all his physical and spiritual faculties, honour and property, comfort and delight, and whatever pertains to him from the top of his head to the soles of his feet together with his motives, fears and passions, have all been subordinated to Almighty God as a person’s limbs are subordinated to him. It should be proved that his sincerity has reached a stage in which whatever is his does not belong to him but to God Almighty, and that all his limbs and faculties have become so devoted to the service of God as if they had become the limbs of the Divine. 

Reflection on these verses [4] shows clearly that devoting one’s life to the cause of God Almighty, which is the essence of Islam, has two aspects.

First, that God Almighty should become one’s object of worship and true goal and love, and that worship, love, fear and hope should be for God alone, to the exclusion of all others. All the commandments related to His holiness, glory and worship, all the limits set by Him, and all heavenly decrees should be totally and sincerely accepted. All these commandments, limits, laws and decrees should be accepted in great humility. All the truths and understandings, which are the means of appreciating His vast powers and of finding out the greatness of His kingdom and His sovereignty and are a guide for the recognition of His favours and bounties, should be fully ascertained.

The second aspect of devoting one’s life to the cause of God Almighty is that one’s life should be devoted to the service of His creatures and to sympathy with them and to sharing their burdens and sorrows. One should suffer pain to bring them comfort, and one should experience grief to bring them consolation.

This shows that the reality of Islam is a very superior thing and that no one can truly deserve the title of Muslim till he surrenders the whole of his being to God, together with all his faculties, desires, and designs and till he begins to tread along His path withdrawing altogether from his ego and all its attendant qualities. A person will be truly called a Muslim only when his heedless life undergoes a total revolution and his evil-directing self, together with all its passions, is wiped out altogether and he is invested with a new life which is characterised by his carrying out all his obligations to Allah and which should comprise nothing except obedience to the Creator and sympathy for His creatures.

Obedience to the Creator means that in order to make manifest His honour, glory and unity, one should be ready to endure every dishonour and humiliation, and one should be eager to undergo a thousand deaths in order to uphold His unity. One hand should be ready to cut off the other with pleasure in obedience to Him, and the love of the grandeur of His commandments and the thirst for seeking His pleasure should make sin so hateful as if it were a consuming fire, or a fatal poison, or an obliterating lightning, from which one must run away with all one’s power. For seeking His pleasure one must surrender all the desires of one’s ego; and to establish a relationship with Him one should be ready to endure all kinds of injuries; and to prove such relationship one must break off all other relationships. 

The service of one’s fellow-beings means to strive for their benefit purely for the sake of God in all their needs, and in all the relationships of mutual dependence which God has established out of true and selfless sympathy for them. All in need of help should be helped out of one’s God-given capacity and one must do his best for their betterment both in this world and in the hereafter. 

—A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp. 59- 62

Blessings of Islam

I would now wish to enlarge upon the fruits of Islam. Let it be clear that when a true seeker lives Islam in full, and each one of his faculties, without any affectation or pretence, spontaneously begins to tread the path of God Almighty, the result of his efforts is that the higher manifestations of divine guidance, freed from all intervening veils, hasten towards him. Diverse types of blessings descend upon him. The commandments and doctrines, which were accepted on faith and as hearsay, are now experienced by him as realities and certainties through true visions, and definite and unambiguous revelation. The mysteries of the faith and the law are revealed to him and he is afforded a view of the divine kingdom so that he should arrive at the stage of perfect certainty and understanding. A blessing characterises his tongue and his words and all his actions and his movements. He is bestowed extraordinary courage and steadfastness and his understanding is expanded at a high level. The characteristic failing of humankind, meanness, miserliness, the tendency towards frequent stumbling, short-sightedness, proneness towards passion, lowliness of behaviour and every darkness of his ego are totally removed from him and he is filled with the light of divine attributes. Thereupon, he undergoes an entire change and puts on the garment of a new birth. He hears through God Almighty, sees through Him, moves with Him and stops with Him. His anger becomes the wrath of God Almighty, and his compassion becomes the compassion of God Almighty.

When he arrives at that stage, his prayers are heard as a mark of his having been chosen, and not merely as a trial; and he becomes the proof of God on earth and personifies security from God. There is joy in heaven on his account and the highest gift that is bestowed upon him is the word of God which descends upon his heart free from any doubt, like the light of the moon shining through without any mistiness. It carries an effective sense of delight with it and bestows satisfaction, comfort and security. The difference between this converse with God and revelation is that revelation is like a perennial spring that flows continuously to the chosen ones of God. They speak, see and hear with the Holy Spirit and all other intentions are born of the breath of the Holy Spirit. The truth of the matter is that they become the reflection and embodiment of the Qur’anic verse:

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ * إِنۡ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحۡيٞ يُوحَىٰ [5]

But converse with God is different. It means that the word of God descends upon them in the form of verbal revelation. They hear the response to their questions from God such as a friend receives from a friend. We can only define it by saying that it is a special manifestation of God the Glorious, which is conveyed through a favourite angel. Its purpose is to give intimation of the acceptance of prayer, or to communicate a new or secret matter, or to make aware of something that is to happen in the future, or to convey God’s pleasure or lack of it concerning any matter, or to create certainty and understanding concerning some matter. It is a divine voice that manifests itself in the form of converse in order to create understanding and satisfaction. It is not possible to define it any more than to say that it is a voice which proceeds from God and is experienced in delicious words full of blessings, which is not induced by any thinking or reflection or any intrusion of self and is blessed with a divine manifestation and divine majesty. 

—A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp. 226-233

I believe in Islam alone as a true religion and consider all other faiths as bundles of falsehood. I perceive that by believing in Islam fountains of light are coursing through me. Through the love of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him], I have arrived at that high stage of converse with the Divine and of acceptance of prayer which can only be achieved by a follower of the true Prophet and by no other. If the Hindus and the Christians and others were to supplicate their false gods, even unto death, they could not achieve that stage.

I hear the words of God, which the others believe in only as a theory. I have been shown and have been told and have been made to understand that Islam alone is the true faith in the world, and it has been disclosed to me that I have received all this through the blessing of following the Khatam-ul-Anbiya’ [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] and that the equal of it cannot be achieved in any other religion for they are all false.

—A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp. 275-276

God be thanked a thousand times, Who has bestowed upon us a religion, which is such a means of attaining to the knowledge of God and to the fear of God, as has had no equal in any age. Thousands of blessings be upon the immaculate Prophet (sa) through whom we have entered this faith and thousands of divine mercies be bestowed upon his companions who irrigated this garden with their blood.

Islam is such a blessed and God-indicating religion that if a person follows it truly and acts upon the teachings, guidance and admonitions contained in the Holy Word of God Almighty, the Holy Qur’an, he would behold God in this very life. For the recognition of God, Who is hidden from the sight of the world behind thousands of screens, there is no other means except the teachings of the Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an guides towards God Almighty through reason and heavenly signs in a very easy manner. It comprehends a blessing and a magnetic power, which draws a seeker of God every moment towards God and bestows light, comfort and satisfaction. A true believer in the Holy Qur’an does not merely contemplate like philosophers that there ought to be a Creator of this wonderful universe; he acquires a personal insight and, being honoured with a holy vision, he sees with the eye of certainty that that Creator in fact exists. He who is bestowed the light of this Holy Word does not merely guess like those who rely upon reason alone that God is One, without associate. But through hundreds of shining signs which take him by the hand and lead him out of the darkness, such a person learns for himself that God has no associate in His Being or in His attributes. He is able to demonstrate to the world that he believes God to be such a unity. The majesty of the unity of God so fills his heart that in comparison with the divine will, he regards the whole world as no more than a dead insect and indeed as nothing at all.

—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part V, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 21, pp. 25-26

Continued Beneficence of Islam

The God of a true religion should be so much in accord with reason and the light of nature that His existence should be a matter of proof for people who possess reason but who have no heavenly book in which they believe. He should be such as does not savour of coercion or artificiality. Such perfection is characteristic of the God Who is presented by the Holy Qur’an. The followers of other religions have either abandoned the True God, as have the Christians, or have attributed improper and low attributes to Him, as have the Jews, or have deprived Him of His attributes, as have the pagans and the Aryas. The God of Islam is the same True God Who is seen through the mirror of the law of nature and is visible in the book of nature. Islam has not presented a new God but has presented the same God Who is presented by the light of man’s heart and by man’s conscience and by heavens and earth.

Another quality of a true religion is that it should not be a dead creed. The blessings and greatness which were cultivated in it, in the beginning, should persist in it till the end of the world for the promotion of the welfare of mankind, so that ever fresh signs should confirm its past signs and should not permit the light of its truth to become an old tale. I have been writing over a long period that the Prophethood which was claimed by our lord and master Muhammad, the chosen one [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] and the heavenly proofs in the form of signs which he had set forth, still continue in Islam and are bestowed upon his followers so that they should arrive at the state of complete understanding and should witness the Living God directly.

The signs which are attributed to Jesus are mere stories, and are nowhere to be seen, and therefore this religion, which teaches the worship of the dead, is itself dead like its god. A verity cannot be confined to old tales. Every people have a store of tales setting forth alleged miracles and wonders. It is a characteristic only of Islam that it does not present merely the defective and imperfect comfort of tales and stories, but satisfies the seekers with living signs.

A seeker after truth should not be satisfied with senseless worship of the dead and should not be put off with sorry tales. We have come into the market of the world to purchase the best. We should not waste our faith by exchanging it with false things. A living faith is that through which we can find the Living God. The Living God is He Who can inspire us directly, or could at least bring us in contact with one who is directly inspired. I convey this good news to the whole world that the God of Islam is such a Living God. Those with whom no one can now speak are dead and are not God. No one can see their signs today. He whose god is dead would be put to shame in every field and would be humiliated and would not be helped in any way.

My purpose in making this announcement is that a religion which is true does not change. As it was in the beginning, so it would be at the end. A true religion would never become a dry tale. Islam is a true religion, and I call everyone – Christians, Aryas, Jews and Brahmus – to show them the truth of Islam. Is there anyone of them who seeks the Living God? We do not worship the dead. Our God is Living. He helps us through His inspiration and revelation and through heavenly signs. If there is a single Christian who is truly a seeker after truth, let him make a comparison between our Living God and his dead god. For such a trial, a period of forty days would suffice.

—Majmu’a Ishtiharat, Vol. 2, pp. 310-312

Enduring Signs of the Truth of Islam

The Islam whose qualities we have set out is not something for proof of which we have to refer only to the past and have to point only to the ruins of tombs. Islam is not a dead faith so that it may be said that all its blessings have been left behind and there is nothing ahead. The principal quality of Islam is that its blessings always accompany it. It does not speak only of the past but offers present blessings as well. The world is always in need of blessings and heavenly signs. It is not as if it needed them in the past and does not need them now. 

A weak and helpless human being who is born like a blind is in need of knowing something of the heavenly kingdom and needs to see some signs of the existence and power of God in Whom he believes. The signs of a past age cannot suffice for a subsequent age, for hearing is not the same as seeing and, by the passage of time, past events become like stories. Every new century, in a manner of speaking, starts a new world. Therefore, the God of Islam, Who is the True God, manifests new signs for each new world. At the beginning of each century, especially at the beginning of a century which has strayed far away from faith and integrity and is enveloped in many darknesses, He raises a substitute prophet in the mirror of whose nature is exhibited the form of a Prophet. Such a one demonstrates to the world the excellences of the Prophet whose follower he is and convicts all opponents through the truth and the display of reality and the frustration of falsehood. 

—A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp. 245-247

The sign of a true religion is that through its teaching such righteous ones should continue to arise who should arrive at the stage of a Muhaddath to whom God Almighty should speak face to face. The first and foremost sign of the truth of Islam is that at all times it produces such righteous ones with whom God Almighty talks:

تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُواْ وَلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ    [6]

This alone is the test of a true, living and acceptable religion. We know that this light is to be found only in Islam and that the Christian faith is without such light.

—Hujjat-ul-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 6, p. 43

We can furnish conclusive proof to every seeker after truth that from the time of our lord and master the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] up to this day, in every century there have appeared men of God through whom God Almighty has guided other people by the display of heavenly signs. Of these were Sayyed ‘Abd-ul-Qadir Jilani, Abu-al-Hasan Kharqani, Abu Yazid Bistami, Junaid Baghdadi, Mohy-ud-Din Ibne-’Arabi, Dhunnun Misri, Mu’in-ud-Din Chishti Ajmeri, Qutb-ud-Din Bakhtiar Kaki, Farid-ud-Din Pakpatni,  Nizam-ud-Din Dehlvi, Shah Wali-ullah Dehlvi, and Sheikh Ahmad Sarhandi (Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him). Their number exceeded thousands. So many extraordinary happenings concerning them are set out in the books of the learned ones that even a very bigoted opponent has to admit that these people manifested extraordinary signs and miracles. I tell you truly that through my research, so far as it is possible for one to discover about the past, I have come to the conclusion that the number of heavenly signs in support of Islam and as a testimony of the truth of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] which have been manifested through the Auliya’ of this Ummah, is not to be equalled in the history of other religions. Islam is the only religion which has progressed through heavenly signs, and its numberless lights and blessings have ever demonstrated the existence of God Almighty as if He is visible close at hand. 

Be sure that on the score of its heavenly signs Islam has not been put to shame in any age. In this age of yours, you could, if you wished, be the witnesses of signs in support of Islam. Say truly: have you not witnessed signs in support of Islam in your own age? Is there any other religion in the world that can produce such testimony? These indeed are the reasons which have broken the back of Christian missionaries. He whom they set up as god has nothing in his support except a few meaningless tales and false narratives. 

The signs of the truth of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him], whom they reject, are visible in this age like pouring rain. For seekers the gates of heavenly signs are as open today as they were in any previous age, and for those who are hungry after truth the banquet of bounties is as much available today as it was before. A living faith is as much available today as it was before. A living faith has always the hand of the Living God at its back and such a faith is Islam. 

—Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 13, pp. 91-92

If anyone should have a question that there are hundreds of false religions which have flourished through thousands of years, though they must have originated in some imposture, the answer is as follows. According to us, imposture means that a person should himself fashion deliberately a few sentences, or should invent a book claiming that it has been revealed to him by God Almighty whereas nothing of the kind has been revealed to him. We can affirm on the basis of full research that such imposture has never been able to flourish in any age. The Book of God bears clear testimony that those who were guilty of imposture against God Almighty were soon destroyed. We have already stated that the same testimony is borne by the Torah, the Gospel and the Holy Qur’an. 

The false religions that we observe in the world today like those of the Hindus and the Zoroastrians do not represent the dispensations of false prophets. The truth is that their followers through their own mistakes have fallen into accepting their current doctrines. You cannot point to any book which claims clearly that it is a divine book while in truth, it might be an imposture and a whole people might have held it in honour throughout. It is, however, possible that a divine book might have been misinterpreted. A political government seizes jealously a person who falsely claims to be a government official. Then, why would God, Who is jealous of His glory and His kingdom, not seize a false claimant? 

—Anjam-e-Atham, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 11, pp. 63-64, footnote


[1] The Holy Qur’an, 2:113.

[2] The Holy Qur’an, 50:17.

[3]The Holy Qur’an, 41:31.

[4] The reference is to verse al-Baqarah, 2:113.

[5] ‘Nor does he speak out of his own desire. It is nothing but pure revelation that has been revealed by God.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 53:4-5.

[6] ‘Angels descend on them, saying: “Fear ye not, nor grieve.”’ – The Holy Qur’an, 41:31.