"O my soul, it is only a few days, bear them patiently.A lifetime seems long but a flitting reverie"

~Imam Shafi~
" “The heart will rest and feel relief if it is settled with Allah and it will worry and be anxious if it is settled with people.” – Ibn al-Qayyim"....Say : "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge" (Qur'an - 12:108) "Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an, Al-Imran 3:84) . "And if he (Muhammad SAW) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah),We would have seized him by the right hand;And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta),And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him" (Qur'an,Al-Haqqah 69:44-47) "Do they not ponder the Quran! If it were revealed from a source other than Allah,certainly they would have found,many contradictions."[Holy Quran 4:82] " O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did)" [Holy Qur'an, 84:6] Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." ~Holy Quran 6:164 Imam Malik (rh): “Do not look to the sins of people as if you are Lords, but look to your own sins as if you are slaves. Have mercy on the people of affliction and praise Allah for your well-being, and never say, ‘This person is from the people of Hellfire, and this person is from the people of Paradise.’ Do not be arrogant over the sinners, but rather ask Allah to grant them hidayah and rashad (i.e. guidance).” Ibn Kathir (Ra) narrated: كان نقش خاتم عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه : كفى بالموت واعظاً ياعمر “The engraving on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s(Ra) ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O Umar”. ["Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaaya]. "When you fear the creation, you run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him,& run towards Him.".Ibn Qayyim . "Allahumma la‘aisha illa‘aish-al-Aakhirah": 'There is no life but the life of the next world' "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". (Quran 15:99) “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran: 29:69] "... And my success is not but through Allah . Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return." ~ Al Quran 11:88
"Nothing in this world is really useful to you unless it has some utility and value for the next world"-Imam Ali(R)

Abstract on Major Religions



by Dr. Zakir Naik

The most popular among the Aryan religions is Hinduism. ‘Hindu’ is actually a Persian word that stands for the inhabitants of the region beyond the Indus Valley. However, in common parlance, Hinduism is a blanket term for an assortment of religious beliefs, most of which are based on the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.



There are two kinds of sacred writings in Hinduism: Sruti and Smrti.
Sruti means that which has been heard, perceived, understood or revealed. It is the oldest and the most sacred of the Hindu’s Scriptures. The Sruti is divided into two main parts: the Vedas and the Upanishads and these two are considered to be of divine origin.

Smrti is not as sacred as the sruti. Yet it is considered to be important and is popular with the Hindus today. Smrti means memory or remembered. This Hindu literature is easier to understand because it speaks about the truths of the Universe through Symbolism and Mythology. The smrti are not considered to be of divine origin but are accepted as human composition.

 There are several sacred scriptures of the Hindus. Among these are the Vedas, Upanishads and the Puranas.

1.  VEDAS:

1. The word Veda is derived from vid which means to know, knowledge par excellence or sacred wisdom. There are four principal divisions of the Vedas (although according to their number, they amount to 1131 out of which about a dozen are available). According to Maha Bhashya of Patanjali, there are 21 branches of Rigveda, 9 types of Atharvaveda, 101 branches of Yajurveda and 1000 of Samveda).

2. The Rigveda, the Yajurveda and the Samveda are considered to be more ancient books and are known as Trai Viddya or the ‘Triple Sciences’. The Rigveda is the oldest and has been compiled in three long and different periods of time. The 4th Veda is the Atharvaveda, which is of a later date.

3. There is no unanimous opinion regarding the date of compilation or revelation of the four Vedas. According to Swami Dayanand, founder of the Arya Samaj, the Vedas were revealed 1310 million years ago. According to other scholars, they are not more than 4000 years old.

4. Similarly, there are differing opinions regarding the places where these books were compiled and the Rishis to whom these Scriptures were given. Inspite of these differences, the Vedas are considered to be the most authentic of the Hindu Scriptures and the real foundations of the Hindu Dharma.


1.  The word 'Upanishad' is derived from Upa meaning near, Ni which means down and Shad means to sit. Therefore ‘Upanishad’ means sitting down near. Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him the secret doctrines.

According to Samkara, ‘Upanishad’ is derived from the root word Sad which means ‘to loosen’, ‘to reach’ or ‘to destroy’, with Upa and ni as prefix; therefore ‘Upanishad’ means Brahma-Knowledge by which ignorance is loosened or destroyed.

2.  The number of Upanishads exceeds 200 though the Indian tradition puts it at 108. There are 10 principal Upanishads. However, some consider them to be more than 10, while others 18.

3.  The Vedanta meant originally the Upanishads, though the word is now used for the system of philosophy based on the Upanishad. Literally, Vedanta means the end of the Veda, Vedasua-antah, and the conclusion as well as the goal of Vedas. The Upanishads are the concluding portion of the Vedas and chronologically they come at the end of the Vedic period.
 4.  Some Pundits consider the Upanishads to be more superior to the Vedas.


Next in order of authenticity are the Puranas which are the most widely read scriptures. It is believed that the Puranas contain the history of the creation of the universe, history of the early Aryan tribes, life stories of the divines and deities of the Hindus. It is also believed that the Puranas are revealed books like the Vedas, which were revealed simultaneously with the Vedas or sometime close to it.

Maharishi Vyasa has divided the Puranas into 18 voluminous parts. He also arranged the Vedas under various heads.

Chief among the Puranas is a book known as Bhavishya Purana. It is called so because it is believed to give an account of future events. The Hindus consider it to be the word of God. Maharishi yasa is considered to be just the compiler of the book.


The two epics of Hinduism are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

A. Ramayana:

According to Ramanuja, the great scholar of Ramayana, there are more than 300 different types of Ramayana: Tulsidas Ramayana, Kumbha Ramayana. Though the outline of Ramayana is same, the details and contents differ.

Valmiki’s Ramayana:

Unlike the Mahabharata, the Ramayana appears to be the work of one person – the sage Valmiki, who probably composed it in the 3rd century BC. Its best-known recension (by Tulsi Das, 1532-1623) consists of 24,000 rhymed couplets of 16-syllable lines organised into 7 books. The poem incorporates many ancient legends and draws on the sacred books of the Vedas. It describes the efforts of Kosala’s heir, Rama, to regain his throne and rescue his wife, Sita, from the demon King of Lanka.

Valmiki's Ramayana is a Hindu epic tradition whose earliest literary version is a Sanskrit poem attributed to the sage Valmiki. Its principal characters are said to present ideal models of personal, familial, and social behavior and hence are considered to exemplify Dharma, the principle of moral order.

B. Mahabharata:

The nucleus of the Mahabharata is the war of eighteen days fought between the Kauravas, the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra and Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu. The epic entails all the circumstances leading upto the war. Involved in this Kurukshetra battle were almost all the kings of India joining either of the two parties. The result of this war was the total annihilation of Kauravas and their party. Yudhishthira, the head of the Pandavas, became the sovereign monarch of Hastinapura. His victory is supposed to symbolise the victory of good over evil. But with the progress of years, new matters and episodes relating to the various aspects of human life, social, economic, political, moral and religious as also fragments of other heroic legends came to be added to the aforesaid nucleus and this phenomenon continued for centuries until it acquired the present shape. The Mahabharata represents a whole literature rather than one single and unified work, and contains many multifarious things.

C. Bhagavad Gita:

Bhagavad Gita is a part of Mahabharata. It is the advice given by Krishna to Arjun on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It contains the essence of the Vedas and is the most popular of all the Hindu Scriptures. It contains 18 chapters.

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most widely read and revered of the works sacred to the Hindus. It is their chief devotional book, and has been for centuries the principal source of religious inspiration for many thousands of Hindus.

The Gita is a dramatic poem, which forms a small part of the larger epic, the Mahabharata. It is included in the sixth book (Bhismaparvan) of the Mahabaharata and documents one tiny event in a huge epic tale.

The Bhagavad Gita tells a story of a moral crisis faced by Arjuna, which is solved through the interaction between Arjuna, a Pandava warrior hesitating before battle, and Krishna, his charioteer and teacher. The Bhagavad Gita relates a brief incident in the main story of a rivalry and eventually a war between two branches of a royal family. In that brief incident - a pause on the battlefield just as the battle is about to begin - Krishna, one chief on one side (also believed to be the Lord incarnate), is presented as responding to the doubts of Arjuna. The poem is the dialogue through which Arjuna’s doubts were resolved by Krishna’s teachings.

                             CONCEPT OF GOD IN CHRISTIANITY        
                                          by Dr. Zakir Naik 

Christianity is a Semitic religion, which claims to have nearly 1.2 billion adherents all over the world. Christianity owes its name to Jesus Christ (peace be on him). The Holy Bible is the sacred scripture of the Christians:

a)  The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the Holy Scripture of the Jews and contains records of all the prophets of the Jews that came before Jesus (pbuh).

The New Testament contains records of the life of Jesus (pbuh).

b)   The complete Bible, i.e. the Old Testament and the New Testament put together, contains 73 books. However, the Protestant Bible i.e. the King James Version,  contains  only  66  books as  they  consider  7 books of the Old Testament to be apocrypha, i.e. of doubtful authority.

Therefore the Old Testament of the Catholics, contains 46 books and that of the Protestants, 39 books. However the New Testament of both these sects contains 27 books.

 I) Position of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam:

(i)Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus (pbuh). No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh).

(ii) We believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt).

(iii) We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe.

(iv) We believe he was the Messiah translated Christ (pbuh).

(v) We believe that he gave life to the dead with God’s permission.

(iv) We believe that he healed those born blind, and the lepers with God’s permission.

II) Concept of God in Christianity:

1. Jesus Christ (pbuh) never claimed Divinity

One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus (pbuh), where exactly is the parting of ways? The major difference between Islam and Christianity is the Christians’ insistence on the supposed divinity of Christ (pbuh). A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (pbuh) himself says, "I am God" or where he says, "worship me". In fact the Bible contains statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in which he preached quite the contrary. The following statements in the Bible are attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh):

(i) "My Father is greater than I."
[The Bible, John 14:28]

(ii) "My Father is greater than all."
[The Bible, John 10:29]

(iii) "…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God…."
[The Bible, Mathew 12:28]

(iv) "…I with the finger of God cast out devils…."
[The Bible, Luke 11:20]

(v) "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
[The Bible, John 5:30]

2. The Mission of Jesus Christ (pbuh) – to Fulfill the Law

Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity for himself. He clearly announced the nature of his mission. Jesus (pbuh) was sent by God to confirm the previous Judaic law. This is clearly evident in the following statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in the Gospel of Mathew:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
[The Bible, Mathew 5:17-20]

3. God Sent Jesus' (pbuh)

The Bible mentions the prophetic nature of Jesus (pbuh) mission in the following verses:

(i)"… and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me."
[The Bible, John 14:24]

(ii)"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent."
[The Bible, John 17:3]

4. Jesus Refuted even the Remotest Suggestion of his Divinity

Consider the following incident mentioned in the Bible:

"And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’

And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ "
[The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17]

Jesus (pbuh) did not say that to have the eternal life of paradise, man should believe in him as Almighty God or worship him as God, or believe that Jesus (pbuh) would die for his sins. On the contrary he said that the path to salvation was through keeping the commandments. It is indeed striking to note the difference between the words of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and the Christian dogma of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus (pbuh).

5. Jesus (pbuh) of Nazareth – a Man Approved of God  

The following statement from the Bible supports the Islamic belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet of God.

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."

[The Bible, Acts 2:22]

6. The First Commandment is that God is One

The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier:

"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad."

This is a Hebrew quotation, which means:

"Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord."
[The Bible, Mark 12:29]

It is striking that the basic teachings of the Church such as Trinity and vicarious atonement find no mention in the Bible. In fact, various verses of the Bible point to Jesus’ (pbuh) actual mission, which was to fulfill the law revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh). Indeed Jesus (pbuh) rejected any suggestions that attributed divinity to him, and explained his miracles as the power of the One True God.

Jesus (pbuh) thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier prophets of Almighty God.

NOTE: All quotations of the Bible are taken from the King James Version.

III) Concept of God in Old Testament:

1. God is One

The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh):

"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad".
It is a Hebrew quotation which means:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord"
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4]

2.  Unity of God in the Book of Isaiah

The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah:

(i) "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour."
[The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]

(ii) "I am Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me."
[The Bible, Isaiah 45:5]

(iii) "I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."
[The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]

3. Old Testament condemns idol worship

(i) Old Testament condemns idol worship in the following verses:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]

(ii) A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy:

"Thou shalt have none other gods before me."

"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth."

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]



Historical criticism has proved that the original teachings of Buddha can never be known. It seems that Gautama Buddha’s teachings were memorized by his disciples. After Buddha’s death a council was held at Rajagaha so that the words of Buddha could be recited and agreed upon. There were differences of opinion and conflicting memories in the council. Opinion of Kayshapa and Ananda who were prominent disciples of Buddha were given preference. A hundred years later, a second council at Vesali was held. Only after 400 years, after the death of Buddha were his teachings and doctrines written down. Little attention was paid regarding its authenticity, genuineness and purity.

Buddhist Scriptures can be divided into Pali and Sanskrit Literature:

A. Pali Literature:

The Pali literature was monopolized by the Hinayana sect of Buddhism.

Tri Pitaka

The most important of all Buddhist scriptures is the TRI-PITAKA which is in Pali text. It is supposed to be the earliest recorded Buddhist literature which was written in the 1st Century B.C.

The TRI-PITAKA or Three Baskets of law is composed of 3 books:

1. Vinaya Pitaka: ‘Rules of Conduct’ 
his is a boTok of discipline and mainly deals with rules of the order.

2. Sutta Pitaka: ‘Discourses’

It is a collection of sermons and discourses of Gautama Buddha and the incidents in his life. It is the most important Pitaka and consists of five divisions known as Nikayas. Dhammapada is the most famous Pali literature and contains aphorisms and short statements covering the truth.
3. Abhidhamma: ‘Analysis of Doctrine’

This third basket contains meta physical doctrines and is known as Buddhist meta physicals. It is an analytical and logical elaboration of the first two pitakas. It contains analysis and exposition of Buddhist doctrine.

B. Sanskrit Literature:

Sanskrit literature was preferred by the Mahayana. Sanskrit literature has not been reduced to a collection or in Cannon like the Pali literature. Thus much of the original Sanskrit literature has been lost. Some were translated into other languages like Chinese and are now being re-translated into Sanskrit.

1. Maha vastu: ‘Sublime Story’

Mahavastu is the most famous work in Sanskrit which has been restored from its Chinese translation. It consists of voluminous collection of legendary stories.


Lalitavistara is one of the holiest of the Sanskrit literature. It belongs to the first century C.E., 500 years after the death of Buddha. It contains the miracles which the superstition loving people have attributed to Buddha.

A. Noble Truths:

The principal teachings of Gautama Buddha can be summarised in what the Buddhists call the ‘Four Noble Truths’:

First – There is suffering and misery in life .

Second – The cause of this suffering and misery is desire.

Third – Suffering and misery can be removed by removing desire.

Fourth – Desire can be removed by following the Eight Fold Path.

B. The Noble Eight Fold Path:

(i) Right Views

(ii) Right Thoughts

(iii) Right Speech

(iv) Right Actions

(v) Right Livelihood

(vi) Right Efforts

(vii) Right Mindfulness

(viii) Right Meditation

C. Nirvana:

Nirvana' literally means "blowing out" or "extinction". According to Buddhism, this is the ultimate goal of life and can be described in various words. It is a cessation of all sorrows, which can be achieved by removing desire by following the Eight Fold Path


As mentioned earlier, the main teachings of Buddhism are summarised in the Four Noble Truths:
(i) There is suffering and misery in life.

(ii) The cause of suffering and misery is desire.

(iii) Suffering and misery can be removed by removing desire.

(iv) Desire can be removed by following the Eight Fold Path.

This Philosophy of Buddhism is self-contradictory or self-defeating because the third truth says ‘suffering and misery can be removed by removing desire’ and the fourth truth says that 'desire can be removed by following the Eight Fold Path'.

Now, for any person to follow Buddhism he should first have the desire to follow the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path. The Third great Noble Truth says that desire should be removed. Once you remove desire, how can we follow the Fourth Noble truth i.e. follow the Eight Fold Path unless we have a desire to follow the Eight Fold Path. In short desire can only be removed by having a desire to follow the Eight Fold Path. If you do not follow the Eight Fold Path, desire cannot be removed. It is self contradicting as well as self-defeating to say that desire will only be removed by continuously having a desire.



Judaism is one of the important Semitic religions. Its followers are known as Jews and they believe in the prophetic mission of Prophet Moses (pbuh).


(i) The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh):

"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad"

It is a Hebrew quotation which means:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord"
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4]

The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah:

(ii) "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour."
[The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]

(iii) "I am Lord, and there is none else There is no God besides me."
[The Bible, Isaiah 45 : 5]

(iv) "I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."
[The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]

(v) Judaism condemns idol worship in the following verses:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]

(iv) A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy:

"Thou shalt have none other gods before me."

"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth."

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]

In Judaism too, we find the same thread of monotheism, that is seen in other religions.


1) Muhammad (pbuh) prophesised in the book of Deuteronomy:

a) God Almighty speaks to Moses in Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 18:

"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."

b) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is like Moses (pbuh):

i) Both had a father and a mother.

ii) Both were married and had children.

iii) Both were accepted as Prophets by their people in their lifetime.

iv) Both besides being Prophets were also kings i.e. they could inflict capital punishment.

v) Both brought new laws and new regulations for their people.

vi) Both died a natural death.

c) Muhammad (pbuh) is from among the brethren of Moses (pbuh). Arabs are brethren of Jews. Abraham (pbuh) had two sons:

Ishmail and Isaac. The Arabs are the descendants of Ishmail (pbuh) and the Jews are the descendants of Isaac (pbuh).

d) Words in the mouth:

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was unlettered and whatever revelations he received from God Almighty he repeated it verbatim.

Deuteronomy (18:18):

"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."

2) Muhammad (pbuh) is prophesised in the book of Isaiah:

It is mentioned in the book of Isaiah chapter 29 verse 12:

"And the book is delivered to him that is not learned saying, ‘Read this, I pray thee’; and he saith, ‘I am not learned’.

"When Archangel Gabriel commanded Muhammad (pbuh) by saying ‘Iqra’, he replied "I am not learned".

3) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon

chapter 5 verse 16:

"Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehrace Bayna Jerusalem."

"His mouth is most sweet: ye, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughter of Jerusalem."

All the prophecies mentioned in the Old Testament regarding Muhammad (pbuh) besides applying to the Jews also hold good for the Christians (H Q. 61:6)



Sikhism is a non-Semitic, Aryan, non-Vedic religion. It is a religion that has the sixth largest following in the world. Some consider it as an offshoot of Hinduism. It was founded by Guru Nanak at the end of the 15th century. It originated in the area of Pakistan and North West India called Punjab, meaning the land of the five rivers. Guru Nanak was born in a Kshatriya (warrior caste) Hindu family but was very strongly influenced by Islam and Muslims.


The word ‘Sikh’ is derived from the word sisya meaning disciple or follower. Sikhism is a religion of ten Gurus, the first Guru being Guru Nanak and the tenth and the last being Guru Gobind Singh. The sacred book of Sikhism is Sri Guru Granth also called Adi Granth Sahib.


Every Sikh is supposed to keep the following five ‘K’s, which also serve to identify him as a Sikh:

Kesh – uncut hair.

Kanga – comb; used to keep the hair clean.

Kada – metal or steel bangle; for strength and self-restraint.

Kirpan – dagger; for self-defence.

Kaccha – special knee length underwear or under-drawer for agility.


The best definition that any Sikh can give regarding the concept of God in Sikhism is to quote the Mulmantra – the fundamental creed of Sikhism, which occurs at the beginning of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

It is mentioned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, volume 1 Japuji, the first verse:

"There exists but one God, who is called The True, The Creator, Free from fear and hate, Immortal, Not begotten, Self-Existent, Great and Compassionate."

Sikhism is a monotheistic Religion

Sikhism enjoins its followers to practise strict monotheism. It believes in only One Supreme God who is, in the unmanifest form, called Ek Omkara.

In the manifest form He is called Omkara and has several attributes such as:

Kartar – The Creator
Akal – The Eternal
Sattanama – The Holy Name
Sahib – The Lord
Parvardigar – The Cherisher
Rahim – The Merciful
Karim – The Benevolent

He is also called Wahe Guru – the One true God.

Besides Sikhism being strictly monotheistic, it also does not believe in Avataravada – the doctrine of incarnation. Almighty God does not incarnate Himself in what is known as Avatara. Sikhism is also strongly against idol worship.

Guru Nanak was influenced by Sant Kabir

Guru Nanak was influenced by the sayings of Sant Kabir so much that several chapters of Sri Guru Granth Sahib contain couplets of Sant Kabir.

One of the famous couplets of Sant Kabir is:

"Dukh mein sumirana sabh karein
Sukh mein karein na koya
Jo sukh mein sumirana karein
To dukh kaye hoye?"

"In times of trouble, God is remembered by all
But none remembers Him during peace and happiness.
If God is remembered in good times of happiness
Why should trouble occur?"

Compare this with the following verse of the Qur’an:

"When some trouble toucheth man,
He crieth unto his Lord,
Turning to Him in repentance:
But when He bestoweth
A favour upon him
As from Himself,
(Man) doth forget what he cried
And prayed for before,
And he doth set up
Rivals unto Allah."
[Al-Qur’an 39:8]

The Sikh scriptures therefore emphasise monotheism and God-consciousness



Zoroastrianism is an ancient Aryan religion that originated in Persia more than 2500 years ago. Though it has relatively few adherents, less than one hundred and thirty thousand in the whole world, it is one of the oldest religions. Zoroaster was the founder of Zoroastrianism, also commonly known as Parsi-ism. It is also known as the religion of fire worshippers and Magianism.

Parsi Scriptures consist of Dasatir and Vesta or Zend-Avesta. Dasatir is further divided into two parts: Khurda Dasatir and Kalan Dasatir.

Avesta is further divided into Khurda Avesta and Kalan Avesta also known as Zend or Maha-Zend.

The religious scriptures of the Parsis are found in two languages: Pahlawi (Pahlawi script resembles the present Persian script) and Zendi. Besides these two scripts, some religious literature is found in cuneiform writing.

Some Parsis consider the Zend Avesta to be more authentic than the Dasatir while the others consider Dasatir to be more authentic.

Zend Avesta is divided into three parts:

The first part contains Vendid.

The second part contains Sirozahs, Yashts and Nyays.

The third part contains Gathas, Yasha, Visparad, Afrinagan Gahs and miscellaneous.


Dasatir means a book of ten parts: ‘Das’ meaning 'ten' and ‘tir’ meaning ‘a part’. Dasatir is also the plural of Dastur, which means law or religious code.





Normally, when I meet an atheist, the first thing I like to do is to congratulate him and say, " My special congratulations to you", because most of the people who believe in God are doing blind belief - he is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; he is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him.

My Muslim brothers may question me, "Zakir, why are you congratulating an atheist?" The reason that I am congratulating an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahada i.e. the Islamic Creed, ‘La ilaaha’ - meaning ‘there is no God’.

So half my job is already done; now the only part left is ‘il lallah’ i.e. ‘BUT ALLAH’ which I shall do Insha Allah. With others (who are not atheists) I have to first remove from their minds the wrong concept of God they may have and then put the correct concept of one true God.


My first question to the atheist will be: "What is the definition of God?" For a person to say there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God. If I hold a book and say that ‘this is a pen’, for the opposite person to say, ‘it is not a pen’, he should know what is the definition of a pen, even if he does not know nor is able to recognise or identify the object I am holding in my hand. For him to say this is not a pen, he should at least know what a pen means. Similarly for an atheist to say ‘there is no God’, he should at least know the concept of God. His concept of God would be derived from the surroundings in which he lives. The god that a large number of people worship has got human qualities - therefore he does not believe in such a god. Similarly a Muslim too does not and should not believe in such false gods.

If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion with something to do with terrorism; a religion which does not give rights to women; a religion which contradicts science; in his limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject such Islam. The problem is he has a wrong picture of Islam. Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it becomes my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that non-Muslim i.e. Islam is a merciful religion, it gives equal rights to the women, it is not incompatible with logic, reason and science; if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may Inshallah accept Islam.

Similarly the atheist rejects the false gods and the duty of every Muslim is to present the correct concept of God which he shall Insha Allah not refuse.

(You may refer to my article, ‘Concept of God in Islam’, for more details)


The methods of proving the existence of God with usage of the material provided in the ‘Concept of God in Islam’ to an atheist may satisfy some but not all.

Many atheists demand a scientific proof for the existence of God. I agree that today is the age of science and technology. Let us use scientific knowledge to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. to prove the existence of God and simultaneously prove that the Qur’an is a revelation of God.

If a new object or a machine, which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before, is shown to an atheist or any person and then a question is asked, " Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object? After little bit of thinking, he will reply, ‘the creator of that object.’ Some may say ‘the producer’ while others may say ‘the manufacturer.’ What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.



In mathematics there is a theory known as ‘Theory of Probability’. If you have two options, out of which one is right, and one is wrong, the chances that you will chose the right one is half, i.e. one out of the two will be correct. You have 50% chances of being correct. Similarly if you toss a coin the chances that your guess will be correct is 50% (1 out of 2) i.e. 1/2. If you toss a coin the second time, the chances that you will be correct in the second toss is again 50% i.e. half. But the chances that you will be correct in both the tosses is half multiplied by half (1/2 x 1/2) which is equal to 1/4 i.e. 50% of 50% which is equal to 25%. If you toss a coin the third time, chances that you will be correct all three times is (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) that is 1/8 or 50% of 50% of 50% that is 12½%.

A dice has got six sides. If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 to 6, the chances that your guess will be correct is 1/6. If you throw the dice the second time, the chances that your guess will be correct in both the throws is (1/6 x 1/6) which is equal to 1/36. If you throw the dice the third time, the chances that all your three guesses are correct is (1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6) is equal to 1/216 that is less than 0.5 %.

Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.

At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.

The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Qur’an rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.

Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%.

The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation. Only in three options the result is .0017%. I leave it upto you, to work out the probability if all the hundreds of the unknown facts were guesses, the chances of all of them being correct guesses simultaneously and there being not a single wrong guess. It is beyond human capacity to make all correct guesses without a single mistake, which itself is sufficient to prove to a logical person that the origin of the Qur’an is Divine.


The only logical answer to the question as to who could have mentioned all these scientific facts 1400 years ago before they were discovered, is exactly the same answer initially given by the atheist or any person, to the question who will be the first person who will be able to tell the mechanism of the unknown object. It is the ‘CREATOR’, the producer, the Manufacturer of the whole universe and its contents. In the English language He is ‘God’, or more appropriate in the Arabic language, ‘ALLAH’.


Let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a book of Science, ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ but a book of Signs ‘S-I-G-N-S’ i.e. a book of ayaats. The Qur’an contains more than 6,000 ayaats, i.e. ‘signs’, out of which more than a thousand speak about Science. I am not trying to prove that the Qur’an is the word of God using scientific knowledge as a yard stick because any yardstick is supposed to be more superior than what is being checked or verified. For us Muslims the Qur’an is the Furqan i.e. criteria to judge right from wrong and the ultimate yardstick which is more superior to scientific knowledge.

But for an educated man who is an atheist, scientific knowledge is the ultimate test which he believes in. We do know that science many a times takes ‘U’ turns, therefore I have restricted the examples only to scientific facts which have sufficient proof and evidence and not scientific theories based on assumptions. Using the ultimate yardstick of the atheist, I am trying to prove to him that the Qur’an is the word of God and it contains the scientific knowledge which is his yardstick which was discovered recently, while the Qur’an was revealed 1400 year ago. At the end of the discussion, we both come to the same conclusion that God though superior to science, is not incompatible with it.


Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God. If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’).

Surah Fussilat:

"Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?"

[Al-Quran 41:53]


Introduction to Islam

Islam is a Semitic religion, which has over one billion adherents all over the world. Islam means "submission to the will of God". Muslims accept the Qur’an, as the word of God revealed to His last and final prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam states that Allah sent messengers and prophets throughout the ages with the message of Unity of God and accountability in the Hereafter. Islam thus makes it an article of faith to believe in all the earlier prophets, starting with Adam, and continuing with Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, John the Baptist and Jesus amongst many others (may peace be on them all).
Concept of God
  • The Most Concise Definition of God
  • Surah Ikhlas - the touchstone of theology
  • What does Islam say about ‘god-men’?
  • By what name do we call God?
  • God does not take human form:
  • God does not perform ungodly acts:
  • God only performs Godly acts:
  • Philosophy Of Anthropomorphism
  • The Creator prepares the instruction manual
  • Allah chooses Messengers:
  • Each attribute of God is unique and possessed by Him alone:
  • Unity of God
  • Tawheed

The Most Concise Definition of God

"Say: He is Allah,The One and Only.
"Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.
"He begets not, nor is He begotten.

And there is none like unto Him."

[Al-Qur’an 112:1-4]

The word ‘Assamad’ is difficult to translate. It means ‘absolute existence’, which can be attributed only to Allah (swt), all other existence being temporal or conditional. It also means that Allah (swt) is not dependent on any person or thing, but all persons and things are dependent on Him.

Surah Ikhlas - the touchstone of theology:
Surah Ikhlas (Chapter 112) of the Glorious Qur’an, is the touchstone of theology. ‘Theo’ in Greek means God and ‘logy’ means study. Thus Theology means study of God and to Muslims this four line definition of Almighty God serves as the touchstone of the study of God. Any candidate to divinity must be subjected to this ‘acid test’. Since the attributes of Allah given in this chapter are unique, false gods and pretenders to divinity can be easily dismissed using these verses.
What does Islam say about ‘god-men’?
India is often called the land of ‘god-men’. This is due to the abundance of so-called spiritual masters in India. Many of these ‘babas’ and ‘saints’ have a large following in many countries. Islam abhors deification of any human being. To understand the Islamic stand towards such pretenders to divinity, let us analyze one such ‘god-man’, Osho Rajneesh.

Let us put this candidate, ‘Bhagwan’ Rajneesh, to the test of Surah Ikhlas, the touchstone of theology:
1.   The first criterion is "Say, He is Allah, one and only". Is Rajneesh one and only? No! Rajneesh was one among the multitude of ‘spiritual teachers’ produced by India. Some disciples of Rajneesh might still hold that Rajneesh is one and only.
2.   The second criterion is, ‘Allah is absolute and eternal’. We know from Rajneesh’s biography that he was suffering from diabetes, asthma, and chronic backache. He alleged that the U.S. Government gave him slow poison in prison. Imagine Almighty God being poisoned! Rajneesh was thus, neither absolute nor eternal.
3.   The third criterion is ‘He begets not, nor is He begotten’. We know that Rajneesh was born in Jabalpur in India and had a mother as well as a father who later became his disciples.

In May 1981 he went to U.S.A. and established a town called ‘Rajneeshpuram’. He later fell foul of the West and was finally arrested and asked to leave the country. He came back to India and started a commune in Pune which is now known as the ‘Osho’ commune. He died in 1990. The followers of Osho Rajneesh believe that he is Almighty God. At the ‘Osho commune’ in Pune one can find the following epitaph on his tombstone:

"Osho – never born, never died; only visited the planet Earth between 11th December 1931 to 19th January 1990."
They forget to mention that he was not granted visa for 21 countries of the world. Can a person ever imagine ‘God’ visiting the earth, and requiring a visa to enter a country! The Archbishop of Greece said that if Rajneesh had not been deported, they would have burnt his house and those of his disciples.

4. The fourth test, which is the most stringent is, "There is none like unto Him". The moment you can imagine or compare ‘God’ to anything, then he (the candidate to divinity) is not God. It is not possible to conjure up a mental picture of the One True God. We know that Rajneesh was a human being, having two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth and a white flowing beard. Photographs and posters of Rajneesh are available in plenty. The moment you can imagine or draw a mental picture of an entity, then that entity is not God.

Many are tempted to make anthropomorphic comparisons of God. Take for instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous body builder and Hollywood actor, who won the title of ‘Mr. Universe’, the strongest man in the world. Let us suppose that someone says that Almighty God is a thousand times stronger than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The moment you can compare any entity to God, whether the comparison is to Schwarzenegger or to King Kong, whether it is a thousand times or a million times stronger, it fails the Qur’anic criterion, "There is none like unto Him".

Thus, the ‘acid test’ cannot be passed by anyone except the One True God.

The following verse of the Glorious Qur’an conveys a similar message:

"No vision can grasp Him.

But His grasp is overAll vision: 
He isAbove all comprehension,
Yet is acquainted with all things."

[Al-Qur'an 6:103]

By what name do we call God?

The Muslims prefer calling the Supreme Creator, Allah, instead of by the English word ‘God’. The Arabic word, ‘Allah’, is pure and unique, unlike the English word ‘God’, which can be played around with.

If you add ‘s’ to the word God, it becomes ‘Gods’, that is the plural of God. Allah is one and singular, there is no plural of Allah. If you add ‘dess’ to the word God, it becomes ‘Goddess’ that is a female God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add the word ‘father’ to ‘God’ it becomes ‘God-father’. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no word like ‘Allah-Abba’ or ‘Allah-father’. If you add the word ‘mother’ to ‘God’, it becomes ‘God-mother’. There is nothing like ‘Allah-Ammi’, or ‘Allah-mother’ in Islam. Allah is a unique word. If you prefix tin before the word God, it becomes tin-God i.e., fake God. Allah is a unique word, which does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Therefore the Muslims prefer using the Arabic word ‘Allah’ for the Almighty. Sometimes, however, while speaking to the non-Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word God, for Allah. Since the intended audience of this article is general in nature, consisting of both Muslims as well as non-Muslims, I have used the word God instead of Allah in several places in this article.

God does not become a human being:

God does not take human form:

Some may argue that God does not become a human being but only takes a human form. If God only takes a human form but does not become a human being, He should not possess any human qualities. We know that all the ‘God-men’, have human qualities and failings. They have all the human needs such as the need to eat, sleep, etc.

The worship of God in human form is therefore a logical fallacy and should be abhorred in all its forms and manifestations.

That is the reason why the Qur’an speaks against all forms of anthropomorphism. The Glorious Qur’an says in the following verse:

"There is nothing whatever like unto Him."  [Al-Qur'an 42:11]

God does not perform ungodly acts:

The attributes of Almighty God preclude any evil since God is the source of justice, mercy and truth. God can never be thought of as doing an ungodly act. Hence we cannot imagine God telling a lie, being unjust, making a mistake, forgetting things, or having any such human failings. Similarly God can do injustice if He chooses to, but He will never do it because being unjust is an ungodly act.
The Qur’an says:

"Allah is never unjust In the least degree." [Al-Qur'an 4:40]

God can be unjust if He chooses to be so, but the moment God does injustice, He ceases to be God.

God does not make mistakes :

God can make mistakes if He wants to, but He does not make mistakes because making a mistake is an ungodly act. The Qur’an says:

"…my Lord never errs."  [Holy Qur'an 20:52]

The moment God makes a mistake, he ceases to be God.

God does not forget :

God can forget if He wants to. But God does not forget anything because forgetting is an ungodly act, which reeks
of human limitations and failings. The Qur’an says:

"…my Lord never errs, nor forgets."  [Al-Qur’an 20:52]

God only performs Godly acts:

The Islamic concept of God is that God has power over all things. The Qur’an says in several places (Al -Qur’an 2:106; 2:109; 2:284; 3:29; 16:77; and 35:1):

"For verily Allah has power over all things"

Further, the Glorious Qur’an says:

"Allah is the doer of all that He intends." [Al-Qura'n 85:16]

We must keep in mind that Allah intends only Godly acts and not ungodly acts.


Many religions at some point believe, directly or indirectly, in the philosophy of anthropomorphism i.e. God becoming a human. Their contention is that Almighty God is so pure and holy that He is unaware of the hardships, shortcomings and feelings of human beings. In order to set the rules for human beings, He came down to earth as a human. This deceptive logic has fooled countless millions through the ages. Let us now analyze this argument and see if it stands to reason.

The Creator prepares the instruction manual

Suppose I manufacture a video cassette recorder (VCR). Do I have to become a VCR to know what is good or what is bad for the VCR? What do I do? I write an instruction manual: "In order to watch a video cassette, insert the cassette and press the play button. In order to stop, press the stop button. If you want to fast forward press the FF button. Do not drop it from a height or it will get damaged. Do not immerse it in water or it will get spoilt". I write an instruction manual that lists the various do’s and don’ts for the machine.

Holy Qur’an is the instruction manual for the human being:
Similarly, our Lord and Creator Allah (swt) need not take human form to know what is good or bad for the human being. He chooses to reveal the instruction manual. The last and final instruction manual of the human beings is the Glorious Qur’an. The ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for the human beings are mentioned in the Qur’an.

If you allow me to compare human beings with machines, I would say humans are more complicated than the most complex machines in the world. Even the most advanced computers, which are extremely complex, are pale in comparison to the myriad physical, psychological, genetic and social factors that affect individual and collective human life.
The more advanced the machine, greater is the need for its instruction manual. By the same logic, don’t human beings require an instruction manual by which to govern their own lives?

Allah chooses Messengers:

Allah (swt) need not come down personally for giving the instruction manual. He chooses a man amongst men to deliver the message and communicates with him at a higher level through the medium of revelations. Such chosen men are called messengers and prophets of God.
Some people are ‘blind’ and ‘deaf’:
Despite the absurdity of the philosophy of anthropomorphism, followers of many religions believe in and preach it to others. Is it not an insult to human intelligence and to the Creator who gave us this intelligence? Such people are truly ‘deaf’ and ‘blind’ despite the faculty of hearing and sight given to them by Allah. The Qur’an says:

"Deaf, dumb, and blind,

They will not return (to the path)."    

 [Al-Qur'an 2:18]

The Bible gives a similar message in the Gospel of Matthew:

"Seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."    [The Bible, Matthew 13:13]

A similar message is also given in the Hindu Scriptures in the Rigveda.

"There maybe someone who sees the words and yet indeed does not see them; may be another one who hears these words but indeed does not hear them." 1
[Rigveda 10:71:4]

All these scriptures are telling their readers that though the things are made so clear yet many people divert away from the truth.

Attributes of God:

To Allah belong the most beautiful names:
The Qur’an says:

"Say: Call upon Allah, 

or Call upon Rahman:
By whatever name you call Upon Him, 
(it is well):For to Him belong 

The Most Beautiful Names."

[Al-Qur'an 17:110]

A similar message regarding the beautiful names of Allah (swt) is repeated in the Qur’an in Surah Al-A’raf (7:180), in Surah Taha (20:8) and in Surah Al-Hashr (59:24).

The Qur’an gives no less than ninety-nine different attributes to Almighty Allah. The Qur’an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and Al-Hakeem (All Wise) among many other names. You can call Allah by any name but that name should be beautiful and should not conjure up a mental picture.

Each attribute of God is unique and possessed by Him alone:

Not only does God possess unique attributes, but also each attribute of Almighty God is sufficient to identify Him. I shall clarify this point in detail. Let us take an example of a famous personality, say Neil Armstrong. Neil Armstrong is an astronaut. The attribute of being an astronaut possessed by Neil Armstrong is correct but not unique to Neil Armstrong alone. So when one asks, who is an astronaut? The answer is, there are hundreds of people in the world who are astronauts. Neil Armstrong is an American. The attribute of being American possessed by Neil Armstrong is correct but not sufficient to identify him. So when one asks, who is an American? The answer is, there are millions of people who are American. To identify the person uniquely we must look for a unique attribute possessed by none except that person. For example, Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the moon. So when one asks, who was the first man to set foot on the moon, the answer is only one, i.e. Neil Armstrong. Similarly the attribute of Almighty God should be unique. If I say God is the constructor of buildings, it is possible and true, but it is not unique. Thousands of people can construct a building. But each attribute of Allah is unique and points to none but Allah. For example, God is the creator of the universe. If someone asks who is the creator of the universe, the answer is only one, i.e. Almighty God is the Ultimate Creator. Similarly, following are some of the many unique attributes possessed by none other than the Creator of the universe, Almighty Allah:
"Ar-Raheem", the Most Merciful
"Ar-Rahman", the Most Gracious
"Al-Hakeem", the Most Wise
So when one asks, "Who is ‘Ar-Raheem’, (the Most Merciful)?", there can only be one answer: "Almighty Allah".

One attribute of God should not contradict with other attributes:

Besides the attribute being unique, it should not contradict other attributes. To continue with the earlier example, suppose somebody says that Neil Armstrong is an American astronaut who was the first human to set foot on the moon and was an Indian. The attribute possessed by Neil Armstrong of being the first man to set foot on the moon, is correct. But its associated quality of being an Indian, is false. Similarly if someone says that God is the Creator of the Universe and has one head, two hands, two feet, etc., the attribute (Creator of the Universe) is correct but the associated quality (in the form of human being) is wrong and false.

All attributes should point to the one and same God:

Since there is only one God, all the attributes should point to one and the same God. To say that Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut who first set foot on the moon, but he was born in 1971 is wrong. Both these unique qualities belong to one and the same person, i.e. Neil Armstrong. Similarly to say that the Creator of the universe is one God and the Cherisher is another God is absurd because God possesses all these attributes combined together.

Unity of GodSome polytheists argue by saying that the existence of more than one God is not illogical. Let us point out to them that if there were more than one God, they would dispute with one another, each god trying to fulfill his will against the will of the other gods. This can be seen in the mythology of the polytheistic and pantheistic religions. If a ‘God’ is defeated or unable to defeat the others, he is surely not the one true God. Also popular among polytheistic religions is the idea of many Gods, each having different responsibilities. Each one would be responsible for a part of man’s existence e.g. a Sun-God, a Rain-God, etc. This indicates that one ‘God’ is incompetent of certain acts and moreover he is also ignorant of the other Gods’ powers, duties, functions and responsibilities. There cannot be an ignorant and incapable God. If there were more than one God it would surely lead to confusion, disorder, chaos and destruction in the universe. But the universe is in complete harmony. The Glorious Qur’an says:
"If there were, in the heavens
                                                       And the earth,
other godsBesides Allah, 
there wouldHave been confusion in both! 
But glory to Allah,
The Lord of the Throne:(High is He) 
aboveWhat they attribute to Him!"
[Al-Qur’an 21:22]

If there were more than one God, they would have taken away what they created. The Qur’an says:"No son did Allah beget,
Nor is there any godAlong with Him:
 (if there wereMany gods), behold, 
each godWould have taken away 
What he had created,
And some would haveLorded it over others!
Glory to Allah! (He is free) From the 
(sort of) thingsThey attribute to Him!"
[Al-Qur’an 23:91]
Thus the existence of one True, Unique, Supreme, Almighty God, is the only logical concept of God.

Definition and Categories:

Islam believes in ‘Tawheed’ which is not merely monotheism i.e. belief in one God, but much more. Tawheed literally means ‘unification’ i.e. ‘asserting oneness’ and is derived from the Arabic verb ‘Wahhada’ which means to unite, unify or consolidate.

Tawheed can be divided into three categories.

1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah
2. Tawheed al-Asmaa-was-Sifaat
3. Tawheed al-Ibaadah.
A. Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah (maintaining the unity of Lordship)
The first category is ‘Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah’. ‘Ruboobeeyah’ is derived from the root verb "Rabb" meaning Lord, Sustainer and Cherisher.
Therefore ‘Tawheed-ar-Ruboobeeyah’ means maintaining the unity of Lordship. This category is based on the fundamental concept that Allah (swt) alone caused all things to exist when there was nothing. He created or originated all that exists out of nothing. He alone is the sole Creator, Cherisher, and Sustainer of the complete universe and all between it, without any need from it or for it.

B.  Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes):

The second category is ‘Tawheed al Asmaa was Sifaat’ which means maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes. This category is divided into five aspects:

(i) Allah should be referred to as described by Him and His Prophet
Allah must be referred to according to the manner in which He and His prophet have described Him without explaining His names and attributes by giving them meanings other than their obvious meanings.

(ii) Allah must be referred to as He has referred to Himself
Allah must be referred to without giving Him any new names or attributes. For example Allah may not be given the name Al-Ghaadib (the Angry One), despite the fact that He has said that He gets angry, because neither Allah nor His messenger have used this name.

(iii) Allah is referred to without giving Him the attributes of His creation

In a reference to God, we should strictly abstain from giving Him the attributes of those whom He has created. For instance in the Bible, God is portrayed as repenting for His bad thoughts in the same way as humans do when they realise their errors. This is completely against the principle of Tawheed. God does not commit any mistakes or errors and therefore never needs to repent.

The key principle when dealing with Allah’s attributes is given in the Qur’an in Surah Ash-Shur
"There is nothing
                                                Whatever like unto Him,
And He is the One 
That hears and sees (all things)."  
 [Al-Qur’an 42:11]
Hearing and seeing are human faculties. However, when attributed to the Divine Being they are without comparison, in their perfection, unlike when associated with humans who require ears, eyes, etc. and who are limited in their sight and hearing in terms of space, time, capacity, etc.

(iv) God’s creation should not be given any of His attributes
To refer to a human with the attribute of God is also against the principle of Tawheed. For example, referring to a person as one who has no beginning or end (eternal).

(v) Allah’s name cannot be given to His creatures
Some Divine names in the indefinite form, like ‘Raoof’ or ‘Raheem’ are permissible names for men as Allah has used them for Prophets; but ‘Ar-Raoof’ (the Most Pious) and Ar-Raheem (the most Merciful) can only be used if prefixed by ‘Abd’ meaning ‘slave of’ or ‘servant of’ i.e. ’Abdur-Raoof’ or ‘Abdur-Raheem’. Similarly ‘Abdur-Rasool’ (slave of the Messenger) or ‘Abdun-Nabee’ (slave of the Prophet) are forbidden.

C. Tawheed al-Ibaadah (maintaining the unity of worship):

(i) Definition and meaning of ‘Ibadaah’:
‘Tawheed al-Ibaadah’ means maintaining the unity of worship or ‘Ibaadah’. Ibaadah is derived from Arabic word ‘Abd’ meaning slave or servant. Thus Ibaadah means servitude and worship.

(ii) All three categories to be followed simultaneously.
Only believing in the first two categories of Tawheed without implementing Tawheed-al-Ibaadah is useless. The Qur’an gives the examples of ‘Mushrikeens’ (idolaters) of the Prophet’s time who confirmed the first two aspects of Tawheed. It is mentioned in the Qur’an:
"Say: ‘Who is it that
Sustains you (in life)
From the sky and from the earth?
Or who is it that
Has power over hearing
And sight? And who
Is it that brings out
The living from the dead
And the dead from the living?
And who is it that
Rules and regulates all affairs?’
They will soon say, ‘Allah’.
Say, ‘Will you not then
Show piety (to Him)?’ "
  [Al-Qur’an 10:31]

A similar example is repeated in Surah Zukhruf of the Glorious Qur’an:                                                  "If thou ask them, 
WhoCreated them, they will Certainly say,
 ‘Allah’: howThen are they 
deludedAway (from the Truth)?"
[Al-Qur’an 43:87]
The pagan Meccans knew that Allah (swt) was their Creator, Sustainer, Lord and Master. Yet they were not Muslims because they also worshipped other gods besides Allah. Allah (swt) categorised them as ‘Kuffaar’ (disbelievers) and ‘Mushrikeen’ (idol worshippers and those who associate partners with God).

"And most of themBelieve not in Allah

Without associating (othersAs partners) with Him!"

  [Al-Qur’an 12:106]

Thus ‘Tawheed al-Ibaadah’ i.e. maintaining the unity of worship is the most important aspect of Tawheed. Allah (swt) alone deserves worship and He alone can grant benefit to man for his worship.

A. Definition:The omission of any of the above mentioned categories of  tawheed or deficiency in the fulfillment of any criteria of  Tawheed is referred to as 'shirk'.(Please note that the Arabic word 'Shirk' has the same sound as in the English word 'ship' and not as in the English word 'shirk',which means 'to evade'

‘Shirk’ literally means sharing or associating partners. In Islamic terms it means associating partners with Allah and is equivalent to idolatry.
B. Shirk is the greatest sin that Allah will never forgive:

The Qur’an describes the greatest sin in Surah Al-Nisa’:
"Allah forgives not That partners should be set up With Him; 

but He forgives Anything else, to whom He pleases; 
to set up Partners with Allah 
Is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed." 

[Al-Qur’an 4:48]

The same message is repeated in Surah Al-Nisa’:
"Allah forgives not (The sin of) joining other gods With Him; 

but He forgives Whom He pleases other sins Than this: 
one who joins Other gods with Allah, Has strayed far, 
far away (From the Right)." 

[Al-Qur’an 4:116]

C. Shirk leads to hell fire:

The Qur’an says in Surah Ma’idah:

"They do blaspheme who say:
‘Allah is Christ the sonOf Mary.’ 
But said Christ:‘O Children of Israel! 
Worship Allah, my LordAnd your Lord’. 
Whoever joins other gods with Allah –
Allah will forbid him the Garden, 
and the FireWill be his abode. 
There will for the wrongdoers
Be no one to help."
[Al-Qur’an 5:72]

D. Worship and Obedience to none but Allah:

The Qur’an mentions in Surah Ali-’Imran:
Say: "O people of the Book!
Come To common termsAs between us and you:
That we worship none but Allah;
That we associate no partners with Him;
That we erect not, from among ourselves,
Lords and patrons other than Allah.
"If then they turn back,Say ye: 
"Bear witness that we (at least) Are 
Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will)."
[Al-Qur’an 3:64]

The Glorious Qur’an says:
"And if all the trees on earth were 
pensAnd the Ocean (were ink), 
with seven Oceans behind it 
To add to its (supply), 
yet would not the Words Of Allah be exhausted (In the writing): 
for AllahIs Exalted in power, Full of Wisdom."

[Al-Qur’an 31:27]

Our analysis of Concept of God in various Religion shows that monotheism is an integral part of every major religion of the world. However, it is unfortunate that some adherents of these religions violate the teachings of their own scriptures and have set up partners to Almighty God.

An analysis of the scriptures of various religions, reveals that all scriptures exhort mankind to believe in, and submit to One God. All these scriptures condemn the association of partners to God, or the worship of God in the form of images. The Glorious Qur’an says:

"O men! Here isA parable set forth!
Listen to it! ThoseOn whom, besides Allah,
You call, cannot create(Even) a fly, 
if they allMet together for the purpose!
And if the fly should snatchAway anything from them,
They would have no powerTo release it from the fly.
Feeble are those who petitionAnd those whom they petition!"

[Al-Qur’an 22:73]

The basis of religion is the acceptance of Divine guidance. A rejection of this guidance has serious implications for society. While we have made great strides in science and technology, true peace still eludes us. All ‘isms’ have failed to provide the much vaunted deliverance.

The scriptures of all major religions exhort mankind to follow that which is good and eschew that which is evil. All scriptures remind mankind that good will not go unrewarded and evil will not go unpunished!

The question we need to address is, which of these scriptures provides us with the correct ‘instruction manual’ that we need to regulate our individual and collective lives?

I hope and pray that Allah guides all of us towards the Truth (Aameen).

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