People have mixed priorities:
What surprised and disappointed me recently is that at a time where there are high demands to abandon the religious heritage, there are also condemnations towards who criticise singers, where artistics and national institutions would release statements advocating for no harm towards artistic heritage.
We have heard about people glorifying who defend their cause in the name of land, and in the name of freedom of expression, the press and the media, and while defending these rights, they forget to defend the right of the Creator.
I said to myself:
Indeed, humans have lost focus, objective thinking, and knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
People have mixed priorities.
The Islamic civilization collecting authentic sayings, and the actions of the Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, and memorising the Noble Qur’an, has done well with the Creator. It has thus, preserved a religion that puts the relationship between the Creator and the creatures in the right place.
In contrast, other human civilizations have mistreated the way they dealt with their Creator.
Some people have worshiped others apart from Him. Other people disbelieved in Him. They have dealt in ways far from what He deserves in Glory and Grace.
During my travelling around the world, I was shocked that everyone demanded human rights, animal rights, and women’s rights, until they ended up with the rights of homosexuals and those who only have gay tendencies that transcend the laws of the universe. Does my inclination to travel, for example, make me have a right over the state to support me financially and morally to achieve my desires and tendencies,
Regardless of the apparent contradiction in human behavior in this regard, they have forgotten the fundamental right, which is the right of the Creator Who created them, formed them, and gave them freedom of choice. They also ignored to claim their right to communicate with the Creator directly.
I always focus in my discussions and lectures on the point of prioritising, giving rights, and balancing both.
I would say that the problem of the world today is not setting priorities.
The Ten Commandments in the Torah, which similar commandments are found in Hindu books and some Buddhist antiquities as well (despite their denial of this) say: Give the Creator his right first, then do not approach theft and adultery.
One of the greatest proofs of this is that everyone, including atheists, Hindus, and Buddhists, resort to the Power in heaven, which is the Creator, to help them when worldly causes are interrupted and they are in danger of death.
Although other commandments from other religions spread around the world, it is surprising that through my conversations with Non-Muslims, I realise that they remember the first commandments except the first one. When I ask them to mention these commandments, they often begin from the third commandment. Their excuse is that they always forget the first and second commandments, which state the importance of worshipping God alone (Monotheism) and staying away from polytheism. This situation is proof that ignoring these commandments is done intentionally through religious scholars and foundations to gain mundane and political benefits.
A person needs to have faith in a deity, whether believing in the true God or any false deity. He may call it god, or name it anything else. His god may be a tree, a star in the sky, a woman, his boss at work, a scientific theory, or even an identity in himself, but it is necessary to believe in something that follows it and sanctifies it, along with returning to it in his way of life and may die for it. This is what we call worship. Worshipping the true God frees a person from being a slave to others.
If we do not worship the Creator, we will end up worshiping others.
We find that people today are far from being committed to giving the Creator His right, so they worship others.
This is evidence of deliberately ignoring these commandments, by the clergy and religious institutions, national and artistic, etc., to gain worldly benefits.
Monotheism is the key to coexistence:
In an interview I recently had with a group of priests and monks from around the world of the Interfaith Dialogue Conference for peaceful coexistence, I mentioned that monotheism is key to this coexistence.
- Giving the Creator (the Power in heavens) His right by worshiping Him alone, bearing witness that He is the One. He has no parents, no child, no equal. Knowing and understanding that God (Creator) is beyond incarnating in the form of humans, animals, idols, etc.
- Giving every human his right to communicate with his Creator directly, personally, without any intermediary (priest, saint, idol, etc.). Seeking refuge when needed and in adversities directly in the Creator, not in any prophet, including the Prophet of God Muhammad or his family members.
- Establishing equality among humans and helping humanity get rid of abhorrent racial intolerance. There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab except for piety.
- Giving the Messengers of the Creator their due, all of them from Adam to Muhammad, including Jesús Christ and Moses, peace be upon them, and that is to believe in them, respect them, and follow the message of the last prophet among them, which is Muhammad, peace be upon him.
- Ending oppression and injustice on earth.
- Providing freedom of choice to allow people to choose their religion and practice its rituals freely.
Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood. So whoever renounces false gods and believes in Allah has certainly grasped the firmest, unfailing hand-hold. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing (Qur’an Al-Baqara:256).
But in all cases, no pluralism in the absolute truth, which states:
True religion is one religion: To believe in the Creator, Who has no partner or child. The Creator does not incarnate in a human, animal or an idol form. Humans have to worship Him alone, not through a priest or saint.
At that time, I remembered a simple summary that I heard about the Islamic model for arranging the jurisprudence of priorities and objective thinking (١).
Muhammad, peace be upon him, recieved the divine revelation in the Arabian Peninsula, which was surrounded by civilizations characterized by their oppression and dictatorship.
- The Persian civilization “Khosrow” glorified “Khosrow”, a human, on a political basis.
- The Roman civilization glorified the “Roman people” on a political basis, making human beings either a Roman or a barbarian.
- The Christian civilization glorified the “Christ”, a human, on a religious basis and made him a god.
- The Jewish civilization glorified the “Jewish people” on a religious basis, making human beings either a Jew or a Gentile.
Finally came the Islamic civilization.
The Islamic civilization prohibited the glorification of the Prophet Muhammad, on a political basis.
The Creator said:
Muḥammad is no more than a messenger; other messengers have gone before him. If he were to die or to be killed, would you regress into disbelief? Those who do so will not harm Allah whatsoever. And God will reward those who are grateful. (Qur’an. Al-Imran: 144)
The Islamic civilization prohibited the glorification of the Prophet Muhammad on a religious basis:
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “I am only a man like you, ˹but˺ it has been revealed to me that your God is only One God. So whoever hopes for the meeting with their Lord, let them do good deeds and associate none in the worship of their Lord.” (Qur’an. Al-Kahf:110).
Prophet Muhammad said:
Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Messanger.
Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, the companion of the Prophet said upon his astonishment at the reaction of Muslims after the death of Prophet Muhammad:
Whoever among you worships Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, then Muhammad has died. Whoever worships the Creator, then He is alive and doesnot die.
The Islamic civilization prohibited the glorification of the Arabs on a political basis.
Prophet Muhammad said:
. ..One who fights under the banner of a people who ate blind (to the cause for which they are fighting. i. e. do not know whether their cause is just or otherwise), who gets flared up with family pride, calls, (people) to fight for theirs. family honour, and supports his kith and kin (i. e. fights not for the cause of The Creator but the sake of this family or tribe) -if he is killed (in this fight), he dies as one belonging to the days of ignorance (before Islam). Who so attacks my nation (indiscriminately) killing the righteous and the wicked of them, sparing not (even) those staunch in faith and fulfilling not his promise made with those who have been given a pledge of security-he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.
The Islamic civilization prohibited the glorification of Arabs on a religious basis.
Prophet Muhammad said in his last sermon:
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black, nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Human beings, We created you all from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing of you. Surely God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Qur’an 49:13)
The Creator is the center of the universe:
The Creator said:
Say (O Muhammad): “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allāh, Lord of the worlds. (Qur’an. Al-An’am:162).
I have always liked to repeat these verses that clearly give the human the reason for his existence.
Prophet Muhammad said:
On the Day of Judgement, God, Most High, will descend to His servents to judge between them. Every nation shall be kneeling. The first of those who will be called before him will be a man who memorized the Qur’an, and a man who was killed in God’s cause, and a wealthy man. God will say to the reciter: ‘Did I not teach you what I revealed to My Messenger?” He says: ‘Of course O Lord!’ He says: ‘Then what did you do with what you learned?’ He said: ‘I would stand (in prayer reciting) with it during all hours of the night and all hours of the day for your sake.’ Then God would say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say: ‘You have lied. God will say to him: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is a reciter. And that was said.’ The person with the wealth will be brought, and God will say to him: ‘Was I not so generous with you, such that I did not leave you having any need from anyone?’ He will say: ‘Of course O Lord!’ He says: ‘Then what did you do with what I gave to you?’ He says: ‘I would nurture the ties of kinship and give charity for your sake.’ Then God will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ God, Most High, will say: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is so generous, and that was said.’ Then the one who was killed in God’s cause shall be brought, and God will say to him : ‘For what were you killed?’ So he says: ‘I was commanded to fight in Your cause ,so I fought until I was killed.’ God [Most High] will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ God [Most High] will say: ‘Rather, you wanted it be said that so-and-so is brave, and that was said.’
We understand from the words of the Prophet that:
- The Creator is the center of the universe.
- The Creator’s right is the center of life.
- The existence of the Creator is the value of life.
- Without the existence of the Creator, life has no value.
The inevitability of the end of life is the greatest indication that it has no value without the Creator.
And whoever works for the sake of humanity, will receive from humanity all kinds of love, appreciation, fame, veneration and glorification. The hereafter has its laws.
In an interview I had with a Latin family whose members had insisted on glorifying Jesus Christ and raising his status to the level of divinity, justifying this by their love for him.
I told them:
Does a girl’s love for her father leads her to marry him?
Love is different, and the lover does not exaggerate the love of his beloved, and gives him the right he deserves.
A woman’s love for her father is not like her love for her brother, nor her love for her husband or her child.
Each of them has his right.
Loving the Creator leads to giving Him His right, which is to worship Him alone.
Loving the Christ leads to giving him his right, which is to follow his message.
- If a person loves a national hero, he must remember that his love for his Creator must be greater. And his defense of the right of his Creator must be stronger and first.
- If a person loves the one who defends his right, then he must remember that his love for the one who gave him this right in the first place must be stronger and first.
- If a person loves the one who saved his life, he must remember that the right of the one who gave him this life in the first place must be stronger and first.
Communicating with the Creator is a priority:
When one of the jurists was asked about the priority of communicating with the Creator directly through prayer over good morals, he said:
Prayer is first, because it will inevitably lead a person to good morals.
And if the prayer does not prevent the believer from indecency and evil, then the fault here is in the believer’s faith, how he performs the prayer and the degree of his reverence, and the fault is not in the idea of prayer itself, and in this case he must review himself.
The Creator says:
(O Prophet), recite the Book that has been revealed to you and establish Prayer. Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil. And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit. Allah knows all that you do. (Qur’an.Al-Ankabut:45)
- The Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East use the word “Allah” to refer to God, which refers to The Only True God.
- The reference of God to Himself as WE or US in many verses of the Qur’an denotes Grandeur and Power in Arabic. In the English language this is known as the royal WE, where a plural pronoun is used to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch. For the avoidance of doubt, the Qur’an has consistently reminded us of the SINGULAR pronoun in reference to God, when called upon by His servants.
- The Qur’an is the last sacred book sent by God, but not the only book, as Muslims believe in all the earlier revelations of God (the scriptures of Abraham, the book of David, the Torah, the Gospel,etc.). Muslims believe that the original message in all the sacred books is Pure Monotheism (unifying God in worship). Unlike the Divine scriptures that preceded, the Qur’an has not been kept in the hands of any particular group or clergymen of allMuslims which would lead to the misinterpretation or alteration of it. On the contrary, the Qur’an has always been within the reach of Muslims who recite it in their daily prayers, and they refer to it for all their concerns. Muslims read and recite the same Qur’anic text that was read and recited during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Not a single letter has been added or removed from the Qur’an. The language of the Qur’an, the prophecies which came true, the accuracy in historical accounts, the mathematical inimitability and scientific accuracy, all prove that the Qur’an could not have been produced by a man who lived in Arabia in the 7th century and who could not read or write. God the Almighty challenged the Arabs and the non-Arabs to bring forth a book similar to the one He revealed, even though the Arabs at that time were masters of eloquence and rhetoric, they were unable to meet the challenge, and they realized that the Qur’an could not be from any other than God, the Lord of the universe.
A Global Religión