W e believe in Allah (God), and in that which has been sent down on us and sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets of their Lord; we make no division between any of them,. . ." (2:136)
The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers ( Muslims); each one believes in Allah and His angles, and in His Books and His Messengers; we make no division between any one of His Messengers. (2:285)
"The above verses of the Holy Qur'an bear clear testimony to the fact that, as one of the fundamentals of his faith, every Muslim has to believe not only in the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, but in all the other prophets as truthful and holy and should not make any distinction between them.
"The following verse of the Holy Qur'an informs us of the fact that prophets were raised by God, among all nations in all parts of the earth
: . . . not a nation there is, but there has passed away in it a warner. (35:24)"
It convinced me that Islam alone is all comprehensive faith which recognizes all other religions and which contains in it a perfectly harmonious integration of all the good found partly in the other religious orders of the world.
The sacred Book of Islam, i.e., the Holy Qur'an, is the final exposition of the Divine Truth in its perfection which was revealed at different times, through the other heavenly scriptures, in parts suiting the various evolutionary levels of conception by the human minds.
The limitation of the human mind of the different ages, did not allow even prophets like Jesus to speak out the whole of the truth. Jesus had to depart with many things yet to be told to his people. Jesus had to tell his people to wait until the advent of the Spirit of Truth to disclose the whole of the truth. (John, 16:12-13)
I was further impressed by the universal aspect of the religion Islam.
Every answer from the Lecturer was with an unchallengeable authority and with an unbreakable argument. I was awakened to differentiate between the genuine truth and the fabrications of falsehood- and to know many new factors to which I was blind all these years.
But I did not know how to reconcile the dawn of true knowledge of truth with my original blind dogmatic belief and my belonging to the Christian faith any longer. I wanted to find out some failure on the part of the Lecturer to answer satisfactorily some questions or the other, so that I might have some excuse, be that even a false one, to maintain my position in the Christian faith.
The Lecturer continued after some time with the question
: "Shall I ask you something if you do not mind answering it for my information?"
I said, "Yes."
He said, "Do you think Jesus to be a son of God or God himself?"
I said, "Jesus according to the Christian belief is God himself in the form of His son."
He asked, "Can you ever conceive anyone to be the immortal god and at the same time be a mortal (man) to be caught in the hands of other mortals to suffer death?
"Can anything be high and at the same time low, black and at the same time white? Can there be darkness and the same time light? What philosophy is this?"
The Lecturer continued saying
: "Do you ever consider that there is one other question confronting the doctrine of the Trinity which needs to be answered by every Trinitarian that if any three different beings which are three different entities are also at the same time one, with absolute unity in all the perfect sense or meaning of Oneness?
What is the common control which makes them remain three and also be one at one and the same time? If there be any factor of such a wonderful and inconceivable phenomenon causing this amazing effect, then that supreme causative power, which controls the number and the unity, will alone be the Omnipotent God and not any one of the three which are only the controlled components.
"Besides, there arises another problem, the question a believer in the Trinity will have to answer, i.e., as to who is it that controls or determines the splitting of one into only three different others, to be neither more nor less in number?
There must be some cause for this controlled effect, and that the causative factor acting supreme over three will be the Omnipotent God and not any one of the three which will only be the effect of the supreme controlling cause.
"Similarly, will rise the question, what is the causative power which affects the three to be only one when joining together and not divided into any groups of beings? If there be any such cause, that supreme controlling cause will be the Omnipotent God and not any one of the three which will only be the subservient one.
"Under any circumstances no sensible man can ever reasonably believe in any effect whatsoever, without some causative factor affecting it.
"However, the Holy Trinity is only a problematic doctrine created by the Christian Church which no logical reasoning can ever prove true."
I had to helplessly agree to the views of the Lecturer, for I could not reasonably believe in the existence of anything being itself and at the same time being its opposite.
"I would like you, Mr. Joseph," said the Lecturer, "to ponder a little over the belief that Jesus being God himself or the son of God, was so terrified at the impending crucifixion that he shouted
: "Eli, Eli lama sabachthani?" (My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?) (Math., 27:46)
"What philosophy is that? If Jesus was God himself, does it mean that god was forsaken by God Himself? Can that be god who felt helpless and shouted to be rescued?
“Your Bible itself, Mr. Joseph, reports that the son of God was forsaken by his father (God) in which case the forsaken son automatically and quite naturally forfeits his personal merits as a son and his relationship of being a son to his father. What do you say? Of what profitable use the attachment to a forsaken son can be, Mr. Joseph, please tell me."
I was struck dumb. I did not know what to say and what to do with the faith I already possessed as a staunch Christian.
"Besides," the Lecturer continued, "do you think Jesus to be God himself when he falls down crying, praying to someone else to remove the cup of death by crucifixion?"
I asked, "All right Sir, how do you reconcile the violence used by the Prophet of Islam to his being an Apostle of God?"
Immediately came the reply from the Lecturer, "Please, Mr. Joseph, quote a single instance from the whole of the life history of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) to show that he has ever committed any unprovoked aggression or any single instance of his taking the least initiative in attacking any single soul.
Every expedition of a battle he led or he allowed, was only in self-defense. Had he not defended as he did, today his advent in this world and his teachings about the truth about God which the world has learnt only through his holy mission, would have become some legends of ancient times full of blasphemies for you and for me, only to be read in some story books and thus be deluded by the falsehood for all times. The Bible does not preach self-defense.
The Bible only preaches self-surrender to the extent of handing over everything of one's possession when anything which was in one's hand has been taken away by any aggressor. Does any Christian power follow this? Did Rome, the seat of Catholicism, abide itself by these teachings of the Bible? Did not Rome, with His Holiness the Pope in it, wage an unprovoked aggression against another Christian people of Abyssinia in the last world war?
"Why go to the political history of the Christian nations of Europe? Why not remember the inhuman method employed by the Christendom to spread its faith? Can the world forget the Edict of Milan, recorded at length in all books of the history of the Christian Church?
Not to uproot any evil but in their madness to swell the ranks of the followers of their own established churches, the inhuman atrocities and the brutal conduct of the Christian authorities would need volumes to relate the heinous deeds in all their details. Gibbon has pictured their character and conduct in his famous work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
: "`At Minorca,' says Gibbon, `the relics of St. Stephen converted in eight days 540 Jews; with the help, indeed, of some wholesome severities, such as burning the synagogue, driving the obstinate infidels to starve among the rocks, etc.' (vol.II, p.69)
In Alexandria the Jews were expelled from the city, their synagogues appropriated to the use of the church. The account of the Jews who have been plundered, sent naked into banishment, starved, tortured, left to perish in prison, hanged and burnt by the Christians would fill many volumes.
"Gibbon further reports
: " '. . . in almost every province of the Roman world, an army of fanatics without authority and without discipline, invaded the peaceful inhabitants; and the ruin of the fairest structures of antiquity still display the ravages of those barbarians who alone had time and inclination to execute such laboricus destruction.' (vol.2, pp.55-56)"
I was ashamed to hear what Gibbon has reported. I had to quietly listen to the records of the disgraceful conduct of the Christians. I, at last, ventured to ask one more question, "There is the doctrine of atonement or expiation of sins of men through the blood of Jesus. Jesus having paid the price of the sins of man, i.e., he who believes in Jesus is cleansed and saved. Have you any such accommodation in Islam?"
The Lecturer smiled and replied, "My friend, the greatest of God's gifts to man is the common sense. If man forfeits it of his own accord, then none can help him.
"First, let me know if this doctrine appeals to reason and common sense. A, for example, a Christian by faith, i.e., a believer in Jesus Christ as his Savior, plunders the house of B and the members of B's family. Does sense or logic agree to A being let off unpunished by any law, particularly the law of the All-just Lord of the universe, simply because A accepts Jesus as his Savior?"
I had to say, "No", because, to say otherwise would mean I forfeit my common sense and go against reasoning.
He continued, "There is one very grave aspect of the doctrine of atonement through the blood of Jesus, i.e., when we pay for a thing, the thing becomes our own and the previous owner of the thing forfeits his entire claim over it for the price he has already received. Is it not?"
I said, "Yes."
Then he said, "If the sins of man have been paid for, God has no right to punish any sinner. Every sinner who merely believes in Jesus would be free to do anything in the world which his brutal passion dictates him to do, for God his Lord has no right whatsoever even to question any sinner, for Jesus has met the cost of all his sins.
Can this ever be sensible logic or common sense? Can this doctrine help life on earth to continue for one moment in peace and security?"
He continued, "Please remember, Islam wants every individual to be kept bound by his being answerable with his individual responsibility to virtue against vice, in the interest of his own individual life as well as the interest of the collective life in this world, himself as a member of not only the human race but also of the creation of the Lord as a whole.
Islam continuously invites and encourages man towards righteousness with the promise of the blissful life in the hereinafter and repeatedly warns him against vice and the consequent chastisement from the All just Lord. The Holy Qur'an repeatedly warns saying
: And be on your guard against a day when one soul shall not avail another in the least, neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted nor shall any compensation be taken from it, nor shall they be helped. (2:48)
Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray; nor can the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another, nor do We chastise until We raise an apostle. (17:15)
O you men! surely We have created you of a male and female, and made you tribes and families that you m ay k now each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is knowing, Aware. (49:13)
"While threatening man with grievous punishment in recompense for his evils, the Holy Qur'an discloses also the infinite mercy of the All-merciful Lord Who does not want man, however much a sinner the individual be, to be totally dejected or hopeless of the merciful pardon from Him.
The only condition for the pardon he needs, being inner's repentance against his vices, with his intention of amending his conduct in the future, and turning wholeheartedly to obedience and gratitude to the All-merciful Lord for His infinite Grace.
"For goodness sake, tell me, Mr. Joseph, which do you think is reasonable and sensible, either making man intoxicated and careless against sinning, i.e., making him unreasonably confident of the price of his sins as has already been paid by someone or alerting with his commitment to virtue against vice, i.e., keeping him warned of the natural consequence of getting punished by the All-just Lord, for any misconduct or disobedience?"
I felt that I had that day understood the hollowness of the doctrine of atonement upon which is built the whole edifice of the Christian faith. The divine mercy of the Lord dawned upon my heart, a new light of the divine guidance.
I thanked God for liberating me from the clutches of the grossly misleading dogmatic doctrine and leading me to Islam which I have myself found through an impartial enquiry that it is the right and the straight royal road to salvation which the All-merciful Lord Himself has shown man through this Last Apostle Muhammad, may peace be on him and his divinely chosen descendants.
When I disclosed my acceptance of the true arguments advanced by the Lecturer and thanked him, he told me
: “Mr. Joseph, you must thank God for blessing you with the fulfillment of His merciful promise to every sincere seeker of truth!
"The All-merciful Lord by His infinite mercy has fulfilled His merciful promise to give mankind the everlasting guidance through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) who would abide in his guidance for all times. (John, 14:16)
"In Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) was fulfilled the divine promise for the Prophet, and the promise of the Lord to raise Twelve Princes in the seed of Ishmael was fulfilled in God's raising the Twelve Holy Imams in the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) who is the divinely chosen issue of Ishmael.
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall beget, and I will make him a great nation. (Gen.,17:20)
"All these Holy Imams were of the purest character and of an undoubtedly godly conduct and though they never received any education from any other mortal in this world, all of them, like the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny), were the wonderful stores and the divinely caused fountain-heads of knowledge to enlighten the world with the true knowledge about the Lord of the Universe.
"Eleven of these Twelve divinely commissioned Imams or Guides lived as the perfect models of pure humanity in complete resignation to the Divine Will and all of them were martyred.
If anyone wants to see a perfect model of a man surrendering his all, most willingly suffering the worst and the most painful afflictions in the way of the Lord offering the sacrifice of even his six months old baby son, and even his severed head glorifying the Lord from upon the point of the lance on which it was raised after it was severed, one must see the Holy Imam Husayn at Karbala'.
The world will find Husayn not shouting `Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani', or desiring in the least the removal of the cup of death, but drinking it cheerfully, glorifying the Lord in his last thanks- giving prayers while he was being butchered in the worst heartless way.
"As the promise of God to give mankind a prophet to abide forever has been recorded in the Old Testament, this great sacrifice has also been prophesied in Jeremiah
: For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: f or the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. (46:10)"
After coming across so many sane and unbreakable arguments against the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and also about many other fundamentals of the Christian belief, I only wondered how such an unreasonable faith could attract such a huge number of people in the world.
Once I found my father returning home very happy and immediately as he arrived he called me and said
: “You will be glad to know my dear son that, today I got hundred and nine souls into our fold. At the baptism of such a big number in one day the Rev. Father, the chief of our mission praised my services very much and has increased my salary as well as my travelling allowance and has awarded me with a token reward of Rs.109/- corresponding to the number baptized through my efforts."
I asked, "Who are they, father, who were baptized today?"
The reply was, "They are from five surrounding villages. There are men, women and children, hundred and nine souls together."
I asked, "Are they all educated?"
The reply was, "No. They are the poor people of the cheries (slums). They are only labors in the paddy fields of their villages."
I asked if they have understood fully their undertaking as converts to the Christian faith. "Will every one of them stand any cross examination against their decision to leave the folds they were in, and their joining the Christian belief?"
The reply was, "What do you mean? I told you they are all uneducated poor illiterate labors from the slums. The group consists of men, women and children. Now, I will have to go there every day and coach them up in the doctrine of our faith."
On hearing this I smiled, and seeing me smiling, my father asked, "Why do you smile, Joseph? What is the matter?"
I said, "Nothing father! I do not see in this mass conversion, any matter of pride or pleasure which any true religion or any genuine or reasonable faith can claim for itself, for it is nothing but exploiting the illiteracy and ignorance of the poor laborers. It is leading the mentally blind ones into something which they neither know nor recognize.
Do you think, father, that any sensible man can reasonably take pride in getting some illiterate men, women and children to accept his own ideals and justifiably claim the least merit or value to his thoughts?
“While the entry into a faith like Islam, is effected only after a detailed study and enquiry by the learned ones with perfect conviction. We Christians pride over our success in swelling up our ranks by mass conversions of illiterate labors, which, by circumstances, are forced to accept the Christian doctrine without knowing what they do is right or wrong.
An ignorant mind is like a blank sheet: one can draw upon it whatever ones fancy chooses and once the inscription is made to be settled upon such raw material, any artist can pride over the plate having any particular design of his own.
If we today, to win the sympathy of the ignorant masses, boast before our illiterate converts, of our humility and self-sacrifices in the cause of the spread of our faith, will the outer world also forget the Edict of Milan, father, and will all, the records of the history of the brutal outrages that Christendom committed against the Jews, in its own passionate eagerness and anxiety to swell its ranks, all together totally vanish?"
I continued, "If you kindly permit me, father, I would like to know from you if this Bible in your hands is to be merely read, memorized and preached to the others or it is to be acted upon in our daily life?
If it is to be acted upon, will you kindly show me, father, if the Christian world could ever practice the principle of turning the other cheek also if one is already smitten? Could any sincere Christian till now, give away his shirt when his coat was taken away? Will you, father, surrender our whole house if anybody invades our residence and takes possession of any of the rooms in this premises?
If the Christian powers of the world really believe in this doctrine of self-surrender, why do they maintain their military and police forces? Kindly tell me, father, if there is any earthly use of merely believing in any golden ideals which can only adorn the pages of some book and which can only be preached but never practiced. Why should we not reasonably accept the doctrine of self-defense taught by Islam, and the principle of pardoning our offenders if they are repentant and amending their conduct?
"For goodness sake let me know, father, how can three different ones at the same time be three as well as an absolute one, both numerically and also in the essential nature of perfect unity?
"On what reasonable grounds can the one who is forsaken by God, be god himself and if Jesus is to be believed as the son of God what claim to the relationship with his father can a forsaken son have?
“What right has Christendom to claim any truth in it when its spread was caused by the inhuman atrocities committed by the Christian forces against the Jews which conduct of the brutal outrages committed in the holy name of Christ, has been fully reported even by the Christian authorities on Edict of Milan and by the world renowned Christian scholar Gibbon in his famous work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
"The doctrine of atonement through the blood of Christ, will naturally attract those sinners who have sinned and who do not want to give up sinning under the protection of the doctrine that the price of their sins has already been paid away, and however much worst sinners they themselves choose to be, they will not in the least be chastised for their heinous crimes, for, after Jesus having paid away for the sins of man, God must have forfeited His claim to punish the sinners thereafter.
"There are many such things, father, which need a dispassionate study and an impartial judgement.
"I tell you, father, that whatever be the consequences and whatever misfortune may afflict me, 1, as one, have decided not to sell away or forfeit my conscience and common sense to the belief in such unreasonable dogmatic doctrines.
I have embraced Islam, and if you do not get angry with me and kindly allow me to explain to you the details of my enquiries, I will do it whenever am wanted to do so. I do not like any thought or belief of mine to be swallowed by anyone by force, for the religion Islam, which I now openly declare to have embraced, enjoins that there shall not be any compulsion in the matter of faith as the truth has been revealed against falsehood."
To my utter surprise I found my fatherfully attentive to my exposing my personal views and convictions; and at the end he said
: "Son! Do not think that your father is a fool. I have been occasionally confronted with such ideas during my life whenever I had the occasion of discussing religion with my Muslim friends. But today the sincerity and the boldness with which you expose your own convictions make me bold to decide about the matter. I shall tell you later but for God's sake keep this matter strictly confined to you. Otherwise, be sure we will be thrown out into the street as destitute."
A few days later my father had a long talk and he decided to declare himself a Muslim. The details of our sufferings and the social persecution we had to pass through are a history by themselves.
I, now, for the information and guidance of every seeker of truth, openly declare the actual findings of my sincere enquiry that Islam is not only the last of the mighty religions which had revolutionized the world and changed the destinies of nations, but it is also the perfect and all-inclusive faith which contains in itself all the good, found partly in all other religions which had preceded it.
One of the most distinguishing and striking characteristics of Islam is that, it requires of its followers to believe that all the religions of the world that preceded it, were revealed by God for the respective people of those ages. It is one of the fundamentals of this faith that its followers must believe in all the prophets who were sent into the world before the holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, as truthful and sinless.
Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, is the name of the Holy Prophet through whom this all comprehensive faith was revealed in its complete or perfect form and meaning, for humanity as a whole for all times. It is the West that named this faith as Mohammedanism on the fashion of Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism and Hinduism.
Otherwise, the name of this religious order is already given in its book the Holy Qur'an as ISLAM, as quite opposed to the method of naming the order after its founder. The founder of Islam himself is called a MUSLIM as any other believer. As the various prophets preached this same truth among different nations at different times in different languages, every apostle of God is spoken of in the Holy Qur'an as a Muslim.
Thus, I have found, beyond all doubts that Islam is the religion which humanity needs for its progress in all spheres or aspects of its material as well as spiritual life, to earn salvation in the end.
Therefore, a true Muslim is one who believes in all the Prophets of God as truthful, and all the heavenly books as the true and the Holy word of God whereas
1. A Jew (an Israelite) believes only in prophets of Israel and their own books.
2. A Buddhist believes only in Lord Buddha and in his sayings.
3. A Christian believes only in Jesus Christ and in a lesser degree in prophets of Israel and the books of the Christian Church.
4. A Hindu believes only in the sages that appeared in India mentioned in the Vedas.
5. A Confucianist believes only in Confucius and his teachings.
6. A Zoroastrian believes only in Zoroaster and his teachings. Now mark the differences: A Muslim has to believe in all the Prophets as truthful and sinless and their holy books as the true word of God, revealed for the people and for the age. He also believes in Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, as the Last of the Apostles of God and his book, the Holy Qur'an as the Last of the Revealed Word of God to abide forever.
Therefore, the identification of a true Muslim is that
1. He is an Israelite for he believes in the Ten Commandments and the law of retribution with its legitimate bounds.
2. He is a follower of Christ in doing away with all the rituals of the Pharisees, and in denouncing their hypocritical observances. He observes the laws of mercy promulgated on the Mount Olive when it leads to reclamation. His object is reformation through mercy or retribution as the case may be.
3. He is an Aryan Hindu in doing away with the images worshipped in place of God.
4. He is a Sanatan Dharimic in paying respects to all godly men and creeds.
5. He is a Buddhist in preaching Nirvana. Self-effacement as the key of salvation.
6. He is a Unitarian in establishing the Unity of God and the brotherhood of men.
In short, he (a Muslim) embraces, through the Holy Qur'an, every beauty in every religion, and turns his face from that which has been added to the religion of God by man, and that is Islam.
With the truth sufficiently explained, will not every one of us love it, or will not every one of us embrace it?
This solemn declaration I make just to be helpful to those who sincerely desire to know the Truth which they need for themselves to live the life in this world to reach the blissful destination which is called salvation.
None can ever deny that there can never be any other way to please God than to completely surrendering ourselves to His will, an act which is called ISLAM.
Thus, the promise of the Lord to Abraham's seed was fulfilled in the advent and success of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, in establishing the Truth for all times
: For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. (Acts, 3:22-25)
I once again make it openly known that this true and sincere declaration of some facts is meant not for anyone who does not like to know anything against his fixed belief, but for those free thinkers who are seriously busy in search for truth and are ready to acknowledge it irrespective of the quarter or the agency through which it manifests.
Let me conclude with my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the All-merciful Lord for I have realized the fulfilment of His merciful promise to guide aright those who sincerely seek the truth.
1. The magazine was "The Peace-Maker" edited by Professor S.V. Mir Ahmad Ali from Madras City.
2. G. Sale's translation of the Koran, Introduction, p.VII.