The Only True Religion

Question

On what grounds Islam is considered a better religion than any other religion? Please explain.


Answer

We Muslims do not claim that there are many religions created by humans for their benefit and Islam is the best amongst them. Instead, our claim is that God Himself responded to the need of religious guidance in man by sending the message of Islam. It was sent through many earlier messengers, including Moses and Jesus. Finally it was revived and presented in its pure form again for the last time through Muhammad, may God shower His blessings on all of them. Your question should therefore be this: How can it be shown that Islam is the religion sent by God for the humans?

There are basically two areas one should look for in trying to find out if the claim of Muslims about the divine origins of Islam is correct: authenticity of the claim that the process through which the message was communicated to the later generations was reliable and the ability of the contents of the message to convince that it is from God.

As for the authenticity of the message of Islam, we Muslims can show it confidently that its message as described in the Qur'an and preserved in the religious example of the Prophet (sws) is still exactly the same as it was during the Prophet's (sws) time. The Qur'anic text has been preserved through the process of memorizing done by hundreds and thousands of people in every generation while the Prophet's (sws) religious example was preserved through the unanimous practice of the Muslim community which was transmitted by an uninterrupted chain from one generation to another.

There are many ways one can adopt to investigate if Islam does present itself as God's religion. Perhaps the best way is to read the Qur'an for the purpose to find out whether its contents seem to originate from God or not. Of course, the most significant question a non-Muslim must seek to get answer to while reading the Qur'an is if the text seemed to be the Prophet's presentation or did it really appear to be God's own word.

There are four arguments which the Qur'an presents to show that it is indeed God's word: the impeccable character of the Prophet (sws), the highly convincing contents of the Qur'anic text, the prophecies in the earlier scriptures about the arrival of the Prophet (sws) coming true, and realizing of the prophecy made by the Qur'an that the Prophet (sws) and his companions would prevail and his enemies would perish. It is for the sincere seeker after truth to look into each one of these areas of understanding and find out for himself whether the Qur'an appears to him as the word of God or not.

About the Author

Dr. Khalid Zaheer


Dr. Khalid Zaheer (1958) is currently serving as Vice President Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. He is a member of the Executive Committee and also a member of the Board of Governors; Al-Mawrid.

Prior to this, he taught at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and before joining LUMS, he taught at the Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab (1986 to 1990) as a Lecturer and later (1994 to 1998) as an Assistant Professor.

He served as an adviser to Crescent Standard Islamic Bank on “Islamic Banking” from July 2005 to June 2006, as Shari’ah Adviser to Atlas Islamic Fund from 2006 to 2007. He was appointed in January 2000 as a member of the task force of the Finance Division of the Government of Pakistan. He was also appointed a non-official member of the Board of Management of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal in May, 2000; he resigned from the post in September 2000.

He has delivered lectures at the Administrative Staff College, National Institute of Public Administration, and Pakistan Audit and Accounts Training Institute etc. on various Islamic topics. He has delivered lectures also on topics relating to Islamic Studies at Universities of Lampeter, Aberystwyth, Swansea, and Exeter and the Islamic Foundation in Leicester during 1990-1994 in Britain and in various departments and hostels at the Punjab University in Pakistan from 1994 to 1998.

His writing includes his Ph.D. thesis titled, “An Enquiry into the Basic Concept of Banking as Perceived by the Spirit of Islamic Economic Justice” (1994). He authored a paper titled “Religious Tolerance: An Islam Perspective” he is participated as a member of the faculty in the Inter-University Short Executive Program on “Religion: Conflict and Peace?” in Bangkok from July 21 to July 25, 2003. He read his article titled, “Islamic Justification of Indexation in the Modern Financial Markets” in an International Conference of Islamic Economists and Statisticians in Lahore in 1995. He authored an article: “Why Riba al-Fadl is Unacceptable?” His article “Human Rights Law and Islamic Shari’ah: Areas of Compatibility and Conflict” (5000 words) was published in the December 2004 issue of Renaissance, a monthly Islamic journal. He made a presentation on “How Can Muslims Be Friend with Non-Muslims?” at the international Conference on “Common Values between Islam & the West”. He also made presentations on “Significance of Business Ethics” and “What Has Kept Pakistan from Progressing?” He also read a paper “Understanding of Riba: A Critical Analysis.”

He maintains his personal website. He regularly contributes in the monthly religious magazine, “Renaissance”. He has also contributed to Urdu periodicals “Ishraq”, “Tazkir”, and “Su-e-Haram”.

Dr. Khalid Zaheer did his Ph.D. from University of Wales in 1994 in “Banking Islam”. Prior to that he did his M.B.A from University of the Punjab in 1982, B. Com. From University of the Punjab in 1978, Intermediate from Government College Sargodha in 1975, Matriculation from P.A.F. College Sargodha in 1973. He received his religious education through associations with Dr. Israr Ahmed (1978 to 1980), Mawlana AminAhsan Islahi (1980 to 1990), and Mr. Javed Ahmed Ghamdi (1980 to date). He also went through a formal course on Arabic and Islamic learning from Al-Mawrid, an institute of Islamic Sciences, from 1983 to 1984.