(Draft Article) Islam, other religions, and the ultimate nature of existents

(Please read the notice concerning our draft articles)

by MuslimAnswers.net Team

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم

In this article we consider the falsity of non-Islamic religions from a slightly different angle, considering how they conceive of ‘ultimate reality’ and how Islam differentiates itself in this respect. Now, before we discuss the details of such flaws, our readers may notice that on this site, we are composing works that are basically rebuttals and critical commentaries of what the non-Muslims may say with respect to the rules and regulations of Islam, what is obligatory, forbidden, or allowed in Islam and so forth. Indeed, one of the most important on-going works we are undertaking and hope to continue concerns the authenticity of the Qur’an both in its content and in its transmission, and how it serves as the ultimate miracle of Islam for all of humanity. We will also, in the future, hopefully delve into the fundamental rules (the Usool) of how the belief and jurisprudence of Islam are known and derived.

But beyond these discussions, the truth is that all non-Muslim religions ideologies in one way or the other say that all existents are of the same general nature – that existents are not exactly the same, but that all existents have shared or potentially share some qualitative similarities between themselves, and that this sharing extends even all the way to the Divine Being (or ‘Absolute Principle’, as this is how some religions present their cosmological foundations). We really want people to consider this mistake of other religions very seriously, since it shows at once that other religions are definitely wrong, and that only Islam can possibly be correct.

To illustrate what this issue is all about, note that the Holy Qur’an has Surah al-Ikhlas as one of the main foundations of Tawheed (Monotheism), and its last Ayah is: وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ (Translated as: Nor is there to Him any equivalent.) 

When we consider the meaning of this phrase, we know that in simple terms it means that there is nothing in the Universe which is like Allah. But when we carefully note what other religions say, we will find out why this principle is so important to implement in terms of following the correct religion, and why all other religions fail at this most important stage.

Now, non-Islamic religions and cosmologies may be divided in different ways, but what we consider to be the best division is as follows:

1) We have those religions which claim that there is no Divine Being at all, and they say that all existents are of the same general nature outright, without even inserting talk of a “Creator” or “Divine Being” at all into their worldview. Thus, religions like Buddhism and Atheism[1] consider all existence to be contingent and brought forth due to other contingent factors, in a sort of never-ending series of temporal causes and effects.

2) Then we have the Christian, Hindu, and other similar religions, where the one God or “Absolute Principle” takes on literal temporal manifestations, which are diversely explained by these religions. Interestingly, there is some degree of overlap between these seemingly unrelated religions, especially if we consider (for example) the Advaita concept of Hinduism with the concept of theosis, so prevalent especially in Eastern Christianity. This last sentence points to the fact of their belief that all existents are inherently divine but they have to “grow out of their ignorance” or some similar statement. At the very least, the Christians will claim that a hypostasis of God manifested Himself in this temporal world (this is further complicated by their belief that one Essence (i.e. God) can have multiple subsistences (i.e. manifesting Himself as “father”, “son”, “holy ghost”). This is the thing we most disagree with the Christians, even before we move on to their false belief in incarnation or future theosis).

What we would see then is that all non-Islamic religions (counting Atheism as a religion as well) hold on to the view that all existence is qualitatively similar (either on the physical or spiritual plane), while it is Islam alone which makes it an uncompromising rule that Allah is totally unlike His Creation, and that the two will not and/or have not had a literal union.

So we are doing what will hopefully lead the readers to realize that such is the situation, and that there is no correctness in such sayings. We know that the discussions will, in many cases, turn out to be repetitive, but that is because the non-Muslim is trying to show that his incorrect principle is actually right by using different examples and rhetorical devices. However, none of this precludes the fact that the forwarded propositions themselves are incorrect, and that the different examples and wordings only serve to highlight how that incorrect belief cannot be rectified without abandoning the belief altogether.

We thus hope that the readers will keep this principle in mind while reading our articles (especially the primary, theology oriented pieces dealing with Allah and the nature of reality). And Allah is our only guide to success.


[1] We may refer to it as a “cosmological outlook” if our readers are not comfortable with terming Atheism as a “religion”

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4 thoughts on “(Draft Article) Islam, other religions, and the ultimate nature of existents

    • Salam Alaykum,

      From what I know, this institute is related to Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf, who is a well-known scholar and author of traditional learning, so Insha Allah you can get benefit from their course. Concerning its link with philosophy, perhaps the introductory course may not be enough, but you can ask the instructors if possible what would be the further courses or study curriculum you can take if ‘formal, modern philosophy’ is the path you wish to take later on.

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      • Jazakallah brother, what courses would you recommend that would allow me to study philosophy freely after taking them?

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      • Salam Alaykum,

        The reply from whom I asked has still not come, yet it seems this would require the advice of the particular institute or academy you will be learning from, be it Rayyan Institute, or Seeker’s Hub, or any other place; generally to even study intermediate level texts on Islamic thinking there are some prerequisites, so it depends on academy to academy.

        If there is any proper reply I receive Insha Allah I will let you know.

        Wa Salam.

        Like

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