The foundation of all “religions” is the same principle, and that is the principle of unity. The Prophets came with the good news that there is a God and each individual could know him. If there is only one Reality, one God, there can be only one Religion. Therefore, what does the word “religions” mean, and what is the Reality of Religion?
The words and the teachings of the Prophets such as Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad (peace be upon them all) are in accordance with one another. They all guide souls to the cognition of God and to the ultimate level of divine unity. Each prophet symbolizes a particular stage of this cognition. The teachings of the prophets present the reality of one Religion through the stages of liberation of the soul.
Karen Armstrong, in the book A History of God states:
When the Christian Waraqa ibn Nawfal had acknowledged Muhammad as a true prophet, neither he nor Muhammad expected him to convert to Islam. Muhammad never asked Jews or Christians to convert to his religion of Allah unless they particularly wished to do so, because they had received authentic revelation of their own. The Qur’an did not see revelation as canceling out the message and insights of previous prophets but instead it stressed the continuity of the religious experience of mankind. It is important to stress this point because tolerance is not a virtue that many western people today would feel inclined to attribute to Islam. Yet, from the start, Muslims saw revelation in less exclusive terms than either Jews or Christians.
Hazrat Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha, the great Sufi of our time, in the book Sufism eloquently describes Sufism and the unity of Religion in Islam as follows:
Sufism is the essence of the Prophets’ teachings. It is the Way of the Prophets. It has existed since the beginning of human history, for its seed lies within every human heart. In each age, God has sent Prophets to lead the people to the knowledge of “Him”, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, David, Mohammad—to name a few. Each Prophet has given humanity unique instructions to be learned and mastered in order to progress on the inward journey toward God.
Almighty God states in the Holy Qur’an:
قل آمنا بالله و ما انزل علينا و ما انزل على ابراهيم و اسماعيل و اسحاق و يعقوب و الاسباط و ما اوتي موسى و عيسى و النبيون من ربهم لا نفرق بين احد منهم و نحن له مسلمون
Say we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us. And in what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes. And in what is 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.
The above verse clearly demonstrates Islam makes no distinction among the prophets. In the verse following the above message, God states:
و من يبتغ غير الاسلام دينا فلن يقبل منه و هو في الآخرة من الخاسرين
“If any one desire a religion other than Islam (Submission to God) never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost.”
If the scientific and research-minded person of today is able to disregard the prejudiced, unfounded propaganda and superstition that engulf the religion of Islam, he/she will understand the truth of this message, which is to expresses the doctrine of unity. This is when the drop looses its boundaries, its limited identity, and submits to the ocean. The word Islam means submission to the absolute reality, to God. Only in this total surrender to the true knowledge, can one witness the truth and attest to the oneness of God in the sanctuary of his heart.
- Karen Armstrong, A History of God: The 4000-year Quest for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 1993) pp.152-153.
- Molana Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha, Sufism ( Irvine, CA: M.T.O. Publications,1996) p. 26.
- Molana Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha, Peace .(Verdugo, CA: M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi Publications 1987). p. 32.