Let’s talk frankly.
Almost never do non-Muslims study Islam until they have first exhausted the
religions of their exposure. Only after they have grown dissatisfied with the
religions familiar to them, meaning Judaism, Christianity and all the fashionable
“-isms”—Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism (and, as my young daughter once added, “tourism”)—do
they consider Islam.
Perhaps other religions do not answer the big
questions of life, such as “Who made us?” and “Why are we here?” Perhaps
other religions do not reconcile the injustices of life with a fair and just Creator.
Perhaps we find hypocrisy in the clergy, untenable tenets of faith in the
canon, or corruption in the scripture. Whatever the reason, we perceive
shortcomings in the religions of our exposure, and look elsewhere. And the
ultimate “elsewhere” is Islam.
Now, Muslims would not like to hear me say that
Islam is the “ultimate elsewhere.” But it is. Despite the fact that Muslims
comprise one-fourth to one-fifth of the world’s population, non-Muslim media
smears Islam with such horrible slanders that few non-Muslims view the religion
in a positive light. Hence, it is normally the last religion seekers
Another problem is that by the time non-Muslims examine
Islam, other religions have typically heightened their skepticism: If every “God-given”
scripture we have ever seen is corrupt, how can the Islamic scripture be
different? If charlatans have manipulated religions to suit their desires, how
can we imagine the same not to have happened with Islam?
The answer can be given in a few lines, but takes
books to explain. The short answer is this: There is a God. He is fair and
just, and He wants us to achieve the reward of paradise. However, God has
placed us in this worldly life as a test, to weed out the worthy from the
unworthy. And we will be lost if left to our own devices. Why? Because we don’t
know what He wants from us. We can’t navigate the twists and turns of this
life without His guidance, and hence, He has given us guidance in the form of
Sure, previous religions have been corrupted,
and that is one of the reasons why we have a chain of
revelation. Ask yourself: wouldn’t God send another revelation if the
preceding scriptures were impure? If preceding scriptures were corrupted, humans
would need another revelation, to keep upon the straight path of His design.
So we should expect preceding scriptures
to be corrupted, and we should expect the final revelation to be pure and
unadulterated,for we cannot imagine a loving God leaving us astray. What we can
imagine is God giving us a scripture, and men corrupting it; God giving us
another scripture, and men corrupting it again … and again, and again. Until
God sends a final revelation He promises to preserve until the end of time.
Muslims consider this final revelation to be the
Holy Quran. You consider it … worth looking into. So let us return to the
title of this article: Why Islam? Why should we believe that Islam is the
religion of truth, the religion that possesses the pure and final revelation?
“Oh, just trust me.”
Now, how many times have you heard that
line? A famous comedian used to joke that people of different cities cuss one
another out in different ways. In Chicago, they cuss a person out this
way, in Los Angeles they cuss a person out that way, but in New York they just say, “Trust me.”
So don’t trust me—trust our Creator. Read the Quran,
read books and study good websites. But whatever you do, get started, take it
seriously, and pray for our Creator to guide you.
Your life may not depend on it, but your soul most
Copyright © 2007 Laurence B. Brown; used by
Laurence B. Brown, MD, can be contacted at [email protected].
He is the author of The First and Final Commandment (Amana
Publications) and Bearing True Witness (Dar-us-Salam). Forthcoming
books are a historical thriller, The Eighth Scroll, and a second edition
of The First and Final Commandment, rewritten and divided into MisGod'ed
and its sequel, God’ed.