Another interesting point I learned about concerns Biblical prophecies on the advent of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. I discovered that clear prophecies exist in the Bible, (even though the original text had been distorted), foretelling the coming of Prophet Muhammad after Jesus. Muslim scholars have affirmed that the description by Jesus of the one to come after him (in the verses cited below) cannot apply to any other person but Prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, there is a verse in the Holy Quran confirming what Jesus said regarding this point,
“... O Children of Israel, I am the Messenger of God to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” (Quran 61:6)
The name Ahmad is another name for Prophet Muhammad and is derived from the same root word.
I observed that the Quran directs us to believe in God and Prophet Muhammad as in the following verse:
“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘O mankind, Indeed, I am the Messenger of God to you all. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death. So believe in God and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in God and His words, and follow him that you may be guided.’” (Quran 7-158)
I came to know that the Quran also refers to Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet:
“Muhammad is not the father of [any] of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of God and last of the prophets...” (Quran 33:40)
Even though God states in the Quran that Muhammad is the last prophet, I discovered that Muslims still believe in and accept all the previous prophets, along with the revelations they received in their original form.
I comprehended that due to innovations attributed to Divine revelation that the need arose for another prophet after Jesus with another revelation after the Gospel to be sent by God. This is why God sent Muhammad with the last Message, (i.e., the Quran), to bring all of mankind back to the belief in and worship of One God, without partners or intermediaries. According to Muslims, the Holy Quran is the permanent ultimate source of guidance for mankind offers a rational and historical elucidation of the magnificent role of Jesus. The name Jesus is cited twenty-five times in the Quran, and there is also a chapter called Maryam (Mary), named after the mother of Jesus.
Regarding the Divine authenticity of this revelation, I found the following Quranic verses very compelling:
“And it was not [possible] for this Quran to be produced by other than God, but [it is] a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds.” (Quran 10:37)
“And indeed, it is the truth of certainty.” (Quran 69:51)
Similarly, I was concerned about the adulteration of the Quran since this was a major problem with the previous revelations. I read that the Quran will never change or be abrogated:
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Message and indeed, We will be its guardian.” (Quran 15:9)
I was also informed about some of the scientific phenomena mentioned in the Quran, which give credence to the belief that the Quran is the literal word of God. There are verses describing human embryonic development, mountains, the origin of the universe, the cerebrum, seas, deep seas, and internal waves and clouds. It is beyond explanation that anyone, more than fourteen hundred years ago, could have known these facts, which were found or confirmed only recently by advanced mechanisms and sophisticated scientific procedures.
Muslims believe that the essential purpose for which mankind was created is the worship of God. As He said in the Quran,
“And I did not create the jinn [i.e., a type of creation, created by God from fire] and mankind except to worship Me” (Quran 51:56)
Related to this, a well known Islamic scholar from the West says, “The most complete system of worship available to humans today is the system found in the religion of Islam, The very name ‘Islam’ means ‘submission to the Will of God’. Although it commonly is referred to as ‘the third of the three monotheistic faiths’, it is not a new religion at all. It is the religion propagated by all the prophets of God. Islam was the religion of Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.”
In addition he states, “Since there is only One God, and humankind is one species, the religion that God has ordained for humans is [essentially] one... Human spiritual and social needs are uniform and human nature has not changed since the first man and woman were created”.
Uncovering the fact that the message of God has always been the same, I realized it is the duty of all human beings to seek the truth and not just blindly accept the religion that their society or parents follow. According to the Quran,
“You worship besides Him mere names you have named, you and your fathers, for which God has sent down no authority.” (Quran 12:40)
Regarding fitrah [i.e., the inherent nature of man to worship God prior to the corruption of his nature by external influences], Prophet Muhammad said,
“Every child is born on the Fitrah (pure Human nature) and his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism. As an animal delivers its calf in a pristine fashion, do you find it mutilated?” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
Furthermore, God says,
“So direct your face [i.e., self] toward the religion, inclining toward truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of God upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of God. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.” (Quran 30:30)
Moreover, I learned there is no other religion acceptable to God besides Islam, as He clearly states in the Quran:
“And whoever desires other than Islam as a religion, never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” (Quran 3:85)
I deduced that man might neglect the guidance of God and establish his own standards of living. Ultimately, however, he will discover it is only a mirage that alluded him.
As I continued to read the Quran and learn about the sayings and doings of Prophet Muhammad [the Sunnah], I noticed Islam views man as a traveler in this life and the ‘Home’ is in the next life for eternity! We are here for a short period and we cannot take anything with us from this life except our belief in God and our deeds. Thus, man should be like a traveler who passes through the land and does not become attached to it. As travelers on this journey, we must understand that the meaning of being alive is to be tested. Hence, there is suffering, joy, pain and elation. These tests of good and evil are intended to evoke our higher spiritual qualities. Yet, we are incapable of benefiting from these tests unless we do our best, have complete trust in God and patiently accept what He has destined for us.
It was very meaningful to me to learn about Paradise since this must certainly be the ultimate goal of every individual. Regarding this eternal home, God says,
“And no soul knows what has been hidden for it of comfort for eyes [i.e., satisfaction] as a reward for what it used to do.” (Quran 32:17)
I also became aware of a pleasure that is beyond all imagination, which is to look at the Creator Himself. I wondered who were the souls worthy of such a reward? This reward of Paradise was priceless. I was told the price is true faith, which is proven by obedience to God and following the Sunnah (way) of Prophet Muhammad.
I grasped that mankind must worship God to attain righteousness and the spiritual status necessary to enter Paradise. This means human beings have to comprehend that worship is as indispensable as eating and breathing and not a favor they are doing for God. Likewise, I found out that we need to read the Quran to find out what kind of people God wants us to be and then try to become as such. This is the road to Paradise.
 See Deut. 18:18-19; Isaiah 29:12; John 14:12-17, 16:5-16; Acts 3:22.
 See 2:136.
 Also see Quran 4:82.
 See Quran 23:12-14.
 See Quran 16:15; 78:6-7.
 See Quran 21:30; 41:11.
 See Quran 96:15-16.
 See Quran 25:53; 55:19-20.
 See Quran 24:40.
 See Quran 24:43.
 The Purpose of Creation, Dr. A. A. B. philips, p. 49, Dar Al Fatah, Sharjah, UAE, 1995. See Quran 3:67; 3:84.
 Ibid . p. 50.
 Also see 2:170; 10:19; 31:21; 43:23; 49:6; 53:23.
 See Quran 2:111-112; 10:63-64.
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