What Would A Muslim Say:

Conversations, Questions, and Answers About Islam

Why Does Islam Call Itself “God’s Religion?”

I wanted to share with you another excerpt from my fourth book, Islamic Law, Theology, and Practice. Many times we get a die-hard atheist in our class. These people have an ax to grind with all religions in general and Islam in particular. This particular exchange was really heated and intense, so I thought you might like to read how it started. . .

“Why is it claimed that Islam is the only true religion and that all other religions are false? If that is the case, how come Allah allows there to be more non-Muslims (Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, etc.) than Muslims in today’s world?”

In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful:

The first part of the question is why Islam claims it is the only true religion. The second part is why Muslims should be outnumbered by non-Muslims if Islam is the so-called “truth.”

To address the first part, we start with our own question: “Why should any religion claim to be the one and only way to God?” The tongue-in-cheek answer is that religions preach contradictory ideologies; therefore they cannot all be true. If they cannot all be true, then it cannot be true that all religions lead to God. Therefore, some, maybe even many, must by logical necessity be false. However, we will not settle for the tongue-in-cheek response and actually look at the deep philosophy behind Islam’s claim to absolute Truth and its understanding of what it means to be “God’s Religion.”

Muslims believe that the Last Prophet (Muhammad) and the Last Testament (the Qur’an) were sent to confirm, correct, and complete the Message of all previous Prophets and scriptures.

It is written in the Qur’an that God made a covenant with every people in every time. This covenant was “Islam” which means “surrender and obedience to God,” and a person who surrenders his will to God and obeys His commandments is called a “Muslim.”

Whenever a people broke their covenant with God (stopped obeying), or changed the teachings of the Prophet sent to them, God would send another Prophet to bring them back to the True Path, the path of submission and obedience to their Creator (in Arabic, this is called “Islam”). This is how we understand the many Prophets sent to the Children of Isreal. If a people were still on the correct teachings of a Prophet, there is no need for God to send another one. It is only when a people go astray (break their covenant) that God would send one who would guide them back to the Truth. This is also how we understand the many divergent religions of the world today. Many of them WERE originally inspired and sanctioned by God, but after that particular Prophet died or was ascended to Heaven, the generations after him forgot, neglected, or changed those pristine teachings for man-made assumptions and philosophies.

So the original followers of Abraham are considered Muslims by virtue of their obedience to God and the keeping of their Covenant with Him. And the original followers of Moses are considered Muslims by virtue of their obedience to God and the keeping of their Covenant with Him. And the original followers of Jesus are considered Muslims by virtue of their obedience to God and the keeping of their Covenant with Him.

By the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him), there were few, if any, who were still upon the original, pure teachings of any Prophet. So God sent Muhammad as the Final Messenger with the Final Revelation to guide the Arabs in particular and all of mankind in general to the correct path to their Lord and Creator. So the point is to not get hung up on the Arabic word “Islam” but rather understand what that Arabic word means: “submission and devotion to God.” Whoever does that, at any time and in any place will receive God’s Mercy.

This is why the final Prophet of Islam (pbuh) said: “Anyone who says ‘There is no god but God,’ and dies holding that (belief) will enter Paradise.” Islam teaches that whoever follows the original teachings of the authentic Prophets will find salvation, because all the Prophets preached that God is ONE, distinct and separate from His creation, and that all worship deserves, by right, to go to Him alone. Muslims believe that only Islam still has the unadulterated authentic and original teachings of a real genuine Prophet of God; this is Islam’s claim to Truth. Obviously, there are other faith traditions and other Truth-Claims, but that is for each human being to seek and decide for him- or herself.

“There is no compulsion in religion.” This is an oft quoted verse from the Qur’an to convince people of the tolerance in Islam to other religions. If this is true, why does Allah eternally torture and punish non-Muslims?

This question is asking how “no compulsion” is reconciled with eternal damnation in hellfire for disbelievers. We understand that ‘compulsion’ means somebody forcing you to do something. God does not want people to worship him unless that worship is sincere. There are many well-known Sayings of the Prophet warning that worship without sincerity will be rejected on the Day of Judgment. Even the testimony of faith, that statement that brings a person into Islam, is INVALID if it is coerced or forced.

Having said that, hell is the punishment for dying on disbelief ONLY AFTER clear signs and messengers have come. For those who did NOT receive clear signs or messengers, their test will be on the Day of Judgment. There is no contradiction. Just as there is a punishment for sin, a person still has the free will to sin or to be good. That is the whole point of this life: it is to test a person’s sincere faith. 

If Islam stands for peace and co-existence with other religions, how can one justify Prophet Muhammad’s destroying of idols in the Kaaba? How is that different from the recent Taliban bombing of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan?

. . . End of Excerpt . . .

Read the rest of this conversation (and more like this) in Islamic Law, Theology and Practice: What Would a Muslim Say – Volume 4. 

Available Now

Get it HERE

Why Does Islam Call Itself “God’s Religion?”

2 thoughts on “Why Does Islam Call Itself “God’s Religion?”

  1. I am a follower of Jesus and I found this blog after I found your books on amazon. As a Christian the Bible call me to be a Peacemaker, as shown in, Romans 12:8 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”, and Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”, so while I do believe Christianity to be the only way to God, I also believe Christians and Muslims can live at peace with one another. The culture here in America has contributed to putting a divide between the two sides by presenting that those who have different beliefs cannot live at peace while discussing their differences, but they can only live at peace if they only discuss the things they have in common. The culture is wrong, and we can see that through a growing divide in the country, especially after the last election in 2016 and as the 2020 election approaches. I believe the only way we can actually live at peace is by discussing our common and different beliefs with each other respectfully, so, my comments and questions are out of my desire to learn more about Muslims and Islam as well as the respect I have for you all as well.

    I just read, Why Does Islam Call Itself “God’s Religion”, and I understood from the post that you believe Islam is the true religion because you believe the previous message to be corrupted by humans, so God had to send a new messenger, and if I did understand that correctly, I am left with some questions. Can you prove that the Bible is corrupted, and Can you prove that the Qua’ran is not corrupted?

    Thank you for taking time to answer my questions.

    1. Peace and good morning to you, Wesley.

      You are very right that the culture of division in this country makes it difficult for interfaith dialogue to flourish. However, like you, I believe that we can live and work peacefully together. More than that, I believe that people of all faiths and traditions can do more than just tolerate each other, rather I believe we can learn from and appreciate each others viewpoints and interact with cordiality even if we do not agree with each other.

      Having said that, let me address your questions. Regarding the Bible, it is not so much about it being corrupted; instead, it is about the earliest sources of canon were already edited in the minds of the early Christians before they were put into the Gospels as we know it now. The history of Christology from low to high shows that there was not a consensus on the nature and mission of Jesus Christ (pbuh) until well after his disappearance.

      The four canonical gospels were given their names some time in the second century. Scholars of the New Testament generally agree that none of the gospels were written by people who had ever met Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime. But at a later date names were assigned to them that were associated with famous individuals in the earliest church. Likewise, the Old Testament is known to be the product of at least four distinct “voices” known as J, E, P, and D. So its composition is a medley of different people writing at different times for different believers. This is like any other religious scripture: the Hindu Vedas, the Tao Te Ching, the Buddhist Theravada, the Five Classics of Confucius, etc. In contrast, the Qur’an is truly unique in that it was dictated, memorized, and compiled in a single lifetime by a man who could not read or write and had no talent for poetry and whose enemies could not compose anything to match its beauty, depth, and message.

      Dr. W Graham Scroggie of the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, a prestigious Christian evangelical mission, says: “Yes, the Bible is human, although some out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, have denied this. Those books have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men and bear in their style the characteristics of me.” (It is Human, Yet Divine; W Graham Scroggie; p. 17)

      Another Christian scholar, Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, says:
      “…Not so the New Testament…There is condensation and editing; there is choice reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the church behind the authors. They represent experience and history…” (The Call of the Minaret; Kenneth Cragg; p 277)

      “It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors.” (Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, p. 633)

      “Yet, as a matter of fact, every book of the New Testament with the exception of the four great Epistles of St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy, and interpolations are asserted even in these.” (Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 12th Ed. Vol. 3, p. 643)

      Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that: “[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written” (Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, p. 117)

      If you want more detailed Jewish and Christian viewpoints on the composited nature of the Bible, you can check out these links:

      As for the claims of authenticity of the Qur’an, there are many non-Muslim scholars who attest that even if we do not accept the Truth-Claim of this book, there is no serious scholarly doubt that it is an authentic representation of what Muhammad (pbuh) preached in 7th century Arabia:

      “What we have today in our hands is the Mushaf (codex) of Muhammad.”
      John Burton, The Collection of the Quraan

      “Some early exemplars of the Qur’an place a few suras in an order different from the usual one, but we do not find pieces of a particular sura detached from their usual context and embedded in a totally different sura. This implies that, despite the text’s manifest instability on one level, it has an underlying stability on a deeper level that cannot be accidental. Rather, this “deep” stability suggests that, on that level and within those limits, the Qur’an did coalesce and acquire the status of an especially revered sacred text – a canon – quite early in the life of the community. This is evidently why, as noted earlier, the text shows no evidence of anachronisms clearly dating to a period later than the life of Muhammad.
      Donner, Narratives (40–9)

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