The Final Book
1. - On The Nature of God
2. - The Nature of Man
3. - Free Will and Reason Applied
4. - The Presence of Evil
5. - This Life and the Next
6. - Messengers and Prophets
7. - Eternal Salvation
8. - Forgiveness of God
9. - The Straight Way
Instead of searching for the answer, there are also some people who chose to simply brush the question aside and ignore it unfortunately. This is the easy way out of what appears to be a very difficult, mysterious question which may seem to have no final solution. Most of these people are unaware of a very powerful message which completely and unequivocally establishes the correct path to God. This message squares with both the mind and the heart, and it has no equal since it comes to us straight from God Himself.
The message comes in the form of a book. In fact, God has given us several Books of guidance through the years, but each one was ultimately corrupted and changed by dishonest people. Each Book essentially contained the same fundamental message as the previous Books. Mankind was expected to guard these Books from harm, but unfortunately failed to live up to this expectation. Slowly but surely, each Book was edited and tampered with, destroying its authenticity. This is partly why God kept sending us more revelations.
However, almost 1400 years ago, God sent us another
Book with the same basic message as the earlier ones, but with a small
but very important difference. This time, God decreed that this Book would
be the last Book sent down to us because God would protect it Himself.
Regarding this Final Book, God said,
"Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur'aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)." [Surah Al-Hijr, verse 9]
Today, if we compare the 114 chapters in every copy of this Final Book with each other, we will find they match perfectly word for word - from the oldest copies made more than 1400 years ago to the ones printed just a few hours ago. No human hand has changed it.
The rational person has every right to be doubtful,
of course, if he or she has never read this book. For such people, here
is a small sample of what the Final Book contains. Suppose we wanted to
ask God several questions about Him and about ourselves. Short of Him speaking
to us directly (such a privilege has been granted to only one person out
of all humanity), the Book has the best answers one can find. It is on
the strength of these answers that an honest person may be struck with
the conviction that the Final Book is from none other than God Almighty.
Again, here is only a small part of the information one might find.
"Glorified be the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him)." [Surah Az-Zukhruf, verse 82]
Our inability to completely understand God does not mean that He is completely remote from us. In spite of our limited understanding, we are all quite capable of turning to God, and He is not unaware of our efforts,
"And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations. " [Surah Ash-Sharh verse 8]
"Verily! Those who fear their Lord unseen
(i.e. they do not see Him, nor His Punishment in the Hereafter, etc.),
will be forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).
" [Surah Al-Mulk verse 12]
God has not left mankind entirely in the dark regarding His Nature. He refers to Himself by 99 Names in various places throughout the Final Book. Each name is a descriptive attribute of God, and they are all meant to help us understand the Creator. To gain this understanding involves simply thinking about God and reflecting on His names, and this type of awareness is a central pillar of faith (i.e. when one actively remembers God and is conscious of Him). A second benefit of these names is that some of them provide mankind with ideals to try to attain. For example, since God is the Most Forgiving, Most Patient, and Most Knowledgeable, we should each strive to be forgiving, patient, and knowledgeable (educated in our case).
Of all His attributes, God emphasizes a single
one above all others in His Final Book: that HE IS ONE. God is not two,
three, four, or more beings. There is only one deity, and He is God,
In other places of the Final Book, God emphasizes His Greatness and the impossibility of fully grasping Him by using the plural sense of pronouns for Himself - but He is strictly One and Unique with no other partners or deities.
After this aspect of Unity, God chose to emphasize two of His other names more often than the rest in the Final Book: "the Most Merciful, the One who acts Mercifully." In fact, each chapter but one in the whole Book starts with, "In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the One who Acts Mercifully." These two names cannot be emphasized enough. They are meant to stress we should not let our sins keep us from coming back to God and calling to Him at all times, in joy or sadness. The Creator is more aware of our imperfections than we are, and so when we stumble and feel bad, God is far more likely to be kind than angry.
Messenger and Prophet of God (i.e. the person whom God chose to deliver
the Final Book to the rest of mankind) commented on God's mercy by informing
"When God decreed the Creation He pledged Himself
by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: `My mercy prevails
over my wrath.'" - the Last Messenger
"God says: I am as My servant thinks I am. I am
with Him when He makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself,
I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly,
I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near
to Me a hand's span, I draw near to him an arm's length; and if he draws
near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if
he comes to Me walking, I go to him with speed." - the Last
"Truly, We did offer AlAmânah (the
trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allaah
has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they
declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allaah's
Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself)
and ignorant (of its results).
" [Surah Al-Ahzab verse 72]
Over the years, many scholars of the Book have
tried to understand exactly what God meant by "the trust". The most convincing
argument (based on other parts of the Book, and on certain statements of
the Last Messenger) is that
it refers to our ability to make decisions both freely and intelligently.
In other words, our uniqueness as human beings stems from two gifts given
to us by God:
The price of these gifts is a tremendous amount of responsibility on our part; the responsibility not to abuse our gifts by rejecting God or by hurting each other unnecessarily.
The blessings of these two gifts are immeasurable,
especially when God reminds us that He could have decided things otherwise
by depriving us of either gift,
And if it had been Our Will, We would surely have wiped out (blinded) their eyes, so that they would struggle for the Path, how then would they see? [Surah Ya-Sin Verse 66]
And if it had been Our Will, We could have transformed them (into animals or lifeless objects) in their places. Then they should have been unable to go forward (move about) nor they could have turned back. [Surah Ya-Sin Verse 67]
However, God did NOT will this, and as a result we are blessed with will and reason. The Final Book clearly warns against abusing these blessings, either by neglecting ourselves when we don't think wisely, or by hurting others when we deny them the right to choose,
"Verily! The worst of (moving) living creatures with Allaah are the deaf and the dumb, those who understand not (i.e. the disbelievers)." [Surah Al-Anfal verse 22]
"There is no compulsion in religion. Verily,
the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves
in Tâghût (Anything worshipped other than Allaah, i.e.
all the false deities. It may be shaytaan (devil), idols, stones, sun,
stars, angels, human beings e.g. Esau (Jesus), Messengers of Allaah, who
were falsely worshipped and taken as Tâghûts. Likewise
saints, graves, rulers, leaders, etc., are falsely worshipped, and wrongly
followed.) and believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy
handhold that will never break. And Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
" [Surah Al-Baqarah verse 256]
In spite of mankind's free will and reason, God warns us in His Book always to remember that these gifts are limited after all. The Final Word lies with Him in all matters. However, this is not to say that men's destinies are arbitrary - not at all. We are able to make decisions that affect our lives, but at the same time, God is also making decisions about us and for us,
"And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind, until they become believers." [Surah Yunus verse 99]
It is not for any person to believe, except by the Leave of Allaah, and He will put the wrath on those who are heedless. [Surah Yunus verse 100]
"...Verily! Allaah will not change the good
condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness
themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient
to Allaah). ..." [Surah
Ra'd part of verse 11]
"Verily, in this are signs for a people who
think deeply." [Surah
Az-Zumar part of verse 42]
"Thus do We explain the signs in detail to a
people who have sense." [Surah
Ar-Rum part of verse 28]
No one but God can make a human being believe in the Truth of the Final Book, but that human being has to read it with an open mind, applying his or her powers of reason. The price of limited free will is that we must choose to be guided. Those people who do search for the Truth with an open mind and heart may find that the Final Book, while vast, is surprisingly clear,
"Nay, but they, the clear Ayaat [i.e. the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him written like verses in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures). And none but the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.) deny Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)." [Surah Al-'Ankabut verse 49]
"This is the Book (the Qur'aan), whereof
there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqûn [the
pious and righteous persons who fear Allaah much (abstain from all kinds
of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allaah much (perform
all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)]." [Surah
Al-Baqarah verse 2]
The guidance of the Final Book is available to anyone who goes in search of it,
"Indeed, We have sent down for you (O mankind) a Book, (the Qur'aan) in which there is Dhikrukum, (your Reminder or an honor for you i.e. honour for the one who follows the teaching of the Qur'aan and acts on its orders). Will you not then understand? " [Surah Al-Anbiya verse 10]
One of the most interesting aspects of the authenticity
of the Final Book is the quantity of scientifically accurate statements
in it - on subjects not even dreamed of more than 1400 years ago. A full
description of these facts can be found on the following two sites:
"We will show them Our Signs in the universe,
and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this
(the Qur'aan) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord
that He is a Witness over all things?" [Surah
Fussilat verse 53]
"These are the Verses of Allaah: We recite them to you (O Muhammad) in truth, and Allaah wills no injustice to the 'Alâmîn (mankind and jinns). " [Surah Aali Imran verse 108]
However, God also guarantees us that aside from our own evil actions and their effects, God Himself will put us through some trials and tribulations here on earth - but the key is they will never be more than we can handle, and they may even be good for us,
"Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope.
He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished
for that (evil) which he has earned. "Our Lord! Punish us not if
we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that
which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our
Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon
us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ
Suppor-ter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving
Al-Baqarah verse 286]
An integral part of our being aware of God is hope and patience in times of hardship. In fact, the loss of hope is actually one of the symptoms of rejection of God,
[Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: "And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?" [Surah Al-Hijr verse 56]
The greatest source of hope is that God shall allow those people who accept Him to enter Paradise and, more importantly, to be close to Him. The Final Book contains many references on Paradise, and also on Hell, the destination of those people who knowingly reject God. Paradise is quite literally a place of indescribable joy, whereas Hell is its indescribable opposite (both places are given only partial descriptions in the Book). While the inhabitants of Paradise are permanent dwellers, the inmates of Hell are not necessarily imprisoned there forever; there are some who shall ultimately be freed,
"And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger
(Muhammad), and transgresses
His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall
have a disgraceful torment.
[Surah An-Nisa verse 14]
"There shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said
`There is no deity except God' and who has in his heart goodness weighing
a barley-corn; then there shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said `There
is no deity except God' and who has in his heart goodness weighing a grain
of wheat; then there shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said `There
is no deity except God' and who has in his heart goodness weighing an atom."
- the Last Messenger
"Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing)." [Surah Aali Imran verse 185]
Resurrection Day will actually be a huge period
of time (not a regular 24 hour day) in which every single human will be
resurrected and judged by God on his or her beliefs and deeds. No human
being - not even any Prophet - knows when this Day will come, for this
is knowledge known only to God. The Final Book does describe it in several
passages as a giant disaster on many scales (physical and ecological among
others), and the Last Messenger was told of some of its foreshadowing signs
which he communicated to us.
"And We sent not before you (O Muhammad) but men to whom We inspired, so ask the people of the Reminder [Scriptures - the Taurât (Torah), the Injeel ((Gospel)] if you do not know." [Surah Al-Anbiya verse 7]
"And We did not create them (the Messengers, with) bodies that ate not food, nor were they immortals." [Surah Al-Anbiya verse 8]
Some of the Prophets were allowed to perform supernatural miracles but only with God's permission (i.e. if He willed it). However, the Final Book stresses that every Prophet is no more than a servant of God - they do not have a share in His Divinity.
There is also a small group of Prophets who were
also Messengers. Every Prophet has called his people to the Truth, but
Messengers were additionally given a rejuvenated Message from God to convey.
Every Messenger is a Prophet, but not every Prophet is a Messenger. There
have been many Prophets, of which here are the names of a few mentioned
in the Book: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses,
Aaron, Elijah, Elias, David, Solomon, Jonah, Job, Zacharias, John, Jesus,
and, of course, the Last Messenger.
"Ask the Children of Israel how many clear Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) We gave them. And whoever changes Allaah's Favor after it had come to him, [e.g. renounces the Religion of Allaah (Islaam) and accepts Kufr (disbelief),] then surely, Allaah is Severe in punishment." [Surah Al-Baqarah verse 111]
Beautified is the life of this world for those who disbelieve, and they mock at those who believe. But those who obey Allaah's Orders and keep away from what He has forbidden, will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allaah gives (of His Bounty, Blessings, Favors, Honors, etc. on the Day of Resurrection) to whom He wills without limit. [Surah Al-Baqarah verse 112]
The consequence of this is responsibility - everyone will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment. Some of us may be uncomfortable with this, but it is simply the price of freedom,
"It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allaah." [Surah An-Nisa verse 123]
And whoever does righteous good deeds, male
or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allaah (Muslim),
such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size
of a Naqîra (speck on the back of a datestone), will
be done to them. [Surah
An-Nisa verse 124]
"Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should
be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything
else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allaah in
worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin." [Surah
An-Nisa verse 48]
"Say: "O 'Ibâdî (My slaves)
have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and
sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily Allaah forgives all
sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Surah
Az-Zumar verse 53]
Again, the most common phrase in the Final Book is "In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the One who Acts Mercifully."
The Last Messenger commented on God's forgiveness
on many occasions as in the following case,
"God has said, `O son of Adam, so long as you call
upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and
I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of
the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you.
O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the
earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would
bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it [i.e. the earth]'". - the Last
"Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever AllAware of everything." [Surah Al-Ahzab verse 40]
And God has revealed to us His proper name, and it is ALLAAH.
The Qur'aan contains a great deal of guidance and information for anyone looking for final answers. The information given in this small essay is only the tip of the tip of the iceberg. There is no substitute for reading the Qur'aan itself in its entirety - it is the closest we can come to having God speak to us directly and personally here on Earth. The Qur'aan answers many questions which are commonly asked by today's men and women. Its scope is wide: from fundamental issues such as the nature of the Creator and mankind's limited free will and reason, to the more mundane such as marriage laws and whom to give charity to. Islaam as described in the Qur'aan is vastly and almost completely different than Islaam as understood by most non Muslims and even a few Muslims. The negative image of Islaam today is an incredibly misleading deception. It is based on the moral weakness of some people who claim to be Muslims, and also on the unawareness of non Muslims. Behind this image is the presence of a Truth which answers the fundamental questions we have, and which can reunite us with God. It is there for us to listen to, or to ignore.
And Allaah Knows Best.
"We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for a (mere) play." [Surah Al-Anbiya verse 16]
"Do they not then consider the Qur'aan carefully? Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions." [Surah An-Nisa verse 82]
"We have not sent down the Qur'aan unto you (O Muhammad) to cause you distress." [Surah Ta-Ha verse 2]
"Indeed, We have sent down for you (O mankind) a Book, (the Qur'aan) in which there is Dhikrukum, (your Reminder or an honor for you i.e. honor for the one who follows the teaching of the Qur'aan and acts on its orders). Will you not then understand?" [Surah Al-Anbiya verse 10]
"Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me. " [Surah Al-Baqarah verse 152]
"Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allaah and in His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him)] and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Beneficent (Allaah) will bestow love for them (in the hearts of the believers)." [Surah Maryam verse 96]
"Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allaah then follow me (i.e. accept Islaamic Monotheism, follow the Qur'aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Surah Aali Imran verse 31]
"Say (O Muhammad to mankind). "If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid." [Surah Al-Kahf verse 109]