by Saleeq Ahmad Naik
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ٌ
This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion.[Holy Quran 5:3]
This was one of the last verses revealed chronologically to Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], marking the completion of the Quran and the perfection of Islam. Islam is complete and perfect and is not thereafter susceptible to addition or abrogation. Being eternal and universal, the Islamic Law, which was made by God Almighty Himself, Who knows what is best for us under all circumstances, is resilient and adjustable to the changing conditions of time and place.
The use of word اکملت (I have perfected) regarding the Holy Quran in the aforementioned verse shows that the doctrines and the commandments of the Holy Quran affecting the physical, moral and spiritual development of man have been embodied in the Quran in their most perfect form and the word اتممت (I have completed) shows that nothing which was needed by man has been left out.
After this perfection and completion, God Almighty ordained, as the Quran says:
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
And whoso seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the losers.[Holy Quran 3:86]
Islam provides wholesome guidance in all aspects of human life. The Holy Quran not only provides rational and utilitarian teachings but also a complete set of guiding principles to lead a fully satisfying life in all necessary human dimensions.
The most complete way of life is found in the religion of Islam. The word Islam means, “Surrender” to the will of God. Since there is only one God and mankind is one species, the religion that God has ordained for human beings is one. So the question that comes up is why the different religions? God in His mercy had sent messengers to convey His message, to different people, at different times. Each prophet came with the guidance and miracles that were relevant for their times, and for their people, but the message was the same: That there is only one God, and worship is for him alone. This “Islam” was the religion brought by all the prophets of God. Islam was the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all). As the Allah Almighty says:
شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ
He has prescribed for you the religion which He enjoined on Noah, and which We have revealed to thee, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying, ‘Remain steadfast in obedience, and be not divided therein. Hard upon the idolaters is that to which thou callest them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself him who turns to Him.[Holy Quran 42:14]
Man was to follow each prophet when he made appearance, till the advent of another prophet with a new law. Thus the latter prophet was followed since there was new guidance relevant to that latter time. All this is evident for example when Jesus (PBUH) said to the Children of Israel:
وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَجِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ
And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come to you with a clear sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to God and obey me.[Holy Quran 3:50]
After the corruption of the older Scriptures, the Quran came with a twofold purpose. Muslims are required to believe in the revealed Scriptures and to make no distinction between any of them, or the Messengers who brought them, may Allah (God) exalt their station, because they all come from the One True God. Allah the Almighty says:
قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
Say ye: ‘We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob and his children, and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and what was given to all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between any of them; and to Him we submit ourselves.’[Holy Quran 2:137]
Thus we understand from these verses that the Qur’an not only encompasses the meanings and teachings of all divine books revealed before it but also perfects and completes them. Everything which a man needs, both in terms of his spiritual and his social life, is contained and explained in the Qur’an.
The old Scriptures have not been retained in their original form, due to the human omissions and additions that have crept into them. The Quran is the only Divine Scripture, which has stood the test of times without any change, because it is the ultimate truth from God (Allah), and it is an accepted adage that the truth never fades or diminishes with the passage of time.
The Quran says:
وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ هُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ
That which we have revealed to you (O Muhammad) of the Book (i.e., the Quran) is the Truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it.[Holy Quran 35:32]
The Truth contained in the Quran will never be compromised because Allah has taken upon Himself the responsibility of preserving it, as stated in the Quran:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Verily we have sent the Reminder (i.e., the Quran), and we will assuredly guard it (from corruption).[Holy Quran 15:10]
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِالذِّكْرِ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ وَإِنَّهُ لَكِتَابٌ عَزِيزٌلَّا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
Verily, it is an honorable well-fortified book of exalted power (because it is Allah’s Speech, and He has protected it from corruption). No falsehood can approach it from before or after it: it is sent down by the All-Wise, worthy of all praise.[Holy Quran 41:42-43]
These are not mere claims which are being made by the Quran, but when we comparatively delve deep into the understanding of scriptural doctrines and teachings we find it astoundingly true and supercilious. In my upcoming article, I will continue along with some examples from the Quran and New Testament which amply demonstrate and establish the above-mentioned claims made by Allah the Almighty.
The author is a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community India.