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Say: We believe in Allah (GOD) and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob, and what was given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted (in Islam).” [Qur’an, 3:84]
Non- Muslims visitors who want to gain a more basic understanding of the Islamic religion or others who have shown interest in Islam and are looking for additional information or have a particular question. Please send us e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction for Non-Muslim Visitors
Welcome to our non-Muslim visitors page.
What we’d like to explain here is why Muslims follow Islam, and some of the rationale behind their adherence to their religion. Unfortunately, Islam is an oft-misunderstood religion and Islamic beliefs are so frequently distorted. We hope this will help correct some misconceptions and increase understanding of this fast-growing religion which is followed by over 1.8 billion people.
Muslims believe that there is an absolute truth and that we do not necessarily act on "imperfect knowledge", as some believe. Our logic necessitates that one of the following options must be correct:
There is only one god, or
There are many gods, or
There is no god.
We likely believe that one of these three views must be correct, and the other two necessarily false. This could be a logical explanation why Muslims are of the view that not all systems of belief are correct. While Islam teaches that "there is no compulsion in religion" (the meaning of a verse in the Qur'an, 2:256), it also teaches that the Truth is distinct from errors. The Qur'an, a Scripture revealed to the final Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in many verses invites people to reason and critically analyze its teachings, so that they may believe that such a Book is a Revelation, and that it could not have been produced by someone who had never read or written (since Muhammad, peace be upon him, was illiterate).
The Qur'an says that "Whosoever wills let him believe, and whosoever wills let him disbelieve" [18:29], as one's believing or not believing does not benefit or harm the Creator of the universe in any way. One's belief is for one's own benefit. That belief should be based on knowledge and clear proofs, rather than on blind faith and it should also not contradict our reasoning, for why would God create reason and religion that fundamentally contradict each other?
One could ask, are there really any rational criteria at our disposal, based on which we can judge various claims of knowing the Truth?
There are certainly rational criteria at our disposal, and one's emotional commitment to religion should be preceded by an intellectual commitment to it. Reason, in fact, is our primary means for finding the Truth.
We can put any religion or system of beliefs to test by examining whether it is rational, universal, applicable at all times, in all places, and by people of all colors and languages, and whether the religion's Scripture is free of alteration, internal and external inconsistencies. A scripture is internally inconsistent if it contains discrepancies and contradictions within its text, and externally inconsistent if it contradicts facts (not theories) from science and nature as we know them. For it is impossible that God does not know His creation or that which He creates.
We say "He", but it should be noted that Muslims believe that God is distinct from His creation and there is nothing like unto Him. We humans cannot describe and attain to the utmost of His greatness, which is as He described Himself in the Qur'an. Muslims believe in pure monotheism and they reject views of those who give human characteristics of weakness and imperfection to the Divine (for example, the belief of some that God wrestled with a human, or that He was in a woman's womb for nine months, that he ate food, fulfilled his needs, was dead for a period of time, or has partners - we say, far above is God from such imperfections), or those who attribute Divine characteristics of perfection to humans or to any of God's creation.
Muslims also believe that this world neither created itself, nor that it came from nothing - and we believe that it is a product of Intelligence, rather than chance. We also believe in all prophets sent from God, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. We believe that all of them called to the same religion, submission to the Creator, alone with no partner.
Our experience tells us that a few minutes of reasoning can usually leave us persuaded in the truth of God's absolute Oneness and Uniqueness, so what remains to be studied is which religion is truly monotheistic in its nature.
One of the major criteria for distinguishing the Truth from errors, that we would like to stress, is the authenticity of the religious scripture. In reality, Muslims are the only ones who even claim to have an authentic scripture from God, in its original form, of which not a single letter has been changed. We say Muslims are the only ones because, for example, many Jewish and Christian scholars dispute the authenticity of their books. Most other religions admit that their scriptures are in fact human writings. And if we say that there is a Truth and God, we are likely to believe that God wants us to do certain things and abstain from others. Muslims believe that God communicates with His creation through His chosen Prophets. If we are of the view that God would not leave us without a reliable Revelation, then the mere fact that Muslims are the only ones who even claim to have an authentic revelation could attest to the truthfulness of their claim. However, as mentioned earlier, the Qur'an invites us to reason and to accept faith based on knowledge, rather than the blind following of our traditions.
"Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah (GOD), they would surely have found therein much contradiction." [Qur'an,4:82]
This is only an introduction in which we wanted to raise a few issues regarding the criteria for knowing the Truth. We have by no means given an exhaustive list (of these criteria), and we encourage you to visit the following links to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of Islam.