When and why did followers of Islam – as it is established in the world – enter the competition about whose religion is ‘true’ and whose religion is ‘false’ ?
The Qu’ran cannot more be more clear than it is. It states, ‘Islam’ is the simple religion as it has always existed in the world. It mentions Abraham, the upright, who didn’t follow complicated systems but just submitted to Allah only, as an example. So the Qu’ran says, we have been muslims long before the Qu’ran came. The Qu’ran says, that those who have always been following this simple religion from back long before Moses, will receive their reward twice (28:52-55). The Qu’ran says, it came to the Arabs as a favour unto them, to lead them BACK to the faith (49:16), as they were a people gone astray. The Qu’ran says, to make no distinction between any of the messengers that have come to mankind during history, to guide the different peoples. The Qu’ran thus makes it clear, believers are everywhere, and surely, all believers are brothers so make peace between them (49:10).
So, Muhammad pbuh was the leader of the Arabs, their messenger, and as such they had to obey him. They had to obey what was revealed to Muhammad pbuh as a prophet in the verses of the Qu’ran, and they had to obey his orders as a ruler of the people.
To other people, the Qu’ran is nothing but a reminder (81:27). There are verses in the Qu’ran with a clear meaning, understandable for everybody. And there are verses in the Qu’ran of which only Allah knows their true meaning, as well as those of understanding (3:6). It is in those verses, that people of other religions find a comfort and a mercy, a confirmation of what has been revealed to them through their messengers. They understand their true meaning, and wisely keep silent about it, because they are meant for them, not for anybody else.
The Qu’ran is truly a jewel with many different aspects. It doesn’t matter if we cannot see all those aspects, depending on our position. But please respect those aspects! In the world today, we need to unite, not split up. We need not only be good, but also join together in DOING good. If Krishna is your messenger, follow Krishna; if Buddha is your messenger, follow Buddha; if Moses is your messenger, follow Moses; if Jesus is your messenger, follow Jesus; if Muhammad is your messenger, follow Muhammad; if doing good for the sake of All is your path; then do good. Peace be upon all the messengers, peace be upon us all. We need to stop making a distinction between any of them. All paths on the mountain lead to the top, and it is there we ALL return. Believing otherwise is disbelief. Even if we cannot see, nor understand, why others would take a thorny, difficult path in our eyes, it doesn’t mean they are lost!
So the proper invitation to the true meaning of ‘Islam’ would be, to invite people to read the Qu’ran without any explanation. To just let it speak to a person. If it does and they find their guidance in the Qu’ran, they will come and follow the example of Muhammad pbuh. If they find comfort and a mercy in it, a confirmation of their beliefs, be happy and let them walk their path. If it doesn’t speak to them, there is nothing that can be done about it.
10: (24) And Allah calls to the abode of peace, and guides whom He wills to a straight path.
10: (25) For those who do good deeds, there shall be the best reward and yet more blessings. And neither darkness nor ignominy shall cover their faces. It is these who are the inmates of Heaven; therein shall they abide.
10: (26) And those who earn ill-deeds, (for them) requital of each ill-deed by the like thereof; and ignominy overtakes them – They have no protector from Allah – as if their faces had been covered with a cloak of darkest night. Such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein.
10: (27) On the day when We gather them all together, then We say unto those who ascribed partners (unto Us): Stand back, you and your (pretended) partners (of Allah)! And We separate them, the one from the other, and their (pretended) partners say: It was not us you worshipped.
10: (28) Allah suffices as a witness between us and you, that we were unaware of your worship.
It cannot be more clear, how the discrimination between ‘believer’ and ‘disbeliever’ is being made: Those who answer the call for peace and do good, are believers; those who earn ill-deeds will not be recognized as believers, no matter which religion they followed.