In my previous article – The beginning and end of political religion – I reasoned with common sense, how the concept of 7 different saviours, for each religion one, is quite unthinkable. Yet it might be interesting to look at the concept of one Messiah for all, from the viewpoint of the youngest authentic scripture we have available, the Qu’ran.
As explained in the Qu’ran, ‘Islam’ should be read as religion as existed in the world ever from the beginning. But peoples went astray, so Allah sent them reminders. There is the line of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed; to other peoples, Allah sent other messengers; each people received their own guidance.
Surely, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and desire to make a distinction between Allah and His Messengers, and say, ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in others,’ and desire to take a way in between,
These indeed are veritable disbelievers, and We have prepared for the disbelievers an humiliating punishment.
And as for those who believe in Allah and in all of His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them, these are they whom He will soon give their rewards. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.
What does it mean to ‘believe in some and deny others’ ? It means of course to follow our own religion seriously with respect for other religions; we cannot say, those religions are false and ours is true, as ALL messengers came from Allah, and to Allah we all return.
All religions have a similar prediction about the end of times. So, because we should not believe one messenger and deny the other, we have to believe them all. How can that be, if each religion predicts their own saviour? Conclusion: There is no such thing as ‘our’ saviour who will not save ‘them’.
Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has forbidden: that you associate not anything as partner with Him
Therefore, there will be only one Messiah, calling to the faith. This is explained in Surah 20 in the Qu’ran:
On that day (the Day of Resurrection, the Day the trumpet will be blown) they will follow the Caller straight, there being no deviation therefrom; and all voices shall be hushed before the Gracious God and thou shalt not hear but a subdued sound of footsteps.
On that day intercession shall not avail any person save him in whose case the Gracious God grants permission and with whose word of faith He is pleased.
He knows all that is before them and all that is behind them, but they cannot compass it with their knowledge.
And all faces shall humble themselves before the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining God. And he shall indeed perish who bears the burden of iniquity.
But he who does good works, being a believer, will have no fear of injustice or loss.
‘The Caller’ refers to the Messiah.
So, according to the Qu’ran, indeed religion free from politics and man-made stories will be restored in the world. But it is not Islam as it is established in the world today; Allah has no partners: … ‘
and with whose word of faith He is pleased.’
It is everybody who obeys only Allah, no matter their religion, so hopefully finally, there will be true respect for all religions.
More than this, we do not know. Every other story is a political one: To suit a party.
To this, then, do thou invite mankind. And be thou steadfast as thou art commanded, and follow not their evil inclinations, but say, ‘I believe in whatever Book Allah has sent down, and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us is the reward of our works, and for you the reward of your works. There is no quarrel between us and you. Allah will gather us together, and to Him is the return.’
3:2 There is no god, except Allah: Allah is Life, the ultimate source of all existence and that with sustains all.
What this means to Buddhism, as a non-theistic religion, is well explained by these words:
‘I would say that Allah is NOthingness, and when you say the basic mantra of Islam “La Ilaha ‘Ila Al-lah” (what’s written on the Saudi flag), it’s actually inviting you to keep repeating “There is no God except Allah” over and over as you decrease one syllable, or one ” lah” at a time . ” Lah” means “no,” so it’s a negation. And so, Allah is the Great “No.” Allah is something that you cannot imagine, because it’s beyond everything, and so it is the big ” ah” at the end of the word lah that designates the nothingness. When you repeat, ” La Ilaha Illa Al-lah,” you are peeling off layers of everything that’s imaginable. You keep repeating it and knocking off syllables until you’re left with that ” ah” and that’s hua (He), the pure breath of God.’
Of course the muslims have their own version of the end of times prophecy. Yet this version is not based on the Qu’ran, but on hadith. Just as the prophecy of the Mormons is not based on the Book of Mormon, but on words from their prophet Joseph Smith. Therefore, the details in the hadiths concerning the Mahdi should be considered very weak, just as the words of Joseph Smith.
The Qu’ran is complete: Surah 12:111 …It is not a forged thing, this (Qu’ran) confirms all previous scriptures, provides the details of everything, and is a beacon and mercy for those who believe.”
Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it; but those who believe are fearful of it, and know that it is the truth. Beware! those who dispute concerning the Hour are in error, far gone.