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The one true religion of Islam does not merely consist of religious rituals, nor did Allah reveal it for a specific community. On the contrary, it contains teachings that apply to all aspects of life, giving us comprehensive guidance. Moreover, Islam is the only true religion for the whole of humankind, so one’s location is irrelevant. This is because every human being must adhere to Islam. It is the only religion Allah has revealed for mankind without any exception.
It does not matter if one is black, white, or brown, nor does it matter if one is from Asia, Africa, or North America, because Islam is a universal religion which everyone on earth must follow. All of mankind has to believe in Allah alone without associating any partners in worship. Moreover, everyone has to believe in Allah’s final Messenger, Muhammad (PBUH), and obey the teachings he brought.
Prophethood ended with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
As Allah informs us in Surah Al-Ahzab, Muhammad (PBUH) is His final Prophet. There are also authentic narrations in which the Prophet (PBUH) affirms that he is the last of the Prophets. In a hadith in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) said that he was sent to all of creation. He also said that he concluded prophethood. Moreover, he confirmed that there would be no more prophets after him in a hadith in Bukhari and Muslim.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the one and only Prophet who categorically stated that he is the last of the prophets. None of the prophets that preceded him declared that prophethood ended with them. The Prophet (PBUH) had a unique role as Allah’s last messenger. Therefore, there were a number of things that set him apart from his predecessors among the Prophets.
What sets Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) apart from other Prophets?
Unlike those that came before him, there would be no more messengers that would follow after Muhammad (PBUH). No one would come after his prophethood ended to correct errors and alterations. This meant that the message Allah sent him with had to be preserved in its original form, free of any blemishes. The Quran is the only revelation that humanity has successfully preserved in its original form, as it has lived in the hearts of countless memorizers since its revelation.
Prophets sent before Muhammad would come with signs for their people. The sign of the final Prophet (PBUH), however, would also have to suffice for the generations to follow. The sign of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not only for the people of his time but for humanity until the last day; his sign was the Quran. The miraculous nature of the Quran has withstood the test of time and continues to be awe-inspiring.
In addition, Allah sent the prophets preceding Muhammad (PBUH) to specific people. None of their teachings were universally binding. Meanwhile, Allah could not just send the last Prophet (PBUH) for a particular community. In Surah Al-A’raf, we learn that Muhammad (PBUH) was Allah’s Messenger sent to mankind. Meanwhile, the Prophet (PBUH) said in a hadith in Bukhari and Muslim that unlike earlier Prophets, Allah sent him to all of humankind. Hence, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was for all of mankind, as the Quran and Sunnah explicitly confirm.
Moreover, Islamic laws and principles are rigid where it’s necessary and flexible where it’s appropriate. Since Islam, the only true religion is binding on mankind until the Last Day, it provides us with strong fundamental principles, as well as flexibility, which facilitates solutions for new issues that arise with the changing of times.
Allah commands mankind to obey the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam
At times, people may claim that although the Prophet (PBUH) may have been a real Prophet of God, they can continue following the teachings of older prophets. However, the Prophet (PBUH) made it clear that this is not acceptable. One will not be on the straight path unless one follows the final Messenger (PBUH), as he came to succeed those who came before him. His teachings are binding on all of us, and no one can opt out of following him.
In the Quran, Allah has condemned those who do not follow the Prophet (PBUH). Allah labels such people disbelievers in Surah An-Nisa, while assuring those who don’t differentiate between Prophets that He will reward them. In a hadith in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) swears that one who hears of him and does not accept Islam before dying will certainly enter the Hellfire. Therefore, everyone, including those who follow earlier prophets, must believe in the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) and obey his teachings.
Islam: The Only True Religion for all times
Although the Prophet (PBUH) is the final Prophet, mankind will still require guidance until the Day of Judgment. We are to take this guidance from the teachings of the religion itself. Its teachings do not become irrelevant. Thus, the faith and those who devotedly adhere to it do not die out. Rather, it remains the ultimate way of life that everyone has to follow.
Even though Islam arrived over 14 centuries ago, it is still the sole ideology on earth that is suitable for all situations and people. As the Prophet (PBUH) said in a hadith in Sahih Muslim, one will never go astray if he steadfastly holds on to the Quran and Sunnah. As Allah tells us in Surah Al-Ma’idah, He has perfected Islam, the only true religion, for everyone on earth to follow. Its message is timeless.
Since Islam is perfect and complete, it is not in need of any updates or changes. Allah sent his final Prophet with the last revelation. As God has perfected and preserved His final Message to His creation, it will be sufficient for humanity until the Last Day. Therefore, regardless of whether one is from the 8th century or the 21st century, Islam is the truth which they are obligated to follow. It does not matter which continent or country you are from, because Islam is a universally binding religion.
Islam: The Only True Religion for every era
The world changes at a swift pace. Different eras present different challenges. All sorts of new scenarios present themselves with the passing of time. Many issues pop up, which would have been impossible to consider 14 centuries ago. However, Islamic law is perfectly equipped to deal with changing times.
There are numerous laws in Islam that are fixed, as these deal with issues that will always remain the same. Among these are rules pertaining to morality and ethics. Since human nature remains the same across different eras, these laws are unchanging. Something that is detrimental to humans today will remain detrimental tomorrow. This is why there are fixed laws pertaining to harmful things like stealing, adultery, intoxicants, usury, etc.
Alcohol is the culprit for many evils in society. Its harm overwhelmingly outweighs its benefit. It causes all kinds of harm to the consumer as well as the entire society. Alcohol frequently leads to broken homes, domestic violence, fatal traffic accidents due to drunk driving, a variety of health complications, etc. Hence, despite alcohol having some benefit, one cannot argue that it’s not harmful on the whole. Islam’s wisdom permanently outlaws this dangerous intoxicant for the benefit of mankind. This benefit stays the same regardless of which era we live in.
While there are specific laws in the Shariah, there are also general principles that guide us. We can apply these general principles to contemporary issues to derive rulings that comply with the teachings of Islam, the one true religion. In this way, the flexibility in Islamic law facilitates the application of Islamic teachings to the new situations we face in the modern world. Hence, Islam will never become irrelevant, and it will remain the only true, flawless guide for humankind until the Day of Judgment.
The Creator of everything perfected the religion of Islam and made it binding on everyone. This clearly indicates that there is no room for alteration or innovation when it comes to the teachings of Islam, as they are faultless. They remain preserved in their original, perfect form for the benefit of humankind. If someone believes that he can improve the religion by adding to it or changing it, he is arrogant and delusional. All such a person would achieve is the distortion of the faith, and misguidance, as it is not possible to improve something that is already perfect.
The Prophet (PBUH) explicitly condemned such acts. He warned us against innovation and deviation in Islam. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) deemed invented matters the worst and said all innovations are a going astray, in a hadith in Sahih Muslim. In a hadith in Sunan An-Nasai, he mentioned that a going astray is only in the fire of hell. Also, in Bukhari and Muslim, there’s a hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) says that all innovations in the religion will be rejected.