The wonderful thing is that the creation itself, which is nothing but the word of Allah, is itself conscious, and through knowing itself, begins to know Allah. The creation is His word, and His word by knowing itself, knows Him.
In this article, I will explain why saying that people, whatever their religion, will go to paradise, does not make us immune from seeking the truth. In fact, it is the right of Allah upon us, that we seek the truth as He reveals it.
It has become a fashion to say, ‘just let them believe whatever they want’, and ‘if they have a good intention they will be rewarded’. These are the false excuses that people use to maintain the status quo and make themselves feel praiseworthy through the expression of ‘open-mindedness’.
In fact, it is not the idea that people, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, can go to heaven that I am disputing. I know that Allah rewards people based on their effort and sincerity, and that is one of the beauties of life. This fact gives us security in that whatever our financial status, social status, religion, cultural background, or practices may be, we can still achieve success. All praise is due to Allah for His fairness and generosity despite His power and majesty.
It is not heaven that is the issue…nor achieving ‘salvation’ in this form.
Let me now set the grounds to explain an issue that is far graver and more intense, and makes it yet more imperative that we seek the truth as Allah reveals it.
The creation is nothing more than the word of Allah. He says ‘Be’, and it is. From the beginning of creation, Allah has only been expressing His beauty through the vehicle of creation. The wonderful thing is that the creation itself, which is nothing but the word of Allah, is itself conscious, and through knowing itself, begins to know Allah. The creation is His word, and His word by knowing itself, knows Him.
Every creation is a sign of Allah. Allah has not created them in vain. Rather there is deep wisdom to every creation, and every particularity of that creation is part of the explanation of who Allah is. As such, a believer does not want to change the creation in the least.
When we talk about people who follow a particular religion, many of them have beliefs regarding creation and how it was in the past. Of course, there is no objection to this if those beliefs are reflections of the past as it actually was. In fact, there is great benefit in having knowledge about the creation as Allah revealed it, and it was nothing but an explanation of His Beautiful Being, so how can that knowledge be anything but good?
Let’s look at the belief of some Christians. They say that Jesus is the son of God and they site historical narratives to prove this. Without these historical narratives, they do not have any evidence for their claim, because a normal person would not claim anybody to be a son of God. They clutch to these historical narratives and when you explain to them that historical narratives can be wrong, they blind themselves, insisting on them, due to the heavy indoctrination from childhood. They are claiming something about Allah’s creation that they do not have enough knowledge about. This is equivalent to saying something about Allah without knowledge because the creation is nothing but an explanation and manifestation of Allah. So, when you say something about the creation you in fact say it about Allah.
Let’s look at the Muslims. One group says Abu Bakr is the rightful successor of Muhammad and another group says it is Ali. They both believe what they believe based on historical narratives. When you explain to them that historical narratives can be wrong, they insist on them without consideration, or they are just plain happy to carry on the way they are. They are not able to consider that the historical narratives their beliefs are based on can be wrong, due to the heavy indoctrination from childhood.
The issue is actually rather simple, let me ask you a question: If someone tells you something, can they be mistaken? You all know the answer to this, don’t you? I am not writing this to prove which group is right, but at least one of them, and maybe both, are wrong. Either way, both groups only have historical narratives to prove their positions. They are claiming something about Allah’s creation that they do not have enough knowledge about. This is equivalent to saying something about Allah without knowledge because the creation is nothing but an explanation and manifestation of Allah. So, when you say something about the creation you in fact say it about Allah.
These are just two examples, but oftentimes we find Muslim communities are riddled with these issues because their scholars were themselves indoctrinated and unable to break out of their own shackles. When it comes to the Prophet Muhammad or the Imams for Shia Muslims and the companions for Sunni Muslims, Muslims find it extremely hard to admit that they just don’t know. So, they insist on something, and by doing that they claim Allah said something (created something a certain way), but they don’t know Allah said that, they are just guessing. Doesn’t Allah tell the Muslims not to lie about Him?!
The reason why people of faith fall into these traps is because they have so much good, and they’ve mixed it with things that they don’t know. So, if they say that they don’t know, they feel like they are losing the good that they have. They forget that saying ‘I don’t know’ is one of the greatest deeds a person of faith can say in our times. Isn’t what Allah has given them certainty enough?
If you admit what you don’t know, Allah will take your hand and show you so many important things. What are you afraid of? Don’t you know that honesty is more important than knowledge, and that knowledge that prevents you from honesty is a sickness?
May Allah bless you all and help us all to know Him through knowing His creation in an honest and sincere way.