Religion and Faith
The Holy Book
Now that we know that God Almighty exists, and that he creates humans, He communicates with His people to give them his message. God has done that by sending messengers to show them the right way that leads to paradise in the hereafter, and to warn them against the devil′s way that leads to hellfire. Some of the messengers were local for a certain time and to certain people. Some had larger responsibility and left their people with Holy Books that would guide them after the Prophets died. These Holy Books are like an owner′s manual of cars or a user′s manual of computer′s software. If you follow the instructions, you will get the maximum benefit, but if you ignore the instruction and the proper way of usage, then you will have a lot of troubles. This is a valid principle that applies to cars, computers, or humans.
We mentioned in the introduction of this
book, that you could realize the existence of God by examining
His signs or by having intuitive faith. However, this faith
should not be blind, but based upon reasonable judgment. The
reason is that in this world we have seen hundreds of people
making all sorts of claims. Many claimed that they were
prophets, receiving revelation from God. Others claimed to be
the expected Messiah that will come before the end of the world.
Even pagan religions asked its followers to have faith.
Scriptures are said to be inspired or revealed by God, and they
are so many. And each preacher emphasizes the usual sentence:
"you either have faith or not." If humans accept this argument
blindly, there will be much confusion. Faith should be based
upon a rational and sensible conclusion. Furthermore, it not
enough for a religion to call for such terms as brotherhood,
global peace, equality, mercy, etc, to be accepted. Religion is
a serious business, and choosing the right religion requires
some reasoning. Religion should be treated at least as any other
decision that humans make every day. You should not rush to a
conclusion, and at the same time you should not treat it as a
In the next section, an attempt will be made
to present a set of criteria for accepting a religion based upon
the following necessary and sufficient conditions:
Since we know that God is One, and we are all
His people that came from a single father and mother, it follows
that there must be one religion. This is because God is not
going to change His rules to suit different nations. He measures
all humanity with only One Standard. Therefore, the religion
should be universal regardless of race, color, time, place,
wealth, or gender.
This condition right away excludes Judaism
unless we accept the notion that God has chosen the Jews and
only the Jews to the rest of humanity for His religion. In this
case, this contradicts one of God′s attributes, Justice. Jews do
not have missionaries, and do not invite any one to join them.
If someone wants to convert to Judaism, which is supposed to be
a religion of God, he will have hard times. Often times, the
media reports that the Jews in Israel reject the conversion of a
teenager from a Jewish father. According to the Jewish law in
Israel, the mother determines religion. Therefore, if someone
manages to be converted by a Jewish organization outside Israel,
the Jewish establishment in Israel will not recognize that
conversion. Therefore, to follow a monotheistic religion, we are
left with Christianity and Islam.
Throughout history, there existed a class of
theologians and philosophers that claimed that they had
knowledge about religion and God that the public could not
understand. An example to such theology is the Gnostic Christian
movement that flourished during the second and third centuries
AD. Gnosticism presented a major challenge to orthodox
Christianity. The term Gnosticism is derived from the Greek word
gnosis ("revealed knowledge"). To its adherents, Gnosticism
promised a secret knowledge of the divine dominion that the
laymen would not comprehend. Therefore denying the public from
comprehending the religion that they were supposed to believe
A religion by definition should be understood
and practiced by all people regardless of their intellectual and
educational capability. A religion should be for the illiterate
as well as those with the highest degrees. There should not be
any confusion or ambiguity in explaining the religion.
The Holy Scriptures should be unique and only
the original version should be used. There should not be
multiple versions that are revised and revised again by humans.
If a translation of the original version exists, it should be
accompanied by the original text in its original language. Human
translation of Holy Books is never perfect. Translation of Holy
Books is a serious business, because it involves the imperfect
human perception of the translators.
Following the above condition of simplicity,
a religion should be opened with all its aspects. The exact
history should be presented. The evolution of doctrine, if any,
should be known and accessible to the public. The honest
preachers should not attempt to keep their congregation in the
dark about any subject relating to the religion. It is nice for
a religion to emphasize the good morals, but should this be the
only criterion of accepting a religion? Preachers should state
the whole truth, and not half the truth, about religions.
The scriptures of a religion should be authentic and traceable to its origin. All the records should not be adulterated or tainted with any Human ideas or perception. The original writer or writers of the scriptures should be known, and there should be sufficient evidences for the trustworthiness of the writers. The subject of authenticity should be very clear and definite without any confusion about who actually wrote the scriptures.
God revealed the Holy Books. One should not expect inconsistency or contradictions in the scriptures. There should not be any error or even a claim of error associated with Holy Books.
The character of the Prophet who received the revelation should be impeccable before the revelation. His life should be documented before and during the revelation to make sure that he was honest and truthful. He should not have bowed to anyone else but God.
The Holy Book should have the following characteristics:
It should identify God in names and attributes.
It should show Humans the proper way of communicating with God.
It should convey a message that does not contradict human intuition and accepted morals.
It should guide humans to the right path for salvation that leads to paradise.
It should warn Humans against evil acts that lead to hellfire.
It should project a sense of purity and holiness.
It should outline the divine standard that humans should follow.
It should include overwhelming prophecies and scientific miracle as a continuous challenge to the unbelievers.