There are a few points I would like to shed some light on today. First and foremost I would like to point out that Islam is a universal religion. The Christianity of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) was not meant to be a universal religion. As the fundamental message and teachings were concerned, the true religion of Jesus (pbuh) wasn’t different from Islam, but it didn’t give a complete guidance for all aspects of our lives and all nations. In the course of humanity’s existence God has sent messengers and prophets to different people and nations. In the Quran God says: “There is not a nation but a warner has passed among them.” (35:24) Also, “And for every nation there is a Messenger”. (10:48)

Jesus (pbuh) was one of them. He is the Messiah of the Children of Israel (Israelites). Like all Prophets those known to us and those unknown to us they all had different rulings concerning their nations but the same core message of worshipping God in His Oneness with no intercessors, partners, or wives or children etc. This was the base of all the messengers’ teachings. The teachings of Noah, Moses, Jesus, David, and Muhammad and all other Prophets (peace be upon them all). If we see and study their messages we will notice that whenever the different nations deviated and went astray a messenger/Prophet would arise and call them back to their Lord God, and each time a new law would be established but never a complete code that would lead to a single world-wide brotherhood. This code was sealed and fulfilled with the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The Quran says in 40:78

“And, indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad); of some of them We have related to you their story and of some We have not related to you their story, and it was not given to any Messenger that he should bring a sign except by the Leave of Allah.”

All Prophets had their own miracles as we all know and one of those miracles for the Muhammad (pbuh) was too call the people by reason and to the conscience of man. He was an honest man. People knew him as a man of truth, respectful, dignified, a comforter, and a man of glad tidings. In Islam there is no differentiation of favoritism towards a particular ethnic group, region, society etc. The Quran talks to people of all nations and for all time thus making Islam’s teachings universal in nature. I would like to point out some verses of the bible about some facts that Jesus said concerning to whom he was sent to deliver his message.

Jesus stated after choosing his 12 disciples to match the number of the tribes of Israel and stated to them in Matthew 10:5,6 “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matthew 15:24 Jesus (pbuh) stated: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

However Muhammad (pbuh) from the beginning of his mission it was clear that it was to all of humanity as it was revealed in the Quran 21:107 ” And We have sent you (O Muhammad) as a mercy for the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

Quran 7:158 “Say (O Muhammad): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He); It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad SAW) who believes in Allah and His Words ((this Quran), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also Allah’s Word: “Be!” – and he was, i.e. Isa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary)), and follow him so that you may be guided.”

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh came to fulfill and complete not to destroy the messages of the other Prophets (peace be upon them all). Jesus (pbuh) even mentioned the spirit of truth and comforter who would come after him. As he said in John 16:12, 13″

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come”.

Islam is the seal of all the Messengers of Allah (God). Islam completed everything in the life of all humanity. It established rights of everyone both man, woman, and child.

Islam was the first religion to improve the treatment of slaves and to take steps to abolish slavery all together.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made this clear as he said in his teaching found in
Al-Bukhari : “Narrated Al-Ma’rur: At Ar-Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, “I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names.” The Prophet said to me, ‘O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names You still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.’ ” (Book #2, Hadith #29)

In Quran (2:177) “It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allah, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free…”

And one last point which is the status of women in Islam. Before Islam women were seen as property something you inherit if she becomes a widow. For many centuries women were seen as second class citizens and Islam venerated and raised women’s status. So much so that man and woman are seen as equals in front of Allah (God).

Quran 4:124 “And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date stone, will be done to them.

Not only that but women were given 1400 years ago the right to inheritance of property and wealth from her father and her husband and the right to use her money as she chooses.

In the Quran 4:7 “There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large – a legal share”.

Quran 4: 7 “And covet not the thing in which Allah hath made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned. (Envy not one another) but ask Allah of His bounty. Lo! Allah is ever Knower of all things”.

This authentic teaching (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) states the honor and status of a woman in Islam.

(Al-Bukhari) A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet said, “Your mother”. The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother”. The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother”. The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your father.” (Book #73, Hadith #2)

I want to stress to all those who believe that Islam is an oppressive and a barbaric religion. Instead of lashing out and getting angry and attacking my way of life, learn the true meanings of the verses of the Quran and the authentic teachings of Muhammad (pbuh). Islam is not just a religion based on rituals and traditions, but a way of life that teaches humanity how to worship the one God our Creator the Sustainer and All-Aware.

As He the Sovereign states in the Quran 5:3 “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”.

And if you are sincere and purify your heart you will see that as Allah the Almighty says in the Quran 17:107 “Say (O Muhammad to them): “Believe in it (the Quran) or do not believe (in it). Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it (the Jews and the Christians), when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.”

Then you will realize that Islam is the truth and isn’t the stereotypical faith that so many proclaim it to be. This is the religion of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) men who all called to one thing believing and worshipping of One God the full submission to our Creator. The belief that condemns oppression, torture, terrorism, and injustice for all that exists.