From Adam to Muhammad: Tracing the Unity of the Message of Islam
Islam is a monotheistic religion that traces its roots back to the first man on earth, Adam, and the last prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is not a new religion but a continuation of the message of monotheism that has been revealed by God to his prophets throughout history.
The Quran emphasis on this fact. It says:
"Say, [O Muhammad], "We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the [twelve] tribes [of Israel] and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him" (Quran 2:136).
This verse shows that Islam is a unifying message that recognizes the continuity of the message of monotheism from Adam to Muhammad. Islam considers all the prophets as equal in rank and importance and teaches that their core message was the same: to worship one God and follow His commandments.
The core belief in One God is a fundamental aspect of the message of all the prophets. However, the specific legislations or guidance that each prophet brought to their respective communities varied based on the time and place in which they lived and the specific challenges that their people were facing.
The message of the prophets varied in terms of legislation due to cultural and social differences, historical circumstances, and divine wisdom. For example, Moses AS was sent to the Israelites who were enslaved in Egypt, while Muhammad was sent to the entire humanity starting with the Arabian Peninsula during a time of tribal warfare.
Despite these differences in legislation, the core belief in one God remained constant throughout the messages of the prophets. This belief in the oneness of God is the foundation of all religions, and it is emphasized repeatedly in the scriptures of these faiths. It is important to note that the various laws and guidance given by the God to the prophets were not intended to contradict or invalidate one another. Rather, they served to build upon the message of the previous prophets. For example, the message of Moses AS included the Ten Commandments, while the message of Jesus AS emphasized love and forgiveness. The message of Muhammad (peace be upon him) included both moral guidance and specific legal rulings.
If Islam was the message of all prophets and messengers brought to humanity, then what is the definition of Islam? Could it be that Islam is not just a religion but rather a way of life that has been revealed to us through the teachings of all the prophets and messengers? Perhaps this means that Islam is not limited to a specific time or place but rather represents a timeless truth that has been communicated to us throughout the ages. These are some of the questions that arise when we contemplate the idea that Islam has been the message of all prophets and messengers. Understanding the definition of Islam in Arabic will better guide us to the bright truth.
The word "Islam" in Arabic means submission or surrender to God's will. It comes from the root word "s-l-m" which also means peace, safety, and security. Islam is the religion of monotheism, which means the belief in One and Only God who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
In the Quran, the term "Islam" is used to refer to the religion that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as to the message of all the prophets and messengers of God before him. The Quran teaches that all the prophets and messengers were Muslims, in the sense that they submitted to God's will and taught monotheism to their people.
For example, in the Quran, it is mentioned that Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was a Muslim:
"Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists" (Quran 3:67).
"And when he [Ibrahim] and Ismael raised the foundations of the House [saying], 'Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites [of pilgrimage] and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful'" (Quran 2:127-128).
Similarly, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is described as a Muslim in the Quran:
"And Moses said, 'O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then rely upon Him, if you should be Muslims [in submission to Him]'" (Quran 10:84).
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the continuity of the message of Islam. He said,
"I am the last of the prophets, and my example is like a beautiful pattern (Seerah) that has been sent down from heaven to you. So, follow my example and the example of those before me" (Sahih Bukhari).
He also emphasized the unity of the message of all the prophets and messengers. He said:
"I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one" (Sahih Bukhari).
That lead us to a very beautiful concept that submitting to One and Only God who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe provides a sense of peace, safety, and security. This is because when someone believes in One God, they also believe that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-merciful. They believe that God is in control of everything and that everything happens according to His plan.
This belief brings a sense of comfort and security because believers trust that God is taking care of them and guiding them in their lives. They also believe that God is just and fair, and everything happens in this life is ultimately for their benefit, even if they don't always understand it at the time.
Furthermore, the belief in One God encourages Muslims to live a life of peace and harmony with others. They believe that all humans are equal in the eyes of God and that they should treat others with kindness, compassion, and respect. This creates a sense of safety and security within the community because everyone is working towards the common goal of pleasing God and living in peace with one another.
it is a fundamental aspect of the Islam.
However, when people turn away from God and ignore His guidance, they may lose this sense of peace and security. This can happen when people become distracted by the material world, and their focus shifts away from their spiritual well-being. They may become caught up in their own desires and forget the greater purpose of life.
As a result, people may start to feel lost and disconnected, which can lead to increased anxiety and depression. They may feel as if they are not fulfilling their purpose in life, and that they are not living up to their true potential. This can create a sense of restlessness and discontentment, which can be difficult to overcome.
Furthermore, when people lose their connection to God, they may also lose their sense of community and belonging. They may become isolated and feel like they have no one to turn to for support or guidance. This can also contribute to increase the feelings of anxiety and depression.
The solution to these problems is to reconnect with God and follow His guidance. By turning back to God, they can restore their sense of peace and security in their lives. This involves seeking knowledge and understanding of Islam, performing good deeds, and striving to live a life that abide with Allah’s guidance.
In conclusion, the message of Islam was initiated when Prophet Adam was sent to Earth, and it was completed and perfected by the end of Prophet Muhammad's life. It is intended to last until the Day of Judgement.
"This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion" (Quran 5:3).
All prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ismael, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all), preached the same message of monotheism and submission to God.
"And [mention] when We took from the prophets their covenant and from you [O Muhammad] and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary; and We took from them a solemn covenant" (Quran 33:7).
All prophets, including Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), took oath of the same covenant with God, and so we did.