The guidance is an important constituent of the process of creation, trial, justice and reward. God guides the humanity through different means. Firstly; Much earlier than the creation of humanity, God first created all the spirits of humanity, which testified Him to be their Lord, this was the 1st Covenant, then they were put to sleep. He brings the humankind into this world in succession, each at appointed time, spirit is breathed in to him, true nature (hanefa fitr’ah), the ‘First Covenant’ is part of human consciousness. This is the reason that even some of African tribes cut off from the civilized world worship One God without images. However majority of human, under the influence of Satan, are caught in the webs of customs, superstitions, selfish desires, and false teachings, thus getting deflected from the true nature. Man is endowed with instincts, forms and faculties exactly suited to what is expected of him. Through these faculties and instincts man can know about existence of God by observing His signs, thus reverting to the true nature. Finally He gives guidance, through His messengers and scriptures. The messengers convey the message, people are not coerced, they use their intellect for reason and exercise their will. Finally God has reward for those who made right choice and punishment for those who fell pray to evil.
God sent messengers to every community; some are mentioned by name in Bible and Qur’an. The message of all the massagers sent to different nations at different times had been basically same, to worship One God and follow His guidance for success in this life and hereafter. The messengers were required to convey the message only, they were not required to force the people. Allah says: “Obey Allah and obey His messenger; but if ye turn away, then the duty of Our messenger is only to convey (the message) plainly.”(Qur’an;64:12). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), the great patriarch asserted the strict monotheism, God chose him as a leader of the mankind after success in trials, which was conditional to the obedience of God and not applicable to the evil doers among his progeny. His son Ishmael and Isaac were granted prophethood. After Abraham God continuously appointed messengers like Ishmael, Isaac his son Jacob (also known as Israel and his decedents as Israelites or Children of Israel), Joseph, Moses, Elisha, David, Solomon up to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them all) being the last among Israelites. Torah was revealed to Moses, Palms (Zabur) to David and Gospel (Injeel) to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) for the guidance of Israelites. These scriptures are part of Bible but in corrupted form.
The Israelites repeatedly disobeyed the commandments of God, altered the scriptures, and even killed the prophets. They did not believe in Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and even tried to kill him, but Allah raised him to Himself. His followers deviated from the monotheism of Abraham, Jacob and Moses (peace be upon them all), invented a different religion known as Christianity based on the concepts of Original sin and Trinity, disregarding the Law. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had settled his eldest son Ishmael at Makka, a deserted place which became a town on the main trade route. Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) became the ancestor of Arabs. His descendents also corrupted the original teachings of Abraham and Ishmael (peace be upon them), they became polytheists and Idolaters. For nearly over next 2000 years no messenger was sent to them.
Due to the persistent disobedience and rebelliousness of the Children of Israel, and corruption of original message of God; He changed the leadership role from the Children of Israel to the Children of Ishmael (peace be upon them), by appointing Muhammad, peace be upon him (an Arab, from the progeny of Ishmael) as His last messenger in 610 C.E. He reveled to him, Qur’an; the last book of guidance for the humanity and named the faith as Islam (surrender to will of Allah), the faith of all previous messengers.
Allah Himself took the responsibility to protect His last scripture. He says: “We have without doubt sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”.(Qur’an;15:9);“No falsehood can approach it from before or from behind. It is a revelation from the One Who is Wise and Praiseworthy.”(Qur’an;41:42). Qur’an is the final and the Last Testament, which supercedes the Old and New Testament. Now it is obligatory for the humanity including Jews and Christians to follow the guidance of Qur’an. Many Jews and Christians have reverted to Islam while others decline. The message of truth was spread all over the world. Presently there are around 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. Miraculously during last fourteen centuries, Qur’an is available in its original form and will continue to guide the humanity till eternity. Allah says: “Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah? Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah? But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!”(Qur’an;2:140). While Jews and Christians claim to be heirs of Abraham, but only Muslims can strongly claim to be followers of the true legacy of Abraham – Tawheed (monotheism).
Practical implementation of Qur’anic teachings was demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which is also available in the form of the traditions of Prophet (Sunnah). After Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last messenger, Muslims are responsible for preaching of this Message to the mankind? Allah says: “We have given the Book (Qur’an) as an inheritance to those of Our servants (Muslims) whom We have chosen…”(Qur’an;35:32). At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“O’ People, no Messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.”
The custodians of the Qur’an after the holy Prophet are the People of Islam. They are chosen for the Book, not in any narrow sense, but in the sense that the Book is given for their age and they are charged to believe, read, understand, obey, preserve and propagate it, so that all mankind should receive the Message. In this present era of high-tech communications and media, with the efforts of believers this guidance is available to the ever increasing numbers of people, who are embracing Islam in great numbers. There is no doubt that this Message will remain available to the humanity till the Day of Judgment. The legacy of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon them) continues.
He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto
Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that
which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying:
Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. Dreadful for the
idolaters is that unto which thou callest them. Allah chooseth for
Himself whom He will, and guideth unto Himself him who turneth
“He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. Dreadful for the idolaters is that unto which thou callest them. Allah chooseth for Himself whom He will, and guideth unto Himself him who turneth (toward Him). And they were not divided until after the knowledge came unto them, through rivalry among themselves; and had it not been for a Word that had already gone forth from thy Lord for an appointed term, it surely had been judged between them. And those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them are verily in hopeless doubt concerning it. Unto this, then, summon (O Muhammad). And be thou upright as thou art commanded, and follow not their lusts, but say: I believe in whatever Scripture Allah hath sent down, and I am commanded to be just among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and unto Him is the journeying.”(Qur’an;42:13-15)