One Religion and
Many Revelations

The Egyptian Society for Spiritual and Cultural Research

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The word "Islam" as used in the Holy Qur'an and The Prophet Muhammad's teachings does not point to a creed that was meant to be parallel to, or competitive with other existing creeds. "Islam", in its original sense pointed to the eternal call from Allah to man to surrender to the Divine Law of Life. Namely, "Islam" is a synonym for the One Religion that all prophets carried to humanity. This is partly how we can see "Islam" as al-Deen al Hanif: the pure, Primordial Religion". Tasleem "surrender", salam "peace" and salamah "salvation" are interrelated. The core concept is that man needs to be in harmony with the Divine Law, and that is Tasleem. Once s/he surrenders to the Law, s/he will be in peace within her/himself and with everything in the universe. That is the real salvation. All revelations came to support man achieve that purpose. Islam is inherited within man's soul and that is the meaning of Hanifeyya.

Accordingly, the word Muslim in the Holy Qur'an points to persons who seek full surrender to Allah by adhering to a righteous path. Because The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) revived that Religion, The Revelation that he received carried the name of the original message: "Islam". The Holy Qur'an and The Prophet Muhammad's teachings use several ways to assert that all Revelations manifested One Eternal Law, and guided people to surrender to it. Because the Law is One and Eternal, there is a common Way that was trod by all prophets, despite their different experiences. In the Holy Qur'an that Way is referred to as: Al-Deen al Hanif ,"the Primordial Religion"; Al Sirat Al Mustaqeem "the righteous Way"; SunnatuAllah "the Way of Allah".

Surrender to the Law is possible because man is endowed with an inner pure potentiality that longs to its Lord. It is when man responds to that inner urge that s/he learns how to live in harmony with the Law. Prophets passed through that experience. By so doing, their quests were answered; they received guidance through inspiration and revelation, coming from the Unseen Supreme Power, Allah. And they taught humans that surrender to the Law frees them from fear of any mundane authority and leads them to the path of complete inner freedom. It is part of the Law that man cannot know his/her Way except by an authentic cry for the truth and a sincere quest to understand the meaning of life within her/himslef and around. Man, along the path, needs support, knowledge and guidance from a higher source. Revelations supply her/him with that guidance through versatile means and tools.

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1.4 Summary