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Criteria of the true religion:

How does anyone who has any belief justify his particular doctrine of faith??

In almost all cases, each believer is certain that his doctrine is the best and that it is the only true one. Each believer varies from the other in justifying that. Those who believe in humanly corrupted distorted doctrines justify it by saying that they found their fathers believing in it, and that they are just following in their footsteps. Allah says: {23. And similarly, We sent not a warner before you (O Muhammad, pbuh) to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.” 24. (The warner) said: “Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?” They said: “Verily, We disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.}(Az-Zukhruf:23-24)

He also says: {170. When it is said to them: “Follow what Allâh has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.” (Would they do that!) Even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided? 171. And the example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.}(Al-Baqarah:170-171)

Such people found their attitude on this ugly imitation, without resorting to reason, thought or contemplation. Often they resort to false, unsubstantiated and contradictory stories that lack any proof of authenticity. It is not justifiable, of course, to reason or argue in such a manner in relation to religions, sects and creeds.

Is every religious belief correct?

Since truth is one and has no multiple, it therefore follows that it is impossible that all those beliefs are on the right path, and that all of them are true at the same time, otherwise there would be contradicting truths, which is what sound minds refuse to believe: {Had it been from other than Allâh, they would surely have found therein much contradiction.}(An-Nisâ’:82)

Subsequently, what is the true religion and what are the criteria by which we can judge to establish which one of these beliefs are true and which ones are corrupt?!

A true religion has a divine source

First: the religion should have a divine source, that is, it should come from Allah Almighty and be revealed through an angel to an apostle to convey it to Allah’s slaves. True religion is the religion of Allah, the Creator of the universe (Glorified be He), and Allah is the One Who holds the creatures responsible and accountable on the Day of Resurrection for the religion that was revealed unto them. Allah says: {163. Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad, pbuh) as We inspired Nûh (Noah) and the Prophets after him; We (also) inspired Ibrâhim (Abraham), Ismâ’il (Ishmael), Ishâque (Isaac), Ya’qûb (Jacob), and Al¬Asbât [the twelve sons of Ya’qûb (Jacob)], ‘Iesa (Jesus), Ayub (Job), Yûnus (Jonah), Hârûn (Aaron), and Sulaimân (Solomon), and to Dawûd (David) We gave the Zabûr (Psalms). 164. And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you, - and to Mûsa (Moses) Allâh spoke directly. 165. Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allâh after the Messengers. And Allâh is Ever All¬-Powerful, All-¬Wise.{ (An-Nisâ’:163-165)

Accordingly, any religion that is designed by someone and he attributes it to himself and not to Allah, is a fake religion. Moreover, any religion that is designed by humans to which they add and which they amend is also void, because the person who designs and changes does not know better, where the good of the people is concerned, than Allah, the Creator of the world. {Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).{ (Al-Mulk:14)

If this was not the case, then the designer or the legislator of such a religion would be a lord and god who knows what is good for his creation, and Almighty Allah is far exalted over that (i.e. having partners in Lorship): {Do they seek other than the religion of Allâh (the true Islâmic Monotheism worshipping none but Allâh Alone), while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned.{ (Âl-’Imrân:83)


Michael Hems

English Writer
“The fundamental truth in Islam is monotheism; God is One and Muhammad is the Messenger of God, polytheism is set aside. There is no father nor is there a son, nor a separation between what is sacred and what is worldly, and what is eastern and what is western. There is one world and one religion.”

He also says: {But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad pbuh) judge in all disputes between them.}(An-Nisâ’:65)

A true religion calls to monotheism

Second: religion must call for singling out Almighty Allah in worship, and must prohibit polytheism. Since calling for monotheism is the foundation of the call of all the prophets and messengers. Polytheism and idolatry, on the other hand, violates the ABCs of natural instincts and of guided minds. Allah says: {And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad pbuh) but We inspired him (saying): Lâ ilâha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allâh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).”}(Al-Anbiyâ’:25)

Each prophet said to his people: {Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. (Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh: none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh). Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!}(Al-A’râf:59)

Therefore, any religion that approves polytheism, or ascribes other partners to Allah, whether that other god is a prophet, a king, a saint, a human or a stone, must be a false religion, as worship must be directed to Allah alone, with no partners. Paganism and polytheism are outright deviations. Every religion which becomes blemished by polytheism, even if it was originally revealed by Allah, becomes false. Almighty Allah gives us an example. He says: {73. O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily! Those on whom you call besides Allâh, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought. 74. They have not estimated Allâh His Rightful Estimate; Verily, Allâh is All-Strong, All-Mighty.}(Al-Hajj:73-74)

A true religion is consistent with the natural instinct

Third: to be consistent with the natural instinct. Allah says: {So set you (O Muhammad pbuh) your face towards the religion of pure Islâmic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allâh Alone) Allâh’s Fitrah (i.e. Allâh’s Islâmic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq¬illâh (i.e. the Religion of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not.}(Ar¬-Rûm:30)

Here, the natural instinct is everything Almighty Allah has created in people, which becomes part and parcel of their composition. For it cannot be that religion does not fit the natural human disposition, as otherwise the creator would have been different from the legislator of religion, which is impossible and considered as polytheism.


Justin Barrett

Researcher in Humanities, Oxford University
Allah’s Fitrah (Natural Disposition)
“Children are born being believers in God, and do not simply acquire religious beliefs through indoctrination, because they suppose that everything in the world was created with a purpose. Even if we leave children by themselves on a desert island to raise themselves alone, they would come to believe in God.”

A true religion is consistent with the mind

Fourth: true religion must be consistent with the sound mind; since true religion is Allah’s law, and the right mind is Allah’s creation, and it is impossible that Allah’s law contradicts His creation. He says: {Have they not travelled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith to understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.}(Al-Hajj:46)

He also says: {3. Verily, in the heavens and the earth are signs for the believers. 4. And in your creation, and what He scattered (through the earth) of moving (living) creatures are signs for people who have Faith with certainty. 5. And in the alternation of night and day, and the provision (rain) that Allâh sends down from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the turning about of the winds (i.e. sometimes towards the east or north, and sometimes towards the south or west etc., sometimes bringing glad tidings of rain etc., and sometimes bringing the torment), are signs for a people who understand. 6. These are the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of Allâh, which We recite to you (O Muhammad pbuh) with truth. Then in which speech after Allâh and His Ayât will they believe?}(Al-Jâthiya: 3-6)

It is not suitable for a true religion to be satiated with myths and superstition or contradictions in a way that makes a part of it at odds with the other parts. This is contrary to the sound mind. A true religion never commands its followers to do something and then contradicts it with another command. It does not make something impermissible or permissible to a group of people and make it the opposite for another group. Neither does it separate matters which are similar, nor combine contradictions,

Allah Almighty says: {Do they not then consider the Qur’ân carefully? Had it been from other than Allâh, they would surely have found therein much contradictions.{ (An-Nisâ’:82)


Adam Smith

Scottish Philosopher
The disease of superstition
“Science is the great antidote to the poison of superstition.”

Rather, a true religion must be built on clear evidence. Allah Almighty says: {Say (O Muhammad Peace be upon him), “Produce your proof if you are truthful.{ (Al-Baqarah: 111)

A true religion has good morals


David Hume

Scottish Philosopher
Present your evidence
“A wise man builds his belief on evidence”

a true religion calls for the best of morals and deeds. Allah the most High says: {151. Say (O Muhammad pbuh): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawâhish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allâh has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islâmic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand. 152. “And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence, etc.), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allâh, This He commands you, that you may remember. 153. “And verily, this (i.e. Allâh’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses 151 and 152) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqûn{ (Al-An’âm:151-153)


Albert Camus

French Philosopher
Man and ethics
“A man without ethics is a wild beast let loose upon this world.”

He also says: {Verily, Allâh enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allâh Alone - Islâmic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsân [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh, totally for Allâh’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet pbuh in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allâh has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahshâ’ (i.e all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e all that is prohibited by Islâmic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed.}(An-Nahl:90)



Danish Orientalist
Be realistic
“A realistic outlook on life, sincere advice, the call for kindness and compassion, ancient benevolent humanism; these and other factors were for me the greatest evidence of the truth of Islam.”

A religion is never a true one if it promotes lying, murder, injustice, theft, rape, disobedience or the like.

A true religion regulates matters

a true religion regulates the relationship between man and his Creator, and the relationships among the creation. Allah says: {You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allâh has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not.}(Yûsuf:40)


Ernest Hemingway

American Writer
Ethics means feeling good
“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good about afterwards, and what is immoral is what you feel bad about afterwards.”

That religion must regulate man’s duties towards his Creator, and also regulate relationships existing among the people.Allah says: {Worship Allâh and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masâkin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess.}(An-Nisâ’:36)


Joseph Schacht

German Orientalist
The best inheritance
“One of the most important bequests which Islam has transmitted to the civilized world is its religious law; the Shari’ah. It is a phenomenon so different from all other forms of law. It includes all the divine commands that regulate the life of each Muslim, for every aspect of is life. It includes provisions related to acts of worship and religious rites, as well as political and legal rules.”

A true religion honors man

it respects man and honors him. It does not differentiate between its followers according to race, color or tribe.The deemed criterion for differentiation is what man has gained and what deeds he has performed with regards to knowledge and having fear of Allah. The Almighty says: {And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea.}(Al-Isrâ’:70)

He also says: {O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqûn (pious). Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.}(Al-Hujurât:13)

Eighth: such a religion guides to the straight path, which has no crookedness or deviation.It must have a healing effect on people, and be a light and guide to them. Allah says about the Jinn that when they heard the Qur’an they said the following to each other: They said: {O our people! Verily! We have heard a Book (this Qur’ân) sent down after Mûsa (Moses), confirming what came before it, it guides to the truth and to a Straight Path (i.e. Islâm).}(Al-Ahqâf: 30)



Greek Philosopher
“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things which are equal.”

Allah says: {And We send down from the Qur’ân that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss}(Al-Isrâ’:82)

It is a light and a guide that leads people from the darkness of ignorance and misguidance to the path of obedience and happiness, here and in the Hereafter. Allah says: {O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad pbuh) explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over (i.e. leaving out without explaining) much. Indeed, there has come to you from Allâh a light (Prophet Muhammad pbuh ) and a plain Book (this Qur’ân).}(Al-Mâ’idah:15)


Dale Carnegie

American Writer
Ask God for help
“Maybe it is possible to save thousands of people who are screaming in anguish in mental hospitals. It is better if they ask for help from God’s Divine Care, rather than fight the battles of life alone without any support or protector”.

The Almighty also says: {256. There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower. 257. Allâh is the Walî (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Auliyâ (supporters and helpers) are Tâghût [false deities and false leaders, etc.], they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever.}(Al-Baqarah:256-257)