Brief History of Religions
In conducting a brief investigation on the origination of religions, the most confident approach that can be depended upon from a religious point of view is the Holy Qur'an, because it is free from errors, mistakes, prejudice, and spitefulness. The Holy Qur'an states this briefly by saying:
"Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam...."(1)
The divine religion, which is the very religion of Islam, has accompanied man from the first day that he came into existence. As stipulated by the Holy Qur'an, the present generation of man originates from one man and one woman. In the Holy Qur'an, the man has been called Adam.
He was a prophet to whom divine wahy (divine revelations) had been descended. Adam's religion was. very simple and included a few general regulations such as the people should remember Allah and should be kind to each other and specifically to their parents and should keep aloof from corruption, murder, and evil acts.
After Adam and his wife, their children spent their lives with extreme simplicity and without differences of opinion. As the number of people increased, they gradually gathered together and formed a community life. In this manner, they learned how to live and came closer to civilization.
As the number of people proliferated little by little, they divided themselves into different tribes, in each of which there were noblemen whom the people respected. Even after the demise of these nobles, the people made their statues and paid tribute to them. It was exactly at this time that idolatry became prevalent, and as it is cited by religious leaders, idolatry originated in this way.
The history of idolatry confirms this matter as well. Little by little, as a result of the unjust behavior of the mighty towards the weak, differences of opinion sprang up. These disagreements and accidental differences of opinion resulted in various forms of conflicts in life.
The generation of these conflicts that led to man's deviation from the path of prosperity towards misery and destruction was the reason that Compassionate Allah assigned prophets and sent a Divine Book that settled man's differences. As the Almighty Allah states:
"(All) people are a single nation; so Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners, and He revealed with them the Book with truth, that it might judge between people in that which they differed...."(2)
The Religion of Islam
The holy religion of Islam is the last divine religion, and for this reason it is the most perfect of them all. With the advent of this religion, the former religions were abolished, for by having a perfect religion, there is no need for an imperfect one.
The religion of Islam was sent down to man through our Honorable Prophet, Muhammad (S). This door of salvation and prosperity was opened to mankind at a time when human societies had passed through the periods of immaturity and mental incapacity and had become prepared to gain their ideal perfection and acquired the capability to gain knowledge in divine and sublime matters along with their application.
Therefore, Islam has introduced facts and teachings suitable to the understanding of a realistic man as well as praiseworthy ethics that distinguish men, has provided instructions that reform individual and social aspects of man's life, and has also recommended the observance of these factors.
For this reason, the religion of Islam is a universal and eternal religion. It consists of a series of religious tenets and practical and moral provisions, the application of which ensures man's welfare and happiness in this world and the Akhirat (the world Hereafter). The regulations of Islam are such as to bring about the best conditions of life and the most progressive human transcendence for individuals and societies observing them.
Islam grants its excellent advantages to all people and societies equally. Adults and children, the wise and the ignorant, men and women, the white and the black, easterners and westerners can, without exception, enjoy the benefits and advantages of this holy religion to attain their needs in the best and the most perfect manner possible.
This is due to the fact that Islam has established its teachings and regulations on the basis of creation and has considered man's needs and tries to settle them. The nature and structure of all men are identical even if they belong to different races and generations. It is evident that human society, from east to west, is regarded as a typical family, that is to say, the members of society are all human.
The adults and children, men and women, the wise and the ignorant, the white and the black, are members of this family. They all share the same principles and foundations of human characteristics. The needs of various individuals and different races are the same. Posterities are also descendants of this very family and will definitely inherit their requirements.
Consequently, Islam is the religion which fulfils the actual and natural needs of man. Islam is adequate for everyone and will survive for ever.
Thus, the Almighty Allah calls Islam a human nature-inspired religion and invites people to keep human nature alive. Theologians have stated that Islam is an easy religion which does not treat man with severity.
1. (The Quran 3:19)
2. (The Quran 2:213)