Chapter 19: a Story From the Present Bible Versions
The Divine Men and Social Education
The human soul, which is a divine gift, constantly craves for perfection and understanding of the mysteries of the Creation. To achieve these supreme and sacred goals, there is no other way except follow divine men and godly saints,
for one can move along the path of God only under His guidance which lies in the promulgation, guidance and education offered by the Prophet and their successors.
For this reason, the wisdom requires human beings to follow the prophets and obey devoutly their commands and advice in order to educate their own personalities.
Of course, just as the words of the divine prophets are authenticated and guarantee the happiness of mankind, so it is right and fruitful to study their acts and imitate them.
Therefore, acquiring information about the biography of God's chosen people and perfect human beings, not only increases man's eagerness to move along the way to perfection, but also can teach him the secret of good conduct and right behavior, provided that the man who seeks to follow this course is sober in mind and heart, so that he may take lessons from the study of life of the great people.
Clearly, it is because of this instructive effects that the divine Scriptures are full of stories about the lives of the prophets, which remind the reader of the adventures and behaviors of God's chosen people and His pious servants. It is concerning this fact that God says in the Holy Qur'an: "Verily, there is a lesson in their stories to be taken by the wise people." (Sura "Joseph" verses 111).
The Old and New Testaments and the Prophets
The lives of the old prophets have been narrated in detail in the Old and New Testaments. But since these books have been subject to many alterations and omissions, paying devoted attention to the stories of the Old Testament is not advisable, because, as a result of the changes made in it by the tyrants and others, facts and fictions, realities and fallacies are intermingled in that book.
Thus, at the moment, the Old Testament contains accounts of the Holy Prophets, which are inconsistent with their highly praised and exalted positions.
It is really strange, unreasonable, incredible and unacceptable to common sense that even honorable and wise people who are not among the prophets and apostles should be so much tainted with such evil acts and lives such corrupt life.
According to the existing old Testament stories, wicked characteristics and evil acts inconsistent with human nature and the thought and behavior of an average human being were prevalent among the early prophets and saints, who most of all, in accordance with these narratives, used to drink wine and lead a wicked life.
The Story of Lot's carousel
The Genesis, 19:30-38, relates in the story of Lot: "And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
And the first- born said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father dank wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father, And they made their father dank wine that night: And the firstborn went in,
and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down and when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: Let us make him dank wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father dank wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
And the younger, she also bares a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of children of Ammon unto this day." In accordance with the present Old Testament versions, the prophet of God drank wine so excessively that lost his sense momentarily and committed adultery with his two daughters for two successive nights, without even being aware of this notorious act. How scandalous it is if a Messenger of God, who has been chosen by God to guide people to the right path and knowledge,
should be so much seized by sensual desires and ignorance and succumbs to drunkenness that he loses his soberity and commits such shameful deeds.
Is he who is to such an extent engulfed in lust and physical desires endowed with any wisdom to be in a position to guide other people? How is it possible for God to raise him up as a prophet and assign him with the difficult task of educating people?
The reality is not so, of course, and what exists in the present versions of the Old Testament concerning such matter is an alteration which has unfortunately been made by ignorant writers who have dishonored a great prophet.
The Story of Jacob's wrestling with God.
Besides the story just quoted, another myth has been fabricated about Jacob: "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, let me go, for the day breaketh.
And he said I would not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, tell me, I pray thee, thy name.
And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved"
(Genssis, 32:24 - 30). This passage shows that the God pictured by the Old Testament is a humble and powerless being. God who has to be pure from any weaknesses has taken the form of a man and has performed a game of wrestling. Most surprisingly, this incarnated God has failed to defeat his own creature servant and after nighttime of constant wrestling has bestowed the title of "Israel" on him.
It is astonishing and regrettable that such nonsense and meaningless sentences should be fabricated and be boldly offered, instead of reasonable contents of the real Bible, to the people of the world and such foolish words should be uttered about Almighty God and Jacob, His highly respected prophet.
Thus, every impartial sensible man would conclude that the true narration of the lives of the prophets are much preferable to incredible and loosely - woven myths fabricated by the imaginations of foolish people, for the narratives of the fools and ignorant people teach ignorance and misbehavior, but the accounts related by God teaches honesty, righteousness and morality.
The stories told in the Qur'an are the accounts of monotheism, justice, bravery and righteousness. We advise all people to read the Quranic stories, which are thoroughly based on realities.
Chapter 20: What Religion should be adopted?
Will man, who looks, most of all, for his own happiness, find it in other things except religion? We are going to discuss this question in the present chapter. In our opinion, a real religion has a comprehensive program for the fulfillment of this human desire, that is, happiness and aims to make human beings achieve perfect happiness.
Unlike people of the olden times when human beings followed blindly every religion because of prejudice or ignorance, the people of modern times adopt a religion which, instead of numerous useless strict rituals, offers a comprehen- sive program for all the aspects of their life and gives them material and spiritual benefits, enabling them to solve all problems of their life in the light of its practical and positive precepts.
Unfortunately, except Islam, all current religions which are the altered and distorted remnants of the divine religions or moral philosophies of several thousand years ago, not only are not equipped with a comprehensive and all- embracing programs, but also do not claim such a quality.
The precepts of Buddha, Zoroaster, Confucius, Judaism and Christianity, although imposed on many people throughout the world, even if they have any significance, at best do not teach more than a series of advice and counsels which, neither solves any social, economic and political problems, nor removes any difficulty from among the growing difficulties of the modern world.
It is unsuitable for us who are living in such a time and amid such ever- increasing difficulties, seeing on the one hand scientific advances of modern man, and, on the other, the superstition of the world's famous religions, to choose a religion blindly and ignorantly, without paying attention to our spiritual and material needs.
Our wisdom does not let us do so and reason and logic require us to seek a religion sent down to fulfill all our material and spiritual needs and to insure human bliss, a religion which has the ability to realize them all. We distinguish such comprehensiveness only in Islam and therefore choose Islam.
We embrace Islam, because we have found the qualities of a correct and rightful religion -which our wisdom and every impartial man's wisdom confirm them- in Islam.
We embrace Islam … because its law provides a comprehensive program for achieving a happy, ideal life and is based on the "aim of ensuring human happiness" and,
for this reason, has comprehensive and regular programs in all aspects ranging from the most important social problems of human life (including the guarantee of liberties, social justice and quality) to individual and private precepts (such as health, education, preventive medicine and regulations for travel, traffic, and even washing).
We embrace Islam ... because Islam is a rational religion based on logic and wisdom -not only on emotions- and is designed for every human being and comprehensible to all people.
Islam provides arguments and narratives consistent with all the people's power of understanding and does not resort, like Christianity, to excuses such as "secret" and "mystery" in debating with scholars who seek logic and reasoning. It does not avoid reasoning.
We believe in a God Whom Islam Introduces
God, the Creator of the universe, unlike in Christianity and other obsolete religions, is not at the mercy of every bishop and priest. In principal, theological statements in Islam, unlike in Christianity, do not oppose wisdom and logic, but are solely based on wisdom and logical reasoning.
Yes, we embrace Islam, because we find it in harmony with human natural inclinations rooted in nature. For this reason, Islam is perfect, simple and comprehensive and does not hinder the progress in life. Islam lacks laziness and pessimism. It is a positive and dynamic religion and has nothing to do with inactivity and stagnation. The most important issue in Islam is "work" and "inventiveness", which it has always encouraged, and considered the world without them "an impossible world."
We embrace Islam, because it is an enemy of superstition and does not try, like today's Christianity, to impose on people, under the name of religion, superstitious beliefs such as the Trinity or senseless rituals such as baptism, the Holy Communion, and "the purchase sins."
We embrace Islam, because, unlike Christianity and some other religions, it does not fight against science and physical laws. Islam has always glorified science and scientists whom it has introduced as superior to common people and has not allowed the inventors and discoverers to be tried and executed by being burned or hanged, on the charges of discovering physical laws.
We embrace Islam, because we find the glorification of the human personality solely in this religion. Islam is the only religion, which tolerates people with different opinions: "There is no obligation in religion." It neither forces anybody to follow it, nor establishes an Inquisition, but permits other people to spend their life, under the protection of the Islamic rule, in security and welfare, and enjoy social rights and advantages.
We embrace Islam, because we find it the "supporter of basic human rights." Islam, in every detail of its precepts, defends human rights and efforts made to achieve them and fights against oppression and exploitation.
It is, therefore, the only religion which has made "politics", in the real sense of the word, an integral part of itself, to supervise the policies of the nation's social affairs according to humanitarian regulations and not to leave these things to corrupt and hypocritical rulers.
We adhere Islam. Because Islamic laws, as confirmed by existing evidence and lawyers' admission, are superior to the national and international progressive laws.
Islam is the only religion which has paid special attention to major world problems including economic problems (the equal distribution of wealth, encouragement of labor and production, campaign against unemployment, social insurance, etc.,) political problems, peace, world security, morality, science, individual social and private issues, spiritual and physical education and intellectual growth. It has also offered practicable solutions to these problems.
We believe in the Holy Qur'an, because, unlike other divine Scriptures, it is free from contradictions and alterations and the more the fallacies of the sacred Jewish and Christian scriptures become clear by the researches of the scholars, the more we believe in the divinity of the Holy Qur'an.
Today, modern intellectual human beings will approve Islam and admire it, if they judge it impartially and scientifically and throw away their prejudices and narrow-minded-ness. It is in such a way that we realize that Islam is a perfect, natural religion which has been sent down in order to fulfill human spiritual and material needs in all times, and places, and so, unlike old religions, Islam is an immortal religion.
It is because of all these advantages, that we embrace Islam and we invite all our dear readers, if they are not Muslims, to make more researches about the truth of Islam in order to find the path of God.
We pray to Almighty God to guide us to the right path.