Part 5 : 28: Believing in and Honouring All Prophets
The Qur'an openly proclaims that Islam is not the creed of Mohammed (SAW) alone; it is the religion of all the prophets of God. Because Islam, which means surrendering to the truth, is accepting the teachings of God, acquaintance with God and obeying Him and being aware of selfishness and bias in these matters. Accordingly Islam is not only the creed of the prophets but it is the religion of men seeking the truth. This is why Muslims respect all prophets, and their scriptures, and believe in them.
"The messenger believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers; each one believes in God and His angels and in His books and His messengers (and says): 'we make no distinction between any one of His Messengers; and they say: 'We hear and obey. Our lord, grant us Thy forgiveness; unto Thee is the homecoming!"
Holy Qur'an, Sura 2: verse 285
The teachings of the messengers of God were gradually tainted by impure hands and various superstitions introduced. Matters would go so far that even qualified scholars were not able to distinguish the true teachings of the prophets after hard labour and scholarship because those ignorant friends as well as foes with ill intentions had tampered with the sources of religion and even with the divine scriptures. Under such conditions the only remedy was to send a new prophet to whom revelation would be made again and thus the divine truths would be made available anew. The Qur'an has in the course of relating the stories of most prophets explained this point.
30: Mohammed (SAW) And The Qur'an
This state of affairs was renewed in the seventh century. If anyone sincerely sought after the teachings of Abraham, Moses and Jesus or the other prophets of God, it was no longer possible for him to attain to the truth. because there was no reliable source at hand. Neither the Pentateuch had a clever history nor the Gospels or the teachings of the other prophets. These books had been tampered with and this had rendered them valueless. At this time Mohammed(SAW) was raised by God to accept his revelations and hand the them over to mankind. According to the unquestionable evidence of history, the verses of the Qur'an which Mohammed (SAW) as prophet delivered from God had an entirely new and miraculous style which was inimitable. This feature was effective in guarding the Qur'an from alteration. Moreover, these verses, named the Qur'an, were made available to everybody and spread rapidly. This rapid spreading of Qur'an during 1334 years since the death of Mohammed(SAW) has also protected the Qur'an from all the causes of alteration and tampering. It is today available slightest difference in its innumerable copies. Having such a source book of high authority is a distinction of Islam not shared by any other religion, making it possible for anyone at any time and place to understand it directly and immediately, protecting himself from any error in its understanding.
31: The Afterlife
One of the teachings of the prophets is that man's existence does not cease with death. Death is only the end of the period of man's struggle and endeavour. During this period he has to find out for himself with his own judgement the right path from the wrong and decide upon his course. He finds his conditions during this period in a state of flux and seeks to preserve it, if good, and to alter it for the better, if bad. With the advent of death, change gives way to eternity. From then onwards his state is unalterable; it will be what he has made of it in his period of evaluation and endeavour and the afterlife is where he achieves the fruit of his struggle during the previous period. This is Islamic teaching about life and death and the hereafter.
"On that day shall men be scattered and see their works, and who has done an atom weight of good shall see it, and who has done an atom weight of evil shall see it."
Holy Qur'an, Sura 99 : verses 6-8
32: Paradise and Hell
What is paradise? It is the eternal home of the blessed and the blissful and of peace, a home which the righteous have prepared for themselves during their lifetime by honesty and sincerity and God pleasing endeavour. What is hell? The abode of eternal pain and punishment which evildoers have built for themselves by taking the wrong path, doing evil and oppression and spreading wrong doing.
33: Other Teachings of Islam
What has been said heretofore are the basic teachings of Islam. Islam has a lot of detailed teachings in other fields. On the one hand they depend on these basic teachings and on the other hand on individual, family and social needs of men spiritually as well as physically. Prayer, fasting, the Hajj pilgrimage, struggle and endeavour in making known God's religion and relieving His servants from oppression, supervising government, attempting to establish a just and true social and economic order, love of fellow-men and helping the needy and helpless, orphans and the poor, truth and honesty, purity and a constant effort in attaining physical and spiritual hygiene from some aspects of this teaching.
Their detailed description cannot be expected in one or two short talks. I hope by means of numerous talks or printed information about Islam, which we will place at your disposal, you will get acquainted with them*.
*This concludes the lecture that was given by the martyr Ayatollah. Dr. Beheshti to the "Epiphany Community Hamburg" on October 14, 1965 and to the students "Corps Rhenania Hamburge" on October 29, 1965.