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Religion–Not a Product of Human Imagination

A new bi-weekly series, in which excerpts are presented from the book, Introduction to the Study of The Holy Quran. A highly recommended introduction to Islam. Author of said book, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, second successor of Promised Messiah (as)

As for the question whether these religions were the product of human

imagination, the answer is certainly that they were not and this for several reasons:

Religions well established in the world reveal some distinguishing features:

First, according to all ordinary standards the Founders were men of slender

means. They had no power or prestige. Yet they addressed themselves to the great as

well as the small and in due course they and their followers rose from a humble to a

high position in the world. This proves that they were sustained and supported by a

great Power.

Secondly, all Founders of religions have been persons highly honoured and

valued for the purity of their lives even by those who later, on the announcement of

their claims, became their enemies. It is inconceivable that those who did not lie

about men, began suddenly to lie about God. The universal acknowledgement of the

purity of their lives before the announcement of their claims is proof of the truth of

these claims. The Quran stresses this point:

I have indeed lived among you a whole lifetime before this. Will you not then understand?

The verse represents the Holy Prophet as saying to his accusers, ‘I have lived for

a lifetime among you, as one of you. You had the chance to observe me at close

quarters; you have been witnesses to my truthfulness. How then dare you say that I

have today suddenly begun to lie about God?’

Similarly the Quran says:

Verily, Allah has conferred a favour on the Believers by raising among them a Messenger from among themselves.

The same point is stressed in the verse:

Surely, a Messenger has come unto you from among yourselves.

That is, ‘a Messenger to you, who is one of you, not one whom you do not know, but one whom you well know and of whose purity of character you have yourselves been witnesses.’

Even of Prophets other than the Holy Prophet of Islam, the Quran makes similar

assertions. They were raised from among their own people. It could not be said of

them that those whom these Prophets first addressed did not know them well enough.

When the inmates of Hell are cast into Hell, God will address them, saying:

Did not Messengers from among yourselves come to you, reciting unto you the Signs of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this day of yours?


O Company of Jinn and men! did not Messengers come to you from among yourselves who related to you My Signs and who warned you of the meeting of this your day?

In another place we read:

And We sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, who said, ‘Serve Allah. You have no God other than He’.


And remember the day when We shall raise up a witness from every people.

The word ‘witness’ used here means a Prophet raised for a people. On the Day

of Judgement, the Prophets will point to themselves as visible proof of what God’s

communications had done for them. God will put disbelievers to shame, saying, ‘See

what My Prophet has attained to, and to what your disbelief has led!’ All the Prophets,

we are told, were raised from amongst their own people. The conditions under which

each Prophet was brought up and the reactions of each Prophet to these conditions

were well-known to each people. Each people, therefore, was a witness of the piety

and purity of its Prophet. Besides this we also have in the Quran verses such as the


And unto Ad We sent their brother Hud.
And to Thamud We sent their brother Salih.
And to Midian We sent their brother Shu‘ayb.

The verses mean that Hud, Salih and Shu‘ayb, were in close association with their

respective peoples, so that those peoples could be said to know everything about

them. Of Salih we read that when he announced himself as a Prophet to his people,

he was told:

O Salih, thou wast among us one in whom we placed our hopes. Dost thou forbid us to worship what our fathers worshipped?

Similarly the people of Shu‘ayb told Shu‘ayb:

O Shu‘ayb, does thy prayer bid thee that we should leave what our fathers worshipped, or that we cease to do with our property what we please. Thou art indeed intelligent and right-minded.

From these passages it is clear that, according to the Quran, the Holy Prophet

himself, and Hud, Salih, Shu‘ayb and other Prophets, were not obscure persons little

known to their respective peoples. Their people well knew what sort of lives their

Teachers led and whether they were not honest, God-fearing and pious individuals.

Of none of them could it be said that a nondescript pretender had designs upon his

own people.

Thirdly, the Founders of religions did not possess those powers and

accomplishments which ordinarily make for successful leadership. They knew little

or nothing of the arts or culture of their time. Yet what each taught turned out to be

something in advance of his time, something pertinent and seasonable. By adopting

this teaching people attained to a great height in civilisation and culture, and retained

the glory for many centuries. A true religious Teacher makes this possible. Yet it is

inconceivable that a person innocent of ordinary accomplishments, as soon as he

begins to lie about God, should come to have such tremendous powers that his

teaching dominates all other teachings current in his time. Such a development is

impossible without the help of a powerful God.

Will be continued...

Can't wait, read the full book online at

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