LET’S TRY TO REASON THINGS OUT:
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA OF THE TRUE SCRIPTURES
The conclusion is yours. Here are some thoughts:
As every religion upholds its scriptures, it is only reasonable to wonder; which scriptures are the true scriptures?
While it is not a surprise that each and every one of them assures us that they have the true scriptures, will it make sense that all of them are right? Especially, when we consider the simple fact that some of them hold beliefs that are opposing to each other, some of these differences in beliefs cannot be ignored. It is unimaginable that God will consider everybody who upheld any of these beliefs to be simply… right.
Should one consider any scripture to be the true ones because his father, mother or somebody has always told him so? Certainly that may work if we are still kids. However, one finds it impossible to believe that with our free will, and with the tool to recognize God with -our minds, that later we would be asked questions such as: what did our parents believe?
Will the great number of people holding a certain belief mean that they are always right? History proved to us many times that this is not necessarily the case. You probably know some examples yourself.
Having faith in somebody or
something is different from having a blind faith. Blind faith
does not even work when we buy a gallon of milk. Typically, we would not have
blind faith in any gallon of milk; we check the date to make sure that it is
still good. If we have just one doubt, like if the date on
it is good, but it looks like this gallon has been opened. If its color is not
right or the milk inside looks lumpy, we will want -for sure- another gallon of
milk. This is only common sense, logic and a natural thing to do. If we
typically don’t bet the price of a gallon of milk blindly, could we
-really- offer to bet our eternity? <
Some of us hold a belief just because; "This is just what I believe". Please remember, there are many of us who hold beliefs -sometimes with no proofs- that are realistically unacceptable, like of the superiority of a certain color or a race, could all of those who uphold "This is just what I believe" be right?
"This is just what I believe" is irrelevant before any judge in any court here on earth if it is not what the law says. Just think of a traffic violation ticket, could anyone tell the Judge: "But, what I believed was…"
Would "This is just what I believe" really work before God?
Trying to be objective, every religion is based solely on its own teachings or its own scriptures. If the scriptures prove to have been revealed from a higher authority than the Messenger himself, and if we are confident that they were delivered only through or by the authority of that Messenger, then every thing they -the scriptures- teach is true. On the otther hand, if the scriptures talk negatively about God or we doubt as to whom exactly they were delivered through, should we accept any scriptures without knowing to whom exactly they were revealed? If somebody came later and freely edited or modified them, should we still consider such modified scriptures to be the authentic ones?
If we use the same careful nature we use when buying a gallon of milk, by avoiding that which has doubts, we should have no problem identifying the true authentic scriptures from the inauthentic ones.
What should we look for in any scriptures to identify the true ones?
Here are some suggestions for the criteria of the true scriptures. I'm sure you can add some more to the list, please check for yourself to see if the Quran -or any other scriptures- will qualify for it:
1. A very realistic characteristic to the true revelation is that its origin and integrity are traceable; remain untouchable, non-revisable or unchangeable by anybody after the Messenger who received them.
2. The Messenger himself has put the scriptures together and arranged them as instructed by God, not somebody else (or many others) who freely decided to do so on their own later.
3. The originals match exactly what we have today, no more and no less than the "Authentic originals".
4. Because the true scriptures are from the Maker and the One with all the Knowledge, they should have abundance of scientific proofs that He has revealed them, not the Messenger himself.
5. Acknowledges man's mind and his ability of reasoning, and encourages him to use them not to ignore them or stop him from thinking, as in the case of making one believe with a blind faith.
6. Its teachings are rational and they are about both the body and the soul. In order for the teachings to be meaningful, following them cannot be worthless, but rewarding in both this world and in the next.
7. Acknowledges the community's and the individual's rights. For the community by setting standards and guidelines -that are meaningful- for the community’s benefits. And for individuals by recognizing both men and women's rights. Otherwise, some individual’s rights -women’s for example- will be lost.
8. Brings answers and solutions that work in the real world not in an imaginary one.
9. Teaches individual accountability, otherwise, one who believes in it would also believe he/she can do right or wrong as long as he is not responsible for his own actions.
10. Finally, teaches that only God grants forgiveness not anyone else.
Translations that are available in your local public library and bookstores testify that no matter where in the whole wide world we may go, in whichever language, or even when, in time, there has always been only one Quran. Which has 114 chapters with the same number of verses each, with traceable hand written originals.
The Quran has abundance of proofs -scientific and otherwise- that it had to have come from the Maker and the Knower of all things as stated in this verse (25:6):
"Say: (The Quran) was sent down by Him who knows the mystery (that is) in the Heavens and the Earth."
The teachings about going to Heaven, doing good and forbidding evil, agree with our given nature and can only better any person and any community. Avoiding them however, by saying for example that they are O.K but you don't even have to follow them, can -and do- cause serious corruption to any community.
Having to follow them whenever there is a choice means an agreement that they are the "Way to Heaven".
The Quran provides answers to even more questions than what we have seen so far, it does not teach blind faith, rather, it encourages our ability of reasoning so that we may accept God with conviction and devotion
How much careful one must be about his choice for the eternity? Could we just have blind faith? Should we accept any scriptures? Which scriptures have proofs that the Maker and the Knower of all things have revealed them? Which scriptures were put together and arranged by the Messenger himself not by somebody else later? Which scriptures match exactly the "authentic originals", no more or less?
Finally, we pray for you:
"May your intellectual journey towards the truth be a pleasant one… Ameen".
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