Islam that we should follow is the one guided strictly by the Quran’s tenets. The Hadith, the alleged second source of Islam, is unacceptable as religious guidance as it has given rise to spurious, untenable and ludicrous ideas that have corrupted practiced Islam (See: Chapters 10 and 11 of the author’s recently published book Exploring Islam in a New Light: An Understanding from the Quranic Perspective). The Quran-only Islam seeks to replace the most widely held notions of Islam that have led to sectarian divisions among Muslims, and given rise to the violence, strife, inequality and fanaticism seen so often in western portrayals of Islam. The Hadith believers think that the Quran is not sufficient or easy for us as guidance. The Quran, however, is emphatic on the points that it is detailed and self-explained (6:114; 12:111; 16:89), and straightforward, clear and sufficiently easy to follow (39:28; 43:2; 44:2, 58; 54:17, 22, 32, 40). There are at least fifteen great reasons why one should embrace and follow this Quran-only Islam:
1. The Quran provides to date the most reliable comprehensive religious guidance to humankind.
Confirming and upholding earlier divine messages, the Quran embodies the latest genuine and most comprehensive divine guidance to humankind. It is the latest divinely inspired book in Arabic, which is empirically found to remain intact in its original version, unaltered and undiluted since its compilation by the Prophet Muhammad’s trustworthy companions. The Quran excels in eloquence as well as in profundity, universal appeal, logical coherence and scientific orientation of its message. (For more illumination, see Chapter 1 of my book Exploring Islam in a New Light: An Understanding from the Quranic Perspective.)
2. The Quran gives not a new religion but the purest of all monotheistic religions.
The roots of Islam are traceable to earlier monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Vedic Hinduism. However, the pure monotheism that the Quran reestablishes has unfortunately been lost or diluted in earlier religions (e.g., the Trinity introduced in Christianity and polytheism and idolatry in Hinduism). The Quran corrects the errors that crept into earlier religious books and their associated religions, and at the same time upholds the original religions brought by the Prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others. All earlier prophets of God are respected prophets of Islam, who are excellent examples to emulate for all Muslims. Our Prophet Muhammad was specifically urged to follow Abraham as an excellent example and follow his religion (60:4-6; 3:95; 2:135; 4:125; 16:123).
3. This religion is spiritual. The Quran calls for a religious practice that is essentially and fundamentally spiritual in nature.
The Quran urges humankind to embark on a journey of spiritual evolution, as distinguished from material wellbeing, for self-purification and to attain spiritual wisdom to lead an enriched, progressive and blissful life. For this it prescribes religious practices such as prayer and noble and humanitarian deeds along with strict moral and ethical uprightness. The Quran inspires us to envision and build a human society where peace, security, justice and compassion and an environment conducive to the uplifting of all humankind prevail.
4. This religion is humane. The Quran emphasizes mercy, compassion and service to humanity.
God wants us to be as good and kind to others as we are to ourselves (2:267). God wants us to save a man rather than kill him, and saving a man is like saving the whole of humankind (5:32). In accordance with this spirit, we need to serve humanity to save them from any danger and disadvantage—from death, disease, injury, deprivation, ignorance, misery, poverty and hunger. To be good and generous to fellow human beings, especially to those who are poor and disadvantaged, is a great virtue in the sight of God (90:12–18; 2:261, 265; 70:24–25). Serving God amounts to serving humanity in the same way as God serves them through His agents.
5. This Islam advocates social egalitarianism.
Though it sanctifies private ownership and enterprise, the Quran has a strong socialistic overtone. It urges the more wealthy sections of people in society to share their wealth and income with their poor and disadvantaged fellow beings (2:177; 76:8-9; 92:20-21; 107:1-7; etc.). The Quran states there is no piety without giving (92:18; 9:103; 3:92; 107:1–7). (For more illumination on this, see the discussion on spending in God’s Way in the author’s above-cited book.)
6. This religion advocates application of a rational approach to religion.
Typical of all practiced religions, practiced Islam is found to often distract from what are dictated by scientific knowledge and reason. The Quran, on the other hand, rather encourages us to apply reason and a scientific approach to faith. It encourages us to look throughout the universe and see how things happen:
Say (O Muhammad): Travel through the earth, and see how God hath brought forth all creation (29:20).
Creation or change points to causal relation. The Quranic religion is one that makes man conscious of how he can change both his lot and the lot of his society. The Quran makes it amply clear that He does not change the condition of man unless he himself takes the initiative and changes it:
Verily God changeth not the condition of a people until they themselves change their own condition (13:11).