Islam — My Only Choice

by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

Chapter 3: Revealed Books and their Contents

Though all the peoples in the world were respectively given a book for their guidance from the Lord, they are all lost today with the exception of the Vedas, the Bible, and the Quran. The first two scriptures are of a kindred nature, but the third exhibits an absolutely different character. The Vedas and the Bible speak respectively of some particular nations, the so-called “chosen people” of God or gods; while the Quran is neither a narrative of a tribe nor a story of any individual. It concerns itself exclusively with man in general. Man and his God is its chief theme.

The Bible:

After speaking of the creation of the world and man, the chief interest of the Hebrew Scripture lies in one particular branch of the human race — the descendants of Abraham through Isaac. It speaks of the migration of the Israelites from the land of Abraham, their settlement in Egypt, their subsequent bondage under the Egyptian yoke, their liberation by Moses under God’s command; then comes a mention of their religious and ceremonial code; again their wandering in the wilderness, their conquest of the promised land, and the establishment of the Hebrew governments, their grandeur and splendour; their subsequent iniquities and misdeeds; their stubbornness and vicious indulgences, and finally prophetic references by Jesus to their down fall. All these facts are arrayed in the Book, one after the other, as it were, on an historical basis. The Bible also contains a narrative of the Hebrew Patriarchs, who impart religious teaching accompanied by comprehensive curses directed against their enemies. The Book also speaks of the visitations of God from time to time and the appearance of angels with good news. In short, the Bible is a complete story of the rise and fall of the Hebrews, with Moses at their head as the lawgiver and bringer of good tidings of the coming rise, and with Jesus, the last of the race, shedding tears of grief on the imminent fall.

The Vedas:

Just as the Holy Bible concerns itself with the Hebrews, so the collection of the Vedas speaks of another race from Central Asia called Aryans, who crossed the river Indus and took up their abode in the western part of India. The Hindu Book speaks of the Aryan settlement in India as of an agricultural class, where they sang hymns in praise of the elements or other manifestations of nature which sent timely rains to fertilize their lands and bring them good crops. It speaks of their rituals and sacrifices, it refers to their fights with the aborigines of the country and the final victory of the former over the latter; their civic and marital life; the establishment of their governments and their other occupations; and in the end their self-indulgence and luxury, all painted in poetical strains.

The Quran:

Thus the two books above are more or less a history of the two tribes, with the mention of religion and its accessories as a matter of incident. Al-Quran, on the other hand, is purely a book of God’s religion given to man. The elevation and progress of the human race or its degradation or downfall are the chief topics of the Arab Revelation. The Quran, doubtless, speaks of certain persons and certain nations, but such allusions are not the main object of the Book; they come in by way of illustration. For example, the Book lays down certain principles and doctrines for human edification; it warns man against the deeds that are sure to bring him to the lowest ebb; it reads him lessons of morality and of ethics; it speaks of spirituality and godliness; and it is in elucidation of these teachings that it makes reference to events in the lives of certain men — prophets and their enemies — and nations. It is for this reason that the Quran has not generally given full accounts of the people thus alluded to. It is not a collection of stories, but a book of economic, moral and spiritual instruction. The Bible and the Vedas may, perchance, give inspiration to the descendants of those for whom they were first revealed, but they cannot be of any great interest to mankind at large; while the Quran, on the other hand, is the book for all men of every time and clime, and cannot fail to command universal interest.