What is Religion, part 2
Everyone was born into this world knowing nothing, and we had to accept what was told to us as the truth. However, God has given each of us the ability to study and grow in knowledge. Eventually, we should develop the ability to distinguish right from wrong and truth from lies for ourselves, but most people don't. As a child, many people believed that Santa Claus came down the chimney with toys for them on Christmas until they knew better. No matter what beliefs our parents gave us as a child, once a person realizes that different religions oppose each other, it becomes their responsibility to investigate the truth for themselves since their eternal soul is at stake. Because God will judge each person alone and not collectively for their beliefs and deeds in life on the Day of Judgement. But, our religions encourage us not to investigate the truth for ourselves but accept what was passed down to us by those who came before us even though different religions say different things.
No matter what knowledge those who came before us understood, it could only serve them, not us. And the most they knew could do for us was point us in the right direction to attain our own understanding. God doesn't want us to follow someone else's knowledge and wisdom. He wants us to have our own brains know and understand the truth and think for ourselves. Only what we know and understand for ourselves can serve us in life and connect us to God. When you believe in something passed down to you without investigation or understanding, it represents superstition, not faith. In Quran 18:109, Say: "If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord even if we added another ocean like it for its aid." This verse from the Quran tells us that God's knowledge for man is unlimited and that He wants us to learn all that we can. But today, our religions tell us that everyone must think and do the same things, but in Q57:28, God promises to give each believer a light to walk in their own path. But most people seem content to cling to other people's interpretations from the past than striving to achieve their own moral intelligence. An understanding that will connect them to God and set them free to chart a destiny that no other people have ever experienced before.God's religion for humanity isn't a collective movement or community where people suppose to wait for everyone else before doing anything. In Q2: 148, God says that to each is a goal and to strive as in a race to all that is good. God promises to eventually bring those doing good together instead of being with those clinging to the past doing nothing. In Q18:7, God also tells us that He made the earth a glittering show to test who is best in conduct. God wants His believers to be individuals competing with each other to be the best in good deeds, for Heaven will have different levels of blessings based on their deeds. In Q4:85, God says whoever helps a good cause becomes a partner therein and will share in the benefits, and whoever helps an evil cause will share in the burden. A believer may not have a plan or goals to strive for God's blessings themselves, but you may have the means, knowledge, or just labor to help another believer fulfill their ambitions.
I don't believe that God revealed the Holy Quran to be a book owned by one group of people or religion, where everyone else in the world must follow just their interpretation. I believe God created the Quran to bring about religious freedom where each different people can read it and decide for themselves what the truth is from God. For example, the three major sects of Islam, Sunni, Shia, and Sufis, did not exist during the life of Prophet Mohammed. If this is true, all three concepts are someone else's interpretation of the Quran, not Prophet Mohammed's. Additionally, we must also consider that most people in these three sects of Islam believe as they do because they were born into them. Or, the faction that they are practicing is the first one introduced to them.
Furthermore, I think most people will have loyalty to whatever ideas and way of life they grew up in, even if they are pagans or cannibals. But what makes the religion of the Quran different is that the believers worship one God, the Creator of everything, and it teaches the understanding of righteousness. Plus, the religion requires all believers to read the Quran for themselves during the month of fasting, Ramadan, so that each person will know what the Book says instead of trusting others to reveal the truth for them.
Sunni Muslims say since Prophet Mohammed is no longer here on earth, anyone who believes in the Quran must follow the books of the Hadiths, which represents the example of Prophet Mohammed. I also think that Prophet Mohammed was the last Prophet God would send but not because of the Hadiths. But, because we now have the Holy Quran that can give anyone who believes and obey God the same message, understanding, and mission as the prophets. I think that anyone who begins to read the Quran to serve God is just like Adam and that God created the Quran to teach any righteous believers the nature of all things. To lead humanity out of the darkness and misery of moral ignorance back into the light of moral understanding and happiness.