A Simple Exercise To Choose The Right Religion!

In the interest of time, I won't go into detail but I will give you one simple exercise. If you look at the major religions out there, what is their most obvious and most central claims? What do they tell you to believe in? Right? Is there a God? I think, at least for the vast majority of human beings in the world today, we can all agree that there is God. God exists. God was the one who brought everything into existence.

This world could not be the result of some happy accident. You cannot have this order; you cannot have this complexity; you cannot have this incredible beauty, this vastness of the Cosmos; you can't have all of this and say no, it just came about by itself because you know what? We are adults and we don't believe in magic.

So, if a religion tells you that there is no God, then you can easily dismiss it, just based off of this simple intellectual exercise. I exist. The world exists. This world is a reality. We are not some thought experiment. I am not some brain in a glass jar full of water. The world exists, therefore, God exists. So, you can dismiss Buddhism, for example, because Buddhists don't believe in God. Every other religion that says God doesn't exist, you can exclude them already.

Then you go to the next question. Is God going to communicate with us in some way or another?

If there is a God, and we know for a fact that there is, we know deep down, all it takes is a moment of retrospection. Therefore, God is this capable, this powerful, this wise. If our God is able to create the Universe in its infinite vastness, in the complexity and beauty that it possesses, then surely this God is going to provide us with guidance. In other words, He is going to attempt to communicate with us in one way or another. Therefore, we believe in Prophethood.

So if there is a religion out there that says no prophets, no messengers, no communication from the Creator to his creatures, then those religions can be excluded as well. If there is a religion that tells you that God is anthropomorphic, meaning that God can come in the form of a human being, that religion can also be excluded. Why?

Because my intellect tells me my own conscience tells me that the Creator of the Universe has infinite Knowledge, infinite Power, infinite Wisdom, infinite Grace. He cannot possibly be confined by time and space. He cannot possibly be limited by the constraints of physical laws. It is impossible because for him to be constrained by physical laws, for him to be even visible by the light spectrum, for him to be limited in a specific place on the space-time continuum means that he is limited.

It means that he is not a God. It means that he is bound by the same physical laws that he created. Therefore, you can exclude any anthropomorphic religion or philosophy. Any religion that God came down on Earth in the form of a human being can be excluded, again, using the intellect. You don't even need to resort to any scripture, to any religious book. I remember I was at a Church, I've used this example before, you might have heard it, and we had these debates with our Christian brethren, which lasted over a period of several months. At some point, I remember the priest, wonderful guy, by the way, super humble.

He said to me, "If you believe that God cannot manifest himself in the form of a human being then you are limiting God. You're saying that God is incapable of appearing in the form of a human or any other creature." I said, "Well, let me ask you a question. It's just a hypothetical question. You say God must be able to do anything, including become a human being. Can God be physically incapacitated? Can God have any form of deficiency of any kind?" He said, "No." I said, "Becoming a human being or appearing in the form of any physical creature that you can touch, you can feel you can see is a deficiency.

You cannot ascribe a deficiency to God and then say, that is from the power of God. The power of God cannot accept any deficiency. It cannot have any inadequacy. God can do anything which means that God cannot be deficient, limited or constrained by the same laws of physics that He himself created. So you can exclude those religions.

What about the afterlife? Shouldn't we, living in this world, seeing all the oppression that takes place, seeing all the transgression, seeing all the death, pillaging, murder, bloodshed, carnage, all of this. Shouldn't there be some form of accountability? The God, the Creator of the Universe, Who brought all of this into existence, His justice demands that there has to be accountability.

His justice demands that there has to be remuneration and punishment. His justice demands it. So, if a religion comes along that says there is no afterlife, like Judaism, for example, you can exclude that from the equation. So what are you left with? You're basically left with the religion of Ali ibn Abu Talib.

Now going back to Imam Ali, there's a Hadith I want to share with you tonight, that's reported by Al-Hakim al-Nishapuri. It's reported by al-Khwarizmi in his Manaqib, meaning Sunni scholars. All of these are Sunni scholars. And of course, you can sit there and tell me all this, hadith it's chain authenticity, try and drill holes in all of these reports because they don't serve your agenda. Of course you can do that, right. But if those who chose to sideline Ali ibn Abu Talib also reported these narrations, what does that tell you? Listen to this Hadith. I gave you the references.

The Prophet said, "Man arada an yandhura ila Adama fi 'ilmih, wa ila Nuha fi azmih, wa ila Ibrahima fi khillatih, wa ila Musa fi batshih, wa ila Isa fi zuhdih, wa ila Ayyuba fi balaa'ihi wa sabrih, wa ila Yusufa fi jamalih, fa al-yandhur 'ila Ali ibn Abu Talib." What that means, brothers and sisters?

Is that Ali is not to be compared with other mere mortals. Ali can't be compared to other so-called companions. Whoever wants to look at Adam in his knowledge and Noah in his commitment, and Abraham in his proximity, meaning to God, and Moses in his strength and physical prowess, and Jesus in his asceticism, and in Joseph in his beauty, should look at Ali ibn Abu Talib, he is unmatched.

If you are going to compare him to anyone, it would have to be God's greatest emissaries. If you are going to compare someone to Ali ibn Abu Talib it would have to be prophets.