O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware (Quran 49:13)
Born With Innate Desire Towards Religion
With His infinite Love, Allah (SWT) created us to live eternally in Paradise and this short life is a divine test. Regarding this test, Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an “ Surely Allah enjoins justice, kindness and the doing of good to kith and kin and forbids all that is shameful, evil and oppressive. He exhorts you so that you may be mindful (Quran 16:90). Indeed, now scientists have found evidence that human beings are born with an innate desire to be good and help others. This innate state is such that it brings a person close to Islam and that person is more receptive and inclined toward religion. Certainly, Allah (SWT) created us with Al Fitrah (Goodness) as mentioned in this Quranic verse:
“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know” (Quran 30:30). Because of this Fitrah, human beings deny evil (al munkar) without education, without guidance, without studying, and accept what is good (al ma’roof).
Every Human Already Testified
Moreover, before this life, Allah (SWT) asked us all the question ‘Am I not your Lord?’ We have all already testified to Allah (SWT) that He is our Lord and Master. Hence, it is our instinct. This is part of our fitrah. This is mentioned in this Quranic verse:
“And recall (O Prophet) when your Lord brought forth descendants from the loins of the sons of Adam, and made them witnesses against their ownselves. asking them: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes, we do testify.’ We did so lest you claim on the Day of Resurrection: ‘We were unaware of this.“ (Quran 7:172)
Islam is the True ‘Natural Religion’
For this reason, Islam is the true ‘natural religion’, and it is the same eternal message revealed through the ages to all of God’s prophets and messengers. The main message of all the prophets has always been that there is only One True God and He alone is to be worshipped. These prophets start with Adam and include Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them all. God says in the Holy Quran:
“We did not send before you (O Muhammad) any messenger but We revealed to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25).
Who Is Eligible to Become Muslim?
It is therefore important to mention that the word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of Allah (SWT), regardless of his/her race, nationality or ethnic background. Hence, any person who is ready to submit to the will of Allah (SWT) is eligible to become a Muslim.
Moving Away From the Natural State of Goodness
Now, when a child is born, external factors do come into play e.g. a different religion or even a lack of religion around the child has an impact. The child remains in a natural state of goodness until they make a decision and conscience choice with regard to Islam. So what is the difference between Al Fitrah and Islam? There is a saying of The Prophet (PBUH) that can help us answer this question. Once the Prophet (PBUH) was on a journey and they heard a shepherd calling out and they heard him calling out ‘Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar’. The Prophet (PBUH) said ‘He is upon Fitrah’. The man then said the shahadah (testimony of faith). The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Now he has saved himself from the fire’ (He is Muslim).
Follow This Final Message From God
In conclusion, our Fitrah (Goodness) help us do our divine duties of charity to please Allah (SWT) by helping others and taking care of animals and plants because they are all creations of Allah (SWT). However, as mentioned in the hadith cited above, following al fitrah is not enough. To be a Muslim, we need to worship Allah (SWT) as cited in the Quran “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me” (Quran 51:56). As Muslims, we need therefore to practice the five obligations “The Profession of Faith (Shahada); Daily Prayers (Salat); Alms-Giving (Zakat); Fasting during Ramadan (Saum) and Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
It is now imperative for everyone to believe and follow this final message from God. God Almighty says in the Quran: “We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but to all mankind as a giver of good news and as a warner, but most people do not know.” (Quran 34:28)