We must first examine the place of man in creation and the meaning we give to the notion of salvation in order to finally understand and grasp the importance of the scope of our actions during our life here on earth. .
In this relationship of man with God, Islam emphasizes neither an incarnation or manifestation of the Absolute, nor the fallen, imperfect and sinful nature of man. Rather, it envisages man as he is, in his primordial Adamic nature (filtra), and God as He is in His absolute Reality.
It is true that in his ordinary condition, man presents himself as a weak, selfish and unjust being; he is usually a slave to his desires, his lust and his animal passions, most often ignoring his reality of being which makes him the receptacle of universal consciousness.
Islam, without in any way ignoring the weakness and limits of human nature, does not consider man as a perverted will, but essentially as the being who has received the deposit (amana) of this divine presence.
In this, he is the representative (khalifa) of God on earth. If the essence of the divine Being is inscrutable and absolute, He is, on the other hand, through His attributes (sifat, 1), close to all His creation. Through them, man draws closer to Him. In this he is in the image of his Creator, like a mirror consciously reflecting this divine presence.
This original nature is above all an intelligence which can discern the real from the illusory, and which in a natural way leads to unity (tawhid). It is then a will which can freely choose between the true and the false. Finally, it is the power of speech through which the relationship between man and the divine, but also between him and his fellow human beings, is expressed.
Intelligence, will, and speech are in their essence the divine qualities that God has entrusted to man and with the help of which he journeys towards Him. So : “Actions are only as good as their intentions”, said Prophet Muhammad. Indeed, it is the intention which establishes the value of the acts leading man towards salvation or moving him away from it.
It is nourished, conceived and based on consciousness. Because in truth, reason is not enough, it needs to be fertilized by consciousness, which itself needs direction to be born and grow. This is where the spiritual and religious teachings that have always accompanied humanity come into play. Through divine intervention, through prophets, sages and envoys, a teaching of awakening has been transmitted which nourishes and causes our individual consciousness to grow, until it is realized in the universal consciousness.
It is when he has reached this final stage that man unifies and achieves the perfect balance of his personality, hence the importance of an enlightening education; the more our state of consciousness grows, the more the being that we are refines.
The action of the virtuous man to work for good in society, within humanity, then becomes a necessity for his quest and an imperative in his relationship with the Divine, and not only a moral or religious duty. . It is the salvation of the soul here below, without expecting future reward in the Hereafter. It is the path of disinterested Love which leads towards peace, brotherhood and elevation towards the Divine, Source of Mercy, which grants to man by His saving grace eternal salvation.
If, on the other hand, this notion of salvation is attached to the attribution of a future reward and to the fear of eternal punishment, it conditions our behavior to blindly follow a creed, a dogma, a morality, as the only exclusive path to Hi. It then becomes a reference with serious consequences regarding the freedom of others and the respect due to those who are different, who do not think or who do not have the same faith as us.
This conception of salvation does not make us fraternal beings, open to the universal, but on the contrary, beings who think that only those who share the same belief as us are in the truth and deserve salvation. We deprive ourselves, by this attitude, of recognizing the immense divine mercy, capable of welcoming all creatures into its bosom.
This diversity and these divisions allow man to question himself, to search. In the domain of faith, the Truth is never fixed. It reveals itself to us through a profound experience, lived in the heart of being and in the intimate conviction of our relationship with God. Each tradition has its method. This diversity is desired so that the truth is received by everyone according to their culture and understanding.
The Prophet Mohammed said: “Speak to men according to their level of understanding” and the Koran “If God had willed, He would have made you one community” (surah 5, verse 48).
Always and everywhere, men have claimed to be right and they have made those who disagree with them suffer. Despite the genocides, they could not stop the destiny of humanity.
The revelation brought by each prophet incites and awakens man to rediscover the universality inscribed within him. There is neither antagonism between the prophets, nor opposition between the revealed messages, but perfect continuity in harmony. Let us abandon our pretensions of believing that we are the only ones in the truth. If the message remains universal, man, through his egocentrism, transforms it, shrinks it, dries it up by appropriating it to use it for personal ends.
Salvation and the means of salvation become a domain reserved for some, excluding others. They are monopolized by “chosen ones” who dispense or restrict it arbitrarily, according to their interpretation of the sacred texts. Even if this way of acting is sometimes based on laudable intentions.
Salvation is not obtained by a magical, dogmatic or sectarian recipe granted by “learned” or “enlightened” beings. It is a supreme grace granted by the Merciful to every creature who returns to Him.
(1) The divine attributes are the Names by which God manifests Himself in creation