Perhaps we need to question the fundamentals of the topic:
A deity centered, or a Muhammad (saw) centered, understanding of religion?
Yes, I have indeed thrown yet another controversial ball into the court, but do forgive me; the fine distinction between the two implies enormous significance! In fact, failure to recognize this difference could mean the inability to rid one’s self from ‘religious savvy’ to attain the reality of the Religion!
So what is this important difference?
01:15 According to the general conception of Muslims, religion is a deity-centered belief system. That is, even though Muslims always say Allah is ‘everywhere’ or ‘free from location’, nevertheless this ‘deity-god’ whom they have named ‘Allah’ is always conceived as being somewhere in the heavens or in the upper dimensions of space somewhere!
03:27 Let’s digress from the subject for an instant: Those who believe in UFOs and extraterrestrial beings claim these angels, or what people have come to accept as gods, are an advanced race from space. Indeed, beings from space may have come, and they may still do so!
05:02 The ‘Messiah’ awaited by the Jews and Christians isn’t actually Jesus (as); it is the Dajjal! Jesus (as) is to emerge after the Dajjal comes to claim he is god.
06:31 According to a deity-based religious view, the Quran and hadith have only literal meaning and value. A deity-based religious view dictates that God literally has a hand!
08:04 According to a deity-centered religion salat and fasting are like debts that must be paid to god. If you fail to do so, god will send you to prison, or rather to hell!
08:55 As for the religious view centered on Muhammad (saw) the Rasul of Allah and the final Nabi… Far from a materialistic approach, this is the view endorsed by all of the intimates of reality, the Sufi masters, from Haji Bektashi Wali and Imam Ghazali to Abdulqadir Jilani and Sheikh Bahaaddin Naqshibandi, who when told “you seem arrogant” replied “this isn’t arrogance (kibr), it is magnificence (kibria)”… And many, many others…
11:16 Hence, there are no angels descending from the skies but forces in the form of knowledge (Gabriel) emerging from one’s essence to his consciousness. Because the brain constantly creates forms for the raw data it receives to its database with its ‘Musawwir’ quality and outputs this to the consciousness, people perceive angels in forms.
13:13 Allah, in respect of his Absolute Essence (dhat) is an Absolute Unknown (ghayb) to us. We can only know Him to the extent of Rasulullah’s (saw) disclosure.
14:39 “In the sight of Allah, Islam is the religion” is an expression of this truth. Therefore, Rasulullah-centered understanding is the Religion, but a deity-centered one is only religious savvy. The other important aspect of the Rasulullah-centered approach is about vicegerency.
16:38 There are no inanimate and unconscious beings in the Rasulullah-centered understanding! For every unit of existence subsists with the qualities of the Names of Allah.
19:52 In short, a deity-god centered religion is directed towards an external God. Whereas religion centered around the Rasul of Allah, Muhammad (saw), is for ‘humans’ who begin with faith in Allah (as disclosed by the Rasul of Allah) and then discover the various degrees of divinity and the forces and perfect qualities pertaining to them, all within their own essence.