Eastern religions attract people because of their mystical and mysterious air, despite containinga great many irrational and illogical beliefs and practices.
Only those who choose the Qur'an as their guide and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as their way of life are completely free from superstition; they may hope to have a good life both in this world and in the next world, where this good life will go on for ever.
Many people today are searching for a way to escape from all the inhumanity, chaos, confusion, quarrels, conflicts, worries, selfishness and deceit we see in the world; they are looking for a way to establish a way of life that will bring them contentment, inner certainty and peace.
Some of these seekers believe they will find the happiness and peace of mind they are looking for in religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism. Many people have been influenced by these eastern religions because of their aura of mystery and mysticism, and because they make use of techniques such as meditation, and because of the unusual attitudes, dress, manner of speech and religious practices of those who follow them.
However, although religions like Hinduism and Buddhism— among the oldest we know of—give some good ethical advice, not everything they contain is true. Over the centuries, they have absorbed
elements of the customs and traditions of the societies that have adopted them en masse, and have degenerated as a result of various legends and erroneous beliefs that have been added to them, so that the form in which we know them today is one tainted with superstition. It is for this reason that these religions espouse many beliefs and practices that conflict with reason and logic.
So in the following pages it is important to remember that when we talk about Buddhism and Hinduism we are really talking about the current extremely ancient and now corrupted and degenerate religions, and not about the original religions and their founders. We have been taught by Allah that every people has had messengers and prophets to guide them through revelation. Some elements in Buddhism similar to the values of the Qur'an may lead one to think that Buddha might have been one of these messengers, who preached the religion of truth. But this religion is extremely ancient and inevitably became corrupted after him, and lost its authenticity by mixing with the cultures and religions of the countries in which it originated and to which it spread, and thus turned into a superstitious religion.1
The belief in karma is one such characteristic of these religions that are currently attracting interest in our countries. Although it encourages people to adopt certain positive moral qualities, the philosophy of karma also contains several erroneous and superstitious beliefs. It is not possible for these superstitions, which form the basis of the belief in karma, to become a way to freedom for humanity or to bring people genuine inner certainty and peace of mind. On the contrary, they cause even greater spiritual confusion. They cause people to adopt erroneous points of view and mistaken practices. It is these misleading beliefs and practices which are the main subject of this book.
Before considering the erroneous aspects of the belief in karma, it will be useful to remind ourselves of the following truth: the way to ensuring real happiness and peace of mind in this world is the religion of Islam and its source, the Qur'an which our Lord, Allah, the One and Only Lord of the universe, chose for humanity in order to restore the truths previously revealed to prophets and messengers among all peoples on Earth but forgotten and corrupted to some extent almost everywhere. As Allah has told us, the Qur'an and the Sunnah are the only things capable of rescuing humanity from darkness and bringing us into the light; the Qur'an is the only book capable of being humanity's means of liberation. Allah explains this truth in the following words in the Qur'an, which are addressed to whoever follows one of the religions which existed before Islam:
People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you much of the Book that you have kept concealed, and passing over a lot. A Light has come to you from Allah and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of Peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Maida: 15-16)
Alif Lam Ra. This is a Book We have sent down to you so that you can bring mankind from the darkness to the light, by the permission of their Lord, to the Path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy. (Surah Ibrahim: 1)
In this book we shall deal both with those aspects of the belief in karma that concern good ethical practices that accord with the teachings of the Qur'an, and with those erroneous aspects that accord neither with the Qu'ran, nor with human reason and nor with human conscience.
We should remember, however, that the belief in karma, in the perverted form in which we have it with the inclusion of the concept of reincarnation, is one that is not supported by any evidence whatsoever and that it is not contained in any divinely revealed book; it is apparently a philosophy consisting merely of ideas that people have formulated. A philosophy of this kind could easily be put together by any person. In fact, an ordinary person could formulate several of these philosophies. Moreover, one would not need to possess any knowledge or spend any time in order to do this; a short time would be quite enough to formulate a whole philosophical system of "beliefs unsupported by evidence". That is because belief in karma does not make claims to any basis in rationality.
Would it make sense to attempt to implement the rules of an irrational philosophy that lacks proper evidence to support it? In this book, using evidence to support our arguments, we will attempt to show how illogical it is to believe in karma or to try to live in accordance with it or with any other similar philosophy.