There are four principal objectives of religion:
1- ….To instruct man as to his source, that is to say, to furnish him with correct knowledge concerning his Maker, so that he may not be debarred from profiting from the Divine source of all power and strength, and should not remain ignorant of the object of his existence, which can be explained only by the Creator Himself. For this purpose it is necessary to explain four matters:
(a) The person and attributes of God;
(b) The nature of man’s relationship to God;
© The way in which such relationship should be expressed, and the responsibilities which are laid upon man by God;
(d) The means whereby man can attain to God and satisfy his longing for union with Him; and the practical realization of this object in this very life so that man may pass beyond the stage of surmise and attain to certainty concerning God.
2- The second object of religion is to provide a complete code of rules of moral conduct. For this purpose, again, it is necessary to explain the following seven matters:
(a) What are good morals?
(b) What are bad morals?
© The different stages of good morals?
(d) The different stages of bad morals?
(e) Why are particular morals called good or bad?
(f) The means whereby man can acquire good morals.
(g) The means whereby man can avoid bad morals.
3. The third object of religion is to provide a solution for the social problems which confront mankind. Man being by nature social, it is necessary that religion should lay down basic principles which should govern his social conduct whereby peace and order may be established and all orders and classes of people becoming content with their respective rights and privileges, none of them should consciously, or unconsciously, trespass against any other. A little consideration would show that rules for the government of society can be equitably framed by God alone, for no man or class of men can, owing to the intrusion of personal interests, be possessed of that breadth of outlook which is a necessary qualification for this purpose. The statement of such principles, therefore, on which human society should be based is one of the important functions of religion, and a religion which fails in this respect can hardly deserve to be called by that name.
For this purpose it is necessary for a religion to throw light on the following matters:
(a) Domestic relations, that is, the rights of relations inter se, this being the first stage of human society;
(b) The rights and duties of citizens and how they may best be discharged;
© The relationship between master and servant, the rulers and the ruled, and the rich and the poor;
(d) The relations between the followers of one religion and those of another, and the subjects of one government and those of another.
4. The fourth object of religion is to explain the end of man, that is to say, what happens to man after his death.
For this purpose it is necessary to explain:
(a) Is there a life after death? If so, what is its nature?
(b) If there is a life after death, is it subject to pain and pleasure?
© If it is so subject, what is the nature of that pain and pleasure?
(d) Is it open to man to travel from evil to good after his death? If so, how? A consideration of the teachings of a religion concerning these four objects can alone enable us to arrive at an estimate of the true value of that religion.
Note: This excerpt is taken from the Book “Ahmadiyyat or True Islam” written by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. The original book can be free download here: