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The word “Islam” is the verbal noun of the verb aslama. This verb is defined as, “He resigned or submitted himself.” When used with respect to God, it means, “He became submissive to God.”
After the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), there is a further distinction that needs to be made concerning the religion of “Islam.”
Allah had sent numerous prophets throughout the centuries. However, He had determined that He should send a final messenger with a final message. This final messenger would be the messenger for all of humankind from his time until the Day of Reckoning.
The Prophet Muhammad is the final messenger and it is inconceivable knowing the mercy of the merciful that He would leave humans without any form of clear guidance.
The goal of Islam is for the human to become a true servant of Allah. Therefore, his source of guidance and the foundations for his actions must be rooted in the revelation from God. It is from this vantage point that the scholars speak about the sources of law in Islam. The two ultimate authorities in Islamic Law are the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet.
Pure monotheism is the only belief system that provides the true answers to the questions that perplex virtually every human: “Where have I come from? Where am I headed? For what purpose do I exist?”
No one has the right to put himself as a God—which would include ty-rant, dictator or clergy—over anyone else, with the others subjected to his decrees regardless of whether they are consistent with what Allah has re-vealed or not.
Islam is a beautiful religion that fulfills the needs of both body and soul. A human is made up of both a spiritual as well as a material side. Both sides of a human have to be recognized as “true,” with neither of them being ignored or denied.
Life on Earth cannot be truly flourishing and sound without justice. Thus, the call to and the implementation of justice is one of the most prominent features of Islam. In numerous places in the Quran, Allah orders the Muslims to fulfill the demands of justice, even if these should go against their own interests or needs.
True and complete peace can only be had when the individuals themselves achieve internal peace. This results from Islam or the true submission to Allah alone.
One will readily note that all of the goals of Islam are highly interconnected. This is quite logical. Actually, they all flow from the foundation of true monotheism. When a person embodies the teachings of Islamic monotheism, he then frees himself from worshipping anybody else or anything else.
This is the main goal of Islam. It is also one of its excellent features. Islam frees the human from trying to serve varied objects of worship. His life becomes clear and easy to follow. He has one Lord and one path to follow. He does not associate anyone or anything with God.
Islam is not a man-made philosophy or religion. Its teachings come directly from the Creator. It is the guidance that the Creator, via His Mercy, has bestowed upon humankind.
Islam is comprehensive in many ways. It is comprehensive in the sense that it applies to all human beings and is applicable by all regardless of where or what time they may be living.
Islam is not a religion that is simply concerned with the Hereafter or what can be referred to as the “spiritual side” of life. Instead, it promotes the welfare of humans in both this world and the Hereafter.
One of the clearest aspects of Islamic Law is the goal of bringing about ease upon the humans and avoiding hardship for them while maintaining positive results for all. Hence, this is not a goal independent of all other goals. In other words, there are a myriad of goals, such as mercy, justice, equity, balance and so forth.
The goals and the teachings of Islam go well beyond any legal issues in this world. Islam seeks to create a certain type of individual, an individual who has a strong and proper relationship with Allah. There are a number of important points related to this feature.
Islam is not a religion in which one purifies one’s own soul while ignoring or not helping others as well along the path of purification. As discussed later in this work, Islam stresses the proper relationship between different individuals of society.
There is no question that in God’s scheme for this creation, humans have been given many special talents and skills, making them distinct from other creatures.
A person becomes a Muslim by testifying to the truth of the statements: There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
It is important to understand the meaning and the implications of the second part of the testimony of faith as well. Indeed, sometimes one strays from the Straight Path and from Islam itself because he is not implementing the second part of the declaration of faith properly.
There are a few other deeds that are often associated with the act of declaring one’s faith. These are (1) a complete bathing, (2) removing all of one’s hairs from pre-Islamic days and (3) circumcision.
There are some statements of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that demonstrate that there are some special rewards and circumstances for the Muslim convert.
The general rule is that any wealth that one has in one's possession at the time of conversion remains the property of the convert regardless of how that wealth was gained, as long as it was gained in a legal fashion according to the laws the convert was living by.
It has become common practice in some areas for converts to change their names upon becoming Muslims. Sometimes this is done so that the convert feels more attached and affiliated with the Muslim community.
It is important to note and appreciate that all of the benefits of Islam accrue to the human. It is solely for his own benefit that Allah has provided His guidance to humankind. Allah, Himself, is not in need of humankind’s worship. He is free of all needs but in His Mercy He has shown humankind the proper mode of behavior to meet His approval.
The foundation of one’s Islam starts with what is in one’s heart and one’s beliefs.
The foundation of one’s Islam starts with what is in one’s heart and one’s beliefs.
The Islamic belief in God revolves around a pure, unadulterated mo-notheism, commonly referred to in Arabic as tauheed. In order to clarify matters, the scholars divided the discussion of tauheed into different branches, each branch covering or explaining one aspect of the complete and correct belief in Allah. These branches are clearly and directly indicated by the Quran and Sunnah.
The second article of faith mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him) was belief in the angels. Angels are a type of creation of Allah that is, in general, unseen by man.
Belief in Allah’s books is the third article of faith. It refers to the revelations that Allah sent down to His messengers as a mercy and guidance to lead mankind to success in this life and happiness in the Hereafter.
The next article of faith is belief in Allah’s Messengers. A messenger is any human who was chosen by Allah to receive revelation from Him and who was commanded to pass that revelation on.
“The Last Day” is called such because there will be no new day after it, as the people of Paradise shall be in their abode as will the people of Hell. Among its other names are “The Day of Resurrection,” “The Reality,” “The Event,” “The Day of Judgment,” and “The Overwhelming.”
The original meaning of the word Qadar is specified measure or amount, whether of quantities or qualities. It has many other usages which branch out from this core. Thus yuqad-dir means, among other things, to measure or decide the quantity, quality, position, etc., of something before you actually make it.
When a person realizes that all things are under the control and decree of Allah, he is freeing his belief from any form of shirk or associating partners with Allah in His Lordship.
These actions are what are known as the “five pillars of Islam.” The first pillar.
A very important aspect that one should note about this pillar is that what is being referred to is not simply the “performance” of prayer. In the Quran also, Allah is not ordering simply the performance of prayer.
A Brief Description of the Prayer.
Linguistically, the root of the word Zakat implies purification, blessing and growth. Allah has stated in the Quran, “Indeed whosoever purifies himself (tazakkaa) shall achieve success” (87:14).
The fast of Ramadaan refers to abstaining from food, drink and sexual intercourse during the days of the month of Ramadaan.
In Islamic Law, itmeans a particular journey at a particular time to a particular place for thepurpose of worshipping Allah. In other words, it is the journeying to Makkahduring the months designated for the performance of Hajj as an act of worshipfor the sake of Allah.
Islam, therefore, goes well beyond articles of faith and ritual acts of worship. All of a Muslim’s behavior, manners, ethics and practices must reflect his belief that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.
There are actually numerous statements of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) related to the importance of having good character. Here, just a few will be presented to simply highlight the im-portance of this topic.
Allah has demanded that Muslims treat their parents in the best possible fashion. Muslims must be grateful people. They must be grateful to Allah and to all who do them well. After Allah, there is perhaps no one who deserves a person’s gratitude more than his parents.
The relationship between a new convert and his non-Muslim family and associates can be a difficult one. Many times there is open opposition from the non-Muslims. This is a great trial for the convert.
Marriage is a very important institution in Islam. The family is the nuc-leus for society as a whole. If the family is on a sound foundation, it is more likely that society as a whole will be in a good state. Thus, in general, the messengers of God, the prime examples for humans, adhered to this institution of marriage.
One important issue is that of marrying men or women who are not chaste. There is a difference of opinion among the scholars over whether or not it is allowed to marry a woman whom one knows to be a fornicatress.
The first thing that every married person must realize that one’s spouse is first and foremost another Muslim. He/she is one’s brother/sister in Islam. Therefore, all the rights that fall upon a Muslim due to the general brotherhood of Islam are also due to one’s spouse.
There are basically three ways in which a marriage is dissolved in Is-lamic Law.
Muslim scholars consider that the rights of children appear long before they are even conceived via the selection of a pious and righteous spouse. This will be the first step in providing a good household and environment for the child.
One should demonstrate goodness towards one’s neighbor by: helping them when they seek help, assisting them if they seek assistance, visiting them when they fall ill, congratulating them if something pleasing occurs to them, giving them condolences upon afflictions, and not harming them by letting one’s trash onto their property or in front of their household.
if Islam is truly applied, a Muslim will be a brother/sister to all the Muslims in the world and would do nothing but good toward them and would expect nothing but good in return from them.
Obviously, Muslims and non-Muslims are following very different paths. A Muslim’s life revolves entirely around the proper belief in God. A Muslim’s attitude toward others is likewise determined by the other’s attitude toward God.
When a Muslim accepts to live in a certain society, he is, in essence, making a pact that with that country that he will abide by the laws of that state. He does not have the right to violate the laws of that state simply because he is a Muslim and the state is not an Islamic state.
In Islam, wealth is not considered an evil. Wealth is a bounty that Allah bestows upon individuals. It is definitely not evil nor even a necessary evil, as some other religions teach. In fact, protecting and safeguarding wealth is one of the goals of the Sharee’ah. Hence, people are encouraged to engage in earning a livelihood and accumulating wealth.
Business dealings in Islam are not simply a matter of getting ahead in this world. They are not cutthroat competition or taking advantage of others. Instead, they are based on a very strong ethical basis. A Muslim realizes that every business transaction is a question of morals and ethics.
Purification of the soul is a “process.” In other words, it is not some-thing static. It is, in fact, dynamic and it can be volatile. A person may be moving closer and closer to his absolute potential with respect to purification of his soul or he may move further away from it.
There is no question that there are differences in the outward deeds of humankind. This is a reflection and an aspect of the increase and decrease in faith.
When one first makes the declaration of faith, he has started on the road to being a true Muslim and a true believer. The first step is to cleanse oneself of the clear, major, encompassing form of associating partners with God.
The path espoused by the Quran and Sunnah for purifying one’s soul is amazingly very clear and actually easy to follow for all those whose intentions are pure. Indeed, it is a path that is open for every human to follow.
In numerous places in the Quran, Allah makes it clear that the key to salvation is not a mere declaration of one’s faith or a false faith that has no righteous deeds as its fruits. Instead, the key is a true faith that combines with and is the driving force behind performing righteous deeds.
The major impediments and dangers to one’s spiritual purification must be recognized by the Muslim. He must be aware of them so that he may protect himself from them.
The importance of repentance for the purification of the soul cannot be overstated. It is the final pouring out of the human towards his Lord to remove all remaining blemishes and impurities from the soul, such that the soul is ready to be entered into Allah’s paradise.
The new Muslim convert has definitely entered into a wonderful new phase in his life. By adhering to Islam, he will be able to receive the blessings of this life and the Hereafter.