Exposition of the Religion of Islam
The word Islam which literally signifies ‘resignation’ (to God’s will), is a comprehensive name commonly applied to the religion of the followers of the Prophet Mohammed. It embodies the various sections of the Islamic Law, which God has established for the guidance of His people, both for the worship of their Lord, and for the duties of life. These sections are five in number, namely: - beliefs; Practical Devotions; Transactions; Moralities and Punishments
Section I. Beliefs
Beliefs embrace the six articles of the Islamic faith, namely; Belief in (a) God; (b) His angels; (c) His books; (d) His Prophets (e) The day of Resurrection; (f) Predestination.
Section II. Devotion
Devotions are sub–divided into five articles of practice: (a) Recital of Creed; (b) Prayer to God; (c) Paying legal alms; (d) Fasting the month of Ramadan; (e) Pilgrimage to the Kabaa of Mecca once in a lifetime, if means allow it. Devotions also embrace legal warfare for the defence of the religion of Islam.
Section III. Transactions
Transactions include such duties as are required between man and man, and may be divided into three sub–divisions, namely: - Contests; Nuptials; and Securities. Almost all the various sections of civil jurisprudence relating to barter, sale, agency, larceny, marriage, divorce, dower, partnership, claims etc., are embraced under those three heads.
Section IV. Moralities
Moralities embrace the consideration of all those moral excellences which are enjoined in the Koran and in the teachings of the Prophet, such as. Sincerity; Confidence in God; Humility; Resignation; Keeping worldly ambitions within bounds; Giving good counsel and advice; Contentment; Liberality; love to God and man; Patience; Ethical instructions and rules of conduct relating to (1) salutations, (2) asking permission to enter a house, (3) shaking hands, and embracing, (4) rising up, (5) sitting, sleeping and walking, (6) sneezing and yawning, (7) laughing, (8) names, (9) poetry and eloquence, (10) backbiting and abuse, (11) promises, (12) joking, (13) boasting and party spirit.
Section V. Punishments
Punishments include (1) penalties exacted for manslaughter or serious bodily injuries, (2) punishment for theft by the loss of a hand, (3) punishment for fornication and adultery: stoning for a married person, and one hundred lashes for an unmarried person, (4) punishment for slander by eighty lashes, (5) punishment for apostasy by death, (6) punishment for inebriation by eighty lashes. My object in writing this book, however, is quite limited. It is to deal with two important sections only of the religion of Islam, namely, Beliefs, which embrace all matters of faith, and Devotions which include all matters of practice, as distinguished from articles of faith. Hence, I will confine the following pages to the two above-mentioned comprehensive divisions of the Law. Meanwhile, I will give a brief summary of the more important articles embodied in the rest of the sections.