Understanding Islam , A Simplified introduction to the basic principles of Islam


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  • Understanding Islam , A Simplified introduction to the basic principles of Islam


  • Chapter One

    THE RELIGION OF ISLAM

    Religion has been ordained for the happiness of mankind in this world, and in the Hereafter. The word "Islam" carries the meaning of submission and surrender to the will of Allah. This means that Islam is the religion of all prophets.  Allah, Most high said, by the tongue of Noah, as stated in the Holy Qur'an:

    "And I have been commanded to be among those who conform to Islam. " (Sura 10:72)

    By the tongue of Ibrahim:

    " (And make of us both) O God, our Creator, two Muslims who conform their will to Your will and of our progeny a Muslim nation who conform their will to Your will. " (Sura 2: 128 )

    By the tongue of Joseph:

     "Disembody my soul, O God, impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues, and join me to those whose deeds had been imprinted with wisdom and piety.  " (Sura 12:101)

    By the tongue of Moses:

     “ My people, if you have really accepted God and conformed to His will, then in Him you must trust, if indeed you have conformed to Islam. " (Sura 10:84)

    Islam is the religion which Allah revealed to the Prophet Mohammad, (PBUH), to preach to all mankind. He has made it last of the Religions; and after it, there shall be no other religion. Nor shall any other religion be acceptable, as stated in the Holy Qur’an.

           Allah Most High said:

    "Religion, as a system of faith and legislation, commanded by God is Islam. " (Sura 3:9)

    Allah the Almighty also said:

    "Mohammed is not the father of anyone of your men (so that he be prohibited to carry into effect the edict of God), but he is the Apostle of God and he is the ultimate of the prophets, the last of the long line of Apostles and the seal of Apostleship and of Prophethood. " (Sura 33:40)

    He also said:

    Note: The translation of the Qur'anic verses cited in this book is a mere interpretation of the meanings. These verses have been taken from AL-Montakhab [The Select] in the interpretation of the Holy Qur'an Arabic-English Copy.

    "And he who adopts a system of faith and worship other than Islam, or submission to God's blessed will alone- simply bends on a system of faith and worship which does not have the standing upon the vantage ground of truth; such system of faith shall not be accepted from him and he shall be a great loser Hereafter. ” (Sura 3:85)

    The Call of Islam is directed to all mankind, the same to those who believe in a religion as to those who do not believe in a religion.

    Allah Most High said:

    "And say to the people of the Book (Torah and Gospel) and to the illiterates (Are you now satisfied with what you heard and have your doubts been satisfied?) (If you are, then conform to Islam). If they do, then they are on the path of rectitude, but should they turn a deaf ear and their hearts have no ears for the truth nonetheless, you are only responsible for relating the message and God keeps a watchful eye upon His creation and the way they conduct themselves in life and He knows the attributes inherent in each and all.” (Sura 3:20)

    The Universality Of Islam

    As for previous religions, they were all of them restricted.  They were sent to particular people and limited to particular times.  Islam alone is the one religion, which bears the seal of universality arid eternity.  This mark has adhered to it ever since the beginning of its call.  It is not therefore the idea of a moment afterwards cast upon it. Allah Most High said in the Meccan’s Suras:

    "Praise be to God and blessed is He who has revealed to His servant, (the Apostle Mohammad), The Qur'an, which He sent down to serve as the canon which illuminates the intellect and imparts the soundness of judgment in the choice of means and ends, in the choice of what is normally good, honest and straight forward, the canon which conducts him- The Apostle- to act as a spectacle and warning to all (intellectual) created beings . " (Sura 25:1)

        Allah Almighty also said:

    “ Say to them (O Mohammad): O you people,  you had better believe that I have been sent to you all with a Divine Message from God." (Sura 7:158)

           Allah the Almighty also said: 

    "When in effect it - The Qur'an - is but a universal Message which people have yet to learn, and an admonition and a counsel of the greatest concern.” (Sura 68:52)

    And it is mentioned in the Al-Hadith Asahih (the authentic sayings of the prophet) (PBUH): “ in the past, prophets had been sent to their own particular people; but I have been sent to all mankind.”

    It is also mentioned:

    "And after me, there shall be no more prophets”

    The universality and eternity of Islam is one of its own characteristics, because it consists of all the elements of maturity and comprehensives, which can meet the needs of mankind.  It coincides with the refinement of the human intellect and the progress of the human race; and of this 

    Allah The Almighty said:

    “Today I have completed your Religion for you, and graced you with the divine influence which operates in men to regenerate and sanctify and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation, and made all grace abound in you.  And I have chosen for you Islam,  as the acceptable system of faith and worship, not only to guide  you into all truth, but also to make you better men. " (Sura 5:3)  

    Islam Is A Faith and institution (Law)

    The religion of Islam is founded on two main principles: Al-‘Aqidah  (Faith) and Shari‘ah (Law).

    1. FAITH, "Al-‘Aqidah”: means confirming belief in the heart, in all that prophet Mohammad (PBUH), came with, from all that should be known about it, and is necessary to know.

    2. LAW, “Shari‘ah”: is the way in which we conduct our lives, and this mostly means practical deeds we carry out.  As with faith, it is something unseen - it is abstract. So that whoever believes with ‘Aqidah, with the acknowledgement of Shari‘ah, and yet falls short of practicing it, is regarded as disobedient; he will not be saved from the punishment of Allah, unless Allah forgives him.

    Allah Most High said, as stated in the Holy Qur' an:

    “Never shall God forgive the impious irreverence of incorporating with Him other deities, but forgives He all else whom He will.  " (Sura 4:48)

    And falling short in some of the branches or aspects of Shari‘ah does not affect the correctness or authenticity of the other aspects fulfilled.  As stated in the Holy Qur’an, 

            Allah the Almighty said:

    “Then he who has done an atom's weight of good, will see it and profit by it, and who has done an atom's weight of evil, will see it and be punished for it.” *1

    And whoever believes in the Shari‘ah alone, without the ‘Aqidah, is not a Muslim, and so his deeds shall not be accepted by Allah.

    Allah the Most High said in connection with those who do not believe in the Day of Resurrection:

    "And We apply Ourselves to all that they did and accomplished in life and We reduce it together with their (infidelity-based) hope which sprang eternal in their breasts to a worthless waste impelled by the wind as if it were dust dissipated in the wind or mist dispelled by dispersion.” (Sura 99:7-8)

     (Sura 25:23)

         Allah the Almighty Also Said:

    “ It is these who have denied the truth of their Creator's signs and counseled deaf to His spirit of truth that guides into all truth and to His promise of Judgment at Resurrection. And in consequence shall their hopes be doomed to disappointment and their deeds to worthlessness, and on the Day of Judgment We will attach to them no importance, nor shall their pleading be of weight. "  *1

    ‘Aqidah is indivisible: whosoever does not believe in certain aspects of it renders his ‘Aqidah totally unacceptable.

            Allah Most high said:

    "Do you people credit part of the Book upon the ground of God's authority and discredit part upon the ground of your authority! Indeed he who adopts this line of conduct, shall Suffer for his offense, he shall be lost to shame here, and Hereafter shall, such like persons be delivered to the abyss with its torrential scorching and roaring flames where they shall suffer torment and be put to the torture. " (Sura 18: 105)

    Therefore, ‘Aqidah is stable; it does not admit of alteration; and such is the case with all religions.  

    Allah Most High said:

    "To you people has He enjoyed the same system of Faith He enjoyed to Noah; the system of faith which We have inspired to you (O Mohammad), the same system did We enjoin to Abraham, Moses and Jesus to follow:

    (a) Recognition of God and His control of destiny,

    (b) His rightful claim to obedience, reverence and worship and the general mental and moral attitude resulting from this belief and its effect upon the individual and the people at large, and the personal and the general acceptance of this feeling as a standard of spiritual and practical life.   And We enjoined all.

    (c) To observe this faithfully and not be divided or discordant nor split into Faction.” (Sura 2:85)

    *2 (Sura 42: 13)

    Within the consensus of religious principles prophet Mohammad was not eccentric in his Call, by citing all the prophets;  

            Allah Most High said:

     “ Say to them :(I am not novelty of Apostleship hitherto unknown to you)." (Sura 46:9)

    He has sent the Qur’an in corroboration with His Heavenly revealed Book. 

    Allah Most High said in this regard:

     "And We have sent down to you (O Mohammad), the Book -the Qur'an-confirming the scriptures which were revealed before it (Torah and Bible) and serving as the Book of reference which does answer any query on matters disputed among people of the Book (Jews and Christians), for it is the umpire of all preceding scriptures (Torah and Bible), and the decision that is based on its precepts shall have to be accepted as final” (Sura 5:48)

    The Essence Of Faith And Its Unity Among Religions

    As for the shari’ah, certain aspects of it are static and do not admit of alteration: such as devotion and the rules of transaction, and conduct.  Yet certain other aspects of it may allow alteration, according to environmental situations, and the times; such as civil procedures, commerce, and legislation, in keeping with the framework of the permanent and the legitimate. Religions vary however as to laws, As  

    Allah the Sanctified has said:

     

    “In fact, for each of your people (Jews, Christians and Muslims) have We authoritatively determined a law and a course to follow. " (Sura 5:48)

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