Islam is a practical religion and does not allow indulgence in empty and futile theorizing. Everybody may approach the Quran directly and translate its dictates into practice. Islam awakens in man the faculty of reason and exhorts him to use his intellect. It enjoins him to see things in the light of reality. Righteous conduct must follow belief in Allah. Religion is something to be practised and not an object of mere lip service. Islam totally denounces this concept of religion and clearly states that its objectives are the purification of the soul and the reform and reconstruction of society. Allah says:
قُلْ سيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ يُنْشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَديرٌ
Say,” Travel over the land and then observe how He has originated the creation.” Then Allah shall bring about the genesis of the Hereafter. Indeed Allah has power over all things.” (Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29:20)
Islam does not admit any separation between “material” and “moral,” “mundane” and “spiritual” life, and enjoins man to devote all of his energies to the reconstruction of life on healthy moral foundations. It teaches him that moral and material powers must be welded together and that spiritual salvation can be achieved by using material resources for the good of man in the service of just ends and not by living a life of asceticism or by running away from the challenges of life. Allah says:
لِّيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا
“That may forgive for you Allah what preceded of your sins and what will follow and complete His favour upon you and guide you (to) a Path Straight.” (Surah Al-Fath 48:2)
A unique feature of Islam is that it does not divide life into watertight compartments of matter and spirit. It stands not for denial of life but for the fulfilment of life. Islam does not believe in asceticism. It does not ask a man to avoid material things. It holds that spiritual elevation is to be achieved by living piously in the rough and tumble of life, not by renouncing the world. Allah strongly censures those who refuse to benefit from His blessings.
Islam includes the Jurisprudence of belief and Faith in Allah below are some salient features of Islam:
- Islam solves all familial, social and international problems
- Islamic principles and teachings can provide real life
- Islam denotes submission, surrender and obedience
- Isla is a simple, rational and practical religion
- Islam provides fair and objective solutions
- Islam is the embodiment of the code of life
- Islam teaches one should not harm others
- Islam allows a person to truly God’s love
- Isla is the embodiment of the code of life
- Islam is the religion of truth
- Islam emphasises correct basic faith
- Islam is a religion without any mythology
- Islam teachings are simple and intelligible
- Islam emphasizes both evidence and faith
- Islam teaches that God is the Most Justice
- Islam Commitment means striving for peace
- Islam strengthening our relationship with Allah
- Islam free from superstitions and irrational beliefs
- Islam does not demand to give up the world altogether
- Islam does not expect to be ignorant, lacking in knowledge
Human life is a resource to maintain and fulfil the material needs of the individual. The Lord of the universe provides all in full measure. To provide for his spiritual, social, and cultural needs, He has raised His prophets from among men and has revealed to them the code of life that can guide man’s steps to the right path. This code of life is known as Islam, the religion preached by all of the prophets of Allah.
Islam puts great emphasis on upholding truth and justice under all circumstances:
- Islam introduced a social revolution in the context in which it was first revealed
- A Muslim’s duty to act in defence of what is right is as much part of his faith
- The equality of all Muslims is emphasized repeatedly throughout the Quran
- Every Muslim is the recipient, guardian, and executor of God’s will on earth
- The places of worship of other religions are to be protected
- Do not abuse or degrade the god/ gods of non-Muslims
- Muslims’ responsibilities are all-encompassing
- Do not call other Muslims apostates or unbelievers
- Each member of a society must fulfil his own obligations
- Not to kill innocent people of any faith except by law on earth
- To treat all members of society with equality fairness and justice
- Islam, founded on individual and collective morality and responsibility
- Living the faith is ibada, service to God through service to humankind
- To use the right of retaliation with equality and forgiveness is preferable
- Invite humanity toward Islam, by conveying the message with wisdom and peacefully
Islam seeks to establish an equilibrium between these two aspects of life – the material and the spiritual, but man was created to serve a higher purpose that will fulfil the will of Allah. Its teachings cater to the spiritual as well as the temporal needs of man. Islam enjoins man to purify his soul and reform his daily life. Thus Islam stands for the middle path and the goal of producing a moral man in the service of a just society. Allah says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
“Verily, Allah loves those who repent and who purify themselves.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:222)
Collective morality is expressed in the Quran as equality, justice, fairness, brotherhood, mercy, compassion, solidarity, and freedom of choice. The last of these prophets was Muhammad, who Presented Allah’s guidance in its final form and arranged to preserve it for all time. Islam integrates all domains of human life, just like the different systems in the human body integrate to provide a complete human being.
The Five Pillars are the core beliefs and practices of Islam:
- Shahada (Faith): The declaration of faith in one God (Allah) and His Messenger (peace be upon him).
- Salah (Prayer): The ritual prayer required of every Muslim five times a day throughout their lifetime.
- Zakat (Almsgiving): The act of giving a portion of a Muslim’s wealth to those in need throughout their lifetime.
- Sawm (Fasting): The act of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
- Hajj (Pilgrimage): The sacred pilgrimage to Mecca is required of every Muslim at least once in their lifetime if it is within their means.
The basic Islamic concept is that the whole universe was created by Allah. He created man and appointed for each human being a fixed period of life that he is to spend upon the earth. Allah has prescribed a certain code of life as the correct one for mankind, but has, at the same time, conferred upon man the freedom of choice as to whether or not he adopts this code as the actual basis of his life. One who chooses to follow the code revealed by Allah becomes a Muslim (believer) and one who refuses to follow it becomes a kafir (disbeliever).
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “Truly Allah loves the Muttaqin.“(Quran, 3:76)
- “Truly the religion with Allah is Islam.” (Quran: 3:19)
- “Guidance for those conscious of Allah.” (Quran, 2:2)
- “Then We will save the ones who had taqwa.“ (Quran, 19:72)
- “It describes reconciliation as the best policy.” (Quran: 4:128)
- “He is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth.” (Quran 48:28)
- “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never be accepted of him and in the hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” (Quran 3:85)
A man joins the fold of Islam by honestly believing in and professing faith in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad. Tawhid is a revolutionary concept and constitutes the essence of the teachings of Islam. It means that there is only one supreme Lord of the universe. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and the sustainer of the world and of humanity. Allah says:
يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ حَقَّ تُقٰتِهٖ وَلَا تَمُوۡتُنَّ اِلَّا وَاَنۡـتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ
“Believers! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and see that you do not die to save in the state of submission to Allah.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:102)
Islam is not a religion in the ordinary and distorted sense, for it does not confine its scope to one’s private life. It is a complete way of life and is present in every field of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all aspects of life – individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, and national and international. The Quran enjoins man to embrace Islam without any reservation and to follow Allah’s guidance in all areas of life.