The Quran refers to Islam as the religion of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. It is simply the last of the divine messages to reach humankind through Prophet Muhammad, who was chosen by the Creator as the bearer of his last and all-encompassing revelation. Islam is a universal faith for all times, all places, and all peoples. It is predicated on the belief that there is but one God, Allah, the Creator of the universe and of humankind. The relationship which exists between God and His creation is based on one religion. These fundamental unities are the foundation of faith. Allah says:
وَلَا تَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ ۘ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ ۚ لَهُ الْحُكْمُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
“Do not call upon another god alongside Allah. There is no God but him. Everything will perish but his countenance. Judgment belongs to him, and to him you will return.” (Surah al-Qasas 28:88)
Religion in this context is a set of rules that regulate the relationship between the Creator and the created. Islam teaches that God is the source of peace. At the core of Islam is the focus of an individual’s personal relationship with God, their Creator. It encourages a believer to have sustained awareness of God which is a key to lasting happiness. One in five people on this planet are Muslims, so it seems reasonable to try to learn much more about them. Allah says:
وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ
“Unto Allah belong the best names, so call upon him by them and leave those who violate the sanctity of his names.” (Surah al-Araf 7:180)
Religion sets forth the framework for permissible economic, social and political systems and formulates the principles and rules through which people should deal with one another. Islam is a religion in which faith is based on clear proof. It encourages people to use their God-given intelligence to think and ponder over their life and the universe. Although this life is a test, God has provided sufficient signs and guidance to people who are open-minded and sincere to be able to acknowledge the truth.
Here are some key findings of the Religion of Islam:
- Islam aim to live a life of complete submission to Allah
- Islam teaches us true happiness in Islamic life
- Islam has a message to all people at all times
- Isla emphasizes one should not harm others
- Islam teaches that God is the Most Justice
- Islam encourages a balance between hope
- Islam emphasizes both evidence and faith
- Islam allows experiencing God’s love
- Islam teaches about good and bad
- Islam itself is inherent in peace
- Islam emancipates superstitions
- Islam encourages in God’s mercy
- Islam teaches that we will be judged
- Islam is to develop a peaceful society
- Islam gives a person a clear perspective
- Islam means submission to the will of God
- Islam commitment means striving for peace
- Islamic rules and being Muslim is important
- Islam spread quickly first throughout Arabia
- Islam trend to a believer to trust and hope in God
“The religion of Islam is built on five (pillars) testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying the zakat, making the pilgrimage to the House, and fasting in Ramadan.”
These are guides for daily life for putting the beliefs of Muslims into practice:
- Shahadah (declaration of faith)—to bear witness or testify that there is no god except one God (Allah) and Muhammad is His prophet or messenger.
- Salat (ritual prayer)—the five daily prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and night. The prayers are offered in the Arabic language and face the direction of Mecca.
- Zakah (alms tax) –Giving 2.5% of one’s wealth to the poor and needy.
- Sawm (fasting)—Muslims fast during the daylight hours in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar called Ramadan. The purpose is to remind people of the goodness of what they have and to show equality with the poor. Ramadan is a time for study and self-discipline.
- Hajj (pilgrimage): Muslims believe in making a pilgrimage to Mecca to the Kaaba at least once in their lifetime. The Kaaba is believed to have been built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and one of his sons. Muhammad restored it to worship Allah. For this reason, it is a very sacred place to Muslims.
The Beauty and Benefits of Islam:
- Close Relationship with the Creator: By focusing on this important relationship and following God’s guidance, believers will be able to acquire inner peace and tranquillity. This need can only be filled with the awareness of God.
- Obeying the Creator: True contentment is found in acknowledging and obeying the Creator: “Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest.” Quran 13:28
- Positive Outlook on Life: Islam gives a person a clear perspective on the events that happen in their life, both good and bad, as they are, in fact, tests from God.
- Forgiveness of Sins: Islam encourages a balance between hope in God’s mercy and fear of His punishment – both of which are required to lead a positive and humble life.
- Accountability and Ultimate Justice: Each person is accountable, as they have freedom of choice and intelligence to discern between right and wrong.
- Practical and Balanced Way of Life: Islam provides the right balance between faith and action, as both are required for a stable life. It provides guidance for all situations and circumstances.
- Universal and Timeless Message: God is accessible to everyone. People may distinguish themselves and earn God’s favour through belief and righteous actions only.
Islam is very much a law-oriented religion. It provides the guidelines and principles upon which laws and regulations can be established. The influence of Islam must not be viewed in a narrowly legalistic light but rather as providing a framework that guarantees basic fairness and justice to all. The Quran enjoins that Muslims do good and abjure evil. Allah says:
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with him, and be good to parents and relatives.” (Surah al-Nisa 4:36)
Pure and Clear Concept of God
Unlike other religions, Islam is not named after its founder or the community of its birth. Islam is an attributive title that signifies obedience to God, the Creator of the Universe. One of its main beauties is that it acknowledges the complete perfection, greatness and uniqueness of God with absolutely no compromises. This is reflected in Islam’s pure teachings of the attributes of God.
God is One and Unique:
- God has no partners, no equals and no rivals.
- God has no father, mother, sons, daughters or wives.
- God alone is worthy of all worship.
God is the All-Powerful:
- God has full authority and power over all things.
- Obedience to God does not increase His Power, nor does disobedience decrease His power.
God is the Highest:
- There is nothing above or comparable to God.
- The attributes of God do not resemble that of His creation.
- No part of God is present in anyone or anything.
God is Perfect:
- God does not have any human limitations, such as resting on the seventh day after He created the universe.
- God always maintains attributes of perfection and does not do anything to compromise this perfection such as “becoming a man” as claimed by other religions. God does not do ungodly acts, so if God became man and took on human attributes, he would, necessarily, no longer be God.
Unlike other religions, there are many clear proofs, signs and miracles that the book of Islam, The Quran is from God.
- Is free from any errors or contradictions, despite it being revealed over a period of 23 years.
- Is preserved, word-for-word, since it was revealed in its original Arabic language, unlike other scriptures which have been distorted, changed or lost.
- Contains a simple, pure and universal message that has a profound effect on all those who are sincerely searching for the truth.
- Contains a unique and inimitable style of language that is universally known as the pinnacle of Arabic eloquence and linguistic beauty – yet the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was known to be illiterate.
- Contains many amazing scientific facts which have only been discovered recently, despite being revealed over 1400 years ago.
- The Quran is written in such a way that it evokes profound emotions in the reader.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
- “Don’t ask too many favours from people.” (Quran 2:273)
- “Speak gently, even to leaders of disbelief.” (Quran 20:44)
- “Preach to others in a good and wise manner.” (Quran 16:125)
- “Don’t accuse others of immorality without proof.” (Quran 24:4)
- “Don’t wrongly consume the wealth of the vulnerable.” (Quran 4:29)
- “Don’t turn your cheek away from people in arrogance.” (Quran 31:18)
- “Forgive others, as you would like Allah to forgive you.” (Quran 24:22)
- “Don’t order others to do good while forgetting it yourself.” (Quran 2:44)
- “If unable to help a needy person, at least speak nice words.” (Quran 17:28)
- “Be lenient to those under you, and consult them in matters.” (Quran 3:159)
- “Do not despair of God’s mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins.” (Quran 39:53)
Islam teaches that God is the Most Merciful and will forgive and pardon those who sincerely want to repent. The beautiful steps for repentance include being sincere, remorseful, refraining from committing the sin as well as having the intention not to repeat it. Islam encourages a continuous process of self-development and self-purification. Allah says;
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَاسْتَقِيمُوا إِلَيْهِ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ۗ وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say: I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your god is one God, so take a straight path to him and seek his forgiveness.” (Surah Fussilat 41:6)
God created humans with intellect and free will to test them as to who will wilfully choose to follow His guidance. This life is an ultimate testing ground and although we cannot control everything that happens to us, we can control how we react. Islam encourages a person to focus on what is in their control, to be grateful to God for blessings, and to be patient during hardships. Patience or gratitude – this is the formula for a happy life.