Islam means to submit freely to The Commandments and Will of The One and Only God (Allah). This submission should come from within, from sound belief in and conviction to Allah, with no doubt. It should also come from love, trust, and affection. Islam is the only religion in the world that says that its precepts are natural. Thus, Islam is peace, it loves peace and it wants to spread peace in the world. Allah says:
شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
“(it is) Witnessed by Allah that [He], (there is) no god except Him, and (so do) the Angels, and owners (of) [the] knowledge – standing injustice. (There is) no god except Him the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Surah Al `Imran 3:18)
Islam teaches that human beings are born pure and sinless. No one is responsible for or can take responsibility for the sins of others. The doors of forgiveness are always open for those who repent sincerely. Muslims attach importance to what happens in this world, they have made substantial contributions to the development of science, medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography and literature.
أَكْمَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِيمَانًا أَحْسَنُهُمْ خُلُقًا وَخِيَارُكُمْ خِيَارُكُمْ لِنِسَائِهِمْ خُلُقًا
“The most complete of the believers in faith are those with the most excellent character, and the best of you are the best in behavior to their women.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1162)
Allah is not a special god for Muslims, but Allah is The Creator of all creatures, including mankind. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace on him) is the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace on him) received The Word of Allah (revelation), through the archangel Gabriel (The Holy Spirit). This revelation comprises the Religion of Islam. The Qur’an is the authentic collection of this revelation recorded in book form. It is the exact, unchanged Word of Allah to all mankind. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
O you who believe! Be steadfast for Allah (as) witnesses in justice, and let not prevent you hatred (of) a people [upon] that not you do justice. Be just it (is) nearer to [the] piety. And consciously revere Allah; indeed, Allah (is) All-Aware of what you do.” (Surah Al-Ma`idah 5:8)
A Muslim is any male or female person who believes in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace on him) as His Messenger who then testifies to that belief to witnesses announcing his/her acceptance of Islam as his/her religion. “Muslim’ should not be confused with “Arab”; A Muslim is a person who follows the religion of Islam and s/he can be of any race while Arab refers to a race of people.
خَيْرُ الأَصْحَابِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِصَاحِبِهِ وَخَيْرُ الْجِيرَانِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِجَارِهِ
“The best companion to Allah is the best to his companions, and the best neighbour to Allah is the best to his neighbours.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1944)
Islam is a simple and practical religion. It has established, clear, and easily understandable beliefs and laws that any follower or student of the religion can easily understand. Islam affirms belief in a decent, civilized society. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
“O you who believe! Consciously revere Allah and speak a word right.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:70)
Islam also does not demand the impossible goodness of its followers, but it recognizes that all human beings make mistakes and sin. No one is exempt. Islam preaches peace, mercy, justice, tolerance, equality, love, truth, forgiveness, patience, morality, sincerity and righteousness.
Here is the high importance of Faith in Islam for every Muslim to know.
- Admitting the Existence of Allah SWT
- As a Proof of Fear to Allah SWT
- Kind of Worship to Allah SWT
- Iman Guides Us in Hereafter
- Obligations to Allah SWT
- Manifested in the Heart
- Creating Balance in Life
- A Moral Ground in Islam
- The Best Among Good Deeds
- A Foundation to Do Good Deeds
- Searching for a Great Rewards from Allah
- Convinced About the Existence of Allah SWT
- A Strong Foundation for Relationship with Allah
The Meaning Of Islam:
The word ‘Islam’ has multiple meanings. In some contexts, it is translated as ‘peace’ whereas in other contexts it is taken as ‘submission’ or ‘surrender’. Thus, in the very name of the religion, there is humility and propagation of peace. The name represents the essence of the religion, which is to establish peace and harmony on the face of this earth and in achieving this peace
In addition to the fundamentals that have to be practised, there are others that comprise the belief of a Muslim:
- Believe In Allah – Firstly a Muslim has to believe in Allah as the Lord of this universe and whatever is in it. No matter whatever a Muslim says from the tongue, this belief should be instilled and engraved in the heart of a Muslim.
- Believe in Angels – Secondly, a Muslim has to believe in angels as the creation of Allah Almighty. These angels are servants of Allah and all they do is carry out His orders and praise and worship Him.
- Believe in Prophets – Besides Muhammad (PBUH) a Muslim has to believe in all the other Prophets that Allah Almighty sent for the guidance of mankind and give them equal respect and reverence.
- Believe In Divine Books – Like other Prophets, a Muslim has to believe in all the other books that were revealed to those Prophets for the guidance of their nations. Therefore, in addition to the Quran, the other divine books are also to be believed in by a Muslim.
- Believe in Judgment Day – A Muslim is to have the belief that the Judgment day is inevitable and once it arrives, all the people will be held accountable for their deeds which they committed in this world.
- Believe in Destiny – A Muslim must also believe that there are some things that are beyond human power and comprehension and should be regarded as elements of destiny or faith.
- Believe In Resurrection – A Muslim must believe that there is life after death and once a person dies, he or she will rise again and the life that will be given to a person then will be eternal life with no end.
The Five Pillars of Islam
These five tenets compose the framework of obedience for Muslims:
- The testimony of faith (shahada): “la ilaha illa allah. Muhammad Rasul Allah.” This means, “There is no deity but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” A person can convert to Islam by stating this creed. The shahada shows that a Muslim believes in Allah alone as a deity and believes that Muhammad reveals Allah.
- Prayer (salat): Five ritual prayers must be performed every day.
- Giving (zakat): This almsgiving is a certain percentage given once a year.
- Fasting (sawm): Muslims fast during Ramadan in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. They must not eat or drink from dawn until sunset.
- Pilgrimage (hajj): If physically and financially possible, a Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once. The Hajj is performed in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.
Islam teaches that the Quran is the final authority and the last revelation of Allah:
- Attributes of Allah: Although there is the element of linguistic incompetence that cannot explain the attributes of Allah, however, all the attributes that a person can associate with Supreme Being are to be associated with Allah. He is the One, the Just, the Lord, the Sustainer, the Provider, the Best Friend, the Merciful, the Beneficent and so on.
- Quran: The common impression is that Quran is a book of dogmas that contains religious instructions for Muslims.
- Rights Of Women: Another misconception that the non-Muslims have with regards to Islam is that Islam is a religion that oppresses women. Muslim women have all the rights of their male counterparts.
- Social Justice: Islam is against asceticism and wants its followers to live in a society as humans are supposed to do, however, Muslims in society has certain obligations and rights.
- No Room For Violence: The religion that has the word ‘peace’ for its name can surely not encourage violence. Islam is against the use of violence especially when it comes to spreading the religion.
Muslims are those who believe in one God and in Muhammad as the final Prophet of God. Islam balances the spiritual dimension by emphasizing human responsibility. Human beings are created with a purpose. They devote their lives to the service of God, the Creator, and Sustainer of the universe. Since Islam is a universal religion, it is easy to become a Muslim. Allah says:
مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا
“Not is Muhammad (the) father (of) any one of your men but (he is the) Messenger (of) Allah and Seal (of) the Prophets. And Allah is of everything All-Knower.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:40)
Pillars of Islam
There are five pillars of Islam:
- Shahada (Testify)
- Salah (Prayer)
- Seyam (Fasting)
- Zakat (Charity)
- Hajj (Pilgrimage)
In Islam, there are six pillars of faith: Belief in Allah, His angels, His books to mankind, His Prophets and Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and Destiny.
- Belief in God (Allah): Islam teaches that there is one Unique God (Allah) who should be worshipped and obeyed.
- Belief in Mala-Eka (Angels): Muslims believe that Allah created unseen creatures such as Angels. Muslims believe in their existence, their names, their tasks, and descriptions as explained in the Quran and in the Sunnah (Teachings of the Prophet).
- Belief in the Books of Allah: Muslims believe that Allah from time to time revealed books to mankind through His Prophets.
- Belief in the Prophets of Allah: Muslims believe that Allah sent Prophets to all mankind as messengers for their guidance.
- Belief in Yawm al-Qiyama (Day of Judgement): Muslims believe that the life of this world and all that is in it will come to an end on one appointed day when everything will be annihilated.
- Qada Wal-Qada (Destiny, Divine Decree): Muslims believe that since the whole universe is entirely under the direction and control of Allah, then everything that is or that happens in this universe, from the smallest to the greatest event is governed by Allah.
إِنَّ مِنْ خِيَارِكُمْ أَحْسَنَكُمْ أَخْلَاقًا
“Verily, among the best of you are those with the best character.” (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari 3366)
In order to be a true Muslim and complete in belief, a Muslim has to believe in and practice the core fundamentals of Islam. The personification of these fundamentals can be seen in the personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), therefore, every Muslim must find guidance from His Sunnah.
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.” (Quran, 112:1-4)
- “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” (Quran 3:85)
- “And whatsoever the Messenger (Mohammed) gives you, take it, and whatsoever He forbids you, abstain from it.” (Al-Hashr 59:7)
- “We (God) have certainly sent down Signs that make things clear: and God guides whom He wills to the straight path.” (Quran 24:46)
- “Righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Scriptures and the Prophets.” (Quran 2:177)
- “Anyone who replaces [his] faith with disbelief has strayed away from the straightway.” (Quran, 2:108)
The word Islam means voluntary “Submission” or “Surrender” to the Will of God. It derives from the root word “salam,” meaning peace. In the Quran, God defines that the only purpose for which He created mankind is to Worship Him. Islam recognizes that humankind has free choice in whether to obey or disobey God, but ultimately we will be held accountable to God in the next life for the choices that we make in this life. Allah says:
إِنَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا
“Indeed, this, the Quran, guides to that which (is) most straight and gives glad tidings to the believers – those who do the righteous deeds, that for them.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17: 9)
Muslims believe that, at the end of time, all human beings will be resurrected to account for their deeds. Those who have performed righteous deeds will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven and those who have performed evil acts will be punished in hell.