Wednesday, June 6, 2007

How far do we understand about ......

What is Al-Islam?

"This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion, yet fear them not, but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your religion." (Qur'an 5:3)

The Meaning of Islam

The term Islam is from the Arabic word (أسلم) which means surrender, obedience and submission.
Technically, it has two meanings : a broad meaning and specific one.

i.Broad meaning :

Generally speaking, Islam is the submission of our will to the almighty Allah and following only the divine will of Allah in order to obtain peace and happiness for individuals and societies.
The submission to the almighty Allah is done through observing His orders and refraining from the forbidden deeds.

In this way, Islam is an attributive tittle. Whoever possesses this attribute regardless of his race, community, country, or clan is a Muslim.

Islam its broad meaning is the religion of Allah that was revealed to the previous prophets before Muhammad (saw). It includes all the previous religions revealed by Allah (swt) to the mankind, such as Judaism, Christianity and others.

Allah (swt) Told us that Ibrahim (as) was a Muslim .

“ Ibrahim was not a Jew, nor a Christian but he was an upright man who had surrendered to Allah ( a Muslim ), and he was not one of the polytheists.” (3: 67)

When his Lord said unto him: Surrender ! ( be a Muslim ) he said : I have surrendered to the Lord of the worlds.”(2: 131)

According to this verse, Ibrahim was a Muslim and also recommended Islam for his children. And the same was done by his son Yaakub (as)

The same did Ibrahim enjoin upon his sons, and also Yaakub (saying) : O my sons! Surely Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion: therefore die not save as you are Muslims.” (2: 132)

Or were you witnesses when death come to Yaakub, when he said to his sons: What will you worship after me? They said: We will worship your god and the god of your father Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one Allah only, and to him do we submit.” (2: 133)

ii. Specific meaning :

Islam, in its specific meaning, is the religion revealed by Allah to mankind through His last prophet Muhammad ( saw). There are many opinions of the scholars about the definition of Islam, which can be concluded that, on the whole, it only has one meaning.

Among the definitions that we are going to discuss are:

First definition:

“Islam is that you admit that there is no God except Allah and prophet Muhammad is His messenger, establish solat, pay the zakat, fast during Ramadhan, and go for the Hajj to those who have the ability to do it” From this definition we can see that Islam has five pillars. They (the pillars) are the foundations for other deeds/actions.

Second definition:

"Islam is submission and obedience towards the commandments (order & forbiddance) of Allah".
“If anyone desires a religion other Islam (submission to Allah) Never will be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be ranks of those who have lost”

Third definition:

" Islam is the system of perfect life that comes from Allah that He commanded His messenger (Muhammad) to convey it to mankind. Those who follow his teachings will receive rewards and those who disobey the teachings will be sinful”
“The religion before Allah is Islam (submission His Will).”

Fourth definition :
Islam is the true answer to these 3 following questions:
i. Where did we come from?
ii. Why were we sent to this world?
iii. And lastly, where will we return (after death)

For the answer to question one, let us observe what Allah says about it.
Allah says:

“O people, worship your guardian Lord, who created you and those who come before you, that you may come righteous. Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy, and sent down rain from the heavens, and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance, then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth) (2: 21-22)

“Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay);(12) Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed;(13) Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the Best to create! (14)” (21: 12-14)

For the second question:

“I only creat jinns and men, that they may serve me” (51: 56)

And for the third question:

"The return of you all is to Allah: it is He that wil inform you of all that ye do” (5:105)

In conclusion, from the four definitions :
All the four definitions have the same meaning, that is:
i. Have faith in Allah and his messenger
ii. Accept the teachings of Islam with conviction that the teaching s of Islam are perfect and complete.
iii. Practice the teachings of Islam in one’s life – this makes him/her an obedient and pious Muslim. He not only believes and accepts Islam but also practice it in his life.

Islam , The Way of Life

Essentially, religion is a set of beliefs that regulate and give meaning to one’s life. It is a set of ideals which answer the age old questions of human soul, “Why I am here, and what part is the part I play in relation to my Creator (Allah) and to His creation.”

Islam takes the position that to worship anything or anyone other than one’s Creator, is the gravest of sins. The Creator (Allah) fashioned the human being from the earth and breathed into him” of his spirit”. Thus, making him the crown of creation.

It should be mentioned that Syaitan , the arch enemy of man, is ever diligent in his quest to seduce and delude the human being away from worship of Allah (swt). And it is every human being struggle (jihad) to seek refuge with Allah (swt) and to strive with might and main to worship Him and give the glad tidings and to relate the merciful revelation of al-Quran.

“He said (Syaitan): “Because thou hast thrown me out (Of the way) , lo! I will lie in wait for them on Thy Straight Way.” (7: 16)

In conclusion, Islam is a complete way of life. It is something very comprehensive and inclusive of all aspects of all life. A true muslim not only seeks to practice ordinary rituals but also to perfect all aspects of his life.

Allah (swt) has made this very clear in the following verse :

Say : Truly my prayers and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, all are for Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds. He has no partner. This am I commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him).” (6 : 162-163)

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