Islam is a natural and complete way of life. It encourages one to give due attention to their relationship with their Creator (God). It teaches that people find true lasting happiness and peace through being close to God, following His guidance and performing good deeds.
Muslims constitute approximately one-fifth of the world’s population, making Islam on of the largest religions. Belief in and worship of the One True God is the purpose of life and cornerstone of Islam.
The Arabic word “Islam” literally means “submission” to the One True God alone. One who voluntarily surrenders their will to God is called a Muslim, who can be from any racial or ethnic background.
A distinguishing feature of Islam, unlike many other religions, is that it is not named after a person or a tribe.
Allah is the personal name of the One True God.
“Allah” is the unique Arabic name of the One True God. Allah has no rivals, partners, equals, children or parents. He is not like His creation, as nothing shares His divine essence and perfect attributes. Some of His names include The Creator, The Most Merciful, The Most High, The All-Powerful, The Most Just, The All-Wise, The Sustainer and The All-Knowing.
He is the Creator and Sustainer of all, the One who has granted us countless blessings, such as our facilities of hearing, seeing and thinking, as well as the ability to walk, talk, and be productive. As such, we should acknowledge, thank and worship Him alone by following His guidance.
It is rational to conclude that such a complex and balanced universe is not possible by any other than a powerful and intelligent being. It is therefore illogical to believe that the universe created itself, or was the result of random or coincidental events.
Angels are made from light, have allocated tasks and never disobey their Creator. Details about a few have been revealed, such as Gabriel, who delivers God’s message to the Prophets and the Angel of Death, who takes the souls of people.
Allah sent divine revelation to His Messengers as a guidance and mercy to mankind. These include the Torah and Gospel as originally revealed to Moses and Jesus respectively and the Quran was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
The Quran is the literal word of God and the final revelation to all of mankind. There are many clear signs and miracles that it is from God, examples of which include:
Contains a simple, pure and universal message which appeals to Man’s inherent beliefs about Almighty God.
Contains a unique 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, historically, to be illiterate
Contains may scientific facts which have only been discovered recently despite being revealed 1400 years ago.
Preserved, word-for-word, since it was revealed in its original Arabic language, unlike other scriptures which have been distorted, change or lost.
The most rational explanation for the many unique and miraculous aspects of the Quran is that it can only be from God. Together with the authentic sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it is the primary source of Islamic knowledge.
Muslims believe that thousands of Prophets were sent by Allah, at least one to every nation, to convey God’s revelation. These Prophets include Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Joseph, Moses Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). Their mission was to return people to the worship of the One True God, to serve as practical examples of how to obey God, and to guide people to the path of salvation. Prophets do not share in any part of God’s divinity, and any type of prayer or worship towards the Prophets, or to God through them, is strictly forbidden and considered a violation of God’s right to be the worshipped alone.
Muslims believe that Jesus is an honourable prophet o God, born miraculously through his virgin mother Mary. He performed many miracles with the permissions of God, such as healing the sick, curing the blind and speaking as a newborn defending his mother from accusations. Although Muslims respects and love Jesus, they do not worship him. He is not considered the son of God, nor part o a trinity, nor does he share in any of God’s perfect attributes.
God says: “It is not befitting for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When he decrees an affair, He only says. ‘Be’ and it is.’’ Qur’an 19:35
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the final Prophet sent to all of mankind. He came with the Quran to demonstrate how its teachings should be applied and was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful and brave human being. As with Jesus, Muslims do not worship Muhammad.
The Day of Judgement is the inevitable event when each one of us will stand before our Creator and be questioned about out good and bad deeds. Every one of our actions will be announced for, regardless of size.
On this momentous Day, Allah, the All-Just, will settle all matters fairly and no person will be wronged. Everyone’s rights will be returned All will be treated justly, by either the reward of Paradise or the punishment of the Hellfire.
Allah knows everything from the past. The present, and anything that will occur in the future. He has power over all things- nothing occurs without His knowledge and permission.
Every person has been given the free will to choose between right and wrong and will be held to account accordingly.
Free will doe not contradict the fact that events can only occur with God’s knowledge and permission. Nor does it mean that God’s power over everything prevents or restricts people’s free will. God’s knowledge of people’s decisions does not mean that they are being forced to make such decisions, and God is not necessarily pleased with everything that He allows to occur.
Islam’s concept of worship is not restricted to only the five pillars. Worship is an all-inclusive term for any actions that are pleasing to Allah. Everyday activities can become acts of worship by purifying one’s intention and ensuring one’s actions are in line with God’s guidelines. Examples include smiling, being good to one’s neighbour, supporting one’s family, being honest, and even removing rubbish from the road.
The above-mentioned aspects o faith and acts of worship make up the essence of Islam. When practised, Islam fulfils the spiritual, physical, psychological and social needs of all people, and is a practical and rational way of life. Furthermore, it is the only way of life which is accepted by God Almighty, and the only path that leads to everlasting Paradise.
“Whoever does righteousness, whether made male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do” – Quran 16:97
Content sourced from http://www.discoverislam.co.za/