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The Principles of Islam

The Meaning and Essence of Islam

The lexical meaning of Islam is submission, and adherence to the commands of Allah without objection. This is the true essence of Islam. By obeying Allah and observing His commands, the Muslim would be in harmony with the universe in which he lives, for everything in this universe abides by the commands of Allah.

It is an established fact that everything in this universe follows certain rule, and an unalterable law to which it submits; the sun, the moon, the stars, the night, the day, the land, the trees, and the beasts; all submit to a rule which Allah, the Creator, has designated for all these things. Even man himself, when you consider his physical construction, and biological compounds, his need for water and nutrition, heat, air, light, rest, or sleep you would find him submitting to a law under which he has no choice, just like other creatures.

This inclusive law to which everything submits, is the work of Allah, the Majestic King, to Whom belong the creation and the authority. Both of the upper and the lower worlds submit willingly to the Creator, the Capable King.

Due to the fact that the linguistic meaning of Islam is submission, and adherence without objection, Islam, from this point of view, is the faith of the universe. Man in this sense, does not differ from the other creatures. Since Allah, is the Creator and the Provider, He has given man the freedom of choice, and has shown him both, the path of guidance, and the path of deviation through the Messenger that He sent to mankind throughout the ages; the last of whom is Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Therefore, he who chooses the path of guidance of his own free will, and fulfills the duties with which he is charged, and refrains from the prohibition, then he becomes the legitimate Muslim.

As for him who chooses the path of deviation, neglecting the acts of worship, and committing the prohibitions, he is thus an unbeliever. Each of them will receive his requital on the Day he will meet his Rubb when the records of deeds will be displayed. Allah says:

So whoever does good equal to the weight of an ant shall see it and whoever does evil equal to the weight of an ant shall see it.

Based on this gift that Allah has granted man; which is one of the greatest, i.e., the freedom of choice, and after subjugating for him the land, the sea, the night and the day, Allah has commanded man to worship Him alone, and has forbidden him to ascribe partners to Him, and has promised him in return great rewards for his obedience.

Among the promised rewards are the following:

1. Allowing man to benefit from the signs of Allah that are scattered throughout the universe proving the fact that Allah is the true God Who deserves to be worshipped.

2. The ability to lead a fear-free life in this world, and to render sound his state of affairs. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "How wonderful is the believer's state of affairs. All his affairs yield good consequences. If he encounters a pleasant situation, he would show gratitude to Allah, and this response would be good for him, and if he experiences a distressing situation, he would endure it patiently, and it would be good for him. This applies only to the believer."

The believer knows that his duty in this world is to worship only Allah. Allah, has created the jinn and man only to worship Him. Allah does not seek provisions from them, nor does he ask that they should feed Him. It is He Who is The Provider, The Most Powerful.

The believer also knows that he will finally meet his Rubb on the Day of Requital. He also knows that he came into existence by the word of Allah who created him, cherished him, and bestowed upon him His favors, the seen and the unseen thereof, and He has subjected everything for him.

Allah says:

Do you not see that Allah has subjected for you what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, and that He has bestowed amply upon you His apparent and hidden graces

And Allah says:

Allah is the One Who has created cattle for you so that you may ride on some of them, and eat. the meat of some of them.

And Allah says:

Allah is the One Who has created the heavens and the earth, and Who sends down water from the sky, and brought forth thereby fruits as provisions for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail easily through by His command, and He has also made rivers to be of service to you.

And Allah says:

Do you not see that Allah has subjected for you everything in the earth.

3- The Muslim leads his life knowing that this world is not permanent, rather it is a transitory to the eternal life, and a supply station, and a starting point of a race to win the pleasure of Allah.

Consequently, the Muslim is content with whatever means of subsistence that become available for him in this world, knowing that such means are only a temporal pleasure.

4- The believer will, on the Day of Resurrection, win the pleasure of his Rubb, the only means of escaping the Fire and entering Jannah. Allah says:

He who is moved away from the Fire, and admitted to Jannah has indeed prospered, and the life of this world is but a deceiving pleasure.

After this short introduction, you may want to know more about Islam, the only religion acceptable to Allah. The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.

If anyone desires a religion other that Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the hereafter he will be among the losers.

What is the means of knowing the commands of Allah, and His laws? Regardless how much power, reason, or shrewdness man is given, he can never know the statutes of Allah, and His laws, commands, or prohibitions by employing such faculties. If man is unable to know what is in the mind of another human being, unless the latter expresses his thoughts verbally or practically, how would man, then, be able to know the intention of Allah, the Creator of the universe. Consequently, no one is able to make laws for the creatures except their Creator, the One who knows what is in their minds, and what is good for them, and what renders their affairs aright in the present and in the future.

It is only through the divine revelation conveyed to mankind by the Messengers who explained to their people the purposes of Allah and the means by which they may attain His pleasure. The last of those Messengers is Muhammad, son of Abdullah, the Hashemite, the last of the Messengers, peace be upon him.



KNOWING THE MESSENGERS

You have known that the Messengers are the men responsible for conveying the laws and commands of Allah. What are the means of recognizing the Messengers and the proofs of their veracity ‘?



Proofs of the Messengers' veracity

We have, after that, to recognize the proofs of Prophethood. Among such proofs of the Messengers' veracity are:

1- They do not seek anything for their personal interest, rather they seek things for the public interest by warning their people against what may harm them.

2- What the Messengers reported to their people about the unseen world, no one can conceive through his intellect, and yet the reality always verified their statements.

3- Every Messenger is supported by a miraculous sign that his people could not challenge or match. Noah, for example, challenged his people to kill him, yet they were unable to do so, although he was living amongst them without guards, surrounded by the disbelievers hatred. Similarly, neither the people of Ibraheem and Hood were able to harm them. Allah, the Exalted, supported Musa, peace be upon him, by making his cane to change into a snake whenever Musa wanted it to be so. While Issa, peace be upon him, healed the blind, and the leper, and revived the dead with the permission of Allah. Muhammad, peace be upon him, received the great Qur'an. Bearing in mind that he was unlettered, and did not study under the instruction of any person, yet his people were unable to produce a book similar to the Qur'an as a whole, nor were they able to produce ten chapters the like thereof. Finally, Allah challenged them to produce a single chapter similar to that in the Qur'an, but they failed to meet the challenge. Never will any one be able to do so.

Allah says:

If mankind and the jinn gathered together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they would never be able to do so even if they helped each.

Allah sent a Messenger to every nation, and supported him with a miracle that suited the nature of his people. And since Allah sent every Messenger with a Message concerning that particular nation, and because those Messages were not final nor permanent, those Messages faded away along with the nations to whom they were sent. But the Message with which Muhammad, peace be upon him, was sent is the last and perpetual. Hence, the miracles of the previous Messengers were, generally, of materialistic nature, whereas the Qur'an is an intellectual and scientific Miracle, thus to suit the human intellect throughout the ages.

Now that you have known the merits of recognizing the deen of Allah, Islam, what then is this Islam which Allah approves of, and accepts from His slaves? Let us explore Islam in detail. Islam as you have already known, means, submitting to the will of Allah, the Exalted with obedience. It means worshipping only Allah, ascribing no partners to Him. Islam consists of rites and actions fulfilled by man out of obedience to Allah, and in conformity with the Message of the Messengers, the last of whom is Muhammad, peace be upon him. Muhammad's set of laws conclude all previous divine laws. Any other laws that disagree with his are null and void, because they disagree with Allah's final and permanent legislation.

These rites express the iman, (faith) in the heart of the believer, for whatever is based on faith and certainty, externally or internally is the true deen of Islam. Islam is the means by which man acquires the pleasure of his Rubb, his Creator, and the means of salvation that delivers him from the torment of the Day of Resurrection.



Islam is based on five Pillars:

1- The testimony of faith:

"There is no true god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”.

The requirements of this Testimony is the submission and declaration that Allah is the true God, and that all other deities are false, and are not capable of neither harming or benefiting, nor do they deserve to be worshipped.

Allah is also the Ruler who has a free hand in the disposal of the affairs of the universe. People must rule by His laws and commands.

It is only the Book of Allah to Whom men should refer their disputes and affairs. Any judicial decision other that Allah's is a decision based on ignorance or pre-Islamic era, which entails injustice and deviation. All legitimate rites of worship must be dedicated to Allah alone.

Among other requirements of the Testimony of Faith is that no one should bow down, or lower his head humbly to anyone, nor supplicate another human asking him to fulfill his needs, for only Allah is capable of fulfilling man's needs.

As for the requirements of the Testimony: 'Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah', it entails recognition of Muhammad as the true Messenger of Allah. This Testimony also attests to his veracity, trustworthiness and infallibility in ...
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