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What is ISLAM?

Can we find an explanation of the great universe? Is there any convincing interpretation of the secret of existence? We realize that no family can function properly without a responsible head, that no city can prosperously exist without sound administration, and that no state can survive without a leader of some kind. We also realize that nothing comes into being on its own. Moreover, we observe that the universe exists and functions in the most orderly manner, and that it has survived for hundreds of thousands of years. Can we, then, say that all this is accidental and haphazard? Can we attribute the existence of man and the whole world to mere chance?

Man represents only a very small portion of the great universe. And if he can make plans and appreciate the merits of planning, then his own existence and the survival of the universe must also be based on a planned policy.

This means that there is a Designing Will behind our material existence, and that there is an extra ordinary power to bring things in to being and keep them moving in order. In the world there must be a Great Force in action to keep everything in order. In the beautiful nature there must be a Great Creator who creates the most charming pieces of art and produces everything for a special purpose in life. The deeply enlightened people recognize this creator and call him Allah 'God'. He is not a man because no man can create or make another man. He is not an animal, nor is He a plant. He is neither an idol nor He is a statue of any kind because none of these things can make itself or create anything else. He is different from all these things, because He is the maker and keeper of them all. The maker of anything must be different from and greater than the things which he makes.

There are various ways to know 'ALLAH' God, and there are many things to tell about Him. The great wonders and impressive marvels of the world are like open books in which we can read about ALLAH Besides, Allah Himself comes to our aid through the many messengers and revelations He has sent down to man. These messengers and revelations tell us everything we need to know about ALLAH.

The complete acceptance of the teachings and guidance of 'ALLAH' as revealed to His messenger Muhammad {PBUH} is the religion of Islam. Islam enjoins faith in the oneness and sovereignity of Allah, which makes man aware of the meaningfulness of the Universe and of his place in it. This belief frees him from all fears and superstitions by making him conscious of the presence of the Almighty Allah and of man's obligations towards Him. This faith must be expressed and tested in action. Faith alone is not enough. Belief in one Allah requires that we look upon all humanity as one family under the universal Omnipotence of Allah the Creator and Nourisher of all. Islam rejects the idea of chosen people. Making belief in Allah and doing righteous deeds is the only way to heaven. Thus, a direct relationship is established with Allah, without any intercessor.

Islam is not a new religion. It is, in essence, the same message and guidance which Allah revealed to all prophets. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, David, Moses, Jesus {PBUT}. But the message which was revealed to prophet Muhammad {PBUH} is Islam in its comprehensive, complete and final.

The Quran is the last revealed word of Allah and the basic source of Islamic teachings and laws. The Quran deals with the basis of creeds, morality, history and humanity, worship, knowledge, wisdom, god-man relationship, and human relationship in all aspects. Comprehensive teaching on which, can be built sound systems of social justice, economics, politics, legislation, jurisprudence, law and international relations, are important contents of the Quran Hadith, the teachings, sayings and actions of prophet Muhammad {PBUH}, meticulously reported and collected by his devoted companions, explain and elaborated the Quranic verses.

The Fundamental Articles of Faith in Islam

The true faithful Muslim believes in the following Principal articles of faith:

He believes in One God ' Allah', Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider.
He believes in all messengers of Allah without any discrimination among them. Every known nation had a warner or messenger from Allah. They were chosen by Allah to teach mankind and deliver His Divine message. The Quran mentions the name of twenty-five of them. Muhammad stands as the last messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of prophethood.
Muslim believes in all the scriptures and revelations of Allah. They were the guiding light which the messengers received to show their respective people the Right Path of Allah. In the Quran a special reference is made to the books of Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. But long before the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad {PBUH} some of those books and revelations has been lost or corrupted. The only authentic and complete book of Allah {God} in existence today is the Quran.
The true Muslim believes in the angels of Allah. They were purely spiritual and splendid beings whose nature requires no food or drink or sleep. They spend their days and nights in the worship of Allah. They are honoured servants, assigned certain functions, they do not speak before Allah does, and they act only by His command.
Muslim believes in the Day of judgement. This world will come to an end someday, and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to the Heaven of Allah, and those with bad records will be punished and cast into Hell.
Muslim believes Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah, has measured and ordained for all creatures according to his previous knowledge and as deemed suitable by his wisdom, and in the timeless knowledge of Allah and in His power to plan and execute His plans and nothing could happen in His Kingdom against his Will. His knowledge and power are in action at all times command over His creation. He is wise and merciful, and whatever He does must have a meaningful purpose. If this is established in our minds and hearts, we should accept with good Faith all that He does, although we may fail to understand it fully, or think it is bad.

The Five pillars of Islam
Faith without action and practice is a dead end, as far as Islam is concerned. Faith by nature is very sensitive and can be most effective. When it is out of practice or out of use, it quickly loses its liveliness and motivation power. There are five Pillars of Islam:

Shahadatain: To bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad {PBUH} is His messenger to all human beings till the Day of judgement. The prophethood of Muhammad {PBUH} obliges the Muslims to follow his exemplary life as a model.
Salah: Daily prayers are offered five times a day as a duty towards Allah. They strengthen and enliven the belief in Allah and inspire man to a higher morality. They purify the heart and prevent temptation towards wrong-doings and evils.
They are:

Salatu-l-Fajr {the early morning prayer}.
Salatu-l-Duhr {the noon prayer}
Salatu-l-Asr {the afternoon prayer}
Salatu-l-Maghrib {the sunset prayer}
Salatu-l-Isha {the evening prayer}

Zakah: the literal and simple meaning of Zakah is purity. The technical meaning of this word designates the annual amount in kind or cash which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. But the religious and spiritual significance of Zakah is much deeper and more lively. So it is humanitarian and socio-political value.
Sawm: The Muslims during the month of Ramadan not only abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset but also they are required to abstain from evil intentions and desires throughout the whole months of the year in general, and during the month of Ramadan in particular. It develops a sound social conscience, patience, unselfishness and will-power.
Hajj: {Pilgrimage to Makkah} It is to be performed once in a lifetime, if one can afford it financially and physically. It is the largest annual convention of Faith where Muslims meet to know one another, study their common affairs and promote their general welfare. It is a wholesome demonstration of the universality of Islam and the brotherhood and equality of Muslims.

"Every child is born in a state of Islam, then, his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian".

- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)



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