Islam

Islam

Saturday, 27 February 2021

7 Qualities of Islam That Make It So Appealing

 


What makes so many people choose Islam? And what makes them stick to it despite every obstacle – opposing relatives, social stigma, loss of wealth, even risk of life? What makes them live it every day and never get fed up of it?


Now when I look back, I can see what was missing – the light of knowledge hadn’t entered my world yet. When it did, it was like daybreak after a long, dark night. I could see things in ways I’d never done before. It was then that I really embraced Islam completely, rationally and emotionally.Although I was born in a Muslim family, I didn’t take my faith seriously until later. I knew how to pray, but actually doing it five times daily seemed a bit too much.

Here are some of the things that I have found the most appealing about Islam.

1- Islam is as Old as Humanity

Islam isn’t a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It has always been the true religion from Allah, and it explains everything from the creation of humanity to its ultimate destination.

Every prophet was sent to teach Islam, even Moses and Jesus, though their followers later separated into different sects and corrupted the religion.

The Quran describes how the earlier prophets used to preach to their people, and the essence of their message is one and the same. 

The Quran says about Ibrahim (peace be upon him):

Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists. (3:67)

2- Islam isn’t Selective

You don’t need to belong to any particular race or possess any special qualities to embrace Islam. And once you become Muslim, the only criterion that will determine your worth compared to any other Muslim is your level of taqwa (being mindful of Allah in everything you do).


3- Islam Welcomes You No Matter How Much You’ve Messed up

This means that a new convert, a born Muslim, and an Islamic scholar are all worth the same to Allah if their level of taqwa is the same. So are a village farmer, a millionaire and a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself.

Many of the most celebrated companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to be his open enemies, torturing and killing his followers. Then they accepted Islam, and the Muslim community embraced them as if their crimes had never happened.

No matter how great a mess we’ve made of our lives, Allah’s love and forgiveness are always greater. Once we repent and decide to change, all the mess is wiped away from our records, leaving it as clean as it was the day we were born.

4- Islam Resonates with Nature

Allah has designed this beautiful world with perfection. Everything obeys Him and runs precisely according to His plans. It’s only humans and jinns who have the ability or audacity to disobey Him. And when they do, they create chaos in this perfect world.

But we can choose not to create chaos, to be in harmony with the rest of the world.

We feel serene and happy when we are out in nature watching the trees, the clouds, the birds and the mountains. That’s because there is something inside us, our fitrah or innate nature, which, having the same Creator, resonates with the rest of the world.

Islam is the religion prescribed by that very Creator, and so it too resonates with our innate nature. (See Muslim and Quran, 30:30) We instinctively recognize it when we see it, like an old friend we’d forgotten about.

5- Islam Makes Sense

Unlike other religions, Islam encourages you to think and ask deep questions. The Quran boldly challenges people to think about difficult concepts that other religions smother behind the fa├žade of the obligation to believe.


6- Islam Gives Meaning to Your Trials

Islam never says, “Just believe.” Instead, it tells you why you should, why it makes sense to believe.  It doesn’t dismiss your questions; it respects them and gives answers. And since it is the true religion from God who is the most knowing and the wisest, it is perfectly logical and appeals to the human intellect.

Why do bad things happen in life? Why do I have to suffer pain? Why did I have to lose my job or fail my exam? How can my own kids abuse me when they are grown up? Why did my loved ones have to die?

These sorts of questions can become persistent and uncontrollable voices in our minds, affecting our psychological health. Some people try to drown these voices by constantly distracting their minds with work, entertainment or chemical depressants. Others decide that the only way to get rid of them is to take their own lives.

Islam shields you from these psychological vultures by giving meaning to your trials. You get rewarded for every pain, even a thorn-prick or a mosquito bite.

Your definitions of success and failure completely change. Failing in something can be equivalent to success if it draws you closer to Allah. You know that your plans failed because Allah has planned something else for you, and that His plans are better.

You believe that Allah is the wisest and cares about you more than your parents, and so bad things must happen for your benefit even if you can’t understand it at the moment.

You know that Allah is the Most Just and won’t let people get away with abusing you. When you live your life for His sake, you no longer do things for people and don’t mind when they return your smile with a slap.


7- Islam is for Your Benefit

Death is no longer the end of existence, but only an intersection of stages in the journey of life.

Why does Allah want you to pray?

When I was a kid, I was told that I must pray five times a day, and if I don’t then Allah will punish me.

But that’s not how the Quran approaches the topic. This is what it says:

  • Prayer restrains you from outrageous and unacceptable behavior. (Quran, 29:45)
  • Remembering God gives peace to the heart. (13:28)
  • If you remember God, He will remember you. (2:152)
  • Prayer is the first characteristic which separates the successful from the losers. (23:1-258:19)
  • When the people of hellfire will be asked why they ended up there, their first reply will be, “We were not of those who prayed.” (74:42-43)

In short, if you read the Quran, you get a balanced picture of what prayer means, how it benefits you and what you stand to lose by leaving it.

And that’s only one law of Islam. Every single obligation or prohibition in Islam is for your benefit.

When you give charity, it purifies your soul and your wealth. When you stay away from Allah’s prohibitions like alcohol and smoking, it protects your bodies and minds from chemical damage. When you get married and guard your chastity, you protect your psychological health and social harmony.

The purpose of Islamic law is to make your life easy in this world and the hereafter. The more you learn about Islam, the better you come to realize this. And the harder you hold on to it.

(From Discovering Islam archives)

3 Easy Steps to Prepare for Ramadan

 

We are only about 6 weeks away from Ramadan inshAllah. We need to start preparing for this month! Here are 3 easy steps to prepare for Ramadan!

We need to prepare well for Ramadan and that means starting from now. We always enter Ramadan full of energy and motivation. We have intentions to accomplish so much but half way through we are burnt out. The reason for this is because we didn’t approach Ramadan properly.

We should slowly build up and prepare for Ramadan. Firstly, we need to decide our goals for this Ramadan. Grab a pen and paper, sit down and make a plan. What do you want to achieve this Ramadan? How do you want to spend your Ramadan? How do you want to come out of this Ramadan? Make sure your goals are realistic.

Secondly, start applying your goals. Don’t wait until Ramadan until you start applying your goals. If you want to read 20 pages a day of Quran and you are not reading any at the moment, start reading a page a day. As it becomes a part of your routine, it becomes easy for you to keep up with when Ramadan comes.

Thirdly, make lots of dua. Set your intentions from now and keep making dua to Allah to allow you to reach Ramadan. - aboutislam.net

Friday, 19 February 2021

9 Virtues of Reciting Quran

 


No other world scripture shares the unique features of the Quran.

Every other holy book is a collection of wisdom and teachings of their religious leaders gathered over time. It is not known who compiled it and how.

The Quran, on the other hand, is a book that claims to be from the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It is a book that was not collected and edited over time by unknown authors.

Since the entire book is from God, taught to the Prophet Muhammad and handed over to us in its entirety, certain chapters and verses have associated rewards and blessings that Prophet Muhammad has attached with reciting them. The Prophet has mentioned rewards of reciting the Quran, memorizing it, and following its teachings.

The Prophet has informed us that for reciting one letter of the Quran, we get the reward of ten good deeds. It should motivate us to learn to recite the Quran in its original Arabic. It is doable and many people have done it.

One Letter of the Holy Quran is 10 Good Deeds

The messenger of Allah said:

Whoever reads a letter of the Book of Allah will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a tenfold reward. I do not say that Alif Laam Meem is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter (i.e. it is equal to three letters). (At-Tirmidhi)

Some people will undoubtedly find difficulty in learning to recite the Quran in Arabic. After all, they will have to get familiar with certain letters and learn how to pronounce them.

Whoever Recites The Holy Quran with Difficulty has Double Recompense

Prophet Muhammad said:

A person who recites the Quran and reads it fluently will be in the company of the obedient and noble angels, and he who reads the Quran haltingly and with difficulty will have a double recompense. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

One of the first chapters of the Quran you should have memorized is Surah al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Quran that is recited in every single rak’ah of prayer.

Surah Al-Fatihah, Most Superior Surah

Abu Sa’id says that while he was praying, the Prophet called him but he did not respond to his call. Later Abu Sa’id said:

“O Allah’s Messenger! I was praying.”

He said:

Didn’t Allah say: ‘O you who believe! Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Messenger when he calls you?’ (8:24)

He then said:

Shall I not teach you the most superior surah in the Quran?

He said:

(It is) ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds’ (i.e., Surah al-Fatihah) which consists of “Seven Repeatedly Recited Verses” and the Magnificent Quran which was given to me. (Al-Bukhari)

Ayah al-Kursi Provides Protection from Allah

The second chapter of the Quran following Surah al-Fatiha is Surah al-Baqarah. It also happens to be the longest chapter of the Quran. 255th verse of this chapter is called Ayah al-Kursi (verse of al-Kursi).

Abu Huraira recalls that Allah’s Messenger ordered him to guard the zakah revenue of Ramadan. Then somebody came to him and started stealing of the foodstuff. Abu Huraira caught him and said:

“I will take you to Allah’s Messenger!”

Then Abu Huraira described that that person said to him:

“Please don’t take me to Allah’s Messenger and I will tell you a few words by which Allah will benefit you. When you go to your bed, recite Ayah al-Kursi, for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn.”

When the Prophet heard the story he said to me:

He (who came to you at night) told you the truth although he is a liar; and it was Satan. (Al-Bukhari)

Last Two Verses of Surah al-Baqarah

The Prophet said:

If somebody recited the last two verses of Surah al-Baqarah at night, that will be sufficient for him. (Al-Bukhari)

Surah Al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imran are Two Lights

Describing the second and third chapters of the Quran, the Messenger of Allah said:

Read the Quran, because it will intercede on behalf of its people on the Day of Resurrection. Read the two lights, al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imran, because they will come in the shape of two clouds, two shades or two lines of birds on the Day of Resurrection and will argue on behalf of their people on that Day. (Musnad Ahmad)

Surah al-Kahf is Tranquility

There is a special surah of the Quran that comes almost in the middle of the book called Surah al-Kahf.

A man was reciting Surah al-Kahf and his horse was tied with two ropes beside him. A cloud came down and spread over that man, and it kept on coming closer and closer to him till his horse started jumping (as if afraid of something). When it was morning, the man came to the Prophet, and told him of that experience. The Prophet Muhammad said:

That was ‘tranquility’ which descended because of (the recitation of) the Quran. (Al-Bukhari)

Surah Al-Kahf is Protection from the Anti-Christ (Dajjaal)

The Prophet said:

Whoever memorizes ten verses from the beginning of Surah al-Kahf will be protected from the Anti-Christ. (Muslim)

Surah al-Kahf is a Shining Light

The Prophet said:

Whoever reads Surah al-Kahf on Friday, will have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next. (Hakim)

Source: http://www.islamreligion.com/

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Can Muslims Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

 


Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives. However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day.


Regarding the Islamic stance on this festival, Dr. Su`ad Ibrahim Salih, Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) at Al-Azhar University, states the following:

Expressing love in Islam

Indeed, Islam is the religion of altruism, true love, and cooperation on that which is good and righteous. We implore Allah Almighty to gather us together under the umbrella of His All-encompassing Mercy, and to unite us together as one man.

Allah Almighty says: {The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy.} (Al-Hujurat 49:10)

Focusing more on the question in point, I can say that there are forms of expressing love that are religiously acceptable, while there are others that are not religiously acceptable.

Among the forms of love that are religiously acceptable are those that include the love for Prophets and Messengers. It stands to reason that the love for Allah, and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) should have the top priority over all other forms of love.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Hence, commemorating that special day known as the Valentine’s Day is an innovation or bid`ah that has no religious backing. Every innovation of that kind is rejected, as far as Islam is concerned. Islam requires all Muslims to love one another all over the whole year, and reducing the whole year to a single day is totally rejected.

Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives. However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day.

Hence, we Muslims ought not to follow in the footsteps of such innovations and superstitions that are common in what is known as the Valentine’s Day.

No doubt that there are many irreligious practices that occur on that day, and those practices are capable of dissuading people from the true meanings of love and altruism to the extent that the celebration is reduced to a moral decline.

Allah Almighty Knows Best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Dr. Su`ad Salih
Professor of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) at Al-Azhar University

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Rajab Is Around… Season of Goodness Starts

 

Every year, when the month of Rajab arrives, I recall the supplication: “O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha`ban and enable us to witness and observe Ramadan.”[1]

It is high time for everyone to re-think and assess his or her readiness for the blessings of Allah in the upcoming blessed months, Rajab, Sha`ban, and Ramadan.

In his Fayd al-Qadir, the great scholar al-Minawi says,

“Ibn Rajab said that the (above-mentioned) hadith proves the recommendation of du`aa’ for an extended life until one reaches the good blessed times of goodness.”[2]

In Blugh al-Amani, Ahmad al-Banna says,

“The Prophet’s du`aa’ for barakah (Allah’s blessings) in these three months indicates their high position and great merits.”[3]

A Muslim should seize the chance and spare no effort to bring himself or herself closer to Allah in this season of goodness.

Rajab: Gateway to Ramadan

Throughout the year’s months, a Muslim leaves no stone unturned in order to attain Allah’s blessings. With the start of Rajab, we look forward to the ultimate blessings of Ramadan. Rajab, therefore, is an important station and gateway to Ramadan. As one of the sacred months, Rajab enjoys special merits and blessings.

Observing voluntary fasting in the sacred months, including Rajab, is recommended. Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Mujibah al-Bahilyyah that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to her father or uncle,

“Observe fasting for some days in the sacred months and leave fasting for other days.”

He (peace and blessings be upon him) said this three times, folding three fingers of him and then unfolding them each time. The Prophet’s using three fingers here is meant to assert his recommendation of fasting during these months, and not to indicate the number of the days to observe fasting therein.

Hence, observing fasting, as well as other good deeds, in Rajab is generally praiseworthy like doing so in the rest of the sacred months.

Sha`ban: Countdown to Ramadan


An-Nasa’i reported that Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “I have never seen you offer fast in a month as much as you do in Sha`ban.” The Prophet said,Upon the commence of Sha`ban, our hearts yearn for the long-awaited guest, Ramadan. As the great month of Sha`ban falls between Rajab and Ramadan, it is recommended that we should devote ourselves to engage in extra devotions.

“It is a month people disregard that is between Rajab and Ramadan. In that month deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds, so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.”

Sha`ban is the time for the final preparations before Ramadan. Among significant acts that one may do in Sha`ban are fasting, particularly in the first half of Sha`ban, reciting the Qur’an, engaging in dhikr, and preparing for Ramadan.

There are authentic hadiths about the virtue of fasting during Sha`ban, among which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A’ishah (may Allah be blessed with her) who said,

“Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe fasting (continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast.

And I did not see Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than in Sha`ban.”

The hadith indicates that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast many days in Sha`ban that `A’ishah (may Allah be blessed with her) said in another narration, “He [the Prophet] used to fast (almost) all of Sha`ban; he used to fast Sha`ban except for few (days).”

Ramadan: The Ultimate Goal


The month of Ramadan is the peak of this season of blessings. It is the field of competition for those aspiring to ascend the high ranks of Paradise:Living until the month of Ramadan is a great favor and blessing of Allah. Ramadan is the month of great blessings, forgiveness, and mercy. Its blessings start with the first night and continue throughout the whole month.

When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

To conclude, we are now in the course of good blessed times. We have to seize these days to bring ourselves closer to Almighty Allah by doing as many of good deeds as we can and avoiding all prohibitions. Every good deed counts. In one beautiful hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says:

Do not belittle any good deed, even if it is just to meet your fellow Muslim with a cheerful face.” (Muslim)

May Allah accept all our good deeds, ameen.

-aboutislam.net


[1] Though scholars classify this hadith as weak (da`if), we could learn from it a good du`aa’ for Allah’s blessings in these months, namely, Rajab, Sha`ban, and Ramadan.

[2] http://www.saaid.net/Doat/Zugail/57.htm, accessed on May 21, 2013.

[3] Ibid.

Monday, 1 February 2021

What Does Hijab Mean to You? What the Audience Have Their Say!

 


Nine years ago, World Hijab Day was marked for the first time, on February 1st, in recognition of millions of Muslims who choose to wear hijab and modest clothing.

Since then the day has become an annual event that allows non-Muslims to support Muslim women, in addition to understanding and experiencing what it is like to wear hijab for a day.

At AboutIslam.net, we decided to ask our female audience what hijab means to them. The vast majority of them maintain that hijab is a command from Allah.

The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” Al Qur’an, 33:59. Allah has given us specific instruction to dress modestly and to hide our beauty to strange men.

Hijab is seen as a sign of oppression to many in the West. This is how the media wish to stereotype Muslim women: weak, oppressed females who are submissive to the men in their family. This is not correct whatsoever. When one takes the time to research and look into Islam, they will find that Islam gave women their rights over 1400 years ago.

What’s more, men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah. They have different roles and responsibilities in society and in the family. Yet, they will be rewarded equally for the good deeds that they do and the piety they show.

Hijab in Other Religions

Covering is an act of piety in all religions. Think of Christianity, think of nuns, think of how they cover. It is no different to Muslim women who wish to cover their bodies and their hair in hijab.

Siobhan O’Brien, a member of our About Islam Supporting Convert’s group makes this point perfectly: “I tell Muslims how hijab makes me think of the Virgin Mary. I know wearing hijab makes a lot of sisters feel close to Maryam who was the greatest woman of her time.”

Maria Green, another member of the group also reflected on how she loves covering herself for her own protection.

“My hijab is me not only for modesty but my protection from the world of preying eyes, for Allah yes and also for me. I love covering and wouldn’t have it any other way now. Islam is beautiful.”

Hijab is a journey for sisters in Islam. For some, it is easy to wear and feel comfortable with. For others, it can be a challenge and many have obstacles that they have to overcome. But it is a test for all Muslim women.

I Love Islam from our Facebook page, highlighted how hard it could be to wear in a non-Muslim country. “I find it to be difficult sometimes when you live in a community that have no Muslims or few Muslims Alhamdulilah for everything ya Rabb!”

Nia Rankin from our About Islam Supporting Convert’s group has started to feel a sense of pride identifying as a servant of Allah over time.

“Over time I’ve started to feel a sense of pride in publicly identifying as a servant of Allah and in doing my best to be a good representative in my interactions with Muslims and non-Muslims. I’ve discovered that hijab is not only for us but also it’s a great opportunity to let our Akhlaaq be a form of dawah.

“May Allah bless all of our sisters who are in varying stages of this journey and make it easy for them. Ameen.”

What Does Hijab Mean to You? AboutIslam Audience Have Their Say! - About Islam

Protecting Women

We live in a world that is full of hyper-sexuality, where the perfect woman has to be slim, with a good figure, showing off that figure, hair and her beauty.

And whilst many believe this is a woman’s choice, if she wishes to do that, Muslim women strongly believe that they are entitled to cover their beauty and body. This should not be demonized by the press as being oppression. On the contrary, just as it is the right for a woman to wear little, it is the right for a woman to cover.

There is something so beautiful about covering one’s body. It empowers the woman to choose who she wants to see her beauty and her body and who she doesn’t. That is not oppression. That is a blessing. Hijab is a blessing.

Hijab makes people know the women behind the veil rather than what her body looks like or how beautiful she is.

At the end of the day, many of our sisters in our audience feel that hijab is a blessing to them and they are proud to wear it.

Karima Foster from our Facebook page feels proud that it identifies her as a Muslim: “I wear my hijab proudly. It identifies who I am as a Muslim.”

Maha Azam from our Facebook page states that wearing hijab was her best decision. “Wearing hijab was my best decision.”

These are the opinions of a few Muslim women, but many others will identify with these comments. Hijab is not a sign of a weak, oppressed woman. On the contrary, it is sign of a strong woman, proud that she is a Muslim and proud that she is following the command of Allah.

About Nichola Taylor
Nichola Taylor: BA (HONS) European Studies with German language. Social Media Editor of About Islam and mother to my beautiful little girl. - aboutislam.net

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Discover the Many Beauties of Islam

 


What do you consider to be a beauty of Islam?

I asked this question to dozens of my revert friends, and everyone had various things they found beautiful about Islam.

I got numerous replies to my question, and I would like to share the most common answers.

So, what do people find beautiful about Islam?

Let’s find out!

Simplicity of the Concept of God

Tawheed in Islam focuses on the oneness of Allah, with no intermediaries to repent to unlike in Catholicism where you confess your sins to a priest, or ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins.

Say, “Who is Lord of the heavens and earth?” Say, “Allah.” Say, “Have you then taken besides Him allies not possessing [even] for themselves any benefit or any harm? (13:16)

Allah is not born, nor does He have offspring, nor needs to fulfill any human desires such as eating, drinking … etc. Allah is the personal name of the One True God. Nothing else can be called Allah. “Allah” cannot be made plural. He is ONE, and is All Hearing, and All Knowing of all things.

Allah tells us about Himself, so that we are not left to question Him:

Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent. (112)

Clear Concept of Worship

Islam is a complete way of life, and thus requires believers to follow the Quranic and Sunnah teachings in all matters, including how to worship. Islam regulates human life on all levels including but not limited to: the individual, social, political, economical, and the spiritual aspects of life. All activities are forms of worship, as long as they are done according to his guidance and instruction.

Allah has told us how to worship Him, and gave Prophet Muhammad the revelation, and made him the perfect teacher for us. Our ways of worship are clearly defined in the Quran and Sunnah.

We are not left wondering which way we should worship, because anything that is added to the religion in matters of worship is rejected as an innovation. If we worshiped however we please, we would find people making statues, and believing that only imams are qualified to “talk to Allah”.

Worship is an all encompassing term for everything that Allah loves of our sayings and actions that are following His guidance.

Personal Relationship with Allah

Each and every individual has a personal relationship with Allah. No mediators to speak on our behalf, and if we are in need of something, we ask Allah directly. It is a personal matter, and no one else has the ability to interfere with your life, and your relationship with your Creator. Allah is most merciful and is more loving and kind than a mother to her child. His love cannot be compared to another for His creation.

Muslims do not require a hierarchy of priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes to converse with Allah. We speak as individuals, directly to Him!

Allah is so close with each of us, that He knows what we are thinking. This means He knows when we are thinking of Him, and He responds to us directly, although we may not recognize His response to us. He tells us:

And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein. (50:16)

The Quran – A Guide for Mankind to Live by

The Quran is divine revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as an instruction manual for us that tells us how to live our lives. Islam is a way of life, and none is worthy to tell us what is good or harmful to us other than Allah, after all He did create us, and He knows best, and even tell us so:

…And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings. (16:89)

Agreement with Human Logic

…I have created My servants as one having a natural inclination to the worship of Allah but it is Satan who turns them away from the right religion… (Muslim, 2865)

Islam is often referred to as the deen al-fitrah, the religion of human nature, because its laws and teachings are in complete harmony with the natural inclination of humans to believe in and submit to the Creator.

All humans are born in a natural state of submission to Allah, but become misguided to believe and worship as believers of another religion. If we resort back to that natural state, then we are in a state of Islam.

Purification of the Heart and Soul (Tazkiyah)

Islam nourishes the heart and the soul. Purifying ourselves is easily accomplished by reading and contemplating the meanings found in the Quran and Sunnah, and holding to the five pillars.  Prayers wash away our sins.

Equality and Respect

Islam teaches mankind to be respectful of all people on Earth, regardless of their skin color, social status, etc. Allah tells us that no one is greater than the other except in piety.

Balance

Allah makes it clear in the Quran when He told past nations to avoid extremes, because it results in changing the religion from what He gave us.

Say, “O People of the Scripture, do not exceed limits in your religion beyond the truth and do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way. (5:77)

Islam is balanced in all things: belief, worship, conduct, and legislation. This is the straight path which is distinct from all the others. Balance is not only a general characteristic of Islam, it is a fundamental landmark.

The Prophet Muhammad teaches us that Islam is a middle path, which we are supposed to remain upon instead of leaning towards one extreme or the other.

Ruined, were those who indulged in hair-splitting. He (the Holy Prophet) repeated this thrice. (Muslim, 2670)

Imam An-Nawawi commented that this referred to those who were excessive in utterance and action, resulting in loss of this life and the Hereafter.

Brotherhood & Sisterhood

The connection between the believers is a strong bond that should never be broken. We must respect and honor our brothers and sisters in Islam, and when they face hardships, we are all responsible to relieve them. Muslims should consider each other as a single unit as the Prophet explained:

A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.” The Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced (while saying that). (Bukhari, 2446)

Elevated Status of Women

Before the revelation of the Quran, women were subjected to unfair treatment by man, and Islam raised the status of women, giving them roles and rights that were previously unheard of.

Before Islam, women were transferred like property, taking the names of their husbands as a sign of “ownership”. Women were not allowed to hold positions of authority, to own property, to vote, and many other things. It wasn’t until after Islam that women were lifted to have a status in society.

Equality

Islam grants equality to mankind in more than one form. Islam declares that all people are equal, regardless of their skin color, nationality, ancestry, rich or poor, or even male or female. They can only be viewed differently based on their piety.

If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. (4:124)

Prophet Muhammad stated in his last sermon:

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.

Charity for the Poor

Islam implements a poor tax (zakah) that is due from every Muslim that has the means to pay it.  Islam is a mercy on the poor by not requiring them to give a prescribed amount, if they are unable to provide for themselves, and make them qualified to be the receivers of the poor due.

Muslims also have an optional charity (sadaqah) that is not obligatory, that is given to the poor, and can be given to any cause worthy of assistance. All forms of charity bless the giver with rewards from Allah in this life as well as the hereafter.

Blessings of Fasting

Fasting is a deep act of personal worship to God in which Muslims seek to raise their level of God-consciousness. It is a special act of worship because it is a purely secret sacrifice of an individual, that only that person and Allah knows is done, and can’t be done to show off, because only they know if it is upheld or not.

The act itself redirects the heart away from worldly things and activities and towards the remembrance of God. It is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer and doing of good deeds.

Fasting improves one’s self-discipline, self restraint and generosity. It reminds the believer of those who are less fortunate and instills mercy and empathy into their hearts for others.

Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years. (Al-Bukhari 2840)

Islam Has a Solution to Every Problem

In Islam, there is a solution to all problems we might encounter in either the Quran or the Sunnah, but it is up to us to seek those solutions out. Allah promises us in the Quran:

…Whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.  And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. (65:23)

May we all find the inner beauties of Islam, and implement them in our lives, and open the minds and hearts of all non-Muslims to the glory of Islam.

Ameen.

-aboutislam.net