‬ Introduction to Islam

Indeed Islam is the seal of all the divine messages that were previously revealed by Allah, it was sent  down upon the seal of his prophets and  messengers  Muhammad  the son of Abdullah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and it is the true religion and any other religion than it will not be accepted by Allah.

Indeed Allah has made it a simple and easy way of life not containing any difficulties or hardships, nor has He placed upon those who profess it that which they are not able to carry out and He has not burdened them with something they have not the capability to do. It is a religion, which has as its foundation at-Tawheed [i.e.: To single out Allah, as the only object of worship and this is known as “Tawheed al-Uloohiyah.”

Like wise to single Allah out in that which is specific to Him from His noble names and attributes is referred to as “Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat”.  And to single Him out in that which is related to His Lordship (i.e.: Him being the sole creator, governor of affairs and possessor of the creation) is referred to as “Tawheedar-Ruboobiyah”], honesty is its motto, revolving around justice, the truth being its backbone, and mercy being its soul and essence. It is that great and noble religion, which guides its worshippers to everything that is beneficial for them in their religious and worldly affairs and it warns them from everything harmful to them from religion and lifestyle. It is the religion that Allah, the most high has used to rectify by it creed and character, and has bettered (for those who adopt and act by it) their worldly life and their life in the hereafter.

He (Allah) has conciliated by it between the hearts that were once divided and united those splitby whims and desires and purified them from the darkness of falsehood and directed them to the truth, and guided them to the straight way. It is that religion, which is sound and exact, the pinnacle of precision in everything that it informs of and in all of its rulings. Thus it doesn’t inform us except with that which is correct as true, neither does it judge except with good and justice, with its correct belief system and sound acts of worship and virtuous moral standards and upright manners. Therefore the goal of Islam is to actualize the following :

1) To acquaint mankind with their Lord and creator, who possesses the most beautifulnames, lofty attributes and actions of perfection.To call the servants to worship only Allah who is alone and has no partners, bycarrying out that which is incumbent upon them from the commands and prohibitions where in there is rectifications and betterment for them in this life and the hereafter.
2) To remind mankind of their condition and destination after their death and that they shall meet, in their graves and upon their resurrection, their giving account (for that which they did in their lives) and their final outcome being either in Paradise or Hellfire.

It is possible for us to summarize that which Islam calls to with the following points:

First:  Al-Aqeedah (the Islamic system of belief)

That is to have faith in the six pillars of Iman (belief).

1. Belief in Allah, this is actualized with the following:· Belief in the Lordship of Allah. That He is the Lord, Creator, Possessor, and governor of all affairs.· Belief that Allah is the sole object of worship. That He is the one true god and everything that is worshipped besides Him is falsehood.· Belief in Allah’s names and attributes. That He has the most beautiful names and the most perfect and noble attributes as they occur in His book (i.e.: the Qur’an) and in the Sunnah (i.e.: the sayings, actions and approval) of His Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

2. Belief in the Angels :The Angels are the honorable servants (of Allah), that Allah the Most High has created. They have submitted to Him completely in obedience and He has commissioned various tasks upon them.Indeed from among them is Jibreel (Gabriel) who is commissioned which bringing down the revelation from Allah upon whom He (Allah) pleases from His Prophets and Messengers.  Likewise from among them is Mikaeel (Michael) the Angel commissioned with the rain and vegetation. And from among them also is Israfeel(Raphael) the Angel commissioned with blowing the horn on the Last Day and on the resurrection. And likewise from among them is Malak al-Mout (the Angel of death),commissioned with taking the souls at the time of death.

3. Belief in the books : Allah the Most Noble and Majestic, has revealed to His Messengers books containing guidance. Much of these good and righteous books we know of are:· The Tauraah (Torah), which Allah, the Most High revealed to Musa (Moses) and it is the greatest of the Books that were revealed to the Children of Israel.· The Injeel (Gospel), which Allah, the Most High, revealed to Eesaa (Jesus).· The Zaboor (Psalms), which Allah, the Most High, gave to Dawood (David).· The Suhuf (Scrolls), of Ibraheem (Abraham) and Musa (Moses), may peace be upon them.

The Magnificent Qur’an, which Allah, the Most High, revealed upon His Muhammad the seal of all the Prophets. And Allah abrogated by it all of the previous books, and He has vouched to protect it and because it shall remain to be a proof overall His creation until the last day.

4. Belief in the Messengers Allah has sent to His creation Messengers, the first of them being Nuh (Noah) and the last of them being Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).Indeed all of the Messengers were men and were created and they don’t possess any qualities of lordship. They are servants from the servants of Allah, the Most High,except that Allah, the Most High, has enabled them with preaching His Message.Allah has sealed the revelation with the Prophethood of Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and has sent it to all people, thus there will be no Messenger or Prophet after Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

5. Belief in the Last Day: It is the day of resurrection the like of which there will be no day after, wherein Allah will resurrect all of mankind and bring them back to life after their death, in order for them to reside either in a land of bliss or in painful punishment. Believing in the Lastday means to have belief in everything that comes after death from the trials of the grave: its comforts and delights or its punishment, and that which occurs after it like the resurrection and also the giving of account, and then the Hellfire or the Paradise.

6. Belief in the Qadr (predecree): Belief in Qadr is to believe that Allah has predecreed all happenings and brought about it based upon that which his prior knowledge dictated and that which his wisdom necessitated. All affairs therefore are known by Allah, the Most High, and are written with Him, and Allah has willed them and created them.

Second : The Pillars of Islam.

Islam is built upon five pillars and a person is not considered a true Muslim until heaf firms them and carries them out and they are:·

The First Pillar : To bear witness that there is no god that has the right to be worshipped in truth besides Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.This testimony is the key to Islam and the foundation upon which it is built. The meaning of this is that there is no deity that deserves to be worshipped except  Allah alone for He is the true God and every object of worship other than Him is falsehood. The meaning of the testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah is to believe in that which he informs of, and to obey him in that which he has ordered, and abstain from that which he has prohibited and warned against.·

The second pillar: The prayer

There are five prayers that are performed five times a day. Allah prescribed them in order to forge a bond between a Muslim and his Lord. Therein he obtains an intimacy with his Lord and he call upon Him and it is that which repels a Muslim from acts of lewdness and evil. A lot of good is built upon them (for the Muslim) in his religion and it constantly rectifies for him his faith and (brings about) Allah’s immediate and long term reward. The servant obtains by way of them, inner and physical tranquility and the likes of which brings him success in this life and the hereafter.·

The Third Pillar : The Zakah (poor-due). The Zakah charity is paid every year to those who are entitled to it from the poor and other than them by those who possess the wealth that attained what is known as“Nisaab” (A set amount dictated by Islamic law and is only considered and taken from one’s wealth when it exceeds his needs and is in his possession for the period of one year). It is not incumbent upon the poor who don’t possess the ‘Nisaab’, rather it is incumbent upon the rich as a perfection of their religion in order to develop and prefect  their state of affairs and character, and to repel them from any wrong concerning them and their wealth.  It is a purification for them of their sins, and a form of solace to the needy, and to carry out for them that which is in their all around good interest. And on top of all this, it is a very small amount to pay compared to that which Allah has given them of wealth and provisions.·

The Fourth Pillar : As-Siyaam (fasting). This occurs during one specific month of the year, the blessed month of Ramadan,which is the ninth month of the Islamic year. In this month Muslims come together and leave off their base desires from food and drink and sexual relations during the daylight hours from sunrise to sunset. Allah will in turn compensate them for it from His virtue and benevolence as a completion to their religion and their faith and in order to increase them in perfection and other than that from that which fasting contains from the good in this life and the next.·

The Fifth Pillar : Al-Hajj (Pilgrimage). It is to set out intending pilgrimage to the sacred house of Allah (known as the Ka’bah. It was initially built by Adam and its buildings was completed by Abraham and it is situated in the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia).  Allah made it incumbent upon those who are able to do so once in a lifetime.  During it Muslims from everywhere gather in the best location on earth, worshipping one Lord, all wearing the same (white) garb,  there being no difference between a leader and this subjects, the rich and the poor, white and the black.  All of them engaged with the specific rites (of Hajj).  From the greatest of them being the standing (for worship and supplication) upon mount Arafat to making circumbulation of the noble Ka’bah, the like of which the Muslims from everywhere turn towards in their daily prayers, and making the procession between the two mountains Safa and Marwa.  This too contains many great benefits connected to the religion and worldly affairs which are too numerous to be counted.

Third :

Indeed Islam has arranged the lives of those who adopt it, whether individuals or groups with that which will generate for them happiness and bliss in this life and the next. It has made marriage permissible for them and has encourage them to do so and has made illicit sexual conduct such as sodomy, adultery, fornication, and such typeof ugly acts prohibited. Islam has made joining the ties of kinship and showing sympathy and compassion to the poor and destitute and taking care of them compulsory upon the Muslims just as it has done so with all good conduct and mannerism, and has prohibited any type of lowly and vile conduct. It has made permissible for them good lawful earnings either by trade or leasing and the likes, while at the same time making usury unlawful and ever type of impermissible trade and everything containing fraud and deceit. Islam has observed the varying levels of the people in regards to being steadfast upon its way and has observed the rights of others. It has prescribed certain punishments as deterrents to those seeking to transgress against some of Allah’s rights such as those who commit apostasy, and illicit sexual conduct, and indulge in drinking intoxicants and the likes of such. Just as it has prescribed certain punishments as deterrents against the rights of people, such as murder, theft, slander or violent assault. These punishments are a form of retribution, which are relevant to these crimes neither exceeding the proper bounds nor being negligent of them.  Islam has also arranged and organized the connection between society and its rulers. It has made it incumbent upon those being ruled to obey their rulers in that which is in accordance with obedience to Allah, and it has prohibited revolting against the rulers because of that which is built upon such an action from evils, general and specific.  Thus, it is possible for us to say in conclusion that Islam comprises of that which will build and bring about the most sound and correct working link and connection between the servant and this Lord and between a person and his society in all affairs.  For certainly, there isn’t any good by way of mannerism or conduct, except that Islam has guided its followers to it and has encouraged it.  Neither is there any evil mannerism nor bad conduct except that Islam warns its followers against it and has made it prohibited.  Without  doubt this clarifies to us the perfect nature of this religion and it beauty in every aspect.