Reflect on Islam
The word Islām means the submission of one’s will to the one true God, and anyone who does so is called a Muslim. The word also implies peace, which is the natural consequence of total submission to the will of God.
Islām is a complete religion comprising both beliefs and laws:
Islām commands worshipping God alone and prohibits associating partners with God;
Islām commands being truthful and prohibits lying;
Islām commands justice and prohibits oppression;
Islām commands fulfilling trusts and prohibits acting treacherously;
Islām commands keeping promises and prohibits breaking them;
Islām commands kindness & good treatment of parents and prohibits disobedience to them (in that which is not sinful);
Islām commands joining the ties of kinship and prohibits severing them;
Islām commands good treatment of neighbours and prohibits causing harm to them.
In short, Islām orders alls that is good, from manners and morals, and prohibits all that is evil from them. Likewise, it orders all actions which are righteous and good and prohibits all actions that are evil and harmful.
"Indeed God enjoins upon you justice, kindness and the giving of good to relatives and near ones. And He prohibits you from all shameful and evil deeds, oppression and transgression. Thus He admonishes you, that you may take heed and be reminded." (Qur'ān, 16:90)
If you find yourself disagreeing with any of the points above, it may be that a distorted picture of Islām has been portrayed to you. So please read on and also check the website links on the sidebar.
The message of Islām, in a nutshell, is that "no one is worthy of worship except God, who is Uniquely One". This is true monotheism, as it tells a person who worships God and also another idol or human being that the additional worship of another entity is futile. Mankind should all be united as their Creator is One and their purpose of creation is the same.
Being united in our purpose of life is not merely about the unification of just a group of people. It is about all of humankind; irrespective of colour, race and any physical or psychological barriers that we have created between us. Belief in One God means that He is the Creator of all; the ones who have faith and the ones that do not. As God has power over all things, He can lead to His path one who is currently not on it, if He so willed. Therefore, if there is room (and ample sustenance) in God's world for those that do not believe in Him; then there is no reason why there should be hatred between human beings in the name of God.
God said in the Qur’ān:
"O mankind, indeed I have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you. Verily, God is All-Knowing and Well-Acquainted with all things." (Qur'ān, 49:13)
The message of monotheism and Islām is nothing new or recent; it has been around since the beginning of history as we know it. Some people may think that it was only 14 centuries ago that the message of Islām was first brought into this world by means of an Arab known as Muhammad (peace be upon him). But even before then, the same message of pure monotheism was preached by a man people nowadays know as Jesus (peace be upon him). Prior to him, there were Moses, Abraham, Joseph, Noah and many others (peace be upon them all). (See: Important People).
Realising the Correct Concept of God
The teachings of most religions are essentially good; promoting moral values. Thus, when it comes to maintaining and respecting the rights of all the creation, most religions do that well (although, the people claiming o be followers of that religion may not always exemplify this). But in following a religion, is it only important to be good or is it also important that the religion should realise the correct concept of God? Is it sufficient just to be good to all creatures or does the Creator have a right to be properly acknowledged? Islām places emphasis on knowing correctly who God is. Again, the correct concept of God should be that which appeals to the natural disposition of human beings. That is, what is logical and makes sense to us? E.g. does the notion appeal to our logic that there is only One God or many? Should a normal person be able to understand, in simple terms, who God is? Or should the concept of God be so difficult that a normal person is told: "don't worry about that, other more intelligent minds understand it and it makes sense, you just accept and follow!"?
"And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge..." (Qur'ān 17:36)
Think & Ponder
Islām encourages people to think, ask questions, ponder and marvel about the world. There should be no blind-following, as every individual is responsible for their own actions. The Qur'ān, God's Message to the world, contains numerous verses where we are asked to think, to consider, to contemplate, because the signs of God are all around us.
"And it is God Who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers, and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that, there are signs for those who reflect." (Qur'ān 13:3)
"Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from any other than God, they would have found within it much contradiction." (Qur'ān, 4:82)
The book that explains Islām (the Qur'ān) does not ask its reader to follow blindly. It asks the reader to consider, try to understand, try to contemplate from where it came. It even challenges the reader to find errors within it. Since, if the book truly is from God, and God is All-Powerful and All-Knowing, then His book cannot contain errors. It presents a message that has remained unchanged since it was first revealed. There are no revisions, alterations or updates. Only the original message in Arabic is the Qur'ān; when it is translated into any other language it cannot have the title of "Qur'ān". This is because the translation becomes an interpretation that is partly attributable to the translating ability of a human being. It ceases to be the pure word of God. Certain meanings, nuances and the rhythmic language is inevitably lost in translation, however, a good translation does help in understanding the true message of Islām. If one approaches the subject with a pure heart, then the true message of Islām will be one that is easy to understand and appeals to the Natural Disposition of humankind.
1 God has no gender, the pronoun "He" is only used for better readability.
2 Jesus is an anglicised name and the most widely recognised. In other parts of the world, he is also known as Yeshua, Yasu, Eesa (peace be upon him).
3 The translation of the meaning of the Qur'ān by Saheeh International is a good reference if you do not know Arabic. Click to view/download a free translation.
Did You Know...?
To say the word Islām correctly, the 's' must not be pronounced like 'z' and the 'a' is elongated. So it should sound like: "isslaam" (and not "izlam").
To say the word Muslim correctly, the 's' must not be pronounced like 'z'. So it should sound like: "musslim" (and not 'muzlim').
To say the word Qur'ān correctly, there must be a medial pause after 'Qur' and the 'a' is elongated. So it should sound like: "qur-aan". English example of medial pause occurs in the word co-operate.