Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
We human beings have mind, soul and body. We live as individuals and in families and communities. We are confronted with life and death. We need a religion that satisfies all our needs and answers all our questions and quarries.
As Muslims, Islam satisfies our minds and souls and takes care of our physical needs. Islam brings balance between our individual needs and our social and collective concerns. Islam provides success, felicity and happiness in this life and salvation in the eternal life.
Islam is the religion that is based on the true natural disposition orFitrahof human beings. Islam presents in the most authentic form the same religion that Allah gave to all His Prophets and Messengers.
Islam offers to humanity:
1-A clear, simple, sound and profound belief system presented in an authentic Book and by the life and example of a noble, perfect and historical Person.
2-A balanced action plan, with well-documented and clear principles that are suitable for all times and places.
3-A universal outlook with a worldwide community of faith and brotherhood.
4-A clear and practical vision for success and happiness in this life and a true promise for success and salvation in the Hereafter.
Let us take each of these points:
1-Clear, Simple, Sound and Profound Belief System:
In his Introduction to George Sale’s English translation of the Qur’an published in 1734 Sir Edward Denison Ross writes:
“The central doctrine presented by Muhammad to his contemporaries in Arabia, who worshipped the stars; to the Persians who worshipped Ormuz andAhriman; the Indians who worshipped idols; and the Turks who had no particular worship, was the unity of God, and the simplicity of his creed was probably a more potent factor in the spread of Islam than the sword of theGhazis. It is an amazing circumstance that the Turks, though irresistible in the onslaught of their arms, were all conquered in their turn by the faith of Islam and founded Mohammedan dynasties.
The Mongols of the 13th century did their best to wipe out all traces of Islam when they sacked Baghdad, but though the Caliphate was relegated to obscurity in Egypt, the newly founded empires quickly became Mohammedan states.” (p. Vii)
a- Oneness of Allah: This is the most logical, rational and spiritual belief. It is simple, yet ultimate truth and desire of all human beings. Islam teaches that Allah isOne, the Lord, Master, Creator with Most Beautiful Names and Attributes.
b- The Message of Islam is presented in a Book, the Qur’an. This book is most authentic and beautiful. Nothing in this Book is proved false. Its message is clear and always fresh and contemporary.
c- With the message and the Book there is a human personality who is not mythological but historical. He was the ideal human being who lived the message and presented it to the people in the most beautiful and loving way.
2-Balanced Action Plan:
This action plan takes care of the individual, family and society. Its guidance is comprehensive, practical and balanced. It guides:
a- In the matters of worship - to establish deep and loving relationship with Allah.
b- In ethics and morality - it teaches discipline, moderation, virtue and
c- Laws and rules - it gives rules that are practical, dynamic and progressive. The rules are not rigid. They are practical and their purpose is not burden but felicity.
Islam is not racist or ethnocentric. It teaches that all human beings are equal. It removes the barriers of nationalism, color, caste or language. It is against all discriminations and prejudices. It teaches justice for all people. It teaches peace and tolerance, freedom of opinion and expression. Islam establishes a worldwide community of faith and brotherhood.
4-Success Here and Hereafter:
Islam wants its followers to be happy and successful in this world. Islam is not pessimistic, morbid or ascetic. Allah Almighty says:(Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus doWeexplain the Signs in detail for those who understand. Say: The things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to Allah, for which He hath given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which ye have no knowledge)(Al-A’raf7: 33-34)
And Allah says about the Salvation in the Hereafter:(Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls!despairnot of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful)(Al-Zumar39: 53).
He Almighty also says:(So set thy purpose (O Muhammad) for religion as a man by nature upright the nature (framed) of Allah, in which He hath created man. There is no altering (the laws of) Allah's creation. That is the right religion, but most men know not)(Ar-Room 30: 30).