Islam, the religion of over 1.2 billion in the world, provides humankind with a unified view about the purpose of our creation and existence, our ultimate destiny and our place among other creatures. It is a way of life that is in complete conformance with nature, and with reason, logic and science.
The Arabic word,Islam, means voluntary surrender to the will of Allah and obedience to His commands.Allah is the Arabic word that Muslims use for God. A person who freely and consciously accepts the Islamic way of life and sincerely practices it is called a Muslim.
Oneness Of God (Tawhid)
This is the most important Islamic belief. It implies that everything in existence originates from the one and only Creator, who is also the Sustainer and the sole Source of Guidance. This belief should govern all aspects of human life. Recognition of this fundamental truth results in a unified view of existence that rejects any divisions of life into the religious and the secular. Allah is the sole source of Power and Authority and therefore entitled to worship and obedience from mankind. There is no scope for any partnership with the Creator. Tawhid teaches man that Allah is not born, nor is anyone born of Him. He has no son or daughter. Human beings, like the rest of creation, are His subjects.
Prophethood (Risalah) or Messengership.
Since the creation of the first human, Allah has revealed His guidance to mankind by sending prophets, who all called to the belief of One God. The prophets who received books from Allah are called messengers. Whenever the teachings of a prophet were distorted by people Allah sent another prophet to bring human beings back to the Straight Path. The chain of Risalah began with Adam, included Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Jesus, and ended with Muhammad (peace be upon them all), as the final messenger of Allah to all of mankind.
The revealed books from Allah are: the Torah (Tawrah), the Psalms (Zabur), the Gospel (Injeel) and the Quran. The Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)1, as the final book of Guidance. Among all these books, it is only the Quran that remains unchanged, in its original revealed form.
Life After Death (Akhirah)
This belief has a profound impact on the life of a believer by making them accountable to Allah. On the Day of Judgment we will be judged according to how we lived our lives. One who obeys and worships Allah will be rewarded with a permanent place of happiness and bliss in Paradise; One who does not do so will be sent to Hell, a place of punishment and suffering.
Five Pillers Of Islam
Acting correctly and sincerely on the five pillars transforms a Muslims life into one that is in harmony with nature and thus in conformity with the will of the Creator.It inspires one to work towards the establishment of justice, equality and righteousness in society, and the eradication of injustice, falsehood and evil.
1. Testimony (Shahadah), the first of the five basic foundations, is the declaration,knowingly and voluntarily, of La ilaha illal lahu Muhammadur rasulul lah. There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.This declaration is the basis of all actions in Islam, and the other basic duties follow this affirmation.
2. Compulsory Prayes (Salah) is offered five times a day. It is a practical demonstration of faith, and keeps a believer in touch with their Creator.The Salah develops in a believer the qualities of self-discipline, steadfastness and obedience to the Truth, leading one to be patient, honest and truthful in the affairs of their life.
3. Charity (Zakah) is a compulsory payment from a Muslims annual savings. It can only be spent on helping the poor, the needy, and the oppressed, and for the general upliftment of society. Zakah is one of the fundamental principles of Islamic economy, which ensures an equitable society where everyone has a right to contribute and share.
4. Fasting (Sawm) is the annual obligatory fasting during each day of the month of Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. One must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex, from dawn to sunset. Sawm develops a believers moral and spiritual standard and keeps them away from selfishness, greed, extravagance and other vices. Sawm is an annual training program that increases a Muslims determination to fulfill their obligation to the Almighty Lord.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj) is an annual event, obligatory on those Muslims who can afford to undertake it, at least once in their lifetime. It is a pilgrimage (journey) to the House of Allah(Al-Kabah) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. Hajj symbolizes the unity of humankind; Muslims from every race and nationality assemble together in equality and fraternity to worship their Lord.