the path to peace
There is no denying how large a role and influence the religion of Islam has in the world today. But what exactly are the teachings of Islam?
In the west, where knowledge and inquiry are such cherished values, it is quite strange that there is so little information - especially from genuine primary sources - about the actual teachings and philosophy of this global faith that holds sway over one fourth of humanity.
The concept that Islam teaches about God and His relationship with mankind, is that in the same way that God has provided every physical and material thing needed for the nourishment and development of man, so too has God provided for the spiritual development of man. From the very first moment man was ready to receive divine revelation and guidance, God has been raising messengers among mankind, through whom God has been sending divine guidance on how to live and advance spiritually, and as a society.
According to Islam, after thousands of years of religions gradually evolving to successively more complete and refined stages, Islam is the apex of those thousands of years of spiritual evolution. Although it is now the fastest growing religion in the world, its origins are traced back to the desolate sands of Arabia, where a humble man was made to stand in God’s name for the restoration of belief in God.
The struggle of one hundred and twenty-four thousands prophets, from Adam to Noah, and from Moses to Jesus, was revived and taken forward by a man named Muhammadsa, who God had commissioned to fulfill the mission of all the prophets of the past and bring the long-foretold culmination of religion. God tells the Prophet Muhammadsa in the Holy Qur’an:
‘And we have not sent you except as a mercy to all of mankind’ (21:108)
Islam means peace and submission. It requires man to remove his ego and carnal desires in pursuit of God’s love, and the service of his fellow beings. A Muslim is taught to love Allah like a child loves his mother, and with this passion in his heart, he serves his fellow beings.
Muslims believe in one God, who refers to himself in the Holy Qur’an as ‘Allah’. The name Allah is the culmination of all the attributes of Allah; He Who is the Creator of the world, and who has furnished the universe with everything the creatures within it need for physical and spiritual development.
Muslims believe in all Holy Scriptures and Prophets before Islam. Being a Muslim entails believing in the Bible, the Torah, the Veda, and all other scriptures to be originally from God, and furthermore Islam requires Muslims to believe in all the prophets of God, including Moses, Jesus, Adam, Noah, Jacob, Abraham, Buddha, Krishna, and many more. All were spiritual children of God, chosen to communicate God’s teachings in accordance to the need of the time and the stage of spiritual development of the time.
The main objective of Islam is to bring all humans under the fold of unity, so that all can become one, working for the same common objective - the pleasure of God.
Islam does not discriminate between race, gender, age, or class, but rather focuses on the spiritual effort that is made by the believer, man or woman, slave or king. Islam promotes healthy dialogue and discussion between all, and boldly promotes the idea that “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:157), centuries before the modern era.
Islam is a complete code of life, and holds within it the answer to the idea which philosophers, scientists, and people like ourselves strive to answer in our daily lives: How can one attain contentment?
The answer is very clear:
“It is by the remembrance of Allah that the heart does find contentment.” (33:42)
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In order to be a Muslim, one has to know, believe, accept and sincerely apply the five basic principles (Pillars) on which Islam is based.
The Messenger of Allah – Prophet Muhammad said: Islam is based on the following:
Five pillars (principles):
Bearing witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah Observance of Prayer
Fasting during Ramadhan
Pilgrimage to the house of Allah
The five Articles of Faith
The five articles of Faith outline the fundamental tenets of the Islamic belief, particularly when it relates to Faith or “Imaan” and attaining nearness to God.
Belief in One God
Belief in all of his Prophets (Including Jesus, Moses, Noah, Krisna etc.)
Belief in all of his Books
Belief in all of his Angels
Belief in the Decree
Belief in the Day of Judgment
Belief in Allah - The One God
The belief in the One True God influences man’s life in all its aspects. It implies the negation of all else, but God. So belief in the oneness of God is not the end-all of belief, but all other beliefs spring from this fountain-head of eternal truth. This also delivers a message of liberation from all other yokes and releases man from all obligations except such as is born out of his submission to God. This article has been further elucidated from different angles, both in the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet(sa) of Islam. For instance, the declaration ‘There is no all-encompassing power except Allah’ opens up new windows for a deeper and wider understanding of Unity. It negates all fears other than the fear of God. The second part of the same brings to the focus of attention another very important aspect of Unity, i.e. that the power to achieve good is solely dependent on God and that He is Master of all sources of strength and energy. Hence while the first part relates to the negative aspects of power, the second part relates to the positive.
facts in islam
Belief in the Angels
The existence of angels is a universally accepted doctrine in different countries and different religions. However, they are sometimes discussed under other titles, the distinction being only one of nomenclature. Similarly, the nature of angels is understood differently among the followers of different religions. Islam speaks of angels as celestial beings of a spiritual nature who have their own entity as persons.
Belief in the Holy Books
Muslims are required to believe not only in the divine scripture revealed to the Holy Founder of Islam, which is called the Qur’an, but it is essential for every Muslim to believe in all such divine revelations as were vouchsafed to other prophets, from wherever and whichever age. It is an essential part of a Muslim’s belief that if anyone professes belief only in the divine origin of the Qur’an and refuses to acknowledge the divine origin of other books, such as the Old Testament and the New Testament etc., his profession of Islam would be invalidated.
Belief in the Prophets
The same philosophy as underlies the belief in all books also necessitates belief in all the prophets. The Holy Qur’an speaks of the many prophets who mostly belong to the Middle Eastern line of prophethood, beginning with Adamas up to the time of Muhammadsa.
Belief in the Day of Judgment
The belief in the Day of Judgment is the most emphasized doctrine in the Qur’an. No other revealed book draws such a vivid picture of the Day of Judgment as does the Holy Qur’an. According to the Qur’an, on the Day of Judgment this entire universe will come to an end. Then the dead will be resurrected and accounts taken of their deeds.
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