What Is Islam?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

If you are someone interested in learning about Islam and you don’t know where to start, in shaa Allāh, you have come to the right article. We will strive to provide you initial tools to start your research and know the truth about Islam.

But, before we start, let us give you few disclaimers,

  • Guidance is ONLY in the Hands of Allāh and He Guides whom He Wills
  • If you are sincere in searching the truth (whatever it is), Allāh will not let you go astray
  • Know that Allāh Loves you to be guided, but it is your responsibility to search for the truth, and if you are guided, it is from His Favour and Blessings

Allāh

You may have heard “Allāh” a lot when you come across “Islam”, let me try to give you introduction of who Allāh is:

  • Allāh is the Lord of Everything
  • He created you, me, everything that is created, is created by Him
  • He created Adam with His own Hands
  • He sent many many prophets to this world for the guidance of humanity
  • All the prophets that were sent were humans
  • Allāh introduces Himself in His Book (Qur’ān, that we will talk about below)

    Allāh – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. [Qur’ān, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:255]

  • Allāh is the one who provides His creation, all the sustainence
  • The Sole Deity, no one beside Him deserves worship

Qur’ān

The Qur’ān is sacred book in the religion Islam (we will explain definition of Islam below). It was revealed, more than 1435 years ago, in Arabic language to the last and the final Messenger of Allāh . The original words of the Qur’ān are preserved as they were revealed. These are The Words of Allāh and not words of human.

This book contains (but not limited to):

  • Glad-tidings to those who believe in Allāh and His Messenger and submit his wills
  • Warnings and punishments to those who do not believe
  • Arguments by Allāh to those who disbelieve
  • Challenges of the Qur’ān to the disbelievers (these challenges still stand)
  • Many intellectual and textual signs of existence of Allāh , Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad and more
  • Legislations
  • Stories of the people of past, who believed and who disbelieved and their respective endings
  • Reasons of creation
  • Descriptions of angels, jinns
  • Why people go astray

Prophet Muhammad

He is Muhammad Son of Abdullah Son of Abdul-Mutlib from tribe of Quraysh. He is the last and the final Messenger of Allāh and there are many mentions of him in the old scriptures. Please refer to complete article on his prophethood and the evidences.

Shairah

This is one the most misunderstood word, thanks to media.

Shariah is Islamic legislation containing the laws and constitution revealed by Allāh , your Lord and my Lord. It contains laws regarding all the matters and it is indeed most JUST law. If you study the shariah rulings and law, you will understand that there is no way the religion of Islam is a man-made religion and you will understand that Allāh is most JUST. You will also understand that only people who will hate this law are the corrupt people, who want to keep the society corrupt to fulfil their own desires.

Jihaad

This is another very misunderstood word, again, thanks to the media.

Jihaad means struggling and striving for the betterment of one’s self or other people. This concept can be understood in four points:

  1. A person strives against his desires. This involves refraining from sins, striving to do good deeds and excelling in them
  2. A person strives to spread the message of Islam to save people from hell-fire and eternal punishment. This person, under Islamic ruled land, will fight those disbelievers who prevent him in doing so.
  3. A person or group of people strive against the oppression and fight back to protect their wealth, honour, family, religion etc. (e.g, Afghanistan, Syria)
  4. A person strives to fight the disbelievers, because of their corruption in the land ── this is also done under Islamic leader.

It’s worth mentioning here that we do not agree with what various terrorist organisations are doing in the name of Islam and we do not shy away in saying that whatever they are doing is not according to the Islamic principles. And anything that is not according to Islamic principles is not accepted by Allāh .

Islam

Religion Islam is the only religion accepted by your Lord and my Lord. Why? because this is the only religion sent by Allāh . All the prophets, from Prophet Adam to Prophet Muhammad , came with one message,

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allāh and avoid Taghut.” [Qur’ān, Surah An-Nahl, 16:36]

Islam comprises of 5 things:

  1. Testimony, which implies you firmly believe in oneness of Allāh, you accept all the Prophets came with truth and Prophet Muhammad is last and final Messenger. This also implies that you do not associate any partner, son or daughter to Allāh
  2. 5 Daily Prayers, which are obligatory on all the Muslims, men and women
  3. Fasting The Ramadan, Ramadan is ninth month of Islamic calendar and all the capable* Muslims are obliged to fast from sunrise to sunset throughout this month
  4. Obligatory Charity, All the capable* Muslims are obliged to take 2.5% of their wealth on which one year has passed and give it to poor and needy
  5. Performing Major Pilgrimage, All the capable* Muslims are obliged to perform major pilgrimage to the sacred place, Makkah, following the traditions of Prophet Abraham

* There are rulings around what is capability is, these rulings are out of scope of this article

These are basic obligations of Islam and there are other things that every Muslim is obliged to do/refrain, e.g,

  • Basic humanity stuffs (e.g, no stealing, no lying, no cheating, etc)
  • Being modest (men and women)
  • Abiding by the law, e.g, not drinking alcohol, no sex outside the marriage
  • Be extremely nice and good to their parents
  • Continue to perform jihaad (see above)
  • Always have taqwaa ── which means avoid sins and continue to do good keeping in mind he does not skip Allāh’s Perfect Sight
  • Not hating anything of Islam that they don’t understand, e.g, polygamy ── in fact hating anything of Islamic legislation puts a person outside the pale of Islam
  • Hating everything that Allāh is displeased with, e.g, same-sex marriage
  • Not involving in terrorist activities and sticking to the principles of Islam

Articles can be written on each of the topic above, especially in this era, where being modest is seen as backward thing.

Islam also means to affirm faith in six things:

  1. Allāh
  2. His angels
  3. His Books
  4. His Apostles
  5. The Day of Judgement
  6. Divine Decree (good and evil)

Each of these points are big topics of Islam and you can learn them by reading Islamic Creed Series

Conclusion

A true Muslim is the one who understands and implements the Islam in it’s true form and not in deviated form. Islam is and will be preserved till the end of time.