What is Islam?
January 01,2018 - Published 3 years ago
The word 'Islam', in Arabic, means submission and peace. As a term, 'Islam' refers to the Message which was revealed to Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ , the One Creator, and a 'Muslim' is the one who believes in whatever is revealed to Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . In contrast to other religions, Islam has not only taught us the worships, rather it gives us a unique and comprehensive ideology that guides the human being in each and every step of their life. Islam sets its rules and limits and it is based on a creed or doctrine which is not manmade but is God-gifted. The creed or doctrine of Islam is the threshold for entrance into Islam. Without true aqeedah in his heart, a person cannot attain the real fruits of Islam. The creed or doctrine of Islam provides easy, correct, and comprehensive answers to the questions related to the existence of a man and the universe around it. It tells about the beginning as well as ending of this universe and also tells the reason for the existence of man. In this way, the Islamic creed solves the basic mystery of the nature of the existence of man and guides the man in properly spending his life. The main reason for the success of the Islamic creed by its implementation on a large scale, it provides a practical implementation of its rules and there are not only theoretical ways of its explanation.
Islam provides a complete and comprehensive system for the guidance of human beings to spend their life. In the life of a person, there are three types of relationships and Islam guides us for all these three categories. These three types of relationships involve:
- The relationship between man and his creator
- The relationship with himself such as his personal affairs
- The relationship with his society
Creed of Islam (Aqeedah)
What is the creed of Islam? It is the collection of ideas or thoughts which tell about the existence of man and the universe. The Islamic creed is unique and it’s necessary to believe and adopt it. This creed does not contain uncertainty in any idea or thought and it is absolute, cannot be changed. The few fundamental ideas of Islamic creed are as follows:
The first is that the world is created by a creator, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ who is absolute, unlimited, independent, One, and has neither a beginning nor an end. The second idea of Islamic creed is that Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ sent Prophets for the guidance of humanity and Hazrat Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ is the last Prophet sent by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . The third fundamental idea involved in Islamic creed is that Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ revealed books on his Prophet and the Holy Quran Pak is the last book revealed by Him, consisting only the word of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . The revelation of Holy Quran is one of the miracles of Holy Prophet Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ.
Along with these fundamental beliefs of Islam, one must believe that Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will raise the dead bodies of all of us in the day of judgment, the day after the destruction of this world, and He عَزَّوَجَلَّ will give the reward of our deeds done by us in this world. The reward of good deeds will be Heaven and the reward of bad deeds will be Hell. Heaven (Jannah) is the House adorned by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ for pious people having countless blessings while Hell (Dozakh) is the House full of fire where disbelievers will remain forever. There are angels created by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ who always remain busy in the worship of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ specified their tasks such as Hazrat Jibril عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام delivers the message of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ to his Messengers. The angels are creations free from sins.
Five Pillars of Islam (Arkan e Islam)
After the entrance in Islam by believing these basic and fundamental ideas of the creed of Islam the first bondage established is the relationship with the creator, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . The perfect and proper way to make a relationship with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is the worship. The means of worship is obedience. The worship in Islam is the collection of tasks or rituals done by man ordered by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ gave the man complete guidance for His worship through the revelation of the Holy Prophet and Holy Quran. These sources tell us how to establish our relationship with our creator, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . The five basic things to do as worship in Islam are the five pillars of Islam, having their importance as pillars are important in a building. If the pillars of a building are strong then the building is strong and long-lasting similarly if one is doing these worships with their real soul then he will be strong in his relationship with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . These five pillars of Islam are as follows:
- The utterance of the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ that Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ is the Messenger of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ . This is the basis of Islam in its entirety.
- The establishment of the prayer by the individual and the community with all of its rules and prerequisites.
- The payment of Zakat, an annual financial obligation paid by Muslims on specific wealth or capital they possess, exceeding a specific limit, to categories explained in the revelation.
- Fasting during the month of Ramadan,
- The pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) once in a lifetime for those with the means to do so.
These five basic worships are obligatory to do for every Muslim and these are the sources for earning the pleasure of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
Islamic System (Shariah)
Islam, as a revelation of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ , guides the human beings with accurate knowledge through a system. The system of Islam is called Shariah. The Shariah is a set of rules and regulations given to humanity by Islam as guidance of life affairs. The Shariah includes all the rules regulations terms and conditions which a man needs in his life such as how to read Namaz or how to fast. Not only has this but it guided the man in his personal life such as how to live along with society and how to earn money. The Shariah is formed by the collection of orders given by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ through Quran and Sunnah. The acts done by Muslims according to the Shariah with good intentions are called the acts of reward (sawab) and the acts which are contradicting the Shariah are sins. The sins done by Muslims can be removed from their book of deeds through repentance.
Isa عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام and Other Prophets
Islam orders to follow the orders of Holy prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ and also orders to believe in the Prophets revealed and came to the earth for the guidance of human beings before him. It is a misconception that Muslims do not believe in the Prophet of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ , Hazrat Isa عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام. Muslims believe that Isa عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام was the Prophet of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and he was not God or the son of God. His honorable mother lady Mary (Maryam) رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ is considered a virtuous and noblewoman and the Holy Quran tells us that Isa عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام was born without father miraculously.
Holy Places in Islam
The city where our Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ was born and lived most of his life. This is the city where Muslims go for the Hajj. The most amazing important and central figure in Makkah city is Kaaba. Muslims offer their prayers in the direction of Kaaba. It is believed that Kaaba is the first place to be built on earth.
The city where Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ moved his ministry after migration from Makkah. Medina is the city where the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ is buried.
The city where Masjid Aqsa is built. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ mentions the blessed city in Holy Quran. It was the first qibla of Muslims. Our Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ visited the city during his night journey called Meraj.
Festivals in Islam
Islamic New Year starts from the month of Muharram and ends with Zulhajj tul Haram during the year the major festivals celebrated by Muslims are: Ashura, Eid Milad Al-Nabi, Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, and Shab e Bara‘at.
On the tenth of Muharram, the Day of Ashura is celebrated every year. This day is the day of remembrance, most of the famous incidents held on this day in the Islamic history such as the Shahada of Imam Hussain رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ in the field of Karbala.
Eid Milad al-Nabi:
In the third month of Muslim calendar named as Rabi ul Awwal, Muslims celebrate the birthday of their Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ. This occasion is called Eid Milad Al-Nabi. It is celebrated on the twelfth day of this month. Muslims present the gifts of Darood, Salam, Naat and other good deeds to Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ.
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is Ramadan and it is considered the most important month among the months of the Islamic calendar. In this month Muslims fast. This is a spiritual month in which Muslims try to do more and more good deeds during its days and nights.
On the first day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims celebrate the Eid ul-Fitr. This is a reward given by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ to fasting people in the month of Ramadan. This is the most important festival for Muslims. Muslims celebrate this day by praying to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ , meeting other Muslim brothers, giving charity to the poor.
It is celebrated in the last month of the Islamic calendar. It is the second most important Islamic festival. On the occasion of this Eid Muslims offer sacrifice in the remembrance of the sacrifice done by Hazrat Ibrahim عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام of his son Hazrat Ismail عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام. This Eid is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah.
Important Nights in Islam
The important nights in Islam are the night of Ascension (Shab-e-Meraj), the night of power (Laila-tul-Qadar), and the night of salvation (Shab-e-Bara’at).
The Night of Ascension (Shab-e-Meraj)
Laila-tul-Meraj (The Night of Ascension) is observed on the 27th of Rajab (7thIslamic Month). The Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ was taken on a journey in one night from Makkah to Bait-ul-Muqaddas (Jerusalem), from there to the heavens and beyond. He صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ was also given the honor to behold Almighty Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ that night and Salah was made obligatory on the same night. Muslims spend this whole sacred night in prayers and worship and seek the blessings of this holy night.
The Night of Power (Laila-tul-Qadar)
Laila-tul-Qadr (The Night of Power) occurs on the 27th of Ramadan according to the most authentic opinion although opinions vary regarding when exactly this night happens. Laila-tul-Qadr has been declared superior to 1000 months in the Holy Quran. Almighty Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ states:
لَیْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَیْرٌ مِّنْ اَلْفِ شَهْرٍؕ (۳)
“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.”
This is also a very blessed night that is spent in worship and prayers by Muslims all across the world.
The Night of Salvation (Shab-e- Bara‘at)
Laila-tul-Bara’at (The Night of Salvation) is the night of 15th Shaban (8th Islamic Month). This night is considered very crucial by Muslims as the registers of deeds are replaced with new ones on this same night and matters for the whole next year are decided. Almighty Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ states in the Holy Quran:
فِیْهَا یُفْرَقُ كُلُّ اَمْرٍ حَكِیْمٍۙ(۴)
“During it are distributed all the works of wisdom.”
During this night after Maghrib Salah, 6 voluntary Rak’ah of prayers are offered by Muslims to seek Allah’s forgiveness, increase sustenance and prevent calamities. Observing voluntary fast on the day of 15th Shaban has also been encouraged in Ahadith.
Hijab is to veil or cover. It is an Arabic word used to refer to a woman's scarf. It literally means a barrier. It does not mean to cover only the head, while the rest of the body remains somewhat exposed to gazes. Hijab means covering the face, head and rest of the body modestly dressing so that the body and its curves are not visible. Hijab and lowering of gaze are not only for women but men are also required to dress modestly and to lower their gaze in the presence of women. Men must lower their eyes, dress modestly and avoid a situation where there is the slightest chance of becoming sinful and committing fornication of the eyes.
Rites and Rituals
Islam allowed a man to celebrate different occasions of happiness in his life. Islam guides in celebrating different rites and rituals of a person’s life from his birth to death. The birth rituals in Islam include circumcision and Aqiqa; the marriage rituals include the Nikah and Walima.
Islam commands all Muslim male children to be circumcised. This is a Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام. Today science has come to recognize the many benefits of circumcision.
It is the sacrificing of an animal at the birth of a child. As per the sweet Sunnah of Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ, it is usually celebrated on the seventh day of the child’s birth, and it is done out of thankfulness to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ His grace. The meat of the animal is distributed among relatives and poor people and consumed by the family as well.
It is a Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ. The Nikah is the bondage of a man with a woman for spending their life together. In Islam Nikah is organized in a simple way.
Walima is the name of invitation from the groom to his friends and family after his marriage. This is a gathering where people gather at a meal. There is no use of music and any other sinful act in any of the celebrations of Islam.
Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife at a time. In Islam, a man is allowed to have more than one wife in fact, up to four wives at a time. Before Islam, men gave themselves the right to marry an indefinite number of women, and they typically did not do justice to any of them. Islam limited the number of wives to four and restricted men to marry no more than this number. However, a man is only allowed to do so when He is able to do justice to them and treat them equally. This is a brief explanation about Islam and if you want to learn more about Islam you can contact us.
May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ make us true Muslim and enable us to learn Islamic teachings!
ما شاء اللہ عزّوجلّ yeh hai hamara islam