Islam is a message directed to men as a whole, not to his mind, soul, body or heart alone, but to all of them together because simply it is from who created him. Islam is the religion of the almighty Allah and his regime which He approved for His worshipers and believers, and He revealed to His prophets to convey it to the people. “The true religion with Allah is Islam. The People of the Book adopted many different ways rather than follow the true way of Islam even after the knowledge of truth had reached them, and this merely to commit excesses against one another. Let him who refuses to follow the ordinances and directives of Allah know that Allah is swift in His reckoning.” (3:19)
Islam came with a call to love, to goodness, to charity, and righteousness, because it regulates all worldly relationships within these facts. As mentioned in the Holy Quran: “Serve Allah and ascribe no partner to Him. Do good to your parents, to near of kin, to orphans, and to the needy, and to the neighbour who is of kin and to the neighbour who is a stranger, and to the companion by your side, and to the wayfarer, and to those whom your right hands possess. Allah does not love the arrogant and the boastful” (4:36) These noble verses are enough to explain to us the Islamic concept of relations between humans and between them and Allah SWT.
The Islamic civilization saved the world from the darkness of ignorance, backwardness, and moral and ethical collapse that prevailed upon the world several decades before. Islamic civilization derived its origins and tributaries from the Holy Quran and the purified Sunnah,
then, by its openness to all peoples on earth. For instance, Islam does not differentiate between colour, gender, or religion. All these beautiful attributes have the distinctive characteristics that qualified it to occupy the position of leader in the world, this is what we see from the life of a Muslim, and the reason is very simple it’s because Allah SWT is the one who created man and sent down with him a law that protects him.
Therefore, Islam is not only prayer, zakat and fasting, but it is morals, values and dealing, and this is evident in the Holy Qur’an, as the percentage of verses related to morals is 75%, and the percentage of verses related to worship is only 25%, and this indicates that Islam is a way of life that spreads love, peace and its daily greeting is Peace be Upon You, which carries meanings that revives souls, strengthens relationships, arranges priorities, and spreads goodness, security and safety.
Islam cares for the individual from his birth until his death, washing and shrouding him, and then burying him in the whiteness of his morals and the purity of his heart. How beautiful a person can become when Islam adopts Islam in a way by which he lives and breathes from it and spreads love, peace, security, and safety. What we desperately need nowadays especially during the current Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic is to live in a peaceful and secure atmosphere with ourselves, with the family and with society, and this will not be achieved in light of this Pandemic crisis except by surrendering our affairs to Allah the Almighty and draw from Him SWT the spiritual energy that alleviates the Corona crisis, and achieves social solidarity that gives life a meaning full of love and tranquillity.
The concept of life is understood in many different ways nowadays, whereas life is simply a brilliant demonstration of Allah’s wisdom and knowledge, a vivid reflection of His art and power. He is the Giver and Creator of life. Nothing comes to existence by chance, and nobody creates himself or anybody else. Life is a dear and cherishable asset, and no sensible or normal person would like to lose it by choice. Even those who feel so desperate and take their own lives by committing slow suicide, try in the last minute to regain their existence and wish to capture a second chance to live. Life is given to man by Allah SWT, and He is the only one Rightful One to take it back: no one else has the right to destroy a life. That’s why Islam forbids all kinds of suicide and self-destruction and recommends patience and good faith when a dear soul passes away. When a murderer is executed in punishment, his life is taken away by the right of Allah SWT and in accordance with His law.
When Allah SWT gives life to man, it is not in vain that He endows him with unique qualities and great abilities. Nor is it in vain that He charges him with certain obligations. Allah SWT means to help humans fulfil the purpose of life and realize the goal of existence. He means to help us learn the creative art of living and enjoy the good taste of life according to the Divine guidance. Life is a trust from Allah SWT, and us humans are the trustees who should handle His trust with honesty and skill, with mindfulness of Allah SWT and with consciousness of responsibility to Him.
Life may be likened to a journey starting from a certain point and ending at a certain destination. It is a transitory stage, an introduction to the Eternal Lite in the Hereafter. In this journey man is a traveller and should be concerned with only what is of use to him in the Future Life. In other words, he should do all the good he can and make himself fully prepared to move any minute to eternity. He should consider his life on this earth as a chance provided for him to make the best of it while he can, because when his time to leave comes he can
never delay it for one second. If his term expires, it will be too late to do anything about it or extend it. The best use of life, therefore, is to live it according to the teachings of Allah SWT and to make it a safe passage to the Future Life of Eternity. Because life is so important as a
means to an ultimate end, Islam has laid down a complete system of regulations and principles to show man how to live it, what to take and what to leave, what to do and what to shun, and so on. All men come from God, and there is no doubt that they shall return to Him. In one of His comprehensive statements Prophet Muhammad wisely advised man to consider himself a stranger in this life or a traveller passing by the world.
Throughout history religion has been abused and misunderstood. Some people use it as a means of exploitation and suppression, as a pretext for prejudice and persecution. Some other people use it as a source of power and domination over the elite and the masses alike. In the name of religion unjustifiable wars have been launched, freedom of thought and conscience has been oppressed, science has been persecuted, the right of the individual to maturity has been denied, and man’s dignity and honour have been flagrantly debased. And in the name of religion an injustice has been inflicted upon humanity with the result that religion itself has suffered many losses.
There are historical facts which no one can deny. But is this the proper function of religion or the right approach to religion? Could this be the purpose of religion? The indisputable answer in an emphatic no. there are many religions in the world, and each one claims to be the one and only true religion. Each religion is supposed to have come from Allah SWT for the right guidance of man. But these claims contradict each other and have caused dissensions among people and heated reactions to religion instead of welding mankind into one universal brotherhood under the One Universal Benevolent God. This situation makes any neutral observer confused and perhaps averse to all kinds of religion.
The Islamic concept of religion is unique in the broadest sense of the world. It is true that genuine religion must come from God for the right guidance of man. And it is equally true that human nature and major human needs are basically the same at all times. This conception leads to one conclusion, and that is: There is only one true religion coming from the One and the same God Allah SWT, to deal with, the outstanding human problems of all times. This religion in ISLAM. But it should be borne in mind that Islam was not taught by the Prophet Muhammad alone. On the contrary, Islam had been taught by all the prophets before Muhammad, and the true followers of Abraham and Moses as well as those of Jesus and the rest were all called MUSLIMS. So, Islam has been, and will continue to be, the true universal religion of the one and only God Allah the Almighty, because Allah is the One and Changeless, and because human nature and major human needs are fundamentally the same, irrespective of time and place, of race and age, and of any other considerations.
Bearing this in mind, the Islamic concept maintains that religion in not only a spiritual and intellectual necessity but also a social and universal need. It is not to mystify man but to guide him. It is not to devalue him but to elevate his moral nature. It is not to deprive him of anything useful, or to burden him, or to oppress his qualities but to open for him never ending treasures of sound thinking and right action. It is not to confine him to narrow limits but to launch him into wide horizons of truth and goodness. In short, true religion is to acquaint man with Allah the Almighty as well as with himself and rest of the universe. This is by no means an oversimplification of the function of religion.
When the purpose of true religion is carefully examined, it will be found that religion satisfies the spiritual and moderate material needs of a man. It unties his psychological knots and complexes, controls his instincts and aspirations, and disciplines his desires and the whole course of life. It improves his knowledge of Allah the Almighty the Highest Truth in the universe, and his own self. It teaches him about the secrets of life and the nature of man and how to treat them, about good and evil, about right and wrong. It purifies the soul from evil clears the mind from doubts, strengthens the character, and corrects the thinking and convictions of man, all this can be achieved only when man faithfully observes the spiritual duties and physical regulations introduced by religion.
On the other hand, true religion educates man and trains him in hope and patience, in truthfulness and honesty, in love for the right and good, in courage and endurance, all of which are required for the mastery of the great art of living. Moreover, true religion insures man against fears and spiritual losses, and assures him of Allah’s aid and unbreakable alliance. It provides man with peace and security and makes his life meaningful.
That is what true religion can do for humanity, and that is the concept of religion in Islam. Any religion which fails to bear these fruits in not Islam or, rather, is not religion at all, and any man who fails to draw these benefits from religion is not religious. Allah Almighty is absolutely true when He says in the Holy Quran: “Verily the religion with God is Islam. Nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of God, God is swift in calling to account.” (3:19). “And if anyone desires a religion other that Islam, never will it be accepted of him, and in the hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)” (3:85)
All in all, we must realise the reason for our existence and recognize our mission in life. Because a man who lives without religion belief in Allah the Almighty and the Hereafter is ultimately deprived and wretched. He views himself as essentially an animal which cannot be distinguished from other animals that inhabit the Earth and which live, indulge in the pleasures of life, and die without realizing the purpose of his existence or a reason for their creation. Such a person is a negligible, minor being and apparently of no value who was brought to life but unfortunately does not know how or by whom he was brought into existence. He lives but does not know for what purpose, he is all uncertain rather all blind as to matters of life, death, origin, and destination. Allah the Almighty describes such people “But they have no knowledge in the Hereafter, indeed they are in doubt about it, indeed they are blind to it”. (27:66).
By: Wissal Hanouf