Islam, a code of life
God has revealed to them the code of life that can guide man's steps to the right path
Islam is the religion of truth. It is the embodiment of the code of life which God, the Creator and Lord of the universe, has revealed for the guidance of mankind.
For the proper development of human life, man needs two elements: (a) the resources to maintain life and to fulfill the material needs of the individual and society, and (b) knowledge of the principles of individual and social behavior to enable man to fulfill himself and to maintain justice and tranquility in human life.
The Lord of the universe has provided for both of these in full measure. To cater to the material needs of man, He has put all of nature's resources at his disposal. To provide for his spiritual, social, and cultural needs, He has raised His prophets from among men and has revealed to them the code of life that can guide man's steps to the right path. This code of life is known as Islam, the religion preached by all of the prophets of God.
God said: Say, "[0 Muhammad] we believe in God and in the Revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac Jacob and the Tribes. We believe in the Revelation that was sent to Moses, Jesus and all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between them, and to Him we surrender." (3:83; 2:136)
The Qur'an says: "He has instituted the (same) religion for you (Muslims) as He recommended for Noah, and which We have revealed to you and recommended for Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Keep up religion and do not create any divisions in it." (42:13)
He has revealed to you (O Muhammad) the scripture with truth, confirming that which was revealed before it even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel before as a guide to mankind and has revealed the Criterion (for judging between right and wrong). (3:3-4)
All of them called humanity to the way of the Lord, the way of submission to God. All of them gave the same message, and all of them stood for the same cause: Islam.
Islam is an Arabic word that denotes submission, surrender, and obedience. As a religion, Islam stands for complete submission and obedience to Allah - that is why it is called Islam.
The other literal meaning of the word "Islam" is "peace." This signifies that one can achieve real peace of body and of mind only through submission and obedience to Allah. Such a life of obedience brings peace of the heart and establishes real peace in society at large.
Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of God indeed it is in the remembrance of God alone that the heart of man finds Rest - those who believe and act righteously, joy is for them, and a blissful home to return to. (13: 28-29)
The basic Islamic concept is that the whole universe was created by God, whom Islam calls Allah, and who is the Lord and the Sovereign of the universe, which He Alone sustains. He created man and appointed for each human being a fixed period of life that he is to spend upon the earth.
Allah has prescribed a certain code of life as the correct one for mankind, but has, at the same time, conferred upon man the freedom of choice as to whether or not he adopts this code as the actual basis of his life. One who chooses to follow the code revealed by God becomes a Muslim (believer) and one who refuses to follow it becomes a kafir (disbeliever).
A man joins the fold of Islam by honestly believing in and professing faith in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Both of these beliefs are epitomised in the kalimah (the article of faith): "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah." (There is no god except Allah; Muhammad is His Prophet.)
The first part of the kalimah presents the concept of tawhid (the oneness of God) and its second part affirms the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Tawhid is a revolutionary concept and constitutes the essence of the teachings of Islam. It means that there is only one supreme Lord of the universe. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and the sustainer of the world and of mankind.
Now can one observe the inexhaustible creativity of nature, its purposefulness, its preservation of that which is morally useful and destruction of that which is socially injurious, and yet fail to draw the conclusion that behind nature there is an all-pervading mind of whose incessant creative activity the processes of nature are but outward manifestations?
The stars scattered through infinite space, the vast panorama of nature with its charm and beauty, the regular waxing and waning of the moon, the astonishing harmony of the seasons - all of these point towards one fact: there is a God.
(The writer is a former KT staffer.)