How to be a Muslim
Friday, April 27, 2012
The ultimate objective of human life should be to seek two main aims, the achievement of which will enable man to lead a full and active life, making a rich contribution to human experience and advancement.Such a life would be honourable and respectable – a life that deserves living.
The first aim that man should strive to attain is to regulate his personality so as to enjoy mental peace and satisfaction, thereby ridding himself of all causeof worry and anxiety. The second aim is to organize his relations with the members of the community around him, in order to live in his society in peace, harmony and understanding.Man cannot live by himself; and he will not fulfil his mission in life without co-operation with the members of the society he lives in and interacts with.
Islam is God’s religion for all ages and for the human race.It was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) to guide man to the right path, to set for him end of life as well as the means for the realization of that end.Man will then assert himself and fulfil his mission as the vicegerent of God one earth. The basic facts of Islam are presented by faith (Iman) and Legislation (Sharia).To be a good Muslim you have to know fully the faith and legislation of Islam, and practice your knowledge of them.
You must apply this knowledge to yourself and others.In Islam, mere knowledge will not suffice.You will not be a good Muslim unless you carry out in practice the instructions given by the prophet as ordained by God.Islam is not only a belief, but also a practice, faith and worship, each complementing the other.They are like the rings of chain, if one ring is broken the whole chain will break up.
God has warned Muslims against saying things that they do not accomplish, calling that a grave sin that evokes his anger.He says in the Quran: “Age who believe!Why say ye that which ye do not?Grievously odious is it in the sight of God that which ye do not”.
Here we are presenting to you a summary of the principles of Faith and Legislation in Islam, giving you only the basic facts, as a detailed study needs big volumes. Those who would like to study in detail Faith and Legislation in Islam can do so with the help of larger references.
Faith or Iman
Islam has given the subject of faith the importance it deserves.It was studied carefully, and the rational bases of the Islamic beliefs were explained and purified from misrepresentation and superstitions, chief among which is joining partners with God, and protectors other than He.
The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) remained in Mecca thirteen years, struggling against polytheists.This was the hardest period in Muhammad’s Mission of calling to Islam, as he and his companions suffered insults and injury from unbelievers, and met with stubborn opposition by the idolators.They even plotted against his life.
The most fundamental basic of Islam is the belief in the unity of God, which means that a Muslim worships only one God, the one and only God, the Eternal and Absolute.This belief is the bedrock of Islam and its essence. You may ask: why is the belief in the unity of God?
The answer is that this dogma is the only one that conforms to the normal concept of God and agrees with sound reasoning and logic, and with the nature of creation.God says in the Quran. “Establish God’s handiwork according to the pattern on which he has made mankind: no change in the work by God: that is the standard religion”.
History tells us that the times when people worshipped idols and deviated from the straight path were ages of darkness and weakness.Wise nations throughout the ages were guided by their sound nature to the fact that joining partners with God in any form would only humiliate man and kill his self-respect.
that there is no deity but God, the Omnipotent and All-knowing God will instill
in you sincerity for truth alone, and encourage you to make sacrifices for
noble causes.You will enjoy
mental peace and satisfices in the remembrance of the great power guiding you
to the right way.
You will not bother about the trifles, nor waste your energy in search of material ends as atheists do.Your faith in the one God gives you profound confidence in Him and uplifts your aim in life to high standards of righteousness and virtue.You will never be a party to oppression and tyranny.
Monotheism liberates man from superstitions and false beliefs that disturb the mind if they have power over it.Monotheism satisfices the mind, meets its needs and endows it with the faculty to think and acquire knowledge.It opens for man wide vistas of action and the use of his faculties property, without hindrance from superstitions and illusions.
Monotheism rids a Muslim from fear. He utilises al the forces of nature, however violent they are because he knows that God has created everything in this world for his benefit. He refuses to surrender to any other man, because his submission to God liberates him from submitting to anybody else.He knows that no man or animal has the power of taking away his life; God alone has the power to do so, at an appointed time.
Humanity can seek no higher example than such a Muslim, who will always choose the right path in every field of knowledge and action.He lies by the high ideals of Islam that enable him to tread the path of true human perfection.
Article of Faith
Faith in Islam consists of four important elements: monotheism, belief in angels, prophets and revealed books belief in the Day of Judgement and belief in faith.
Monotheism (Unity of God)
That means to workship the one God alone, and not to take partners with Him, to submit to him and to believe completely that there is none like him.The Quran says there is nothing whatever like unto him, and He is the one that hears and sees all things. A Muslim believes that God is the creator of the universe.He has no partner or competitor.“If there were in the heavens and the earth other Gods besides God, there would have been confusion in both”.
Surat Al-Ikhlas (Purity of Faith) sums up the unity of Godhead in these words: say: He is God, the one and only God, the earth other Gods besides God, there would hae been confusion in both!
Belief in Angels
The second article of faith is the belief in the existence of God’s angels.We know that man’s senses are limited to things of physical perception, and so are incapable of knowing things beyond this material world.But there is no doubt there are facts that could be known by reasoning and rational thinking.It would be foolish to deny all that is not perceptible to the human eye or felt by the other senses.
Islam considers belief in mystical powers and inseparable part of the Islamic faith .Among these mystical forms are the angels, imperceptible spiritual beings that are under God’s command. You are not a true Muslim unless your faith includes belief in God’s angels.Truth does not consist of matter alone, to be found out by our limited sense.It is matter and spirit, including both what is hidden and what is open.
Belief in prophets
An important article of faith is the belief in al the prophets who had been raised among every nation, at different stages of the history of mankind, to warn their peoples and guide them to the right path.The first prophet was Adam, the first man on earth and the last was Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon them.
Author: Muhammed Lamin Ceesay