What does Islam mean?
Islam means the
Total submission to the Will of Allah Subhana Wa Taala (the Exalted, the Highest),
Belief in all the Prophets of Allah, and
The belief that Muhammad is the Last and Final Prophet and Messenger of Allah.
Islam requires belief in the true message of all the Prophets; requiring belief in Prophet Adam to the Final Prophet; Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings upon them all).
No differentiation is made in the belief of the Prophets, as their message is one, the message of absolute pure Islamic monotheism.
Muslims take their religion from what has been authentically revealed to the Prophets of Allah.
To gain understanding, consider the worship of Prophet Adam, he was the first of the Prophets on earth, at a point when no other Prophets had been created.
Prophet Adam worshipped his Creator, Allah (the Exalted, the Highest) alone. He did not worship any idols, false deities, spiritual beings, nor any created beings (no other person, nor prophet).
Sura Al Isra 17:111. And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son (nor an offspring), and Who has no partner in (His) Dominion, nor He is low to have a Wali (helper, protector or supporter). And magnify Him with all the magnificence, [Allahu-Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)].”
Muslims also believe that Muhammad (Salutations and Peace upon Him) has confirmed the message of absolute pure Islamic monotheism of the preceding Prophets; Prophets Jesus, Prophet Moses, and all the true Prophets who appeared before them (Peace be upon them all).
Surah An-Nahl 16:36. And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).” Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth).
Muslims, therefore, worship only that Creator, Allah (the Exalted, the Highest), who is beyond the created physical material and spiritual worlds, as it is Allah (the Exalted, the Highest) alone who has created all things.
It is crucial to note that the challenges of each era differ, thus the methodology of each era would differ. In this time period, the methodology of Muhammad (Salutations and Peace upon Him) is to be followed. This methodology is the Sunnah; it is the understandings, practices, and teaching of Prophet Muhammad (Salutations and Peace upon Him).
Surah An-Nisa-4:113. Had not the Grace of Allah and His Mercy been upon you (O Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam), a party of them would certainly have made a decision to mislead you, but (in fact) they mislead none except their own selves, and no harm can they do to you in the least. Allah has sent down to you the Book (The Qur’an), and Al-Hikmah (Islamic laws, knowledge of legal and illegal things i.e. the Prophet’s Sunnah – legal ways), and taught you that which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of Allah unto you (O Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam).
Who is Allah (the Exalted, the Highest)
Allah (the Exalted, the Highest) is the Creator of all things; the seen, material world and the unseen, the spiritual-metaphysical world. and it is Allah (the Exalted, the Highest) who is the Creator of time and space.
Allah is not limited to the properties of time, nor to the limitations of space. It is Allah (the Exalted, the Highest) who is beyond the realities of time and space, beyond the things we know and the things we may yet come to know.
Being Muslim requires submission to the absolute will (pre decree and predestination) of Allah (subhana wa taala-the Exalted, the Highest).
Accepting Islam requires the ‘intention’ to accept Islam as one’s religion; this intention is formed in the heart and formulated in one’s mind, thus ensuring that this intention is of one’s own free will and it is of one’s sound mind.
This acceptance is then articulated with conviction by one’s tongue and lips in the statement and declaration of faith; the shahadah – which is in effect bearing witness to the Oneness of Allah subhana wa taala and witnessing that Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasalam – Salutations and Peace upon Him) is the Final Prophet and Messenger.
This declaration is actioned by the self; in the action of the limbs in the worship of Allah subhana wa taala alone
The Pillars of Islam
Life as a Muslim requires maintaining conditions of faith, there are five aspects which require being upheld.
- Shahadah; declaration of faith and bearing witness that there is no other being worthy of worship except Allah Subhana wa taala and bearing witness that Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasalam is the Final Prophet and Messenger of Allah subhana wa taala
- Salah: The compulsory prayer; performed at five different intervals of a day; three during the day and two at night.
- Saum: The compulsory Fasting during the day during the month of Ramadhaan.
- Zakaah: The compulsory charity given to the poor annually (during an Islamic year)
- Hajj: The compulsory pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah) at least once during the lifetime of a Muslim to emulate the pilgrimage rights of Prophet Abraham at a plains of Arafah and to worship at the Kaabah (the square building in Makkah), built by Prophet Abraham (Peace be upon him)
The more one learns about Islam the more is one able to practice upon its teachings.
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