Islam

Zakat (Almsgiving)

By zakat is meant that fixed amount which is subtracted at the end of each year by affluent people. In this way the remaining wealth is purified. By one part of it being given to the cause of God, the rest is rendered lawfully usable for the almsgiver. Deducting zakat from one’s earning is a material acknowledgement of the fact that the actual giver is God. Since the giver is God, the recipient is duty bound to spend it in His cause. The law of zakat is to take from those who have wealth and give it away to those who do not. This rotation of wealth is a way to balance social inequality.

Without Prejudice

During the lifetime of the Prophet of Islam many of his fellow men opposed Islam and engaged in plotting against Islam and Muslims. The Qur’an has mentioned this at several places. But the counter strategy advocated by the Qur’an was not to unearth their plots and launch movements to defeat them, or even finally to wage war against them. On the contrary, the Prophet and his companions were enjoined to place their trust in God alone.

Wealth

Wealth is one of life’s necessities. But it is not life’s goal. If wealth is necessary to fulfill life’s material requirements, then it must be acquired as the mainstay of human existence. But if wealth is projected as life’s goal and its ever-increasing acquisition is considered the most important task, then it can become a source of great misery which will destroy its seekers not only in this world but also in the Hereafter. Man has to live in this world for a certain period of time. For this, he requires some material facilities which may serve as a support in his life.

Trial

Man is free in this world. God has not placed any curbs on him. But this freedom is for the purpose of putting man to the test, and is not meant to encourage him to lead a life of permissiveness, like the animals and then just pass away one day. Rather its purpose is that man should lead a morally upright life of his own free will, thus demonstrating that he is of the highest moral character.

Tolerance

Tolerance is a noble humanitarian and Islamic virtue. Its practice means making concessions to others. Intolerance, on the other hand, means showing a self-centered unconcern for the needs of others. Tolerance is a worthy, humane virtue, which has been described in different terms in the Shariah: for instance, gentle behaviour, showing concern for others, being soft¬hearted, being compassionate. When true God-worship and religiosity is born within a person, he reaches above all those evils which emanate from selfishness.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for man is to acknowledge the blessings of God. This acknowledgement first arises in the heart then, taking the form of words, it comes to the lips of the grateful person. From birth, man has been superbly endowed in body and mind by his Creator. All his requirements have been amply catered for, every object in the heavens and on earth having been pressed into his service. All the things necessary for his leading a good life on earth and the building of a civilization have been provided in abundance. Man experiences these blessings at every moment.

Spirituality

What is spirituality? Spirituality - rabbaniah ¬means ‘Giving in to God.’ The spiritually inclined so elevate themselves in their thinking that they begin to live on a higher divine plane. They remain undisturbed in the face of provocation, their mental balance is not upset by unpleasant experiences, and the distasteful behaviour of others does not arouse any feelings of anger or revenge in them. Living strictly by their principles, their mental level becomes so high that the status cast by others cannot reach them.

Spiritual Uplift

Islam is the answer to the demands of nature. It is in fact a counterpart of human nature. This is why Islam has been called a religion of nature in the Qur’an and Hadith. A man once came to the Prophet Muhammad and asked him what he should do in a certain matter. The Prophet replied, ‘Consult your heart about it.’ By the heart the Prophet meant common sense. That is, what one’s common sense tells one would likewise be the demand of Islam. What does human nature desire more than anything? It desires, above all, peace and love.

Speaking the Truth

A believer in God is also necessarily a truth-loving person. He always speaks the truth. In all matters he says just what is in accordance with reality. A true believer cannot afford to tell lies, or hide facts. What does it mean to speak the truth? It is to have no contradiction between man’s knowledge and the words that he utters and for that matter; whatever he says should be what has come to his knowledge. Falsehood, by contrast, is the utterance of statements, which do not tally with knowledge. Truth is the highest virtue of a believer’s character. A believer is a man of principle.