Islam

Purity of Body and Soul

A believer is a clean person. First of all faith cleanses his soul. Consequently his appearance becomes pure as well. His religious thinking makes him a person who loves cleanliness. A believer performs his ablutions before praying five times a day by washing his face, hands and feet. He takes a bath daily to purify his body. His clothes may be simple, but he always likes to wear well laundered clothes. Along with this he likes to keep his home clean. Therefore, he cleans his home daily and keeps all his things in their proper places. All these duties become part of his daily life.

Prophets in Every Age

The Qur’an testifies to the fact that God’s messengers came in every age and in every region. According to a hadith, more than one lakh messengers were sent to guide the people. However, the prophets mentioned by name in the Qur’an are two-dozen in number, the Prophet Muhammad being the last of them. In the past, the need for new prophets had always arisen because God’s religion, suffering from the vagaries of time, had frequently been distorted from its original form.

Prophethood

Human destiny, by Islamic lights, is a matter of man having been placed on this earth by God, so that he may be put to the test – the test being of his capacity to make correct moral choices. It is for this purpose that man has been given complete freedom, for without such freedom, the divine test would have no meaning, no validity. It is required of man that he should lead his life on earth following a regimen of strict self-discipline. Wherein should he find the guiding principles for such a course? The answer, according to Islam, is in prophethood.

Prophet

A prophet is a person chosen by God as His representative. When God appoints someone as His Messenger, He sends His angel to him to inform him of his new status. In that way, the individual can have no doubts about his appointment as God’s apostle. Later, God reveals His message to him through His angels, so that he may communicate the divine teachings to all his fellow men. God has given man a mind so that he may be endowed with understanding. But this mind can only grasp things that are apparent.

Promise

In mutual dealings in social life, it often happens that a person gives his word to another. There is apparently no third person or group between the two, yet there is always a third present and that is God who is the supreme witness. That is why every promise becomes a divine promise. A believer therefore is extremely sensitive about giving his word. His conviction is that every commitment made between two persons is under the watchful eyes of God, and that he will be accountable for its fulfillment in the court of God. This compels him to be highly responsible as regards his promises.

Prayer

Prayer is worship of God. It is obligatory for the believer to pray five times a day. These prayers are performed in mosques in congregation. But prior to the performance of prayer comes wudu, ablution. In ablution the hands, face, and feet are washed with water. This washing in order to cleanse awakens the feeling in man that he should always lead a life of purity. Then by uttering the words ‘God is Great’ he enters into the act of salat. This is to acknowledge that all greatness belongs to God. Thus the proper attitude for man is to lead a life of modesty and humility.

Plants

Vegetation and plants have been described in the Qur’an as a special blessing of God. According to the Qur’an; Paradise is a world of highest quality, where the believers, God’s favoured servants, will be inhabited. This abode has been called Paradise, meaning a garden, which is a special feature of paradise, referred to in the Qur’an as ‘beautiful mansions in Gardens of eternity.’ (61:12) A believer is God’s desired person. What is this desired person like? In the Qur’an he has been likened to a tree (14:24). This is a very meaningful simile.

Piety

Taqwa means piety that is, leading a life of caution and restraint in this world. Umar Farooq, the second Caliph once asked a companion of the Prophet what taqwa was. He replied, “O leader of the believers, have you ever crossed a path which has thorny shrubs on both sides?” But the companion instead of replying asked another question, “What did you do on such an occasion?” Umar Farooq replied, “I gathered my clothes close to me and moved ahead cautiously.” The companion said, “Now I know what is meant by taqwa.” The present world is a testing ground.

Peaceful Beginning

When the Qur’an began to be revealed, the first verse of the revelation conveyed the injunction: ‘Read!’ (Iqra) (96:1). By perusing this verse we learn about the initiation of Islamic action. It begins from the point where there is hope of continuing the movement along peaceful lines, and not from that point where there are chances of its being marred by violence. When the command of ‘Iqra’ was revealed, there were many options available in Mecca as starting points for a movement.