Islam

Good Characters

Good character is the sum of personal virtues, which guarantees correct and agreeable behaviour in daily social interaction. A person of good character will invariably conform in his behaviour to a strict code of ethics. What should be the underlying principle of this code of ethics? According to a hadith it is simply this –you should like for others what you like for yourself, that is, you should treat others just as you want to be treated by others. Everyone likes to be addressed with good manners and pleasing words. So everyone should speak gently to others.

God’s Servant

Man is God’s servant. God has created man with a plan, that is, to place him temporarily on earth in order to test him. Then those who pass this test will be rewarded, while those who fail will be rejected. For the purposes of this test, man has been granted freedom in this world. Whatever man receives in this world is not as a matter of right but only as a matter of trial. Every situation here is a test, and in all situations man must give a proper performance, as is required of him by God.

God’s Blessing

Right from a glass of water to political power, everything that people possess in this world is from God. Everything is a direct blessing of God. Whatever one finds in this world is there because of the will of God. If God does not will it, no one can have anything, no matter how hard he tries for it. This is an undeniable truth proved by the Qur’an and the Hadith. Another thing that we learn from the Qur’an and the hadith is that there are two forms of divine blessing. One special and the other general. Political power is a special blessing of God.

God-Oriented Life

The goal of Islam is to induce man to give up his ungodly ways, so that he may lead a totally God¬ oriented life. One as yet untouched by Islam directs his attention towards things and beings other than God. That is, he is concerned with creation rather than the Creator. Islam shows him how to focus his thoughts and feelings on God alone. When man adopts a path directed to a certain destination, he considers it necessary to keep to that path without turning to the left or the right. For if he makes constant detours, he will fail to reach his destination.

God

God is One, Eternal and Absolute. He is everything, everything is from Him. God, the Creator of all things is the Sustainer of the universe. God: there is no deity save Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. His is what the heavens and the earth contain. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows all about the affairs of men at present and in the future. They can grasp only that part of His knowledge, which He wills. His throne is as vast as the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of both does not weary Him.

Gaining or Losing

In this world man sometimes loses, sometimes gains. These vicissitudes are the common lot. No one is exempt from them. Now the question is how man should react to them. Islam tells us that both these experiences are meant as tests. Here gaining is not in itself synonymous with success. Similarly, losing does not mean that an individual has failed for all time. Losing and winning are not in themselves important. What is of actual importance is how people conduct themselves when facing these experiences.

Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism literally means to stick to the fundamentals or to stick to the basic teachings of a religion. As religious terminology this term originated in the early period of the 20th century. In its initial stages it was mainly a Christian phenomenon. Modernist Christians attempted to give a liberal interpretation to some biblical teachings like the concept of the virgin birth; atonement and resurrection etc. The conservative Christians refused to accept this kind of liberal interpretation.

Freedom of Expression

Islam grants human beings total intellectual freedom. Rather it would be truer to say that it was Islam, which for the first time in human history brought about a revolution in freedom of thought. In all the ages of history prior to Islam, the system of despotism prevailed, and man was consequently denied freedom of thought. This was a matter of the utmost gravity for it is a fact that the secret of all human progress lies hidden in such freedom.

Fasting

Fasting, a form of divine worship is observed for one month every year. During this fast man abstains from food and water from sunrise to sunset in obedience to the command of God. This act is performed in order to reduce man’s materialism and increase his spirituality, so that he may be able to lead a truly spiritual life in this world. In the process, he spends more time in the worship of God. Fasting awakens in man the feeling of gratefulness. The temporary deprivation of food and water stresses for him the importance of these things as divine blessings.