Islam

Akhirat

Man is an eternal creature. However, God has divided his life span into two parts. A very tiny part of it has been placed in this world, while all of the remainder has been placed in the Hereafter. The present world is the world of action, while the world of the Hereafter is the place for reaping the harvest of actions. The present world is imperfect, but the world of the Hereafter is perfect in every respect. The Hereafter is a limitless world where all things have been provided in their ideal state.

What is Islam?

“Islam” is an Arabic word which means “submission, surrender and obedience to God.” The religion of Islam is so named because it is based on obedience to God. A true believer in Islam is one who subordinates his thinking to God, who follows God’s dictates in all aspects of his life. In religious terms, this means that the individual who embraces Islam as his religion must put the Almighty first and foremost in his life, bowing to His wishes in all matters great and small.

Eid al-Azha: The Spirit of Sacrifice

Eid al-Azha, an annual festival of the Muslims, is celebrated in the last month of the Hijra calendar, that is, Zulu Hajji. Muslims from all over the world gather at Makkah to celebrate Hajj in the month of Zulu Hajji.

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

In Arabic, Eid literally means 'returning at regular intervals'. The fact that they occur in a regular cycle is important, for it gives a repeated opportunity for renewal, to forgive enemies, and contact people one has not seen for a long time. Although there are several special times in the Islamic calendar, there are really only two religious festivals. These are Eid al-Fitr and Eidul Adha.

The Inner Reality of Fasting

The month of Ramzan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. The Qur’an makes special mention of its revelation in the month of Ramadan, while making it obligatory upon the followers. This indicates that there is a close link between Ramadan and the Qur’an. In the words of the Qur’an:

In the month of Ramadan the Qur’an was revealed, a book of guidance with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong. Therefore whoever of you is present in that month let him fast. But he who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. (2:185)

What is Faith?

The essence of faith is ma‘arifah, (realization or discovery of God). When a man consciously seeks out and finds God, and thereby has access to divine realities that is what constitutes faith.

This discovery is no simple matter. God is the Creator and Owner of all things. He will award or punish all, according to their deeds; none is free from His grip. The discovery of such a God shakes to the core of the whole life of man. His thinking is revolutionized, for God becomes the centre of all His emotions.

Islam in the 21st Century

The 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries saw a revolution in the mind. Under the influence of science, man believed that knowledge was very much within his reach and he could build his world. That changed by the end of the century when he realised that science could give but a partial knowledge of reality. And limited knowledge was an insufficient basis to construct an ideology.

The Universality of Islam

Islam dates back to the year 610 AD. At that time there lived in the Arabian town of Yathrib (later known as Medina) two tribes – the Aws and the Khazraj – who were constantly at war with each other. However, when they be¬came aware of the truth of the religion revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, and entered the fold of Islam, they stopped fighting altogether, and these once deadly enemies now became close allies.

Islam and Social Relations

What are the teachings of Islam on the subject of the multi-religious society? When Islam is studied with this question in mind, we find clear and consistent commandments for all social interaction. In chapter 109 of the Quran, the Prophet is enjoined to address non-Muslims thus: “I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship. You have your own religion, and I have mine.”