Islam

The Essential Guide to Society

The Quran leads us to true guidance. It says, “God is He besides Whom there is no god, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He wills. His knowledge encompasses the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.

What is an Islamic Society?

The God sought out by one believer is that very same God sought out by other believers. Just as one believer's life is governed by what he imagines his fate will be in the Hereafter, so are the lives of other believers lived out ac¬cording to the same principles. This being so, how is it at all possible for one believer to come into conflict with another? It is an unfortunate fact that good has been pitted against evil in the world – and every believer knows this full well ¬– for the companions of Satan are free to act in whatever manner they choose.

Importance of Education in Islam

The field of education, covering ethics, religion, skills and general knowledge, is a very broad and very vital one. The importance of learning in enabling the individual to put his potential to optimal use is self-evident. Without education, the training of the human mind is incomplete. No individual is a human being in the proper sense until he has been educated.

Islamic Culture

The Qur’an addresses God as “Lord of the Universe.” It does not mention Him as “Lord of the nation.” This shows that Islam believes in unbounded universality and not in limitation. It is the same Qur’an which hails the Prophet as a “Blessing for the World” and not as “trouble for the world.” This demonstrates that Islam is the religion not of hatred but of love. Again the Qur’an proclaims: “Peace is good.” It does not say, “War is good.” This means that Islam wishes to create an atmosphere of peace and conciliation and does not condone war and confrontation.

Woman’s Role in Islam

The Qur’an calls Islam a religion of nature. This is because Islam is, in actual fact, based on the laws of nature. The commands of the Qur’an are a direct expression of those laws which have operated in the world of nature since its creation.

Prayer in Islam

Du’a (prayer) literally means to call. In Islamic terminology du'a means calling God, whether for worldly assistance or for salvation in the Hereafter.

Prayer has great significance in Islam. According to one of the hadith, the Prophet Muhammad said, 'It is prayer (du'a) which is worship,' and 'Prayer is the essence of 'ibadah’1. The reason prayer has such importance is that it is the ultimate expression of God's greatness and power and of man's helplessness. That is why a sincere prayer is the most precious of all deeds in the eyes of God.

The Spiritual Goal of Islam

What is the spiritual goal of Islam? That is, what is that spiritual target which Islam sets before man? The answer in the words of the Qur'an is: 'A soul at rest' (89:27). Thus the spiritual goal of Islam is to attain this state of peace in the soul.

The Spirit of Islam

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 commons sense tells one would likewise be the demand of Islam.

Rituals must arise from the spirit

All religions, through rituals and ceremonies, give a definite form to the act of worship. Islam, too, has specific rites but emphasises the spirit in which these are carried out. It does not conceive of divine worship as a dichotomous proposition divided into two equal parts, of form and spirit. Form is an external manifestation of the spirit — the vital and indispensable element of every sincere religious act, of which the former is a mere ancillary.