- for Muslims the greatest and most inclusive of the Names of God, an Arabic word of rich
and varied meaning, denoting the one who is adored in worship, who creates all that
exists, who had priority over all creation, who is lofty and hidden, who confounds all
human understanding. It is exactly the same word that the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (eloh),
the word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an
identical name in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Allah is the same God worshipped by
Muslims, Christians and Jews.
"He is God, the One God
Independent and sought by all; He begets not, nor is begotten, and there is none like unto
Him" (The Holy Qur 'an - Chapter 112 - Al-Ikhlas- Sincerity of Faith)
teaches that all faiths have, in essence, one common message:
the existence of a Supreme Being, the one and only God, whose
Sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His teaching and
commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were sent at various times
and in many places throughout history.
An Arabic word, rich in meaning. One important dimension is the "commitment to
submit and surrender to God so that one can live in peace"; Peace (Salam) is achieved
through active obedience to the revealed Commandments of God, for God is the Source of all
Peace. Commitment to Islam entails striving for peace through a struggle for
justice, equality of opportunity, mutual caring and consideration for the rights of
others, and continuous research and acquisition of knowledge for the better protection and
utilization of the resources of Creation.
teaches that the objective of the Commandment of God is that peace should be
established in the human societies of this world, in preparation for a further dimension
of human existence in the world to come, the Afterlife. Islam's vision of peace is
therefore truly universal; it transcends time and belongs to the order of God's
does not regard itself to be a new teaching, different or separate from that of other
world religions. It is the reaffirmation of the ancient yet living truth of all religions,
which can be expressed in the following beliefs:
The Uniqueness of the one and only God who is Sovereign of the
The Revelation of the teaching and commandments of God through
Angels in heaven to Prophets on earth, and written in sacred writings which all have the
same transcendent source; these contain the will of God which marks the way of peace for
the whole universe and all of humankind;
The Day of Judgment which inaugurates the after-life, in which God
rewards and punishes with respect to human obedience and disobedience to His will.
Islam affirms these
simple beliefs as the basis for the decent, civilized society towards which it strives.
Its vision of society is; in essence, no different from that upheld by all monotheistic
religions. This is particularly true of Judaism and Christianity, which share with Islam
the direct spiritual lineage of the Prophet Abraham. Islam affirms the divinely
ordained missions of the Prophet Moses, through whom God revealed the sacred scripture
called the Torah, and of the Prophet Jesus, through whom God revealed the scripture known
as the Gospel. The message of Islam is in essence the same as that which God
revealed to all His prophets and messengers. The Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessing
of God be upon him) was commanded to recite in the Holy Qur'an:
"Say, we believe in God, and that which was revealed unto
us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and lshmael and Isaac and Jacob, and the
tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their
Lord; We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered"
(The Holy Qur 'an 3.84)
The success of civilizations and cultures is directly related to the
extent of their practice of the righteous way of life revealed in the teaching and
commandments of God, and set forth in the monotheistic religions which are confirmed by Islam.
God's revelation enshrines the highest values of humankind, and the divine
commandments are essentially no different from the values which human beings have
cherished and striven to maintain throughout history, regardless of cultural, racial,
linguistic and socioeconomic differences. Success in this life is directly related to the
practice of these values.
The irreducible minimum of faith is
to believe in God as the sole sovereign Lord of this world and the next, and to believe
in the reality of the Afterlife for which human beings are to prepare by living
righteously in this world. God Alone is the Judge of human righteousness, and it is God
Alone who rewards and punishes in this life and in the life hereafter.
Righteousness does not mean for
you to turn your faces towards the East and towards the West, but righteousness means one should believe in God (Alone), the Last Day, the
angels, the Book and the prophets; and no matter how he loves it, to give his wealth away
to near relatives, orphans, the needy, the wayfarer and the beggars, and toward the
freeing of captives, and to keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax, and those who keep
their word whenever they promise anything; and are patient under strain and hardship and
in time of peril Those are the ones who act royally and perform their duty. (The Holy Qur
A Muslim is one who is
committed to peace continuously striving to follow the way of righteousness and justice
revealed by God; the Arabic word muslim refers to a man, muslima to a woman. In either
case the literal meaning is "one who submits to God's teachings and commandments,
which leads to peace."
have three distinct advantages to help them in the practice of Islam as their
way of life:
1. The Sacred Scripture called the Qur'an, which was revealed
to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century of the Common Era, and
which, after 1400 years, remains authentic in its original Arabic text, in the language
which is still used and understood by millions of people throughout the world today; it
contains God's guidance in teachings and commandments which are valid for all times and
all places, and which encompass all spheres of human life.
2. The Prophet Muhammad, whom the Qur'an names as "the Seal
(last) of the Prophets", and of whose life and mission there is a complete and
authentic record in the Sira and the Hadith. These show how he exemplified
the teachings and commandments of God in practice, and elaborated the principles laid down
in the Qur'an in order to provide a sure guidance for their interpretation and application
for all later times and societies.
3. The Sacred Law, called the Shari'ah, which sets out
the way of worship prescribed in the Quran and the Prophet's practice; it goes
beyond the common understanding of worship as the performance of religious rituals, and
encompasses the whole of human life, individual as well as social. Thus all so-called
secular activities become acts of worship, provided they are performed with pure and
righteous intention, seeking God's pleasure.
Muslims are enjoined to organize their lives on the
basis of a series of ritual acts of worship which are ordained in the Qur'an as ways which
discipline human beings to remember God constantly, accepting his Sovereignty and pledging
to obey His commandments:
1. Declaration of belief (Shahada): this is the
initial act of faith, expressed in a simple statement which testifies to one's commitment
to following the straight path of God's guidance upon which Muslims seek to live their
"I bear witness that there its no god but God; I bear
witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet. "
2. Prayer (Salat), offered five times a day,
has the effect of reminding the faithful that "remembrance of God is indeed the
greatest virtue", and helps them adhere to the path of righteousness, and to restrain
from indecency and evil.
3. Fasting (Sawm), observed through the
daylight hours of the 29/30 days of the Islamic month of Ramadan, involves abstinence from
eating, drinking, smoking and marital intercourse; this reminds the believers of their
dependence upon God, as well as their kinship with, and responsibility for the millions of
human beings in the world who experience involuntary fasting because of lack of food, or
its unjust distribution.
4. Purification of wealth (Zakat); this requires the
annual giving of a fixed amount of excess personal assets for the benefit of the poor, the
incapacitated, the deprived, and the welfare of the community; it serves to remind Muslims
that all beneficence comes from the bounty of God, and is enjoyed only through His mercy;
sharing becomes an act of purification both of the wealth itself, and of the giver whose
soul is disciplined against greed by the practice of selflessness.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj), which
all Muslims should perform at least once in a lifetime, if personal circumstances permit;
it gathers the believers as members of the diverse human family into a single community.
They perform prescribed acts of worship at the Holy House of the Kaba in
Makkah (Mecca) which, according to the Qur'an, was originally built by the prophet Abraham
and his son Ishmael; and at Mount Arafat, where they remember the pure and original way of
life of Adam, the progenitor of the human race, reaffirmed by the Patriarch
of the entire human family, the Prophet Abraham, and finally perfected and completed by
God for all humanity through the mission of the Prophet Muhammad - the way of life known
as Islam which has at its heart the doctrine of the unity and uniqueness of the One
Each of these prescribed acts of worship brings Muslims daily and
repeatedly before God Almighty as the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all humanity.
Through these acts of worship, God helps Muslims to fulfill the
obligation of striving which he has ordained for this life; the striving actively and
freely to surrender one's own will in obedience to the Will of God, inwardly in
intention and outwardly in word and deed; individually in personal conduct and
collectively in the improvement of society; the striving for peace in the world through
the proclamation of true faith, and its defense against all that threatens it.
Islam presents human beings with a simple two-fold
to witness that there is no God but God Almighty;
to witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
This declaration is the door to a life of service. One of
participation in a community of believers whose highest duty is to call on humanity to
embrace what is righteous and good and to reject what is evil and degrading.
Muslims are brothers and sisters of all people of good faith, and wish
to strive with them for peace in this world.
Further readings on Islam:
|Towards Understanding Islam, by S. A. Mawdudi|
|An Introduction to the Quran, by S. A. Mawdudi|
|Selected Guidance from the Quran, by Dr.
|Guidance from the Messenger (pbuh), by Dr.
|Islam: The Misunderstood Religion, by Dr.
|The Bible, The Quran and Science, by Maurice
|Jesus: A Prophet of Islam, by Sulaiman
|Commandments by God in the Quran, by Nazar
|Fundamentals of Islam, by S. A. Mawdudi|