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FEATURED New Muslims

I Found Islam.. “I Found the Qur’an”

Shakeel Malik shares his story of how he converted to Islam. He found a copy of the Qur’an at a Buddhist temple, and then he found the truth, and thus  was guided to Islam. It was the beginning of change.

When he was  Christian, Shakeel acknowledges, he didn’t believe in Jesus, but now as a Muslim he knows he does believe in Jesus.

Learn more about his conversion story from his own words in the video below…

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Source: MercyforMankind.net

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Fasting New Muslims

In the Shade of Ramadan (5) Episode 7: Sincerity

The popular MAS Youth video series, “In The Shade of Ramadan” is BACK!

“In the Shade of Ramadan” is an annual online video series that is produced by MAS Youth during the month of Ramadan every year. It is a series of educational and motivational reflections on the month of Ramadan featuring various speakers across the country. This year’s season will feature 15 episodes (an episode every other day) with the theme: “Racing to Allah.”

Watch Episode 7: Sincerity by Abdel Rahman Mussa.

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

What Is Unique about Islamic Ethics?

 

balance in life

Individuals who are honest, sincere, and from whom nothing but good can be expected, have always formed the basis of any healthy human society.

A moral sense is inborn in man and, through the ages, it has served as the common man’s standard of moral behaviour, approving certain qualities and condemning others. While this instinctive faculty may vary from person to person, human conscience has consistently declared certain moral qualities to be good and others to be bad.

Justice, courage and truthfulness have always found praise, and history does not record any period worth the name in which falsehood, injustice, dishonesty and breach of trust have been praised; sympathy, compassion, loyalty and generosity have always been valued, while selfishness, cruelty, meanness and bigotry have never been approved of by society; men have always appreciated perseverance, determination and courage, but never impatience, fickleness, cowardice and stupidity.

Universal Code

Dignity, restraint, politeness and friendliness have throughout the ages been counted virtues, whereas snobbery and rudeness have always been looked down upon. People with a sense of responsibility and devotion to duty have always won the highest regard, those who are incompetent, lazy and lacking in a sense of duty have never been looked upon with approval.

Similarly, in assessing the standards of good and bad in the collective behaviour of society as a whole, only those societies have been considered worthy of honor which have possessed the virtues of organization, discipline, mutual affection and compassion and which have established a social order based on justice, freedom and equality. Disorganization, indiscipline, anarchy, disunity, injustice and social privilege, on the other hand, have always been considered manifestations of decay and disintegration in a society.

Robbery, murder, larceny, adultery and corruption have always been condemned. Slander and blackmail have never been considered healthy social activities, while service and care of the aged, helping one’s relatives, regard for neighbours, loyalty to friends, aiding the weak, the destitute and the orphans, and nursing the sick are qualities which have been highly valued since the dawn of civilization.

Individuals who are honest, sincere and dependable, whose deeds match their words, who are content with their own rightful possessions, who are prompt in the discharge of their obligations to others, who live in peace and let others live in peace, and from whom nothing but good can be expected, have always formed the basis of any healthy human society.

These examples show that human moral standards are universal and have been well-known to mankind throughout the ages. Good and evil are not myths, but realities well understood by all. A sense of good and evil is inherent in the very nature of man.

Hence in the terminology of the Qur’an good is called ma`ruf (a well-known thing) and evil munkar (an unknown thing); that is to say, good is known to be desirable and evil is known not to commend itself in any way, as the Qur’an says:

God has revealed to human nature the consciousness and cognition of good and evil. (Ash-Shams 91:8)

Why Differences?

The question that now arises is: if what constitutes good and evil is so clear and universally agreed, why do varying patterns of moral behaviour exist in the world? Why are there so many conflicting moral philosophies? Why do certain moral standards contradict each other?

What lies at the root of their differences? What is the unique position of Islam in the context of other ethical systems? On what grounds can we claim that Islam has a perfect moral systems? And what exactly is the distinctive contribution of Islam in the realm of ethics?

Although these are important questions and must be squarely faced, justice cannot be done to them in the brief span of this talk. So I shall restrict myself to a summary of some of the points crucial to any critical examination of contemporary ethical systems and conflicting patterns of moral behaviour:

1- Through their failure to prescribe specific limits and roles for the various moral virtues and values, present-day moral structures cannot provide a balanced and coherent plan of social conduct.

2-The real cause of the differences in the moral systems seems to lie in their offering different standards for judging what constitutes good and bad actions and in their laying down different ways to distinguish good from evil.

Differences also exist in respect of the sanction behind the moral law and in regard to the motives which impel a person to follow it.

3- On deeper reflection we find that the grounds for these differences emerge from different peoples’ conflicting views and concepts of the universe, the place of man in it, and of man’s purpose on earth.

The various systems of ethics, philosophy and religion are in fact a record of the vast divergence of views on such vital questions as: Is there a God of the universe and, if there is, is He the only one or are there many Gods?

What are the Divine attributes? What is the nature of the relationship between God and human beings? Has He made any arrangements for guiding humanity through the vicissitudes of life or not? Is man answerable to Him or not?

And if so, in what spheres of his life? Is there an ultimate aim of man’s creation which he should keep in view throughout his life? Answers to these questions will determine the way of life, the ethical philosophy and the pattern of moral behaviour of the individual and society.

It is difficult for me, in this brief talk, to take stock of the various ethical systems in the world and indicate what solutions each one of them has proposed to these questions and what has been the impact of these answers on the moral evolution of the society believing in these concepts. Here I have to confine myself to the Islamic concept only.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s book “The Islamic Way of Life”.

 

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Moral System of Islam: Motives and Practices

The Moral System of Islam: Motives & Incentives

sunset-nature

The love and fear of God become the real motives which impel man to obey the moral law without external pressures.

The fact that a man voluntarily and willingly accepts God as his Creator and obedience to God as the aim of his life and strives to seek His pleasure in his every action provides sufficient incentive to obey the commandments which he believes to be from God.

Belief that whoever obeys the divine commands is sure to be rewarded in the Hereafter, whatever difficulties he may have to face in his life on earth, is another strong incentive for leading a virtuous life.

And the belief that breaking the commandments of God will mean eternal punishment is an effective deterrent against violation of the moral law, however tempted a man may be by the superficial attractiveness of a certain course of action.

If this hope and fear are firmly ingrained in one’s heart, they will inspire virtuous deeds even on occasions when the immediate consequences may appear to be very damaging, and they will keep one away from evil when it looks extremely attractive and profitable.

This clearly indicates that Islam possesses a distinctive criterion of good and evil, its own source of moral laws, and its own sanctions and motivating force; through them it shapes the generally recognized more virtues in all spheres of life into a balanced and comprehensive scheme and ensures that they are followed.

It can therefore be justifiably claimed that Islam possesses a perfect moral system of its own. This system has many distinguishing features and I will refer to three of the most significant ones which, in my opinion, form its special contribution to ethics.

Distinctive Features

1- By setting divine pleasure as the objective of man’s life, Islam has set the highest possible standard of morality, providing boundless possibilities for the moral evolution of humanity.

By making divine revelation the primary source of knowledge, it gives permanence and stability to moral standards, while at the same time allowing scope for reasonable flexibility and adjustment, though not for perversions or moral laxity. The love and fear of God become the real motives, which impel man to obey the moral law without external pressures.

And through belief in God and the Day of Judgment, we are motivated to behave morally with earnestness and sincerity.

2- The Islamic moral order does not, through a mistaken love of originally and innovation, seek to lay down any new moral standards; nor does it seek to minimize the importance of the well-known moral standards, or give exaggerated importance to some and neglect others without cause.

Rather, it takes all the recognized morals and assigns a suitable role to each within the total scheme of life. It widens the scope of their application to cover every aspect of man’s private and social life – his domestic associations, his civic conduct, and his activities in the political, economic, legal and educational fields.

It covers his life at home and in society, literally from the cradle to the grave. No sphere of life is exempt from the universal and comprehensive application of the moral principles of Islam. These ensure that the affairs of life, instead of being dominated by selfish desires and petty interest, are regulated by the dictates of morality.

3- The Islamic moral order guarantees for man a system of life which is free from all evil. It calls on the people not only to practise virtue, but also to eradicate vice. Those who respond to this call are gathered together into an Ummah (a community) and given the name ‘Muslims’.

The main purpose underlying the formation of this community is that it should make an organized effort to establish and enforce goodness and suppress and eradicate evil. It would be a day of mourning for this community and a bad day for the entire world if its efforts were at any time directed towards establishing evil and suppressing good.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s The Islamic Way of Life. 

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New Muslims Reflections

Because of This Surah I Became Muslim

It began when he first heard the ‘so beautiful’ recitation of the verses:

(To the righteous soul will be said:) “O (you) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! “Come back you to your Lord,- well pleased (yourself), and well-pleasing unto Him! “Enter you, then, among My devotees! Yea, enter thou My Heaven!” (Surat Al-Fajr 89:27-30)

Just by the sound, the words touched his heart.

Curious to know more, he began reading and understanding more what these words meant, and it was then that he heard God’s call for him :”Come back”!

Watch the now-Muslim brother expressing his feelings about the verses that guided him to Islam, changed his whole life …

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The video is part of ‘Guided Through the Qur’an’ show.

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New Muslims Reflections

Reflection: The Fifth Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

“Bury yourself in the land of anonymity. A seed that is never buried underground will never produce. There is nothing more beneficial to the heart than an isolation that allows it to enter a state of reflection.”

If we want to understand well the meaning of awe, hope, relying on God, and sincerity and want to turn this rational understanding to a heart feeling, then the way, as Ibn `Ata’illah suggests, is to reflect.

Reflection is a marvelous form of worship that pushes people in their path to God. It helps people achieve their spiritual goals. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Reflection for one hour is better than worship for sixty years.”

This is because the one who spends his time reflecting on God, His creation, His universal laws, His religion, and His legislation, is really converting the mere rational information to sincere conditions and spiritual lights.

Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the succession of night and day, there are indeed messages for all who are endowed with insight, (and) who remember God when they stand, and when they sit, and when they lie down to sleep, and (thus) reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: “O our Sustainer! You have not created this without meaning and purpose. Limitless are You in Your glory! Keep us safe, then, from suffering through fire! (Aal `Imran 3:190-191)

Those who are endowed with insight reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth and on the day and the night based on the knowledge and information they know about the universe. Many people possess such information in their minds only without reaching their hearts.

On the other hand, those who reflect on the universe calling to their minds the Creator of the universe, or reflect on the heavens and the earth calling to their minds the Maker of the heavens and the earth, their reflection will eventually lead them to admit in their hearts “You have not created this without meaning and purpose.” Reflection will make them stand in awe of God, therefore they pray to God: “Keep us safe, then, from suffering through fire!”. Thus reflection has a significant influence on the heart. God says:

Only such as are endowed with (innate) knowledge stand (truly) in awe of God: (for they alone comprehend that). (Fatir 35:28)

True Isolation

In this word of wisdom Ibn `Ata’illah points to another concept that supports the concept of reflection that is of anonymity and isolation. This concept is one of the concepts that many people misunderstand and take them away from the true objectives of religion and the spirit of Islam.

By the Arabic word khumul, Ibn `Ata’illah does not mean laziness, however he means the state of obscurity from fame. This state is achieved when one isolates himself from people. This isolation is for a limited period, as isolation from the world for a long time without any kind of interaction is against the teachings of Islam. The Prophet is reported to have said: “There is no monasticism in Islam.”; “The Muslim who interacts with people and is patient when they harm him is better than a Muslim who doesn’t mingle and is not patient when people harm him.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

Therefore, a Muslim interacts with people, works, gets married, visits his relatives and his neighbors, enjoins good and forbids evil, befriend people, etc.

Then, what does Ibn `Ata’illah mean by “isolation”? Is there evidence in the prophetic tradition to support it? Or is it an innovation?

The clear origin of isolation, in addition to the Prophet’s isolation in the cave of Hira’ before and after the Revelation, is the Prophet’s staying in the mosque to worship God during the month of Ramadan and during other months.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet used to perform I`tikaf (staying in the mosque to worship God) every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he stayed in the mosque for twenty days.

`A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet used to perform i`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until he died, then his wives continued to do i`tikaf after he died. She also reported that the Prophet performed i`tikaf for twenty days during the month of Shawwal.

Ibn `Ata’illah makes a connection between this prophetic tradition and a divine law which states that every plant or animal or even human being that is expected to grow and produce should be buried in the darkness and grow away from external factors.

Thus, a seed is planted in the darkness of the earth until its roots and branches begin to grow, then it splits the soil and comes to the surface. A fetus grows in the darkness of the mother’s womb until its organs and nerves are formed, then it comes to life.

Likewise, the heart and the mind grow through retreat in the mosque or through isolation from the creation until one gets into the state of spiritual and divine thoughts. When one reaches this state, he can travel from the world of the universe to the world of the Originator, from the word of the Creatures to the world of the Creator, from the world of the sings, rules and rituals to the world of meanings, wisdoms and objectives. How beneficial is this to the heart! How great is this isolation that takes one back to the purity of faith and the truthfulness of the connection with God!

Otherwise “a seed that is never buried underground will never produce”, as Ibn `Ata’illah says. This is a constant universal law that will never be changed.

Benefits of Temporary Isolation

Temporary isolation from the creation has other benefits. One benefit is that it helps one to avoid committing sins. This is because most sins are the result of mingling with people. He who is alone does not commit sins.

Another benefit of isolation is that it trains the servant to protect his tongue against its destructive vices. God says: “However, man is, above all else, always given to contention.” (Al-Kahf 18-54)

Isolation also trains the servant to purify his intention to God because he will not occupy himself with how people look at him and what they will say about him. Though showing off may find its way to one’s heart even if one is alone when one occupies himself with how people think about him.

Therefore, Ibn `Ata’illah says elsewhere: “Perhaps showing off in good works has entered upon you from where people do not see you.” At any rate, isolation involves a kind of training on how to make the intention purely for God and how to forget the people around you and how they think about it positively or negatively.

If the servant looks for what benefits his heart, he will make progress in his spiritual journey to God. Sometimes we forget the work of the heart and focus on the work of the organs. This hardens the heart and leads to forgetfulness, and puts some obstacles and difficulties in the course of one’s journey to God. However, temporary isolation from the people and reflection on God help one reach his destination quickly. There is nothing more beneficial to the heart than an isolation that allows it to enter a state of reflection.

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The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda

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New Muslims Qur'an & Sunnah

Practical Steps to Memorize the Qur’an

Realize it’s a spiritual and physical project. It’s a miracle and blessing from Allah (Exalted be He) that you’re able to absorb the Qur’an. If you want to take advantage of this blessing, you should be in a position to receive it and therefore strive physically to achieve it and strive spiritually to get the maximum benefit.

Qur’an

Make sure that the intention you are making is only for the sake of Allah.

1-  Sincerity

The first matter you have to pay attention to is your intention (if you intend good you will get good). Make sure that the intention you are making is only for the sake of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He),  to seek His pleasure so that insha’Allah, with His mercy, we will be rewarded in the Hereafter.

Remember that it is not to show off in front of others that you have memorized a lot. Sincerity is not a one-time factor rather it’s a continual battle that you always have to renew.

2-  Consistency

The more frequently you memorize, the easier it becomes. It is very essential to be consistent, and not to skip even one day. There is no weekend in worship. The bare minimum that one should memorize is at least 3 lines, 5 is more ideal. If you are consistent, insha’Allah, you will be able to be a Hafiz (one who memorizes the whole Qur’an) in 5-6 years

3- Timing

The first thing you should do in the day is memorize – even do so before your breakfast, because this is your spiritual breakfast. The best time to memorize is right after Fajr.

4- Atmosphere

Have a secluded place to go to and memorize in a place that is quiet. You just can’t memorize properly with distractions, so turn off all your devices (like cell phones).

5- Familiarity

Start at the same time, at the same place and use the same mushaf every day. You need to have your own copy of the Qur’an, it will later become so dear to you.

6-  No Magic trick: repeat, repeat, repeat, over and over again. It is just repetitive recitation and/or listening that will help to memorize.

7- Memorize with the meaning: read the translation before you start and try to match the Arabic words with their meanings.

8- Surround yourself with recitation: listen to the Qur’an. Before you start memorize, listen to what you are about to memorize. Sh. Husary is highly recommended.

9- Find a recitation buddy: get a friend, a family member or someone you know who will listen to your recitation every day. Ideally, get someone who is also memorizing to create a peer pressure system.

10- Recite daily in your salah what you have memorized. If you forget one portion, you will immediately rush towards the Qur’an and correct your mistake and you will never do this mistake again.

11- Triple daily dose:

a-  New memorization at your assigned time of the day

b- Revision of the previous 7 days, just before you start the new memorization: This is because the fastest thing you forget is the new memorization.

And doing so, will also build the connector between the old ones and the new portion you are going to memorize. Plus, it will be a good warm up for the brain when you recall from your memory and recite, before you go into the real exercise of doing the new memorization.

c- At a later/another time of the day, revise those before the recent 7 days. The bare minimum should be 4-5 pages.

12- Do not jump around

Be consistent. Don’t try to go to another surah if you find it difficult and stick to the order. That way, you will have the satisfaction of having completed a juz’ rather than leaving some portions here and there.

13- The three chunks

Start from the back. Shorter surahs will bring you a big boost. You should divide the memorization of the Qur’an in three parts:

  1. a) Juz’ 28, 29, 30 or just Juz’ 29, 30
  2. b) Surat Al-Kahf till Juz’ 28
  3. c) Surah Al-Baqarah to Surat Al-Kahf

Why?

But, why should we strive to memorize the Qur’an in the first place, and where then should we begin?  In this video Sheikh Yasir Qadhi reflects on these points…

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Source: Muslimmatters.org

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

How to Treat Our Hearts and Develop Sound Belief

Facilitating action is based upon true knowledge. Action has two modes: The action of the heart and the action of the limbs. As for the heart, there are two concerns: Belief and Sincerity or Ikhlas.

How to Treat Our Hearts and Develop Sound Belief

Sound belief is accomplished by removing any doubtful matters from the heart.

Belief

Sound belief is accomplished by removing any doubtful matters from the heart. This is easy by the success of Allah and His gift, and many people have accomplished it in every age of Islam.

Sincerity (Ikhlas)

Sincerity of the heart in the actions that are established by the limbs, by Allah, is extremely difficult and the entire creation froze when it heard the words of Allah: ”And they were only commanded to worship Allah, sincerely, with the deen (religion) solely for Him.”

And also in His words: ”Isn’t the only deen for Allah, the sincere deen.”

Khulus means purity. The Arabs say laban khalis which means “pure milk”, only when it is free of impurities. This is the milk that comes initially from the cow’s udder before it is contaminated with anything.

Purity of the heart is contaminated by wrong actions and thus can be purified by tawbah and remorse. Therefore ikhlas is a great station in the deen, just as fornication is a precipitous fall into wrong action.

The scholars of the heart have enumerated from both aspects of the heart wonders. I will indicate those things from them that will facilitate the path to purity and draw near the way of struggle with the commanding soul. Moreover, I will clarify those matters that will edify for you the way in which your intention is freed from any contingencies that cause action to be for other than Allah’s sake.

The likeness of the one who acts for other than Allah’s sake, is like the one who bought a servant from his own wealth and said to him, “This is my abode and this is my work, so do everything for my sake.” And yet despite that, the slave works for someone else. So tell me, who would be content with that condition?

How then can we perform our actions and remove from them the self’s portion? If, for instance, you wore perfume, don’t say, “This is for me and my family.” Rather, say, “This is for the angels of my Lord and in adherence to my Prophet’s Sunnah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”

Likewise, food should not be merely for pleasure, but one should intend the strengthening of the body, in order to worship Allah well.

The following hadith emphasizes the importance of intending, in our actions, the sole pleasure of Allah: “The first people to be judged on the Day of Standing are the following: a man who was martyred and he is brought into the Divine presence and shown his blessings and he admits to them and then he is asked, ‘What did you do with all of these blessings?’ He will reply, ‘I fought for Your sake and was martyred.’ Allah, the Exalted, will say, ‘You lie! You fought to be called a courageous man. And it was said about you (and thus you have been recompensed.)’ It is then ordered that he be taken to the Fire.”

Then someone who studied the Qur’an and taught it is brought into the Divine presence and shown his blessings and he acknowledges them and then is asked what he did with them. He responds, “I studied knowledge and transmitted it, and I read the Qur’an for Your sake.” It is said to him, “You lie! Rather you desired to be called learned and it was said about you.” And it is ordered that he be taken to the Fire, and he is dragged along his face and thrust into it. The same is said of the generous man.”

Achieving Sincerity

One of the most beneficial things that will help you in achieving sincerity and the removal of blemishes from your intentions is truthfulness. You must realize that you will be asked about your knowledge in this life and the next.

If you fail to recognize your inward reality’s impoverishment and disparity from its outward appearance, then you are despised and you have despised your own soul just as the hadith has indicated.

The first step in moving towards sincerity of the heart is to protect your tongue from lying. Know that your tongue is what expresses your inward state. It expresses for you your knowledge and your practice. It has only one noble quality, and that is truthfulness.

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The article is excerpted from Zaytuna Institute’s Program and Agenda for Changing our Condition “Remembering the Days of Allah”, which is adapted from Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al-`Arabi (the famous Maliki jurist, Qur’an commentator and hadith expert).

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

How to Attain Peace of Mind, Tranquility, and Contentment?

Dr. Naji Ibrahim Arfaj

How can a Muslim achieve tranquility and peace in life, and where does true happiness lie? How does Islam help us reach and maintain this state of peace and contentment?

Key 1: Know your one true God.

How to Attain Peace of Mind

Islam teaches us that we can attain peace of mind, happiness, and salvation, by knowing and believing in the One True God willingly and wholeheartedly.

Key 2: Believe in Him alone.

Key 3: Follow His will.

Key 4: Believe in God’s prophets (including Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).

Key 5: Remember God.

Key 6: Seek God’s forgiveness.

Key 7: Worship Him alone.

Key 8: Love for others what you love for yourself.

Key 9: Be generous to others and try to make them happy.

Key 10: Have sincerity and piety.

Briefly, these top 10 secret keys through which we can achieve tranquility and contentment as well as spiritual, social, and global peace are among the magnificent treasures of the Qur’an and the Sunnah/Prophetic sayings.

Believing in the One True God

To sum up, Islam teaches us through its two main authentic sources: The Qur’an and the Prophetic sayings that we can attain peace of mind, happiness, and salvation, by knowing and believing in the One True God (Allah) willingly and wholeheartedly. We must also believe in all God’s true prophets (including Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) and follow their true guidance and teachings.

Thus, the gateway to a happy, content, and eternal life is through believing in and uttering this testimony:

I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Worship

However, Islam tells us that belief alone in God and His prophets is not enough to have peace of mind, happiness, and salvation!

We have to do the will of Allah through worshipping Him alone and keeping His commandments.

Submission

Submission to the will of God is the essence of the message of Allah. Confirming the true meaning of submission to Him and the reward prepared for those who believe and do good deeds, Allah points out in the Qur’an:

Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – they w ill have the Gardens of Paradise as a lodging. (Al-Kahf 18:107)

Similarly, the Bible reports the words of Jesus’ brother, James, saying:

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead also. (James 2:26)

Interestingly, James (4:7) also referred to the meaning of Islam- submission to God:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. (James 4:7)

Following the Prophets

Therefore, Muslims are true followers of Jesus and the prophets. A Muslim means a person who submits his or her will to the one true God.

Muslims have faith in Allah (the one true God) and do good deeds. They obey and follow the commandments that Jesus and the prophets taught and did, like believing in one true God, praying, prostrating, kneeling down in worship, fasting, giving alms and charity, saying“ if God wills” (Insha’Allah ), and using the greeting of Jesus and the prophets: “Peace be upon you ” (Asalamu `Alaikum).

These are just some examples and pieces of evidence which clearly indicate the truth, unity, and universality of this great and beautiful religion of all prophets: Islam.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s “Have You Discovered It’s Real Beauty?”

Dr. Naji Al-Arfaj He is the Director of the Inter-Cultural Communication and Dialogue Center in Saudi Arabia. He attended Michigan State University, USA and completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics in 1995. He spent more than 20 years researching comparative religion. He is the author of several books, and presents radio and TV programs.

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FEATURED New Muslims

The Social System in Islam: Foundations and Practices

By Abul A`La Mawdudi

The foundations of the social system of Islam rest on the belief that all human beings are equal and constitute one single fraternity.

The Social System in Islam

In Islam, if there is any real difference between man and man it cannot be one of race, color, or language, but of ideas, beliefs and principles.

Equality of Mankind

God created a human couple to herald the beginning of the life of mankind on earth, and everybody living in the world today originates from this couple. The progeny of this couple were initially a single group with one religion and the same language.

But as their numbers gradually increased, they spread all over the earth and, as a natural result of their diversification and growth, were divided into various tribes and nationalities. They came to speak different languages; their modes of dress varied; and their ways of living also differed widely. Climates and environments affected their color and physical features.

All these differences exist in the world of reality and Islam does not seek to ignore them. But it disapproves of the prejudices which have arisen among mankind because of these differences in race, color, language and nationality.

Islam makes clear to all men that they have come from the same parents and are therefore brothers and equal as human beings.

Islam says that if there is any real difference between man and man it cannot be one of race, color, country or language, but of ideas, beliefs and principles.

Two children of the same mother, though they may be equal from the point of view of a common ancestry, will have to go their different ways in life if their beliefs and moral conduct differ.

On the contrary, two people, one in the East and the other in the West, even though geographically and outwardly separated by vast distances, will tread the same path in life if they share the same code of moral behaviour.

On the basis of this fundamental tenet, Islam seeks to build a principled and ideological society very different from the racial, nationalistic and parochial societies existing in the world today.

The basis of co-operative effort among men in such a society is not the place of one’s birth but a creed and a moral principle. Anyone, if he believes in God as his Master and Lord and accepts the guidance of the Prophets as the law of his life, can join this community, whether he is a resident of America or Africa, whether he belongs to the Semitic race or the Aryan, whether he is black or fair-skinned, whether he speaks a European language or Arabic.

All those who join this community will have the same rights and social status. They will not be subjects to any racial, national or class distinctions. No one will be regarded as high or low. There will be no untouchability. There will be no special restrictions upon them in making marriages, eating and drinking and social contacts. No one will be looked down upon because of his birth of work. No one will claim any distinctive rights by virtue of his caste, community or ancestry.

Islamic Criterion

Man’s merit will not depend on his family connections or riches, but only on whether he is better than others in moral conduct or excels others in piety and righteousness.

Such social order, transcending as it does geographical boundaries and the barriers of race, color and language, is appropriate for all parts of the world; on its foundations can be raised the universal brotherhood of man.

In societies based on race or nationality only those people can join who belong to a particular race or nation, but in Islam anyone who accepts its creed and moral standards can become a member, possessing equal rights with everyone else.

Those who do not accept this creed, while obviously not being received into the community, are treated with tolerance and humanity and guaranteed all the basic human rights.

It is clear that if two children of the same mother differ in their ideas, their ways of life will be different; but this does not mean that they cease to be brothers.

In the same way, if two nations or two groups of people living in the same country differ in their fundamental beliefs, principles and ideology, their societies will also certainly differ; yet they will continue to share the common ties of humanity.

Hence, the Islamic society offers to non-Muslim societies and group the maximum social and cultural rights that can possibly be accorded.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s book “The Islamic Way of Life”.

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