Inserts / Messages
- Basic Education
- Interesting Articles
- Religious Lectures
- Wiladat Celebrations
- Questions about Iman
- Healthy Living
Inserts / Messages
- Basic Education
- Interesting Articles
- Religious Lectures
- Wiladat Celebrations
- Questions about Iman
- Healthy Living
A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE TO MANKIND
ABDULLATIF ALJIBURY PH.D.
DANVILLE. CA USA
HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES AND ETHICAL LAWS
1- The main and overriding concept in Islam is the Oneness and Uniqueness of God. This central concept bears out the basic principles of Islam. Because of the fact that God is the creator and architect of the universe and that He is the sole and supreme power and has no equal or competitor, this implies the unity in the purpose of creation and permeates to other aspects of life such as:
- Spirit and matter
- Soul and body
- Science and religion
- Human beings and the environment
- Conscious and unconscious matters
2- Oneness of Mankind: Islam regards all human beings as equals. The equality of all human beings is a fundamental principle in Islam, which has been clearly stated in verse (39:P6) of the Holy Quran,
He (God) created you (humans) from a single soul
The singularity of the origin of humanity implies equality in the most direct way and without any possible alternate explanation or interpretation. God does not judge people by their gender, color, race or place in society. Specifically God says in the Quran (49:13)
O’ mankind! We have created you from male and female and have made you nations and tribes that you may know each other.The noblest of you in the sight of God is the most righteous
Since Islam is the total religion and the advocate of total equality of mankind, it can claim to be truly a universal religion and the culmination of the teachings and messages of all prior prophets and messengers sent by God to humankind from Adam through Abraham, Moses, and Jesus to Muhammad.
3- Oneness of the Message: It is a central belief in Islam that God had sent the same message through the different messengers and prophets whose central theme is the total submission to the will of God. That God is the Supreme Being in the universe and that human beings are to seek His protection, guidance, forgiveness and deliverance from their evil acts and to perform their daily work in compliance with His code of ethics revealed to mankind in His universal message. We are to seek all of this from God alone and must never enjoin anyone as equal to Him. The message of Islam is the total summation and accumulation of all that was revealed to the prophets before Muhammad. Through the well-documented and unadulterated message of Islam, God has made sure for all of humanity that His last message is well preserved without alteration by individuals as had, unfortunately, happened to the messages before Islam (Christianity and Judaism). Included within the total message of Islam are parts of the unadulterated revelations to the prophets Moses and Jesus from the Old and The New Testaments such as the Ten Commandments, to be helpful to others, to forgive and to love thy neighbor, as an example. What is emphasized as part of the final message is the faulty claim by the Jews that they are God’s chosen people. God said in His final message that all human beings are equal, but the best among them are those that are most conscious of Him (Holy Quran 49:13). God had refuted the manufactured and adulterated concept of Deity in the Christian dogma of the Trinity, which imparts on Prophet Jesus the notion of being the Son of God. Also refuted in the final revelation is the concept of Original Sin and that Salvation can only be achieved by the admission that prophet Jesus had died on The Cross to absolve the individuals from their sins and only when individuals admit to that, then and only then they can have salvation and be absolved of their sins. God emphasized in many instances in the Holy Quran that every individual is responsible for his or her own deeds and that “no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another.” (Holy Quran 6:164)
4- Salvation is universal and is open to all of mankind. In Islam salvation is accessible to all human beings as long as they:
- Believe in the one and only God;
- Believe in the Day of Judgment;
- Do good deeds during their earthly lifetime.
This principle is clearly stated in the Holy Quran (2:62):
“Verily, those who have attained to faith as well as those who follow the Jewish faith and the Christians and the Sabians- all who believe in God and the Last day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with the Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.”
This principle lays down a fundamental precept with a sweeping breadth of vision that is unparalleled in other faiths and is only befitting God’s final message to mankind that Salvation is made contingent upon three elements: belief in one God, faith in the Last Day, and doing righteous deeds in earthly life. With this principle, God is clearly declaring to all of humanity the universality of the message of Islam. From this principle, the fair-minded can clearly perceive that Islam seeks to guide all human beings to function during their earthly lifetime within the guideposts of virtue, knowledge and beauty in harmony with God’s creation, and be inspired to do righteous deeds that are in the main for their own benefit.
5- There is no compulsion in religion. It is a fundamental doctrine in Islam that God had admonished the believers that since matters of faith have been clearly set and declared to all of humanity; it is the prerogative of each and every individual in the society to freely choose his or her own faith or religion.
There is no compulsion in religion.
Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path.
Hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of an unfailing support,
for God is all hearing and all knowing
(The Quran, 2: 256)
6- Everyone alone is responsible for one’s acts.
No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burdens of others
(6:164 and six other verses all to the same effect.)
This ethical law rejects the doctrine of original sin and that one’s sins can be atoned by the intersession by a saint or a holy person. The idea of an intermediary between a person and God is totally rejected. God tells us that He is so close to us, even closer than our own jugular vein.
And indeed, We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.”
The Quran 50:16.
God further tells us that He always hears our supplications and prayers.
When my servants ask you about Me, I am indeed close to them; I listen to the prayers of every supplicant when he or she calls upon me and believe in me so that they may be rightly guided.
7- A person is judged by his conscious intentions and should strive in life for the best that he or she can achieve.
. Man can have nothing except that which he strives for
Verse (53:39) .
Beyond that, it is God’s prerogative to judge every individual. No person, no matter how well versed he or she may be in religious matters, has been given the authority to prejudge any other person for being a good Muslim or even a heretic, let alone to have the right to implement or execute a punishment. The Quran (2:113.)
It is God who will judge between them on resurrection Day with regard to all that which they differed on.
Even infidels are given a fair treatment.
Oh, You disbelievers, I do not worship that which you worship, nor will you worship that which I worship … to you be your religion and to me is my religion.
It is obvious that in the grand design of the makeup of communities and nations, God has meant that inhabitants on earth live along with each other having different religions and beliefs.
ISLAMIC ARTICLES OF FAITH
God is the Creator of the Universe. He is unique, all-powerful, and all-merciful, neither begets nor is begotten. He is supreme and accepts no partners with Him.
Belief in all the previous revelations through all of the prophets from Adam through Abraham, Moses and Jesus and ending with Muhammad.
Belief in the realities which are beyond our conscious domain such as the angles, Heaven and Hell and all that we cannot see and feel and cannot prove by scientific methods. All of these are part and parcel of the complete message.
Belief in the Final Day of Judgment when everyone will be held accountable for one’s action during one’s earthly lifetime and will be rewarded accordingly.
Belief that God is in full control of the world at all times. Humans, unlike angles, have been given the freedom of choice within the realm of God’s creation. At every moment in the course of their lifetime, human beings, when confronted with a decision, can freely make either the right decision in conformity with God’s divine code of ethics or the wrong decision, which they have been forewarned by the Creator to avoid. Muslims are at peace with the world and at whatever happens to them. All is God’s will. The good that comes out of our action is through God who has given us the means necessary to achieve goodness. The bad things that befall us are our responsibility because we have not followed God’s guidance. Other events that are beyond our control are His to direct and implement and are, therefore, not our responsibility. The world is His creation and He is all knowing.
PILLARS OF ISLAM – RELIGIOUS PRACTICES
According to the injunctions that are set forth in the Quran by God for a Muslim to perform in order to qualify as a Muslim are the five following practices. These practices provide the basic necessities to help the Muslim on the path towards piety and consciousness of God which is the pinnacle for the true believers to achieve in this earthly life.
1. Declaration of the following Creed: “I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is messenger of God.” This is a declaration that the Muslim makes numerous times every day and at all times. It is the forerunner of what qualifies a person to be a Muslim.
2. Performance of prayers five times a day, during which times the worshipper is in direct contact with God. It is the ascension of the Muslim. In addition to the spiritual elevation attained by the performance of the prayers, the worshipper gets a chance to clean his exposed body parts at least five times a day, for cleanliness in Islam is part of faith. Prayers also train the worshipper to be physically in shape, and to be aware of time and space by being aware of his or her position with respect to Mecca, which he or she has to face during the prayers. Furthermore, A Muslim is admonished to participate in the Friday prayer to enjoy the spiritual benefits as well as the feeling of belonging as a participant in the communal prayer.(The Holy Quran 62:9) “ Oh! You, who believe, when the call to the Friday Prayer is proclaimed, hasten to the remembrance of God and leave all worldly commerce. This is for your own good.”
3. Giving alms and charitable contributions. Every Muslim must give from his capital or earnings a certain amount that is mandatory, which is called Zakaat (a minimum of 2 1/2 % of one’s income). Muslims, who can afford it, are encouraged to give more than the mandatory amount to support socially beneficial programs. Sharing wealth and income is a social responsibility that every Muslim must undertake. Accumulation of wealth is not encouraged in Islam, Quran: 59:7. Charitable contributions and giving alms are so basic that even those who cannot afford to give must, instead, perform extra prayers and encourage others to do good deeds and be righteous, for being righteous is regarded as part of charity. God demands that we be good not only to ourselves but to others.
4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan. All physically capable Muslims are required to fast during the ninth month of the Muslim Lunar Calendar. The fast begins everyday during the month of Ramadan from dawn to sunset during which time the fasting person abstains from food and drink, marital contact and vain talk, especially backbiting. The fast is broken at sunset when the fasting person can resume normal activities, until dawn of the next day. Those who cannot fast are to feed the poor one day for everyday they miss fasting.
God wants to teach us, through fasting:
- To cleanse the body and the soul and be closer to Him;
- By enduring hunger we are made to be compassionate and helpful to the poor;
- Promote discipline in controlling urgent desires and develop the ability to get rid of bad habits.
5. Perform the Pilgrimage to Mecca. This is once in a lifetime event that takes place in the twelfth month of the Muslim Lunar Calendar. Muslims who are physically able and can afford the journey are obligated to attend the gathering once in their lifetime. It commemorates the memory of the building of the Ka’ba by Prophet Abraham and the ordeal of his wife in her search for water that she was led to discover in, at that time, a barren and a desolate place in the middle of the desert. Muslims from all over the world gather and circulate around the Ka’ba. All, men and women, wearing simple garments in humility are reminded that they are all equal before God and are insignificant in their place in this universe. Nothing is apparent that distinguishes a prince from a beggar, they are made aware that they can carry nothing with them when they leave this life on earth. They then stand before the mount of Arafat to ask God for forgiveness and guidance to help them live a meaningful life and be conscious of Him. The pilgrims then, symbolically, stone Satan to help them feel cleansed from their earlier sins. They then sacrifice an animal and give it to the poor in memory of Prophet Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ishmael, to show the ultimate faith in God. They then make their final rounds of the Ka’ba before heading back home, feeling spiritually cleansed to start afresh to begin doing the good things in life.