What is Islam?
Islam means the active submission to the one God. Its followers are called Muslims.
Faith is called the ‘Root of religion’. The roots of Islam are five:
1. Tawhid (Unity of God)
This is the foundation of Islam. “He (God) is One, God is Eternal; He has neither begotten, nor has He been begotten; and there is no one equal to Him.” (Holy Quran: 112) He is most powerful, all knowing, most forgiving and merciful. He does not incarnate, because incarnation requires the body and space.
By teaching that there is only One God for all humans, Islam promotes the sense of brotherhood and equality in human society--all are equally related to God in the same way.
2. Adl (Justice of God)
Allah is never unjust in the least degree (holy Quran: 5:40)
It is not Allah Who injures (or oppresses) them:” They injure (and oppress) their own souls. (Quran: 29:40) Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it. (Quran: 99:7-8)
3. NUBUWAH (PROPHETHOOD)
Muslims believe in 1,2400 messengers sent by Allah throughout human history including Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus and Muhammad. He is the last messenger of the final version of God’s religion called Islam. He was born in Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) in the year 570 A.D. Muhammad was a very truthful and honest person. He was the first person on the list of “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential persons in History” a famous book by Michael H. Hart. Hart asserted that Muhammad was “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms. Muslims believe in the infallibility of all messengers, they make no distinction between any of them.
4. IMAMAH (Devine Leadership)
Prophet Muhammad before his demise by the command of Allah appointed his twelve successors to preserve Islam and lead the Muslim nation one after another. These persons were also men of purity, excellence, most knowledgeable and equally sinless. First of them is Ali and last one is Mahdi, peace be upon them.
5. QIYAMAH (DAY OF JUDGMENT)
According to Islam at the end of time, all human beings will be resurrected and will be held accountable for their worldly life. The life in the hereafter will be an eternal life. However, whether it will be blissful or full of sorrow depends on how we spend our present life. This belief makes our life meaningful.
They are called branches of Islam. First of them is Salat, the five daily prayers and special prayer on Fridays and on Eid (Islamic festival) days and some other occasions. Some benefits of them when performed properly: 1.The joy of being in Allah’s presence, meditation which guarantees one being righteous and pious.2.The friendship, and reinforcement of the bonds of brotherhood. Second is Fasting during Ramadan. Third is hajj,’ that is a special spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. Fourth is ‘zakat’ , giving for the pleasure of Allah a portion of gold, silver, cattle and farm produce. Fifth is `khums,’ that is giving 20% of the net income of the year after deducting the lawful expenses of the year. Sixth is striving for the sake of God, defending human rights and Islamic and humanitarian values that are the Islamic Jihaad. Seventh is enjoining good. And the eighth is forbidding bad deeds and evil doings. Ninth is to love the Holy Prophet, his daughter Fatima, the Twelve Imams and all other good doers and support them. Tenth is to remain aloof from oppressors and tyrants and condemn them and if it is not possible at least not cooperate