Islam: The Qur'nic Overview

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Section II

Relationship with Allah

The Key Elements:

* Whatever exists in the Universe praises Allah, submits to His will and follows His law (2: 116; 3: 83; 13: 15; 16: 49, 50; 30: 26; 17: 44; 24: 41; 57: 1; 59:1, 24; 61: 1; 62: 1).

* The concept of al-Tawhd, oneness of Allah, is responsible for unity and harmony throughout the entire universe. Man, being the trustee of Allah and His best creation, should worship Allah alone and thereby establish a close link with scores of past Prophets, Allah-conscious cultures and civilizations (6: 162; 72: 18; 106: 3; 51: 56; 16: 36; 14: 40; 21: 72-73; 19: 54-55; 20: 14; 2: 83; 10: 87; 72: 1-4; 20: 132).

* In life all endeavors, be they in the spiritual or material spheres, and provided they are fulfilled within the jurisdiction of al-Shar'ah, the Islamic way of life, are regarded as worship.

 

The Five Pillars of Islam

6 al-Shahdah, Testimony of Faith:

The Credal Statement:

L ilha illallhu Muhammadur Raslullh,
There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

The Articles of Faith:

"O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Book which He revealed to His messenger, and the Book which He revealed afore-time. Whoso disbelieves in Allah, His angels and His Books and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily has wandered far astray" (4: 136).

"He has created everything and has meted out for it a measure." (25: 2)

 

7 al-Salh, The Ritual Prayer:
 

Rak'ah, a cycle of the ritual Prayer, includes qiym (standing), ruk' (bowing down), sajdatayn (two prostrations), and qa'dah (sitting).
 
In all these postures certain prescribed invocations in Arabic are said, praising Allah, glorifying His name, and seeking His blessings, favors, mercy and guidance.
 
There are five ritual Prayers: Fajr, before sunrise, Zuhr, noon, 'Asr, afternoon, Maghrib, after sunset and 'Ish, at night.
 
All ritual prayers are established by Muslims throughout the globe as they were taught by the Prophet Muhammad ( - peace be upon him).
 
The Important Prayers:
Five daily obligatory Prayers, Friday Congregational Prayer, 'd Prayers: (5: 6; 2: 43; 4: 101; 62: 9; 2: 239; 20: 130; 4: 103; 17: 78; 2: 238; 11: 114; 40: 55; 50: 39; 52: 49; 29: 45; 19: 59; 27: 3; 2: 45; 9: 18; 62: 9).
 
Prerequisites:
  • Purity of intention, body, dress, and environment.
  • Wud', Ablution (5: 6).
  • Facing the Ka'bah in Makkah.
Benefits:
Creates discipline, piety, unity, equality, obedience, patience, justice, punctuality, consciousness of duty and other virtues.
 
Characteristics:
Direct link and dialogue with Allah. It can be said as far as possible in a mosque or anywhere provided the place is clean.

 

8 al-Zakh, The Welfare Due:

(2: 177, 265; 9: 60; 30: 39; 23: 4; 31: 4).

Zakh in Arabic means purity.
 
Whatever exists in the Universe belongs to Allah. A man/woman is a trustee of all of Allah's bounties and he/she is accountable to Him.
 
Allah has prescribed Welfare due, on currency, gold and silver, farm produce and livestock. A certain portion of these are the legal, annual right of those who are less privileged in the society provided such items have been in the possession of a person for a complete year and these have reached the required nisb, a fixed amount by law on which Zakh is due.
 
It enables a person to purify his/her wealth and encourages him/her to be generous and feel the need of those members of the society who, on account of their poverty, are unable to fulfill their basic requirements.

 

9 al-Sawm, Fasting:
 

Fasting during the month of Ramadn (2:183-185,187).
 
Sawm means to abstain from food, drink, sex, and all unlawful acts from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah. A person is also required to abstain from bad perceptions and thoughts.
An annual, month-long training for purification of the soul.
 
The establishment of close links with Allah.
 
Creates discipline, endurance, Godliness, piety, forgiveness.
 
Encourages a person to repent to Allah, to sacrifice those worldly things which a person loves most and reflect on the creation and on the message of the Qur'n.
 
Muslims celebrate 'd al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast. They pray two cycles of prayer in a large congregation in the morning on the 1st of Shawwl (the 10th month of the Islamic Hijra, lunar calendar).

10 al-Hajj, The Pilgrimage:

 

For those who can undertake the journey, the performance of pilgrimage at Makkah, once in a lifetime, is an obligatory duty.
 
It was the Prophet Abraham who constructed, with the help of his son the Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon them) the Ka'bah, a cubical building made of stone as the House of the One True God. The Qur'n calls it the first House of worship appointed for mankind (3: 96). It is a resort for mankind and a place of safety (2: 125). Mankind have been asked to perform pilgrimages to the House of Allah (3: 97; 22: 27).
 
All rites performed at Makkah around the Ka'bah, at Min, Muzdalifah and 'Araft are the revival of the concept of Abrahamic worship of one God only and these are accomplished in an international gathering of thousands of believers in one God, in absolute equality, discipline, brotherhood and uniformity (2: 125, 194, 196-203; 3: 96, 97; 5: 94, 95; 22: 25, 36, 37, 28,34).
 
Muslims celebrate 'd al-Adh, the Festival of Sacrifice on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah (the last month of the Hijra calendar) the world over.

 

11 al-Dhikr, The Remembrance of Allah:

"Such as remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining" (3:191).

"Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility" (13: 28).

al-Dhikr is the very life of a believer and he/she always finds humility, tranquility, peace and Divine love in this noble exercise.

"Those who believe are staunch in their love for Allah" (2: 165).

(20: 14; 33: 41; 2: 152; 29: 45; 4: 103; 24: 37; 72: 17; 39: 22; 43: 36; 58: 19; 20: 124.)

12 al-Tawbah, Repentance: 

Human beings are created innocent. They are accountable in the life Hereafter for their deeds. Allah not only accepts repentance which is accompanied by faith, sincerity and determination, He also loves such persons (39: 53; 2: 222; 9: 104; 20: 82; 7: 153; 4: 17-18).

 

13 al-Du'', Supplication: 

It is a spiritual connection with Allah. Allah listens to the supplication done in humiliation and bestows His blessings on souls out of His Benevolence (40: 60; 2: 186, 286; 3: 16, 38, 53, 147, 193-194; 5: 83; 7: 23, 126; 14: 40; 17: 24; 23: 97; 26: 83; 28: 16; 25: 74; 40: 7; 66: 8; 10: 10; 37: 182).

* al-Du'' always opens the doors of al-Rahmah and al-Maghfirah: Divine Mercy and Forgiveness. Whatever exists in the Universe, exists because of Divine mercy. His mercy encompasses everything. A believer, therefore, should always seek His mercy and forgiveness. (7: 156; 6: 12, 133; 18: 58; 12: 64; 43: 32; 15: 56; 4: 110; 108: 2; 8: 33; 2:186).

* For all these acts of worship the Qur'n has traced their practice among the people throughout the ages.

 

14 (a) al-Tazkiyah, Purification: 

al-Tazkiyah is an inner purity which enables a person to act righteously. It can be attained by firstly, doing all that Islam enjoins and abstaining from all that Islam has forbidden; secondly, by doing more of what Islam encourages, such as seeking Allah's pleasure and reward; and thirdly, giving up much of the permissible desires (91: 9; 3: 164).

(b) Rid Allah, Pleasure of Allah:

The attainment of Allah's pleasure is the ultimate goal of a believer's life. All other desires are trivial and shall be sacrificed for the fulfillment of this cardinal desire (5: 119; 9: 100; 58: 22; 22: 59; 2: 207).

 

15 al-Jihd, Exertion: 

* The nature of human desires is such that a person is tempted towards the course of life solicited by Satan. It is only with jihd, self-exertion, that it is possible to follow the road which leads to Allah's pleasure and protects the interests of the house of Islam, when required, by sacrificing one's life.

The Spiritual Jihd:

No progress can possibly be witnessed without making the human soul (12: 53) submissive to the Divine will and bringing it to the highest stage of tranquility (89: 27). It is the greatest jihd.

The Physical Jihd:

The Qur'n has permitted the use of weapons for protection of human life (6:151), self-defense (2: 190-194; 9: 43-44; 22: 39-40; 47: 4) and in support of the oppressed (4: 75; 8: 60, 72-73).

 

16 al-Da'wah, The Invitation: 

* All Prophets and Messengers in the past called their people to submit to the will of Allah (i.e. Islam). al-Da'wah is, therefore, the revival of this practice.

* The Qur'n says: "And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoy right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful" (3: 104).

* "Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation" (16: 125).

* D', the Caller to the Truth, decorates himself/herself with the jewels of al-ma'rf, virtuous conduct, and abstains from al-munkar, forbidden acts. At the same time he/she makes efforts for the establishment of virtues and eradication of evils.

 

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