What sort of a religion is Islam?

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What sort of a religion is Islam?
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Dear Brother / Sister,

Islam is a heavenly and the most perfect religion which Allah (SWT), the owner and creator of all beings, has sent as a mercy for all beings, conveyed it to Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) through revelation, and sent down the Holy Qur’an along with it. For the Holy Qur’an is the last of Holy Books and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the Seal of Prophets.

Islam is a universal religion. It calls the whole humanity for worshipping Allah Who is One and Only. He (SWT) never begets nor begotten. He (SWT) has no partner, match, and peer. He (SWT) is the possesser of all things. He (SWT) is free from defect. It is He (SWT) Who gives His servants welfare, Who keep them safe and watch them over. It is He Who creates, brings into existence, and gives shape. He (SWT) has got most beautiful names. Those on earth and in heaven are His possession and His creatures. He (SWT) is Most Powerful, and Perfectly Wise, All-Merciful and All-Compassionate. Everything and every creature is constantly in need of Him. Earth and heaven, and all well-arranged and wise beings come into the field of existence with His creation and will. All created beings show His knowledge, power and will.

Islam is a religion of peace and security. It takes its root in the tranquility of the social life. It embraces human beings with love and compassion, watchs over the oppressed, protects the poor, the impoverished, the needy, the ownerless, it enjoines justice. It approaches men with compassion and mercy. It respects human life at utmost degree. According to Islam, human life, property and chastity are sacred and untouchable. It does not meddle with individuals’ private lives. The secrecy and immunity of freedom of housing, correspondance, and speech is substantial. (An-Nur, 24/ 27-28) Muslim is a trustworthy person from whose hands, tongue and other parts nobody is hurt.

Islam is a light and mercy for all mankind. “Even disbelievers have made use of its mercy. Because of the promptings of Islam, the absolute unbelief and denial have been transformed into doubt and hesitation. On account of the reflection and influence that those promptings make on disbelievers, disbelievers are hopeful about the eternal life. Therefore their worldly pleasures and happiness would not be completely ruined, those pleasures would not be transformed into pains.” (Bediuzzaman, Masnawi, 80)

In the Qur’anic sense and Islamic tradition, words “Islam” and “Unity” suggest the same meaning. Hence, Islam is not only the religion of Muhammad (PBUH), but also is a heavenly religion which became the cause of all prophets. In just the same way, the Qur’an announces this truth as follows: The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him). Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have surrendered.” (Al-Baqara, 132,133)

The Holy Qur’an attaches a special importance to men of science; “Are those who know equal with those who know not?” (Az-Zumer, 9), “The erudite among His bondmen fear Allah alone.” (Al-Fatır, 28), “Allah (Himself) is witness that there is no God save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness).” (Al-i’Imran, 18), “But those of them who are firm in knowledge and the believers believe in that which is revealed unto thee, and that which was revealed before thee, especially the diligent in prayer and those who pay the poor-due, the believers in Allah and the Last Day. Upon these We shall bestow immense reward.” (An-Nisaa, 162), “Say: Believe therein or believe not, lo! those who were given knowledge before it, when it is read unto them, fall down prostrate on their faces, adoring.” (Isra, 107), “And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it is the truth from thy Lord, so that they may believe therein and their hearts may submit humbly unto Him. Lo! Allah verily is guiding those who believe unto a right path.” (Al-Hacc, 54), “As for these similitudes, We coin them for mankind, but none will grasp their meaning save the wise.” (Al-Ankabut, 43), “O ye who believe! When it is said: Make room in assemblies, then make room; Allah will make way for you (hereafter) and when it is said: Come up higher, go up higher; Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks. Allah is Informed of what ye do.” (Al-Mucadele, 11)

Contrary to some religions and sects which put reasoning aside and silence people of contemplation, the Holy Qur’an gives men of knowledge and wisdom high ranks in the name of the religion and does not wish a blind imitation, instead encourages man into reflective thought.

Şener Dilek (Prof. Dr.)

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