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Text Box: The Real Meaning of Islam

Written by Omar Ayash 

2009

Qurān, Chapter 3 Verse 19-20:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
" إن الدين عند الله الإسلام وما اختلف الذين أوتوا الكتاب إلا من بعد ما جاءهم العلم بغيا بينهم ومن يكفر بآيات الله فإن الله سريع الحساب * فإن حاجوك فقل أسلمت وجهي لله ومن اتبعني وقل للذين أوتوا الكتاب والأمين أأسلمت فإن أسلموا فقد اهتدوا وإن تولوا فإنما عليك البلاغ والله بصير بالعباد" صدق الله العظيم
     Since the life of human beings began, Āllah started to send His prophets and messengers to us.
     The first prophet is our father Adam, the first human being living on the earth. And Āllah (God) has arranged the earth a suitable place for him and his descendants to live in till the end of the world.
     Āllah (God) mentioned 25 prophets in Qurān (the holy book of Muslims), and He told us that there were still a lot whom He didn’t mention to us. According to Islamic studies about the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions, there were about 125000 prophets and messengers since the creation of human beings till the period of the last prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him).
     From the beginning of life, Āllah (God) has mentioned only one religion, that is, Islam. 
     Generally, Islam is known as the religion founded by the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). But this is only a partial idea out of a narrow definition. In fact, the word Islam is the transliteration of the Arabic word إسلام which means total obedience to Āllah’s (God’s) commands and wholehearted acceptance of things happened.
     The verses written in Qurān clearly indicate the idea of sole religion. When talking about religion, Āllah (God) used the single noun of Arabic Din (religion) instead of the plural one Adyan (religions). It shows us that there is only one religion from Āllah (God). No matter how the religions are named, they all lead to one God at the end. 
     Following the original meaning of Islam rather than the narrow definition as a specific religious group, Islam is a comprehensive term as sole religion which embraces anyone who has the same belief mentioned above. In the same way, Muslim, the transliteration of the Arabic word  مسلم, conveys more meaning than simply the followers of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The genuine idea of Muslim is the one who totally obeys Āllah’s (God’s) commands and wholeheartedly accepts things happened. If you are a Christian believing in God and worshiping Him the way He asked the prophet Jesus to do, you are a Muslim, because prophet Isa (Jesus) declares himself a Muslim; if you are a Jewish believing in God and worshiping Him the way He asked the prophet Moses to do, you are a Muslim, because prophet Musa (Moses) declares himself a Muslim; if you believe in a religion that finally leads you to worship God same as the heavenly religion does, you are a Muslim. Nevertheless, the real meanings, abilities, and characteristics of God must be the same. As long as we are talking about the same God regarding those three points, we are Muslims in a way or another.
     Āllah says in Chapter 42 Verse 13:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
شرع لكم من الدين ما وصى به نوحا والذي اوحينا إليك وما وصينا به إبراهيم وموسى وعيسى أن أقيموا الدّين ولا تتفرقوا فيه كَبُرَ على المشركين ما تدعوهم إليه الله يجتبي من يشاء ويهدي إليه من ينيب" صدق الله العظيم 
     In this verse, Āllah tells the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that He made the laws of this belief same as what he told prophets Noah, him, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. He says that all believers should work according to this belief. They should not become different parties, because they are all talking about the same God who has the same role in all periods, even if things are not going as they wished. Āllah says in the same verse that he who wants to be close to Āllah will be chosen by Āllah after he chose to be, and that those who believe and trust Āllah will be shown to the right way of truth. 
     He also says in Chapter 2 Verses 130 ~ 133: 
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم:
ومن يرغب عن ملة إبراهيم إلا من سفه نفسه ولقد اصطفيناه في الدنيا وإنه في الآخرة لمن الصالحين * إذ قال له ربه أسلم قال أسلمت لربّ العالمين * ووصى بها إبراهيم بنيه ويعقوب يا بني إن الله اصطفى لكم الدين فلا تموتنّ إلا وأنتم مسلمون * أم كنتم شهداء إذ حضر يعقوبَ الموتُ إذ قال لبنيه ماتعبدون من بعدي قالوا نعبد إلاهك وإلاه آباءك إبراهيم وإسماعيل وإسحاق إلاها واحدا ونحن له مسلمون * 
صدق الله العظيم 
     Āllah is telling us that those who disbelieve in Him are people who don’t care about themselves. Āllah chose Abraham to talk about His religion and said he is one of the virtuous in the eternal hereafter.
     Āllah asked Abraham to believe in Him, and Abraham did and said, “I believe in Āllah, the Lord of the world.” Then Abraham told his kids and Jacob, “Āllah made this religion (Islam) for you, so be sure that you will die with the same belief as Muslims.” When death came to Jacob, he asked his sons, “Who are you going to worship after me?” They said, “We will worship the same God you and your fathers Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac were worshiping, the same and the only one God. We are Muslims.”
     There are a lot of verses in Qurān talking about Islam as the sole religion from Āllah, same as other heavenly religions named differently by human beings, same God, the only Creator. 
     The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Prophets before me are same as one house built nice and attractive except one brick not yet done. People used to say that this house is perfect except the empty space for this brick. I say, ‘Me as the last prophet sent by Āllah is same as this brick.’” 
     This gives us the correct meaning of the religion: it is from one God, Āllah, and all prophets before the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were worshiping the same God. In Bible, some of the prophets even mentioned the name of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in their speeches or talks. When they talked about religion, they called their religion Islam.
     Islam is the perfect combination of all the heavenly religions before Islam, and it is the last religion from Āllah via His last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
     Some say that we should study the method of comparison between religions. In fact, there shouldn’t be such method or course because religions which came from the same God shouldn’t be different in belief. The real thing we should concern is how to find the nice harmony between the heavenly religions for them to accept each other, as long as all of them are reading from the same page and drinking from the same source of water, even from different places and different tabs.
     There is only one heavenly religion, but we human beings gave it different names while Āllah (God) named this religion in one name, that is, Islam, which means total obedience of Āllah’s (God’s) commands and wholehearted acceptance of things happened. 
     This is the religion with the belief that there is only one God ― having no partner, no wife, and no kids, never being created, having no beginning nor end, never falling asleep nor feeling tired or sick, existing in everywhere, shapeless, in need of no one, and being able to do everything. Furthermore, anything will be done immediately simply by His command “BE.” 
     Āllah (God) knows everything and is closer than anything else to us, even than ourselves. 
     Āllah (God) knows what we need and what is going to happen. He is able to do everything for us while He needs nothing from us, yet we need Him in everything.
     The real belief which will lead us to the best in our both lives, the one we live now and the one after this, is the belief which gives us the full confidence that Āllah is able to do everything for us. Meanwhile, we have to ask Him in the right way and do the things He asks us to do by following the way the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us. 
     When we ask Āllah for something, do it in a way that we are sure that He is listening to us and taking care of us. We have to know that He doesn’t lose anything doing it for us. We must have the feeling and confidence that He is the only one who can do it for us and that we don’t need anyone as long as Āllah is supporting us. The most important thing is that we have to believe, at the end, Āllah is arranging the best for us, as He knows us better than we do. When we have this belief and confidence, we will get the best result and feel relaxed and satisfied with our lives.
     There are two verses in Qurān in Chapter 65 Verses 2 and 3 written: 
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم:
ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا *  ويرزقه من حيث لايحتسب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه إن الله بالغ أمره قد جعل الله لكل شيء قدرا" صدق الله العظيم
     To those who fear Āllah, He will never push them down and will always lead them to the best. He will show them the best solutions and bring the good things to them in a way that they have never thought it would help. To those who depend on Āllah, He will be enough for them. He is able to do all they want and make the best arrangement for everything.
     When we know the One who is ordering us, we will obey the order and make it perfect; if we don’t know the One who gives us the order, we can always find the perfect way not to obey Him. So let us know Āllah better, and for sure we will be so glad to obey Him and follow His orders, because we will know that all His orders are for the best of our both lives.

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