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Monday, December 06, 2004

SOME DESTINCTIVE FEATURES OF ISLAM

A Perfect Religion

Islam is an outstanding religion with peace at the core of its teachings. Such peace results in an inner strength and tranquility that permeates every sphere of life.

The totality of the teaching of Islam is of such perfection that one left amazed at how simplicity and complexity intertwine to produce such a perfect picture. Some pieces of this picture are mentioned below to allow one to reflect upon their collective strength.

Unity

The concept of unity in Islam is all encompassing:

The Kalima declares ‘there is none worthy of worship but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’ underlining the Unity of Allah and it is this that echoes throughout Islam and in many different forms.

Islam is a religion for all mankind in which, women and children bow down together towards one focal point and praise the one and only Allah. All creatures bound by the laws of nature fulfill their individual parts of a wider picture to a single Creator and Lord of all.

Freedom

Islam gives its individual complete freedom of choice. The Holy Qur’an states that there is no compulsion in religion.

Islam also reminds man of the limitations of this world and urges man to strive in the way of Allah and not to become engrossed in the worldly pursuits – for it is only when one keeps in touch with one’s spirituality that one becomes truly free.

Status of Women

Women in Islam are treated with the greatest respect. Their value is like that of a precious diamond whose beauty is not to be carelessly paraded. Safety and care paramount to preserve their latent qualities that Allah has bestowed on them.

One who respects his mother is held in high esteem and the saying of the Prophet Muhammad saw that, “Paradise lies at feet of the mothers”, clearly shows the status given to women.

Education

Knowledge is deemed so important that no one is exempt from gaining it. Islam urges that people should strive to acquire knowledge even if it requires great effort. By increasing one’s knowledge man attains a greater understanding of the system in place that sustain and support the joys and suffering of fellow beings and how science and religion are in perfect harmony.

Islam reminds man that all knowledge stems from Allah Who created all things and Who is All-Knowing. It is through Allah that man is brought closer to the truth.

Equality

Islam teaches that all people are equal in the sight of Allah. Rich or poor, black or white, young or old, able-bodied or not, Allah does not judge by material or physical criteria. He looks into the hearts of people and Islam tells man that it is the intentions behind the actions that count. In Islam people are equal not only in the sight of Allah, but also in the eyes of each other.

The Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is a perfect example of equality, where people from all walks of life gather together in the same dress and worship Allah. There are no special places reserved for anyone and they all follow the same rituals to serve the same purpose which is to win the pleasure of Allah.

Universality

The whole world has been prepared by Allah through various prophets to receive the ultimate, universal and everlasting teaching that is Islam. It is the final and perfect religion for mankind. It is rooted in absolute justice and is free from all forms of prejudices. Islam is here for the whole world and is the path of perfection that leads to Allah.

Charity

Charity is an integral part of Islam. It prevents the unnecessary hoarding of wealth and is a constant reminder to appreciate what one has.

Islam encourages man to sacrifice wealth, time and talents for those in need. It explains that modesty of character and humility are virtues borne out of charitable deeds. The rewards reaped from such actions are manifold that benefit individuals as well as society.

The Holy Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an, the Muslim scripture, is the Word of Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It has remained unchanged for over 1400 years. Its teachings are timeless and matchless. It forms a complete manual, for all people of all ages and all races.

It teaches absolute justice and clearly distinguishes right from wrong. Its teachings contain profound wisdom. It tackles issues faced by man in his day to day existence in an effort to help make his life as rewarding a possible.

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