INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM
- Chapter 1: ISLAM AT A GLANCE
- Chapter 2: WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ISLAM
- Chapter 3: CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM
- Chapter 4: PROPHETHOOD IN ISLAM
- Chapter 5: WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
- Chapter 6: WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE QUR'AN
- Chapter 7: CONCEPT OF WORSHIP IN ISLAM
- Chapter 8: LIFE AFTER DEATH
- Chapter 9: MORAL SYSTEM OF ISLAM
- Chapter 10: HUMAN RIGHTS IN ISLAM
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ISLAM AT A GLANCE
Islam and Muslims
The Arabic word Islam means peace, submission and obedience. The
religion of Islam is the complete acceptance of the teachings and
GUIDANCE of Allah as revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A
Muslim is one who believes in Allah and strives for total reorganization
of his life according to His revealed guidance and the guidance and the
sayings of the Prophet. He also works for building human society on the
same basis. "Muhammadanism" is a misnomer for Islam and offends its
The word 'Allah' is the proper name of God in Arabic. It is a unique
term because it has no plural or feminine gender.
Continuity of Message
Islam is not a new religion. It is, in essence, the same message and
guidance which Allah revealed to all Prophets:
Say, we believe in Allah and that which has been revealed to us, and
that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Issac and Jacob
and tribes and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to other
Prophets, from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them,
and to Him we submit (Qur'an 3:83).
The message that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is Islam
in its comprehensive complete and final form.
The Five Pillars of Islam
There are five pillars of Islam
1. The declaration of faith: To bears witness that there is none
worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad (PBUH) is His messenger
to all human beings till the Day of Judgment. The Prophethood of
Muhammad (PBUH) obliges the Muslims to follow his exemplary life as
2. Prayers: Prayers are offered five times a day as a duty towards
Allah. They strengthen and enliven the belief in Allah, and inspire
and prevent temptation towards wrongdoings and evils.
3. Zakat: To pay annually 2.5% of one's net saving on which a year
has passed as a religious duty and purifying sum to be spent on
poorer sections of the community.
4. Fasting the month of Ramadhan: The Muslims during the month of
Ramadhan not only abstain from food drink and sexual intercourse
from dawn to sunset, but also from evil intentions and desires. It
teaches love, sincerity and devotion. It develops a sound social
conscience, patience, unselfishness and willpower.
5. Pilgrimage to Makkah: It is to be performed once in a lifetime, if
one can afford it financially and physically.
Besides these pillars every action that is done with the awareness that it
pleases Allah is also considered an act of worship.
Islam enjoins faith in the Oneness and Sovereignty of Allah, which
makes man aware of the meaningfulness of the Universe and of his
place in it. This belief frees him from all fears and superstitions by
making him conscious of the presence of the Almighty Allah and of
man's obligations towards Almighty Allah. This faith must be expressed
and tested in action. Faith alone is not enough. Belief in one
requires that we look upon all humanity as one family under the
universal Omnipotence of Allah -- the Creator and Nourisher of all.
Islam rejects the idea of chosen people. It considers faith in Allah and
good action the only way to heaven, thus, a direct relationship is
established with Allah, without any intercessor.
Man: The Free Agent
Man is the highest creation of Allah. He is equipped with the highest of
potentialities. He is left relatively free in his will, action and choice.
Allah has shown him the right path, and the life of Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH) provides a perfect example. Man's success and salvation lie in
following both this path and the Qur'an. Islam teaches the sanctity of
the human personality and confers equal rights without any distinction
of race, sex or color.
The law of Allah, enunciated in the Qur'an and exemplified in the life of
the prophet, is supreme in all cases. It applies equally to the highest and
the lowest, the rich and poor, the ruler and ruled.
Qur'an and Ahadith
The Qur'an is the last revealed book of Allah and the basic source of
Islamic teachings and laws. The Qur'an deals with the bases of creeds,
morality, history of humanity, worship, knowledge, wisdom, Allah-man
and human relationship in all aspects. Comprehensive teachings that
can build sound systems of social justice, economics, politics,
legislation, jurisprudence, law and international relations. These are
important contents of the Holy Qur'an.
Muhammad (PBUH) himself was an unlettered man who could not read
or write. Yet, the Holy Qur'an was committed to memory and written
down by his followers, under his supervision, during his lifetime. The
original and complete text of the Qur'an is available to everybody in
Arabic, the language in which it was revealed. Translations of the
meaning into many languages are widely used. AHADITH, the
teachings, sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),
meticulously reported and collected by his devoted companions, explain
and elaborate the Qur'anic verses.
Concept of Worship
Islam does not teach or accept mere ritualism. It emphasizes intention
and action. To worship Allah is to know Him and love Him, to act upon
His law in every aspect of life, to enjoin goodness and forbid
wrongdoing and oppression, to practice charity and justice and to serve
Him by serving mankind. The Qur'an presents this concept in the
following sublime manner:
Is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West,
but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the
Angels and the Book and the Prophets; and gives his wealth for love of
Him to kinfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to
those who ask, and to set slaves free and observes proper worship and
pays the charity. And those who keep their treaty when they make one,
and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress, such are
those who are sincere. Such are the Allah fearing. (Qur'an 2:177)
Islamic Way of Life
Islam provides definite guidelines for all people to follow in all
background. The guidance it gives is comprehensive and includes the
social, economic, political, moral and spiritual aspects of life. The
Qur'an reminds man of the purpose of his life on earth, of his duties
and obligations towards himself, his friends and relations, his
community, his fellow human beings and his Creator. Man is given
fundamental guidelines about a purposeful life and he is left with the
challenge of human existence before him so that he might put these high
ideals into practice. In Islam, man's life is a wholesome, integrated unit
and not a collection of fragmented, competitive parts. The sacred and
secular are not separate parts of man's life: they are united in the
nature of being human.
Muhammad (PBUH) was born in the year 570 A.D. in the city of
Makkah in Arabia. He came from a noble family; he received the first
revelation at the age of forty. As soon as he started preaching Islam, he
and his followers were persecuted and had to face severe hardships. He
was, therefore, commanded by Allah to migrate to Madinah, the second
holiest city in Islam. During a short span of 23 years, he completed his
mission of Prophethood. He returned to Allah at the age of 63. He led a
perfect life and sets an example for all human-beings as his life was the
embodiment of the Qur'anic teachings.
Islam's Rational Appeal
Islam has in its clear and direct way of expressing truth has a
tremendous amount of appeal for any seeker of knowledge. It is a
solution for all the problems of life. It is a guide towards a better and
complete life glorifying in all its phases, Allah, the Almighty Creator
and Merciful Nourisher.
Islam -- Solution of Modern Problems
The Brotherhood of Man: A major problem which modern man face is
that of racism. The materially advanced nations can send man to the
moon but they cannot stop man from hating and fighting his fellow man.
Islam, over the last 1400 years, has shown in practice how racism can
be ended. Every year, during Hajj, the Islamic miracle of real
brotherhood of all races and nations can be seen in action.
Family: The family that is the basic unit of civilization, is disintegrating
in all western countries. Islam's family system brings into a fine
equilibrium the rights of husband, wife, children and relatives. Islam
nourishes human unselfishness, generosity and love in a well-organized
Unfragmented View of Life
Human beings live according to their view of life. The tragedy of
secular societies is that they fail to connect the different aspects of life.
The secular and religious, the scientific and spiritual seem to be in
conflict. Islam ends this conflict and brings harmony to man's vision of
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ISLAM
The Islam that was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH), is the continuation
and culmination of all the proceeding revealed religions and hence it is
for all times and all peoples. This status of Islam is sustained by glaring
facts. First, there is no other revealed book extant in the same form and
content as it was revealed. Second, no other revealed religion has any
convincing claim to provide guidance in all walks of human life for all
times. Islam addresses humanity at large and offers basic guidance
regarding all human problems. Moreover, it has withstood the test of
fourteen hundred years and has all the potentialities of establishing an
ideal society as it did under the leadership of the last Prophet
It was a miracle that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) could win even his
toughest enemies to the fold of Islam without adequate material
resources. Worshippers of idols, blind followers of the ways of
forefathers, promoters of tribal feuds, abusers of human dignity and
blood, became the most disciplined nation under the guidance of Islam
and its Prophet. Islam opened before them vistas of spiritual heights
and human dignity by declaring righteousness as the sole criterion of
merit and honor. Islam shaped their social, cultural, moral and
commercial life with basic laws and principles that are most in
conformity with human nature.
It is so unfortunate that the Christians and the West instead of sincerely
trying to understand the phenomenal success of Islam during its earlier
time, considered it as rival religion. During the centuries of the
Crusades, this trend gained much force and impetus and huge amount
of literature was produced to tarnish the image of Islam. But Islam has
begun to unfold its genuineness to the modern scholars whose bold and
objective observations on Islam belie all the charges levelled against it
by the so-called unbiased orientalists.
Here we furnish some observations on Islam by great and acknowledged
non-Muslim scholars of modern time. Truth needs no advocate to plead
on its behalf, but the prolonged malicious propaganda against Islam
has created great confusion even in the minds of free and objective
We hope that the following observations would contribute to initiating
an objective evaluation of Islam.
It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness, it gives hope to the slave,
brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the fundamental facts of
Paper read before the Church Congress at
Walverhamton, Oct 7, 1887,
Quoted by Arnond in the Preaching of Islam, p.p. 71-72.
Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as
I read in the Qur'an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic
but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole
Lectures on "The ideals of Islam" see
Speeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu,
Madras, 1918, p. 167.
History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims
sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword
upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that
historians have ever repeated.
De Lacy O'Leary
Islam at the Crossroads
London, 1923 p. 8.
But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity.
It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it
possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and
cooperation. No other society has such a record of success in uniting in
an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavors so many and so
various races of mankind...Islam has still the power to reconcile
apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the
opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by
cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition, in its
hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is
faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue
is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation
of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be
disastrous for both.
H. A. R. Gibb, Whither Islam,
London, 1932, p. 379.
I have always held the religion of Muhammad (PBUH) in high
estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion that
appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing
phase of existence that can make itself appeal to every age. I have
studied him -- the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being anti-
Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man
like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would
succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much
needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of
Muhammad (PBUH) that it would be acceptable to the Europe of
tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
G. B. Shaw, The Genuine Islam,
Vol. 1, No. 81936.
The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the
outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there
is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic
A. J. Toynbee, Civilization on Trial,
New York, 1948, p. 205.
The rise of Islam is perhaps the most amazing event in human history.
Springing from a land and people like previously negligible, Islam
spread within a century over half the earth, shattering great empires,
overthrowing long established religions, remolding the souls of races,
and building up a whole new world -- world of Islam.
The closer we examine this development the more extraordinary does it
appear. The other great religions won their way slowly, by painful
struggle and finally triumphed with the aid of powerful monarchs
converted to the new faith. Christianity has its Contantine, Buddhism its
Asoka, and Zoroastrianism its Cyrus, each lending to his chosen cult the
mighty force of secular authority. But not in Islam. Arising in a desert
land sparsely inhabited by a nomad race previously undistinguished in
human annals. Islam sallied forth on its great adventure with the
slenderest human backing and against the heaviest material odds. Yet
Islam triumphed with seemingly miraculous ease, And a couple of generations saw
the Fiery Crescent borne victorious
from the Pyreness to the Himalayas and from the desert of Central Asia
to the deserts of Central Africa.
A. M. L. Stoddard, quoted in
Islam -- The Religion of All Prophets,
Begum Bawani Waqf, Karachi, Pakistan p. 56.
Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of
this term considered etymologically and historically. The definition of
rationalism as a system that bases religious beliefs on principles
furnished by the reason applies to it exactly. It cannot be denied that
many doctrines and systems of theology and many superstitions, from
the worship of saints to the use of rosaries and amulets, have become
grafted on the main trunk of Muslim creed. But in spite of the rich
development, in every sense of the term, of the teachings of the Prophet,
the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting
point, and the dogma of unity of Allah has always been proclaimed
therein with a grandeur, a majesty, and invariable purity and with a
note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the
pale of Islam. This fidelity to the fundamental dogma of the religion, the
elemental simplicities of the formula in which it is enunciated, the proof
that it gains from the fervid conviction of the missionaries who
propagate it, are so many causes to explain the success of
Muhammadan missionary efforts. A creed so precise, so stripped of all
theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary
understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a
marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men.
"La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries, Muslmans" Paris 1980,
quoted by T.W. Arnold in the Preaching of Islam, London 1913, pp. 413-
I am not a Muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a "Muslim" as
"one surrendered to Allah," but I believe that embedded in the Qur'an
and other expressions of the Islamic vision are vast stories of divine
truth from which I and other occidentals have still much to learn; and
"Islam is certainly a strong contender for the supplying of the basic
framework of the one religion of the future."
W. Montgomery Watt, Islam and Christianity Today
London 1983, p. IX.
CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM
It is known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used
concerning God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case
with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God, no plural or
gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word God
that can be made plural, gods or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to
notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language
of Jesus and sister language of Arabic.
The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam
associate with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator and
Sustainer of the universe. He is similar to nothing and nothing is
comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked by his
contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from Allah
Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur'an, which is
considered the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism, Chapter
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O
Muhammad) He is Allah the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has
not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone.
Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God
who demands to be obeyed fully, they surmise that He is not loving and
kind. Nothing can be farther from truth than this allegation. It is enough
to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the
Qur'an begins with the verse, "In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the
Merciful." In one of the sayings of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we
are told that," Allah is more loving and kinder than a mother to her
But Allah is also Just. Hence evildoers and sinners must have their
share of punishment and the virtuousness of His bounties and favors.
Actually Allah's attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His
attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their life for His sake
and people oppressing and exploiting other people all their life should
not receive similar treatment from their Lord. Expecting similar
treatment for them will amount to negating the very belief in the
accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negating all the
incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world, The following
Qur'anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect.
Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their
Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin?
What is the matter with you? How to Judge you? (68:34-36).
Islam rejects characterizing Allah in any Human form or depicting Him
as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power
or race, He created the human-beings as equals. They may distinguish
themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.
The concepts that Allah rested on the seventh day of creation, that Allah
wrestled with one of His soldiers, that Allah is an envious plotter
against mankind, or that He is incarnate in any human being are
considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.
The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of
Islam's emphasis on the purity of the belief in Allah that is the essence
of the message of all Allah's messengers. Because of this, Islam
considers associating any deity or personality with Allah as a deadly sin
which Allah will never forgive, although He may forgive all other sins.
The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created
because if he is of the same nature as they are, He will be temporal and
will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the
maker is not temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he
cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into existence,
nothing outside Him causes him to continue to exist, which means that
he must be self-sufficient. And if he does not depend on anything for the
continuance of his own existence, then this existence can have no end.
The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting: 'He is the first and the
He is self-sufficient or self-subsistent or, to use a Qur'anic term, Al-
Qayyum. The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing
things into being, He also preserves them and takes them out of
existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.
Allah is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything.
Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. No creature is
there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on Allah. He knows
its lodging-place and its repository.
The Attributes of Allah
If the Creator is eternal and everlasting, then His attributes must be
also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes
and not acquire new ones. If this is so, then His attributes are absolute.
Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can
there be for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment's
thought shows that this is not feasible.
The Qur'an summarizes this argument in the following verses:
Allah has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him:
For then each god would have taken off that which he created and some
of them would have risen up over others. And Why, were there are gods
in earth and heaven other than Allah, they (heaven and earth) would
surely go to ruin (23:91).
Oneness of Allah
The Qur'an reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods.
To the worshippers of man-made objects it asks: Do you worship what
you have carved yourself or have you taken unto you others beside Him
to be your protectors, even such as have no power to protect
To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:
When night outspreads over Him he saw a star and said, "This is my
Lord." But when it set he said, "I love not the setters." When he saw the
moon rising, he said, "This is my Lord." But when it set he said: "If my
Lord does not guide me I shall surely be of the people gone astray."
When he saw the sun rising, he said, "This is my Lord; this is greater."
But when it set he said, "O my people, surely I quit that you associate. I
have turned my face to Him who originated the heavens and the earth;
and man of pure faith I am not of the idolaters." (6:76-79)
The Believer's Attitude
To be a Muslim, i.e., to surrender oneself to Allah, It is necessary to
believe in the oneness of Allah, in the sense of His being the only
Creator, Preserver, Nourisher, etc. But this belief -- later on called
Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah is not enough. Many of the idolaters knew and
believed that only the Supreme Allah could do all this. But that was not enough
to make them Muslims. To tawhidar-rububiyyah one must
add Tawhid Al'uluhiyyah, i.e., one deserves to be worshipped, and thus
abstains from worshipping any other thing or being.
Having achieved this knowledge of the one true Allah, man should
constantly have faith in Him, and should allow nothing to induce him to
When faith enters a person's heart, it causes certain mental states which
result in certain actions. Taken together these mental states and actions
are the proof for true faith. The prophet (PBUH) said, "Faith is that
which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds."
Foremost among those mental states is the feeling of gratitude towards
Allah, which could be said to be the essence of Ibada (Worship).
The feeling of gratitude is so important that a non-believer is called
'kafir,' which means 'one who denies a truth' and 'one who is
A believer loves, and is grateful to Allah for the bounties He bestowed
upon him, but being aware of the fact that his good deeds, whether
mental or physical, are far from being commensurate with Divine
favors; he is always anxious lest Allah should punish him, here or in the
Hereafter. He, therefore, fears Him, surrenders himself to Him and
serves Him with great humility. One cannot be in such a mental state
without being almost all the time mindful of Allah. Remembering Allah
is thus the life force of faith, which it fades and withers away.
The Qur'an promotes this feeling of gratitude by repeating the attributes
of Allah very frequently. We find most of these attributes mentioned
together in the following verses of the Qur'an:
He is God; there is no god but He. He is the Knower of the unseen and
the visible; He is the All-merciful, the All-compassionate. He is God;
there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-holy, the All-peace, the
Guardian of Faith, the All-preserver, the All-mighty, the All-compeller,
the All-sublime. Glory be to Allah, above that they associate! He is God,
the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most
Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is
the All-mighty, the All-wise. (59:22-24).
There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him
not, neither sleep; to Him belong all that is in the heavens and the earth.
Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows
what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not
anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises
the heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is
the All-high, the All-glorious. (2:255).
People of Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not
as to Allah but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the
Messenger of Allah, and His word that He committed to Mary, and a
Spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers, and say not,
'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. Allah is only one God. Glory be to
Him -- that He should have a son. (4:171)
PROPHETHOOD IN ISLAM
Prophethood is not unknown to heavenly revealed religions, such as
Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and
According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble purpose: to worship
Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. How
man would know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he
received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do?
Here comes the need for Prophethood. Thus Allah has chosen from
every nation a prophet or more to convey His Message to people.
One might ask: How were the prophets chosen and who were entitled to
this great honor?
Prophethood is Allah's blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom
He wills. However, from surveying the various messengers throughout
history, three features of a prophet may be recognized:
1. He is the best in his community morally and intellectually. This is
necessary because the prophet's life serves as a model for his
followers. His personality should attract people to accept his
message rather than drive them away by his imperfect character.
After receiving the message he is infallible. That is, he would not
commit any sin. He might do some minor mistakes that are usually
corrected by revelation.
2. He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not an impostor.
Those miracles are granted by the power and permission of
and are usually in the field in which his people excel and are
recognized as superiors. We might illustrate this by quoting the
major miracles of the three prophets of the major world religions:
Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Moses's contemporaries were
excellent in magic. So his major miracle was to defeat the best
magicians of Egypt of his days. Jesus's contemporaries were
recognized as skillful physicians. Therefore his miracles were to
raise the dead and cure the incurable diseases. The Arabs, the
contemporaries of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), were known for
their eloquence and magnificent poetry. So Prophet Muhammad's
(PBUH) major miracle was the Qur'an, the equivalent of which the
whole legion of the Arab poets and orators could not produce
despite the repeated challenge from the Qur'an itself. Again
Muhammad's (PBUH) miracle has something special about it. All
previous miracles were limited by time and places, i.e., they were
shown to specific people. Not so the miracle of Muhammad (PBUH)
-- the Qur'an. It is a universal and ever lasting miracle. Previous
generations will witness its miraculous nature in term of its style,
content and spiritual uplifting. These still can be tested and will
thereby prove the divine origin of the Qur'an.
3. Every prophet state clearly that what he receives is not of his own
but from Allah for the well-being of mankind. He also confirms what
was revealed before him and what may be revealed after him. A
prophet does this to show that he is simply conveying the message
that is entrusted to him by the One True God of all people in all
ages. So the message is one in essence and for the same purpose.
Therefore, it should not deviate from what was revealed before him
or what might come after him.
Prophets are necessary for conveying Allah's instruction and guidance
to mankind. We have no way of knowing why were we created? What
will happen to us after death? Is there any life after death? Are we
accountable for our actions? In other words, is there any reward or
punishment for our deeds in this life? These and so many other
questions about Allah, angels, paradise, hell, etc., can not be answered
without direct revelation from the Creator and Knower of the unseen.
Those answers must be authentic and must be brought by individuals
whom we trust and respect. That is why messengers are the select of
their societies with moral conducts and intellectual abilities.
Hence the slanderous Biblical stories about some of the great prophets
are not accepted by Muslims. As for example, when Lot is reported to
have committed fornication with his daughters while drunk, or that
David sent one of his general to his death, in an attempt to marry the
general's wife. Prophets to Muslims are greater than what these stories
indicate. These stories can not be true from the Islamic point of view.
The prophets are also miraculously supported by Allah and instructed
by Him to affirm the continuity of his message.
The content of the prophets' message to mankind can be summarized as
a) Clear concept about Allah: His attributes, His creation, what
should and should not be ascribed to Him.
b) Clear explanations about the unseen world, the angels, jinn
(spirits), Paradise and Hell.
c) The reasons Allah created mankind and what our obligations are
d) Clear instructions and laws that, when applied correctly and
honestly, will result in a happy and ideal society.
It is clear from the above discussion that there is no substitute for
prophets. Even nowadays with the advancement of science, the only
authentic source of information about the supernatural world is
revelation. Guidance can not be obtained neither from science nor from
mystic experience. The first is too materialistic and too limited; the
second is too subjective and frequently too misleading.
Now one might ask:
How many prophets had Allah sent to humanity? We do not know for
sure. Some Muslim scholars have suggested 240 thousand prophets. We
are only sure of what is clearly mentioned in the Qur'an, that is,
has sent a messenger (or more) to every nation. That is because it is one
of Allah's principles that He will never call people to account unless He
has made clear to them what to do and what not to do. The Qur'an
mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates that there have been
others who were not mentioned to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Among these 25 include Noah, the man of the Ark, Abraham, Moses,
Jesus and Muhammad. These five are the greatest among Allah's
messengers. They are called the prophets of firm resolution.
An outstanding aspect of the Islamic belief in Prophethood is that
Muslims believe in and respect all the messengers of Allah with no
exceptions. Since all the prophets came from the same One Allah, for the
same purpose -- to lead mankind to Allah -- belief in them all is
essential and logical; accepting some and rejecting others has to be
based on misconceptions of the prophets' role or on racial bias. The
Muslims are the only people in the world who consider the belief in all
the prophets of Allah an article of faith. Thus the Jews reject Jesus
Christ and Muhammad (PBUH); the Christians reject Muhammad
(PBUH) and in reality reject Moses because they do not abide by his
laws. The Muslims accept them all as messengers of Allah Who brought
guidance to mankind.? However, the revelations that those prophets,
before the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) brought from Allah have been
tampered with in one way or the other. The belief in all messengers of
Allah is enjoined on the Muslims by the Qur'an.
Say (O Muslims): we believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us
and, that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and
Jacob, and their children, and that which the prophets received from
their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him
we have surrendered. (2:136)
The Qur'an continues in the following verses to instruct the Muslims
that this is the true and impartial belief. If other nations believe in the
same, they must by following their own whims and biases and Allah will
take care of them. Thus we read:
And if they believe in what you believe, then are they rightly guided. But
they turn away, then they are in disunity, and Allah will suffice you
against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. This is Allah's religion and
Who are better than Allah in religion? (2:137-138)
There are at least, two important points related to Prophethood that
need to be clarified. These points concern the roles of Jesus and
Muhammad (PBUH) as prophets who are misunderstood.
The Qur'anic account of Jesus emphatically rejects the concept of his
'Divinity' and 'Divine Sonship' and presents him as one of the great
prophets of Allah. The Qur'an makes it clear that the birth of Jesus
without a father does not make him son of Allah and mentions in this
respect Adam who was created by Allah without a father and mother:
Truly the likeness of Jesus, in Allah's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He
created him of dust, then said He unto him, "Be" and he was. (3:59)
Like other prophets Jesus also performed miracles. For example, he
raised the dead and cured the blind and the lepers, but while showing
these miracles he always made it clear that it was all from Allah.
Actually the misconceptions about the personality and mission of Jesus
found its way among his followers because the Divine message that he
preached was not recorded during his presence in the world, rather it
was recorded after a lapse of about hundred years. According to the
Qur'an he was sent to the children of Israel; he confirmed the validity of
the Torah that was revealed to Moses and he also brought the glad
tidings of a final messenger after him.
And when Jesus the son of Mary said, 'children of Israel, I am indeed
the Messenger to you confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving
good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall
be the praised one.' (61:6)
(The underlined portion is the translation of Ahmad which is prophet
However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry. They plotted
against his life and in their opinion crucified him. But the Qur'an
refutes this opinion and says that they neither killed him nor crucified
him, rather he was raised up to Allah. This verse from the Qur'an
further explains: "And there is none of the people of the Book but must
believe in Him before his death. . ." (4:159). This verse confirming his
existence as being alive is also supported by authentic sayings of the
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The last Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH), was born in Arabia in
the sixth century C.E. Up to the age of forty, people of Makkah knew
him as a man of excellent character and cultured manners and called
him AL-AMEEN (the trustworthy). He also did not know that he was
soon to be made a prophet and receiver of revelation from Allah. He
called the idolaters of Makkah to worship the only one Allah and
accept him as His Prophet. The revelation that he received was
preserved in his lifetime and in the memory of his companions and was
also recorded on pieces of palm leaves, leather, etc. Thus the Qur'an
that is found today is the same that was revealed to him, not a syllable
of it has been altered as Allah Himself has guaranteed its preservation.
This Qur'an claims to be the book of guidance for whole humanity for
all times, and mentions Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet of
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
During the centuries of the crusades, all sort of slanders were invented
against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). but with the birth of the
modern age, marked with religious tolerance and freedom of thought,
there has been a great change in the approach of Western authors in
their delineation of his life and character. The views of some non-
Muslim scholars regarding Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), given at the
end of this section, justify this opinion.
But the West has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest
reality about Muhammad (PBUH), and that is his being the true and the
last Prophet of Allah for the whole humanity. In spite of all its
objectivity and enlightenment there has been no sincere and objective
attempt by the West to understand the Prophethood of Muhammad
(PBUH). It is strange that glowing tributes are paid to him for his
integrity and achievement but his claim of being the Prophet of
has been rejected explicitly or implicitly. It is here that a searching of
the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed.
The following facts from the life of Muhammad (PBUH) have been
furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical and objective decision
regarding his Prophethood.
Up to the age of forty, Muhammad (PBUH) was not known as a
statesman, a preacher or an orator. He was never seen discussing the
principles of metaphysics, ethics, law, politics, economics or sociology.
No doubt he possessed an excellent character, charming manners and
was highly cultured. Yet there was nothing so deeply striking and so
radically extraordinary in him that would make men expect something
great and revolutionary from him in the future. But when he came out of
the Cave (HIRA) with a new message, he was completely transformed. Is
it possible for such a person of the above qualities to turn all of a
sudden 'an impostor' and claim to be the Prophet of Allah and invite all
the rage of his people? One might ask: for what reason did he suffer all
those hardships? His people offered to accept him as their king and to
lay all the riches of the land at his feet if only he would leave the
preaching of his religion. But he chose to refuse their tempting offers
and goes on preaching his religion single-handedly in the face of all
kinds of insults, social boycott and even physical assault by his own
people. Was it not only Allah's (God) support and Muhammad (PBUH)
firm will to disseminate the message of Allah along with his deep rooted
belief that ultimately Islam would emerge as the only way of life for
humanity, that allowed him to stand like a mountain in the face of all
opposition and conspiracy to eliminate him. Furthermore, had he come
with a design of rivalry with the Christians and the Jews, why should he
have made belief in Jesus Christ, Moses and other Prophets of God
(PBUH), a basic requirement of faith without which no one could be a
Is it not an incontrovertible proof of his Prophethood that in spite of
being unlettered and of having led a very normal and quiet life for forty
years, he began preaching his message, and all of Arabia stood in awe
and wonder to his wonderful eloquence and oratory? The Holy Qur'an,
the word of Allah, when recited by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was
so matchless that the whole legion of Arab poets, preachers and orators
of highest calibre failed to bring forth its equivalent. And above all, how
could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature contained in the
Qur'an that no other human-being could possibly have developed then?
Last but not the least, why did he lead a hard life even after gaining
power and authority? Just ponder over the words he uttered while
dying: "We the community of the Prophets are not inherited. Whatever
we leave is for charity."
In fact Muhammad (PBUH) is the last link of the chain of Prophets sent
in different lands and times since the very beginning of human life on
If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are
the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any
great man in modern history with Muhammad (PBUH)? The most
famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if
anything at all, no more than material powers that often crumbled away
before their eyes. This man moved armies, legislation, empires, and
millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than
that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs
and souls...his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely
devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his
endless prayers, his mystic conversations with Allah, his death and his
triumph after death; all these attest not to an impostor but to a firm
conviction that gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was
twofold, the unity of Allah and the immateriality of Allah; the former
telling what Allah is, the latter telling what Allah is not; the one
overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas,
restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of
twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is
Muhammad (PBUH). As regards all standards by which human
greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater
Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie
Vol 11, pp. 276-77.
It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that
deserves our wonder; the same pure and perfect impression which he
engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of
twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and Turkish proselytes of the
Qur'an ... The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of
reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the senses
and imagination of man. 'I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle
of God,' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The
intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible
idol; the honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of
human virtue; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of
his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay,
History of the Saracen Empire,
London 1870, p. 54.
He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope's
pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing
army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if
ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it
was Muhammad (PBUH), for he had all the power without its
instruments and without its supports.
Bosworth Smith, Muhammad and Muhammadanism,
London 1874, p. 92
It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the
great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to
feed anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great
messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall
say many things that may be familiar to many, yet I myself whenever I re-read
then, a new way of admiration, a new sense of
reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.
Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad.
Madras 1932, p. 4
His readiness to undergo, persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral
character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as
leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement -- all argue his
fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad (PBUH) as impostor
raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures
of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad (PBUH).
W. Montgomery, Muhammad at Mecca,
Oxford, 1953, p. 52
Muhammad (PBUH), the inspired man who founded Islam, was born
about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned
at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the
widow and the orphan, the slave and downtrodden. At twenty he was
already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel
caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five his
employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she
was fifteen years older, he married her. For as long as she lived he
remained a devoted husband.
Like almost every other major prophet before him, Muhammad (PBUH)
fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God's word, sensing his own
inadequacy. But the angel commanded 'Read.' So far as we know,
Muhammad (PBUH) was unable to read or write, but he began to
dictate those inspired words that would soon revolutionize a large
segment of the earth: "There is one God."
In all things Muhammad (PBUH) was profoundly practical. When his
beloved son Ibrahim died, and eclipse occurred and rumors of God's
personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad (PBUH) is
said to have announced, 'An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is
foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human-being.'
At Muhammad's (PBUH) own death an attempt was made to deitify him,
but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the
hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: 'If there
are any among you who worshipped Muhammad (PBUH), he is dead.
But if it is God you worshipped, He lives for ever.'
James A. Michener, 'Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,'
in the Reader's Digest (American Edition)
for May, 1955, pp. 68-70.
My choice of Muhammad (PBUH) to lead the list of the world's most
influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned
by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely
successful on both the religious and secular levels.
Michael H. Hart, The 100: A Ranking of the most influential Persons in
New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc.
1978, pp. 33.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE QUR'AN
Humanity has received the Divine guidance only through two channels:
firstly the word of Allah, secondly the Prophets who were chosen by
Allah to communicate His will to human-beings. These two things have
always gone together and attempts to know the will of Allah by
neglecting either of them has always been misleading. The Hindus
neglected their prophets and paid all attention to their books that
proved to be only word puzzles that they ultimately lost. Similarly the
Christians, in total disregard to the Book of Allah, attached all
importance to Christ and thus not only elevated him to Divinity, but also
lost the very essence of TAWHEED (monotheism) contained in the Bible.
In fact the main scriptures revealed before the Qur'an, i.e., the Old
Testament and the Gospel, came into book-form long after the days of
the Prophets and that too in translation. This was because the followers
of Moses and Jesus made no considerable efforts to preserve these
Revelations during the life of their Prophets. Rather, they were written
long after their death. Thus what we now have in the form of the Bible
(The Old as well as the New Testament) is translations of individuals'
accounts of the original revelations that contain additions and deletions
made by the followers of the said Prophets. On the contrary, the last
revealed Book, the Qur'an, is extant in its original form. Allah Himself
guaranteed its preservation and that is why the whole of the Qur'an was
written during the life time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), though
on separate pieces of palm leaves, parchments, bones, etc. Moreover
there were tens of thousands of the companions of the Prophet who
memorized the whole Qur'an and the Prophet himself used to recite it to
the angel Gabriel once a year and twice when he was about to die. Then
the first Caliph Abu Bakr entrusted the collection of the whole Qur'an in
one volume to the Prophet's scribe, Zaid ibn Thabit. This volume was
with Abu Bakr till his death. Then it was with the second Caliph Umar
and after him it came to Hafsa, the Prophet's wife. It was from this
original copy that the third Caliph Uthman prepared several other
copies and sent them to different Muslim territories.
The Qur'an was so meticulously preserved because it was to be the Book
of guidance for humanity for all times to come. That is why it does not
address the Arabs alone in whose language it was revealed. It speaks to
man as a human being:
"O Man! what has seduced you from your Lord." The practicability of
Qur'anic teachings is established by the examples of Muhammad
(PBUH) and the good Muslims throughout the ages. The distinctive
approach of the Qur'an is that its instructions are aimed at the general
welfare of man and are based on the possibilities within his reach. In all
its dimensions the Qur'anic wisdom is conclusive. It neither condemns
nor tortures the flesh nor does it neglect the soul. It does not humanize
God nor does it deify man. Everything is carefully placed where it
belongs in the total scheme of creation.
Actually the scholars who allege that Muhammad (PBUH) was the
author of the Qur'an claim something that is humanly impossible. Could
any person of sixth century C.E. utters such scientific truths as the
Qur'an contains? Could he describe the evolution of the embryo inside
the uterus so accurately as we find it in modern science?
Secondly, is it logical to believe that Muhammad (PBUH) only for his
honesty and integrity, began all of a sudden the authorship of a book
matchless in literary merit and the equivalent of which the whole legion
of the Arab poets and orators of highest calibre could not produce? And
lastly, is it justified to say that Muhammad (PBUH) who was known as
AL-AMEEN (The trustworthy) in his society and who is still admired by
the non-Muslim scholars for his honesty and integrity, came forth with a
false claim and on that falsehood could train thousands of men of
character, integrity and honesty, who were able to establish the best
human society on the surface of the earth?
Surely, any sincere and unbiased searcher of truth will come to believe
that the Qur'an is the revealed Book of Allah.
Without necessarily agreeing with all what they said, we furnish here
some opinions of important non-Muslim scholars about the Qur'an.
Readers can easily see how the modern world is coming closer to reality
regarding the Qur'an. We appeal to all open minded scholars to study
the Qur'an considering the above mentioned points. We are sure that
any such attempt will convince the reader that the Qur'an could never
be written by any human being.
However, often we turn to it (the Qur'an) at first disgusting us each time
afresh, it soon attracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our
reverence...its style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern,
grand, terrible -- ever and anon truly sublime--Thus this book will go on
exercising through all ages a most potent influence.
Quoted in T.P. Hughes 'Dictionary of Islam, p. 526.'
CONCEPT OF WORSHIP IN ISLAM
The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people
including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean
performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity, etc. This
limited understanding of worship is only one part of the meaning of
worship in Islam. That is why the traditional definition of worship in
Islam is a comprehensive definition that includes almost everything in
any individual's activities. The definition goes something like this:
"Worship is an all inclusive term for all that Allah loves of external and
internal sayings and actions of a person." In other words, worship is
everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah. This, of course,
includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal
contributions to the welfare of one's fellow human-beings.
Islam looks at the individual as a whole. He is required to submit
himself completely to Allah, as the Qur'an instructed the Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) to do: "Say (O Muhammad) my prayer, my
sacrifice, my life and my death belong to Allah; He has no partner and I
am ordered to be among those who submit, i.e. Muslims." The natural
result of this submission is that all one's activities should conform to the
instructions of the one to whom the person is submitting. Islam being a
way of life, requires that its followers model their life according to its
teachings in every aspect, religious or otherwise. This might sound
strange to some people who think of religion as solely a personal
relationship between the individual and Allah, having no impact on
one's activities outside rituals.
In fact Islam does not think much of mere rituals when they are
performed mechanically and have no influence on one's inner life. The
Qur'an addresses the believers and their neighbors among the people of
the Book who were arguing with them about the change of the direction
of Qibla (Mecca) in the following verse:
It is not righteousness that you turn your faces toward the East or the
West, but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the
angels and the Book and the prophets, and gives his beloved money to
the relatives and the orphans and the needy and for the ransoming of
the captives and who observes prayer and pays the poor due; and those
who fulfill their promises when they have made one, and the patient in
poverty and affliction and the steadfast in time of war; it is those who
have proved truthful and it is those who are the God-fearing. (2:177)
The deeds in the above verse is the deeds of righteousness and they are
only a part of worship. The prophet told us about faith, which is the
basis of worship, that it "is made up of sixty and some branches: the
highest of which is the belief in the Oneness of Allah, i.e., there is no
god but Allah and the lowest in the scale of worship is removing
obstacles and dirt from people's way."
Decent work is considered in Islam a type of worship. The Prophet
(PBUH) said: "Whoever finds himself at the nightfall tired of his work,
Allah will forgive his sins." Seeking knowledge is one of the highest
types of worship. The Prophet told his companions that, "Seeking
knowledge is a (religious) duty on every Muslim." In another saying he
said: "Seeking knowledge for one hour is better than praying for
seventy years." Social courtesy and cooperation are part of worship
when done for the sake of Allah as the Prophet (PBUH) told us:
"Receiving your friend worth a smile is type of charity, helping a person
to load his animal is a charity and putting some water in your
neighbor's bucket is a charity."
It is worth noting that even performing one's duties is considered a sort
of worship. The Prophet told us that whatever one spends for his family
is a type of charity; he will be rewarded for it if he acquired it through
legal means. Kindness to the members of one's family is an act of
worship as when one puts a piece of food in his spouse's mouth as the
Prophet (PBUH) informed us. Not only this but even the acts we enjoy
doing very much, when they are performed according to the instructions
of the Prophet (PBUH), they are considered as acts of worship. The
Prophet (PBUH) told his companions that they will be rewarded even
for having sexual intercourse with their wives. The companions were
astonished and asked: "How are we going to be rewarded for doing
something we enjoy very much?" the Prophet (PBUH) asked them:
"suppose you satisfy your desires illegally, don't you think that you will
be punished for that?" They replied, "Yes." "So" he said. "By satisfying
it legally with your wives you are rewarded for it." This means they are
acts of worship.
Thus Islam does not consider sex a dirty thing that one should avoid. It
is dirty and sin only when it is satisfied outside marital life.
It is clear, from the previous discussion that the concept of worship in
Islam is a comprehensive concept that includes all the positive activities
of the individual. This of course agrees with the all inclusive nature of
Islam as way of life. It regulates the human life on all levels: the
individual, the social, the economic, the political and the spiritual. That
is why Islam provides guidance to the smallest details of one's life on all
these levels. Thus following these details is following Islamic
instructions in that specific area. It is a very encouraging element when
one realizes that all his activities are considered by Allah as acts of
worship. This should lead the individual to seek Allah's pleasure in his
actions and always try to do them in the best possible manner whether
he is watched by his superiors or he is alone. There is always the
permanent supervisor, who knows everything namely, Allah.
Discussing the non-ritual worship in Islam first does not mean discount
the importance of the ritual ones. Actually ritual worships, if performed
in true spirit, elevate man morally and spiritually and enable him to
carry on his activities in all walks of life according to the Guidance of
Allah. Among ritual worship, Salah (ritual prayer) occupies the key
position for two reasons. Firstly, it is the distinctive mark of a believer.
Secondly, it prevents an individual from all sorts of abominations and
vices by providing him chances of direct communion with his Creator
five times a day, wherein he renews his covenant with Allah and seeks
His guidance repeatedly. "You alone we worship and to You alone we
turn for help. Guide us to the straight path" (1:4-5). Actually Salah
(prayer) is the first practical manifestation of Faith and the foremost of
the basic conditions for the success of the believers:
Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers.
The same fact has been emphasized by the Prophet (PBUH) in a
different way. He says:
Those who offer their Salah with great care and punctuality, will find it
a light, a proof of their Faith and cause of their salvation on the Day of
After Salah, Zakat (obligatory charity) is an important pillar of Islam.
In the Qur'an, Salah and Zakat are mostly mentioned together. Like
Salah, Zakat is a manifestation of faith that affirms that Allah is the sole
owner of everything in the universe, and what men hold is a trust in
their hand over which Allah made them trustees to discharge it as He
Believe in Allah and His messenger and spend of that over which He
made you trustees. (57:7)
In this respect Zakat is an act of devotion that, like prayer, brings the
believer nearer to his Lord.
Apart from this, Zakat is a mean of redistribution of wealth in a way
that reduces differences between classes and groups. It makes a fair
contribution to social stability. By purging the soul of the rich from
selfishness and the soul of the poor from envy and resentment against
society, it stops up the channels leading to class hatred and makes it
possible for the springs of brotherhood and solidarity to gush forth.
Such stability is not merely based on the personal feelings of the rich: it
stands on a firmly established right that, if the rich denied it, would be
exacted by force, if necessary.
Siyam (fasting during the day time of the month of Ramadhan) is
another pillar of Islam. The main function of fasting is to make the
Muslim pure from "within" as other aspects of Shariah make him pure
from "without." By such purity he responds to what is true and good and
shuns what is false and evil. This is what we can perceive in the
Qur'anic Verse: "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it
was prescribed for those before you, that you may gain piety." (2:183)
In an authentic tradition, the Prophet (PBUH) reported Allah as saying:
"He suspends eating, drinking, and gratification of his sexual passion
for My sake." Thus his reward is going to be according to Allah's great
Fasting, then, awaken the conscience of the individual and gives it
scope for exercise in a joint experience for all society at the same time,
thus adding further strength to each individual. Moreover, fasting offers
a compulsory rest to the overworked human machine for the duration of
one full month. Similarly fasting reminds an individual of those who are
deprived of life's necessities. It makes him realize the suffering of
others, the less fortunate brothers in Islam, and thus promotes in him a
sense of sympathy and kindness to them.
Lastly, we come to Al-Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of Allah in
Makkah). This very important pillar of Islam, manifests a unique unity,
dispelling all kinds of differences. Muslims from all corners of the
world, wearing the same dress, respond to the call of Hajj in one voice
and language: LABBAIK ALLA HUMMA LABBAIK (Here I am at your
service O Lord!). In Hajj there is an exercise of strict self-discipline and
control where not only sacred things are revered, but even the life of
plants and birds is made inviolable so that everything lives in safety:
"And he that venerates the sacred things of Allah, it surely is from
devotion of heart." (22:32)
Pilgrimage gives an opportunity to all Muslims from all groups, classes,
organizations, and government from all over the Muslim world to meet
annually in a great congress. The time and venue of this congress have
been set by their one Allah. Invitation to attend is open to every Muslim.
No one has the power to bar anyone. Every Muslim who attends is
guaranteed full safety and freedom as long as he himself does not
violate its safety.
Thus, worship in Islam, whether ritual or non-ritual, trains the
individual in such a way that he loves his Creator and thereby gains an
unyielding will and spirit to address all evil and oppression from human
society and make the word of Allah dominant in the world.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
The question whether there is a life after death does not fall under the
jurisdiction of science; as science is concerned only with classification
and analysis of sense data. Moreover, man has been busy with scientific
inquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last
few centuries, while he has been familiar with the concept of life after
death since times immemorial. All the prophets of Allah called their
people to worship Allah and to believe in life after death. They laid so
much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt
in it meant denying Allah and made all other beliefs meaningless. The
very fact that all the prophets of Allah have dealt with this metaphysical
question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly -- the gap
between their ages being thousands of years -- goes to prove that the
source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all,
was the same Divine revelation. We also know that these prophets of
Allah were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life
after death as their people thought it impossible. But in spite of
opposition the prophets won so many sincere followers. The question
arises what made those followers forsake the established beliefs,
traditions and customs of their forefathers notwithstanding the risk of
being totally alienated from their own community? The simple answer
is: they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the
truth. Did they realize the truth through perceptual consciousness? Not
so. as perceptual experience of life after death is impossible. Actually
Allah has given man besides perceptual consciousness, rational,
aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that
guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory
data. That is why all the prophets of Allah while calling people to
believe in Allah and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic, moral and
rational consciousness of man. For example, when the idolaters of Makkah denied
possibility of life after death, the Qur'an exposed the weakness of their
stand by advancing logical and rational arguments in supports of it:
And he has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his
creation, saying: who will revive these bones when they have rotted
Say: He will revive them who produced them at first, for He is the
knower of every creation. Who has appointed for you fire from the green
tree, and behold! You kindle from it.
Is not He who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like
of them? Yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-knowing.
At another occasion the Qur'an very clearly says that the disbelievers
have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on
They say, 'There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and
nothing but Time destroys us.' Of that they have no knowledge; they
merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to them, their
only argument is that they say, 'Bring us our fathers, if you speak truly.'
Surely Allah will raise all the dead. But Allah has His own plan of
things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and
then again the dead will be resurrected to stand before Allah. That day
will be the beginning of the life that will never end, and that Day every
person will be rewarded by Allah according to his or her good or evil
The explanation that the Qur'an gives about the necessity of life after
death is what moral consciousness of man dreams. Actually if there is
no life after death, the very belief in Allah becomes irrelevant or even if
one believes in Allah, that would be an unjust and indifferent Allah:
having once created man not concerned with his fate. Surely, Allah is
just. He will punish the tyrants whose crimes are beyond count, having
killed hundreds of innocent persons, creating great corruption in the
society, and enslaving numerous persons to serve their whims, etc. Man
having a short span of life in this world, and this physical world too
being not eternal, punishments or rewards equals to the evil or noble
deeds of persons are not possible here. The Qur'an emphatically states
that the Day of Judgment must come and Allah will decide about the fate
of each soul according to his or her record of deeds:
Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come unto us. Say: Nay,
by my Lord, but it is coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of the
Unseen. Not an atom's weight, or less than that or greater, escapes Him
in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear record. That He may
reward those who believe and do good works. For them are pardon and
But those who strive against our revelations, challenging (Us), theirs
will be a painful doom of wrath. (34:3-5)
The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when Allah's attributes of
Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. Allah will shower His
mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing
that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the
bounties of Allah, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most
miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Qur'an says:
Is he, then, to whom we have promised a goodly promise the fulfillment
of which he will meet, like the one whom We have provided with the
good things of this life, and then on the Day of Resurrection he will be
of those who will be brought arraigned before Allah? (28:61)
The Qur'an also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the
eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their
passions and desires, making fun of virtuous and Allah-conscious
persons. Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death
and wish to be given a further chance in the world; their wishes are but
in vain. Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror of the
Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere
believers are beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Holy
Until, when death comes unto one of them, he says, 'My Lord send me
back, that I may do right in that which I have left behind!' But nay! It is
but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day
when they are raised. And when the Trumpet is blown there will be no
kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of one another. Then
those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose
scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire
burns their faces and they are glum therein. (23:99-104)
The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the
Hereafter but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by
making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities.
Think of the people of Arabia; gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering
and murdering was their main traits when they had no belief in life after
death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in the One Allah and life
after death they become the most disciplined nation of the world. They
gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all
their disputes on the basis of justice and equality. Similarly the denial of
life after death has its consequences not only in the Hereafter but also
in this world. When a nation as whole denies it, all kinds of evils and
corruption become rampant in that society and ultimately it is
destroyed. The Qur'an mentions the terrible end of 'Aad, thamud and
Pharaoh in some detail:
(The tribes of) Thamud and 'Aad disbelieved in the judgment to come.
As for Thamud, they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind, which He
imposed on them for seven long nights and eight long days so that you
might see the people laid prostrate in it as if they were the stumps of
fallen down palm trees.
Now do you see remnant of them? Pharaoh likewise and those before
him, and the subverted cities. They committed errors and they rebelled
against the Messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a
surpassing grip Lo, when the waters rose, We bore you in the running
ship that We might make it a reminder for you and for heeding ears to
hold. So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth
and the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow, then on
that day, the terror shall come to pass, and the heaven shall be split for
upon that day it shall be very frail. Then as for him who is given his
book in his right hand, he shall say 'Here take and read my book!
Certainly I thought that I should encounter my reckoning. 'So he shall
be in a pleasing life in a lofty garden, its clusters nigh to gather.'
'Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for that you did long ago, in the
days gone by.'
But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say:
'Would that I had not been given my book and not known my reckoning!
Would it have been the end!
My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me.' (69: 4-39)
Thus there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death.
Firstly, all the prophets of Allah have called their people to believe in it.
Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it
has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral
Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected
collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of the
prophet, the group as whole has been punished by Allah even in this
Fourth, moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of man endorse the
possibility of life after death.
Fifth, Allah's attributes of Justice and Mercy have no meaning if there is
no life after death.
MORAL SYSTEM OF ISLAM
Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as
a whole, which are to be observed and respected under all
circumstances. To achieve these rights Islam provides not only legal
safeguards but also a very effective moral system. Thus whatever leads
to the welfare of the individual or the society is morally good in Islam
and whatever is injurious is morally bad. Islam attaches so much
importance to the love of Allah and love of man that it warns against
too much of formalism. We read in the Qur'an:
It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West;
but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day and the
Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance,
out of love for Him. for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the
ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayers, and practice regular
charity; to fulfill the contracts that you made; and to be firm and patient
in pain (or suffering) and adversity and throughout all periods of panic.
Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing. (2:177)
We are given a beautiful description of the righteous and God-fearing
man in these verses. He should obey salutary regulations, but he should
fix his gaze on the love of Allah and the love of his fellowmen.
We are given four rules:
a) Our faith should be true and sincere
b) We must be prepared to show it in deeds of charity to our
c) We must be good citizens, supporting social organizations
d) Our own individual soul must be firm and unshaken in all
This is the standard by which a particular mode of conduct is judged
and classified as good or bad. This standard of judgment provides the
nucleus around which the whole moral conduct should revolve. Before
laying down any moral injunctions Islam seeks to firmly implant in
man's heart the conviction that his dealings are with Allah who sees him
at all times and in all places; that he may hide himself from the whole
world but not from Him; that he may deceive everyone but cannot
deceive Allah; that he can flee from the clutches of anyone else but not
Thus, by setting Allah's pleasure as the objective of man's life, Islam has
furnished the highest possible standard of morality. This is bound to
provide limitless avenues for the moral evolution of humanity. By
making Divine revelations the primary source of knowledge, Islam gives
permanence and stability to the moral standards that provide a
reasonable scope for genuine adjustments, adaptations and innovations
though not for perversions, wild variation, atomistic relativism or moral
fluidity. It provides a sanction to morality in the love and fear of Allah,
which will impel man to obey the moral law even without any external
pressure. Through belief in Allah and the Day of Judgment, Islam
furnishes a force that enables a person to adopt a proper moral conduct
with earnestness and sincerity, with all the devotion of heart and soul.
It does not, through a false sense of originality and innovation, provide
any novel moral virtues nor does it seek to minimize the importance of
the well-known moral norms, nor does it give exaggerated importance
to some and neglect others without cause. It takes up all the commonly
known moral virtues and with a sense of balance and proportion it
assigns a suitable place and function to each one of them in the total
scheme of life. It widens the scope of man's individual and collective life
-- his domestic associations, civic conduct, and his activities in the
political, economic, legal, educational, and social realms. It covers his
life from home to society, from the dining-table to the battlefield and
peace conferences, literally from the cradle to the grave. In short, no
sphere of life is exempt from the universal and comprehensive
application of the moral principles of Islam. It makes morality reign
supreme and ensures that the affairs of life, instead of being dominated
by selfish desires and petty interests, is regulated by norms of morality.
It stipulates for man a system of life that is based on all good and is free
from all evil. It invokes the people, not only to practice virtue, but also
to establish virtue and eradicate vice, to bid good and to forbid wrong.
It wants the verdict of conscience to prevail and virtue must not be
subdued to play second fiddle to evil. Those who respond to this call are
gathered into a community and given the name Muslim. And the
singular object underlying the formation of this community (Ummah) is
that it should make an organized effort to establish and enforce
goodness and suppress and eradicate evil.
Here we furnish some basic moral teachings of Islam for various
aspects of a Muslim's life. They cover the range of personal moral
conduct of a Muslim as well as his social responsibilities.
The Qur'an mentions it as the highest quality of a Muslim:
The most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is
most Allah-conscious (49:13)
Humility, modesty, control of passions and desires, truthfulness,
integrity, patience, steadfastness, and fulfilling one's promises are
moral values that are emphasized repeatedly in the Qur'an:
And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast. (3:146)
And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness and to
a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which awaits the Allah-
conscious, who spend for charity in time of hardship, and restrain their
anger, and pardon their fellow men, for Allah loves those who do good.
Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong;
and bear patiently whatever may befall you; for this is true constancy.
And do not swell your cheek (with pride) at men, nor walk in insolence
on the earth, for Allah does not love any man proud and boastful. And
be moderate in your pace and lower voice; for the harshest of sounds,
indeed, is the braying of ass (31:18-19)
In a way that summarizes the moral behavior of a Muslim, the Prophet
My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of
Allah, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or
pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich; to reunite
friendship with those who have broken it off with me; to give to him who
refuses me; that my looking should be an admonition; and that I should
command what is right.
The teachings of Islam concerning social responsibilities are based on
kindness and consideration of others. Since a broad injunction to be
kind is likely to be ignored in specific situations, Islam lays emphasis on
specific acts of kindness and defines the responsibilities and rights of
various relationships. In a widening circle of relationship, then, our
first obligation is to our immediate family -- parents, husbands or wife
and children, then to other acquaintances, orphans and widows, the
needy of the community, our fellow Muslims, all our fellow human
beings and animals.
Respect and care for parents is very much stressed in the Islamic
teachings and is a very important part of a Muslim's expression of faith.
Your Sustainer has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that
you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in
your lifetime, do not say to them a word of contempt nor repeal them,
but address them with honor, and out of kindness, lower to them the
wing of humility and say: My Sustainer! Bestow on them Your mercy,
even as they cherished me in childhood. (17:23-24)
And render to the relatives their due rights, as (also) to those in need,
and to the traveler; and do not squander your wealth in the manner of a
The Prophet (PBUH) has said:
He is not believer who eats his fill when his neighbor beside him is
He does not believe whose neighbors are not safe from his injurious
Actually, according to the Qur'an and Sunnah a Muslim has to
discharge his moral responsibility not only to his parents, relatives and
neighbors but the entire mankind, animals and useful trees and plants.
For example, hunting of birds and animals for the sake of game is not
permitted. Similarly cutting trees and plants that yield fruit is forbidden
unless there is a very pressing need for it.
Thus, on the basic moral characteristics, Islam builds a higher system
of morality because of which mankind can realize its greatest potential.
Islam purifies the soul from self-seeking egotism, tyranny, wantonness
and undiscipline and uncompromising with falsehood. It induces
feelings of moral responsibility and fosters the capacity for self control.
Islam generates kindness, generosity, mercy, sympathy, peace,
disinterested goodwill, scrupulous fairness and truthfulness towards all
creation in all situations. It nourishes noble qualities from which only
good may be expected.
HUMAN RIGHTS IN ISLAM
Since Allah is the absolute and the sole master of men and the universe,
He is the sovereign Lord, the Sustainer and Nourisher, the Merciful,
whose mercy enshrines all beings; and since He has given each man
human dignity and honor, and breathed into him of His own spirit, it
follows that, united in Him and through Him, and apart from their other
human attributes, men are substantially the same and no tangible and
actual distinction can be made among them, because of their accidental
differences such as nationality, color or race. Every human-being is
thereby related to all others and all become one community of
brotherhood in their honorable and pleasant servitude to the most
compassionate Lord of the Universe. In such a heavenly atmosphere the
Islamic confession of the oneness of Allah stands dominant and central,
and necessarily entails the concept of the oneness of humanity and the
brotherhood of mankind.
Although an Islamic state may be setup in any part of the earth, Islam
does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the geographical
limits of its own state. Islam has laid down some universal fundamental
rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and respected
under all circumstances whether such a person is resident within the
territory of the Islamic state or outside it, whether he is at peace with
the state or at war. The Qur'an very clearly states:
O believer, be you securers of justice, witness for Allah.
Let not detestation for the people move you not to be equitable; be
equitable -- that is nearer to God-fearing. (5:8)
Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled without
justification. And if anyone violates this sanctity of human blood by
killing a soul without justification, the Qur'an equates it to the killing of
.....Who so slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for
corruption done in the land, should be as if he had slain mankind
It is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or
the wounded. Women's honor and chastity are to be respected under all
circumstances. The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and
the wounded or disease treated medically irrespective of whether they
belong to the Islamic community or are from amongst its enemies.
When we speak of human rights in Islam we really mean that these
rights have been granted by Allah; they have not been granted by any
king or by any legislative assembly. The rights granted by the kings or
the legislative assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in
which they are conferred. The same is the case with the rights accepted
and recognized by the dictators. They can confer them when they please
and withdraw then when they wish; and they can openly violate them
when they like. But since in Islam human rights have been conferred by
Allah, no legislative assembly in the world or any government on earth
has the right or authority to make any amendment or change in the
rights conferred by Allah. No one has the right to abrogate them or
withdraw them. Nor are they basic human rights that are conferred on
paper for the sake of show and exhibition and denied in actual life when
the show is over. Nor are they like philosophical concepts that have no
sanctions behind them.
The charter and the proclamations and the resolutions of the United
Nations cannot be compared with the rights sanctioned by Allah;
because the former is not applicable on anybody while the latter is
applicable on every believer. They are a part of the Islamic Faith. Every
Muslim or administrators who claim themselves to be Muslims, will
have to accept, recognize and enforce them. If they fail to enforce them,
and start denying the rights that have been guaranteed by Allah or make
amendments and changes in them, or practically violate them while
paying lip service to them, the verdict of the Holy Qur'an for such
government is clear and unequivocal:
Those who do not judge by what Allah have sent down are the
Human Rights in an Islamic State
1. The Security of Life and Property: In the address that the Prophet
delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said: "Your lives
and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord
on the Day of Resurrection." The Prophet has also said about the
dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state): "One who
kills a man under covenant (i.e. Dhimmi) will not even smell the
fragrance of Paradise."
2. The Protection of Honor: The Holy Qur'an lays down
i) You who believe, do not let one (set of) people make fun of
ii) Do not defame one another.
iii) Do not insult by using nicknames.
iv) Do not backbite or speak ill of one another (49:11-12).
3. Sanctity and Security of Private Life: The Qur'an has laid down the
i) Do not spy on one another.
ii) Do not enter any houses unless you are sure of their occupant's
4. The Security of Personal Freedom: Islam has laid down the
principle that no citizen can be imprisoned unless his guilt has been
proved in an open court. To arrest a man only on the basis of
suspicion and to throw him into a prison without proper court
proceedings and without providing him a reasonable opportunity to
produce his defense is not permissible in Islam.
5. The Right to Protest Against Tyranny: Amongst the right that Islam
has conferred on human beings is the right to protest against
government's tyranny. Referring to it, the Qur'an says: "Allah does
not love evil talk in public unless it is by someone who has been
injured thereby." In Islam, as has been argued earlier, all power and authority
Allah, and with man there is only delegated power which becomes a
trust; everyone who becomes a recipient or a donee of such power has
to stand in awful reverence before his people towards whom and for
whose sake he will be called upon to use these powers. This was
acknowledged by Hazrat Abu Bakr who said in his very first address:
"Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me when I commit
error; obey me so long as I follow the commandments of Allah and His
prophet; but turn away from me when I deviate."
6. Freedom of Expression: Islam gives the right of freedom of thought
and expression to all citizens of the Islamic state on the condition
that it should be used for the propagation of virtue and truth and
not for spreading evil and wickedness. The Islamic concept of
freedom of expression is far superior to the concept prevalent in the
West. Under no circumstances would Islam allow evil and
wickedness to be propagated. It also does not give anybody the
right to use abusive or offensive language in the name of criticism.
It was the practice of the Muslims to inquire from the Holy Prophet
whether on a certain matter a divine injunction had been revealed
to him. If he said that he had received no divine injunction, the
Muslims freely expressed their opinion on the matter.
7. Freedom of Association: Islam has also given people the right to
freedom of association and formation of parties or organizations.
This right is also subject to certain general rules.
8. Freedom of Conscience and Conviction: Islam has laid down the
injunction: There should be no coercion in the matter of faith. On the contrary
, totalitarian societies totally deprive the individuals of
their freedom. Indeed this undue exaltation of the state authority
curiously enough postulates a sort of servitude, of slavishness on the
part of man. At one time slavery meant total control of man over man --
now that type of slavery has been legally abolished but in its place
totalitarian societies imposes a similar sort of control over individuals.
9. Protection of Religious Sentiments: Along with the freedom of
conviction and freedom of conscience, Islam has given the right to
the individual that his religious sentiments will be given due respect
and nothing will be said or done which may encroach upon his
10. Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment: Islam also recognizes the
right of the individual, that he will not be arrested or imprisoned
for the offenses of others. The Holy Qur'an has laid down this
principle clearly: No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the
burden of another.
11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life: Islam has recognized the
right of the needy people and that help and assistance will be
provided to them: And in their wealth there is acknowledged right
for the needy and the destitute.
12. Equality Before Law: Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute
and complete equality in the eyes of the law.
13. Rulers Not Above the Law: A woman belonging to high and noble
family was arrested for theft. The case was brought to the Prophet,
and it was recommended that she might be spared the punishment of
theft. The Prophet replied, "The nations that lived before you were
destroyed by Allah because they punished the common-man for
their offenses and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their
crimes; I swear by Him Who holds my life in His hand that even if
Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, I
would have amputated her hand."
14. The Right to Participate in the Affairs of State: And their business
is (conducted) through consultation among themselves (42:38). The
shura or the legislative assembly has no other meaning except that:
The executive head of the government and the members of the
assembly should be elected by free and independent choice of the
Lastly, it is to be made clear that Islam tries to achieve the above-
mentioned human rights and many other rights not only by providing
certain legal safeguards but mainly by inviting mankind to transcend
the lower level of animal life and to be able to go beyond the mere ties
fostered by the kinship of blood, racial superiority, linguistic
arrogance, and economic privileges. It invites mankind to move on to a
plane of existence where, by reason of his inner excellence, man can
realize the ideal of the Brotherhood of man.
1) T.B. Irving, et al. "The Qur'an: Basic Teachings"
2) Hamuda Abdulati "Islam in Focus"
3) M. Qutb "Islam: The Misunderstood Religion"
4) Maurice Bucaille "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science"
5) Suzanne Hameed "What Everyone Should Know About Islam and the Muslims"