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••Monday•, 20 •September• 2010 21:39•

Islam
The Eternal Message
BISMILLAHIR RAHMANIR RAHIM

“Let there be from among you, a nation (of people) calling and inviting to righteousness, commanding knowledgeably and amicably; prohibiting that which is denied (by the Qur’an) and disapproved of (by Allah); for those are the ones who shall be successful.”

THE HOLY QUR’AN
(Suratu Ali Imran, Ayya 104)

WHAT IS ISLAM?

Islam can be simply defined as being the total surrender and the complete submission of mankind to the will of (Almighty God) Allah, the Creator and the Sustainer of the entire universe. And Allah, being ever so wise, told man at the very dawn of humanity, the formula that he would have to follow to be successful in this world, and to insure a place in the next.

However, mankind distorted, and misunderstood this formula, and began to surrender to, and obey objects of their own creation, based on their own whims and wishes.

Subsequently, (Almighty God) Allah, being ever so merciful, raised up Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them) among the various people of the world, to teach and guide them to the right path by which they would realize their true nature, and be in accord with the formula, Allah had legislated for mankind.

But man continued to err. For upon the death of these Prophets, their teachings were distorted, and their followers began to worship them, instead of (Almighty God), Allah. As for example, is the distortions of the teachings of Jesus, the son of Mary (peace be upon him).

Finally, over fourteen hundred years ago in Arabia, Almighty God, Allah, raised up the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as the last link in the chain of Prophets. Unlike all of the Prophets who came before him, with the message of Islam to their particular people, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was Divinely ordained the World Prophet. Not only for the people of Arabia, as so many people have mistakenly believed, but for all of manikind. And through the “Seal” of His Prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him), (Almighty God) Allah, perfected His religion (Islam) for mankind. And this perfection is manifested by the Holy Qur’an. The perfect formula of submission and obedience to (Almighty God) Allah, for all men in the world, in all ages, up to the end of the world.

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF ISLAM?

There is no doubt as to Islam being the only way for man to recognize his great and responsible role in the order of life. However, there are certain conditions, which are

prerequisites before Islam can become a significant force in a man’s life and in his community. These conditions will not only enable a man to exercise the faculties of reasoning the (Almighty God) Allah, has so mercifully bestowed upon him, but also to prevent Islam from becoming cannibalized, and saturated with shallowness and emptiness. Without these conditions, there can be on Islam, and man will suffer the worst for it. The conditions of Islam are six, and they are follows:

1. MATURITY
One must have attained an age where he or she, are considered to be a responsible person. It is usually from the age of puberty. However, children should be encouraged from seven years of age and up.

2. INTELLIGENCE
One should be in control of his faculties, being able to interpret intelligently and rationally the claim of the Qur’an, that Islam is the only way of life for mankind to follow.

3. CHOICE
The acceptance of Islam, in order for it to be agreeable with (Almighty God) Allah, must be of one’s own choosing, and not all the result of force.

4. ARTICULATION OF THE SHAHADA (Bearing of witness)
Upon entering the Brotherhood of Islam, with the exception of those who are not able to justifiable reasons, one must be able to express audibly in the company of witnesses, the two declarations of the Shahada. They are as follows: I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

5. ORDER
There are procedures in Islam that must be adhered to, so as not to promote any forms of disunity or disorder. Such a procedure is the cleansing of one’s self in the prescribed manner before the making of prayer.

6. FIDELITY
One should always be faithful to the cause of Islam. Always willing to protect the faith against the forces of evil, and always endeavoring to establish truth and righteousness, regardless of the consequences involved, except those that are administered by (Almighty God) Allah.


WHAT ARE THE RULES OF ISLAM?

The rules of Islam are obligatory practices which all Muslims should uncompromisingly adhere to. These rules are the pillars of Islam, and are the fountains from which all spirituality flows.

If these rules are sincerely accepted, and vigorously practiced, they will unquestionably aid the Muslims in their strivings to realize the noble, and higher purposes, Almighty God, Allah, has ordained for man. Abstinence from them, will surely result in never knowing Islam. The rules of Islam are five, and they are as follows:

1. The belief that there is only one God, Allah, who has no partners, no mother, no father, no daughters, nor any sons, and that Muhammad ibn Abdullah, who lived more than 1400 years ago in His true and final Prophet.

2. Muslims are obligated to pray five times a day. The purpose of praying five times a day is to praise and worship (Almighty God) Allah, and also to develop and discipline one’s self spiritually, as well as mentally.

3. Muslims are obligated to give annually 21/2% of their accumulated wealth to the Muslim community. This payment is called Zakat (charity), and is used to aid the less fortunate members of community.

4. Muslims are obligated to fast during the month of Ramadan. This is the month in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

5. Every Muslim who is able, should perform at least once in a lifetime, the pilgrimage to the Holy Ka’ba in Mecca.