Saturday, May 12, 2012

Is Islam...... A "Religion"?

What is a Religion? To recognize a God (one or more) and pray to that God (again one or more), and perhaps carry out a few commanded or suggested rituals in Its name. The holy book (almost all religions have a book), you read it or keep it in the drawing room shelf and listen to oldies saying things such as lying is a sin, do not steal, do not drink..and blah blah that it? Is Islam any different or is it the same as those many religions practiced across the globe?

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“This day I have perfected your faith, bestowed My favour upon you and chosen for you al-Islam as your deen.” (Holy Quran 5:3)

The word deen in arabic means " a way of life". Islam has rules, instructions, solutions for all and every situation and problem that arises in a man's life. There is not one situation or instance that islam does not produce an answer to.

Islam comes with rulings pertaining to three different types of relationships that a man has, such as:

  • Relationship of man with his creator, this includes worship of the creator. The prayer, fasts, etc come under this category. Our sins or shortcomings in this category of actions are upto Allah (swt) to forgive.
  • Relationship of man with himself. This includes things he does which are his own personal choices, not effecting anyone else beside him. Like his clothes, food etc.
  • Relationship of man with other men around him. This includes his relations with his family, friends, neighbors, employers or employees, people at market places, people on the streets, in short everyone. Maximum number of shariah rulings deal with this category, and it is an error or sin in our actions of this category that require us to ask forgiveness not only from Allah (swt) but also from the person whom we have wronged.
It is a complete system of life, bringing together detailed instructions and well defined systems for all of mankind. Each sphere of our lives, is governed by a proper system defined in Islam, like for example:
The social system
The political system 
The judicial system 
The economic system 
The educational system etc...each complete in its rulings and perfect in all its features. The practical implication of these systems is the application of the islamic shariah that covers all these systems in a practical way in an islamic political state.

Every action we do is to be under the shade of the guidelines and instructions of this comprehensive system of life called Al Islam, this then would be true obedience to Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) says in a very thought provoking ayah in The Holy Quran:
O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam. (Holy Quran 3:102)

Allah says in this verse, "die not except in a state of Islam". A prominent scholar in his tafseer says, that by this Allah means that a person is supposed to be in the state of Islam, that is following Islam in every sense, when death approaches him. For example, the scholar says that if there is a muslim man, praying regular salah but at the time of his death had been drinking, then it is as if he died outside the state of Islam. A person is supposed to be in complete obedience to Allah every moment of his life, living Islam not just as a religion but living Islam as a deen, a way of life.

May Allah give us the ability to live our lives in the truest sense of Islam. Ameen.

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