Islam is the only universal religion that the God has chosen for all the humanity to the day of judgment. to supersede all other religions in addressing the human needs and to achieve the divine goals which the Creator have set for all humans.
What every other religion, except Islam, has in common?
Every other major religion of the world has been named either after itsfounder or after the community or nation in which it was born. Christianitytakes its name from its prophet Jesus Christ; Buddhism from its founder,Gautama Buddha; Zoroastrianism from its founder Zoroaste, and Judaism fromthe name of the tribe Judah. The same is true of all other religions exceptIslam.
Uniqueness and Universality of Islam
Islam enjoys the unique distinction of having no such association with anyparticular person, people or country. Nor is it the product of any human mind.It is a universal religion and its objective is to create and cultivate in man theperfection of humanity and lead both man and women to ultimate success and salvation..
Islam demands a very basic belief, based on wisdom and logic, the acceptance of a unique and only Creator and recognition of his assigned prophets specifically prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family).Anyone who possesses this belief, whatever race, color, community, countryor group he belongs to, is a Muslim.
According to the Qur’an (the Holy Book of the Muslims), among every peopleand in all ages there have been good and righteous people who possessedthis belief- and all of them were and are Muslims.
Islam – What Does it Mean?
Islam is an Arabic word and connotes submission, surrender and obedience.As a religion, Islam stands for complete submission and obedience to one unique God. Another literal meaning of the word Islam is ‘peace’ and thissignifies that one can achieve real peace of body and mind only throughsubmission and obedience to Allah.
Such a life of obedience to God brings with it peace of the heart andestablishes real peace in society at large. As a result, all Muslims and non Muslims are safe and protected from all other Muslims.
Everyone can see that we live in an orderly universe, where everything isassigned a place in a grand scheme. The moon, the stars and all theheavenly bodies are knit together in a magnificent system. They followunalterable laws and make not even the slightest deviation from theirordained courses.
Similarly, everything in the world, from the minute whirling electron to themighty nebulae, invariably follows its own laws. Matter, energy and life – allobey their laws and grow, change, live and die in accordance with thoselaws. Even in the human world the laws of nature are paramount. Man’sbirth, growth and life are all regulated by a set of biological laws.
He derives sustenance from nature in accordance with an unalterable law. Allthe organs of his body, from the smallest tissues to the heart and the brain,are governed by the laws prescribed for them. In short, ours is alaw-governed universe and everything in it is following the course that hasbeen ordained for it.
This powerful, all-pervasive law, which governs all that comprises theuniverse, from the tiniest specks of dust to the magnificent galaxies of theheavens, is the law of God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe. As thewhole of creation obeys the law of God, the whole universe, therefore,literally follows the religion of Islam – for Islam signifies nothing butobedience and submission to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.
The sun, the moon, the earth and all other heavenly bodies are thus ‘Muslim’. So are the air, water, heat, stones, trees and animals. Everythingin the universe is ‘Muslim’ for it obeys God by submission to His laws. Even aperson who refuses to believe in God, or offers worship to someone other than ‘ God’, is essentially a ‘Muslim’ as far as his physical existence is concerned.
For his entire life, from the embryonic stage to the body’s dissolution intodust after death, every tissue of his muscles and every limb of his bodyfollows the course prescribed by God’s law. His very tongue, which onaccount of his ignorance, advocates the denial of God or professes multipledeities, is in its very nature ‘Muslim’.
His head which he sometimes bows to others besides Allah is born ‘Muslim’.His heart, which, through his lack of true knowledge, cherishes love andreverence for others, is ‘Muslim’ by intuition. These are all obedient to theDivine Law, and their functions and movements are governed by theinjunctions of that law alone.
Two Dimensions of a Man
According to Islam, a man has two unique dimensions of his existence, the body and soul. the two distinct spheres of his activity. One is the sphere inwhich he finds himself totally regulated by the Divine Law. Like othercreatures, he is completely caught in the grip of the physical laws of natureand is bound to follow them. But there is another sphere of his activity.
He has been endowed with reason and intellect. He has the power to thinkand form judgments, to choose and reject, to approve and spurn. He is freeto adopt whatever course of life he chooses. He can embrace any faith, andlive by any ideology he likes. He may prepare his own code of conduct oraccept one formulated by others.
Unlike other creatures, he has been given freedom of thought, choice andaction. In short, man has been bestowed with free will.
Role of Two Dimensions in Man’s Life
In the first he, like all other creatures, is a born Muslim, invariably obeyingthe injunctions of God, and is bound to remain one. As far as the secondaspect is concerned, he is free to become or not to become a Muslim. It isthe way a person exercises this freedom which divides mankind into twogroups: believers and non-believers.
An individual who chooses to acknowledge his Creator, accepts Him as hisreal Master, honestly and scrupulously submits to His laws and injunctionsand follows the code. He has achieved completeness in his Islam byconsciously deciding to obey God in the domain in which he was endowedwith freedom of choice. He is a perfect Muslim. The submission of his entireself to the will of Allah leads him to become a perfect Muslim.
He has now consciously submitted to Him Whom he had already beenunconsciously obeying. He has now willingly offered obedience to the Master Whom he already owed obedience to involuntarily. His knowledge is now realfor he has acknowledged the Being Who endowed him with the power to learnand to know.
Now his reason and judgment are set on an even keel – for he has rightlydecided to obey the Being Who bestowed upon him the faculty of thinking andjudging. His tongue is also truthful for it expresses its belief in the Lord Whogave it the faculty of speech.
Now the whole of his existence is an embodiment of truth for, in all spheres oflife, he voluntarily as well as involuntarily obeys the laws of One God – theLord of the Universe. Now he is at peace with the whole universe for heworships Him Whom the whole universe worships. Such a man is God’svice-regent on earth. The whole world is for him and he is for God.
The following sources are used to prepare the above article. Some hyperlinks may not be still active.
1. Group of Scholars, Rationality of Islam (1978), under the auspices of Ayatullah Sayyid Abu’l Qasim al-Khu’i, Publisher: Islamic, Seminary Publications, Pakistan
2. Mohamad Jawad Chirri, Inquiries About Islam (1986), Publisher: The Islamic Center of America, Dearborn Michigan, USA.