(part 1 of 2)
Simplicity, rationality and practicability
Islam is a religion without any mythology. His teachings are simple and understandable. He is free from superstitions and incomprehensible misconceptions. The unity of God, the prophethood of Muhammad and the concept of life after death are the principles of his faith. They are based on reason and obvious logic. All of Islam’s teachings are based on these beliefs and are simple and straightforward. There is no hierarchy of priests here, no far-fetched abstractions, no complicated rites or rituals.
Everyone is able to approach the Quran directly and put their commandments directly into practice. Islam awakens in man the ability to fathom and urges him to use his intellect. He instructs him to look at things in the light of reality. The Quran advises him to gain knowledge and ask God to expand his awareness.
„Say: ´O my lord, increase my knowledge.“ (Quran 20: 114)
God also says,
“Are those who know equal to those who do not? Only those who are sensible can be warned. ” (Quran 39: 9)
It is also reported that the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said that:
“The one who leaves his house in search of knowledge (walks) in the way of God.” (At-Tirmidhi)
“The search for knowledge is a duty for every Muslim.” (Ibn Majah and al-Bayhaqi)
In this way Islam leads man from his world of superstition and darkness to the world of knowledge and light.
Again, Islam proves to be a practical religion and does not allow forbearance when theorizing is empty and useless. He says that belief is not just affirming beliefs, but rather is the main source of life. Righteous behavior must follow belief in God. Religion is something that has to be practiced and not the subject of lip service. In the Quran, God says:
„Those who believe there and do good works will be given happiness and an excellent home.“ (Quran 13:29)
The Prophet said that God’s blessings and peace were upon him that he said:
“God does not accept faith unless it is expressed in deeds, and He does not accept deeds, if they don’t agree with the faith. “ (At-Tabarani)
So it is its simplicity, intelligibility and applicability that characterize Islam as a unique and true religion.
Unity of matter and spirit
A unique characteristic of Islam is that it does not divide life into the waterproof components of matter and spirit. It does not stand for the rejection of life, but for the fulfillment of life. Islam does not believe in asceticism. It does not require man to forego material things. According to Islam, spiritual heights are achieved through pious life in the ups and downs of life and not by renouncing the world. In the Quran, God advises us to ask:
“Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and spare us from the punishment of fire. ” (Quran 2: 201)
But about the luxury in this life, Islam recommends man to be humble to stay away from waste. God says:
“… And eat and drink, but it does not exceed the measure; truly, He does not love those who do not measure. ” (Quran 7:31)
Regarding modesty, the Prophet said:
“Hold fast and break it (at the right time) and stand in prayer and devotion (at night) and sleep, because your body has rights over you and yours Eyes have rights to you, and your wife has a right to you, and the person who visits you has a right to you. ”
So Islam does not allow any distinction between „material“ and „moral“, „worldly“ and „spiritual“ life, and it encourages people to use all their energy to build a life based on healthy moral principles. He teaches him that moral and material forces must work together and that spiritual salvation can only be achieved if material aids that are available to man are used for the good, and not through a life in asceticism or when facing the challenges of Life runs away.
The world has suffered from the one-sidedness of many other religions and ideologies. Some have emphasized the spiritual side of life, but ignored the material and worldly aspects. They viewed the world as an illusion, a deception and a trap. Other materialistic ideologies, on the other hand, have totally neglected the spiritual and moral side of life and have given it up as invented and imagined.These two attitudes have led to disasters because they robbed humanity of peace, contentment and tranquility.
Even today the balance is shifted in one direction or the other. The French scientist Dr. De Brogbi correctly states:
“The danger that comes from a civilization that is too attached to material things is society itself; it is the imbalance that results when the parallel development of spiritual life fails to strike the necessary balance. ”
Christianity was wrong in one extreme, whereas modern civilizations of both variants, that of secular capitalist democracy and that of Marxist socialism, were wrong in the other. According to Lord Snell:
“We have a well-proportioned outer structure, but we have neglected the indispensable need for inner order. We carefully designed, decorated and cleaned the outside of the cup, but the inside was full of blackmail and excess, we used our advanced knowledge and skills to manage the body, but we impoverished the mind. ”
Islam aims to strike a balance between these two aspects of life – the material and the spiritual. He says that everything in this world is available to man, but man was created to serve a higher purpose: to establish a moral and just order that does God’s will. His teachings take care of the spiritual as well as the transitory needs of man. Islam commands man to purify his soul and reshape his everyday life – both that of the individual and that of the community – and to establish a superiority of the right over power and virtue over sin. So Islam stands for the middle ground and the goal of producing a righteous person in the service of a just society.
Islam, a complete way of life
Islam is not a religion in the usual and twisted sense, because it focuses not only on the private sphere. It is a complete way of life and is present in every area of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all aspects of life – individually and socially, materially and morally, economically and politically, legally and culturally, nationally and internationally. The Quran calls on people to accept Islam without reservation and to follow God’s guidance in all areas of life.
It was indeed a fateful day when the concept of religion was limited to people’s private lives and their social and cultural roles were reduced to nothing, as has happened in this century. No other factor was probably more involved in the weakening of religion in modern times than its retirement into the private sphere. In the words of a modern philosopher: „Religion asks us to separate God’s affairs from those of Caesar. Such a critical separation between the two means to humiliate both the worldly and the sacred … That religion is of little value if conscience its supporters are not worried when the clouds of war rise above all of us and industrial conflicts affect social peace.
Islam completely rejects this idea of religion and clearly states that its goal is the purification of the soul and the reorganization and reconstruction of society. As we can read in the Quran:
“Truly, We sent Our messengers with clear evidence and sent down the book and the Libra with them so that people may practice justice. And we created the iron, in which (force to) violent war is as well as in many uses for mankind, so that God designates those who assist Him and His Messenger, albeit unseen. Verily, God is Almighty, Exalted. ” (Quran 57: 25)
God also says:
“The decision is only up to God. He commanded to worship Him alone. That’s the right belief, but most people don’t know it. ” (Quran 12:40)
Even a superficial study of the teachings of Islam shows that it is an all-encompassing way of life and leaves no area of human existence to the powers of evil.
(part 2 of 2)
Balance between Individual and Society
Another unique property of Islam is that it strikes a balance between the individual and society. He takes into account the individual personality of the human being and considers each individual responsible before God. The Prophet, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said:
“Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for what is under your care. The leader is the shepherd for his subordinates and he is responsible for them; a husband is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for them; a woman is the shepherdess for her husband’s house, and she is responsible for it; and a servant is the shepherd for his master’s property, and he is responsible for it. ”
I heard this from God’s Messenger and I believe the Prophet also said: “A man is the shepherd of his father’s property and he is responsible for it; so you are all shepherds and responsible for your charges and the things that are under your care. ” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari, Sahieh Muslim)
Islam also guarantees the basic rights of the individual and does not allow anyone to interfere. It makes the correct development of the personality of the human being a main goal of education. He does not support the view that people have to give up their individuality in society or the state.
In Islam, all people are the same, regardless of their color, language, race or nationality. It addresses the consciousness of humanity and banishes all false barriers of race, position and wealth. One cannot deny the fact that such barriers have always existed and still exist today in the so-called enlightened age. Islam removes all these obstacles and announces the ideal of all humanity as the family of God.
Islam is international in its outlook and rapprochement and does not allow for restrictions or distinctions in skin color, descent, blood or territory as was the case before the appearance of Muhammad. Unfortunately, these prejudices persist in different ways even in this modern age. Islam wants to unite the entire human race under one banner. In a world torn apart by national rivalries and quarrels, Islam presents its message of life and hope and of a glorious future.
Historian AJ Toynbee has made some interesting observations on this. In „Civilization on Trial“ he writes: „Two well-known sources of danger – a psychological and a material one – in the present relations of this world bourgeois proletariat, ie (westernized humanity) with the dominant element in our modern one Western society is racial awareness and alcohol, and in the fight against each of these evils the Islamic spirit has to do a service that could prove if it were believed to be of high moral and social value.
The elimination of racial awareness among Muslims is one of the most prominent moral achievements of Islam, and in our contemporary world there is a screaming need for the proclamation of this Islamic value … It is conceivable that the spirit of Islam could be the appropriate reinforcement that it is Matters in favor of tolerance and peace decide.
As for the evil of alcohol, it worst affects the primitive populations in tropical regions that have opened up to Western companies. The fact is that even the best statesman preventive measures imposed by an external authority have proven ineligible to free a society from social virtue as long as there is no desire for liberation and no will to do so to implement a voluntary action, which in turn is awakened in the hearts of the people concerned. Now western administrators, in any case those of „Anglo-Saxon“ origin, are spiritually isolated from their „innate“ proteges by their physical „color barrier“ that stimulates their racial awareness; the reversal of souls is a task that exceeds their capabilities; and at this point Islam could play an important role.
In these recently and quickly developed tropical territories, western civilization has produced an economic and political space and, in the same breath, a social and spiritual emptiness.
So here, in view of the future, we can see two valuable influences that Islam can exert on the cosmopolitan proletariat of a western society that has spanned the world and captured all of humanity, while we talk about the possible future The participation of Islam in new manifestations of religion may only speculate. ”
Persistence and change
The elements of permanence and change coexist in human society and culture and will remain so. Different ideologies and cultural systems made a huge mistake by leaning too much on one side or the other of the Libra. Too much emphasis on constancy makes the system rigid and deprives it of flexibility and progress, whereas a lack of enduring values and unchangeable elements creates moral relativism, shapelessness and anarchy.
What is needed is a balance between the two – a system that simultaneously fulfills the desire for permanence and that for variability. An American judge, Mr. Justice Cardozo, rightly stated that „the greatest need of our time is for a philosophy that balances the conflicting demands for stability and progress and provides a principle of growth.“ Islam presents an ideology that fulfills the demands for stability as well as for progress.
Deeper reflection reveals that life itself contains the elements of constancy and change – it is neither so rigid and inflexible that it does not allow for any change in detail, nor is it so flexible and fluid that even its characteristic features do not have their own constant Have characteristics. This becomes clear when one observes the process of physiological changes in the human body, because every tissue of the body changes many times in the course of a person’s life, although the person always remains the same. The leaves, flowers and fruits of a tree change, but its character remains unchanged. It is a law of life that the elements of permanence and change must coexist in a harmonious balance.
Only such a system of life that can provide these two elements is able to fulfill all the desires of human nature and all the needs of human society. The basic problems of life remain the same at all times and climates, but the ways and means to solve them and the ways of dealing with the phenomena are subject to change over time. Islam focuses on a new perspective on this problem and tries to solve it in a realistic way.
The Quran and Sunnah contain constant guidance from the Lord of the Worlds. This guidance comes from God, who is not subject to the limits of time and space, and therefore the principles of individual and social behavior that He has revealed are based on reality and they are eternal. But God has only revealed broad principles and has given man the freedom to apply them in every age appropriately according to the spirit and conditions of the time. Through this Ijtihad (intellectual effort to reach the truth), people of every age try to fulfill the divine guidance and apply it to the problems of their time. So the basic guidance is constant, while the method of its application can change in accordance with the requirements of the time. For this reason, Islam always remains fresh and modern like the morning.
Complete transmission of the preserved teachings
Finally, there is the fact that the teachings of Islam have been preserved in their original form. The result of this is that God’s guidance is available without any change. The Quran is the revealed book and word of God that has existed for fourteen hundred years. And it is still available in its original version. Detailed accounts of the Prophet’s life and teachings are available in their pristine purity. There was not a single change in this unique historical report. The statements and the entire tradition of the life of the Prophet were reported with unprecedented precision and credibility in the works of the Hadith and the Sirah (biography of the Prophet). Even a significant number of non-Muslim critics have admitted this fact.
These are some of the unique characteristics of Islam that distinguish it as a religion for the people of today and tomorrow. These aspects have attracted many people in the past and in the present and have made them testify that Islam is the religion of truth and the right way for mankind. There is no doubt that these aspects will continue to attract even more people in the future. People with pure hearts and solicitous efforts for the truth will keep saying:
“I testify that no one is worthy of worship except God, that He is the One Who shares His rule with no one, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and is prophet. “
Here we want to conclude with the words of George Bernard Shaw, who said:.
I have always valued Muhammad’s religion for its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion that seems to me to have the ability to adapt to the changing phases of existence, which allows it to be applicable in any age. I studied him – this wonderful man – and according to me, he is far from being an Antichrist, he has to be called the Redeemer of humanity. I believe that if a man like him took over the dictatorship of the modern world, he could solve their problems in a way that would bring the peace and happiness that is so necessary. I have predicted Muhammad’s belief that it will be as acceptable to tomorrow’s Europe as it is now to today’s Europe.