Islam is also a “way of life.” The faith offers guidance and structure in all aspects of daily life, from birth and death rites, to courtship and marriage relationships, and in education and business dealings.
Some people think that religion is composed of rituals limited to certain times- They think about Allah and the afterlife only when they pray, fast, give charity or go on the pilgrimage. At other times they are engrossed in the business of the world.
Living by the values of Islam is possible by applying the commands and advice given in the Qur’an to every aspect of life. This and the practice of the Sunnah ( practice of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him)) is the only way that people can achieve the best and happiest results in this world and the next. Our Lord tells us in the Qur’an that a person can attain the best kind of life by doing right actions:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (QURAN,Surat an-Nahl: 97)
Muslims strive each day to walk the “middle road” — meeting one’s needs and living life, while being ever-mindful of God and the responsibilities we each have to Him and to our fellow human beings. A Muslim should try to strike a balance, being “of this world” without being neglectful of the spiritual realm.
What is Islam?
Islam, which comes from an Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission.” Islam teaches that one can only find peace in one’s life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us “Salaam alaykum,” (“Peace be with you”), the universal Muslim greeting.
Who is a Muslim?
A person who believes in and consciously follows Islam is called a Muslim, also from the same root word. So, the religion is called “Islam,” and a person who believes in and follows it is a “Muslim.”
Who is Allah?
Allah is the proper name for Almighty God, and is often translated merely as “God.” Allah has other names that are used to describe His characteristics: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Just etc.
Muslims believe that since Allah alone is the Creator, it is He alone that deserves our devout love and worship. Islam holds to a strict monotheism. Any worship and prayers directed at saints, prophets, other human beings or nature is considered idolatry.
What do Muslims believe about God, prophets, the afterlife, etc.?
The basic beliefs of Muslims fall into six main categories, which are known as the “Articles of Faith”:
- Faith in the unity of God
- Faith in angels
- Faith in books of revelation
- Faith in prophets
- Faith in an afterlife
- Faith in destiny/divine decree
The “five pillars” of Islam
In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes obedience to Him a duty.
The Muslim concept of worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah’s guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help strengthen a Muslim’s faith and obedience. They are often called the “Five Pillars of Islam.”
Daily life as a Muslim
While often seen as a radical or extreme religion, Muslims consider Islam to be the middle road. Muslims do not live life with complete disregard for God or religious matters, but nor do they neglect the world to devote themselves solely to worship and prayer. Muslims strike a balance by fulfilling the obligations of and enjoying this life, while always mindful of their duties to Allah and to others.
A person of faith orders his whole life according to the Qur’an and strives to apply carefully from day to day what he has read and learned in its verses. In everything he does from the moment he gets up in the morning until the time he falls asleep at night, he is intent on thinking, speaking and acting according to the teachings of the Qur’an. Allah shows in the Qur’an that this dedication dominates the whole life of a believer.
Say: “My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.” (QURAN,Surat al-An’am: 162)
By Allah’s will, living according to the teaching of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (way of Prophet(pbuh)) will enable people to develop a broad way of understanding, superior intelligence, the ability to distinguish right from wrong and the ability to consider a matter in depth. These characteristics will ensure that the person who possesses them will live every moment of his life in the ease that comes from these advantages. A person who lives his life in submission to Allah and according to the teaching of the Qur’an will be totally different from other people how he behaves, sits and walks, in his point of view and how he explains and interprets things, and in the solutions he finds for the problems that confront him.
Muslims strive each day to walk the “middle road” — meeting one’s needs and living life, while being ever-mindful of God and the responsibilities we each have to Him and to our fellow human beings. A Muslim should try to strike a balance, being “of this world” without being neglectful of the spiritual realm