This article was edited for IslamiCity in Cyberspace and
was compiled from various chapters of the book titled, "Towards Understanding
Islam" by Abul A'la Mawdudi, translated by Khurshid Ahmad, and published by The
Islamic Foundation, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-86037-053-4 (pages 17, 86-93, 115-116)
Islam is an
Arabic word and it connotes submission, surrender and obedience. As a religion, Islam
stands for complete submission and obedience to Allah (God).
in fact, is an attributive title. Anyone who possesses this attribute, whatever race,
community, country or group he or she belongs to, is a Muslim. According
to the Qur'an
(the Holy Book of the Muslims), among every people and in all ages there have been good
and righteous people who possessed this attribute - and all of them were and are Muslims.
Islam is a universal
and eternal religion. Its appeal is to the whole humanity. Any person who declares belief in La ilaha illallah
Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah (there is no deity but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet) enters
the fold of Islam and entitles him or
herself to the same rights as those of other Muslims.
Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) has enjoined us to believe in five
articles of faith:
1) Belief in one God Who has
absolutely no associate with Him in His divinity;
2) Belief in God's Angels;
3) Belief in God's Books, and
in the Holy Qur'an as His Last Book;
4) Belief in God's Prophets,
and in Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) as His Last
and Final Messenger; and
5) Belief in life after death.
believes in these articles enters the fold of Islam and becomes a member of the Muslim
community. But one does not become a complete Muslim by mere vocal profession alone. To
become a complete Muslim one has to fully carry out in practice the instructions given by Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) as ordained by God.
articles form the foundation for the superstructure of Islam. Their gist is contained in
the short sentence known as Kalimah-tayyibah (also called the Shahada). When you
declare La ilaha illallah (their is no deity but
Allah), you give up all false deities, and
profess that you are a creature of the One God; and when you add to these words Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah (Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) you confirm and admit the Prophethood of Muhammad (blessings
of Allah and peace be upon him). With the admission of his Prophethood it becomes
obligatory that you should believe in the divine nature and attributes of God, in His
angels, in His Revealed Books and life after death, and earnestly follow that method of
obeying God and worshipping Him which the Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace
be upon him) has asked us to follow.
us see what code of conduct Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) has taught
as ordained by God Almighty. The first and foremost things in this respect are the 'Ibadah
(or worships) - the primary duties which must be observed by each and every person
professing to belong to the Muslim community. 'Ibadah is an Arabic word derived from 'Abd
(a slave) and it means submission. The concept of 'Ibadah is very wide. All your
activities are 'Ibadah if they are in accordance with the law of God and your ultimate
objective is to seek the pleasure of God. A set of formal 'Ibadah (worships) are
thus the pillars on which the edifice of Islam rests:
1) Salah (prayers) - The
most fundamental and the most important of these obligations. Salah are the prescribed daily prayers which
consist in repeating and refreshing five times a day the belief in which you repose your
2) Fasting - What prayers
seek to do five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadhan (the ninth month of the
lunar year) does once a year. What is it that makes us voluntarily undergo hunger or
thirst from dawn to dusk? It is nothing but faith in God and the fear of Him and the Day
of Judgment. This consciousness of duty and spirit of patience that incessant fasting
during a whole month helps us strengthen our faith.
3) Zakah - Its fundamental
importance lies in the fact that it fosters in us the quality of sacrifice and rids us of
selfishness and greed. Islam accepts within its fold only those who are ready to give away
in God's way some of their wealth willingly. Every Muslim whose finances are above a
certain specified minimum must pay 2.5% of their cash balance annually to the deserving.
4) Hajj (pilgrimage)
- Mecca today stands at the site of a house that the Prophet Abraham (God's blessing be upon him) built for
the worship of Allah. Allah rewarded him by calling it His own House and making it the
center towards which all must face when saying prayers. He has also made it obligatory on
those who can afford it to visit this place to perform the Hajj, at least once in a lifetime.
The pilgrimage is, in a way, the biggest of 'Ibadah. For unless a person really loves God
he would never undertake such a long
In the name of Allah (God),
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
All Praise is due to Allah
(God), Lord of the worlds, the Beneficient, the Merciful, Owner of the Day of Judgement.
Thee alone we worship and
Thee alone we ask for help.
Show us the straight path,
the path of those whom Thou hast favoured, not (the path of) those who earn Thine anger
nor (of) those who go astray. (Amen)
The Holy Qur'an (The
Opening Chapter, Al-Fatihah, Surah 1)
This article was
edited for IslamiCity
in Cyberspace and was compiled from various
chapters of the book titled, "Towards Understanding Islam" by Abul A'la Mawdudi,
translated by Khurshid Ahmad, and published by The Islamic Foundation, United Kingdom.
ISBN 0-86037-053-4 (pages 17, 86-93, 115-116)
Muslims & Islam
Last Sermon of
Library of Islam
Questions About Al-Islam &