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Religion in a nutshell: The ABC of Islam
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 03 - 2010

Islam is an Arabic word which connotes submission, surrender and obedience. Islam is complete submission to Allah (God), Alone. Islam is a true religion given by Allah to mankind and the religion of all the Prophets sent by Allah, and Islam is the religion of all Muslims.
Who is a Muslim?
A Muslim is one who believes in the Oneness of Allah and he submits to the Will of Allah, Alone, without associating any partners with the Creator. The one who practises Islam is a true Muslim.
Where does the name Muslim come from?
From Allah. He has given this name. It is mentioned in the Final Revelation of Allah to mankind: “It is He Who named you Muslims both before and in this (Revelation).” (Qur'an, 22:78)
Why should we be Muslims?
Because Islam is Allah's religion and the only that is acceptable to Him. The Qur'an says: “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he shall be among the losers.” (Qur'an, 3:85)
Submission is of two types:
1. Compulsory: Such as that of the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, plants, animals, etc. Even one's blood pressure or biological system have no choice but to obey the Law of Allah.
2. Voluntary: To do or not to do something in obedience to the Commands of Allah. So we can say that Islam is the natural way of life, the natural religion.
What are the Pillars of Islam?
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is built upon five (pillars):
1. To testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah;
2. To establish prayer;
3. To pay Zakat (obligatory charity upon the rich to the poor);
4. To fast the month of Ramadan;
5. And to perform Haj to the House of Allah for whomsoever has the means.” (Al-Bukhari)
What are the Pillars of Faith?
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Faith is to believe in:
1. Allah (that He is the One and Only Lord and Creator, Who Alone has the right to be worshipped and that He has Names and Attributes that are not shared by any of His creatures);
2. His angels (created by Allah from light, they perform certain duties assigned to them and they are totally obedient to Allah).
3. His Books (the Torah, the Injeel, the Zaboor and the Qur'an, which confirms and fulfills the previous Revelations).
4. His Messengers (the bearers of Revelation sent to mankind; the first was Noah and the last was Muhammad, peace be upon them).
5. The Final Day (the Day of Resurrection, when man will be judged).
6. And to believe in Qadr (Allah's Divine Decree) both good and bad (i.e. to be content with whatever Allah has decreed for us, while taking the precautions and lawful causes that lead to the desired result).” (Sahih Muslim)
Why has Allah created us?
Allah has created us to worship Him: He says: “And I created not the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Qur'an, 51:56)
What is worship?
Worship is a comprehensive term which includes all actions and deeds which are loved and ordained by Allah, such as du'a (supplication), prayer, reciting the Qur'an, giving charity etc.
How do we worship?
We worship Him in the way that He and His Messenger commanded us. Allah says: “O, you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and render not vain your deeds.” (Qur'an, 47:33)
Why did Allah send prophets?
He sent them to call mankind to the worship of one God - Allah, and to reject the association of partners with Him. He says: “And verily, We sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid the Taghoot (false gods).'” (Qur'an, 16:36) – SG
Ref: Zayed Centre For New Muslims, UAE __

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