BELIEFS OF ISLAM
Among the blessings and favours that God has bestowed upon humanity is that He gave us an innate ability to recognise and acknowledge His existence. He placed this awareness deep in our hearts as a natural disposition that has not changed since human beings were first created. Furthermore, He reinforced this natural disposition with the signs that he placed in creation that testify to His existence. However, since it is not possible for human beings to have a detailed knowledge of God except through revelation from Himself, God sent His Messengers to teach the people about their Creator Who they must worship. These Messengers also brought with them the details of how to worship God, because such details cannot be known except by way of revelation. These two fundamentals were the most important things that the Messengers of all the divine revelations brought with them from God. On this basis, all the divine revelations have had the same lofty objectives, which are:
- To affirm the Oneness of God – the praised and glorified Creator – in His essence and His attributes.
- To affirm that God alone should be worshipped and that no other being should be worshipped along with Him or instead of Him.
- To safeguard human welfare and oppose corruption and evil. Thus, everything that safeguards faith, life, reason, wealth and lineage are part of this human welfare that religion protects.On the other hand, anything that endangers these five universal needs is a form of corruption that religion opposes and prohibits.
- To invite the people to the highest level of virtue, moral values, and noble customs.
The ultimate goal of every Divine Message has always been the same: to guide the people to God, to make them aware of Him, and to have them worship Him alone. Each Divine Message came to strengthen this meaning, and the following words were repeated on the tongues of all the Messengers: “Worship God, you have no god other than Him.” This message was conveyed to humanity by prophets and messengers which God sent to every nation. All of these messengers came with this same message, the message of Islam.
All the Divine Messages came to bring the life of the people into willing submission to God. For this reason, they all share the name of “Islam”, or “submission” derived from the same word as “Salam”, or “peace”, in Arabic.
The first human, Adam, followed Islam, in that he directed worship to God alone and none else and abided by His commandments. However, through the passage of time and the dispersal of humanity throughout the earth, people strayed from this message and began directing worship to others instead of or along with God. Some took to worshipping the pious who passed away amongst them, while others took to worshipping spirits and forces of nature. It was then that God started to send messengers to humanity steering them back to the worship of God Alone, which accorded to their true nature, and warning them of the grave consequences of directing any type of worship to others besides Him.
God sent messengers to all nations, and to the Kingdom of Babylon He sent Abraham – one of the earliest and greatest prophets – who called his people to reject the worship of the idols to which they were devoted. He called them to Islam, but they rejected him and even tried to kill him.
Consequently, we see that many prophets were sent amongst the progeny of Abraham, such as his two sons Isaac and Ishmael, along with Jacob (Israel), Joseph, David, Solomon, Moses, and of course, Jesus, to mention a few, may the peace and blessings of God be upon them all.
From amongst the messengers was Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, from the progeny of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who was sent as a messenger in succession to Jesus. Muhammad preached the same message of Islam as the previous prophets and messengers – to direct all worship to God Alone and none else and to obey His commandments – in which the followers of the previous prophets went astray.
So as we see, the Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of a new religion, as many people mistakenly think, but he was sent as the Final Prophet of Islam. By revealing His final message to Muhammad, which is an eternal and universal message for all of mankind, God finally fulfilled the covenant that He made with Abraham.
Just as it was incumbent upon the those who were alive to follow the message of the last of the succession of prophets which was sent to them, it becomes incumbent upon all of humanity to follow the message of Muhammad. God promised that this message would remain unchanged and fit for all times and places.
Once this is realised, it should be clear that Islam has the most continuous and universal message of any religion, because all prophets and messengers were “Muslims”, i.e. those who submitted to God’s will, and they preached “Islam”, i.e. submission to the will of Almighty God by worshipping Him Alone and obeying His commandments.
There are many aspects of belief in which one who adheres to Islam must have firm conviction. From those aspects, the most important are six, known as the “Six Articles of Belief”:
1). Belief in God
Islam upholds strict monotheism and belief in God is fundamental.
2). Belief in the Angels
Muslims believe in the unseen world and from this are the angels, each assigned with a specific task
3). Belief in the Prophets and Messengers
Muslims believe in all the prophets including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them). The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent with the final message, and there is no prophet to come after him
4). Belief in the Sacred Texts
Muslims believe in all the books that were sent by God including the Torah of Moses, Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus Christ however, the current available books have not been preserved in truth. Muslims and many Jewish/Christian historians find that the books in existence today are not the original scriptures and have been lost, changed and/or translated over and over again, losing the original message. The Qur’an was sent to the prophet Muhammad in the Arabic language and is found today in it’s original form. Millions of people have memorised the Qur’an and all copies of the Qur’an found today and in the past are identical. God has promised that He will guard the Quran from change until the end of times, so that Guidance be clear to humanity and the message of all the prophets be available for those who seek it)
5). Belief in life after death
Muslims believe that a day will come when all of creation will perish and resurrected in order to be judged for their deeds: The Day of Judgment.
6). Belief in the Divine Decree
Islam asserts that God has full power and knowledge of all things, and that nothing happens except by His Will and with His full knowledge.This belief however does not contradict the idea of man’s free will to choose his course of action. God does not force us to do anything; we can choose whether to obey or disobey Him. Our choice is known to God before we even do it. We do not know what our destiny is; but God knows the fate of all things.