The prophet (S.A.W) has said that Islam is founded upon five things.
Five Pillars of Islam
- Belief in the oneness of Allah and Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
- Offering of daily prayers know as Salaat.
- Giving Zakaat (obligatory charity).
- Observing of Fasts during Ramadaan.
- Performing Hajj at least once in life, if one is solvent.
In a tradition the fulfillment of the above five fundamentals or principles is called ‘Islam’. The Prophet (S.A.W) has said, “Al-Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad (S.A.W) is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish prayer, pay Zakaat, observe the Fast of Ramadaan and performs Hajj to the Holy Ka’ba in Makka once in life-time if you are solvent to bear the expenses of the Journey.
1. Muslim should greet one another with “As-Salaamu-alaikum” meaning “peace be on you”, and it should be replied by “Wa Alaikum-As-Salaam” meaning peace be on you also”. All other methods are absurd.
2. One who taskes the initiative in offering salute gets greater reward.
3. If anyone conveys Salaam on behalf of someone, it should be replied thus “Alahim wa-alaikum as-salaam” meaning “peace be on you and him also.”
4. If out of group of person one salutes, then it is from all of them. Similarly if anyone from a gathering has replied the salutaion, its it also from all of them.
5. It is forbidden to salute with the motion of hand or head or bowing. But if anyone is at a distance and salute, then its is permissible to reply by raising hand but words of Salaam should also be utered with the motion of hand.
6. Muslim students studying in non-Muslim shcools should not salute in their (non-Muslim) fashion but strictly in Islamic way. They should greet their non-Muslim teachers and class-mates with “As-Salaamala man Ittaba’a-al Huda” meaning “peace be on him who performed allegiance” Words of salutaion of nonbelievers should not be uttered in any way
Islam literally means submission and in religion sense it means submission to Allah alone. One who completely submits to Allah and the Divine injunctions is a Muslim. Islam is a very wide term and covers the entire universe and religion of all such things which do not even possess life, will and discretion is Islam. In this connection the Holy Qur’an says:
Chapter 3 – Verse 83
In another verse it has been said
Chapter 22 – Verse 18
The above verse make is quite clear, that not only one or two things or creatures praise and glorify Allah, but everything animate or inanimate praises Allah and submits to Him.
Man is also one of the creatures and has been bestowed with the faculty of will and discretion. He is also the most distinguished of all the creatures, and has been given Divine injunctions for guidance. Allah says (when man was created):
Chapter 2 – Verse 38 – 39
It clearly shows that with the coming of man to this earth the Divine injunctions also began to be revealed throught His Messengers. This world has never been devoid of religion and as the Holy Qir’an says that there has not been a nation without a warner. Thus all the religious should be Islam and their followers should be called Muslims. But the position is quite different. According to Holy Qur’an Islam is the name of that religion which it presents and expounds and which has been revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). The Holy Qur’an says:
Chapter 3 – Verse 19
Chapter 5 – Verse 3
There is an interesting difference, for the followers of other Prophets were Muslims, but they were not called so. This unique honour is reserved for the followers of the last Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) that they are Muslims not only in spirit but are also called and know as Muslims.
The Islam ideology is based on revelation (Qur’an and Hadith) and hence without weakness, loop-holes, imperfections and contradictions. Qur’an is in Arabic, the text is absolutely pure, and the whole world has failed to meet the challenge of writing even a verse like it. If you are asked in the West to explain the conduct of the rulers in a Muslim State, tell them politely and clearly that you are wrong in assuming that Islam s that which Muslims practice! Qur’an is the only Divine Book that has not undergone any change with time whatsoever.
Universalism and Humanism in Islam
Islam is international in its outlook and approach, and addresses the conscience of humanity and banishes all false barriers of race, status and wealth. The message of Islam is for the entire human race (See Qur’an 1 : 1, 7 : 158, 25 : 1, 21 : 102 for Universalism and Humanism). Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “All creatures of Allah from the family of Allah and he is the best loved of Allah who loves best His creatures”. (Hadith)
- Unity of Matter and Spirit – Bahishti Zewar
Unlike Christianity, Islam does not stand for life-denial or asceticism but for life-fulfillment regarding life as a unity where you live piously according to Sharii’a and Sunnah without renouncing the world. Thus, there is no separation between “matter” and “spirit”, “material and moral”, “mundane” and “spiritual” and everything that the Sharii’a does not forbid is permissible, and with the good intent of the pleasures of Allah all life-activities of a Muslim can be a source of piety and closeness to Allah. Islam teaches: “Our Lord! Give us the good in this world and the good in the Hereafter” (Qur’an: 2 : 201), “Eat and drink but exceed not the limits” (Qur’an: 7 : 31), “…..for your body has a right over you, and your eyes have a right over you, and your Wife has a right over you,…” (Hadith).
Bahishti Zewar - Heavenly Ornaments
A unique feature of Islam is that it neither neglects the individual nor the society but establishes harmony and balance between the two assigning to reach its proper role and creating the spirit of co-operation and collaboration among individuals which forms the basis of the positive social structure of the Muslim community and society. Islam belives in the individual personality of man and holds everyone personality responsible and accountable to Allah. No mediator, no priesthood, no confession to a priest, no dying for the sins of others, etc. in Islam. Islam guarantees fundamental rights to the individual and does not permit anyone to tamper with them. Man must not lose his individuality in the collective social life or in the state but properly develop the personality according to Sunnah (Qur’an 13:12). The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) has said: “The example of believers in their mutual affection and Mercy on each other is that of the body: when an aspect of it complains, all the other organs sympathize with it by remaining awake”, “He is not a believer who takes his fill while his neighbor starves”, and “He who has extra food should give it to those who have no food”, etc. Congregational prayers, Zakaat, charity, good treatment of neighbours, generosity with guests, doing good to blood relations, extension of loan, helping -people out of their distresses truthfulness, and prohibition of lying, back-biting, calumny, false charges, false witness, false oaths, confiscation of other’s property etc. are virtues leading to happy social life and the miraculous wide-spread of Islam in a remarkably short interval of time.
Jesus Christ himself admitted that he had not come with the final or complete Divine messages for the time was not yet ripe for it and someone else after him will guide you into all truth (John 16 : 12, 13). He was Muhammad (S.A.W.), the last and final Prophet and the Qur’an (5 : 3) says : ”This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you Islam as the religion .” Islam alone gives guidance in all walks of life : individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, national and international ,private and others, purification of the soul and the reformation and the reconstruction of society on the eternal and all–embracing principles sets forth in the Qur’an and the life example of Muhammad (Sunnah). Islam alone gives complete guidance concerning a man’s relation with Allah (as in worship or ‘Ibaadah’) or a man’s relationship with his fellow –man (as in business or Mu’amalah), or a man’s relationship with his society (as in way of life or Mu’asharah),or a man’s relationship with himself (as in morals, Tasawwaf, Akhlaq and Islamic Mysticism), or the deeds of one’s heart (beliefs or ‘Aqaid) and body ,etc. Complete guidance for the public on these Islamic subjects can be obtained by reading Bahishti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments) by Maulana Mujaddid Ashraf Ali Thanwi. It is possible for the Christians to produce such a complete book for the public providing definite guidelines in all walks of life.
No “Chosen” People in Islam
Christianity believes that the Israelites are a “chosen” people and acknowledges the prophets of Israels only. Only Muslims are broadminded enough to accept the prophets and scriptures of all nations (see Qur’an, 35, 24, 10: 48, 40: 78, 2: 213 and 2: 136). Unity of Allah, unity of mankind, and unity of all races and creeds in a singles all –embracing faith and brotherhood is the teaching of Islam alone.
Jesus - The Messenger of Allah
Jesus came only for the children of Israel (Mathew 15:24) and not for gentiles (mathew10:5, 6) but Muhammad (S.A.W) was a world Prophet, a Mercy to all the nations (Qur’an 21:107) and a messengers of Allah to you all, O mankind (Qur’an 7:158).