What is Islam?
Islam is a religion and a way of life. It aims
to preserve the basic rights of human beings, establishing security and peace in
society and the world as a whole. Islam urges its followers to be kind, polite,
decent, and good citizens in a society. "O you who believe! Obey Allah and
obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you" [Quran 4:59]
Islam means submission, devotion, and obedience
to God, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Therefore, a Muslim is someone
who submits himself to God. That is the reason why every Prophet and Messenger
of God and their followers were by definition 'Muslims', as stated in the Quran.
Muslims believe in, love, and respect all the Prophets and Messengers.
"Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who)
desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: We
believe in some and disbelieve in others, and desire to take a course between
(this and) that. These are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the
unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement." [Quran 4:150-151]
Likewise in the Quran, the Bible emphatically
shows that the beloved Prophet Jesus Christ submitted his will to the will of
God, his Creator. For instance: "For I did not speak of my own accord, but
the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it" [John
12:49], also "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my
judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me"
What is Islam all about?
Islam calls for, and nurtures a loving and
direct relationship between "God" and humans with NO intercessors or
NO intermediaries. When you pray, you pray directly to God, and when you want to
repent from your sins, you ask God directly for forgiveness. "And when My
servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer
of the suppliant when he calls on Me." [Quran 2:186]
Islam is the religion of pure human nature and
clarity. It urges and calls its followers to ask about all issues or problems
they may encounter or endure, from the simple problems of their every day life
to the deepest, most complex and also the most incomprehensible questions of
their existence. In Islam the whole doctrine is explained clearly and there are
no obscure or mysterious components to the belief. "So ask the people of
knowledge if you do not know" [Quran 16:43]. 'People of knowledge' refers
to the experts in the various fields known for their expertise.
Islam is not a religion of monasticism or
separation from the worldly life. On the other hand, it does not allow the
uncontrolled indulgence of worldly pleasures and desires. It teaches us to
nourish and satisfy our soul and spiritual needs as much as we need food and
provision for our body. It is a complete social system which promotes a
lifestyle based on moderation embracing both religious and mundane affairs, and
considers them complementary to one another: neither aspect should prevail at
the expense of the other. "But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has
bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and be kind as Allah has been good (kind) to you, and seek not mischief in the land." [Quran 28:77].
Islam places men and women all equal before
their Lord regardless of their race, tongue, national origin, appearance, wealth
and social status. The criterion for differentiation among them arises in their
compliance with the divine regulations. "O mankind! We have created you
from a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes that you may
know one another. Verily, the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best
in conduct. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." [Quran 49:13]
The most pivotal benefits that Islam provides
for the individual are:
1. Real happiness and inner peace.
2. Practical guidance in leading a good life.
3. A correct understanding of human nature.
4. Forgiveness from all previous sins.
5. The gateway to eternal Paradise.
6. Salvation from Hell-fire.
In order to gain such benefits and much more,
there is primarily ONE key-step to take, the First of what we call the Pillars
of Islam (Testimony of Faith), which is to bear witness that there is none
worthy of worship besides the ONE All-mighty God (Allah in Arabic) and that
Muhammad is his servant and messenger.
It is important not to let our mind be framed
by barriers or limitations that may discourage us, such as the use of the Arabic
language. The meaning of "Allah" is in fact simply "All-mighty
God" and it is an exclusive title which
no-one else besides Him has been given, in all of human history.
When I use the word Allah I mean the same God
that created Adam and his wife, the same God that sent Prophets such as Abraham,
Noah, Lot, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad peace be upon them. I do not mean a different God than the God that spoke to Moses, and split the sea for him. I
mean the exact same God that saved Noah in the ark, Jonah in the Whale. I mean
the exact same God that created Jesus in the womb of Virgin Mary.
Even Arab Christians use the word Allah when
they refer the Creator of the Universe. You can verify this in Arabic
translations of the Bible.
Allow me now to explain and simplify the
Testimony of Faith :
The first part of the "Testimony of
It is to acknowledge Allah (as His
beneficiaries) and to show praise, devotion, and obedience.
What is your dream? What would you like to
have? How about if a 'company' fulfilled your dream free of charge with ONLY one
condition: that you stick to the manual? Would you accept this offer?
Let's say you are getting married and a company
is willing to give you a four-bedroom fully-furnished house surrounded by a nice
garden in any area you desire etc...Free of charge, with NO rent and NO
mortgage!! All you have to do is take good care of it and do the very minimum to
show gratefulness. Would you accept this offer?
If we were to reflect upon ourselves and the
bounties bestowed upon us by Allah. Our eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, sense
of taste, heartbeat and much more, we would easily realise how replacing them,
even if it were possible, would cost billions. And we have received them as
gifts, although we have done nothing to deserve them.
You will agree, once we have acknowledged
Allah, the least we can do is to show Him gratefulness for these bounties that
we have received since birth without paying anything for them.
The second part of the "Testimony of
Allah has sent with every Prophet and Messenger
a 'miracle' or 'sign' to persuade and show the people that he is truthful and he
was sent by Allah.
The people of Egypt in the time of Pharaoh were
known for their powers of magic and sorcery. Hence Moses (may the peace and
blessing of Allah be upon him) was sent to them with similar yet overwhelming
signs. Moses was given the power of magic, to confront the sorcerers, unlike
anyone else in his time.
In the time of Jesus Christ (may the peace and
blessing of Allah be upon him), the son of Mary (may the peace and blessing of
Allah be upon her), the children of Israel were known for their knowledge of
medicine. Consequently Jesus Christ came with medical cures (bringing back the
sight and curing the leper etc) that could not be bettered by anyone in his time
(indeed, up unto today).
Likewise, the Arabs being the people of the
desert, they had no art, industry, or science. Yet, they were known for their
At around 570 AD, Muhammad (may the peace and
blessing of Allah be upon him), was born in Arabia. Orphaned at an early age, he
was brought up by his uncle and grandfather. Among his people he was known to
have the best character and gave the finest example of being upright, merciful,
compassionate, truthful, generous, and distant from all evil characters. Whoever
knew him well, or read his legacy, were both fascinated and enchanted by him.
Jules Masserman (US psychoanalyst) said: "Perhaps the greatest leaders of
all times was Muhammad". TIME magazine (July 15, 1974).
It is worth mentioning that Prophet Muhammad
was an illiterate man (during his entire life), he was unable to read or write.
So when the book we call the "Quran", so profound with its strength,
power, eloquence and beauty, was revealed to Muhammad (may the peace and
blessing of Allah be upon him) it was by itself, and still is to our day, the
greatest sign, miracle and proof that the message came from Allah, and that
Muhammad is His Prophet and Messenger.
Allah challenged the Arabs to produce a whole
Book of equal beauty to the Quran, but they could not fulfil this challenge. The
challenge was then decreased to 10 chapters, but still they could not fulfil it.
Then the challenge was decreased to ONLY 1 chapter, yet they were not able to do
so. And still today this challenge has not been met. Surely this is one of many
proofs that the 'Quran' is from a divine source.
With this great miracle, the 'Quran', Allah has
set several rational and scientific approaches and arguments for ALL mankind to
ease their path and ponder over the 'truth'; the truth that will set you free.
Allow me to give you few examples of both:
The rational argument
Allah has said: "Were they created by
nothing or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and
the earth? Rather, they have no firm belief." [Quran 52:35-36]
This is a very strong argument mentioned in the
Quran. Suppose that you travel in the countryside where nothing is in sight
except the plain land. A few months later, you return to the same plot of land
and find a well constructed building. Did it come to existence by chance or
coincidence? Was it built without a builder?
Allah then asks the question "were they
themselves the creators?" Since they are not going to acknowledge that they
were created, the other choice is that they were the creators?! And that is
If they themselves were created out of nothing,
and they were not the creators, then what is the answer? Somebody must have
created them. There must be a creator. Since every building has a builder, every
book has a writer, and the creation has a creator.
And in order to indicate to them that humanity
compared to the heavens and earth (in its majesty, vastness, and its greatness)
is nothing, Allah followed with the third question: "or did they create the
heavens and the earth". Therefore humans should not be arrogant to ascribe
everything to their own greatness and consider themselves the masters and the
centre of the universe, as very often is the case in modern society.
These two verses which were mentioned
previously are strong logical arguments for someone who denies the existence of
God, and has no answer to the question of where we have all came from!
The scientific argument
It is important, first of all, to clarify that
the Quran is a "book of signs" and not a "book of science",
as its revelations and message encompass all aspects of human life.
A few years ago I was reading a textbook titled
'Cell Biology and Genetics'. It stated that every living thing was made of water
(H2O). It is a well-established fact and common knowledge in biological sciences
that every living thing is made of water
Interestingly in the Quran (revealed more than
1400 years ago) there is a verse which says: "We made from water every
living thing, will they not then believe?" [Quran 21:30]
How many years had this scientific discovery
And before that in the same verse Allah has
said: "Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth
were of one piece, then We parted them" [Quran 21:30]. Dr. Alfred Kroner
(Professor of Geology) said : "Thinking where Muhammad came from . . . I
think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the
common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the
last few years, with very complicated and advanced technological methods"
How would an 'illiterate' Arab, living in the
desert know such things?
I could go on and on with many scientific and
rational arguments made in the Quran to prove that it is from a divine source
and to prove that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah!
If you decide to accept Islam, I would like to
congratulate you on your first step to true success in this life and the
hereafter. Being a Muslim entails wilful submission and active obedience to
Allah, and living in accordance with His message. "Does He not know, Who he
created? And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware." [Quran 67:14]
It is the greatest of gifts and all praise must
be due to Allah for showing us the light, where we would otherwise struggle
eternally in the darkness of our confusion. "Allah is the guardian of those
who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light" [Quran
2:257] Muslims have certain obligations towards one another one of which is
giving sincere advice. Therefore I would like to advise the following:
1. Don't expect that you will comply right away
with all the regulations.
2. Take it easy, step by step, so as to make your belief pleasant to yourself.
3. Be sincere to yourself, and have sincerity towards Allah.
4. Start to learn and read the authoritative sources of Islam. (The Quran and
the Teachings of Prophet Muhammad).
5. Understand that you are responsible for your actions and capable of
fulfilling your duties.
The advice I have for you as a new Muslim is
not only a pleasure for me to give, but is also my duty and sincere concern.
Universal brotherhood is a central point and crucial element of Islam, and a
beautiful and precious value rarely found in a modern society driven by empty
materialism and individualism.
I encourage you to take the first steps to
initiate friendship with your brothers/sisters in faith, to visit your local
Mosque and ask for advice and for reading material. From now on you are not
alone in this path, for every single person embracing the true religion pleases
Allah immensely and is a great delight for all Muslims. "And help one
another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and
aggression" [Quran 5:2]
On the other hand if you don't accept Islam
now, I would like you to keep an open mind and thank you for taking the time to
read this booklet.
I would finally like to remind you that we all
face 'death' and we don't know when! As such this is out of our hands, so we
therefore need to be prepared. Isn't the one who accepts this reality and
prepares for it using his intelligence better than the one who tries to forget
it and is taken by surprise?
May Allah guide us all to the right path.
To get in contact with the author for any
comments or questions:
Abdullah Al-Qenaei PO Box 604 SAFAT 13007
years that I wasted
I truly regret
I could have accomplished
much more I suspect
The pursuits of youth
With no worries or cares
And taking for granted
All the good things I shared
my path preordained
But the time really comes
When I look over my shoulder
asking what have I done
Realization comes with the passing of time
That something I needed was there and was mine
Awareness and guidance, an eternal plan
Was revealed when the Koran was placed in my hand
How grateful I am for the way of Islam
With the message Mohammed brought from Allah to man
Muslim brothers and sisters I hope I can be
Sincere and worthy in my destiny
For the kindness and love shown to a convert like me
When I stood before you and said I BELIEVE
Mr. Stanley SmithBath
What did they say about Islam ?
"After September 11 the media had a lot to
say about Muslims and Islam. Almost all of it was bad. I've never been a person
to take things at face value, so I tried to find out the truth behind Islam. I
spoke to a Muslim colleague who gave me a copy of the Qur'an and I bought many
books on the topic. And not just any books - books covering faith as well as its
history and people. Some things were good and some bad.
Over time I came to know more Muslims and was
almost always impressed with their kindness, honesty, sincerity and deep belief
in God and peace. After a few years I felt I had finally found a spiritual path
that was both meaningful and worked for me. It has definitely changed my life
for the better!"
W.H - USA
"After embracing Islam I felt that I had
finally begun to fulfil the purpose of my creation and live in harmony with the
true reality of life and death. The contentment and feeling of inner happiness
cannot be paralleled by any worldly pursuit. Only submission to the Creator can
Dr Reeves - England
"Embracing Islam came as a result of a
long search for the truth and also signified a fresh start in my life as a new
man. Not only believing but also declaring the submission to the will of the
Creator meant, from the very beginning, honesty to myself and to the world,
inner happiness and satisfaction for knowing that life is a wonderful gift, that
our existence is deeply meaningful, and that true success is not measured with
our wealth and appearance, or achieved in the race for power, celebrity and
fugacious values, but in our status in the sight of Allah, in the pursuit of an
invaluable reward which will last for eternity."
Dr Emanuel (Mahdi Gibril) Gullo - Italy
"I approached Islam from an Atheist and
very sceptical view. I began by reading an Islamic book presenting confirmation
of God / Allah through scientific evidence in the Quran. This reading sparked me
with questions and soon led to further investigation. Quickly I found myself
scientifically, statistically and rationally unable to refute the strong
evidence which was presented to me. It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm
that I encourage you learn more of Islam and eagerly anticipate your embracement
James - England
1. The Noble Quran
2. The Message of Islam - Al-Sheha
3. The Purpose of life lectures - Shaykh Khalid Yasin
4. The Qur'an's rational arguments - Dr. Al-Tamimi
5. A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam
6. Let the Bible speak - Ali Muhsin