Islam means ‘submission’, ‘surrender’, and ‘obedience’. As a religion, Islam stands for complete submission and obedience to Allah. Islam means peace,
the peace that man establishes with his Creator. Such a person is called a Muslim, a word derived from Islam. He believes that there is only one God, the Creator, the Sovereign Ruler of the living and non-living in
the Universe, with no ascendant and no descendant.
‘God is the light of heaven and earth. His light may be compared to a niche which contains a lamp, the lamp within glass, and the glass as it were a star
of pearl. It is lit from a blessed olive tree neither eastern nor western. Its oil would almost shine forth if no fire touched it. Light upon light: God guideth to His Light whom He will’ (sura 24:36).
The whole universe, from the tiniest speck of dust to the most magnificent galaxies obey the law of God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe.
‘His Throne is as wide as Heaven and Earth
He is the Exalted, the Immense’
God is praised by all creation, the birds in their flight, the fishes of the sea and the beasts of the earth. The Lightning’s flash and the storm of hail
and the procession of the life-bringing clouds are manifestations of His power and beneficence and His majesty in nature. (sura 24:42)
Everything in nature works in accordance with an unalterable law, and can exercise no choice. But man has been endowed with reason and intellect. Unlike
other creatures, man has been given freedom of thought, choice and action. An individual who deliberately acknowledges his Creator, accepts Him as his real Master, completely submits to His Laws and injunctions is a
The Prophet said: ‘God has created nothing more noble than intelligence, and His wrath is on him who despises it’, and he also said: ‘God is Beautiful
and He loves beauty’. These two sayings are characteristic of Islam: for it the world is a huge book filled with ‘signs’ (ayat), or symbols —elements of beauty — which speak to our understanding and are addressed to
‘them that understand’. The world is made up of forms, and they are as it were the debris of a celestial music that has become frozen; knowledge or sanctity dissolves our frozen state and liberates the inner melody.
Here we must recall the verse in the Quran which speaks of the ‘stones from which streams spring forth’, though there are hearts which are ‘harder than stones’.
God’s power is as infinite as His knowledge.Though transcendent and above all similitude,
God is ‘nearer to man than the vein of His neck’.God is above all compassionate and merciful.
‘Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee ahome?Did He not find thee in error and guide thee to the truth?(sura 93:7)
The Creator appointed man to be His vicegerent and sent. angels to appoint by His Command, selected persons to be His Prophets. These had the duty to
spread the Message they received, the last among the prophets being Muhammad.
The Revelation received by Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years is contained without any alteration, addition, or abridgement in the book known
as the Holy Quran, considered by all Muslims as the Book of God.
Islam therefore is the religion of certitude and equilibrium, of love and sacrifice. What strikes one is the unshakeable character of its conviction. It
seeks to implant certitude — its unitary faith stands forth as something manifestly clear without in any way renouncing mystery.
The Philosophy of Islam rests on five pillars: Faith in the Unity of God (the ‘shahadatah’), the prayer repeated five times a day (the ‘salah’), the fast
of Ramadan (‘siyam’, ‘sawm’), the tithe or charity (‘zakat’), and the pilgrimage (the ‘hajj’).