―It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East or West, but righteousness is of him who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Books and the Prophets; and spends of his money for love of Him, on the relatives and the orphans and the needy, the way farer, the beggars, and for ransoming of captives, and who establishes Salat and pays Zakat, and those who fulfill their promises which they have made and the patient in affections and the steadfast in the time of War, it is these people who in poverty have proved truthful and it is these who are the God-fearing‖ (Albaqarah 2:177)
Hazrat Umar (R.A) Narrates that Allah‘s apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five principles:
- To justify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah‘s apostle.
- To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly
- To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity)
- To perform Hajj
- To observe fast during the month of Ramadan
1- Literal Meaning of Islam
The word ―Islam‖ is from the root of Arabic word SLM, which means ―to surrender, to submit, to yield, to give one‘s self up. Thus it means ―he committed himself to the will of Allah‖ or ―he became a Muslim‖. The other major shade of meaning in the root is ―to become reconciled with one another or ―to make peace‖. Salam means ―peace‖. So does Silm, which also means ―the religion of Islam.‖
Imam Raghib al-Isfahani says in his al-Mufradat fi Gharaib al-Quran: ―Islam in law, is of two kinds: one is a simple confession with the tongue…. The other is that along with confession, there is belief in the heart and a fulfillment in practice, and resignation to God in whatever He brings to pass or decrease‖. Imam Raghib further says: ―Islam means entering into salam, and salam and slim both signify peace.‖
Sayed Ameer Ali in his epic book ―The Spirit of Islam‖ defines Islam as: ―Salam (Salaam), in its primary sense, means, to be tranquil, at rest, to have done one‘s duty, to have paid up, to be at perfect peace ; in its secondary sense to surrender oneself to Him with whom peace is made. The noun derived from it means peace, greeting, safety, salvation. The word does not imply, as is commonly supposed, absolute submission to God‘s will, but means, on the contrary, striving after righteousness‖.
2- Terminological Meanings of Islam:
Islam is an Arabic word that denotes submission, surrender, and obedience. As a religion, Islam stands for complete submission and obedience to Allah—that is why it is called Islam. The other literal meaning of the word ―Islam‖ is ―Peace‖. This signifies that one can achieve real peace of body and of mind only through submission and obedience to Allah. Such a life of obedience brings peace of the heart and establishes real peace in society at large. Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of God-
―Indeed it is in the remembrance of Allah alone that the heart of man finds rest those who believe and act righteously, joy is for them, and a blissful home return to. (13: 28-29)‖
3- Concept of Islam
(i) The basic concept of Islam is that the whole universe was created by Allah, and who is the Lord and sovereign of the universe, which he alone sustains. He created man and appointed for each human being a fixed period of life that he is to spend upon the earth. Allah has prescribe a certain code of life as the correct mankind, but has, at the same time, conferred upon man the freedom of choice as to whether or not he adopts this code as the actual basis of
his life. One who chooses to follow the code revealed by Allah become a Muslim (believer) and one who refuse to follow it becomes a Kafir (Disbeliever).
(ii) Sayed Ameer Ali elaborates the concept of Islam as: ―The essence of the ethical principles involved and embodied in Islam is thus summarized in the second chapter of Quran. ―There is no doubt in this book, a guidance to the pious, who believe in the unseen, who observe the prayers, and distributes (charity) out of what We have bestowed on them and who believe in that which We have commissioned others with before thee, and who have assurance in the life to come;—- these have received the direction of their Lord‖.
4- Exposition of Religion of Islam:
Ahmad A. Galwash in his book ―The Religion of Islam‖ has summarized the concept of Islam as under; ―The word Islam which literally signifies ‗resignation‘ (to God‘s will), is a comprehensive name commonly applied to the religion of the followers of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), It embodies the various sections of the law of Mohammad (PBUH) which Allah has established for the guidance of His people, both for the worship of their Lord, and for the duties of life.
These sections are five in Number namely:
(ii) Practicle Devotions;
(a) Beliefs: Five Articles of Faith
Beliefs embrace the five articles of the faith of Mohammad (PBUH) namely; Belief in:
- God 2. His Angles 3. His Books 4. His prophets 5. The Day of Resurrection
(b) Devotion/Worship: Five Pillars of Islam
Devotions are sub divided into five articles of practice:
- Rectal of the creed (Kalimah)
- Prayers to Allah (Salat);
- Paying legal alms (Zakat);
- Fasting the month of Ramadan (Saum);
- Pilgrimage (Hajj) to the Temple of Makkah once in a life time, if means allow it.
Devotion also embraces legal warfare (Jihad) for the defense of the religion of Islam.
Transactions include such duties as are required between man and man, and may be divided into three sub-divisions, namely: Contests; Nuptials; and Securities. Almost all various sections of civil jurisprudence relating to barter, sale, agency, larceny, marriage, divorce, dower, partnership, claims etc.., are embraced under those three heads.
Moralities embrace the consideration of all those moral excellences which are enjoined in the Quran and in the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH), such as, Sincerity; Confidence in Allah; Humility; Resignation; Keeping worldly ambitions within bounds; Giving good council and advice; Contentment; Liberty; Love to Allah and man; Patience; Ethical instructions and rules of conduct relating to:
- Penalties exacted for manslaughter or serious bodily injures,
- Punishment for theft by the loss of a hand,
- Punishment for fornication and adultery: stoning for a married person and one hundred lashes for an unmarried person,
- Punishment for slander by eighty lashes,
- Punishment for apostasy by death,
- Punishment for inebriation by Eighty lashes