What Is Faith (Iman)?
What Is Islam?
Answers From The Prophet (s.a.w.)
(M. Javed Naseem)
“How can you reject the faith in Allah? – Seeing
that you were without life, and He gave you
life; then will He cause you to die, and will again
bring you to life; and again to Him will you return.”
If you believe that there is a Supreme Creator who originated all creation, a Supreme Commander controlling and running the show of this universe, you are a believer. This is the initial part of Islam – the faith God prescribed for mankind. The True God of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them) is One God worthy of worship. He is the Cherisher, the Sustainer, the Beneficent and the Merciful. This Faith had different names during the times of Moses and Jesus, and even before. But during the period of Muhammad (s.a.w.) it was named Islam by the Almighty.
“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam … ”
Islam is the Deen (Faith/religion) prescribed by Allah for the entire mankind. All Prophets and Messengers delivered the same message as they were all Muslims spreading the same Word of God. Humans changed, altered or edited this message, over time, according to their own needs, interests, convenience and notions.
Allah mentions it in the Holy Quran that His true servants are ONE nation (Ummat-an-Wahidah) only. The ‘Deen’ (way of life or religion) is for Allah and there is only one ‘Deen’ (religion) – Islam. Islam was the Deen (religion) of Abraham and all the Prophets or messengers of Allah that followed Abraham. Every other religion (with its fancy names) was created by man under the influence of Shaitan (Devil), as a revolt against God’s decree and to suit human comfort and liking. Allah will not accept any other religion from mankind except Islam and He made it very clear in the Quran:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam
(submission to Allah), never will it be accepted
of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks
of those who have lost (all spiritual good).”
The above verses are self-explanatory and don’t need any elaboration or interpretation. They are simple and plain to understand, and leave no room for any confusion. Allah has prescribed a Deen (‘way of life’) for us and He will not accept any other way from us. It is Islam or else!
Islam is the lifestyle that has been prescribed by Allah through the Quran; and it is the lifestyle Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) adopted to show all Muslims that it was practicable in every era if we only want to live a simple and peaceful life.
Only the stubborn, the ignorant and the misguided people look for the alternatives.
“Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah?
while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have,
willingly or unwilling, bowed to His Will (accepted
Islam), and to Him shall they all be brought back.”
Allah has made it very clear that it was Islam, it is Islam and it will be Islam till the end of the world. No other system would be accepted even if it was promoted by the super-power of the time, like Nimrod or Pharaoh. They had to face the challenge of Islam posed by Abraham and Moses, respectively. The mighty empires crumbled and the Truth prevailed.
Now, the same message can be delivered to the evil empire of today. Allah commanded:
“Say: We believe in Allah, and in what has been
revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham,
Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the
Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets,
from their Lord. We make no distinction between
one and another among them, and to Allah
do we bow our will (in Islam)."
All Prophets and their descendants, as well as followers, submitted to Allah. Islam is defined as “complete surrender (or submission) to the Will of Allah”. This might need a little explanation. And who is in a better position to explain Islam than the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself?
Allah, the Almighty, sent angel Jibril (Gabriel) to teach Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) the elements of true Faith (Iman) and the elements of ‘Deen’ (Islam). Here’s what Allah tells us in the Holy Quran:
“The Messenger believes in what has been
revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith.
Each one (of them) believes in Allah, His angels, His
books, and His messengers. ‘We make no distinction
(they say) between one and another of His messengers’.
And they say: ‘We hear, and we obey’; (we seek)
your forgiveness, our Lord, and to you
is the end of all journeys."
According to a Hadith, narrated Abu Hurairah:
“One day while the Prophet (s.a.w.) was sitting out with people, a man came to him and asked: “What is Faith (Iman)?”
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) replied: "Faith is to believe in Allah; His angels; His Messengers; (the) meeting with Him (on Judgment Day); and to believe in the Resurrection."
Then he (the man) further asked: "What is Islam?"
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.), replied: "To worship Allah alone and none else; to perform Salat (prayers); to pay Zakat; and to observe Saum (fasting) during the month of Ramadan".
Then he (the man) further asked: "What is Ihsan (perfection)?"
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) replied, "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you."
Then he (the man) further asked: "When will the Hour be established?”
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) replied: "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents:
1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master.
2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings.
And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah. The Prophet (s.a.w.) then recited (from the Quran):
"Verily, Allah, with Him (alone) is
the knowledge of the Hour”.
Then that man left and the Prophet (s.a.w.) asked his Companions to call him back, but they could not see anything (him). Then the Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
"That was Jibril (Gabriel) who came
to teach the people their religion.”
Abu Abdullah said: He (the Prophet, s.a.w.) considered all that as a part of Faith (Iman).
(Bukhari, Book 2, Chapter 37, No.50):
That’s how our Prophet (s.a.w.) defined Faith (Iman) and Islam. Not only that, he lived by what he said, he also proved to the believers that Islam was a practical Deen.
And by the way, if you did not understand the term “a slave lady giving birth to her master”, here’s the explanation: A ‘slave lady’ is the mother and the ‘master’ is her son. It refers to those families where a son controls his mother and uses her as a maid/servant. He tells her what to cook for him; what to prepare for him; he puts pressure on her or forces her to do what he wants; when the father refuses to give him money, he makes the mother to pay him for his cigarettes, wine, night-out, cinema, clubs, etc. The mother does everything to please her son (obeys him) and covers his faults when he steals, does Haraam, chases girls to commit Zina, etc., etc. In many cases mother even fears him because he gets violent and starts screaming and shouting at her. See that around you? I see it all the time, especially the sons who neither go to work nor go to studies.
The world looks very beautiful, attractive and tempting to the eye, but in reality it’s a place of test and trial for us. This temporary enchantment is full of traps, so we need to walk very carefully not losing sight of our final goal – the Paradise.
“… Indeed, there is a lesson therein for those who
have eyes. Fair in the eyes of men is the love of
things they covet: Women and sons; heaped-up
hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for
excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled
land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in
nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to).
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be
feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.”