للَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
There is no compulsion in religion: rectitude has become distinct from error. So, one who disavows the Rebels and has faith in Allah has held fast to the firmest handle for which there is no breaking; and Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing. (2:256)
Islam is the religion of all the Prophets and Messengers of God. Islam means submission to God, then it should be defended, expounded, and proclaimed.
Islam differs from all other religions in providing a complete code of life through its structured approach. Man is the vicegerent of God on earth “Behold thy Lord said to the Angels: I will create a vicegerent (khalifa) on earth” (2:30). The satanic claim to superiority is the source of arrogance. Islam considers it the worst sin since through arrogance all other sins are committed. Freeing humanity from the original sin, empowering human beings, and giving them full responsibility for their actions is the message of the Qur’an: “Every soul will be held responsible for what it had done” (74:38)—is the essence of morality and ethics in Islam.
He endowed Adam with knowledge of all things, as the Qur’an relates: “And He taught Adam the names-all of them” (2:31). The Angels had no knowledge of those things. Accordingly, Adam was on a higher level than the angels. It was for this reason that God commanded the angels to bow in obeisance for Adam: We said to the Angels prostrate before Adam; so, they prostrated except for Iblis (Satan, the Devil) who is from the Jinn. “He refused and was arrogant and became a disbeliever” (2:34). Allah said: What prevented you from prostrating (to Adam) when I commanded you? (Iblis) said: “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay” (17:12).
Adam and his progeny were honored by God, as the Qur’an says: “We honored the progeny of Adam … and preferred them over many of what We have created with (definite) preference” (12:70). According to the Qur’an, there is no original sin. Adam repented from his mistake of eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree, by the deceit and trick of Satan. (7:19–23).
Adam and Eve both repented and God accepted their repentance and was forgiven. The Qur’an has recorded what Adam and Eve said to God
Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves; and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will be surely among the losers (7:23)
God warned the children of Adam not to repeat the mistake of their father and obey the luring of Satan
O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as He removed your parents from Paradise. We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe (7:27)
In another passage, God warns the children of Adam not to follow Satan (Iblis) as he is their enemy
Will you take him (Satan) and his descendants as allies other than Me, while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as exchange (18:50)
The Aims of Islam
The five cardinal essentials of Islamic teachings are
- Preservation of Faith (din)
- Preservation of Life (al-nafs)
- Preservation of Mind (al-‘aql)
- Preservation of Progeny (al-nasl)
- Preservation of Honor (al-‘irdh)
- Preservation of Property (al-mal)
The Objectives of Islam
The objectives of the Shari’ah could be divided into three parts as follows
Necessities (daruriyat) These include preservation of faith, life, mind, progeny, property. They are essential for life, religion, and community.
Needed Things (hajiyat) These are needed for the community, or for persons. They can live without procuring them, but they are recognized needs for the welfare of society and individuals.
Recommended (tahsiniyat) They are also needed by society or individuals to make life more comfortable and, more beautiful, and try to reach the level of satisfaction and happiness for both the individual and society.
Contemporary Muslim scholars discuss three levels for objectives of Islamic teachings as follows
Common aims involve the necessities and the needs of individuals and public, and justice, universality, and making things easy when obstacles arise.
Partial aims search for the telos or rationale of certain texts of the Qur’an or Hadith. An example is the prohibition of wine, the rationale is intoxication, and henceforth any intoxicant substance, e.g., spirits, beer, or even drugs that can cause intoxication are all considered prohibited.
Special aims seek the interests of children, or wives or family as a whole; or means that will deter criminals from inflicting their crimes; or means that will prevent mismanagement of contracts; or prerogatives of persons or companies that will end in harming the whole community.
The Social System and Morality of Islam
The struggle is one such aspect that is inherent to positive change, both within individuals and across social systems. In Islam, the struggle is a key component of life. The benefits of positive struggle include the development of character strengths and virtues on an individual level as well as engagement in collective actions toward social justice. Consideration is given to the importance of Justice, Identity, Healing, Acceptance. Explore Islam Beyond Orientalism and Occidentalism.
Every Muslim is the recipient, guardian, and executor of God’s will on earth; his responsibilities are all-encompassing. A Muslim’s duty to act in defense of what is right is as much part of his faith as is his duty to oppose wrong. The preservation of social order depends on each and every member of that society freely adhering to the same moral principles and practices. Islam, founded on individual and collective morality and responsibility, introduced a social revolution. Collective morality is expressed in the Qur’an in such terms as equality, justice, fairness, brotherhood, mercy, compassion, solidarity, and freedom of choice. Leaders are responsible for the application of these principles and are accountable to God and man for their administration.
The Prophet [saws] once said, “If someone among you sees wrong, he must right it by his hand if he can (deed, conduct, action). If he cannot, then by his tongue (speak up, verbally oppose); if he cannot, then by his gaze (silent expression of disapproval); and if he cannot, then in his heart. The last is the minimum expression of his conviction (faith, courage).”
O enwrapped in thy cloak, stand up and warn! (74:1-2)
If you are talking about the Real’s proximity to the servant, that cannot be put into words, nor do expression and allusion have any access to it. It is nothing but what He Himself says: ‘Surely I am near [2:186]: Unsought, uncalled, unperceived, I am near. Compared to My closeness, the eye’s blackness is distant from the eye’s whiteness, for I am nearer than that, and the breath is far from the lips, for I am nearer than that. I am not near to your intellect’s preserve, for I am near to My own attributes in the description of My own firstness.’”
Prophet Muhammad [saws] said, “I was a Prophet when Adam was between water and clay, spirit and body.” There was still no water and no dust when the throne of the covenant of prophethood’s good fortune was set up and that paragon sat on that throne.
“O knowledge! You put on the garment of intellect and go into the monastery of ʿAlī’s heart. Stand in wait until tomorrow when the intellect of the prophets enters by the door of my chamber. I will gaze upon him, and he will make knowledge a mirror and intellect an eye. He will look into the mirror and recognize me, and I will proclaim this for him ‘You are to me as Aaron was to Moses.’”