Islam: The Religion of Mankind (introduction)

Islam: The Religion of Mankind

INTRODUCTION


Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our master, Muhammad (peace be upon him) on his pure progeny and righteous companions and followers, until the Day of Judgement.

Islam means surrender; that is, the surrender of mankind to the Lord of the worlds. It is an absolute surrender or yielding to the One, the only One, the Besought of all.

Thus, Islam in this context means complete freedom from any type of subjection or suppression, and from all forms of deviations or inclinations towards any of God’s creatures, except in the course of worshipping Allah, the Exalted.

Islam is thus the law of Allah the Exalted, offered to the whole of mankind from the beginning of time, in order to liberate man from all forms of slavery. It is a blessing bestowed on man as the most generous of all creatures, endowed with such mental powers enabling him if he so wills, to exploit everything in this universe to his own benefit and happiness.

It is Allah alone Who has the right to command, forbid and question His creatures regarding their deeds; to reward the obedient and punish the disobedient; to grant repentance or forgiveness.

If the obedience of all creatures and their submission to Allah, the Creator, are inborn and natural instincts, perceptible and tangible, so that no creature whether inferior or superior, deviates from it, then the religion of Allah is this very natural obedience:

“Do they seek (follow) other than the religion of Allah, when to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned.”[1]

The duty of the prophets and messengers throughout the history of mankind has been to guide and direct the people according to this natural characteristic. In this way, man could be prevented from being led astray, enabling him to freely submit to the Lord of the worlds through heartfelt belief and a unified code of practical conduct. This is Islam in its general context; it is the religion of the whole of mankind throughout all ages.


[1] Holy Qur’an (3:83)

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