What is Islam?

Islam means submission. The religion of Islam is so named because it is based on obedience to God. A true believer in Islam is one who subordinates his thinking to God, who follows God’s dictates in all aspects of his life.

Islam is the religion of the entire universe. For the entire universe and all its parts are functioning in accordance with the law laid down by God. Such behaviour is also desired of man. Man should also lead his life as God’s obedient servant just as the rest of the universe is fully subservient to God. The only difference is that the universe has submitted to God compulsorily, while man is required to submit to the will of God by his own choice.

When man adopts Islam, first of all it is his thinking, which comes under Islam, then his desires, his feelings, his interests, his relations, his loves and his hatred all get coloured by his obedience to God’s will. When man, in his daily life comes under God’s command, his behaviour with people, his dealings all are moulded by the demands of Islam. From inside to outside he becomes a person devoted to God.

Islam teaches man to lead an obedient life and surrender himself completely to the will of God. It is people who do so who will share God’s blessings in the next world.

The Islamic way of life, in a word, is a God-oriented life. The greatest concern of a Muslim is God Almighty. The focus of his whole life is Akhirah, that is, the ideal world of God in the hereafter. He always obeys divine injunctions in every aspect of life. His life becomes a practical expression of the Qur’anic verse:

“Take on God’s own dye. And who has a better dye than God’s? And we are His worshippers.” (2:138)

‘Taking on God’s dye,’ means being of a ‘godly character’ in all the personal, social and economic affairs of one’s life. The following pages are devoted to portraying various aspects of this ‘godly’ character as personified in a Muslim individual whose words and deeds in family matters, or with respect to earning one’s livelihood and whose dealings with other members of society, always seem to be distinguishably ‘dyed in the divine hue’.

Source : What is Islam by Molana Wahiduddin Khan

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