Islam is a faith based on the commitment of God’s will, the faith of submission to Allah, the Supreme Truth, the Source of everything created and to Whom it all returns, for God is the Source, Creator, Ruler, Bearer and Rescuer of the Universe. Islam is, too, the conquest of peace (salam) through the very act of dedication to God. Islam is nothing but life in accordance with God’s will, to gain peace and harmony in this and future world. For Muslim faith, not only part of life is already life in its fullness and rounding. That’s all we do, what we think and what we feel, as well as the answer to the question we come from and where we are going. It implies all aspects of life without dropping anything under its control. In the traditional Islamic perspective, nothing is in the sphere of secularism; nothing is outside the area of God’s designation.
At the same time, Islam strongly emphasizes the eternal truth, present from the very beginning, which is the truth of God’s unity (Tawhid). According to the Holly Qur’an, man has witnessed God’s unity and His absolute power even before the creation of the material world. Before God created the material world, God created human souls and asked them: “Am I not your Lord?” They replied, “We are the witnesses.” This is the central truth of Islam contained in Islamic testimony (shahada). This is so fundamental to Islam that it is said that God is forgiving all sins except respecting other deities (which are false and non-existent for Muslims) and denial of God (wisdom and kufr).
This act that has occurred in God’s creation of human souls is a kind of contract between God and man (misaq). God has given man many gifts and honor, and the greatest is that man is God’s ruler on earth and man is committed to the acknowledgment of God for the Supreme Lord and to the eternal gratitude given to him in gifts and honors. As a man by his nature will be oblivious to forgetting (insan is a verbal noun which in Arabic language denotes a human being and is derived from a verb to forget) that God as his Merciful Lord throughout history constantly remembers that agreement through his prophets and his revelations. This reminiscence began with the first man and also the first of God’s Admiral Adam (Adam) and ended with the last of God’s Messenger Muhammad. All the prophets of God and all those who faithfully followed God’s messengers and God’s revelations were actually Muslims. This unique concept of religious message, as represented in Islam, therefore draws the entire history of mankind behind it.
Islam is in a manner of faith has brought nothing new but re-affirms the truth of God’s unity (Tawhid) that has always been present. It is universal primordial faith. It is a return to the fundamental, primordial agreement between God and man.
From another point of view, Islam is the last religion. The Prophet of Islam is the seal of the prophet (hatmi-enbiya). And the fourteen last centuries and at the same time fourteen centuries of Islam are proof of this.
Since the death of the Prophet of Islam to date, no new and completely original religious ideas have emerged, nor anything similar to religions that preceded Islam, such as Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and others.
By affirming the most complete, most enchanted and perfected way of the doctrine of monotheism and applying it to all aspects of human life, Islam is in a certain way and the highest level of monotheism. Thus in the last verse of the revelation, which the Prophet specifically emphasized in his famous Farewell Sermon, states: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion…” (Quran 5:3). Hence Islam is, on the one hand, the primordial faith that has always existed, the faith that is in the nature of everything, even man, the faith based on the unity of God, which all prophets have proved throughout history, and on the other side it is the last faith, the final seal and buckle in the long messican chain, all of which believed in one God. This understanding of religion in Islam is extremely important for the understanding of Islam itself and its historical development as most of the other beliefs are based on the founder, the believer, a particular historical event, a particular historical people, and so on.
So from the Islamic point of view religion is in the nature of the man himself, and it is not something that is accidental. It is not even a mere spiritual pleasure, but the very essence of human existence. And only faith is what human life is enhanced by dignity, enabling man to live in the fullness of the reality and nature God has given him and the only one that determines the ultimate significance of human life. Islam believes it is necessary for human life. Without her, a man lives under his dignity and is only a part of human being. Only by truly believing, accepting the original agreement between God and man, man can fully remain true to himself, but also to God.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE ISLAMIC FAITH – IMAN, ISLAM AND IHSAN
IMAN – BELIEF
Iman (إِيمَان ʾīmān, lit. faith or belief) in Islamic theology denotes a believer’s faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam. Its most simple definition is the belief in the six axioms of faith, known as arkān al-īmān:
1. Belief in the existence and unicity of God (Allah).
2. Belief in the existence of Angels.
3. Belief in the existence of the books of which God is the author: The Quran being the last of them revealed to Muhammad, the Gospel is revealed to Jesus and the Torah to Moses.
4. Belief in the existence of Prophets: Muhammad being the last of them, Jesus the penultimate, and Moses sent before them.
5. Belief in the existence of the Day of Judgment Day: in that day, humanity will be divided into two groups: that of paradise and that of hell. These groups are themselves composed of subgroups.
6. Belief in the existence of God’s predestination, whether it involves good or bad.
ISLAM – SUBMISSION TO GOD
The Five Pillars of Islam (arkān al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān al-dīn أركان الدين “pillars of the religion”) are five basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. They are summarized in the famous hadith of Gabriel:
1. Shahada – Faith: a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is God’s messenger
2. Salah – Prayer: is the Islamic prayer. Salah consists of five daily prayers
3. Sawm – Fasting: is the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadan
4. Zakāt – Charity: is the practice of charitable giving based on accumulated wealth.
5. Hajj – Pilgrimage to Mecca: occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life.
IHSAN – BENEVOLENCE
Signifies the intensity and perfection of living in accordance with the deepest meaning of the principle of faith, which can only begin when one becomes fully aware of what it means to be a human being and to accept God’s will for his only Lord. It is the sacred and the beauty of the soul that enables mankind to live in perfect harmony with God’s will, to be fully respected, to be constantly aware of his omnipresence and to do all that he does, with the awareness that God is watching him. This is most of all related to the sphere of noble human traits and everyday treatment, and which is mostly marked by morality.