If you want to know what the accepted Deen on that Day is; the Deen which will lead man to live a life of eternal happiness under the mercy of Allah, and which will save him from eternal misery; then know that this is the Deen of Islam, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad
WHAT IS ISLAM?
It is the Deen which was revealed to Muhammad s and it has abrogated all religions. Allah says: “It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it.) [ 61:9 ]
It is the only Deen which will be accepted by Allah; all other religions will be rejected. Allah says:
(But whoever disbelieves in it from the [various ] factions - the Fire is his promised destination. So be not in doubt about it. Indeed, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of the people do not believe.) [ 11:17 ]
Islam is to submit to Allah, believing in His Oneness, obeying His commands submissively and willingly, and denouncing all false gods or associates to Allah in worship. It is a Deen with over a billion adherents and growing everyday in all parts of the world! It is a Deen which people are racing to accept, even though it is spread and conveyed inadequately. Nonetheless, rarely would one apostatize after accepting it. No Deen will be accepted after the commissioning of Muhammad s except Islam. Allah says:
(And whoever seeks a Deen other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.) [ 3:85 ]
The Prophet s said:
“By Him in Whose Hands is Muhammad’s soul. None hears of me amongst humanity, not even a Jew or a Christian, and dies not believing in what I have been sent with, except that he will be from the inhabitants of the Hellfire.” [ Muslim ]
THE PRINCIPAL PILLARS OF ISLAM
Islam has obligated numerous acts of worship which comprise of statements, actions, and beliefs. The statements and actions are called the Pillars of Islam; it is the deciding factor by which a person is ruled a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Islam does not call its followers to merely perform these acts of worship; these acts would lead one to purifying his soul, and keeping it aright. The goal behind performing these acts of worship is that one would rectify himself and adhere to the Straight Path. Allah says about the Prayer (Salah):
(... and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.) [ 29:45 ]
Allah says about the Obligatory Charity (Zakah):
(Take alms from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah’s blessings ] upon them.) [ 9:103 ]
Allah says about fasting:
(O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the pious.) [ 2:183 ]
Allah says about Hajj:
(The Hajj is [during ] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him ] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do - Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.) [ 2:197 ]
In Islam acts of worship, play a central role in development of one’s character and its refinement, as well as safeguarding the unity of Muslim society and its ties.
THE TWO TESTIMONIES
These are the testimonies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. It is the key with which one enters the community of Islam.
The first testimony, that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, implies the following meanings:
- Allah is the only Creator of the universe.
- There is no true Owner or One Who disposes of the affairs of the universe except Allah.
- Allah is the Creator, and thus deserves to be worshipped alone.
The meaning of the second testimony, that ‘Muhammad is his Messenger’, is to believe that he is the servant of Allah and His Messenger who received revelation, that he was ordered to convey it to mankind at large, and that he was the last of the messengers. No other prophet or messenger will come after him. This testimony entails that we must obey him in what he ordered, believe in all that he said, and abstain from what he prohibited.
THE PRAYER (SALAH)
The Prayer is a means through which a Muslim maintains a relationship between himself and his Lord. Whenever a person becomes absorbed in the entertainments of this life and his Faith starts to weaken, one hears the call to prayer [Adhaan ]
and responds to it by making his prayer which would strengthen his Faith. Through this, one maintains a continual relationship with His Creator. There are five prayers which must be performed in the day and night. Men should observe them in the Masjid [mosque ]
in congregation, except for those who have a valid excuse. Through this, Muslims come to know one another, and the bonds of love and unity which hold them together are built, maintained and strengthened. They come to know of the condition of their fellow Muslims on a daily basis. If someone is not present and thought to be sick, they visit him, and if it seems that he is falling short in some of his obligations, they advise him. All social differences, such as class, race, and status are disregarded, for Muslims line up side by side in straight rows, all facing one direction (Mecca) all at the same time. All are rendered equal in regards to their subservience to Allah and standing before Him.
THE OBLIGATORY CHARITY (ZAKAH)
It is a certain percentage of money which a rich Muslim gives to the poor and needy to save them from the humility of begging. It is compulsory upon every Muslim who possesses the Nisaab (minimum amount upon which Zakah is due). Allah says:
(And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being ] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.) [ 98:5 ]
The following are some of its conditions:
- Possession of the minimum required amount: A person’s wealth must reach the limit which has been set by the Deen of Islam.
- The completion of one year. If the wealth is not in the person’s possession for this period, there is no Zakah due upon it.
Allah has specified those who are eligible to receive zakah. Allah says:
(Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah ] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam ] and for freeing captives [or slaves ] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded ] traveler - an obligation [imposed ] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.) [ 9:60 ]
The amount which is to be paid is 2.5 % of the amount saved over a period of a year. Through it, Islam seeks to uproot poverty from the Muslim society and alleviate the dangers which result from it, like theft, murder, and acts of transgression against people’s honor. It revitalizes the spirit of mutual dependence and brotherhood in the Muslim society by fulfilling the requirements of the poor and needy. It purifies the souls of the rich Muslims and cleanses them from greed, selfishness, base covetousness, and the love of this interim world and drowning in its desires, all which make him forget his brothers from the poor and needy.
It also purifies the poor from hatred and jealousy which they may have against the rich. They see them giving from their wealth as Allah has ordered, and continuously caring for them, by giving them money and treating them well.
THE FAST OF RAMADAN (SAWM)
The objective of fasting is not that one merely abstains from those material and physical things which break one’s fast. Rather, one must also refrain from those intangible things which ruin (the reward of) one’s fast, such as lying, backbiting, tale-bearing, cheating, deception, false talk, and other offensive behavior.
A Muslim must fast one month in the year, which is the month of Ramadan. From the first break of dawn until the sun sets, Muslims must abstain from anything that breaks the fast; specifically: food, drink, or sexual intercourse. Fasting is not an act of worship introduced by Islam; rather it was an obligation legislated in the previous religions as well. Allah says:
(O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.) [ 2:183 ]
The objective of fasting is not that one merely abstains from those material and physical things which break one’s fast. Rather, one must also refrain from those intangible things which ruin (the reward of) one’s fast, such as lying, backbiting, tale-bearing, cheating, deception, false talk, and other offensive behavior. He should keep in mind that it is obligatory upon him to abstain from these offensive acts outside of Ramadan, but more so in this month, due to the saying of the Prophet :s
“Whoever does not give up false statements and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not interested in his leaving his food and drink.” [ Bukhari ]
The Fasting is a struggle between one’s soul and its cravings and desires. It has many social benefits which the Prophet s explained in his saying:
“All the actions of the children of Adam a are for him except fasting, for it is for me and I will reward [uniquely ] for it. Fasting is a shield; When one of you is fasting, he should not speak evil, nor should he yell and shout, and if someone were to curse or fight him, let him say, ‘Indeed I am a fasting person.’ By Him in Whose Hands is the soul of Muhammad, the smell which issues from the mouth of a fasting person is more good and pure to Allah than the fragrance of musk. One who fasts will feel two times of joy: upon breaking his fast and when he meets his Lord.” [ Bukhari ]
Through fasting, one realizes how his needy brothers feel when they cannot find sufficient food, clothing, and shelter, and this should encourage him to fulfill their rights and ask about their condition and what they need.
At your service, O Allah, at your service. At your service, You have no Partners, at your service. Indeed, all praises, bounties, and the dominion are Yours. You have no Partners.
THE PILGRIMAGE (HAJJ)
Hajj is the pilgrimage one makes to the Sacred House of Allah (Ka’bah) in order to perform certain rites at specific places at specific times. This pillar of Islam is obligatory upon every Muslim, male or female, who is sane and has reached the age of puberty once in a lifetime - if they have the physical and financial ability.
If a person has an incurable disease which prevents him from performing Hajj, but has enough money, he must assign someone to perform Hajj for him. If a person though does not have more money than what he needs to fulfill his daily requirements or those whom he supports, Hajj is not an obligation upon him. Allah says:
(And the performing of Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves, then Allah is free from need of the worlds.) [ 3:97 ]
Hajj is the largest Islamic gathering, and likely the largest gathering of humanity on earth. Muslims from all over the world come together at one place and one time; they all call upon the same Lord, wear the same clothes, perform the same rituals, and recite the same call:
Labayka Allahumma labayk; Labayka laa shareeka laka, labayk; in nal-hamda wanni’mata laka wal-mulk; laa shareeka lak.
“At your service, O Allah, at your service. At your service, You have no Partners, at your service. Indeed, all praises, bounties, and the dominion are Yours. You have no Partners.”
Labayka Allahumma labaykNo difference is made between rich and poor, noble and ignoble, white and black, Arab and non-Arab; all are the same in front of Allah. There is no difference between them except in piety. The Hajj is an event which emphasizes the brotherhood of all Muslims and the unity of their hopes and feelings.