To Be A Muslim

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  • To Be A Muslim


    Faith in Islam produces conviction that its potential for good in the world is unlimited. As a system of thought and a way of life from Allah, the Almighty, Islam is the primordial religion and the only "religion" designed to govern this life. It is the only "religion" that is designed for the nature of man by man’s Creator and is capable of producing and sustaining a balance between man’s spiritual and physical needs. Allah, the Almighty, has said:

    Should He not know - He who created [everything]? For He is the One Who understands the finest mysteries (and) is well acquainted (with them). [Qur’an 67:14]

    Islam’s Divine character gives it more dignity than any manmade system. This universal din is also eternal and so can fulfill the needs of man at all times and places, at every level of community.

    Its universality means that Islam is all-encompassing and thus extends beyond the boundaries of climate and across all differences in race, language and culture. The open and comprehensive character of Islam is inherent in its Divine origin as a gift from Allah designed for human nature.

    Its all-inclusiveness as a macro-system of Divine purpose for all life makes this din relevant to all life’s problems and opportunities. The systems - analytic framework or paradigm of this religion, known as the shari’ah or -Islamic law," makes it possible for scholars, using ijtehad or analytical logic, to apply it through the analogical techniques (qiyas) of istihsan (identification of the general good - hasn of man) and maslaha mursalah (commonweal).

    Its comprehensiveness distinguishes this primordial Islamic din from all other man-made systems. Since Islam comes from Allah, Who is the Most Knowledgeable and knows everything about mankind’s changing needs, by comparison with it, any man-made system must he incomplete. No other system can equal its guidance for human governance, whether at the psychological level of the human person or at the sociological level of the human community. Allah, the Almighty, has said:

    [Say: "Our life takes its"] hue from Allah! And who could give a better hue [to life] than Allah, if we but truly worship him? [Qur’an 2:138]

    In their efforts to build a better world, Muslims must know the limits of the manmade systems, such as capitalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. As products of human philosophies and social engineering, these systems are inherently limited or incomplete in substantive scope and time-frame.

    The narrow-mindedness of both left and right wings have always jeopardized humankind. These secular extremists are responsible for the disappearance of family and community ties, and for moral degradation and for the decline of eternal values. Their egoism and individualism have replaced the community values of helping, loving, and caring for each other.

    Neither capitalism nor socialism can build the paradise that their proponents promise, because their narrowly focused institutions promote the concentration of wealth and ignore the incentives of broad-based ownership of the means of production and other essential characteristics of a complete system of society based on Islamic principles of economic justice. Equally inadequate are the political systems of modern secular culture, whether democracy, republic or monarchy, because for most of the people in the world they have brought on corruption and exploitation. Reliance on governance by military force to sustain unjust regimes has oppressed billions of people, including Muslim minorities in Kashmir, Eritria, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Palestine.

    All of these man-made systems of economy, politics and security undermine the basic human responsibilities of Islamic law, namely, the responsibility to promote the rights to life, community, freedom, dignity, knowledge, and private property. These secular systems, spawned in modern Western civilization, can be replaced by morally and spiritually based systems only when Muslims become aware that Allah has shown us the principles and strategy designed to liberate man from the clutches of Satan. Truth and justice can become governing values in the world only when the Muslims revive their own heritage and apply the Qur’an and sunnah to change themselves as tile first step to change the world.

    Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change their inner selves. [Qur’an 13:11.]

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