ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES

ISLAM: In Arabic, Islam means submission and surrender. It is called Islam because its followers voluntarily and consciously submit and surrender themselves to the order of Allah, the Glorified.

ISLAM'S BASE: Islam is rooted in a basic principle which is the belief in the statement-"There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah." Anyone who says it become a Muslim having the same rights and duties that other Muslims have. This faith requires abiding by and working to put into practice Islam's laws and concepts. By so doing, one becomes a true Muslim. This statement bears the meanings of the Oneness of the Great Creator.

A Muslim believes that Allah is One, on Whom everyone and everything depends. None of His creatures is like Him, nor does anyone share His authority. No will is opposite to His. He has 99 glorious names. He is the All-Knowing, Omnipotent, Wise, Living who will never die, Possessor of free will, Merciful and Just. In His hand is the good, and He has power over all things.

He alone creates, provides His creatures with sustenance, gives life, causes death, and raises the dead after death. No one shares with Him this power, or does what He does.

He alone is worthy of being worshipped, submitted to, and obeyed, because He is the Creator, Giver of Sustenance, Owner of the Worlds, and to Him all creatures return. All His orders and prohibitions and the trials of His creatures through the Heavenly messages are based on knowledge, wisdom and the interests of His creatures. We should accept all His orders and prohibitions even though we know little about the wisdom behind them because they come from God Who is Knowing, Lover of His creatures, Merciful, Wise, All-Knowing, the One Who Guides those lost in darkness.

Belief in Allah requires the belief that Muhammad is His servant and apostle and the he is the Seal of the Prophets and his message is the most perfect. Allah revealed scripture to him as He had revealed to the prophets before him through the Archangel Gabriel. The Qur'an and the eternal message were revealed to him as the Torah, Bible and scriptures were revealed to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and David.

A pillar of Islam is the belief that Allah, the Most Glorified, is able to raise the dead after death. He alone began creation, and He alone raises the dead after death. There is another world, the next one. There is also a day when all creatures are judged by Allah so that the good servants of Allah and the evil are rewarded or punished.

Another pillar of Islam is the belief that Allah is Just. He does not want His creatures to do what is beyond their endurance. He gave them free will to choose, and will reward man according to his deeds.

These bases of the Islamic doctrine are the fundamentals of religion. They are, as we have cited:

1. The belief in Allah, the One, the Perfect Who does not create evil or anything of the sort.

2. The belief in the prophets and apostles, the divine books and the angels, and that Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets.

3. The belief in the next life, the Day of Judgement, Paradise and Hell.

WORSHIP AND SOCIAL ORDER

Ethics: Great attention is given by Islam to fostering the human conscience so that man does good, respects others' rights, sympathizes with them, is kind to them and helps them when they are in need. Thus is man's humanity consummated.

In many verses the Qur'an calls Muslims to be good-mannered and gives this advice much importance by addressing the Prophet Muhammad:

"And most surely you conform to sublime morality." Holy Qur'an (68:4)

Prophet Muhammad views the perfection of one's morals as an expression of the perfection of faith in the human soul. He is reported to have said: "The most perfect in faith are those who are the most good mannered."

He regarded, moreover, the perfection of the moral side of man as one of his basic concerns as a prophet. He said: "I was not raised as a prophet but to make perfect the best of morals."

He is reported to have also said: "The one who does good is better than good itself, and the one who does evil is worse than evil."

In Islam, backbiting, cheating, telling lies, treachery and the entire gamut of bad manners are forbidden. On the other hand, Islam calls people to love, mercy on others, preference to others over themselves, forgiveness, etc.

Worship: Islam makes it an obligation for man to perform his prayers, fast, make pilgrimage to Mecca, recite Qur'an, etc. in order to declare himself a faithful servant of Allah, the Creator of the great universe and to free himself from the slavery of lusts and tyrants.

Regarding unclean things, Islam gives due attention to this also. Such things as urine, excrement, blood, sperm, corpses, pigs, dogs, etc. are considered unclean by Islam. Thus, as a prerequisite for worship, Islam orders Muslims to perform a ceremonial cleansing in the form of a bath, ablution, or quasi-ablution with dust when one is unable to perform baths or ablutions for one reason or another.

Psychological and Physical Care: Islam ordained practical laws to protect one's health and body to ward off diseases and impurities and to keep it beautiful and vibrant. To attain this target, Islam makes wine, adultery, sodomy, cannibalism, drinking blood, eating the flesh of swine, excessive eating and drinking forbidden.

The Prophet has said: "Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty. Allah loves to see the trace of His grace on His servant."

Islam urges its followers to be athletic and strong. The Prophet has said: "Train your sons to master swimming and archery."

It is for the benefit of man to have a sound and healthy body so that he can enjoy life as Allah wants. A man with a sound mind is capable of leading a happy and comfortable life.

Honoring Man: Islam grants both male and female full rights, freedoms and personal dignity.

SOCIAL SYSTEM

Islam is a social message which aims to set up a close knit and cooperative society in which all people enjoy equal rights and duties, and who are mutually bound through the bonds of love, respect and cooperation.

Islam also cares for social relations among the family and society and considers the family as the basic unit of the social structure.

Formation of the Family: The family is held in Islam as the key unit in building society. That is why Islam pays great attention to making and organize in the relationships between husband and wife, children and parents. Such ties are based on love, mercy and mutual respect.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be with him and his progeny, said: "Never is anything built in Islam dearer to Allah, the Most Powerful and Glorified, than marriage." He also said: "Whoever gets married, he secure half of his religion. Then let him guard against evil in respect to the second half."

And so Islam settles the relation between the husband and wife on the bases of love and reciprocal respect. Islam makes the husband shoulder the full responsibility of securing food, clothing, shelter, health care, etc. in proportion to his financial ability.

As Islam urges the connection between the husband and wife to be strengthened, it establishes moral and lawful ties between parents and their children. It is narrated from the Apostle of Allah that he said: "An affectionate look by a son toward his parents is as worship to Allah."

Islam orders parents to love their children, be kind to them, foster them in an upright manner and secure what they are in need of. The Prophet is reported to have said: "Love the children and have mercy on them. If you promise them something then fulfill your promise. They know only that you are the one who secure their provision."

As the parents are duty bound to spend on their children, the children should, as they grow up and their parents become infirm and helpless, spend on their parents.

Neighbor's Rights: To bind the family strongly to other families and establish relations among members of society on firm and stable grounds, Islam exhorts Muslims to have good ties with their neighbors and to respect their rights. The Apostle of Allah is reported to have said: "Gabriel recommended the neighbor so much that I thought he would leave an inheritance to him."

Also, concerning the neighbor, Prophet Muhammad has said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his guest. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should never trouble his neighbor. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say something good, or he should be silent."

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Islam has set exact and precise laws for society in every domain, politically, economically, judicially, militarily, etc.

 

In respect to politics and rule, Allah says: "Surely Allah command you to deliver trusts back to their owners; and when you judge between people, that you judge with justice..." Holy Qur'an (4:58)

The Prophet said: "...the leader ruling over people is responsible, and he is answerable to the people..."

Herein political justice is established, the responsibility of the state to the community is elucidated, and Islam made the principle of consultation a right of the Muslims.

It is an obligation on the part of Muslims to obey the legitimate authority based on religion, right and justice.

Islam makes the task of establishing and maintaining the social order and the state a general responsibility of all the people. There is nothing of those limitations other religions approve of being placed between Allah's rights and Caesar's. The whole society should manage its affairs according to the divine law. People are bound to make their life better and to oppose corruption. Regarding this duty the Apostle of Allah is reported to have said: "Whoever sees evil, he should change it by his hand. If he cannot, then by word, if he cannot, then by condemning it in his heart and that is the weakest form of faith."

Aiding oppressors is strictly forbidden in Islam and is considered a terrible crime. Injustice should be opposed so that justice prevails.

In this way, the relationship between the authorities and the community is distinctly clear. Islam's theory on politics and rule is based on the principles of justice, consultation, obedience, the right to criticize and reckon and mutual advice passed between the authorities and the people.

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Islam recognizes individual property, public property and the property of the state. Usury, monopoly, and capitalist dominance is forbidden.

In earning their living, people are on the same footing. The right of ownership is based on work and diligence.

The problem of poverty is dealt with in Islam through the laws of zakat (poor rate), khums (1/5 of surplus property; a yearly tax given to the Islamic treasury) and expiations. The government is obliged to secure the needs of any disable Muslim.

These measures are taken for the purpose of sorting out human economic problems and achieving social justice.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

In Islam the judiciary is one of the state's responsibilities. Islam establishes right and justice. One is innocent until it is confirmed by evidence that he is guilty. No innocent person is to be punished for something some other person has done.

Laws are set as the judiciary is one base of the bases protecting society.

ORDER FOR HOLY WAR

Allah ordained Holy War (Jihad) as a means by which Islam, right, dignity, and the homeland are defended. It is also a way to fight the oppressors and tyrants and rescue man from deviation.

Enjoining good and forbidding evil are commanded in order to reform the community and to protect it from corruption and possible collapse, by means of individual efforts, setting up associations and through the visual, audio and print media.

CONCLUSION

These are the main principles of Islam explained in brief. Other of our books (It means the book of Al-Balagh Foundation) are more detailed. These books are distributed free of charge. Please contact Al-Balagh Foundation through its E-mail Address books@balagh.com

Reference: al-shia.org

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