Remembering Islam

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Islam Views: 7909
7909

When describing Islam, the word "simple" frequently pops up for the very good reason that simplicity is one of the most sublime aspects of revealed religion. God wants us to know Him: we have no higher duty. All men and women are charged to realize their purpose as God's creatures, and because of this there is a solid degree of simplicity to religion such that theorists and farmhands have equal access to understanding the faith and should do so before they expire. 

This "Islam" that we take to is not the name of a land or a man, but the very knock on Heaven's door, the answerable call, and the sanctified description of a believer's relationship with God, the Pre-Eternal Creator, Lord, and Master of the Universe, who does as He wills, the One to whom we all are in a constant state of returning. 

With this understanding, then let's remember that "Islam" does not really demand much, though its blessings are plainly beyond measure. Its obligations are not many and the prohibitions are always in our best interests. Its essential principles are few and uncomplicated-no mystery, secret scrolls, or theologies suitable for a hall of mirrors. Its pillars are counted on one hand. Its rites of worship take minutes in a day. The opportunities to do good abound. Even a simple smile is recorded as a good deed-a bona fide act of righteousness.

What it takes to become a Muslim is also simple. We say two statements with sincerity. We pay no entry fees, take no test, nor memorize long liturgy. We need not accept violence to qualify nor find solace in ethnocentric views of exclusiveness. We make a choice, the most powerful and distinguishing feature of the human creature. Then our actions follow. We are charged to worship God and to be excellent to our parents; generous with the needy; honorable with our neighbors; pleasant with strangers and acquaintances; hardworking in our jobs; caring of our brothers and sisters; nurturing of our children; in control of our tongues and tempers; loyal to our friends; good with our words; forgiving of insults; gentle with animals and nature; protecting of our eyes and limbs; conquerors of our egos; and a people who remember God often, letting such remembrance bring us calm in a time of complex confusion and the unseemly spread of Pharaonic complexes and unchecked sorties of human arrogance. We are grateful when good comes to us, patient when tested, and rewarded for any discomfort, be it a single prick of a thorn. 

Islam offers ease for those who newly enter, baby steps along the path. We are not asked to ignore logic. Islam is a religion of reason and intelligence. We do not fear science. We are eager for discovery. We must never lose our minds by choice, culture, or inebriation. We love metaphors that expand our understanding of creation and its Creator, but never metaphors that mask inexplicable doctrines authored by men of political sway. Moderation is our badge. Balance is our way of life, not because it's politically correct, but because it is the surest and more direct route to our ultimate objectives.

God is closer to us than our jugular veins. He says, "Remember Me, and I will remember You." He says, "Ask of Me, and I shall answer." He says, "I am near; I answer the call of a caller when he calls upon Me." He says, "When My servant remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart." There's no need for a broker between God and us. This is His choice, His mercy, His security, His invincible power, and His unflagging love. God has names, "Mercy-Giving," "All-Forgiving," "Pardoner," "All-Loving," . . . When God reveals His names, then it's a good idea to pay attention. It has meaning far beyond our own names that are given to us for no inherent reasons usually. God is "All-Merciful," therefore He loves to shower His mercy, obliterate our sins, and cover our shameful deeds. All sins are eligible for forgiveness except this: deny God's existence (though we ourselves exist and never doubt it), attribute false things to Him (something offensive when applied to us), and then this grace is prohibited. Again, God is "All-Merciful," which means it is of His essence. He requires no event on earth to ratify it. Nothing ties His Hands. Nothing compels Him. We seek forgiveness because it is available, by God's leave.

God's Messenger (peace be upon him) was the most beloved of human beings. He was the "chosen one," an orphan raised under God's eyes, and once a shepherd, the vocation of the prophets before him. Jesus and Moses told their people of Muhammad's coming, and in the Hereafter, all the prophets will point to the Chosen One as the intercessor for humanity. The Prophet Muhammad loved what was right and righteous, and disliked what offended God. The plots of his enemies did not anger him, only saddened him that they would choose intrigue and deviation over purity. He was blessed with enormous authority, but passed away will little worldly possessions. This was his choice: no grand monuments of earthly power, no palaces, no canopied beds; only a straw mat on the floor that left imprints on his blessed skin that covered his slender body. He bequeathed to humanity teachings that guide to all that is good in this world and to the best of outcomes in the Hereafter-Heaven: running rivers; fantastic lush gardens; the grandest trees; banquets of delectable food and drink; gold bracelets; endless estates and meadows; gushing springs; silk clothing; cushions of brocade; virtuous and pure companions; palaces fatiguing to the imagination; all that we ask for, even our most extreme desires. The Companions of the Garden (per the Quran) are people living forever without the nonsense, malice, insecurities, jealousy, lies, and envy that can insult, offend, and break hearts. Callousness, competition, backstabbing, insensitivity, oppression, and sheer stupidity are not just gone, but impossible! Instead, there is profound intelligence, pure sensuality, no obligations, complete freedom, and closeness to God the Exalted, all of this without end, without aging, boredom, or any kind of burden, duty, work, pain, or sickness; all of this for the patient ones, those who are God-fearing in their very brief lives, those who love God and look forward to meeting Him in the Hereafter and receiving with hope His endless mercy.

Islam does not lord over us, but raises us in degrees of rank in the sight of the Lord of the Worlds. When we perceive difficulty in religion, we need to be honest and realize that we have admitted something into our hearts: love of the worldly or spiritual laziness that drags us earthward; or we have accepted assumptions and insinuations that carry us away from worship and its joys and glow.

We live in a time when corruption is subtle. It often slinks under the cover of innocence and sometimes even under the rubric "piety." We convince ourselves that our decisions are for the sake of God, while often they serve our egos and our relentless grab for attention, credit, and low victories. We don't have a long time to live. "Time flies" is a fraud: way too slow, as far as descriptions go. We worry about things that have no consequence; we guard our inflated sense of self-importance. We, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, need to be careful. We need to constantly revive our sincerity, the arbiter of our deeds and portal to divine acceptance. Never does purity of heart or faith survive a passive process. We must always work to keep film from covering our eyes, a constant jihad that helps us distinguish the relevant from the trivial. 

The degree to which we may know God differs markedly between this life and the next. In the Hereafter, some of the "veils" between God and humanity are dropped, but, at that time, the scales of our deeds will have been filled. In this life, however, while things are still "live" and they "count," it is precisely these veils that we must endeavor to penetrate and achieve a degree of faith that is beyond the proofs of science and its fundamentalists. But we're not blind here or without a guide. Certain rites have been passed down through the agency of prophets, who received them from God. So we have no excuses, and none will be accepted, for we have been taught with utter clarity what me must do, and, again, it is not difficult. It is made known to us through revelation and conveyed to us via the scriptures and inspirations of the Prophets and Messengers.

This is Islam, the primordial religion of humanity. 

Ibrahim N. Abusharif is the editor of Starlatch Press. He may be reached at [email protected]


  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured
  Topics: Islam
Views: 7909

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Older Comments:
VIOLA FROM USA said:
I enjoyed every word that was written on the best life changer, Islam. I thank Allah much for gracing the brother with the knowledge to put in writing one of the best explanations of this religion, Islam. May Allah continue to reward and bless my brother in Islam with beneficial ilm to give to others, Ameen. I have given a copy to a nonbeliever in hopes it will shed a better light on the information that he has about Islam. May Allah accepts our Ramadan, Ameen.
As Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatuallahi Wa Barakatahu,
Sister Viola Gary of NJ
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MUHAMMAD A FROM USA said:
Jazaak Allaahu khayran Brother Ibrahim for this true and wonderful article.
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ASGAR ANSARI FROM INDIA said:
Absolutely beautiful. May Allah reward the author for his work and may Allah increase his eloquence. May Allah guide all the mankind to see and practice islam for what it really is.
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H.A. FROM YATHRIB said:
Islam is beautiful, but many who claim to be Muslims nowadays are neck-cutters and have high affinity for tall buildings and innocent civilians in them.

That's bad and unIslamic. That's not how one should fight the oppressors and the trangressors.

May God bless our Universe and its living and non-living entities.
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ASIA KHAWAJA FROM USA said:
I am glad that your articles or information about islam is a true reflection of Islam and not restricted narrow self made opinions.
Thanks.........Wassaalm... Asia Khawaja
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SALAH ISSA FROM USA said:
Great Article. Ma shaa Allah
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SALISU GARBA FROM NIGERIA said:
Masha ALLAH,may Allah continue guiding us aright.We should all know that it is only a selected few that ALLAh guides to the path leading to eternal salvation.We that are on the right track should always be grateful to Allah for the guidance we receive almost free.
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JAMAL DELL FROM USA said:
This was an effective article. Thanks. But Shakir, you got it
wrong, bro. The author is offering a semblence of
inspiration for those confused by the terrible way things
are. This is especially true for converts. No matter how bad
things are, we need to remember that we still have a great
faith that can bring light to our lives. He's not suggesting
that we do nothing about improving the condition of
Muslims. I simply don't know how you understood that. In
fact, I think too many people talk and talk and talk about
what we need to do for the "ummah" and nothing about we
can do for ourselves in our day. Too much, man. Too much
of the big picture stuff and political slop.

J. Dell
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MOHAMMAD FROM U.S.A said:
SubhanAllah,May Allah Reward you for writing exceptionally great article and may Allah give you more encouragement and wisdom to continuously write and speak about Islam, and the Master of the Universe. Jazak Allah Khair
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SHAKIR EBRAHIM FROM INDIA said:
What the author has written is what Islam should be like, not what it is. Which religion does not promote the concepts mentioned in the article? And which Prophet, be he Buddha or Jesus, lived an extravagant life? This kind of nostalgia is exactly what Islam does not need. It needs to understand it practiced ills and reform it, not say that everything is hunky-dory with Islam.
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AYEESHA ZAWAHIR FROM INDIA said:
Alhamdhulillah!I enjoyed reading the article and contemplated on the simplicity of Islam. But not addressing God as Allah in the article in any place was dissappointing. You have mentioned "When God reveals His names, then it's a good idea to pay attention. It has meaning far beyond our own names that are given to us for no inherent reasons" But you have failed to use the most beautiful name Allah.
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NOOR FATHIMA FROM INDIA said:
assallam alaikum
i think that this is a wonderfull note u must have this good work going,people like me should read it who is not intrested in reading,i would read such thing on and on. allah hafiz
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MIAA FISHER FROM USA said:
This is an extremley good explanation of the blessed relegion of Islam. I am 18 and it is sometimes so hard for me to find a way to explain to people around my age and in America why I converted to Islam but this says it better than I ever did. Bisalaam
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MOHAMMAD SYED FROM USA said:
May Allah reward you for this beautiful remembrance of Allah. How simple, how powerful, how true Islam is. It invites every one toward goodness and freedom. We enslave ourselves through our misdeeds. Thank you.
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MELISSA FROM USA said:
this was a great article. I love the description on heaven. i'm a recent convert to Islam trying to persuade my parents to accept my decision. This list of what heaven is comprised of and with out makes an attractive sell to find the right religion and live one's life according to it.
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TOBE-RAE BADAE FROM U.S.A said:
Asalamulakum, being new to Islam .. alhumdiallah, this artical was one of the best i have read. i find it so hard to explain to my family how and why, and that is sometime desturbing but this has giving me answers i needs and i shall pray that it will help them to understand why i have chosen the way of Islam. Ishallah.
I enjoyed your artical on the Muslum Passion of Christ, and this one is just as great. Thank you so very much and May Allah continue to guide your hand and your heart.... Inshallah
your sister in Islam
Tobe
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SAIMA FROM PAKISTAN said:
you are giving a good to all the world and inshallah good will come back to u..it is a impressive article overall
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KASHIFKHAN FROM PAKISTAN said:
this is the article which gives you the way of understanding islam. i really liked it and found it very siginificant. As knowledge with out practice is nothing so may allah give us the way to implement this in our practical life.
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SHARIFAH FROM SINGAPORE said:
I'm moved by it ! Yes, Islam is indeed simple and beautiful. May we all be guided by it. Amin.
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KEITH FROM IRELAND said:
A beautiful article! Even the picture on the left conveys the simplicity and beauty of Islam. This article will help enormously to educate people about Islam when it is getting such an unfair criticism in the western media.
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ALI BENHAMIDA FROM USA said:
May Allah (SWT) reward you for this beautiful article, and help us make the best of it in our lives.

Ameen.
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SIS. VIOLA GARY FROM USA said:
Subhanna Allah, this is the most awesome and truthful filled letter I have read in some time. You have touched and delved deep to bring out the truth and simplicity of this religion. I thank you for doing such a magnificent job of presenting this to the world. Ma Sha Allah. Jazakalahu Khairun.
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FRED FROM CANADA said:
We Bosnians love it.
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PETER FROM USA said:
Wow! Very powerful article, very well written. I wish more Americans saw and heard Islam expressed in this manner; I think many would reevaluate their prejudices and preconceptions.
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RIZWANA OOMER FROM USA said:
Wonderful article Ibrahim! Spoken like a true 'haneef'. There is beauty in simplicity and simplicity makes you beautiful.
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HIBA HASSAN FROM AUSTRALIA said:
Mansha Allah Mansha Allah
"This is Truth"
Allah reward you and those who participate producing this articall.

Jisakumulaah!
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AHMED ASGHER FROM BAHRAIN said:
An exceelent article, one that warms the heart.

Assuredly the Quran is the ultimate book for all muslims. Here is another source of Islamic wisdom that is worth reading by all muslims and non-muslims alike:

http://www.al-shia.com/html/eng/books/nahjulbalaga/

click on the 'sayings' of Imam Ali for some easy reading reading first. Then give yourself the time to digest each word since Ali was truly "The Door of Knowledge." and the "City of the Knowledge" was the Prophet,pbuh, as this saying is attributed to him and approved by all the Sunneh books.

"I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its door - whoever wishes to enter it should do so thro the door."
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HALIM FROM SINGAPORE said:
Wonderful summary of Islam
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SAIF FROM USA said:
This article was like a cool drink of water, on a hot, hot day. Soothing and envigorating.May Allah bless the writer.
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AILIA FROM IRAN said:
Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatahu,simply sublime is Islam.Alhamdullilah.
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ALIA FROM UNITED STATES said:
All that is falsehood will eventually fade away and the truth stands tall and firm in the end.
Thank you for this reminder.
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DR S NAEEM FROM USA said:
The simple Truth, eloquently explained.

May Allah bless us all with His Mercy
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JENNIFER FROM USA said:
It was a great article and helps put things in perspective.
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PHILLIP RAMSEY FROM USA said:
Truly!, the Truth.
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MOHYUDDIN FROM USA said:
Mashaa Allahu La quwwata illa billah... the truth is always simple and obvious to the heart.. that is Allah SWT's design... I am in complete agreement. Jazaak Allahu khairan... ma'as salaama
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