I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
A famous statement in the field of logic states that: “The judgement concerning something is derived from how it is perceived.”
Undoubtedly, the term Islam is a household name but majority of people are oblivious of the true meaning of what it stands for, hence so many misconceptions and contradicting narratives. Be it as it may, Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in the 12th volume of al-Fataawah that misconceptions arise from lack of understanding of the correct concept of terms. Going by his accurate submission it becomes imperative for the world to understand what Islam is, perhaps there will be less hostility and less misconception and negative propaganda around this peaceful religion.
In the dictionaries of the Arabs, the term Islam refers to submission, humbling oneself, and obeying commands of Allaah and heeding His prohibitions without any objections whatsoever coupled with sincerity in worshipping Him Alone and believing absolutely in His Words crowned with a complete Faith in Him.
In addition to what has been written above, Islam is also a peaceful religion because a constant theme in the Message that it brings revolves around spreading good and forbidding mischief on earth. It is the religion chosen by Allaah. To substantiate this, Allaah Whom the Muslims worship Alone without associating any partners with Him and Who is the Lord of all that exist including angels, Prophets, Jinns, Mankind, animals, both living and non-living things says in the 19th verse of the 3rd chapter of the Glorious Qur’an that: “Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam. Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except out of rivalry, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat (signs, verses…) of Allaah, then surely, Allaah is swift in reckoning.”
Furthermore, Allaah says in the 23rd verse of the 59th chapter of the Glorious Qur’an that: “and do good as Allaah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allaah likes not the Mufsidoon (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupt).”
Interestingly, also contrary to popular believe, Islam is an easy religion wherein there is no room for hardship. There is always an alternative route when there is perceived difficulty in practicing the religion until that difficulty is lifted. For example, ablution (ritual cleansing) is by default to be done using water but in a situation where water is not available or its usage will cause harm to the individual, Islam relaxes the ruling and gives an alternative of using Sand (Tayammum) instead. This is one out of countless examples.
To buttress this position, there is a verse in the 22nd chapter of the Glorious Qur’an where Allaah says: “And strive hard in Allaah’s cause as you ought to strive. He has chosen you, and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship: It is the religion of your father Abraham. He has named you Muslims both before and in this (Qur’an)…”
Our noble Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a narration that enjoins the status of double authenticity by both al-Bukari and Muslim that: “Verily, this religion is easy. No one overburdens himself in the religion except that it overcomes him (and he will not be able to continue in that manner. So do not be extremists and try to be near perfection…”
Understanding Islam means detaching the term extremism from it. The religion of Islam is a moderate religion in the true sense of the word devoid of compromising on the truth.
I end with this this article with this verse. Allaah says in the 143rd verse of the 2nd chapter of the Glorious Qur’an that: “Thus We made you (true Muslims-real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways), a Wasat (Just and balanced) nation…”
Islam is unlike other religions that are named after their founders or a specific nation. Islam is a universal message to all nations and it is not restricted to one man or a particular nation. May Allaah open our hearts to the magnificent beauty of Islam.
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