To understand and truly live Islam requires that one familiarizes themselves with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his approach to life. Understanding and getting to know him is possible through grasping the essential beliefs of Islam correctly. For this reason, as Lastprophet.info, we would like to bring to your attention, under the section titled Islam, the faith's fundamental beliefs along with questions such as "What is religion?", "Why do people feel to the need to adhere to a religion?", and "What separates Islam from other religions?" This section has been prepared by theologian Fatma Bayram.
|According to the Quran, Allah is not solely a superior entity, but the only entity whose existence is worth uttering; there is nothing in this world which can be compared to him. In this sense, it can be said that the universe, which the Quran speaks to us of, is clearly God-centered.|
"Allah" is defined, by scholars of Islam, as the Creator whose existence is imperative and one who is worthy of praise." The term "whose existence is imperative," in this definition, reflects that Allah's non-existence is unfathomable and He does not need the assistance of another form of existence to him. The phrase "one who is worthy of all praise," on the other hand, shows that the source of all His blessings which sustain us is Allah Himself and His names and attributes connote a magnificence that is incomparable to those of His creation.
According to the Quran, Allah is not solely a superior entity, but the only entity whose existence is worth uttering; there is nothing in this world which can be compared to him. In this sense, it can be said that the universe, which the Quran speaks to us of, is clearly God-centered. According to the Quran, Allah is at the center of the realm of existence. Human beings and other life forms are His creations and they are beneath Him in the creation chain. The existence of everything other than Allah relies on his existence.
As people turn away the holy books, through which Allah familiarizes himself to people, they don't distance themselves Allah, but rather they move away the concept of Allah. This is a very important point because when people cease to believe in Allah, they don't become believers in nothing; they become believers of everything. This predicament is brought on by the fact that the need to believe in a higher entity is inescapable for human beings. Humans cannot exist without belief and therefore idols for themselves when they are deprived of the true belief: the belief in God. At times, prophets, due to their communication with God, were perceived as the worldly manifestation of God, as people were unable to mentally decipher the limits between Creator and creation.
The knowledge of the existence of Allah
According to Islam, Allah d all of humanity with the ability to recognize His oneness and sublime existence. This is a skill that is common to all people. It is most likely for this reason that the verses revealed in the Holy Quran regarding this topic always ask just how it is that people are unable to recognize Allah's existence or carry expressions which connote amazement and condemnation on this matter. (For example: Surah Mu'minun 23:84-89, Surah An-Naml: 27:59-64, Surah Al-Ankabut: 29:61, Surah Az-Zumar: 39:61).
|According to Islam, doubt or denial of the existence of Allah, is caused by one's character which is shaped by the education one receives birth or historical and cultural developments. The reason for such deviations are personal attributes such as forgetfulness, conditioning, mental inactivity, pride, ambition and self-interest.|
According to Islam, doubt or denial of the existence of Allah, is caused by one's character which is shaped by the education one receives birth or historical and cultural developments. The reason for such deviations are personal attributes such as forgetfulness, conditioning, mental inactivity, pride, ambition and self-interest.
Here, we are confronted with a question: "If denying the existence of God is caused by our personal attributes, then should we not be pardoned for this [mistake]? Why are we condemned for this denial in the holy scriptures?" It is exactly here that the greatest benefits of divine religions are most influential in the realm of personal development. Because Allah conveys to us that our personalities are not static or unchangeable; it is always possible for us to take side with the truth and we must continually struggle with our personal traits which pose a challenge to us. The most perfect examples of this can be seen in the struggles which took places as the prophets when they first attempted to spread their messages to their communities.
The pleasure-centered hedonistic lifestyle of the modern age in particular has played an important role in distancing people Allah as well as the principles he has d. Because the acceptance of the existence of a sublime Creator means the acceptance of our responsibilities towards Him, people with weak will powers become disturbed by this thought. When looked at this perspective, "believing" is more of will power function than it is a mental function.
In the Quran, it is stated that those who deviate to the path of denial, " ... rejected those signs in iniquity and arrogance, though their souls were convinced thereof: so see what was the end of those who acted corruptly" (Surah An-Naml 14:14) We see that "pride" in particular is shown to the be the common trait of all of those who denied the truth in the tales of the prophets shared in the Quran. Thus, the initiation of faith and religious life requires that the heart is activated and convinced along with the mind and that one's will power (and consequently personality) is trained.
Even though the human mind has the capacity to understand the existence of Allah, because Allah's existence cannot be understood through the human senses, it cannot be proven like a simple arithmetic calculation such as 2 times 2 being 4. If this was the case, [believing in his existence] would carry no value based on preference and would not require punishment or reward. Furthermore, there would be value in a human beings' freedom of choice.
Islamic scholars have tried to provide proof of Allah's existence, based on the events of the outer world as well as our inner, personal worlds. Leading these lines of proof is the belief that humans are born with a belief in God. This is called the "disposition proof" (fitrat delili). The second is the proof that the world and the creatures on it were d later on and they were in need of a Creator. The third is the proof that stems the thought that the world, whose existence or non-existence is equally possible, needs a reason for being. The fourth proof is a belief that is inspired by the fact that nature's grand coherence and infallible order, and this grand system can only be the product of a Creator.
Humans, who realize that nature contains incredible coherence and order, are unable to contain their awe at the presence of these works of nature. Divine books warn that nature has the risk of being sanctified and alarms individuals regarding this, reminding people that everything, including themselves, with the exception of the Most High will perish and that there is no other deity worthy of Worship, His sovereignty will be continually everlasting and who people can take refuge. (Surah Qassas 28:88).
|Even though the human mind has the capacity to understand the existence of Allah, because Allah's existence cannot be understood through the human senses, it cannot be proven like a simple arithmetic calculation such as 2 times 2 being 4. If this was the case, [believing in his existence] would carry no value based on preference and would not require punishment or reward. Furthermore, there would be value in a human beings' freedom of choice.|
The human mind cannot fully understand or wrap their minds around the existence of Allah, who is the most supreme of entities; because a subservient can never truly wholly understand a superior. A high level of existence is a hindrance to the ocular perception of creatures. The eye can first see dim light and then recognize more powerful light as it grows accustomed to it. Similarly, eyes which are able to recognize the tokens of proof of Allah's existence in this world will be able to perceive him directly in the afterlife. For this reason, the belief in Allah's existence in this world is a test. While many internal and external signs practically oblige us to accept His existence, our mind's inability to fully comprehend His existence and our ego's dislike of limits set to contain it by a superior authority, turn belief in Allah and the consequent submission into a real evaluation for mankind.
Science, which is a product of the human mind, tries to explain how the universe came to be. Why the universe came to be is not a matter which is of interest to science. The conclusions that science reaches on how the universe came into existence, may not prove God's existence, but they certainly speaks a great deal to His existence. "Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the Night and the Day; in the sailing of the ships through the Ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth, (here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 164)
In this and similar verses, people are called upon to examine the creation of the Universe and its continuous order. Furthermore, these verses express awe at those who are involved with the sciences and overlook the Creator. The verses also indirectly state that these people of science's denial brings with it even greater responsibility. With this being said, the signs in nature pointing to Allah's existences doesn't oblige one to believe in God. They only activate the capacity of belief, satisfy the mind and put the heart to rest. It is at this juncture that how scientific proof will be evaluated comes into play. In other words, the answer to "which scientific philosophy is the right one?" will play the largest role in determining the point we will reach in our faith. Faith is not determined by the mind and Science, which is a product of the mind. Faith is a matter concerning the human as a whole. The soul, conscience, intuition, personal experience and feelings.... All of these together forms a person's whole and the person, as a whole, evaluates things. In the words of the Quran, he or she, "looks, measures, weighs, contemplates" and then decides. They either chose to believe or deny.
Tawheed (The oneness of Allah)
The most important property of Islam is recognizing Allah as the one and only Creator and authority and thus not attributing any partners to Allah through any adjectives ascribed to him and confirming his oneness in a determined state. Islam, with this feature, differs the idol-worshipping pre-Islamic beliefs (Jahiliyya) and religions such as Judaism and Christianity which are believed to have been distored after revelation.
Tawheed is the belief in the existence of Allah, his oneness and that there is no deity other than Him and that nothing can be compared to Him. Tawheed, which is the necessitated by this confirmation, translates into a holistic evaluation of culture, civilizations and history. In other words it is a belief and witnessing to the fact that these principles of faith were sent to all prophets. This is a concrete sign that this "truth" is "singular" and "universal."
In the verses of the Quran, which speak of Allah, his unity is highlighted more so than his existence, because "... most of them believe not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with Him! (Surah Yussuf 12: 106). It appears as though reaching the conclusion on the oneness of Allah, and staying loyal to this belief in our minds, thoughts, worship and sentiments, is harder than embracing his existence alone. Associating partners with Allah is not an error committed during the primal era alone, but rather a recurring phenomenon that comes to life in different forms depending on humanities' level of intellect in various eras.
Associating partners with Allah (shirk), which arises when attributing Allah's properties to anything other than Allah, regardless of its appearance is the biggest error in belief which humans must be cautious of. Bowing down to anyone other than Allah who has d and sustained, protected and maintained the universe; to feel committed to that other entity, is a great injustice committed by humans who have been d in a fashion more distinguished and given more dignity than other creatures.
Islam believes in the absolute oneness of God. It commands its believers to partake in a form of worship and prayer that does not include images and symbols, which it sees as remnants of primitiveness and idolatry. The relationship between humans and their creator is personal and direct; it does not require intermediaries. Similar to prophets, even the most sacred of people, are only guides and messengers.