All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Who could be better in religion than those who direct themselves wholly to God, do good, and follow the religion of Abraham, who was true in faith? God took Abraham as a friend.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.
True Islam means submission, obedience, and surrender to the Almighty Allah, and to love and follow Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It means morality, modesty, humbleness, kindness when dealing with all people, mercy and love of the whole universe. Also, it means development and construction. It is a coprehensive way of life that its followers adhere to in all of their movements and actions.
Islam is a religion that calls for goodness, wellbeing, reform and the development of the world with religion, not to destruct it in the name of religion. It is a religion that calls for mercy, security, and peace for the whole world as the Almighty Allah says, “It was only as a mercy that We sent you [Prophet] to all people.”
The pillars of Islam are stated in the Hadith of Jibril when he asked the Prophet (PBUH) saying, “O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam”. He (PBUH) replied, “Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; that you observe prayers, pay Zakat, observe Sawm of Ramadan and perform Hajj, provided you have resources of making journey to it…” When contemplating these pillars, one realizes that they contribute to build a perfect personality. When a Muslim believes that God is One Who has no partner, and that our Master Muhammad (PBUH) is his servant and Messenger, he seeks to fulfill the requirements of this testimony, by obeying the commands of Allah and avoiding his prohibitions. He will also do his best to follow the path of the Prophet (PBUH) who was an example of mercy, compassion, modesty and kindness.
Prayer, which is the greatest pillar of Islam, has its benefits for the worshipper as it prevents him from commiting indecenct actions or evil. It guides him to be upright and to have peace with himself and the whole society, as the Almighty Allah says, “[Prophet], recite what has been revealed to you of the Scripture; keep up the prayer: prayer restrains outrageous and unacceptable behaviour. Remembering Allah is greater: Allah knows everything you are doing.”
Zakah has great religious as well as human aspects, as it purifies one’s soul form being attached to materialistic interests and makes him realize that money is just a means and not a goal. Zakah is also a way of cooperation, compassion and sympathy with others. The Muslim community does not know selfishness or negativity. It is a religion of giving and sacrifice, and a true believer is benevolent. TheAlmighty Allah said in praising the Ansar, “Those who were already firmly established in their homes [in Medina], and firmly rooted in faith, show love for those who migrated to them for refuge and harbour no desire in their hearts for what has been given to them. They give them preference over themselves, even if they too are poor: those who are saved from their own souls’ greed are truly successful.”
As for fasting, it perfects the morals of a Muslim by making him always observing Allah. It teaches him patience, forebearnce, self-promotion, and transcendence over all the evils that Allah hates. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Fasting is a shield. If any one of you is fasting, let him no utter obscene talk or raise his voice in anger, and if anyone insults him or wants to fight, let him say: I am fasting.” He (PBUH) also said “Whoever does not give up lies and false conduct, Allah is not in need of his leaving food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his Fasting).”
Hajj represents a behavioral and moral commitment before and during and after the completion of its rites, as the Almighty Allah says, “The pilgrimage takes place during the prescribed months. There should be no indecent speech, misbehaviour, or quarrelling for anyone undertaking the pilgrimage- whatever good you do, Allah is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of Allah- always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding.” Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this House (Ka`ba) and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newlyborn child.” Thus, all pillars of Islam have their implications that bring goodness, peace and safety to the whole society.
Pondering over the provisions of our religion, one realizes that it is the religion of morality, and its message is to perfect these morals, as our Prophet (PBUH) says, “I have been sent to perfect good character.” Thus true Islam means: faithfulness, loyalty, honesty, righteousness, goodness with one’s relatives, generosity, peacefulness to others, reliving those in need, helping the desperate, and kindnss with animals, etc.
There is no doubt that understanding the essence of Islam, knowing the wisdom of its tolerant message, identifying its objectives, and applying all of this in light of the new developments of our time are urgent necessities to face contemporary challenges, confront the terrorist and extremist groups, fight deviant thought, and overcome narrow mindedness. Such understanding is necessary to be more opneminded, insightful, and to work to achieve the interests of people, spread high human values that achieve security, safety, peace, stability and happiness for all humanity.
One of the most important duties in Islam is that every Muslim should showcase Islam’s various aspects of the greatness, so that the entire world would realize the fact that it is the religion of peace that should be called for. Peace is one of the Names of Allah, the Almighty. Allah says: “He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Peace, the Bestower of Faith …”; the greeting of Islam is peace; Allah says: “O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer.” The greeting of the paradise dwellers is peace; Allah says: “And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying], (23) “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” The Prophet (PBUH) also used to supplicate Allah, the Almighty, after every prayer saying: “O Allah, You are As-Salam, and from you is As-Salam. You are blessed, O One of Magnificence and Generosity.”
Islam is a religion that preserves man’s dignity; so it forbids backbiting, envying each other, hating each other, degrading one another, and causing harm to one another – be it in words, actions, signs or gestures. Allah, the Almighty, says: “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) banned striking someone’s on his face. When he (PBUH) saw an animal that had been branded, he said, “May Allah curse he who branded it.”
Also, when he (PBUH) was asked about a woman who used to observe fasting and prayers, yet she harms her neighbors, he (PBUH) said: “She is in the Hell-Fire.” In this connection, he (PBUH) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be hospitable to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good the ties of blood relationship; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, must speak good or remain silent”.
With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be him, his family and companions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entrenched the tolerant teachings of Islam, its decent ethics and moral values in the hearts of its followers until they became a way of life. Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him), when standing before the Negus, showed some of these noble values. Fully confident of himself, he said, “O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until God sent us a Prophet, one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship God alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides God. “He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors; to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness; to not appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women. He ordered us to worship God alone and not to associate anything with Him, to uphold prayer, to give charity …” So, a true believer does not tell lies, or betray or cheat; he is the one from tongue and hand people are safe; he is the one from his harm people’s bloods, honors, properties and souls are safe; he is the one who is an embodiment to the ethics of Islam, so he extends good and righteousness to all people. If we actually want to offer a comprehensive definition for the true believer, suffice it here to offer that one by the Prophet (PBUH): “Should not I tell you about the (true) believer? “The believer is the one from whom their (people’s) wealth and lives are safe, and the Muhajir is the one who forsakes mistakes and sins.”
The message of Islam is that of humanity, wisdom, tolerance, mercy and flexibility; it is a message of unity, not disunity; Islam is all-just; all-mercy, all-tolerant; all-ease; and all humane. All what realizes these sublime meanings mainly belong to Islam; and what is against them is actually against Islam and its objectives.
O Allah, guide me to the best of deeds and the best of manners, for none can guide to the best of them but You. And protect me from bad deeds and bad manners, for none can protect against them but You! O Allah! Protect Egypt, its Army and Police from all evil and harm.