Islam is a beautiful religion. It is the complete religion. Not only does it govern our relationship with God, it also lays down guidelines on how to live the life of a good Muslim, and by that, our relationship with the rest of the people around us.
There are many misconceptions about Islam. I do not place the blame squarely on the media. There are many errant Muslims and the media is quick to leverage on these. Whether these were sensationalised or not, the end result is that non-Muslims (and even Muslims themselves) have a very skewed view of what Islam is all about.
I started to question why are there Muslims who do not practice Islam the way it should be practised? Islam is a religion of peace - in fact, if one were to take reference to the example laid down by Saladin (Salah al-Din Yusuf) and the way he conducted himself during the time of war, one would realise that Islam, when followed to the T as Saladin did, is a peaceful and merciful religion. When his soldiers entered the city of Jerusalem, they were not allowed to kill civilians, rob people or damage the city. His fairness and mercy stemmed from the fact that he was a strict Muslim. He was not guided by rage, or revenge. His code of war was so exemplary that Richard the Lionheart respected him.
This is not to say that similar rules were not available earlier. They were probably in existence but not practised. Therein lies my intention - that if Muslims knew better about Islam themselves, they'll be able to conduct themselves better as Muslims. They'd be better able to defend the religion with clear evidence should there be reports of errant behaviours.
So, this compendium of articles are what is minimally is required for all Muslims to know. Like me, some of us forget and remain stagnant by not upgrading our religious knowledge, and we may even lose the knowledge that we have had when we were younger (as the saying goes, "use it or lose it"). Thus, to ensure that we do not lose what we already know, use this as a revision. For some, this can be used as a reintroduction to Islam. The articles are made short for simply this purpose.
A religion is only as strong as its people. Islam is the true religion. It is a religion of peace for everyone - be you white or black, tall or short, rich or poor. The journey starts here...
Zulkarnain Ab Hamid, a born Muslim
THE IMAGE OF ISLAM AND MUSLIMS
The image of Islam and Muslims are not really at its peak, compared to what it ha been in the past.
Even in the past, the successes were followed by failures for the same reason that we are the way we are right now: It is because we do not adhere to the teachings of Islam.Many non-Muslims are worried that if we follow the teachings of Islam closely, we will become a group of Jihadist who would wage war with the rest of the world and spread the word of God by the sword. Heard of these myths and accusations before? I'm sure you have.
Islam is a religion of moderation. Adhering to the teachings do not make us fanatics. It makes us better Muslims. In fact, Muslims are peace-loving people who recognise their roles as khalifah (خليفة)or vicegerent on this Earth. Remember how Rasulullah treated the Jews of Medina after the Hijrah, or how Salahuddin treated his captives of war and even his opponent, Richard the Lionheart. But more importantly, look at how the Muslims of the past spread the Word to the rest of the world. It is not by war, but by their mere actions as true Muslims. They traded honestly, they treated people with kindness and the people accepted them and wanted to know more about this belief that made them good people.When people know Islam, they will love it because of its beauty. But how would they know? It is only through the way the Muslims carry themselves. And how would a Muslim know how to carry himself or herself properly. It is through learning more about Islam and knowing it and practising it in our daily lives.Remember, all of us are born Muslims because of the covenant that we made with Allah before we were born on Earth. So, when we know Islam truly, it will resonate easily with us because we will remember. We will feel at ease and at peace with ourselves and with the religion.Sayyid Muhammad al-Naquib bin Ali al-Attas, a contemporary Muslim philosopher, put it nicely, in his article, "The Loss of Adab and the Fall of the Muslim World" that the chief cause of the Muslims' downfall is confusion and error in (Islamic) knowledge. The remedy is, however, not just the dissemination of knowledge, but more importantly and in fact, preceding the quest for knowledge, is adab, which is defined as "recognition
of the right and proper place, station, and condition in life and to self discipline in positive and willing participation in enacting one’s role in accordance with that recognition and acknowledgement, its occurrence in one and in society as a whole reflects the condition of justice".So, know your role in this World which is as the khalifah (
خليفة) of Allah.
Once a Muslim has embraced this responsibility, then doing what one needs to do is not difficult. Start with onself - make yourself a better Muslim. Then to your family, your extended family and the immediate community (ie your neighbours, people you work with, etc).InsyaAllah, I will elaborate on the concept of the khalifah in future.
جزاك اللهُ خيراً
Whatever is right, comes from Allah. Whatever is wrong is from my own weakness.
والله أعلمُ بالـصـواب