Page 26 - Islam In Focus

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the nature of man and how to treat them, about good and evil, about right and wrong.
It purifies the soul from evil, clears the mind from doubts, strengthens the character
and corrects the thinking and convictions of man. All this can be achieved only when
man faithfully observes the spiritual duties and physical regulations introduced by
On the other hand, true religion educates man and trains him in hope and patience, in
truthfulness and honesty, in love for the right and good, in courage and endurance, all
of which are required for the mastery of the great art of living. Moreover, true religion
insures man against fears and spiritual losses, and assures him of God’ s aid and
unbreakable alliance. It provides man with peace and security and makes his life
That is what true religion can do for humanity, and that is the concept of religion in
Islam. Any religion which fails to bear these fruits is not Islam or rather, is not
religion at all, and any man who fails to draw these benefits from religion is not
religious or God-minded. God is absolutely true when He says in the Holy Qur’ an:
Verily the religion with God is Islam. Nor did the People of the Book dessent
therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But
if any deny the Signs of God, God is swift in calling to account (Qur’ an, 3:19). And if
anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the
Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good) (Qur’ an,
The Concept of Sin
One of the major troublesome areas of human existence is the problem of sin or evil
in the world. It is commonly believed that sin started with Adam and Eve during their
life in the Garden of Eden. That event led to the Fall and has ever since branded the
human race with guilt, stigma, and bewilderment.
Islam has taken a unique position on the whole issue, a position which is not shared
by any other religion we know. The Qur’ an states that Adam and Eve were directed
by God to reside in the Garden of Eden and enjoy its produce as they pleased, assured
of bountiful supplies and comfort. But they were warned not to approach a particular
tree so that they would not run into harm and injustice. Then Satan intrigued them to
temptation and caused them to lose their joyful state. They were expelled from the
Garden and brought down to earth to live, die, and taken out again at last for the Final
Judgment. Having realized what they had done, they felt shame, guilt, and remorse.
They prayed for God’ s mercy and were forgiven (Qur’ an, 2:35-38; 7:19-25; 20:117-
This symbolic event is significantly revealing. It tells that the human being is
imperfect and ever wanting even if he were to live in paradise. But committing a sin
or making a mistake, as Adam and Eve did, does not necessarily deaden the human
heart, prevent spiritual reform or stop moral growth. On the contrary, the human being
has enough sensibility to recognize his sins and shortcomings. More importantly, he is
capable of knowing where to turn and to whom he should turn for guidance. Much
more important is the fact that God is ever prepared to respond to the sincere calls of
those who seek His aid. He is so Gracious and Compassionate that His Forgiveness is