Page 8 - Islam In Focus

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Say: ‘O My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the
Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins: For He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Turn to your Lord (in repentance) and submit to Him, before the penalty comes on
you; after that you shall not be helped. And follow the Best of the courses revealed to
you from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you – of a sudden while you
perceive not!’ (Qur’ an, 39:53-54).
In return for all these great favors and kindness God does not need anything from us,
because He is the Needless and the Independent. He does not ask us to pay Him back,
for we cannot reward Him or value His immeasurable favors and mercy. What He
commands us to do, however, is only to be good, to be thankful and appreciative, to
follow His recommendations and enforce His Law, to be the proper manifestation of
His goodness and excellent attributes, to be His honest agents and true representatives
on earth. He does not want to enslave us, because He is the One Who grants us
dignity and honor. He does not wish to subjugate us, because He is the One Who
emancipates us from fear and superstitions. He does not desire to humiliate us because
He is the One Who creates us and exalts our ranks above all other beings. So
whatever rules and prescriptions He passes unto us are designed for our own benefit
and good. They are meant to help us to enjoy our lives with one another in peace and
kindness, in brotherhood and cooperation. They are destined to make us attain His
most pleasant company and adopt the surest approach to eternal happiness.
There are various ways to know God, and there are many things to tell about Him.
The great wonders and impressive marvels of the world are like open books in which
we can read about God. Besides, God Himself comes to our aid through the many
messengers and revelations He has sent down to man. These messengers and
revelations tell us everything we need to know about God. So by reflecting on nature,
by hearing the words of the messengers, and by reading the divine revelations we can
gain most convincing knowledge about God and find the Straight Path to Him.
To complete this portion of discussion, some representative verses of the Qur’ an may
be rendered as follows: Allah bears witness that there is no god but He – and so do the
angels and those possessed of knowledge – Maintainer of Justice; there is no god but
He, the Mighty, the Wise (Qur’ an, 3:19). Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is
the Guardian over all things. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth
(39:63-64). Allah originates Creation; then He repeats it; then to Him shall you be
brought back (30:12). To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All
are obedient to Him. It is He Who originates the Creation, then repeats it, for it is
most easy for Him. His is the most exalted state in the heavens and the earth. He is the
Mighty, the Wise (30:27-28)
The Meaning of Islam
The word Islam is derived from the Arabic root “ SLM” which means, among other
things, peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense the word Islam
means submission to the Will of God and obedience to His Law. The connection
between the original and the religious meanings of the word is strong and obvious.
Only through submission to the Will of God and by obedience to His Law can one
achieve true peace and enjoy lasting purity.