What is Islam?

by James William Lovegrove (Habeeb-Ullah)

Five Pillars of Islam

Islam, as has been explained, means submission to the Divine will and to the judgment of Allah. By resigning ourselves to His Divine will we are not fatalists, as is erroneously assumed by some writers. Islam allows freedom of action and liberty of judgment. There are always two courses open to us: one of evil, another of good. God guides us to good: our yielding to such guidance is Islam. If we are free to accept or reject the guidance, we cannot be fatalists.

The following verses in the Quran go directly against fatalism, and allow freedom of action:

“Have We not given him two eyes, and a tongue and two lips, and pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways?” (The Holy Quran, 90:8–10).

This revelation from God comes for our guidance, and if we submit to it willingly, it is Islam. In order to create in us this spirit of resignation, Islam has given us five institutions called the Five Pillars of Faith:

  1. Declaration of Faith
  2. Prayers
  3. Fasting
  4. Almsgiving
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca