What is Islam?

by James William Lovegrove (Habeeb-Ullah)

Objects of Religion

Every child comes to this world without sin in its nature. He and his God, being at peace with each other, he does not stand in need of being reconciled to an angered Deity; and therefore needs no inter­cession or atonement. He has been given the highest capability and his progress is potentially unlimited—so we read in the Quran:

“Certainly We created man in the best make. Then We render him the lowest of the low. Except those who believe and do good, so they shall have a reward never to be cut off” (The Holy Quran, 95:4–6).

The object of religion is to help its followers to work out what is noble and good in their nature. Religion therefore is not only the sum total of belief, but doctrines and tenets which should be translated into action.

A faith without action is a dead letter in Islam and carries no merit in the eyes of Allah.

We have wonderful potentialities reposed in our nature by the hand of God, so the Quran teaches; and the best adoration or thanksgiving to God is to work them out to the benefit of our fellow-beings. We say prayers and glorify God, but if these actions of worship are not attended with any edifying of our­selves, they are of no value in Islam. Creed is of no consequence if unaccompanied by deed. Unless we actualize our asset in nature we are not glorifying Him, because we do not accomplish the grand object of our Creator.

Muhammad [pbuh] says:

  1. The Lord does not regard a prayer in which the heart does not accompany the body.
  2. He whom prayer preventeth not from wrongdoing and evil, increaseth in naught save in remoteness from the Lord.
  3. Adore God as you would if you saw Him; for if you see Him not, He sees you.
  4. Pray to God morning and evening and employ the day in your avocations. Prayer brings the faithful into com­munion with his Cherisher.

“A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good he does in this world to his fellow-men. When he dies, people will say: What property has he left behind him? But the angels who examine him will ask: What good deeds hast thou sent before thee?” — Muhammad.