Monday, 17 March 2008

To be a Muslim

Part Five: Defining Islam


[Click on Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four to read teh previous post on this series.]


In the lines written as part of this series of posts, the underlined objective has been to understand what it means to be a Muslim. To be more precise, what are the elements of one beliefs, what practicalities are involved in becoming a Muslim and how does that affect our personal, familial and social existence, the relationship with others. But of course Muslim are those who believe in Islam. In other words, the followers of Islamic faith are the Muslims. So it right that we at this stage attempt to define Islam:
Literally speaking, Islam is to mean peace, submission. Islamically, it is a set of believes, values and practices which one undertake as an expression of their submission to their lord, Allah and through this they gain peace, tranquillity and success. So to define Islam we must understand three different elements of Islam:

  • The believes,
  • The Values, and
  • The practices

Of course a closer look at these three will reveal that what Islam really means is that it is a complete code of life which dictates the living of those who believe in it. In other words, Islam is a way of life that Muslims follow, or in the context of many Muslims today, suppose to follow. So to speak about Islam, its believes, values and practices, is to speak of all aspect of human life, issues that affects humanity on a daily basis. Such discussions will be long and will require huge amount knowledge, resources and thinking. In fact, it would be fair to say that such discussions in any one collection is almost impossible. For this reasons here I shall restrict defining Islam in terms of looking at its some of the most fundamental believes resulting in some of the core values and the subsequent implications in life, the most common practices.

[To be continued]

1 comment:

Kalam said...

Salam,
Thanks, please complete the chapter with any new ideas you may have in this regard. It will be useful if you provide us with some quotations from other scholars in their definition of Islam.