Islamic content encyclopedia

أنا مسلم

I Am a Muslim [1]

Author: Dr. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Hamad

I am Muslim, which means my religion is Islam. Islam is such a great and magnificent word that the prophets (peace be upon them) inherited it by succession from the first of them to their last. Islam is a word that bears sublime meanings and magnificent values, as it means submission, compliance and obedience to the Creator. It also denotes peace, safety, happiness, security and comfort for the individual and the community.

Therefore, the words 'salām' (peace) and Islam are the most frequently used words in the Islamic Shariah. As-Salām is one of the names of Allah Almighty, and the greeting that Muslims extend to one another. The greeting of the people of Paradise will be Salām (Peace)! A true Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands Muslims are safe. In fact, Islam is the religion of goodness to all people; it understands them all and is their way to happiness in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. Thus, Islam came as the final religion that is all-inclusive, clear and open for every person, without any discrimination based on race or color, rather it treats all people on an equal footing. In Islam, the superiority of someone over another is based only on the extent to which he commits himself to its teachings.

That is the reason why it is appealing to all sound souls, due to its conformity with the human natural disposition. Every person is born with a natural inclination to good, justice, and freedom, loving his Lord, and acknowledging that He is the only deity worthy of worship apart from anyone else. No one deviates from such a natural inclination unless there is something that caused its alteration. This religion is the one which the Creator, Lord and God has approved for the people.

Islam, my religion, teaches me that I will live in this world, then after death, I will move to another abode, that is the abode of eternity where people's destiny will either be Paradise or Hell.

Islam, my religion, orders me to abide by certain commands and prohibitions. If I fulfill such commands and avoid such prohibitions, I will attain happiness in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. Whereas, if I neglect them, I will incur misery in the life of this world and in the Hereafter, according to the extent of my negligence and failure to comply.

The greatest command Islam ordered me is to believe in the oneness of Allah, For I bear witness and firmly believe that Allah is my Creator and my Deity. I worship none but Allah out of love for Him, fear of His punishment, hope for His reward and reliance upon Him. This is called Tawhīd (monotheism), which is to believe that Allah is One, and that Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) is His Messenger. He is the seal of the prophets whom Allah sent as a mercy to the worlds. He concluded by him all missions of prophethood and divine messages, and there is no prophet after him. He came with a universal religion that is valid for all times, places and people.

My religion firmly commands me to believe in the angels and all the messengers, the head of theming being Nūh (Noah), Ibrāhīm (Abraham), Mūsa (Moses), ‘Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad (peace be upon them).

It commands me to believe in the divine books that were sent down upon the Messengers of Allah, and to follow the last revealed one and greatest of them all, which is the Noble Qur’an.

My religion commands me to believe in the Last Day; where people will be recompensed for their deeds. It also commands me to believe in the Divine Decree, and be content with what is predestined for me in this worldly life of good and evil, and to seek to pursue the means leading to salvation.

Believing in the Divine Decree gives me comfort, reassurance and patience, and saves me from regretting what has previously happened. That is because I know for sure that what has befallen me would never have passed me and what had passed me would never have befallen me, since everything is predestined and decreed by Allah, and I only have to pursue the means, and be content with whatever takes place thereafter.

Islam further commands me to do what purifies my soul of the good deeds and refined morals that please my Lord, purify my soul, make my heart happy, expand my chest, illuminate my path, and make me a member who serves the interests of society.

The greatest of such deeds are believing in the oneness of Allah, establishing the five obligatory prayers every day and night, paying Zakah (obligatory charity) fasting on the month of Ramadan every year, and performing Hajj in Makkah for whoever can afford it.

From the best means of comforting the spirit to which my religion has guided me is to recite the Qur’an frequently. The Qur’an is the word of Allah and the most truthful, beautiful, magnificent, and majestic speech, as it includes knowledge of the past and later nations. Reciting and listening to the Qur’an inspire tranquility, serenity and happiness to the heart, even if the reciter or listener is a non-Muslim or someone who does not know Arabic.

Also, one of the greatest reasons for attaining comfort of the heart is supplicating Allah Almighty most frequently, resorting to Him and asking Him for all one's needs, be they small or big, for Allah Almighty responds to those who supplicate to Him and worship Him sincerely.

[1] A word written for introducing Islam.