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FaithPractice

The Foundation and Soul of Islam

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FaithPractice

The Foundation and Soul of Islam

Al Aaql and Al-Fitrah are fundamental ways to realize the reality of Al-Tawheed, which means the non-existence of coincidence and that the pathways of our lives do not happen by chance. It is the assurance that our entire lives depend on our relationship with Allah (SWT) alone.

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Al Aaql and Al-Fitrah are fundamental ways to realize the reality of Al-Tawheed, which means the non-existence of coincidence and that the pathways of our lives do not happen by chance. It is the assurance that our entire lives depend on our relationship with Allah (SWT) alone.

“You are the best community (Ummah) raised up for (the benefit of) humanity; enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong and believing in God” (Quran; 3:110).

As a Muslim, I belong to my Ummah (Muslim community). Muslims around the world are like one family from different backgrounds and ethnic groups as the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Believers are like one body in their mutual love and mercy. When one part of a body is in bad health, the rest of the entire body joins it in restlessness and lack of sleep and is busy with its treatment. Likewise, Muslims should run to help each other”.

The purpose of the life of Muslims is to please Allah (SWT) alone as the One God. The religion of Islam is a complete code of life that firmly supports the concept of human well-being and urges every Muslim to behave in a consequential manner. The noblest message of morality is to respect the civil liberties of every individual in society while defining the duties of each person to perform in every aspect of life in order to create and nurture a peaceful and serene environment.

Because of that, Allah (SWT) refers to the Ummah as the best community and enjoining what is right (al-ma’roof) and forbidding what is wrong (al-munkar) is one of the noblest Islamic answerabilities. Therefore, if the Ummah fails to adopt this responsibility, wrongdoing and corruption will spread and we will deserve punishment from Allah (SWT).

Most Muslims know and practice the five pillars of Islam: The Profession of Faith (Shahada); Daily Prayers (Salat); Alms-Giving (Zakat); Fasting during Ramadan (Saum), and Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). However, like any building or structure, these five pillars must have a foundation. According to my personal interpretation, this foundation is like the soul of Islam that makes our faith (Iman) in Allah (SWT) strong. The five pillars of Islam are the body parts that one must know in order to practice our faith with love and thankfulness.

From my own understanding, the two most important elements of the foundation of Islam are Al Eaql and Al-Fitrah. Indeed, in order to prevent us from doing things He has forbidden, such as shedding blood, committing adultery, drinking alcohol, oppressing people and consuming our wealth unlawfully, Allah (SWT) blessed us with Al-Aaql ( for Wisdom) in order to gain awareness about His existence and Al-Fitrah (Goodness) to overcome selfishness and help others.

Al Aaql (Wisdom)

“He grants wisdom to whom He wills; and he to whom wisdom is granted is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding” (Quran; 2:269).

Al Aaql could be considered as the unseen authority of thinking and logic. This is the most beautiful treasure from Allah (SWT) to humanity in order to guide us to find the Truth. Wisdom then reaches useful conclusions and results based on these logical rules, and is a positive term used repeatedly in the Quran as a characteristic of the righteous.

By His Beautiful Name “The Wise One”, Allah (SWT) gives wisdom to people as cited in this Quranic verse. And as the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The wise saying is the lost property of the believer, so wherever he finds it then he has a right to it” (Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi). Therefore, we can gain wisdom if we appreciate knowledge, be open to learning by listening to Islamic lessons, and welcome corrections and discipline. Looking at my travel experiences, we can also gain wisdom by learning from the perspective and experiences of other cultures and religions that can help us better understand Islam. Another way to achieve a state of wisdom is to contemplate nature with a thoughtful heart.

Al-Fitrah (Goodness)

“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. Adhere to the Fitrah of Allah upon which He has created all people” (Quran; 30:30).

Al-Fitrah could be interpreted as a DNA-coded Quran that every human is imprinted with from birth. With reference to this concept, new research findings in the field of human biology show that we may be born to be sociable and have the urge to help. Al-Fitrah could also be considered as the inner voice of an Angel that guides every new-born and child in order to be happy in life by fulfilling the divine purpose they are born for and live eternally in Paradise when the soul leaves the body.

Unfortunately, when we grow up, a second voice emerges to compete with the first naïve one and adults become more selective in helping others and tend to become more selfish. They are more attracted by material comfort to enjoy life, competition between people becomes more prevalent, and crimes and wars are globally evident.

Regarding this second voice, the Quran says: “And Satan will say when the matter has been decided: ‘Verily Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you and you responded to me’” (Quran; 14:22).

Based on this verse, following the hidden voice of Satan is the reason we sometimes ignore following our divine duties. In order to guide us with a warning, Allah (SWT) says: “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for the good which he has earned, and he is punished for that evil which he has earned” (Quran 2: 286). Considering my travel experiences, I encountered both good people and bad people everywhere. This illustrated that goodness doesn’t depend on any particular cultural or religious background.

Al-Tawheed (Oneness of Allah)

“Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, but He forgives anything other than this to whomsoever He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin” (Quran; 4:48).

Al Aaql and Al-Fitrah are fundamental ways to realize the reality of Al-Tawheed, which means the non-existence of coincidence and that the pathways of our lives do not happen by chance. It is the assurance that our entire lives depend on our relationship with Allah (SWT) alone.

In order to help us adopt Al-Tawheed during all our social and professional activities, Allah (SWT) has also revealed His Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names repeatedly in the Holy Quran and in the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Moreover, Allah (SWT) created us with five senses in order to experience the world around us and find His signs.

Indeed, the universe is like a silent Quran with so many marks that show the existence and the Beautiful Names of Allah (SWT). For example, knowing that there are stars billions of light-years from earth is certainly a sign to glorify Him by His Beautiful Name “The Great One”. Watching the beautiful smile of a mother holding her baby is a sign of the Love of Allah (SWT) for all human beings by His Beautiful Name “The Loving One”. Listening to the waves crashing against the cliffs will remind us of His Beautiful Name “The Strong One”. The beauty of nature during spring could be a sign of the magnificence of Heaven and His Beautiful Name “The Glorious One”. Finally, the chilly winter or hot summer could be signs to fear the punishment of hell and His Beautiful Name “The Reckoning One”. Muslims should therefore make efforts to know the meaning of The Beautiful Names of Allah (SWT) and live by them in order to always feel His presence.

Al-Tawakkul (Trust)

“Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” (Quran; 39:9).

Indeed, those who adopt the foundation of Islam have strong faith that Allah (SWT) alone governs everything in the universe behind the visible material world. Therefore, they depend only upon Allah (SWT) and trust Him (Al-Tawakkul). However, Al-Tawakkul means that we should always obey all the divine laws imposed by Allah (SWT) on the universe.

For example, if we are sick, we need first to visit the best doctor possible and, trusting that only Allah (SWT) has the cure, we can give charity and ask Him in invocation to give the doctor the necessary knowledge and wisdom to find the best treatment for us.

In conclusion, following the teachings of Islam and striving to please Allah (SWT) is a constant duty in this short life to prepare ourselves for the everlasting life in Heaven InchaAllah. For this purpose, the foundation of Islam is fundamental to have a strong faith in order to worship Allah (SWT) with love and thankfulness and to be guided to the Straight Path.

First, by following Al-Fitrah, we will enjoy happiness while helping people around us during our social and professional activities. Secondly, Allah (SWT) created us with five senses in order to experience the world around us and find His signs. Indeed, the universe is like a silent Quran with so many marks that show the existence and the Beautiful Names of Allah (SWT). Therefore, by contemplating nature and the universe with El-Aaql, we can perceive signs of the existence of Allah (SWT) and His Beautiful Names. Finally, in order to adopt Al-Tawheed properly, it is fundamental for every Muslim to know The Creator (SWT) through His Beautiful Names.

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