Sat, Nov 27, 2021

General Characteristics of Islam


  • 08/15/2021 - by AdAlberto Assad

A proper way to look at Islam is to consider it as a system. Islam is not just a scattered set of beliefs and practices, nor a certain number of formalities lacking a unifying spirit, but it is a complete system revealed by God to provide guidance and direction for all aspects of human life.

There are 3 main characteristics of Islam: spirituality, rationality, and the pursuit of justice.

Spirituality:

Islam encourages its followers to go beyond the material issues of everyday life and choose, after searching, the real nature of human existence and its relationships with the hidden world and the spiritual world.

Rationality:

Islam regards reason as one of the greatest blessings with which God graced human beings. It is through the intellect that we understand ourselves and the world around us; It is through reason that we realize the need to investigate our origin and the one who created us.

The Search for Justice:

God is just and never does anything unjust or contrary to the criterion of justice. Divine Justice is inferred by reason and confirmed by Revelation

… ”And we will install the justice scales for Judgment Day. No one will be disappointed in the least… ” (46)

It is everyone's duty to implement Justice both in their individual and social life. A Muslim is one who is fair to himself (49), to his wife and children (50), and to everyone, including his enemies (51).

THE PRACTICES OF ISLAM

Prayer (as Salat)

The main acts of worship of God by Muslims, from the moment they reach puberty (delimited by religion), is that they must perform five daily prayers (as-salat). In order to begin the prayer, they  must first perform ablution and then move towards Mecca and set the intention that the specific prayer of the moment is about to be performed in order to get closer to God.

Daily prayers are the most important form of worship and remembrance of the Lord. Says the Holy Quran:

“… And perform the prayer. By the way, prayer avoids obscenity and the execrable. And the memory of God is greater ... "(3)

Fasting (as Sawm)

The second act of worship is fasting in the month of Ramadan, the ninth of the Islamic calendar. In this month, every Muslim who has reached puberty abstains from eating, drinking and sexual activity from dawn to dusk. Like any other act of worship, fasting must be performed with a pure intention; that is, it must be performed solely by God to achieve closeness to Him. Along with achieving intimacy with God and achieving His satisfaction, there are many other benefits of fasting, such as strengthening one’s own will; reminding people of God's blessings such as the food they enjoy every day that they cannot appreciate enough; reminding them of the hunger and thirst of Judgment Day; helping the wealthy to understand what the poor experience in order to awaken in them a feeling of benevolence and cordiality; and weakening our appetites and low desires and allowing rational understanding and spiritual awareness to flourish.

 The Pilgrimage to Mecca (Al Hajj)

Every Muslim who has reached puberty and is physically and financially capable, must make the Pilgrimage to Mecca, even once in his life, in the month of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. This Pilgrimage is very much a symbolic reconstruction of what Prophet Abraham (P) did in this very place around four thousand years ago and is full of unforgettable experiences, among them, selflessness, brotherhood, equality and simplicity. Every year millions of Muslims from different continents leave their homes, their families, their occupations, and everything that is dear to them. All there are present in the same places, at the same time, all wearing the same clothes and performing the same rites. The rich and the poor, the king and the common people, the nobility and the plebs, must all stand shoulder to shoulder and wear two pieces of white garment.

The Charity:

Giving alms is highly obligatory in the Holy Quran, and in Islamic tradition, and the reward for performing acts of charity is enormous.

"... Take alms from their property to cleanse and purify them ..." (11)

Jihad or Effort in the Cause of God

Every Muslim should tenaciously fight and strive for the cause of God in different ways to make improvements in the lives of human beings in general and in each individual’s life in particular.

Commend the Good and Prohibit the Bad

There are two acts of worship that every Muslim has to perform whenever applicable. No Muslim can be indifferent to what is happening in the world around him. Part of the social responsibility of each individual is to observe human and religious values.

“… Believers are protectors of each other. Recommend the good, forbid the execrable, observe the prayer, pay the tithe and obey God and his Messenger… ”(25)

Currently, Muslims in our country number more than 900,000 people, a figure that is growing day by day at the national level.

The precepts and values of Islam are the concepts that seduce the followers through their convictions within openness and pluralism.

As Prophet Muhammad said (ByP)

"I leave you my two most precious treasures: The Holy Quran and my descendants."

The Asociación Arabe Argentina Islámica is a Civil Association of a cultural, educational, social, sporting and charitable nature, which does not pursue profit and whose activities cover the entire territory of the Argentine Republic. It is the Administrator of the Islamic Cemetery of the Argentine Republic, open to all Muslims in the country, and in the same way, the Argentine Arab Islamic Institute works with initial, primary and intermediate level education.

Adalberto Assad

Presidente
Asociación Árabe-Argentina Islámica
Argentina