From a pamphlet published by the Islamic Science, Culture, and Art Association, Queen
Street, Auburn, N.S.W. 2144, Australia. Phone/Fax: (02) 9646 2158
Comprehending the Message of Islam
Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad Cosan
(translated from Turkish)
Many people of the world do not know the religion of Islam, or they misunderstand or misinterpret it. The enemies of religion continue obstinately, vindictively, jealously and maliciously, and for personal gain, with their deliberate aversions, deceptions, misleading comparisons, and slander.
But just as "the Sun cannot be plastered over by mud," and as "the liar's candle burns only until the night prayer," sooner or later the truth will become apparent.
But what really astounds us and makes us feel regret is not that non-Muslims, but even some Muslims, do not know the true requirements of Islam, and do not fully comprehend its essence. Both ignorant persons and intellectuals hold illusions about Islam, and practice superstitions and false beliefs.
For example, it is supposed that good morality is comprised of not interfering with the affairs of others, and getting along well with everyone.
But actually Islam is based upon basic principles such as "hubb-i fillah, bugz-i fillah" (liking whom Allah likes, disliking whom Allah dislikes), "emr-i maruf, nehy-i munker" (commanding what is good, forbidding what is evil), and "helping the oppressed and struggling against the oppressor."
It is also supposed that Islamic worship consists of praying, fasting, and holy pilgrimage only.
But in reality, participating in various activities beneficial to others, and eagerly being of service to others earns one many spiritual rewards.
Materialists, for example, try to arrange their lives and activities on the basis of comfort in this world, easy earnings, living it up, and living for pleasure.
Islam, however, teaches us that this world is not a place for comfort, and that it is necessary to sweat for wages, that it is necessary to risk affliction and hardship, that we must take upon the problems of our Muslim brothers, and that we must struggle for our ideals, sacrificing our possessions and lives when necessary.
Muslims have been greatly harmed by such false suppositions; in fact they are still suffering great pain. Let us, then, finally wake up to reality and to the truth. Let us embrace true Islam.
Islam is a prospectus sent to us as a result of the Mercy and Kindness of Allah; it is a "user's manual" presented to us to instruct as how to best use the blessings and opportunities bestowed upon us in order to live in the best and most positive way.
It is a natural religion compatible with the demands of life.
Without believing in and embracing Islam, it is not possible to fully comprehend the meaning of life nor to harmonize with one's environment, nature, and the universe, nor to take advantage of available opportunities. And at the end of life one is both spiritually and physically desperate, and full of regret.
Just as it is the key to happiness in the next world, Islam also holds the key to peace and public tranquility and the key to individual and social, national, and international progress and success.
Islam is not just a spiritual and other-worldly system of religious ceremonies and worship. It is at the same time a complete, flawless and just system pertaining to physical, health, family, social, human, universal, economic, business, military, behavioural, academic, and cultural matters.
Islam is not an ascetic monasterial system cut off from life, this world, the environment, humanity, and human activities.
On the contrary, it is directed towards life, humanity and community, government and the universe, and to the organization of the relationships among these. Islam is an active and dynamic system, a mode of living as Allah wishes, and an exalted, noble, and divine way.
According to Islam, just as one gains spiritual reward for dhikr, prayer, and fasting, one also gains such reward for cleaning one's teeth, bathing, marriage, treating one's family well, honesty in business, politeness and effort in public jobs, truthful witnessing in the courts, just governing, virtuous administration, sincerity in religious struggle, and valour and courage in holy war. (For example, just as one must carry until Doomsday the sin of choosing the wrong political candidate, one will receive endless reward for voting for the proper candidate.)
So let us do every task according to the exalted principles of Islam, taking into consideration the pure and just religion's laws, in a spirit of divine inspiration and with the pleasure and ardour of worship in order that it will be possible as both individuals and as a community to attain happiness and well-being.
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