By Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
Why Only Islam?This is a reasonable enough question for one who has not entered Islam, but one who believes in and practices this religion already knows the blessings thathe got because of this religion. There are many reasons for this, which include the following:
Worship of Allah
A Muslim worships One God, Who has no partner and Who has the Most Beautiful Names and the Highest Attributes. Thus, the Muslim’s focus and aim is concentrated, focused on His Lord and Creator; he puts his trust in Him and asks Him for help, patience and support; he believes that Allah is Able to do all things, and has no need of a wife or son. Allah created the heavens and earth; He is the One Who gives life and death; He is the Creator and Sustainer from Whom the slave seeks provision. He is the All-Hearing, Who responds to the supplication of His slave, and from Whom the slave hopes for a response. He is the All-Merciful and All-Forgiving, to Whom the slave turns in repentance when he has committed a sin or fallen short in his worship of Allah. He is the Omniscient and All-Seeing, who knows all intentions and what is hidden in people’s hearts. The slave feels ashamed to commit a sin by doing wrong to himself or to others, because his Lord is watching over him and sees all that he does. He knows that Allah is All-Wise, the Seer of the Unseen, so he trusts that what Allah decrees for him is good; he knows that Allah will never be unjust to him, and that everything that Allah decrees for him is good, even if he does not understand the wisdom behind it.
Effects of Prayer
Prayer has great effects on the soul of the Muslim.It keeps the slave in contact with his Lord; if he enters it in a spirit of devotion and concentration, he will feel tranquil and secure, because he is asking the Most Powerful, Allah (Glorified and Exaltedbe He). For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say: “Let us find relaxation and joy in prayer.” If something distressed him, he would hasten to pray. Everyone who finds himself faced with disaster and tries prayer finds strength, patience and consolation.
Wisdom behind Zakah
Now let us look at Zakat, which is one of the pillars of Islam. Zakat purifies the soul from stinginess and miserliness, and accustoms people to being generous and helping the poor and needy. It will bring a great reward on the Day of Resurrection, just like other forms of worship. It is not burdensome, like man-made taxes; it is only 25 in every thousand, which the sincere Muslim pays willingly and does not try to evade or wait until someone chases him for it.
Wisdom behind Fasting
Fasting involves abstaining from food and sex. It is a form of worship, and a way in which one can feel the hunger of those who are deprived. It is also a reminder of the blessings of the Creator, and it brings rewards beyond measure.
Wisdom behind Hajj
Hajj is the pilgrimage to the sacred House of Allah, which was built by Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him). By performing Hajj, one is obeying the command of Allah and the call to come and meet Muslims from all over the world.
Wisdom behind Islamic Rulings
Islam commands all kinds of good and forbids all kinds of evil. It encourages good manners and proper treatment of others. It enjoins good characteristics such as truthfulness, patience, kindness, humbleness, modesty, keeping promises, dignity, mercy, justice, courage, patience, friendliness, contentment, chastity, good treatment, tolerance, trustworthiness, gratitude for favors, and self-control in times of anger. Islam commands the Muslim to fulfill his duty towards his parents and to uphold family ties, to help the needy, to treat neighbors well, to protect and safeguard the wealth of the orphan, to be gentle with the young and show respect to the old, to be kind to servants and animals, to remove harmful things from the road, to speak kind words, to forgive at the time when one has the opportunity to take revenge, to be sincere towards one’s fellow-Muslims, to meet the needs of the Muslims, to give the debtor time to repay his debt, to prefer others over oneself, to console others, to greet people with a smiling face, to visit the sick, to support the one who is oppressed, to give gifts to friends, to honor his guest, to treat his wife kindly and spend on her and her children, to spread the greeting of peace (salam) and to seek permission before entering another person’s house, lest one see something private that the other person does not want one to see.
Some non-Muslims may do these things out of politeness or good manners, but they are not seeking reward from Allah or salvation of the Day of Judgment.
If we look at what Islam has prohibited, we will find that it is in the interests of both the individual and society as a whole. All these prohibitions serve to safeguard the relationship between the slave and his Lord, and the relationship of the individual with himself and with his fellow-man. The following examples demonstrate this subject:
Merits of Monotheism
Islam forbids the association of anything in worship with Allah and the worship of anything other than Allah, because this spells doom and misery. Islam also forbids visiting or believing soothsayers and fortune-tellers; magic or witchcraft that may cause a rift between two people or bring them together; belief in the influence of the stars on events and people’s lives; cursing time, because Allah is directing its affairs; and superstition, because this is pessimism.
Wisdom behind Islamic Morals
Islam forbids cancelling out good deeds by showing off, boasting or reminding others of one’s favors; bowing or prostrating to anything other than Allah; sitting with hypocrites or immoral people for the purposes of enjoying their company or keeping them company; and invoking the Curse or Wrath of Allah on one another or damning one another to Hell.
Islam forbids the Muslim to raise his voice in prayer, lest it disturb other believers; to continue offering supererogatory prayers at night when one feels drowsy – such a person should sleep then get up; to stay up all night in prayer, especially one night after another; and to stop praying when there is doubt as to the validity of one’s Wudu’ (ablution).
Islam forbids buying, selling and making “lost and found” announcements in the mosque-because it is the place of worship and remembrance of Allah, where worldly affairs have no place.
Islam forbids to boast about the cost of building a mosque; to decorate a mosque with red or yellow paint or adornments which will distract the worshippers; and to fast day after day without a break.
Islam forbids sitting on the graves or taking graves as places of worship. Islam forbids wailing, tearing one’s clothes or leaving one’s hair unkempt when a person dies. Eulogizing the dead in the manner of the times of ignorance (Jahiliyyah) is also forbidden.
Source: Taken from www.islam-qa.com with modifications.