Happiness is a common goal that everyone strives to attain.
Philosophers, intellectuals, doctors and artists alike have all strived in
search of the causes of happiness and ways to escape anxiety.
The reality is, however, that the proposed solutions achieve only partial or
superficial happiness. They are more or less like drugs which only provide
temporary relief; when their effect wares off, anxieties return two fold.
The following words invite you to ultimate happiness and will lead you to
true success. But before you begin reading, I hope that you to take a moment
to try to open your heart and mind - as the intelligent one is he who
searches for the truth no matter where it lies.
An undeniable reality is that permanent happiness cannot be achieved except
by believing in God - The Creator - and following His guidance. Since it is
He who created mankind, He is the one who knows what pleases and benefits
them, just as he knows what saddens and harms them. A number of
psychologists have affirmed that only a religious person lives with true
content and serenity. So if believing in God leads to ultimate happiness,
then how can this be achieved?
There are numerous religions and a variety of creeds. However, their
critical differences in core issues make it impossible for all of them to be
correct. So which is the correct religion? What is the correct creed that
God requires us to believe in and in the end pleases Him? And which one of
these creeds guarantees us happiness in this life and in the hereafter?
Before answering these questions, a criterion must first be established to
be used as a basis for correctly determining the true religion. I firmly
believe that all sensible people will agree that a religion is not deemed
correct simply due to the fact that one was raised in that religion, had
parents that adhered to it, or lived in a society that practiced it. Rather
a religion's accuracy and authenticity are based upon substantial evidence
and firm intellectual proofs. Intellect, the distinguishing factor between
mankind and animals, must be applied when studying the issue of religion,
which is undeniably the most important and gravest of all matters.
A short journey into the world of religions and sifting through various
creeds could prove to be a good method in arriving at the desired
conclusion. In order to save you the time and effort, I say with full
conviction and confidence that no matter how much you investigate this
issue, you will only arrive at one reality: that the true and correct
religion is Islam and that true happiness and content lies within it.
Before you hastily rebut this statement and stop reading, please realize
that completing the rest would not harm you at all, and it may in fact
benefit you. Also, remember that you have an intellect by which you can
distinguish things and determine truth from falsehood.
This is an important question, indicating that the questioner is mature and
enlightened. In response I say:
Islam is a religion that includes a number of merits and characteristics
that are absent from other religions. These characteristics, alone, serve as
convincing evidence that Islam is the true religion of God. You can
determine the authenticity of this statement by contemplating them.
Islam's many merits and characteristics make it
impossible to elaborate on all of them. However, some of the most important
can be summarized as follows:
1. Amongst the greatest merits of Islam is that
it fulfills the spiritual aspects of the human being and enables those who
embrace it to have an ongoing connection with God. This makes it possible
for them to be at ease spiritually. It shields them from chaos, being lost
or feeling (spiritually) empty, and protects from mental instability.
2. Another of Islam’s merits is that it
coincides totally with common sense. All of the Islamic legislation and its
rulings are acceptable intellectually and are never contradictory. One man
who embraced Islam was asked why he did so and replied, "Islam never ordered
me to do anything that I later wished wasn't obligated, and it never forbade
me from anything that I later wished wasn’t forbidden."
Much of what is readily accepted in other religions causes great confusion.
This confusion makes it difficult to believe many of the fundamental
tenets/doctrines that these religions are based upon. On the other hand, we
find that Islam respects the intellect, prohibits ignorance, and condemns
3. Islam is an all-inclusive way of life
attending to both spiritual and physical needs. Practicing Islam does not
mean that one has to be secluded or that he is prohibited from the finer
things in life. Rather, according to Islam, a person can be religious and
still enjoy a normal life - attaining prestigious ranks/positions and
achieving the highest academic degrees.
4. Among the merits of Islam is that it is a
comprehensive religion. Every aspect of a person’s life is managed by Islam.
There is not a problem except that a solution for it lies in Islam, which
makes it possible to embrace and practice in every time and place. How can
this not be the case in such a well organized religion that has guidelines
and positive instruction for every aspect of life including: conflict
resolution, buying and selling, social and marital relations, greetings,
public etiquettes, and even how a person eats, sleeps and dresses. These
practices have not been addressed generally, but rather in precise detail,
causing the mind to wonder in amazement. Know that Islam even provides
direction on how to wear and remove footwear. It encourages people to use
their right hand when eating, drinking, shaking hands, and when giving and
receiving items. As for disliked affairs such as using the bathroom, the
left hand is to be used.
Islam also has wonderful instructions regarding going to sleep and waking
up. When two Muslims meet, Islam directs them on how they should greet each
other; a rider should initiate greeting the pedestrian, the youth should
initiate greeting the elderly, and a small group should initiate greeting a
larger group. These are but a few of Islam’s many comprehensive guidelines
for all aspects of life.
5. Another of Islam’s merits is that it
establishes good for mankind in all its regulations and safeguards them from
evil. It is man himself who benefits from these regulations. Islam's
prohibition of alcohol and drugs for example is only because of the great
harm they cause to a person's physical and mental health. You can witness
the state of a drunken man, no longer human except in appearance. A lot of
murders, disputes, traffic accidents and rapes would not have taken place
were it not for consuming these mind-altering products.
Islam's prohibition of premarital sex relieves societies of destructive
diseases (such as AIDS and other STDs), immoral behavior, and the existence
of a generation of illegitimate children. This generation is often deprived
of a mother’s love and a father’s upbringing which can lead them to become
burdensome on society. Islam prohibits women from displaying themselves
publicly. This is because Islam considers women to be valued, preserved
pearls; not some cheap merchandise to be displayed for all to see. It does
so to protect them from the wolves of mankind - those who are only concerned
with satisfying their lusts, even if it is at the cost of a woman’s honor,
nobility, status, and purity.
On the other hand, Islam permits all harmless and beneficial drinks. It also
permits married couples to enjoy one another within a happy home.
In summary, Islam has not eliminated freedoms and desires. Rather, it
regulates them for the benefit of mankind and the society at large.
6. A radiant aspect of Islam is that it pays a
great deal of attention to values, character, and praiseworthy manners,
while prohibiting mankind from oppression, transgression and bad character.
Islam is a religion of love, unity and mercy. It defines an individual’s
relationship with his parents, relatives, neighbors, friends and all people.
Islam embeds the best of manners in those who embrace it and prevents them
from living selfishly. It encourages its followers to help others and take
others' feelings into consideration - especially the poor, orphans, elderly
and widows. They all have rights in Islam that must not be taken lightly by
Muslims. Muslims shouldn’t feel like they are bestowing favors upon others
when giving them their due rights, rather these rights are obligations upon
Muslims. It is considered to be a great sin in Islam for one to go to sleep
with a full stomach knowing that his neighbor is hungry.
Islam even prohibits two people from whispering to each other in the
presence of a third, taking his feelings into consideration. Islam goes even
further than that, obligating kind treatment to animals and prohibiting
harming them. More specifically, Islam prohibits slaughtering an animal
while another watches, or sharpening a knife while it is watching, so that
it is not tormented along with being slaughtered.
Truthfulness, trustworthiness, bravery, generosity, humility, abiding by
promises, visiting the sick, attending funerals, being dutiful to parents,
visiting relatives and neighbors, and striving to help others are all
etiquettes that are encouraged by Islam.
On the other hand, Islam strictly prohibits oppression, lying,
conceitedness, envy, and insulting or betraying others. It is impermissible
in Islam to speak ill of a person in his absence, even if what is being said
is true. Islam encourages people to moderate in spending, being neither
excessive nor misers.
During times when a lot of societies complain about cold heartedness,
materialism, selfishness and so on, we find that Islam has proven remedies
for all of these problems.
This summarized introduction should make it clear that Islam is a logical
religion that can be easily understood by all people. The doors to Islam are
wide open and do not shut for anyone looking to enter.
Understanding all of Islam's teachings in a short article is impossible.
However, briefly discussing some of its fundamental tenets should assist in
further clarifying the religion for those who are interested.
All of Islam’s regulations and teachings are important, but some have
precedence over others. There are six essential articles of faith that one
must believe in, and five pillars that one's faith must be built upon.
As for the six articles that must be believed in:
1. Believing in Allah (God) alone, associating
no partners unto Him in worship. This is done by believing that Allah alone
is the Creator of this universe and everything that is within it, and that
it is He alone who disposes its affairs as He sees fit. Consequently,
worship can only be offered to Him alone. Worship is implementing the
teachings of Islam and its legislation while believing that all other
religions are false.
2. Believing in the angels. Angels were created
by Allah but we can not see them. They worship Allah and never disobey Him.
Allah orders them to carry out many of the universe's affairs. The angel
Gabriel, for example, (peace be upon him) delivers Allah’s revelation to the
messengers. Another is Mikayeel (peace be upon him), who is entrusted with
the affairs of rain. Still there are other angels responsible for writing
the deeds of mankind - deeds which they will be held accountable for on the
Day of Resurrection. It is essential to believe that all of the angels act
solely upon the order of Allah and do only what He wills.
3. Believing in the Books of Revelation. This
means to believe that Allah revealed books to His servants comprising of His
words. These books contain bliss for mankind by clarifying what Allah is
pleased with as well as what He dislikes. The Angel charged with delivering
revelation to the Prophets is Gabriel (peace be upon him) - the greatest of
angels. A prophet then conveys the revelation to the rest of mankind.
Allah has revealed many books, amongst them: The Torah, revealed to Moses
(peace be upon him), The Psalms, revealed to David (peace be upon him), The
Gospel, sent down to Jesus (peace be upon him) and the Quran, which was
revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him).
One must believe that the Quran has abrogated all books prior to it, meaning
that - after the Prophet (Muhammad) was sent - it is the only book that can
be acted upon, especially since the Quran combines all the merits of past
books and further supplements them.
Know that the Quran is from the greatest evidences that this religion is the
truth revealed by Allah (God) the Most High. The Quran was revealed over
1400 years ago. Since then till this day, no contradictions or mistakes have
been found in the Quran, not even in a single word. Many of the scientific
discoveries of modern times were mentioned in the Quran. Since that time
until today, nothing has been added to or subtracted from the Quran, while
previous revelations have been tampered with and altered.
It is for this reason that you can pick up a copy of the Quran in the far
East and find it to be exactly the same as one you pick up in the far West.
If you were to come across a copy of the Quran that is hundreds of years
old, you would also find that it is exactly the same as the one being
printed currently - you wouldn’t be able to find even one letter that is
different. This is because of Allah’s protection of this Book, the Book of
the religion that sealed all other religions.
Speaking about the Quran would take a lot of time. However, it is enough for
you to know that there is nothing like it whatsoever; not by way of
(literary) style, its effect on people, nor its information about the
4. Believing in the Prophets. This is done by
believing that Allah has chosen the best of mankind to be recipients of His
revelation and ordered them to convey His religion to the people. There are
numerous Prophets, among them are: Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Lot,
Joseph, Moses and others (peace be upon all of them). Also from them is
Jesus. It is imperative to believe that he is among the best of Prophets and
to love and respect him. Whoever despises him or denies his prophethood is
not Muslim. Likewise it is compulsory to believe that Allah created him from
a mother only, with no father, just as Allah created Adam with neither a
mother nor a father.
Having mentioned this, we now know that Jesus is a noble messenger and not
God, nor is he a son of God. He foretold the coming of a prophet to come
after him; Muhammad ibn (the son of) Abdullah, the last of the prophets.
Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him) was sent 1400 years ago. It is
compulsory for everyone who comes after him until the Day of Judgment to
believe in him and his message, and obey his orders and prohibitions.
All those who studied the biography of this messenger have agreed that he is
a great personality who has been bestowed with the best of manners and most
noble etiquettes. He had characteristics which were not present in anyone
before him and will not be present in anyone after him. Anything that you
read about him, no matter how small it is, confirms what I am saying.
Allah has also granted him proofs and evidences that establish the
authenticity of his prophethood, thus having doubt in this fact is
intellectually impossible. Having been given such proofs and evidences of
his prophethood, whoever denies his truthfulness, would make it impossible
for that individual to establish the truthfulness of any other prophet.
5. The Last Day. This is fulfilled firmly
believing that after this life of ours is over, there is another more
complete life. In it, there are immense rewards and magnificent luxuries, as
well as punishment. Luxury is in Heaven and punishment in Hell. So whoever
is righteous and believes in the religion of Islam enters Heaven, a place
that contains untold pleasure and unimagined bliss. All the luxuries on
earth cannot be compared to it at all. Whoever enters Heaven will continue
to live in such luxuries for eternity as death does not exist therein.
As for those who act upon evil and do not believe in Islam, they would end
up in Hell, which contains fires and punishment that can not be imagined,
all of the fires of earth and forms of punishment cannot be compared to the
punishment of the hellfire at all.
The existence of punishment and reward after this life is an issue that is
intellectually acknowledged, because it is impossible for this world to
exist and then just diminish into nothingness. This is trifling about, and
our Lord, the Creator, does not engage in such activities.
6. Believing in Divine Decree. This is to
believe that everything that happens in this world is due to Allah’s
knowledge and will. Nothing except what He wills takes place, and what He
does not will, does not take place. Allah has written everything in a great
book (The Preserved Tablet). Believing in divine decree also includes
believing that Allah created everything.
As for the five pillars that must be practiced:
1. Uttering a phrase that is the key to
entering into Islam. It is a contract between a servant and his Lord,
signifying that he is upon this religion:
“Ashhadu an la ilaha ila Allah, wa ashadu ana Muhammad ‘abduhu wa rasuluhu.”
“I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and
that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.”
This testimony signifies the acceptance, admission, and adherence to the
fact that worship must be offered to Allah alone. It also includes the
acceptance of Islam as the only correct religion, Allah as the only true
deity deserving worship, and that all other deities and religions are false.
The second part of the testimony entails an affirmation that Muhammad is the
Messenger of Allah and that he is to be obeyed and believed in all that he
2. The Prayer. It is a combination of
statements, actions and invocations carried out in a specific manner. It is
performed five times daily and doesn’t take much time at all. In fact, a
prayer may not take more than five minutes. Prayer is the link between a
servant and his Lord. It enables a Muslim to be confident, mentally and
spiritually at rest, calm and untroubled.
3. The Zakaat. A wealthy Muslim must give a
small portion of his money to the poor, 2.5% of his wealth to be exact. Even
though it is a small amount, it enables the Muslim community to be
conciliated and merciful amongst each other. It propagates brotherhood, love
and concern amongst Muslims. And again, Zakaat is only to be given out by
the wealthy, not the poor.
4. Fasting. What is meant by fasting is that a
person withholds from eating, drinking and sexual relations during the month
of Ramadan [which is the 9th month of the lunar calendar] between dawn and
sunset. The sick, travelers, and those with valid excuses are pardoned from
fasting. They are permitted to eat and drink but must make up the missed
days once they become able.
Fasting has many health, personal, and social benefits. Amongst them are:
giving the digestive system a break, allowing Muslims to grow spiritually
and practice good mannerisms. It enables Muslims to be conscious of their
needy brothers and sisters, those who are unable to find enough food to
satisfy their needs throughout the year. Consequently, the Muslims humble
themselves and strive to help them.
5. Hajj. It is a form of worship that must be
performed only once in a lifetime, in Makkah. Those who are physically
incapable or not financially able to perform it are pardoned from doing so.
Hajj contains many magnificent benefits; the gathering of Muslims from all
around the globe in one place getting to know each other and displaying love
for one another, not to mention what a Muslim achieves by way of spiritual
purification and character refinement due to experiencing such a spiritual
environment in the shade of Hajj.
Hopefully what has preceded is sufficient in clarifying - in a summarized
fashion - some of the merits of Islam. I invite all who have not yet entered
into the fold of Islam to listen to a sincere invitation from one who only
wants good for you: save yourself before death takes you by surprise, and
thus you die upon other than Islam - what a great loss that is!
Do you know what dying upon other than Islam means? It means that you would
enter the Hellfire, abiding therein for eternity. This is what Allah has
warned all those who die without embracing Islam. So why would you take a
chance with an issue as grave as this?
I’m going to ask you a question that I want you to answer honestly:
What would you lose if you embraced Islam?
If you embrace Islam, you can continue living your normal ordinary life, but
in a more spiritual, organized, and pleasant fashion…and after death,
tremendous delight and eternal pleasure await you.
If you have reached a level of conviction, believing that Islam is the true
religion, but fear that embracing Islam would prevent you from enjoying
pleasures that you cannot live without, then compare these temporary
pleasures with eternal pleasure. Which of the two should be given
Furthermore, you can embrace Islam and then gradually try to reduce such
pleasures. And if you were to honestly invoke Allah, He would surely aid you
in leaving them. In any case, embracing Islam and having shortcomings is
better than not embracing Islam at all.
If the barrier between you and Islam is due to having a weak personality,
the inability to make such a big decision, or because you fear that people
may talk about you or mock you, know that these are just unrealistic
thoughts. You would not be the first person to embrace Islam; a lot of
others have made the decision to do so. They did not lose anything, their
lives were not ruined, nor do they have any regrets. Furthermore, does it
make sense that you sacrifice your own well being and happiness in this life
and in the hereafter just because you fear mockery or admonishment?
This affair is worthy of your time. Contemplate upon it deeply.
My last words: Do not lose yourself! I ask Allah to bless you with true
One who wishes only the best for you,
Dr. Saleh Abdul Azeez As Sindee.