Indeed all praises are due to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help, we ask for His forgiveness, and we rely solely on Him. We seek His refuge from the evil in our souls and from our wicked deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide. And whomever Allah misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, He is One, with no partners, and I testify that Mohammad (pbuh)1 is His Messenger and His slave.
ISLAM IS A COMPLETE WAY OF LIFE. It is based on the guidance provided by Allah (swt), who is the Creator of the Universe. It covers all aspects of life, it tells us Purpose of our creation, our place among other creatures, our Final Destiny. It shows us way to conduct ourselves publicly and privately, It shows us way to deal with social, political, moral and spiritual affairs, It teaches us economics and transactions, It teaches us governance and administration.
ISLAM INCLUDES BELIEFS AND SYSTEM OF LAWS, where Allah (swt) is the Legislator (الحاكم), and He defined for us laws pertaining to life on earth, and His Messengers came to us to tell us what is Halal and what is Haram, and how to interact with people, their rights and duties, morals and good manners. Thus, it include every aspect that we needed to know that Allah (swt) declared it to be perfect religion:
Root of word “Islam”
The word Islam comes from Arabic root س ل م which means submission and obedience:
فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ وَالأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ
3:20 “So if they argue with you, say, "I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me." And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, "Have you submitted yourselves?" And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.”
Complete Submission to Allah’s Commands
TOTAL SUBMISSION: Thus, true submission means that we completely surrender to the commands of Allah, and we fully accept the guidance that He sent down via His messenger without any hesitation and resistance against it.
SUBMITTING TO OTHER THAN ALLAH LEADS TO ضلالة MISGUIDANCE: Following any guidance other than what Allah (swt) sent will inevitably lead to misguidance ضلالة. When one reject Allah’s commands and submits to commands of any other, for any number of given reason, he set himself to eventually fail. And that not only he fails himself, he leads other people to fail with him. This compromises of following areas:
Do not follow desires of yourself:
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ28:50 “And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.”
أَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا - أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا25:43 “Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him?” 25:44 “Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except like livestock [animals]. Rather, they are [even] more astray in [their] way.”
Do not follow desires and opinion of those who do not know:
وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ5:49 “And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their vain desires..”
إِنَّ هُدَى اللّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَى وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ2:120 Say, "Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance." If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper
ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاء الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ“45:18 Then We put you, [O Muhammad], on an ordained way concerning the matter [of religion]; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know”
Do not blindly follow forefathers:
(Also, Younus 10:78, Al-Ambiya 21:53, Az-Zukhruf 43:23-25, Luqman 31:21-23, 2:166-167)
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ قَالُواْ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ“2:170 And when it is said to them, "Follow what Allah has revealed," they say, "Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing." Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?”
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ“5:104 And when it is said to them, "Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger," they say, "Sufficient for us is that upon which we found our fathers." Even though their fathers knew nothing, nor were they guided?”
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ“5:105 O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do”
Do not submit to any other than Allah:
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ“And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.”
Do not submit to any other Deen:
Total Submission means that after the True Guidance of Allah (swt) has arrived then its is only befitting to this Guidance that we reject any thing that conflicts with this True Guidance:
أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ3:83 “So is it other than the Deen of Allah they desire, while to Him have submitted [all] those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned?”. Means reject any other Deen other than Allah’s Deen
فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىَ لاَ انفِصَامَ لَهَا2:256… So whoever disbelieves in taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it
THERE BE NO RESISTANCE AGAINST ALLAH’S COMMANDS: Thus, once we learned that this is the true order of Allah (swt) or this is true instructions from Muhammad (pbuh), we submit to it with any resistance in our heart.
فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىَ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيمًا4:65 “But no, by your Lord, they will can have no Faith, until they make you [O’ Muhammad] judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept [them] will full submission.”
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا33:36 “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decisions. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.
The word “Deen” دين…
Deen can be defined as a way of life, a system of beliefs, moral principles, social justice, and behaviour in every walk of life, accountability from Supreme Authority, reward and punishment based on obedience.
Deen of Islam can be defined as believing in Allah as Supreme Authority, submitting to His Authority, giving him total obedience by living with code of conduct defined by Him, and inevitable accountability towards the end from Allah (swt), resulting in reward in paradise or punishment in hell fire.
- Al-Mawdudi defines word Deen2 as following: In Arab tongue word “Deen” was used in following ways:
- Dominance on the part of someone in authority
- Obedience or worship by submitting to a authority
- Laws, rules, regulations or code imposed that are required to be observed because of above two
- Calling to account, passing judgement, and pronounce judgement reward or punishment based on above law and authority.
- In Quranic Terminology, it’s defined to as:
- Sovereignty and supreme authority
- Obedience and submission to such authority
- The system of thought and action established through the exercise of that authority, and
- Retribution meted out by the authority, in consideration of loyalty and obedience to it, or rebellion and transgression against
- Deen as Comprehensive System
Mawdudi further explained the word Deen in following sense3:
“Deen” as Allah’s Authority and Obedience to Him
In this sense, Deen is to accept Allah as Sovereignty and supreme authority & Obedience and submission to such authority:
- Allah (swt) is the Supreme Authority which requires complete and unquestioning obedience and submission. All Ibadah is exclusive for Allah,
هُوَ الْحَيُّ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ40:65 He is the Ever-Living; there is no deity except Him, so call upon Him, [being] sincere to Him in Deen. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
- Making Deen exclusive for Allah means, no one else should be given this authority
أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ – إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ فَاعْبُدِ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ39:2-3 Verily We have sent down to you (0' Muhammad) Book, with Truth; therefore, make your Deen exclusive for Allah, and give your Ibadah to Him alone. Hark! Deen pertains exclusively to Him (and Him alone).
- Any obedience to other than Allah should only be in conformance and obedience to the Commands of Allah and by remaining within the Limits of His defined religion.
3:83 So is it other than the religion of Allah they desire, while to Him have submitted [all] those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned?
- Thus, when son obeys father, wife obeys husband, slave obeys master or any other manifestation of obedience should be in pursuance of Allah’s obedience and pleasure in accordance to total submission to Allah. This is then pure act of Ibadah
- However, if such obedience requires breaking the criterion defined by Allah and they are in disobedience to Allah or his Messenger, then they amount to sin, and rebellion against Allah's Commands.
قُلْ إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ39:11 Say (O Mohammad): "I have been bidden to give my 'ibadah to Allah, making my Deen exclusive to Him,
وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَنْ أَكُونَ أَوَّلَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ39:12 and bidden to be the first of His obedient-servants."…
قُلِ اللَّهَ أَعْبُدُ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ دِينِي39:14 Say (O' Mohammed): "It is Allah to Whom I give my ‘Ibadah, making my Deen exclusive for Him; (and as for you,) give yours to whoever or whatsoever you may wish to give it to (if you will not listen to me but wish to continue in your wrong ways)"
َالَّذِينَ اجْتَنَبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ أَن يَعْبُدُوهَا وَأَنَابُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَى فَبَشِّرْ عِبَادِ- 39:17 And as for those who are careful and wise enough not to give their ‘Ibadah to Taghoot, and who turn to Allah alone, there (surely) are glad tidings for them.
“Deen” as System & Laws, & Allah is The Legislator
In this sense, Deen is the system of thought and action established through the exercise of above authority:
- Here the word Deen has been used to mean the laws, rules or regulations, i.e. Shariah, or code of conduct, or that system of thought and action which a person subscribes to and lives by.
- If the ultimate authority for the law or code, etc., which is followed, is God Himself, then the person concerned in observing Allah's Deen;
- if it owes us itself to the commandments of a monarch, then he is in the monarch's Deen;
- if it is prescribed by some priests or pundits or other religious leaders then he is observing their Deen; and
- if it has been laid down by the family, the clan or the tribe, or the national body-politic, then he is following their Deen.
- In other words, the basic, critical factor as to the Deen a person follows is the ultimate authority responsible for it.
- The Daleel (evidence) for this sense are many:
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِن كُنتُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِّن دِينِي فَلَا أَعْبُدُ الَّذِينَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَلَـٰكِنْ أَعْبُدُ اللَّـهَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ ۖ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ - وَأَنْ أَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ10:104-105 Say, [O Muhammad], "O people, if you are in doubt as to my Deen – then I do not worship those which you worship besides Allah; but I worship Allah, who causes your death. And I have been commanded to be of the believers. And [commanded], 'Direct your face toward the Deen, inclining to truth, and never be of those who associate others with Allah
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ… Legislation is not but for Allah. He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct Deen, but most of the people do not know
الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِئَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ24:2 The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the Deen of Allah, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَات وَالأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَقَاتِلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَآفَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ كَآفَّةً وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ9:36 Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct Deen, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاء شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ42:21 Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a Deen to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.
لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ109:6 For you is your Deen, and for me is my Deen.
“Deen” as Accountability & Reward
In this sense, Deen is retribution meted out by the authority, in consideration of loyalty and obedience to it, or rebellion and transgression against it:
- Here the word Deen has been used to imply both the final reckoning when men shall have been raised from the dead as well as the reward or punishment which will follow.
إِنَّمَا تُوعَدُونَ لَصَادِقٌ - وَإِنَّ الدِّينَ لَوَاقِعٌ -51:5 Indeed, what you are promised is true. 51:6 And indeed, the recompense is to occur.
أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ - فَذَٰلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ -107:1 Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense? 107:3 And does not encourage the feeding of the poor
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ - ثُمَّ مَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ - يَوْمَ لَا تَمْلِكُ نَفْسٌ لِّنَفْسٍ شَيْئًا ۖ وَالْأَمْرُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلَّـهِ -82:17 And what can make you know what is the Day of Recompense? 82:18 Then, what can make you know what is the Day of Recompense? 82:19 It is the Day when a soul will not possess for another soul [power to do] a thing; and the command, that Day, is [entirely] with Allah.
“Deen” - Comprehensive understanding
- In this sense, Deen is a complete package – a code to life our lives with:
- Here word Deen stands for the complete way of life, including man's beliefs, his moral principles, and his behaviour in all walks of life
- The right and proper way of life intended by God for man is that founded on obedience to Him and conformity to His Laws.
- Any other way of life, based on someone else's supposed right to ultimate authority and submission to it, has not the slightest place in Allah's scheme for man and is hence as wholly unacceptable to Him.
- And this is but natural. Man is God's creature and lives in His Domain and God is his Master and Sustainer. How then, can God be expected to consent that man may spend his life in obedience to someone else similarly His creature and dependent, and look to that someone for guidance?
- The Daleel (evidence) for this sense are many:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ3:19 Indeed, the Deen in the sight of Allah is Islam
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ3:85 And whoever desires other than Islam as Deen – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers
قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ9:29 Fight those people who do not believe in Allah, nor in the Day of Judgement, nor do they treat as forbidden that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Prophet, and who do not make the true Deen their Deen; fight them until they decide to submit and agree to pay the 'jizya
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ9:33 It is He-Allah-Who sent his Messenger with true Guidance, and with the True Deen to make it triumph over other Deens, caring naught what annoyance this may cause to those who associate others with Him
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلّه8:39 And continue the fight against them until all mischief is effectively destroyed and the only Deen holding away is Allah's Deen and none other
- (pbuh) is commonly used abbreviation for peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
- “Four Quranic Terms” Abu Ala Al-Mawdudi
- Ibid. Summarized from commentary of Al-Mawdudi.