The Religion of Islam
Islam is the religion that Allah sent to Muhammad ﷺ and made it the final and most complete religion for His slaves. Allah perfected, in this religion, the bounties that He bestowed on His salves, and accepts only Islam from them.
Islam contains all of what brings benefit, which was also contained, in previous religions. Islam, however, is suitable for implementation anytime, anywhere and by any nation. Allah said to His Messenger ﷺ, what translated means, “And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad ﷺ) the Book (this Qur’aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and dominant over it” [5:48]. The meaning of “suitable for implementation at anytime, anywhere and by any nation,” is that Islam brings only benefit to mankind, whenever and wherever it is implemented. Islam is not under the control, and thus is not to be altered by, any nation living at any given time at any given place, as some people would want it to be.
Pillars of Islamic Belief
Islam, is belief and Laws. Pillars of the Laws are the 5 Pillars of Islam i.e. Shahadah, Establish Salah, Give Zakat, Fast in the month of Ramadan & Perform Hajj (if capable). These pillars are the basis of Islamic Law. As for the Pillars of Belief also called as Islamic ‘Aqeedah (creed), its pillars are:
These pillars are mentioned in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ.
The 5th Pillar of Iman: BELIEF IN THE LAST DAY
Death is one of the few indisputable facts of life. Regardless of faith, race, status or age, we will all die. While the certainty of death is universally accepted, the question of what happens afterwards has been debated throughout history. After all, the enigma of death stumps us. We’ve devised various ways of killing other humans. Yet, despite innumerable technological and medical advances, we still cannot prevent an individual from dying. Furthermore, unlike life which we experience daily, we really don’t have first-hand knowledge of life after death. Aside from some near-death incidents, no one has come back from the dead to tell us what they encountered.
Islam teaches the Muslims through divine guidance (Quran & Sunnah), that one’s life doesn’t end on earth; rather, it is followed by the eternal life of the hereafter. This pamphlet explains how this belief has a major impact on our earthly lives, while instilling hope for healing in a perfect world where Allah’s ultimate justice will prevail.
The Last Day is the Day when mankind will be resurrected to be asked about their deeds and receive reward or punishment for them. It is called “the Last Day,” because it is the last day, no day after that. Afterwards, people of Paradise will permanently reside and take their places in it, and people of Hell will permanently reside and take their places in it.
Why Believe? Believing in the soul and the afterlife is foremost about having faith in the unseen. Just as our souls are intangible beings giving life to our physical bodies, the world we see around us is functioning based on an invisible system created by Allah who is Ever-Watchful and All-Aware. Allah is also Just and He maintains a meticulous record of our deeds. We will be recompensed for our earthly lives in the hereafter where ultimate justice prevails.
Humans naturally seek justice in all aspects of their lives. When a person works, they expect to receive an appropriate salary. When an individual is harmed, they seek compensation. When someone helps another, they anticipate appreciation for their effort. Even though humans strive hard to establish justice, the reality is that this world will never be perfectly just. Many criminals go unpunished while the oppressed are denied basic rights. Do their lives simply dissolve without any accountability or fair dealing?
Allah proclaims in the Quran,
According to Islam, one of the greatest injustices humans can commit is to deny Allah’s existence, add partners to Him or worship worldly ideals or materialistic goals. Islam teaches that Allah is the Creator, Sustainer and Nourisher of every being in the heavens and the earth. As His creation, it is His right that we worship and obey Him. He showers us with His blessings every day out of His love and mercy. Worshiping Him is an expression of gratitude to Allah, and ignoring Him or worshiping others is ungratefulness and a denial of His blessings.
If our man-made judicial systems punish people for committing injustices against other people, it is even more understandable that Allah would punish those who deny Him His rights and commit injustices against His creation. Allah says in the Quran, “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least, and if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account” (21:47).
When you believe in the Last Day, you believe that it is the day when you stand before Allah to be asked by Him why you did those things and why you did not do the other ones. It is the day when Allah asks you why you divorced your wife arbitrarily, why you got married in a way that did not please Allah or why you had an illicit affair. On that day you will be asked about every giving, prohibition, satisfaction or anger that was not for the sake of Allah.
When you are aware of the fact that Allah will ask you about all your deeds, call you to account for whatever you do and punish you for your wrongdoings, you will absolutely become straight on Allah’s path.
It seems that all our lessons revolve around belief in the Last Day.
Belief in Allah and belief in the Last Day are inseparable: Amongst the six pillars of faith, the most amazing inseparable correlation is the one between believing in Allah and believing in the Last Day, because the mere belief in Allah does not oblige man to obey Him, while believing that Allah exists, that He knows everything and that He will call you to account for all your deeds, you will never make man think of disobeying Him.
The disparate connection between “The-Omniscient” and “The-Omnipotent”: Among all of His Beautiful Names, Allah has chosen two names; The-Omniscient and The-Omnipotent to be correlated. He knows whatever you do, and He is able to call you to accounts for your deeds. By Allah when you know that a person you disdain is more powerful than you, you will never disobey him. Also you will never dare to disobey whoever is able to punish you or put you in a difficult situation for any violation you may commit.
An examples given is, if an experienced doctor warns you against eating a certain kind of food that you like, you will definitely follow his command. Is the doctor’s command is more authentic that the one of Allah? If the doctor tells you that salt is bad for your health- you know that food is tasteless without adding salt to it- you will listen to his advice and avoid adding salt to your food. Is the warning of the doctor more fearful than the warning of Allah to you? How ignorant you are!”
So, what’s the Purpose of the Hereafter? Belief in the soul and the afterlife gives a context to our current existence. Those who focus only on this immediate life miss out on the bigger picture. Indeed, they become heedless of their purpose in life. Allah reminds humanity, “The life of this world is merely an amusement and a diversion; the true life is in the Hereafter, if only they knew” (Quran 29:64).
Also imagine if a man murdered one hundred human souls, how can we punish him in this life? Will we be able to murder someone one hundred times to account for each person he harmed? Even if we tried, we cannot establish full justice in this world. There are individuals who have launched unjust wars, killed thousands/millions of people, enslaved, tortured, raped, abused, harassed and viciously harmed others. You can’t fully punish the criminal or fully repay the innocents here.
The hereafter, then, is what makes this life make sense.
None of the injustices, corruption or evil will go without account… and no good deed will go without full reward either:
Now is the time to make the choice, and none of us can withhold our own death or emergence to the Day of Judgement.
The effects of believing in the Last Day:
1. All concepts and standards will change when you believe in the Last Day: When you believe in the Last Day, the way of your thinking changes for the better, and your happiness will be achieved by giving, not taking. Nowadays, most people seek happiness by taking, not giving, by destroying others to make a living, by eating delicious food alone, by living in a prestigious house, by having an expensive car, by having extra marital affairs or physical relations before marriage and by being careless to people, to the difficult situation of young people and to the poverty of the poor. Believing in the Last Day changes all these concepts and makes things different; those who understand the reality ahead of them are aware that their ultimate fate after death is based on their actions in this life. Such individuals are thankful for all the blessings that Allah has given them and humbly worship Him while promoting goodness in all aspects of their lives. When a person embraces such a God-conscious way of life, their purpose extends beyond merely enjoying worldly pleasures.
Their life is one of submission to Allah and they seek to positively contribute to the world around them. All of their transactions with people, even animals and the environment, are rooted in this motivation. They are guided by the certainty that they will one day return to their Creator and be held accountable for their deeds. Although they have the freedom to live according to their whims, they limit their attachment to this brief and imperfect life, seeking an eternal paradise in the hereafter. When you believe in the Last Day, you seek a righteous deed from the very beginning of your day in order to please Allah. You wake up in the morning and say, “O Allah, grant us a good deed which draws us closer to You.” This is how believing in the Last Day changes many things, because it is part of Muslim’s Creed.
2. Preparing for that day: When you believe in the Last Day, you get yourself prepared for it. Similarly, when you believe that there is a final exam at the end of the year which makes one either honored or humiliated, and when you believe that if you pass this exam, you’ll get a high degree, occupy a distinguished position, have high income and get married, you’ll study hard. When you know for sure that this exam is inevitable and that your good job, high income and marriage are dependent on passing it, you do your best to pass it.
Why should we believe in the Last Day? In order to work for that day.
3. How to fulfill the purpose of your existence: Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, believing in the Last Day makes you get yourself prepared to it. It makes you feel that there is a goal in your life which you should achieve. As long as you believe in the Last Day, your main concern will be doing good deeds starting from the beginning of your day till its end in order to please Allah the Almighty, and so achieving the purpose of your existence.
Believing in the Last Day is relieving for your heart and soul, while those who do not believe in it will suffer from melancholy, because they feel that their affairs are in the hand of someone whom they do not like. Whoever does not believe in the Last Day, feels that his life is unbalanced, his heart is full of grudge and that the pressure he is put under is unbearable.
As a believer, your mission is seeking Allah’s satisfaction and believing that all you affairs are in His Hand. Hence, doing righteous deeds makes you happy forever and relieved greatly. The believer is a balanced man who knows that what counts is working for what comes after death.
When you believe in the Last Day, you will spend money, time, experience, knowledge and everything you have in order to please Allah. The belief in the Last Day is a certainty, and has a sweetness. If Allah is by your side, none can be against you, but if He abandons you, none can help you!
If you draws closer to Allah, you will own everything, but if you turn away from Him, you will lose everything. When you believe in the Last Day, whatever you do will be for the Hereafter. You think about it when you make your living, when you study, when you get married and when you have children, because your main goal is pleasing Allah and whatever you do is means to help you achieve this goal. On the other hand, the main concern of whoever disbelieves in the Last Day is the worldly life.
Belief In The Last Day Has Three Parts
As imperfect beings, we often make mistakes and commit wrong actions. While Allah does not expect perfection from us, He calls on us to strive to the utmost to worship Him and to live righteously. Out of His Mercy, Allah pardons whom He wills in the hereafter. Allah promises us in the Quran: “And those who believe and do righteous deeds – We will surely remove from them their misdeeds and will surely reward them according to the best of what they used to do” (29:7).
Muslims seek salvation in the hereafter by living a God-conscious and virtuous life in this world. The fear of accountability in the hereafter, along with hope in the promise of Allah’s ultimate justice, motivates them to orient their present lives around the comprehensive worship of Allah, the true purpose of human existence. In this way, they endeavor in this temporary life for eternal joy.
[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul, return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], and enter among My [righteous] servants, and enter My Paradise.” (Quran, 89:27-30)