Muslims: The Moderate Nation:
The chief characteristic of the Islamic concept of life is that it does not recognize a conflict or a separation between the spiritual and the mundane. It does not recognize ritualism, secularism or materialism. For a Muslim, all aspects of life, the spiritual and the material, the State and the religion are interrelated, because everything belongs to Allah and Allah alone. Islam provides definite guidelines for all people to follow in all walks of life: individual, social, moral, governmental, political, economic, spiritual and advocates moderation. This is why the Quran calls the Muslims a "moderate nation."
Source of Islamic Teachings:
The Islamic way of life is based on the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention). The Quran is the basic source of Islamic teaching and law. It is the word of Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. The entire Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad in parts over the 23-year period of his prophethood. Whenever a portion of it was revealed, it was written by his faithful scribes, may Allah be pleased with them, according to his instructions on palm leaves, parchments, bones etc. Moreover, there were tens of thousands of the Prophet's Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, who committed the Quran to memory.
After the death of Prophet Muhammad the first Caliph Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, ordered the collection of the whole Quran in one volume. It was preserved until the third Caliph ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him, prepared several copies and sent them to different Muslim territories. From that time onwards (about 1400 years ago), the same version has been in use with identical words, order and language, without a single addition or deletion. Briefly stated, the Quran is the only remaining authentic Divine Revelation available to humankind today that is distinguished by its clear historical accounts, unquestionable accuracy, indisputable authenticity and complete preservation in the exact language of its Revelation.
The Sunnah consists of the teachings, sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad meticulously reported by his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. It explains and elaborates the Quranic verses.
Islam Is The Religion of Equality:
There is no discrimination in Islam between people on the basis of color, tribe, race, nationality, etc. since all humans descend from one father and one mother: Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, and Eve. Islam teaches that the standard of distinction is righteousness. A verse of the Glorious Quran reads (what means): "Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous." [Quran 49: 13]
Islam Is Your Birthright:
Everybody is born in a state of Fitrah (the inclination to worship One God i.e. pure Monotheism). To accept Islam is not to turn one's back on all the previous Messengers and Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention. In fact, it is a reversion to the original Monotheism in which we are all created. As such, Islam is your "birthright." However, the parents or the community converts the child to other faiths or to atheism.
Criteria for Truth:
Are you following the correct belief system? The criteria for true faith are listed as follows:
1. Rational Teachings: Man is a rational being, hence, he should use both reason and intellect to distinguish truth from falsehood.
2. Perfection: Since Allah is perfect, His Revelation must be perfect without flaw and completely free of any contradiction or error.
3. Scientific: Since Divine Revelation is the absolute truth, it can always withstand the challenge of any kind of knowledge, including human discoveries in the field of science.
4. Inimitable: True Revelation from Allah is an infallible living miracle that cannot be imitated by any being.
5. Worship of One God: True Revelation should teach the worship of One God who has no partner, sharer, associate or helper in His Divinity (i.e., Creatorship, Lordship, Sovereignty or in any of His Divine Attributes).
6. Simple, Clear and Just: True Revelation must be simple, clear and just in order to be readily understood by any one, because all humans are equal in the sight of Allah. His blessings are open to anyone who has the will to obey Him.
To conclude, Islam is not a new religion. It is, in essence, the same message and guidance, which Allah revealed to all His Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention, but only reiterated in its comprehensive, complete and final form. It is a continuation and culmination of all the preceding Revelation, because as we know, their origin is one and the same; A verse of the Glorious Quran reads (what means): "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you, and have approved for you Islam as religion." [Quran 5: 3].
Since it is the final message from Allah that culminates, supersedes and seals all the previous religions, Islam makes it an obligation on every person who clearly hears its Message to accept it and follow it. Another verse of the Glorious Quran says (which means): "And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers." [Quran 3: 86]
Now, Allah has shown you the right path and at the same time conferred upon you freedom of choice and will, whether you accept the message of Islam or not is up to you. May the light of truth shine in our hearts and minds. May it lead us to peace and certitude in this life and eternal bliss in the Hereafter.