It is imperative that we strive to know Islam. Allah’s Messenger (may Allah exalt his mention) who was sent to the whole mankind, encouraged us to acquire knowledge of Islam in order to comprehend it. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: “Those who were the best in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance will be the best in Islam provided they comprehend the religious knowledge.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
‘Abdur Rahmaan bin Abi Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated on the authority of his father that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “If Allah wants to do good to a person, he makes him comprehend the religion; and of course knowledge is attained by learning.” [Al-Bukhari] Mu‘aawiyah bin Abi Sufyaan, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: “Goodness is a (natural) habit while the evil is a stubbornness. To whomsoever Allah wills to show goodness, He favors him with the understanding in the Religion.” [Ibn Maajah]
When we study Islam or read the Quran and the authentic Ahadeeth (narrations of the Prophet ) we learn that Islam is easy to follow and the perfect religion and complete way of life for the entire humankind. We read in the Quran and the Ahadeeth the following unique features of Islam:
Islam is easy
The Quran says (what means): “But whoever believes and works righteousness he shall have a goodly reward and easy will be his task as We order it by Our command.” [Quran 18:88]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Religion (Islam) is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by offering the prayers in the mornings, afternoons and during the last hours of the nights.” [Al-Bukhari]
Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: "Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repulse (them).” [Al-Bukhari]
Islam is complete
The Quran says (what means):
“…He it is Who has sent unto you the Book, explained in detail. They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it has been sent down from your Rabb in truth. Never be then of those who doubt.” [Quran 6: 114]
And (what means):
For We had certainly sent unto them a Book based on knowledge, which We explained in detail -- a guide and a mercy to all who believe.” [Quran 7: 52]
And (what means):
“…(This is ) a Book with verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning) -- further explained in detail -- from One Who is Wise and Well-Acquainted (with all things).” [Quran 11: 1]
Islam is perfect
The Quran says (what means):
“...This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Quran 5: 3]
As the perfect religion, Islam teaches humankind how to attain success in the most perfect way. The following are some of the Ahadeeth that serve as a source of enlightenment and guidance to those who desire perfection.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Goodness and comfort are for him who worships his Rabb in a perfect manner and serves his master sincerely.” [Al-Bukhari]
Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: "If a slave is honest and faithful to his master and worships his Lord in a perfect manner, he will get a double reward.” [Al-Bukhari]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: "Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger, offers prayers perfectly and fasts (the month of) Ramadan then it is incumbent upon Allah to admit him into Paradise, whether he emigrates for Allah’s cause or stays in the land where he was born.” They (the companions of the Prophet, ) said: "O Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Should we not inform the people of that?" He said: "There are one-hundred degrees in
‘Abdullaah bin Hishaam, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “We were with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he was holding the hand of 'Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him. 'Umar said to him: "O Allah’s Messenger! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet said: "No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete or perfect faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then 'Umar said to him: "However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Now, O 'Umar, you are a believer.” [Al-Bukhari]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: “The most perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners.” [Abu Daawood]
Abu Humamah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: “If anyone loves for Allah’s sake, hates for Allah’s sake, gives for Allah’s sake and withholds for Allah’s sake, he will have perfect faith.” [Abu Daawood]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: “Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well.” [At-Tirmithi and Abu Daawood]
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Among the believers who show most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition, and are kindest to their families.” [At-Tirmithi]
All the above Prophetic teachings in addition to the Quranic Ayaat (verses) quoted earlier, clearly tell us that indeed, Islam is the perfect religion and hence the best way of life for all. Islam as a universal religion is Allah’s Blessing and Mercy for all of us. It is for us to obey it and be successful in the eternal world to come. The best way to attain success through Islam is to learn about the religion according to its authentic sources. That is, to acquire knowledge of Islam through the Quran and the Sunnah and the right deductions from these revealed sources of knowledge and guidance.
Since Allah Almighty is the One Who gives guidance, earnestly ask Him for authentic Islamic knowledge. We must seek His help and guidance to be able to apply such knowledge and share them with others – all for His Pleasure.
May our Cherisher and Sustainer increase our knowledge of Islam and grant us the best life -- of being true Muslims forever. Aameen.
By Dr. Norlain Dindang Mababaya