Islam: The Way of Revival
eBook - ePub

Islam: The Way of Revival

Riza Mohammed, Dilwar Hussain, Riza Mohammed, Dilwar Hussain

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eBook - ePub

Islam: The Way of Revival

Riza Mohammed, Dilwar Hussain, Riza Mohammed, Dilwar Hussain

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About This Book

In this refreshingly different book one can relish the works and ideas of numerous Muslim scholars and leaders of the 20th century. The contributors include Muhammad Asad, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Khurshid Ahmad and Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi.
This title is especially useful for those seeking to enhance their understanding of Islam through personal and group study.

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Information

Year
2015
ISBN
9780860376903
D. WORSHIP, ETHICS AND LAW
The Islamic Concept of Worship
Mustafa Ahmad al-Zarqa
Foundations of Islamic Morality
Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi
Inner Dimensions of Worship
Ismail al-Faruqi
Principles of alāl and arām
Yusuf al-Qaradawi
The Sharīʿah – Islamic Law
Khurram Murad
Inner Dimensions of the Sharīʿah
Khurram Murad
Introduction to Fiqh
Sayyid Sabiq
Understanding Juristic Differences
Ahmad Zaki Hammad
The Ethics of Daʿwah and Dialogue
Yusuf al-Qaradawi
18
The Islamic Concept of Worship
Mustafa Ahmad al-Zarqa
Worship, according to Islam, is a means for the purification of a human being’s soul and his practical life. The basis of ʿibādah or worship is the fact that human beings are creatures and thus slaves of God, their Creator and their Lord, to whom they are destined to return. Thus a person’s turning towards God, in intimate communion, reverence, and in the spirit of devotion and humble submission, is termed ʿibādah.
Worship is an indispensable part of all religions. It is motivated, however, in each religion by different objectives, assumes different forms and is performed under a different set of rules.
In some religions worship is a means to develop the attitude of asceticism and isolation from life. In these religions it seeks to develop a mentality which anathematises the enjoyment of the pleasures of this world. Then, there are other religions which consecrate certain places for the sake of worship and prohibit its performance at any other place. There are also religions which are of the view that worship can be performed only under the leadership of a particular class of people – ordained priests. People may, therefore, perform worship under the leadership of priests and only at the places consecrated for it. Thus, the nature as well as the form of worship differ from one religion to the other.
As for Islam, its conception of worship is related to its fundamental view that the true foundations of a good life are soundness of belief and thinking, purity of soul, and righteousness of action.
Through belief in the Oneness of God, who is invested with all the attributes of perfection, Islam seeks to purge human intellect of idolatry and superstition. In fact, polytheism and idolatry, which are opposed by Islam, degrade a human being to a level which is incompatible with his dignity. Islam fights against idolatry and polytheism in whichever form and to whatever extent they might be found.
Islam takes notice even of imperceptible forms of idolatry. It takes notice even of those beliefs and practices which do not appear to their adherents as tainted with idolatry. One of the manifestations of this concern is that Islam does not permit the performance of alāh or ritual Prayer in front of a tomb, nor does it permit a person to swear in the name of anyone except God. All this is owing to the uncompromising hostility of Islam to idolatry. When Caliph ʿUmar saw that people had begun to sanctify the tree beneath which the Companions of the Prophet pledged to lay down their lives in the way of God on the occasion of udaybiyyah, he feared that its sanctification might corrupt peoples’ beliefs. He, therefore, had it cut down. By destroying everything which might blur the distinction between the creature and the Creator, Islam brought people out of the darkness of superstition and ignorance to the full daylight of reality.
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES
The characteristic features of worship as propounded by Islam may be stated as the following:
1. Freedom from Intermediaries
Islam has liberated ‘worship’ from the bondage of intermediaries between a human being and his Creator. Islam seeks to create a direct link between a person and his Lord, thus rendering the intercession of intermediaries unnecessary.
Religious scholars in Islam, it may be pointed out, are neither intermediaries between a human being and God nor are they entitled to accept or reject acts of worship on behalf of God. Instead, they are equal to ordinary human beings in the sight of God. Rather, they have been burdened with the additional duty of imparting knowledge to those who lack knowledge. They will be deemed guilty if they hold it back from the seekers after knowledge. In other words, the Sharīʿah or the Islamic legal code, does not impose the domination of religious scholars on the rest of the people. The function of these scholars is merely to guide people in the right direction. This is amply borne out by what Allah said to the Prophet: Remind them, for you are but one who reminds; you are not at all a warder over them (88: 21–22).
The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, once addressed the following words to his own daughter Fāimah, which again shows that all human beings stand on a footing of complete equality before God: ‘O Fāimah, daughter of Muammad: I shall be of no help to you before Allah.’
2. Worship is not Confined to Specific Places
Islam has not only liberated a human being’s ʿibādah from the bondage of intermediaries; it has also liberated it from confinement to specific places. Islam regards every place – whether it is one’s dwelling, the back of an animal, the board of a vessel on the surface of the sea, or a masjid specifically built for worship – as pure enough for the performance of worship. Wherever a person might be, he can turn towards his Lord and enter into communion with Him. The Prophet has expressed this idea beautifully: ‘The [whole of the] earth has been rendered for me a mosque, pure and clean.’
3. Worship is All-Embracing
Islam has also considerably widened the scope of worship. In Islam, worship is not confined to specified prayers and litanies which are to be performed on particular occasions. Rather, Islam considers every virtuous action which has been sincerely performed and with a view to carrying out the commandments of God and in order to seek His pleasure, an act of worship for which a human being will be rewarded. Thus, eating, drinking, sleeping and enjoyment of innocent recreation, even those worldly actions which satisfy a human being’s physical needs and yield sensuous pleasures, become acts of worship when they are performed with true religious motives.
It is also an act of worship to try to strengthen one’s body by providing it with its due of nourishment and sleep; by making it undertake exertion as well as giving it rest and recreation so as to enable it to shoulder the responsibilities which have been placed on it by God. In fact, if one does all this with the above-mentioned intention, one’s action will be in harmony with the following saying of the Prophet: ‘A believer who is possessed of strength is better and dearer to God than a believer who is weak.’ In short, it is simply by purification of motives, that the actions which are part of worldly life, become acts of devotion and worship.
Thus, it is possible that a human being can advance spiritually even while he is fully enjoying the pleasures of worldly life. The reason is that during all this enjoyment his heart will remain in communion with God by virtue of the purity of his intentions, and owing to his having attached himself completely to the service of God. It will enable him to remain perpetually in the state of submission, obedience and devotion to God even during his working pursuits – and this is the very essence of worship. For Islam, unlike other religions, does not anathematise gratification of a person’s instinctive bodily appetites. Islam does not even consider abstention from the satisfaction of these desires to be in any way an act of greater piety and virtue than satisfying them. Islam wants us to enjoy the pleasures and good things of life provided we do not transgress the limits of legitimacy, the rights of others, or injure the larger interests of society.
There is a profound wisdom and an important reason for this extension of the scope of worship. The reason is that Islam wants our hearts to remain in perpetual communion with our Lord. Islam also wants that we should observe ceaseless vigilance over our desires so that our lives...

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Transliteration Table
  6. References
  7. About the Contributors
  8. Introduction
  9. A. THE ISLAMIC WORLDVIEW
  10. B. THE QUR’ĀN
  11. C. THE PROPHET MUḤAMMAD
  12. D. WORSHIP, ETHICS AND LAW
  13. E. SELF–DEVELOPMENT
  14. Glossary of Arabic Terms
  15. A Short Bibliography on Islam
Citation styles for Islam: The Way of Revival

APA 6 Citation

[author missing]. (2015). Islam: The Way of Revival ([edition unavailable]). Kube Publishing Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/733620/islam-the-way-of-revival-pdf (Original work published 2015)

Chicago Citation

[author missing]. (2015) 2015. Islam: The Way of Revival. [Edition unavailable]. Kube Publishing Ltd. https://www.perlego.com/book/733620/islam-the-way-of-revival-pdf.

Harvard Citation

[author missing] (2015) Islam: The Way of Revival. [edition unavailable]. Kube Publishing Ltd. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/733620/islam-the-way-of-revival-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

[author missing]. Islam: The Way of Revival. [edition unavailable]. Kube Publishing Ltd, 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.