At this time in Islam’s history, when the entire religion is being judged by the actions of a few, it is appropriate to step back from the glare of the media spotlight and examine the beauties that infuse the way of life known as Islam. There is greatness and splendour in Islam that is often overshadowed by actions that have no place in Islam or by people who speak about topics they only vaguely understand. Islam is a religion, a way of life that inspires Muslims to try harder, reach farther and act in a manner that is pleasing to those around them and most importantly pleasing to their Creator.
The beauties of Islam are those things that are part of the religion and make Islam stand out. Islam answers all of humankind’s eternal questions. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Is this really all there is? It answers these questions with clarity and in a beautiful way. So then, let us begin our journey and discover and ponder over the beauties of Islam.
The Quran is a book detailing the glory of God and the wonder of His creation; it is also a testament to His Mercy and Justice. It is not a history book, a storybook, or a scientific textbook, although it does contain all of those genres and more. The Quran is God’s greatest gift to humanity – it is a book like no other, for it contains the answers to the mysteries of life. It answers the questions and asks us to look beyond materialism and see that this life is little more than a transient stop on the way to everlasting life. Islam gives a clear aim and purpose to life.
“And I (God) created not the jinn and humankind, except to worship Me (Alone).” (Quran 51:56)
Thus it is the most important book and Muslims have no doubt that it is exactly the same today as it was when it was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. When we ask those most important questions, we want to be sure that the answers we receive are the truth. Knowing that the answers are coming from a book which is the unchanged Word of God, gives comfort and solace. When God revealed the Quran, He promised to preserve it. The words we read today are the same as those memorised and written down by the companions of Prophet Muhammad.
“It is We Who have sent down the remembrance (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it from corruption.” (Quran 15:9)
Rejoice and be happy, remain positive and be at peace. This is what Islam teaches us, for all God’s commandments aim to bring happiness to the individual. The key to happiness is in understanding and worshipping God. This worship serves as a reminder of Him and keeps us always conscious of Him and hence we stay away from evil, committing injustices and oppression. It elevates us to being righteous and of good character. By following His commands, we lead a life that guides us to the best in all our affairs. When we lead such a meaningful life, then and only then are we able to see happiness all around us, at any given moment and even on the darkest of times. It is even there in the touch of a hand, in the smell of rain or newly mown grass, it is in a warm fire on a cold night or a cool breeze on a hot day. Simple pleasures can make our hearts truly happy because they are manifestations of God’s Mercy and Love.
The nature of the human condition means that amongst great sorrow can be moments of joy and sometimes in moments of despair we can find an anchor in the things that bring us happiness. Prophet Muhammad said, “Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease then he is thankful, and this is good for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres, and this is good for him.”
Every member of the human race is born innately knowing that God is One. However those who do not know how to communicate with God or establish a relationship with Him tend to find their existence puzzling and sometimes even distressing. Learning to communicate with God and worshiping Him gives life a whole new meaning.
According to Islam, God is accessible at any time and in any place. We need only call on Him and He will answer the call. Prophet Muhammad advised us to call on God often. He told us that God said,
“I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to me walking, I go to him running.”
In the Quran God says, “Remember Me and I will remember you…” (Quran2:152)
Believers call on God in any language, at any time and in any place. They supplicate to Him, and give thanks. Muslims also pray in a more ritualised way five times every day and interestingly the Arabic word for prayer is ‘salah’, which means a connection. Muslims are connected to God and can communicate with Him easily. We are never alone or far from God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Love.
 Al Qarni, Aaidh Ibn Abdullah, (2003), Don’t be sad. International Islamic Publishing House, Saudi Arabia.
 Saheeh Muslim
 Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
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