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Islam is not a religion. It is a way of life!

March 5, 2008

by acabeire

It was such a hectic day for me after finishing the AGM for FOSIS Ireland. Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), even though the numbers of attendees were not that much, the enthusiasm was there! I want to congratulate the new committee and hope that the work of Da'wah will still be on the right path. We must believe that if we don’t want to do this, Allah will simply choose other people to do this work. That is why more and more Western Muslims who revert to Islam are more active than the born Muslims.

After having dinner with the previous committee, I went back home and jumped onto the bed.

Suddenly, around 10 pm, my friend brought a priest who works in the chaplaincy in the university. We had a nice chat that night about religion in Ireland, and the concern that we have about the society in the west for example Sweden who become more and more secular and does not believe in religion anymore. I also express my concern about the Irish societies who become more ignorance about religion because the country is becoming richer and richer after the economic boom. After all, I am grateful even though the major religion in Ireland is Christianity, the society still have a huge intact with their religious institution.

I asked him why the societies become more and more ignorance once they become rich. Then, he said people will become less and less dependent to divinity and human once they are capable do it by themselves and have excess money in life. Becoming a rich person will only satisfy the physical aspect and money cannot buy uncertainty. If people start to become indulged with wealth, they will start forgetting themselves until a time when they realize wealth cannot answer many question in life including the spiritual. He also believe that money cannot buy health, happiness and many things.

Even though we are not in the same religion, both of us believe that religion is important in the societies’ life. I believe that Islam always make me a better person and more discipline. Teach you to remember yourself and your God (zikr), proactive in making the decision, the responsibility of caring about your surroundings, motivate you in your carrier and simply set a system in basic common sense in a life of the society.

Islam is not a religion?

I believe Islam is not a religion as the Western understand it. Islam is a Ad-Deen. Ad- Deen means the way of life. Because in Ad- Deen, it is composed of Islam, Iman and ihsan.

The meaning about Islam, Iman, and Ihsan

Islam means we need to setup a system to govern people, setup a law to interact with people, doing business in life, communication, and technology, liberalize the mind of people, creating new jobs and ideas, individual disciplinary and many actions to simply make a muslim survive in the modern secular world.

If a western people ask about Islam, I would say Islam can be understood as the secular people who believe in their secular idea.

Iman means your understanding about the divinity. It composed of understand the life hereafter (where even scientist cannot answer this question well), putting faith in your life, never ever feel give up, and tuning the people’s mind so that we can work together because we agree that we believe there is a supernatural power that govern this world.

If a western people ask me about Iman, I can simply answer it is similar in the way you understand the Christian and the Taoism. For me, in Christianity and Taoism, there is too much emphasizing on creed. Even I believe the painters during Renaissance were simply religious and they want to express the religion in their arts and want other people to understand the creed of Christianity in the simplest way.

If a western people ask me what is Ihsan means, I would say Ihsan is ‘the best manner that create our habit in our daily life’. You can simply understand what is Ihsan by looking at the manner of the professional worker, Buddhist monk, missionary, and you can understand by looking at the 7 habits of highly effective people. Ihsan is when we want to do work or deal with people, we deal with them with the best quality of manner.

The 3 Dimensions of Ad-Deen

That is why I believe Islam (Ad-deen ) is not a religion. It is way of life. Because all other religion only contains one section or one dimension of Islam and is not complete. Judaism system is in Islam, Christianity system is in Iman, and Buddhist Monk is in Ihsan. And the Ad- Deen complete it all in the 3 dimensional way.

The reality of Muslim

And why Muslim is weak? Yeah, simply because they abandon part of Islam and not seeing Islam as 3 dimensional. During the time I was a chair of an Islamic Society, there is not even a single interfaith dialogue happen with the Christian. What I believe, if you want to organize the interfaith dialogue, don’t invite the priest only. Do invite the secularist, atheist, and Buddhist monk. And the person who represent Islam must be aware that he or she must have the 3 dimensional way of thinking about Islam and must be dynamic (It is so rare to find one).

Muslim now simply abandoning the philosophy. They rhetorically said, “why we must learn the world philosophy, history and other religion? “ “We must only refer to Al-Quran and Sunnah (the saying, acting of the Prophet) and purely understand the hadith (the saying and the acting of the prophet) they way the sahabah(His companions) understand it”.

That is why they become so naive and cannot adapt themselves in the modern world.

Philosophy is the way you understand about rationality in life. It is the methodology on how you can understand the concept of religion that it purely divine and how we can interpret that in our daily life. How to enjoy such a nice life and how to interact by using religious value to settle all the problem that arise nowadays.

Now if you understand what i have said, please read the story below;

Umer bin Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) said:

“One day as we were sitting in the company of Allah’s Messenger, all of a sudden, there appeared before us, a man dressed in very white clothes with very black hair. There was no sign of fatigue on him because of journey and none amongst us ever knew him. He sat close to the Prophet and placed his knees against the Prophets knees and his palms upon thighs and said:

‘Muhammad inform me about Islam?’
The Prophet said:
‘Al-Islam implies that you testify that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger and that you establish prayer (Salath) and pay Zakat, Observe Fast of Ramadaan(the fasting month) and perform Pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House (Ka-ba in Saudi Arabia) in case you have means.’
The stranger said: ‘you have told the truth.’

It was amazing for us about him that he would ask the question and then he would himself testify the answer to be true.

The Stranger then asked:
‘Inform me about Iman (Faith)?’

The Prophet said that:
‘You affirm your faith in Allah, His Angels, His books, His Messengers, in the Hereafter, in the Divine Decree to good and evil of life.’

Again the Stranger said:
‘You have told the truth.’
He then asked:
‘Inform me about Al-Ihsan?’

Prophet said:
‘You worship God as if you are seeing Him, and if you are not seeing Him (believe that) He is in-fact seeing you.’

Again the Stranger said:
‘You have told the truth.’

Umer bin Khattab said:
‘Then the stranger went away but I stayed with the Prophet for a long time.’

The Prophet asked me:
‘Umer, do you know this stranger?’

I said:
‘Allah and His Messenger know best’.

The Prophet Said:
‘He was Gabriel (Jibril), he came to you, to teach you your RELIGION.’’’

Then you understand why I choose Islam as my religion and my way of life.

Marriage. Why people is not thinking serious about it?

Another thing that is worth mentioned is about marriage. I know that in Christianity (as far as i know in Catholic) , the priest is not allowed to get married. I don’t want to refute about that. I simply respect that as part of their religion.

What I want to share here, as a Muslim students in overseas, far from Malaysia, far from family, we have been encouraged to get married and even I have seen few of my friends who got married during the study time, simply scoring in exams, and becoming more mature than I am. After all, it does not matter how pious you are, you simply need someone to do check and balance in your life. You need someone who can remind you if you forget or ignorant, and be more organized. After all, marriage is when the time when people naturally need someone who can share the vision of life, share the challenge, and share the love.

Even a monk cannot resist it.

And marriage becoming more and more important to the pious people is when we see the number of good practising male is decreasing and it is a threat for the society if they don’t want to get married.

So Asyhraff, when do you want to get married?

Hmm, it is a hard question dude! 

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