When you first learn about Islam, it is easy to think of Taoism, with its attention on conformity to going with the flow or to the governing principle of the universe. For Muslims, however, this is personalized (though some of the more philosophical might view this as largely rhetorical or symbolic) for the universe is governed by a personal deity, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–and of Ishmael, the progenitor of the Arabs; the God of Jesus but also of Muhammad. Islam means submission to this God, who has mercifully made himself known in a series of revelations ending in those given to Muhammad, which completed the preceding ones and fixed the accumulated human corruptions. All things, animate or inanimate, which conform to the divinely-ordained pattern for them, might be said to be Muslim, one who submits. Unfortunately, as Nietzsche observed, Man is the sick animal, the one who strays from his own core and is in need of direction “in the straight path” provided by “God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” (Qur’an 1:1-7)
As Muslims see things, God has given every people a prophet to speak his truth in a way they can hear, and the prophets have all brought basically the same religious doctrine. This is true even of Jesus. “Islam always appeared as the Arab form of the eternal Biblical religion.” As the Qur’an and the Muslim community grew, however, the unfolding revelation emphasized the errors of Christianity and Judaism, and Islam’s superiority to them as a middle way between legalism on the one side and a lax over-emphasis on free forgiveness on the other. Muhammad is more than the Moses of the Arabs, for Islam is the last word, so to speak, and for everyone. Throughout history, to ignore or despise God’s messengers has been to assure one’s own annihilation, and the great question now is if one will welcome Muhammad and his teachings. Muhammad apparently was surprised that the Jews and Christians, to whom he preached, did not accept his message.
In order to do so, one must start with the acknowledgement that “there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” On this basic foundation is constructed a vast edifice of ethical guidance, spiritual teaching, law, inspirational biography, mysticism, theodicy, cosmology, and political thought. (One of the major difficulties in comprehending Islam is the issue of separating Muslim practice on the one hand from the pre-Islamic or non-Islamic practices of predominantly Muslim societies.) The foundation and the superstructure of Islam represent a seismic change in the religious thought of Muhammad’s Arabia, and Islam is forever marked by the struggle with, and victory over, the proliferation of idol.
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By muhammedweb from Pixabay