that God has designed these laws to make this life a better, safer, and moretolerable one for us. If we elect to conform to them then we will see the resultin this life even before moving on to the next.We are told that the earthly life is a life of faith and work, and the next life isone of reward and no work. We have been placed on this earth to worshipGod, fast, pray, be industrious, good, kind, respectful, and a source ofuprightness and morality. We are told that God has no need of our worship.What did Jesus really say? 551
Our worship can not increase the kingdom of God nor add to His power,however, it is in our best interests both in this life and the next that we do.Unlike some other religions which claim that God entered in a covenant witha certain group of people and that this group is genetically better than all otherhuman beings, or closer to God, Islam on the other hand teaches that no color,race, tribe, or lineage is better than any other. Islam teaches that all humansare equal in the sight of Allah and that the only thing that can distinguish themin His sight is their piety and worship. “O humankind! Verily! We have created you from a male andfemale, and have made you nations and tribes that you mayknow one another. Verily! the noblest among you in the sight ofAllah is the most God-fearing. Verily! Allah is The Knower, TheAware.” The Qur’an, Al-Hujrat(49):13.Levels of Islam:Islam consists of three levels, each building upon the lower ones. They are: 1) Islam: 1.Testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah 2.Establish the daily prayers 3.Pay Zakat (Obligatory charity due the poor) 4.Observe the fast of Ramadan 5.Perform pilgrimage to the Ka’aba (in Makkah) once in your life if you are able 2) Faith (Iman): 1.To believe in Allah 2.To believe in His angels 3.To believe in His Books (Scriptures) 4.To believe in His Messengers 5.To believe in the Day of Judgment 6.To believe in the Divine Decree (Divine fate) whether good or evil 3) Excellence/Goodness (Ihsan) To worship Allah (God) as if you see Him, for if you can not see Him, He assuredly sees you. In Sahih Muslim, Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab narrated: “My father, Umar ibn al-Khattab, told me: One day we were sitting in the company of Allah's Apostle (pbuh) when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair What did Jesus really say? 552
was extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him, but none among us recognized him. This man came and sat beside the Apostle (pbuh) kneeling before him and placing his palms on his thighs. He then said: Muhammad, inform me about al-Islam. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and you establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the (House) if you are solvent enough (to bear the expense of) the journey. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth.
- Winter '16