The Meaning and Essence of Islam
The lexical meaning of Islam is submission, and adherence to the commands of Allah without objection. This is the true essence of Islam. By obeying Allah and observing His commands, the Muslim would be in harmony with the universe in which he lives, for everything in this universe abides by the commands of Allah.
It is an established fact that everything in this universe follows certain rule, and an unalterable law to which it submits; the sun, the moon, the stars, the night, the day, the land, the trees, and the beasts; all submit to a rule which Allah, the Creator, has designated for all these things. Even man himself, when you consider his physical construction, and biological compounds, his need for water and nutrition, heat, air, light, rest, or sleep you would find him submitting to a law under which he has no choice, just like other creatures.
This inclusive law to which everything submits, is the work of Allah, the Majestic King, to Whom belong the creation and the authority. Both of the upper and the lower worlds submit willingly to the Creator, the Capable King.
Due to the fact that the linguistic meaning of Islam is submission, and adherence without objection, Islam, from this point of view, is the faith of the universe. Man in this sense, does not differ from the other creatures. Since Allah, is the Creator and the Provider, He has given man the freedom of choice, and has shown him both, the path of guidance, and the path of deviation through the Messenger that He sent to mankind throughout the ages; the last of whom is Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Therefore, he who chooses the path of guidance of his own free will, and fulfills the duties with which he is charged, and refrains from the prohibition, then he becomes the legitimate Muslim.
As for him who chooses the path of deviation, neglecting the acts of worship, and committing the prohibitions, he is thus an unbeliever. Each of them will receive his requital on the Day he will meet his Rubb when the records of deeds will be displayed. Allah says:
So whoever does good equal to the weight of an ant shall see it and whoever does evil equal to the weight of an ant shall see it.
Based on this gift that Allah has granted man; which is one of the greatest, i.e., the freedom of choice, and after subjugating for him the land, the sea, the night and the day, Allah has commanded man to worship Him alone, and has forbidden him to ascribe partners to Him, and has promised him in return great rewards for his obedience.
Among the promised rewards are the following:
1. Allowing man to benefit from the signs of Allah that are scattered throughout the universe proving the fact that Allah is the true God Who deserves to be worshipped.
2. The ability to lead a fear-free life in this world, and to render sound his state of affairs. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "How wonderful is the believer`s state of affairs. All his affairs yield good consequences. If he encounters a pleasant situation, he would show gratitude to Allah, and this response would be good for him, and if he experiences a distressing situation, he would endure it patiently, and it would be good for him. This applies only to the believer."
The believer knows that his duty in this world is to worship only Allah. Allah, has created the jinn and man only to worship Him. Allah does not seek provisions from them, nor does he ask that they should feed Him. It is He Who is The Provider, The Most Powerful.
The believer also knows that he will finally meet his Rubb on the Day of Requital. He also knows that he came into existence by the word of Allah who created him, cherished him, and bestowed upon him His favors, the seen and the unseen thereof, and He has subjected everything for him.
Do you not see that Allah has subjected for you what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, and that He has bestowed amply upon you His apparent and hidden graces
And Allah says:
Allah is the One Who has created cattle for you so that you may ride on some of them, and eat. the meat of some of them.
And Allah says:
Allah is the One Who has created the heavens and the earth, and Who sends down water from the sky, and brought forth thereby fruits as provisions for you; and H