By Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor in Chief
Islam is simple. Its life style is simple. Its message is simple. Its practices are simple. Its rules are simple. Its commandments are simple and easy to follow. Thus simplicity is its essence as it promotes it in every aspect of life.
In simple terms, it invites people to believe in the oneness of God who alone can give guidance to all. It invites people to explore and subdue the material resources created by God for the betterment of all human beings. It invites people to conduct their personal and mutual affairs in all aspects of life according to the guidance given through the messengers of Allah culminating in the finalization of the message known as the Qur`an.
It asks people to regard all human beings as part of a single family ensuring that the dignity of each and every one is secured and it exhorts people to respect everything that exists in the universe. There is no complication and no ambiguity in this simplicity of Islam. Whatever culture, region, ethnic or racial group one belongs to, one can live his or her commitment to God. What we know as five pillars of Islam, i.e. declaration of faith (Shahada), prayer (Salat), fasting (Siyam), alms giving (Zakat) and pilgrimage (Hajj) reinforce the simplicity to constantly remind people of the ultimate reality of the existence of a higher, neutral and objective authority whose powers are beyond the comprehension of human beings. As the last and best of the messengers and prophets, the Prophet Muhammad (s) and all other prophets are role models for all human beings as they lived the divine message in its fullest sense in their times and situations. The Qur`an is a living testimony of the narratives of their lives.
Of Prophet Muhammad (s) Qur`an said: â€œHe liberated them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. (7:157) Today, the religion has been turned into a complex institution of rules and regulations without whose practice oneâ€™s commitment to Allah is considered invalid. Even these rules and regulations are not standardized as scores of sects and schools of thoughts and factions have their own versions of these rules and regulations to dictate the behavior of their followers. Sometimes now the focus has shifted to the rules and regulations themselves rather than the simplicity of Islam and its essential message.
We must however focus on a fundamental aspect of faith, the exploration and the universalization of the divinely created material resources for the well being of each and every human being on the basis of the divine guidance.
Few are talking about the essence of the Quran. Consequently, everything is in mess. Each individual must devote time and energy to reading the Divine message time and time again to develop a unique personal connection with Allah.
To do that, it is not essential to know the Arabic language. The Divine message can be understood in any language without any difficulty provided we are willing to invest time. Let us return to the simplicity of Islam. God can found in all situations even in the den of sins. This is the simplicity of Islam.