General characteristics of Islam

1) Divinity: (Belonging to Lord; being divine) Islam is the true and divine religion. It is based on revelation. Its aim and purpose is divine. The pleasure (consent) of Allah is an indispensible aim for a Muslim. The source and method of Islam is divine, too.

2) Humanness: (Harmony with human nature) The Quran was sent to human beings, and prophets were chosen among human beings. Islam gives man and human mind great importance; and it has imposed decrees. According to Islam, man was created on earth in the best way and as the vicegerent; he was made a distinguished being with the spiritual element; and the universe was put at his disposal. Islam does not neglect any power and energy groups. It leads all of them to improvement, work and development. By undertaking the burdens that he can carry, man continues on his way in peace, security and tranquility. These responsibilities are harmonious with man’s nature. They become integrated with the sound of man’s heart and conscience. It aims to improve his nature. All of the decrees of Islam are oriented toward happiness in the world and in the hereafter.

3) Comprehensiveness and universality: Islam is so long as to cover eternity, so wide as to encompass the whole mankind and so deep as to contain worldly and otherworldly affairs. Its message and decrees are related to the whole world and mankind. It arranges all of the stages of human life, from the cradle to the grave and all fields of life. The teachings of Islam are also comprehensive. This comprehensiveness becomes manifest in belief, worship, imagination, ethics and virtues, and arrangements and laws.

4) Moderation and balance: Islam is a religion that has basic dynamics like balance, mildness, justice and moderation. It is away from excessiveness and deficiency. It has no extremism. It does not let man go astray and be oppressed. The power of man is not sufficient to establish such a balanced system. We can easily see the elements of moderation (justice and balance) in belief, worship, ethics and legislation. There is a balance between the world and the hereafter, matter and spirit, the rich and the poor. It balances man’s inside and outside, spirit and body, the individual and the community, women and men, the family and the nation. It determines their rights and duties towards one another in a balanced and harmonious way.

5) Clarity: The belief principles and religious concepts of Islam are plain and clear. They are easy to understand, explain and accept. It is not refused by the mind and reason.

6) Pure religion: It is a religion that cannot be distorted since it does not allow analysis and synthesis, removal and addition and since its source is sound and unchangeable. Its doors are closed to superstitions. It is the only true religion completed and accepted by Allah.

7) Oneness (Tawhid): Islam is primarily a religion of oneness. It settles the perfect belief in Allah. In Islam, the attributes of Allah cannot be associated with people and other beings. It emphasizes that Allah does not resemble anyone. People and other beings cannot be deified. It is not possible to worship and pray any being except Allah.

8) Approving all prophets: A Muslim believes in all of the prophets sent by Allah. He does not discriminate among them. He accepts them as the messengers and slaves of Allah by keeping away from deifying them and inappropriate descriptions regarding Him.

9) Sovereignty belongs to Allah: It belongs to Allah to determine, laws and principles and to impose laws. Islam constitutes a community where decree, domination, sovereignty and authority are given to Allah and where there are no oppressors, oppressed people and slaves of slaves.

10) Sound source: The main source of Islam is the Quran. The Quran is a book that will not be distorted until Doomsday. All of the copies of the Quran in the world are the same.

11) Harmony with the universe: The universe and everything in it are regarded as Muslims since they surrender to and obey Allah. Man who accepts Islam and surrenders obeys the same rules in harmony with the universe. Thus, the effort and energy of man combine with the facilities of the universe. Islam does not make man conflict and fight with the natural powers in the universe.

12) It constitutes one community (umma): Islam constitutes a community (umma) that is harmonious and loyal and that acts in solidarity. The basic dynamics of this community, which comes together with the bond of creed and which does not discriminate among races, colors, countries and classes are fraternity, solidarity, equality, justice, advising truth and patience, spreading goodness and struggling against evil. It constitutes a virtuous and chaste community where bad characters and ugly traditions like fornication, prostitution, theft, injustice and interest are eliminated, where man’s extreme desires for eating, drinking, housing and sex are prevented. Unbelievers are regarded as one nation; similarly, all Muslims constitute one nation that regards one another as brothers.

13) Ease and glad-tiding: Islam regards anyone that utters kalima ash-shahada and lives accordingly a Muslim no matter what he was like in the past. It is based on the principle of equality and justice. It does not allow anyone to be forced to become a Muslim. It aims to spread by conquering hearts. Its decrees are easy enough to practice. Many conveniences have been introduced regarding worship taking man’s stamina into consideration. Tasks or duties that are too difficult are not ordered. Islam’s mercy, pardon and glad-tiding overweigh. Islam views all of man’s spiritual and bodily needs with tolerance and finds easy and simple solutions to them. However, those who ignore worshipping and obeying Allah despite all this ease due to laziness and extreme inclination toward the world are warned against the torture of Allah.

14) It gives importance to the mind and knowledge: Islam is a religion of revelation but it gives importance to the mind. It also gives great importance to science and knowledge, stating that learning knowledge is fard for all Muslims; it gives importance to issues like working, learning and thought. It should not be forgotten that Islam is not a rationalist religion but a religion of minds.

15) Human rights: Islam, which cares about human rights in such a way that cannot be seen in any system (religion), protects the following rights of man:

a. Safety of religion: Islam protects the right of religion and the freedom of practicing religion.

b. Safety of soul: Islam ensures the right of living.

c. Safety of mind: Islam, which orders science and meditation, prohibits things that harm the mind like alcohol and drugs; it takes all kinds of measures in order to protect the mind from all kinds of disorders.

d. Safety of generation: It takes all necessary measures in order to ensure the protection of chaste and honor and the upbringing of healthy generations.

e. Safety of goods: Islam closes the ways that lead to crimes like theft in order to protect property; in addition, it gives man the right and opportunity to have sufficient means of livelihood.

To sum up, Islam guarantees the honor, chaste, freedom, religion, life, livelihood and job of every man.

Regarding the issue of human rights, Islam is still in a position that cannot be achieved. It encourages the principle of human fraternity. Islam rejects racism and the understanding of superiority except for taqwa. Islam’s orders, prohibitions, decrees, worship, understanding of punishment, etc prove equality. This much equality does not exist in other systems even in theory. Islam does not overlook injustice for the sake of equality. It does not allow the exploitation of sexuality by overlooking sexual differences under the pretext of equality of women and men and the extremism that will lead to the exploitation and oppression of people.

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