General Concepts of the Divine in Islam


Shaheed Nuriddin

Islam means entire submission to do the will of Allah/God and obedience to His Law.  Islam comes from the root word Salaam which means peace.  Therefore we belief one cannot achieve true tranquility of the soul without striving to conform to the Divine Will. 

The physical creation is our best example of how peace is achieved through conformity and obedience to Allah.  Have you ever watched a full moon, a sunset or the galaxy of stars on a clear night and become angry?  Did you not feel a sense of peace as well as awe in the beauty displayed by the celestial bodies?  In the action of those bodies you find the concept of submission and obedience. Those bodies were given a course to follow and they do not deviate from that course.  The Holy Quran states, "The sun and moon follow courses exactly computed."  Each body is in motion and there is direction and discipline to that motion resulting in a sense of tranquility when observed by humans. 

It is very important to understand the word Islam is not the name of a person, a tribe or geographical location.  Rather it is a description an attitude, a mental framework by which the human being is to approach this life.  Consequently, by definition is universal in application.  We do not believe in a chosen people, indeed, the Quran says, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah, is he who is most righteous in conduct.  He here meaning both male and female.

There are two sources of Islamic law and guidance.  The first and foremost is the Holy Quran.  That is the Arabic Quran.  Muslims believe the Arabic Quran to be the exact revealed word of Allah.  The Arabic Quran is the same through the entire world!  It has not been altered in any manner in 1400 years.  The second source is called the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.  The Sunnah is a collection of the sayings and actions of the Prophet in his lifetime.

The third concept revolves around the word Allah.  Linguistically, every language has its own name for the Divine Creator.  God is not the name of the Divine Being in Spanish, French, Chinese, Hausa or any other language besides English.

In the Arabic language Allah is singular and has no plural form.  It is not derived from any other word.  Grammatically, it has no gender identification and there are no physical characteristics associated with Allah.

So who is Allah?  In the Holy Quran, Moses is asked this question by Pharaoh.  Moses responded, "Our Lord is He Who gave to each created thing, its form, its nature and further gave it guidance."   Reflect for a moment on how profound that description is.   Allah is the One who designed the form of the human being, every animal, plant, insect and marine life.  We believe Allah is One and in the worship of Allah we admit no partners.

As Allah is One, it follows logically for us, that all the prophets came from the same source bringing the same core message.  All Muslims must accept that Allah sent a prophet to every people on the earth.  Some are mentioned in the books of revelation and some are not.  So we believe in Abraham, Moses, Noah, Lot, David, Solomon and Jesus.  We make no distinction between any of them.

In summary, Islam is a pure monotheistic belief.  Allah is One.  No partner(s) can be associated with Allah.  There has been continuity in the revelation to mankind through the prophets beginning with Noah and ending with Muhammad, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon all those righteous men.  We believe in a Day of Judgment, Paradise and Hell and there are no chosen people who are above having to obey Divine Law.