Short Answer: Islam gives peace to our hearts and minds by answering the most pressing questions that encounter people in life. The Islamic theology is clear, straightforward with no mysteries or inconsistencies. Unlike other theologies that might not make sense intellectually but ask followers for blind faith, Islam provides logical answers that satisfy the mind. It answers questions like: Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going after death? How do I deal with evil, tribulations and difficulties.
Salam alaykum Sister Misbah,
Thanks for sending your very rich question.
Frankly, this question is too broad that it needs volumes of books to answer.
Since we are limited with word count here, we can only provide a brief idea, insha’Allah.
But first, what is Islam?
Before delving into the answer, we need to clearly define what Islam is.
Briefly, Islam is a state of being and a way of life for all mankind. It comes from the same root words as submission and peace.
Essentially, when the human being humbly submits to his/her Creator, they get a deep sense of peace spiritually in this life, and completely in the eternal afterlife.
Since the beginning of time, The Creator wanted His created beings to connect with Him deeply and actualize their purpose in life. So, He sent Messengers to teach people.
All Messengers came with the same message of tawheed (pure monotheism). It necessitates worshipping/submitting to the Creator only and following the teachings of His Messengers.
All Messengers were Muslims; i.e. in submission to their Creator and obedience to His teachings.
The Creator’s Message has been completed and sealed with the last and final Messenger, Muhammad. He delivered the Quran and the Sunnah (sayings and actions of the Prophet).
When we study the Quran and the Sunnah of Muhammad in details, we will have a complete blueprint for life that impacts and benefits the person spiritually, physically and socially.
Impact of Islam Intellectually & Spiritually
Every human being goes through phases of asking deep questions about the purpose of life, what happens after death…etc.
If those questions aren’t answered, no matter how outwardly successful that person is, he/she will go through depression among other devastating outcomes.
This is why Islam is great.
Islam gives peace to our hearts and minds by answering the most pressing questions that encounter people in life.
The Islamic theology is clear, straightforward with no mysteries or inconsistencies. Unlike other theologies that might not make sense intellectually but ask followers for blind faith, Islam provides logical answers that satisfy the mind.
It answers questions like: Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going after death? How do I deal with evil, tribulations and difficulties?
If these questions aren’t answered, you’ll find even those who have a lot of worldly riches (like Robin Williams, Whitney Houston, and many others), end up committing suicide!
So, Islam gives people answers, meaning, purpose and direction.
Besides that, Islam teaches people thoroughly how to worship their Creator. It connects people directly with their Creator throughout their day. It shows how even eating, commuting, and sleeping can turn into acts of worship.
This regular connection gives a deep sense of peace.
“Those who have faith and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of God– truly it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find peace.” (13: 28)
Islam’s Impact on the Human Physically
If you study fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), you’ll know that among the first things taught is tahara (i.e. purification).
Islam teaches people the rules/etiquettes of purifying oneself spiritually and physically.
“Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.” (3: 164)
Additionally, Islam teaches people how to be physically healthy. Also, it teaches people what to eat and what to say to seek cure and healing from many physical afflictions.
It teaches people how to respect and carry the bodies they’ve been entrusted with.
Impact of Islam Socially
Beyond the individual, Islam provides detailed guidance for how people should interact with one another to create a healthy functioning society.
- It teaches how the leader should deal with his people, and vice versa.
- How parents and children should interact with one another.
- How the husband and wife should deal with one another.
- How families should deal with one another.
- How neighbors should deal with one another.
- How the seller and buyer should deal with one another
- How Muslims should deal with other Muslims.
- How Muslims should deal with non-Muslims.
- How to deal with nature; animals, plants and objects even.
Each and every single one of the aforementioned social interactions has its detailed rulings in Islam.
Islam explains the rights and obligations of the human being towards all members of the society around him/her.
The Hadith that sums it all up
The following is one of the most important hadiths in the tradition.
The Prophet was asked: “what is Islam”, and he replied: “Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; that you observe Prayers, pay Zakat, observe fasting in Ramadan and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) of the House, provided you have resources of making journey to it […].” [Muslim]
If you reflect on this part of the hadith, you’ll find that Islam impacts the person spiritually, physically and socially.
First, the testimony of faith (shahada) is a spiritual and intellectual conviction that gives peace to the mind and heart.
Second, the prayer is a physical activity that involves purification, focus and direct daily connection with the Creator.
Thirdly, Zakat (almsgiving) is a social contribution. It teaches people to focus on the needs of others and never get consumed in selfishness.
Fourthly, fasting in Ramadan is a way to discipline the lower physical desires to focus on the elevated spiritual needs.
Lastly, pilgrimage (Hajj) involves spiritual, physical and social engagement. It’s a journey where people from all backgrounds gather to worship their One and Only God and learn to overcome all obstacles along the way.
As you see, Islam is a holistic way of life that engages and impacts the heart, mind and body.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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