Islam a Complete Way of Life
By Abdullah Mdala
The West makes a natural mistake in their understanding of Islamic tradition, assuming that religion means the same for Muslims as it has meant for most other religious adherents ever since the industrial revolution, and for some societies, even before that; that is: a section of life reserved for certain matters, and separate from other sections of life. This is not the Islamic world view. It never has been in the past, and modern attempts of making it so are seen as an aberration.
Islam: A Total Way of Life
Islam is a “total way of life.” It has provided guidance in every sphere of life, from individual cleanliness, rules of trade, to the structure and politics of the society. Islam can never be separated from social, political, or economic life, since religion provides moral guidance for every action that a person takes. The primary act of faith is to strive to implement God’s will in both private and public life. Muslims see that they, themselves, as well as the world around them, must be in total submission to God and his Will. Moreover, they know that this concept of His rule must be established on earth in order to create a just society. Like Jews and Christians before them, Muslims have been called into a covenant relationship
with God, making them a community of believers who must serve as an example to other nations by creating a moral social order. God tells the Muslim global nation:
“You are the best community raised for mankind, enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong…” (Quran 3:110)
Throughout history, being a Muslim has meant not only belonging to a religious community of fellow believers but also living under the Islamic Law. For Islamic Law is believed to be an extension of God’s absolute sovereignty.
God is the Only Sovereign
God is the absolute sovereign in Islam, and is therefore the only Lord of heaven and earth. Just as He is the Lord of the physical universe, to the true Muslim believers, God is the Lawgiver for every area of human life. Just as He is the Master of the physical world, God is the Ruler of the affairs of men in Islamic doctrine. Thus God is the supreme Lawgiver the Absolute Judge, and the Legislator Who distinguishes right from wrong. Just like the physical world inevitably submits to its Lord by following the ‘natural’ laws of the universe, human beings must submit to the moral and religious teaching of their Lord, the One Who sets right apart from wrong for them. In other words, God alone has the authority to make laws, determine acts of worship, decide morals, and set standards of human interaction and behavior. This is because, “His is the Creation and Command.” (Quran 7:54)