Islam- the religion in itself is a mercy and sign for those of belief and understanding.
‘…That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.’ [Surah Ar-Room 30:30]
While critical bigotry against the religion is on the rise, there are people who revert to Islam in a large scale. This shows the magnanimity of the religion and as to how it is different from the rest that it attracts a huge count of people. So, how Islam is different from other faiths is briefly discussed.
Islamic monotheism or Tawhid instructs that, there is only one Singular Master and Creator (Allah) of the universe and all the beings in it and that there is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ.
‘That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things.’ [Surah Al-Anam 6:102]
Whoever accepts and believes in the oneness of Allah ﷻ is required to submit and surrender to Him, obey His commands and put His rulings into practice as much as he can.
Islamic monotheism is categorized into three-
- Oneness of Divine Lordship- believing in Allah ﷻ as One and Unique and his actions related to creation, sovereignty, giving life and death and so on.
- Oneness of Divinity/Worship– devoting all acts of worship- small/big/inward/outward to Allah ﷻ alone, and not worshipping anything or anybody other than Allah ﷻ.
- Oneness of Divine Names and Attributes– believing in all the attributes Allah ﷻ and his Prophet ﷺ has affirmed to Him ﷻ with distorting the meaning and negating any faults or shortcomings Allah ﷻ has denied for himself.
The main difference between the monotheism of Islam and that of the other religions is that, though many religions agree that there is a supreme being acting as a creator, they are not free from polytheism when it comes to worship. The other religions have deities besides god, in lower levels, who are either substitutes to the Supreme God or act as intercessors. While in Islam attributing elements of worship to anything/anybody other than Allah ﷻ is an act of sin.
Islam- Not Just a Religion but the Way of Life
While many other religions focus on aspects on worship and partly on various aspects of life, Islam serves not only as the true religion but a complete way of life. The teachings of the Qur’an and the Life history of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, encompasses guidance for all walks of human life. Islam does not confine its teachings to one’s private life. Islam teaches about- individual, social, faith, moral, materialistic, economic, scientific, political, legal, cultural and universal areas of life.
The Qur’an is a miraculous book that covers all subjects related to mankind- God and His attributes, the afterlife, laws and regulations for mankind, The prophets and the message, Life events of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions, creation, astronomy, cosmology, biology, embryology, hydrology, alchemy, nuclear physics, medicine, philosophy, feminism and a lot more.
Similarly when we look into the life of our Prophet ﷺ, who was the walking Qur’an, there is a preserved record of his actions and sayings which shows us how he lived his entire life. From basic acts of hygiene to treating other people to maintaining familial relationships to dealing with poverty to battling to devoting himself in worship and much more. He was an open book that when one reads about him, he can get an idea about how to live life in an authentic way.
We cannot find this wholesome approach in other religions, which makes Islam unique.
Simple, Universal, Rational and Practical
The rules and codes that Islam prescribes is neither culture specific nor non-diverse. Any man from any corner of the world could embrace and make Islam a part of his life. Islam transcends time and cultures, such is its universality.
Islam is free from any mythology, superstitions and irrationality. It is imbibed with simple and intelligible teachings and values. The principles of Islam are simple and straightforward, say, anybody and everybody can read the Qur’an, comprehend it and apply its teachings in life. ‘…Allah intends ease for you, not hardship…’ [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185]
Islam is a practical religion that is not based on futile theories. All the revelations and laws are based on reason and logic, merely for the safety and benefit of mankind. It is revealed in the Qur’an, ‘Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān? 1 If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.’ [Surah An-Nisaa 4: 82] If a man was to author the Qur’an, there would have been a lot of contradictions, inconsistencies, and flaws. Just the fact that the Qur’an is devoid of these accusations is a proof that it is from the true divine source. No man was able to contradict a fact from the Qur’an because it refutes the truth based on logic and reason. On the other hand Islam does not proclaim any far fledged abstractions, rites or rituals.
Such is the simplicity, rationality and practicality of Islam, which is absent in other religions.
The miraculous Qur’an
The Qur’an, Allah’s ﷻ word, stands apart from other religious texts in every way. A noteworthy mention is its originality. While other holy books have gone through some distortions over time, either because the original copy was misplaced or lost or destroyed, the Qur’an still remains in its original form as it was revealed 1400 years ago.
‘Indeed, it is We who sent down the message, and indeed, We will be its guardian.’ [Surah Al-Hijr 15: 9]
Similarly, many books were rewritten by human beings as the original revelations could not be preserved. The Qur’an is void of this deficiency. This makes the Qur’an the most reliable and authentic book to follow free from doubts and clarifications. This characteristic makes Islam stand out from other religions.
There are a lot of characteristics that makes Islam a unique religion, and monotheism, Islam as a way of life, simplicity, practicality, universality and rationality and miraculous Qur’an are highlighted.