(May peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him)
You may be an atheist or an agnostic; or you may belong to anyone of the religious denominations that exist in the world today. You may be a Communist or a believer in democracy and freedom. No matter what you are, and no matter what your religious and political beliefs, personal and social habits happen to be - YOU MUST STILL KNOW THIS MAN!
He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numberless social and political reforms, established a dynamic and powerful society to practice and represent his teachings, and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and action for all times to come.
HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD, peace and blessings of Almighty God be upon him and he accomplished all these wonders in the unbelievably short span of twenty-three years.
Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him was born in Arabia on the 20th of August, in the year 570 of the Christian era, and when he died after 63 years, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had changed from paganism and idol-worship to the worship of One God; from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living; from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since!
The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him "the most successful of all religious personalities of the world". Bernard Shaw said about him that if Muhammad were alive today he would succeed in solving all those problems which threaten to destroy human civilization in our times. Thomas Carlysle was simply amazed as to how one man, single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades. Napoleon and Gandhi never tired of dreaming of a society along the lines established by this man in Arabia fourteen centuries ago.
Indeed no other human being ever accomplished so much, in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior, in so limited a space of time, as did Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him. He was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, a political thinker, a military genius, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father - all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these difficult departments of life.
The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields such as religious thought or military leadership. None of the other great leaders of the world ever combined in himself so many different qualities to such an amazing level of perfection as did Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him.
The lives and teachings of other great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and the place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity today to reconstruct accurately and precisely the lives and teachings of those men.
Not so this man Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him. Not only was he born in the fullest blaze of recorded history, but every detail of his private and public life, of his actions and utterances, has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the information so preserved is vouched for not only by faithful followers but also by unbiased critics and open-minded scholars.
At the level of ideas there is no system of thought and belief-secular or religious, social or political-which could surpass or equal ISLAAM- the system which Muhammad peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him propounded. In a fast changing world, while other systems have undergone profound transformations, Islaam alone has remained above all change and mutation, and retained its original form for the past 1400 years. What is more, the positive changes that are taking place in the world of human thought and behavior, truly and consistently reflect the healthy influence of Islam in these areas. Further, it is not given to the best of thinkers to put their ideas completely into practice, and to see the seeds of their labors grow and bear fruit, in their own lifetime. Except of course, Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him, who not only preached the most wonderful ideas but also successfully translated each one of them into practice in his own lifetime. At the time of his death his teachings were not mere precepts and ideas straining for fulfillment, but had become the very core of the life of tens of thousands of perfectly trained individuals, each one of whom was a marvelous personification of everything that Muhammad peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him taught and stood for. At what other time or place and in relation to what other political, social, religious system, philosophy or ideology-did the world ever witness such a perfectly amazing phenomenon?
Indeed no other system or ideology secular or religious, social or political, ancient or modern - could ever claim the distinction of having been put into practice in its fullness and entirety EVEN ONCE in this world, either before or after the death of its founder. Except of course ISLAAM, the ideology preached by Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him which was established as a complete way of life by the teacher himself, before he departed from this world. History bears testimony to this fact and the greatest skeptics have no option but to concede this point.
In spite of these amazing achievements and in spite of the countless absolutely convincing and authentic miracles performed by him and the phenomenal success which crowned his efforts, he did not for a moment claim to be God or God's incarnation or Son - but only a human being who was chosen and ordained by God to be a teacher of truth to man kind and a complete model and pattern for their actions.
He was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble and exalted mission-and his unique mission was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE AND ONLY GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living in accordance with the laws and commands of God. He always described himself as A MESSENGER AND SERVANT OF GOD, and so indeed every single action and movement of his proclaimed him to be.
A world which has not hesitated to raise to Divinity individuals whose very lives and missions have been lost in legend and who historically speaking did not accomplish half as much-or even one tenth-as was accomplished by Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him should stop to take serious note of this remarkable man's claim to be God's messenger to mankind.
Today after the lapse of some 1400 years the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him, have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. Today they offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills which they did when Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him, was alive. This is our honest claim and this is the inescapable conclusion forced upon us by a critical and unbiased study of history.
The least YOU should do as a thinking, sensitive, concerned human being is to stop for one brief moment and ask yourself: Could it be that these statements, extraordinary and revolutionary as they sound, are really true? Supposing they really are true, and you did not know this man Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him or hear about his teachings? Or did not know him well and intimately enough to be able to benefit from his guidance and example? Isn't it time you responded to this tremendous challenge and made some effort to know him? It will not cost you anything but it may well prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life.
Come, let us make a new discovery of the life of this wonderful man Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him the like of whom never walked on this earth, and whose example and teachings can change YOUR LIFE and OUR WORLD for the better. May God shower His choicest blessings upon him!
All praises be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad His last messenger.
The objective of this handout is to correct a false idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people are facing difficulties on the basis of their mistaken belief that entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of high ranking scholars or sheikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition have a certificate issued by the authorities as an evidence to that effect.
We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very easy and that none of the above mentioned conditions or obligations are required. For Allah; the Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, as this procedure may facilitate for them many matters including the possibility of performing Hajj and Umrah.
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah (SWT) for all human beings, then, one should pronounce that "Shahada" (The testimony of faith) without further delay. The Holy Qur'an is explicit in this regard as Allah (SWT) has stated.
"Truly, the Religion on the sight of Allah is Islam." (3:19)
In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah (SWT) has stated:
"And whosoever desires a religion other that Islam, never will it accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who are lost." (3:85)
In addition, Islam is the only Religion prevailing over all other religions. Allah (SWT) has stated in the Holy Qur'an;
"And to thee. We have sent the Book in truth, (This Qur'an) confirming the scripture that came before it, and a witness over it..." (5:48)
Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), said:
"Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that there is no God worthy to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and His servant; performing the prayer; paying the Zakat (obligatory charity); fasting the month of Ramadan; and perfuming Hajj."
The Shahada can be declared as follows:
''ASH-HADU ANLAA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH WA ASH HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASUULUH."
The English translation is:
"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshipped but Allah, and I bear witness the Muhammad is His servant and messenger.''
However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to utter only this testimony orally either in private or in public, but rather, one should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction with the teachings of Islam in all his life he will find himself a new born person, (or new man).
This will move him to strive more and more to improve his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fill his heart until be becomes the embodiment of that faith.
What would be next after declaring the testimony of faith (Shahada) and then becoming a Muslim? He should know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the Oneness of Allah and accept Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as the last of the Prophet, and meet its requirements. He must behave accordingly applying this true faith to every thing he speaks or does. What do the words of "Shahada" signify.
The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (ditty) to be worshipped other than Allah, (Glory be Him). He is the only true God, Who Alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who Alone is worthy of worship.
The second part of the "Sahada" i. e. "We ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh" means that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact, the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH), to believe him in what he has said, to follow his teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him.
What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service; showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah's Commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit and whether private or public.
Worship falls into two categories:
Visible (manifest or outward)
Invisible (concealed or inward)
Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the "Shahada" performing prayers, giving Zakat (Obligatory charity), observing fast in the month of Ramadan, performing Hajj, recitation of the Holy Qur'an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.
This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of human body, [actions].
Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgment, in the Hereafter, in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone.
This type of worship does not involve movements of parts of the body but it surely has a bearing on one's heart which subsequently affects his way of life. (Beliefs).
It should be borne in mind that worship not dedicated to Allah alone, will be rejected as one form of polytheism or shirk, which amount to apostasy from the Islamic point of view.
The next step for a devotee (newly reverted to Islam) is to purify himself by taking a bath (total ablution). He should then resolve to comply with all the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He disowns all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be righteous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the requisites of the motto of Islam that is, Lailaha Illal Laah.
Allah has stated in the Holy Qur'an:
"... whoever disbelieves in false deities and believes in Allah, hath grasped the most trustworthy Handhold, that will never break..." (2:256)
we have to consider that when we declare from our heart that "there is no god (ditty) worthy to be worshipped but Allah." It implies on our part of love, devotion, faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislation which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is requirement of "there is no god worty to be worshipped but Allah," to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah. This is the firmest anchor of belief which materializes the meaning of "AL-WALA and "AL-BARA". It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practice, dissociate himself completely from practices of the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldly and religious matters.
We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that He may cleanse the hearts and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers. Ameen.
Without a doubt, you have often heard the claim that Jesus is God, the second person in the "Holy trinity." However, the very Bible which is used as a basis for knowledge about Jesus and as the basis for doctrine within Christianity clearly belies this claim. We urge you to consult your own Bible and verify that the following conclusions are not drawn out of context:
1. God is All Knowing.....but Jesus was not When speaking of the day of judgment, Jesus clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his knowledge when he said, "but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the son, but the Father." Mark 13:32, and Matt 24:36. But God knows all. His knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of his own admission, did not know when the day of judgment would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God.
2. God is All Powerful.....but Jesus was not While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself admitted that the power he had was not his own but was derived from God when he said, "Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do..." St. John 5:19. Again he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." St. John 5:30. But God is not only all-powerful, He is also the source of all power and authority. That Jesus, of his own admission, could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not God.
3. God does not have a God.....but Jesus did have a God. God is the ultimate judge and refuge for all, and He does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus acknowledged that there was one whom he worshipped and to whom he prayed when he said, "l ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." St. John 20:17. He is also reported to have cried out while on the cross, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" Matt 27:46. If Jesus were God, then couldn't this be read, "Myself, myself why hast thou forsaken me?" Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus prayed the Lord's prayer (Luke 11:2-4), was he praying to himself? When in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt." Matt 26:36-39. Was Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own admission and by his own actions, acknowledged, worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is clear proof that Jesus himself is not God.
4. God is an invisible spirit.....but Jesus was flesh and blood While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said. "No man hath seen God at any time." St. John 1:18. '"Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape." St. John 5:37. He also said in St. John 4:24. "God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." That Jesus would say that no one had seen or heard God at any time, while his followers both saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not God.
5. No one is greater than God and no one can direct Him but Jesus acknowledged someone greater than himself whose will was distinct from his own. Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus himself who said in St. John 14:28, "My Father is greater than I." When someone referred to him as good master in Matt 19:17, Jesus responded, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God..." Furthermore, Jesus drew clear distinctions between himself and God when he said, "I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me." St. John 8:42. Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to God, rather than his equality with God,when he said in Luke 22:42, "not my will but thine be done" and in St. John 5:30, "I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me." That Jesus would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God.
Conclusion The Church recognizes the Bible as the primary source of knowledge about God and Jesus. But since the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is not the Supreme Being and the Supreme Being is not Jesus, upon what basis have you come to believe otherwise?
My brother or sister, the belief that the Supreme Being is a Trinity is false and completely inconsistent with the words of Jesus as presented in the Bible. God is one, not three. He is a perfect unity.
If you are interested in the truth about God and your relationship to Him, we invite you to investigate the religion of Islam.
What is the word of God about Jesus:
A. Regarding Sonship of Jesus: That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are doubting. It is not for God to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing he but says to it "Be", and it is. (Qur'an 19:34,35).
And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son.' You have indeed advanced something hideous. The heavens are well nigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-Merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant (Qur'an 19:88-93).
Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, "Be", and he was. (Qur'an 3:59).
People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. and say not, 'Three', Refrain, better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be on Him - that He should have a son! To Him belongs that which is in the heavens and on the earth, God suffices for a guardian. (Qur'an 4:171)
B. Regarding Jesus being God: And when God said. 'O Jesus son of Mary,did you say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God?" He Said, 'To You be Glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not know what is within Your soul; You know the things unseen. I only said to them what You did command me: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when You did take me to Yourself the Watcher over them; You are the witness of everything. (Quran 5:116,117)
C. Regarding Crucifiction of Jesus: And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God'...yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of certainty... no indeed, God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them. (Qur'an 4:156-159)
Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, is the creator of mankind and therefore knows his nature more intricately than mankind himself. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, has therefore chosen for us a religion best suited to the nature of mankind, a religion that goes neither to the extremes of hardship nor of laxity, but instead provides a middle path; in other words, a religion of ease. Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said;
"Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult for you" [2:185]; and "Allah does not want to place you in difficulty" [5:6].
Such easiness is well explained in the hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said, "Religion is easy..." [Bukhari], he also said; "The best of your religion, is the easiest." [Ahmad]
The easiness of this religion was put into practise by the best of humanity, the one who came to deliver the message, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, said;
"Verily there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves, it grieves him that you should suffer any difficulty, he is anxious for you, for the believers he is full of pity and merciful" [10:128]
This understanding is clarified in a hadeeth in which the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "... Allah did not send me to be harsh, or cause harm, but He sent me to teach and make things easy" [Muslim]. This understanding is further implemented by the mercy sent to mankind, Muhammed, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, in the hadeeth reported by his noble and pure wife, 'Aishah, radiya Allahu 'anhu, who said; "Whenever the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, has a choice between two matters, he would choose the easiest, unless it is sinful (act)" [Bukhari].
Many hadeeths have been reported on the matter of easiness: "Allah likes for this nation ease and hates for it hardship and adversity." [Tabaraani].
"We have been given a privilege over other nations... .we have been given verses that no one else has been given, the last two verses of Surah Baqarah(chapter 2)"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear" After each statement, Allah responded by saying, "I did, I did, I did"" [Muslim].
To further emphasise this understanding to his companions, when once a Bedouin stood up and started urinating in the mosque, the people caught him; but he, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had urinated. The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, then said, "You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult" [Bukhari].
An example that illustrates this point is Salah, an act so important and vital to Islam that the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer" [Muslim]. He also warned against leaving salah, even at the time of his death, in his very last breaths before departing from this world.
Yet in this worship Allah has also prescribed easiness. At first, the number of prayers was fifty in number, but they were reduced several times until they were five. Then it was proclaimed 'O Muhammad, the order is not changed. These five are (equal in reward) to fifty' [Tirmidhi].
Causes of hardship If Islam is a religion of ease, why do we find many Muslims not practising it? Why do we find them doing very little of what they ought to be doing, and why do even those who practise their religion sometimes find it difficult?
There are reasons why the practice of Islam can becomes hard:
1) Lack of piety When we speak about Islam being easy we are, in reality, speaking about the easiness of its acts of worship and morals. Religion by definition means commitment and an obligation to a master. Therefore, being a religious person means to be always aware that we are slaves to a master, Allah, subhanahu wata'aala.
From here we see the mistake of those who want 'ease' to mean 'doing nothing', just saying "I am a Muslim", committing themselves to nothing. It is obvious that they want it to be easy, but what exactly do they want? They want an easy life, a life without any religious practices.
The idle belief of 'existing only to live' has long ago been negated by Allah, subhanahu wata'aala. He said:
"Do you think you have been created for nothing and that you will not be resurrected and brought back to Allah again!" [23:115]. He also said: "Thinks man that he is left aimless?" [75:86].
Islam is easy to practice; but those who do not understand the reasons behind their existence, who do not understand the concepts of religion, but meanwhile are striving to secure themselves in this life; then surely they will find its practices difficult.
The easiness of Islam is felt in all of its commandments. Some people find this or that commandment hard to follow but this does not mean that the command is in itself hard; often it is the person who is the cause.
For example Salah, it is an easy act of worship, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, has made clear:
"And seek help in patience and prayer and truly it is (prayer) extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi'un (i.e. true submitting)" [2;45].
Prayer is an easy act of worship except, of course, for those who do not truly submit to their Lord; they will find it toilsome.
Why do they find it so? The answer is that it is not the prayer that is difficult, but it is the hearts of these people which have changed from good to bad, as Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, mentioned:
"Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness ..." [4;142]; in another verse He subhanahu wata'aala, said; "And that they came not to prayer except in a lazy state ..." [9;54].
2) Ignorance The rules of Islam did not come as mere do's and don'ts. Each obligation has wisdom and motivation behind it. It should make no difference to us if the wisdom for that particular practice is known or not, because if it is not known to us today, then if Allah wills, He will reveal it to future generations. What is primarily expected from us is to fully submit and implement every command.
For example, the giving of charity, which apparently decreases the wealth of the giver. Islam did not say "Pay charity, pay charity", as this would not motivate people and therefore make it difficult to act upon. Instead Allah says;
"Would you not like to give a loan to your Lord, and this loan will be paid back to you multiplied and you will be rewarded for it." [2:245]
The Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, said; "Verily, wealth does not decrease because of charity." [Muslim]
It seems Muslims often ask why this act or matter is Halaal or Haraam. With such an attitude they will never achieve their goal, because behind each injunction there is an aspect of wisdom. Without understanding this, practising Islam becomes a heavy burden. With strong belief, we do not even have to ask whether this or that is halaal or Haraam, but rather if it pleases Allah. Therefore we should take the rules seeking the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wata'aala,. If pleasing Allah subhanahu wata'aala, is, always, our aim, then undoubtedly the practice of religion becomes easy, no matter what apparent hardships we may encounter.
3) Inappropriate environment It is true that sometimes we find it difficult to practise the religion, even those who are committed to it!
The reason behind this is that we are practising our religion in an non-religious environment. Islam is not meant to be practised while being immersed in a Kufr (disbelieving) society. Its practice will indeed be difficult in such an environment. Therefore, the difficulty cannot be blamed upon Islam as a religion, but rather on the circumstances of the society.
Returning to our example of prayer, we see that prayer by itself is easy, but if you have to stand alone to pray amongst non-Muslims, all of them watching you, it will suddenly become difficult. The obvious conclusion is that the prayer in itself is not difficult, but the environment has made it difficult.
Another example is that of a woman who wears hijaab and is happy to cover herself. If this were an Islamic society, it would have been difficult for her not to be covered, or for a man not to respond to the call to prayer and pray in a mosque. Thus difficulty is not the nature of our religion, but we are trying to be pure in a decadent and immoral environment. These realities are not unknown to Islam, because the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, already warned his companions some fourteen centuries ago, and by that has also warned us by saying, as reported by Abu Tha'laba, radiya Allahu 'anhu, "... Ahead of you are days which will require endurance (in the practice of religion), in which he who shows endurance will be like him who grasps live coals. The one who acts rightly during that period will have the reward of fifty men who act as he does."
The hearers said, "The reward of fifty of them, Messenger of Allah!" He replied, "The reward of fifty of you." A companion said about this difference in reward, "Now you find people helping you to do good deeds, but then they will not find things to help them but they will find things to resist and oppose them." [Tirmidhi].
So Islam is the religion of ease. If we accept it as a religion to start with, then we should take it with its concepts, and practise it in a pure environment (as opposed to a corrupted and decadent one); it will then become an easier religion to practise.
As it is not possible to have a 100% pure society, we have to strive to achieve this by being surrounded by good Muslims. In doing this, the religion will loosen the burdens around it.
The easiness of Islam has even been testified by the enemies of Islam. This was apparent in the statement of the Jews at the time of the Prophet, salla Allaahu 'alaihe wasallam, when a man and a woman from amongst them committed fornication. Some of them said to the others: "Let us go to this Prophet, for he has been sent with an easy law ...". [Abu Dawood].
So may Allah, subhanahu wata'aala, make us amongst those who
"Listen to the word and follow the best thereof, whom Allah has guided and those are men of understanding." [39;18].