This is an important question, indicating that the questioner is mature and enlightened. In response, I say:
Islam is a religion that includes a number of merits and characteristics that are absent from other religions. These characteristics alone, serve as convincing evidence that Islam is the true religion of Allah (God). You can determine the authenticity of this statement by contemplating them.
Islam’s many merits and characteristics make it impossible to elaborate on all of them. However, some of the most important can be summarized as follows:
Amongst the greatest merits of Islam is that it fulfills the spiritual aspects of the human being and enables those who embrace it to have an ongoing connection with Allah (God). This makes it possible for them to be at ease spiritually. It shields them from chaos, being lost or feeling (spiritually) empty, and protects from mental instability.
Another of Islam’s merits is that it coincides totally with common sense. All of the Islamic legislation and its rulings are acceptable intellectually and are never contradictory. One man who embraced Islam was asked why he did so and he replied, “Islam never ordered me to do anything that I later wished wasn’t obligated, and it never forbade me from anything that I later wished wasn’t forbidden.”
Much of what is readily accepted in other religions causes great confusion. This confusion makes it difficult to believe many of the fundamental tenets that these religions are based upon.
On the other hand, we find that Islam respects the intellect, prohibits ignorance, and condemns blind following.
Islam is an all-inclusive way of life attending to both spiritual and physical needs. Practicing Islam does not mean that one has to be secluded or that he is prohibited from the finer things in life. Rather, according to Islam, a person can be religious and still enjoy a normal life; attaining prestigious positions and achieving the highest academic degrees.
Among the merits of Islam is that it is a comprehensive religion. Every aspect of a person’s life is managed by Islam. There is not a problem except that a solution for it lies in Islam, which makes it possible to embrace and practice in every time and place. How can this not be the case in such a well-organized religion that has guidelines and positive instruction for every aspect of life including: conflict resolution, buying and selling, social and marital relations, greetings, public etiquette, and even how a person eats, sleeps and dresses? These practices have not been addressed generally, but rather in precise detail, causing the mind to wonder in amazement. Know that Islam even provides direction on how to wear and remove footwear. It encourages people to use their right hand when eating, drinking, shaking hands, and when giving and receiving items. As for disliked affairs, such as using the bathroom, the left hand is to be used.
Islam also has wonderful instructions regarding going to sleep and waking up. When two Muslims meet, Islam directs them on how they should greet each other: A rider should initiate greeting the pedestrian, the youth should initiate greeting the elderly, and a small group should initiate greeting a larger group. These are but a few of Islam’s many comprehensive guidelines for all aspects of life.
Another of Islam’s merits is that it establishes good for mankind in all of its regulations and safeguards them from evil. It is man, himself, who benefits from these regulations. Islam’s prohibition of alcohol and drugs, for example, is only because of the great harm they cause to a person’s physical and mental health.
You can witness the state of a drunken man, no longer human except in appearance. A lot of murders, disputes, traffic accidents, and rapes would not have taken place were it not for consuming these mind-altering products.
Islam’s prohibition of premarital sex relieves societies of destructive diseases (such as AIDS and other STDs), immoral behavior, and the existence of a generation of illegitimate children. This generation is often deprived of a mother’s love and a father’s upbringing which can lead them to become burdensome on society.
Islam prohibits women from displaying themselves publicly. This is because Islam considers women to be valued, preserved pearls; not some cheap merchandise to be displayed for all to see. It does so to protect them from the wolves of mankind—those who are only concerned with satisfying their lusts—even if it is at the cost of a woman’s honor, nobility, status, and purity.
On the other hand, Islam permits all harmless and beneficial drinks. It also permits married couples to enjoy one another within a happy home.
In summary, Islam has not eliminated freedoms and desires. Rather, it regulates them for the benefit of mankind and the society at large.
A radiant aspect of Islam is that it pays a great deal of attention to values, character, and praiseworthy manners, while prohibiting mankind from oppression, transgression and bad character. Islam is a religion of love, unity and mercy. It defines an individual’s relationship with his parents, relatives, neighbors, friends, and all people. Islam embeds the best of manners in those who embrace it and prevents them from living selfishly.
It encourages its followers to help others and take others’ feelings into consideration--especially the poor, orphans, elderly, and widows. They all have rights in Islam that must not be taken lightly by Muslims. Muslims shouldn’t feel like they are bestowing favors upon others when giving them their due rights; rather, these rights are obligations upon Muslims. It is considered to be a great sin in Islam for one to go to sleep with a full stomach knowing that his neighbor is hungry.
Islam even prohibits two people from whispering to each other in the presence of a third, taking his feelings into consideration. Islam goes even further than that, obligating kind treatment to animals and prohibiting harming them. More specifically, Islam prohibits slaughtering an animal while another watches, or sharpening a knife while it is watching, so that it is not tormented along with being slaughtered.
Truthfulness, trustworthiness, bravery, generosity, humility, abiding by promises, visiting the sick, attending funerals, being dutiful to parents, visiting relatives and neighbors, and striving to help others are all etiquette that are encouraged by Islam.
On the other hand, Islam strictly prohibits oppression, lying, conceitedness, envy, and insulting or betraying others. It is impermissible in Islam to speak ill of a person in his absence, even if what is being said is true.
Islam encourages people to be moderate in spending, being neither excessive nor miserly.
During these times when many of our societies complain about cold-heartedness, materialism, selfishness, and so on, we find that Islam has proven remedies for all of these problems.
This summarized introduction should make it clear that Islam is a logical religion that can be easily understood by all people. The doors to Islam are wide open and do not shut for anyone looking to enter.
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