Islam is in many ways a complicated faith system but in other ways it is very simple.

As Muslims we enjoin the good and forbid the wrong.That is why it is important that when we see an act of injustice that we try to stop it or to rectify it.

Islam means to submit before God.  And as we believe that the Quran is the word of God and that in it are commands by God, we then submit to God’s wishes, according to the Quran.

So a person who submits is then called a Muslim.   Muslims have many benchmarks to measure their level submission.  It’s easy to say that you are a Muslim but there are many things that a Muslim must do to truly be a Muslim, ie. a person in the state of submission.

  • Prayer

Prayer is important because its like your pay or reward for something you do.  Like if you go to work and perform a job you get paid for it, well imagine if each daily prayer was like a monetary value, say $500, and that each time you prayed you got $500 metaphorical dollars and the more you pray the more the spiritual bank account increases (of course without any interest because interest is forbidden).

  • Spirituality

Islam is all about the inner-self, it’s about strengthening and beautifying the inside, building a deep and substantial understanding of life and your relationship with God.

  • Nafs or the ego

Similarly to the spirit, the ego is all about yourself and your desires, your selfishness and your pride.  The aim, through being a Muslim, is to diminish the effects of the ego and to fight the inner-desires to love oneself or to do selfish acts or to be proud and arrogant.  If one can conquer the nafs then one will truly understand what Islam is about.

  • Following the sample of the Prophet (pbuh)

As mentioned before, this is a fundamental aspect of being a Muslim.  The Prophet was the perfect human being, he was also selfless and sacrificed everything to deliver his message and to bring humanity out of the depths of ignorance and backwardness.  He was a very wise and humble man, who had the greatest love and compassion for his people, he was a kind and loving father, a considerate and caring husband, a fair and disciplined leader and a deeply pious devotee of our Creator.

If we take his example in the way that he behaved, then really a person today can not go wrong.   The simple way to sum up the Prophet (peace be upon him) was he always took the middle way and was not too excessive in his behaviour.  He was fair and considerate, kept his word, always repaid his debts, avoided injuring anyone’s character, helped the needy and went without the basic luxuries that we take for granted today.  He was a shining light in a world that did not value life, consider the poor or even respect women.He was exemplary and today more than a billion people try to emulate his standard of behaviour.

  • Compassion

This is essential, one must love his fellow human beings regardless of their religion, race or creed. Compassion, is one of the names of God and we recite this everyday during our prayers, when we read the quran and before we eat or wash, before we sleep or make a business transaction and so on.   Compassion is the essence of Islam.

  • Charity

If compassion is the essence then charity is the conerstone of Islam.  This is not just the act of giving money or a material benefit, like donating clothes or jewellery.  Charity is also an act of kindness, such as smiling, helping the elderly or reading to someone.  In Islam there are two kinds of charity, random acts of charity and the compulsory Zakat, which involves 2.5% of your yearly savings.

  • Community

The family is the core unity of any society and maintaining strong family links, respect and love allows the whole community to function.  The community is very important in any culture or religion and Muslims particularly, are very community focused.  The community, is the source of education, protection and socialisation.  Of course, this helps in finding marriage partners, solving disputes, creating work and resources and in maintaining high moral standards for youth and others in the community.

  • Respect – for others, parents and elders

Of course, Muslims must always respect their parents.  Islam places extra emphasis on the respect of the mother. Islam teaches Muslims to put their mothers at the pinnacle of the family structure to appreciate just how much they do for us.

  • Adhab or manners

As mentioned, good moral standards leads to good behaviour.  The way one behaves in a Muslim society is critical.  This includes the way one treats a guest, a friend, a colleague, a teacher or a mentor, an employer or a family member. Manners are the measuring stick of civil society.  Today’s Muslims must always look at the early Muslims for examples on how to behave.

  • Ahlaq or morals

Similarly, morals are the foundations on which those manners are based and for every individual, the highest ethical and moral standards must create the framework for a society to function effectively.