Islam Rightly Explained
Prepared by Philip Voerding and Chris Hawes
1) The Five Roots of True Religion
Islam can be described as a tree comprised of roots, trunk and branches.
- The roots are the basic doctrines of belief.
- The trunk is the reaction to belief in the roots, which is submission to Allah.
- The branches are the action one does based on belief in and submission to Allah.
Each “root” will be described briefly in the following paragraphs.
2) Root One: The Oneness of God
The first root is the “Oneness of God”. There can only be one God. The Quran, the Holy Scripture of Muslims, says this of God:
Say: He is Allah, the One
The One upon who all depend
Who does not give birth nor was He born
And there is none like Him. – Quran 112:1-4.
Allah is unique. Allah is Uncreated, The Eternal, is not born, is the Knower of all things, and the Perfect. Allah cannot be compelled. Allah is true in His words and promises. Allah is All-powerful.
Also, Allah has no partner of partners. Allah is not made or composed of any material. Allah cannot be divided even in imagination. Allah cannot be confined to any place, for Allah has no body. Allah does not change. Allah is invisible. Allah has no needs. Allah’s attributes cannot be separated from Him.
3) Root Two: The Justice of God
Allah is Just. This means Allah is not a tyrant. He rewards everyone depending on his or her deeds. The one who obeys Allah will be saved and receive Paradise as his or her reward.
The one who disobeys Him will be sent to Hell. The Quran says:
Allah affirms that there is no god but Him,
And so do the angels,
And those endued with knowledge,
He is standing firm in justice. – Quran 3:18
Allah is always just and never chooses to be unjust because He will not do that which is against His nature and character. Why would Allah, who is perfect, act imperfectly? The answer is that He will never act imperfectly. Allah is also the Beneficent, which can also be translated as the Compassionate and the Merciful.
4) Root Three: Prophethood
Since Allah is Just, He has a plan for His creatures. This plan is for them to do His will in all their relationships with each other as well as with Him. Therefore, Allah has sent prophets to acquaint humanity with these principles and codes of life.
Nor would we punish without sending messengers to give warning.
- Quran 17:15
Adam was the first Prophet. Other prophets include Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, John the Baptist, Jesus the Messiah, and Muhammad, who was the last Prophet. In all, 124,000 thousand prophets were sent to various peoples at various times.
In fundamental principles, the prophets never disagreed. They were sent to different peoples, at different times, in different regions. The last Prophet, Muhammad was sent to all humanity with the final message from Allah. Islam (which means Peace with and Submission to Allah) is the perfect code of life for all peoples in all places for all times to come.
We have not sent you (all of the prophets) but as a mercy unto all the worlds. – Quran 21:17
And we have not sent thee but as a universal messenger to announce and to warn. But most of the people do not understand. – Quran 34:28