A Brief Introduction to Islam

By Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Ridha’ Musawi Golpaygani (R. A.).
Risalah (Epistle) Concise Commandments of Islam. Translated by Mokhtasarol Ahkam. Published by Dar al-Quran al-Karim, 1992. Information taken from pages 1 to 3.

This article discusses briefly the essential nature of Islam and its comprehensiveness.


Note: the word Allah has been replaced with the word God to facilitate comprehension.

According to the everyday language and European culture of today, religion consists of a collection of views and teachings which discusses the relationship between God and man and how this relationship was established. In almost all European languages, the word 'religion' has a similar meaning and is derived from the Latin root ligare which means 'to bind'. Therefore, the word 'religion' means 'to bind again'.

What is important here is that unity must be brought between two entities which have become detached and far removed from each other, that is, between God and man, because based on a fundamental Christian belief, Adam was expelled from Paradise for having committed sin and thus became separated and removed from Allah. His happiness and salvation could only be found in reunion with Allah.

Therefore, the only mission of religion is to re-establish this relationship of unity. As a result, the understanding of Europeans of modern culture and the human sciences of religion has been founded and developed on such a basis and has also been deeply affected by it. This concept is precisely the opposite of the religious concept of Islam upheld by Muslims throughout history.

To introduce this faith, the word 'Islam', which is the special name of the religion and means 'submission' and 'obedience', has been used in the Quran and Islamic texts. It can be observed that Islam has a fundamental difference with other religions, especially with Christianity, in that all new human sciences have been affected by its precepts, even with regard to the ideals and the mission of religion.

As a result, it is natural that the foundations, content and nature of Islam be very different. What is propounded in Christianity at the present time is re-establishing ties with Allah, which should necessarily be done through Jesus Christ. While in Islam the question is obedience and submission to a great, and at the same time, practical belief system.

A Muslim must not only accept the articles of faith, but must also obey all the rules concerning the acts of worship and non-worship in Islam exactly the way they are recommended, because the source of true salvation is faith along with practice; sincere and practical belief, whether in regard to worship, conduct or laws and regulations.

Islam is the last Divine Religion and as such, must rationally and practically be the most comprehensive and complete religion. There is no religion as comprehensive as Islam. It has answers to all the various questions that man encounters, directly or indirectly, from the first moments of life, rather, from the moment of conception.

Yet this is only one side of Islam. It is not just a system for individuals; rather, it is a social religion with the ultimate objective of governing all dimensions of society. It not only wishes to subjugate the individual but also wishes to rule over and subjugate society as well.

In the common interpretation, it is belief and Divine Law, religion and government, religion and politics - politics in its most comprehensive and profound sense. It is politics in the sense that it deals with all social, economic, cultural and ethical questions of life.