This is intended to be a very short resume of Islam, based only on a few ayat of the Glorious Qur'an. To begin with let us consider this ayah:
"So set thy face (purpose, heart) steadily and truly to the din. Instincts Allah has bestowed upon mankind are in harmony with the nature He has created it. There is no altering of Allah's creation. By Allah, that is the right religion (din), but most people know not." (30: 30‑31)
Dan is an instinctive part of humankind. We are all born with it. If a person does not feel this instinct, it is because of the influence of the family and/or society that either has disassociated him (or her) from it or has diverted him (or her) from the inborn natural Divine religion, din, to some kind of man‑made, temporal sect. Without din, a person wanders around aimlessly and spoils his life in darkness, though he may be an "intellectual" in the eyes of some people.
The entire creation follows certain rules, conforms with certain conditions and has a certain goal, all set by Allah the Exalted. Humankind is no exception. Therefore the question remains: what is the dan (a way of life) that would conform with the rules and conditions and aims for our lives as set forth by our creator? Humankind had no choice in its own creation, and is only a "created" being. Therefore, it cannot depend on itself to search for the right way of life (din), as it does not know all about the entire creation, and all the rules and laws of the universe. Consequently, its own created creed is compelled to be inadequate for the guidance of all people at all times.
Allah the Exalted has chosen Islam as the right way of life for all people and all times (also refer to ayah 5:3, on page 29) Islam is in accord with the creation of mankind, and its instinct and intuition. It is harmonious with the universal mandate of creation, which is total submission to the Will of Allah the Exalted.
Consider how the entire creation submits to the rules and conditions set forth by Him; the entire galaxy, the moon, the earth, the earthquake, the wind and the hurricane, the rain and the snow, the bees and the birds, the trees, the vegetables and the flowers, and an endless list of other beings. They all submit entirely to the set formula which has proved to be the best for them for millennia. And this is the true meaning of Islam. We should all learn Islam from Nature. Only the human beings keep challenging Allah the Exalted, His messengers and His Message, making life difficult for themselves.
"Do they seek for other than the din of Allah while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willing or unwilling, submitted to His Will (embraced Islam)? And to Him shall they all be brought back." (3:83)
"Verily the din (religion) before Allah is Islam (Submission to His Will). And `people of the book' did not dissent there from except through envy of each other after knowledge had come to them. But if they deny the Signs (ayat) of Allah, Allah is certainly swift in reckoning." (3:19)
According to Islamic belief, this world is only a farmland. We harvest what we sow in it. Prosperity and success in the mind of a Muslim are not conceived as worldly affluence and a rich life only. It is to fulfil the worldly obligations in the way Allah the Exalted has prescribed to earn His satisfaction for ultimate peace and security of the soul in the next world. This life is short, the next is forever. Which one is worth satisfying? This might be significant to observe that both "this world" and "the next "are mentioned equally, 115 times each, in the Noble Qur'an.
We said that the entire universe, including humankind, has a purpose. Let us now see what the Glorious Qur'an says in this connection:
"And I have not created the jinn and the human except that they should worship (obey) Me." (51:56)
Jinnkind and humankind are both free to choose, and it is up to them to follow the instructions of Allah the Exalted or not. The Munificent Qur'an teaches us that total submission to the Will of Allah the Exalted will make our spirit, intellect, and talents flourish towards perfection of our insight and toward the transformation of our "potential" abilities into "real" abilities.
This causes great pleasure, and constitutes a "real" success, which is but the reflection of our serving Allah the Exalted, and obeying Him like a slave.
If we are not obedient to Allah the Exalted, then we are a slave of our own wishes, and of satanic agents. The Glorious Qur'an is quite clear on the fate of such people. Let us examine the following two ayat:
"Have you then not seen him who takes his low (vain) desire for his god. And Allah has made him go astray having knowledge, and has sealed his hearing and his heart (understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who can then guide him after Allah (has withdrawn guidance)? Will you not then be heedful?" (45:23)
It seems clear that selfish desires can seal Allah's guidance resulting in ignorance and going astray, no matter how intelligent and successful one may appear to be. And:
"Verily, Allah admits those who believe and do righteous deeds to Gardens beneath which rivers flow. While those who reject Allah (cover His words and disobey him) enjoy (this world) and eat as cattle eat. And the Fire is their abode." (47:12)
Therefore, it appears that the enjoyments of humankind, the most honourable part of creation, can become as low as those of animals when they choose to disobey Allah the Exalted. Choosing, by free will, not to reject, disobey and challenge Allah the Exalted seems to be the dividing line between mankind and animals. This total submission to the Will of Allah is the true meaning of Islam. Humankind adheres to it by free will while the rest of beings do it automatically.
Having come to this point, we now ask what is the secret formula and the procedure to achieve this position. The Glorious Qur'an has the answer:
"... And We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy and Glad Tidings to those who submit to the Will of Allah (Muslims)." (16:89)
This means that the Munificent Qur'an includes and explains everything humankind needs to know. Or:
"Nothing have We neglected in the Book " (6:38)
"There is no compulsion in religion, the Right way is just made clear from the wrong (by the Glorious Furqan)..." (2:256)
Therefore according to the Glorious Qur'an Itself the secret formula to ultimate bliss can be found in this Book. Everything that humankind needs to know is in It and nothing is neglected in this Book of Guidance. Allah the Exalted leaves people free to choose after the Final Testament, al‑Furqan (the distinguisher between right and wrong), has been sent down to humankind.
The Glorious Qur'an is the "written" form, and the Life of Muhammad (SA) and the infallible Imams (PBUT all), is the "practical" form of guidance to the Straight Path for the ultimate and true pleasure, prosperity, peace and tranquillity (salam).