Islam is not a “religion”
The Meaning of Man
This World and the Hereafter
Islam, the Message
Development and Underdevelopment
Justice and Spirituality
Defamatory Campaigns against Islam
Modern man no longer wonders!
The “what” and the “why”
O Bewildered Man!
In a gathering like yours, we should go to the roots of the issue. We ought to speak of Islam as an eternal and universal Message, as a Message from heaven to earth, as a liberating Message from God to man so that the latter can overcome those tyrants who keep him—and the whole mankind—from enjoying justice and peace on earth.
We will then go farther and deeper in our talk of Islam, the Islam of our beloved Messenger Muhammad (God bless him and grant him peace), whom God sent as mercy to all creatures. To make our ideas clearer from the start, let us cast aside some ready-made concepts that obstruct mutual understanding, communication and contact between people. Giving specific definitions to certain potentially misleading concepts is indubitably the first enterprise one should undertake if he intends to have any genuine, constructive and fruitful dialog about a momentous issue like Islam and its representatives: Muslims.
The first of these concepts that obstruct mutual understanding between Muslims and their interlocutors is the word “religion.” The Arabic dīn, wrongly translated as religion, has a meaning that is much deeper, more comprehensive, and occupies a semantic, pragmatic field that is much wider. When the word dīn is then translated into a foreign language like English, for instance, and becomes “religion” the word takes on a different guise, and bears by moving from one language to another meanings that have not come from the History of Islam, the Truth of Islam, the Message of Islam, the Qur’ān of Islam, the sunna [model practice of the Prophet] of Islam. Rather, it takes on meanings that have gathered around the word “religion” throughout the eventful history of Christianity in the West, both in Europe and America.
Words inspire man with meanings and concepts that may be misleading. Let us thus discard the word “religion” and talk rather of dīn. What is dīn? Islam is a dīn. Dīn, or Islam, [from the root verb dāna or aslama] literally means to submit to God—Exalted be He. Throughout this talk, we will then be reformulating numerous concepts whose newly discovered meanings stand in marked contrast with those articulated in this modern age where the materialistic credos have overwhelmed the moral values. We thus define man as a creature that was created by a Creator: God—Glorified be He.