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The Teachings of Islam According to the Quran

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1. Introduction to Islam and the Quran

Islam is the religion articulated by the Quran, and it means total submission to the will of God. All created beings in the heavens and earth, willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously, obey the laws of nature which are divinely ordained. However, man alone has the power of choice and the ability to seek within himself the guidance necessary to choose rightly. He is therefore able to rebel against the divine laws that govern him internally as well as externally. Islam teaches that such a rebellion is a great sin because it is a sign of ingratitude for the innumerable benefits conferred upon man by the Creator, who is also his Sustainer, Continuer of life, and ultimately his Beneficent Redeemer.

The Quran does not present a detailed curriculum of Islam, but rather a series of teachings revealed in response to questions, needs, or problems arising at various times. These teachings become the subject of the Quran through the way it embodies the generation and application of knowledge, judgment, and wisdom. Muslims believe that the Quran is eternal, ever-living, and a perennial source of guidance. We shall now from the Quran itself extract and elucidate some of the principal teachings of Islam in the light of the Quran.

Islam is the religion articulated by the Quran, believed by its followers to be the word of God and revealed through the final prophet, Muhammad. The Quran provides guidance in all aspects of human life including spiritual, intellectual, and physical development. Believers must have total submission to the will of God and follow the teachings found in the Quran, which are for the benefit of the human race.

1.1. Basic Tenets of Islam

It is typical of Islamic teachings and in the spirit of Quran to correct slip-ups at every opportunity, big or small. Islam adopts a zero-hour solution for a Muslim’s faults, thereby opening up ways to his/her salvation. The teachings of Islam may be summarized in the following Quranic precept, which refers to the entire human race: “O Mankind! I am your Lord. And your Lord is One. Therefore, you should serve Me and no other. To those who have gone astray with regard to this fundamental truth, I have given the advice: You should try and rectify your wrong beliefs and actions until you reach a state of accountability.” (Quran 36:60-61).

5. Pilgrimage to Mecca – Hajj All Muslims who are physically able must make a journey to Mecca – the holiest city in Islam – at least once in their lifetime.

4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan – Saum Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan. Fasting is an act of worship.

2. Daily Prayers – Salat Muslims pray five times a day. It is a direct link between the worshiper and Allah. There are no barriers between the individual and Allah.

1. Profession of Faith – The Shahada The Shahada is the Islamic creed: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” This declaration of faith means that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His messenger.

Islam teaches five basic things, often called the Five Pillars of Islam. These five things are the foundation of Muslim life:

The Quran presents the key teachings of Islam. The Quran is divided into chapters, which are then divided into verses. Muslims believe that the Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a period of approximately 23 years, beginning in 610 CE, and ending in 632 CE, the year that Muhammad died.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable – and the purpose of existence is to worship God. Also, according to Muslims, God is immanent – that is, He is present in human affairs and listens to the prayers of individuals. Muslims’ religious practices are designed to help them achieve direct communion with God.

Islam is a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a religious text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Allah), and by the teachings and normative example of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

2. The Importance of the Quran in Islamic Teachings

The Quran is divided into two main parts. The first part consists of those chapters that the Prophet Muhammad received while he was still in Makkah before the Hijrah (the emigration of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah). These are referred to as the Makkan revelations. These chapters primarily deal with matters of belief and morality and have a more philosophical content. The second part of the Quran consists of those chapters that the Prophet received after the Hijrah, while he was in Madinah. These are referred to as the Madinan revelations. They deal with matters of law and social duties and contain a great deal of legislation. It is important to recognize this division because the historical context in which a revelation occurs often sheds light on its meaning and application.

When we start to talk about Islam and its teachings, it is necessary for us to know and understand the kind of book that Muslims claim as the source of their religion. Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God as revealed to his Prophet Muhammad. Hence, the Quran occupies a very central position in the Islamic religion. All teachings of Islam are to be found within its pages. The Quran is not just a book to be read, it is a book to be followed. The Quran is the primary and the most important source of the religion of Islam. According to Islamic belief, it is the last divine revelation to humanity. No other source is of the same authority as the Quran.

2.1. Revelation of the Quran

The Quran is the last scripture in chronological order that was revealed by God to Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last Messenger of God. The Quran was revealed to the heart of Prophet Muhammad through the intermediary of Gabriel, who is one of the highest angels. The Angel Gabriel used to bring the revelations in portions to the Prophet over a period of twenty-three years. Since Prophet Muhammad was unable to write, the early Muslims wrote down what they had heard from the Prophet. Then the Prophet himself or someone appointed by him reviewed what had been written to ensure that there were no mistakes. The Prophet arranged the verses of the Quran in the order that God had revealed them.

In the beginning, Arabs or Muslims used the word “Quran” to mean recitation or reading. The word “Quran” is derived from the verb “qara’a” which means he read. It is also supported by the Syriac word “qeryana” which means to read, and the Persian word “qara” which also has the same meaning. Therefore, the Quran is “that which is read” or “that which is recited”. The Quran is not written by human beings; it is the Word of God, the Creator of all beings. The Quran is unique. It is the first and the last book that has not changed since its revelation and will never change until the Day of Judgment.

3. Core Teachings of Islam from the Quran

Thirdly, Islam puts great emphasis on the Last Day. This is to remind people of their ultimate responsibility, to remove the apparent injustices of this world where the innocent often suffer and the evil-doers frequently prosper, and to encourage souls who have reached a deadlock in their spiritual life. The idea of the Last Judgment is a powerful incentive to moral action and belief in divine providence. Be not like those who forget God, and whom He has caused to forget their own souls. They are the rebellious. Not equal are the inmates of the Fire and the dwellers of the Garden. The dwellers of the Garden will be the achievers.

Secondly, Islam insists upon the necessity of prophethood. God’s guidance comes to humanity in historical situations through the agency of enlightened persons chosen by God. Prophets are the best of men, supremely endowed with purity, wisdom, and grace. They are also human and do make errors, but whenever they address people in the name of God, they are infallible. They are God’s spokesmen, and have a double nature of conveying both the message and the meaning. The core of prophetic teaching is God-centric, moral, and human-centric. Prophets come to reveal God, to guide people to the truth by removing idols from their hearts, and also to lead them on the path of righteousness and social justice, love and compassion. Denial of Prophet Muhammad entails not only the loss of his specific message but also means a general spiritual disaster.

In Islam, faith and practice are interrelated, and there is not a great distinction between creed and conduct. This is why the Quran does not usually address the theoretical foundations of Islamic teachings in abstract terms, but rather in action-oriented and context-specific revelations. However, several key teachings can still be discerned as the core of the Islamic message, representing the spirit of the Quran’s ethical orientation. First and foremost is the belief in the oneness of God, which covers not only the worship of one God, but also unity of the whole of creation and the providence of God. Humankind is God’s vicegerent on earth, and the ultimate purpose of creation is man’s spiritual growth and unfolding, leading to moral actions. God’s mercy exceeds His wrath, and salvation is always possible. Each soul is endowed with reason and capable of knowing the good. There is no original sin, and there is no need of mediation between man and God. Institutional worship is necessary, but not sufficient. Faith must be enacted in life; it is the moral actions that count in the end.

3.1. Monotheism in Islam

The Quran employs various approaches – logical, ethical, historical, and scientific – in different contexts to prove the oneness of God. The book criticizes polytheism and the worship of deities other than God. Such acts, it argues, are devoid of sense and reality. The Quran repeatedly asks: Do the polytheists have some clear evidence that their gods are real and that they can help them? Do their false deities have some share in the creation or in the control of any aspect of the universe? The Quran mentions different objections and arguments raised by the polytheists and furnishes suitable replies to them. Some people might ask why only one God? Why not more? If many partners can work together in a carpentry shop or in a grocery store, why cannot many gods cooperate in running the world? This desire for plurality is ingrained in human nature. Islam, according to such people, suffices as the religion of one who wished for a single deity but it is not the universal religion. Islam, however, affirms that the desire for plurality is not necessarily good and that it can be the result of ignorance, selfishness, or falsehood.

Monotheistic religion is the cornerstone of the Islamic faith. The Arabic term for monotheism is tawhid, which means declaring or realizing the oneness of God. According to Islamic teachings, God is one, unique, and eternal. He is the creator and sustainer of the universe. Nothing and nobody shares His dominion, His power, or His nature. God has no partner, no wife, no son, and no equal. The primary mission of every messenger or prophet is to invite people to monotheism and to warn them against associating partners with God.

4. Ethical and Moral Teachings in the Quran

The Quran teaches that it is not enough for a person only to believe and pray. True belief must inevitably lead to the purification and perfection of his moral character. Islam insists on the importance of good deeds and high moral character as necessary supplements of faith. The Prophet Muhammad said, “I have been sent to perfect the moral character.” And in the Quran, God says, “By the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right, truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it.” This is a clear statement of the moral responsibility of man. The human soul has the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong and to direct human life accordingly. He who purifies his soul will achieve salvation. The purification of the soul consists in the exercise of that faculty by which man discerns the moral law and directs his life according to its commands.

Islam sets out to control and direct human life at all levels – individual, social, economic, intellectual, etc. Its teachings cover all fields of human life. The central theme of the teachings of Islam, both according to the Quran and the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet Muhammad, is the perfection of the moral character of individuals. Therefore, the ethical and moral teachings of the Quran are an important topic.

4.1. Compassion and Charity

Islam promotes charity not only as a means of helping the poor but also as an expression of thankfulness for the gifts God has given. The Quran states that those who are grateful will receive more of God’s blessings, and gratitude is demonstrated through acts of charity. Withholding charity hardens the heart, making it less capable of receiving God’s love and grace. The ability to give, conversely, opens the heart, and the wider the heart opens, the more goodness it can receive. Thus, Muslims are encouraged to give charity even when they have only a little, for in sharing what God has given, they increase their own capacity to receive love and grace. The Quran teaches that nothing is truly ours. Anything we possess is a gift from God, to be shared or used for the benefit of all.

God’s love is the model for human love. When people love one another, they act like family. Through their charity and helping one another, individuals become part of God’s family. In doing acts of kindness, Muslims are being true to their inner nature. God has already given each person a good soul. Acting righteously means revealing and expressing that innate goodness. The act of charity simply uncovers the love already present within the donor, and in doing so, benefits the recipient of charity.

Islam’s teachings about compassion and charity give Muslims strength and determination in facing life’s challenges. Muslims believe that expressing love and kindness towards humankind is the surest way to earn God’s mercy and reward. The Quran informs that performing acts of kindness helps a person’s spiritual growth. The resulting inner goodness is the quality that truly benefits the recipient of charity.

5. Conclusion and Reflections on Islamic Teachings from the Quran

Muslims should work in unity, establishing a true brotherhood by defending the truth and supporting one another morally and with the necessary resources. Non-Muslims should not be discriminated against; they should be treated with justice, kindness, and provided protection when in need. It is hoped that both leaders and followers will benefit from these teachings and in implementing the model, there will be an increase in leadership performance and organizational effectiveness.

Several leadership and organizational performance teachings of Islam based on the Quran were uncovered from our extensive research. It has provided a rich source of spiritual, moral, and communal teachings that lead to a canvas on how leadership and organizational performance should be performed in an Islamic manner, which is the model of the Prophet. The spirit and principles are applicable to all leaders regardless of their background or religious affiliation.

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