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Islam: a complete code of life

and not only rituals


Name: Syed Ameed

Candidate Number: 0900990260

Teacher: Musab Zaki Yusuf


School: ISA Islamic School
Center Number: 090099
Subject: Religious Education
Territory: Guyana
CXC CSEC 2015
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION 3

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 4

STATEMENT OF AIMS 5

INFORMATION COLLECTION 6

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 7

ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION 9

STATEMENTS OF CONCLUSION 12

BIBLIOGRAPHY 13

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Introduction
Reason for selecting the area of research:

The researcher has been living under the banner of Islam from the time of his birth and was given the
perception by the Islamic community that Islam is only a few rituals such as prayer, fasting, making
pilgrimage once capable, etc. However, after thorough research, the researcher has come to realize
that the perception, which the Islamic and some other religious communities have, is more or less
incorrect.

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Acknowledgement
In completing this School-Based Assessment (SBA), the researcher would humbly like to acknowledge
all those who were a part of this contribution. First and foremost, he (the researcher) would like to
praise and thank his Lord, Allah the almighty, for granting him success in completion of this research.

The researcher would like to significantly acknowledge the contributions made by his Religious
Education teacher and his (the researcher’s) father, Sheikh Musab Zaki Yusuf and Maulana Syed
Mohommed Tasdeeq respectively, towards this research.

It is an honour to the researcher for acknowledging the school in general, for all the good support they
have given him. Equally appreciating are the contributions of the researcher’s parents, siblings, friends,
classmates and all those who gave encouragement, motivation, inspiration, tips and support in the
process of completing this research. It was indeed a great pleasure to the researcher in accepting the
contributions of all for making this research somewhat helpful and informative in many ways.

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Statement of Aims
Although some people do understand that religions establish a code of life, but they still do not practice
according to their beliefs. Therefore, in this research the researcher aims to:

 Define Islam;
 Illustrate Islam’s practicality as a system of life
 Establish that Islam is a way of life and not just ritualistic trends to follow;
 Portray Islam as a solution to human issues
 Identify specific popular Islamic Laws (on: Salah, Hijab, Lottery, Pawn shops,
adultery/fornication) that Muslims in the Caribbean underestimate or misunderstand;

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Information Collection
Date Data Collected Description
7th of January, 2015 Acquired data from ‘Islamic Teachings in Collected relevant information
Brief’ and analyzed it pertaining to Islam’s reality and
it’s purpose in human life
9th of January, 2015 Conducted a survey with Sheikh Musab Asked questions about the
Zaki Yusuf and Maulana Syed current situation in the
Mohommed Tasdeeq Caribbean and how it can be
improved
12th of January, 2015 Analyzed and finalized the project Analyzed the data acquired
and formatted according to the
aims set

Data Collection Instrument

Questionnaire

The following questionnaire was distributed to two experienced Islamic authorities, namely:

Sheikh Musab Zaki Yusuf

Maulana Syed Mohommed Tasdeeq

Sample Questionnaire

1. Do you think Muslims in Caribbean follow only ritualistic trends of Islam?

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. If yes:
a. How do you think these trends were originated?

_______________________________________________________________________________

b. On a scale of 1-5, rate how bad this ‘follow trend’ system has mislead Muslims.

1 2 3 4 5

c. What do you think will happen if this continues?

_______________________________________________________________________________

d. Please state solution(s) to this ‘potential threat’ to Islam.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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Summary of Findings
Islam in literal Arabic definition means submission to peace.

Quotation from ‘Islamic Teachings in Brief’ defining Islam :

“Religion refers to the beliefs and a series of practical and moral instructions that the
Prophets have related on behalf of Allah to guide and lead human beings.”1

Verse of the Quran about the purpose of Humans on earth :

“I did not create the Jinn and the Humans except that they may worship Me.”2

Quotation from ‘Islamic Teachings in Brief’ about Islam’s view on having praiseworthy qualities in
life :

“Religion decrees that we adopt praiseworthy qualities in life, have a good nature, and
accomplish ourselves with good and commendable attributes.”3

Verses of the Quran about the praiseworthy qualities of a Muslim :

“…Be wary of Allah, and speak upright words (truth)…”4

“It is greatly outrageous to Allah that you should say what you do not do.”5

“Do not grant a favour seeking a greater gain.”6

“…So do not flaunt your piety: He knows best those who are God wary.”7

“Allah loves those who are patient.”8

Quotation from ‘Islamic Teachings in Brief’ about Islam’s view on Social/Human issues :

1 Islamic Teachings in Brief: Page 17


2 Holy Quran: Chapter 51: Verse 56
3 Islamic Teachings in Brief: Page 19
4 Holy Quran: Chapter 33: Verse 70
5 Holy Quran: Chapter 61: Verse 3
6 Holy Quran: Chapter 74: Verse 6
7 Holy Quran: Chapter 53: Verse 32
8 Holy Quran: Chapter 3: Verse 145

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“Religion decrees that we perform acts that are beneficial to ourselves and to our
society during our life and refrain from acts that cause corruption and immorality.”9

Verses of The Quran about Social/Human issues and their solutions :

“If two groups of the faithful fight one another, make peace between them…”10

“… Let not any people ridicule another people: it may be that they are better than they
are; nor let women [ridicule] women: it may be that they are better than they are…”11

“…Avoid much suspicion. Indeed some suspicions are sins. And do not spy on or
backbite one another…”12

9 Islamic Teachings in Brief: Page 19


10 Holy Quran: Chapter 49: Verse 9
11 Holy Quran: Chapter 49: Verse 11
12 Holy Quran: Chapter 49: Verse 12

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Analysis and Interpretation
Islam in literal Arabic definition means submission to peace. This infers that surrendering to peace
and rejecting all injustice and oppression is the first thing a follower of Islam (Muslim) must commit.

The belief that Allah’s laws are superior to man-made laws (since man’s wisdom is limited and a
victim of desires) explains that Islam cannot be a religion of ritualistic trends but a religion of beliefs,
ethics and commandments all together. Thus, Islam sets a perfect code of life.

According to Allamma Muhammad Hussain Tabataba’I:

“Religion refers to the beliefs and a series of practical and moral instructions that the
Prophets have related on behalf of Allah to guide and lead human beings.”13

The statement above clearly states that practical and moral instructions stand alongside beliefs in order
to understand and follow a religion (in this case, Islam).

In the Holy Quran, Allah speaks of Man’s purpose on earth:

“I did not create the Jinn and the Humans except that they may worship Me.”14

Worshiping Allah does not mean to only pray (Salah), rather to follow his commandments in every
aspect of life.

According to Allamma Muhammad Hussain Tabataba’I:

“Religion decrees that we adopt praiseworthy qualities in life, have a good nature, and
accomplish ourselves with good and commendable attributes.”15

It is accepted universally that Islam and Islamic Laws emphasize on a Muslim to be virtuous. Although,
belief is that solid refuge in which man never confronts fear and anguish in the ups and downs of life,
ethics and commandments completely portray a true Muslim’s belief. Islam always commands the
Muslims to have a praiseworthy behavior and to perform good and decent deeds as far as his
capabilities allow.

To prove the mentioned: In the Holy Quran:

“…Be wary of Allah, and speak upright words (truth)…”16

13 Islamic Teachings in Brief: Page 17


14 Holy Quran: Chapter 51: Verse 56
15 Islamic Teachings in Brief: Page 19

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“It is greatly outrageous to Allah that you should say what you do not do.”17

“Do not grant a favour seeking a greater gain.”18

“…So do not flaunt your piety: He knows best those who are God wary.”19

“Allah loves those who are patient.”20

All of the references from the Holy Quran above illustrate some of the gist of good conducts that are
recognized universally. They speak of either: truthfulness, sincerity, unselfishness, humility, patience,
etc.

Therefore, taking lessons from above, it can be firmly established that Islam is not just following
ritualistic trends but it is unconditionally submitting to Allah’s will, and doing as he has prescribed to us.
And it is no secret, from the verses of Quran, which are the words of Allah, that Allah wills nothing but
good from us.

According to Allamma Muhammad Hussain Tabataba’I:

“Religion decrees that we perform acts that are beneficial to ourselves and to our
society during our life and refrain from acts that cause corruption and immorality.”21

From the above, it can be derived that commandments are not only for improvement/development of an
individual, but also for the society in whole. These commandments are solutions to human issues and
are engraved in the Holy Quran in the following verses:

“If two groups of the faithful fight one another, make peace between them…”22

“… Let not any people ridicule another people: it may be that they are better than they
are; nor let women [ridicule] women: it may be that they are better than they are…”23

“…Avoid much suspicion. Indeed some suspicions are sins. And do not spy on or
backbite one another…”24

However, the Quran does not have dos and don’ts only, but it is also enriched with stories of Prophets
and other great ancient personalities, which are worth taking lessons from so that mankind can
understand and follow the right way. There are also stories of evil figures such as Abu Lahab, Pharaoh,
etc. that identify actions and characteristics that are evil and should be avoided.

16 Holy Quran: Chapter 33: Verse 70


17 Holy Quran: Chapter 61: Verse 3
18 Holy Quran: Chapter 74: Verse 6
19 Holy Quran: Chapter 53: Verse 32
20 Holy Quran: Chapter 3: Verse 145
21 Islamic Teachings in Brief: Page 19
22 Holy Quran: Chapter 49: Verse 9
23 Holy Quran: Chapter 49: Verse 11
24 Holy Quran: Chapter 49: Verse 12

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In the current stage and age, as described by Sheikh Musab Zaki Yusuf and Maulana Syed
Mohommed Tasdeeq, in the Caribbean, the general mentality of the Muslims is that Islam is only a
religion that urges Muslims to pray 5 times a day, give charity, recite Quran, Fast in the month of
Ramadhan, etc. Therefore, the philosophy behind these acts and the spirit of ‘lesson-taking’ is lost and
trends of ‘follow what you see’ are picked up over the time. Although praying, fasting and other rituals
are to be followed, these rituals need to be conceptualized properly to enlighten their practice.

Salah (prayer) for example was established so that Muslims may be reminded of Allah at least 5 times
a day, in order that they may express their love to Allah by doing good deeds; Hijab is obligatory (for
both male and female) because it is not just a covering, but its safeguarding of society from moral
decay simply by giving the individual the responsibility to protect their nakedness/lustful gaze, since,
this naturally provokes certain types of behavior which may destroy society. All of the above lessons
and many more illustrate that Islam is a practical way of living.

As described by the respondents, prohibitions are usually taken lightly in the Caribbean. However,
there are tremendous benefits when these actions are avoided and nameless consequences when not
avoided. For example: The Quran speaks about the story of Prophet Yusuf and emphasized on the
prohibition of illegal sex and placed a very detrimental punishment for the perpetrators; Allah has also
emphasized on the prohibition of lottery and pawning since both lead to unstable economy where one
is continuously gaining and the other is continuously loosing.

The above means that many Muslims underestimate Islamic laws in these situations. This can also
mean that since Muslims are doing acts which Islam prohibit, judgment of Islam, or religions in general
must not be from the followers’ actions but according to its nature.

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Statements of Conclusion
From the research conducted, it can be concluded that Islam is not a religion of following ritualistic
trends but a religion that caters for every aspect of life. It can also be concluded that Islam’s system of
life is very practical to follow and every Islamic law aims to prevent social/human problems.

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Bibliography
Tabataba’i, Muhammad Hussain. Islamic Teachings in Brief. Georgetown: Al-Mustafa Islamic College,
2013

Qara’i, ‘Ali Quli. The Quran (translation). With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (Second
Edition). Qum: The Centre for Translation of the Holy Qur’ān, 2005

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