What's Special about Islam?

What is Special about Islam?

What's Special about Islam? by Saajid Lipham

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and welcome all viewers to Episode one of Islam 101. This is going to be a series where I teach you about the religion of Islam based on my studies, having specialized in Islamic theology and propagation at the Islamic University of Medina. For those of you unfamiliar with the city of Medina, it is a city in Saudi Arabia and it is nearby Mecca and this city is where the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) established the first Islamic Society and this city as well as this particular university is very well known for its scholarship. So basically what I want to do is just to teach you about Orthodox Sunni Islam as it was taught to me here and also the fact that I'm an American, I embrace Islam about 10 years ago, I also want to teach it in a way that I feel will appeal to those in the West who may know nothing about Islam because that's the background that I come from, so I feel like I can relate to that.

So without further ado, the first thing I would like to address is the question why should somebody study Islam. I think the main reason somebody might want to study the religion of Islam is because it deals with answering the most important questions that relate to the human being. When we ask ourselves how did we get here, why do we exist, what happens when we die, what's right and wrong, how should I live my life, there are basically two main sources that you can reference to answer these questions. Number one you have human conjecture, you have human beings who philosophize and they think about these things and they try to use their human intellect to answer these questions and one of the disadvantages in relying on human conjecture to answer these questions is that human intellect is simply limited, human beings we make mistakes, you'll find throughout history and today people come to all sorts of different conclusions regarding the answers to these questions which brings me to the second main source in answering these questions and that is Divine Revelation. So instead of relying on human intellect and conjecture to answer these questions, there are those of us who rely on Divine Revelation.

There are certain sources throughout history that we believe that have come down from the Creator, The All-Knowing, The All Powerful, and Who better to answer these questions than The One who knows everything, The One who created everything, The One who created and maintains the very laws of existence that we live by. So when it comes to Islam we are dealing with Divine Revelation and that's what we want to look at and focus on in this series of lectures.

So when it comes to Divine Revelation what's special about Islam? What about these other traditions that might claim to have divine origins? Well there are three main things that I would like to mention regarding what's unique about Islam in particular.

Number one is that when it comes to the major world religions, Islam is the only one that can claim to be truly purely monotheistic, meaning Islam is totally concerned with worshiping The One True God alone, it's not based on your ethnicity or tribe, it's something that is universal for all human beings, it also doesn't associate partners with God, with the Creator, there's no Trinity, there's no one aside from God that we pray to, that we worship, there are no idols or statues, we don't claim that God had a baby or children or offspring, it's all focused purely on monotheism on the Oneness, the Uniqueness of God, and that nothing else deserves to be worshiped except Him.

The second thing that is very unique to Islam is the authentic comprehensive preservation of the religion. If you want to study a Divine Source, Divine Revelation, it's very important to know that what you're studying truly does come from the Creator and not from a human being. So for example if you want to follow Jesus or you want to follow Moses, you believe that these individuals were chosen by the Creator to receive Revelation and be messengers of the Creator, you have to know that the Scriptures that are with us today that claim to come from those sources, you have to be able to prove that. So for example let's say Jesus said something, in order for that statement to reach us today you would need to know the people around him who heard that statement and relate it to the next generation and then they who relate it to the next generation and so on and so forth until it reaches us and you need to know that those people are trustworthy, you need to be able to compare and contrast all the different statements and compile it and you have to know what's authentic and what's inauthentic because obviously number one, people are just going to make mistakes, it might be unintentional but over the years generation after generation passing down traditions there can be honest mistakes, also you have to know that there are going to be people who intentionally change and manipulate things, so you have to be able to differentiate between people who are trustworthy and people who are untrustworthy and when it comes to any religious tradition Islam is unique in that, it has truly been comprehensively preserved. You can trace back the sources, you can trace back the chains of narrations and this is something that is completely unique to Islam whereas other traditions people don't know who the authors are, you can trace and see where people added stuff, manipulated things and changed it whereas Islam doesn't accept any of those things. So Islam is truly when it comes to religious traditions it has been truly authentically comprehensively preserved.

And the third thing that is unique about Islam which makes it worthy of studying and looking into is just the overall success of this religion. When you think about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) for example, there's no exaggeration in saying that he is the most successful human being who ever existed, he's the most impactful, he's the most beloved, as I said previously his tradition, the things he has said, the things he has taught, the way that he lived, it's been authentically passed down and it's estimated that about one every four people on the planet Earth base their lives around his teachings, the name Muhammad, it is the most popular name on the planet, well over a billion people love this man more than any other human being, this is a man who's so special and so beloved that when his very name is mentioned people say 'May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him'. So considering that he is somebody who has had such a tremendous impact on the world all based on the fact that he was calling to the worship of God alone, that his sole message was to not worship the creation but rather worship the Creator and for this reason he has such a high status in this world. I think at the very least it is worth getting to know about him and his tradition and what he taught.

So these are just a few of the reasons why I think studying Islam is a very good idea for everybody, I want to keep these episodes very short and sweet to the point, so with that said, I want to end episode 1 and in the next episode we'll start getting into more the details regarding the Creator and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the teachings of Islam. Thank you for watching until next time Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

**To follow the lectures on Islam 101 by Saajid Lipham you can watch on his YouTube Channel here.

What is Special about Islam

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