In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful, I pray this humble article benefits my Muslim brothers and sisters and offers some kind of motivation for studying religious matters in more depth.
Islam As A Religion of Knowledge
Islam is a religion of knowledge, it has been from the very beginning. In fact, the first word revealed to our Prophet Mohamed (peace and blessing be upon him) was “Iqra” which means to read (Surah Al-Alaq no. 96, verse 1), so we can safely say that seeking knowledge in order to get closer to our Lord is a duty upon every Muslim. Insha’Allah (by the will of Allah) throughout this article I will be focusing on the branch of Islamic studies named Aquida (Creed) and I will explain just why educating ourselves is such an important and valuable part of our religion.
Our brothers and sisters who, by Allah’s grace and guidance, decide to revert to Islam, do so only after a certain period of time in which they study this religion, actively trying to answer certain questions that their previous faiths failed to answer. Becoming Muslim is a process of acquiring knowledge, of getting the right answers, and this process needs to continue even after joining the fold of Islam in order to have consistency in our worship.
Benefits of Studying Islamic Creed
You can look at it this way: joining Islam is like tying a knot and you need to keep tightening that knot through beneficial knowledge so it won’t come undone at some point.
The branch of Islamic studies called Aquida, Islamic creed, does just that, it reinforces one’s faith through facts and information extracted from authentic sources, actually the name of the subject itself, in the Arabic language, means to tie a knot or it is used to convey a sense of certainty, of something undebatable.
In order to reach the required level of discipline to actively and consistently engage in the acts of worship, you need to be aware,
- firstly, of who exactly you are worshiping,
- then you need to understand why is it so important to worship Him in the specific way Muslims do.
The study of Aqida clarifies those matters in an almost scientific way that will leave you completely satisfied and at peace with every explanation.
Main Focus of Islamic Creed
The main focus of Aquida are the six articles of Islamic faith :
- Belief in Allah
- Belief in His Angels
- Belief in His Divine Books
- Belief in His Messengers
- Belief in The Last Day
- Belief in The Divine Decree
As you may have noticed while reading them, they are all connected and strongly dependent on each other. Everything starts with faith in Allah, as the Creator, Sustainer, Owner of all mercy, all the rest are just logical consequences of that belief.
Purpose of Life
Another thing worth mentioning is that us, as humans and creations of Allah, we have two purposes,
- the main one is to acquire beneficial knowledge in order to know our Lord and get closer to Him,
- and the second one is to inhabit Earth, so the study of Aquida becomes a duty upon every Muslim.
Perfection of Islam
Islam is the only religion that includes rulings over all aspects of life, from personal matters to the very laws that govern society at large.
In fact, being the last message sent to us till Judgment Day it is complete and undebatable, it provides all information we would ever need in order to stay on the right path and to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Allah tells us in the Qur’an:
“Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as Dīn (religion and a way of life) for you.” (Surah AL Ma’idah no. 5, verse 3, English translation by Mufti Taqi Usmani),
So everything is given to us, by Allah’s Mercy, in the noble Qur’an and authentic hadeeth (Messenger Muhammad Sayings). Everything that might be useful to us is described in great detail in these trusted sources, including matters of the unseen (like angels and jinn) so we should do our best not to seek further untrusted knowledge. Aquida goes through all these topics in a beautiful manner that charges one’s heart and brings it closer to Allah.
Personal Reflections in Learning Islamic Creed
Personally, the topic I loved the most while taking part in this course was the one that spoke about life after death and Judgment Day.
Islam really paints a very graphic picture of what actually happens to us after we die and of what is to come before the end of all time. Thus, if you look at these things with the sincere eye of a believer you will find hope born in your heart, hope in the mercy of Allah and hope in His perfect judgment.
My Struggles As A New Muslim
By the end, I would like to share my humble opinion concerning the importance of studying Aquida. Being a Muslim revert myself I can state, from personal experience, how frustrating it is to suddenly have to adapt yourself to everything a Muslim has to do (keeping yourself pure and clean, the five daily prayers, changing your dress code etc.), especially when you have to do it while in a non-Muslim country. It takes strength and perseverance to keep yourself on the right path despite everything being against you. Thus, you will inevitably trip and fall at one point. And it’s totally fine as long as you get back up, repent, ask for Allah’s support and step back on the right path.
How Studying Islamic Creed Helps Me?
Sounds pretty straightforward and easy right? Wrong! Embarrassingly, it took me YEARS to even establish the prayer properly! You read that right, YEARS! My heart was in the right place but I was missing the guidelines. My worshipping improved significantly when I started attending courses, such as Aquida, that just beautifully connected all the pieces that formed the big picture. Everything I just said is relevant for born Muslims too.
To conclude, worship is hard. It needs a special kind of patience and endurance to engage in the acts of worship. Your heart and your intentions need to be constantly renewed and refilled by Allah’s Mercy and Guidance. This is in order to stay on track towards our beautiful goal, Jannah. Indeed, that can only be achieved by seeking beneficial knowledge! May Allah grant us all higher understanding and the means of getting closer to Him, amen!
by Lavinia Andrada Voinea