Islam






dhikr


Islam
The Qur'an

Islam Glossary
Tawhid
   The core belief, the statement that Allah desired Muhammed to carry to the world when the Recitation began in 610, is the monotheism expressed in the shahadah , the statement of faith in Islam: "There is no God but God." This unity of God (tawhid), and the consequent dependence of all creation on God, forms the whole of the religious requirement of the faithful, that of "remembrance" (dhikr). Ideally, this "remembering" of God and God's unity and transcendence, should be carried out in each and every activity of the believer.


   Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, views the world and humanity as fallen, but unlike Christianity and Judaism, does not view human nature as inherently guilty. In fact, human nature is brought into the world guilt-free; it is only through the soul's willed and reasoned actions that the soul acquires guilt. This means, for instance, that it is not an individual's fault for being born into the wrong faith; it is their fault for accepting the wrong faith in their maturity. In Islam, the fallen nature of humanity means that human beings are subject to forgetfulness (gaflah ) of God and his unity, and that human religious communities (ummah ) eventually begin to believe in other gods, children of God (such as Christianity), or in various types of things existing independently of God (such as the self). This is called "associationism" (shirk ): associating divine attributes to something other than God; shirk is the form that "forgetfulness" takes. But since Allah's principle attribute is mercy, Allah periodically sends "messengers" (rasul), who found new religions, and "prophets," who come to existing religions, to remind humanity of the unity of God.

   So the "Recitation," the Qur'an , is one such message (risalah ) and for that reason forms the core of Islamic society, literature, architecture, and art. Much of Islamic world view and cultural practice can be related back to this one term, "remembrance," as the various literatures, arts, laws, architectures, etc., serve to remind the faithful community of the unity of God and God's creation.

Richard Hooker



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1995, Richard Hooker
Updated 1-16-98