Allah tells us in the Quran (Chapter 5 Verse 3) that “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion”. Upon comparison, we realize that Islam is the only religion among all other religions of the world, that has covered all aspects of human life extensively. From the rites of birth to those of death, from the mundane to the sublime, everything has been meticulously explained. Food, drink, marriage, upbringing of children, nursing, education, marital relationships, care of parents, rights of friends and neighbors, rights of spouses, rights of women, inheritance, social welfare, care and protection of orphans and widows, health and medicine, crime and punishment, trade and business, contractual obligations, the creation of the universe and everything in it…. The list is endless.

When Allah, who is the source of everything that is perfect and beautiful, says to something “Be”, it comes into existence in exactly the way commanded by Allah (The Quran, Chapter 36, Verse 82):

His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it “Be” and it is.

It is part of the Islamic faith that the word of Allah cannot be doubted, and what is stated in the Quran, is the direct and unchanged word of God. This being the case, the Quran is the greatest proof and affirmation of the perfection of Islam and its status as the religion chosen by Allah for all His created beings who have free will (humans and the jinn).

So how is it that the way of life that Allah has perfected and completed, is perceived as lacking or inferior in so many respects today?  Obviously, the deep chasm between the intended essence of Islam and reality, cannot be ignored. In fact, even Muslims who are not familiar with true Islam and accept that the way it is being represented, as its true form, are being misguided away from Islam. The abuse of women, the kidnapping of young schoolchildren, the killing of innocents, war crimes against women and children, the injunction against girls from getting educated, domestic violence, honor killings, demand for dowry, global terrorism and many such atrocities are being committed in the name of Islam. The perpetrators of such violence have little or no understanding of the perfect way of life advocated by Islam and exemplified by prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). It is a tragedy of unimaginable proportion that we live in a period when the essence of Islam is being overshadowed by its very antithesis perpetrated by people who call themselves Muslim. It is the responsibility of each one of us to first, educate ourselves in the matter of our religion and second, to spread this knowledge to as many people as possible. Only by taking on individual and collective responsibility can we hope to realize the potential of our perfect religion to live our lives as a peaceful, productive and progressive community.

Indeed, the following dua reported from the hadith of prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) is most appropriate for overcoming our deep divisions, factions and hatred:

O Allah! Reconcile (with love and understanding) between our hearts. And resolve our (broken) affairs. And guide us toward peace and paths of guidance. And take us out of the darkness (of falsehood, ignorance, evil, etc.) to the brightness (of truth and guidance).