Yunus, New Age Islam
25 August 2017
(Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana
Publications, USA, 2009)
Most Muslims regard the five pillars of faith as the essence of Islam’s
message with salat as the key to Paradise.
When they meet each other, they generally ask ‘have you done your
prayer’. But they never ask fellow Muslims or next of kin, have you done any
‘Good deeds’ is central to practically all religions and probably there
is no religion in the world that promotes evil deeds except the terrorists and
nihilists. So why this reflection for the Muslims!!
This reflection is prompted by distinguished international scholar and
celerity Akbar Ahmed’s interview of Kristaine Becker, once a top presenter on
MTV Europe on what made her convert to Islam 
When Kristaine Becker, asked Cricketer Imran Khan what Islam was all
about, his answer was "Believe in God and do good deeds, was the
essence of Islam"- and this
set her on course to explore Islam leading to her eventual conversion.
To most Muslims, Imran Khan’s answer may reflect a silver coating or
simplistic reduction of Islamic message. He didn’t talk about the Prophet of
Islam or the pillars of faith and singled out good deeds as the heart and soul
But Imran Khan was true to the Qur’an.
This is what the Qur’an says:
Indeed! Whoever surrenders(asslama) his will to God, and does good deeds - will get his reward from his
Lord. There will be no fear upon them nor shall they grieve.” (2:112).
“And who can be better in religion (din)
than one who surrenders (asslama) his will to God, and
does good deeds, and follows the way of Abraham, the upright one…. ” (4:125).
“And who is finer in speech than the one
who invites to God, does good deeds and says: ‘I am of those who surrender to
God (muslimun)’” (41:33).
Thus, the Qur’an testifies that all those, regardless of their religions
and prophets, whose faith in God inspires them with a spirit of doing good will
get reward from God.
Hence as stated by Imran Khan, "Believe in God and do good
deeds, is the essence of Islam"
or the epitome of its message
This notion does not underplay or blot out the significance of the
Pillars of faith – that is salat, fasting, hajj and zakat, but adds the
superstructure to these pillars.
The din or code of life of Islam will be compromised if a Muslim simply
conforms to the pillars of faith but refrains from doing good deeds by wayof
helping each other. In the words of the Qur’an:
Do you see the one who belies the din
(religion) (107:1)?. It is he who rebuffs the orphan (2), and does not
encourage feeding the poor (3). So, woe to those prayerful (4), who are
heedless of their prayer (5), who aim to be seen (in public) (6), but hold back
from helping (others)” (107:7).
Accordingly, the Qur’an distinguishes Good deeds as the sole criteria
for earning divine approval on Judgment Day that we will discuss in next
Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of
Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth
study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has
co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar
al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was
endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by
Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.
Kindness to Humanity in Qur’anic Message – Part 4
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(103:1) By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),(2) Verily Man is in loss,
(3) Except such as believe, and do righteous deeds, and exhort
each other to uphold what is Right, and to practice Patience and Constancy.
We pray in Surah fateha:
(1:6) Show us the straight way,
(7) The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, ,,,,,