Jesse Potts: The Islamic Worldview

Though the religion of Islam shares many similarities with other religions (such as Christianity), Islamic faith promotes a unique worldview held by followers. Through consideration of significant concepts such as the cosmos (and the status of human being), conceptualizations of life and the afterlife, and the characteristics of God-human relationsone should be able to piece together the significant components of the Islamic worldview.

According to Islamic belief, the Cosmos is created by God for human beings. It is believed that every creature in the cosmos is alive and is constantly invoking God (Allah). Human beings hold an important status in relation to God and the Cosmos; it is thought that all human beings carry the Trust of God and God’s Soul with them; “Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.” (Q.33:72)

To truly understand the Islamic conceptualizations of life and the afterlife, one must consider the Islamic eschatology. On the Day of Resurrection, sinful and moral acts are examined by Allah, and one is granted entrance to heaven or hell as a result of this judgment. Upon the Cosmic Unveiling, it is thought that Muslims will reach an unprecedented level of self-awareness of their past deeds during a period known as the Avowed Hour. It is believed that during this time all Muslims will find their deepest and innermost sense of self. This eschatology features eight absolutes, (or necessities for salvation) including transparency, individuality, and accountability. Important to this topic is the concept of intercession, a practice through which a Muslim seeks to draw closer to Allah through prayer for greater humanity (not centered on the individual.) Through this concept, one should note the emphasis Islamic faith places on the well-being of others.

Islamic faith heavily emphasizes the importance of god-human relations. To understand the significance of the Islamic moral system, one should examine The Five Pillars of Islamic Faith. These pillars include Shahada (one’s faith in the unicity of Allah and Mohammed’s status as an Apostle of God), Salat (daily prayer), Zakat (Almsgiving), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), and Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca). While performing rituals, Muslims must maintain purity of mind, body, and space. This purity is represented in the concept of Al-Niyya (the purity of mind) and intent (for the sake of God). It is not enough for one to simply follow the five pillars of Islam; if the proper mindset and intention is not held, these actions will not be legitimate. Through these pillars, one can see the emphasis Islamic faith places on moral action and unity; elements such as Zakat promote unselfishness and sympathy for others, and events such as Hajj emphasize the community-oriented approach central to Islam.

Through consideration of these three concepts, one can begin to see the values that form the basis of the Islamic worldview. Though the ultimate goal of Muslims is to draw closer to Allah and be rewarded on the Day of Resurrection, this cannot be accomplished without pure moral action and intention that is conducive to the greater prosperity of all beings.