This Monograph on Essence and Spirit of Islam is the last in the series of Monographs pertaining to Qur’an and Islam published by the Mustafa Educational Network Trust (MEDNET).

It is an extremely difficult task nonetheless an attempt has been made to condense in a capsule salient features about the Qur’an and Islam presented more comprehensively in the preceding twenty nine volumes.

This book explains lucidly the significance of the Five Pillars of Islam. If observed faithfully and meticulously they can help Muslims to lead a pious and virtuous life. It is interesting and inspiring to notice a remarkable similarity in the divinely ordained obligatory canonical practices in the religions founded by all the Prophets from Nuh (Noah) to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad (saws), the last Prophet. They were all enjoined by God to offer Salaah (Prayers), Observe Saum (Fasting), and pay Zakah (Poor Due).

It is also pointed out that Islam is the only religion which is not named after any person or tribe. Allah (swt) himself gifted to the followers of Muhammad their Deen (religion) and called it Islam which means peace and also submission to the commands of Allah.

Muslim societies the world over are decadent and stagnating. This is largely because Muslim rulers, political and religious leaders and eminent scholars have abandoned the powerful Islamic instrument of Ijtihad (independent critical thinking) to reform Muslim societies and keep them abreast with the emerging demands of new social, political and economic realities with the passage of time. The book advocates a rigorous application of Ijtihad in order to restore the progressive character of Islam and ensure the progress of Muslim societies.

It is pointed that Muslim countries and consequently Muslim societies have significantly deviated from the fundamental Islamic values of peace, compassion, justice, tolerance and human equality. A firm adherence by Muslims to these Qur’anic values alone can eliminate extremism, fanaticism and violence which are being perpetrated by a microscopic minority of misguided Muslims who in the name of Jihad kill innocent people which is completely forbidden in Islam.

Most of the Muslims have a skewed knowledge of the Qur’an. In order to help them to obtain a balanced and distortion free knowledge of this unique and remarkable book, this Monograph focuses on the multidimensional character of Al-Qur’an. Besides being a book of religious significance that guides us regarding our faith and conduct of affairs in life, it also inspires Muslims to conduct research and acquire as much knowledge as possible in order to improve the quality life and living conditions of human beings on earth.

The concept of accountability was first introduced in religion. Modern science of management has borrowed this concept from religion.  Accountability has been greatly refined and emphasized in the Qur’an.  The Qur’an categorically rejects predetermination. It states unambiguously that human beings, on the Day of Judgment, will be answerable to Allah for their deeds during their life time on earth. One ought to fear Allah and be conscious of the Day of Judgment. If anyone ignores it he or she will do so at his/her own peril.

We, hopefully, conclude that this book, The Essence and Spirit of Islam, Inshaallah, will stand out as a useful guide to lead mankind to the “Straight Path” i.e. Sirat-al-Mustaqeem.

Authors:
Prof. Shah Manzoor Alam, a distinguished social scientist;

Prof. Mrs. Sameena Tahsin Saeed, Associate Professor of English, Shadan Engineering College, Osmania  University, Hyderabad.