What is the difference?


Religion, whether theistic or non-theistic, is a subjective experience shaped by the susceptibilities and prejudices of individuals and is mainly a personal reflection. A traditional religious life is occupied with rites and rituals with varying aims to attain salvation, liberation from sin and rescue from evil through a saviour or by appeasing a chosen deity, prayer, pilgrimages, miracles, austerities, self-mortification, penance and mercy being the main routes to a heaven. Entry to this paradise is available only to those belonging to the particular fold and all others are excluded and sent to hell, a place of torture to pay for their life of sin.


Any ordered way of living is a Deen – this includes all social and political systems and everyone lives by a system of some description. Deen-Islam is the holistic socio-economic system that encompasses everything and operates according to the ordinance of God; it is in essence the System of God.  Firmly based on the Absolute Laws and Permanent Values as enshrined in the Quran these laws and values are the foundations upon which the human Self is able to develop in order to attain its optimum potential. Implementing these laws and values of Deen-Islam results in positive outcomes not only for the individual but also has meaning for society as a whole. What moves life forward is action through good deeds underpinned by accountability. It is this, and only this, that raises the measure of human endeavour. The Quran outlines the principle values in verse 2:2-3; to safeguard oneself from lasting harm and to become benefactors of mankind. This is further expanded in 2:177 and 17:22-39 detailing the profound values that progress society.


Religion, any religion, is an opiate, designed to subdue and control the masses who resign their intellect to others. However, the Deen-Islam is a stimulant that invigorates individuals into positive action and raises the measure of human value, making it fit for this life and the life yet to come. This development can be attained by anyone who aligns his or her beliefs with the Permanent Values found in the Quran, and Quran alone, with ultimate accountability to the One God and to the One God alone.


Unlike religion, the primary function of Islam is the development of the human personality, not through rites and rituals but by active participation in society underpinned by useful good conduct. It helps the transformation of an individual’s character by organising it into a harmonious system of living. When  individuals are good, it is not possible that society is not also good. The values in the Quran eliminate internal and external conflicts. They have meaning for individuals but have far richer meaning for each person as a member of a larger social group – the global village.


The only way for people to achieve the promised state of peace and security, both here and in the life yet to come, is to break away from all religions, all false teachings, and all fabricated systems that have a stranglehold on humankind. God has assured every man, woman and child an exalted status when they believe and follow His guidance. People are therefore encouraged to return to the only consistent source of this guidance: the Quran. No reasonable person can deny that we need order, and it is Deen-Islam that provides the ultimate social system for all humanity.


When intelligent people look at the absurdities and futility of religion they often reject God, when in reality they should reject religion. It is religion that steals the identity of God and distorts it, while Deen-Islam properly defines God, His System and humanity’s position and role within that system.


The purpose of the Quran is to undo and loosen the vicious grip of religion on humanity, and to restore Deen-Islam as an effective code of guidance that God, periodically over time, sent His messengers amongst all communities. This culminated in the final detailed and complete guidance of the Quran. It is the Quran that deconstructs religious thought of all description and replaces it with God’s System: Deen-Islam, the dynamic order for social reform. Deen-Islam invigorates people to establish the system designed for all people. Moving into the system of Deen-Islam, as given in the Quran, and the Quran alone, replaces fear with security and turmoil with peace.


What is Islam?


Islam is not a religion. This has become something of a cliché, betraying its original meaning because in reality few understand it. However, it’s a fundamental difference that can be understood only by looking through the unique prism of the Quran. When Islam is understood only then can it be implemented as a socio-economic system, the primary function of which is the development of the human personality. It helps the transformation of an individual’s character by organising it into a harmonious system of living. When  individuals are good, then unfailingly society is also good. Islam manifests as harmonisation with God’s laws. The autonym of Islam is ‘zulm’, the displacement of anything that harmonises.


Who is a Muslim?


Muslim: the one who harmonises with God’s law. There is a distinction between ‘muslim’, the adjective for an individual who follows the Absolute Laws and Permanent Values in the Quran and Quran alone, and ‘Muslim’ with a capital M; a label and a title used by those who profess to follow the Quran but in practice have additional doctrines and rites and rituals not found in the Quran. A person need not be called a muslimin order to be one. Any suitable description (i.e. submitter, humanitarian etc.) may be used instead, the key aspect being that they believe and follow guidance in the Quran alone. See verses and footnotes 3: 199; 22:78; 28:53.


A muslim is not a label but a description of  a person recognised by the high standards of probity he or she maintains. Conscientious people will recognise in the Quran the core principles which can be defined as the Permanent Values.They may already live by these high standardsand have exemplary characteristics even before they find the guidance of the Quran. They may in fact already be muslims, those who harmonise with Permanent Values, even though they are described, not as muslims, but by another equally appropriate term.  See verses 28:50-53.  It was not until the 9th. century that the word Muslim became a description for a distinct religion. Before this all who held Quranic values were known as ‘Beleivers’.


Why believe in the Quran?


If a person already has his or her values aligned with the Quran, then why do they need to accept and follow the guidance in the Quran?  While it may appear that an individual’s values are in agreement with the Quran, it is the Quran alone that consummates the complete Permanent Values and Absolute Laws that harmonise with God’s system, and provides them in a framework that a person may not be able to. This ensures that a full and complete calibration of values can take place. When asked how did they know that the messenger was sent by God, people said, the profound guidance he brought has made us believers. See verse 7:75.


Why do we need Permanent Values from the Quran and accountability to God?


Collective wisdom is just as fallible as individual wisdom and even  democracies cannot be used as a metric for ethics. We should remember that it was not that long ago when slavery was legal, genocide was legal and apartheid was legal. The world needsan external set of permanent values and absolute laws; unchanging principles for changing times. This is exactly what the Quran gives.Consider the treatment of humanity: for millennia the world’s religious,atheist and secular leaders and governments have applied theircollective genius to the riddle of statehood. The results have been corruption, secret sex societies, cultic obsession by the elite with child sex, secrecy, aggression, state sponsored homicide and genocide, war, famine, infanticide, slavery, control, exploitation, manipulation and abuse of the masses  in a variety of ways so frightening that it defies description. See verse 8:25.