Towards Understanding Islam

Towards Understanding Islam
(Risala-e-Diniyaat) by Abul Ala Maududi

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Towards Understanding Islam is another of Maulana Abu Ala Maududi’s important books. It is an elementary study of the basic concepts and principles of Islam. It offers a simple, understandable and unsophisticated interpretation of the meaning and message of Islam for the ordinary reader, particularly the young. It is not written in the browbeating style of theology books, rich in awe-inspiring jargon and legal quibbling but of little help in bringing the reader into direct contact with the spirit of the faith.

Towards Understanding Islam is a religious text with a difference. It offers a simple exposition of Islam; its approach to life, the articles of its faith, its worship and prayers, and the scheme of life, which it envisages. The method of exposition is steeped in the methodology of the Qur’an. It offers in summary form the essential teachings of Islam. And as the book is primarily meant for lay readers and students no attempt is made to burden the mind of the reader with difficult or philosophic dissertations. The language and style of the author are clear, candid and rational.

Originally written in 1932 in Urdu, under the title Risalah Diniyat, the book was intended as a textbook for students of the higher classes and for the general public. It served an important need and became a popular Islamic reader. Most of the schools and colleges of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent adopted it as a textbook in theology and made its study a part of their curricula. It has been translated into many of the world’s languages, including English, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Portuguese, Swahili, Indonesian and Japanese. Malayalam, Tamil, Pushto, Bengali, Gujrati and Sindhi.


Foreword by Khurram Murad
Author’s Preface to Second Edition by Abul Ala Maududi
Editor’s Introduction by Khurshid Ahmed

1. The Meaning of Islam
– Islam – What does it Mean?
– The Nature of Disbelief
– The Blessings of Islam

2. Faith And Obedience
– Faith: What does it Mean?
– How to Acquire the Knowledge of God?
– Faith in the Unknown

3. The Prophethood
– Prophethood: Its Nature and Necessity
– Brief History of Prophethood
– The Prophethood of Muhammad
– Muhammad’s Prophethood: A Rational Vindication
– Arabia-The Abyss of Darkness
– The Saviour is Born
– Diamond in a Heap of Stones
– A Revolution Comes
– Why all that Enmity?
– A Changed Man at Forty-Why?
– His All-embracing Message
– His Contribution to Human Thought
– The Greatest Revolutionary
– The Final Testimony
– The Finality of Prophethood

4. The Articles of Faith
– Tawhid: Faith in the Unity of God
– The Meaning of the Kalimah
– Effects of Tawhid on Human life
– Belief in God’s Angels
– Faith in the Books of God
– Faith in God’s Prophets Belief in Life after Death
– The Need of this Belief
– Life After Death: A Rational Vindication

5. Prayer And Worship
– The Spirit of ‘Ibadah or Worship
– Salah
– Fasting
– Zakah
– Hajj or Pilgrimage
– Defence of Islam
– Jihad

6. Din And Shari’ah
– Distinction between Din and Shari’ah
– The Sources of Shari’ah
– Fiqh
– Tasawwuf

7. The Principles of The Shari’ah
– The Shari’ah: Its Nature and Purport
– The Shari’ah: Rights and Obligations:
– I. The Rights of God.
– II. The Rights of One’s Own Self
– III. The Rights of Other Man.
– IV. The Rights of All Creatures
– Shari’ah: The Universal and Eternal Law

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