By Fareed Ahmad Several articles in this month’s issue highlight the distinctive features of Islam – from the vast treasure of knowledge contained within the Holy Qur’an to specific aspects of Islam that are not found in other religions. These timeless and global aspects of Islamic teachings were revealed to Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) over 1400 years ago, and his life was a practical example of how man should live. This is a struggle to channel material resources for the benefit of the soul. This does not mean that one should live in isolation or disengagement from the world but rather one should strive to inject a sense of spirituality into every aspect of life. In this respect the world is indebted to Prophet Muhammad( s a ) as his example, during both times of peace and war, of how to conduct oneself in different capacities – as a husband, father, leader, statesman, General, judge to name but a few. They comprise a set of ideals to which we all must aspire. His every action was underpinned by serving and winning the pleasure of Allah. Undoubtedly it is this that holds the key for us even today. Our deeds and actions do not happen without reason and only we can determine what that reason is. Indeed our thoughts and hearts are the source of our goodness or evil and they play a crucial role in moulding our soul. The emphasis in Islam of Allah’s attribute of being ‘al-Aleem’ i.e. the All-Knowing, is vital to our success as it reminds us of the objective of this life – to develop characteristics that bring us closer to Allah and so win His pleasure. If we are able to master our thoughts only then will we be able to truly benefit from the profound wisdom that underlies every aspect of the beautiful teachings of Islam. 2 The Review of Religions – October 2004 Editorial