Just listened to a short tadzkirah (reminder), as always delivered by brother Syeikh Abu Khalid from Medina University after Taraweekh and Witr prayer services. I had slightly changed the topic, it should be Islam is the key to paradise. I know few people do not really care about paradise but that is the promise of Allah. I don't think it is wrong as it is the sign of Allah's mercy, but people have different understanding regarding the reward and meritorious deed because it is also related to pure sincerity in worship according to their understanding.
It says that whomever choosing paths other than Islam, then they will be losers in this world and hereafter. Islam is His greatest grace to human and other creatures in the universe. In millions of human-being, Allah had chosen our soul to be Muslims. There are also millions of people who are not Muslims as they do not know about Islam or do not accept it due to misunderstanding. Islam is the path of our forefathers. I still remember I read in glorious Quran last few nights before sleeping. It says that our beloved patriarch, Abraham may peace be showered upon his soul had said his will to his children Ismael and Isaac, peace be upon them both. It also applies to Jacob whom is also known with his other name, Israel.
Says Allah in glorious Quran reckoning our patriach's will to his sons: "And Abraham had his will to his sons, and also to Jacob. (Abraham said): "Dear sons! Indeed the God had chosen for you this path, thus do not you die except as muslims." (surah al-Baqarah: 132)
Allah also orders us to be in submittance in the path in which He says: "Dear faithfuls! Fear the God in the real sense, and do not you die except as muslims." (surah aali-Imran: 102)
In this sense, brother syeikh, said that it is not enough by physically being a Muslim. We look like a Muslim in front of others with Muslim name like Abdul Malik, Abdul Kareem, Muhammad, Othman, and others. But we do not follow the code of law taught by Allah in His glorious teachings. Many Muslims do not follow Quran and Sunnah (prophetic line traditions). It is not enough with Islamic names. We must make sure that we spiritually and physically practise Islam in our way to the abode of peace.
There are two conditions for the perfection in submission to Him:
1. Niyyah which implies that we have to be sincere in our act of worship and life. It begins with sincere intention for Allah. We perform everything only for Allah and hoping to see Him.
2. Mutabi'ah which signifies that we follow the prophetic line tradition. This is what Muslims always talk about when performing act of worship including our daily life. We must make sure that we have evidence for everything that we perform. Do not do something out of prophetic tradition line in our daily life. We may consult evidences from tradition experts or ulamas (religiously knowledgeable persons) to confirm everything.
We ask the God: "please forgive us our sins and errors. Make us firm in our path and give us strength to perform the covenant. Salvate us from the torment in hell and also salvate our parents and brethren through the God's mercy." Sealed with prayers for peace, mercy, and love, amin!!!