First of all, Islam forbids lying, deception and cheating as means to political and economic ends. Non-Islam for the most part thrives on them. And non-Islam does something else: having committed the most egregious falsehoods and cover-ups, non-Islam papers over its guilty conscience with all kinds of lame excuses and by projecting its own failings and inadequacies onto Islam and Muslims.
That is why the Qur'an calls one the Haq or truth and the other Batil or falsehood and points out that the world is the primordial playground of the rivalry and jockeying for power and influence between the two - truth and falsehood, Haq and Batil.
According to the Qur'an, those who love and fear Allah, use truth as their principal tool, while those who love and fear this world, use falsehood as their major weapon. It is a most simple equation.
Once again, either read the Qur'an and find out or read the newspapers and figure out.
The Missing Link: A Clear Focus
This is the missing link in much of human beings' search for identity and direction in today's world. And in a sense it has always been. Their search for what I call focus.
Instead of proudly owning up to our identity as the slaves of Allah, throwing ourselves at his mercy and in exchange receiving from him the gift of both worlds, some of us feel uncomfortable by how Allah describes us in the Qur'an. Some of us prefer to throw ourselves at the mercy of human beings just like us and yet often receive from them in return nothing but rejection and humiliation or little to minimum wages for our toil and sweat.
Focus, focus, focus!
That is what human life is all about: a clear focus. And that is what Islam is all about. And that is what the difference between Islam and non-Islam is all about. And key to having the right focus is putting Allah first - and last and in the middle and everywhere else.
For, the equation is quite clear: Allah made you and the world in which you live. And he made everything you have and own and use in this world. And that includes your family, job, business and everything else.
So, the right thing for you to do is to put God Almighty over and above everything else you have.
Everything We Have Is a Gift from God
You must understand that it was God Almighty who gave you these things - whatever things you possess and think you own, including your life, your family and all your worldly possessions. And they are all gifts from him to you for a certain limited period of time. And that, as a result, he can take them all away from you whenever and however he chooses.
And the fact is, he always does: God Almighty always makes you return and surrender every little thing he gave you. Sometimes he does it during your own lifetime in this world. But he most definitely and unfailingly does it every time you are about to depart this world.
Just look at the way the healthiest and fittest ones among us end up. Those blessed with the best of health and longest of life end up the oldest, the most ailing and decrepit, the weakest and the most dependent and helpless. They end up returning their gifts of youth, energy, health and independence, and finally life itself, to where they all came from - God Almighty.
So when you die, you go to him alone, with every single one of your worldly possessions and connections left behind. King or commoner, pauper or prime minister, no one escapes this fate. If we had any sense at all, we would understand this fundamental fact about human life and prepare for it.
Dealing with Our Human Predicament
So, here is how you deal with this predicament that you are in. The fundamental human predicament of being a slave on Allah's plantation earth with seeming mastery over your fate and your surroundings but in reality being entirely at the mercy of your maker and master. The supreme predicament of appearing to have everything, but in truth and in reality owning nothing.
You must, mentally and theoretically speaking, return everything you have to its rightful owner and master - God Almighty. And then receive all these things back from him as a gift and a blessing. Lease it all back from him.
When you do that the only logical thing for you to do is to dedicate everything he gives you to the supreme task of seeking his pleasure and serving him. That is your way of saying "Thank You!" to him. And it is part of your lease requirement.
And it is also in fact the smartest thing you can do. For he says that the more you thank him the more he will give you. Hear him say that in the Qur'an in his own words: wa la-in shakartum, la-azeedannakum.
That is why the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, says Alhamdulillah is the finest form of Dua that a human being can make. How could it not be? You keep saying Alhamdulillah and Allah keeps giving you more. You pocket what he gives you and say Alhamdulillah and he gives you even more. And so on ... ad infinitum ... forever and ever. What a Du'a indeed.
Inviting People to Allah:
Reuniting the Creation with the Creator
There are many ways to thank your master. One is to simply say Alhamdulillah - which is the best way of saying "Thank You!" to God almighty. But the higher and the more comprehensive way to thank Allah is to love and fear him in his heaven and to love and serve his creation right here on earth.
That is what Islam does. It takes the best and makes it even better. Only God can do that.