01-26-2009, 12:35 PM
What is Islam?Reply
Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His piophegs to every people. For a fifth of the world' population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness.
What do Muslims believe?
Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. But God's final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through Gabriel.
How Does someone become a Muslim?
Simply by saying there is no god apart from God, and Muhammad he Messenger of God.” By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all God's messengers, and the scriptures they brought.
What is the Ka'ba?
The Ka'ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ismael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the orginal site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrim go there today they say ' At thy service, O Lord ' , in response to Abraham's summons.
Who is Muhmmad?
Muhammad (pbuh) was born im Makkah im the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh, As he grew up, he became know for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in deputies. The historians describe him as a clam and meditative.
How Did He Become A Prophet And A Messenger Of God?
At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Qur'an.
As soon as be began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, 'migration', in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
After several years, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.
How Did The Spread Of Islam Affect The World?
Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine-Islam calls for faith in only one God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation.
Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet, 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman'. The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.
What is the Quran?
The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the propjet Muhammad (pbuh) . It was memorized
Muhammad (pbuh) and then dictated to his ' Companions', and written down by scribes, who cross checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, (Suras) has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) fourteen centuries ago.
What Is The Qur'an About?
The Qur'an, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.
Are There Any Other Sacred Sources?
Yes, the Sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A Hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet said, did, or approved. Belief in the Sunna is part of the Islamic faith.
Examples Of The Prophet's Sayings
The Prophet said:
'God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others'.
'None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself'.
'He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer'.
'The truthful and trusty businessman is associated with the prophets, the saints, and the martyrs'.
'Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger'.
'God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds'.
'A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action'. The Prophet was asked: 'Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?' He said, 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing'.
From the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi
Does Islam Tolerate Other Beliefs?
The Qur'an says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Qur'an, 60:8)
It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.
Islamic law also permits non- Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.
What do Muslims think about Jesus?
Muslim respect and revere Jusus (pbuhعليه السلام) and await his Second Coming . They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind.A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus' but always adds the phrase 'upon gim be peace'. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (achpter of the Quran is entitled 'Mary') and Mary is considered the purest women all creations. Jesus (pbuh) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (pbuh) into being without a father.
What about Muslim women?
Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the righ to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's.
How Do Muslims Treat The Elderly?
In the Islamic world there are no old people's homes. The strain of caring for one's parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and blessing, and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. God asks that we not only pray for our parents, but act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves. Mothers are particularly honored: the Prophet taught that 'Paradise lies at the feet of mothers'. When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with the same kindness and selflessness.
In Islam, serving one's parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult.
How do Muslims view death?
Muslims believe that the presen life is only a trial preparation for the next realm of existence. Basic articles of faith include: the Day of Judgment, resurrection, Heaven and Hell. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed, usually by a family member, wrapped in a clean white cloth, and buried with a simple prayer preferably the same day. Muslims consider this one of the final services they can do for their relatives, and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet taught that three things can continue to help a person even after death; charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught and prayers on their behalf by a righteous child.
What Does Islam Say About War?
Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defence, in defence of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. As Muslims see it, injustice would be triumphant in the world if good men were not prepared to risk their lives in a righteous cause. The Qur'an says:
Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors. (2:190)
If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things. (8:61)
War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term Jihad literally means 'struggle', and Muslims believe that there are two kinds of Jihad. The other 'Jihad' is the inner struggle which everyone wages against egotistic desires, for the sake of attaining inner peace.
How Does Islam Guarantee Human Rights?
Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Qur'an itself: 'There is no compulsion in religion'. (2:256)
The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not.
Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Qur'an speaks of human equality in the following terms:
O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in peity. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)
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