What Is Islam ?

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What Is Islam ?

Post by Noor'e Sahar on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:14 pm


What is Islam?



The word "Islam" is an Arabic word that means
"submitting and surrendering your will to Almighty God"
. The word comes from the same root as the
Arabic word "salam", which means peace. Unlike the names used for other
religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, the name for the
religion of Islaam was both revealed by God and carries a deep spritual
meaning - only by submitting one's will to Almighty God can one obtain
true peace both in this life and in the life hereafter. Islaam teaches
that all religions originally had the same essential message - which was
to submit whole-heartedly to the will of God and to worship Him and Him
alone. For this reason, Islaam is not a new religion but is the same
divinely revealed Ultimate Truth that God revealed to all prophets,
including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.



Who
are Muslims?




The Arabic word
"Muslim" literally means "someone who submits to the will of God". The message of Islaam is meant for the
entire world and anyone who accepts this message becomes a Muslim. Some
people mistakenly believe that Islaam is just a religion for Arabs, but
nothing could be further from the truth, since in actuality over 80% of
the world's Muslims are not Arabs! Even though most Arabs are Muslims,
there are Arabs who are Christians, Jews and atheists. If one just takes
a look at the various peoples who live in the Muslim World - from
Nigeria to Bosnia and from Morocco to Indonesia - it is easy enough to
see that Muslims come from all different races, ethnic groups and
nationalities. From the very beginning, Islaam had a universal message
for all people. This can be seen in the fact that some of the early
companions of the Prophet Muhammad were not only Arabs, but also
Persians, Africans and Byzantine Romans.
Being a Muslim entails complete acceptance and active obedience
to the revealed will of Almighty God. A Muslim is a person who freely
accepts to base his beliefs, values and faith on the will of Almighty
God.

In the past, even though you don't see it as much today, the word
"Mohammedans" was often used as a label for Muslims. This label is a
misnomer and is the result of either wilful distortion or sheer
ignorance. One of the reasons for the misconception is that Europeans
were taught for centuries that Muslims worshipped the Prophet Muhammad
in the same way that Christians worship Jesus. This is absolutely not
true since a Muslim is not permitted to worship anyone or anything
besides Almighty God.




Who is Allaah?



Very often one will here the Arabic word "Allaah" being used in regards
to Islaam. The word "Allaah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God,
and is the same word used by Arabic speaking Christians and Jews. If
one were to pick up an Arabic translation of the Bible, one would see
the word "Allaah" being use where the word "God" is used in English.
Actually, the Arabic word for Almighty God, "Allaah", is quite similar
to the word for God in other Semitic languages - for example, the Hebrew
word for God is "Elah".

For various reasons, some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Muslims
worship a different God than the God of Moses and Abraham and Jesus.
This is certainly not the case, since the Pure Monotheism of Islaam
calls all people to the worship of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses,
Jesus and all of the other prophets.


Can
we see Allaah?




Allaah is not like the sun. Anyone can see the sun. Moreover, Allaah is
the Most Beautiful. Nothing is as beautiful as Allaah. Actually looking
at Allaah is the greatest pleasure of the people of Paradise. This
pleasure is not granted by Allaah to anyone but the believers. So no one
will see Allaah before he dies.




Does Allaah see us?

Allaah sees us and knows everything about us. He knows us better than
we know ourselves. There is not a leaf on a tree that blows away, or
stays in its place except that He knows it. There is not a dry spot or
wet spot, nor a grain in the depths of the earth except that Allaah
knows it.



Where is Allaah?



Allaah is the Highest. He is High above all of His creation. He ascended
above His Throne, which is immeasurably greater than the Heavens and
the Earth. So much greater, that the Heavens and the Earth could fit in
the footstool of the Throne, and they would be like a ring thrown into
an open desert. Allaah is certainly the Greatest.




Does Allaah look like us?


No. Allaah is Perfect. He is not like any of His creation. He has told
us that He has Hands, Eyes, and Face. However, all of these attributes
are befitting to His Might and Glory. A Muslim does not say a single
thing about Allaah, other than what Allaah says about Himself. Allaah is
Perfect and Unique.




Is Allah the same as what Christians call the father?



Allah is the creator who Jesus worshipped. He is the Creator who spoke
to Moses, and split the sea for Moses, and his followers. That is Allah.
But Allah tells us: "Say Allah is one, He is Perfect, He has never
begotten, nor was He begott, and there is no one equal to Him".




What does it mean to believe in Allaah?



It means:





  • To believe in Allaah’s total Perfection and
    Uniqueness.


  • To believe in the Angels. We must love them
    all in the same way, we cannot hate an Angel; for example, it is
    forbidden to hate Michael who is given the charge of Rain and the
    vegetation of the Earth or Gabriel, who is entrusted with Revelation
    (i.e. he brings down the Scriptures to the prophets, may Allaah exalt
    their mention).


  • To believe in Allaah's books revealed to His
    Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, taking into consideration that
    all of these books have either disappeared or changed, except the last
    divine book, the Quran.


  • To believe in His Prophets, may Allaah exalt
    their mention, because they are His Messengers and He sent them. We
    cannot pick and choose, a Muslim must believe in all the Prophets of
    Allaah, may Allaah exalt their mention.


  • To believe in the Last Day: The Day of
    Judgment.


  • To believe in Allaah's predestination of good
    and bad (we might consider something bad from our perspective), but to
    Allaah everything He does is good).





Who is Muhammad?


The last and final prophet that God sent to humanity was the Prophet
Muhammad. Muhammad explained, interpreted and lived the teachings of
Islaam. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many
reasons, but mainly because the results of his mission have brought more
people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet. Even
though other religious communities claimed to believe in One God, over
time they had corrupted their beliefs by taking their prophets and
saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some religions believe their
prophets to be manifestations of God, "God Incarnate" or the "Son of
God". All of these false ideas lead to the creature being worshipped
instead of the Creator, which contributed to the idolatrous practice of
believing that Almighty God can be approached through intermediaries. In
order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always
emphasised that he was only a human-being tasked with the preaching of
God's message. He taught Muslims to refer to him as "the Messenger of
God and His Slave". To Muslims, Muhammad is the supreme example for all
people - he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader,
ruler, teacher, neighbour, husband, father and friend. Unlike other
prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of
history. Muslims don't need to have "faith" that he existed and that
his teachings are preserved - they know it to be a fact. Even when his
followers only numbered a few dozen, Almighty God informed Muhammad that
he had be sent as a mercy to all of mankind. Because people had
distorted or forgotten God's messages, God took it upon Himself to
protect the message revealed to Muhammad. This was because Almighty God
promised not to send another messenger after him. Since all of God's
messengers have preached the message of Islaam - i.e. submission to the
will of God and the worship of God alone - Muhammad is actually the last
prophet of Islaam, not the first.




Do Muslims worship Muhammad ( sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?



No. Muslims do not worship Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or
any other prophet(s), may Allaah exalt their mention. Muslims believe in
all prophets including Aadam (Adam), Nooh (Noah), Ibraaheem (Abraham),
Daawood (David), Sulaymaan (Solomon), Moosaa (Moses) and 'Eesaa (Jesus),
may Allaah exalt their mention. Muslims believe that Muhammad,
sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was the last of the prophets. They
believe that God Alone is to be worshipped, not human beings or idols
etc.




What do Muslims think of Jesus ?



Muslims think highly of Jesus and his worthy mother, Mary. The Qur’an
tells us that Jesus was born of a miraculous birth without a father. He
was given many miracles as a prophet. These include speaking soon after
his birth in defense of his mother's piety. God's other gifts to him
included healing the blind and the sick, reviving the dead, making a
live bird out of clay and, most importantly, the Divine message he was
carrying. These miracles were given to him by God to establish him as a
prophet. According to the Quran, he was not crucified but was raised
into Heaven (which means):

“And [for] their saying: “Indeed, we have
killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.” And
they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made
to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in
doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of
assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain Rather, Allaah raised
him to Himself. And ever is Allaah Exalted in Might and Wise. ”
[Quran 4: 157-158]



Is there a Trinity in Islam?




No. Allaah is
Perfect. The Quran Says (what means):
“Allaah
– there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of (all)
existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs
whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth…”
[Quran 2:255] Can Jesus, or Mohammed peace be upon them be
worshipped?

No, Allah does not accept that a cow, a person, an angel, a prophet, a
stone, or anything be worshipped in place of him, or even along with
Him. Worship must be to Allah the creator of them.




Did Allah create Evil?




Yes, Allah
created the good, and the bad. Whatever bad happens to us is due to our
sins. We sin and Allah pardons much of what we do; however, when
something bad happens to us it is our fault, and we are to blame. Bad
things that happen to a person are a chance for that person to reflect,
and ask: ”Why is this happening to me?” A chance for a person to return
from his sin, and obey, and worship Allah.


What are the Teachings of Islaam?




The foundation
of the Islaamic faith is belief in the Unity of God.
This means to believe that there is only one Creator and
Sustainer of everything in the Universe, and that nothing is divine or
worthy of being worshipped except for Him.

Truly believing in the Unity of God means much more than simply
believing that there is "One God" - as opposed to two, three or four.
There are a number of religions that claim belief in "One God"
and believe that ultimately there is only one Creator and Sustainer of
the Universe. Islaam, however, not only insists on this, but also
rejects using such words as "Lord" and "Saviour" for anyone besides
Almighty God.
Islaam also rejects the use of all intermediaries between God
and Man, and insists that people approach God directly and reserve all
worship for Him alone.
Muslims believe
that Almighty God is Compassionate, Loving and Merciful.

The essence of falsehood is the claim that God cannot deal with and
forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasising the burden of sin,
as well as claiming that God cannot forgive you directly, false
religions seek to get people to despair of the Mercy of God. Once they
are convinced that they cannot approach God directly, people can be
mislead into turning to false gods for help. These "false gods" can take
various forms, such as saints, angels, or someone who is believed to be
the "Son of God" or "God Incarnate". In almost all cases, people who
worship, pray to or seek help from a false god don't consider it to be,
or call it, a "god". They claim belief in One Supreme God, but claim
that they pray to and worship others beside God only to get closer to
Him. In Islaam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the
created. There is no ambiguity in divinity - anything that is created
is not deserving of worship and only the Creator is worthy of being
worshipped. Some religions falsely believe that God has become part of
His creation, and this has led people to believe that they can worship
something created in order to reach their Creator.
Muslims believe
that even though God is Unique and beyond comprehension -
He has no "Son", partners or associates. According to Muslim
belief, Almighty God "does not beget nor was He begotten" - neither
literally, allegorically, metaphorically, physically or metaphysically -
He is Absolutely Unique and Eternal. He is in control of everything and
is perfectly capable of bestowing His infinite Mercy and Forgiveness to
whomever He chooses. That is why is called the All-Powerful and
Most-Merciful. Almighty God has created the Universe for man, and as
such wants the best for all human beings. Muslims see everything in the
Universe as a sign of the Creatorship and Benevolence of Almighty God.
Also, the belief in the Unity of God is not merely a metaphysical
concept. It is a dynamic belief that effects ones view of humanity,
society and all aspects of life. As a logical corollary to the Islaamic
belief in the Oneness of God, is its belief in the oneness of mankind
and humanity.




What is the Qur'aan?



It is the final revelation of the will of Almighty God's to all of
mankind, which was conveyed through the Angel Gabriel, in Arabic, to the
Prophet Muhammad in its sounds, words and meanings. The Qur'aan,
sometimes spelled Koran, was relayed to the Prophet's companions, which
they memorised verbatim, and which has been publicly and continually
recited by them and their successors until the present day. In short,
the Qur'aan is the book of guidance from God par excellence. The Qur'aan
is still memorised and taught by millions of people. The language of
the Qur'aan, Arabic, is still a living language to millions of people,
so unlike the scriptures of other religions, the Qur'aan is still read
in its original language by countless millions of people. The Qu'ran is a
living miracle in the Arabic language; and is know to be inimitable in
its style, form and spiritual impact. God's final revelation to mankind,
the Qur'aan, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23
years. The Qur'aan, in contrast to many other religious books, was
always thought to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e.
it wasn't something decreed by a religious council many years after
being written. Also, the Qu'ran was recited publicly in front of both
the Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet
Muhammad. The entire Qur'aan was also completely written down in
lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet
memorised the entire Qur'aan word-for-word as it was revealed. So unlike
other scriptures, the Qur'aan was always in the hands of the common
believers, it was always thought to be God's word and, due to
wide-spread memorisation, it was perfectly preserved. In regards to the
teachings of the Qur'aan - it is a universal scripture, and it is
addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or "chosen
people". The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same message
of all of the prophets - submit to Almighty God and worship Him alone.
As such, God's revelation in the Qur'aan focuses on teaching human
beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and framing their
lives around the guidance which He has sent. Additionally, the Qur'aan
contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Abraham, Noah,
Moses and Jesus; as well as many commands and prohibitions from God. In
modern times in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual
despair and "political correctness", the Qur'aanic teachings offer
solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping
the world today.




How Do Muslims View the Nature of Man, the Purpose of Life and
the Life Hereafter?





In the Holy
Qur'aan, God teaches human beings that they were created in order to
worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is
God-consciousness. Since the teachings of Islaamic encompass all aspects
of life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human
affairs. Islaam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship
if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Law. As
such, worship in Islaam is not limited to religious rituals. The
teachings of Islaam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and
such qualities as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are
strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islaam condemns pride and
self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human
righteousness. The Islaamic view of the nature of man is also realistic
and well-balanced. Human beings are not believed to be inherently
sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islaam
also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people
free-will, and the measure of one's faith is one's deeds and actions.
However, human beings have also been created weak and regularly fall
into sin. This is the nature of the human being as created by God in His
Wisdom, and it is not inherently "corrupt" or in need of repair. This
is because the avenue of repentance of always open to all human beings,
and Almighty God loves the repentant sinner more than one who does not
sin at all. The true balance of an Islaamic life is established by
having a healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite
Mercy. A life without fear of God leads to sin and disobedience, while
believing that we have sinned so much that God will not possibly forgive
us only leads to despair. In light of this, Islaam teaches that: only
the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord. Additionally, the Holy
Qur'aan, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, contains a great
deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgement. Due
to this, Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be
judged by God for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In
judging human beings, Almighty God will be both Merciful and Just, and
people will only be judged for what they were capable of. Suffice it to
say that Islaam teaches that life is a test, and that all human beings
will be accountable before God. A sincere belief in the life hereafter
is key to leading a well-balanced life and moral. Otherwise, life is
viewed as an end in itself, which causes human beings to become more
selfish, materialistic and immoral.




Do Non-Muslims go to Heaven?



Allaah only accepts Islam because it is Allaah's true religion given to
all His Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention. He Says in the Quran
(what means): "Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be
accepted of him, and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter".

[Quran 3:85]



What about someone who has never heard of Islam?



Allaah is the Most Just, there is no one more Merciful than Allaah.
Allaah said in the Quran (what means):
“Whoever
is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever
errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden
of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger."
[Quran 17: 15]
Thus, if a person had never heard about Islam and was never warned
clearly, Allaah would have a special test in the Hereafter for that
person, equal to the chance that person would have had on earth.



What can I ask of Allah?
Any thing but don't ask Him to do things like make you a prophet.
Cause He has already said that there will be no more prophets.
You can ask Allah for guidance. Meaning you can ask Him to show you the
correct religion.



Who are my best friends?



Your best friends are the ones that care where you go after you are
dead. This is like the prophets. They cared that we go to heaven, even
if it meant some hardship on earth.




Who is my worst enemy?
That would be the devils, whether they are human devils (evil
people), or Jinn devils (like Iblis) The Arabic word for a devil is
Shaytan (similar to Satan). Satan wants us all to go to hell. He wants
us to be bad on earth, even if we get rich, or do lots of wrong things
that we appear to enjoy, he does not mind that. But he wants to make
sure we don't go to heaven.

How do we know Islam is the truth?



Islam is the only
religion that:






  • Holds Allaah as One, Unique and Perfect.

  • Only Allaah is considered worthy of worship,
    not ‘Eesaa (Jesus) nor an idol, or an angel.


  • The Quran does not contain contradictions.

  • The Quran contains scientific facts, which are
    1400 years ahead of their time. Even though it was revealed 1400 years
    ago, the Quran contains scientific facts which are only being discovered
    now. Scientific facts coincide with the Quran perfectly, and are not at
    variance with it.

  • Allaah challenges the world to produce the
    like of the Quran, while confirming that they will never be able to do
    so.


  • Prophet Muhammad , was considered the most
    influential man in History. A non-Muslim wrote a book called “The 100”
    about the most influential men in history, and Prophet Muhammad , was
    ranked first. Prophet ‘Eesaa (Jesus) was placed third. Note that even
    Prophet ‘Eesaa (Jesus) was a prophet sent by Allaah. Would Allaah allow a
    false prophet to be so successful? No. Even the Bible says this in
    Deuteronomy 18:19: “A false prophet must die.” Yet, Prophet Muhammad ,
    did not die until he had completely conveyed his Message and taught
    Allaah's religion.


  • Prophet Muhammad , had predicted many future
    events, and all of his prophecies have come true or are still coming
    true.


  • Most importantly: Allaah created humankind and we know that we should only
    worship Him. This is an instinct that is ingrained in all human beings.
    Allaah did not just leave us to our own resources, rather He sent
    Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, in all ages and for all
    nations.. These Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, were granted
    miracles as proof. The miracle for today’s age is the Quran. In this age
    there is no religion, except Islam, that worships only Allaah and
    believes in Him as being totally Perfect, and believes in all of His
    Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, and all the Scriptures.




    Can anyone become a Muslim? Yes, anyone can. There are two declarations, which are
    necessary:



  • To bear witness that no one deserves to be
    worshiped except Allaah.


  • To bear witness that Prophet Muhammad , is the
    Messenger of Allaah.
    This is the declaration of faith which makes a person Muslim, however,
    this should be said in Arabic.




    After this, what’s next? After a person becomes a Muslim he/she is taught about Prayers,
    Fasting, the Poor due, Pilgrimage. These are the pillars of Islam.
    Then
    what?
    Muslims are
    brothers. A Muslim should love for his brother what he loves for
    himself. Allaah's wealth does not run out and Allaah can provide for us
    all. We pray for each other and love each other, and love for our
    brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves.



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Noor'e Sahar

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