What is Islam and who are Muslims?

Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, which means peace. When our individual and collective lives are in harmony with nature and the Creator’s will, peace is inevitable. Islam, as a way of life, is the solution to all the problems of the human race, and is the only hope for the present and the future. The need is to practice it faithfully.

In the name of Allah, The Merciful, The Merciful.

“It will be said:“ O quiet soul! Return to your Lord, pleased and pleasant; Then, enter My servants, And enter My Paradise. ” [Holy Quran 89: 27-30]

Islam, the religion of more than 1.2 billion people worldwide, provides humanity with a unified view of the purpose of our creation and existence, our ultimate destiny and our place among other creatures. It is a way of life that is in complete conformity with nature, and with reason, logic and science. The Arabic word, ‘Islam’, means voluntary surrender to God’s will and obedience to His commandments. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic word that Muslims use for God. A person who freely and consciously accepts the Islamic way of life and practices sincerely is called a “Muslim”.

Basic Beliefs

Unity of God (Tawhid) is the most important Islamic belief. This implies that everything in existence originates from the only Creator, who is also the Sustainer and the only Source of Guidance. This belief must govern all aspects of human life. The recognition of this fundamental truth results in a unified view of existence that rejects any division of life between the religious and the secular. God is the only source of power and authority and therefore has the right to humanity’s worship and obedience. There is no room for any partnership with the Creator. Tawhid teaches man that God generated, he was not generated. He has no son or daughter. Human beings, like the rest of creation, are your creatures.

Prophecy (Risalah) means prophecy and divine message. Since the creation of the first human being, God has revealed His orientation to humanity through the sending of prophets, who are all called to the belief of a God. The prophets who received the books from God are called messengers. Whenever a prophet’s teachings were distorted by people, God sent another prophet to bring human beings back to the Straight Path. The Risalá chain started with Adam, including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Jesus, and ended with Muhammad (peace be upon them all), as God’s last messenger for all mankind .

God’s revealed books are: the Torah (Tawrah), the Psalms (Zabur), the Gospel (Injeel) and the Koran. The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), as the final Guidance book. Among all these books, it is only the Qur’an that remains unchanged, in its original revealed form.

Life After Death (Akhirah) This belief has a profound impact on the life of a believer, making them accountable to Allah. On Judgment Day we will be judged according to how we live our lives. Whoever obeys and worships Allah will be rewarded with a permanent place of happiness and bliss in Paradise; Whoever does not do this will be sent to Hell, a place of punishment and suffering.

Five Pillars of Islam

Acting correctly and sincerely on the five pillars transforms a Muslim’s life into one that is in harmony with nature and therefore in accordance with the Creator’s will. It is inspired to work for the establishment of justice, equality and justice in society, and the eradication of injustice, falsehood and evil.

1. Testimony (Shahadah)

The first of the five basic foundations is the conscious and voluntary statement of: La ilaha illal lahu Muhammadur rasulul lah. “There is no god except Allah, Muhammad (May peace and blessings be upon him) is the Messenger of God”. This statement is the basis for all actions in Islam, and the other basic duties follow this statement.

2. Mandatory Prayer (Salah)

It is offered five times a day. It is a practical demonstration of faith and keeps a believer in touch with his Creator. Salah develops in the believer the qualities of self-discipline, firmness and obedience to the Truth, leading someone to be patient, honest and true in the affairs of his life.

3. Charity (Zaká)

It is a mandatory payment of a Muslim’s annual savings. It can only be spent on helping the poor, the needy and the oppressed, and for the general uplift of society. Zaká is one of the fundamental principles of the Islamic economy, which guarantees an equitable society, where everyone has the right to contribute and share.

4. Fasting (Sawm)

It is the mandatory annual fast during each day of the month of Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is necessary to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex, from dawn to sunset. Sawm develops a believer’s moral and spiritual standard and keeps them away from selfishness, greed, extravagance and other vices. Sawm is an annual training program that increases a Muslim’s determination to fulfill his obligation to the Lord Almighty.

5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)

It is an annual event, mandatory for those Muslims who can afford to undertake at least once in their life. It is a pilgrimage (trip) to the “House of God” (Al-Ka’bah) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. The Hajj symbolizes the unity of humanity; Muslims of all races and nationalities come together in equality and fraternity to worship their Lord.

The Quran

The Qur’an is Allah’s final guidance book, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ through the angel Gabriel (Jibra’il). Every word in the Qur’an is the word of God. The Qur’an is unmatched in its recording and preservation. Unlike other scriptures that have been corrupted by human interpolations and omissions, the Qur’an has remained unchanged, in all its letters, for more than 1400 years. The Qur’an is the last and last revelation for mankind and covers all aspects of human life, and its relationship to life after death.

The Hadith

Hadith is the collection of dictations, actions and silent approvals of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He explains the Qur’an, and how to practice it. The Hadith were meticulously recorded by the Prophet’s companions.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Muhammad ﷺ, God’s final messenger, was born in Mecca, Arabia, in the year 571 AD. He received God’s first revelation at age forty. The people of Mecca at that time used to worship idols. The Prophet (saws) invited them to Islam. Some accepted and became Muslims, while others rebuked him and turned against him. In the 13th year of his prophecy, Muhammad ﷺ migrated from Mecca to Medina.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ organized the first Muslims and preached God’s message with patience and profound wisdom. Eventually, Islam was established throughout Arabia and was created to make a tremendous contribution to the history and civilization of the world. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ died in 632 CE at the age of 63. He left behind the Qur’an and his Sunnah (path) as a source of guidance for all generations to come.

Marriage and family life

Marriage is the basis of family life in Islam. It is a solemn but simple contract between a consenting man and a consenting woman. Islam does not allow the free mixture of men and women; Nor does it allow sex before marriage. Extramarital sex is severely punishable. No discrimination is based on sex. The husband and wife are equal partners in the family and play their part in their respective fields.

Diet

Muslims are encouraged to eat what is good for them. Islamic law requires an animal to be slaughtered by invoking the name of Allah. All varieties of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Pig and blood are also prohibited.

Wear

Muslims must cover their bodies correctly and decently. When it comes to dressing, simplicity and modesty are encouraged. No special dress is recommended, however, men should cover their body from the navel to the knees. Women should cover their entire bodies, except for the face and hands. Any dress that is suggestive, transparent, skin tight or half naked can send wrong signals to others; Signs that are contrary to the teachings of Islam. Pure silk and gold are not allowed for men.

Social ways

Islam teaches decency, humility and good manners. Muslims greet each other by saying: As-salamu ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you) and the answer is: Wa’alaikumus salam (peace be upon you too).

Keeping promises, truthfulness, justice, justice, helping the poor and needy, respect for parents, teachers and elders, love for children and good relations with neighbors and relatives are the most valued virtues of a Muslim. Islam condemns enmity, bite, slander, blasphemy, ridicule, the use of offensive names, suspicion and arrogance.

 

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