What is Islam ?
Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority has nothing to do with the extremely grave events, which have come to be associated with their faith.
What does Islam mean ?
1- It is the only religion that holds Allah as One, Unique, and Perfect.
2- It is the only religion that believes in the sole worship of Allah, not Jesus, not an idol, and not an angel, only Allah.
3- The Quran does not contain contradictions.
4- The Quran contains scientific facts, which are 1300 years ahead of their time. The Quran, while revealed 1400 years ago contains scientific facts, which are only now being discovered. It is not in contradiction to science.
5- Allah has challenged the world to produce the like of the Quran. And He says they won’t be able to.
6- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most influential man in history. In the book “The 100 most influential men in History”, written by non-Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was #1. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was #3. It should be noted that even the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was a prophet sent by Allah. Would Allah allow a false prophet to be so successful? No. Even the Bible refers to this in Deuteronomy 18:19. A false prophet would die!!! Yet Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not die till he completely conveyed, and taught Allah’s religion.
7- He had many prophecies, and all of his prophecies have come true, or are still coming true.
Why does Islam often seem strange ?
Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims have religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari’a, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important
Do Islam and Christianity have different origins ?
Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons-Muhammad (peace be upon him) from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus, from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement, which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Kabah towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.
Who are Muslims ?
One billion people form a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe, from the southern Philippines to Nigeria, are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are also to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe.
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 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 (peace be upon him) through Gabriel.
Who is Allah ?
Allah means God. It is a personal name, which Allah calls Himself in the Quran. That is where it originates. It can also be found in an Aramaic copy of the Bible, and even Christian Arabs say Allah.
Does Allah look like us ?
No, Allah is perfect. He is not like any of His creations. He has told us that He has hands, eyes, a face, and feet, but all of these attributes are befitting to His might and glory. A Muslim does not say a single thing about Allah other than what Allah says about Himself. Allah is Perfect and Unique.
What does it mean to believe in Allah ?
To believe in Allah means to believe in total perfection, and uniqueness.
It means to believe in His prophets because they are His, and He sent them. We can not pick and choose. A Muslim must believe in all the prophets of Allah.
It means to believe in the Angels! We must love them all. We cannot hate an Angel say, for example, Michael to whom rain and the vegetation of the Earth are attributed or Gabriel to whom revelation (bringing down the scriptures to the prophets) is attributed.
It means to believe in Allah’s predestination of good and bad.
It means to believe in the last day: The day of Judgment.
Can we see Allah ?
Allah is not like the sun. Anyone can see the sun. But Allah is the most beautiful. Nothing is as beautiful as Allah. Actually looking at Allah is the greatest pleasure of the people in Paradise. This pleasure Allah does not give anyone but the believers.
Does Allah see us ?
Allah 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, nor a wet spot, nor a grain in the depths of the earth except that Allah knows it.
Does Allah answer my prayers ?
We know that Allah answers all the prayers of the believers. This can be in 4 ways:
1- Getting what we ask for!
2- Getting something as good or better!
3- Being spared something bad that would have happened otherwise.
4- Being rewarded on the day of Judgment with a much greater reward than what we were asking for on earth.
When does Allah not answer our prayers ?
1- When it is bad for us!
2- When we ask, but not from our heart!
3- When we say: I asked and asked and He did not answer.
4- When we eat or drink unlawful food i.e. pork, wear unlawful clothes or use or posses property that was earned either through interest from the bank or that was stolen.
What can I ask of Allah ?
Any thing, but don’t ask Him to do things like make you a prophet because 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 is Muhammad (peace be upon him) ?
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in Makkah in the year 571 A.D., at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth and his mother shortly afterwards, so he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraish. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity so much that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the Mountain of Light near Makkah.
How did Muhammad (peace be upon him) become a prophet and a messenger of God ?
At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran.
As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth that 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 Hijrah, ‘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 (peace be upon him) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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.
What is the Quran ?
The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was memorized by Muhammad (peace be upon him) and then dictated to his companions, and written down by scribes, who crosschecked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 Surahs, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) fourteen centuries ago.
What is the Quran about ?
The Quran, 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 Sunnah, the practice and example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), is the second authority for Muslims. A Hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, did, or approved. Belief in the Sunnah is part of the Islamic faith.
Examples of the Prophet’s sayings
The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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.’
‘Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.’
(From the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Baihaqi.)
Who is Jesus to us ?
Jesus (peace be upon him) is a true prophet, sent by Allah like Moses, Abraham, Lot, Noah, Jonah, Joseph, etc (peace be upon them).
Who were the parents of Jesus (peace be upon him) ?
Jesus is the son of Virgin Mary and he had no father. Allah created Jesus.
Can Jesus (peace be upon him), or Muhammad (peace be upon him) be worshipped ?
No, Allah does not accept that a prophet, a person, an angel, a cow, a stone, or anything be worshipped in place of Him or even along with Him. Worship must be to Allah, the Creator of them.
Is Allah the same as what Christians call ?
Allah is the Creator, who Jesus (peace be upon him) 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 begot, and there is no one equal to Him.”
Is there a trinity in Islam ?
No. Allah is one and perfect.
Are there signs for the day of Judgment ?
Plenty, plenty, plenty. Many have already occurred.
To name a few:
*Objects will begin to talk.
*There will be much killing. The killer won’t know why he killed, and the person that was killed won’t know why he was killed.
*The Antichrist will come.
*Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) son of Mary will return.
*Gog and Magog will be set free.
The sun will rise from the west (after this sign there can be no more repentance).
Can anyone become a Muslim ?
Yes anyone can. There are two declarations, which are necessary:
1- To bear witness that no one deserves to be worshiped except Allah.
2- To bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah.
This makes a person Muslim. But it should be said in Arabic. Next a person takes a shower and s/he is a Muslim.
After a person becomes Muslim s/he is taught about prayers, fasting, alms to the poor, and pilgrimage. These are the pillars of Islam.
Muslims are brothers and sisters. A Muslim should love for his brother or sister what s/he loves for him/herself. Allah’s wealth does not run out and Allah 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.
What about someone who has never heard of Islam ?
Allah is the most just. It is inconceivable to perceive of anyone acting with more beneficence than Allah. Allah is the most just and in the Quran He said: “We will not punish without sending someone to warn you”. The “We” here is the majestic we used in Arabic. So if a person never heard about Islam, and was never warned clearly, Allah would have a special test for that person that He knows is equal to the chance that person would have had on earth.
When is the Day of Judgment ?
Only Allah knows.