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The word “Islam” literally stems from the Arabic word for peace, indicating making peace with God, with oneself and with His creations through submission to God and commitment to His guidance.
Islam is not a new religion but the final culmination and fulfilment of the same basic truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every nation.
• People who follow Islam are called Muslims.
• Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1 billion followers.
• Only 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world.
One becomes a Muslim by making the following declaration with sincere belief and conviction:
“There is none worthy of worship except God,
and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”
The Articles of Faith (Beliefs):
1. One God
3. Books of God
5. Day of Judgement
Belief in One God
Muslims believe there is only one God. The Arabic word for God is Allah. Arab Christians refer to God as Allah as well. This belief is the fundamental basis of all other beliefs and practices in Islam, and is in the heart of every Muslim. The declaration of faith (the first pillar of Islam) is:
“I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except God,
and Muhammad is His messenger”
This statement made by those who wish to become Muslim, reflects the essential nature of this belief.
There a several descriptions of Allah in the Qur’an:
“Say, Allah is One,
Allah the Eternal, Absolute
He begets not nor is He begotten
And there is none comparable to Him.”
(Surah Al-Ikhlas, Chapter 112)
“Allah! There is no God save Him
the Living, the Eternal
Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him.
Unto Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the Earth
Who is he that intercedes with Him save by His leave?
He knows that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will
His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them
He is the most high, the Supreme (in glory).”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2 Verse 255)
From the descriptions in the Quran we know that:
• Allah (God) has no children, no parents and no partners
• Allah (God) has always existed and will always exist
• Allah (God) was not created; He is the creator of all that exists
• Allah (God) knows everything
• Allah (God) can do anything
• Allah’s (God’s) justice is fair
• Allah (God) is the most merciful
• Only Allah (God) is worthy of worship
• There is nothing comparable to Him
A Muslim can directly approach Allah by praying and by reciting the Qur’an. These can be formal prayers (salah) or informal supplications (Dua). There is no need for intercession in Islam.
Belief in Angels
Muslims believe that angels have been created by Allah from light. They have no free will and fulfil certain functions in the service of Allah. They also worship Allah.
Some angels mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah;
• Jibrail (Gabriel): He is the leader of the angels. His function was mainly to bring revelation to the Messengers.
• Mikaeel (Michael): He is in charge of rain and supplying sustenance to all living beings.
• Israfeel (Raphael): He is to blow the trumpet when the time for the end of the world arrives.
• Azraeel (Azrael): The angel of death.
• Al-Kiraam Al-Kaatibeen: Two honourable recorders who note all our actions.
Belief in all the Scriptures
Muslims believe that scriptures were sent to messengers throughout time. The books we know about are:
• Scrolls revealed to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) pbuh
• Zabur (Psalms) revealed to Prophet Dawud (David) pbuh
• Torah revealed to Prophet Musa (Moses) pbuh
• Injeel (Gospels) revealed to Prophet Isa (Jesus) pbuh
• Qur’an revealed to Prophet Muhammad pbuh ….read more
Muslims believe that each revelation was sent to confirm the message sent before and that the Qur’an, the final revelation, is the final, complete and unchangeable word of Allah. The Qur’an names the previous books and confirms that in their original forms they were the word of Allah, but have been destroyed or changed and added to over time. Previous texts were intended for a particular group of people or nation at a specific time. The Qur’an is for all people to the end of time.
• The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in stages over 23 years.
• The first words to be revealed were:
“Read! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood. Read! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful. He Who taught (the use of) the Pen. Taught man that which he knew not..”
(Surah Al Alaq, Chapter 96 Verses 1-5)
• The Qur’an exists exactly as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It has not been changed.
• It was revealed in Arabic
• The oldest existing copy of the full text is from the ninth century.
• The Qur’an was compiled shortly after the death of the Prophet by the Caliph Uthman, in order to preserve its contents.
• There are 114 chapters in the Qur’an.
• All the chapters except one begin with the sentence Bismillahir rahmanir raheem, ‘In the name of Allah the most Beneficent, the Most Merciful’.
• Translations of the Qur’an exist in over 40 languages but Muslims are still taught to learn and recite it in Arabic.
• Committing the Qur’an to memory is considered a great accomplishment and any person who is able to do this is known as a hafiz.
• The Qur’an is treated with immense respect by Muslims because it is the sacred word of God.
Belief in all the Prophets
• Muslims believe that prophets and messengers were sent to nations throughout history.
• They all came with the message ‘There is no God but Allah.’
• It is estimated that about 124,000 prophets were sent over time.
• Muslims believe in all the prophets, respecting all of them equally.
• Muslims are not permitted to speak ill of any prophet.
• 25 Prophets are mentioned in the Qur’an, including;
Adam: The first human created by Allah
Yunus (Jonah): Swallowed by a whale
Nuh (Noah): Built the Ark
Ibrahim (Abraham): Father of the Faiths … read more
Ismail (Ishmael): Helped build the Ka’bah
Ishaaq (Issac): Son of Prophet Abraham and brother of Prophet Ishmael
Yusuf (Joseph): Had the ability to interpret dreams
Dawud (David): Fought Goliath (Jaalut), given the psalms
Musa (Moses): Freed the children of Israel from the Pharaoh; given the Torah
Isa (Jesus): Given the Gospel
Muhammad: The last and final messenger, the seal of the Prophets; given the Qur’an.
Peace be upon them all.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – Brief Introduction
• Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Makkah (now in Saudi Arabia) in 570.
• His father died before he was born; his mother died when he was 6 years old. He was raised by his paternal grandfather until he was eight years old and then by this paternal uncle.
• He was a thoughtful man who spent a lot of time in contemplation in the nearby hills.
• In 610, at the age of forty, during one of his many retreats to Mount Hira for meditation during the month of Ramadan, he received the first revelation from the Archangel Jibril (Gabriel). This was when he was informed of his Prophethood.
• His message was rejected by the majority of the leaders of Makkah who persecuted the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers, so in 622 CE they migrated to Medina where they were welcomed. This migration is called the Hijra. This is the year from which the Islamic calendar is calculated.
• In 629 he returned to Makkah. Before entering the city he sent word to citizens of Makkah that anyone who remained in his home, or in Abu Sufyan’s home, or in the Ka’bah would be safe. The army entered Makkah without fighting.
• The Prophet performed his first and last pilgrimage in 632 CE. One hundred twenty-thousand men and women performed pilgrimage that year with him. Two months later, Prophet Muhammad (s) fell ill and after several days died, eleven years after the Hijra ( 632 CE), in Medina. He is buried in the same place where he died.
• The life and actions of the Prophet are called the Sunnah and are followed by Muslim. The sayings of the Prophet have been collated and authenticated in collections of Hadith.
• In his last sermon he said ‘…I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray…’
Belief in the Day of Judgement
Muslims believe that after the world ends every being from the beginning of our existence will be resurrected. Over this time each person will be judged regarding their actions during their lifetime. Good actions will be rewarded and bad actions punished, and the overall result will be in paradise or hell.
Muslims believe that Allah is the most Just in judging but is also the Most Merciful.
In the Qur’an it says:
“On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the Deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it..” (Surah al Zalzala,Chapter 99 Verses 7-9)
Belief in Predestination
Muslims believe that Allah is All Knowing and knows what is in the future for us and what has passed. He therefore knows what is going to happen, whether good or bad. This does not take away from the notion that each person has freewill to choose what to do, since a person’s choice is taken freely, unaffected by Allah’s prior knowledge of it.
Belief in Life after Death
Muslims believe that after death, and after the day of judgement the soul continues to exist. The life after death is eternal and will be spent in paradise or hell.
Some verses regarding paradise from the Qur’an:
“Now no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them as a reward for their (good) Deeds.” (Surah As Sajda, Chapter 32 Verse 17)
“Allah has promised to Believers men and women Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eden. but the greatest bliss is in the good pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity.” (Surah At Tawba, Chapter 9 Verse 72)
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