INTRODUCING

ISLAM
Part I & Part II

Akm Fakhrul Islam
Al-Qur’an Research Foundation-USA(AQRFUSA) Tel:718-855-8114(H); 646-610-3804(Cell) Email:islamakm@yahoo.com

Compiled and Edited by

Introducing Islam Part I & II 2 www.scribd.com/my_docs www.travelsandhajj.com
Preface of: Akm Fakhrul Islam In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise belongs to Allah alone; Peace and blessing on the last Prophet, his family and his Companions. The Holy Qur’an says: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you may despise each other). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.” [Surah Al-Hujuraat, 49:13] And then God Almighty advises us in The Qur’an: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.” [Surah An-Nahl, 16:125] May the peace and blessings of God be upon everyone who made it possible for us to receive God’s Message, especially all of the Messengers and Prophets of God, their companions, and all others who followed them, and paved the way for us. I was introduced to the valuable and concise treatise on the Basics of Islam and Muslim's belief written from the world reknowned Islamic Scholars. I compiled and edited hundreds of articles written by the scholars who cover the creed of the Sunnites and the mainstream majority of the Muslims in the area of the Oneness of Allah, His attributes, the belief in the angels, the books and the messengers, the Day of Judgment, and in the belief in fate and the divine decree. I tried to succeed in collecting what the seeker of knowledge and every Muslim and Non-Muslim kids and adults, men or women i.e. all the human being needs for his belief in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, the Day of Judgment, and fate. I tried to include in my treatise useful information related to the Muslim's beliefs, basic knowledge and some common questions and answers from the Islamic scholars that are not readily

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available in many of the books written on the different topics. This is why some topics, questions and answers of the Scholar’s writings might have been appeared repeatedly for seeing the similarity. May Allah reward us, increase our knowledge and guidance, and make this book and my other books most useful for the all mankind. May Allah, the Hearer and the Close, bless us and all our brothers and make us among those who are guiding and rightly guided to call people to Allah with sure perfect knowledge. God Almighty accepts our miniscule efforts in compiling and editing this small book ‘Introducing Islam Part I & II’ and will be continued to be Part III and Part IV Insha Allah. It is our hope and prayer that this may light the way as we go through the dark alleys of life. May God reward all those who have helped in this effort. It is my sincere desire and hope that this book would be of great help to those who consult it and for all the youths and for all the Muslims and Non-Muslims. Please include in your prayer all those who contributed to its present shape. Ameen! Summa Ameen! Akm Fakhrul Islam

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Introduction
Praise be to the Lord of the universe who gives the best reward to the God-fearing and the great loss to the transgressor. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; He has no partner and possesses real sovereignty. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger; the seal of the prophets and the leader of the Godfearing and the guide of all the human beings. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions, and those who follow them till the Day of Judgment. Allah has sent His messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, with the real guidance and the true religion as a mercy to mankind, as a model for those who do well, and as His argument against mankind. Through Muhammad and what was revealed to him (the Qur'an and the Prophetic sayings), Allah showed mankind all means of reforming itself and straightening its religious and mundane affairs in sound beliefs, right conduct, fine morals, and laudable manners. The Prophet(peace be upon him), "left his followers on a clear straight path, only the doomed will deviate from it"(Ibn Majah and Ahmad). His followers, the Companions, their followers, and those who followed them faithfully are the best of mankind. They established his law, upheld his way, and held fast to it as a belief and practice, a moral and manner. Thus "they are considered the party who are victorious, on the straight path, unharmed by those who are against them till the end of the world" (Bukhari and Muslim). Thanks to Allah, we are following their footsteps and are being guided by their examples, which are supported by the Qur'an and the prophetic traditions. We are saying this only as an announcement of Allah's blessings and as a clarification of what every Muslim should believe. We pray to Allah that He may keep us on the straight path in this life and in the hereafter. May He give us mercy, for He is the For Giver. Due to the importance of the basics and fundamentals of Islam and the difference of opinions about it, I tried to explain briefly our creed-the belief of the Sunnah and the mainstream Muslims (Ahl as-

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Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah). This creed is the belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Day of Judgment, and fate, whether good or bad. I pray to Allah to make this effort sincere for His sake, in agreement with His wish, and useful for all human beings. It’s a collection of articles, Questions and Answers and opinions from the world scholars dealing with different Islamic issues so that the readers around the world can get basic idea at a glance. May Allah accept our times, energy and support regarding this research work and thanks to those for their all sorts of contributions for the publications of my compilations, editions and research works for the greater benefits of all human beings in here and in the hereafter. Ameen! Summa Ameen!! Akm Fakhrul Islam President Al-Qur’an Research Foundation-USA(AQRF-USA) 161 Park Ave # 1 Brooklyn, NY11205 Tel:718-855-8114(H); 646-610-3804(Cell) Email:islamakm@yahoo.com www.scribd.com/my_docs www.travelsandhajj.com To Learn more about Islam, visit: www.understandingislam.org www.come.to/learnislam www.thetruereligion.org www.universaltruth.org www.islam-online.net www.islamworld.net www.islam-qa.com www.islamweb.net www.islaam.com www.cair-net.org www.jannah.org

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Introducing Islam Part I
Contents
Sl. No. Subjects 01.00.00: Introduction to Islam 01.00.00: Islam is the Submission to God 01.01.00: The Meaning of Islam 02.00.00: Origins of Islam 02.01.00: Islam: The True Religion 02.02.00: Islam: The Religion of All 03.00.00: Basic Beliefs of a Muslim 03.01.00: Beliefs and Principles 03.02.00: Basic Islamic Beliefs 04.00.00: God in Islam 04.01.00: God and Man 04.02.00: Who is Allah? 04.02.01: To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe Page 7 8

9 10 11 11 14

05.00.00: The Basic Articles of Faith in Islam 15 05.01.00: Faith in One God (Allah, the One and Only God) 15 05.02.00: Messengers and Prophets of God 15 05.02.01: Difference among the Messengers, Prophets & Imams 05.03.00: Revelations and the Qur’an 05.04.00: The Angels in Islam 05.04.01: The Devil in Islam 05.05.00: Man & life after death 05.05.01: The Day of Judgment 05.06.00: Qadaa and Qadar 06.00.00: Pillars of Islam and Application of Faith 06.01.00: Witnessing (Shahada) 06.02.00: Prayer (Salah) 06.02.01: Obligatory prayers 06.02.02: Highly recommended prayer 06.02.03: Optional prayer: Voluntary prayer

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during the day and night 06.02.04: Prayer 06.03.00: Obligatory Charity (Zakah) 06.04.00: Fasting (Sawm) in the month of Ramadan: 06.05.00: The Pilgrimage (Hajj) 07.00.00: Islam is a Complete, Comprehensive Code of Life 07.01.00: Islam extends its sense of organization to all walks of life 08.00.00: The purpose of life 09.00.00: Status of Human Beings 10.00.00: Why has Islam continued to be so successful in the modern world? 10.01.00: Why do Muslims think that Islam is True? Is there any factual basis? 11.00.00: Introducing Islam to non-Muslims 12.00.00: Introduction to Islam and Muslims 13.00.00: Islam The Religion of All 14.00.00: How to Become a Muslim 14.01.00: How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim 15.00.00: Rights of women in Islam 16.00.00: The Partial Ablution (Wudu') 16.01.00: How to Perform Wudu Islamic Ablution 17.00.00: Prayer Timings 17.01.00: The Conduct of Salah 17.02.00: Adhan (call to prayer) 17.03.00: Dua After Adhan 17.05.00: 21 Hadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari: Regarding Adhan and Salah 18.00.00: The Right Way to Pray 18.01.00: Prayer Guide in Arabic 19.00.00: Important Lessons for the Muslim Ummah

Introducing Islam Part I & II 8 Bismilla-hir’rah Ma-nir-Rahim

In the Name of Allah The Compassionate, The Merciful

01.00.00: Introduction to Islam
01.01.00: Islam is the Submission to God
."He decreed for you the same religion decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you, and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "You shall uphold this one religion, and do not divide it." (Surah Ash-Shura, v.42:13) . This Quranic verse, alongside numerous other verses, confirms the truth that as far as God is concerned there has always been one religion. The one religion was decreed to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. All the Scripture revealed to mankind from God advocate one and the same religion. This religion God calls Islam (Submission to God). Submission to God as a religion is also described as Monotheism (Hanifeyah) …see 3:67, 6:79, 10:105, 98:5. Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah's (Which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah.[3:67] "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."[6:79] And, (O Muhammad) set thy purpose resolutely for religion, as a man by nature upright, and be not of those who ascribe partners (to Allah).[10:105]

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And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practice regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.[98:5] The principal command from God in all Scripture is to worship God alone devoting all the religion to Him and rejecting all other gods/idols: "You shall have no other gods besides Me" [Old Testament: Exodus 20:3 (First Commandment)] "You shall worship the Lord your God and Him ONLY you shall serve" [New Testament: Luke 4:8] "You shall know that: "There is no other god beside God".[The Qur’an: 47:19] . Submission to God is the religion whereby we recognize God's absolute authority, and reach an unshakeable conviction that God ALONE possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him. The natural result of such a realization is to devote our lives and our worship absolutely to God ALONE. As shown this is the message of all Scripture. The above Quranic verse (Surah Ash-Shura, 42:13) confirms that the religion that was revealed to Muhammad through the Quran is not different from what was given to the previous prophets. Within the religion of Islam God decreed specific rituals and practices designed to teach man to worship his Lord. These acts (Prayer, pilgrimage .... etc.) were taught first to Abraham. This truth is given light in numerous verses such as: . "We made them (Abraham and his sons) imams who guided in accordance with our commandments, and we taught them how to work righteousness, and how to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat)." [21:73] .

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Essentially, if there is only one religion decreed by God there must be One 'truth'. Do we conclude that there should be one revelation? The answer to this question is that 'truth' and 'revelation' are not absolutely equivalent terms. Because 'truth' is an absolute term it is situated independent of form, whereas revelations are relative to time, people and place, and thus require a form. But to speak of form is to speak of diversity and thus plurality. The need for different revelations at different times and for different people is justified by the following factors: (1) Mankind has gone through enormous development through the ages physically, mentally and spiritually, that there was always the need for various revelations at different times and for different peoples. Although the various revelations are united in message and truth, yet we find that God never addresses identical revelations to two different people. This being so, it can be said that the diverse revelation do not, and should not contradict one another, for although they differ in form, the religion decreed in all of them (Monotheism) is one. (2) If there appear any apparent contradictions between different revelations, they are in human receptacles and not in the divine message. This is a result of human inability to interpret such revelations and more importantly the failure to preserve the 'truth' contained in the revelation, which always tends to be impaired and altered with the passing of time. Ultimately, the apparent contradiction is no more than one between corrupt scripts and interpretations of the original revelations, and not between the revelations themselves. Inevitably, and through corruption in the transfer and application of a Scripture, together with the social and cultural factors that always widen the gap between the factions, we are left with a multitude of corrupt religions. These sub-religions in many ways hardly bare any resemblance to one another, or to the original religion decreed by God.

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For that, there becomes a necessity for mankind to receive another revelation that puts them back on track with God's law that has been badly corrupted. (3) We find that up until the advent of the industrial revolution and the fast travel era, the world was still a wide expanse of disjointed lands and peoples. Many people would have not even heard of those Scripture that have already been revealed in various other parts of the world. This is why a new scripture would be revealed to new communities who have not received the Scripture. However, after the revelation of the Qur’an, there became no need for any further revelations. Not because the message of the Qur’an is much different from the message of the Torah or the Gospel, but because of the following reasons: (A) A divine promise has been endorsed in the Qur’an that it will not be corrupted like previous Scripture. As a result, and if the message would remain intact in one Scripture, there becomes no need to reveal further Scripture. (B) With the advent of the modern fast travel means of today, the whole world became a closer knit unit. People do not have to travel to hear or receive information; it is brought right up to them through the various media channels that were not available a few centuries ago. "The only religion approved by God is Islam (Submission)." [Surah Al-Imran, 3:19] . The word Islam simply means Submission (to God). We learn from previous Scripture that all the prophets of God submitted to God Almighty and called their people to submit to the One and only God. It is a mistaken concept among Muslims (and non Muslims alike) that Islam is basically the religion of the Qur’an and the religion of Muhammad. God tells in the Qur’an that Islam (Submission to God) is as old as

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Abraham (22:78), and that all the practices of Islam were first given to Abraham and his sons long before Muhammad was born. Millions of Muslims today believe that it was Muhammad who taught them how to pray and conduct their other rituals. This belief is erroneous since it violates the truth of the Qur’an. In the Quran we read: (1) God taught Abraham and his sons all the rituals of Islam (Prayer, pilgrimage, Zakat ... etc see 21:73, 22:26-29). This took place long before the time of Muhammad. (2) Muhammad was in fact commanded to follow the religion of Abraham (16:123) .... This is described in the same verse as being Monotheism, which is submission to God without setting any idols besides Him. But God also tells Muhammad in verse 5:48 that within each revelation there are specific laws and rites that are specific to the receivers of this particular revelation. Hence the command is issued in 5:48 that Muhammad should follow the rites given to him in the Quran and NOT the rites of previous people. This is followed by God’s description of the Quran as 'COMPLETE' (6:115), 'FULLY DETAILED' (6:114), that 'NOTHING' has been left out of it (6:38) and that it offers ‘explanations for EVERYTHING’ 16:89. God calls this One religion that He decreed to all previous prophets Islam (Submission). It is through this overall plan that we should understand the meaning of the phrase (the only religion acceptable to God is Islam). It does not mean that Islam is exclusively the religion of the Qur’an, nor does it mean that Islam is the religion first brought by Muhammad.

01.02.00: Meaning of Islam
Islam is Arabic word which means peace, purity, submission, and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means the complete submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. Everything and every phenomenon in the world, other than humankind are administered totally by God-made laws; they are

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obedient to God and submissive to his laws. Therefore they are in a state of Islam. Humankind posses the qualities of intelligence and choice, thus he/she is invited to submit to the good will of God, obeying His law, i.e. become a Muslim. Islam’s message has been restored and manifested in the last stage of the religious evolution by God’s last Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad (peace be up them). Allah in the Arabic language refers to God, or more accurately: The One and Only Eternal God, Creator of the Universe, Almighty, Omnipotent, Most Compassionate and Merciful. [Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Elmasry] "ISLAM" is derived from the Arabic root salaama peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. Everything and every phenomenon in the world, other than man and jinn is administered totally by God-made laws, they are obedient to God and submissive to His laws, i.e. they are in the state of Islam. Man possesses the quality of intelligence and choice, thus he is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey His law, i.e. become a Muslim. Submission to the good will of God, together with obedience to His beneficial law, i.e. becoming a Muslim, is the best safeguard for man's peace and harmony. Islam dates back to the age of Adam and its message have been conveyed to man by God's Prophets and Messengers including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Islam's message has been restored and enforced in the last stage of the religious evolution by God's last Prophet and Messenger Muhammad. The word ALLAH in the Arabic language means God, or more accurately The One and Only Eternal God, Creator of the Universe, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. The word Allah to mean God is also used by Arabic

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speaking Jews and Christians. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] "ISLAM" is derived from the Arabic root 'salama' (i.e. peace, purity, submission and obedience). In the religious sense, Islam means "submission to the will of God and obedience to His law". Everything in the world, except man and jinn is totally obedient to God and submissive to His laws (i.e. they are in the state of Islam). Man possesses the quality of intelligence and choice, thus he is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey His law (i.e. become a Muslim). The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which was named after Jesus Christ (AS). Buddhism after Gotama Buddha and Confucianism after Confucius nor was it named after a tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah (God)" and as such, its name represents the central principle of Allah's religion: the total submission to the will of Allah (God). The name of God's religion was chosen by Allah (God) Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man: [Quran 5.3] ...This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; Nowhere in the Bible will you find Allah (God) saying to Prophet Moses' people or their descendants that their religion is Judaism, nor to the followers of Christ that their religion is Christianity. Islam dates back to the age of Adam and its message have been conveyed to man by God's Prophets and Messengers including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. The Qur’an Says in 3:67-68: (67) Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists. (68) Most surely the nearest of people to Abraham are those who followed him and this Prophet (Muhammed (SAW)) and those who believe and Allah (God) is the guardian of the believers. [Al-

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Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation–London] The word Islam means, submission to Allah’s will; and a Muslim is one who submits to Allah’s will. It is a religion which gives guided maximum freedom. It can be followed easily by everyone, everywhere, everyday. It enjoins one to believe in one God; to keep up prayers and give immensely in charity; to fast during Ramadhan; to perform the Hajj (pilgrimage) if affordable; to fight the self through abstinence in order to gain true freedom; and to believe in the Allah’s justice. It forbids evil and tyranny, prohibits consumption of intoxicants and the blood and flesh of swine, among others; it forbids playing games of chance; committing adultery, etc. 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 have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.

01.03.00: Islam: Definition
The word ISLAM has a two-fold meaning: peace, and submission to God. This submission requires a fully conscious and willing effort to submit to the one Almighty God. One must consciously and conscientiously give oneself to the service of Allah. This means to act on what Allah enjoins all of us to do (in the Qur'an) and what His beloved Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged us to do in his Sunnah (his lifestyle and sayings personifying the Qur'an). Once we humble ourselves, rid ourselves of our egoism and submit totally to Allah, and to Him exclusively, in faith and in action, we will surely feel peace in our hearts. Establishing peace in our hearts will bring about peace in our external conduct as well. Islam is careful to remind us that it not a religion to be paid mere lip service; rather it is an all-encompassing way of life that must be practiced continuously for it to be Islam. The Muslim must practice the five pillars of the religion: the declaration of faith in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh), prayer, fasting

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the month of Ramadan, alms-tax, and the pilgrimage to Makkah; and believe in the six articles of faith: belief in God, the Holy Books, the prophets, the angels, the Day of Judgment and God's decree, whether for good or ill. There are other injunctions and commandments which concern virtually all facets of one's personal, family and civic life. These include such matters as diet, clothing, personal hygeine, interpersonal relations, business ethics, responsibilities towards parents, spouse and children, marriage, divorce and inheritance, civil and criminal law, fighting in defense of Islam, relations with non-Muslims, and so much more. 01.03.01: Who is a Muslim? The word "Muslim" means one who submits to the will of God. This is done by declaring that "there is no god except one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." In a broader sense, anyone who willingly submits to the will of God is a Muslim. Thus, all the prophets preceding the prophet Muhammad are considered Muslims. The Qur’an specifically mentions Abraham who lived long before Moses and Christ that, "he was not a Jew or a Christian but a Muslim," because, he had submitted to the will of God. Thus there are Muslims who are not submitting at all to the will of God and there are Muslims who are doing their best to live an Islamic life. One cannot judge Islam by looking at those individuals who have a Muslim name but in their actions, they are not living or behaving as Muslims. The extent of being a Muslim can be according to the degree to which one is submitting to the will of God, in his beliefs and his actions. 01.03.02: How should Muslims live with Jews & Christians? The Quran calls them "People of the Book", i.e., those who received Divine scriptures before Muhammad (P). Muslims are told to treat them with respect and justice and do not fight with them unless they initiate hostilities or ridicule their faith. The Muslims ultimate hope is that they all will join them in worshipping one God and submit to His will. "Say (O Muhammad): O people of the Book (Jews and Christians) come to an agreement between us and you, that we shall worship

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none but Allah, and that we shall take no partners with Him, and none of us shall take others for Lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are those who have surrendered (unto Him)." (Qur’an 3:64) What about Hindus, Bahai, Buddhists and members of other religions? They should also be treated with love, respect, and understanding to make them recipients of Invitations to Islam. 01.03.03: The Muslim's Beliefs Unlike other beings, man has the tendency to think that any thing that is organized much have an organizer. Islam simply applies the same natural logic to the universe and the environment around us which has so many amazing and well organized inter-related systems that witness of the existence of a powerful creator. It is in this direction that Muslims believe in an unseen Ultimate Creator, source of all the physical and spiritual power that exists in the universe. We know about this creator not only through the powerful evidence of how organized the universe, but also through a line of prophets, is including but not limited to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. They came to draw our attention to him so that we may make the choice to believe by responding to an inner instinct (that is confirmed daily) that all that is organized must have an organizer and that this universe is the creation of the ultimate organizer: God the one, the eternal, the creator, the fastest who calculates, the light, the originator, to list only a view of the names and attributes of the one God as outlined in the Koran (Qur'an). The first five verses of the Koran represent the Islamic natural approach to believe in the one God: Read in the name of your Lord who created; Created man from a clot that clings Read and your Lord is the most generous; He who taught by the pen; Taught man that which he knew not. Accordingly a Muslim faith is pronounced in the format of admitting the existence and oneness of the Creator as follows:

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I witness there is no God, but one God and that Mohammed is his prophet. (or for that matter one of his prophets, since the Koran states that Mohammed is no more than a prophet, a lot of prophets have passed before him). 01.03.04: Who was the Prophet Muhammad? (pbuh) In brief, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael (P), son of Prophet Abraham (P). His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He did not attend a formal school since he was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle. As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At age 40, he was given the prophet hood when the angel, Gabriel, appeared in the cave. Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were compiled in the form of a book called the Qur’an which Muslims consider as the final and the last word of God. The Qur’an has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah, the psalms and the Gospel. 01.03.05: What do Muslims think of Jesus? It is sad that many Christians do not know that Jesus, peace be upon him, holds a very high position within Islam. Unlike Orthodox Judaism, Islam considers Jesus to be the promised Messiah, a word from God, born of the Virgin Mary to bring a new covenant to the people of Israel. Nevertheless, the Qur'an, the main book in Islam, leaves no room to accept concepts developed by Church theologians after the departure of Jesus, such as the son-ship of Jesus (accepted at the Council of Nicaea on May 20, 325) or the idea of adding the Holy Spirit as the "third head" for God (developed as the concept of the Trinity in the Constantinopolitan Creed of 381). In fact both concepts (the son-ship of Jesus and the Trinity) tend to negate many clear verses in the old and New Testament. For example: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." (Deuteronomy 6:4)

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...that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I Am He: before Me there was no God, neither shall there be after Me. 1, even 1, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11) And Jesus answered him: The first of all the commandments is hear, 0 Israel:' Me Lord our God is one Lord. (Mark 12:29) ...We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. (I Corinthians 8:4) Given these verses, one should be careful not to take the verse in John 1: I literally because it could easily have been mistranslated from the Aramaic into the Greek and should read "and the word was God's." It should be noted here that in the Greek language theos is God while theou means God's (see any Greek dictionary or see the book Muhammad in the Bible by Professor Abdul Ahad Dawud, former bishop of Uramiah, p. 16). On more logical grounds, insisting that Jesus is God or son of God as the main article of faith reduces the 'natural' human instinct to believe in a Creator (it is 'natural' because every human being feels that anything that is organized must have an organizer) from believing in an absolute Creator of the universe who is felt naturally into having to believe in a given historical event that is limited in both time and space. 01.03.06: Do Muslims have many sects? Muslims have no sects. In Islam, there are two major schools of thought, the Shia and the Sunni. Both have many things in common. They follow the same book – Qur’an. They follow the same prophet Muhammad (P). Both offer their prayers five times a day. Both fast in the month of Ramadan. They both go for hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca. Those who follow Prophet Muhammad (P), in accordance with his sayings and actions, are called Sunni and those who in addition follow the sayings and views of Ali (Muhammad's son-inlaw), as the rightful successor to Prophet Muhammad (P), are called Shia. Shia means a partisan (party of Ali) and it started more as a political party to help Ali in his conflict with his political adversaries. Most Shias live in Iran and Iraq while the rest of the

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Muslim world is mostly Sunni. Shias comprise about 16-percent of the Muslim population. 01.03.07: What are the pillars of Islam? There are five major pillars of Islam which are the articles of faith. These pillars are 1) the belief (Iman) in one God and that Muhammad (P) is His messenger, 2) prayer (Salat) which are prescribed five times a day, 3) fasting (Siyam) which is required in the month of Ramadan, 4) charity (Zakat) which is the poor-due on the wealth of the rich and 5) hajj which is the pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime if one can afford it physically and financially. All the pillars should be of equal height and strength in a building in order to give the building its due shape and proportions. It is not possible that one would do hajj without observing fasting or without practicing regular prayers. Now think of a building which has pillars only. It would not be called a building. In order to make it a building, it has to have a roof, it has to have walls, it has to have doors and windows. These things in Islam are the moral codes of Islam such as honesty, truthfulness, steadfastness and many other human moral qualities. Thus in order to be a Muslim, one should not only be practicing the pillars of Islam but should also have the highest possible attribute for being a good human being. Only then the building is completed and looks beautiful. 01.03.08: Do Muslims worship Muhammad? No. Muslims do not worship Muhammad (P) or any other prophets. Muslims believe in all prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad (P) was the last of the prophets. They believe that God alone is to be worshiped, not any human being. 01.03.09: Do Muslims believe in the hereafter? God is Just and manifest His justice; He established the system of accountability. Those who do well will be rewarded and those who do wrong will be punished accordingly. Thus, He created Heaven and Hell and there are admission criteria for both. Muslims believe that the present life is a temporary one. It is a test and if we pass the test, we will be given a life of permanent pleasure in the company of good people in Heaven.

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01.03.10: Does Islam oppress women? No. On the contrary, Islam elevated the status of women 1400 years ago by giving them the right to divorce, the right to have financial independence and support, and the right to be identified as dignified women (Hijab) when in the rest of the world, including Europe, women had no such rights. Women are equal to men in all acts of piety (Qur’an 33:32). Islam allows women to keep their maiden name after marriage, their earned money, and spend it as they wish, and ask men to be their protector. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told Muslim men, "The best among you is the one who is best to his family." Not Islam, but some Muslim men, does oppress women today. This is because of non-Islamic cultural habits or their ignorance towards their religion. 01.03.11: What are the dietary prohibitions in Islam? Muslims are told in the Qur’an not to eat pork or pork products, meat of the animals who died before being slaughtered or the carnivorous animals (as they eat dead animals), nor drink blood or intoxicants such as wine or use any illicit drugs. 01.03.12: What is Jihad? The word "Jihad" means struggle, or to be specific, striving in the cause of God. Any struggle done in day-to-day life to please God can be considered Jihad. One of the highest levels of Jihad is to stand up to a tyrant and speak a word of truth. Control of the self from wrong doings is also a great Jihad. One of the forms of Jihad is to take up arms in defense of Islam or a Muslim country when Islam is attacked. This kind of Jihad has to be declared by the religious leadership or by a Muslim head of state that is following the Qur’an and Sunnah. 01.03.13: What is the Islamic Year? The Islamic year started from the migration (Hijra) of Prophet Muhammad (P) from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. It is a lunar year of 354 days. The first month is called Muharram. 1996 AD is in Islamic year 1416 AH. 01.03.14: What are the major Islamic festivals? Idul Fitre, marks the end of fasting in the month of Ramadan and is celebrated with public prayers, feasts and exchange of gifts. Idul

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Adha marks the end of the Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. After the public prayers, those who can afford, sacrifice a lamb or a goat to signify Prophet Abraham's obedience to God, shown by his readiness to sacrifice his son Ishmael. 01.03.15: What is Sharia? Sharia is the comprehensive Muslim law derived form two sources, a) the Quran b) the Sunnah or traditions of Prophet Muhammad (P). It covers every aspect of daily individual and collective living. The purpose of Islamic laws is protection of individuals' basic human rights to include right to life, property, political and religious freedom and safeguarding the rights of women and minorities. The low crime rate in Muslim societies is due to the application of the Islamic laws. 01.03.16: Was Islam spread by the sword? According to the Quran, "There is no compulsion in religion" (2:256), thus, no one can be forced to become a Muslim. While it is true that in many places where Muslim armies went to liberate people or the land, they did carry the sword as that was the weapon used at that time. However, Islam did not spread by the sword because in many places where there are Muslims now, in the Far East like Indonesia, in China, and many parts of Africa, there are no records of any Muslim armies going there. To say that Islam was spread by the sword would be to say that Christianity was spread by guns, F-16's and atomic bombs, etc., which is not true. Christianity spread by the missionary works of Christians. Ten-percent of all Arabs are Christians. The "Sword of Islam" could not convert all the non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries. In India, where Muslims ruled for 700 years, they are still a minority. In the U.S.A., Islam is the fastest growing religion and has 6 million followers without any sword around. 01.03.18: Does Islam promote violence and terrorism? No. Islam is religion of peace and submission and stresses on the sanctity of human life. A verse in the Quran says, [Chapter 5, verse 32], that "anyone who saves one life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind and anyone who has killed another person (except in lieu of murder or mischief on earth) it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind." Islam condemns all the violence

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which happened in the Crusades, in Spain, in WW II, or by acts of people like the Rev. Jim Jones, David Koresh, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, or the atrocities committed in Bosnia by the Christian Serbs. Anyone who is doing violence is not practicing his religion at that time. However, sometimes violence is a human response of oppressed people as it happens in Palestine. Although this is wrong, they think of this as a way to get attention. There is a lot of terrorism and violence in areas where there is no Muslim presence. For example, in Ireland, South Africa, Latin America, and Sri Lanka. Sometimes the violence is due to a struggle between those who have with those who do not have, or between those who are oppressed with those who are oppressors. We need to find out why people become terrorists. Unfortunately, the Palestinians who are doing violence are called terrorists, but not the armed Israeli settlers when they do the same sometimes even against their own people. As it turned out to be in the Oklahoma City bombing, sometime Muslims are prematurely blamed even if the terrorism is committed by non-Muslims. Sometimes those who want Peace and those who oppose Peace can be of the same religion. 01.03.19: What is "Islamic Fundamentalism"? There is no concept of "Fundamentalism" in Islam. The western media has coined this term to brand those Muslims who wish to return to the basic fundamental principles of Islam and mould their lives accordingly. Islam is a religion of moderation and a practicing God fearing Muslim can neither be a fanatic nor an extremist. 01.03.20: Is Islam intolerant of other religious minorities? Islam recognizes the rights of the minority. To ensure their welfare and safety, Muslim rulers initiated a tax (Jazia) on them. Prophet Muhammad (P) forbade Muslim armies to destroy churches and synagogues. Caliph Umar did not even allow them to pray inside a church. Jews were welcomed and flourished in Muslim Spain even when they were persecuted in the rest of Europe. They consider that part of their history as the Golden Era. In Muslim countries, Christians live in prosperity, hold government positions and attend their church. Christian missionaries are allowed to establish and operate their schools and hospitals. However, the same religious tolerance is not always available to Muslim minorities as seen in the past during Spanish inquisition and the crusades, or as seen now by

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the events in Bosnia, Israel and India. Muslims do recognize that sometimes the actions of a ruler do not reflect the teachings of his religion. 01.03.21: What is the dress code for Muslims? Islam emphasizes modesty. No person should be perceived as a sex object. There are certain guidelines both for men and women that their dress should neither be too thin nor too tight to reveal body forms. For men, they must at least cover the area from the knee to navel ....and for women, their dress should cover all areas to be properly veiled Q 24:31. Some Islamic scholars grant license based on Qur’an & Sunnah creating some latitude allowing believing women to cover everything but the FACE and HANDS. 01.03.22: Introduction to Islam The literal meaning of Islam is peace; surrender of one’s will i.e. losing oneself for the sake of God and surrendering one’s own pleasure for the pleasure of God. The message of Islam was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings on him) 1, 400 years ago. It was revealed through angel Gabriel (on whom be peace) and was thus preserved in the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an carries a Divine guarantee of safeguard from interpolation and it claims that it combines the best features of the earlier scriptures. The prime message of Islam is the Unity of God, that the Creator of the world is One and He alone is worthy of worship and that Muhammad (peace and blessings on him) is His Messenger and Servant. The follower of this belief is thus a Muslim - a Muslim’s other beliefs are: God’s angels, previously revealed Books of God, all the prophets, from Adam to Jesus (peace be on them both), the Day of Judgment and indeed the Decree of God. A Muslim has five main duties to perform, namely; bearing witness to the Unity of God and Muhammad (peace and blessings on him) as His Messenger, observing the prescribed prayer, payment of Zakat, keeping the fasts of Ramadhan and performing the pilgrimage to Mecca.

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Islam believes that each person is born pure. The Holy Qur’an tells us that God has given human beings a choice between good and evil and to seek God’s pleasure through faith, prayer and charity. Islam believes that God created mankind in His image and by imbuing the attributes of God on a human level mankind can attain His nearness. Islam’s main message is to worship God and to treat all God’s creation with kindness and compassion. Rights of parents in old age, orphans and the needy are clearly stated. Women’s rights were safeguarded 1,400 years ago when the rest of the world was in total darkness about emancipation. Islamic teachings encompass every imaginable situation and its rules and principles are truly universal and have stood the test of time. In Islam virtue does not connote forsaking the bounties of nature that are lawful. On the contrary one is encouraged to lead a healthy, active life with the qualities of kindness, chastity, honesty, mercy, courage patience and politeness. In short, Islam has a perfect and complete code for the guidance of individuals and communities alike. As the entire message of Islam is derived from the Holy Qur’an and indeed the Sunnah and Hadith (the traditions and practices of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings on him) it is immutable in the face of change in time and place. It may appear rigid to the casual eye, in actual fact it is most certainly an adaptable way of life regardless of human changes. Islam teaches that the path to spiritual development is open to all. Any individual who searches the One Creator can seek nearness to God through sincere and earnest worship; it is central to establishing a relationship with the Almighty. This positive message for humanity fills hearts with hope and courage. At present there are 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide and they form the majority in more than 50 countries of the world. Today Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world - its beautiful message is reaching millions in the far corner of the earth. [http://www.introductiontoislam.org/index2.shtml]

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02.00.00: Origins of Islam
Allah revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad 1439 years ago; this is, however, not to say that anything new from the prior religions such as Christianity and Jewism was revealed; instead, Islam came as a much easier and final version to be practiced by mankind for attaining spiritual, physical and intellectual perfection.

02.01.00: Islam: The True Religion
02.01.01: The Religion of Islam The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which was named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gotama Buddha, and Confucianism after Confucius and Marxism after Karl Marx. Nor was it named after a tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah" and as such, its name represents the central principle of Allah's "God's" religion; the total submission to the will of Allah "God". The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's will to the only true god worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone who does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies "peace" which is the natural consequence of total submission to the will of Allah. Hence, it was not a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) I in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the true religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form. Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of Allah, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent by Allah to mankind. The name of God's religion Islam was not decided upon by later generations of man. It was chosen by Allah Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the final book of divine revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah states the following: "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion". [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:3] "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah (God) never will It be accepted of Him" [Surah Al-Imran 3:85]

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"Abraham was not a Jew nor Christian; but an upright Muslim." [Surah Al-Imran 3:67] Nowhere in the Bible will you find Allah saying to Prophet Moses' people or their descendants that their religion is Judaism, nor to the followers of Christ that their religion is Christianity. In fact, Christ was not even his name, nor was it Jesus! The name "Christ" comes from the Greek word Christ’s which means the anointed. That is, Christ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew title "Messiah". The name "Jesus" on the other hand, is a Latinized version of the Hebrew name Esau. For simplicity's sake, I will however continue to refer to Prophet Esau (PBUH) as Jesus. As for his religion, it was what he called his followers to. Like the prophets before him, he called the people to surrender their will to the will of Allah; (which is Islam) and he warned them to stay away from the false gods of human imagination. According to the New Testament, he taught his followers to pray as follows: "Yours will be done on earth as it is in Heaven". 02.01.02: The Message of Islam Since the total submission of one's will to Allah represents the essence of worship, the basic message of Allah's divine religion, Islam is the worship of Allah alone and the avoidance of worship directed to any person, place or thing other than Allah. Since everything other than Allah, the Creator of all things, is Allah's creation; it may be said that Islam, in essence calls man away from the worship of creation and invites him to worship only its Creator. He is the only one deserving man's worship as it is only by His will that prayers are answered. If man prays to a tree and his prayers are answered, it was not the tree which answered his prayers but Allah who allowed the circumstances prayed for to take place. One might say, "That is obvious," however, to tree-worshippers it might not be. Similarly, prayers to Jesus, Buddha, or Krishna, to Saint Christopher, or Saint Jude or even to Muhammad, are not answered by them but are answered by Allah. Jesus did nottell his followers to worship him but to worship Allah. As the Qur'aan states:

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"And behold Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary Did you say to men, Worship me and my mother as gods besides Allah He will say-"Glory to you I could never say what I had no right (to say')". [Surah Al-Ma'idah- 5:116] Nor did he worship himself when he worshipped but rather he worshipped Allah. This basic principle is enshrined in the opening chapter of the Qur'aan, known as Surah Al-Faatiha, verse 4: "You alone do we worship and from you alone do we seek help". Elsewhere, in the final book of revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah also said: "And your Lord says:"Call on Me and I will answer your (prayer)." [Surah Al-Mu'min 40:60] It is worth noting that the basic message of Islam is that Allah and His creation are distinctly different entities. Neither is Allah His creation or a part of it, nor is His creation Him or a part of Him. This might seem obvious, but, man's worship of creation instead of the Creator is to a large degree based on ignorance of this concept. It is the belief that the essence of Allah is everywhere in His creation or that His divine being is or was present in some aspects of His creation, which has provided justification for the worship of creation though such worship maybecalled the worship of Allah through his creation. How ever, the message of Islam as brought by the prophets of Allah is to worship only Allah and to avoid the worship of his creation either directly or indirectly. In the Our'aan Allah clearlystates: "For We assuredly sent amongst every people a prophet,(with the command) worship meand avoid false gods " [Sursh An-Nahl 16:36] When the idol worshipper is questioned as to why he or she bows down to idols created by men, the invariable reply is that they are not actually worshipping the stone image, but Allah who is present within it. They claim that the stone idol is only a focal point for Allah's essence and is not in itself Allah! One who has accepted the concept of the presence of God's being within His creation in any way will be obliged to accept this argument of idolatry. Whereas, one who understands the basic message of Islam and its

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implications would never concede to idolatry no matter how it is rationalized. Those who have claimed divinity for themselves down through the ages have often based their claims on the mistaken belief that Allah is present in man. They merely had to assert that although Allah according to their false beliefs is in all of us, He is more present in them than in the rest of us. Hence, they claim, we should submit our will to them and worship them as they are either God in person or God concentrated within the person. Similarly, those who have asserted the godhood of others after their passing have found fertile ground among those who accept the false belief of God's presence in man. One who has grasped the basic message of Islam and its implications could never agree to worship another human being under any circumstances. God's religion in essence is a clear call to the worship of the Creator and the rejection of creation-worship in any form. This is the meaning of the motto of Islam: "Laa Elaaha lllallaah" that means ‘There is no god but Allah.’ Its repetition automatically brings one within the fold of Islam and sincere belief in it guarantees one Paradise. Thus, the final Prophet of Islam is reported to have said, "Any one who says: There is no god but Allah and dies holding that (belief) will enter paradise". (Reported by Abu Dharr and collected by AlBukhaaree and Muslim). It consists in the submission to Allah as one God, yielding to Him by obeying His commandments, and the denial of polytheism and polytheists. 02.01.03: The Message of False Religion There are so many sects, cults, religions, philosophies, and movements in the world, all of which claim to be the right way or the only true path to Allah. How can one determine which one is correct or if, in fact, all are correct? The method by which the answer can be found is to clear away the superficial differences in the teachings of the various claimants to the ultimate truth, and identify the central object of worship to which they call, directly or indirectly. False religions all have in common one basic concept

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with regards to Allah. They either claim that all men are gods or that specific men were Allah or that nature is Allah or that Allah is a figment of man's imagination. Thus, it may be stated that the basic message of false religion is that Allah may be worshipped in the form of His creation. False religion invites man to the worship of creation by calling the creation or some aspect of it God. For example, Prophet Jesus invited his followers to worship Allah but those who claim to be his followers today call people to worship Jesus, claiming that he was Allah! Buddha was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles to the religion of India. He did not claim to be God nor did he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today most Buddhists who are to be found outside of India have taken him to be God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness. By using the principle of identifying the object of worship, false religion becomes very obvious and the contrived nature of their origin clears. As God said in the Our'aan: That which you worship besides Him are only names you and your forefathers have invented for which Allah has sent down no authority: The command belongs only to Allah: He has commanded that you only worship Him; that is the right religion, but most men do not understand ". [Surah Yusuf 12:40] It may be argued that all religions teach good things so why should it matter which one we follow. The reply is that all false religions teach the greatest evil, the worship of creation. Creation-worship is the greatest sin that man can commit because it contradicts the very purpose of his creation. Man was created to worship Allah alone as Allah has explicitly stated in the Our'aan: "I have only created Jlnns and men, that they may worship me". [Surah Az-Zaariyat 51:56] Consequently, the worship of creation, which is the essence of idolatry, is the only unforgivable sin. One who dies in this state of

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idolatry has sealed his fate in the next life. This is not an opinion, but a revealed fact stated by Allah in his final revelation to man: "Verily Allah will not forgive the joining of partners with Him, but He may forgive (sins) less than that for whom so ever He wishes". [Surah An- Nisa 4:48 and 116] 02.01.04: The Universality of Islam Since the consequences of false religion are so grave, the true religion of Allah must be universally understandable and attainable, not confined to any people, place or time. There can not be conditions like baptism, belief in a man, as a savior etc., for a believer to enter paradise. Within the central principle of Islam and in its definition, (the surrender of one's will to God) lies the roots of Islam's universality. Whenever man comes to the realization that Allah is one and distinct from His creation, and submits himself to Allah, he becomes a Muslim in body and spirit and is eligible for paradise. Thus, anyone at anytime in the most remote region of the world can become a Muslim, a follower of God's religion, Islam, by merely rejecting the worship of creation and by turning to Allah (God) alone-It should be noted however, that the recognition of and submission to Allah requires that one chooses between right and wrong and such a choice implies accountability. Man will be held responsible for his choices, and, as such, he should try his utmost to do well and avoid evil. The ultimate good being the worship of Allah alone and the ultimate evil being the worship of His creation along with or instead of Allah. This fact is expressed in the final revelation as follows: "Verily those who believe, those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures), the Christians and the Sabians any who believe In Allah and the last day, and work righteousness *hall have their reward with their Lord; They will not be overcome by fear nor grief [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:62]. If only they had stood by the law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There Is from among them a party on the right course; but many of them follow a course that is evil. [Surah Al-.Maa'idah 5:66]

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02.01.05: Recognition of Allah The question which arises here is, "How can all people be expected to believe in Allah given their varying- backgrounds, societies and cultures? For people to be responsible for worshipping Allah they all have to have access to knowledge of Allah. The final revelation teaches that all mankind have the recognition of Allah imprinted on their souls, a part of their very nature with which they are created. In Surah Al-A'raaf, Verses 172-173: Allah explained that when He created Adam, He caused all of Adam's descendants to come into existence and took a pledge from them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all replied, " Yes, we testify to It:' Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He is their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, "That was In case you (mankind) should say on the day of Resurrection, "Verily we were unaware of all this." That is to say, we had no idea that You Allah, were our God. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship You alone. Allah went on to explain that it was also In case you should say, "Certainly It was our ancestors who made partners (With Allah) and we are only their descendants; will You then destroy us for what those liars did?" Thus, every child is born with a natural belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone called in Arabic the "Fitrah". If the child were left alone, he would worship Allah in his own way, but all children are affected by those things around them, seen or unseen. The Prophet (PBUH) reported that Allah said, "I created my servants in the right religion but devils made them go astray". The Prophet (PBUH) also said, "Each child is born in a state of "Fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew, Christian or a Zoroastrian, the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any that were born mutilated?" [Bukhari and Muslim]. So, just as the child submits to the physical laws which Allah has put in nature, his soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allah is his Lord and Creator. But, his parents try to make him follow their

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own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of his life to resist or oppose the will of his parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allah does not hold him to account or punish him for this religion. Throughout people's lives from childhood until the time they die, signs are shown to them in all regions of the earth and in their own souls, until it becomes clear that there is only one true God (Allah). If the people are honest with themselves, reject their false gods and seek Allah, the way will be made easy for them but if they continually reject Allah's signs and continue to worship creation, the more difficult it will be for them to escape. For example, in the South Eastern region of the Amazon jungle in Brazil, South America, a primitive tribe erected a new hut to house their main idol Skwatch, representing the supreme God of all creation. The homage to the God, and while he was in prostration to what he had been taught was his Creator and Sustainer, a mangy old flea-ridden dog walked into the hut, The young man looked up in time to see the dog lift its hind leg and pass urine on the idol. Outraged, the youth chased the dog out of the temple, but when his rage died down he realized that the idol could not be the Lord of the universe. Allah must be elsewhere he now had a choice to act on his knowledge and seek Allah, or to dishonestly go along with the false beliefs of his tribe. As strange as it may seem, that was a sign from Allah for that young man. It contained within it divine guidance that what he was worshipping was false. Prophets were sent, as was earlier mentioned, to every nation and tribe to support man's natural belief in Allah and man's inborn inclination to worship Him as well as to reinforce the divine truth in the daily signs revealed by Allah. Although, in most cases, much of the prophets' teachings became distorted, portions remained which point out right and wrong. For example, the ten commandments of the Torah, their confirmation in the Gospels and the existence of laws against murder, stealing and adultery in most societies. Consequently, every soul will be held to account for its belief in Allah and its acceptance of the religion of Islam; the total submission to the will of Allah.

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We pray to Allah, the exalted, to keep us on the right path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is indeed the Most Merciful. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be on prophet Muhammad, his Family, his companions, and those who rightly follow them.
Note: This article has been taken from the writings of Scholar: Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, islamworld.net

02.02.00: Islam the Religion of All
02.02.01: The True Religion: Dear Sisters & Brothers, Have you ever thought about religion? How many different opinions one has about it? Have you noticed the enmity, which reigns amongst the different races? Each one believes he practices the right religion and even if he would worship only a stone as his God. Have you noticed how fanatic many people are in their beliefs? I am certain that your mind is already preoccupied with this, and you may find out that the only right thing is to be reached if there would exists one religion only, and that this one should be understood by all humanity. Each human being ought to feel by himself without any teaching that he has to live after these three following principal points: Believe only in one god, spread philanthropy amongst his fellow beings, and believe that God send His Prophets to teach humanity these two main sacred rules. If you think about these matters you will ask yourself if there really exists such a religion! Yes, indeed, from the beginning of the world this one religion has existed inspired by God. With this religion God has send all prophets, so it is God’s religion, but the people wrongly named it after the prophets of every period. This incorrect nomination was the route of misunderstanding and fanaticism between various elements of humanity. The partition of that one religion has brought humanity to the point where the true faith has been almost forgotten. Islam has been called Mohammedanism with relation to the prophet Mohammed, as well

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as other religions has been called after the names of their prophets while all of them recognize a single faith in one God. The word “Islam” means peace among humanity and humbleness to God. In spite of not being a missionary, I feel it my duty to explain in a few words the meaning of this religion. But if other believers remain in ignorance of Islam and its teachings, their prejudices against this religion will, from the start, hinder them from comprehending its principles and no result of any import will be reached. Islam as we have said means also peace with oneself and with others and devotion to God. These meanings are summed up in the Qur’an, and one is taught to do well to others and purify oneself by carrying out its teachings. Muhammad was last the last and not the only prophet of Islam. The Muslim believes in all the prophets of all times-in Abraham, Moses and Jesus, etc. God has sent his prophets to mankind to tell them to fulfill His will and to lead a sound life. The Holy Scripture of Islam is the Qur’an which contains the real teachings of all the Holy Scriptures. Islam teaches the Moslem to believe in one God, in the Angles, in the Holy Scriptures, in His prophets in the resurrection after death, and in the Day of Judgment. Erroneously one may speak of fatalism and predestination in Islam: the Moslem believes in direct separation of good and evil, all that is created by God is good, and in case of being used after its true direction will lead to happiness, but if it is abused, will lead to evil and sorrow. All Muslims pray to their one God, who is the Almighty, the Allknowing, the All-just, and the All-helping of the entire world. He has neither been born, nor has he born either a son or a daughter. He is indivisible. He is the light of Heavens and Earth. He is pitiful, merciful. He is the First and the last, He is Eternal. If Jesus called God his father this does not exactly mean that he is His Father, but it is only a sign of God’s goodness and mercy. God is everywhere, and when Jesus prayed to God in Heaven, he does not mean that God is only in Heaven, but it is simply a sign of the Highness of God.

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Belief and deed: Belief without deed is dead letters; belief alone is not sufficient as long as it is not transformed into deeds, The Moslem believes in the responsibility of his own deeds either be it in this world or in the other. Each Moslem carries his own burdens and none can take the responsibility of other’s sins. 02.02.02: The Position of the Woman in Islam Man and woman are of the same nature, and possess the same soul and are provided with equal capacity to intellectual and moral deeds. Islam puts man and woman under the same responsibilities; and considers the woman capable to undergo life difficulties to a certain extent. She and man together have to act in their life on the ground that each has his own natural position. The natural position of the “Muslima” as a wife is to look after the affairs of her husband, and as a mother should be attentive to her young. In other words she has to pass most of her time in good management and prudence in the house, as her essential duty. I can say from a true Islamic point of view that our woman is highly considered and respected anywhere, but if in some places in the Orient she is put in a low position, this is due to the fact that the instructions and teachings of Islam are not perfectly practiced in these places. The evil ideas that are published about Islam in the books of the fanatic writers are not true and it is not right on their part to suppose false views in their writings which they spread throughout the world. A fair judge should acquaint himself with the fundamental teachings of the case, so as to be able to give a right opinion about it ; but those fanatics seem to be after the favor of serving colonization, they say nothing as to persecution of the West endured by the disarmed East. At the time they fight the idea of slavery they already commit it under the mask of reform and protection of the so-called (savages). It is easy to weaken and corrupt a pure nation by spreading

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alcoholics and prostitution; are such to be the reforms introduced to the Oriental nations by the West?

02.02.03: Equality and Fraternity in Islam: Islam is the religion of God’s oneness and the equality of manhood before Him. Although people are created in different positions in this world, they are forced to co-operate with one another and there must exist among them a universal relation of mutuality. For example, the rich support and the poor give their attention and efforts to their work. These mutual duties are included in what we call the discipline of creation Prejudices of nations and colors as well as verities of beliefs are unknown within Islam. All humanity in the view of Islam forms one family in which it succeeds in combining the black and white into one unity of brethren. 02.02.04: Personal Judgment: Islam encourages personal opinion and respects everyone’s doctrine within the limits of the right comprehension of the true religion. 02.02.05: Science: Islam orders studying of science and considers it holy to gain knowledge of it as high as the angels and even more. 02.02.06: Work: “pay the workman before his sweat is dry”. These are the well-known words of the holy Prophet. Any work which provides mankind with an honorable living is respected; and idleness is a sin. 02.02.07: Liberalities: Human potentialities are a gift God. They are to be used for the benefit of humanity and it is everyone’s duty to live for others as well as for him. Liberality must exclude differences. The Muslim is ordered through his religion to help the poor and the needy as far as he can.

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The following principal duties to be done by the Muslims beside the main belief of one God etc. are: 02.02.08: Praying: to clean the body and purify the soul. 02.02.09: Fasting: to ameliorate body and soul; bodily healing to revive the feelings for the treatment of mankind, animals and plants more pitifully, to augment patience and reinforce one’s own will. 02.02.10: Alms-giving: the sentiment of the rich for the poor must awake and they must give of their income 2.5%. They have not to stick to such a certain sum, but they ought to let their kindness overflow. I think nobody could deny that a holy duty every believer is to help the poor in virtue love and sympathy. 02.02.11: Pilgrimage to Makkah: a Moslem ought to go once in his life to Makkah, when means are available. He must neither worship any temple, any grave, no the prophet but only to think of the holy meaning of Islam and be filled of thankfulness to God- thus fulfilling the meaning of the pilgrimage. The pilgrims who come from different countries have also the occasion to know one another which is a great part of human mutuality. The Qur’an teaches that nobody ought to be forced to believe in a certain thing and forbids any aggressive action. All the Islamic wars were only for the sake of defending religion & holy belief. At a time the rulers in Islamic countries went into war on worldly ambitions, hence they began to fall from the summit of glory achieved by their ancestors by keeping to the sound teachings of their religion; therefore the religion is not to blame for such a failure as it is against such war. Islam gives you entice freedom of thoughts and deeds. It allows humanity and soul to develop for the good and nobility; in such case no fighting would exist, only peace and elevation of feelings. To be a Moslem you need not go through any ceremony. Islam is not only a wide-spreading, practical and useful religion, but it is also in full harmony with the natural disposition. Every child is born with these dispositions; on one need to pass through any transformation to be a Moslem. Now you see from my

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brief explanation what Islam is and how false and prejudicial the opinions of enemies of Islam are! 02.02.12: The Nature of Islam: Islam is the only religion in the world that imposes itself as a universal religion of all humanity in all times and as such: It appears as a mature religion which man embraced, guided by his own moral and intellectual faculties without being in need of preliminary apprenticeship. It offers itself as the first religion revealed to all those who are sent by Allah, whom people in a state of ignorance, wrong by untrue and false interpretations with a view to satisfying their ambitions and subduing the people. It recommends to its believers to put faith in all those who are sent by Allah whether known by their names or remaining unheeded. It uplifts the mind so as to make it the only master in all the disputes that arise concerning faith and the private and social behavior, thus conferring the mind all the powers, which belong to it. It condemns imitation and claims from the believer to establish the truth of his faith. It claims absolute equality among all and condemns any sense of nationalism. 02.02.13: I am a Muslim (man of peace) Such as to believe in one God, the indivisible one, who is everywhere and not bound to a certain place, who resembles nobody, and none is like Him the Creator of all. I believe in all His prophets without any discrimination, between Moses, Jesus or Muhammad. I expect and beg help, consultation and forgiveness of any sins directly from God without the aid of a mediator. I do not forget my God for one moment, I feel Him in me, all around wherever I am; He is the measure for all my deeds.

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I live after God’s teachings introduced by the Qur’an. I carry out the principles of Islam: I pray, fast, give alms, and undertake the pilgrimage to Makkah. I do not commit suicide, nor do I commit a murder. Islam commands humanity to keep peace. I do not commit adultery, and I avoid temptation that may lead me astray as we are all aware of the fact that flesh is weak. Islam forbids any social intercourse with the opposite sex before marriage. Any psychologist will tell us the effect of trying to remain within the bounds of decency in such cases as dancing or association of any kind with the opposite sex, we may succeed but the cost will be grave just the same. The real joys are those we get without repentance afterwards. They are possessed by the high sentiments of the soul and safeguarded by our spiritual strength. We find a good example in the story of the man who had the wicked desire to commit adultery and yet his conscience would not allow him but when under the influence of drink he forgot himself so far as to give into the evil temptation and when faced by the rightful intruder to whom the wretched woman belonged, he murdered him in a struggle while unconscious under the effect of alcohol – from this we conclude that intoxicants are the route to sins. I do not gamble, not even for small items in any way. A gambler or a speculator loses respect of his own earnings. To place one’s luck in the balance of a deal in cards or the like is a shameful weakness in character. I do not borrow or lend money for interest; it is the way to ruin. A Moslem may give loan if in his power just to help the needy, in the meantime he can take, in securities in order to ensure return of his giving, meanwhile he is forbidden to use these securities if they consist of articles of any use such as household articles. I do not speak evil of others or tell tales to the disadvantage of my fellowmen, to those who do so; is given instance in the Holy Qur’an showing them as if they were eating the flesh of the dead; apparently meaning to say slandering others behind their back while they have no chance to answer for them- selves.

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I do not swindle the property of a widow or an orphan if I am appointed as a trustee to such things taking advantage of their helplessness. I fulfill my promises and treat any sort of business I take on with complete honesty. Now brothers, read this with attention and devote a part of your time to study the peaceful teachings of this institution in favor of the relief of our long suffering humanity afflicted by false information laid by selfish calumniators. [Muhammad Taufiek Ahmad]

03.00.00: Basic Beliefs of a Muslim
(1) A Muslim believes in One God, Supreme Eternal, Infinite, Mighty, Compassionate and Merciful Creator and Provider. God is free from all dependents yet all are dependent on Him. God neither begets nor was He begotten and there is non comparable unto Him. He has no sons or daughters, father or mother. None is equivalent to Him. God is the Lord of all humankind, not of special tribe or race. God is high and supreme but He is very near to the pious, thoughtful believers. He loves the people who love Hi and forgive their sins. He gives them real peace, happiness, knowledge and success. God is the Loving and Provider, the Generous and the Benevolent, the Rich and the Independent, the Forgiving and the Clement, the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and the Peace. God creates in humans the mind to understand, the soul and conscience to be good and righteous, the feeling and sentiments to be kind and humane. God’s blessings are countless. God asks us to know Him, to remember Him, to love Him and to enforce His law for our own benefit. (2) A Muslim believes in all Messengers and Prophets of God without and discrimination. All messenger and prophets were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelations and appointed by God to teach mankind.

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These include Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them). Their message is the same; Islam, and it came from the One and the Same source: A Muslim believes in all scriptures and revelations of God, as they were complete in their original from; the Scrolls of Abraham, the Torah revealed to Moses, Psalms to David, Gospel to Jesus, and the Qur’an to Muhammad (peace be upon them). Revelations were given to guide people to the right path of God. Today, the books before the Qur’an do not exist in their original form. They are in -part lost, corrupted or concealed. Weakness in the early period of Judaism and Christianity are partly responsible. The Qur’an reiterates, reinforces and completes the message of previous scriptures. It is the only authentic and complete book of God. No scholar has questioned the fact that the Qur’an today is the same as it was more than 1400 years ago. A Muslim believes in the angles of God. A Muslim believes in the Day of Judgment. This world as we know it will come to an end and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. Everything we do, say, make, intends and thinks are accounted for and kept in accurate records. People with good record will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to God’s Heaven. People with bad records will be justly punished and cast into Hell. Some people, who commit sins, neglect God and indulge in immoral activities, seem superficially prosperous in this life, but absolute justice will be performed on the Day of Judgment. A Muslim believes that the purpose of life is to worship God. Worshipping God does not mean living in seclusion and absolute meditation. To worship God means to know Him, to remember Him always, to love Him, to obey His commands, to enforce His law in every aspect of life, to serve His cause by joining in what is right and forbidding evil and to be just to Him, to ourselves and to our fellow human beings. The various aspects of life are not separated into religious, worldly or secular. Life is viewed in its entirety and all its facets are considered to be for the worship of God whether it is ritual prayers or making a rightful living.

(3)

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(7) A Muslim believes that humankind is the highest creations of God. Humans alone are gifted with rational faculties, spiritual aspirations, powers of action and the freedom of choice. God has shown the right path and the life of Prophet Muhammad provides a perfect example for achieving success and salvation. (8) A Muslim believes that every person is born free of sin. When a person reaches the age of maturity and if he/she is sane, he/she becomes accountable for all deeds and intentions. There is no inherited sin. One is free from sin until he/she commits sin. Adam committed the first sin, he prayed to God for pardon and God granted Adam pardon. (9) A Muslim believes that humans must attain salvation through the guidance of God. To obtain salvation, a person must combine faith and action, belief and practice. Faith without doing good deeds and doing good deeds without faith are insufficient. (10)A Muslim believes that God does not hold any person responsible until he/she has been shown the Right Way. (11)A Muslim believes that faith is not complete when it is followed blindly or accepted unquestioningly. One must build his/her faith on well-grounded convictions through rational and spiritual avenues. Islam ensures freedom to believe and forbids compulsion in religion (some of the oldest synagogues and some of the oldest churches in the world are in Muslim countries). (12)A Muslim believes that the Qur’an is the word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. The Qur’an was revealed from God in a piecemeal from to answer questions, solve problems, and settle disputes and to be one’s best guess to the universal truth. The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic and it is still in its original and complete version today. The Qur’an is the greatest miracle given to Prophet Muhammad. Its poetic nature and style are unrivalled by anything mankind can produce. It is memorized by millions. Its meaning has been translated to most languages. [Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Elmasry]

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03.01.00: Beliefs and Principles
Among the most of beliefs and principles that are supposed to govern every step of a true Muslim's life - because Islam is a complete code of life - some are as follows: 1. Faith in the Unity of Allah 2. Belief in the finality of Prohphethood in Muhammad; and in the prophethood of the 123,999 other infallible men who were deputed by Allah on earth before Muhammad. These include Adam, Abraham, Noah, David, Moses, Jesus etc. 3. The Shia believe in the divinely appointed Imamate (Leadership) of Muhammad's progeny, about whom Muhammad informed several times during his life – the 11 offspring from his cousin Ali (A.S.) and Ali’s wife (Muhammad's daughter) Bibi Fatima (S.A.), who are the infallible spiritual guides of mankind after Muhammad; the Sunni believe in the Caliphs who were elected to interpret and manage the affairs of Islam by two or three people through a democracy of sorts held immediately after Muhammad’s death 4. Belief in the Qur’an as the unadulterated final book of Allah; and in the original versions of the other holy books that were revealed on earth before the Qur’an such as the Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament and the Scriptures 5. Belief in the existence of Angels 6. Belief in Life after death, the Day of Judgment, and in Paradise or Hell

03.02.00: Basic Islamic Beliefs
The basic principle beliefs of Islam are commonly found in the main world religions. There is a God, there is Satan, there are Prophets, there is a life after death and you are judged for the actions you did on earth and you will be put into heaven or hell based on these actions. Islam has very similar beliefs to the Christians and the Jews but there are a few small differences. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London]

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04.00.00: God in Islam
Islam is a monotheistic religion, meaning that we worship one God without joining any partners in worship to Him, so the idea of the Christian trinity is absolutely rejected. Islam also rejects the idea of idol-worship, where the main belief is that the spirit of God is within/represented by the idol. Islam is very strict in the belief that there is one God and Muslims call God 'Allah'. We believe that God is perfect, that He is not a man that He is void of limits so He has no distinct figure and He is what we would describe as a 'spirit' although we have no real idea as to what He is really like. He is a loving, forgiving and fair God who is merciful and keeps His promises. He was neither born nor created by another creator, and He does not create other Gods nor have sons and daughters. He doesn't require food and drink and He has no need for anything. He was the first thing in the universe and He will be the last. He is the creator of everything we see and everything that exists or has existed he sees, hears and knows everything. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London]

04.01.00: God and Man
It has become necessary when discussing Islam with people of other faiths and religions to clarify what Muslims mean when they use the word God or Allah. Here are three common misconceptions and their explanations: Misconception 1: The God that Muslims worship is a different God called Allah. This, of-course, is incorrect. In Arabic, the language that all Muslims know at least a few words of, the word Allah means God. So God and Allah are one and the same. Misconception 2: Allah is only the God of Islam and the Muslims. This is such a ridiculous idea! Allah, God, is the God of everything and everybody, and He has dominion over everyone whether they

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acknowledge the existence of God or not. God, Allah, is the God of everyone irrelevant of race, skin color or religion. Just because someone doesn't wish to acknowledge the existence of a God, or worship God, or believe that God has an identity, it doesn't negate from the fact that God is the Master of all things, that all the people are His creation and that He has complete rulership over them. Misconception 3: Allah is a different God to the God of the Christians and Jews. Allah, God, is the same figure, the same God worshipped by the Jews and the Christians, but we just call Him 'Allah'. In fact, the Jews and Christians that speak Arabic call God Allah too, and if you get hold of the Arabic version of the bible you will find that the word God is often written as Allah. Muslims believe in ONE GOD (a principle called tawheed) and this God is the same God of all the Prophets - Moses, Abraham, Lot, David, Jesus, etc (PBUT). Muslims differ to the Jews and Christians on what the concept of God is and also in His attributes. In Islam, Allah is seen to be one God and there are no other Gods besides Him, so Islam is known as a monotheistic religion and Allah is just the Arabic word for 'God'; Allah == God and it is as simple as that! You can view different religions as different paths that aim to lead to heaven and/or enlightenment for people who follow those roads. The aim is to reach God by following a religion that is the best according to the individual - a religion that feeds the human soul, is fulfilling and correct. Muslims believe that the best path to follow is the path of Islam as the Muslims believe it is the best of religions. The Muslim Belief in God The picture on the right shows how the word Allah is written in Arabic. The word Allah is a very special word because it has no plural (Allah is ONE) and it has no gender assignment to it (Allah is neither male nor female). The word Allah is a joining of the word Al (the) and Ilah ([singular] Lord), and these together form the word 'Allah' (The

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[one] God). Allah is the God of everything and He is all-powerful and all-knowing. Muslims believe that God is perfect, that He is not a man that He is void of limits so He has no permanent figure and He is what we would describe as a 'spirit' although we have no real idea as to what He is really like. He is a loving, forgiving and fair God who is merciful and keeps His promises. Allah was neither born nor created by another creator, and He does not create other Gods or has sons and daughters. He doesn't require food and drink and He is in no need of anything. He is eternal and not limited by space or time. He is the creator of everything we can see and what is invisible. He is the creator of everything that exists or has ever existed. He sees, hears and knows everything. Human nature and God Tawheed (or tauhid) is often oversimplified and presented as meaning just the belief in One God, but it is much more than that as will be explained in a future article. A person who believes in tawheed can also be a follower of another religion or be completely non-religious. This is quite a surprising fact even for Muslims who have not studied or thought about this, but it is true because there exists a rising trend of people that do not associate themselves with an organized religion or a specific God but they believe in a creator, a God that they describe as being one God and being a 'higher power' having power and rulership over all creation. Their beliefs of this 'higher power' reflect upon an innate or inbuilt instinct (fitrah) of the human psyche that is clearly a subconscious expression that God built into the hearts of all humans when He created them. So God programmed this instinct into humans so that they may know him; As Allah puts it: [30.30] Then set your face upright for religion in the right state -the nature (fitrah) made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know. We are all born Muslims as it is part of our fitrah to be Muslims. We are born with the belief in tawheed but it is our upbringing that influences our eventual beliefs about God and His nature. The aim of every man and woman is that they should return to this infant understanding of tawheed but additionally following a path

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(religion) that complements and supports the instinct to follow God as our sole Lord and Master. Many religions contradict tawheed so they leave the human soul in a cramped and uncomfortable state, but Islam sets it free. As the common saying goes: 'The truth will set you free'. Human intelligence and God's guidance Some religions do not cramp the soul but yet the heart feels confined and imprisoned because the mind is not convinced. The human intellect is often identified as 'the heart' by philosophers. Satisfying the soul alone is foolhardy as it will never satisfy the mind so that is the purpose of following a religion in addition to the soul. A religion must therefore provide sustenance for the soul and the mind and complete the human being. Muslims believe that Islam is the religion that fulfills the criteria and the people who believe in Islam will become complete. It is not uncommon to find people who think they have reached this level of enlightenment but most of these people have fooled themselves into believing these things based on influences from their surroundings, upbringing or mental state. Allah says: [22.8] And among men there is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge and without guidance and without an illuminating book, [22.9] Turning away haughtily that he may lead (others) astray from the way of Allah; for him is disgrace in this world, and on the day of resurrection. As the directions and inclinations of the soul are easily influenced and open to interpretation, Allah has supplemented man with the mind so that he may choose the correct path. God, our creator and supporter tells us that relying on the soul is not enough. [75.36] Does man think that he is to be left to wander without an aim? And naturally, our Lord cannot just create us and leave us wandering like cattle and leading our lives eating, drinking, sleeping and doing our 9am - 5pm job. God instead, out of His infinite wisdom and love, has contacted His creation and given them a direction and a purpose through revelations and by setting them on the religion of Islam. So man cannot argue they didn't know what

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they were meant to do or what to follow or complain that things weren't clear. God has presented man with a great assortment of proofs that they should believe in Him and follow the religion of Islam. The most prominent of these proofs is the religion of Islam the religion that all the Prophets, Messengers and their deputies (Imams) followed. God sent the Prophets to teach the whole of mankind this religion and also the Messengers brought the books and commandments containing the words of God that aim to guide the people. God gave man all this attention and yet some of His creation are ungrateful and continue to stay ungrateful and refuse to worship Him. Some among these ungrateful or confused people changed the religion that God sent to them. They created their own doctrines and split the people into sects and creeds. Some even went so far as to pervert the concept of tawheed by ascribing partners in worship with God, or making other Gods to worship. Allah will decide their fate, what their punishments will be. [22.17] Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associate (others with Allah)-- surely Allah will decide between them on the day of resurrection; surely Allah is a witness over all things. Conclusion So we conclude - Allah is the Arabic word for God. Allah is the same God as the Jews and the Christians, and He is the God of every person and every thing. He is the creator of everything and has complete rulership over the universe. He is the only One, the only God and there is no other God besides Him. This concept of one God supreme is known as Tawheed. God wishes us all to be Muslim - to follow the fitrah, the innate nature that he created in us, that leads us to the worship of one God. Also to believe in Him and worship Him as He aught to be worshipped as He describes through His Prophets and His holy books. This is why Allah says: [51.56] And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.

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In worshipping and serving our Lord who is most worthy of worship, we benefit ourselves by providing sustenance for our souls and our minds. We become complete individuals and are transformed into better people. This benefits us only because Allah has no need for us and cannot take anything from His creation that He doesn't already have or need. Allah is free from desires or requirements. He, Allah, did this all for us and we should show our gratification through doing our duty of worship and service to our Lord by following Islam. He is worthy of worship for this great bounty that he bestows upon every man. And not only this! Allah says: [9.71] And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle; (as for) these, Allah will show mercy to them; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. [9.72] Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.[Surah Tauba, 9:71-72] But people are ever arrogant and defiant to become Muslim (submitters to God). Allah says: [5.104] And when it is said to them, Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Apostle, they say: That on which we found our fathers is sufficient for us. What! even though their fathers knew nothing and did not follow the right way. [5.105] O you who believe! take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will inform you of what you did. People who deny the truth build an effigy of imaginary happiness and contentness. They only lie to themselves and this cannot make them truly happy. They confine themselves to their own virtual prisons and they will never prosper, and indeed their final abode is

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hell. So it is essential to believe because not only will the truth set you free, it will let you into paradise (heaven). Of course, you may say: who says Islam is the right religion? Well, all the Prophets taught tawheed, and Islam is a religion of pure tawheed, and tawheed is an inbuilt part of our nature that God made a part of us, and Islam has the Quran, the holy book that contains the words of God. If you want to know God then read the Quran and study the religion from its own sources and then decide for yourself if Islam is the true religion.

04.02.00: Who is Allah?
Often, people ask then what is Allah and where did He Himself come from? First, Allah is the same God that all the prophets worshipped and preached about. Second, the best description of Allah came from Imam Ali which he gave in a sermon that is included in a compilation of his sermons called Nahjul Balagha (Peak of Eloquence): Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divines of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks. The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus, whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognizes His like, and who recognizes His like regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognizes parts for Him; and who recognizes parts for Him mistakes Him; and who mistakes Him points at Him; and who

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points at Him admits limitations for Him; and who admits limitations for Him numbers Him. Whoever says in what is He, holds that He is contained; and whoever says on what He is held says He is not on something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence. [Nahjul Balagha: Imam Ali] 04.02.01: To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god who can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic. The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur’an, which is considered the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112 which reads: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone."

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Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully. He is not loving and kind. Nothing can be farther from truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we are told that "God is more loving and kinder than a mother to her dear child." But God is also just. Hence evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment and the virtuous, His bounties and favors. Actually God's attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake and people oppressing and exploiting other people all their lives should not receive similar treatment from their Lord. Expecting similar treatment for them will amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negating all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Qur’anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect: "Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you?" (68:34-36) Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only. The concept that God rested in the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, or that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view. The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam's emphasis on the purity of the belief in God which is the essence of the message of all God's messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a

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deadly sin which God will never forgive, despite the fact He may forgive all other sins. [Note that what is meant above applies ONLY to those people who die in a state wherein they are associating others with God. The repentance of those who yet live is acceptable to God if He wills MSA of USC] The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created because if he is of the same nature as they are, he will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he cannot be caused, and if nothing outside him causes him to continue to exist, which means that he must be self-sufficient. And if the does not depend on anything for the continuance of his own existence, then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting: "He is the First and the Last." He is Self-Sufficient or Self-Subsistent or, to use a Quranic term, Al-Qayyum. The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them. "God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth." (39:62, 63) "No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God. He knows its lodging place and it repository." (11:6) GOD'S ATTRIBUTES: If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then His attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment's thought shows that this is not feasible. The Quran summarizes this argument in the following verses:

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"God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: For then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others." (23:91) And Why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin." (21:22) WHAT IS THE KA'BA? The Ka'ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say 'At Thy service, O Lord', in response to Abraham's summons. [By: III&E Brochure Series; No. 2, The Institute of Islamic Information and Education (III&E)]

05.00.00: The Basic Articles of Faith in Islam
BEFORE we proceed further, it would be advisable to recapitulate the former discussions and sum up their substance. We can summaries them as follows: Although Islam consists of submission and obedience to Allah Lord of the universe, yet as the only authentic and reliable source of knowing Him and His Will and Law is the teaching of the true prophet, we may define Islam as that religion which stands for complete faith in the teachings of the prophet and unflinching obedience to his ways of life. Consequently, one who ignores the medium of the prophet and claims to follow God directly is not a ‘Muslim’. In the earlier epochs there had been separate prophets for different nations, and the history of prophethood shows that even in one and the same nation several prophets appeared one after the other. In that age Islam was name of that religion which was taught to a nation by its own prophet or prophet. Though the nature and substance of Islam was the same in every age and country, the modes of worship, codes of law, and other detailed rules and regulations of life were a bit different according to the local and particular conditions of every people. It was not, therefore, necessary for any nation to follow another nation’s prophet and its

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responsibility was confined only to following the guidance given by its own prophet. This period of poly-prophetism came to an end with the advent of Muhammad (peace is upon him). The teachings of Islam were made complete through him; one basic law formulated for the whole world and he was made a prophet unto the entire humanity. His prophethood was not meant for any particular nation or country or period; his message is for all peoples and for all ages. The earlier codes were abrogated by the advent of Muhammad (peace be upon him) who gave the world a complete code of life. Now, neither any prophet is to appear in the future nor is any new religious code going to be revealed till the Last Day. Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) teachings are meant for all the children of Adam, the entire human race. Now Islam consists in following Muhammad, viz. To acknowledge his prophethood, to believe in all that he has asked to his believe in, to follow him in letter and spirit, and to submit to all his commands and injunction of God. This is Islam. This automatically brings us to the question: What has Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked us to believe in? What are the articles of Islamic faith? Now we shall try to discuss these articles and see how simple, how true, how lovable and how valuable they are and to what high pinnacle they raise the status of Man in this world and the life to come! [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

05.01.00: Faith in One God (Allah, the One and Only God)
A Muslim believes in ONE GOD, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. God has neither father nor mother, neither son nor was He fathered. None equal to Him. He is God of all mankind, not of a special tribe or race. God is High and Supreme but He is very near to the pious thoughtful believers; He answers their prayers and helps them. He loves the people who love Him and forgives their sins. He gives them peace, happiness, knowledge and success. God is the Loving and the Provider, the Generous, and the Benevolent, the Rich and

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the Independent, the Forgiving and the Clement, the Patient and the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and the Peace. God's attributes are mentioned in the Qur’an. God creates in man the mind to understand, the soul and conscience to be good and righteous, the feelings and sentiments to be kind and humane. If we try to count His favors upon us, we cannot, because they are countless. In return for all the great favors and mercy, God does not need anything from us, because He is Needless and Independent. God asks us to know Him, to love Him and to enforce His law for our benefit and our own good.

05.01.01: Tawheed: Faith in the Unity of Allah
The most fundamental and the most important teaching of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is faith in the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is faith in the unity of God. This is expressed in the primary kalima of Islam as La ilaha illallah "There is no deity but Allah". This is a beautiful phrase in the bedrock of Islam, its foundation and its essence. It is the expression of this belief which differentiates a true Muslim from a kafir (unbeliever), a Mushrik (one who associates others with God in His divinity), or a Dahriya (atheist). The acceptance or denial of this phrase produces a world of difference between man and man. The believers in it become one single community and those who do not believe in it form the opposite group. For the believers there is unhampered progress and resounding success in this world and in the hereafter, while failure and ignominy are the ultimate lot of those who refuse to believe in it. But the difference which occurs between the believers and the unbelievers is not the result of mere chanting of a few words. Evidently the mere utterance of a phrase or two cannot bring about such a mighty difference. The real force lies in the conscious acceptance of this doctrine and its stipulations and complete adherence to it in practical life. Unless you know the real meaning of the phrase "there is no deity but Allah" and the bearing of its acceptance on human life, you cannot realize the real importance of this doctrine. It would never become effective unless these essentials are achieved. Mere repeating of the word ‘food’ cannot dull the edge of hunger; mere chanting of a medical prescription

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cannot heal the disease. In the same way if the Kalima is re0peated without any understanding of its meanings and dictates, it cannot work the revolution which its meanings and dictates, it cannot work the revolution which it is meant to bring about. The revolution in thought and life can occur only if a person grasps the full meaning of the doctrine, realizes its significance, reposes true belief in it, and accepts and follows it in letter and spirit. Unless this grasp of the Kalima is developed it cannot become fully effective. We avoid fire because we have a realization that it burns; we keep away from poison because we believe that its use kills a man. Similarly, if the real meanings of Tawheed are fully grasped, it should necessarily make us avoid, in belief as well as in action, every form and shade of disbelief, atheism, and polytheism. This is the natural dictate of belief in the Unity of God. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

05.01.02: The Meaning of the ‘Shahadah or Kalima’
In the Arabic language the word ilah means ‘one who is worshipped’, i.e. a being which on account of its greatness and power be considered worthy to be worshipped, to be bowed to in humility and submission. Anything or any being possess power too great to be comprehended by man is also called ilah. The conception of ilah also includes the possession of infinite powers: that may astonish others. It also conveys the sense that others are dependent upon ilah and that he is not dependent upon anyone else. The word ilah also carries a sense of concealment and mystery, that is, ilah would be a being unseen and imperceptible. The word khuda in Persian, deva in Hindi, and god in English bear, more or less, similar signification. Other languages of the world also contain words with a like sense. The word Allah, on the other hand, is the essential personal name of God. La- ilaha illallah would literally mean "There is no ilah other than the One Great being known by the name "Allah". It means that in the whole of the universe, there is absolutely no being worthy to be worshipped other than Allah, that it is only to Him that heads should bow in submission and adoration, that He is the only Being possessing all powers, that all powers, that all are in need of His

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favor, and that all are obliged to solicit His help. He is concealed from our senses, and our intellect fails to perceive what He is. Having known the meanings of these worlds, let us now find out their real significance. From the most ancient known history of man as well as from the oldest relics of antiquity that we have been able to obtain, it appears that in every age man had recognized some deity or deities and had worshipped them. Even in the present age every nation on the face of the earth, from the most primitive to the most civilized, dose believe in and worship some deity. It shows that the idea of having a deity and of worshipping him is ingrained in human nature. There is do so. But the question is: What that thing is and why man feels impelled to do so? The answer to this question can be discovered if we try to look into the position of man in this huge universe. A perusal of man and his nature from this view-point shows that he is not omnipotent. Neither he is self-sufficient and self-existing nor are his powers without limitations. In fact, he is weak, frail, needy, and destitute. He is dependent upon a multitude of forces and without their assistance he cannot make headway. There are countless things necessary to maintain his existence, but all of them are not essentially and totally within his powers. Sometimes they come to his possession in a simple and natural way, and at times he finds himself deprived of them. There are many important and valuable things which he endeavors to get, but sometimes he succeeds in getting them, while sometimes he does not, for it is not completely in his own power to obtain them. There are many important and valuable things which he endeavors to get, but sometimes he succeeds in getting them, while sometimes he dose not, for it is not completely in his won power to obtain them. There are many things injurious to him; chances bring his hops to a sudden end; disease, worries, and calamities, always threaten him and mar his way to happiness. He attempts to get rid of them, and success and failure both visit him in this quest. There are many things whose greatness and grandeur overawe him mountains and rivers, gigantic animals and ferocious beasts. He experiences earthquakes, storms, and other natural calamities. He observes clouds over his head and sees them

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becoming thick and dark, with peals of thunder, flashes of lightning and continuous fall of heavy rain. He sees the sun, the moon, and the stars in their constant motion. He reflects how great, powerful, and grand these bodies are, and, in contrast to them, how frail and insignificant he himself is! The vast phenomena, on the one hand, and the consciousness of his own frailty, on the other, impress him with a deep sense of his own weakness, humbleness, and helplessness. And it is quite natural that the preliminary idea of divinity coincides with this sense. He thinks of those hands which are wielding these great forces. The sense of their powerfulness makes him seek their help. He tries to please them so that they may be beneficent to him, and he dreads them and tries to escape their wrath so that he may not be destroyed by them. In the most primitive stage of ignorance, man thinks that the great objects of nature whose grandeur and glory are visible, and which appears to be injurious or beneficent to him, hold in them the real power and authority, and therefore, they are diving. Thus he worships trees, and numerous other objects. This is the worst form of ignorance. When his ignorance dissipates to some extent and some glimmers of light and knowledge appear on his intellectual horizon, he comes to know that these great and powerful objects are in themselves quite helpless and dependent and are in no way better placed than man rather they are still more dependent and helpless. The biggest and the strongest animal dies like a tiny germ, and loses all his power; great rivers rise and fall and become dry; the high mountains are blasted and shattered by man himself; the productiveness of the earth is not under earth’s own control-water makes it prosperous and lack of water makes it barren. Even water is not independent. It depends on air which brings the clouds. Air too is powerless and its usefulness depends on other causes. The moon, the sun, and the stares also are bound up by a powerful law outside whose dictates they cannot make the slightest movement. After these considerations his mind turns to the possibility of some great mysterious power of divine nature which controls the objects he sees and which may be the repositories of all authority. These reflection give rise to belief in mysterious powers behind the natural phenomena, numberless gods are supposed to be governing various

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parts and aspects of nature such as air, light, water, etc, and some suggestive material forms or symbols are constructed to represent them. And he begins to worship those forms and symbols. This too is a form of ignorance, and reality remains hidden from the human eye even at this stage of intellectual and cultural pilgrimage. As man progresses still further in knowledge and learning, and as he reflects more and more deeply on the fundamental problems of life and existence, he finds an all-powerful law and an all-encompassing control in the universe. What a complete regularity control in the universe. What a complete regularity is observed in sunrise and sunset, in winds and rains, in the motions of stars and the changes of seasons! How in a wonderfully harmonious way countless different forces are working jointly, and what a highly potent and supremely wise Law it is, according to which all the various causes in the universe are made to work together at an appointed time to produce an appointed event! Observing this uniformity, regularity, and complete obedience to a firm law in all fields of believe that there must be a deity greater than all others, exercising supreme authority. For, if there were separate, independent deities, the whole machinery of the universe would be upset. He calls this greatest deity by different names, such as ‘Allah’ ‘Permeshwar,’ ‘God,’ Khuda-I-Khudaigan,’ etc. but as the darkness of ignorance still persists, he continues worshipping minor deities along with the Supreme One. He imagines that the Divine Kingdom of God may not be different form earthly kingdoms. Just as a ruler has many ministers, trusted associates, governors, and other responsible officers, so the minor are like so many responsible officers, under the Great God who could not be approached without pleasing and propitiating the officers under Him. So they must also be worshipped and appealed to for help, and should in no case be offended. The more man increases in knowledge, the greater become his dissatisfaction with the multiplicity of deities. So the number of minor deities begins to decrease. More enlightened men bring each one of them under the searchlight of scrutiny and ultimately find that none of these man-made deities has any divine character; they themselves are creatures like man, rather more helpless. They are thus dropped out by one until only one God remains. But the

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concept of one God still contains some remnants of the elements of ignorance. Some people imaging that has a body as man have, and is settled in a particular place. Some believe that God came down to the earth in human form; others think that God after settling the affairs of the universe has retired and is now taking rest. Some believe that it is necessary to approach God through the media of saints and spirits, and nothing can be achieved without their intercession. Some imagine God to have a certain form or image and they regard it necessary to keep that before them for the purposes of worship. Such distorted notions of godhead have persisted and lingered, and many of them are prevalent among different people even in the present age. Tawheed is the highest conception of godhead, the knowledge of which God has sent to mankind in all ages through His prophets. It was this knowledge with which, in the beginning, Adam had been revealed to Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (God’s blessings be upon them all). It was this very knowledge which Muhammad (God’s blessings be upon him) brought to mankind. It is The Knowledge, pure and absolute, without the least shade of ignorance. Man because he guilty of shirk, idol-worship and kufr, only because he turned away from the teachings of the prophets and depended upon his own faulty reasoning, false perceptions or biased interpretations. Tawheed dispels all the clouds of ignorance and illumines the horizon with the light of reality. Let us see what significant realities this concept of Tawheed-this little phrase: ‘la ilaha illallah’-points out: what truth it conveys and what beliefs it fosters. This we can grasp if we ponder over the following points. First of all we are faced with the question of divinity. We are face to face with a grand, limitless universe. Man’s mind fails to discern its beginning and visualize its end. It is moving on in its chartered course from time immemorial and is continuing its journey in the vast vista of the future. Creatures beyond number have appeared in it-and go on appearing every day. The phenomena are so bewildering that a thinking mind finds itself aghast and wonderstruck. Man is unable to understand and grasp the reality by his unaided vision. He cannot believe that all this has appeared just by chance or accident. The universe is not a fortuitous mass of matter. It is not a jumble of uncoordinated objects. It is not a

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conglomeration of thing chaotic and meaningless. All this cannot be without a Creator, a Designer, a Controller, a Governor. But who con create and control this majestic universe? Only He can do so master of all; who is infinite and eternal; who is all-powerful, all wise, omnipotent, and omniscient; who is all-knowing and allseeing. He must have supreme authority over all that exists in the universe. He must possess limitless powers, must be the lord of the universe and all that it contains, must be free from every flaw and weakness and none may have the power to interfere with His work. Only such a being can be the Creator, the Controller and the Governor of the universe. Secondly, it is essential that all these divine attributes and powers must vest in one being-it is virtually impossible for two or more personalities having all the powers and attributes equally to co-exist. They are bound to collide. Therefore there must be one and only one Supreme Being having control over all others. You cannot think of two governors for the same province or two supreme commanders of the same army! Similarly, the distribution of these powers among different deities, for instance, that one of them is all knowledge, the other all providence and still another life-giver-and each having independent domain in his own field-is unthinkable. The universe is an indivisible whole and each one of such deities will be dependent upon others in bound to occur. And if this happens, the world is destined to go to pieces. These attributes are also non-transferable. It is not possible that a certain attribute might be present in a certain deity at one time and at another time it is found in another deity. A divine being who is incapable of remaining alive himself cannot give life to others. The one who cannot protect his own divine power is definitely unsuited to govern the vast limitless universe. Thus the greater you reflect upon the problem, the firmer would be your conviction that all these divine powers and attributes must exist in one end the same being alone. Thus polytheism is a form of ignorance and cannot stand rational scrutiny. It is a practical impossibility. The facts of life and nature do not fit into that explanation. They automatically bring man to Reality, i.e. Tawheed (the Unity of God). Now keeping in view this correct and perfect conception of God, cast a searching glance at this vast universe. Exert yourself to the

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utmost and say if you find among all the objects that your see, among all the things that you perceive, among all that you can think, feel, or imagine-all that your knowledge can comprehend-anyone possessing these attributes. The sum, the moon, the stars, animals, birds or fishes, matter, any man or a group of men-does any of them possess these attributes? Certainly none! For everything in the universe is created, is controlled and regulated, is dependent on others, is mortal and transitory, is not elf-acting and self-propellingits slightest movements are controlled by an inexorable law and it cannot deviate from that law. Their helpless condition proves that the attire of divinity cannot fit their body. They do not possess the slightest trace of divinity and have absolutely nothing to do with it. They are simply without the godly powers and it is a travesty of truth and a folly of the highest magnitude to attribute to them the divine status. This is the meaning of ‘La ilaha,’ i.e. there is no god; no human and material object possesses the divine power and authority deserving worship and obedience. But this is not the end of our quest. We have found that divinity does not vest in any material or human element of the universe and that none of them possess even the slightest trace of it. This very inquiry leads us to the conclusion that there is a Supreme Being, over and above all that our unwary eyes see in the universe, who possesses the Divine attributes who is the Will behind all phenomena, the Creator of this grand universe, the Controller of its superb Law, the Governor of its serene rhythm, the Administrator of all its working: He is Allah, the Lord of Universe and has none as associate in His Divinity. This is what "illallah" (but Allah) means. This knowledge is superior to all other kinds of know ledge and the greater You exert, the deeper will be your conviction that this is the starting-point of all knowledge. In every filed of inquiry-may it be that of physics chemistry, astronomy, geology, biology, zoology, economics, politics, sociology, or humanities, you will find that the deeper you probe, the clearer become the indications of the truth of La ilaha illallah, in every field of knowledge and inquiry. It is this concept which opens up the doors of knowledge with the light of reality. And if you deny or disregard this reality, you will find that at every step you meet disillusionment, for the denial of this primary truth robs everything in the universe of its real meaning and true

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significance. The universe becomes meaningless and the vistas of progress get blurred and confused. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

05.01.03: The Effects of Tawheed on Human Life
Now let us study effects which the belief in La ilaha illallah brings forth upon the life of a man and see why he should always be a success in life, here and in the hereafter. (a) A believer in this Kalima can never be narrow-minded or shriveled in outlook. He believes in a God who is Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Master of the East and the West and Sustainer of the entire universe. After this belief he does not regard anything in the world as a stranger to himself. He looks upon everything in the universe as belonging to the same Lord whom he himself belongs to. He is not partisan in his thinking and behavior. His sympathy, love, and service do not remain confined to any particular sphere or group. His vision is enlarged, his intellectual horizon widens, and his outlook become liberal and as boundless as is the Kingdom of God. How can this width of vision and breadth of mind be achieved by an atheist, a polytheist, or one who believes in a deity supposed to possess limited and defective powers like a man? (b) This belief produces in man the highest degree of self-respect and self-esteem. The believer knows that Allah alone is the possessor of all power, and that none besides Him can benefit or harm a person, or provide for his need, or give and take away life, or wield authority or influence. This conviction makes him indifferent to, and independent and fearless of, all powers other than those of God. He never bows his head in homage to any of God’s creatures, nor does he stretch his hand before anyone else. He is not overawed by anybody’s greatness. This quality or attitude of mind cannot be produced by any other belief. For it is necessary that those who associate other beings with God, or who deny God, should bow in homage to some creatures, regard them able to benefit or harm them, and repose all their hopes in them.

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(c) Along with self-respect this belief also generates in man a sense of modesty and humbleness. It makes him unostentatious and unpretending and unpretending. A believer never becomes proud, haughty or arrogant. The boisterous pride of power, wealth and worth can have no room in his heart, because he knows that whatever he possesses has been given to him by God, and can take away just as He can give. In contrast to this, an unbeliever, when he achieves some worldly merit, becomes proud and conceited because he believes that his merit is due to his own worth. In the same way pride and self-concept are a necessary outcome and concomitant of shirk (association of others with God in His divinity), because a mushrik believes that he has a particular relation with the deities which does exist between them and other people. (d) This belief makes man virtuous and upright. He has the conviction that theirs is no other means of success and salvation for him except purity of soul and righteousness of behavior. He has perfect faith in God who is above all need, is related to none, is absolutely just, and none has any hand or influence in the exercise of His divine powers. This belief creates in him the consciousness that, unless he lives rightly and acts justly, he cannot succeed. No influence or underhand activity can save him from ruin. As against this, the kefirs and the mushriks always live on false hopes. Some of them believe that God’s son has atoned for their sins; some think that they are God’s favorites, and will not be punished, others believe that their saints will intercede with God on their believe that their deities and believe that by so bribing the deities they have acquired a license for all frivolities and ill-deeds s and depending upon their deities, they do not live pure and good lives. As to the atheists, they do not believe that there is any Being having power over them, to whom they would be responsible for their good or bad action; therefore they consider themselves altogether independent to act in whatever way them like in this world. Their own fancies become their gods and they live like slaves of their wishes and desires. (e) The believer does not become despondent and broken-hearted under any circumstances. He has firm faith in God who is the Master of all the treasures of the earth and the heavens, whose grace and bounty have no limit and whose powers are infinite. This faith

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imparts to his heart extraordinary consolation, fills it with satisfaction and keeps it filled with hope. In this world he might meet with rejection from all doors, nothing herein might serve his ends, All means aright, one after another, desert him; but faith in and dependence on God never leave him; and upon their strength he goes on struggling. Such a profound confidence can result from no other belief than belief in one God. Mushirks, kafirs, and atheists have small hearts; they depend upon limited powers; therefore in hours of trouble they are soon overwhelmed by despair and, frequently, they commit suicide. (f) This belief produces in man a very strong degree of determination, patient perseverance, and trust in God. When he makes up his mind and devotes his resources to fulfill the Divine Commands in order to secure God’s pleasure, he is sure he has the support and backing of the Lord of the universe, this certainty makes him firm and strong like a mountain, and no amount of difficulties, impediments, and hostile opposition can make him give up his resolution. Shirk, Kufr, and atheism have no such effect. (g) On account of man's interference and interpolation, many things have been inserted in those books, which are against reality, revolting to reason, and affronting to every instinct of justice. There are thing which are cruel and unjust and vitiate man's beliefs and action. Furthermore, unfortunately, things have been inserted that are obscene, indecent, and potently immoral. The Qur'an is free from all such rubbish. It contains nothing against reason, and nothing that can be proved wrong. None of its injunctions is unjust; nothing in it is misleading. Of indecency and immorality not a trace can be found in it. From the beginning to the end the whole Book is full of wisdom and truth. It contains the best of philosophy ad the choicest of law for human civilization. It points out the right path and guides man to success and salvation. It is on account of these special features of the Qur'an that all the peoples of the world have been direct to have faith in it, to give up all other Books, and to follow it alone, because it contains all that is essential for living in accordance with God's pleasure, and after it there remains absolutely no need for any other divine Book.

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The study of the differenced between the Qur'an and other divine Books makes one easily understand that the nature of faith in the Qur'an and that of belief in the former Books is not similar. Faith in the former divine Books should be limited to the confirmation that they were all from God, were true, and had been sent down to fulfill, in their time, the same purpose for which the Qur'an has been sent. On the other hand, belief in the Qur'an should be of the nature that it is purely and absolutely God's own words, that it is perfectly true, that every word of it is preserved, that everything mentioned therein is right, that it is the bounden duty of man to carry out in his life each and every command of it; and that whatever be against it must be rejected. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 05.01.04: Sources of Allah’s Attributes: All that we have mentioned about Allah's attributes, whether briefly or in detail and affirmatively or negatively, is based on the book of our Lord (the Qur'an) and the traditions (Sunnah) of our Prophet. It also agrees with the practice of the previous generations of Muslims and the rightly guided scholars who came after them. We believe it is obligatory to take the texts of the Qur'an and the prophetic traditions conceding Allah's attributes at their face value and to interpret them in a way that is suitable to Almighty Allah. We reject the practice of those who twist the meanings of these texts and understand them in a way that was not intended by Allah and His messenger. We also reject the practice of those who make them devoid of their meanings as conveyed by Allah and His Messenger. Finally, we reject the approach of those who exaggerate, who gave them a physical interpretation that makes Allah similar to some of His creatures.
Note: This has been taken From the Book: ‘The Muslim's Belief’ Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

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05.02.00: Faith in Messengers and Prophets of God
A Muslim believes in all the Messengers and Prophets of God without any discrimination. All messengers were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelations and appointed by God to teach mankind. The Holy Qur’an mentions the names of 25 messengers and prophets and states that there are others. These include Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Their message is the same and it is Islam and it came from One and the Same Source; God, and it is to submit to His will and to obey His law; i.e., to become a Muslim.

05.02.01: Difference among the Messengers, Prophets & Imams
(a) A Prophet ('Nabi' in Arabic) is a man chosen by God who speaks the will of God when he receives messages from God through Angels or directly from God. We believe that 124 000 Nabis were sent to this world. Nabis guide and tell people to follow the will of Allah only (and not their own wills) and to acknowledge His existence and also to stop the people from doing evil. Muslims believe in almost all the Prophets of the Jews and the Christians and we also have two extra. One of these Prophets is Jesus (known as 'Isa' in Arabic (PBUH)) who the Jews reject and the Christians believe to be the son of god. Muslims reject the idea that God would have a son, but Muslims believe Isa was a very great Prophet. The second Prophet whom the Jews and the Christians reject is Nabi Muhammed (SAW) who is the founder of the religion of Islam and we believe he was the final Prophet to be sent by Allah to convey His universal message - the same message that the previous Prophets were sent to convey to mankind as well. We believe that the message preached by the Prophets was the same as that taught by Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and therefore Islam is a continuation

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of the religion preached to the people since the dawn of time by their Prophets but it corrects the mistakes that the previous religions had established by dogma through time. (b) Messengers (know as 'Apostles' in English) are Prophets, but not all Prophets are Messengers. The difference between a Prophet and a Messenger is that the Messengers like Prophet Muhammad, Moses (know as 'Musa' in Arabic), Isa and Abraham (PBUH) had a mission of propagating a message that was aimed at every living person on this earth and for all time or until the next apostle came, while a Prophet had to convey a message to his tribe, or to his city, or certain communities. We believe that 313 of the Prophets are apostles who were sent to this world. Another difference is that the Messengers were given Holy books (or scriptures) so that they would help in the guidance of the people during and after their deaths. Muslims use Acronyms like (AS or PBUH; or SAW specifically for Prophet Muhammad) after the name of a Prophet to show respect. (c) An Imam is a person who has been given authority to guide the people by a Prophet (and therefore by Allah). Imams are the successors and points of authority after the death of a Prophet. The word Imam is commonly used as a general term by Muslims as the word for someone who leads the people in things like the prayer, or even a scholar, but the true essence of the word is in reference to rightly appointed men and not just anybody. Muslims use Acronyms like (AS) after the name of an Imam to show respect. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London]

05.02.02 Belief in Allah’s Messengers
We believe that Allah has sent to His people messengers who were "bringing good tidings and warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the Messengers. Allah is All-mighty, All-wise" (4: 165). 05.02.03: The First and Last Messengers: We believe that the first among the messengers is Noah and the last is Muhammad, peace be upon them all: "We revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him" (4:163); and

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"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets" (33:40).

05.02.04: The Best Messengers: We believe that the best among the messengers is Muhammad, then Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus, son of Mary. It is they who are meant by the following Qur'anic verse: "And when We took a compact from the prophets, and from you, and from Noah, and Abraham, then Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn compact". (33:7) We believe that Muhammad's message, peace be upon him, includes all the merits of the messages of those dignified messengers, because Allah says: "He ordained for you what He enjoined on Noah and what He revealed to you and what He enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus; namely, establish this faith and be united in it" (42:13). 05.02.05: Messengers Are Human Beings: We believe that all messengers are created human beings who have none of the divine qualities of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, said about Noah, who was the first among them: "I do not say to you, 'I possess the treasures of Allah.' I do not know the unseen, and I do not say 'I am an angel"' (11:31) Allah directed Muhammad, who is the last among them, to say: "I do not say to you I possess the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say to you I am an angel" (6:50); and to say that "I have no power to bring profit or hurt for myself, but only as Allah wills" (7:188); and: "I have no power to hurt or benefit you. Say none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge besides Him" (72:91-2). We believe that the messengers are among Allah's servants. He blessed them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of praising and honoring them. He says about Noah, the first among them: "You are the descendants of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a truly thankful servant" (17:3).

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Allah said about the last among them, Muhammad, peace be upon him: "Blessed be He who sent down the Qur'an to His servant, that he may warn mankind" (25:1). As for some other messengers, he said: "And mention Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might and vision" (38:45); "And remember Our servant David, who was a mighty and penitent man" (38: 17); "And to David, We gave Solomon, he was an excellent and penitent servant" (38:30). Allah said about Jesus, son of Mary: "He is only a servant whom We blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel" (43: 59). We believe that Allah concluded all messages with the message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, to all people, because He said: "Say, 'O mankind, I am Allah's Messenger to you all. To him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth; there is no god but He. He ordains life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet who believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided"' (7:158). 05.02.06: Islam: The Universal and Final Message We believe that the Shari'ah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the religion of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants. He does not accept any other religion from anyone, for He, the Exalted, said: "Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam" (3:19), "Today I have perfected your religion for you and I have completed My favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam to be your religion" (5:3), and "Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from Him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers" (3:85). It is our opinion that whoever claims that any religion other than Islam is acceptable, such as Judaism, Christianity and so forth, is a non believer. He should be asked to repent. It is also our opinion that whoever rejects the universal message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, rejects the message of all messengers, even if he claims that he believes and follows His Messenger. Allah, the Exalted, said: "Noah's people rejected the

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Messengers" (26:105). Thus, Allah considered them as rejecting all of the messengers despite the fact that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also clear from the following verses: "Those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers, and wish to make division between Allah and His Messengers, and say: 'We believe in some and disbelieve in others,' wishing to take a midway course. Those indeed are the unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a humiliating punishment"(4:150-51). We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophet hood after him, or believes in anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever and one who rejects Allah, His Messenger, and the Muslims' consensus. 05.02.07: The Rightly Guided Caliphs & Companions We believe that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has rightly guided successors who carried out his Sunnah in spreading knowledge calling to Islam, and managing the Muslims' affairs. We believe that the best among them and the most entitled to the caliphate was Abu Bakr as Siddiq, then 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, then 'Uthman Ibn Affan and then 'All Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with them all. Thus their succession to the caliphate was according to their virtues. Allah, the Exalted, who possesses infinite wisdom, would not appoint a ruler over the best of generations unless he was the most superior among them and had the best claim to caliphate. We believe that the inferior among those rightly guided companions can be superior in a specific virtue to those who were better than him but that he does not deserve absolute superiority, for the elements constituting superiority are varied and numerous. We believe that the Muslim Ummah is the best among nations, and Allah, the Dignified and Exalted, has blessed it, because He said: "You are the best nation ever brought forth for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah" The Prophet's Companions: We believe that the best among the Muslim Ummah are the Prophet's Companions, then their followers, and then those who followed them.

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We also believe that a group of this Ummah will always remain victorious on the right path, unharmed by those who let them down or those who oppose them until the Day of Judgment. We believe that the disputes that took place among the Prophet's Companions were the result of sincere interpretations that they worked hard to reach. Whoever was right among them will be rewarded twice, and whoever was wrong among them will be rewarded once and his mistake will be forgiven. It is our opinion that we should stop talking about their mistakes and mention what they deserve of beautiful praise. We should purify our hearts from hatred and malice against any of them, because Allah said about them: "They are not equal: those among you who spent and who fought before the conquest of Makkah. Those are higher in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised a great reward" (57:10). And Allah said about us: "And those who came after them say: 'Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not put in our hearts any malice against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are the most Kind, Most Merciful"' (59:10).
Note: This has been taken from the Book: The Muslim's Belief Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

05.02.02: Faith in Prophets
In the last chapter we discussed that God's Messengers had been raised among every people, and that they all brought essentially that very religion-Islam-which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) propagated. In this respect all the Messengers of God belong to the same category. If a man confirms and believes in one of them, he must and ought to confirm all. The reason is quite simple. Suppose ten men make one and the same statement; if you admit one of them to be true, you ipso facto admit the remaining nine of them as true, and if you believe anyone of them, by implication you believe all of them. It is for this reason that in Islam it is necessary to have

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implicit in anyone of the prophet would be a Kafir, though he might profess faith in all the other Prophets. It occurs in traditions that the total number of all the prophets sent to different peoples at different times is 124,000. If you consider the life of the world since it was first inhabited and the number of different peoples and nations that have passed on it, this number will not appear too great. We have to believe positively in those of the prophets whose names have been mentioned in the Qur'an Regarding the rest we are instructed to believe that all Prophets sent by God for the guidance of mankind were true. Thus we believe in all the prophets raised in India, China, Iran, Egypt, Africa, Europe, and other countries of the world, but we are not in a position to be definite about a particular person outside the list of prophets named in the Qur'an, whether or not he was a Prophet, for we have not been told anything definite about him. Nor are we permitted to say anything against the holy men of other religions. It is quite possible that some of them might have been God's Prophets that some of them might have been God's Prophets, and their followers corrupted their teachings after their demise, just as the followers of Moses and Jesus (God's blessings be upon them) have done. Therefore, whenever we express any opinion about them, it would be about the tenets and rituals of their religions; as for the founders of those religions, we will remain scrupulously silent, lest we should become guilty of irreverence towards a Prophet. As for the fact of being Prophets of God and having been deputed by Him for teaching the same straight path of 'Islam,' there is no difference between Muhammad and other Prophets (God's blessings be upon them all), we have been ordered to believe in all of them alike. But in spite of their equality in this respect, there are the following three differences between Muhammad and other Prophets (God's blessings be upon them all): 1. The Prophets of the past had come to certain people for certain periods of time, while Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him) has been sent for the whole world and for all times to come. 2. The teachings of those Prophets have either disappeared altogether from the world, or whatever of them remains is not pure, and is found intermingled with many erroneous and

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fictitious statements. For this reason even if anyone wishes to follow their teachings, he cannot do so. In contrast to this, the teachings of Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him), his biography, his discoursed, his ways of living, his morals, habits, and virtues, in short, all the details of his life and work, are preserved. Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him), therefore, is the only one of the whole line of Prophets who is a living personality, and in whose footsteps it is possible to follow correctly and confidently. 3. The guidance imparted through the Prophets of the past was not complete and all- embracing. Every Prophet was followed by another who effected alterations and additions in the teachings and injunctions of his predecessors and, in this way, the chain of reforms and progress continued. That is why the teachings of the earlier Prophets, after the lapse of a certain period of time, were lost in oblivion. Obviously there was no need of preserving former teachings when amended and improved guidance had taken their place. At last the most perfect code of guidance was imparted to mankind through Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him) and all previous codes were automatically abrogated, for it is futile and imprudent to follow an incomplete code while the complete code exists. He who follows Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him) follows all the Prophet, for whatever was good and eternally workable in their teaching has been embodied in his teachings. Whoever, therefore, rejects and refuses to follow Muhammad's teachings and chooses to follow some other Prophet, only deprives himself of that vast amount of useful and valuable instruction and guidance in Muhammad's teachings, which never existed in the books of the earlier Prophets and which were revealed only through the Last of the Prophets. That is why it is now incumbent upon each and every human being to have faith in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and follow him alone. To become a true Muslim (a follower of the Prophet's way of life) it is necessary to have complete faith in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and to affirm that: (a) He is a true Prophet of God;

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(b) His teachings are absolutely perfect, free from any defect or error; (c) He is the Last Prophet of God. After him no Prophet will appear among any people till the Day of Judgment, nor is any such personage going to appear in whom it would be essential for a Muslim to believe [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

05.03.00: Faith In Allah's Books
We believe that Allah revealed books to His messengers as proof against mankind and guidance for the righteous workers. They purified and taught them wisdom by these books. We believe that Allah sent down a book with every messenger, because He says: "Indeed We sent down Our messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the book and the balance, so that people may uphold justice" (57:25).

05.03.01: Books Known
Among the books that were revealed, we know: (1) The Torah, which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is the greatest among the Israelites' books: "Surely, We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been judged by the prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the rabbis and the doctors of law, because they were entrusted the protection of Allah's book and were witnesses thereto" (5:44). (2) The Gospel, which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it: "And we gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the Torah before it, as guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing" (5:46); "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were forbidden to you" (3:50). 3) The Psalms, which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him. 4) The Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them. 5) The Glorious Qur'an, which was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. It is guidance to the people and clear signs of guidance and the criterion between right and wrong" (2:185).

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05.03.01: The Qur'an Is Protected from Change: The Qur'an is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as a guardian over it." Thus, by means of the Qur'an, Allah abrogated all the previous revealed books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any play or mischievous distortion: "Indeed, We sent down the message and We will guard it" (15:9), for the Qur'an is a proof against mankind till the Day of Judgment. 05.03.02: Previous Scriptures Changed: The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period. Their use ended with the revelation of the Qur'an, which abrogated them and exposed their distortions and changes. That is why they were not protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition, and omission: "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings" (4:46); "So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then say: 'This is from Allah,' which they may sell it for a little price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings" (2:79); "Say, who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and guidance to people? You put it into sheets of paper showing some of them and concealing much" (6:91); "And there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book, that you may think it is a part of the Book but it is not part of the Book. And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they tell a lie against Allah and they know it. It is not for any human being to whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophet Hood to say to men 'Worship me instead of Allah"' (3:79); "People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book and forgiving you of much. A light has come to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He will guide whoever follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings them forth from darkness into the light by His will" (5:15-16).
Note: This has been taken From the Book: The Muslim's Belief

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Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

05.03.03: Revelations and the Qur’an
(a) The Qur’an The Qur’an is the Holy Book of the Muslims much like the Bible is the holy book to the Christians and Jews. The difference is that the Qur’an is perfect in the sense that it is the unaltered and pure word of Allah. The Bible is said to be the actual word of God but evidence suggests otherwise. The bible has been edited by many writers over a great length of time and they made additions and deletions so they wrote their own words. There are even Jewish, Protestant and Catholic versions of the bible with different gospels and variations and differences between them. There are many versions of the Bible but there is only one version of the Qur’an and it is the same as that which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) about 1400 years ago. The Qur’an is also different from the bible in the sense that it is the actual words of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by the Angel Gabriel, and the Prophet learned these verses by heart and narrated them to many scribes who wrote them down since Prophet Muhammed was illiterate. The Prophet checked the writing of these scribes him for mistakes and this made the Qur’an mistake-proof. The Qur’an is a beautiful text that is written in Arabic and the Qur’an talks about many issues like jurisprudence, the nature of God, stories of the Prophets and much more and many Muslims see it as a guide for life. Today the Qur’an comes in all languages but these don't convey the complete beauty and sometimes multiple or root meanings of the Arabic words. The Qur’an is very much a Miracle. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London] A Muslim believes in all scriptures and revelations of God, as they were complete and in their original versions. Allah, the Creator, has not left man without guidance for the conduct of his life. Revelations were given to guide the people to the right path of Allah

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and sent down to selected people, the prophets and messengers, to convey it to their fellow men. The message of all the prophet and messengers is the same. They all asked the people of their time to obey and worship Allah and none other. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad who were revealed their own book of Allah, were sent at different times to bring back straying human beings from deviation to the right course. The Qur’an is the sacred book of the Muslims. It is the last book of guidance from Allah, sent down to Muhammad, peace be upon him, through the angel Jibraeel (Gabriel). Every word of it is the word of Allah. It was revealed over a period of 23 years in the Arabic language. It contains 114 Surahs (chapters) and over 6000 verses. The Qur’an deals with man and his ultimate goal in life. Its teachings cover all areas of this life and the life after death. It contains principles, doctrines and directions for every sphere of human life. The theme of the Qur’an broadly consists of three fundamental ideas: Oneness of Allah, Prophet hood and life after death. The success of human beings on this earth and in the life hereafter depends on obedience to the Qur’anic teaching. The Qur’an is unrivalled in its recording and preservation. The astonishing fact about this book of Allah is that it has remained unchanged even to a dot over the past fourteen hundred years. No scholar has questioned the fact that the Qur’an today is the same as it was revealed. Muslims till today memorize the Qur’an word by word as a whole or in part. Today, the Qur’an is the only authentic and complete book of Allah. Allah is protecting it from being lost, corrupted or concealed. (b) The Sunnah, Hadiths and Sharia law 'Hadith' is the speech or utterances of the Prophet. The 'Sunnah' means conducts or acts done by the Prophet or at least approved by him. Often the words 'hadith' and 'sunnah' are used interchangeably when referrring to an act, word or approval by the Prophet.

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The Sunnah was written in many many hadith books written by many different writers a while after the death of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW). These authors collected narrations from from eye-witnesses, or most-often secondary sources who claimed they heard narrations from those who accompanied Prophet Muhammed (SAW) during the 23 years he recieved the Koran. We use books that contain these hadiths to understand the laws of the religion better since the Koran doesn't go into very much detail on some issues, and it also aids in our understanding of the history and situations at the time. These hadiths go along hand in hand with Qur’an to form the laws which are known as Sharia laws which are derived from the texts. The Shariah law is the law of God and is followed by the faithful. What the Prophet did and approved-of was what God approved-of and God guided His messenger and this Prophet brought guidance to mankind. The Shariah laws are found by reading the Quran and the Hadiths together to form a sound understanding on how Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would have dealt with a matter. Any undetermined things or differences in opinion are left to scholars to argue over, and Muslims have a choice of which scholar to follow. Some Muslims believe that some Hadiths are untrustworthy to follow, while most Muslims are more adamant in their belief that these books are too reputable to contain mistakes. However, all Muslims believe in hadiths as long as they are sound and correct, and the laws they both follow and believe in are almost exactly the same. There will be more information about this in a future article. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London] 05.03.04: Qur’an is free from Contradictions: We know for sure that what is revealed in Allah's book and in the traditions of His Messenger is the truth. It does not contain any contradiction: "Do they not ponder over the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, surely they would have found in it a lot of differences" (4: 82).

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Contradictions in statements falsify them. It is impossible for there to be a contradiction in any statement revealed by Allah and said by His Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims that there is contradictions in the Qur'an, the prophetic traditions, or between the two must have wicked intentions and a misguided heart. He should repent and quit his sin. If someone imagines that there are some contradictions in the Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet, or between these two, this must be a result of his little knowledge, inadequate understanding, or lack of deep thinking. Therefore, he should seek knowledge and do his best to reflect upon matters until the truth is clear to him. If, after all of these efforts, the truth is not clear to him, he should leave the whole matter to the One who knows it and should quit his imagination. He should say, as do those who are firmly rooted in knowledge: "We believe in it, all is from our Lord" (3:7). He must know that there are neither contradictions nor differences in the Qur'an, the Sunnah, or between the two.
Note: This has been taken From the Book: ‘The Muslim's Belief’ Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

05.04.00: The Angels in Islam
Angels are very important in Islamic beliefs. We believe that they were created from light and are the supreme servants of Allah because they know fully well that He is their creator and Angels are sinless and do what ever Allah wishes without mistake because that is how Allah created them. Angels are usually invisible to humans but sometimes they take the shape of men. Angels are not female, but nor are they male and they don't look like what you see on top of a Christmas tree. Angels do tasks like take the soul into the afterlife, write down your good and bad deeds, greet people into heaven or punish them in hell and they convey messages from the Lord to people - like the Angel Gabriel did when he told the virgin Mary (RA) that she would give birth to Prophet Jesus (PBUH), and they also convey messages to the other Prophets. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London] There are purely spiritual and splendid beings created by Allah. They require no food or drink or sleep. They have neither physical

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desires nor material needs. Angels spend their time in the service of Allah. Each is charged with a certain duty. Angels cannot be seen by the naked eyes. Knowledge and the truth are not entirely confined to sensory knowledge or sensory perception alone.

05.04.01: Belief in Angels
We believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are "honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they act only by His command" (21:26). Allah created them, and they worship and obey Him. Those who are in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary" (21:19). Angels are concealed from us, so we cannot see them. Allah may show them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari and Muslim). Gabriel took the form of a handsome human being who met Mary and engaged in conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while he was among his Companions in the appearance of an unknown man who did not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes, and very black hair. He sat facing the Prophet, his knees to the Prophet's knees, peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and talked with the Prophet. The Prophet later told his Companions that the man they saw was Gabriel (Bukhari and Muslim). Angels' Functions: We believe that the angels are assigned certain functions. Among the angels is Gabriel, who is entrusted with revelation. He brings it down from Allah to whomever He wishes among His prophets and messengers. Among them is Michael, who is in charge of rain and the growth of plants; Israfil, who is in charge of blowing the horn at the time of thunder-bolting and the resurrection; the Angel of Death, who takes away people's souls at the time of death. Among the angels is the one who is in charge of mountains; and Malik, the keeper of Hell.

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Some angels are in charge of embryos in wombs, others are responsible for protecting human beings, and others are busy recording men's deeds: there are two angels for every person, "when the two angels receive (his deeds), one sitting on the right and one on the left, not a word he utters but by him is an observer ready" (50:18). Some other angels are in charge of questioning the dead after he is placed in his last abode. Two angels come to him and ask him about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with the firm saying, in the present life and the hereafter, and Allah leads astray the evildoers and Allah does what He wills" (14:27). Some angels are in charge of the dwellers of Paradise: "The angels enter to them from every gate, saying: 'Peace be upon you for that you were patient. How excellent is your final home"' (13:24). The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that "seventy thousand angels enter or pray in the populous house in heaven every day. They never come back to it as long as they live" (because their turn will never come) (Bukhari and Muslim).
Note: This has been taken from the Book: The Muslim's Belief Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

05.04.02: The Devil in Islam
The Devil (named 'Iblees' in the Quran) is the name of Jinn who was once a very respected and loved figure by Allah and his status was much like that of an Angel. He is not an Angel but infact Jinn. He is made of smokeless fire as are all Jinn. He became detestable to Allah when he refused to do the command of Allah which was to bow down to his latest creation - man (Adam (PBUH)). Iblees was headstrong and arrogant and refused to bow down to a creation that he thought was less superior to himself since man is created from clay and he was created from fire. When Allah saw that he refused to carry out His command, He barred Iblees from heaven. Iblees promised that he would try to make mankind fail in entering heaven and following the righteous path and he tricked Adam and Eve (Adam & Hawaa in Arabic) to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree so they were put on earth and to this day Iblees and his servants -the

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Devils or Satans- continue to lead the children of Adam and Hawaa off the straight path. Iblees will be punished in hell on judgment day. Shaitan is not a guardian or punisher of people in hell as some believe. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000, Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London]

05.05.00: Belief In The Day Of Judgment
We believe in the Final Day, which is the Day of Judgment, when people will be resurrected and then told to remain in the abode of enjoyment or in the abode of severe punishment. 05.05.01: The Resurrection: We believe in the resurrection, which Allah’s is bringing to life all those who have died, and when Israfil shall blow the horn for the second time: "And the trumpet shall be blown, and all who are in the heavens and who are in the Earth shall fall down fainting, except those that Allah shall spare. Then, it shall be blown again and they shall rise gazing around them" (39:68). People will arise from their graves, answering the call of the Lord of the universe. They will be barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised: "As We started the first creation, so We shall bring it back again. This is a promise from Us, so We shall assuredly fulfill it" (21: 104). 05.05.02: The Records and Scales: We believe in the records of deeds that will be given to people in their right hands or behind their backs, in the left hands: "As for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family rejoicing. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for destruction on himself and will burn in a blazing fire" (84:7-12); "Every man's work We have fastened on his own neck, and on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a book which he will see spread open, saying: 'Read your own book! Enough for you this day that your own soul should call you to account"' (17:13-14).

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We believe that scales of deeds will be set up on the Day of Judgment, and that no soul shall be wronged: "Whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it" (99:7-8); "Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful; but those whose scales are light, they are the ones who have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever. The fire will burn their faces, and there they will be gloomy with lips displaced" (23: 102-4); and "He that does a good deed shall be rewarded ten times the like of it, and he that does evil shall only be rewarded the like of it, and they shall not be wronged" (6:160). 05.05.03: The Prophet's Intercession: We believe in the special great intercession of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He will plead with Allah, after His permission and on behalf of mankind, to judge among His servants when they suffer from worries and troubles that they cannot bear. They will go to Adam, then to Noah, then to Abraham, then to Moses, then to Jesus, and finally to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. We believe in the intercession that concerns some believers who were to be taken out from the fire. This mediation is granted to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to others among the prophets, the believers, and the angels. We believe also that Allah will save from hell some of the believers without the intercession of any one, but by His grace and mercy. 05.05.04: The Prophet's Pool: We believe in the pool of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the water of which is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey and better in fragrance than musk. Each of its length and width is the distance of a month's travel. Its glasses are as stars in beauty and number. The believers among the Prophet's followers come to take from this great cistern a drink after which they will never be thirsty. 05.05.05: The Straight Path: We believe in the straight path (sirat) set up over hell. People pass over it according to their deeds: the first of them as fast as lighting, then as fast as wind, then as fast as birds, and then as fast as a running man. The Prophet will be standing on the path, saying: "Lord, Save! Save!," as some people's deeds will fall short. Some of

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them will come crawling. At both sides of the path there are hooks designed to take whom Allah wills: some are saved but bruised; others are thrown into hell. (Bukhari and Muslim). We believe in all that is mentioned in the Qur'an or the prophetic sayings concerning that day and its horrors, may Allah save us from them. We believe in the intercession (Shafa'ah) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, for the people of paradise to enter therein. This intercession is exclusively limited to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. 05.05.06: Paradise and Hell: We believe in paradise and hell. Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever thought of the blessings that they will enjoy there: "No soul knows what comfort is kept hidden for them, as a reward for their deeds" (32:17). Hell is the abode of punishment that Allah has prepared for the unbelievers and the evildoers. The torture and horror in it cannot be imagined: "Surely, We have prepared for the evildoers a fire, whose pavilion encompasses them. If they call for help, they will be helped with water like molten copper which will scald their faces. How dreadful a drink and how evil a resting place!" (18:29). Both paradise and hell exist now and will never perish: "Whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness, He will admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever. Allah had indeed made for him an excellent provision" (65-11); "Certainly, Allah has cursed the unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire to dwell therein forever, they shall find neither protector nor helper. On the day when their faces are turned about in the fire they shall say: 'Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!"' (33: 64-6). We confirm paradise to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an or the prophetic traditions either by name or description. Among those who are granted paradise and mentioned by name are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'All and others who were specified by the Prophet,

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peace be upon him (Bukhari and Muslim). Among those whom we confirm to enter paradise because they fit the description are the faithful and the pious. We likewise confirm hell to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet, whether in name or description. Among those who are mentioned by name to be in hell are Abu Lahab, 'Amr Ibn Luhai al-Khuza'i, and others (Bukhari and Muslim). Confirmation of hell that is based on description includes every unbeliever, polytheist, or hypocrite. 05.05.07: What Happens in the Grave: We believe in the Trial of the Grave, which involves questioning the deceased person in his grave about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with a firm saying, in the present life and the hereafter"(14:27). The believer will say: "Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and Muhammad is my prophet." The unbeliever or the hypocrite will say: "I do not know. I heard the people saying something and I said it." We believe in the comfort of the grave for the believers: "Those whose lives the angels take in state of purity, saying 'peace be on you; enter paradise for what you were doing' (16:32). We believe in the punishment of the grave for the transgressing unbelievers: "If you could only see when the evildoers are in the agonies of death and the angels are stretching out their hands, saying, 'Give up your souls! Today you shall be rewarded with the punishment of humiliation for what you used to say untrue about Allah, and for scornfully rejecting His signs"' (6:93). The sayings of the Prophet are numerous and well-known in this area. A Muslim must believe in all that is reported in the Qur'an and the prophetic traditions concerning the unseen matters. He should not contradict it by his worldly experience, because the affairs of the hereafter cannot be measured by the affairs of this life. The difference between them is very great. Allah is the source of help.
Note: This has been taken From the Book: The Muslim's Belief Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

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05.05.08: Belief in Life after Death The fifth article of Islamic Faith is belief in life after death. Prophet Muhammad (peace is upon him) has directed us to believe in resurrection after death and in the Day of Judgment. The essential ingredients of this belief, as the life of this world and of all that is in it will come to an end on an appointed day. Everything will be annihilated. That day is called Qiayamah, i.e. the Last Day. That all the human beings who had lived in the world since its inception will then be restored to life and will be presented before God who will sit in court on that day. This is called Hashr: Resurrection. That the entire record of every man and woman of all their doings and misdoings-will be presented before God for final judgment. That God shall finally adjudge the reward of every person. He shall weigh everyone's good and bad deeds. One who excels in goodness will be rewarded a goodly reward; one whose evils and wrongs overweigh his good deeds, will be punished. That the reward and punishment will be administered judiciously. Those who emerge successful in this judgment will go to paradise and the doors of eternal bliss will be opened upon them; those who are condemned and deserve punishment will be sent to Hell-the abode of fire and torture. These are the essential constituents of belief in life after death. 05.05.08: The Need of Belief in the life after death Belief in the life after death has always been a part and parcel of the teachings of the Prophets. Every Prophet asked his followers to believe in it, in the same way as the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him), has asked us to do. This has always been an essential condition of being a Muslim. All Prophets have categorically declared that one who disbelieves in it, or casts doubts on it, is a Kafir. This is so, because denial of life after death makes all other beliefs meaningless. This denial also destroys the very sanction for good life and man is driven to a life of ignorance and disbelief. A little reflection would make this quite clear. In your everyday life, whenever you are asked to do anything, you immediately think: what is the utility of doing it and what harm is involved in doing it? This is the very nature of man. He instinctively

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regards a useless action as totally unnecessary. You will never be willing to waste your time and energy in useless, wasteful, and unproductive jobs. Similarly, you won't be very eager to avoid a thing that is harmless. And the general rule is that the deeper your conviction about the utility of a thing, the firmer would be your response to it; and the more doubtful you are about its efficacy, the more wavering and shaky would be your attitude. After all, why does a child put his hand in fire? -Because he is not sure that fire burns. Why does he evade studying? -Because he does not fully grasp the importance and benefits of education and does not believe in what his elders try to impress upon his mind. Now think of the man who does not believe in the Day of Judgment. Would he not consider belief in God and a life in accordance with His code of no consequence? What value will he attach to a life in pursuit of His pleasure? To him neither obedience to God is of any advantage nor disobedience to Him of any harm. How, the injunctions of God, Him Prophet, and His Book? What incentive would remain there for him to undergo trials and sacrifices and to avoid worldly pleasures? And if a man does not follow the code of God and lives according to his own likes and dislikes, or what use is his belief in the existence of God, if any such belief he has? That is not all. If you reflect still deeper, you will come to the conclusion that belief in life after death is the greatest deciding factor in the life of a man. Its acceptance or rejection determines the very course of his life and behavior. A man who has in view the success or failure of this world alone will be concerned with the benefits and harms that accrue to him in this life only. He will not be prepared to undertake any good act if he has no hope of gaining thereby some worldly interest, nor will he be keen to avoid any wrong act if that is not injurious to his interests in this world. But a man who believes in the next world as well and has a firm conviction of the final consequences of his acts would look upon all world look upon all worldly gains and losses as temporary and transitory and would not stake his eternal bliss for a transitory and would his eternal bliss for a transitory gain. He will look upon

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things in their wider perspective and will always keep the everlasting benefit or harm in view. He will do the good, however costly it may be to him in terms of worldly gains, or however costly it may be to him in terms of worldly gains, or however injurious it may be to his immediate interests; and he will avoid the wrong, however charming it may look. He will judge the things from the viewpoint of their eternal consequences and would not submit to his whims and caprices. Thus there is a radical difference between the beliefs, approaches, and lives of the two persons. One's idea of a good act is limited to its beneficence in this brief temporary life as a gain in the shape of money, property, public applause and similar other things which give him position, power, reputation, and worldly happiness. Such things become his objectives in life. Fulfillment of his own wishes and self-aggrandizement become the be-all and end-all of his life. And he does not deter even from cruel and unjust means in their achievement. Similarly, his conception of a wrong act is that which may involve a risk of injury to his interests in this world like loss of property and life, spoiling of health, besmirching of reputation, or some other unpleasant consequence. In contrast to this man, the believer's concept of good and evil would be quite different. To him all that pleases God is good and all that invokes His displeasure and wrath is evil. A good act, according to him, will remain good even if it brings no benefit to him in this world, or even entails loss of some worldly possession or injury to his personal interests. He will be confident that God will reward him in the eternal life and that would be the real success. Similarly, he will not fall a prey to evil deeds merely for some worldly gain, for he knows that even if he escapes punishment in his short worldly life, in would be the loser and would not be able to escape punishment by the court of God. He does not believe in the relativity of morals but sticks to the absolute standards revealed by God and lives according to them irrespective of gain or injury in this word. Thus it is the belief or disbelief in life after death which makes man adopt different courses in life. For one who does not believe in the Day of Judgment it is absolutely impossible to fashion his life as suggested by Islam. Islam says: "In the way of God give zakat (charity) to the poor." His answer is: "No, zakat will diminish my

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wealth; I will, instead, take interest on my money." And in its collection he would not hesitate to get attached each and everything belonging to the debtors, though they be poor or hunger-stricken. Islam says: "Always speak the truth and shun lying, though you may gain ever so much by lying and lose ever so much by speaking the truth." But his reply would be: " Well, what shall I do with a truth which is of no use to me here, and which instead brings loss to me ; and why should I avoid lying where it can bring benefit to me without any risk, even that of a bad name?" He visits a lonely place and finds a precious metal lying there; in such a situation Islam says: "This is not your property, do not take it" ; but he would say: "This is a thing I have come by without any cost or trouble ; why should I not have it? There is no one to see this pick-up, who might report it to the police or give evidence against me in a court of law, to give me a bad name among the people. Why should I not make use of this valuable?" Someone secretly keeps a deposit with this man, and after that that he dies. Islam says: "Be honest with the property deposited with you and give it over to the heirs of the deceased." He says: "Why? There is no evidence of his property being with me; his children also have no knowledge about it. When I can appropriate it without any difficulty, without any fear of legal claim, or stain on my reputation, why should I not do so?" In short, at every step in life, Islam will direct him to walk in a course of behavior; but he will take recourse to the opposite direction. For Islam Measures and values everything from the viewpoint of its everlasting consequence; while such a person always has in view only the immediate and earthly outcome. Now, you can understand why a man cannot be a Muslim without belief in the Day of Judgment. To be a Muslim is a very great thing; the fact is that one cannot even become a good man without this belief, for the denial of the Day of Judgment degrades man from humanity to a place even lower than that of the lowest of animals. 05.05.09: Life After Death: A Rational Vindication So far we have discussed the need and importance of belief in the Day of Judgment. Now let us consider how far the constituents of the belief are rationally understandable. The fact is that whatever Muhammad (peace be upon him) has told us about lift after death is clearly borne out by reason. Although our belief in the that Day is based upon our implicit in the Messenger of God, rational reflection

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not only confirms this belief but also reveals that Muhammad's (peace be upon him) teachings in this respect are much more reasonable and understandable than all other the following viewpoints are found in the world. A section of the people says that there is nothing left of man after death, and that after this life-ending event, there is no other life. According to these people, this belief has no reality. They say that there is no possibility of it and such a belief is quite unscientific. This is the approach and brings in western science in their support. Another section of the people maintains that man, in order to bear the consequences of his deeds, is repeatedly regenerated in this very world. If he lives a bad life, in the next generation he will assume the shape of an animal, like a dog or a cat, etc, or some tree or some lower kind of man. If his acts have been good, he will be reborn as a man into a higher class. This viewpoint is found in some Eastern religions. There is a third viewpoint which calls for belief in the Day of Judgment, the Resurrection, man's presence in the Divine Court, and the administration of reward and punishment. This is the common belief of all the Prophets. Now let us consider these viewpoints one by one. The first section, which arrogates to itself the authority and support of science, alleges that there is no reality in life after death. They say that they have never seen anybody coming back after his death. There is not a single case of revival. We see that after death a man is reduced to dust. Therefore death is the end of life and there is no life after death: But just think over this reasoning: is this really a scientific argument? Is the claim really founded on reason? If they have not seen any case of revival after death, they can only say that they do not know what will happen after death. But, instead of remaining within this limit, they declare that nothing will happen after death at the same time alleging that they speak out of knowledge! In fact they merely generalize on ignorance. Science tells us noting negative or positive in this respect and their assertion that life after death has no existence is totally unfounded. Their claim is not dissimilar to the claim of an ignoramus who has not seen an airplane

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and on that "knowledge" proclaims that airplanes have no existence at all! If anybody has not seen a thing, it does not mean that that thing has no existence. No man, not even the entire humanity, if it has not seen a thing, can claim that such a thing does not, or cannot, exist. This claim is illusionary and is out and out unscientific. No reasonable man can give it any weight. Now look to belief of the second group. According to them, a human being is a human being because in his previous animal form he had done good deeds; and an animal is an animal because previously as a human being he had behaved badly. In other worlds to be a man or animal is the consequence of one's deed's in one's former form. One may well ask: "Which of them existed first, man or animal?" If they say man preceded animal, then they will have to accept that he must have been an animal before that, and given a human form for its good deeds. If they say it was animal they will have to concede that must have been a man before that who transformed into an animal for his bad deeds. This puts us into a vicious circle and the advocates of this belief cannot settle any from for the first creature, for every generation implies a preceding generation so that the succeeding generation may be considered as the consequence of the former. This is simply absurd. Now consider the third viewpoint. Its first proposition is: "This world will one day come to an end. God will destroy and annihilate the universe, and in its place will evolve another higher and far superior cosmos." This statement is undeniably true. No doubt can be cast upon its veracity. The more we reflect on the nature of the cosmos, the more clearly it is proved that the existing system is not permanent and everlasting, for all the forces working in it are limited in their nature, and it becomes a certainty that one day they will be completely exhausted. That is why the scientists agree that one day the sun will become cold and will give up all its energy, the stars will collide with one another, and the whole system of the universe will be upset and destroyed. Moreover, if evolution is true in the case of the constituents of this universe, why it may not be true for the whole of it? To think of the universe becoming totally non-

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existent is more improbable than that it will pass into another evolutionary stage and another order of things will emerge in a much more improved and ideal order. The second proposition of this belief is that "man will again be given life". Is it impossible? If so, how did the present life of man become possible? It is evident that God Who created man in this world can do so in the next. Not only is it a possibility, it is also a possibility; it is also a positive necessity, as will be show later. The third proposition is that "the record of all the actions of man in this world is preserved and be presented on the Day of Resurrection". The proof of the truth of this proposition is provided here in these days by science itself. It was first understood that the sounds which we make produce slight waves in the air and die out. Now, it has been discovered that the sound leaves its impression on its surrounding objects and can be reproduced. Gramophone records are made on the same principle. From this it can be understood that the record of every movement of man is being impressed on all things which come into contact with the waves produced by the movements. This shows that the record of our entire deed is completely preserved and can be reproduced. The fourth proposition is that "on the Day of Resurrection, God will hold His Court and with just judgment, reward or punish man for his good and bad deeds." What is unreasonable about it? Reason itself demands that God should hold His court and pronounces just judgment. We see here that a man does a good deed and thereby gains nothing in this world. We see another man who does a bad deed and does and does not suffer for it here. Not only this, we see thousands of cases of a good act bringing trouble on the doer, and of a bad deed and not suffer for it here. Not only this have we seen thousands of cases of a good act bringing trouble on the doer and of the guilty person. When we notice these events happening every day our reason and sense of justice demand that a time must come when the man who dose good must be rewarded and the one who does evil must be punished. The present order of things as you can see yourself is subject to physical law according to which it is quite natural that a man who has got the means to do evil can do so if he chooses and it is not necessary that its evil consequences should

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react upon him wholly or partly. If you have a tin of petrol and a match-bow you can set fire to the house of your opponent and you can escape every consequence of this deed if the worldly forces are in your favor. Does it mean that such an offence has got no consequence at all? Certainly not! It means only that its physical result has appeared and the moral result is reserved. Do you really think it reasonable that it should never appear? If you say it should the question is where? Certainly not in this world because in the physical world only physical world only physical consequences of this higher category can appear only if there comes into existence another other of things wherein rational and moral laws reign supreme and occupy the governing poison and where the physical laws are made subject to them. That is the next world which as we have said before is the next evolutionary stage of the universe. It is evolutionary in this sense that it will be governed by moral laws rather than by physical laws. The rational consequences of man's action, which are reserved wholly or partly in this world, will appear therein. Man's status will be determined by his rational and moral worth adjudged in accordance with his conduct in this life of test and trial. There you will not find a worthy man serving under a fool or a morally superior man in a position inferior to a wretch, as is the case in this world. The last proposition of this is the existence of Paradise and Hell, which is also not impossible. If God can make the sun, the moon the stars and the earth, why should He not be able to make Paradise and Hell? When He holds His Court and pronounces His judgment rewarding the meritorious and punishing the guilty there must be a place where the meritorious might enjoy their reward honor, happiness and gratification of all kinds and another place where the condemned might feel debasement pain and misery. After considering all these questions no reasonable person can escape the conclusion that the belief in life after death is the most acceptable to reason and common senses, and that there is nothing in it which can be said to be unreasonable or impossible. Moreover, when a true Prophet like Muhammad (peace be upon him) has stated this to be a fact and it involves nothing but what is good for us wisdom lies in believing it implicitly and not in rejecting it without any sound reasons.

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The above are the five articles of Faith which from the foundation for the superstructure of Islam. Their gist is contained in the short sentence know as Kalima-e-tayyibah. When you declare La ilaha illallah (there is no deity but Allah) you give up all false deities and profess that you are a creature of the One God and when you add to these words Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah, (Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) you confirm and admit the Prophet hood of Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him). With the admission of his Prophet hood it becomes obligatory that should believe in the divine nature and attributes of God, in His angels in His Revealed Books, and in life after death and earnestly follow that method of obeying God and worshipping Him which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has asked us to follow. Herein lays the road to success and salvation. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

05.05.10:Man & life after death
Allah created man from clay for a purpose and that purpose is to worship Allah and that is the reason for life. Do not think of worship as praying only! Praying is only a part of worship. Worship is made up of many parts like being kind to your neighbor, giving charity, teaching, treating the ill and many other things. Muslims believe children are born pure (unlike in Christianity where a child is born a sinner) but with worship we gain 'thawab' which you can think of as being like 'plus points' and worship also benefits our soul. When man does bad things he gains 'ithim' which you can think of as 'minus points'. If you think of life as a test, where if we do good deeds we gain thawab and if we do bad deeds we get ithim, then after we die we are taken into an afterlife world where the ithim & thawab we have received and Allah's fair judgment (on Judgment day ('Yawm al Qiyamah' in Arabic)) determines what happens to us - if we enter hell or heaven (called 'Jahannam' & 'Jannah' in Arabic). It is important to state here that a person who has no belief in God will not enter Jannah. Jannah is the bounty that we receive for passing the test of life and Jannah is split into many levels depending on how well we did in the test, and so hell is split into levels depending on how bad we did. Jannah (also referred-to as Paradise in English Islamic literature) can be likened to an everflourishing garden where you are given what you wish for and there

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is no death, pain and unhappiness and there are the best foods and most lovely drinks. Hell is much like the opposite where you are burnt in fire & tortured and you are kept hungry and thirsty and you have no food and drink except filth and horrible fruits and fluids. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London]

05.05.11: The Day of Judgment
A Muslim believes in the Day of the Judgment. This world as we know it will come to an end, and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. On that day, all men and women from Adam to the last person will be resurrected from the state of death for judgment. Everything we do, say, make, intends and thinks are accounted for and kept in accurate records. They are brought up on the Day of Judgment. One who believes in life after death is not expected to behave against the Will of Allah. He will always bear in mind that Allah is watching all his actions and the angels are recording them. People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah's Heaven. People with bad records will be fairly punished and cast into Hell. The real nature of Heaven and Hell are known to Allah only, but they are described by Allah in man's familiar terms in the Qur’an. If some good deeds are seen not to get full appreciation and credit in this life, they will receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on the Day of Judgment. If some people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, seem superficially successful and prosperous in this life, absolute justice will be done to them on the Day of Judgment. The time of the Day of Judgment is only known to Allah and Allah alone.

05.06.00: Qadaa and Qadar
A Muslim believes in Qadaa and Qadar which relate to the ultimate power of Allah. Qadaa and Qadar mean the Timeless Knowledge of Allah and His power to plan and execute His plans. Allah is not indifferent to this world nor is He neutral to it. It implies that

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everything on this earth originates from the one and only Creator who is also the Sustainer and the Sole Source of guidance. Allah is Wise, Just, and Loving and whatever He does must have a good motive, although we may fail sometimes to understand it fully. We should have strong faith in Allah and accept whatever He does because our knowledge is limited and our thinking is based on individual consideration, whereas His knowledge is limitless and He plans on a universal basis. Man should think, plan and make sound choices, but if things do not happen the way he wants, he should not lose faith and surrender himself to mental strains or shattering worries. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

05.06.01: Belief In Fate And The Divine Decree
05.06.02: Belief: We believe in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah has measured and ordained for all creatures according to His previous knowledge and as deemed suitable by His wisdom. 05.06.03: Levels of Belief: Belief in Fate has four levels: (1) Knowledge: We believe that Allah, may He be exalted, knows everything. He knows what has happened and what will happen and how it will happen. His knowledge is eternal. He does not acquire a new knowledge nor does he forget what He knows. (2) Recording: We believe that Allah has recorded in the secured tablet (al Lowh al Mahfuz) whatever is going to happen until the Day of Judgment: "Did you not know that Allah knows all that is in heaven and Earth? Surely that is in a book. Surely that for Allah is an easy matter" (22:70). (3) Will: We believe that Allah has willed everything in heaven and Earth. Nothing happens except by His will. Whatever He wills will take place, and whatever He doesn’t will not take place. (4) Creation:

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We believe that "Allah is the Creator of all things; He is the Guardian over all things, and to Him belong the keys of the heavens and the Earth" (39:62-3). This level includes whatever Allah Himself does and whatever His creatures do. Thus each saying, deed, or omission of the people is known to Allah, Who has recorded, willed, and created them: "To those among you who will to be upright. But you shall not will except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds" (81:2829); "And had Allah willed they would not have fought one against the other; but Allah does whatever He desires" (2:253); "Had Allah willed, they would not have done so, but leave them alone and their false inventions" (6:137); and "And Allah created you and what you do" (37:96). 05.06.04: Man's Free Will: We believe, however, that Allah has granted man a power and a free will by which he performs his actions. That man's deeds are done by his power and free will can be proven by the following points: (1) Allah says: "So approach your fields (wives) when and how you will" (2:223); and "Had they desired to go forth, they would have made some preparation for it" (9:46). In these verses, Allah affirmed for man "a going forth" by his will and "a preparation" by his desire. (2) Directing man to do or not to do. If man has no free will and power, these directions mean that Allah is asking man to do that which he cannot do. This proposition is rejected by Allah's wisdom, mercy and truthful statement: "Allah does not charge a soul beyond its capacity" (2:286). (3) Praising the virtuous for his deeds and blaming the evildoer for his actions and rewarding each of them with what he deserves. If the action is not done by the individual's free will, then praising the virtuous is a joke and punishing the evildoer is an injustice, and Allah is, of course, far from joking and being unjust. (4) Allah has sent messengers who are "bearing good tidings, and warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers" (4:165). If the individual's action is not performed by his free will, his argument is not invalidated by the sending of messengers. (5) Every doer of actions feels that he does or does not do a thing without any coercion. He stands up and sits, comes in and goes

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out, travels and stays by his own free will without feeling anybody forcing him to be any of these actions. In fact, he clearly distinguishes between doing something of his own free will and someone else forcing him to do that action. The Islamic law also wisely distinguishes between these states of affairs. It does not punish a wrongdoer for an action done under compulsion. 05.06.05: No Excuse for Sinners: We believe that the sinner has no excuse in Allah's divine decree, because he commits his sin by his free will, without knowing that Allah has decreed for him, for no one knows Allah's decree before it takes place: "No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow" (31:34). How can it be possible, then, to present an excuse that is not known to the person who is advancing it when he commits his offense? Allah invalidated this type of argument by saying: "The idolaters will say 'Had Allah willed, we would not have been idolaters, neither our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything.' So did the people before them cry lies until they tasted our might? Say: 'Have you any proofs that you can show us? You follow nothing but assumption, and you are Lying"' (6:148). We say to the sinner who is using divine decree as an excuse: 'Why did you not perform deeds of obedience, assuming that Allah has decreed them upon you, since you did not know the difference between good deeds and sins? That is why, when Prophet Muhammad told his Companions that everyone's position in paradise or hell has been assigned, they said: 'Should not we rely on this and stop working?' He said: 'No, work and everyone will be directed to what he is created for"' (Bukhari and Muslim). We say to the sinner who is trying to find an excuse in the divine decree: "Suppose you want to travel to Makkah. There are two roads that may take you there. You are told by a truthful person that one of these roads is dangerous and difficult; the other is easy and safe. You will take the second one. You will not take the first road and say it is decreed upon me. If you did, people would consider you crazy." We may also say to him: "If you are offered two jobs, one of which has a higher salary, you will certainly take the one with the higher

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salary. Why do you choose what is lower in the hereafter and use the divine decree as an excuse?" We may further say to him: "We see you when you are afflicted with a disease, you knock at every physician's door looking for treatment and bearing whatever pain that may result from surgical operations and the bitterness of medicine. Why do not you do the same when your heart is spiritually sick with sins?" 05.06.06: Evil Not Attributed to Allah: We believe that evil should not be attributed to Allah, due to His perfect mercy and wisdom. The Prophet said: "And evil is not attributable to You" (Muslim). Thus Allah's decree by itself has no evil whatsoever, because it is coming from mercy and wisdom. Evil may, however, result from some of His decrees, because the Prophet said in the supplication for gunut which he taught to al-Hasan: "And protect us from the evil of what You decreed" (Tirmidhi and others). Here, the Prophet attributed evil to what He decreed. Despite this, evil in His decree is not pure evil. It is rather evil in one respect and good in another, or it is evil in one case and good in another. Thus corruption in the land resulting from drought, disease, poverty, and fear is evil, but it is good in another respect. Allah, the Exalted said: "Corruption has appeared on the land and sea for what men's hands have earned. Allah has ordained this for men, so that they may taste some of what they have done, in order that they may turn back (from evil)" (30:41). Cutting off the thief's hand or stoning the adulterer is an evil thing for the thief and the adulterer, but it is good for them in one respect, because it is purification for them so that the punishment of this life and the hereafter are not combined for them. These punishments are good in another respect: their application protects property, honor, and relationships.
Note: This has been taken From the Book: The Muslim's Belief Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

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06.00.00: What Are the Benefits of Belief
This sublime belief, which includes those great principles, bears numerous and useful types of fruits for whoever believes in it. 06.01.00: Virtues of Belief in Allah: Belief in Allah, His names, and His attributes instills in the individual the love and glorification of Allah that result in his performing Allah's instructions and avoiding His prohibitions. These are the means of achieving ultimate happiness in this life and the hereafter for both the individual and the society: "Whoever, male or female, does righteous deed, while believing, We shall assuredly grant him a goodly life, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds" (16:97). 06.02.00: Virtues of Belief in the Angels: Appreciating the dignity of Allah, His might, and His sovereignty. Gratitude toward Allah because He puts some of the angels in charge of His servants, recording their deeds and other things that benefit them. ¥ Love and admiration for the angels because of what they are doing, namely, worshipping Allah in the best possible manner and praying for the believers. 06.03.00: Virtues of Belief in the Books: Appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people in that He sent down a book to every nation for its guidance. Appreciating Allah's wisdom, for He revealed in these books to every nation that which suits them. The glorious Qur'an is the final book and it is suitable to all people at all times until the Day of Judgment. Showing gratitude for Allah's mercy in revealing these books. 06.04.00: Virtues of Belief in the Messengers:

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Appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people for sending them those great messengers to guide them to the straight path. Thanking Allah for this great favor. Loving and respecting the prophets and praising them in what they deserve, because they are Allah's messengers and His choice among His people. They worshipped Allah according to the best of their ability, conveyed His message to mankind, gave sincere advice to the people, and bore patiently whatever hurt they received.

06.05.00: Virtues of Belief in the Day of Judgment:
Endeavor to obey Allah to get the reward of that day and to avoid any disobedience to him for fear of His punishment. A consolation for the believer for whatever he misses of worldly enjoyment by what he hopes to gain of blessings and reward of the hereafter.

06.06.00: Virtues of Belief in Fate and the Divine Decree:
Muslim’s dependence on Allah when doing any action, because both the cause and effect are the result of Allah's decree. Ease of mind and comfort, because when the individual knows that everything is by Allah's decree and that mishaps are going to take place anyway, his soul will be at ease and his heart will be satisfied with Allah's decree. No one has a more comfortable life, worry-free soul, and stronger confidence than a believer in fate. Freedom of a believer comes from arrogance when a goal is achieved because this is a blessing from Allah through what He decreed of the causes of good and success. The individual should thank Allah for that and free himself from arrogance. Freedom of a believer comes from worry and boredom in case of failure or mishap, because that is by Allah's decree, the One who possesses the heavens and the Earth. Since that is going to happen anyway, the individual should be patient and hope for the reward from Allah. Allah points to the last two virtues in the following verse: "No misfortune can happen on earth or in yourselves but is

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recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence, that is really easy for Allah; that you may not grieve for what escapes you, nor rejoice in what has come to you. Allah does not love any vainglorious boaster" (57:22-3). We pray to Allah, the Exalted, to reward us for this belief, to realize for us its fruits, to increase our blessings, to keep us on the right path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him. He is indeed the Giver. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be on Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who rightly follow them.
Note: This has been taken From the Book: The Muslim's Belief Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

07.00.00: The Prerequisites of the Declaration of Faith
The Pre-Requisites of the Declaration of Faith is as follows: Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statement, "There is none worthy of worship except Allah." Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them. They think will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah. There is no question that the mere saying of, "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger," is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the hypocrites used to make this statement quite often yet Allah describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire. As many scholars state, though, this statement or testimony is the key to Paradise. The famous Follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked, "Isn't the statement of la ilaha illa-llah the key to

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Paradise?" He answered, "Yes, but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you." That is, it is saying [while meeting] certain conditions. These conditions are what will differentiate the person who will benefit from his making of that statement from the one who will not benefit from that statement, no matter how many times a day he may have made that statements. Before discussing the conditions of the Shahadah, there is one more point that I feel compelled to make. That is, some people have a tendency to take one hadith or one verse and then based on that one text, they will make some conclusion that, for example, whoever simply says, "There is no God except Allah," will enter Paradise. But, actually, we should all realize that all of the Quran and Hadith complement each other and explain one another. To find the correct position on any one question, one must bring together all of the related verses and hadith and see what the true Islamic position is of that question. The same is true for the conditions of the shahadah. If we study the verses of the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), we will find that the conditions of the shahadah are seven, eight or nine in number depending on how we look at them. It is important that all of us make sure that we are meeting these conditions in our own lives and in our own testimony of faith. We must do our best to satisfy these conditions before it is too late and our testimony will be no avail whatsoever. It is not simply for the sake of teaching these conditions. Indeed, there is no benefit to that. But it is, instead, for all of us to look to ourselves and to make sure that we are actually meeting these conditions so that, by Allah's mercy, the doors to Paradise will be open for us by our key of la ilaha illa-llah. (1) The first of these conditions is knowledge. That is, one must have the basic and general knowledge of what is meant by the shahadah. One must understand what the shahadah is affirming and what the shahadah is denying. Allah says in the Quran, "So know that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for your sin" (Qur'an, Muhammad 19).

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Similarly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever dies knowing that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah shall enter Paradise." (Recorded by Muslim.) In fact, the shahadah itself is a testimony. When one testifies to something, one must know what it is that he is testifying concerning. Obviously, a testimony about something that one does not have any knowledge about is absolutely unacceptable. Allah says in the Quran, "Save him who bears witness unto the truth knowingly" (Qur'an, al-Zukhruf 86). Now this condition probably sounds obvious. If someone said to you, "There is no God except Allah," and then said that what he meant by Allah was Jesus, you would immediately tell him that this shahadah is nonsense. Yet can you imagine that there is a Muslim country in the world that until recently used to have a yearly weeklong celebration to "the Gods of the Sea"! All along they call themselves Muslims and they make shahadah numerous times a day. This clearly shows that they have no idea what the meaning of their shahadah is. Do you think that this kind of shahadah will open the doors to Paradise for them? Today, there are many Muslims who wonder why we should not accept secularism. They think that there is nothing wrong with secularism! Many of these Muslims pray five times a day and utter the shahadah repeatedly. Yet they see nothing wrong with accepting a Lawgiver other than Allah? What kind of shahadah are these people making? All of us do our best to learn at least the basics of Islamic beliefs. In this way, Allah willing, we will be making the correct shahadah. We will be witnessing to the truth as we are supposed to be witnesses to it. (2) The second condition of the shahadah is certainty (or alyaqeen). This is the opposite of doubt and uncertainty. In Islam, in fact, any kind of doubt is equivalent to Kufr or disbelief. We must, in our hearts, be absolutely certain of the truth of the shahadah. Our hearts

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must not be wavering in any way when we testify to the truth of, "There is none worthy of worship except Allah." Allah describes the believers in the Quran as those who have belief in Allah and then their hearts waver not. Allah says, "The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere" (Qur'an, al-Hujurat 15). Similarly, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "No one meets Allah with the testimony that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah, and he has no doubt about hat statement, except that he will enter Paradise." (Recorded by Muslim.) Indeed, Allah describes the hypocrites as those people whose hearts are wavering. For example, Allah says, "They alone seek leave of thee (not to participate in jihad) who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and whose hearts feel doubt, so in their doubt they waver" (Qur'an, al-Tauba 45). Many scholars have stated that the diseases of the heart, or the doubt and suspicions that one allows into one's heart, are more dangerous for a person's faith than lusts and desires. This is because lusts and desires may be satisfied at some time yet the person still knows them to be wrong and he may control himself and repent and give up that evil deed. On the other hand, the doubts and suspicions may linger in the heart, with no cure, until the person finally leaves Islam entirely or continues to practice Islam while, in fact, in his heart he does not have the true faith. The greatest cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is through sound knowledge of the Qur’an and the sunnah that most of these doubts will be removed. By study and understanding, one will attain certainty. And as one studies and learns more, his certainty will be made firmer and firmer. I will give you just one example on this point. This is related to all of the doubts, suspicions and misconceptions that are circulating about the authenticity of the Hadith literature. For example, some

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Muslims even claim that Hadith were not recorded until at least 200 years after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Indeed, there are Muslims who seem to have a great deal of doubt about Hadith and are very quick to reject Hadith on that basis. But, in fact, if one actually takes the time to study the history and preservation of Hadith, one will immediately recognize that all those claims and charges against the Hadith are not based on anything scientific whatsoever. They are nothing but false claims that come from Satan and which Muslims with poor understanding and knowledge have allowed to creep into their hearts. Let me make one last point about this condition of certainty. As I alluded to earlier, doubts and misconceptions are very dangerous for a person's faith. Doubt and wavering are tantamount to apostasy in Islam, as I mentioned earlier. Hence, every Muslim should do best to safeguard himself from such doubts and remain away from the sources of doubts- especially if they are not well grounded in the Islamic sciences and do not have the knowledge to refute such doubts and misconceptions. Hence if a person has an associate or friend, even if he be a Muslim friend, who is always making him doubt Allah or the religion, then he should remain away from that person in order to safeguard his own religion. Many Muslims nowadays study courses on Islam taught by Orientalists and because of their weak backgrounds in Islamic studies, they are influenced by the nonsense that some of these Orientalists are teaching in the name of "science". Similarly, many brothers and sisters nowadays are spending hours at a time with the computer news groups and bulletin boards. A lot of nonsense and falsehood are posted on those news groups and bulletin boards. Again, the one who is not very knowledgeable of his religion may easily be influenced and affected by the misconceptions and false arguments that he reads in those bulletin boards. He should remain away from those things and get a deeper knowledge of Islam through the authentic sources of the religion. Again, the greatest counterforce that can defeat doubts and misconceptions, after the bounty and guidance of Allah, is sound knowledge and understanding of the religion. When a person has that, he will not be affected by the weak arguments put out by the

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enemies of Islam and he will be, Allah willing, from among those described in the Qur’an, "It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah" (Qur'an, Fatir 28) (3) Third condition of La ilaha illa-llah: The third condition of the shahadah is acceptance (or al-qabool). If a person has the knowledge of and certainty in the shahadah, this must be followed by acceptance, with the tongue and heart, of whatever that shahadah implies. Whoever refuses to accept the shahadah and its implications, even if he knows that it is true and certain about its truth, is a disbeliever. This refusal to accept is sometimes due to pride, envy or other reasons. In any case, the shahadah is not a true shahadah without its unconditional acceptance. The scholars all talk about this condition as a general condition in the way that I have just stated. However, there is also a more detailed aspect that we must all be aware of. The believer accepts whatever the implications of the shahadah are. This also means that he believes in whatever is stated in the Quran or stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him), without any right to choose what he wants to believe and what he wants to reject. Allah says in the Quran, "Do you believe in part of the book and reject part of it? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom" (Qur'an, al-Baqara 85). This is one aspect that the Muslims must be aware of. Although it is not the same as the complete refusal to accept the truth, by rejecting part of the truth that has come from Allah, one also negates his testimony of faith. Unfortunately, many Muslims are doing this nowadays in various ways. Although not all of these forms may necessarily be considered apostasy, they are still very dangerous. For example, if they do not like what is stated in a verse in the Qur’an, they simply reinterpret the verse according to their liking. If they do not like what is stated in a Hadith, they simply state that the Hadith must not be authentic although they are not scholars in that area. This kind of behavior is the antithesis of the behavior of the true Muslims.

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Whatever comes from Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), the true Muslim believes in as the truth. This goes hand in hand with their testimony of faith. (4) The fourth condition of shahadah is submission and compliance (or al-inqiyad). This implies the actual physical enactment with our deeds of our shahadah. In fact, this is one of the main meanings of the word Islam itself, "the submission to the will and commands of Allah.” This is what Allah commands in the Quran, "Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unto Him" (Qur'an, al-Zumar 54). Allah has praised those who submit to His command by their actions. Allah says, "Who is better in religion than he who surrenders his purpose to Allah while doing well" (Qur'an, al-Nisa 125). Actually, Allah has clearly made it a condition of faith that one submits to the command of Allah and His messenger. Allah says, "But nay, by your Lord, they will not truly believe until they make you [the Messenger of Allah] judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of which you decide, and submit with full submission" (Qur'an, al-Nisa 65) Unfortunately, there are many claims that there is no relationship between faith and deeds. You can even hear one Muslim saying about another, "That is the best Muslim I have ever met." Yet the other person performs scarcely any of the deeds of Islam whatsoever. This incorrect understanding of faith has spread throughout the Muslim world. Indeed, our shahadah or testimony of faith must be implemented in our hearts, tongues and actions. In our hearts, we must have love for Allah, fear Allah and hope in Him. With our tongues we must testify to the shahadah. And with our actions, we must implement what the testimony of faith requires from us. Anyone who claims to be a Muslim and yet does no deeds either does not understand Islam whatsoever or is bearing testimony against himself that his testimony of faith is not a true and correct testimony of faith.

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This does not mean that the true believer never commits a sin. Indeed, true believers do commit sins. But as long as they recognize what they did is not correct and it is inconsistent with their obligation of submitting to Allah, then they [have not destroyed] their testimony or shahadah. But, do not forget, they are still sinners. And what is the minimum of submission that is required from a person beyond which there can be no claim to faith? For those scholars who say that the abandonment of prayers is infidelity, it is the five daily prayers. Whoever does not perform, at least, the five daily prayers has gone beyond the limit that is acceptable for lack of deeds. Allah knows best. (5) The fifth condition is truthfulness, as opposed to hypocrisy and dishonesty. This means that when we say the shahadah, we are saying it honestly. We actually mean it. We are not lying when it comes to our testimony of faith. The Prophet (peace be upon his) said, "No one bears testimony to there being no one worth of worship save Allah, sincerely from his heart, except that Allah makes the Hell-fire forbidden for him." (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) We are all familiar with those who say the testimony of faith yet they are not saying it honestly. They do not believe in it but they are simply saying it in order to protect them or to get some gain from doing so. These are the hypocrites. Allah has described them in the opening of the Qur’an with the following words, "And of mankind are some who say, 'We believe in Allah and the Last Day,' when they believe not. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves, but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increases their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie" (Qur'an, al-Baqara 8-10). Obviously the shahadah of those who become Muslims simply to benefit from being Muslim because they believe in Islam will be rejected by Allah in the Hereafter. They will face a painful punishment due to their lying.

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(6) The sixth condition is sincerity (or ikhlas). That is, when we make the shahadah, we must do so solely for the sake of Allah. We must not do it for any other reason. And we must not do it for anyone else's sake. In this manner, the meaning of sincerity is opposite of Shirk or ascribing partners with Allah. We become and remain Muslims solely for Allah's sake. Allah says in the Quran, "Worship Allah, and making religion pure for him" (Qur'an, alZumar 2). And Allah also says, "And they are ordained nothing else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion" (Qur'an, al-Bayyinah 5). And the Prophet (peace be upon him) added, "Allah has forbidden for the Hell-fire anyone who says, 'There is no one worthy of worship except Allah,' and say so desiring the face [and pleasure] of Allah." (Recorded by Muslim). This is something that we should think about. But especially those of us who grew up in Muslim families and were born Muslim. We should make it very clear to ourselves that we are Muslims only for the sake of Allah. We are not Muslims for the sake of our parents, friends, family or community. It must be clear in our minds that we are Muslims for the sake of Allah first, last and only. One of the signs that we are Muslims for the sake of Allah is that we do whatever Allah asks of us, regardless of what anybody else desires or wants from us. That is, in the same way that we are Muslims solely for the sake of Allah, all of our actions are done for the sake of Allah. However, sometimes one begins to wonder whether this condition is met by some people. Some people from the Muslim world practice Islam to the extent that it is pleasing to their families. If there is anything in Islam that their families do not like- although their families are Muslim and therefore they actually should like all of Islam- then they do not practice that aspect of Islam. One common example of that nature is mixing between men and women. Sometimes a brother, here in the U.S., will not mix with women and

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his wife will remain separate from the men. Yet, when they return to their homes, because this is not pleasing to their families who want to mix between men and women, they easily, simply and happily compromise their religion for the sake of their parents. These people must sincerely ask themselves why they are Muslims. Are they Muslims for the sake of their parents and therefore whatever their parents like they will do and whatever their parents do not like they won't do? Or are they Muslims for the sake of Allah and therefore whatever Allah dislike they will not do and whatever Allah is pleased with they do? (7) The seventh condition is love: That is, the believer loves this shahadah, he loves in accordance with the shahadah, he loves the implications and requirements of the shahadah and he loves those who act and strive for the sake of this shahadah. This is a necessary condition of the shahadah. If a person makes the shahadah but does not love the shahadah and what it stands for, then, in fact, his faith is not complete. It is not the faith of a true believer. And if he loves something more than this shahadah or if he loves something more than Allah, then he has negated his shahadah. The true believer, the one meeting the conditions of the shahadah puts no one whatsoever as an equal to Allah in his love. Allah says in the Quran, "Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving them with a love like (that which is due to) Allah only. However, those who believe are stauncher in their love of Allah" (Qur'an, al-Baqara 165). And elsewhere Allah says' "Say: If your fathers, or your sons, or your brethren, or your wives, or your tribe, or the wealth you have acquired, or merchandise for which you fear that there will be no sale, or dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah guides not wrongdoing folk" (Qur'an, alTauba 24). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever has three characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith. [The first of these]

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is that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than he loves anyone else..." (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim). This is one of the most important aspects of Islam yet, for some reason, it is missing from the lives of many Muslims. They act in Islam as if Islam were a chore instead of doing things out of the love of Allah. When Allah orders us to do something, like bear witness to the faith, we should realize that that thing is pleasing to Allah and, therefore, out of our love for Allah, we should be very pleased to do the acts that are pleasing to Allah. But, as I said, this feeling is missing from many, many Muslims today. (8) The eighth condition of the shahadah is that the person who makes the shahadah must deny every other object of worship: Although that is clear in the words of the testimony of faith, it does not seem clear to everyone who makes that testimony. Therefore, I am mentioning it explicitly here. In Surah al-Baqara, Allah clearly reminds us of this important aspect of the shahadah, the shahadah is not merely an affirmation but it is both and affirmation and a negation. Allah states, "And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break" (Qur'an, al-Baqara 256). Perhaps the Prophet (peace be upon him) made this point even clearer when he said, "Whoever says there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and denies whatever is worshipped besides Allah, then his wealth and blood are protected and his accounting will be with Allah." (Recorded by Muslim) Although this condition should be obvious to everyone who says the words of shahadah, you can still find Muslims who say the shahadah and then make acts of worship for beings or things other than Allah. You will find them going to the graveyards and worshipping those in the graves. They will perform acts of worship, not for the sake of Allah, but for the sake of the dead "saints" in the grave. What kind of shahadah have these people made? Do you really think that their shahadah will mean anything on the Day of Judgment as long as they believe that acts of worship may be done for other than Allah?

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(9) The ninth condition of the shahadah is that the Muslim adheres to the shahadah until he dies: This is must if the shahadah is to mean anything for you in the Hereafter. You can not rest on your laurels of what you may have done in the past. No, indeed, the shahadah must be your banner until your death. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "A man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of Paradise and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire. And a man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of Paradise." (Recorded by Muslim) In another Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "By the One whom there is no other God, one of you does the actions of Paradise until there is just a handspun between him and Paradise and then the book [preordainment] overtakes him and he does the actions of the people of Hell and he enters into it" (Recorded by alBukhari and Muslim.) And Allah says in the Quran, "O believers, observe your duty to Allah with right observance, and die not save as Muslims [surrendering yourselves to Allah]" (Qur'an, ali-Imran 102). Dear brothers and sisters, these are the conditions of the shahadah. These are the aspects of the shahadah that each and every one of us should look to in ourselves and ask ourselves, "Is my shahadah meeting those requirements? Am I saying it sincerely, honestly and out of love for Allah? Am I saying it based on what it really means? Am I denying all other false objects of worship?" These questions we should ask ourselves now before we meet Allah. Allah willing, we shall ask ourselves these questions now and we shall find that we have all the right answers for them. Or, if we find we have some deficiency, we shall work to remove that deficiency. Such that, by Allah's mercy, in the Hereafter, our shahadah will be the key to Paradise for us and the gates of Paradise will swing wide open for us and we will be able to live forever in the bounties of Paradise, with Allah being pleased with us.

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Again, it is not simply a matter of knowing these conditions. Indeed, one can meet many Muslims who have these conditions memorized, yet when one looks to their deeds and behavior, one can see that these conditions have no effect on them. This means, in fact, no matter how well he knows and can rattle off these conditions, he, in fact, is not fulfilling them. In the Hereafter, his knowledge of these conditions will be of no avail to him. Indeed, his knowledge will be a proof against him as he clearly knows what the conditions are that he must satisfy yet he has shown that he is not willing to satisfy them in his life. [by Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, This article appeared in two parts in AL-BASHEER magazine, vol.7, No.5 JanuaryFebruary, 1994]

08.00.00: Pillars of Islam and Application of Faith
Islam is built on five pillars (Hadith Sahih Bukhari Vol 1, Book 2, No 7), the first of which is a state of faith, the other four are major exercises of faith of which some are daily, some weekly, some monthly, some annually and some are required as a minimum once in a lifetime. These exercises of faith are to serve man's spiritual purposes, satisfy his human needs and to mark his whole life with a Divine touch. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] God has ordained four major exercises of faith, some are daily, some weekly, some monthly, some annually and some are required at least once in a lifetime. They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able. The five pillars of Islam are:

08.01.00: Witnessing (Shahada):
That Allah Is One and Muhammad Is His Messenger. This statement of faith must be declared publicly. It should be a genuine belief which includes all the above articles of faith. The witnessing of the Oneness of Allah is the rejection of any form of deity other than Allah, and the witnessing that Muhammad is His Messenger is the acceptance of him being chosen by Allah to convey His message of Islam to all humanity and to deliver it from

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the darkness of ignorance into the light of belief in, and knowledge of, the Creator. The statement of Shahada in Arabic is: Ashhadu Alla-Ilaha Illallahu Wah-dahu La-sharikalahu wa-Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan A’bduhu wa-Rasuluhu An English translation would be: I bear witness that there is no God but Allah alone and there is no partner with him and I also bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] "There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger." This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is: La ilaha illallah - 'there is no god except God'; ilah (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa llah: 'except God', the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadur Rasulu'llah: 'Muhammad is the messenger of God.' A message of guidance has come through a man like us.

The Shahada inscribed over entrance to Ottoman Topkapi Palace (the museum contains a mantle worn by the Prophet, among other treasures), Istanbul.

08.02.00: PRAYER (SALAH)

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Praying to the Creator on a daily basis is the best way to cultivate in a man a sound personality and to actualize his aspiration. Allah does not need man's prayer because He is free of all needs. Prayer is for our immeasurable benefit, and the blessings are beyond imagination. In prayer, every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of Allah. Prayer is an act of worship. It is a matchless and unprecedented formula of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined. Offering of prayers is obligatory upon every Muslim male and female who is sane, mature and in the case of women free from menstruation and confinement due to child birth. Requirements of prayer: performing of ablution (Wudu), purity of the whole body, clothes and ground used for prayer, dressing properly and having the intention and facing the Qiblah (the direction of the Ka'bah at Mecca). Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Qur’an, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Qur’an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one's own language.

Muslims praying in Jerusalem outside the Dome of the Rock.

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A Moroccan in prayer. Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

08.02.01: Obligatory prayers:
Five daily prayers, the Friday's noon congregation prayer(Jumu’a) and the funeral prayer. Times of obligatory prayers: (i) Early morning: After dawn and before sunrise. (ii) Noon: After the sun begins to decline from its zenith until it is about midway on its course to set. (iii) Mid-afternoon: After the expiration of the noon prayer time until sunset. (iv) Sunset: Immediately after sunset until the red glow in the western horizon disappears. (v) Evening: After the expiration of the sunset prayer until dawn.

08.02.02: Highly recommended prayer
Those accompanying the obligatory prayer(Salatus-Sunnah and Wazib); and The two great festival prayers: (a) Salatul Eid-ul-Fitr and (b) Salatul Eid-ul-Azha

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08.02.03: Optional prayer: Voluntary prayer during the day and night
Prayer should be offered in its due time, unless there is a reasonable excuse. Delayed obligatory prayers must be made up. In addition to the prescribed prayer, a Muslim expresses gratitude to God and appreciation of His favors and asks for His mercy all the time. Especially at times of, for example, childbirth, marriage, going to or rising from bed, leaving and returning to his home, starting a journey or entering a city, riding or driving, before or after eating or drinking, harvesting, visiting graveyards and at time of distress and sickness. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

08.02.04: Prayer
It is a matchless and unprecedented formulate of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined. The meaning of prayer is many folds: It is a lesson of discipline, a practice in devotion and remembrance of God, a safeguard to indecency, an expression of gratitude and repentance to God, a demonstration of true equality and fellowship, a course of inner peace and stability. [Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Elmasry]

08.02.05: Why do Muslims pray like they do?
According to Islam, mankind is Allah’s vicegerent, and that they are the topmost of all creation, even angels; therefore, during prayer, a true devotee represents everything that has been created. So, while facing the Ka’aba (the cube in Mecca), when a devotee stands on their feet, they represent all two-legged creatures; when they lift their hands up to their ears to say Allah-ho- Akbar (God is Great; and this phrase is not a war cry!) they represent all flying creatures; when they kneel, they represent all four-legged ones; when they bend further to prostrate, they represent all crawling creatures on land, and all those in water; and as the devotee touches their forehead – their crown – upon dust, they in effect submit every animate or inanimate being before their Creator as His servant and that they give themselves totally to His Divine Will. Thus, when a Muslim prays genuinely, they remain humble with fellow people

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and before Allah, yet proud that they worship the Lord of the Worlds, a Being who initiated creation most initially and originally, without undergoing reflection, without making use of any experiment, without innovating any movement, and without experiencing any aspiration of mind. [Najhul Balagha : Imam Ali]

08.03.00: OBLIGATORY CHARITY (ZAKAH)
Obligatory charity giving is an act of worship and spiritual investment. The literal meaning of Zakah is purity and it refers to the annual amount in kind or coin which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. Zakah does not only purify the property of the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead good-will and warm wishes for the contributors. Zakah has a deep humanitarian and social-political value; for example, it frees society from class welfare, from ill feelings and distrust and from corruption. Although Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemn private possession, it does not tolerate selfish and greedy capitalism. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between the citizen and the state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism. Zakah is paid on the net balance after paying personal expenses, family expenses, due credits, taxes, etc. Every Muslim male or female who at the end of the year is in possession of the equivalent of 85 grams of gold (approx. $1400 in 1990) or more in cash or articles of trade, must give Zakah at the minimum rate of 2.5%. Taxes paid to government do not substitute for this religious duty. The contributor should not seek pride or fame but if disclosing his name and his contribution is likely to encourage others, it is acceptable to do so. The recipients of Zakah are: the poor, the needy, the new Muslim converts, the Muslim prisoners of war (to liberate them), Muslims in debt, employees appointed to collect Zakah, Muslims in service of research or study or propagation of Islam, and wayfarers who are foreigners in need of help.

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Note the obligatory nature of Zakah; it is required. Muslims can also go above and beyond what they pay as Zakah, in which case the offering is a strictly voluntary charity (sadaqa). [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] Zakah refers to the annual amount, which a Muslim with means must distribute among the needy and the poor. Zakah has a deep humanitarian and socio-political value; for example it frees society from class welfare from ill feelings and distrust and from corruption. Although Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemning private possessions, it does not tolerate greedy capitalist. Every Muslim, male and female at the end of the year must give Zakah at the minimum rate of 2.5% on the net savings after paying expenses, taxes etc. [Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Elmasry] One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakah means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as 'voluntary charity' it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said 'even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.'

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Courtyard of Great Mosque, Herat, Afghanistan.

Zakah keeps the money flowing within a society, Cairo. The Prophet said: 'Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.' He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give

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something out of such earnings in charity.' The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do good.' The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.'

08.04.00: FASTING (SAWM) in the month of Ramadan:
Fasting is abstaining completely from eating, drinking, intimate sexual contacts and smoking from the break of dawn till sunset. It is a matchless Islamic institution which teaches man the principle of sincere love to God. Fasting teaches man a creative sense of hope, devotion, patience, unselfishness, moderation, willpower, wise saving, sound budgeting, mature adaptability, healthy survival, discipline, spirit of social belonging, unity and brotherhood. Obligatory fasting is done once a year for the period of the month of Ramadan; the ninth month of the Islamic year. Recommended fasting includes every Monday and Thursday of every week, three days in the middle of each Islamic month, six days after Ramadan following the Feast Day and a few days of the two months before Ramadan. Fasting of Ramadan is a worship act which is obligatory on every adult Muslim, male or female if he/she is mentally and physically fit and not on a journey. Exceptions: women during their period of menstruation and while nursing their child, and also in case of travel and sickness for both men and women. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

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Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one's spiritual life.

08.05.00: THE PILGRIMAGE (HAJJ)
It is a pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in a lifetime and it is obligatory upon every Muslim male and female who is mentally, physically and financially fit. It is the largest annual convention of faith on earth (in 1989: 2.5 million). Peace is the dominant theme. Peace with Allah, with one's soul, with one another, with all living creatures. To disturb the peace of anyone or any creature in any shape or form is strictly prohibited. Muslims from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe assemble in Mecca in response to the call of Allah. There is no royalty, but there is loyalty of all to Allah, the Creator. It is to commemorate the Divine rituals observed by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, who were the first pilgrims to the house of Allah on earth: the Ka'bah. It is also to remember the great assembly of the Day of Judgment when people will stand equal before Allah. Muslims go to Mecca to glorify Allah, not to worship a man. The visit to the tomb of Prophet Muhammad at Madena is highly recommended but not essential in making the Hajj valid and complete. [Islam: It’s Meaning and Message: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] The pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime is obligatory upon every mentally, physically and financially fit Muslim. It is the largest annual convention of faith on earth (more than 2.5 million in 1995). Muslims from every corner of the globe assemble to demonstrate the unity of humankind in response to the call of God. Peace is the dominant them. Peace with God with one’s soul, with one another, with all living creature. To disturb the peace in any way is strictly prohibited.

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Hajj commemorates the Divine rituals observed by Prophet Abrahim and his son Ishmael, who were the first pilgrims to the house of God; the Ka’bah. It is performed in the remembrance of the grand assembly on the Day of Judgment when people will stand equal before God. [Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Elmasry] The annual pilgrimage to Makkah - the Hajj - is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, over two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

Pilgrims praying at the mosque in Makkah.

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Pilgrim tents during Hajj, Mina The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka'ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God's forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modern transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities. The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar.

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09.00.00: Islam is a Complete, Comprehensive Code of Life
Islam is the God-given system of life based on Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Islam brings man close to God, taking into consideration his material and spiritual demands, thus elevating his spiritual status and controlling his physical desires. 09.01.00: Islam extends its sense of organization to all walks of life Such as, Individual and social behaviors, labor and industry, economics and politics, national and international relations, and so on. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between citizen and state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism. Examples: (a) Spiritual Life: Prayer, fasting charity, pilgrimage, love for God and His Messenger, love for truth and humanity, hope and trust in God and doing well for the Sake of God. (b) Intellectual Life: Islam demands faith in God on the basis of knowledge and research and leaves wide open all fields of thought before the intellect to penetrate as far as it can reach. The Quran itself is a rich source of knowledge about the universe. (c) Personal Life: Purity and cleanliness, healthy diet, proper clothing, proper behavior, and health sexual relations within marriage. (d) Family Life: Since the family is the backbone of society, Islam builds the family on solid grounds that are capable of providing continuity, true security, mature intimacy, sincere reciprocity and moral gratification. Marriage is a strong bond and a commitment to life itself, to society, and a dignified, meaningful survival of the human race. Motherhood is more cherished that fatherhood. (e) Social Life: Man is ordained by God to extend his utmost help and kindness to other family members, relations, and neighbors. There is no superiority on account of class, race,

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gender, origin or wealth. The unity of humanity is not only its origin but also its ultimate aim. (f) Economic Life: Earning one’s living through decent labor is not only a duty but a great virtue as well. Earning is ones private possession. The individual is responsible for the prosperity of the state and the state is responsible for the security of the individual. In comes to this world empty-handed and departs empty-handed. The real owned of things is God alone. One is simply a trustee. (g) Political Life: The sovereignty in the Islamic state belongs to God; the people exercise it by trust from Him to enforce His laws. The ruler is chosen from the best-qualified citizens by the people to administer justice, provide security, etc., through consultation, within the Laws ordained by God. A religious hierarchy or clergy does not exist. Non-Muslims are entitled to full protection and freedom to practice their religion. War is only justified if state security is endangered. During war, destruction of crops, animal and homes, killing non-fighting women, children and aged people are forbidden. [Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Elmasry]

10.00.00: The purpose of life
A Muslim believes that the purpose of life is to worship Allah. Worshipping Allah does not mean we spend our entire lives in constant seclusion and absolute meditation. To worship Allah is to live life according to His commands, not to run away from it. To worship Allah is to know Him, to love Him, to obey His commands, to enforce His laws in every aspect of life, to serve His cause by doing right and shunning evil and to be just to Him, to ourselves and to our fellow human beings. [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London]

11.00.00: Status of Human Beings
And surely We have honored the children of Adam (Mankind), and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created. [Qur’an 17.70]

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A Muslim believes that human beings occupy a distinguished position in the hierarchy of all known creatures, because they alone are gifted with rational faculties and spiritual aspirations as well as powers of action. A Muslim also believes that every person is born Muslim, but the environment around him affects his purity. Every person is born free from sin. When the person reaches the age of maturity and if he is sane, he becomes accountable for all his deeds and intentions. Man is free from sin until he commits sin. There is no inherited sin, and no original sin. A Muslim believes that man must work out his salvation through the guidance of Allah (God). In order to obtain salvation, a person must combine faith and action, belief and practice. Faith without doing good deeds is as insufficient as doing good deeds without faith. Also, a Muslim believes that Allah (God) does not hold any person responsible until he has shown him the Right Way. If people do not know and have no way of knowing about Islam, they will not be responsible for failing to be Muslim. Islam's message has been restored and enforced in the last stage of the religious evolution by God's last Prophet and Messenger Mohammed (SAW). [Al-Kauthar magazine, Issue no.11, Volume 1, September 2000. Issued by Imam Ali Foundation – London] A Muslim believes that human beings enjoy an especially high ranking status in the hierarchy of all known creatures. Man and woman occupy this distinguished position because they alone are gifted with rational faculties and spiritual aspirations as well as powers of action. Man and woman are not a condemned race from birth to death, but dignified beings potentially capable of good and noble achievements. A Muslim also believes that every person is born Muslim. Every person is endowed by Allah with the spiritual potential and intellectual inclination that can make him a good Muslim. Every person's birth takes place according to the will of Allah in realization of His plans and in submission to His commands. Every

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person is born FREE FROM SIN. When the person reaches the age of maturity and if he is sane, he becomes accountable for all his deeds and intentions. Man is free from sin until he commits sin. There is no inherited sin, and no original sin. Adam committed the first sin, but he prayed to Allah for pardon and Allah granted Adam pardon. Salvation A Muslim believes that man must work out his salvation through the guidance of Allah. No one can act on behalf of another or intercede between him and Allah. In order to obtain salvation, a person must combine faith and action, belief and practice. Faith without doing good deeds is as insufficient as doing good deeds without faith. Also, a Muslim believes that Allah does not hold any person responsible until he has shown him the Right Way. If people do not know and have no way of knowing about Islam, they will not be responsible for failing to be Muslim. Every Muslim must preach Islam in words and action. Acceptance of Faith A Muslim believes that faith is not complete when it is followed blindly or accepted unquestioningly. Man must build his faith on well-grounded convictions beyond any reasonable doubt and above uncertainty. Islam ensures freedom to believe and forbids compulsion in religion (one of the oldest synagogues and one of the oldest churches in the world are in Muslim countries). A Muslim believes that the Qur’an is the word of Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. The Qur’an was revealed from Allah on various occasions to answer questions, solve problems, and settle disputes and to be man's best guide to the truth. The Quran was revealed in Arabic and it is still in its original and complete Arabic version today. It is memorized by millions. A Muslim also believes in a clear distinction between the Qur’an and the Traditions (called Hadiths) of the Prophet Muhammad. Whereas, the Quran is the word of Allah, the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (Hadiths - i.e. his teachings, sayings, and actions) are the practical interpretations of the Quran. Both the Noble Quran and

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the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad are the primary sources of knowledge in Islam. Sources: a. Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, Islam: Its Meaning and Message, in M. Tariq Quraishi (ed.), American Trust Publications, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1984, 12-14. b. Islam, An Introduction. Undated. Compiled by Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Elmasry c/o KW Islamic Association, P.O. Box 823, Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA N2J 4C2, (519) 885-2225.]

12.00.00: Why has Islam continued to be so successful in the modern world?
Praise be to Allaah. Islam continues to be successful in the developed world, and elsewhere, because its call is in accordance with the fitrah or natural inclinations of mankind, and it advocates the best of human values, such as tolerance, love, mercy, truthfulness and sincerity. Islam educates people and lifts them up to righteous conduct, good manners and virtue. Its call is distinguished from others by its realism, balance and moderation. Islam pays due attention to both the soul and the body. It neither suppresses physical desires nor allows extravagance in this regard; it makes a distinction between the natural inclination to enjoy the pleasures of this world and forbidden desires that come under the heading of depravity and perversion. People embrace Islam because they find security, comfort and peace in it, they see a cure for their problems in it, and through it they are able to get rid of their feelings of confusion, anxiety and loss. Islam is the religion of the fitrah, the natural inclination or pattern on which Allah has created mankind. For this reason, people of sound minds and upright inclinations embrace Islam, as Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There is no child who is not born in a state of fitrah (i.e., Islam), then his parents make him into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian (Zoroastrian),

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just as animals produce whole animals (i.e., the animals are born perfect with no part of their bodies missing). Do you find any born with their ears cut off?’” Then Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said“‘, Allah’s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the Standard Religion…’ [Ar-Rum 30:30 – interpretation of the meaning – Yusuf Ali’s Translation].” (Hadith : Bukhaari, 1359). What is meant is that Allah has created mankind with the potential to learn the truth, accept Tawheed (pure monotheism) and submit to Allah. Their natural inclination is to learn Islam and love it, but a bad education, a kaafir (disbelieving) environment, their own whims and desires and the devils among jinn and mankind turn them away from the truth. Mankind is basically inclined towards Tawheed (pure monotheism), as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reported that his Lord (Allah) said: “I created all my slaves as ‘hunafa’ (pure monotheists), but the devils turned them away from their religion.” (Hadith: Muslim). For this reason the one who becomes a Muslim after having been a disbeliever is described as having “reverted” to Islam, as this is more correct than saying that he “converted.” When Islam enters a country where there is no nationalism or great legacy of jaahiliyah (ignorance), it spreads quickly because of its strength and the small number of obstacles. You may also see that Islam is suitable for all people, educated and uneducated, male and female, old and young; everyone finds in it what he wants and needs. Those who become Muslim in developed countries realize what their country’s civilization and laws, which have been fabricated from men’s whims and desires, have done to them, and they realize the extent of the misery in which people in developed countries are living. They see how prevalent psychological illnesses, nervous breakdowns, insanity and suicides are, despite the technological advances and great number of discoveries and inventions and modern systems of management. This is because all of that is concerned only with the physical and the outward, but it neglects the inward and fails to nourish and nurture the heart and soul. Allah says of these people (interpretation of the meaning): “They know only the outside

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appearance of the life of the world, and they are heedless of the Hereafter.” [Surah Ar-Rum 30:7] Islam will continue to succeed, with the permission of Allah, so long as those who work for its sake are sincere and its followers adhere to it and believe in it, and apply its laws. The fact that there are those who are not committed or who fall short will not prevent Islam from succeeding, with the permission of Allah, and nothing can distort its beauty. Its light will not falter because some people abandon it or fail to adhere to it. What Islam has given humanity in the way of progress and civilization, and lifting them up from the darkness of oppression and enmity, is pride enough. [Islam Q&A: Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid]

13.01.00: Why do Muslims think that Islam is True? Is there any factual basis?
Praise be to Allah. This is a reasonable enough question for one who has not entered Islam, but one who believes in and practices this religion already knows the blessings which are his because of this religion. There are many reasons for this, which include the following: (1) The Muslim worships One God, Who has no partner, and Who has the most beautiful names and the highest attributes. Thus the Muslim’s focus and aim is concentrated, focused on His Lord and Creator; he puts his trust in Him and asks Him for help, patience and support; he believes that Allah is able to do all things, and has no need of a wife or son. Allah created the heavens and earth; He is the One Who gives life and death; He is the Creator and Sustainer from Whom the slave seeks provision. He is the All-Hearing Who responds to the supplication of His slave, and from Whom the slave hopes for a response. He is the All-Merciful and All-Forgiving, to Whom the slave turns in repentance when he has committed a sin or fallen short in his worship of Allah. He is the omniscient and AllSeeing, who knows all intentions and what is hidden in people’s hearts. The slave feels ashamed to commit a sin by doing wrong to him or to others, because his Lord is watching over him and sees all that he does. He knows that Allah is All-Wise, the Seer of the Unseen, so he trusts that what Allah decrees for him is good; he

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knows that Allah will never be unjust to him, and that everything that Allah decrees for him is good, even if he does not understand the wisdom behind it. (2) The effects of Islamic worship on the soul of the Muslim include the following: Prayer keeps the slave in contact with his Lord; if he enters it in a spirit of humiliation and concentration, he will feel tranquil and secure, because he is seeking a "powerful support," which is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. For this reason, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say: "Let us find relaxation and joy in prayer." If something distressed him, he would hasten to pray. Everyone who finds himself faced with disaster and tries prayer finds strength, patience and consolation, because he is reciting the words of his Lord, which cannot be compared to the effect of the words of a created being. If the words of some psychologists can offer a little comfort, what do you think of the words of the One Who created the psychologist? Now let us look at zakaat, which is one of the pillars of Islam. Zakaat purifies the soul from stinginess and miserliness, and accustoms people to being generous and helping the poor and needy. It will bring a great reward on the Day of Resurrection, just like other forms of worship. It is not burdensome, like man-made taxes; it is only 25 in every thousand, which the sincere Muslim pays willingly and does not try to evade or wait until someone chases him for it. Fasting involves refraining from food and sex. It is a form of worship, and a way in which one can feel the hunger of those who are deprived. It is also a reminder of the blessings of the Creator, and it brings rewards beyond measure. Hajj is the Pilgrimage to the sacred House of Allah, which was built by (Ibrahim (Abraham (upon whom be peace). By performing Hajj one is obeying the command of Allah and the call to come and meet Muslims from all over the world. (3) Islam commands all kinds of good and forbids all kinds of evil. It encourages good manners and proper treatment of others. It

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enjoins good characteristics such as truthfulness, patience, deliberation, kindness, humility, modesty, keeping promises, dignity, mercy, justice, courage, patience, friendliness, contentment, chastity, good treatment, tolerance, trustworthiness, gratitude for favors, and self-control in times of anger. Islam commands the Muslim to fulfill his duty towards his parents and to uphold family ties, to help the needy, to treat neighbors well, to protect and safeguard the wealth of the orphan, to be gentle with the young and show respect to the old, to be kind to servants and animals, to remove harmful things from the road, to speak kind words, to forgive at the time when one has the opportunity to take revenge, to be sincere towards one’s fellow-Muslims, to meet the needs of the Muslims, to give the debtor time to repay his debt, to prefer others over oneself, to console others, to greet people with a smiling face, to visit the sick, to support the one who is oppressed, to give gifts to friends, to honor his guest, to treat his wife kindly and spend on her and her children, to spread the greeting of peace (salaam) and to seek permission before entering another person’s house, lest one see something private that the other person does not want one to see. Some non-Muslims may do these things out of politeness or good manners, but they are not seeking reward from Allah or salvation of the Day of Judgment. If we look at what Islam has prohibited, we will find that it is in the interests of both the individual and society as a whole. All these prohibitions serve to safeguard the relationship between the slave and his Lord, and the relationship of the individual with himself and with his fellow-man. The following examples demonstrate this: Islam forbids the association of anything in worship with Allah and the worship of anything other than Allah, because this spells doom and misery. Islam also forbids visiting or believing soothsayers and fortune-tellers; magic or witchcraft that may cause a rift between two people or bring them together; belief in the influence of the stars on events and people’s lives; cursing time, because Allah is directing its affairs; and superstition, because this is pessimism. Islam forbids canceling out good deeds by showing off, boasting or reminding others of one’s favors; bowing or prostrating to anything other than Allah; sitting with hypocrites or immoral people for the

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purposes of enjoying their company or keeping them company; and invoking the curse or wrath of Allah on one another or damning one another to Hell. Islam forbids urinating into stagnant water; defecating on the side of the road or in places where people seek shade or where they draw water; from facing the kiblah (direction of prayer) or turning one’s back towards it when passing water or stools; holding one’s penis in one’s right hand when passing water; giving the greeting of salaam (peace) to one who is answering the call of nature; and putting one’s hand into any vessel before washing it, when one has just woken up. Islam forbids the offering of any nafl (supererogatory) prayers when the sun is rising, when it is at its zenith, and when it is setting, because it rises and sets between the horns of Shaytaan (Satan); praying when there is food prepared that a person desires; praying when one urgently needs to pass water, stools or wind, because that will distract a person from concentrating properly on his prayer. Islam forbids the Muslim to raise his voice in prayer, lest it disturb other believers; to continue offering supererogatory prayers at night when one feels drowsy - such a person should sleep then get up; to stay up all night in prayer, especially one night after another; and to stop praying when there is doubt as to the validity of one’s wudoo’ unless one hears a sound or smells an odor. Islam forbids buying, selling and making "lost and found" announcements in the mosque- because it is the place of worship and remembrance of Allah, where worldly affairs have no place. Islam forbids haste in walking when the iqaamah (call immediately preceding congregational prayer) is given, and prescribes walking in a calm and dignified manner. It is also forbidden to boast about the cost of building a mosque; to decorate a mosque with red or yellow paint or adornments which will distract the worshippers; to fast day after day without a break; and for a woman to observe a supererogatory fast when her husband is present without his permission.

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Islam forbids building over graves, making them high, sitting on them, and walking between them wearing shoes, putting lights over them or writing on them. It is forbidden to disinter the dead or to take graves as places of worship. Islam forbids wailing, tearing one’s clothes or leaving one’s hair unkempt when a person dies. Eulogizing the dead in the manner of the times of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah) is also forbidden, although there is nothing wrong with informing others that a person has died. Islam forbids the consumption of riba (interest); all kinds of selling which involve ignorance (of the product), misleading and cheating; selling blood, wine, pork, idols and everything that Allah has forbidden - their price, whether bought or sold - is haraam; najash, which is offering a price for something one has no intention of buying, as happens in many auctions; concealing a product’s faults at the time of selling; selling something which one does not own or before it comes into one’s possession; undercutting, outbidding or out bargaining another; selling produce before it is clear that it is in good condition and free of blemish; cheating in weights and measures; and hoarding. A partner who has shares in a plot of land or a date palm tree is forbidden to sell his share without consulting his partners. It is forbidden to consume the wealth of orphans unjustly; to bet or gamble; to take anything by force; to accept or offer bribes; to steal people’s wealth or to consume it unjustly; to take something for the purpose of destroying it; to undermine the value of people’s possessions; to keep lost property which one has found, or to keep quiet about it and not announce it, for it belongs to the one who recognizes it; to cheat in any way; to ask for a loan with no intention of repaying it; to take anything of the wealth of a fellow-Muslim, unless it is given freely, because what is taken because of another person’s shyness is haraam; and to accept a gift because of intercession. Celibacy and castration are forbidden, as is marrying two sisters, or a woman and her aunt (paternal or maternal), whether he marries the aunt after marrying her niece or vice versa, for fear of breaking the ties of kinship. It is forbidden to make deals in marriage, such as saying "Let me marry your daughter and I will give you my daughter or sister in marriage." Such reciprocal deals are a form of oppression and injustice, and haraam. Islam forbids mut’ah

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(temporary marriage), which is a marriage contract for a period of time agreed by the two parties, at the end of which the marriage expires. Islam forbids intercourse with a menstruating woman, until she has purified herself (by taking a bath after her period ends), and also forbids anal intercourse. A man is forbidden to propose marriage to a woman when another man has already proposed to her, unless the other man withdraws his proposal or gives him permission. It is forbidden to marry a previously-married woman without consulting her or a virgin without seeking her permission. It is forbidden to wish (a newly married couple) "Bi’l-rafaa’ wa’lbaneen (a joyful life and many sons)," because this is the greeting of the people of Jaahiliyyah, who hated daughters. The divorced woman is forbidden to conceal what Allah has created in her womb (if she is pregnant). A husband and wife are forbidden to speak (to others) about the intimacies of married life. It is forbidden to turn a woman against her husband or to take divorce lightly. It is forbidden for a woman to ask for another’s divorce, such as asking a man to divorce a woman so that she can marry him. A wife is forbidden to spend her husband’s money without his permission, or to keep away from his bed without good reason, because the angels will curse her if she does that. A man is forbidden to marry his father’s wife, or to have intercourse with a woman who is pregnant from another man. It is forbidden for a man to practice ‘azl (coitus interrupts) with his free wife without her permission. It is forbidden for a man to return home from a journey late at night and startle his family, unless he has previously notified them when he will arrive home. A man is forbidden to take anything of his wife’s mahr (dowry) without her consent, or to keep annoying his wife so that she will give up her wealth. Islam forbids women to make a wanton display of them (tabarruj). It also forbids extreme forms of female circumcision. Women are forbidden to admit anyone into their husband’s home without his permission; his general permission is acceptable so long as they stay within the limits of sharee’ah. It is forbidden to separate a mother and child (in case of divorce); to let one’s womenfolk behave foolishly (in an immoral fashion) and not say anything; to let one’s gaze wander everywhere; and to follow an accidental glance with an intentional glance.

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Islam forbids the eating of dead meat, regardless of whether it died by drowning, strangulation, shock or falling from a high place; eating blood, pork and anything slaughtered in a name other than that of Allah or for idols; eating the flesh or drinking the milk of beasts that feed on filth and waste matter; eating the flesh of every carnivorous beast that has fangs and every bird that has talons; eating the meat of domesticated donkeys; killing animals by keeping them and throwing stones at them until they die, or detaining them without food until they die; slaughtering with teeth or nails; slaughtering one animal (for food) in front of another; or sharpening the knife in front of the animal to be slaughtered. In the area of clothing and adornment, men are forbidden the extravagance of wearing gold. Muslim are forbidden to be naked or to expose their thighs; to leave their clothes long (below the ankles) and trail them on the ground for the purpose of showing off; and to wear clothes that will attract attention. It is forbidden to bear false witness; to make false accusations against a chaste believing woman; to accuse someone who is innocent; to utter lies; to slander and backbite; to call people by offensive nicknames; to spread gossip and malicious slander; to make fun of the Muslims; to boast about one’s status; to shed doubts on a person’s lineage; to utter slander, insults and obscenities; to speak in an indecent or rude manner; or to utter evil in public, except by one who has been wronged. Islam forbids telling lies; one of the worst kinds of lie is to lie about dreams, like fabricating dreams and visions in order to prove one’s virtue, or make some material gains, or to frighten an enemy. Muslims are forbidden to praise themselves, or to talk in a secret way: two may not converse secretly to the exclusion of a third, because this is offensive. It is forbidden to curse a believer or someone who does not deserve to be cursed. Islam forbids speaking ill of the dead; praying for death; wishing for death because of some suffering that one is passing through; praying against one’s self, one’s children, one’s servants or one’s wealth.

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Muslims are told not to eat the food that is directly in front of others or to eat from the centre of the dish or platter; rather they should eat from what is directly in front of them or thereabouts, because the barakah blessing comes in the middle of the food. It is forbidden to drink from a broken edge of a vessel, because this could cause harm; or to drink from the mouth of a vessel; or to breathe into it. It is forbidden to eat while lying on one’s stomach; to sit at a table where wine is being drunk; to leave a fire burning in one’s house when one sleeps; to sleep with Ghamr in one’s hand, like an offensive smell or the remainder of food (grease); to sleep on one’s stomach; or to talk about or try to interpret bad dreams, because these are tricks of the Shaytaan. It is forbidden to kill another person except in cases where it is right to do so; to kill one’s children for fear of poverty; to commit suicide; to commit fornication, adultery or sodomy (homosexuality); to drink wine, or even to prepare it, carry it from one place to another, or sell it. Muslims are forbidden to please people by angering Allah; to offend their parents or even to say "Uff" (the slightest word of contempt) to them; to claim that a child belongs to anyone but his real father; to torture by means of fire; to burn anyone, alive or dead, with fire; to mutilate the bodies of the slain; to help anyone commit falsehood; or to cooperate in wrongdoing and sin. It is forbidden to obey any person by disobeying Allah; to swear falsely; to swear a disastrous oath; to eavesdrop on people without their permission; to invade people’s privacy or look at their private parts; to claim something that does not belong to one or that one did not do, for the purpose of showing off; to look into someone’s else’s house without permission; to be extravagant; to swear an oath to do something wrong; to spy on others or be suspicious about righteous men and women; to envy, hate or shun one another; to persist in falsehood; to be arrogant or feel superior; to be filled with selfadmiration; to be pleased with one’s arrogance. Islam forbids taking back one’s charity, even if one pays to get it back; employing someone to do a job without paying him his wages; being unfair in giving gifts to one’s children; bequeathing everything in one’s will and leaving one’s heirs poor - in such a case the will should not be executed; writing a will that concerns more than one third of one’s

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legacy; being a bad neighbor; or changing a will to the detriment of one or some of one’s heirs. A Muslim is forbidden to forsake or shun his brother for more than three days, except for a reason sanctioned by sharee’ah; to hold small stones between two fingers and throw them because this could cause injury to eyes or teeth; to include his heirs in a will, because Allah has already given heirs their rights of inheritance; to disturb his neighbor; to point a weapon at his Muslim brother; to hand someone an unsheathed sword, lest it harm him; to come (walk) between two people except with their permission; to return a gift, unless there is some shar’i objection to it; to be extravagant; to give money to foolish people; to wish to be like someone to whom Allah has given more of something; to cancel out his charity by giving offensive reminders of his giving; to willfully conceal testimony; or to oppress orphans or scold one who asks for help or money. It is forbidden to treat with evil medicines, because Allah would not create a cure for this ummah which includes something that He has forbidden. It is forbidden to kill women and children in warfare; to boast to one another; or to break promises. Islam forbids betraying a trust; asking for charity that one does not need; alarming a Muslim brother or taking away his possessions, whether jokingly or seriously; changing one’s mind after giving a gift, except in the case of a gift from a father to his child; practicing medicine without experience; or killing ants, bees and hoopoe birds. A man is forbidden to look at the ‘awrah (private parts) of another man and a woman is forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of another woman. It is forbidden to sit between two people without their permission; or to greet only those whom one knows, because the greeting is to be given to those whom you know and those whom you do not know. A Muslim is forbidden to let an oath come between him and good deeds; he should do what is good and make expiation for the oath. It is forbidden to judge between two disputing parties when one is angry, or to judge in favor of one party without hearing what the other has to say. It is forbidden for a man to walk through the market-place carrying something - like a sharp weapon - that could harm the Muslims, unless it is properly covered. A Muslim is forbidden to make another person get up, so that he can take his place.

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There are more commands and prohibitions which came for the benefit and happiness of individuals and mankind as a whole. Have you ever seen any other religion that can compare to this religion? Read this response again, and then ask yourself: is it not a great pity that I am not one of them? Allah says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): "And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Al- Imraan 3:85] Finally, I hope that everyone who reads this will be guided to the correct way and to follow the truth. May Allah protect you and us from all evil. [Islam Q&A: Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid]

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14.00.00: Introducing Islam To non-Muslims
I. Islam and Muslims. The name of this religion is Islam, the root of which is Silm and Salam which means peace. Salam may also mean greeting one another with peace. One of the beautiful names of God is that He is the Peace. It means more than that: submission to the One God, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and with the environment. Thus, Islam is a total system of living. A Muslim is supposed to live in peace and harmony with all these segments; hence, a Muslim is any person anywhere in the world whose obedience, allegiance, and loyalty are to God, the Lord of the Universe. II. Muslims and Arabs. The followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims are not to be confused with Arabs. Muslims may be Arabs, Turks, Persians, Indians, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Indonesians, Europeans, Africans, Americans, Chinese, or other nationalities. An Arab could be a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or an atheist. Any person who adopts the Arabic language is called an Arab. However, the language of the Qur'an (the Holy Book of Islam) is Arabic. Muslims all over the world try to learn Arabic so that they may be able to read the Qur'an and understand its meaning. They pray in the language of the Qur'an, namely Arabic. Supplications to God could be in any language. While there are one billions Muslims in the world there are about 200 million Arabs. Among them, approximately ten percent are not Muslims. Thus Arab Muslims constitute only about twenty percent of the Muslim population of the world. III. Allah the One and the Only God. Allah is the name of the One and Only God. Allah has ninety-nine beautiful names, such as: The Gracious, The Merciful, The Beneficent, The Creator, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, The Lord of the Universe, The First, The Last, and others.

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He is the Creator of all human beings. He is the God for the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists, and others. Muslims worship God whose name is Allah. They put their trust in Him and they seek His help and His guidance. IV. Muhammad. Muhammad was chosen by God to deliver His Message of Peace, namely Islam. He was born in 570 C.E. (Common Era) in Makkah, Arabia. He was entrusted with the Message of Islam when he was at the age of forty years. The revelation that he received is called the Qur'an, while the message is called Islam. Muhammad is the very last Prophet of God to mankind. He is the final Messenger of God. His message was and is still to the Christians, the Jews and the rest of mankind. He was sent to those religious people to inform them about the true mission of Jesus, Moses, David, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. Muhammad is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets and messengers that came before him. He purified the previous messages from adulteration and completed the Message of God for all humanity. He was entrusted with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teachings of the Qur'an. V. Source of Islam. The legal sources of Islam are the Qur'an and the Hadith. The Qur'an is the exact words of God; its authenticity, originality and totality are intact. The Hadith is the report of the sayings, deeds and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet's sayings and deeds are called Sunnah. The Seerah is the writings of followers of Muhammad about the life of the Prophet. Hence, it is the life history of the Prophet Muhammad which provides examples of daily living for Muslims. Vl. Some Islamic Principles. A. Oneness of God: He is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that Islam rejects the idea of trinity or such a unity of Cod which implies more than one God in one.

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B. Oneness of mankind: People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness. C. Oneness of Messengers and the Message: Muslims believe that God sent different messengers throughout the history of mankind. All came with the same message and the same teachings. It was the people who misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Muslims believe in Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Prophets of Christianity and Judaism are indeed the Prophets of Islam. D. Angels and the Day of Judgement: Muslims believe that there are unseen creatures such as angels created by God in the universe for special missions. Muslims believe that there is a Day of Judgment when all people of the world throughout the history of mankind till the last day of life on earth, are to be brought for accounting, reward and punishment. E. Innocence of Man at Birth: Muslims believe that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and it is only after they commit sins that are to be charged for their mistakes. No responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others. However, the do forgiveness through true repentance is always open. F. State and Religion: Muslims believe that Islam is a total and a complete way of life. It encompasses all aspect of life. As such, the teachings of Islam do not separate religion from politics. As a matter of fact, state and religion are under the obedience of Allah through the teachings of

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Islam. Hence, economic and social transactions, as we educational and political systems are also of the teachings of Islam. VII. Practices of Islam. God instructed the Muslims to practice they believe in. In Islam there are five pillars, namely: A. Creed (Shahada): The verbal commitment and pledge that there is only One God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, is considered to be Creed of Islam. B. Prayers (Salat): The performance of the five daily prayers required of Muslims. C. Fasting (Saum): Fasting is total abstinence from food, liquids and intimate intercourse (between married couples) from dawn to sunset during the Month of Ramadan. D. Purifying Tax (Zakat): This is an annual payment of a certain percentage of a Muslim's property which is distributed among the poor or other rightful beneficiaries. E. Pilgrimage (Haul): The performance of pilgrimage to Makkah is required once in a lifetime if means are available. Hajj is in part in memory of the trials and tribulations of Prophet Abraham, his wife Hagar and his eldest son Prophet Ishmael. VIII. Other Related Aspects. A. Calendar: Islamic practices are based on the lunar calendar. However, Muslims also use the Gregorian calendar in their daily religious lives. Hence, the Islamic calendar includes both the Common Era and the migration (Higra) year of the Prophet of Islam from Makkah to Madinah in the year of 623 C.E. B. Celebrations (Eid):

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Muslims have two celebrations (Eid); namely, Eid of Sacrifice and Eid of Fast-Breaking. The Eid of Sacrifice is in remembrance of the sacrifice to be by Prophet Abraham of his son. The Eid of FastBreaking comes at the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan. C. Diets: Islam allows Muslims to eat everything which is good for the health. It restricts certain items such as pork and its by-products, alcohol and any narcotic or addictive drugs. D. Place of Worship: The place of worship is called Mosque or Masjid. There are three holy places of worship for the Muslims in the world. These are: Mosque of Kaaba in Makkah, Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad in Madinah, and Masjid Aqsa, adjacent to Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. A Muslim may pray anywhere in the world whether in a Mosque, a house, an office, or outside. The whole world is a place of worship. It is preferable that Muslims pray in a congregation, however, he/she may pray individually anywhere. E. Holiday: The holy day of the Muslims is Friday. It is considered to be sacred and the Day of Judgement will take place on Friday. Muslims join together shortly after noon on Friday for the Friday congregational prayer in a Mosque. A leader (Imam) gives a sermon (Khutba) and leads the congregational prayer. F. Distribution of Muslims in North America: There are approximately five million Muslims in North America and are distributed in its major cities such as New York, Detroit, Boston, Toledo, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, and others. G. Contributions in North America: Muslims are now established in North America. Sears Tower and the John Hancock buildings in Chicago were designed by a Muslim chief architect, originally from Bangladesh. Muslims have established academic institutions, community centers and

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organizations, schools and places of worship. They live in peace and harmony among themselves and among other groups of people in the society. The rate of crime among Muslims is very minimal. Muslims in North America are highly educated and they have added to the success of American scientific and technological fields. The Muslims of the early period of the Islamic era were pioneers in medicine, chemistry, physics, geography, navigation, arts, poetry, mathematics, algebra, logarithms, calculus, etc. They contributed to the Renaissance of Europe and world civilization. IX. Non-Muslims. Muslims are required to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people, namely those who received messages. Christians and Jews are called People of the Book. Muslims are asked to call upon the People of the Book for common terms, namely, to worship One God, and to work together for the solutions of the many problems in the society. Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims throughout centuries in the Middle East and other Asian and African countries. The second Caliph Umar did not pray in the church in Jerusalem so as not to give the Muslims an excuse to take it over. Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Muslims. Jews fled from Spain during the Inquisition, and they were welcomed by the Muslims. They settled in the heart of the Islamic Caliphate. They enjoyed positions of power and authority. Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East. By: The Institute of Islamic Information and Education M.C.C. Building, 4380 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL 60641 U.S.A.

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15.00.00: Introduction to Islam and Muslims
In The Name Of God Most Gracious Most Merciful We will cover three subtopics: Islam, Imaan and Shariah Law. Before we begin, mention must be made that Islam is based on authenticity. Muslims are required to make sure that whatever they believe is 100% authentic. Any doubts will not be entertained. Let's take a quick look at the main sources of the religion. Firstly: The Qur'aan The Divine Book of the Muslims which is known as "The Qur'aan" - The Final Testament - is in the language spoken by the Final Messenger of God Almighty - Muhammad PBUH - which is the Arabic Language. It was revealed in stages over a period of 23 years to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Angel Gabriel used to come to him with Divine Revelation as and when the various incidents occurred. This means that every verse in the Qur'aan has a reason behind its revelation, when and why it was revealed. This book has never been altered or changed, nor was it ever revised or edited. Who gives man the status to revise the Word of God, or to edit it? Muslims are required to contribute towards the protection of the Word of God by adjusting themselves to understand/suit the Word of God, rather than adjusting the Word of God to suit them. Thus every Muslim is required to memorize at least some verses of the Qur'aan in the language that it was revealed. In this manner it will not be lost or changed as is the case with some previous Heavenly Books. At any given time, millions of Muslims throughout the world including in this country, have memorized the entire Qur'aan from cover to cover in the Arabic Language, at times even without understanding it initially. This is the miraculous contribution of each individual towards the protection of the Book of God. Through God's Divine Power and Wisdom the Qur'aan is so easy to memorise. Wherever a person goes, he will find the same Qur'aan being read in the same language.

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Yes, translations and explanations are permitted in order to understand the Book, but the original script should appear in its original form beside the other language because the Word of God should not be lost or changed in the process of translating it. The translation is the work of human beings who are just attempting to explain Gods Word. Due to the above and much more, Muslims are convinced beyond any doubt whatsoever that the Qur'aan is authentic and will remain so. Secondly: The Hadith The authentic Teachings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH are followed by Muslims. There are many books which have compiled the sayings of the Prophet PBUH, most of them being in the second century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. However every compiler MUST make sure that he clearly states the entire chain of narrators between himself and the Prophet PBUH. This means he has to say whom he heard the saying from and whom that person heard it from and so on, until it meets the Prophet PBUH. Then each chain is very carefully studied. Very detailed books have been compiled with autobiographies of thousands of men who appear in the chains of narrators. Each person’s complete profile which includes his full name, place and date of birth, upbringing and habits, teachers and students, journeys and general life as well as date and place of death etc are mentioned. From this, the sayings of the Prophet are verified and authenticated, and any doubt in the correctness of the chain of narrators renders the teaching or saying "weak" or "unacceptable". In this manner Muslims are totally convinced that the religion of Islam, the beliefs of Muslims, the rules and regulations of the Shariah Law are all very authentic. In the same way that the inventor of any man made invention will have an instruction manual to inform the users of the secrets of correct operation and functions of his invention, God Almighty, who is our Creator has also sent the instruction manuals for us to follow. If we think we know better

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than God Almighty, we only stand to lose and reduce ourselves to unacceptable levels. Having seen the main sources we now move on to the topic itself: 01. Islam: The word Islam holds two meanings: Submission and Peace. The formula of peace and serenity lying solely in the submission to the Divine Commands of God Almighty. The idea is - obey God Alone and you will achieve peace. Islam has five pillars. To declare That “Ash Hadu Anlla-Ilaha Illallahu wahdahu-La-sharikalahu waashhadu-anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa-rasooluhu” means ‘I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship besides Allah (one God Alone), and I also bear witness that Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is His worshipper and final Messenger.’ Once this is declared by a person, he/she enters the fold of Islam. As mentioned below, Muslims believe in all the Prophets of God Almighty. This includes Moses, Aaron, Jesus as well as Muhammad PBUH. To pray. There are two types of prayers. The first is known as "du'aa", which is prayer to God Almighty and calling out to him at any time. There is no fixed time to call out in this prayer to God Almighty nor is there a fixed language. Before eating, after meals, when going to bed, when awaking, when in need, when in distress, at times of happiness or any other time - just raise your hands to God Almighty as a beggar of His Mercy and Protection and call out to Him. He answers every call positively. The second type of prayer is the special prayer which only Muslims have been given. It has been prescribed five times a day in the Arabic language (again the factor of protection of the Word of God comes in - since it MUST be read as it was revealed). Each prayer consists of a number of units of actions and words in praise of God

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and in His service and worship. A certain level of cleanliness and purity is required in order to present oneself in front of God Almighty. (Look at the subtitle - Cleanliness in Islam). Each prayer lasts about five to ten minutes. The first is just before sunrise. The second is immediately after midday. The third is in the late afternoon. The fourth is immediately after the sun sets. The fifth is when the sky is dark and has no trace of the redness of the suns rays at all - about one and a half to two hours after the sun sets. These prayers have countless benefits of which we may not even know some. The prayers also train Muslims to practice self control. This helps them gain God consciousness and stay away from vice and evil. If we take a look we see that firstly, getting up early and regularizing one's entire day, breathing the fresh morning air and washing up after the night. The same applies to the timing of the other prayers. Each one is carefully timed by Divine Wisdom. Secondly, looking down whilst praying not only helps concentration, but it is teaching us to control our eyesight. Many sins are sparked off by the eye, and once a person has control over his eyes, he can save himself from sin. Thirdly, standing in the same place whilst praying trains us to control our footsteps and be mindful of where we go. Places where sins are committed should not even be entered, nor should one go near such places. Also standing in a single straight line and facing the same direction creates uniformity which leads to unity. No distinguishing between rich and poor, black and white, sinner and saint is permitted. It is the standard to be followed by all. Unity is the key to success, whereas splits and disunity take nations back many years. To fast during the month of Ramadhaan. This is to abstain during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset) from all food, drink and sexual relations with one's spouse. This, as mentioned, is only during daylight hours and lasts for a period of one month. Again, there are countless benefits in fasting. Firstly, to train oneself to abstain from one's unlawful desires. Being able to abstain from one's legal spouse should help a person stay away from adultery and one should appreciate that God Almighty has shown him a legal way of fulfilling his base desires. Similarly abstaining from food and drink should help a person appreciate the foods and

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drinks that God has permitted and should assist him in abstaining from prohibited foods and drinks. Also, going without food should make a person realize the condition of the poor and needy and help them as far as possible. Health benefits are also countless. Fasting in the correct manner should result in a person gaining God consciousness. To give "Zakaah" Zakaah is a compulsory percentage of one's wealth that must be given to the "needy" if it has been held for a full year. Zakaah is neither charity nor is it a tax. It is payable only on the following items at the respective percentages: 2,5% on cash, gold, silver and merchandise (business stock). 5% on produce irrigated through man made means. 10% on produce irrigated through natural means. Zakaah must be given by each person directly to the needy. If one feels he would like to give it to somebody to fulfill on his behalf, he may do so. Having given us everything we have, God Almighty is asking for a very small percentage to be given back. This should help purify one's heart from greed and stinginess, and it purifies one wealth, gaining the prayers of the poor and needy. It results in increase of wealth. In fact it is an investment with God Almighty, and it will be reaped with all the increments (multiplied) in the hereafter. Above this there is room for voluntary charity of any amount. In fact it is encouraged to constantly give out voluntarily as well, over and above the zakaah. To go to Makkah for Pilgrimage This is an obligation only once in a lifetime for those who can afford the trip and accommodation as well as the costs of maintaining all dependants whilst away. Following the footsteps of Prophet Abraham PBUH, who is the father of all the prophets that came after him, Muslims are required to re-enact his sacrifice which is mentioned in the Qur'aan as well as in the Torah and in the Old Testament. Muslims gather in the same place at the same time in one dress (two pieces of white cloth). Prophet Abraham took his son Ishmael to fulfill the command of God to sacrifice him. Satan appeared in three places and Abraham pelted him. Muslims take seven little pea size pebbles and pelt satan, removing with each pebble, every bad quality and bad habit that infests human beings.

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This is part of the struggle in the path of self rectification and purification. On completion, in commemoration of the ram from heaven which replaced Ishmael, Muslims are required to sacrifice a ram or edible animal (domestic animal with goat like hoof). The meat should be divided in three parts. One third to be eaten, one third to be given to the relatives and one third to be given to the poor and needy. Upon fulfilling this pilgrimage one becomes pure and free from sin and vice. One is expected to lead a purer life after this, with a higher spiritual level. Cleanliness in Islam Cleanliness in Islam is of an extremely high standard. We need to be clean in all spheres of life. Physical purity is only a very small part of cleanliness. Moral purity is to be free from immorality. Social purity is to be an asset to society and to help every member of society wherever and however possible. Economic purity is to clean all one's dealings from deception, cheating stealing and conning. Also to be pure and straightforward in one's business deals. It requires one to bear in mind the condition of the consumer when fixing a selling price. Verbal purity is to stay away from vulgar language and to make sure than one's tongue is not used to hurt and offend fellow humans. Spiritual purity is to worship God Alone without worshipping any creature of His. It includes taking account of all the deeds of the day everyday, and looking into ways of increasing the good that one is doing and decreasing the bad that one is involved in, thus constantly raising one's spiritual level. In this manner cleanliness and purity are required in every sphere of living. Regarding physical cleanliness Muslims are required to wash with clean water after using the toilet. Muslims are required to wash all the parts of the body that are apparent when presenting oneself in prayer to God Almighty. These parts include the hands up to elbows, the face, passing wet fingers over the hair, and washing the feet. This is the standard requirement for all Muslims.

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In certain cases, such as after sexual relations with one's spouse, a full head to toe bath is required. Pubic hair and hair under the armpits must be shaved regularly as a religious requirement. Sexual relations during the monthly cycles of women are prohibited too. In fact during this cycle a woman is not required to fast or engage in the five daily prayers - though she will pray in the first manner (see explanation on prayer). She is literally given "leave" to help her overcome her situation imposed upon her through her physical difference to men. Male circumcision is very strongly recommended and is best done soon after birth, whilst female circumcision is NOT. All this maintains the highest standards of hygiene, and helps one feel healthy and good. When a person dies, it is the duty of his relatives to wash his body with soap - just as when we take a bath - and then wrap him in two pieces of white cloth and bury him without delay. 02. Faith (Imaan): The word Imaan also holds two meanings: Belief and security. The formula of security (both in this world and in the hereafter lies in this firm belief). Note: Islam is connected to actions that are apparent and can be seen by all, whereas Imaan is related to belief in the unseen, which is between a worshipper and His Creator. Imaan or belief has six articles: 01. To firmly believe that there is no god worthy of worship besides Allah (one God Alone), and that Muhammad PBUH is His worshipper and final Messenger. Having declared this, it is necessary to believe it in one's heart as well as to confirm this practically. 02. To believe in all the Angels of God Almighty. There are countless angels. These include: Gabriel, Israfeel, Mika'eel, and

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many other angels. Angels are created by God Almighty and are made of light. They are totally obedient and they have different tasks. Gabriel brings revelation from God Almighty to the Prophets. Other angels have other tasks. 03. To believe in all the Heavenly Books. This includes the books revealed to Abraham, David etc. as well as the torah, the bible, and the Qur'aan. The condition of authenticity applies to each of these. Reality is that today it is only the Qur'aan that is 100% authentic. Thus we only believe what the Qur'aan says about the other books. There are verses describing the various books and their contents. In essence the call is light from the same lantern - we must believe that they are all books that were revealed to the Prophets of God. However, what is in the Qur'aan is sufficient and complete. As for what appears in the other books, if the Qur'aan has confirmed it, we confirm it. If the Qur'aan has rejected it, we reject it. If the Qur'aan has not spoken about it we do not need it and so we do not accept nor reject it. 04. To believe in all the Messengers of God Almighty. Starting from Adam moving on, there were countless Messengers of God Almighty. To mention some:- Idris, Noah, Lot, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and others, with Muhammad being the final Messenger. They were all sent by God to remove mankind from the darknesses of evil and from the worshipping of everything besides God Alone, to His worship Alone. They all had a common call, and each one of them gave good news of the one to follow. Jesus in Islam Muslims believe that Jesus was a Messenger of God sent to mankind through the Virgin Mary. God Almighty creates man in four ways. The first is with neither a man nor a woman such as the example of Adam. The second is through a male but without a female such as the example of Eve. The third is through a female without a male such as the example of Jesus. The fourth is the common means through both male and female such as all of us. Thus Muslims believe that Jesus was born to an unmarried mother, Mary and there is an entire chapter in the Qur'aan named after her.

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Jesus was given the power of miracles just like every prophet was. Though the miracles were different from prophet to prophet, they were connected to the development and knowledge of the time. At the time of Jesus, people were engaged in all sorts of medical discovery. He was thus given the power to cure the sick, to give life by the power of God to the dead etc. Jesus is not God, nor is he the son of God, nor is he part of a trinity. Rather, Muslims believe that he is the Messenger of God whose birth was miraculous. Jesus was not crucified, nor did he die. He is alive but he was taken up to heaven before anybody could harm him. He will return to earth closer to the Day of Judgment. Muslims do not pray to any prophet or saint, nor do they confess to the priest or Imaam at the Mosque of their sins. They pray directly to God Almighty who is The Creator, The Sustainer, the Nourisher, and The Cherisher of all creatures. A sin committed by a worshipper is his secret with his Creator. The record must be cleared directly with Him. Muslims call out to God Almighty without any stepping stone and each individual acquaints himself with his Lord directly. To worship any creature of God Almighty is an insult to the status of God. The Creator and His Creation can never be equal in any way. 05. To believe in the Day of Judgement - The Last Day and Life after Death. God Almighty has sent us to earth, which is this temporary life, then we return to Him and to the eternal life that He has kept in store for us. From the age of maturity every human being is answerable to God Almighty. Accountability and responsibility make up the core of purity. As human beings, we all make mistakes. However, the best of those who make mistakes is the one who repents continuously. Repentance is always accepted by God Almighty so long as a person admits his error, regrets about it and promises not to do it again. If it is repeated and one repents again, it is accepted again and again with the same conditions. Until death, there is always a chance of being forgiven and becoming pure once again. If we take a closer look at death, we will realize that it is in fact the beginning of the real and everlasting life, and it is only after death, that we will be able to get to what God has promised us - Paradise.

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Muslims believe that every person has an angel that orders him to do good and stops him from evil and bad, and a "qareen" (satan) that orders him to do bad and stops him from good. The choice is the persons. The fight between the two is won by the one whom the person follows. If he follows satan all the time, then satan becomes strong and the angel becomes insignificant. If this continues, the person becomes spiritually dead, and he becomes evil and loses track. If he follows the angel, then satan becomes insignificant and the person becomes spiritually elevated, pure and good. He becomes an asset to society and he doesn't need much thinking to understand and stay away from evil. 06. To believe that God Almighty has decreed everything - Good and bad is from Him. He is in control of all affairs. He has asked us to play a role in protecting and safeguarding ourselves from all forms of harm, and above that He is in total control. He gives life and takes it away. He causes goodness and inflicts calamities as and when He feels and wishes. God Almighty has completed Knowledge. This means He knows what has happened, what is happening, what will happen and what will not happen - if it were to happen - how it will happen! We are asked to do whatever is in our hands to earn a pure and legal livelihood and sustenance - then leave the rest in the hands of God Almighty. Similarly we should do whatever is in our hands to safeguard and protect ourselves, and then if anything happens we should believe that God wanted it to happen. The same applies to everything else. Then to question God's decree and will is unacceptable. When death overtakes a person, one should accept that it was the will of God and not question it. [For details we can see ‘The Basic Articles of Islam: Fakhrul Islam] 03. Shariah Law: This is the Law of Islam which is based on the Qur'aan and on the authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. It is the only law that has the solution for every single problem on earth. It is a heavenly law - Divine.

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Every law in the Shariah is placed in order to protect Human beings from all forms of evil. The five main necessities of existence are protected and all the laws are derived to protect these five points. Protection of life on earth As Muslims we believe that life is given by God Almighty and whether it is human, animal, insect, bird, fish or even plant life, it is forbidden to take it away without the permission or command of God Almighty. In the case of humans, it is only a court of justice that can decide to take away the life of a person for the known reasons. Individuals who take the lives of humans are guilty of murder. The Shariah has a similar ruling on murderers as the Bible - life for life - but only if it is proven beyond any doubt whatsoever. Two eyewitnesses of an extremely good background of honesty and truthfulness must bear witness separately and describe the entire incident from the beginning to end. If either witness has the slightest difference, then the sentence of death will not be served but it will be up to the presiding judge to look into a suitable lower punishment. This is the case in all cases of the Shariah Courts. If there is the slightest doubt the alleged perpetrator will be given the benefit of that doubt. The laws are greatly deterrent rather than anything else. In the case of animal life, it is only for food, clothing or any other valid reason which the Shariah recognizes that one may take the life of the animal away. Another example is when a dangerous animal is in sight and may attack, then in order to defend, it becomes necessary to take the life of that animal. However, the conditions of taking the life of animals are as follows: a) It should be done as quick as possible with the least suffering to the animal b) The Name of God Almighty should be said - seeking permission from the giver of that life to take it away. What gives us the right to take away any life that God has given? In the case of animals being killed for food there are a few more conditions c) The maximum blood must be drained from the animal.

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d) A knife or very sharp object must be used and the killing should be done from the throat. It has been proven that the animal dies without suffering at all if it is killed from the throat and all major veins are quickly cut. This is because the message from the point of bleeding (the throat) informing the brain that "you are hurt" does not get to the brain at all because it is already cut off. The animal numbs and dies without feeling. This is known as Halaal. If an animal is not Halaal, Muslims consider it condemned because it has literally been "stolen" from the property of God Almighty without seeking His permission or without following the manner taught by Him which is th quickest manner. International Standards of W.H.O. have agreed that Halaal manner of slaughter is the most hygienic in that all the blood is drained so any disease is eradicated with the eradication of the blood, and has least suffering for the animal. Some animals have been prohibited and deemed totally unfit for human consumption either because they are poisonous or they cause sickness and disease or they weaken the brain etc. Examples are pigs, dogs, monkeys, lions etc. Going around killing animals without an acceptable purpose is prohibited in Islam. Destruction of plants unnecessarily or the underwater life etc is also prohibited under the same Law. It is only when one needs to use firewood, or has a recognized need such as wanting to build something, may he uproot the trees and plants. Also under the protection of life, we find the Shariah has prohibited backbiting, arguing, causing conflict, not sorting out misunderstandings etc because all these may lead to death if out of proportion. Similarly suicide is prohibited because one will be taking away life that God Almighty gave. Speeding above limits is a religious sin because one will be putting his own as well as other people's lives in danger and it is a category of suicide as well. This law is so vast and wide, but we have just touched on it to make it easy to understand.

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Protection of the human brain The difference between man and animal is the brain. God Almighty has chosen us to be above animals through the brain he has granted us. For this reason we must protect it by all means. Anything that will result in the harming of the human brain is strictly forbidden. It would be like rejecting Gods gift and slapping it back at Him. Rather we must acknowledge this gift and protect it totally. Drinking is prohibited under this Law and so are drugs and other intoxicants. Intentionally causing mental stress or tensions to a person is forbidden. Protection of individual wealth Every human has the right to own property. None besides himself or herself will have a say in the manner in which it is used so long as it is within the parameters of that which is permissible and correct according to Shariah. For us to be protected, we need to protect the wealth of each other. No stealing, cheating, deceiving, conning, forging or robbery etc will be tolerated. Similarly it is prohibited to leave one's valuables in such a manner that one would be inviting theft. In the case of stealing, the Shariah has prescribed a very harsh deterrent. If proven without any doubt at all that property worth more than approximately US$30 has been robbed from a place which is regarded as safe for that property by a sane, mature human, then only will the robber have his hand amputated in public. It is not easy to prove without doubt that one has stolen, and in this manner the punishment serves as a very great deterrent. Countries such as Saudi Arabia are enjoying the fruits of this law. Protection of the family lineage Each person that is born has a father, a mother and a lineage. It is a very great responsibility to have children especially upon the father and mother. The father must provide food, clothing and accommodation for both his wife (the mother of the child) and the child. He needs to fulfill the basic requirements of the family. The mother too, needs to looks after the child and ensure that he/she has

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a sound upbringing. Islam teaches leading by example. Children should not be expected to leave evil if the parents are engrossed in it. Adultery is therefore prohibited because it results in the loss of the lineage and it is "running away" from responsibility. Baby dumping is prohibited. A divorced male must continue to maintain his children till the age of majority in the case of a male and till marriage in the case of a female. Interesting Biblical Story. In Islam the role played by the father, mother and children in the home is almost depicted in the story of Joseph PBUH that appears in the Qur'aan and the Old Testament. The dream of Joseph where he saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars is not just a story to be read and appreciated, but it has deeper meanings if we take a closer look. The sun depicted the father (Jacob), the moon depicted the mother and the stars were the eleven children. If we take a close look at the qualities of the sun, we will find that they are surely the qualities that are expected from the father of the home. The sun is strong; it shines so bright one cannot look at it directly. The sun provides a sense of protection as well as sustenance in that people work during the day. The sun brings warmth and it is only through the brightness of the sun that the moon shines and the stars twinkle. These are some of the qualities of the father in the home. The moon has the qualities required by every successful mother. It shines but derives its light from the sun. A strong father in the home makes the moon shine ever brighter. The stars appear when the moon is around depicting the very close link between the mother and the children. One can look straight into the moon and admire the beauty of the moon. There is a sense of peace, quiet and inner serenity when the moon is shining. The stars have the qualities that we need in our children. They twinkle with the moon and yet they appear not to be around when

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the sun is out. They are definitely there, but the brightness of the sun makes them fall under him. The hold of the father and his careful nurturing of his children is vital. If respect for the father is lost, we have driven into a road that will lead to everything being lost. Now, take a look at the sun and moon. When the sun wants to do what the moon is doing and when the moon wants to do what the sun is doing and they both want to appear in each others places, what do we have? An eclipse! Where both the sun and the moon become insignificant and disappear. The stars are no where to be spotted. There is turmoil and disaster. Similarly, when the mother wants to play the role of the father and the father wants to play the roles of the mother in the home, there is a "social eclipse" where the family unit is disintegrated. Both become insignificant and lose their status. The children lose the most since they will have no guidance whatsoever. There will be no love and peace in the home. The home will be lacking goodness and purity, safety and happiness. This is why it is important to understand that God Almighty has created each person with a specific role to play. We should all fulfill our correct roles and please God. It is only through such means that we will achieve happiness. Dressing in Islam Also under the protection of lineage, certain dress codes have been established for both men and women. Men should cover from navel to knees in public. Women should dress modestly and cover their beauty in public. This is in order to protect society directly from ills such as immorality. Revealing the face, hands and feet is permissible. The idea is to safeguard the precious jewels of beauty that lie there under. A jewel will be kept in a jewelry box in the safe under lock and key, far from the public who may pounce on it and pinch it if it is not properly guarded. Dressing appropriately sends a clear message to the children. A policeman who has no uniform will wave his hand all day trying to bring the vehicles to a halt, but he will not succeed because he is not properly dressed. An ordinary person in police uniform will succeed in stopping any vehicle the moment he makes a single sign with his hand. Parents who do not

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dress properly will not be able to control the dressing of their kids, no matter how hard they try. Lead by example. It is encouraged to dress similar to the Messengers of God. Studies have proven that they have all dressed in a very similar manner. An interesting example is that of electricity. Regarded as a necessity, electricity has become vital in our day to day lives. Any village with no electricity is termed "backward". Electricity brings light in the home, food, comfort, warmth, security, happiness, ability to see etc. However the wires between the switch and the bulb are compulsorily hidden in both clinging insulators as well as conduit piping. This is necessary in order to protect a mad man, a child or even a normal person out of error who may touch a loose wire. Dangling wires are death. If we see a naked wires, we will immediately call a qualified electrician, and in the mean time we will put up a big notice in clear red ink saying "Danger!" or we will put a person in place to make sure there is no fatality. Electricity is regarded as good but why hide the current? As if it is touched by anyone other than a qualified electrician then there will be the disaster. Similarly, a female brings in all the goodness in the home. If she is uncovered, she may be touched by men who are not qualified to touch her and this can only result in disaster. This is why it is only correct for women to be asked to dress modestly. If we see women in public inappropriately dressed, it should hurt us and we should try to explain to them in the best, most polite and effective manner. Islam prefers a wife over an illegal relationship with a female, the latter being prohibited. Taking a woman as one's wife is safeguards her in that the husband will take full responsibility of all her needs and her children too. Marriage is very strongly encouraged. Men should marry one wife, but they are permitted to take up to four wives if they are able to maintain them and be just and equal to them. This prevents promiscuity and assists young widows, divorcees, women who cannot get married and are ageing as well as physically challenged women. It is also the solution to the problem of extra marital affairs which is rampant in most societies. A prohibited

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woman is only seen when she is needed and therefore she appears to be better than the legal wife of a man, who is with him at all times. The true colors of such a woman will only be known if she is married and brought on the same footing as the first wife. The man will soon come to realize who she is. Divorce is permitted only as a last resort and is regarded as the most disliked of the permissible acts. Divorce can be revocable or irrevocable, and it is very simple. A man can divorce his wife. A woman can have her marriage nullified through the Shariah Court or through a panel of Scholars in her country. Protection of belief and religion If we try to count what God Almighty has given us it will be like trying to count the stars in the sky. He has showered us with all sorts of goodness. Muslims are taught to look at those who have less or those going through more difficulty. This will allow us to appreciate what God Almighty has given us. If we look at those who have more or those who are better off than ourselves we will never be able to appreciate God's gifts upon us. We need to worship God in return, and stay far away from associating partners with God Almighty. None must be worshipped besides God. No act of worship must be rendered for anyone other than Him. It is not permissible to use any human being as a stepping stone between a person and God. Each person must have direct contact with His Creator. It is also prohibited to worship someone or something else (no matter who or what it is) together with God Almighty. No prophet, angel, saint, priest, Imam, Sheikh or others can be given any act of worship at all. This means that we should only worship God Almighty in the manner He has prescribed. It is incorrect to create and innovation acts of worship using our own brains. Under this law, Muslims must fulfill all their obligations and stay away from all prohibitions. Similarly, all religions must be tolerated (freedom of religion and belief) so long as they tolerate us.

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Interference in Islam will not be tolerated, just as other religions would not tolerate interference in theirs. The Qur'aan clearly states that there is no compulsion regarding entering the religion. Meaning each person, after being told the truth, is free to choose the truth or remains as he/she is. Turning to God Almighty The Creator/worshipper relationship must be very strong. The Qur'aan states that God Almighty answers the call of every caller positively. Repentance which is coupled with regret and an undertaking not to repeat the sin, is always accepted, making the worshipper pure once again. The Prophet Muhammad has said, "All children of Adam err, but the best of those who err are those who constantly repent!" Similarly, entering the fold of Islam literally deletes all previous sins no matter how major they are. The manner in which to enter the fold of Islam is very simple. Simply declare that that there is no god worthy of worship besides Allah (God Alone), and that Muhammad PBUH is His Messenger and Prophet. Then follow what has been mentioned above. With this we come to an end of this short explanation of the above topics and we trust that you have a clearer picture of Islam and the Muslims.
Points from a series of lectures at Morgan Zintec Teachers Training College in June 2002 on Islam & Muslims By, Abu Fawzaan, Mufti Isma'il ibn Musa Menk - Harare, Zimbabwe Courtesy: www.everymuslim.com

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15.01.00: The basic beliefs and practices of Muslims
In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind. We live in one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Given the different backgrounds that we come from, there is a great need for tolerance, understanding and respect for such diversity. Above all, we need to be committed to interfaith dialogue. Islam is one of the great monotheistic religions in the world today. Yet it is also the most misunderstood religion. For a long time, we have felt the need to produce some literature which will explain Islam to non-Muslims and remove the false notions many have about Islam. This article, although brief, explains some of the basic beliefs and practices of Muslims. It also discusses some questions on Islam that we are frequently asked by our many non-Muslim friends. It is hoped that this booklet will inspire the readers to further explore the many dimensions of Islam - one of the great religions of the world. Islam Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Indeed, one out of every five persons on this earth is a Muslim. There are nearly 6 million Muslims living in North America and the number is growing. Yet, unfortunately, Islam is also the most misunderstood religion. Muslims live in different parts of the world ranging from China to Argentina, Russia to South Africa. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia. Islam means the active submission to the one God. It is strictly a monotheistic religion since it restricts worship to the one supreme Lord who is the Originator and Creator of the universe. Peace (the root from which the word Islam is derived) is attained through complete obedience to the commandments of God, for God is the source of all peace.

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Muslims are those who believe in one God and in Muhammad as the final Prophet of God. They devote their lives to the service of God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Islam teaches that God (called Allah in Arabic) is the source of all creation and that human beings are the best of His creation. He communicates by inspiring them towards goodness and by sending Prophets who deliver God's message. Muslims believe that the first Prophet was Adam followed by a long chain of Prophets to guide humanity. The Qur'an, according to Muslim belief, is the word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It mentions many other Prophets like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jacob, Joseph and Jesus. All the Prophets had brought the same message, i.e., belief in one God, upright human conduct and belief in the accountability of human acts at the end of time. Jesus in Islam Muslims respect and venerate Jesus Christ. They consider him to be one of God's greatest messengers to humankind. The Qur'an reaffirms his miraculous birth and his miraculous abilities. Furthermore, his mother Mary is regarded as one of the most pure and exalted women of all creation. As the Qur'an says: "Behold! The angel said: 'God has chosen you and purified you and has chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary! God gives you the good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near to God" (3:42). Islam regards its teachings to be a re-affirmation and culmination of the teachings of previous monotheistic religions like Judaism and Christianity. Hence, all Muslims believe in Moses and Jesus as Prophets of God. Prophet Muhammad was commanded to recite in the Qur'an: "Say, we believe in God and that which was revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes and that which was entrusted unto Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have submitted" (3:84).

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Islam is the final religion revealed to human beings through the last Prophet who was called Muhammad. He was born in Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) in the year 570 A.D. Muhammad was a very truthful and honest person. He was also very pious and detested the moral decadence of his society. At the age of forty, God asked him, through the angel Gabriel, to proclaim the religion of Islam publicly. God's message to humanity was delivered in the Qur'an which was revealed to Muhammad. The Qur'an, which is the holy book for Muslims, contains 114 chapters (called Suras). Muslims believe that it is the pure word of God, unadulterated over 14 centuries. It deals with issues which affect human beings in their earthly lives; issues like piety, upright human conduct, worship, the creation of a just and virtuous society and the practice of ethics. Islam has two major schools of thought - the Shi'i and the Sunni. The Sunnis believe that the community selected its own leader after Prophet Muhammad's death whereas the Shi'as believe that the Prophet had, by divine will, appointed 'Ali to be his successor. Leadership is thus divinely designated. It is to be noted that both the Sunnis and the Shi'as are united in their major beliefs i.e., they believe in the same God, the same book, the same Prophets and pray in the same direction. The differences are mainly theological and jurisprudential. The Teachings of Islam Islam teaches that human beings are born pure and sinless. No one is responsible for or can take the responsibility of the sins of others. However, the doors of forgiveness are always open for those who repent sincerely. God continuously reminds us in the Qur'an of His infinite mercy and compassion. Muslims are enjoined to maintain inner spiritual purity through constant remembrance and prayer to God. Islam balances the spiritual dimension by emphasizing human responsibility. Human beings are created with a purpose. Attainment of piety is but one dimension of such purpose; playing an active role in the creation of a just society is another. Because Muslims attach importance to what happens in this world, they have made substantial contribution to the development of science, medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography and literature. Muslims like Avicenna and Avirroes have played major roles in the advancement of science in the west. The first university

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in the world was established by Muslims in Cairo, Egypt. Many crucial systems such as the Arabic numerals, algebra, the first map of the globe and navigational maps were developed by Muslims and adopted by the medieval Europeans. Apart from human responsibility, Islam also teaches human accountability. The final destination of human beings is the hereafter. Muslims believe that, at the end of time, all human beings will be resurrected to account for their deeds. Those who have performed righteous deeds will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven and those who have performed evil acts will be punished in hell. Muslim Practice Salat (Prayers): Islam demands from its adherents that beliefs be supplemented with actions. Just as God communicates with us, we need to respond to Him by undertaking certain spiritual and social duties which will draw us closer to Him. Human beings can communicate directly with God through prayers. Although they can pray anywhere, Muslims are encouraged to pray in congregation. Muslims are required to pray five times every day. Prayers are offered in Arabic. Personal supplication may be recited in any language in the pursuit of closeness to the Lord. Prayers engender inner strength and inspire one to a closer relationship with the Creator. Muslims pray towards the Ka'ba, which is situated in Mecca. It was built by Abraham and Ishmael over four thousand years ago. Saum (Fasting): Discipline in a believer is further inculcated by fasting. Every year in the month of Ramadhan, Muslims must fast by refraining from food and drink during the day time. Fasting is regarded as an essential component in the growth of spirituality within a person. It also makes a person more aware of the plight of the poor and helps him develop willpower so as to discipline his desires. Since Islam believes in values like chastity and morality, it prohibits all acts which lead to moral corruption. Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse are strictly prohibited in Islam.

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Zakat (Alms) Muslims see wealth to be a trust from God, to be dispensed in His way. Therefore, they are asked to purify their wealth by spending a portion of their income for those in need (called zakat). Giving the zakat is seen as one of the most meritorious deeds especially as it helps fulfill the Islamic vision of creating a just and equitable society. Undertaking social responsibility by helping the needy is highly encouraged in Islam. Hajj (Pilgrimage): Once in their lifetime, Muslims are commanded to go for pilgrimage to Mecca provided there are no financial or physical constraints. Every year, about two million Muslims from different parts of the world converge on Mecca to perform the pilgrimage. This provides a unique opportunity for Muslims of different nations and diverse backgrounds to meet one another. During the rituals, pilgrims wear white clothing’s and stand close together in the worship of the one Lord. Islam recognizes no racial or ethnic boundaries. The hajj is the perfect example of the oneness of people of all races and nations, worshipping and serving the Lord. The hajj is marked by the Eid al-Adha, a festival which is marked with prayers and other rituals performed by the pilgrims in the vicinity of Mecca. These rituals are meant to purify the faithful inwardly. The day is also marked in Muslim communities in different parts of the world with celebrations and exchange of gifts. This day, together with the Eid al-Fitr, a feast day commemorating the end of Ramadhan, are the two main festivals of the Muslim calendar. The Muslim weekly holiday is on Fridays when congregational prayers are held at noon. Islam and War The concept of jihad (wrongly translated as holy war) refers to the duty of Muslims to defend their faith and the welfare of the Muslim community when threatened. The Qur'an does not permit aggression against anyone and Prophet Muhammad is asked to proselytize in a peaceful manner. Warfare is permitted only in self-defense. However, it must be noted that people only resort to violence when their basic human rights are violated and when all attempts at peaceful settlement are thwarted.

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Islam and Human Rights Islam teaches that human beings have a moral obligation to live in harmony with one another. Islam also recognizes and accords rights to all human beings regardless of race, color or creed. Islam requires its followers to show respect and tolerance even to those who do not share their faith. Prophet Muhammad said: "God has no mercy on one who shows no mercy to others". Freedom of conscience is guaranteed by the Qur'an itself. It states: "There is no compulsion in religion" (2:256). Islamic law stipulates that Muslims should protect the status of minorities. Therefore the life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether a person is a Muslim or not. Because of this, non-Muslim places of worship have survived and flourished all over the Muslim world. Islam further encourages Muslims to respect the rights of all living things. Therefore, Muslims are required to be conscious of the environment and are not allowed to cause harm to nature. It is important to realize that far from being extremists and fanatics, Muslims are peaceful and law abiding citizens of the countries in which they live. This stance is derived directly from the Qur'an which states: "O human beings, We have created you from one male and female (Adam & Eve), We have created you as different tribes and nations so that you may know each other" (49:13). Islam and Women Muslim women have all the rights of their male counterparts. Islam granted full rights to women fourteen hundred years ago. Muslim women may own and dispose property; they may work, exercise voting powers and exercise other rights which women in other cultures enjoy. Muslim women may not be forced to marry against their will. To preserve chastity, respect and moral values in society, Muslim men and women are required to dress in a manner which is considered modest and dignified. Women are asked to cover their hair and wear loose clothings. The diversity of female dress in some Muslim countries is often the expression of local customs.

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Since Islam is a universal religion, it is easy to become a Muslim. One has to believe and affirm that "There is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God". Today, the Islamic community in North America is growing rapidly with Muslims playing major roles in virtually all sectors of society. Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay), Malcolm X, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) are some of the well-known people who have embraced Islam. May the blessings of the Almighty God be with you! Dr. Liyakatali Takim American Leadership Initiative for Muslims www.islamicinformationcenter.org Islamic Information Center 529 14th St. Suite 1292, Washington DC, US, 20045, 202-347-6405, 202-347-6406

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15.02.00: Invitation to Islam
Allah (God) Islam is the complete submission and obedience to Allah (God). The name Allah (God) in Islam never refers to Muhammad (pbuh), as many Christians may think; Allah is the personal name of God. What do Muslims believe about Allah? He is the one God, Who has no partner. Nothing is like Him. He is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation. He is All-Powerful, absolutely just. There is no other entity in the entire universe worthy of worship besides Him. He is First, Last, and Everlasting; He was when nothing was, and will be when nothing else remains. He is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful, the Supreme, the Sovereign. It is only He Who is capable of granting life to anything. He sent His Messengers (peace be upon them) to guide all of mankind. He sent Muhammad (pbuh) as the last Prophet and Messenger for all mankind. His book is the Holy Qur'an, the only authentic revealed book in the world that has been kept without change. Allah knows what is in our hearts. These are some of the basic guidelines Muslims follow in their knowledge of God: Eliminate any anthropomorphism (human qualities) from their conception of Allah. His attributes are not like human attributes, despite similar labels or appellations. Have unwavering faith in exactly what Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) described Allah to be, no more, no less.

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Eradicate any hope or desire of learning or knowing the modality of His names and attributes. Belief totally in all the names and attributes of Allah; one cannot believe in some and disbelieve the others. One cannot accept the names of Allah without their associated attributes, i.e. one cannot say He is Al-Hayyu - 'The Living' and then say that He is without life. Similarity in names (or meanings) does not imply similarity in what is being described (referents). As a robotics arm differs from a human arm, so the "hand" of Allah is nothing like a human hand, His speech is nothing like human speech, etc. Certain words are ambiguous or vague in their meanings, and thus may be susceptible to misinterpretation. Only those meanings that are in accordance with what is specified by Allah and His Prophet (pbuh) are acceptable. Cleanliness Islam places great emphasis on cleanliness, in both its physical and spiritual aspects. On the physical side, Islam requires the Muslim to clean his body, his clothes, his house, and the whole community, and he is rewarded by God for doing so. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, for example: "Removing any harm from the road is charity (that will be rewarded by Allah)." [Bukhari] While people generally consider cleanliness a desirable attribute, Islam insists on it , making it an indispensable fundamental of the faith. A Muslim is required to to be pure morally and spiritually as well as physically. Through the Qur'an and Sunnah Islam requires the sincere believer to sanitize and purify his entire way of life. In the Qur'an Allah commends those who are accustomed to cleanliness: "Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean." [2: 22] In Islam the Arabic term for purity is Taharah. Books of Islamic jurisprudence often contain an entire chapter with Taharah as a heading.

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Allah orders the believer to be tidy in appearance: "Keep your clothes clean." [74:4] The Qur'an insists that the believer maintain a constant state of purity: "Believers! When you prepare for prayer wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; rub your heads (with water) and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are ritually impure bathe your whole body." [5: 6] Ritual impurity refers to that resulting from sexual release, menstruation and the first forty days after childbirth. Muslims also use water, not paper or anything else to after eliminating body wastes. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised the Muslims to appear neat and tidy in private and in public. Once when returning home from battle he advised his army: "You are soon going to meet your brothers, so tidy your saddles and clothes. Be distinguished in the eyes of the people." [Abu Dawud] On another occasion he said: "Don't ever come with your hair and beard disheveled like a devil." [Al-Tirmidhi] And on another: "Had I not been afraid of overburdening my community, I would have ordered them to brush their teeth for every prayer." [Bukhari] Moral hygiene was not ignored, either, for the Prophet (pbuh) encouraged the Muslims to make a special prayer upon seeing themselves in the mirror: "Allah, You have endowed me with a good form; likewise bless me with an immaculate character and forbid my face from touching the Hellfire." [Ahmad] And modesty in dress, for men as well as for women, assists one in maintaining purity of thought. Being charitable is a way of purifying one's wealth. A Muslim who does not give charity (Sadaqah) and pay the required annual Zakah, the 2.5% alms-tax, has in effect

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contaminated his wealth by hoarding that which rightfully belongs to others: "Of their wealth take alms so that you may purify and sanctify them." [9: 103] All the laws and injunctions given by Allah and His Prophet (pbuh) are pure; on the other hand, man-made laws suffer from the impurities of human bias and other imperfections. Thus any formal law can only be truly just when it is purified by divine guidance - as elucidated by the Qur'an and the Sunnah - or if it is divinely ordained to begin with - the Shari'ah. Muslims Contribution to Science Astronomy : Muslims have always had a special interest in astronomy. The moon and the sun are of vital importance in the daily life of every Muslim. By the moon, Muslims determine the beginning and the end of the months in their lunar calendar. By the sun the Muslims calculate the times for prayer and fasting. It is also by means of astronomy that Muslims can determine the precise direction of the Qiblah, to face the Ka'bah in Makkah, during prayer. The most precise solar calendar, superior to the Julian, is the Jilali, devised under the supervision of Umar Khayyam. The Qur'an contains many references to astronomy. "The heavens and the earth were ordered rightly, and were made subservient to man, including the sun, the moon, the stars, and day and night. Every heavenly body moves in an orbit assigned to it by God and never digresses, making the universe an orderly cosmos whose life and existence, diminution and expansion, are totally determined by the Creator." [Qur'an 30:22] These references, and the injunctions to learn, inspired the early Muslim scholars to study the heavens. They integrated the earlier works of the Indians, Persians and Greeks into a new synthesis. Ptolemy's Almagest (the title as we know it is Arabic) was translated, studied and criticized. Many new stars were discovered, as we see in their Arabic names - Algol, Deneb, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran. Astronomical tables were compiled, among them the Toledan tables, which were used by Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and

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Kepler. Also compiled were almanacs - another Arabic term. Other terms from Arabic are zenith, nadir, albedo, and azimuth. Muslim astronomers were the first to establish observatories, like the one built at Mugharah by Hulagu, the son of Genghis Khan, in Persia, and they invented instruments such as the quadrant and astrolabe, which led to advances not only in astronomy but in oceanic navigation, contributing to the European age of exploration. Geography: Muslim scholars paid great attention to geography. In fact, the Muslims' great concern for geography originated with their religion. The Qur'an encourages people to travel throughout the earth to see God's signs and patterns everywhere. Islam also requires each Muslim to have at least enough knowledge of geography to know the direction of the Qiblah (the position of the Ka'bah in Makkah) in order to pray five times a day. Muslims were also used to taking long journeys to conduct trade as well as to make the Hajj and spread their religion. The far-flung Islamic empire enabled scholar-explorers to compile large amounts of geographical and climatic information from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Among the most famous names in the field of geography, even in the West, are Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Batuta, renowned for their written accounts of their extensive explorations. In 1166, Al-Idrisi the well-known Muslim scholar who served the Sicilian court, produced very accurate maps, including a world map with all the continents and their mountains, rivers and famous cities. AlMuqdishi was the first geographer to produce accurate maps in color. It was, moreover, with the help of Muslim navigators and their inventions that Magellan was able to traverse the Cape of Good Hope and Da-Gama and Columbus had Muslim navigators on board their ships. Humanity: Seeking knowledge is obligatory in Islam for every Muslim, man and woman. The main sources of Islam, the Qur'an and the Sunnah (Prophet Muhammad's traditions), encourage Muslims to seek knowledge and be scholars, since this is the best way for people to know Allah (God), to appreciate His wondrous creations and be thankful for them. Muslims were therefore eager to seek knowledge, both religious and secular, and within a few years

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of Muhammad's mission, a great civilization sprang up and flourished. The outcome is shown in the spread of Islamic universities; Al-Zaytunah in Tunis and Al-Azhar in Cairo go back more than 1,000 years and are the oldest existing universities in the world. Indeed, they were the models for the first European universities, such as Bologna, Heidelberg, and the Sorbonne. Even the familiar academic cap and gown originated at Al-Azhar University. Muslims made great advances in many different fields, such as geography, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, pharmacology, architecture, linguistics and astronomy. Algebra and the Arabic numerals were introduced to the world by Muslim scholars. The astrolabe, the quadrant, and other navigational devices and maps were developed by Muslim scholars and played an important role in world progress, most notably in Europe's age of exploration. Muslim scholars studied the ancient civilizations from Greece and Rome to China and India. The works of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid and others were translated into Arabic. Muslim scholars and scientists then added their own creative ideas, discoveries and inventions, and finally transmitted this new knowledge to Europe, leading directly to the Renaissance. Many scientific and medical treatises, having been translated into Latin, were standard text and reference books as late as the 17th and 18th centuries. Mathematics: It is interesting to note that Islam so strongly urges mankind to study and explore the universe. For example, the Holy Qur'an states: "We (Allah) will show you (mankind) Our signs/patterns in the horizons/universe and in yourselves until you are convinced that the revelation is the truth." [Qur'an, 14:53] This invitation to explore and search made Muslims interested in astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and the other sciences, and they had a very clear and firm understanding of the correspondences among geometry, mathematics, and astronomy.

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The Muslims invented the symbol for zero (The word "cipher" comes from Arabic sifr), and they organized the numbers into the decimal system - base 10. Additionally, they invented the symbol to express an unknown quantity, i.e. variables like x. The first great Muslim mathematician, Al-Khawarizmi, invented the subject of algebra (al-Jabr), which was further developed by others, most notably Umar Khayyam. Al-Khawarizmi's work, in Latin translation, brought the Arabic numerals along with the mathematics to Europe, through Spain. The word "algorithm" is derived from his name. Muslim mathematicians excelled also in geometry, as can be seen in their graphic arts, and it was the great Al-Biruni (who excelled also in the fields of natural history, even geology and mineralogy) who established trigonometry as a distinct branch of mathematics. Other Muslim mathematicians made significant progress in number theory. Medicine: In Islam, the human body is a source of appreciation, as it is created by Almighty Allah (God). How it functions, how to keep it clean and safe, how to prevent diseases from attacking it or cure those diseases, have been important issues for Muslims. Prophet Muhammad himself urged people to "take medicines for your diseases", as people at that time were reluctant to do so. He also said: "God created no illness, but established for it a cure, except for old age. When the antidote is applied, the patient will recover with the permission of God." This was strong motivation to encourage Muslim scientists to explore, develop, and apply empirical laws. Much attention was given to medicine and public health care. The first hospital was built in Baghdad in 706 AC. The Muslims also used camel caravans as mobile hospitals, which moved from place to place. Since the religion did not forbid it, Muslim scholars used human cadavers to study anatomy and physiology and to help their students understand how the body functions. This empirical study enabled surgery to develop very quickly.

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Al-Razi, known in the West as Rhazes, the famous physician and scientist, (d. 932) was one of the greatest physicians in the world in the Middle Ages. He stressed empirical observation and clinical medicine and was unrivaled as a diagnostician. He also wrote a treatise on hygiene in hospitals. Khalaf Abul-Qasim Al-Zahrawi was a very famous surgeon in the eleventh century, known in Europe for his work, Concessio (Kitab al-Tasrif). Ibn Sina (d. 1037), better known to the West as Avicenna, was perhaps the greatest physician until the modern era. His famous book, Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, remained a standard textbook even in Europe, for over 700 years. Ibn Sina's work is still studied and built upon in the East. Other significant contributions were made in pharmacology, such as Ibn Sina's Kitab al-Shifa' (Book of Healing), and in public health. Every major city in the Islamic world had a number of excellent hospitals, some of them teaching hospitals, and many of them were specialized for particular diseases, including mental and emotional. The Ottomans were particularly noted for their building of hospitals and for the high level of hygiene practiced in them. Definition: The word ISLAM has a two-fold meaning: peace, and submission to God. This submission requires a fully conscious and willing effort to submit to the one Almighty God. One must consciously and conscientiously give oneself to the service of Allah. This means to act on what Allah enjoins all of us to do (in the Qur'an) and what His beloved Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged us to do in his Sunnah (his lifestyle and sayings personifying the Qur'an). Once we humble ourselves, rid ourselves of our egoism and submit totally to Allah, and to Him exclusively, in faith and in action, we will surely feel peace in our hearts. Establishing peace in our hearts will bring about peace in our external conduct as well. Islam is careful to remind us that it not a religion to be paid mere lip service; rather it is an all-encompassing way of life that must be practiced continuously for it to be Islam. The Muslim must practice

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the five pillars of the religion: the declaration of faith in the oneness of Allah and the prophet hood of Muhammad (pbuh), prayer, fasting the month of Ramadan, alms-tax, and the pilgrimage to Makkah; and believe in the six articles of faith: belief in God, the Holy Books, the prophets, the angels, the Day of Judgment and God's decree, whether for good or ill. There are other injunctions and commandments which concern virtually all facets of one's personal, family and civic life. These include such matters as diet, clothing, personal hygiene, interpersonal relations, business ethics, responsibilities towards parents, spouse and children, marriage, divorce and inheritance, civil and criminal law, fighting in defense of Islam, relations with non-Muslims, and so much more. Human Rights Islam has been from its inception very concerned with issues of human rights. Privacy, freedom, dignity and equality are guaranteed in Islam. The holy Qur'an states clearly: "There is no compulsion in religion." And there are no reliable reports to confirm the old accusations that when the Muslim armies were expanding into Asia, Africa and Europe the people were put to the sword if they failed to convert to Islam. The best proof is that not only did the Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Hindus in those areas not perish or otherwise disappear, they actually flourished as protected minority communities, and many individuals rose to prominent positions in the arts, sciences, even in government. The lives, property and privacy of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether or not the person is Muslim. NonMuslims have freedom of worship and the practice of their religions, including their own family law and religious courts. They are obliged to pay a different tax (Jizyah) instead of the Zakah, and the state is obligated to provide both protection and government services. Before the modern era it was extremely rare to find a state or government anywhere in the world that was as solicitous of its minorities and their civil rights as the Islamic states.

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In no other religion did women receive such a degree of legal and moral equality and personal respect. Moreover, racism and tribalism are incompatible with Islam, for the Qur'an speaks of human equality in the following terms: "Mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety." Jesus Islam honors all the prophets who were sent to mankind. Muslims respect all prophets in general, but Jesus in particular, because he was one of the prophets who foretold the coming of Muhammad. Muslims, too, await the second coming of Jesus. They consider him one of the greatest of Allah's prophets to mankind. A Muslim does not refer to him simply as "Jesus," but normally adds the phrase "peace be upon him" as a sign of respect. No other religion in the world respects and dignifies Jesus as Islam does. The Qur'an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur'an is entitled "Mary"), and Mary is considered to have been one of the purest women in all creation. The Qur'an describes Jesus' birth as follows: "Behold!' the Angel said, God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and in the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the righteous. She said: "My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: "Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, 'Be!' and it is." [3:42-47] Muslims believe that Jesus was born immaculately, and through the same power which had brought Eve to life and Adam into being without a father or a mother.

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"Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was." [3:59] During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. The Qur'an tells us that he said: "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it was, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave." [3:49] Muhammad and Jesus, as well as the other prophets, were sent to confirm the belief in one God. This is referred to in the Qur'an where Jesus is reported as saying that he came: "To attest the law which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me." [3:50] Prophet Muhammad emphasized the importance of Jesus by saying: "Whoever believes there is no god but Allah, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is a servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven." [Bukhari] Knowledge Islam urges people to read and learn on every occasion. The verses of the Qur'an command, advice, warn, and encourage people to observe the phenomena of nature, the succession of day and night, the movements of stars, the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies. Muslims are urged to look into everything in the universe, to travel, investigate, explore and understand them, the better to appreciate and be thankful for all the wonders and beauty of God's creations. The first revelation to Muhammad showed how much Islam cares about knowledge. "Read, in the name of your Lord, Who created..." [96:1] Learning is obligatory for both men and women. Moreover, education is not restricted to religious issues; it includes all fields of knowledge, including biology, physics, and technology. Scholars

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have the highest status in Islam, second only to that accorded to prophets. Almost from the very beginnings of the Islamic state Muslims began to study and to master a number of fields of so-called secular learning, beginning with linguistics and architecture, but very quickly extending to mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, medicine, chemistry and philosophy. They translated and synthesized the known works of the ancient world, from Greece, Persia, India, even China. Before long they were criticizing, improving and expanding on that knowledge. Centuries before the European Renaissance there were Muslim ³Rennaissance² men, men who were simultaneously explorers, scientists, philosophers, physicians and poets, like Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Umar Khayyam, and others. Main Pillars Shahadah The first pillar of Islam is that a Muslim believes and declares his faith by saying the Shahadah (lit. 'witness'), also known as the Kalimah: La ilaha ila Allah; Muhammadur-rasul Allah. 'There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.' This declaration contains two parts. The first part refers to God Almighty, the Creator of everything, the Lord of the Worlds; the second part refers to the Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) a prophet and a human being, who received the revelation through the Archangel Gabriel, and taught it to mankind. By sincerely uttering the Shahadah the Muslim acknowledges Allah as the sole Creator of all, and the Supreme Authority over everything and everyone in the universe. Consequently the Muslim closes his/her heart and mind to loyalty, devotion and obedience to, trust in, reliance on, and worship of anything or anyone other than Allah. This rejection is not confined merely to pagan gods and goddesses of wood and stone and created by human hands and imaginations; this rejection must extend to all other conceptions, superstitions, ideologies, ways of life, and authority figures that

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claim supreme devotion, loyalty, trust, love, obedience or worship. This entails, for example, the rejection of belief in such common things as astrology, palm reading, good luck charms, fortune-telling and psychic readings, in addition to praying at shrines or graves of "saints", asking the dead souls to intercede for them with Allah. There are no intercessors in Islam, nor any class of clergy as such; a Muslim prays directly and exclusively to Allah. Belief in the prophet hood of Muhammad (pbuh) entails belief in the guidance brought by him and contained in his Sunnah (traditions of his sayings and actions), and demands of the Muslim the intention to follow his guidance faithfully. Muhammad (pbuh) was also a human being, a man with feelings and emotions, who ate, drank and slept, and was born and died, like other men. He had a pure and upright nature, extraordinary righteousness, and an unwavering faith in Allah and commitment to Islam, but he was not divine. Muslims do not pray to him, not even as an intercessor and Muslims abhor the terms "Mohamedan" and "Mohamedanism". Salah (Prayer) Prayer (Salah), in the sense of worship, is the second pillar of Islam. Prayer is obligatory and must be performed five times a day. These five times are dawn (Fajr), immediately after noon (Dhuhr), midafternoon ('Asr), sunset (Maghrib), and early night (Isha'). Ritual cleanliness and ablution are required before prayer, as are clean clothes and location, and the removal of shoes. One may pray individually or communally, at home, outside, virtually any clean place, as well as in a mosque, though the latter is preferred. Special is the Friday noon prayer, called Jum'ah. It, too, is obligatory and is to be done in a mosque, in congregation. It is accompanied by a sermon (Khutbah), and it replaces the normal Dhuhr prayer. There is no hierarchical clerical authority in Islam, no priests or ministers. Prayers are led by any learned person who knows the Qur'an and is chosen by the congregation. He (or she, if the congregation is all women) is called the imam. There is also no minimum number of congregates required to hold communal prayers. Prayer consists of verses from the Qur'an and other prayers, accompanied by various bodily postures - standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting. They are said in Arabic, the language of the

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revelation, though personal supplications (Du'ah) can be offered in one's own language. Worshippers face the Qiblah, the direction of the Ka'bah in the city of Makkah. The significance of prayer lies in one's maintaining a continuous link to God five times a day, which helps the worshipper avoid misdeeds if he/she performs the prayers sincerely. In addition it promotes discipline, God-consciousness and placing one's trust in Allah alone, and the importance of striving for the Hereafter. When performed in congregation it also provides a strong sense of community, equality and brotherhood/sisterhood. Sawm (Fasting) The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting. Allah prescribes daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, beginning with the sighting of the new moon. Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarreling and trivial nonsense. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier. Although fasting is beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieve growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility. In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Qur'an. In addition, special prayers, called Tarawih, are held in the mosque every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur'an (Juz') is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire

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Qur'an has been completed. These are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was begun during Ramadan. During the last ten days - though the exact day is never known and may not even be the same every year - occurs the Night of Power (Laylat-ul-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah's reward for it is very great. On the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted, a special celebration is made, called E'id-ul-Fitr. A quantity of staple food is donated to the poor (Zakat al-Fitr), everyone has bathed and put on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends. There are other fast days throughout the year. Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan, Mondays and Thursdays, and the ninth and tenth, or tenth and eleventh of Muharram, the first month of the year. The tenth day, called Ashurah, is also a fast day for the Jews (Yom Kippur), and Allah commanded the Muslims to fast two days to distinguish themselves from the People of the Book. While fasting per se is encouraged, constant fasting, as well as monasticism, celibacy, and otherwise retreating from the real world, are condemned in Islam. Fasting on the two festival days, 'Id al-Fitr and E'id-ul-Adha, the feast of the Hajj, is strictly forbidden. Zakah The third pillar of Islam is the alms-tax (Zakah). It is a tax on wealth, payable on various categories of property, notably savings and investments, produce, inventory of goods, salable crops and cattle, and precious metals, and is to be used for the various categories of distribution specified by Islamic law. It is also an act of purification through sharing what one has with others. The rationale behind this is that Muslims believe that everything belongs to God, and wealth is held by man as a trust. This trust must be discharged, moreover, as instructed by God, as that portion of our wealth legally belongs to other people and must be given to

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them. If we refuse and hoard this wealth, it is considered impure and unclean. If, for example one were to use that wealth for charity or to finance one's pilgrimage to Makkah, those acts would also be impure, invalid, and of course unrewarded. Allah says: "Of their wealth, take alms so you may purify and sanctify them." [9:103] The word Zakah means purification and growth. Our possessions are purified by setting aside that portion of it for those in need. Each Muslim calculates his or her own Zakah individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of 2.5% of one's capital, provided that this capital reaches a certain minimum amount that which is not consumed by its owner. A generous person can pay more than this amount, though it is treated and rewarded as voluntary charity (Sadaqah). This amount of money is provided to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and can be used in many useful projects for the welfare of the community. Historically the pillar of Zakah became mandatory on Muslims form the second year after the Hijrah, 622 C.E. It is mentioned more than thirty times in the Qur'an, usually in the same breath as Salah. So important is this pillar that one is not considered a part of the Islamic brotherhood if one ignores this obligation. Hajj The fifth pillar of Islam is to make a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah, in Saudi Arabia, at least once in one's lifetime. This pillar is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, provided that he/she is physically and financially able to do so. Prerequisites for performing the Hajj are to be a Muslim, to be free, to be an adult or mature enough, to be of sound mind, and to have the ability to afford the journey and maintain one's dependents back home for the duration. The reward for the Hajj is nothing less than Paradise. The Hajj is the ultimate form of worship, as it involves the spirit of all the other rituals and demands of the believer great sacrifice. On this unique occasion, nearly two million Muslims from all over the globe meet one another in a given year. Regardless of the season, pilgrims wear special clothes (Ihram) - two, very simple, unseen

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white garments - which strips away all distinctions of wealth, status, class and culture; all stand together and equal before Allah (God). The rites of Hajj, which go back to the time of Prophet Abraham who built the Ka'bah, are observed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth day of the last month of the year, named Dhul-Hijjah (pilgrimage). These rites include circumambulating the Ka'bah (Tawwaf), and going between the mountains of Safa and Marwah, as Hajjar (Abraham's wife) did during her search for water for her son Ishmael. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafah and join in prayers for God's forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. The pilgrims also cast stones at a stone pillar which represents Satan. The pilgrimage ends with a festival, called E'id ul-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers, the sacrifice of an animal, and the exchange of greetings and gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) Muhammad (pbuh) was an illiterate but wise and well-respected man who was born in Makkah in the year 570 C.E., at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. His first years were marked by the deaths of his parents. Since his father died before his birth, his uncle, Abu Talib, from the respected tribe of Quraysh, raised him. As Muhammad (pbuh) grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. His reputation and personal qualities also led to his marriage, at the age of twenty-five, to Khadijah, a widow whom he had assisted in business. Thenceforth, he became an important and trusted citizen of Makkah. Historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (pbuh) never felt fully content to be part of a society whose values he considered to be devoid of true religious significance. It became his habit to retreat from time to time to the cave of Hira', to meditate near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the "Mountain of Light", near Makkah. At the age of 40, while engaged in one such meditative retreat, Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-

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three years, is known as the Qur'an, the faithful recording of the entire revelation of God. The first revelation read: "Recite: In the name of your Lord Who created man from a clot (of blood). Recite: Your Lord is Most Noble, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know." [96:1-5] It was this reality that he gradually and steadily came to learn and believe, until he fully realized that it is the truth. His first convert was Khadijah, whose support and companionship provided necessary reassurance and strength. He also won the support of some of his relatives and friends. Three basic themes of the early message were the majesty of the one, unique God, the futility of idol worship, the threat of judgment, and the necessity of faith, compassion and morality in human affairs. All these themes represented an attack on the crass materialism and idolatry prevalent in Makkah at the time. So when he began to proclaim the message to others the Makkans rejected him. He and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 C.E., 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, marked the beginning of a new era and thus the beginning of the Muslim calendar. During his suffering, Muhammad (pbuh) drew comfort from the knowledge revealed to him about other prophets, such as Abraham, Joseph, and Moses, each of whom had also been persecuted and tested. After several years and some significant battles, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. By the time the Prophet died, at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia had accepted Islam, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread as far west as Spain and as far east as China. It was clear that the message was not limited to Arabs; it was for the whole of humanity. The Prophet's sayings (Hadith), are also believed to be revelation. The number of sayings collected by his followers and scholars is about 10,000. Some typical examples of his sayings are as follows: "To pursue knowledge is obligatory on every believing (man and woman)." [Ibn Majah]

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"Removing a harmful thing from the road is charity." [Bukhari, Muslim] "Those who do not show tenderness and love cannot expect to have tenderness shown to them." [Bukhari] "Adore Allah (God) as though you see Him; even if you do not see Him, He nonetheless sees you." {Bukhari, Muslim] Although Muhammad is deeply loved, revered and emulated by Muslims as God's final messenger, he is not an object of worship. Women At a time when the rest of the world, from Greece and Rome to India and China, considered women as no better than children or even slaves, with no rights whatsoever, Islam acknowledged women's equality with men in a great many respects. The Qur'an states: "And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you form yourselves that you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect." [30:21] Prophet Muhammad said: "The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife." [Abu Dawud] Muslims believe that Adam and Eve were created from the same soul. Both were equally guilty of their sin and fall from grace, and both were forgiven by Allah. Many women in Islam have had high status; consider the fact that the first person to convert to Islam was Khadijah, the wife of Muhammad, whom he both loved and respected. His favorite wife after Khadijah's death, Aeisha, became renowned as a scholar and one of the greatest sources of Hadith literature. Many of the female Companions accomplished great deeds and achieved fame, and throughout Islamic history there have been famous and influential scholars, jurists and mystics. With regard to education, both women and men have the same rights and obligations. This is clear in Prophet Muhammad's saying:

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"Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every believer." [Ibn Majah] This implies men and women. A woman is to be treated as God has endowed her, with rights, such as to be treated as an individual, with the right to own and dispose of her own property and earnings, enter into contracts, even after marriage. She has the right to be educated and to work outside the home if she so chooses. She has the right to inherit from her father, mother, and husband. A very interesting point to note is that in Islam, unlike any other religion, a woman can be an imam, a leader of communal prayer, for a group of women. A Muslim woman also has obligations. All the laws and regulations pertaining to prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, doing good deeds, etc., apply to women, albeit with minor differences having mainly to do with female physiology. Before marriage, a woman has the right to choose her husband. Islamic law is very strict regarding the necessity of having the woman's consent for marriage. A marriage dowry (money) is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use. She keeps her own family name, rather than taking her husband's. As a wife, a woman has the right to be supported by her husband even if she is already rich. She also has the right to seek divorce and custody of young children. She does not return the dowry, except in a few unusual situations. Despite the fact that in many places and times Muslim communities have not always adhered to all or even many of the foregoing in practice, the ideal has been there for 1400 years, while virtually all other major civilizations did not begin to address these issues or change their negative attitudes until the 19th and 20th centuries, and there are still many contemporary civilizations which have yet to do so. Other Religions Islam is the religion of all prophets. Muslims believe that all the prophets were sent to their respective peoples from God (Allah). They all had the same mission and message - guiding people to the right path.

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The three revealed, monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, go back to Abraham. The prophets of these religions were directly descended from him - Moses, Jesus and others from Isaac, but Muhammad from Ishmael. It was Prophet Abraham who had established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and with his son Ishmael built the Ka’bah, which Muslims all over the world face when they pray. Christians and Jews hold a special place in Islam. They are called the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab), since the original Torah and Gospel were also divinely revealed and they shared in the prophetic tradition. Islamic states have nearly always shown their religious minorities tolerance and respect and those communities flourished under Islamic rule. God says: "[T]hose who believe (in the message of Islam), and the Jews, the Sabaeans, and the Christians - all those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and act righteously - no fear shall come upon them..." [5:69] Setting up the Islamic state in Medina, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) further warned: "Whoever oppresses any Dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen of the Islamic state), I shall be his prosecutor on the Day of Judgment." In setting up the Islamic state, Prophet Muhammad made it inclusive of the Arabian Jews and Christians. Their persons, properties, churches and synagogues were protected, freedom of worship was guaranteed, and they controlled their own community affairs with their own civil and religious laws and courts. For most of the first century of the Islamic state, in fact, the majority of the citizens were Christians, enjoying peace and liberty such as they had not had even under Christian Rome or Byzantium. The Jews, from the very beginning in Medina, and later everywhere else, were lifted from the burden of being clients of individual Arab tribes to being citizens of the state, thus freeing them to focus on their Jewish ness. When the Islamic state expanded outside Arabia the Jews of other lands were treated for the first time as liberated citizens. Judaism flourished as never before, with Jews even serving

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in Muslim armies and administrations while their culture bloomed in the arts, sciences, medicine and philosophy. This knowledge they transmitted to their brethren in the hostile climate of Christian Europe. Even Jewish mysticism originated under the influence of Sufism and spread to northern Europe. When Islam reached Persia the concept of People of the Book was extended to the Zoroastrians as well. Later, when the Muslims conquered parts of India and encountered Buddhists and Hindus, who appeared to worship idols, the question was referred to the ulema (council of scholars), who judged that even they could have the same protected status as the Jews and Christians, so long as they did not fight Islam and they paid the Jizyah tax. Peace "Peace" is the most common word on a Muslim's tongue. Whenever two people meet, they exchange greetings, wishing each other peace: "Peace be upon you." But peace cannot prevail except through justice. Since the concept of justice may differ from one man to another or from one society to another, Muslims believe that real justice is that which is specified by Allah (God). Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of the religion, or by those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. At the same time, Islam requires one to treat one's enemy mercifully. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees, and livestock. Islam also requires that if an enemy declares his desire to end hostilities and seek peace, the Muslims must do the same. The concept of Jihad (struggling in the cause of Allah) is stated in the Qur'an. Allah said: "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." [2:19] Jihad is never to be waged to force anybody to choose a particular religion. On the contrary, it is to waged to protect his right to choose freely. Therefore, if there is a force in the world that tries to prevent a person from practicing this right, Jihad may lead to fighting the force that is trying to prevent him from exercising free will.

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Relevance Since Islam is the last religion revealed by Allah, it possesses some elements that make it unique. One of these is its relevance for human beings regardless of place and time. This means that Islam - submission to God - is a comprehensive institution which includes all the guidelines necessary for all aspects of life. Therefore, the best way to understand Islam is to look at it as more than a religion - as a complete way of life. In other words, it is a system which regulates every aspect of life, dealing with all issues - social, economic, educational, judicial, health, and even military. Thus, it is suitable for all human beings and for all times, since it is the final religion. Islamic law aims to achieve five goals for human beings in life: protecting the religion, protecting one's self, protecting one's possessions, protecting one's mind, and protecting one's offspring. Therefore, God (Allah) decided on two main domains of law: If the domain always requires change and progress, Allah legislate comprehensive yet flexible rules and gave people the chance to create and develop the necessary laws to satisfy the specific needs of a certain period of time. For example, in the rule of consultation (Shura), Allah decided that it should be the general rule for any government; however, its form and style are left open for people to choose and decide according to their needs. If the domain does not require or lend itself to change or progress, Allah legislated fixed and detailed laws that govern all issues related to a specific area. Thus, there is no way for man to change or develop those laws, which were made for the welfare of all mankind. For example, the area of worshipping God contains fixed details which cannot be changed at all. These regard prayer, fasting, making pilgrimage, etc. Another example is in family matters, such as the laws of marriage, divorce, and inheritance. To show how Islam cares for the environment, one can cite the many laws that protect the environment. About fourteen hundred years ago. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "The world is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees how you acquit yourselves."

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Muhammad showed how important plants and trees are by saying: "Whoever plants a tree and looks after it with care until it matures and becomes productive will be rewarded in the Hereafter." Even in the territory of an enemy, Islam's care for plants, animals, and trees is profound. Hadrat Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, or successor, to Muhammad (pbuh), instructed his troops that he was sending into battle not to cut down any trees or kill any animals except for food. These are but a few examples of how Islam remains relevant in the modern world. Sources The ultimate manifestation of God's grace for man, the ultimate wisdom, and the ultimate beauty of expression: in short, the word of God.² This is how the German scholar, Muhammad Asad, once described the Qur'an. If one were to ask any Muslim to depict it, most likely they would offer similar words. The Qur'an, to the Muslim, is the irrefutable, inimitable Word of God. It was revealed by God Almighty, through the instrument of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) himself had no role in authoring the Qur'an, he was merely a human secretary, repeating the dictates of the Divine Creator: "He (Muhammad) does not speak of his own desire. It is no less than an Inspiration sent down to him." [53:3-4] The Qur'an was revealed in Arabic, to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), over a period of twenty-three years. It is composed in a style so unique, that it cannot be deemed either poetry or prose, but somehow a mixture of both. The Qur'an is imitable; it cannot be simulated or copied, and God Almighty challenges mankind to pursue such an endeavor if he thinks he can: "Or do they say he forged it? Say: Bring then a chapter likes unto it, and calls (to your aid) anyone you can, beside God, if it be you speak the truth." [10:38]. The Qur'an's language is indeed sublime, its recitation moving, as one non-Muslim scholar noted, it was like ³the cadence of my

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heartbeat². Due to its unique style of language, the Qur'an is not only highly readable, but also relatively easy to remember. This latter aspect has played an important role not only in the Qur'an's preservation, but in the spiritual life of Muslims as well. God Himself declares. "And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there anyone that will receive admonition?" [54:17] One of the most important characteristics of the Qur'an is that it remains today, the only holy book which has never changed; it has remained free from any and all adulterations. Sir William Muir noted, "There is probably in the world no other book which has remained (fourteen) centuries with so pure a text." The Qur'an was written down during the lifetime and under the supervision of the Prophet, who himself was illiterate, and it was canonized shortly after his death by a rigorous method which scrutinized both written and oral traditions. Thus its authenticity is unblemished, and is its preservation is seen as the fulfillment of God's promise: "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message, and We will assuredly guard it from corruption." [15:9] The Qur'an is a book which provides the human being the spiritual and intellectual nourishment he/she craves. Its major themes include the oneness of God, the purpose of human existence, faith and Godconsciousness, the Hereafter and its significance. The Qur'an also lays a heavy emphasis upon reason and understanding. In these spheres of human understanding, the Qur'an goes beyond just satisfying the human intellect; it causes one to reflect on implications. There are Qur'anic challenges and prophecies. One of the most exciting fields in recent years has been the discovery that, of the significant amount of scientific information in the Qur'an, including the event of the Big Bang, embryological data, and other information concerning astronomy biology, etc., there is not a single statement that has not been borne out by modern discoveries In short, the Qur'an fulfills the heart, the soul, and the mind.

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Perhaps the best description of the Qur'an was given by Ali, the cousin of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he expounded upon it as, The Book of God In it is the record of what was before you, the judgment of what is among you, and the prophecies of what will come after you. It is decisive, not a case for levity. Whoever is a tyrant and ignores the Qur'an will be destroyed by God. Whoever seeks guidance from other than it will be misguided. The Qur'an is the unbreakable bond of connection with God; it is the remembrance full of wisdom and the straight path. The Qur'an does not become distorted by tongues. nor can it be deviated by caprices; it never dulls from repeated study; scholars will always want more of it. The wonders of the Qur'an are never ending. Whoever speaks from it will speak the truth, whoever rules with it will be just, and whoever holds fast to it will be guided to the straight path." [Al-Tirmidhi] Sunnah The term Sunnah comes from the root word Suannh, which means to pave the way or make a path easily passable, such that it becomes a commonly followed way by everyone afterwards. Thus Sunnah can be used to describe a street or road or path on which people, animals, and cars travel. Additionally, it can apply to a prophetic way, i.e. the law that they brought and taught as an explanation or further clarification of a divinely revealed book. Normally, the prophetic way includes references to his sayings, actions, physical features and character traits. From the Islamic standpoint, Sunnah refers to anything narrated or related about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), authentically traced to him regarding his speech, actions, traits, and silent approvals, before and after the revelation. Each narration is composed of two parts: the isnad and the matn. The isnad refers to a chain of people who narrated a particular narration. The matn is the actual text of the narration. The isnad must comprise upright and sincere individuals whose integrity is unquestionable.

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The Speech of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) The speech of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) refers to his sayings. For example, he said: "Actions are judged by their intentions; everyone will be rewarded according to his/her intention. So whoever migrates for the sake of Allah and His Prophet then his migration will be noted as a migration for the sake of Allah and His Prophet. Conversely, one who migrates only to obtain something worldly or to marry a woman, then his migration will be worth what he had intended". [Bukhari] The Prophet (pbuh) also said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say something good or keep quiet." The above two accounts clearly show that the Prophet (pbuh) spoke these words. Consequently, these are known as his speech. The Actions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) His actions pertain to anything he did, as authentically reported by the Sahabah (Companions). For instance, Hudhayfah reported that whenever the Prophet (pbuh) got up at night, he would clean his teeth with a tooth-stick. Also A'ishah reported that the Prophet (pbuh) loved to do everything starting with the right side - putting on shoes, walking, cleaning himself, and in all his affairs generally. The Silent Approvals of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) His silent approvals on different issues meant his not opposing or minding what he saw, heard or knew of the actions or sayings of his Companions. On one occasion, for example, the Prophet (pbuh) learned of actions of some of his Companions from other Companions. Soon after the battle of Khandaq, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) gave the order to the Companions to move quickly to surround the tribe of Banu Quraydah, encouraging them to hurry so that perhaps they would pray 'Asr (the late afternoon prayer) there. Some of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) responded immediately and left without praying 'Asr. They arrived after sunset, pitched camp and prayed 'Asr- after sunset. At the same time another group of Companions formulated their judgment differently. They thought that the Prophet (pbuh) was merely encouraging them to hasten to their destination, rather than to delay 'Asr until after

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sunset. Consequently, they decided to stay in Madinah until they had prayed 'Asr. Immediately thereafter, they hastened towards the tribe of Banu Quraydhah. When the Prophet (pbuh) was told of how each group responded differently to his announcement, he (pbuh) affirmed both judgments.

Physical and Moral Traits of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Everything authentically narrated concerning the Prophet's complexion and the rest of his physical features is also included in the definition of sunnah. Umm Ma'bad described what she saw of the great Prophet (pbuh). She said: "I saw a man, his face radiant with a bright glow, not too thin or too fat, elegant and handsome. His eyes had a deep black hue with long eyelashes. His voice was pleasant and his neck long. He had a thick beard. His long black eyebrows were beautifully arched and connected to each other. In silence, he remained dignified, commanding utmost awe and respect. When he spoke, his speech was brilliant. Of all people he was the most handsome and the most pleasant, even when approaching from a distance. In person, he was unique and most admirable. Graced with eloquent logic, his speech was moderate. His logical arguments were well organized as though they were a string of gems. He was not too tall or too short, but exactly in between. Among three, he appeared the most radiant and most vibrant. He had companions who affectionately honored him. When he spoke, they listened to him attentively. When he gave orders, they were quick to execute them. They rallied around him guarding him. He never frowned or spoke frivolously." [Hakim] Along with his physical features, his Companions also described his habits and behavior with people. Once Anas reported: "I served the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) for ten years. Never once did he so much as express any bit of displeasure nor did he ever ask 'Why did you do it?' for something I did or 'Why didn't you do it?' for something I didn't do."

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From the above we can clearly see that when the term sunnah appears in a general context referring to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) it comprises anything narrated about the Prophet (pbuh) and authentically traced to him. Once a Muslim learns of the authenticity of any narration, he/she is obliged to follow and obey it accordingly. Such obedience is mandated by Allah as He declares "...and obey Allah and His Prophet and do not turn away when you hear (him speak)." [8:20] At times, some Muslims are perplexed when people say that sunnah is something only recommended and is not mandatory. Thus they conclude that we are only required to follow the Qur'an and not the Sunnah. Such an argument results from a gross misunderstanding. Scholars of Islamic jurisprudence use the term sunnah to denote what is authentically established of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in deeds which were not subsequently made mandatory by Allah. They further hold that this includes any saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) where he encourages Muslims to do a particular task and compliments those who imbibe such attributes. Thus to them, the term sunnah denotes what is authentically established of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in deeds which he did voluntarily and which were not subsequently made mandatory by Allah. They further hold that this includes any saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) where he encourages Muslims to do a particular task and compliments those who imbibe such attributes. Thus to them, the term sunnah refers to what is "recommended" and is not mandatory (fard or wajib). From the above, we can clearly see that the term sunnah takes on different meanings when used by different Islamic disciplines. Tolerance Freedom of belief is guaranteed in Islam. It should be very clear that Islam tolerates not only other faiths but even its enemies. This is stated clearly in the Qur'an: "God forbids you not with regard 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 love those who are just." [60:8]

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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. Islamic law also permits nonMuslim minorities to set up their own courts to implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves and to govern their own affairs. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths. When the great leader and second Caliph, Umar, entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam guaranteed freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. In fact, so careful was Umar in setting an example for his people that he not only went to a church to pray, he prayed outside in the courtyard, lest his followers after his death be tempted to convert the church into a mosque. Islam teaches that the closest to Allah and the most beloved of Allah are those who are the best in piety. Thus all people, male and female, and regardless of race, color, nationality or ethnicity, are considered and treated as equal before Allah and before the law. This concept of tolerance did not reach the West even in theory until the 18th century and in practice not until the 20th century. Universality In the Qur'an, Allah says: "We have sent you (Muhammad) as a mercy for all nations." [21:107] Thus Islam is not restricted to any particular race or nation, as many other religions are, but is universal, meaning that its message applies to all humanity, at all times, in all places. Since Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last prophet and messenger, his message applies to all future generations. All previous prophets, from Adam, Noah and Abraham to Moses and Jesus, were also Muslims: "Not a single messenger did We send before you without this inspiration sent by Us to him that there is no god but I, therefore worship and serve Me." [21:25] Since the Qur'an is the final testament, with every word and every letter unadulterated and unchanged, and protected by Allah from

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any change or tampering, it is the final revelation, and no other law will ever supersede it. It applies, moreover, to every aspect of one's daily life, including personal, social, legal, economic, political, and even military. Furthermore, Islam affects every part of the individual- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

16.00.00: HOW TO BECOME A MUSLIM
islamworld.net If you do not know any Muslims and you are interested in becoming a Muslim, then contact us or start a Live Chat. All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Mohammad, His last messenger. The purpose of this hand-out is to correct a false idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people have a wrong notion that entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of high ranking scholars or shaikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificate issued by the authorities, as evidence to that effect. We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very easy and that none of these conditions or obligations are required. For Allah, Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, as this procedure may facilitate for them many matters including the possibility of performing Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah. If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human-beings, then, one should pronounce the "Shahada", the

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testimony of faith, without further delay. The Holy Qur'an is explicit on this regard as Allah states: "The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam." (Qur'an 3:19) In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah states: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the hell fire)."(Qur'an 3:85) In addition, Islam is the only religion prevailing over all other religions. Allah states in the Holy Qur'an: "To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety:..." (Qur'an 5:48) Mohammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), said: "The superstructure of Islam is raised on five (pillars): testifying that there is no God (none truly to be worshiped) but Allah, and that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah, performing the prayer, paying the Zakah (poor-due), fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing Hajj". The Shahada can be declared as follows: "Ash-Hadu Anlaa-Elaha Illallaahu Wahdahu La-Shariikalahu WaAsh-Hadu Anna Mohammadan A’bduhu Wa-Rasuluhu". The English translation is: "I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped) other than Allah, Allah is the only one and there is no partner with him. Also I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger and servant of Allah". However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimony oraly either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he will find himself a new born person.

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This will move him to strive more and more to improve his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fill his heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith. What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim? One should then know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the Oneness of Allah and meet its requirements. One must behave accordingly, applying this true faith to every thing one speaks or does. What do the words of the "Shahada" signify? The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He - glory be to Him - is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship. The second part of the Shahada (i.e.Wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan rasul-Allah) means that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH), to believe him in what he has said, to practice his teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah. What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service, showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah's commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit. Worship fall into two categories: (a) Visible (manifest or outward): Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the "Shahada", performing prayers, giving Zakah (the poor-due), recitation of the Holy Qur'an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.

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This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of the human body. (b) Invisible (concealed or inward): Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgment (in the Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone). This type of worship does not involve movement of parts of the body but it surely has bearing on one's heart which subsequently affects one's way of life. It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alone will be rejected as one form of polytheism and this causes apostasy from the Islamic fold. The next step for a newly revert to Islam is to purify himself by taking a complete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be righteous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the requisites of the motto of Islam - that is, Laa Ilaha Illallah. Allah states in the Holy Qur'an: "... Whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold that never breaks..." (Qur'an 2:256). We have to consider that when we declare from our heart that "there is no god (deity) worthy to be worshipped but Allah", it implies on our part love, devotion, faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislations which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is a requirement of "there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah" to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah. This is the firmest anchor of belief which materializes the meaning of "AL WALA" and "AL BARA". It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practice, dissociate himself completely from the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldly and religious matters.

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We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the hearts and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers. Aameen. If you do not know any Muslims and you are interested in becoming a Muslim, then contact us or start a Live Chat. islamworld.net

16.01.00:How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim
The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no prerequisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others. If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahada” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam. With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahada”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam. Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins: “Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?” (Saheeh Muslim)

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When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible. The Holy Quran and Hadeeth (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states: “...The only religion in the sight of God is Islam...” (Quran 3:19) In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states: “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85) In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said: “Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word[1] which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) The Prophet of God, may the blessing and mercy of God be upon him, also reported: “Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: “I testify that none has the right to worship except Allah (God),’ seeking thereby the Face of God.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) The Declaration of the Testimony (Shahada) To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning: I testify “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.” The translation of which is: “I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God.” When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim. It can be done alone, but it is much better to be done with an adviser through the “Live Help” at top, so

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we may help you in pronouncing it right and to provide you with important resources for new Muslims. The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Holy Quran: “We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25) This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone. Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only. Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one’s family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone. The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.

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One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says: “And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.” (Quran 68:4) God also said: “And in deed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.” (Qur’an 33:21) He was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an, in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied: “His character was that of the Qur’an.” (As-Suyooti) To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahada is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says: “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love God, then follow me.” (Qur’an 3:31) It also means that Muhammad is the Final Prophet and Messenger of God, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him. “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything.” (Qur’an 33:40) All who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief. We welcome you to Islam, congratulate you for your decision, and will try to help you in any way we can. Footnotes: [1] God created him through His statement, “Be!”

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17.00.00: Rights of women in Islam
What are the women rights like under Islam? How have they changed since Islam’s golden age (from mid 8th century until 12th century) if they have changed?

Praise be to Allaah. Islam honors women greatly. It honors women as mothers who must be respected, obeyed and treated with kindness. Pleasing one's mother is regarded as part of pleasing Allah. Islam tells us that Paradise lies at the mother’s feet, i.e. that the best way to reach Paradise is through one's mother. And Islam forbids disobeying one’s mother or making her angry, even by saying a mild word of disrespect. The mother’s rights are greater than those of the father, and the duty to take care of her grows greater as the mother grows older and weaker. All of that is mentioned in many texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah. For example, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning: “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents” [al-Ahqaaf 46:15] “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’. [Al-Isra, 17:232-24] Ibn Maajah (2781) narrated that Mu’aawiyah ibn Jaahimiah alSulami (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I came to the

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Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?” I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honor her.” Then I approached him from the other side and said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?” I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honor her.” Then I approached him from in front and said, O Messenger of Allah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?” I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honor her (listen to her stay by her feet), for there is Paradise.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah. It was also narrated by al-Nasaa’i with the words: “Stay with her for Paradise is beneath her feet.” Al-Bukhaari (5971) and Muslim (2548) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who is most deserving of my good company?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Then your father.” And there are other texts which we do not have room to mention here. One of the rights which Islam gives to the mother is that her son should spend on her if she needs that support, so long as he is able and can afford it. Hence for many centuries it was unheard of among the people of Islam for a mother to be left in an old-people’s home or for a son to kick her out of the house, or for her sons to refuse to spend on her, or for her to need to work in order to eat and drink if her sons were present. Islam also honors women as wives. Islam urges the husband to treat his wife in a good and kind manner, and says that the wife has rights over the husband like his rights over her, except that he has a degree over her, because of his responsibility of spending and taking care

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of the family’s affairs. Islam states that the best of the Muslim men is the one who treats his wife in the best manner, and the man is forbidden to take his wife’s money without her consent. Allah says interpretation of the meaning: “and live with them honorably”. [AnNisa, 4:19] “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise”. [Al-Baqarah, 2:228] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I urge you to treat women well.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 331; Muslim, 1468. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Maajah, 1977; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi] And Islam honors women as daughters, and encourages us to raise them well and educate them. Islam states that raising daughters will bring a great reward. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood, he and I will come like this on the Day of Resurrection,” and he held his fingers together. [Narrated by Muslim, 2631] Ibn Maajah (3669) narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink and clothes them from his riches, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [Classed as saheeh by alAlbaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah] Islam honors woman as sisters and as aunts. Islam enjoins upholding the ties of kinship and forbids severing those ties in many texts. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

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“O people! Spread (the greeting of) salaam, offer food (to the needy), uphold the ties of kinship, and pray at night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise in peace.” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 3251; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah] Al-Bukhaari (5988) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah, may He be exalted, said to the ties of kinship: ‘Whoever upholds you, I will support him, and whoever breaks you, I will cut him off.’” All of these qualities may co-exist in a single woman: she may be a wife, a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunt, so she may be honored in all these ways. To conclude: Islam raised the status of women, and made them equal with men in most rulings. So women, like men, are commanded to believe in Allah and to worship Him. And women are made equal to men in terms of reward in the Hereafter. Women have the right to express themselves, to give sincere advice, to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and to call people to Allah. Women have the right to own property, to buy and sell, to inherit, to give charity and to give gifts. It is not permissible for anyone to take a woman’s wealth without her consent. Women have the right to a decent life, without facing aggression or being wronged. Women have the right to be educated; in fact it is obligatory to teach them what they need to know about their religion. Anyone who compares the rights of women in Islam with their situation during the Jaahiliyyah or in other civilizations will understand that what we are saying is true. In fact we are certain that women are given the greatest honor in Islam. There is no need for us to mention the situation of women in Greek, Persian or Jewish society, but even Christian societies had a bad attitude towards women. The theologians even gathered at the Council of Macon to discuss whether woman was merely a body or a body with a soul. They thought it most likely that women did not have a soul that could be saved, and they made an exception only in

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the case of Mary (Maryam – peace be upon her). The French held a conference in 586 CE to discuss whether women had souls or not, and if they had souls, were these souls animal or human? In the end, they decided that they were human! But they were created to serve men only. During the time of Henry VIII, the English Parliament issued a decree forbidding women to read the New Testament because they were regarded as impure. Until 1805, English law allowed a man to sell his wife, and set a wife’s price at six pennies. In the modern age, women were kicked out of the house at the age of eighteen so that they could start working to earn a bite to eat. If a woman wanted to stay in the house, she had to pay her parents rent for her room and pay for her food and laundry. [See ‘Awdat alHijaab, 2/47-56] How can this compare to Islam which enjoins honoring and kind treatment of women, and spending on them? Secondly: With regard to the changes in these rights throughout the ages, the basic principles have not changed, but with regard to the application of these principles, there can be no doubt that during the golden age of Islam, the Muslims applied the sharee’ah of their Lord more, and the rulings of this sharee’ah include honoring one’s mother and treating one’s wife, daughter, sister and women in general in a kind manner. The weaker religious commitment grew, the more these rights were neglected, but until the Day of Resurrection there will continue to be a group who adheres to their religion and applies the sharee’ah of their Lord. These are the people who honor women the most and grant them their rights. Despite the weakness of religious commitment among many Muslims nowadays, women still enjoy a high status, whether as daughters, wives or sisters, whilst we acknowledge that there are shortcomings, wrongdoing and neglect of women’s rights among some people, but each one will be answerable for himself.

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Islam Q&A She is confused about women’s rights in Islam
I am confused. All my life I interacted with others on the basis that I am a human being before being female and the slave woman of Allah as much as I could, and that based on this, whoever does good, whether male or female, will be rewarded, and whoever commits sin will bear the burden of sin. But after I got married I was surprised by some rulings which treat me as if I am not human, because they treat me as if I am only an object for the enjoyment of the man, such as the fact that the angels will curse me if I refuse intimacy under any circumstances, at the time when he is under no such burden if he refuses to have intercourse with his wife even if he does that to cause her harm. So he gets the reward of doing charity if he has intercourse with her and enjoys intimacy with her, and she will not have any reward, even if she responds unwillingly. If he upsets me and humiliates me in front of people, I have to make up with him and try to please him; otherwise the angels will curse me. And of course I have no right to differ with his opinion or to argue with him, and if I lose my temper I am not forgiven. And, as you have stated in a fatwa, the reward for praying in congregation is only for men and not for women. Is this what Allah has prescribed for us? Is this the fate of the Muslim woman if she does well and does what is required of her? If she avoids sin, she does not attain any virtue and if she falls short she is one of those who are cursed and expelled from the mercy of Allah, and do I and the accursed Iblees become the same? I hope that you will pay attention to this question, because I am having doubts about my religion. If this is what Allah has prescribed then we hear and obey and there is no power and no strength except with Allah.

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. We are shocked by what the sister has mentioned in her question, that is not part of the religion of Allaah but she is attributing to it, and her belief in rulings for which Allah has not sent down any authority, such as her saying that “after I got married I was surprised by some rulings which treat me as if I am not human, because they treat me as if I am only an object for the enjoyment of the man”! We will respond by noting the following points: Firstly: Allah has honored women greatly. He honors them as daughters, mothers and wives, and gives them rights and virtues, and enjoins good treatment in ways that are not shared by men in many cases.

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Islam does not deny woman’s humanity. Rather it gives her rights and holds her in high esteem. Women were treated as chattels and objects before Allah honored mankind with Islam. Women would be inherited like goods and chattels, and could be left suspended, being neither married nor divorced. A woman would have to wait for a year after her husband’s death, neither washing nor going out of the house, until birds and animals would die from her foul smell! Women were not allowed to inherit, let alone the fact that they could be buried alive, and many other things. Then Islam came and forbade burying females alive; it regarded that as murder, which is a major sin. It forbade leaving women suspended as a result of vows or making one's wife haraam by means of zihaar [a jaahili form of divorce in which the husband said to his wife, ‘You are to me as my mother’s back’; intimacy thus became forbidden, but the woman was not divorced completely and was not free to enter into a new marriage - Translator]. Islam gave women their share of inheritance, and stipulated an ‘iddah of four months and ten days after the death of her husband, during which she could bathe, change her clothes and see other women and her mahrams. It allowed women to buy, sell and own property, and encouraged them to seek knowledge and call people to Allah. It commanded that women should be honored as wives and as mothers, and made the mother’s rights three times greater than those of the father. And there are many other ways in which Islam honored women, which we have no room to discuss in detail here; rather we just wanted to remind you of this. Please also see the answer to question no. 210/10 for more information. Secondly: The sister says in her question: “such as the fact that the angels will curse me if I refuse intimacy under any circumstances”. This is not correct. Rather the angels do not curse the wife who refuses to share her husband’s bed unless she has no valid excuse. If she has an excuse – such as being sick, or menstruating, or bleeding following childbirth (nifaas), or observing an obligatory fast, then she is not cursed, rather her husband who calls her to bed is sinning if he insists on calling her, or forces her when he knows of her situation.

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In question no. 33597 of this site it says: A woman does not have the right to refuse her husband, rather she must respond to his request every time he calls her, so long as that will not harm her or keep her from doing something that is obligatory. In question no. 9602 it says: Ibn Hazm said: It is obligatory on slave women and free women alike not to refuse their masters or husbands if they call them, so long as the woman who is called is not menstruating or sick in such a way that intercourse will be harmful to her, or observing an obligatory fast. If she refuses with no excuse, then she is cursed.. [Al-Muhallah, 40/10] This curse is limited to cases where the husband remains angry with her all night. But if he calls her and she refuses, then he foregoes his right, then she is not cursed. Thirdly: The sister says in her question “at the time when he is under no such burden if he refuses to have intercourse with his wife even if he does that to cause her harm.” This also is not correct. Islam forbids harming others, which includes a husband harming his wife by preventing her from breastfeeding her child, or denying her right to intercourse and pleasure. It says in the answer to question no. 10680 – in the context of discussing the wife’s rights over her husband: Not harming one’s wife. This is one of the basic principles of Islam. Because harming others is haraam in the case of strangers, it is even more so in the case of harming one’s wife. It was narrated from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ruled, “There should be no harming nor reciprocating harm.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2340)

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This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Imaam Ahmad, al-Haakim, Ibn al-Salaah and others. See Khalaasat al-Badr al-Muneer, 2/438. It says in the answer to question no. 5971: It is not permissible for a man to forsake his wife and thus harm her, except in the case of nushooz (rebellion) and disobedience. But he is not committing a sin if he does not lie with her without intending to harm her, because the need is his and depends on his desire and he cannot control his desire at will. If he forsakes her, then he is a sinner because there should be no harming or reciprocating harm. And Allah knows best. Fourthly: The sister says in her question, “So he gets the reward of doing charity if he has intercourse with her and enjoys intimacy with her, and she will not have any reward, even if she responds unwillingly” This is also not correct. Rather the wife will be rewarded for intercourse in two ways: • Because she is the twin half of man in rulings and rewards, except those where an exception is stated in the texts. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning : “So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) one of another, so those who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, and suffered harm in My Cause, and who fought, and were killed (in My Cause), verily, I will expiate from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise); a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards”. [Al-Imran, 3:195]

It is the cause of the husband being rewarded, and whoever is the cause of another person being rewarded will share in the reward without that detracting from his or her reward in the slightest.

It was narrated from Abu Dharr that some people from among the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allah, the rich people will get more reward.

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They pray as we pray, and they fast as we fast, but they give in charity from their excess wealth.” He said, “Has not Allah given you things with which you can give charity? Every tasbeehah (saying ‘Subhaan Allah (Glory be to Allah)’) is a charity. Every Takbeerah (saying ‘Allahu akbar (Allah is Most Great)’) is a charity. Every Tahmeedah (saying ‘al-hamdu-Lillaah (praise be to Allah)’ is a charity. Every Tahleelah (saying ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah)’) is a charity. Enjoining what is good is a charity. Forbidding what is evil is a charity. Having intercourse (with one’s wife) is a charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, if one of us fulfils his desire, is there reward in that?” He said, “Do you not see that if he does it in a haraam way he will have the burden of sin? So if he does it in a halaal way, he will have a reward for that.” [Narrated by Muslim, 1006] So the wife will be rewarded just as her husband will, just as she is sinning if she fulfils her desires in a way that is haraam, just as is the case with the husband. Imaam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The phrase, ‘Having intercourse is a charity’ – the word bud’ (translated here as ‘having intercourse’) may mean intercourse, or it may refer to the private part itself… This indicates that permissible actions may become acts of worship, if there is a sincere intention. Intercourse may be an act of worship if the intention behind it is to fulfill the rights of one's wife, to treat her kindly as enjoined by Allah, to seek a righteous child, to keep oneself or one’s wife chaste, to prevent both partners from looking towards or thinking of haraam things, and other good intentions. Fifthly: The sister says in her question: “If he upsets me and humiliates me in front of people, I have to make up with him and try to please him; otherwise the angels will curse me”. This also is not correct. The curse applies in the case of a woman who refuses to come to her husband’s bed with no excuse, when her husband stays angry with her all night – as explained above.

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But if the husband humiliates her, then he is undoubtedly sinning by doing that, and sharee’ah allows her to answer him back in a manner that befits his wrongdoing. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning: “And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them”. [Ash-Shura, 42:41] i.e., there is no sin on them. The word man (whosoever) here is general in meaning and includes women too. Or if she is patient in bearing harsh words and mistreatment, seeking reward with Allah, she will earn a more complete and better reward. So what he must do is to make up with her and try to please her, not the other way round. If a person does wrong, in order for his repentance to be complete he must try to please the one who has been wronged, with apologies and kind words. Sixthly: The sister says: “And of course I have no right to differ with his opinion or to argue with him, and if I lose my temper I am not forgiven.” This is not correct. It is permissible for a women to argue with her husband and to have a different opinion, but she does not have the right to refuse to do what he tells her to do – even if she objects to it – so long as he does not tell her to commit sin, because there is no obedience to anyone if it involves disobedience towards the Creator. This is part of the qiwaamah (role of protector and maintainer) that Allah has given to the husband in return for the obligation to spend on his wife, protect her and take care of her. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”. [An-Nisa, 4:34] It is narrated that the women of the Sahaabah used to argue and debate with them, and indeed this is the way in which the Mothers of the Believers [i.e., the Prophet’s wives] used to act with our

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Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “We Quraysh used to control our women, but when we came to the Ansaar we found that they were a people who were controlled by their women. So our women started to adopt the ways of the Ansaari women. I got angry with my wife and she argued with me and I did not like her arguing with me. She said, ‘Why do you object to me arguing with you? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) argue with him…’” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4895; Muslim, 1479] Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said – discussing the lessons to be learned from this hadeeth – “This indicates that being harsh with women is something blameworthy, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) adopted the way of the Ansaar with their women and forsook the way of his people.” [Fath al-Baari, 9/291] With regard to what the sister mentioned about not being forgiven for any loss of temper or irritation on her part, this is not right at all, because there are some kinds of irritation for which a person will not be taken to task if he does not speak of them or act upon them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah will forgive my ummah for that which crosses their minds, so long as they do not speak of it or act upon it.” And there are some which a person cannot help at all, because of intense anger, etc, which is beyond his or her control. At the end of Surah al-Baqarah is mentioned the du’aa’ of the believers (interpretation of the meaning) “Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear”. [Al-Baqarah, 2:286] and it is proven in the Sunnah that Allah has answered this du’aa’ and said, “I will do that.” Seventhly: The sister says in her question: “as you have stated in a fatwa that the reward for praying in congregation is only for men and not for women”.

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This also is not correct. Rather what we said – based on the ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – is that the twenty-seven-fold reward is for men only, because they are the ones for whom prayer in congregation is enjoined, not women. Prayer is congregation is mustahabb for women, but we cannot be certain that women will get the twenty-seven-fold reward. It is permissible for women to attend the prayers in the mosque, and it is not permissible for men to forbid them to go. If they go and pray with (the men), they will have a share of the reward for praying in congregation. Nevertheless, based on the saheeh ahaadeeth, if a woman prays in her house, she is doing that which is better for her than the reward for praying in the mosque. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not prevent your women from coming to the mosques, although their houses are better for them.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 567; Ahmad, 5445 – this version narrated by Ahmad.] ‘Abd al-‘Azeem Abaadi said: “Their houses are better for them” means that their praying in their houses is better for them than praying in the mosques, if only they knew that, but they do not know that, so they ask to go out to the mosques and think that the reward for going to the mosque is greater. The reason why their praying in their houses is better is because they are safer from fitnah (temptation). This ruling is even more necessary because of the tabarruj (wanton display) and adornment that have become prevalent among women. [‘Awn alMa’bood, 2/193] Eighthly: The sister says in her question: “Is this the fate of the Muslim woman if she does well and does what is required of her? If she avoids sin, she does not attain any virtue and if she falls short she is one of those who are cursed and expelled from the mercy of Allah, and do I and the accursed Iblees become the same?”!

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This is thinking badly of Allah, and what you say is not correct at all. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning) “Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e., Paradise in the Hereafter.” [An-Nahl, 16:97] “So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) one of another, so those who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, and suffered harm in My Cause, and who fought, and were killed (in My Cause), verily, I will expiate from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise); a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards”. [Al-Imran, 3:195] “Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord -- Allah), the men and the women who give Sadaqaat (i.e. Zakaah and alms), the men and the women who observe Sawm (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadaan, and the optional Nawafil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allaah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise.” [Al-Ahzaab, 33:35] With regard to the sister’s saying that if she falls short, she and Iblees would be the same, this is an exaggeration and there is no need for this; and it is an unacceptable comparison, because the curse of Allah to Iblees is the eternal curse for which no repentance will be accepted, and it cannot be compared to the curse that applies

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in the case of a Muslim who believes in Allah alone and submits to Him, but commits some major sins. The clear verses and words that we have quoted are sufficient to explain the error of what you say. We ask Allah to help you to understand Islam properly and to make you steadfast in adhering to goodness and true guidance. At the end of this response, we should not forget to praise our sister for her frankness in asking about the doubts about some Islamic matters that the Shaytaan has thrown into her heart which, if she had kept them to herself, could have spoiled her religious commitment and generated waswaasa (whispers from the Shaytaan) which could have caused a great deal of trouble in her life. Asking such questions dispels confusion and dispels doubt from one’s heart. But when asking such questions, that should be done with more in a more appropriate manner, when asking about the wisdom of Allaah in what He prescribes, and the questioner should avoid everything that may be taken as objecting to the rulings, because the human mind is incapable of comprehending the greatness of Allaah’s wisdom and the vastness of His bounty towards His creation. We also appreciate our sister’s acceptance of and submission to the laws of Allah, as she says, “If this is what Allah has prescribed then we hear and obey”. This is how the believer should be. We ask Allah to make us steadfast in adhering to His religion, and to guide us. And Allah knows best. Islam Q&A The status of the family in Islam
What does Islam teach about the family and the roles of men, women and Children?

Praise be to Allah. Before we find out about the role of Islam in organizing and protecting the family, we should first find out what the situation of the family was before Islam, and what it is in the west in modern times.

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Before Islam, the family was based on mistreatment and oppression. All affairs were controlled only by men or in other words, the males, and women and girls were oppressed and humiliated. An example of that is that if a man died and left behind a wife, his son by another wife had the right to marry her and control her life, or to prevent her from getting married. Men were the only ones who could inherit; women and children had no share. They viewed women, whether they were mothers, daughters or sisters, as a source of shame, because they could be taken as prisoners, thus bringing shame upon the family. Hence a man would bury his infant daughter alive, as is referred to in the Qur’aan, where Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision”. [An-Nahl, 16:58] The family in the broader sense, i.e., the tribe, was based on supporting one another in all things, even in wrongdoing. When Islam came, it did away with all that and established justice, giving each person his or her rights, even nursing infants, and even the miscarried fetus who was to be respected and prayed for (i.e., given a proper funeral) When you examine the family in the west today you will find that families are disintegrating and the parents cannot control their children, whether intellectually or morally. The son has the right to go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants; the daughter has the right to sit with whoever she wants and sleep with whoever she wants, all in the name of freedom and rights. And what is the result? Broken families, children born outside marriage, (elderly) mothers and fathers who are not looked after. As some wise men have said, if you want to know the true nature of these people, go to the prisons and the hospitals and seniors’ homes, for children do not remember their parents except on holidays and special occasions.

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The point is that among non-Muslims the institution of family is destroyed. When Islam came it paid a great deal of attention to the establishment of strong families and protecting them from things that could harm them, and preserving family ties whilst giving each member of the family an important role in life. Islam honored women, whether as mothers, daughters or sisters. It honoured women as mothers. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, who among people is most deserving of my good company?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Then your father.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5626; Muslim, 2548) Islam honors women as daughters. It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever has three daughters or three sisters, or two daughters or two sisters, and takes good care of them and fears Allah with regard to them, will enter Paradise.” (Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, 2/190) And Islam honors women as wives. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 3895). Islam gave women their rights of inheritance and other rights. It gave women rights like those of men in many spheres. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Women are the twin halves of men.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, 236, from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abu Dawood, 216). Islam encourages men to treat their wives well, and gives women the freedom to choose their husbands; it gives women much of the responsibility for raising the children.

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Islam gives fathers and mothers a great deal of responsibility for raising their children. It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his flock. The woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” He said, I heard this from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829) Islam paid a great deal attention to implanting the principle of respect for fathers and mothers, taking care of them and obeying their commands until death. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor” [Isra, 17:23] Islam protects the honor, chastity, purity and lineage of the family, so it encourages marriage and forbids free mixing of men and women. Islam gives each family member an important role to play. So fathers and mothers take care of the children and give them an Islamic upbringing; children are to listen and obey, and respect the rights of fathers and mothers, on a basis of love and respect. Even our enemies have borne witness to the strength of family ties among the Muslims. And Allah knows best.

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18.00.00 THE PARTIAL ABLUTION (Wudu')
Before offering the prayer one must be in good shape and pure condition. It is necessary to wash the parts of the body which are generally exposed to dirt or dust or smog. This performance is called ABLUTION (Wudu') and is preferably carried out as follows:

1. Declare the intention that the act is for the purpose of worship and purity, start by saying Bismillah. 2. Wash the hands up to the wrists, three times.

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3. Rinse out the mouth with water, three times, preferably with a brush whenever it is possible. 4. Cleanse the nostrils of the nose by sniffing water into them, three times. 5. Wash the whole face three times with both hands, if possible, from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin and from ear to ear. 6. Wash the right arm three times up to the far end of the elbow, and then do the same with the left arm. 7. Wipe the whole head or any part of it with a wet hand, once. 8. Wipe the inner sides of the ears with the forefingers and their outer sides with the thumbs. This should be done with wet fingers. 9 Wash the two feet up to the ankles, three times, beginning with the right foot. At this stage the ablution is completed, and the person who has performed it is ready to start to start his prayer. When the ablution is valid a person may keep it as long as he can, and may use it for as many prayers as he wishes. But it is preferable to renew it as often as possible. It is also preferable to do it in the said order, although it will be accepted from those who fail to keep this order. Ablution in the said way is sufficient for prayer unless it is nullified by any reason. Nullification of the Ablution The ablution becomes nullified by any of the following 1. Natural discharges, i.e., urine, stools, gas, etc... 2. The flow of blood or pus and the like from any part of the body; 3. Vomiting; 4. Falling asleep; 5. Losing one's reason by taking drugs or any intoxicating stuff. After the occurrence of any of these things the ablution must be renewed for prayer. Also, after natural discharges, water should be applied because the use of toilet tissues may not be sufficient for the purpose of purity and worship. The Complete Ablution (Ghusl/Bath)

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The whole body with the nostrils, mouth and head must be washed by a complete bath before commencing prayer in any of the following cases: 1. After intimate intercourse; 2. After wet dreams; or night discharge; 3. Upon expiration of the menstruation period of women; 4. At the end of the confinement period of nursing women, which, is estimated at a maximum of forty days. If it ends before, complete ablution should be done. It should be pointed out that at the start of the bath or ablution the intention must be clear that it is for the purpose of purity and worship. Also, a person who is performing an ablution, partial or complete, should combine his performance with some utterances glorifying God and asking Him for true guidance. The forms of such utterances are described in detail in the elaborate sources of the religion. One, however, can say one's own best utterances if one do not know the exact wording. That is sufficient as long as it is in the praise of God and is said with sincerity.

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18.01.00 How to Perform Wudu Islamic Ablution
There are two forms of ablution: the partial ablution (wudu) and the complete ablution (shower/ghusl). In addition, there is a symbolic ablution (tayammum), to be used when no water is available or a person cannot use water because of reasons of health. One should be in a state of purity before performing prayer or reading the Qur'an. The following actions or conditions nullify this state of purity and require the partial ablution: 01. Discharges from the body (urine, stools, gas) 02. The flow of blood or pus from the body 03. Vomiting 04. Falling asleep 05. Becoming intoxicated The following actions or conditions require the full ablution: 01. Sexual intercourse 02. Wet dreams 03. The expiration of a women's menstrual period 04. After childbirth Wudu, the Partial Ablution 01. Declare the intention that this act is for the purpose of worship and purity. 02. Wash the hands up to the wrist three times. 03. Rinse out the mouth with water three times.

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04. Cleanse the nostrils of the nose by sniffing water into them three times. 05. Wash the whole face three times with both hands—from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin, from ear to ear. 06. Wash the right arm three times up to the top of the elbow, then wash the left arm. 07. Wipe the whole head from the forehead to the back of the neck one time with a wet hand. 08. With wet fingers, wipe the inner sides of the ears with the forefingers and their outer sides with the thumbs. 09. Wipe around the neck with wet hands. 10. Wipe the two feet up to the ankles, three times, and beginning with the right foot. (If shoes and socks or stockings are on and socks or stockings have been on since last performing the ablution, it is not four hours, the socks or stockings should be removed and the feet washed.) Ghusl(Shower), the Full Ablution 01. Declare the intention that this act is for the purpose of worship and purity. 02. Wash the whole body—including nostrils, mouth and head. Tayammum, the Symbolic Ablution 01. Declare the intention that this act is for the purpose of worship and purity. 02. Touch earth, sand, or stone lightly with both hands and then wipe the face with them once as done in the partial ablution. 03. Touch earth, sand, or stone lightly with both hands and then wipe the right arm to the elbow with the left hand and the left arm with the right hand.

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19.00.00 PRAYER TIMINGS
Prayer timings do not remain constant as they are determined by looking at the sun. Consequently the time of a particular prayer would be different in different parts of the World. Prayer Time Tables are easily available at the mosques and Islamic Centers throughout the World. Now-a- days electronic devices like 'TBilal" or "Spectronic" are available in the market which can tell the prayer times of nearly 1000 major cities of the World. They are particularly helpful to the Muslims traveling to non-Muslim countries However, the following general timetable for prayers can fairly be observed in almost any part of the World. There are five obligatory prayers which are performed at five different times of the day. (1) Salat-ul-Fajr. The morning Prayer It is the first of the Five obligatory prayers of the day. It can be performed at any time between the breaking of the dawn till sunrise. It consists of two raka's (two units as explained through the accompanying postures). (2) Salat-ul-Zuhr. The noon prayer It consiss of four raka's, (4 units); Its time begins after the sun declines from its zenith until it is about midway from setting. (3) Salat-ul -Asr. The afernoon Prayer It consists of four raka's (4 units). Its time begins soon after the time for Zuhr prayer ends and extends to just before sunset (4) Salat-ul-Maghrib. The evening prayer

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It consists of three raka's (3 units). Its time begins just after sunset and extends to a period of an hour and a half. (5) Salat-ul-lsha. The night prayer. It consists of four raka's (4 units) and its time begins about an hour and a half after sunset and extends to dawn. Of the five obligatory prayers mentioned above, one of them contains two raka's, three contain four raka's and one containing three raka's Each kind has been explained separately. All the prayers (to be recited in Arabic) and the postures in which to recite each prayer have been explained with the help of the given figures. The figures have been drawn in the order in which each posture is assumed and the particular prayer recited. In order to memorize the prayer for each posture the reader only needs to look at the number of the figure and listen to the tape while looking at the transcript which gives the Arabic prayer in Roman letters.

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19.01.00 The Conduct of Salah

Diagram showing of Daily Prayers

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In this section, some guide lines for the correct performance of Salah are given. The most important pre-requisite, Al-Wudhu (ablution), is explained in the last chapter. Other important conditions are: 1. TIME Each of the salah must be offered at or during its proper time. No Salah can be said before its time. There are five obligatory prayers in a day. Fajr - The morning prayer Zuhr - The early noon prayer Asr - The late afternoon prayer Maghrib - The sun-set prayer Isha - The night prayer 2. Dress Before offering your Salah makes sure that you are properly dressed. For men and boys, the dress should be such that it covers their bodies from the navel to the knees at least. Women are required to cover themselves from head to foot, leaving only the face and hands uncovered. The dress for Salah must be clean and free from all filth. During the monthly periods women are free from the obligation of Salah. 3. Place Wherever a man might be, he can turn towards Allah in Salah and in devotion. The prophet has said, "The (whole of the) earth has been rendered for me a mosque: pure and clean". Preferable Salah is to be offered in Jama'at - congregation. Whenever possible, one should pray facing the Ka'ba, Mecca. Fardh Or Naafillah Salah is composed of the Fardh (Obligatory) and the Naafilah (Superogatory) prayers. The Fardh Salahs are five in a day. Failure to perform any on of them is a blamable sin. The Naafillah includes the Sunnah, which Prophet(S.A.W) used to perform regularly before or after each Fardh Salah. Prayers In Special Circumstances

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When in circumstances where it is not possible to pray, or when on journey, you are permitted to shorten Salah. Such a shortened prayer is known as Salat-tul-Qasar. When traveling one may offer two rakaats in place of four rakaats in Zuhr, Asr and Isha, but there is no change in two rakats of Fajr and three rakats of Maghrib Salah. Besides this concession in Fardh Salah, one may leave all additional Sunnah except the two Sunnah rakats of Fajr & the Witr of Isha prayer. But a section of Muslims do perform Sunnah even on a journey. In case the stay at any one place during the journey exceeds a fortnight, complete the Salah with all the Fardh and Sunnah rakats must be offered. If you are sick, you may offer your Salah in a sitting position or lying in bed, by making signs in place of the physical movements. In journey, in sickness and in other emergencies, one is allowed to offer two separate Salah jointly. Thus Zhur and Asr can be said together in the last part of the period of Zuhr. Maghrib & Isha may also be offered similarly towards the end of the Maghrib time (when it is almost dark).

19.02.00: Adhan (call to prayer)
To assemble the Muslims for congregational prayer, "Adhan", or the call to prayer is given. The caller (Muazzin) stands facing Ka'aba (Qibla), and raising his hands to his ears calls in a loud voice. The person who gives the Adhan is called the mu’azzin (Caller). While calling for prayer, he stands in the Minaret or in the courtyard of the mosque, facing the Qiblah and raises his hands to his ears and calls out: ‫( ال اكبر -ال اكبر‬Allahu Akber) (Allah is the Greatest) ‫( ال اكبر -ال اكبر‬Allahu Akber) (Allah is the Greatest) ‫( ال أشهد أن ل اله إل‬Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah) (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah) ‫( ال أشهد أن ل اله إل‬Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah) (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah)

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‫( اشهد أن محمدا رسول ال‬Ashhadu anna muhammader rasulllah) (I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger) ‫( اشهد أن محمدا رسول ال‬Ashhadu anna muhammader rasulllah) (I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger) ‫( حي على الصلوة‬Hayya ala salah) (come to prayer) ‫( حي على الصلوة‬Hayya ala salah) (come to prayer) ‫( حي على الفلح‬Hayya ala alfalah) (come to success) ‫( حي على الفلح‬Hayya ala alfalah) (come to success) ‫( ال اكبر -ال اكبر‬Allahu Akber) (Allah is the Greatest) ‫( ال ل اله إل‬la ilaha illallah) (There is no god but Allah ) During the Adhan for Fajr Salah, the following is added after Hayya alal falah: ‫( النوم الصلوة خير من‬Assalatu khairun minan naum) (Salah is better than sleep) ‫( النوم الصلوة خير من‬Assalatu khairun minan naum) (Salah is better than sleep)

19.03.00: Dua After Adhan
On completion of the Adhan, Muslims are recommended to recite: Allah-humma Rabba Ha-zihid Da'wa Tit Ta-mmati O Allah! Lord of this complete call & Prayer of ours, by the blessing of it. Was Salatil Qa-e-Mati A'Te Muhammadanil Wasiy-Lata Give to Muhammed his eternal rights of intercession, Wal Fadi-Lata Wad-Daraja Tar-Rafi A'ta distinction and highest class (in paradise). Wab-As-Hu Maqa-mam Mahmu-da Nil Lazee Wa-Adtahu And raise him to the promised rank You have promised him. War-Zuq-Na Sha-Fa-A’ta Hu Yaum-Al-Qiyamate And bestow his intercession on us on the day of Judgement. In-Na Ka La-Tukh Leful Mi'aad Surely You never go back on your word.

New Mexico, U.S.A.

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Prayer call from Abiquiu Mosque.

19.04.00: Iqamah
After Adhan when the Muslims are assembled at the place of worship, a second call (Iqamah) is recited by one of the group. This signals the start of the congregational Salah. It is similar to Adhan except that it is recited faster but in a lower tone and these sentences are recited after Haya Alal Falah. Iqamah is another call to prayer said just before the actual start of Salah. The following is aid (in Arabic language): ‫( ال اكبر -ال اكبر‬Allahu Akber) (Allah is the Greatest) ‫( ال اكبر -ال اكبر‬Allahu Akber) (Allah is the Greatest) ‫( ال أشهد أن ل اله إل‬Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah) (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah) ‫( ال أشهد أن ل اله إل‬Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah) (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah) ‫( اشهد أن محمدا رسول ال‬Ashhadu anna muhammader rasulllah) (Ibear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger) ‫( اشهد أن محمدا رسول ال‬Ashhadu anna muhammader rasulllah)(Ibear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger) ‫( حي على الصلوة‬Hayya ala salah) (come to prayer) ‫( حي على الصلوة‬Hayya ala salah) (come to prayer) ‫( حي على الفلح‬Hayya ala alfalah) (come to success)

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‫( حي على الفلح‬Hayya ala alfalah) (come to success) ‫( قد قامت الصلوة‬Qad Qamatis salah) (the prayer has begun) ‫( قد قامت الصلوة‬Qad Qamatis salah) (the prayer has begun) ‫( ال اكبر -ال اكبر‬Allahu Akber) (Allah is the Greatest)

‫( ال ل اله إل‬la ilaha illallah) (there is no god but Allah )

The Ka’ba, Makkah-al-Mukarrama

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100,000 times reward for One Rakah Salah in the Holy Ka’ba

Masjid-e-Nabubi, Medina-al-Munawwarah
50,000 times reward for One Rakah Salah in the Holy Medina

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19.05.00: 21 Hadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari
Regarding Adhan and Salah
352. Narrated Malik: We came to the Prophet and we were young men nearly of equal ages and we stayed with him for twenty nights. Allah's Apostle was a very kind man and when he realized our longing for our families, he asked us about those whom we had left behind. When we informed him, he said, "Go back to your families and stay with them and teach them (religion) and order them (to do good deeds). The Prophet mentioned things some of which I remembered and some I did not. Then he said, "Pray as you have seen me praying, and when it is the time of prayer, one of you should pronounce the call (Adhan) for the prayer and the eldest of you should lead the prayer." 353. Narrated Ibn Mas'ud: Allah's Apostle said, "The (call for prayer) Adhan of Bilal should not stop anyone of you from taking his Suhur for he pronounces the Adhan in order that whoever among you is praying the night prayer, may return (to eat his Suhur) and whoever among you is sleeping, may get up, for it is not yet dawn (when it is like this)." (Yahya, the sub-narrator stretched his two index fingers side ways). 354. Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: The Prophet said, "Bilal pronounces the Adhan at night so that you may eat and drink till Ibn Um Maktum pronounces the Adhan (for the Fajr prayer)." 355. Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet led us in Zuhr prayer and prayer five Rakat. Somebody asked him whether the prayer had been increased." He (the Prophet ) said, "And what is that?" They (the people) replied, "You have prayed five Rakat." Then the Prophet offered two prostrations (of Sahu) after he had finished his prayer with the Taslim. 356. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle finished his prayer after offerings two Rakat only. Dhul-Yaddain asked him whether

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the prayer had been reduced, or you had forgotten?" The Prophet said, "Is Dhul-Yaddain speaking the truth?" The people said, "Yes." Then Allah's Apostle stood up and performed another two Rakat and then finished prayer with Taslim, and then said the Takbir and performed a prostration similar to or longer than his ordinary prostrations; then he raised his head, said Takbir and prostrated and then raised his head (Sahu prostrations).

357. Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: While the people were at Quba offering the morning prayer, suddenly a person came to them saying, "Tonight Divine Inspiration has been revealed to Allah's Apostle and he has been ordered to face the Ka'ba (in prayers): therefore you people should face it." There faces were towards Sham, so they turned their faces towards the Ka'ba (at Mecca).
358. Narrated Al-Bara': When Allah's Apostle arrived at Medina, he prayed facing Jerusalem for sixteen or seventeen months but he wished that he would be ordered to face the Ka'ba. So Allah revealed: -- 'Verily! We have seen the turning of your face towards the heaven; surely we shall turn you to a prayer direction (Qibla) that shall please you.' (2.144) Thus he was directed towards the Ka'ba. A man prayed the 'Asr prayer with the Prophet and then went out, and passing by some people from the Ansar, he said, "I testify. that I have prayed with the Prophet and he (the Prophet) has prayed facing the Ka'ba." Thereupon they, who were bowing in the 'Asr prayer, turned towards the Ka'ba. 359. Narrated Anas bin Malik: I used to offer drinks prepared from infused dates to Abu Talha Al-Ansari, Abu 'Ubada bin Al Jarrah and Ubai bin Ka'b. Then a person came to them and said, "All alcoholic drinks have been prohibited." Abii Talha then said, "O Anas! Get up and break all these jars." So I got up and took a mortar belonging to us, and hit the jars with its lower part till they broke. 360. Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet said to the people of Najran, "I will send to you an honest person who is really trustworthy."

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The Companion, of the Prophet each desired to be that person, but the Prophet sent Abu 'Ubaida. 361. Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "For every nation there is an Amin (honest, trustworthy person) and the Amin of this nation is Abu 'Ubaida." 361. Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "For every nation there is an Amin (honest, trustworthy person) and the Amin of this nation is Abu 'Ubaida." 362. Narrated 'Umar: There was a man from the Ansar (who was a friend of mine). If he was not present in the company of Allah's Apostle I used to be present with Allah's Apostle, I would tell him what I used to hear from Allah's Apostle, and when I was absent from Allah's Apostle he used to be present with him, and he would tell me what he used to hear from Allah's Apostle. 363. Narrated Hadrat Ali(RTA): The Prophet , sent an army and appointed some man their commander The man made a fire and then said (to the soldiers), "Enter it." Some of them intended to enter it while some others said, 'We have run away from it (i.e., embraced Islam to save ourselves from the 'fire')." They mentioned that to the Prophet, and he said about people who had intended to enter the fire. ''If they had entered it, they would have remained In it till the Day of Resurrection.'' Then he said to others, "No obedience for evil deeds, obedience is required only in what is good." 364. Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid: Two men sued each other before the Prophet. 365. Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were with Allah's Apostle a bedouin got up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Settle my case according to Allah's Book (Laws)." Then his opponent got up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! He has said the truth! Settle his case according to Allah's Book (Laws.) and allow me to speak," He said, "My son was a laborer for this man and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife. The people

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told me that my son should be stoned to death but I ransomed him with one-hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the religious learned people and they told me that his wife should be stoned to death and my son should receive one-hundred lashes and be sentenced to one year of exile.' The Prophet said, "By Him in Whose Hands my life is, I will judge between you according to Allah's Book (Laws): As for the slave girl and the sheep, they are to be returned; and as for your son, he shall receive one-hundred lashes and will be exiled for one year. You, O Unais!" addressing a man from Bani Aslam, "Go tomorrow morning to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses, then stone her to death." The next morning Unais went to the wife and she confessed, and he stoned her to death. 366. Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: On the day of (the battle of) the Trench, the Prophet called the people (to bring news about the enemy). Az-Zubair responded to his call. He called them again and Az-Zubair responded to his call again; then he called them for the third time and again Az-Zubair responded to his call whereupon the Prophet said, "Every prophet has his Hawairi (helper), and Az-Zubair is my Hawari." 367. Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet entered a garden and told me to guard its gate. Then a man came and asked permission to enter. The Prophet, said, "Permit him and give him the good news that he will enter Paradise." Behold! It was Abu Bakr. Then 'Umar came, and the Prophet said, "Admit him and give him the good news that he will enter Paradise." Then 'Uthman came and the Prophet said, "Admit him and give him the good news that he will enter Paradise." 368. Narrated 'Umar: I came and behold, Allah's Apostle was staying on a Mashroba (attic room) and a black slave of Allah's Apostle was at the top if its stairs. I said to him, "(Tell the Prophet) that here is 'Umar bin Al-Khattab (asking for permission to enter)." Then he admitted me. 369. Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle sent a letter to Khosrau and told his messenger to give it first to the ruler of

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Bahrain, and tell him to deliver it to Khosrau. When Khosrau had read it, he tore it into pieces. (Az-Zuhri said: I think Ibn Al-Musaiyab said, "Allah's Apostle invoked Allah to tear them (Khosrau and his followers) into pieces." 370. Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa': Allah's Apostle said to a man from the tribe of Al-Aslam, "Proclaim among your people (or the people) on the day of 'Ashura' (tenth of Muharram), 'Whosoever has eaten anything should fast for the rest of the day; and whoever has not eaten anything, should complete his fast.' " 371. Narrated Ibn Abbas: When the delegate of 'Abd Al-Qais came to Allah's Apostle, he said, "Who are the delegate?" They said, "The delegate is from the tribe of Rabi'a." The Prophet said, "Welcome, O the delegate, and welcome! O people! Neither you will have any disgrace nor will you regret." They said, "O Allah's Apostle! Between you and us there are the infidels of the tribe of Mudar, so please order us to do something good (religious deeds) that by acting on them we may enter Paradise, and that we may inform (our people) whom we have left behind, about it." They also asked (the Prophet) about drinks. He forbade them from four things and ordered them to do four things. He ordered them to believe in Allah, and asked them, "Do you know what is meant by belief in Allah?" They said, "Allah and His Apostle know best." He said, ''To testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, the One, Who has no partners with Him, and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle; and to offer prayers perfectly and to pay Zakat." (the narrator thinks that fasting in Ramadan is included), "and to give one-fifth of the war booty (to the state)." Then he forbade four (drinking utensils): AdDuba', Al-Hantam, Al-Mazaffat and An-Naqir, or probably, Al-Muqaiyar. And then the Prophet said, "Remember all these things by heart and preach it to those whom you have left behind." 372. Narrated Tauba Al-'Anbari: Ash-'Sha'bi asked me, "Did you notice how Al-Hasan used to narrate Hadiths from the Prophets? I stayed with Ibn 'Umar for about two or one-and-

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half years and I did not hear him narrating any thing from the Prophet except his (Hadith): He (Ibn 'Umar) said, "Some of the companions of the Prophet including Sa'd, were going to eat meat, but one of the wives of the Prophet called them, saying, 'It is the neat of a Mastigure.' The people then stopped eating it. On that Allah's Apostle said, 'Carry on eating, for it is lawful.' Or said, 'There is no harm in eating it, but it is not from my meals."

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20.00.00

In The Name of Allah "I saw many sites on the internet offering to teach new Muslims how they can pray .... but I tried to do something different in this section you will learn by pictures and sound and also you can download a prayer teacher to your computer ... but brother or sister ... don't forget to make Duwa to us ... Jazakum Allahu khiran wa as salaam alikum wa rahmatu allahi wa barakatu

The Right Way To Pray 01) Intention 02) Takbeer 03) Opening Supplications 04) Recitation of Suratul Fatiha 05) Recitation after Suratul Fatiha 06) Bowing (Rukoo') 07) Straightening up from Rukoo': 08) Prostration (The sujud) 09) Rising from Sajdah 10) The second Sajdah 11) The Second Rak'a 12) The First Tashahud 13) The Second Tashahud 14) The Salution (Tasleem)

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1- Intention The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to say: All actions are by intention, and every man shall have what he intended. Note: You shouldn't say the intention by mouth because it is Innovation Make it in your heart 2- Takbeer The First step to enter the prayer is Takbeer. The prophet peace be upon him used to say: Allaahu Akbar This means: Allah is the greatest Notes : 1- You should raise your hands with the takbeer. Look at the picture 2- Then you should place your right arm on you left arm and place it over your chest. 3- You should place the right arm on the back of your left palm, wrist and forearm 4- Then you should incline your head during prayer and fix your sight towards the ground ... as the Prophet peace be upon him do... 5- Be careful: When you start to pray don't look at the sky because it is forbidden as the Prophet peace be upon him said :" People must refrain from looking up at the sky in prayer, or their sight will not return to them (and in one narration: or their sight will be plucked away) 3- Opening Supplications The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to say one of this opening Supplications, You can choose the easiest one for you:

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Subhanaka Alla-humma wabi ha’mdika wataba-ra kasmuka wata 'ala jadduka wala ilaha ghayruk This means: You are Glorified, O Allah, and Praised; Your Name is Blessed; Your Majesty is Exalted, and none has the right to worshipped but You. Allah humma ba'id baynee wa bayna khatayana kama ba'adta baynal mashriqi wal maghribi, Allah humma naq-qinee min khatayaya kama yunaq-qath thuwabul abyadu minad danasi , Allah hum maghsilnee min khatayaya bil maee wath thalji wal bardi This means: O Allaah! Separate me (far) from my sins as you have separated (far) the East and West. O Allah! Cleanse me of my sins as white cloth is cleansed from dirt. O Allah! Wash me of my sins with water, ice and snow. 4- Recitation of Suratul Fatiha: The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to say: A'uzu bil-llahi minash shayta nir-rajeem This means: I seek refuge with Allaah from the Evil One, the Rejected Bisimllah hir-rahman nir-raheem This means: In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy Alhamdu lil-lahi rab-bil 'alameen This means: Praise is only for Allah, Lord Ar-Rahma nir-raheem This means: The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy Maliki yawmid-deen This means: Master of the Day of Judgment Iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'een This means: You alone we worship and u to you alone we pray for help

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Ihdinas siratal mostaqeem This means: Show us the straight way Siratal lazeena an'amta 'alayhim ghayril maghdubi 'alayhim walad dal-leen This means: The way of those whom you have blessed. Who have not desrved your anger, nor gone astray Ameeen This means: Oooh Allah please accept Note: The Prophet peace be upon him said: "No prayer is acceptable without the recitation of Fathiha" 2- In Zuhr and Asr you have to recite it quitly as Jaabir said: We used to recite behind the imaam in Zuhr and 'Asr: soorah al-Faatihah and another soorah in the first two rak'ahs, and soorah al-Fatihah in the last two." If you are praying in Jama'a then you should raise your voice when you are saying "Ameen". Becareful:"The Prophet(Peace be upon him) finished a prayer in which he was reciting loudly (in one narration: it was the dawn prayer) and said: Were any of you reciting with me just now?! A man said: "Yes, I was, O Messenger of Allah". He said: I say, why am I contended with? "... This thing mean don't recite when the Imam is reciting. 4- Recitation after Suratul Fatiha: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would recite another soorah after al-Faatihah, making it long sometimes, and on other occasions making it short because of travel, cough, illness or the crying of infants Let's take two examples of short Suras you can pray with the both every prayer till you learn another Sura's Surah Al-Ikhlas (Number 112) A'uzu bil-llahi minash shayta nir-rajeen

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This means: I seek refuge with Allaah from the Evil One, the Rejected Bisimllah hir-rahman nir-raheem This means: In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy Qul howa Allahu ahad This means: Say : he is Allah, the only one. Allah hus-samad This means: Allah helps and does not need help Lam yalid wa lam yulad This means: He does not produce a child, and he was not born of anyone Walam yakul-lahu kufuwan ahad This means: There is no one equal to him Surah An-Nas (Number 114) A'uzu bil-llahi minash shayta nir-rajeem This means: I seek refuge with Allaah from the Evil One, the Rejected Bisimllah hir-rahman nir-raheem This means: In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy Qul a'uzubi rab-bin nas This means: Say : I seek refuge in the Sustainer of Mankind Malikin nas This means: The Owner of Mankind Ila hin-nas This means: Lord of Mankind Min shar-ril waswa sil khan-nas This means: From the evil of the sneaking whisperer

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Allazi yuwaswisu fee sudu rin-nas This means: Who whispers in the hearts of Mankind Minal jin-nati wan-nas This means: (Whether he be) from among jinns or mankind Notes: You have to read Surah after the Fatiha only in the first two Rak'a in the Zuhr or Asr but in Fajr, Maghrib and E'sha you just hear the Imam and you should't say it with him. If you tried to memorize this two Suras but you failed.. Then there is a permission to read Al-Fatiha only. and in-Shaa-Allah your prayer is right 6- Bowing (Rukoo') After completing his recitation, the prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would pause for a moment, then raise his hands in the way described earlier, say takbeer Allaahu Akbar This means: Allah is the greatest Notes : 1- You should raise your hands with the takbeer. Look at the picture 2- Be careful: When you start to pray don't look at the sky because it is forbidden as the Prophet peace be upon him said :" People must refrain from looking up at the sky in prayer, or their sight will not return to them (and in one narration: or their sight will be plucked away) Then, you make Ruku' and say: Subhana Rabbi yal azim This means: How perfect is my Lord, the Supreme!

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Note : Be careful: The Prophet said: ‘Verily, I have indeed been forbidden from reciting the Qur'an in rukoo' or sujood. In the rukoo', therefore, glorify the Supremity of the Lord, Mighty and Sublime, in it; as for the sujood, exert yourselves in supplication in it, for it is most likely that you will be answered’. ...so it is forbidden to read Qur’an in Rukoo' or Sujood 7-Straightening up from Rukoo': The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would straighten up his back out of rukoo', saying: Sami' Allah hu liman hamidah This means: Allaah listens to the one who praises Him Rab-bana wa lakal hamd This means: Our Lord, to You be all Praise Note: When you straightening up from Rukoo': you would raise your hands like what we described early in the Takbeer. 8-Prostration (The sujud): The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would say takbeer: Allaahu Akbar This means: Allah is the greatest & go down into sajdah saying: Subhana Rabbi yal a'la This means: How perfect is my Lord, the Most High

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Note : 1- You should say Subhana Rabbi yal a'la three times on each Sujud . 2- The right postion of Sujud: a)You would support yourself on your palms [and spread them] b)put his fingers together c)point them towards the qiblah d)Make your nose touch the ground cause the prophet said : There is no prayer for the one whose nose does not feel as much of the ground as the forehead e)Put your knees and toes down firmly and point with the front of the toes towards the qiblah and put your heels together and keep your feet upright. f) These are the seven limbs on which he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would prostrate: the palms, the knees, the feet, and the forehead and nose. 9-Rising from Sajdah: The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would raise his head from prostration while saying: Allaahu Akbar This means: Allah is the greatest Then you will sit in a specific position and say: Rabbighfirlee wa irhamnee This means: O my Lord! Forgive me, and have mercy on me

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Note : 1- The right position of sitting down: The Prophet peace be upon him would lay his left foot along the ground and sit on it [relaxed]. 2- You should stay a while in this sitting, cause the prophet peace be upon would sit straight on his left foot, upright, until every bone returned to its position. 10-The second Sajdah: The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would say takbeer: Allaahu Akbar This means: Allah is the greatest & go again to Sujud position saying: Subhana Rabbi yal a'la This means: How perfect is my Lord, the Most High Note : 1- You should say Subhana Rabbi yal a'la three times on each Sujud . 2- The right postion of Sujud: a)You would support yourself on your palms [and spread them] b)put your fingers together c)point them towards the qiblah d)Make your nose touch the ground cause the prophet said : There is no prayer for the one whose nose does not feel as much of the ground as the forehead e)Put your knees and toes

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down firmly and point with the front of the toes towards the qiblah and put your heels together and keep your feet upright. f)These are the seven limbs on which he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would prostrate: the palms, the knees, the feet, and the forehead and nose. 11- The Second Rak'a: The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to say Faatihah which we teach you how to say it in step number 3 & then do all the steps which the prophet peace be upon him did in the first Rak'a Note : When you rise up from Sujud to the second Rak'a you can rise up supporting one self with hand . Take a look at this video 12- The First Tashahud: The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would sit for Tashhud after finishing the second rak'ah and say: At-Tahiy-yatu lil-lahi was-salawatu wat-tay yibatu, As-Salamy 'alika ay-yuhan-nabiy-yu wa rahma tullahi wa barakatu, As salamu 'alayna wa 'ala 'ibadil-la his-saliheen , Ash hadu al la ilaha illal lahu, wa ash hadu an-na Muhammadan 'abduhu wa rasuluh This means: All compliments, all physical prayer, and all monetary worship are for Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his slave and Messenger.

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Note : 1- What is the right sit position in The first Tashahud? : In the Fajr there is only one Tashahud so it there is no first or second Tashahud so in the first Tashahud on the other prayers and in Al-Fajr Tashahud you would sit as you are setting between the two sujud, but if you can't sit in this way you can sit in any way you can, but this is the way the prophet used to sit. 2-While reading : " Ash-hadu .......... to : Abduhu wa rasuluh" a person should raise the index finger of the right hand slightly and returt it previous position after he had finished saying it. 13- The Second Tashahud The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would sit for the second Tashhud after finishing the last rak'ah and would say the first Tashuhud which is in step 12 and then say : Allah humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa 'ala Kama sal-layta 'ala Ibraheema wa 'ala aali hameedum majeed. Allah humma barik 'ala Muhammadin wa-'ala Kama barakta 'ala Ibraheema wa-'ala aali hameedum majeed. aali Muhammadin, ibraheema innaka aali Muhammadin, ibraheema innaka

This means: O Allah, send Grace and Honor on Muhammad (peace be upon him) and on the family and true followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) just as you sent Grace and Honor on Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Surely, you are praiseworthy, The Great. O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad (peace be upon him) and on the family and true followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) just as you sent blessings on Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and

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on the family and true followers of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Surely, you are praiseworthy, The Great. Note : 1- What is the right sitting position in The second Tashahud? : In the prayers like Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and 'eisha, in the last rak'a you should sit in a position called "Iftirash" click here to see how you can sit in this position ... but if you can't sit in this way you can sit as you feel comfortable ... 2-While reading: " Ash-hadu .......... to: Abduhu wa rasuluh" a person should raise the index finger of the right hand slightly and returt it previous position after he had finished saying it. 14-Salution of Peace (The Tasleem): Next, The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would salute to his right saying, means turn your head towards right shoulder: As-Salamu 'alikum wa Rahmatul lah This means: Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah. Next, The prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would salute to his left saying, means turn your head towards left shoulder: As-Salamu 'alikum wa Rahmatullah This means: Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah.

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21.00.00 Important Lessons for the Muslim Ummah

All Praise is due to Allah we praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah the Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whomsoever has been guided by Allah none can misguide him, and whomsoever has been misguided by Allah none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah alone, without partner or associate. I further bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger. May Allah the Exalted, bestow His peace and blessings on the final Prophet Muhammad, upon his good and pure family, and upon all of his noble companions. "O ye who believe! Fear Allah(by doing all that He ordered and abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, and die not except in the state of Islam as Muslims with complete submission to Allah" (the Holy Qur'an, 3:102) "O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (do no cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is ever an All Watcher over you" (Qur'an 4:1). "O ye who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth, He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger; he has indeed achieved a great success" (Qur'an 33:70-71).

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Know that the most truthful speech is that of Allah’s Book (the Qur'an, and that the best of guidance is that of Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The worst of evils are innovations (foreign to the true teachings of Islam, and every innovated matter (in religion) is a Bid'ah, and every Bid'ah is a misguidance, and every mean of misguidance is in the Fire of Hell. This is an introductory book for every Muslim. It is a summary of basic Islamic beliefs and acts of worship. We ask Allah by His Names and Attributes to accept this work and make it a benefit for those who read it and/or distribute it. Khalid Al-Awadh and Dr. Saleh As-Saleh 24/2/1413 8/12/1993

01.The First Lesson:
Memorizing the opening Surah (Chapter) of the Qur'an Al-Fatiha (the Opening) and some short passages and Surahs from No. 99 (Az-Zalzalah) to 114 (An-Naas) Every Muslim must make an effort to memorize, recite and understand passages and/or Surahs from the Noble Qur'an

02. The Second Lesson:
Knowing the meaning and the conditions of the declaration of AshShahadataan that: "there is no true God except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is the Messenger of Allah. The phrase that "there is no true God" negates anything or anyone that is being worshipped other than Allah and the phrase: "except Allah; confirms that all forms of worship, submission and adoration must be for Allah alone, without setting up rivals with Him. The conditions needed to fulfill the meaning of AshShahadataan are: Knowledge about what it means Certainly about its meaning which dispels doubts and suspicions. Sincerity that purifies its declarer from any form of shirk (association).

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Honesty which negates hypocrisy Love and attachment to the declaration of Ash-Shahadataan which leads to the dispel of uneasiness, dislike, or hate to what it implies. Adherence: conducting what Allah has decreed regarding His worship. Accepting to obey Allah by this declaration Dissociating from anything or anyone being worshipped other than Allah.

03. The Third Lesson:
The six fundamental articles of faith are: Believing in Allah(His Oneness), His Angels, all of His Messengers, all of His Scriptures (in their original and unaltered forms), in the Last Day (of Judgment), and Fate and Divine Decree (whether good or bad), which Allah Has measured and ordained according to His previous Knowledge and as deemed suitable by His Wisdom.

04. The Fourth Lesson:
Tawheed (Faith in the Unity of Allah is divided into three articles: First, believing in the Oneness of Allah in the sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher,...etc. This belief is called Tawheed Ar-Ruboobeeyah. Second, acknowledging that Allah alone is the One and Only true God who deserves to be worshipped and thus abstaining from worshipping any other being or thing. This belief is called Tawheed Al-Ulooheeyah. Third, having faith and belief in the Oneness of Allah’s Names and Attributes. This belief is called Tawheed Al-Asmaa was-Sifat. As for Shirk (associating anything or anyone in worship with Allah, it is divided into three types: First: Major Shirk (Ash Shirk Al Akbar) which Allah does not forgive. Allah says regarding Shirk: "But if they had joined in worship others with Allah all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them" (Qur'an, 6: 88).

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"It is not for the Mushrikeen (polytheists) to maintain the Mosques of Allah (i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to looking after their cleanness and their building, etc.), while they witness against their own-selves of disbelief. The works of such bear no fruit, and in fire shall they dwell." (Qur'an9:17). The one who associate others with Allah and dies on this shirk will not be forgiven and Jannah (Paradise) is forbidden to him, as Allah Most Mighty and Honored says: "Verily, Allah forgives not those partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases; and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin." (Qur'an, 4:48). "Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah then Allah has forbidden the Jannah for him." (Qur'an, 5:72). Asking the dead or idols for help, slaughtering for them and making vows for them are examples of this Shirk. Second: Minor Shirk (Ash-Shirk Al-Asgar) which is stated in the Qur'an or in the Prophet's tradition but is not the same as Major Shirk. Riya (showing off) and swearing by other than Allah are examples of this kind of Shirk. Prophet Muhammad, salla All ⨠ alihi wa u sallam, said: "Of which I fear for you the most is Minor Shirk ".When he was asked what was it, he said, "Riya". He, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also said: "He who swears by anything other than Allah commits Minor shirk ". The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also warned: "Do not say: 'had Allah and such and such (person) willed', but say: 'had Allah then such and such (person) willed' ". This kind of Shirk does not necessarily lead to disbelief from Islam or an eternal stay in Hell. It negates, however, the completeness of faith.

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The Third kind of shirk is the hidden Shirk. Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, explained: "Shall I not tell you of which I fear for you more than I fear of the Anti-Christ?" They said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah, and he said, "The hidden Shirk, where one beautifies his way of praying only because another one is looking at him". Alternatively, Shirk could be divided into two kinds: Major and Minor. In this case, the Hidden Shirk encompasses both the Major and Minor kinds depending upon the act committed. It is Major if it is the same as the Shirk of the hypocrites who hide their false beliefs while showing off Islam out of fear. It is Minor if it is the same as Riya.

05. The Fifth Lesson :
The five pillars of Islam are: (a) Ash-Shahadataan: bearing witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger; (b) establishing prayers; (c) paying the alms (Zakaah); (d) fasting the month of Ramadhan; and (e) performing pilgrimage (Hajj) if one can afford it.

06. The Sixth Lesson:
The conditions of prayers are as follows: (a) Islamic sanity, (b) Maturity, (c) Performing the ablution (wudu), (d) Cleanliness from impurities (on the body, clothes, and place of prayer) (e) Dressing properly, (f) Having the intention of prayers, (g) Facing the right direction of Qibla (direction of Ka'aba towards Makkah), and (h) The praying at the proper time.

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07. The Seventh Lesson:
The fourteen Basic Elements (Arkan) of prayers: (1) Standing (if one is able); (2) Saying "Allahu Akbar", which means: "Allah is the Greatest"; (3) Recitation the opening Surah of the Qur'an (Al-Fatihah); (4) Lowering the head and back down at the right angle (Ruku); (5) Resuming the initial standing position; (6) Prostrating with the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands and the forehead touching the ground (Sujud); (7) Rising in a sitting position; (8) A short rest in a sitting posture between the two prostrations; (9) Tranquility in all actions; (10) Performing the Basic Elements of prayer in order, (11) The last Tashahud (the second part); (12) Sitting for the last Tashahud; (13) Exalting the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam; and (14) Turning the face to the right side and to the left one saying "Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah; ("Peace and Mercy of Allah be upon you") one time on each side. (Note: Salaah is invalid if any of the above is missing.)

08. The Eighth Lesson:
The eight obligatory acts of the prayer are: All the occasions of saying (1) "Allahu Akbar" other than Takbeerat Al-Ihram (which is basic); (2) Saying "Sami Allahu liman hamidah" ("Allah accepts any who are thankful to Him") by the Imam as well as the one who is praying alone, and (3) Saying "Rabbanaa lakal-hamd" ("Our Lord, praise be to You") for both the Imam and the individual; (4) Saying "Subhana Rabbi Al-Athueem" ("Glory to my Lord, the Most Great") in Ruku; (5) Saying "Subhana Rabbial a'la" ("Glory to my Lord, the Most High") in Sujud; (6) Saying "Rabbighfir li" ("Oh my Lord, grant forgiveness to me") between the two prostrations; (7) The first part (At-Tashahud Al-Awwal); and (8) Sitting for it.

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(Note: if any of the above is missing, the Muslim needs to make sujud as-sahuw).

09. The Ninth Lesson:
Knowing the contents of At-Tashahud: First Part: "Attahiyyatoo li-llahi wassalawaatu wattoayyibaatu. Assalamu alayka ayyuhannabiyyu wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakaatuhu, Assalamu ‘alaiyna wa-a’laa I'baadillahis ssoalihin, Ashadu an-llailaha illallaahu wa-ashadu anna Muhammadan a’bduhu waRasuluh." "Greetings, prayers ant the good things of life belong to Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us all and on the righteous servants of Allah I bear witness that there is no true God worthy of worship but Allah alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger." Second Part: "Allahumma Soallee a’la Muhammadin wa-a’laa aali Muhammadin kamaa Soallaita a’la Ibrahima wa-a’la aali Ibrahima Innaka Hamiidum Majeed. Allahumma baarik a’la Muhammadib wa-a’la aali Muhammad, kama barakta a’la Ibrahima wa-a’la aali Ibrahima, Innaka Hamidum Majiid." "Oh Allah Exalt Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you did exalt Ibrahim (Abraham ) and the family of Abraham. And bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you did bless Abraham and the people of Abraham, verily You are the Most Praised, The Most Glorious." Following the reciting of the Tashahud, the slave asks Allah’s protection from the torment of Hell, the torment of the grave, the trials in life-time and after death, and from the impostor Anti-Christ. After that he may supplicate and ask Allah whatever he wishes, especially the type of invocation said by the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam: Allahumma Innii thoalamtu nafsii thulman kasiirayon wa-laa yaghfiruzzunooba Illa anta faghfirlii maghfiratan min I’ndika warhamnii innaka antal ghafuurur Rahim.

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"O Allah help me to perform remembrance of You and to give all due thanks to You and allow me to worship you in the good way (i.e. as ordained by Allah and His Messenger). O Allah I have inflicted a great deal of wrong upon myself and there is none other than You who can offer forgiveness. Grant me forgiveness from You and grant me your Mercy. You are the All-Merciful, The Oft Forgiving. "

10. The Tenth Lesson:
The Sunnan (supererogatory) acts of the prayer: (1) The opening call of the prayer. (2) Placing the right hand over the left one with both over the chest while in the standing position. (3) Raising the hands up to the level of the shoulders or near the ears with the fingers being close together (not separated) when saying "Allahu Akbar" at the beginning of the prayer, when performing the Ruku, when resuming the standing position after Ruku, and when standing to begin the third unit of the prayer. (4) Saying "Subhana Rabbi Al-Adheem" and "Subhana Rabbi AlA'la" more than once in Ruku and Sujud, respectively. (5) Saying "Rabbigh ferli warhamni wah-dini warzuqni wa'aafni, wajburni" ("Allah my Lord, grant me forgiveness, have mercy on me, guide me, provide me with your blessings and console me") more than once between the two prostrations. (6) Bowing down, making the head and back on one level. This is the position of Ruku. While prostrating, the arms should not be brought close to the sides or the abdomen to the thighs or the thighs to the legs. (7) Raising the arms in Sujud. (8) Praying for the Prophet and the family of Muhammad, Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim (as in Tashahud). (9) Performing the early Morning Prayer and the first two units of the sunset and the evening prayer with an audible voice. (10) Sitting between prostrations on the outer side of the left foot (i.e. laying it flat) keeping the right foot erected with the internal parts of the toes touching the ground. The same position is to be taken while sitting in the first part of Tashahud.

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(11) Taking the position of Tawartruk during the recitation of the full Tashahud: The person sits on his left foot laid down with his right foot erected. (12) Making Du'a (to invoke Allah following the recitation of the last Tashahud. (13) Whispering the recitation in the Dhuhr (noon), Asr (late afternoon), the third raka' of Maghrib (sunset) prayer, and the last two raka'at of the Isha' (evening) prayer. (14) Reciting another passage from the Holy Qur'an after the opening Surah of Al-Fatiha.

11. The Eleventh Lesson:
Invalidation of the prayers: Any prayer is invalid and nullified if any of the following acts are committed: (1) Intentional talking; (2) Laughing; (3) Eating; (4) Drinking; (5) Uncovering the parts of the body of which are not allowed to be uncovered during prayer; (6) Excessive alteration in the direction towards the Qibla; (7) Excessive moving outside the regular acts and movements of prayer without a proper reason; (8) Nullifying the ablution.

12. The Twelfth Lesson:
The ten conditions for performing ablution are: (1) Istinja (2) Sanity. (3) Maturity. (4) Intention and... (5) Its continuity (i.e. the person should not intend to discontinue his ablution before its completion). (6) If one performs Istinja' (cleaning the areas of natural discharges with water) or with stones, tissues, leaves etc. (Istijmar) before ablution. (7) Water must be pure and Mubah (i.e. it is not stolen or taken by force).

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(8) The removal of all things that prevent water from reaching the parts of ablution such as mud. (9) Those who continually lose their ablution (for example due to release of gas, urine, or any reason that nullifies ablution), must make prior to prayers. (10) Causes that requires ablution (e.g. urine, eating camel meat, sleep, etc.)

13. The Thirteenth Lesson:
The obligatory elements of ablution are: (1) Washing the face, including rinsing out the mouth with water and cleansing the nostrils of the nose. (2) Washing the two hands up to and including the elbows. (3) Wiping the whole head including the two ears. (4) Washing the two feet including the heels. Doing the ablution in the prescribed sequence, without delays.

14. The Fourteenth Lesson:
The six nullifying acts of the ablution are: (1) Natural excretion, such as urine, feces, gas,...etc. (2) Any unclean substance excessively discharged from the body. (3) Losing one's reason due to sleep, loss of consciousness or otherwise. (4) Eating camel meat (because the Prophet, soallallahu alihi wa sallam, ordered so). (5) Rejection of Istinja (6) Touching the sexual organs with hand (without any barrier: clothes and so on). Notice: Washing the dead does not nullify the ablution except for that the washer's hand touches (without any barrier) the sexual organs. Kissing women with or without desire does not nullify ablution because the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, once kissed one of his wives and prayed without performing ablution. This holds as long as there are no associated sexual excretions (e.g. semen). As for the saying of Allah Most Glorified: "... or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) ... " (Qur'an, 4:43)

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The contact with women is the involvement in a full sexual relation as related by Ibn Abbass (companion) and others, and it is the correct opinion.

15. The Fifteenth Lesson:
The recommended morals for every Muslim are: (1) Truthfulness, (2) Honesty, (3) Abstinence, (4) Modesty, (5) Courage, (6) Generosity, (7) Loyalty, (8) Refraining from everything that Allah had made unlawful, (9) Being a good neighbor, (10) Helping the needy, and (11) Other morals stated either in the Holy Qur'an or in the Prophet's, soallallahu alihi wa-sallam’s tradition. 16. The Sixteenth Lesson: Islamic decencies: (1) Greeting, (2) cheerfulness, (3) eating and drinking with the right hand, (4) adhering to the Islamic conduct in entering and leaving homes and mosques and while traveling, (5) dealing kindly with parents, relatives, neighbors, the old man and the young; (6) congratulating, (7) lamenting, and (8) other Islamic ethics. 17. The Seventeenth Lesson: Warning against Shirk (association) and against other wrongdoing such as witchcraft, murdering, taking the money of the orphan, dealing with interest (riba), escaping on the day of Jihad (war), speaking evil of faithful women, disobeying parents, breaking up with one's relatives, false witnessing, harming neighbors, committing outrage upon others, and other warnings as declared by Allah and His messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

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18. The Eighteenth Lesson: Washing the dead body and performing the funeral prayer: a) Washing the dead: When a Muslim is confirmed dead his eyes must be closed and his jaws brought together. (1) When washing the dead body, the whole body beginning with the exposed parts of ablution must be washed. (2) The abdomen is gently squeezed and followed by washing of the anus and the sexual organs using a wet piece of cloth. (3) Normal ablution will then be performed. (4) The body is washed starting with the head and beard using water mixed with the leaves of Sidr (lote tree, if available). (5) The right side must be washed before the left side and the body must be washed three times. (6) Each time the abdomen is squeezed as above. (7) The mustache and the nails are clipped, and (8) when the body is clean, it is wrapped in three white cotton sheets covering all parts of the body and perfumed with incense. (9) If the body is still unclean, ablution must be extended to 5-7 times after which the body is dried with a clean cloth. (10) Men's hair should not be combed while that of a woman is to be braided into three chains and left hanging down behind her (as done to the Prophet's daughter). (11) It is preferred to shroud men with three white sheets without a gown or Amamah (head cover); children in one up to three sheets and women in five sheets, these sheets are: (a) Dir': a loose outer garment with sleeves slit in front. (b) Khimar: covering head and face. (c) Izzar: a sheet wrapped around the waist, and Two overall wrapping sheets. Young girls can be wrapped with a gown and two sheets. The one who has the most right to wash the dead body of a man is his chosen guardian (if any) then his father, his grandfather, then the closest of his relatives. The woman is best washed by her chosen female then the mother, the grandmother, then the closest one of her female relatives. The husband can wash the body of his wife and vice versa because Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was washed by his wife; and Ali bin Abi Taleb, may Allah be pleased

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with him, washed his wife, Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with her. (b) The funeral prayer (Salaah-Aljanaza): Saying Takbeer: "Allahu Akbar" four times. Reciting Al-Fatiha after the first Takbeer. Following the second Takbeer, one prays for the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as he does in Tashahud. Then after saying "Allahu Akbar" for the third time, one recites what is usually said in other prayers like asking Allah to forgive all Muslims or any supplications he knows, preferably this: "Allahummaghfir li-hayyina wa-mayyitina, wa-shahidina waghaibina wa-sagheerina wa- kabeerina wa-thakarina wa-unthana. Allahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa-ahyihi a’lal Islam wa- man tawaffaytahu minna fa-tawaffahu a’lal eeman. Allahuma latahrimna ajrah, wa-la taftinna baadah". "O Allah grant forgiveness to our living and to our dead, and to those who are present and to those who are absent, and to our young and our old folk, and to our males and our females. O Allah whomsoever you grant to live, from among us, help him to live in Islam and whomsoever of us you cause to die, help him to die in faith. O Allah do not deprive us of the reward for patience on his (her, their) loss and do not make us subject to trial after him...." Or one could say: "Allahummaghfir lahu warhamhu wa'afihi wa'fu anhu, wa'akrim nuzulahu wa wassi' madkhalahu, wa'ghsilhu bi l mae wathalgi walbarad, wanaqihi mina al-thunoubi walkhataya kama unaqa athawbo alabiado mina addanas, wa abdilhu daran khairan min darihi, wa ahlan khairan miin ahlihi, wa adkhilhu al Jannah, wa aidhu min adhabi al qabr, wa adhabi an Narr; wafsah lahu fee qabrihi, wanawir lahu fehi. All ⨠ mma la tahrimna ajrahu, wa la tudhlilna ba'dahu." "O Allah forgive him (her, them) and have your Mercy upon him; protect him and pardon him, receive him with honor and make his grave spacious; wash him with water, snow and hail, and clean him from sins and wrong-doings as is cleaned a white garment from impurity; requite him with an abode more excellent than his, and with a mate better than his mate. Admit him to the Garden, and

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protect him from the torment of the grave and the torment of the Fire; widen his space in his grave and bring him light therein. O Allah doesn’t deprive us from his reward and don't let us go astray after him." Then after saying "Allahu Akbar" for the fourth time one turns his head to the right (making tasleem) and thus ending the funeral prayer. It is best to raise one's hand while saying "Allahu Akbar" In the case when the dead is a child or an infant, the following Du'a is made: "Allahumma ejalhu dhiktan liwalidayehi, washafeean mujaban. Allahumma thaqil bihi mawazeenahuma wa a'dhun bihi ujorahuma wa alhiqhu bi salih el Mumineen, waj'alhu fee kafalati Ibrahim aleihi As-Salam, waqihi bi rahmatika adhaba al Jaheem." "O Allah makes him a preceding reward and a reserve treasure (on the Day of Judgment) for his parents; a one whose intercession would be granted. O Allah makes of him an excess in the measures and in the rewards (granted by Allah to his parents. Let him join the company of the righteous believers and make him under the care of Abraham (may the peace of Allah be upon him), and protect him, by Your Mercy, from the torment of the blazing Fire ". The Position of the Imam in the Funeral Prayer: The tradition is for the Imam to stand right next to the head of the body if it is a man, and to the middle of the body if it is a woman. If the dead were many, men, women, male and female children in one funeral, the following positions are to be taken: The men right in front of the Imam. The women further towards the Qibla. The male children are between the men and women and more towards the men while the female children follow women further down in the direction of Qibla (all of the dead bodies are to be laid parallel to those praying). The bodies are to be arranged such that the head of the male child lies next to that of a man while the middle of a woman lies next to the head of a man. The head of the female child lies next to the head of a woman.

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The followers of Imam are to stand behind him just as in other prayers. It is acceptable for one to stand to the right of the Imam if he finds no place behind him. All praise is due to Allah and His blessings and peace be upon His Prophet, his family and his companions. [A lesson given by Shaykh Abdul 'Azeez bin 'Abdullaah bin Baaz Original translation by Khalid A. Al-Awadh Reviewed & Edited by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh This is an unauthorized modification of the English translation of the booklet. For any comments or suggestions, please write to: Islaamic Da'wah and Guidance Center Dammam, Postal Code 31311, Saudi Arabia Tel.: 827-4800, 826-3535, Fax: 827-2772]

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INTRODUCING

ISLAM
Part

II

Akm Fakhrul Islam
Al-Qur’an Research Foundation-USA(AQRFUSA) Tel:718-855-8114(H); 646-610-3804(Cell) Email:islamakm@yahoo.com www.scribd.com/my_docs

Compiled and Edited by

Introducing Islam Part I & II 280 www.travelsandhajj.com

22.00.00 The Fundamentals of Islam
Bismilla-hir’rah Ma-nir-Rahim

In the Name of Allah The Compassionate, The Merciful

22.01.00: ISLAM
The word "Islam" is Arabic word which means "submission to the will of God". This word comes from the same root as the Arabic word "salaam", which means "peace". As such, the religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law. The most important truth that God revealed to mankind is that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, thus all human beings should submit to Him. 22.01.01: WHAT IS ISLAM? Islam is the complete way of life for all humanity. It is the religion of submission to on God, the religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness. It is the universal religion that calls for "One People under one God". In Arabic, when a warrior lays down his arms and surrenders because he knows he is defeated, we use the verb "aslama", which means "he submits." The word "Islam" comes from this verb and means "submission." So, in the widest sense, Islam means the religion of submission to God. A Muslim catechism says, "Islam is submission to God with all our being, with all our senses, with all our organs: the hands, the feet, the ears, the tongue, the stomach and the sexual organs. It is the

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submission of the inner life of each of us". (Cf. Qur'an: 2 Baqara 106/112). But in particular, we use the word Islam to indicate all the belief and practices of the religion, of which Muhammad is the Prophet and the Qur'an the sacred scripture. Islam means submission to one God and it also means” Peace”. The word Muslim means the one who has submitted him / herself to God and lives with peace. If ones life is not peaceful, he /she should be concerned about his or her level of submission to God. The more you submit yourself to God, the more you enjoy peace, tranquility and contentment in life. 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 have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith. Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Islam is not a new religion, but is the eternal truth that God revealed through all His prophets to all people. Muslims, who are a fifth of the world’s population, follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness. The majority of Muslims have nothing to do with violence or other grave events which have come to be associated with their faith. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] Islam is currently the world's second largest religion after Christianity (Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox, combined). The religion of Islam, as we know it today, began in the early 7th century CE (Common Era) during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (570-632 CE). The word "Islam" itself is an Arabic word meaning to submit or surrender to God's Will, or, in other words, making a conscious decision to place God's Will above your own. The core belief or teaching of Islam is the Oneness of God Almighty, who has no partners, associates, or equals. God is One. God is not a Trinity, has no divine son, and has never incarnated in the form of a human being. God's true nature cannot

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be perceived by humanity, we can only know Him through His attributes, His Mercy, His Compassion, etc. Furthermore, just as God is One, so humanity is one. All human beings, black, white, Arab, Asian, Native American, and so on, are all equal before God Almighty. God has no ethnic "chosen people." The only difference or superiority of one group of people over another is through piety. The religion of God's Oneness is a part of our very nature. It is the religion of all the Prophets, from Adam, to Noah, to Abaraham, to Moses, to Jesus, to Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Throughout human history, God has revealed Himself to us through Prophets and Messengers. His Final Messenger was born in 570 in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. His name was Muhammad ibn Abdullah. [Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 22.01.02: What does Islam mean? The Arabic word Islam simply means 'submission', and derives from a word meaning 'peace'. In a religious context, it means complete submission to the will of God. 'Mohammedanism' is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad (peace be upon him) rather than God. 'Allah' is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 22.01.03: Meaning of Islam: Islam is the name of the religion, or more properly the ‘way of life’, which God (Allah) has revealed and which was practiced by all of the Prophets and Messengers of God that He sent to mankind. Even the name stands out unique among other religions in that it means a state of being; it does not refer to any particular person, such as Christianity, Buddhism or Zoroastrianism; a tribe like Judaism; or a nation like Hinduism. The root Arabic word from which Islam is derived implies peace, safety, salutation, protection, blamelessness, wholesomeness, submission, acceptance, surrender, and salvation. Islam specifically means being in the state of submission to God, worshipping Him Alone, and reverently accepting and obeying His Law. Through this submission, the peace, security, and wholesome well-being implied in its literal meaning is achieved. Hence, a

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Muslim or Muslimah is a person (male or female) in that state of submission. A person’s Islam weakens through sins, ignorance, and wrong-doing, and becomes nullified in totality by associating partners with God or disbelieving in Him. [Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka and Robert Squires] 22.01.04: The Meaning of Islam Every religion of the world has been named either after the name of its founder or after the community and nation in which that religion took its birth. For instance, Christianity takes its appellation from the name of its prophet Jesus Christ; Zoroastrians from its founder Zoroaster; and Judaism, the religion of the Jews, from the name of the tribe Judah (of the country of Judea) wherein it took its birth. Similar is the case with other religions But not so with Islam. This religion enjoys the unique distinction of having no such association with any particular person or people. The word ‘Islam’ does not confer any such relationship-for it does not belong to any particular person, people, or country. It is neither the product of any human mind nor is it confined to any particular community. It is a universal religion and its objective is to create and cultivate in man the quality and attitude of Islam. Islam, as a matter of fact, is an attributive title. Whosoever possesses this attributive, may he belong to any race, community, country, or clan, is a Muslim. According to the Qur'an (the Holy Book of the Muslims), among every people and in all ages there have been good and righteous people who possessed this attribute of them were and are Muslims. This automatically brings us to the question: What does Islam mean? And who is a Muslim? [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 22.01.05: Islam - What Does It Mean? ‘Islam’ is an Arabic word and connotes submission, surrender, and obedience As a religion, Islam stands for complete submission and obedience to Allah and that is why it is called ‘ISLAM’. Everyone can see that the universe we live in is an orderly universe. There is law and order among all the units that comprise this universe. Everything is assigned a place in a grand scheme, which is working

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in a magnificent and superb way. The sun, the moon, the stars and in fact all the heavenly bodies are knit together in a splendid system. They follow an unalterable law and do not make even the slightest deviation from their ordained course. The earth rotates on its own axis and in its revolution round the sun scrupulously follows the path laid down for it. Similarly, everything in the world, from the little whirling electron to the mighty nebulae, invariably follows its own laws. Matter energy, and life-all obey their laws and grow and change and live and die in accordance with those laws. EVEN in the human world the laws of nature are quite manifest. Man's birth, growth, and life are all regulated by a set of biological laws. He derives sustenance from nature in Accordance with an unalterable law. All the organs of his body from the small tissues to the heart and the brain are governed by the laws prescribed for them. In Short, ours is a law-governed universe and everything in it is following the course that has been ordained for it. This powerful, all-pervasive law, which governs all that comprises the universe, from the tiniest specks of dust to the magnificent galaxies in high heavens, is the law of God, the creator and ruler of the universe. As the entire creation obeys the law of God, the whole universe, therefore, literally follows the religion of Islam-for Islam signifies nothing but obedience and submission to Allah, the Lord of the universe. The sun, the moon, the earth, and all other heavenly bodies are thus ‘Muslim’. So is the case with air, water, and heat, stones, trees, and animals. Everything in the universe is ‘Muslim’ for it obeys God by submission to his laws. Even a man who refuses to believe in God, or offers his worship to someone other than Allah has perforce to be a ‘Muslim’ as far as his bodily existence is concerned. For his entire life, from the embryonic stage to the body’s dissolution info dust after death and every tissue of his muscles and every limb of his body follow the course prescribed for each by God’s law. His very tongue which on account of his ignorance, advocates the denial of God or professes multiple deities, is in its very nature a ‘Muslim’. His head which he wantonly bows to other besides Allah is a born Muslim. His heart, wherein, through his lack of true knowledge, he cherishes love and reverence for others, is ‘Muslim’ by intuition. These are all obedient to the divine Law, and their functions and movements are governed by the injunctions of that law alone. This, in short, is the real position of man and the universe. Let us now examine the problem in a

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different light. Man is so constituted that there are two aspects of his life: two distinct spheres of his activity. One is the sphere in which he finds himself totally regulated by the Divine Law. He cannot budge an inch or move a step away from it. Nor can he evade it in any way or from. In fact, like other creatures, he is completely caught in the grip of the law of nature and is bound to follow it. But there is another sphere of his activity as well. He has been endowed with reason and intellect. He has the power to think and form judgments, to choose and reject, and to adopt and spurn. He is free to adopt whatever course of life chooses. He can embrace any faith, adopt any way of life and formulate his living according to whatever ideologies he likes. He may prepare his own code of conduct or accept one formulated by others. He has been bestowed with free will and can chalk out his own course of behavior. In this latter aspect, he, unlike the other creatures, has been given freedom of thought, choice, and action. Both these aspects distinctly co-exist in man’s life. In the first he, like all other creatures, is a born Muslim, invariably obeys the injunctions of God, and is bound to remain so. As far as the second aspect is concerned, he is free to become or not to become a Muslim. Here he has been given the freedom of choiceand it is the way a person exercises this freedom, which divides mankind into two groups: believers and non-believers. An individual who chooses to acknowledge his creator, accepts Him as his real Master, honestly and scrupulously submits to His laws and injunctions and follows the code He has revealed unto man for his individual and social life, thereby becomes a perfect Muslim. He has, so to say, achieved completeness in his Islam by consciously deciding to obey God in the domain in which he was endowed with freedom and choice. Now his entire life has become one of submission to God and there is no conflict in his personality. He is a perfect Muslim and his Islam is complete-for this submission of his entire self to the will of Allah is Islam and nothing but Islam. He has now consciously submitted to Him whom he had already been unconsciously obeying. He has now willingly offered obedience to the Master whom he already owed obedience unintentionally. His knowledge is now real for he has acknowledged the Being who endowed him with the power to learn and to know. Now his reason and judgment are set on an even keel-for he has rightly decided to

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obey the Being who bestowed upon him the faculty of thinking and judging. His tongue also is truthful for it expresses with conviction its confession of the Lord who gave it the faculty speech. New the whole of this existence is an embodiment of, in all spheres of life, he voluntarily as well as involuntarily obeys the laws of the same One God with the whole universe for he worships Him whom the whole world is for him and he is for God. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 22.01.06: What are the Teachings of Islam? The foundation of the Islamic faith is belief in absolute Monotheism (the Oneness 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 Oneness 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, but true monotheism is to believe that only the One True Deity is to be worshipped in accordance to the revelation He sent to His Messenger. Islam 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. A common misconception is the claim that God cannot forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasizing the burden and penalty of sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive humans directly, people often despair of the Mercy of God. Once they become convinced that they cannot approach God directly, they turn to false gods for help, such as heroes, political leaders, saviors, saints, and angels. We often find that the people who worship, pray to, or seek intercession from these false deities, do not consider them to be 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 Islam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There is no ambiguity or mystery in issues of divinity: anything that is created does not deserve to be worshipped; only Allah, the Creator, is worthy of being worshipped. Some religions

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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 Exalted beyond speculative comprehension, He definitely has no partners, associates, peers, antagonists or offspring. According to Muslim belief, Allah “neither begets, 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 Allah is also called the All-Powerful and Most-Merciful. Allah 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 Oneness of Allah is not merely a metaphysical concept. It is a dynamic belief that affects ones view of humanity, society and all aspects of practical life. As a logical corollary to the Islamic belief in the Oneness of Allah, is its belief in the oneness of mankind and humanity. [Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka and Robert Squires] 22.01.07: Does God Need Our Good Deeds? Prophet Muhammad told what God has said: “My servants, I have made oppression unlawful for Me and unlawful for you, so do not commit oppression against one another. My servants, all of you are liable to err except the one whom I guide to the right path, so seek the right guidance from Me, so that I lead you to the right path. O’ My servants, all of you are hungry (needy) except the one whom I feed, so beg food from Me, so that I may give that to you. O’ My servants, all of you are naked (need clothes) except the one whom I provide garments, so beg clothes from Me, so that I may clothe you. O’ My servants, you commit error night and day, and I am there to pardon your sins, so beg pardon from Me so that I should grant you pardon. O’ my servants, you can neither do me any harm, nor can you do me any good. O’ my servants, even if the firsts among you and the lasts among you and even the whole of human race of yours, and that of the Jinn’s (ghosts) even, become (equal in) God conscience like the heart of a single person amongst you, nothing would add to my power. O’ my servants, even, if the

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first amongst you and the lasts amongst you and the whole human race of yours and that of the Jinn’s too and unison become the most wicked (all beating) like the heart of a single person, it would cause no loss to my power. O’ my servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and the whole human race of yours and that of Jinn’s also all stand in one plain ground, and you ask me and I confer upon every person what he asks for, it would not, in any way, cause any loss to me (even less) than that which is caused to the ocean by dipping the needle in it. My servants, these deeds of yours which I am recording for you I shall reward you for them, so that who finds well should praise, and that who encounters something else should blame only him.” Chapter 3, Verse 195 of the Qur’an reminds us, “So their Lord answers their prayers, saying: ‘I will not let the good deed of any worker among you, whether a male or female, be wasted. You are the offspring of one another.” Prophet Muhammad also said, “If anyone summons others to follow the right guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those of the people who follow him, without their reward decreased in any way. And if anyone invites others to follow the error, his sin will be equivalent to those people who follow him, without their sins being decreased in any way.” Huston Smith, the distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of California, Berkley Campus, while discussing the existence and presence of God with Bill Moyers in the Television Program Series, Wisdom of Faith, says: Let us say, that a bunch of dogs decide that they are going to prove the existence of mathematics. So they take some papers on which some math problems have been solved, and give them a “Sniff Test”. What answer would they come up? Huston gives another example from the Muslim scholar Rumi, who says that there are 3 ways to learn about fire: i) To be told about it; ii) To see it; iii) To be burnt by it.

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At this point, Bill Moyers asks Huston, “Have you been burnt by it?” Houston replies, “Yes”, and he ads, “Those are the moments of bliss that don’t last for ever, but show you another world, and give you hope”. Arch Angel Gabriel, visited The Trustworthy in a cave outside Makkah, and conveyed the first verse of the Holy Qur’an. The translation of this verse reads: “Recite in the name of thy Lord who created you from a single drop of fluid.” This process in which ‘The Trustworthy’ received guidance from his Lord for a period of 23 years continued until the last verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed in which God said, “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you, Islam, as your religion.” During the said 23 years, this unlettered man with guidance from God Almighty converted a bunch of Pagan warring tribes into a moral society, and a nucleus for a worldwide empire for the ensuing centuries. A person who accepts Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims use the word Allah to refer to God: Allah is an Arabic word meaning “The One God.” Christians in the Arabic world (and there are many) use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God Almighty. So Allah is not a different deity and is the same one God to whom Christians and Jews pray as well. The Qur’an repeatedly refers to Christians, and Jews as the People of the Book who pray to the same God. [www.understandingislam.org] 22.01.08: Islamic Greetings Have you ever noticed that when two Muslims meet, they exchange a certain greeting? Let me tell you what it is. The first one says: “As-Salaamu-Alaikum,” which is in Arabic, meaning “Peace Be upon you.” The other person replies, “Wa-Alaikum-us-Salaam WaRahmatullahe-Wa-Barakatu-Hu,” which means “And May the Peace and Blessings of God Be upon You As Well.” What a beautiful way for human beings to greet each other. Its is like one offers a gift by wishing peace to the other, and the other responds with a better gift of prayers wishing for not only peace, but blessings of God as well.

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Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessings be upon him) said that a Muslim has five rights upon other Muslims. These are: Responding to salutations. Visiting the sick. Following his bier. Accepting his invitation. Saying, “May God has mercy upon you,” when one praises God after sneezing. [www.understandingislam.org] 22.01.09: One Message of Islam Muslims believe that God Almighty has provided the same guidance to all of humanity throughout history, i.e. starting with the first human being Adam, who was also a prophet of God, through the ages to prophets Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad – peace be upon them all. That message is Islam or submission to the Will of God. Muslims believe, not only in the 10 Commandments, but also believe in the authentic teachings of all of the prophets. They, however, feel that history has not preserved the original teachings of some of the prophets. According to Muslims, the only scripture that has been totally preserved in its original form as revealed by God to Prophet Muhammad is the Qur’an. The Qur’an refers to the Jews and Christians as “People of the Book” – because each of them is the recipient of Guidance from God Almighty in the form of a book. Muslims believe that God Almighty gave the ‘Torah’ to Prophet Moses; the ‘Zaboor’ to Prophet David, parts of which are available today as the ‘Psalms of David’; the ‘Injeel’ or the ‘Gospel’ to Prophet Jesus; and the ‘Qur’an’ to Prophet Muhammad. Hadith: The Qur’an is the primary source of Islamic teachings, and the “Hadith” is the next. The Hadith refers to the authentic collection of actions and statements made by Prophet Muhammad. [www.understandingislam.org] 22.01.10: Continuity of the Message: Islam is not a new religion because "submission to the will of God", i.e. Islam, has always been the only acceptable religion in the sight of God. For this reason, Islam is the true "natural religion", and it is

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the same eternal message revealed through the ages to all of God's prophets and messengers. Muslims believe that all of God's prophets, which include Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, brought the same message of Pure Monotheism. For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of a new religion, as many people mistakenly think, but he was the Final Prophet of Islam. By revealing His final message to Muhammad, which is an eternal and universal message for all of mankind, God finally fulfilled the covenant that He made with Abraham, who was one of the earliest and greatest prophets. Suffice it to say that the way of Islam is the same as the way of the prophet Abraham, because both the Bible and the Qur'an portray Abraham as a towering example of someone who submitted himself completely to God and worshipped Him without intermediaries. Once this is realized, it should be clear that Islam has the most continuous and universal message of any religion, because all prophets and messengers were "Muslims", i.e. those who submitted to God's will, and they preached "Islam", i.e. submission to the will of Almighty God. 22.01.11: The Islamic Way of Life: In the Holy Qur'an, 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 Islamic encompass all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human affairs. Islam 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 Islam is not limited to religious rituals. The teachings of Islam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and such qualities as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islam condemns pride and self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human righteousness. The Islamic view of the nature of man is also realistic and wellbalanced. Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people freewill, 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

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in His Wisdom, and it is not inherently "corrupt" or in need of repair. This is because the avenue of repentance of always opens 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 Islamic 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, Islam teaches that: only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord. Additionally, the Holy Qur'an, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgment. 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 Islam 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. 22.01.12: Islam for a Better Life: Islam teaches that true happiness can only being obtained by living a life full of God-consciousness and being satisfied with what God has given us. Additionally, true "freedom" is freedom from being controlled by our base human desires and being ruled by man-made ideologies. This stands in stark contrast to the view of many people in the modern world, who consider "freedom" to be the ability to satisfy all of their desires without inhibition. The clear and comprehensive guidance of Islam gives human-beings a welldefined purpose and direction in life. In addition to being members of the human-brotherhood of Islam, its well-balanced and practical teachings are a source of spiritual comfort, guidance and morality. A direct and clear relationship with Almighty God, as well as the sense of purpose and belonging that ones feels as a Muslim, frees a person from the many worries of everyday life. In short, the Islamic way of life is pure and wholesome. It builds self-discipline and selfcontrol thought regular prayer and fasting, and frees human-beings from superstition and all sorts of racial, ethnic and national

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prejudices. By accepting to live a God-conscious life, and realizing that the only thing that distinguishes people in the sight of God is their consciousness of Him, a person's true human dignity is realized

23.00.00: MUSLIM
The word "Muslim" means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Being a Muslim entails willful submission and active obedience to God, and living in accordance with His message. Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are there converts to Islam in every corner of the world, especially in England and America, but by taking a look at the Muslim World from Bosnia to Nigeria, and from Indonesia to Morocco, one can clearly see that Muslims come from many various races, ethnic groups and nationalities. It is also interesting to note that in actuality, more than 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs - there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in the whole Arab World! So, though even though it is true that most Arabs are Muslims, the large majority of Muslims are not Arabs. However, anyone who submits completely to God and worships Him alone is a Muslim. 23.02.01: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MUSLIM? The word Muslim is derived from the same verb "aslama", and means "one who practices Islam". As we have seen above, this can be interpreted in two ways: Firstly, anyone who submits himself to God might be called a Muslim. Thus, for example, the Qur'an refers to Noah, Lot and the disciples of Jesus as "Muslims", in the sense that they submitted themselves to God. But secondly, in everyday speech we give the name "Muslim" to one who follows the religion proclaimed by Muhammad. 23.02.02: Meaning of Muslim: The Arabic word “Muslim” literally means “someone who is in a state of Islam (submission to the will and law of God)”. The message of Islam is meant for the entire world, and anyone who accepts this message becomes a Muslim. Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be

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further from the truth. 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, cultures and nationalities. Islam has always been 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 teachings and laws of God the Exalted. A Muslim is a person who freely accepts basing his beliefs, values and faith on the will of Almighty God. In the past, even though you do not 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 willful 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 one is not considered a Muslim if he worships anyone or anything besides God the Exalted. [By: Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka; and Robert Squires] 23.02.03: What is a Muslim? Are all Muslims Arabs? A Muslim is an adherent of the religion of Islam. In the Arabic language, placing the letters "mu" before a word is the same as placing the letters "er" after an English word. For example, someone who places a call is a "caller," or someone who sings is a "singer." Someone who follows Islam is a Muslim. The Arabic word Muslim means "one who submits." Today there are approximately 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. The majority of Muslims live in south or Southeast Asia. The largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the predominately Hindu nation of India. Muslims live in virtually every nation in the world. Only 15-20% of the world's Muslims are Arabs, there are many Arabs who are Christians. There are approximately 6-8 million Muslims living in the United States of America. The goal of every Muslim is to achieve "taqwa," which is the consciousness of one's responsibility

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toward its Creator. There are two main branches of Muslims in the world, 85% are Sunni or Orthodox Muslims, and 15% or so are Shi'ite Muslims. There are also a number of sub-groups, mystic orders, and various heretical sects which may or may not consider themselves Muslim. [Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 23.02.03: Who are Muslims? Muslims today come from different nationalities and cultures across the world and are united by their common Islamic faith. The largest Muslim community is in Indonesia with substantial numbers in Asia and most of Africa. Around 18% of Muslims live in the Arab countries. Muslims are also found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 23.02.04: What do Muslims believe? Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God, the Angels created by Him, and the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist and Jesus, (peace be upon them). In 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 the Angel Gabriel. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 23.02.05: Who is called a Muslim? Gentlemen! The foremost thing every Muslim ought to know is: Who is called a Muslim and what is the meaning of a "Muslim"? If a human being fails to know what humanity is and what difference is there between man and animal, he would naturally indulge in beastly acts and would not value his being a man. Similarly, if person does not know what is the true significance of his being a Muslim and how is a Muslim to be distinguished from a nonMuslim, he will behave as a non-Muslim and will not feel the prestige of being a Muslim. Therefore, every Muslim and the child of every Muslim ought to be taught the significance of calling himself a Muslim, what difference takes place in his position as soon as he becomes a Muslim, what responsibility devolves on him and what are the limits of Islam within which a man remains a Muslim and by transgressing which he ceases to be a Muslim,

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though he may be verbally styling himself as a Muslim. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

23.02.06: What is the difference between “Islam” and “Muslim”? Answer: “Islam” is the name of the religion. Persons who practice Islam are called “Muslims” [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 23.02.07: The Essentiality Of Knowledge For Being A Muslim a. The greatest favor of Allah Brethren-in-Islam! Every Muslim sincerely believes that the greatest boon of Allah in this world is Islam. He feels grateful to Him for having included him in the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and for having bestowed upon him the blessings of Islam. Allah Himself has reckoned this as His greatest boon to His servants as is mentioned in the Qur'an: "This day have I perfected your deen (way of life) for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as deen." (Al-Qur'an 5:3) b. Obligation for the favor It is obligatory for you to render Allah His due because of the favour He has conferred on you. Whosoever does not render one his due for his favour, is an ungrateful person. And the worst possible ungratefulness on the part of man is to forget what he owes to God. Now you may ask as to how can one render Allah His due for His favour to us? In reply I have to say that since Allah has included you in the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be on him) the best form of gratitude for this favour of His, is to become the sincere followers of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). Since God has included you in the Muslim community the only way for you to reciprocate this kindness is to become full-fledged Muslims. In no other way can you render what is due to Allah for this immense favour by Him. And if you do not render this due, the punishment for this

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ungratefulness will be as great as is the favour of Allah. May Allah save all of us from this punishment! Amen. c. First step to become Muslim After this you will ask: how can a man become a Muslim in the true sense of the term? The answer to this question requires adequate details and I shall deal with each and every part of it with full elucidation in my lectures on coming Fridays. But in today's address, I shall explain to you that point which is of primary importance and which can be termed as the first and foremost step in this direction. d. Is Muslim the name of a race? Please strain your mind to think as to what actually does the word Muslim, you use, signify? Does man bring Islam with him when he is born? Is a person Muslim because he is a son or grandson of a Muslim? Is a Muslim born as Muslim just as a Brahmin's son is born as Brahmin, or a Rajput's son as Rajput, or s Shudra's son as a Shudra? Is Muslim the name of a race or nation just as Englishmen? And just as a Jat is Jat because of being born in the Jat community, is a Muslim in the same way a Muslim for being born in a community which is called Muslim? What answers will you give to the questions, I have asked? You will surely reply: "No, sir, such a man is not called Muslim. A Muslim is not a Muslim because of belonging to a particular racial group but because of accepting Islam, and if he renounces Islam, he ceases to be a Muslim. Any person who may be a Brahmin or a Rajput, an Englishman or a Jat, a Punjabi or a Negro, will be incorporated in the Muslim community on accepting Islam, while another person born in a Muslim home is expelled from the Muslim community if he gives up Islam, though he may be the son of a Sayyid or a Pathan". Well, gentlemen! you will surely give the above answer to my questions. So now this fact has been established from your own answer that the greatest boon of God i.e., the boon of your being a Muslim, which you enjoy, is not a racial asset which you automatically inherit from your parents and which clings to you mechanically all your life whether you bother about it or not, but that it is a boon for acquiring which you must make efforts. If you

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make an endeavour for it then you can acquire it and if you don't care for it, it can also be snatched away from you. May God forbid. e. Meaning of accepting Islam Now let us go ahead. You say that a man becomes Muslim by accepting Islam. The question is : What does the acceptance of Islam signify? Does it mean that whoever makes a verbal profession: "I am Muslim or I have accepted Islam", becomes a Muslim? Or does it mean that just as a Brahmin worshipper recites a few mantras of Sanskrit without understanding them, if in the same way a man utters some phrases of Arabic without understanding them, he then and there becomes Muslim? Now you may tell what reply will you give to this question. Naturally you will answer that the meaning of accepting Islam is that a man should consciously, and deliberately accept what has been taught by Muhammad (peace be upon him) and act accordingly. Whosoever does this is a Muslim and whosoever does not do this, is not a Muslim. f. First requirement-knowledge From this answer of yours the fact automatically comes to light that al-Islam is firstly the name of knowledge and then the name of putting that knowledge into practice. A man can be a Brahmin without having knowledge because he is born as a Brahmin and remains a Brahmin. So also a Jat can be Jat though he be bereft of knowledge because he is born as a Jat and remains a Jat all his life. But a man cannot become a Muslim without acquiring knowledge because he does not become a Muslim from birth but from knowledge. Unless he comes to know what is the teaching of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), how can he affirm faith in it and how can he act according to it? And if he has not affirmed faith knowingly and after full understanding of it, how can he become a Muslim? So it is clear that it is impossible to become a Muslim and remain a Muslim while in a state of ignorance. Whosoever is born in a Muslim home, bears a Muslim like name, dresses like a Muslim, and calls himself a Muslim, is in reality not a Muslim. But that person alone is a Muslim in the real sense that knows what Islam stands for and affirms faith in it with full consciousness. The real difference between a Kafir and a Muslim is not that of a name, that one is Ram Parshad and the other one is 'Abdullah, and so one is a Kafir and the other is a Muslim. Similarly, the real difference

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between a Kafir and a Muslim is not that of dress also, that one wears dhoti and the other pajamas, and so the former is a Kafir and the latter a Muslim. But the real difference between the two is that of knowledge. The one is a Kafir because he does not know what relation has God with him and what relation he was with God, and what is the right path for him to lead his life in the world in accordance with the wish of God? If a born Muslim too is ignorant in this respect, then tell me on what ground do you differentiate between him and a Kafir and why do you say that one is a Kafir and the other is a Muslim. Gentlemen! Please listen carefully to the point I am stressing and reflect over it calmly. You must understand it thoroughly that to obtain or to be deprived of the greatest boon of Allah, on which you express thanks and gratefulness to Him, depends entirely on knowledge. If there is no knowledge, you cannot at all get this boon. Even if you have a little portion of it, then due to ignorance there is always the risk of losing the magnificent gift. The recipient, only due to simple-mindedness, will be under the impression that he is a Muslim while in fact he is not. The likeness of that person who is totally unaware of the difference between Islam and Kufr and the incongruity between Islam and Shirk, is as the likeness of one who is walking in darkness on a track. May be that while following a straight line his steps swerve to another path and he be unaware of this deviation from the right course. And it is also likely that he may meet a Dajjal on the way who may tell him: “O sonny! You have lost your way in darkness. Come; let me lead you to the destination". The poor wayfarer being enveloped in darkness cannot see with his own eyes as to which are the right path. Therefore unsophistically he will grasp the hand of Dajjal and the latter will lead him astray. These dangers are faced by the wayfarer for he very reason ha he himself does no possess any light and so is incapable of himself observing he road-marks. If he were endowed with light, he will obviously neither lose his way nor be led astray by another person. You may guess from this example that the greatest danger to a Muslim lies in his own ignorance of Islamic teaching and his unawareness of what the Qur'an teaches and what instructions were left by the Holy Prophet (peach be upon him). Due to lack of knowledge he will grope his way and will also be led astray by Dajjals. But if he is blessed with the light of knowledge he will be

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able to see the plain path of Islam at every step in his life, will discover and avoid the misleading paths of Kufr, Shirk, heresy and immorality, which will intercept him, and whenever an inveigler will meet him on the way he will realize after exchanging a few words with him that he is an evil force and so he should followed.

g. Importance of knowledge Brethren! On this knowledge, the necessity of which I am explaining to you, depends yours and your children's being Muslims and remaining as Muslims. This is not an ordinary thing which may be neglected. You do not show any carelessness in cultivating your land, in irrigating and protecting your crops, in supplying fodder to your cattle and in other work of your profession, simply because if you do so you will be starved to death and will lose a precious thing like life. Then tell me why do you show negligence in acquiring that knowledge on which depends your becoming a Muslim and remaining a Muslim. Does not this entail the danger of losing a precious thing like Iman? Is not Iman dearer than life? Out of the time and labour you spend on things which sustain your life, can you not spend one-tenth part of them on things which protect your Imam? I do not say that every one of you should become a Maulvi, read voluminous books and spend ten to twelve years of your life in this pursuit. It is not necessary to read so much to become a Muslim. I only want this much that each one of you should spend only one hour out of the twenty-four hours of day and night in acquiring the knowledge of Deen. At least that much knowledge should be acquired by every Muslim youth, adult and old person as may enable him to understand the essence of the teaching of Qur'an and the purpose for which it was revealed. He should be able to clearly understand the mission of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) with which he came into this world. What was the wrong he wanted to be demolished and what was the right he wished to be established? He should also get acquainted with that particular mode of life which Allah has ordained for Muslims. Not much time is required to acquire this quantum of knowledge. And if Iman is dear

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to you, it is not so difficult to find one hour per day to acquire it. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

24.00.00: ISLAM AND MUSLIM
24.01.00: Islam and Muslims The name of this religion is Islam, the root of which is Silm and Salaam which means peace. Salaam may also mean greeting one another with peace. One of the beautiful names of God is that He is the Peace. It means more than that: submission to the One God, and to live in peace with the Creator, within ones self, with other people and with the environment. Thus, Islam is a total system of living. A Muslim is supposed to live in peace and harmony with all these segments; hence, a Muslim is any person anywhere in the world whose obedience, allegiance, and loyalty are to God, the Lord of the Universe. 24.02.00: Is Islam An Arab Religion? No Islam is a religion for all humanity. It is the first religion, which had a universal beginning. The early followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him) came from Arabia, Africa, Iran, Asia and the West. Racism, Tribalism and nationalism divided the world before Islam. Some people claimed to have been chosen by God and others as inferiors. The rich considered the poor as people of lower classes, Islam came with: “O people! God created you from a single pair of male and female and made you unto tribes and nations so that you may know one another the best among you is the one who is the most conscious of God”. [Al Qur’an: 49:13] 24.03.00: Why does Islam sometimes seem strange? Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world where religion is seen as separate from daily life. Muslims have religion foremost in their minds and make no distinction between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, “the Shari'a”, should be taken seriously and practiced daily. For this reason, issues related to religion are very important as they dictate how Muslims live their life. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 24.04.00: Do Islam And Christianity Have Different Origins?

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No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons--Muhammad (SAW) from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them, from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka'ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali]

24.05.00: 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 (SAW) 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. The Quran says: Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say 'uff' to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, 'My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little'. [Surah Bani Isra’il, v.17:23-24] 24.06.00: HOW DO MUSLIMS VIEW DEATH? Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present 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

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final services they can do for their relatives, and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet (SAW) 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.

24.07.00: Number of Muslims Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. There are over 1.2 billion Muslims. That is, one out of every five human beings that walk on this earth is a Muslim. Not all Muslims are Arab, and not all Arabs are Muslim. Only 18 percent of the Muslims are Arab. Seven million Muslims live in the United States; approximately half of them immigrated to this country, and the remainder was born here. The Muslims now outnumber the Jews in this country. If you think about it, Islam is no more foreign to this country than Judaism or Christianity; all three of these religions have their roots in the Middle East. There are 60 countries in the world where the majority of the people are Muslim. However, there is not a single country among them that can truly be called an ‘Islamic State’; where the government and the people conduct themselves truly in accordance with the message that was given to humanity in the 7th century AD. The difference is only the degree to which each country and its inhabitants are adhering to the message and the spirit of Islam. That is why, we are reminded to strive and be righteous, and is told that God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. [www.understandingislam.org]

25.00.00: ALLAH
25.01.00: Who Is Allah? Often one hears the Arabic word “Allah” being used in discussions regarding Islam. The word “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God, and is the same word used by Arabic speaking Christians and Jews. As a matter of fact, the word Allah was in use

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far before the word God ever came into existence, since English is a relatively new language. If one were to pick up an Arabic translation of the Bible, one would see the word “Allah” being use where the word “God” is used in English. For instance, Arabic speaking Christians says that Jesus is, according to their canon belief, the Son of Allah. In addition, the Arabic word for Almighty God, “Allah”, 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 Islam calls all people to the worship of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the other prophets, peace be upon them. [By Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka and Robert Squires] Allah means the God. Allah is the name that he calls Himself in the Qur’an where this originates. It can also be found in an Aramaic copy of the Bible, and even Christian Arabs say Allah. Muslims believe in Allah's complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] Allah is the Arabic word for "God," or more literally "the God" (alilah). Allah is neither male nor female, however, there are no neuter terms in the Arabic language, so God is referred to as "He" rather then "It" or something similar. Allah is the Creator of all that exists and the God of all the prophets, the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Muhammad, among others. The word Allah is used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians, in addition to Muslims. In the Qur'an, God Almighty tells us, that "whether you call me Allah or Ar-Rahman (the Merciful One), all of My names are beautiful." [Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 25.02.00: 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. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 25.03.00: What does it mean to believe in Allah?

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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 cannot 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. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 25.04.00: Can we see Allah? Nothing is as beautiful as Allah--He is perfection. Looking at Allah is the greatest pleasure of the people in Paradise but this pleasure Allah does not give to anyone but the believers. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 25.05.00: 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 that He does not know of. There is not a dry spot, nor a wet spot, nor a grain in the depths of the earth except that Allah knows it. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 25.06.00: Does Allah answer my prayers? We know that Allah hears and answers all our prayers. 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. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 25.07.00: Allah The One And The Only God The word ALLAH in the Arabic language means God, or more accurately The One and Only Eternal God, Creator of the Universe, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Most Compassionate, Most

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Merciful. The word Allah to mean God is also used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians. Allah is the name of the One and Only God. Allah has ninety-nine beautiful names, such as: The Gracious, The Merciful, The Beneficent, The Creator, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, The Lord of the Universe, The First, The Last, and others. He is the Creator of all human beings. He is the God for the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists, and others. Muslims worship God whose name is Allah. They put their trust in Him and they seek His help and His guidance. 25.08.00: What are the Principal Titles of God? According to Muslim faith, Allah (God) is beyond all description and knowledge. However, the Qur'an gives him many titles, traditionally numbering 99. He is first the Creator, the Judge, the Rewarder of good and evil. He is unique, He has no partner or equal, He is all-powerful and merciful. He is the one who does whatever He pleases and gives no account of His actions to anyone. He exercises justice towards those He approves, and shows Himself ready to pardon those who do what is needed to obtain pardon. 25.09.00: Allah, The Ah’ad Only One God A Muslim believes in ONE GOD, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. God has neither father nor mother, neither son nor was He fathered. None equal to Him. He is God of all mankind, not of a special tribe or race. God is High and Supreme but He is very near to the pious thoughtful believers; He answers their prayers and helps them. He loves the people who love Him and forgives their sins. He gives them peace, happiness, knowledge and success. God is the Loving and the Provider, the Generous, and the Benevolent, the Rich and the Independent, the Forgiving and the Clement, the Patient and the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and the Peace. God's attributes are mentioned in the Qur’an.

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God creates in man the mind to understand, the soul and conscience to be good and righteous, the feelings and sentiments to be kind and humane. If we try to count His favors upon us, we cannot, because they are countless. In return for all the great favors and mercy, God does not need anything from us, because He is Needless and Independent. God asks us to know Him, to love Him and to enforce His law for our benefit and our own good. 25.10.00: The Oneness of God: The foundation of the Islamic faith is belief in the Oneness of Almighty God - the God of Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus. Islam teaches that a pure belief in One God is intuitive in human beings and thus fulfills the natural inclination of the soul. As such, Islam's concept of God is straightforward, unambiguous and easy to understand. Islam teaches that the hearts, minds and souls of human beings are fitting receptacles for clear divine revelation, and that God's revelations to man are not clouded by self-contradictory mysteries or irrational ideas. As such, Islam teaches that even though God cannot be fully comprehended and grasped by our finite human minds, He also does not expect us to accept absurd or demonstrably false beliefs about Him. According to the teachings of Islam, Almighty God is absolutely One and His Oneness should never be compromised by associating partners with Him - neither in worship nor in belief. Due to this, Muslims are required to maintain a direct relationship with God, and therefore all intermediaries are absolutely forbidden. From the Islamic standpoint, believing in the Oneness of God means to realize that all prayer and worship should be exclusively for God, and that He alone deserves such titles as "Lord" and "Savior". Some religions, even though they believe on "One God", do not make all of their worship and prayers for Him alone. Also, they also give the title of "Lord" to beings that are not All-Knowing, All-Powerful and Un-Changing- even according to their own scriptures. Suffice it to say that according to Islam, it is not enough that people believe that "God is One", but they must actualize this belief by proper conduct. In short, in the Islamic concept of God, which is completely based on Divine Revelation, there is no ambiguity in divinity - God is God and man is man. Since God is the only Creator and continual Sustainer of the Universe, He is transcendent above His creation - the Creator and the creature never mix. Islam teaches that God has a unique nature

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and that He is free from gender, human weaknesses and beyond anything which human beings can imagine. The Qur'an teaches that the signs and proofs of God's wisdom, power and existence are evident in the world around us. As such, God calls on man to ponder over the creation in order to build a better understanding of his Creator. Muslims believe that God is Loving, Compassionate and Merciful, and that He is concerned with the daily affairs of human beings. In this, Islam strikes a unique balance between false religious and philosophical extremes. Some religions and philosophies portray God as just an impersonal "Higher Power" who is uninterested, or unaware, of the life of each individual human. Other religions tend to give God human qualities and teach that He is present in His creation, by being incarnate in someone, something - or even everything. In Islam, however, Almighty God has clarified the truth by letting mankind know that He is "Compassionate", "Merciful", "Loving" and the "Answerer of Prayers". But He as also emphasized strongly that "there is nothing like unto Him” and that He is high above time, space and His creation. Finally, it should be mentioned that the God that Muslims worship is the same God that Jews and Christians worship - because there is only one God. It is unfortunate that some people mistakenly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians, and that "Allah" is just the "god of the Arabs". This myth, which has been propagated by the enemies of Islam, is completely false since the word "Allah" is simply the Arabic name for Almighty God. It is the same word for God which is used by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians. However, it should be clarified that even though Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christian, their concept of Him differs somewhat from the beliefs of other religions - mainly because it is based completely on Divine Revelation from God. For example, Muslims reject the Christian belief that God is a Trinity, not only because the Qur'an rejects it, but also because if this was God's true nature, He would have clearly revealed it to Abraham, Noah, Jesus and all of the other prophets. 25.11.00: Recognition of Allah as God The question which arises here is, "How can all people be expected to believe in Allah given their varying- backgrounds, societies and

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cultures? For people to be responsible for worshipping Allah they all have to have access to knowledge of Allah. The final revelation teaches that all mankind have the recognition of Allah imprinted on their souls, a part of their very nature with which they are created. In Surah Al-A'raaf, Verses 172-173: Allah explained that when He created Adam, He caused all of Adam's descendants to come into existence and took a pledge from them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all replied, ‘Yes, we testify to It.' Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He is their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, "That was In case you (mankind) should say on the day of Resurrection, "Verily we were unaware of all this." That is to say, we had no idea that You Allah, were our God. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship You alone. Allah went on to explain that it was also In case you should say, "Certainly It was our ancestors who made partners (With Allah) and we are only their descendants; will You then destroy us for what those liars did?" Thus, every child is born with a natural belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone called in Arabic the "Fitrah". If the child were left alone, he would worship Allah in his own way, but all children are affected by those things around them, seen or unseen. The Prophet (PBUH) reported that Allah said, "I created my servants in the right religion but devils made them go astray". The Prophet (PBUH) also said, "Each child is born in a state of "Fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew, Christian or a Zoroastrian, the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any that were born mutilated?" [Bukhari and Muslim] So, just as the child submits to the physical laws which Allah has put in nature, his soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allah is his Lord and Creator. But, his parents try to make him follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of his life to resist or oppose the will of his parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allah does not hold him to account or punish him for this religion.

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Throughout people's lives from childhood until the time they die, signs are shown to them in all regions of the earth and in their own souls, until it becomes clear that there is only one true God (Allah). If the people are honest with themselves, reject their false gods and seek Allah, the way will be made easy for them but if they continually reject Allah's signs and continue to worship creation, the more difficult it will be for them to escape. For example, in the South Eastern region of the Amazon jungle in Brazil, South America, a primitive tribe erected a new hut to house their main idol Skwatch, representing the supreme God of all creation. The homage to the God, and while he was in prostration to what he had been taught was his Creator and Sustainer, a mangy old flea-ridden dog walked into the hut, The young man looked up in time to see the dog lift its hind leg and pass urine on the idol. Outraged, the youth chased the dog out of the temple, but when his rage died down he realized that the idol could not be the Lord of the universe. Allah must be elsewhere he now had a choice to act on his knowledge and seek Allah, or to dishonestly go along with the false beliefs of his tribe. As strange as it may seem, that was a sign from Allah for that young man. It contained within it divine guidance that what he was worshipping was false. Prophets were sent, as was earlier mentioned, to every nation and tribe to support man's natural belief in Allah and man's inborn inclination to worship Him as well as to reinforce the divine truth in the daily signs revealed by Allah. Although, in most cases, much of the prophets' teachings became distorted, portions remained which point out right and wrong. For example: The Ten Commandments of the Torah, their confirmation in the Gospels and the existence of laws against murder, stealing and adultery in most societies. Consequently, every soul will be held to account for its belief in Allah and its acceptance of the religion of Islam; the total submission to the will of Allah. We pray to Allah, the exalted, to keep us on the right path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is indeed the Most Merciful. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be on prophet Muhammed, his Family, his companions, and those who rightly follow them.

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25.12.00: Islam is the Submission to God "He decreed for you the same religion decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you, and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "You shall uphold this one religion, and do not divide it." (Surah Ash-Shura, v.42:13) . This Quranic verse, alongside numerous other verses, confirms the truth that as far as God is concerned there has always been one religion. The one religion was decreed to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. All the Scripture revealed to mankind from God advocate one and the same religion. This religion God calls Islam (Submission to God). Submission to God as a religion is also described as Monotheism (Hanifeyah) …. see 3:67, 6:79, 10:105, 98:5. Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah's (Which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah.[3:67] "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."[6:79] And, (O Muhammad) set thy purpose resolutely for religion, as a man by nature upright, and be not of those who ascribe partners (to Allah).[10:105] And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practice regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.[98:5] The principal command from God in all Scripture is to worship God alone devoting all the religion to Him and rejecting all other gods/idols: "You shall have no other gods besides Me" [Old Testament: Exodus 20:3 (First Commandment)]

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"You shall worship the Lord your God and Him ONLY you shall serve" [New Testament: Luke 4:8] "You shall know that: "There is no other god beside God" [The Quran: 47:19] . Submission to God is the religion whereby we recognize God's absolute authority, and reach an unshakeable conviction that God ALONE possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him. The natural result of such a realization is to devote our lives and our worship absolutely to God ALONE. As shown this is the message of all Scripture. The above Quranic verse (Surah Ash-Shura, 42:13) confirms that the religion that was revealed to Muhammad through the Quran is not different from what was given to the previous prophets. Within the religion of Islam God decreed specific rituals and practices designed to teach man to worship his Lord. These acts (Prayer, pilgrimage .... etc.) were taught first to Abraham. This truth is given light in numerous verses such as: "We made them (Abraham and his sons) imams who guided in accordance with our commandments, and we taught them how to work righteousness, and how to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat)." [21:73] Essentially, if there is only one religion decreed by God there must be One 'truth'. Do we conclude that there should be one revelation? The answer to this question is that 'truth' and 'revelation' are not absolutely equivalent terms. Because 'truth' is an absolute term it is situated independent of form, whereas revelations are relative to time, people and place, and thus require a form. But to speak of form is to speak of diversity and thus plurality. The need for different revelations at different times and for different people is justified by the following factors: (1) Mankind has gone through enormous development through the ages physically, mentally and spiritually, that there was always the need for various revelations at different times and for different

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peoples. Although the various revelations are united in message and truth, yet we find that God never addresses identical revelations to two different people. This being so, it can be said that the diverse revelation do not, and should not contradict one another, for although they differ in form, the religion decreed in all of them (Monotheism) is one. (2) If there appear any apparent contradictions between different revelations, they are in human receptacles and not in the divine message. This is a result of human inability to interpret such revelations and more importantly the failure to preserve the 'truth' contained in the revelation, which always tends to be impaired and altered with the passing of time. Ultimately, the apparent contradiction is no more than one between corrupt scripts and interpretations of the original revelations, and not between the revelations themselves. Inevitably, and through corruption in the transfer and application of a Scripture, together with the social and cultural factors that always widen the gap between the factions, we are left with a multitude of corrupt religions. These sub-religions in many ways hardly bare any resemblance to one another, or to the original religion decreed by God. For that, there becomes a necessity for mankind to receive another revelation that puts them back on track with God's law that has been badly corrupted. (3) We find that up until the advent of the industrial revolution and the fast travel era, the world was still a wide expanse of disjointed lands and peoples. Many people would have not even heard of those Scripture that have already been revealed in various other parts of the world. This is why a new scripture would be revealed to new communities who have not received the Scripture. However, after the revelation of the Qur’an, there became no need for any further revelations. Not because the message of the Qur’an

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is much different from the message of the Torah or the Gospel, but because of the following reasons: (A) A divine promise has been endorsed in the Qur’an that it will not be corrupted like previous Scripture. As a result, and if the message would remain intact in one Scripture, there becomes no need to reveal further Scripture. (B) With the advent of the modern fast travel means of today, the whole world became a closer knit unit. People do not have to travel to hear or receive information; it is brought right up to them through the various media channels that were not available a few centuries ago. "The only religion approved by God is Islam (Submission)." [Surah Al-Imran, 3:19] The word Islam simply means Submission (to God). We learn from previous Scripture that all the prophets of God submitted to God Almighty and called their people to submit to the One and only God. It is a mistaken concept among Muslims (and non Muslims alike) that Islam is basically the religion of the Qur’an and the religion of Muhammad. God tells in the Qur’an that Islam (Submission to God) is as old as Abraham (22:78), and that all the practices of Islam were first given to Abraham and his sons long before Muhammad was born. Millions of Muslims today believe that it was Muhammad who taught them how to pray and conduct their other rituals. This belief is erroneous since it violates the truth of the Qur’an. In the Quran we read: (1) God taught Abraham and his sons all the rituals of Islam (Prayer, pilgrimage, Zakat ... etc see 21:73, 22:26-29). This took place long before the time of Muhammad. (2) Muhammad was in fact commanded to follow the religion of Abraham (16:123) .... This is described in the same verse as being Monotheism, which is submission to God without setting any idols besides Him. But God also tells Muhammad in verse 5:48 that within each revelation there are specific laws and rites that are

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specific to the receivers of this particular revelation. Hence the command is issued in 5:48 that Muhammad should follow the rites given to him in the Quran and NOT the rites of previous people. This is followed by God’s description of the Quran as 'COMPLETE' (6:115), 'FULLY DETAILED' (6:114), that 'NOTHING' has been left out of it (6:38) and that it offers ‘explanations for EVERYTHING’ 16:89. God calls this One religion that He decreed to all previous prophets Islam (Submission). It is through this overall plan that we should understand the meaning of the phrase (the only religion acceptable to God is Islam). It does not mean that Islam is exclusively the religion of the Qur’an, nor does it mean that Islam is the religion first brought by Muhammad.

25.13.00: The first introduction on the qualities God loves
Steps to Gaining Allah’s Love [Umm Haneefah is a Nigerian Muslimah and Muslim writer residing in Warwickshire, UK. She is a regular contributor to Sisters Magazine] The Qur'an details seven qualities that Almighty Allah loves and seven qualities that Almighty Allah does not love. Then, we the Muslims have a way to explore the steps to gaining His Love. Human beings by nature, love rewards when they exert themselves. And when they are devoted to a cause, coupled with anticipating the rewards, they tend to strive more and bear the discomfort that comes with the struggle. This is similar to our relationship with Allah. Almighty Allah loves it when we exert ourselves for His sake and He describes the payoffs when He loves His servant. As prophet Muhammad says in a hadith qudsi, "...When I love him(my faithful servant) I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about

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anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him" (AlBukhari). This is indeed an aspiration worth pursuing, a dream worth fulfilling and a love worth nurturing. Why would it not be? The One who does well when displeased, How will He be when pleased? (The key to Paradise by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali) Therefore, to complete one's faith and gain this love, we should seek only Allah alone in love, hate, giving and withholding and Allah alone must be our Lord and the only One whom we worship. Let me break it down - It is total submission and the essence of submission is to love what the Beloved loves and to abstain from what He does not love. This was how our pious predecessors achieved the criteria of true worshippers and reached the highest level in their efforts. Allah loves His servant to beautify his tongue through speaking the truth, his heart through sincerity, piety, repentance, trust and patience, his body through obeying and purifying it from all dirt. A. Seven Qualities that Allah Loves 1. Tawbah (Repentance) Truly Allah loves those who turn to Him in repentance. (Al-Baqarah 2:222) Repentance is a form of detoxification–Sincere repentance cleanses and beautifies the Iman (faith). We all commit sins but Allah loves those who after committing sins, seek forgiveness with deep sorrow and regret. This is the only way by which the past can be set right. Allah has a concern for those He loves, therefore each time we slip and relapse into the abyss of desires and sincerely repent, He (exalted be Him) leads us out of it to the summit of forgiveness and further relieves us of hardship and provides for us.

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2. Taharah (Purification) ...Allah loves those who purify themselves (Al-Baqarah 2: 222). This is the external purification. The secret to this is performing the acts with the intention of following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The removal of filth from the body by performing wudu’ (ablution) and ghusl (ritual bath) and removal of filth from the garment, body and place of prayer. They are acts that purify the body and radiate the Iman. It is a means by which Almighty Allah will wipe out our sins and raise our ranks.

3. Taqwa (Piety) Surely, Allah loves Al-Muttaqun (the pious. (At-Tawbah 9: 4). The fear of Allah is the source of a pure soul – it is borne out of love and obedience. Thus, a pious person is constantly driven to do good only. He/She is humble and does not flaunt piety in front of others. The fear of Allah beautifies the Iman and is the origin of all good as one continues to strive to do only what pleases Allah and stay away from the things that would displease him. Piety is an internal quality as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Taqwa is here” and he pointed to his chest (Muslim) and it is a quality that puts us above others in the sight of Allah. 4. Ihsan (Goodness & Perfection) Verily Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good doers). (Al-Imran 3: 34). Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) says: "Ihsan is to worship Allah (SWT) as if you see Him and if you cannot achieve this devotion, then you must know that He sees you" (Al-Bukhari). Ihsan goes beyond a noble trait; it is an integral part of Islam. It is the secret to an attentive heart – knowing that Allah is watching

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everything. This fills the heart with respect and veneration and one becomes too embarrassed to go against Allah's commands. It promotes performance of good deeds for the sake of Allah and not for show-off or to gain praise or fame. 5. Tawakkul (Trust in Allah) Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. (Al-Imran 3:159). The secret and reality of trust in Allah is the reliance of the heart on Allah alone. Therefore trusting in Allah by wordof mouth is different from trusting in Him by the heart. Reliance is doing and hoping; doing everything necessary within one's capability to achieve one's aim and hoping with tranquility of heart and soul and putting one's trust in Allah with firm belief that whatever the outcome might be, it is as a result of the Will of Allah and His Decree. One should never feel that too much time has passed by without supplications being answered; rather we should always place our hope on the One who is able to do all things. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him ) says, "If you all depend on Allah, with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with full bellies at dusk" (At-Tirmidhi). 6. Qist (Justice) Verily, Allah loves those who act justly. (Al-Ma’idah, 5:42). Justice is a prerequisite to peace which is missing in our contemporary society. It involves giving other people the right we give ourselves, treating people the way we would like to be treated. Justice sounds like a word meant for the leaders alone but rather it affects us all. It means: a. To beequitable in speech and in actions. b. With no degree of discrimination or false testimony. c. It involves being fair with regards to one's family and those who are in our custody; justice between children by not giving one preference over the other. d. By not committing wrong against oneself such as engaging in sinful practices and immoral acts.

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e. Justice with Allah in not associating any being with Him in worship and obedience. 7. Sabr (Patience) And Allah loves As-Sabirin (the patient). (Al-Imran 3:146). Patience is one of the most noble of virtues and traits. It is to endure what one dislikes with a sense of acceptance and submission and anticipating Allah's reward. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "patience to Iman is like the head to a body: if the head is cut off, the body perishes as well." (Gems and Jewels) Muslims should adhere to patience when afflicted with calamity and should not yield either to desperation nor despondence because if we are patient, everything that was destined and preordained for us will occur and we will be rewarded. If we complain and are hopeless, then all that was destined for us will still occur, but we will be blamed for our impatience at Allah's Will. B. Seven Qualities that Allah does not Love 1. Israaf (extravagance) Verily, He likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste extravagance). (Al-An'am 6:141) Excessive spending and lavishness in everything is the core of and leads to greater evil. It makes one forget the hereafter preparing for it. Such acts would be a cause of humiliation disgrace on the Day of Judgment.

by evil and and

That is why Almighty Allah has prescribed zakah (obligatory alms) and sadaqah (voluntary charity) in order to bless the wealth and to curb extravagance in eating, drinking, clothing and in everything we do. 2. Istikbaar (Pride) He likes not the proud. (An-Nahl 16:23) And the Prophet says: "Pride is to completely disregard the truth and scorn (looking down upon) the people" (Muslim)

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Sometimes a person might be deceived by his/ her knowledge, wealth and property, lineage and ancestry, or worship and be arrogant and boastful. Al-Hasan Al-Basri advised that: "Do not become proud merely because you worship often, for consider what happened to Iblis after he spent a great deal of time worshipping" (Gems and Jewels). Pride is among the greatest means of damage to a person's wealth and circumstances. It distances one away from Allah's love and "Whoever has an iota of pride in his/her heart will not enter Paradise" (Muslim).

3. Mukhtal fakhoor (Arrogant boaster) Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. (Luqman 31:18) Being arrogant and boastful are a deadly combination –beauty, knowledge, wealth and noble lineage should be taken as gifts from Almighty Allah and one should be humble and grateful for them rather than make them a means of pride and oppression. Servants of Allah cannot be true to themselves as long as they are flattering themselves, walking in an arrogant manner and looking down on people who are inferior to them and not mix with them. The one who is arrogant in this world will be disgraced on the Day of Judgment. Prophet Muhammad says: "The arrogant will be gathered on the Day of Judgment in the form of small ants. Humiliation will surround them from everywhere" (At-Tirmidhi). 4. Udwaan (Transgression) Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors-(mu'tadeen). (AlMa’idah 5: 87). Human characteristics have limitations, which if surpassed would be transgression and if one falls short of it, it would be a defect – for example, generosity has a limitation, when surpassed, it becomes

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extravagance, when courage is surpassed, it becomes rashness; when ibadah (worship) is surpassed, one falls into the risk of adopting bid’ah - some of the Companions almost fell into this trap when one of them said, "I will not eat meat,'' another said, "I will not marry women,'' while the third said, "I will not sleep on the bed.'' When the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) heard these statements, he said, “What is the matter with some people who said such and such? I fast and break the fast, sleep and wake to stand to pray, eat meat, and marry women. He who is not pleased with my Sunnah is not with me.”(Al Bukhari) Therefore, moderation is the best way to deal with all matters – it is not to exaggerate and make it hard for ourselves by prohibiting the permissible things. And not to transgress the limits by excessively indulging in the permissible matters but rather we should only use what satisfies our need and not fall into extravagance. 5. Zulm (Evil, wrongdoing) And Allah does not like the Zalimun (oppressors, polytheists and wrong doers). (Al-Imran 3:57). This is a reprehensible trait whose existence spoils the Iman and darkens the heart. The wrongdoers are those who have chosen the tempting transient life instead of the hereafter. All acts of wrongdoing such as stealing, breach of trust, embezzlement, usurping the rights of others, and bribery, have serious consequences in the hereafter. In a Hadith Qudsi, Almighty Allah says: "O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden among you. Therefore, do not commit oppression" (Muslim). 6. Khiyaanah (Treachery) Certainly, Allah likes not the treacherous. (Al-Anfal 8: 58) The treacherous one is two-faced and inconsistent in words and deeds. Acts of treachery lead to betrayal, disloyalty, perfidy, deception and hypocrisy which in turn soil the Iman.

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7. Ifsaad (Mischief-making) And Allah does not like the mufsidun (mischief makers). (AlMa’idah 5: 64) This is a comprehensive term which includes great crimes, sins, oppression, carrying false tales, hypocrisy, tyranny and all kinds of mischief. All these acts are despicable and stain the Iman. Hasten today to adopt the qualities that Almighty Allah loves and don't rest until they become second nature to you; hasten today to abandon all the qualities Allah does not love and don't relent until you hate them with all your heart. The Prophet said: "Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts." (Al-Haakim in AlMustadrak and Al-Haythami in Majma Az-Zawaa'id) Therefore the key is supplication, resorting to Allah and sincere desire to please Him followed by action, so we say, "Allahuma habbib ilayna –Al-Iman wa zayyinhu fi quloobina. "O Allah make Iman beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts". References: •Tafsir Ibn Kathir •Al-Fawaid – A collection of wise sayings by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim •The key to paradise by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali •Gems and jewels –wise sayings, interesting events & moral lessons from the Islamic history, compiled by Abdul-Malik Mujahid (Darussalam) •Glimpses of the lives of Righteous people, compiled by Majdi Muhammad Ash-Shahawi (Darussalam) http://www.islamonline.net 25.14.00: Do Muslims believe that God is Father that God is Love? (i) In Muslim faith God is regarded as the Master, and believers are his servants or slaves. These terms emphasize the greatness of God, and the humility and obedience which man must display in God's presence. The Muslim feels it a position of great honor to be a "slave of God". Muslims reject the idea that God is Father, out of fear that this would diminish the greatness of God; they suspect that

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those who call themselves "sons of God" are proudly exalting themselves as God's favorites. Allah says in the Qur’an: ‘And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are the children of Allâh and His loved ones." Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allâh belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and to Him is the return (of all).’ [Surah AlMa'ida, V.5:18] (ii) The Qur'an calls God "the loving" (Al Wadud), but the meaning is rather different from the Christian idea of God's love. It implies "approval"; thus the Qur'an says that God loves (approves of) the good, but does not love (approve of) the evil-doers. As Allah says in the Qur’an: (29) Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allâh knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allâh is Able to do all things." (30) On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allâh warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allâh is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves. (31) Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (32) Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)." But if they turn away, then Allâh does not like the disbelievers.[Surah Al-Imran, 3:29-32] (70) O people of the Scripture! (Jews and Christians): "Why do you disbelieve in the Ayât of Allâh, [the Verses about Prophet Muhammad SAW present in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you (yourselves) bear witness (to their truth)." (71) O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): "Why do you mix truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know?" (72) And a party of the people of the Scripture says: "Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the believers (Muslims), and rejects it at the end of the day, so that they may turn back. (73) And

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believe no one except the one who follows your religion. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Verily! Right guidance is the Guidance of Allâh" and do not believe that anyone can receive like that which you have received (of Revelation) except when he follows your religion, otherwise they would engage you in argument before your Lord. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "All the bounty is in the Hand of Allâh; He grants to whom He wills. And Allâh is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, the All-Knower." (74) He selects for His Mercy (Islâm and the Qur'ân with Prophethood) whom He wills and Allâh is the Owner of Great Bounty. (75) Among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is he who, if entrusted with a Cantar (a great amount of wealth, etc.), will readily pay it back; and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding, because they say: "There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs)." But they tell a lie against Allâh while they know it. (76) Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allâh much; verily, then Allâh loves those who are Al-Muttaqûn. [Surah AlImran, v.3:70-76] The Qur'an speaks much of God's goodness in creation and in sending prophets, but nowhere says that God loves the world, nor that God loves sinners, nor that "God is love" [cf. John 3:16; Romans 5:81, John 4:8].

25.15.00: Our Creed’s What’s And Why
Our creed is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and Fate whether good or bad. Belief in Allah's Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes: We believe in Allah's divinity; that is he is the Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Manager of all affairs. We believe in Allah's god ship; that is, He is the true God and every other so-called deity is false. We believe in His names and attributes, that is He has the most magnificent names and the sublime perfect attributes.

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We believe in His oneness in all of this, that is, He has no associate in His divinity, His God ship, His names, or His attributes. Allah says in the Qur'an: "He is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth and all that is in between them, so worship Him and be patient in His worship; do you know any equal to Him?" (19:65). We believe that He is "Allah there is no God but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber does not seize Him, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the Earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass anything of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the Earth, the preservation of them does not burden Him; He is the High, the Great" (2:255). We believe that "He is Allah; there is no god but He, the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. He is Allah; there is no God but Him, the King, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Almighty, the Subduer, and the Sublime. Glory be to Allah above what they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, and the Shaper. His are the most beautiful Names. All that is in the heavens and the Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the Wise" (59:22-4). We believe that to Him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth: "He creates what He pleases. He gives, to whom He wills, females, and He gives, to whom He wills, males, or He couples them, males and females; and He makes whom He wills barren. Surely He is the Knowing, the Powerful" (42:49-50). We believe that "there is nothing whatever likes unto Him, He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing. To Him belong the keys of the Heavens and the Earth. He enlarges and restricts provisions to which He wills. Surely He has knowledge of everything". (42:11-12) We believe that "there is no creature that moves on the Earth but its provision depends on Allah. He knows its dwelling and its resting place. All is recorded in a clear book". (11:6)

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We believe that "with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them but He. He knows what is in land and sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. Not a grain in the deep darkness of the Earth, not a thing green or dry but it is in a clear Book". (6:59). We believe that "Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour, sends down rain, and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-aware" (31:34). We believe that Allah speaks whatever He pleases whenever He pleases: "And Allah spoke to Moses directly" (4:164); "And when Moses came at Our appointed place, and his Lord spoke to him" (7:143 ); "We called to him from the right side of the Mount (Sinai), and We brought him near in communion" (19:52). We believe that "if the ocean became ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be finished before the words of my Lord came to an end" (18:109); "And if all the trees that are in the earth were pens, and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans swelling it therefore, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise" (31:27). We believe that Allah's words are the most truthful in conveying information, the most just in ruling, and the fairest in conversation. He said: "The word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice" (6:115); "And who is more truthful in his word than Allah?" (4:87). We believe that the Qur'an is Allah's word. He literally spoke it to Gabriel, who conveyed it to the Prophet, peace be upon him: "Say (O Muhammad) 'the Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth"' (16:102); and "Truly it is the revelation of the Lord of the world brought down upon your heart by the Faithful Spirit so that you may be one of the warners, in a clear Arabic tongue"(26:192-95). We believe that Allah is well above His creatures in His Person and His Attributes, because He says: "He is the High, the Great" (2:22);

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"He is Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the Allaware" (6:18 ). We believe that He "created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything" (10:3). His "settling on the throne" means that He is sitting in person on His throne in a way that is becoming to His majesty and greatness. Nobody except He knows exactly how He is sitting. We believe that He is with His creatures while He is still on His throne. He knows their conditions, hears their sayings, sees their deeds, and manages their affairs. He provides for the poor and the broken. He gives sovereignty to which He pleases and takes away sovereignty from whom He pleases; He exalts whom He wills and He abases whom He wills. In His hand is all good and He is powerful over everything. Whoever possesses these qualities is literally with His creatures even if He is literally above them on His throne. "There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him; He is the Allhearing, the All-seeing" (42: 11). We do not say, as do the Incarnationists among the Jahomites and others, that Allah is living with His creatures on Earth. We consider whoever says this a non-believer or one who has strayed, for he attributed to Allah that which does not become Him of defects. We believe in what His Messenger told us, that He descends to the near sky before the last third of every night and says: "Who prays to Me and I will answer his prayers? Who asks Me and I will give him? Who asks My forgiveness and I will forgive him?" (Bukhari and Muslim). We believe that He will come on the Day of Judgment to judge among His people because He said: "No indeed! When the Earth is crushed to powder and your Lord comes down with the angels in rows after rows, and Hell is brought out that day. On that day man will remember, but what will remembrance avail him?" (89:21-23). We believe that he is the Doer of what He wills.

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Allah's Will: Universal and Legal: We believe that His will is of two kinds: a) Universal will, through which His intention is carried out. It is not necessary that what is carried out is liked by Him. This type of will means permission, as Allah said: "Had Allah willed, they would not have fought one against the other, but Allah does whatever He desires," (2:253) and "If Allah desires to lead you astray, He is your Lord" (11:34), and b) Legal will, which does not necessarily entail the execution of His desire. His will, in this case, cannot be but what He likes, as He said: "Allah wants to forgive you" (4:27). We believe that His universal and legal wills are part of His wisdom. Every thing He performs in the universe or requires legally from His creatures is for a good reason and according to His wisdom, whether we grasp it or not: "Is not Allah the best of Judges?" (95:8); "And who is better than Allah in judgment for a people who have firm faith" (5:50). We believe that Allah loves His select servants and that they love Him: "Say if you love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you" (3:31); "Allah will bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him" (5:54); "Allah loves the steadfast" (3:146); "And act justly, surely, Allah loves the just" (49:9); and "Do good; Allah loves those who do good" (5:93). We believe that Allah likes what He prescribed of good deeds and sayings and He dislikes what He prohibited of bad deeds and sayings: "If you disbelieve, surely Allah does not need you, yet He does not like disbelief for His servants; if you are thankful, this pleases Him"(39:7); and "But Allah disliked their marching forth. So He kept them back, and it was said to them: 'Stay with the weaklings"(9: 46). We believe that Allah is pleased with those who believe in Him and do good deeds: "Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord" (98:8).

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We believe that Allah is angry with those who deserve His anger among the non-believers and others: "And those who think evil thoughts of Allah, against them shall be the evil turn of fortune. Allah is angry with them" (48:6); " But whoever opens his heart to disbelief, on them is Allah's wrath and they shall have a severe punishment" (16:106). More of Allah's Attributes: We believe that Allah has a glorious and dignified face: "There will remain the face of your Lord, majestic and splendid" (55:27). We believe that Allah has two generous hands: "No, both His hands are wide open; He spends how He pleases" (5:64); "They do not esteem Allah with the esteem that is due to Him. The whole Earth will be His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the Heavens will be rolled up in His right hand. Glory be to Him and exalted is He above that which they associate with Him" (39:67). We believe that Allah possesses two real eyes, because He said: "And build the ark under Our eyes as We reveal" (11:37). The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "His veil is light. Had He removed it, the sublimity of His countenance would have burnt all that His sight reached" (Muslim and Ibn Majah). The Sunnites unanimously have agreed that He has two eyes. This is supported by the Prophet's saying about the Dajjal (the anti-Christ) that "he is one-eyed and your Lord is not one-eyed" (Bukhari and Muslim). We believe that "vision cannot perceive Him, but He perceives all vision. He is the Incomprehensible, the All-aware" (6:103). We believe that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection: "Upon that day some faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord" (75:22-3). We believe that Allah has no equal because His Attributes are perfect: "There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him. He is the Allhearing, the All-seeing" (42:11). ¥ We believe that "no slumber or sleep seizes Him" (2:255), because His life is perfect and eternal. We believe that He does not do injustice to anybody, because His fairness is perfect.

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We believe that He is not unaware of his servants' deeds, because He has perfect supervision and comprehensive knowledge. We believe that He is capable of doing anything in the Heavens or in the Earth, because of His perfect knowledge and power: "Indeed His command, when He desires a thing, is only to say to it 'Be' and it is" (36: 82). We believe that He is free from weariness and weakness, because of His infinite power: "Surely, We created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them in six days and no weariness touched Us" (50: 38).

Describing Allah by His Revelation: We believe in all that He assigned to Himself or what His Messenger described Him with, of names and attributes. However, we reject two concepts: 1) To say or believe that Allah's attributes are similar to those of his creatures; and 2) To say or believe that Allah's attributes are like such and such. We negate all what He negated about Himself or what His Messenger negated about Him. We believe that negation implies the affirmation of its perfect opposite. We do not discuss what He or His Messenger did not mention about Him. We believe that following this approach is a must, because what Allah affirmed or negated concerning Him is a statement He made about Himself. He knows Himself best. His words are most just and trustful, and people cannot know everything about Him. What Allah's Messenger affirmed or negated about Him is a statement that he made about Allah. Besides knowing Allah better than anyone, he is the most truthful, sincere, and eloquent among people. Thus, in what Allah said and what His Prophet said concerning His names and attributes is the truth, knowledge, and clarification. Therefore, we have no excuse to reject or even hesitate in accepting it.

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Note: This has been taken from the Book of ‘The Muslim's Belief’ Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani islamworld.net

20.04.15: What are the meanings of
(a) Bismillah, (b) Al-hamdu li-llah, (c) Insha-Allah, (d) Allahu Akbar, (e) Allah karim, (f) As-salaamu a’laikum, (g) Salla-llahu a’laihi wa-sallam? (a) Bismillah means "in the name of God". It is a kind of invocation much used to call down blessing on oneself or to drive away an influence thought to be harmful. (b) Al-hamdu li-llah means "praise (returns) to God". By this phrase the believer declares that God is the source of everything worthy of praise, and it is to God that everything must return. (c) Insha-allah means "if God so wills". By this the believer wishes to express his dependence, his submission to God. Sometimes it is a form of modesty to reply in this way to congratulation or flattery. (d) Allahu Akbar means "God is most great". The phrase is constantly repeated in the ritual prayer, and at other times e.g. to express admiration or surprise. It implies that God is the Supreme

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Being, He knows what He wishes, He is the Master, and everything He does is to be accepted by man as good. (e) Allah karim means "God is generous"; it is He who supplies what is lacking and gives abundantly to whom He pleases. The phrase is frequently on the lips of beggars, who use it to appeal to the generosity of passers-by, reminding them that God will recompense them. (f) As-salaamu a’laikum is the common greeting "peace be upon you (plural)" -- to which the answer is wa-a’laikumus-salaam, "and upon you, peace". Some Muslims believe that the greeting should only be used by one Muslim to another. (g) Salla-llahu a’laihi wa-sallam means "may the blessing of God and peace be upon him", and is said by Muslims after any mention of Muhammad.

26.00.00: Prophet Mohammed
26.01.00: What Is Mohammedanism? Mohammedanism is a misnomer. Islam is the religion of Allah, the one and Only God. Muhammad was a human being. Islam considers all prophets (peace be up on them) as human beings and examples for humanity. God appointed prophets not to b worshiped but to communicate the message of Go to humanity. 26.02.00: Who Is Mohammad? Muhammad is the name of the man who (Muslims believe) received a revelation from God, and in accordance with this revelation laid the foundation of Muslim belief and practice. He is also called "annabi", which means "the Prophet". Muhammad was the son of Abdullah and Amina and was born in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 570 C.E. He died in Medina (Saudi Arabia) at the age of 63. He communicated the message of Islam to humanity. He was known as Amin (trustworthy) Sadiq (truthful) from his childhood. He was humble and sincere, loving and caring, forgiving and showing mercy to all. Muhammad was chosen by God to deliver His Message of Peace, namely Islam. He was entrusted with the Message of Islam when he was at the age of forty years.

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The revelation that he received is called the Qur’an, while the message is called Islam. Muhammad is the very last Prophet of God to mankind. He is the final Messenger of God. His message was and is still to the Christians, the Jews and the rest of mankind. He was sent to those religious people to inform them about the true mission of Jesus, Moses, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. Muhammad is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets and messengers that came before him. He purified the previous messages from adulteration and completed the Message of God for all humanity. He was entrusted with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teaching of the Qur’an. When Muhammad (SAW) was born in Makkah in the year 570, Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (SAW) 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. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] The last and final prophet whom God sent to humanity was the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. At the age of forty, he received the revelation from God. He then spent the remaining portion of his life explaining, and living the teachings of Islam, the religion that God revealed to him. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many reasons, but primarily because he was chosen by God to be the last prophet who’s mission to guide humanity would continue until the Last Day - and because he has been sent as a mercy to all of mankind. The result of his mission has brought more people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet. Since the beginning of time, God sent prophets to the earth, each one to his own specific nation. The

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Prophet Muhammad, however, was sent as the final Messenger to all of humanity. Even though other religious communities have claimed to believe in One God, over time, some corrupted ideas entered into their beliefs and practices leading them away from the pure sincere monotheism of the prophets. Some took their prophets and saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some even believed that their prophets were the manifestations of God, or “God Incarnate” or the “Son of God”. All of these misconceptions lead to the worship of created beings instead of the Creator, and contributed to the idolatrous practice of believing that Almighty God may be approached through intermediaries. In order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always emphasized that he was only a humanbeing with the mission of preaching and obeying God's message. He taught Muslims to refer to him as “the Messenger of God and His Slave”. Through his life and teachings, God made Muhammad the perfect example for all people - he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbor, husband, father and friend. Unlike other prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of history, and all his sayings and acts were meticulously recorded and collected. Muslims don't need to have mere ‘faith’ that he existed, or that his teachings are preserved - they know it to be a fact. God took it upon Himself to protect the message revealed to Muhammad from distortion or from being forgotten or lost. This was necessary because God promised that Muhammad was to be the final Messenger to mankind. All of God's Messengers preached the message of Islam- i.e. Submission to the law of God and the worship of God alone–but Muhammad is the last prophet of Islam who brought the final and complete message which was never to be changed until the Last Day. [Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka and Robert Squires] Muhammad, was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.

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Muhammad 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. [info@islamicbulletin.org] 26.03.00: Who was Muhammad (saaws), and who do Muslims believe he was? Muhammad ibn Abullah was God's final Messenger to humanity, the "Seal of the Prophets," completing God's favor to humanity which had begun with Adam and continued through Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and the other prophets. He was born in the year 570 CE, in the city of Mecca (Makkah) in modern day Saudi Arabia. He was the descendent of Ishmael (Isma'il), the first born son of Abraham (Ibrahim) and his second wife Hagar (Hajar). As a child Muhammad was an orphan, whose father died before his birth and whose mother died when he was six. He was then raised by a foster mother and various distant relatives. He came to work as a Shepard as a young man, and later as a caravan leader for his wife Khadijah, before having an experience which would change the world as we know it. In the year 610 CE, while meditating alone in a cave outside of the city of Mecca in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, Muhammad was startled by a voice which commanded him to "recite" or "read." The words were quickly followed by the appearance of the Angel Gabriel who seized the reluctant and frightened Muhammad. Recite! The angel insisted, but the Prophet insisted that he could not recite or read! Again the angel insisted, and suddenly the first revelation of the Qur'an sprang forth from the Prophet's lips, and his prophet hood was born. The people of Mecca had long ago abandoned the religion of Abraham in favor of the more lucrative paganism which dominated trade and pilgrimage in the region. Muhammad's message of God's Oneness and condemnation of idolatry enraged the pagans who sought to kill him and regularly persecuted and even killed his followers. Ultimately, however, God's Message would be victorious as Islam swept through the Arabian Peninsula summoning the poor, the rich, men, women, free, and slave alike, to the new faith and transforming the Arabian Peninsula into a new empire of faith. "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God." Muhammad died quietly in 632 CE in the city of Medina and remains buried there to this day. [Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

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26.04.00: Of what nationality was Prophet Muhammad? Muhammad was a native of Arabia, a Semite by race, a "white man", though of dark complexion. Tradition says that he was of medium height, his head was strong, his beard thick, his feet and his hands were rough; his bony frame indicated vigor, his face was ruddy. He is also said to have had black eyes, straight hair and smooth cheeks. He dyed himself with henna. 26.05.00: When and where did Muhammad live? Muhammad was born about the year 570 of the Christian era (A.D.). At that time North Africa, Europe, the Middle East and part of Asia including India and China, constituted the well-traveled "civilized world", and it was within this region, at Mecca in Central Arabia, that Muhammad was born. He died in the year 632 A.D. His life's work was done, therefore, in the 7th Century after Christ, and about 800 miles to the south of Jerusalem. 26.06.00: What were the names of his father and mother? Muhammad belonged to one of the Quraish families that of Banu Hashim. His grandfather was Abdul-Muttalib, his father was Abdu'llah, and his mother was Amina, daughter of Wahib. 26.07.00: What do you know of the life of Muhammad? Muhammad was an orphan from very early childhood. He was placed under the guardianship of his grandfather, and was entrusted to some Bedouin until weaning, and then to one of his uncles, Abu Tali'b During this last period Muhammad joined his cousin Ali, who was later to become one of his close collaborators and even his sonin-law. As a young man of great honesty and a serious reputation, he entered the service of a rich widow, Khadija, who conducted an important business concern. In the service of Khadija Muhammad made repeated journeys as far as to Palestine and probably to Jerusalem. On his return from one of these journeys, Khadija's admiration for her employee led her to marry him. Soon after, Muhammad was drawn towards spiritual retreats. He went alone to a cave far from the markets and crowds in order to meditate. He already hated the kind of idolatry which he saw displayed in his town. One day he was convinced by a kind of vision that he was

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called to reform his people. Tradition tells that the angel Gabriel (Jibril) appeared to him and gave him the command to preach. "But what must I preach?" replied Muhammad. "Preach in the name of Thy Lord, who created man…" replied the Angel. [Surah Al-A’laq, v.96:1-5]. Not long afterwards Muhammad began to proclaim that the day of judgment was near, that each man must live justly and honestly in gratitude for the goodness of God; each must render an account of his life, and woe to him who does not prepare to meet his God. This vision occurred in the year 610; after twelve years of preaching at Mecca the opposition became so fierce that Muhammad with his 60 followers immigrated to the city of Yathrib, some 280 miles north of Mecca. This emigration (Hijra)* took place on the 24th September 622. Yathrib was later renamed Medina ("the City") and Muhammad lived there up to his death on the 8th June 632. This period at Medina (622-632) was very important for Muhammad. During the first years he was settling down gradually and organizing his community. Some of the townspeople showed themselves friendly to him, and he called them the Helpers (Ansar). Others did not like the arrival and growing authority of this stranger, and he called these the Hypocrites (Munafiqun). Soon the Muslims began to attack the Meccans, especially by raiding their caravans. No doubt the emigrants who had lost their homes and possessions in Mecca were in economic need; but the primary aim was to free Mecca and its holy places from the power of the idolaters. A succession of victories made Muhammad a feared and respected chief. Many submitted to him; some in sincere faith, others in order to benefit from his protection and to live at peace. After a battle interrupted by long parleys and ending in a surprise attack, Muhammad captured the very city of Mecca, demolished pagan altars, and reformed the pagan pilgrimage so that it might express the worship of the One God. A little later, on his return from a pilgrimage, he got a fever and died. 26.08.00: Prophet Muhammad: Biography Muslims believe that there is no deity worthy of worship except the one God, and Muhammad is a servant and a messenger of God.

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Muhammad was born in the city of Makkah, currently in Saudi Arabia in the year 571 A.D. His father died six months before Muhammad was born and his mother died when he was six years old. After his mother’s death, Muhammad’s grandfather took care of him, and upon his death, Muhammad’s uncle acted as his guardian. Muhammad became a merchant and used to travel with caravans to Syria and to other places. His nickname was Al-Amin or “The Trustworthy”. At age 25, he married a businesswoman, named Khadija, who was forty years old at the time. They had two sons and four daughters. Both of their sons died at a very early age. At age 40, Muhammad received Prophethood, and preached the message of Islam, in and around Makkah, for 13 years with limited success. After suffering many hardships and persecution from the pagans of Makkah, Muhammad was ordered by God Almighty to migrate, along with his followers to Madinah. Prophet Muhammad mediated a peace between the warring tribes in Madinah, and established an Islamic State. In order to destroy the Muslims, the Pagans of Makkah attacked Madinah several times, but failed. Nine years after the migration of Muslims from Makkah, Quraish, the most powerful pagan tribe of Makkah, in clear violation of the “Treaty of Hudaybiyya”, supplied men and arms in an effort to attack a Muslim-allied tribe that was slaughtered ruthlessly, some of them even inside the Holy Sanctuary of Ka’ba. Upon learning of the raid, Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims, now much larger in number (10,000), to march on Makkah, and conquered it without any loss of life. In spite of the fact that the people of Makkah had earlier persecuted Muslims and robbed them of their properties, the Prophet instructed them not to harm anyone who does not attack them. It is a documented fact of history that not a single human being was harmed, nor any property destroyed. About a year and a half later, in 632 A.D., Prophet Muhammad died at age 63, and is buried in Madinah. Prophet Muhammad did not have any formal schooling, could not read or write, but over a 23-year period, with the message of Islam that he received from God Almighty, changed humankind forever. At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel.

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This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Qur’an. As soon as he 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. God Almighty addresses Prophet Muhammad in Chapter 21 Verse 107 of The Qur’an: “We sent thee not, but as a mercy to all the worlds.” The Encyclopedia Britannica calls Prophet Muhammad "the most successful of all religious personalities of the world." Sir Bernard Shaw said, "If Muhammad were alive today, he would succeed in solving all those problems which threaten to destroy human civilization in our times." He continued to say, “Muhammad was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms including women’s rights, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings, and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.” Michael Hart ranked Prophet Muhammad at the top of his list of 100 Most Influential Persons in History. (Hart, Michael H. 1992. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Revised and Updated for the Nineties. New York: Citadel Press Book.) For a complete list, visit:

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http://www.adherents.com/adh_influ.html. [www.understandingislam.org]

The Mountain of Light where Gabriel came to Prophet Muhammad. 26.09.00: Where was he buried? Muhammad was buried where he had been living at Medina. Up until today many pilgrims, after their visit to Mecca, go to see the tomb of the Prophet at Medina.

The Prophet's Mosque, Masjid e-Nabubi, Madinah-Al-Mukarrama The dome indicates the place where his house stood and where he is buried. 26.10.00: What religions existed in Arabia before Muhammad? As in traditional African religions, the Arabs before Muhammad regarded certain springs, trees and stones, as the abode of good or evil spirits. Their religious practice was directed towards gaining the protection and support of the good spirits and defending themselves from the misdeeds of the evil spirits. Some of the Arabs also

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venerated the stars. Among the many divinities there was One called Allah, the creator of the worlds. At Medina and elsewhere there were important Jewish communities. By this time the Christian faith had spread through Northern Europe, and had reached Asia, India and China. There were Christian kingdoms in Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. But there were few Christians in the region of Mecca and Medina, and these were mainly foreigners. 26.11.00: Did Muhammad know the Gospel? Muhammad had no direct access to the Bible, which was perhaps just beginning to be translated into Arabic at that time but was not widely available in that language. The Christians whom Muhammad is likely to have met were largely ignorant of the Bible, and based their faith rather on the false "Apocryphal Gospels"; and the Qur'an itself says that Jews (? And Christians) who spoke to Muhammad about their scriptures, misrepresented them to him (4, Nisa, 48/46; 3, Al-'Imran, 72/78). So it is generally agreed by Muslims and non-Muslims that Muhammad did not obtain any clear knowledge of the Gospel from the Bible or from Christian informants. But Muslims believe that God revealed directly to Muhammad what the teaching of the previous prophets had been, and that God gave Muhammad the same message in perfected form. So Muslims will answer, "Yes, Muhammad knew the Gospel". Non-Muslims, observing that what the Qur'an says about Jesus and the Gospel is substantially different from the teaching of the Bible are compelled to answer, "No, Muhammad did not know the Gospel, he was misinformed by the ignorant Christians whom he met. 26.12.00: 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 Quran.

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As soon as he 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 (SAW) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (SAW) 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. [Dr.Ibrahim Dremali]

26.13.00: Do Muslims believe in other prophets before Muhammad? Tradition says that God had sent many prophets (nabi) and messengers (rasul) to the word before Muhammad; they are said to number at least 8,000. Among those mentioned in the Qur'an are Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Noah, David, Solomon, Job, Moses, Aaron, Zechariah and his son John the Baptist, Jesus, Ishmael, Elijah, Elisha, Lot and Jonah. But, apart from the last named, there is no mention of the great prophets whose books are in the Bible -- Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, and etcetera. 26.14.00: What is the Ka'ba? The Ka'ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say 'At Thy service, O Lord', in response to Abraham's summons.

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Baitullah, Ka’ba, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

26.15.00: Question: When Islam is against idol worship, why do Muslims worship, and bow down to the Kaaba in their prayer? Answer: Kaaba is the Qibla i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the Kaaba during prayers, they do not worship the Kaaba. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah. It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah: “We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.” [Al-Qur’an 2:144] 1. Islam believes in fostering unity For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south.

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In order to unite Muslims in their worship of the One True God, Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Kaaba. If some Muslims live towards the west of the Kaaba they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of the Kaaba they face the west. 2. Kaaba is at the Centre of the World Map The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The Kaaba was at the centre. Later, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet, Alhamdullilah (Thanks to God) the Kaaba is at the centre of the world map.

3. Tawaf around Kaaba for indicating one God When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaf or circumambulation round the Kaaba. This act symbolizes the belief and worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship. 4. Hadith of Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) Regarding the black stone, hajr-e-aswad, there is a hadith (tradition), attributed to the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Omar (may Allah be pleased with him). According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675. Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you”.

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5. People stood on Kaaba and gave the adhan At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Kaaba and gave the ‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that Muslims worship the Kaaba; which idol worshipper stands on the idol he worships? 1. From "Answers to non-Muslims, Common questions about Islam" Authored by Dr.Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik. 2. To get more information about Islam http://islamheart.blogspot.com/2008/09/info-about-islam.html

27.00.00: PROPHET JESUS
27.01.00: What do Muslims think of Jesus? In accordance with the teaching of the Qur'an, Muslims are bound to show the greatest respect for "Jesus, son of Mary" (in Arabic, Isa ibn Maryam). According to the Qur'an, Jesus was indeed born in an extraordinary manner, by the miraculous intervention of God. He was a prophet and messenger of God, upright and near to God, called "the word of God" (though in a different sense from John 1:1). He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind and raised the dead. The Jews of his time would not obey his message and determined to kill him …..all of this is similar to the teaching of the Bible. But contrary to the teaching of the Bible, Muslims say that God did not allow the Jews to crucify Jesus, God saved him from them and raised him up to Himself so that he never knew death. So, for orthodox Muslim belief, there is no Cross of Jesus and no Resurrection. Again, Muslims deny the Biblical teaching that Jesus

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is the Son of God, that he is the Savior who atoned for the sins of mankind, or that he should be worshipped. 27.02.00: Do Muslims Think About Jesus? Muslims respect and revere Jesus (SAW) 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 him be peace'. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows: 'Behold!' the Angel said, 'God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.' She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He says to it, "Be!" and it is.' (Quran, 3.42-7) Jesus (SAW) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (SAW) into being without a father: ‘Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was.’ (3:59). During his prophetic mission Jesus (SAW) performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said: ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave.’ (3:49) Neither Muhammad (SAW) nor Jesus (SAW) came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus (SAW) is reported as saying that he came: ‘To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you paff of what was forbidden you; I have

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come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me.’ (3:50) The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: 'Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad (SAW) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven.' (Hadith from Bukhari) 27.03.00: Jesus in Islam Muslim believes that Jesus is one of the most prominent prophets of God Almighty. His mother Mary is the most revered woman in Islam. Chapter 19 of the Qur’an is named Maryam (Mary). Translation of Chapter 3 verses 45-48 reads: “Behold! The angels said: “O Mary! God gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in cradle in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.” She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!” “And God will teach him The Book and Wisdom, The Law and the Gospel.” Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was raised to heaven by God Almighty. Translation of Chapter 4 verses 157-158 reads: “That they said (in boast), We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, The messenger of God” - But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, But so it was made to appear to them, And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, But only conjecture to follow, For of a surety They killed him not. Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is exalted in Power, Wise”. Muslims believe in all of the authentic teachings of Jesus. They believe that most of his teachings have not been preserved but have

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been altered by others throughout history. They also believes that Jesus will return to earth before the Last Day, will fight the AntiChrist along side Muslims, and will preach the same message about the oneness of God, before life on this earth will be ended. [www.understandingislam.org] 27.04.00: How is the "second coming" of Jesus envisaged by Muslims? Muslim Traditions give divergent accounts of the return of Jesus. According to some Traditions, the Mahdi (often identified with Jesus Christ) will appear just before the Last Day. He will perform the Muslim ritual prayer and go to Mecca as a pilgrim (Q. 59-66); he will restore Islam to perfection and wipe out Judaism and Christianity, destroying all crosses and killing all pigs. The Muslims will enjoy a wonderful prosperity where the earth will yield its fruits without the need for man to do any work. Jesus will live a long life as a married man with a family, and will then be buried in the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina. However, not all Muslims would accept the validity of these Traditions; none of these details appear in the Qur'an.

27.05.00: Has the Virgin Mary any place in Muslim devotion? The Qur'an gives its own version (very similar to certain apocryphal gospels) of the visit of the angel to the Virgin Mary and the miraculous conception of her son, Jesus. Mary is depicted as a perfect Muslim. She is highly respected but in no sense worshipped. We should notice that certain Christian groups in the time of Muhammad went to such lengths in their veneration of Mary as to give the impression that the Christian Trinity consisted of Jesus and Mary worshipped as two gods beside God. [Al-Ma'idah, 5:116]. 27.06.00: 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). [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali]

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27.07.00: Who were the parents of Jesus (peace be upon him)? Jesus is the son of Virgin Mary who had no biological father. Allah created Jesus without a father just as He created Adam without a mother and father. Allah states in the Qur’an, “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him "Be": and he was.” (3:59) [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 27.08.00: Is Allah the same as what Christians call "the father"? Allah is the Creator, to whom 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." [Al-Qur’an, Chapter 112] [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 27.09.00: Is there a trinity in Islam? Answer: No. Allah is one and perfect. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 27.10.00: Do Muslims believe in Jesus Christ (saaws)? Yes! Muslims beleive in Jesus Christ (saaws). He is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an over 90 times. Muslims beleive that Christ was God's Messenger and Prophet, and the son of the Virgin Mary. He delivered a revelation from God to humanity called the Injeel in Arabic, of which only small fragments still exist as sayings of Christ contained in the Christian Gospels. He was NOT the only begotten divine son of God, nor is he a member of trinity godhead. He was rescued by God Almighty immediately before the crucifixion and ascended to Heaven. As the Qur'an relates, "they killed him (Jesus) not, neither did they crucify him, but only a likeness that was shown to them." What exactly this "likeness" was that God placed on the cross in the Prophet's place is an often debated mystery. Muslim tradition relates that Christ will return to us prior to the Day of Judgment. Believing in the prophet hood of Jesus Christ is a required article of faith for one who embraces Islam. [Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

28.00.00: Muslims Never Worship to Mohammed
28.01.00: Do Muslims worship Muhammad?

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Not at all; Muslims would regard this suggestion as blasphemous, and Muhammad himself insisted that no one must worship him, only God must be worshipped. However, later Muslim piety has gone very far in its reverence for Muhammad, regarding him as an infallible teacher, a perfect example, a sinless man whose intercession can bring us to Paradise. The degree of reverence is sometimes hard to reconcile with the teaching of the Qur'an; where Muhammad is instructed to say, "I am only a man like yourselves" and is instructed to ask God's forgiveness for his sin. [Surah Al-Kahf, v.18:110/111; Surah AlMu'min v.40:57/55; Surah Al-Ahqaf, v.46:8/9]. 28.02.00: 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 any part of creation be worshipped in place of Him or even along with Him. Worship must be to Allah alone, the Creator. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 28.03.00: Can there be other prophets after Muhammad? Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last of the prophets, "the seal of the prophets". He continued and perfected the work begun by Moses and Jesus; he brought God's final revelation, which can never be added to.

29.00.00: The Holly Qur’an

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29.01.00: What is The Qur’an? The Qur’an 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 the 114 Surahs or chapters has been changed over the centuries. The Qur’an is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) fourteen centuries ago. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] Qur’an is the record of exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him). It was revealed piece by piece over about 23 years, then memorized and written down by the early followers of Islam. This makes Qur’an, the unique and miraculous text preserved as it was revealed in the textual history of world religions. It was memorized by Muhammad (SAW) and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not only one word but 114 chapters / Surah’s, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (SAW) fourteen centuries ago. After his first vision in 610 A.D., up until his death in 632, Muhammad prophesied from time to time in a kind of trance. These pronouncements, in the Arabic language, dealt with many subjects such as: God's prophets and scriptures, God's mercy and punishment, death, the Last Day, good and evil spirits, laws of marriage, divorce, warfare, and so on. When Muhammad prophesied, his followers learnt the words by heart, or wrote them down on stones, bones, palm leaves, etcetera (for paper was scarce in those days). Finally all these pronouncements were collected and edited in a single book -- there is some difference of opinion among Muslims as to whether this editing was completed before or after the death of the Prophet. It is this collection of pronouncements which we know as the Qur'an -- the word "Qur'an" literally means proclamation or recitation.

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But Muslims go much further than this. They believe that these are the words of God Himself, spoken through the lips of His Prophet, but not in any way coming from the mind and experience of Muhammad. They believe that the "mother of the Qur'an" (ummu-lkitab) is in heaven, written by God Himself on a "guarded tablet" (lawhu-l-mahfuz); and that the angel Gabriel brought the tablet down to Muhammad -- so that the Qur'an which we have today is a copy of the "guarded tablet" in heaven.

But other Muslims, especially in modern times, would say that there is no Qur'an or tablet literally existing in heaven, but that these words are metaphors to show that God knew beforehand what He was going to reveal to Muhammad. [By: Daniel
Masters, Isma'il Kaka and Robert Squires] The Quran is the final revelation of Allah to all of mankind, which was spoken by Allah the Exalted Himself and conveyed through the Arch-Angel Gabriel in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad, in sound, word and meaning. The Quran, (sometimes incorrectly spelled Koran), was then relayed to the Prophet's companions, and they diligently memorized it verbatim and meticulously complied it into written form. The Holy Quran has been continually recited by the companions of the Prophet and their successors until the present day. In short, the Quran is the revealed book of Divine scripture from Allah to all humanity for their guidance and salvation. Today the Quran is still memorized and taught by millions of people. The language of the Quran, Arabic, is still a living language to millions of people. Unlike the scriptures of some other religions, the Quran is still read in its original language by countless millions of people. The Quran is a living miracle in the Arabic language, and it is known to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact, as well as the unique knowledge that it contains. The Quran was revealed in a series of revelations to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. In contrast to many other religious books, the Quran was always believed to be the exact Word of Allah. The Quran was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and nonMuslim communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and thereafter. The entire Quran was also completely written down in the lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the

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Prophet memorized the entire Quran word-for-word as it was revealed. The Quran was always in the hands of the common believers: it was always thought to be God's word; and, due to widespread memorization, it was perfectly preserved. Never was any part of it altered or decreed by any religious council. The teachings of the Quran comprise a universal scripture addressed to all of mankind and not to any particular tribe or ‘chosen people’. The message that it brings is nothing new but the same message of all of the prophets: 'submit to Allah the One God and worship Him alone and follow Allah's Messengers for success in this life and salvation in the hereafter'. As such, Allah's revelation in the Quran focuses on teaching human beings the importance of believing in the Oneness of Allah, and framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent, which is articulated in the Islamic Law. The Quran contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, peace be upon all of them, as well as commands and prohibitions from God. In our modern times, in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair and social and political alienation, the Quranic teachings offer solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the world today.

29.02.00: What is the Qur'an? The Qur'an is the revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad by God Almighty. The word Qur'an means "recitation" in Arabic. It is a collection of 114 surahs, or chapters, revealed overtime during a 22 year period from 610-632 CE. It was revealed in a classical form of the Arabic language and remains unmatched in Arabic poetic beauty. It remains today in the original language of its revelation, the language of the Prophet, unchanged, since the time of its revelation. The first revelation (Surah 92) came to the Prophet while meditating in a cave outside of the city of Mecca in the year 610 CE. The Prophet was illiterate, unable to read or write, so each revelation, which came spontaneously from the Prophet's lips, was memorized and recorded by the Prophets followers who were able to write. The final revelation came shortly before the Prophet's

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death in Medina in 632. The revelations were then collected and finally canonized under the Caliph Uthman. As one reads the Qur'an, one will find that its literary style is unique from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The Qu'ran is written in the first person, the direct Word of God, transmitted from the mouth of Muhammad through the dictation of the Angel Gabriel from God Almighty. It is a spiritual message and a correction of the mistaken beliefs of the followers of previous prophets, the People of the Book (the Jews and Christians), and thus supersedes previous revelations which are error and corrupted in their present form. [By: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] The Qur’an: Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the world, Who has said in His Noble Book: ‘There has come to you from Allah Light and a Perspicuous Book.’ And may peace and blessings be upon the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad, who has said that: The best among you is he who learned the Qur’an and then taught it. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and all his companions. The Glorious Qur’an is the Book of Allah, the Wise and Worthy of all Praise, Who has promised to safeguard it from any violations in its purity. It becomes incumbent upon each and every person who seeks the dignity of this world and the bliss of the Hereafter to regulate his life according to it, to implement its commandments and to pay homage to the magnificence of the One Who revealed it. This can be an easy task for those favored with guidance from Allah, especially those blessed by an understanding of Arabic, the language of the divine communication. But for those not acquainted with Arabic, their ignorance is a barrier between them and this source of guidance and illumination. A translation of the message of Allah is thus a task not to be taken lightly or performed superficially. Before the reader begins to study the Qur’an, he must realize that unlike all other writings, this is a unique book with a supreme author, an eternal message and a universal relevance. Its contents are not confined to a particular theme or style, but contain the foundations for an entire system of life, covering a whole spectrum

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of issues, which range from specific articles of faith and commandments to general moral teachings, rights, and obligations, crime and punishment, personal and public law, and a host of other private and social concerns. These issues are discussed in a variety of ways, such as direct stipulations, reminders of Allah's favors on His creation, admonitions and rebukes. Stories of past communities are narrated, followed by the lessons to be learned from their actions and subsequent fates. The Qur’an enjoys a number of characteristics unique to it alone, some of which are as follows: 1. It is the actual Word of Allah; not created but revealed for the benefit of all mankind. Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be An admonition to all creatures. 2. It is complete and comprehensive. The Almighty says: Nothing have We omitted from the Book. In another place we read, And We have sent down to thee The Book explaining all things. 3. It is a theoretical and practical Book, not only moralizing but also defining specifically the permissible and the forbidden. The importance of understanding the message of the Qur’an is undeniable, but simply reciting it with the intention of seeking Allah's pleasure and reward is also an act of worship and meritorious in itself. Allah Almighty says: So take what the Prophet gives you and refrain from what he prohibits you. 4. Allah has perfected His religion for all mankind with the revelation of this Book. He says: This day have I perfected your religion for you, Completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. 5. It is Allah's eternal miracle revealed to the Prophet Muhammad for all succeeding generations. In response to those who doubt the authorship of the Qur’an, Allah Almighty has challenged the most articulate Arabs to produce a whole book, ten chapters or even one solitary chapter which can be remotely comparable to

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the Qur’an. But to this day, no one has succeeded in meeting the challenge of the Almighty. The critics of the Qur’an have been struck dumb by its ineffable eloquence and surpassing beauty. Say, if the whole of mankind and jinns Were to gather together to produce the Like of this Quran, they could not Produce the like thereof; even if they Backed up each other with help and support. The Almighty also says: Or they may say: he forged it. Say: Bring ye then ten chapters Forged, like unto it and call (to your aid) whomsoever ye can Other than Allah, if ye speak the truth. And again: Or do they say: he forged it? Say: Bring then a chapter like unto it and call (to your aid) anyone ye can besides Allah, if it be ye speak the truth. 6. It has been revealed to reveal to re-establish the sincere worship of Allah alone, without association of any partners with Him. This is a Book with verses basic or Fundamental (of established meaning), further explained in detail-- From One who is Wise and Well-aware. (It teaches) that you should worship none but Allah. And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, Offering Him sincere devotion, being true In faith, to establish regular prayer And to give Zakat, and that is The religion Right and Straight. 7. It contains a complete code which provides for all areas of life, whether spiritual, intellectual, political, social or economic. It is a code which has no boundaries of time, place, or nation. Verily this Qur’an doth guide To that which is most right. 8. Allah Almighty has taken upon Himself the duty of preserving the Quran for ever in its entirety, as He says: We have without doubt sent down The Message, and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption). So well has it been preserved, both in memory and in writing that the Arabic text we have today is identical to the text as it was reveal to the Prophet. Not even a single letter has yielded to corruption

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during the passage of the centuries. And so it will remain for ever, by the consent of Allah. The Presidency of Islamic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance Sources: The above text and reproductions of the first two pages of the Qur’an are from The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance, The Holy Quran, English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary. Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Holy Quran Printing Complex, 1410 AH. The Qur’an with Chinese meanings is taken from Aramco World, Vol. 44 No. 7, Exhibition Issue, p. 69. According to the caption, this is a page from a 19th century Qur’an taken by British troops from Amoy, or present-day Xiamen.

29.03.00: 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 that 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. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 29.04.00: What is the meaning of Surah and Ayah? Surah means a "chapter" of the Qur'an. There are 114 suras, and Muslims generally refer to them by the name given to each one, rather than by number. Ayah means literally a "sign", and so a part of the Qur'an, generally one verse. Estimates differ, but there are commonly said to be 6,247 verses, 77,934 words and 323,621 letters in the Qur'an. To give an idea of its length, the Qur'an is a little shorter than the New Testament. For recitation the Qur'an is divided into 60 sections, known as "hizb", which do not correspond at all with the chapter divisions. 29.05.00: Holy Qur’an: The Actual Word Of God Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the actual word of God as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the Arch Angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years. The Qur’an was revealed sometimes in

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the form of a single verse, and other times as several verses. Prophet Muhammad dictated these verses to several scribes who recorded them with the utmost care. The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, the language spoken by Prophet Muhammad and the people around him. The Qur’an that is available today everywhere in the world is exactly the same Qur’an in its entirety in the original language. It has been translated into every language and these translations are referred to as the “Translation of the Qur’an” and not the Qur’an itself. Sometimes, the people ask, “How many books are there in the Islamic scripture, the Qur’an”? The Qur’an is only one book. It has 114 chapters that vary in length. Each chapter is referred to as a ‘Surah’ and each has a name. The shortest chapter of the Qur’an has three verses and the longest one has 286 verses. The first chapter of The Holy Qur’an is called the ‘Al-Fatiha’ – The Opening. One could say that it is the essence of the Qur’an, and summarizes the relationship that Muslims believe they have with God Almighty. It is recited by Muslims several times in each of their daily obligatory prayers.

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Its translation reads: “In the name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful, Praise Be to God,The Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; The Compassionate, the Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment, Thee do we worship, Thine aid do we seek. Show us the straight way; The way of those on whom, Thou hast bestowed thy grace, Those whose (portion) Is not wrath, And who go not astray.” Ameen. [www.understandingislam.org] 29.06.00: Holy Qur’an: The Book of Guidance Muslims believe that the Qur’an is a miracle as it has guidance for humankind for all times to come. The Qur’an is not a book of history, but it describes historical events to remind humankind of God’s blessings to those who followed His commandments, and God’s punishment upon those who went astray. The Qur’an is not a book of science, but it describes facts that were not known to humankind in the 7th century, and were discovered, or let us say proven by humankind during the last 100 years or so. Let me give you an example: The Qur’an gives detailed accounts of the states of a human embryo in its development including the sperm finding the egg, the clinging nature of the fertilized egg to the uterus, and the timing of the appearance of bones, muscles, and flesh. The Translation of Verses 13 and 14 of the 23rd Chapter of the Qur’an reads: “Then We made man as a small drop in a safe lodging, firmly established, then We made the drop into something which clings; then We made out of that chewed mass, bones; then flesh; and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed is God, the Best of creators.” When Dr. Keith Moore, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, saw the above-mentioned verses, he was most astonished. He wondered, how Muhammad, 1400 years ago and without a microscope or a laboratory, could have accurately described what scientists have only come to discover in the past half-century.

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It was not a description by Prophet Muhammad, but it was God Almighty who was revealing this knowledge of man’s humble beginning to humankind. [www.understandingislam.org]

29.07.00: Quran: A Teacher to Modern Scientists
Ours is an era of space probes, computer chips, laser surgeries and cloning. If we were to label any book as a revelation from God, we couldn't help but to scrutinize this Scripture using modern scientific knowledge. It could not be that a revelation, proclaiming itself from God, could constitute aspects contradicting established scientific facts. How could we assume otherwise, when God is the one who created the universe and the laws operating within it. The Qur’an was revealed 1400 years ago to the last Prophet of God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a guidance for all humanity. The entire Quran has been committed to memory by millions of Muslims around the world and has been preserved by God from any interpolations, for continuing guidance. Although the Quran is a religious book with a total of about 6600 plus verses dealing with many aspects of a person's life, about 1000 of those verses are of scientific nature, none contradicting established scientific facts. Dr. T.V.N. Persaud [1], professor of Anatomy, says: "You have an illiterate person (Prophet Muhammad) making profound statements that are amazingly accurate, of a scientific nature...I personally can't see how this could be mere chance, there are too many accuracies and like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which lead him to these statements". Besides providing guidelines in personal, social, moral and spiritual spheres of humanity, the Qur’an touches upon diverse scientific topics like astronomy, geology, embryology, genetics, biology, archeology etc. Some of these are mentioned below to prove the Quran's Divine origin. The Big Bang! Currently, the Big Bang model of the origin of the universe is the cosmological paradigm most widely accepted by astronomers. It

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holds that about 15 billion years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely dense matter, the primordial mass. Only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937 that, the necessary observational precision was achieved in order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. What does the Qur’an say about our universe's origin? "Do not the unbelievers see that the Heavens and the earth were joined together, then We split them apart." (21:30) Expanding Universe In 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe. Stephen Hawking (author of 'A Brief History of Time') states: "The universe is not static, as had previously been thought, it is expanding". So what did God reveal in the Qur’an, 1400 years ago? "And the firmament, We constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it" (51:47) ("We" is the Arabic plural of respect, not the Christian plural of 'trinity") The Existence of Sun's Orbit Ancient people use to believe that the Sun revolves around the earth. Later, Nicholas Copernicus in 1512, laid his Heliocentric Theory of Planetary motion, which placed the sun motionless in the center of the solar system with all the planets revolving around it. Modern science tells us now that the sun too is not still, but is in motion. The sun traveling at roughly 150 miles per second takes about 200 million years to complete one revolution around the center of our Milky Way Galaxy and 25 days to make one complete rotation around its own axis. See how beautifully and accurately God revealed this phenomenon in the Quran: "It is He who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its orbit with its own motion." (21:33)

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Conquest of Space by Human Human exploration and the conquest of space began with the launching of the Russian Satellite, Sputnik I on Oct. 4, 1957. Then followed the launching of humans into space, which eventually led to a manned space flight to the Moon on July 20th, 1967. Thus the dream of humanity since the dawn of civilization to go beyond the earth to the heavens was realized. The Qur’an, 1400 years ago, clearly predicted human's advancement and the possibility of space flight. "O assembly of Jinns and humans, if you can penetrate the regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate them! You will not penetrate them save with a power (of God)." (55:33) The Protective Atmosphere Earth is constantly bombarded by meteoroids that disintegrate upon the atmosphere and by lethal rays emitted by the sun. This UV radiation is absorbed by the Ozone layer forming the outer fringe of our atmosphere. Thus our atmosphere along with its Ozone layer is a protective covering for us. Life possibly could not have existed without it. How meticulously, does our Lord sustain and protect us against this atmospheric destruction. "And We have made the atmosphere a protective roof, yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things point to." (21:32) Embryology The Dutch naturalist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) produced lenses powerful enough to prove that many tiny creatures are not spontaneously generated but are produced from eggs. The science of Embryology as we know it today did not discover many of the detailed aspects of human embryonic development until the 1970s, using powerful microscopes, ultra sound and fiber optics technology. See how the Quran described the stages of embryonic development. "God fashioned man from a small quantity (of sperm)" (16:4) Fertilization takes place with only one sperm among several tens of million produced by man.

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"Then We placed him as a drop in a place of rest" (23:13) Implantation of the blastocyst in the uterus. "Then We made the drop into a leech like structure..." (23:14) This resemblance of the human embryo to a leech is an appropriate description of the human embryo from days 7-24, when it clings to the endometrium of the uterus. "And He (God) gave you hearing and sight and feeling and understanding." (32:9) The internal ears appear before the eyes, and the brain (the sight of understanding) differentiates last. Dr.E.Marshall Johnson [2] Professor of Anatomy, concluded after studying verses from Qur’an: "The Quran describes not only the development of external form but emphasizes also the internal stages - the stages inside the embryo of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science... so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved..." Gender Determination The concept of "Gender Determination" as being described by geneticists is one of the outstanding information revealed to us in the Qur’an. This information is now a known fact, that sperms are the deciding factors in determining the type of gender (male or female) in the new embryo. This determination through the male sperm is due to the fact that sperms have an X and Y chromosomes, while the female ovum has only X Chromosomes (X, X). Through the Qur’an, The Almighty informs us that it is the male sperms that determine the type of gender for the new offspring: "Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled (without purpose)? Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in humble form)? Then did (God) make and fashion (him) in due proportion. And of him He made two sexes, male and female..." (75:36-40) Existence of Pairs in All Creation

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Before the dawn of the modern era, humans conceived that only animal life was divided into two genders, male and female. Then the discovery was made that this phenomenon was present in plants and vegetation too. We have found this reality existing in every creation, animate as well as inanimate, though in different forms. In electricity, these two genders can be classified as positive and negative. North and South Pole describe it in magnetism, electron and proton in atoms, matter and antimatter etc. Even bacteria could be positive or negative, while the truth is; this creation is made of pairs. At the time the Holy Qur’an was being revealed in the 7th century C.E., we knew of pairing in animals and plants only, but the Qur’an describes the phenomenon in the most lucid manner: "Hallowed is He, Who created pairs in all things, those that grow from the earth and of themselves, and what they know not." (36:36) The Qur’anic statement: "...And what they know not" is as true today, as it was when Holy Qur’an was revealed. Though we have discovered that every created thing exists in pair, we have yet to discover many things that exist. We have expounded scientific marvels from the Holy Qur’an to convince sincere seekers of truth that it is the infallible Word of God. No mortal being can ever speak with such authority, finality, knowledge, perfection, and precision coupled with exotic beauties of expression, as does God in the Qur’an. By realizing these Truths about the Qur’an and the religion of Islam revealed by our Creator and Sustainer, many modern scientists are turning towards it. Dr. Keith Moore [3], Professor of Embryology, after analyzing the verses of the Qur’an for three years comments: "It has been a pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’an about Human Development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God or Allah because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later". Dr. Maurice Bucaille [4], French Physician, after studying Qur’an and comparing it with modern science, addressed the French

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Academy of Medicine in 1976 proclaimed: "Our knowledge of these disciplines is such that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Quran could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modern times". Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson [5], Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, proclaims: "...These Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the writer (7th century)...It follows that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches... There exist statements in the Qur’an shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur’an having been derived from God". Dr. Tejatet Tejasen [6], Professor of Anatomy, attending the Eighth Saudi Medical Conference, stood up and likewise announced: "From my studies and what I have learnt at this conference, I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur’an 1400 years ago must be true. That can be proved the scientific way". These men of knowledge, in their unbiased studies of the Qur’an, all proclaimed its truthfulness as a Revelation of Almighty God. "Soon we will show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth) and in their own soul, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth..." (41:53) Guidance to humanity proclaimed in the Quran is complete and applicable to all societies and all times. Whether we are living in the Stone Age or the Space Age, riding in horse pulled carriages or flying in Space Shuttles, we haven't changed a bit. We still possess physical and emotional desires, we live in societies, interact with one another, establish social, political and economic systems; thus the relevant need for guidance by our Creator in all these spheres of our life. Islam is the only religion which is totally compatible with scientific facts and provides complete, explicit and clear guidance in all spheres of life. The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, but translation of its meaning are available in English and other languages for non-Arabs.

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Likewise Islam is not restricted to people of the east or Arabs, it is a universal religion revealed for all of mankind. We invite all sincere humans to study Islam with an open mind. Don't blindly follow the whims and paganistic influences of the environment around us. God bestowed upon us this superb mind to seek and live the truth; for we all will be accountable on the Day of Judgment for our beliefs and deeds. Don't delay your salvation. Welcome to Islam! References: 1) Dr. T.V.N. Persaud, Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy, University of Manitoba, Canada, received in 1991 the most distinguished award presented in the field of Anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grand Award. 2) Dr. E. Marshall Johnson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and the Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA 3) Dr. Keith Moore, Professor of Embryology, Department of Anatomy, Univ. of Toronto, Canada, recipient of numerous awards and honors, including in 1984, the J.C.B. Grand Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Canadian Association of Anatomists. 4) Dr. Maurice Bucaille, French Physician, Author of 'The Bible, the Quran and Science, Seghers, Paris, 1987. 5) Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and the President of the American Fertility Society. 6) Dr. Tejatet Tejasen, Professor and Head of Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chiang, Thailand Suggested Readings 1. The Holy Quran Abdullah Yusuf Ali (trans.) 2. The Life of Muhammad By Hayykal 3. Towards Understanding Islam By Abul Ala Maududi 4. Jesus: A Prophet of Islam By. M. Ataur Rahim 5. The Bible, The Qur’an and Science By Maurice Bucaille 6. What the Qur’an is All About Vol. I-V: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi,

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Compiled and edited by Akm Fakhrul Islam, Al-Qur’an Research Foundation-USA(AQRF-USA)

30.00.00: Amulets can’t Protect anybody
30.01.00: What is in the amulets which some Muslims wear? Because of their belief that each word of the Qur'an comes directly from God, many Muslims feel that the word itself is stamped with divine power. So words from the Qur'an (especially the names of God) are written on paper and sewn in a small leather pouch, and sold. Those who buy feel that the power of God is somehow contained in the pouch, and will protect them from sickness, barrenness, the fire of hell, etcetera. Other amulets contain, not words of Qur'an, but magical signs from astrology and geomancy.

30.02.00: Do these amulets actually protect those who wear them?
Islam teaches that God protects whom He will and saves whom He will -- there is no other protection than He. Therefore some Muslim authorities have attacked the use of amulets. For example the theologian Ibn Khaldun said that it is not the power of God which dwells in amulets, but a magic power which comes from the spirit of man; therefore to trust in them is to put your trust in something else beside God. Similarly in modern times, the Ahmadiyya, and the Wahhabi of Saudi Arabia forbid the use of amulets. But other Muslims reply that it is God Himself who has provided amulets to be a protection for man. A Christian will say that definitely God alone is sufficient for all things; therefore we must not put our trust in anything that human hands have made. Human hands can make a "reminder" (e.g. verses of scripture on the walls of our house to remind us to look to God always. But this is a means of strengthening our trust in God. We do not think there is any power in the mere written word, whether on the wall or in an amulet.

30.03.00: What are the wooden boards which children recite from in Qur’anic schools?

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Since there are not enough copies of the Qur'an (and children might misuse them), Qur'an teachers write sections of the Qur'an on the boards, and use these to teach children to read and recite from memory.

30.04.00: Why do they wash the boards and drink the water?
As with amulets, they believe that each word of the Qur'an written on the board is a direct "word of God", and full of God's power. So they wash the board with water to dissolve the ink that has written the words; it is felt that the mixture has a divine healing power. But with amulets, many Muslims oppose the practice, regarding it as idolatrous.

31.00.00: Other Scriptures
31.01.00: Do Muslims believe in other scriptures previous to the Qur'an? According to the Traditions (sayings attributed to Muhammad), God has sent down 313 scriptures to men, among them being the Tawrat (Law of Moses), the Zabur (Psalms of David), and the Injil (Gospel of Jesus). The Qur'an confirms the truth of these previous scriptures. (2, Baqara 83/89; 3, Ali "Imran 2/3) It calls Jews and Christians to observe their own Tawrat and Injil (Surah Al-Ma'ida,v. 5:72/68). Belief in all these scriptures is an article of Muslim faith. (Surah Yunus, 10:94). Accordingly, many Muslims are inclined to accept the Bible as containing previous scriptures and being the word of God. But other Muslims suspect that the original Tawrat, Zabur and Injil have all been lost or corrupted, and that the Law, Psalms and Gospels of the Bible are not the same as the scriptures mentioned in the Qur'an. Or they may say that the previous scriptures (even if they do exist in the Bible) have been summed up and so superseded by the Qur'an. A Christian Comment: It is true that the original manuscripts of the Law and Gospels no longer exist (just as the original manuscripts of the Qur'an no longer exist). But we possess very early copies which were already in the hands of Jews and Christians

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in Muhammad's time, and these agree in all essentials with the Bible we use today. In several ways the Qur'an bears witness to those scriptures which were then actually in the hands of Muslims and Christians. The Qur'an does seem, therefore, to give Muslims a special reason to study the Bible with great reverence. For the Christian, there are two main reasons for believing in the Bible :- (i) the immense labor of scholars studying the ancient copies has proved it to be a faithful copy of the original manuscripts; (ii) the Bible gives a consistent message which has convinced our hearts and brought us to forgiveness and peace with God.

32.00.00 Belief in the Sunnah is part of the Islamic faith
32.01.00: Are There Any Other Sacred Sources? Yes, the Sunnah, the practice and example of the Prophet (SAW), is the second authority for Muslims. A hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet (SAW) said, did, or approved. Belief in the Sunnah is part of the Islamic faith. Examples of the Prophet's sayings The Prophet (SAW) 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

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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 (SAW) 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] 32.02.00: Are there other sources of Islamic Shariaa’ (Law)? 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). [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali]

33.00.00: Muslims in the Present world
33.01.00: WHO ARE THE MUSLIMS? One billion people from 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 to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe. 33.02.00: Islam in the United States It is almost impossible to generalize about American Muslims: converts, immigrants, factory workers, doctors; all are making their

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own contribution to America's future. This complex community is unified by a common faith, underpinned by a countrywide network of a thousand mosques. 33.03.00: Distribution of Muslims in North America: There are approximately five million Muslims in North America and are distributed in its major cities such as New York, Detroit, Boston, Toledo, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, and others. [The Institute of Islamic Information and Education, Chicago, IL 60641-0129 U.S.A.]

The Islamic Cultural Center, Washington D.C. Muslims were early arrivals in North America. By the eighteenth century there were many thousands of them, working as slaves on plantations. These early communities cut off from their heritage and families, inevitably lost their Islamic identity as time went by. Today many Afro-American Muslims play an important role in the Islamic community. The nineteenth century, however, saw the beginnings of an influx of Arab Muslims, most of whom settled in the major industrial centers where they worshipped in hired rooms. The early twentieth century witnessed the arrival of several hundred thousand Muslims from Eastern Europe: the first Albanian mosque was opened in Maine in 1915; others soon followed, and a group of Polish Muslims opened a mosque in Brooklyn in 1928.

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In 1947 the Washington Islamic Center was founded during the term of President Truman, and several nationwide organizations were set up in the fifties. The same period saw the establishment of other communities whose lives were in many ways modeled after Islam. More recently, numerous members of these groups have entered the fold of Muslim orthodoxy. Today there are about five million Muslims in America. 33.04.00: What Is Islam’s Presence In The United States? It is almost impossible to generalize about American Muslims: converts, immigrants, factory workers, doctors; all are making their own contribution to America's future. This complex community is unified by a common faith, under-pinned by a countrywide network of a thousand mosques. Muslims were early arrivals in North America. By the eighteenth century there were many thousands of them, working as slaves on plantations. These early communities cut off from their heritage and families, inevitably lost their Islamic identity as time went by. Today many Afro-American Muslims play an important role in the Islamic community. The nineteenth century, however, saw the beginnings of an influx of Arab Muslims, most of who settled in the major industrial centers where they worshiped in hired rooms. The early twentieth century witnessed the arrival of several hundred thousand Muslims from Eastern Europe: the first Albanian mosque was opened in Maine in 1915; others soon followed, and a group of Polish Muslims opened a mosque in Brooklyn in 1928. In 1947 the Washington Islamic Center was founded during the term of President Truman, and several nationwide organizations were set up in the fifties. The same period saw the establishment of other communities whose lives were in many ways modeled after Islam. More recently, numerous members of these groups have entered the fold of Muslim orthodoxy. Today there are about five million Muslims in America. 33.05.00: Muslim’s Contributions in North America

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Muslims are established in North America. The Sears Tower and the John Hancock buildings in Chicago were designed by a Muslim chief architect, originally from Bangladesh. Muslims have established academic institutions, community centers and organizations, schools and places of worship. They live in peace and harmony among themselves and among other groups of people in the society. The rate of crime among Muslims is very minimal. Muslims in North America are highly educated and they have added to the success of American scientific and technological fields. The Muslims of the early period of the Islamic era were pioneers in medicine, chemistry, physics, geography, navigation, arts, poetry, mathematics, algebra, logarithms, calculus, etc. They contributed to the Renaissance of Europe and world civilization. [The Institute of Islamic Information and Education, Chicago, IL 60641-0129 U.S.A.]

33.06.00: U.S. Congress on Islam
The American Congress official opinion of Islam as outlined in a concurrent resolution by the 96th Congress (1979) honoring the 14th century of Islam. This opinion of the American Government is hardly known by the American public. S. Con. Res. 43 Honoring the Fourteenth Centennial of Islam. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES October 4 (legislative day, June 21), 1979 Mr. Stone submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations October 15, 1979 Reported by Mr. Church, with an amendment to the preamble

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October 16 (legislative day, October 15), 1979 Considered and agreed to CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Honoring the Fourteenth Centennial of Islam. Whereas November 21, 1979, marks the fourteen hundredth anniversary of the founding of Islam, an event which will be commemorated throughout the world, including in the Holy Cities of Islam; and Whereas Islam is one of the mankind's great religions in history and today, followed by approximately eight hundred million people encompassing every major region of the world; and Whereas the word "Islam" derives from Abraham's willingness to accept all God's commands, an example profoundly meaningful to all monotheistic religions; and Whereas the "House of Islam" extended gracious hospitality to philosophy and science in both the East and West when these scholarly disciplines were threatened by narrowness and prejudice, thus preserving this precious heritage for subsequent generations; and Whereas Islam strives for a world-wide community which, in the words of one Islamic poet-philosopher, "does not recognize the superficial differences of race, or history, or nationality"; and Whereas the United States and countries of the Islamic world hold in common many benefits and values including the concept of world community, which inspired the founding Fathers of our own country; and Whereas international understanding and peace are strengthened by free and open communications among nations representing various historical and religious traditions: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Islam is hereby recognized for the rich religious, scientific, cultural, and artistic contribution it has made to mankind since its founding. Sec. 2. The Congress takes note of the contribution of Islam and wishes success to the fourteenth centennial commemoration. Sec. 3. On the occasion of this anniversary, the Congress pledges its efforts to achieve better understanding, reductions of tensions, and the pursuit of improved relations with all nations of the world.

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Sec. 4. The Congress requests that the President forward a copy of this resolution to the Chief of State of each country where Islam has a significant following and where celebrations will mark this important international event.

33.07.00: The Muslim World
The Muslim population of the world is around one billion. 30% of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab World, 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan comprise 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim minorities in almost every area, including Latin America and Australia, they are most numerous in the Soviet Union, India, and central Africa. There are 5 million Muslims in the United States. 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 piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Qur’an 49:13)

Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque - Asmara Eritrea.

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Shibam, Hadramwat, Yemen (The Land of Queen Sheiba.) info@islamicbulletin.org

34.00.00: Belief of a Muslim
34.01.00: What Does A Muslim Believe? Muslims believe in the One and the only God. The Qur’an says About God,” say, He Allah, the One. Allah is the eternal, absolute. He begotten not, nor he is begotten. And there is none like unto him”. Muslims also believe in the Angels created by God, all prophets and Muhammad as the seal of Prophets: revelation and the Holy Scripture and Qur’an as the final scripture to humanity. The Muslim believe in the hereafter: the day of the rend of the world, the resurrection of humanity, the accountability and judgment by God alone, and the existence of Heaven and Hell and the reward for Good believers and punishment for sinners. So, 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

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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 (SAW) through Gabriel. The Muslim faith can be summarized in a sentence from the Qur'an (4, Nisa 135/136): "O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the scripture which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down previously. Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he has wandered far astray" (To the five beliefs mentioned in the last sentence, Muslim teachers add a sixth, predestination). A shorter summary is the "Shahada".

35.00.00: Articles of Faith
The religion of Islam has 6 Articles of Faith. These are: • Belief that there is only one God, who does not beget, and was not begotten. • Belief in the Angels. Angels are creatures of God who have no will of their own, and they only carry out God’s commandments. • Belief in the scriptures revealed to various prophets throughout human history. • Belief in all of the messengers of God, starting with Prophet Adam, and including Prophets Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. There were actually over 124,000 messengers and prophets sent by God to all nations, and to all parts of the world, but only a few are mentioned in the Qur’an. • Belief in the Last Day on which all life in this world will end, all dead will be brought back to life, everyone will be held

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accountable for his/her deeds done during his/her life on earth, and will receive reward or punishment from God Almighty. • Belief in the divine destiny, i.e. nothing happens except what has been ordained by God. No one has the power to deny anyone what God has ordained for him or her to receive, and no one can deliver to some one anything that he or she is not destined to receive. [www.understandingislam.org] 35.01.00: 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 worshipped except Allah. 2-To bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. This makes a person Muslim. After a person becomes Muslim she/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 he/she 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. We love for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves. [Dr.Ibrahim Dremali] 35.02.00: How Does Become A Muslim? Just say the Shahadah: In Arabic: ‘Laa Ilaha Illallaahu Muhammadur Rasulullah’ which means ‘there is no God but One GOD, and Muhammad (Peace be up on him) is the messenger and servant of God” with its declaration, you become a member of the universal community of Islam. Islam is a simple religion. There is no priesthood, no intermediary between you and God. Worship God, be conscious of God, and enjoy the beauty and freedom of Islam. 35.03.00: What about someone who has never heard of Islam? Allah is the Most Just. It is inconceivable to perceive of anyone acting with more benevolence than Allah. Allah is the Most Just and in the Qur’an He said: "We will not punish without sending

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someone to warn you". The "We" here is the majestic ‘We’ used in Arabic. So if a person had 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.

36.00.00: Five Pillars of Islam
36.01.00: What Are The Five Pillars Of Islam? The five pillars of Islam are the practical aspects of Islam. They are to make you conscious of God and to bring harmony and peace between the physical desires and spiritual needs of a human being. The world is not an illusion to a Muslim. It is a place to work and enjoy: nourish physical and spiritual needs: care and love, forgive and respect others. A Muslim lives a righteous life in this world with a hope to enter paradise in the hereafter. [A]. First Pillar: Faith or Shahada (to witness): It is to witness that there is no god but one God, and Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger and servant of God. The declaration of shahada is necessary if one is to be a Muslim and joins Muslims in worship. There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is La-ilaha illa'llah - 'There is no god except God'; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God-wealth, power, and the like. Then it comes illa'llah: 'except God', the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadur Rasulu'llah: 'Muhammad is the messenger of God.' A message of guidance has come through a man like us. [B]. Second Pillar: Prayer Salat(Worship): A Muslim has to worship God five times a day. It is better to worship in congregation in a mosque. One can still perform the worship at home, at work, or anywhere else. Friday is the sacred day of Islam. All Muslims are to leave their jobs and assemble in the central mosque of the area for a sermon and congregational worship at noon. Worship in Islam is a direct communication of an individual with god. It is highly spiritual and a continuous reminder

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of ones duty towards God. It is also highly social, teaching unity and equality, and the universality of Islam. Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshiper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one's own language. Prayers are said at dawn(Salatul Fajr), noon(Salatul Juhr), midafternoon(Salatul Asr), sunset(Salatul Maghrib) and nightfall(Salatul Isha), and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life. [C]. Third Pillar: The Fast or Siyam: Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory on all adults, sane, and healthy Muslim. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Fasting teaches self-control and self-restraint. It is highly spiritual activity constantly reminding the believers to be conscious of God. Fasting teaches Muslims to be in control of their tongue, to be respectful and to be forgiving but spiritual uplifting in Ramadan is once again tied with helping the needy. Before ht end of Ramadan, every head of the Muslim household who can afford should pay an amount of about 5-8 dollars per member of his /her family to the poor in the area. Every year in the month of Ramadan all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

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Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one's spiritual life. [C]. Fasting in the month of Ramadan What the prayers seek to serve five times a day fasting in the month of Ramadhan (ninth month of the lunar year) does once a year. During this period from dawn to dusk we eat not a grain of food nor drink a drop of water no matter how delicious the dish or how hungry or thirsty we feel. What is it makes us voluntarily undergo such rigors? It is nothing but faith in God and the fear of Him and of the Day of Judgment. Each and every moment during our fast we suppress our passions and desires and proclaim by our doing so the supremacy of the Law of God. This consciousness of duty and the spirit of patience that incessant fasting for full one month inculcates in us help us strengthen our faith. Rigor and discipline during this month bring us face to face with the realities of life and help us make our life during the rest of the year a life of true subservience to His Will. From yet another point of view fasting has an immense impact on society for all the Muslims irrespective of their status must observe fast during the same month. This brings to prominence the essential equality of men and thus goes a long way towards creating in then sentiments of love and brotherhood. During Ramadhan evil conceals itself while good come to the fore and the whole atmosphere is filled with piety and purity. This discipline has been imposed on us to our own advantage. Those who do not fulfill this relied upon in the discharge of their duties. But the worst are those who during this holy month do not hesitate to eat or drink in public. They are the people who by their conduct show that they care not a trifle for the commands of Allah in whom they profess their belief as their Creator and Sustainer. Not only this, they also show that they are not loyal members of the Muslim Community rather they have nothing to do with it. It is evident that in so far as obedience to law and regard for a trust reposed in them goes, only the worst could be expected of such hypocrites. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

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36.02.00: What is the month of Ramadhan? Fasting has been known in all ages as a religious practice, and had existed before the time of Muhammad. At the beginning of his ministry Muhammad fasted, as the Jews did, on the 10th day of the first month. Later he fixed instead the whole month of Ramadhan (the ninth month). During this month occurs the Laylatul-Qdr (night of power) on which the Qur'an is believed to have been brought down to the lowest heaven, ready to be revealed to Muhammad. During this month, from the first light of dawn till darkness falls, it is forbidden to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual relations; it is forbidden to swallow saliva, if this can be avoided; the letting of blood by leeches or cupping is inadvisable. But the fast is only considered to have been broken by a premeditated, free and willing action of infringement. Thus, everything entering the body breaks the fast, but not if the action was done accidentally or under compulsion. Refreshment may be taken in the night, when there are often lavish feasts. Three kinds of fasting should be distinguished: (i) the Ramadhan fast, one of the pillars of Islam; (ii) fasting in expiation of a sin; and (iii) fasting as a result of a vow, to acquire more merit with God.

36.03.00: Who are obliged to fast in Ramadhan? Every adult Muslim who is sound in body and mind and physically capable of enduring the fast, must observe it. It is recommended that children be trained to fast beginning from 10 years old. 36.04.00: Who are excused from fasting? The feeble-minded, the sick, the elderly, pregnant and nursing women, travelers or those engaged in hard labor--these are exempted in prescribed circumstances. It is actually forbidden to fast when in danger of death, when faced by the enemy and (for women) during the menstrual period and for 40 days after childbirth. But the days of fast which have not been observed must, in most cases, be compensated by subsequent fasting or by some other kind of expiation.

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36.05.00: Who laid down all these laws? Not all of these laws (above and following: the five pillars, warfare, sacrifice, circumcision, etc.) are written in the Qur'an. Many are based on the Sunnah, i.e. the teaching and example of Muhammad as recorded in the Traditions (Hadith). In the many points of conduct where there is no specific teaching or example from Qur'an and Sunnah, the law has been laid down according to Qiyas (analogy) and to Ijma' (the consensus of learned Muslims). Four slightly different systems of law are equally recognized as orthodox. (i) In North and West Africa, Maliki law is commonly observed; (ii) Shafi'I law is the commonest in East Africa, Egypt and southern India; (iii) Hanafi law in Pakistan and Turkey; while (iv) Hanbali law is the least popular. As an example of the differences, Maliki law (W. Africa) prescribes that the arms should drop to the sides during the standing position of the Prayer; while in Shafi'I law (and in the Ahmadiyya movement and some Tijaniyya) the arms are folded, hand to elbow. Many Muslims regard the whole law as coming from God, and to be kept without change or question. But other Muslims feel that some of the laws which were appropriate in the ancient world and among Arabs, can no longer be applied in modern times and in other lands. They would claim the right to amend the law, provided that any amendment does not conflict with the Qur'an and Sunna. A few Muslims even refuse to be bound by the Sunna, and seek to base their belief and conduct essentially on the Qur'an. [D]. Fourth Pilar: Hajj (Pilgrimage to the house of God at Makkah): Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim once in a life time who can afford. Hajj is to commemorate the works of Abraham(peace be up on him) his teachings of One God, and his sacrifices in the path of God,. He and son Ishmael built the Ka’ba (the House of God) and since then people have been asked to perform the pilgrimage to the House of God. When Muhammad (peace be up on him) came, he recalled the commitment of Abraham to one God. He performed the pilgrimage and asked Muslims to follow. Hajj is highly spiritual but

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at the same time highly social and universal activity of Islam. It is a practical demonstration of Islam call for "ONE. The annual pilgrimage to Makkah, the Hajj, is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every comer of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God. The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka'ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God's forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modem transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities. The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar. The Pilgrimage or "Hajj" is the fourth pillar of Islam. It is obligatory for every Muslim who is healthy in body and mind and who can afford to go, to go on the Pilgrimage to Mecca once in his lifetime. (Further visits are voluntary). He will visit the shrine called the Kaaba, and perform prescribed rites. Hajj is the fourth basic 'Ibadat

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Hajj, or the Pilgrimage to Mecca, is fourth basic 'Ibadat. It is obligatory only on those who can afford it and that too only once in a lifetime. Mecca today stands at site of a small house that the Prophet Abraham (God's blessings be upon him) built for the worship of Allah. Allah rewarded him by calling it His own House and by making it the center towards which all must face when saying prayers. He also made it incumbent on those who can afford to visit is not merely to be a courtesy call. Even this pilgrimage the its rites and conditions to be fulfilled which inculcate in us piety and goodness. When we undertake the pilgrimage, we are required to suppress our passions, refrain from bloodshed, and be pure in word and deed. God promises rewards for our sincerity and submissiveness. The Pilgrimage is, in a way the biggest of all Ibadat. For unless a man really loves God he would never undertake such a long journey all his near and dear ones behind him. Then this pilgrimage is unlike any other journey. Here his thoughts are concentrated on Allah; his very being vibrates with spirit of intense devotion. When he reaches the holy place, he finds the atmosphere laden with piety and godliness; he visits place which bear witness to the glory of Islam, and all this leaves an indelible impression on his mind, which he carries t o his last breath. Then there are as in other 'Ibadat many benefits that the Muslims can enjoy from this pilgrimage. Mecca is the center towards which the Muslims must converge once a year meet and discuss topics of common interest and in general create and refresh in then selves the faith that all Muslims are equal and deserve the love and sympathy of others irrespective of their geographical or cultural origin. Thus the pilgrimage unites the Muslims of the world into one international fraternity. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 36.06.00: Some provable Questions regarding Hajj & Ka’ba: 36.06.01: What is an "Al-Haji"? One who has performed the pilgrimage is honored with the title "AlHaji" or "al-hajj"; if a woman, "al-haja". The title indicates the

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pilgrim's prestige among fellow Muslims; he is presumed to be endowed with special blessings from God. But the Al-haji has, as such, no special duty or office in the Muslim community. 36.06.02: Is Mecca the centre of the world? Muslims have said that Mecca is the centre or "navel" of the world, and that the Kaaba lies just under the throne of God. A glance at the map--remembering that the world is round like a ball!--will show that no place is literally at the world's centre; this is just a way of expressing how important Mecca is in Muslim faith. 36.06.02: Who built the shrine at Mecca? Muslims say that Adam and Even (Hawwa) first built the Kaaba--a flat roofed stone "house", estimated to be 50 feet high, and 35 feet broad by 40 feet deep. Adam and Even had met at Mecca after being driven from Paradise. Later (Muslims believe) the shrine was restored by Abraham and Ishmael, and maintained by other prophets. Non-Muslims presume the shrine to be an ancient place of worship no different in its origin from other shrines which existed in Arabia; they believe the traditions about its origin to be legendary. 36.06.03: What is the Black Stone (al-hajarul-aswad)? Set into the south-eastern corner of the Kaaba, at four or five feet above ground level, is a stone, reddish black with red and yellow particles. It seems to have been originally one stone, but to have been broken when it was once carried off. The three large pieces and several fragments are held together by a silver band. The stone thus joined together is about 7 inches in diameter. Traditions say that the stone came down from God, and was originally white, but was turned black because of man's sin. Muhammad found the Meccans worshipping the stone as an idol; he (in Muslim belief) restored it to the worship of the One God for which it had originally been dedicated. Going round the Kaaba (3 times running, four times walking) is one of the most important rites of the Pilgrimage, and each time round the pilgrim does his best to kiss it, or at least to touch it with his fingers and touch his fingers to his lips. He feels he obtains divine blessing by doing this. Christians are often disturbed, and some Muslims are too, at the thought that people who worship One God should kiss a stone which was previously used in idolatry. But it is untrue to suggest that Muslims worship this stone as a god.

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This is clearly shown by the saying of the Caliph "Umar, "I know that you are a stone, which can neither help me nor harm me; if the Prophet had not kissed you, I would not have done so". 36.06.04: What is the water which Pilgrims bring home from Mecca? According to Tradition, when Abraham sent away Hazera and her son Ishmael, they lost their way in the desert, and Hazera ran back and forth looking for water for her child to drink. God took pity on her and caused a spring to gush forth at Ishmael's feet. The two hills Safa and Marwa are said to be the points between which Hazera ran back and forth--so pilgrims run between them seven times. The spring Zamzam (now piped) which flows within the area surrounding the Kaaba, is believed to be the spring which God created for Hazera. Many pilgrims bring home water from this spring. 36.06.05: Does the water of Mecca wash away sins? In the world of Islam this spring is venerated, and its water is considered rich in blessings. According to widespread popular belief in Africa, the water has an almost magical power, and can wash away men's sins. So some pilgrims bring back little bottles of the water which they intend to drink before they die. This belief is emphatically rejected by Muslim theologians; it is not derived from the Qur'an or from reliable Tradition, and it is opposed to the doctrine that only on the Last Day will God forgive or punish, according to His predestinating decree. 36.06.06: Why do the pilgrims throw stones? This is one of the obligatory rites of the pilgrimage. Five miles from Mecca, in the region of Mina (or "Muna"), there are three stone pillars, fairly broad and about five feet high. The Pilgrim must throw stones, especially at the one nearest to Mecca. He has collected his seven pebbles that morning or the night before, and he throws them a distance of a few yards, flicking them with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. This ceremony is said to be in memory of Abraham, who was tempted by Satan at this spot and drove him away with stones.

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36.06.07: What are the principal Muslim festivals? There are two essential festivals in Islam: 'Eid-ul-adha (or 'Eid-ulkabir, Greater Bairam) at which animals are sacrificed allover the Muslim world, at the same time as the sacrifice which concludes the Pilgrimage proper at Mecca; and 'Eid-ul-Fitr (Lesser Bairam), the festival of the breaking of the Fast. Each of these annual festivals lasts generally for three days, and is a time of popular merrymaking. Other festivals have been added, among them the Siratun-Nabi or Mawlidun-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet) on the 12th day of the 3rd month Rabi-ul Awal. 36.06.08: Why are sheep, etc. sacrificed? At the Eid-ul-adha, it is desirable to offer a sacrifice, in the ratio of a sheep or goat per person, or a camel or cow for seven persons. The sacrifice is obligatory only for those who can afford it and who have made a vow to do it. The sacrifice is regarded as a memorial to Abraham's willingness to offer his son in obedience to God's command-but Muslim Tradition says that the son was Ishmael, not Isaac. There is a popular belief among African Muslims that the killing of this animal is atonement for sin or a propitiation to avert evil. But in orthodox teaching the sacrifice is a commemoration, an act of obedience to God and of charity to those who share the feast; it is not any kind of blood atonement. "Their flesh and their blood will not reach God, but your piety will reach Him". Again, although the sacrifice is made in the direction of the Kaaba, it is quite untrue to say that it is offered to the Kaaba or Black Stone; it is considered to be offered to the One God. (22, Hajj 38/37; 34/33). [E]. Fifth Pillar: Zakat(poor due) Islam is the first religion that made zakat obligatory on rich to give to the poor. Zakat is given two and half percent per year on ones net worth at the end of year. Other than Zakat, Muslims are encouraged to give charity for the well being of the community. Islam teaches that helping the needy helps ones spiritual growth. One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in

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need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one's capital. A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as 'voluntary charity' it has a wider meaning. The Prophet (SAW) said: 'Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.' The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.' He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet (SAW) replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.' The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet (SAW) said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' The Prophet (SAW) said 'He should urge others to do well.' The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet (SAW) said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.' 36.06.09: What is Zakat? This is the third pillar of Islam. "Zakat" means "purification"; it is a kind of ritual tax or alms, the paying of which is held to purify" the rest of a Muslim's possessions and to expiate his sins. Apparently it was at first a free-will offering, but it rapidly became a legal requirement. In theory, only Muslims are required to pay it. As opposed to this prescribed tax, "sadaqa" is more like a free-will offering, an act of charity and kindness. 36.06.10: What must the Muslim pay, according to the law? Zakat may be paid either in goods or in cash. The tax is imposed on produce of the soil, fruits, cattle, gold and silver (including money) and upon merchandise. There are complicated rules for calculating it; generally it is a tithe (tenth part) on fruits and produce of the soil, but a fortieth part on money and merchandise. But a poor man who has less than five camel loads of property need not pay! 36.06.11: To whom must the Zakat be paid?

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There are eight classes of people who may benefit from the Zakat(tax): 1. Those in need; 2. The very poor (teachers of the law are regarded as being in these classes--so may receive Zakat); 3. The tax-collector may keep part as his "salary"; 4. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled (those converted to Islam who need help in adapting to the new community); 5. Slaves, who have arranged to buy their freedom, to help them find the necessary sums of money; 6. Debtors who have voluntarily, for the love of God, undertaken to pay off their debt; 7. "In the way of God", those volunteering to fight in Holy War, or for the building of mosques; 8. Travelers who are in need. In many lands today, government taxation seems to have replaced the Zakat; however, beside this traditional Zakat, the term is applied to alms given to the poor at the end of Ramadhan, to mark the end of the fast (zakat al-fitr). 36.06.12: CHARITY Islam places great emphasis upon charity i.e. sharing one’s wealth with those who are less fortunate. The subject of charity is discussed at least 45 times in the Holy Qur’an. Translation of Chapter 2 Verse 261 of the Holy Qur’an reads: “The parable of those who spend their sustenance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it growth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. God gives manifold increase to those He pleaseth: and God careth for all, and He knoweth all things.” Translation of Verse 263 of the same Chapter 2 reads, “Kind words, and covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants and he is most forbearing.” The Qur’an is setting a very high standard for charity: It must be in the way of God, with no expectation of reward in this world, and must not be followed by references or reminders about the act of charity.

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Prophet Mohammad said, “Charity is due on every Muslim.” Someone asked the Prophet, “What if he does not have anything to give?” The Prophet said, “Let him work with both his hands, doing benefit to himself and giving charity at the same time.” The person asked again, “What if he does not have the means to do so?” the Prophet said, “Then let him assist the needy and the aggrieved.” The person asked again, “What if he cannot even do this?” The Prophet replied, “Then he should enjoin what is reputable or what is good.” The person asked one more time, “What if he cannot do that either?” The Prophet then replied, “He should do no evil, for verily that is a charity on his behalf.” A man came to Prophet Muhammad and said, “O Messenger of God! which charity is most reward able?” The Prophet replied, “That you give charity in a state when you are healthy and close fisted and haunted by the fear of poverty, hoping to become rich.” You must not defer charity until that you are about to die and would be saying: This is for so and so. The Prophet also said: “Hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of seven things: Such starvation as will make you unmindful of devotion, Or such prosperity as will make you corrupt, Or such disease as will disable you, Or senility as will make you mentally unstable, Or sudden death, Or the antichrist, Or the day of destruction. Greed: Prophet Muhammad said: “If the son of Adam, had a valley full of gold, he would desire two of them. Nothing can fill his mouth except the earth of his grave. God turns with mercy to the one who feels penitence.” [www.understandingislam.org]

37.00.00: Spread of Islam:
37.01.00: 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

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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 (SAW) '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.

Taj Mahal, India.

Hui Shen Mosque, China. Built in the 7th Century.

38.00.00: Principles of Islam:

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38.01.00: SOME ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES A. Oneness of God: He is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that Islam rejects the idea of trinity or such a unity of God which implies more than one God in one. B. Oneness of mankind: People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness. C. Oneness of Messengers and the Message: Muslims believe that God sent different messengers throughout the history of mankind. All came with the same message and the same teachings. It was the people who misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Muslims believe in Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Prophets of Christianity and Judaism are indeed the Prophets of Islam. D. Angels and the Day of Judgment: Muslims believe that there are unseen creatures such as angels created by God in the universe for special missions. Muslims believe that there is a Day of Judgment when all people of the world throughout the history of mankind till the last day of life on earth, are to be brought for accounting, reward and punishment. E. Innocence of Man at Birth: Muslim believes that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and it is only after they commit sins that they are to be charged for their mistakes. No one is responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others. However, the door of forgiveness through true repentance is always open. F. State and Religion: Muslims believe that Islam is a total and a complete way of life. It encompasses all aspects of life. As such, the teachings of Islam do not separate religion from politics. As a matter of fact, state and

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religion are under the obedience of Allah through the teachings of Islam. Hence, economic and social transactions, as well as educational and political systems are also part of the teachings of Islam. 38.02.00: Does Islam Tolerate Other Beliefs? The Quran 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, Surah Al-Mumtahina, v.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. When the caliph Omar took Jerusalem from the Byzantine, he insisted on entering the city with only a small number of his companions. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places. The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque. Above is the mosque built on the spot where Omar did pray. According to Islam, man is not born in 'original sin'. He is God's vicegerent on earth. Every child is born with the fitra, an innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Islam considers itself to be the 'primordial religion', din al-hanif, it seeks to return

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man to his original, true nature in which he is in harmony with creation, inspired to do good, and confirming the Oneness of God. 38.03.00: How Do Muslims View the Nature of Man, the Purpose of Life and the Life Hereafter? In the Holy Quran, Allah teaches human beings that they were created in order to glorify and worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is God-consciousness. All of Allah's creatures worship him naturally and only the humans have the free will to worship Allah their Creator or to reject Him. This is a great test, but also a great honor. Since the teachings of Islam encompass all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human affairs. Islam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Scripture and Law. As such, worship in Islam is not limited to religious rituals, and for this reason it is more properly known as ‘way of life’ than a religion. The teachings of Islam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and qualities such as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islam condemns pride and self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human righteousness. The Islamic view of the nature of man is also realistic and wellbalanced in that human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil; it is their choice. Islam teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people free-will, and the measure of one's faith is their deeds and actions. However, since human beings have also been created innately weak and regularly fall into sin, they are in need of continually seeking guidance and repentance, which is, in itself, also a form of worship loved by Allah. The nature of the human being as created by God in His Majesty and Wisdom, is not inherently ‘corrupt’ or in need of repair. The avenue of repentance is always open to all. Almighty God knew that humans were going to make mistakes, so the real test is whether they seek repentance for their sins and try to avoid them, or if they prefer a life of heedlessness and sin, knowing well that it is not pleasing to God. The true balance of an Islamic life is established by having a healthy fear of Allah's rightful punishment for crimes and sins, as well as a sincere belief that Allah, in His infinite Mercy, takes

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pleasure in bestowing His reward for our good deeds and sincere worship to Him. A life without fear of Allah 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 the light of this fact, Islam teaches that only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord, and only wicked criminals are devoid of the fear of Allah their Creator and Judge. The Holy Qur’an as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, also contains a great deal of teachings about life in the hereafter and the Day of Judgment. Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by Allah, the Absolute Sovereign King and Judge, for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Allah the Exalted will be both and absolutely Just by only punishing the truly guilty and rebellious unrepentant criminals, and absolutely Merciful for those people who He, in His wisdom, judges worthy of mercy. None will be judged for that which was beyond their capacity, or for that which they did not actually do. It is sufficient to say that Islam teaches that life is a test designed by Allah, the Creator, Almighty and Most Wise; and that all human beings will be accountable before Allah for what they did with their lives. A sincere belief in the life of the hereafter is the key to leading a well-balanced and moral life. Otherwise, life is viewed as an end in itself, which causes people to become more selfish, materialistic and immoral by their blind pursuit of pleasure even at the expense of reason and ethics. [By Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka and Robert Squires] 38.04.00: Why is there difference between a Muslim and a 'Kafir'? Brethren-in-Islam! Every Muslim personally believes and you too must surely believe alike, have a Muslim's rank is higher than of a Kafir. God likes a Muslim and dislikes a Kafir. A Muslim will get salvation from God while a Kafir will not. A Muslim will go to Paradise and a Kafir will go to Hell. Today I want you to ponder over this matter as to why should there be so much difference between a Muslim and a Kafir? A Kafir is as much an offspring of Adam as you are. He too possesses hands, feet, eyes and ears as you possess. He too, like you, breathes the same air, drinks the same water, and inhabits the same land as you do. That very God Who created you, created him also. Then why is his rank low and yours high? Why will you get

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Paradise and why will he be thrown into Hell? [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 38.05.00: Is the difference only nominal? This is a point to be thought over deeply. Such a big difference between man and man cannot be simply due to the fact that you are called by names like 'Abdullah' and 'Abdur-Rehman' and he is called by names like Deen Dayal, Kartar Singh and Robertson, or that you get circumcised and he does not, or that you eat meat and he shuns it. The Almighty Allah Who has created all human beings and is the Sustainer of all of them cannot be so cruel as to discriminate between his creatures on such petty grounds and send one slave of His to Heaven and another to Hell. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 38.06.00: Real difference---Islam and 'Kufr' When the position is not like this, and then thinks out what is the actual difference between the two? The answer to it is only one and it is this that the real difference between the two is due to Islam and Kufr. The meaning of Islam is obedience to God while he meaning of Kufr is disobedience to God. Muslim and Kafir are both human beings; both are slaves of God. But one human being becomes superior for the reason that he recognizes his Master, obeys His orders and fears the consequences of disobeying Him, while the other human being falls from the high rank because he does not recognize his Master and does not carry out His orders. This is why God is pleased with Muslims and displeased with unbelievers. He promises award of Heaven to Muslims and warns unbelievers that they will be consigned to Hell. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 38.07.00: Cause of difference---knowledge and deeds From this it is clear that there are two things which separate Muslims and Kafirs. One is knowledge and the other, deeds. That is, in the first place, one should know who his Master is, what are His orders, what is the method to follow His wishes, which deeds please Him and which displease Him? Then when these things become

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known, the second step is that man should make himself a slave of his Master, carry out what He desires, and give up own wishes. If his heart desires to do a certain act and the Master's order is against it, he should pay no heed to his heart's desire and carry out his Master's order. If a work appears as noble to him and the Master says that it is ignoble, he must also consider it ignoble. And if another work appears ignoble to him but the Master says it is noble he too must consider it good. If he sees harm in a certain work but since the Master says that it must be done, he must in any case do it though it my entail him any amount of loss in life and property. As against this, if he expects profit in some other work but the Master forbids him from undertaking it, he must never, touch it though it may bring him even the wealth of the whole world. This is the knowledge and conduct by which a Muslim becomes a true servant of God, on whom He sends His blessing and to whom He awards honour and dignity. Contrarily, since a Kafir does not possess this knowledge, he is listed as God's disobedient slave and is deprived by God of His blessings. Now you should yourself consider with justice that if a man who calls himself Muslim is as ignorant and disobedient as a Kafir, how can he be superior to the latter merely on the basis of bearing a different name, wearing a different dress and eating a different food? Also on what basis is he entitled to the blessing of God in this world and in the Hereafter? Islam is not akin to a race or family or brotherhood which is automatically bequeathed from father to son and from son to grandson. It is not the case here that a Brahmin's son, however, ignorant and of bad conduct he may be, will command a lofty status just because he is born in a Brahmin's home and belongs to the high caste, while the son of a scheduled caste, however will remain in the low strata because he is born in a scheduled caste home and is a menial. On this point God has explicitly stated in His book: "In reality the most honoured among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is most pious." (Al-Qur'an 49:13) That is, the more one knows God and the more one obeys His commandments, the more honourable is he in the sight of God. Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) was born in the home of an idolater, but

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he came to know God and obeyed Him. That is why God made him Imam of the whole world.The son of Noah was born in a prophet's home but he did not understand God and disobeyed Him. That is why God did not care at all for his family and gave such a punishment to him that it became an object-lesson for the world. Therefore, please understand thoroughly that whatever difference is there in the sight of Allah between man and man, it is in relation to knowledge and deeds. Both in this world and the Hereafter God's blessing is served for those who understand Him, know the right path shown by Him and carry out His commandments. Those who do not have this quality, though their names may be 'Abdullah and 'Abdur Rahman' or Deen Dayal or Kartar Singh, there is no difference between these two sets in the sight of God and they are not entitled to His blessing. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 38.08.00: Why are Muslims humiliated today? Brethren! You call yourselves Muslims and it is your conviction that God showers His blessing on Muslims. But open your eyes and see if God's blessing is descending on you? Whatever will be happened in the Hereafter will be seen by you afterwards, but have a look at your condition in this world. You are nine crore in this land of Hindustan. You are in such great number that if each of you were to throw a pebble it will become a mountain. But where there are so many Muslims, the government is in the hands of unbelievers. Your necks are in their grip to turn you whichever side they like; your head which did not bowed before anybody except Allah is now bowed before human beings. Your honour which no one dared to touch is now being besmeared with dust. Your hand which was always above is now lowered and is stretched before a Kafir. Ignorance, poverty and indebtedness have subjected you to disgrace everywhere. Is this the blessing of God? If this is not blessing but obvious wrath, then how strange it is that these are Muslims and yet on them descends the wrath of God! These are Muslims and are yet wallowing in disgrace. These are Muslims and are yet in slavery! This situation appears to be an impossibility just as it is impossible for an object to be both white and black. Since a Muslim is the

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loved one of God, how can he be disgraced in this world? Is your God (may Allah forbid) an oppressor that while you, on your part, acknowledge His due to you and obey His orders, He makes the disobedient ones rule over you, and gives you punishment for your obedience to Him? If it is an article of faith with you that God is not an oppressor and if you believe that the reward of obedience to God can never be in the shape of disgrace, then you will have to concede that there is something wrong in your claim of being a Muslim. Though your name is surely entered as a Muslim in government papers but God does not pass judgment on the authenticity of the office of the British Government. God maintains His own office. You will have to search in His list to find whether your name is entered among His obedient or disobedient servants? God sent you His Book so that by reading it you may know Him and learn the way of obeying Him. Did you ever try to find out what is written in it? God sent His Prophet to you to teach you the method of becoming Muslim. Did you ever try to find out what His prophet has taught? God showed you the way to attain honour and dignity in this world and the Hereafter. Do you follow that way? God very explicitly informed you as to what are those works which debase man in this world and the Hereafter. Do you avoid such works? Say what answer have you to these questions? If you admit that you neither obtained knowledge from God's Book and His Prophet's life nor followed the way shown by Him, then how did you become Muslim to merit His reward? The reward you are getting is proportionate to the degree of your being Muslim and you will get a like reward in the Hereafter too! I have stated before that there is absolutely no difference between a Muslim and a Kafir except in the matter of knowledge and deeds. If thee knowledge and deeds of a man are similar to those of a Kafir, and yet he calls himself a Muslim, he speaks a blatant lie. A Kafir does not read the Qur'an and does not know what is written therein. If similar is the condition of a Muslim, why should he be called a Muslim? A Kafir does not know what is the teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and what straight path he has shown to reach God. If a Muslim is equally ignorant of this, how is he a Muslim? A Kafir follows his own desire instead of following the command of God. If a Muslim too, like him, is headstrong and

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unbridled, and a follower of his own ideas and opinion, indifferent to God and is a slave of lust, then what right has he to call himself a Muslim (obedient slave of God)? A Kafir does not discriminate between Halal and Haram and takes to anything which to him is beneficial and full of relish, no matter whether it is Halal or Haram in the sight God. If a Muslim's behaviour is the same as that of a non-Muslim, what difference is there between him and a Kafir? In short, if a Muslim is as much devoid of knowledge about Islam as a Kafir is and if a Muslim does all those things which a Kafir does, then why should he be considered superior as compared to a Kafir? This is a matter on which we should all ponder cool-mindedly. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 38.09.00: A matter for serious consideration My dear brethren! Please do not think that I am out to brand Muslims as unbelievers. No, this is not my aim at all. I myself ponder and want that every one of us should think for himself as to why at all are we deprived of the blessing of God? Why are we the target of calamities from all sides? Why those whom we call Kafir, i.e. disobedient slaves of God, are everywhere dominating over us? And why we, who claim to be His obedient slaves, are being subjugated everywhere? The more I pondered over the reason of this situation the more I got convinced that the only difference now left between us and unbelievers is that of mere name, otherwise we too are in no way behind them in neglect of God, in being unafraid of Him and in being disobedient to Him. There is of course, a light difference between us and them but this difference does not entitle us to any reward. Infect, it make us deserving of punishment because we know that the Qur'an is the Book of God and yet we treat it as a Kafir treats it. We know that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Prophet of Allah and yet we are scared of following him as is a Kafir scared. We know that God has cursed a liar, He has positively declared Hell as an abode of bribe-takers and bribegivers. He has pronounced interest-takers and interest-givers as the worst criminals, He has termed backbiting as like eating a brother's flesh, He has warned that obscenity, lewdness and debauchery will meet with dire punishment. But even knowing all this, we freely indulge in all these vices like the unbelievers as if we have absolutely no fear of God. This is why we are not rewarded as we

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are Muslims by appearance only as compared to the unbelievers. The fact of unbelievers ruling over us and our humiliations on every occasion at their hands, are expressive of the punishment of the crime that a boon like Islam was bestowed on us and we did not value it. Dear brethren! Whatever I have said today in my lecture is not intended to blame you. I have not come as a censurer. My aim is to make you keen to recover what has been lost. The anxiety to regain a lost asset arises when a man realizes what actually he has lost and how valuable it was. That is why I try to awaken you. If you are aroused and understand that in reality a highly-precious object was in your possession, then you will think about regaining it. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 38.09.00: Keenness to acquire knowledge I had told you in my previous lecture that to become a real Muslim the foremost requisite is knowledge of Islam. Every Muslim ought to know what the teaching of the Qur’an is, what system was followed by the Holy Prophet, what Islam is, and what those things which really differentiate Islam from Kufr are. Nobody can be a Muslim without this knowledge. But it is a pity that you are not keen to acquire this very knowledge. This shows that still you do not realize what great boon you are deprived of. My brethren! A mother does not give milk to her child until he cries and demands it. When a man feels thirsty he himself searches for water and God produces also water for him. When you yourself are not thirsty for water it will be useless even if a spring brimming with water were to come before you. You ought to first understand yourself what a great loss you are incurring by remaining ignorant of Deen. The Book of God is with you but you do not know what is written in it. What a greater loss can there be than this? You do not know even the meaning of Kalima by reciting which you enter Islam, nor do you know what responsibilities devolve on you soon after reciting this Kalima. Can there be a greater loss than this for a Muslim? You know the loss caused if crops are burnt; you know the suffering due to failure to obtain livelihood; you know the harm resulting from loss of property, but

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you do not know the loss of being unaware of Islam. When you will realize this loss then you will yourself come and ask to be saved from this loss. And when you will yourself make this request then Insha-Allah (may God will it so) arrangement will be made to protect you from this loss. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

39.00.00: Muslims have to have good manners to Non-Muslims:
39.01.00: Muslim Manners with the Non-Muslims Muslims are required to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people, namely those who received messages. Christians and Jews are called People of the Book. Muslims are asked to call upon the People of the Book for common terms, namely, to worship One God, and to work together for the solutions of the many problems in the society. Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims throughout centuries in the Middle East and other Asian and African countries. The second Caliph Omar, did not pray in the church in Jerusalem so as not to give the Muslims an excuse to take it over. Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Muslims. Jews fled from Spain during the Inquisition, and they were welcomed by the Muslims. They settled in the heart of the Islamic Caliphate. They enjoyed positions of power and authority. Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East.

40.00.00: The Religion of Islam:
40.01.00: DOES ISLAM RESPECT OTHER RELIGIONS? Islam is the first religion that recognized the presence of other religions and faiths. Islam honors and respects diversity. Islam asks

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the believers not to abuse or look down up on other faiths or followers of other faiths. 40.02.00: The Religion of Islam The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which was named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gotama Buddha, and Confucianism after Confucius and Marxism after Karl Marx. Nor was it named after a tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah" and as such, its name represents the central principle of Allah's "God's" religion; the total submission to the will of Allah "God". The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's will to the only true god worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone who does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies "peace" which is the natural consequence of total submission to the will of Allah. Hence, it was not a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) I in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the true religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form. Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of Allah, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent by Allah to mankind. The name of God's religion Islam was not decided upon by later generations of man. It was chosen by Allah Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the final book of divine revelation, the Qur'an, Allah states the following: "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion". [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:3] "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah (God) never will It be accepted of Him" [Surah Al-Imran 3:85] "Abraham was not a Jew nor Christian; but an upright Muslim." [Surah Al-Imran 3:67] Nowhere in the Bible will you find Allah saying to Prophet Moses' people or their descendants that their religion is Judaism, nor to the

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followers of Christ that their religion is Christianity. In fact, Christ was not even his name, nor was it Jesus! The name "Christ" comes from the Greek word Christos which means the anointed. That is, Christ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew title "Messiah". The name "Jesus" on the other hand, is a Latinized version of the Hebrew name Esau. For simplicity's sake, I will however continue to refer to Prophet Esau (PBUH) as Jesus. As for his religion, it was what he called his followers to. Like the prophets before him, he called the people to surrender their will to the will of Allah; (which is Islam) and he warned them to stay away from the false gods of human imagination. According to the New Testament, he taught his followers to pray as follows: "Yours will be done on earth as it is in Heaven".

41.00.00: The Message of Islam:
41.01.00: The Message of Islam Since the total submission of one's will to Allah represents the essence of worship, the basic message of Allah's divine religion, Islam is the worship of Allah alone and the avoidance of worship directed to any person, place or thing other than Allah. Since everything other than Allah, the Creator of all things is Allah's creation; it may be said that Islam, in essence calls man away from the worship of creation and invites him to worship only its Creator. He is the only one deserving man's worship as it is only by His will that prayers are answered. If man prays to a tree and his prayers are answered, it was not the tree which answered his prayers but Allah who allowed the circumstances prayed for to take place. One might say, "That is obvious," however, to tree-worshippers it might not be. Similarly, prayers to Jesus, Buddha, or Krishna, to Saint Christopher, or Saint Jude or even to Muhammad, are not answered by them but are answered by Allah. Jesus did not tell his followers to worship him but to worship Allah. As the Qur'an states: "And behold Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary Did you say to men, Worship me and my mother as gods besides Allah He will say-"Glory to you I could never say what I had no right (to say')" [Surah Al-Ma'idah- 5:116]

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Nor did he worship himself when he worshipped but rather he worshipped Allah. This basic principle is enshrined in the opening chapter of the Qur'aan, known as Surah Al-Faatihah, verse 4: "You alone do we worship and from you alone do we seek help". Elsewhere, in the final book of revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah also said: "And your Lord says:"Call on Me and I will answer your (prayer)."[Sursh Al-Mu'min, v.40:60] It is worth noting that the basic message of Islam is that Allah and His creation are distinctly different entities. Neither is Allah His creation or a part of it, nor is His creation Him or a part of Him. This might seem obvious, but, man's worship of creation instead of the Creator is to a large degree based on ignorance of this concept. It is the belief that the essence of Allah is everywhere in His creation or that His divine being is or was present in some aspects of His creation, which has provided justification for the worship of creation though such worship may be called the worship of Allah through his creation. How ever, the message of Islam as brought by the prophets of Allah is to worship only Allah and to avoid the worship of his creation either directly or indirectly. In the Our'an Allah clearly states: “For We assuredly sent amongst every people a prophet (with the command) worship means avoid false gods " [Surah An-Nahl 16:36] When the idol worshipper is questioned as to why he or she bows down to idols created by men, the invariable reply is that they are not actually worshipping the stone image, but Allah who is present within it. They claim that the stone idol is only a focal point for Allah's essence and is not in itself Allah! One who has accepted the concept of the presence of God's being within His creation in any way will be obliged to accept this argument of idolatry. Whereas, one who understands the basic message of Islam and its implications would never concede to idolatry no matter how it is rationalized. Those who have claimed divinity for themselves down through the ages have often based their claims on the mistaken belief that Allah is present in man. They merely had to assert that

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although Allah according to their false beliefs is in all of us, He is more present in them than in the rest of us. Hence, they claim, we should submit our will to them and worship them as they are either God in person or God concentrated within the person. Similarly, those who have asserted the godhood of others after their passing have found fertile ground among those who accept the false belief of God's presence in man. One who has grasped the basic message of Islam and its implications could never agree to worship another human being under any circumstances. God's religion in essence is a clear call to the worship of the Creator and the rejection of creation-worship in any form. This is the meaning of the motto of Islam: "Laa Elaaha lllallaah" (There is no god but Allah). It’s repetition automatically brings one within the fold of Islam and sincere belief in it guarantees one Paradise. Thus, the final Prophet of Islam is reported to have said, "Any one who says: There is no god but Allah and dies holding that (belief) will enter paradise". [Reported by Abu Dharr and collected by AlBukhari and Muslim] It consists in the submission to Allah as one God, yielding to Him by obeying His commandments, and the denial of polytheism and polytheists.

41.02.00: Facts about Islam:
"Islam" literally means "peace through submission to God". "Muslim" literally means "anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God". Islam is not a culture. Its followers number over 1.9 billion worldwide. Along with Judaism and Christianity, it is considered to be one of the three Abrahamic traditions. There are five pillars of practice in Islam. These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true Muslim: (A) Shahadah - declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God. (B) Formal prayer five times a day. (C) Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan.

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(D) Poor-due "tax" - 2.5% of one's savings given to the needy at the end of each year. (E) Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able. There are six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are belief in: (A) The One God. (B) All the prophets of God. (C) The original scriptures revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. (D) The angels. (E) The Day of Judgment and the Hereafter. (F) The divine decree (or destiny). Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life: moral, spiritual, social, political, economical, intellectual, etc. Allah is not the God of Muslims only. He is the God of all people and all creation. Just because people refer to God using different terms does not mean that they are different gods. Spanish people refer to God as "Dios" and French people refer to God as "Dieu", yet they are all the same God. Interestingly, most Arab Jews and Arab Christians refer to God as "Allah". And the word Allah in Arabic appears on the walls of many Arab churches. The Islamic concept of God is that He loves, merciful, and compassionate. But Islam also teaches that He is just and swift in punishment. Nevertheless, Allah once said to Prophet Muhammad, "My mercy prevails over my wrath." Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope, protecting one from both complacency and despair. Terrorism, unjustified violence, and the killing of innocent people are absolutely forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to bring peace to a society, whether its people are Muslim or not. The extreme actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be, among other things, a result of their ignorance or uncontrolled anger. Tyrant rulers and those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam are simply not following Islam. These people are

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individuals with their own views and political agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true Islamic teachings than Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh is of Christianity. Extremism and fanaticism is a problem that is common to all religious groups. The word "jihad means the inner struggle that one endures in trying to submit their will to the will of God. Some Muslims may say they are going for "jihad" when fighting in a war to defend themselves or their fellow Muslims, but they only say this because they are conceding that it will be a tremendous struggle. But there are many other forms of jihad which are more relevant to the everyday life of a Muslim such as the daily struggles against self-desire, the struggle against a tyrant ruler or against the temptation of Satan, etc., etc. Women are not oppressed in Islam. Any Muslim man that oppresses a woman is not following true Islam. Among the countless teachings of Prophet Muhammad which protected the rights and dignity of women is his saying,"...the best among you are those who treat their wives well." Islam grants Muslim women numerous rights in the home and in society. Among them are the right to work and earn money, the right to financial support, the right to an education, the right to an inheritance, the right to being treated kindly, the right to vote and representation on a board, the right to a dowry, the right to keep their maiden name, the right to worship in a mosque, etc., All Muslims are not Arab. Islam is a universal religion and way of life which includes followers from all races of people. There are Muslims in and from virtually every country in the world. Arabs only constitute about 20% of Muslims worldwide. Indonesia has the largest concentration of Muslims with over 120 million. [Dr.Ibrahim Dremali]

42.00.00: Tawheed or Oneness of God:
42.01.00: TAWHEED: The Backbone of Islamic Faith Literally Tawheed means to make something one or to call it one. In English when something is made one, it is considered unified. However, in Islamic terminology Tawheed means to believe that Allah is the one and only true God, and He alone deserves to be

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worshipped. Tawheed is sometimes referred to as monotheism. However, in its purest sense in the Islamic definition is that no other entity can in any way have Allah's perfect attributes or be equivalent or even in competition with Him. All acts of worship that a person does should be directed to Allah or for Allah Alone. For example, prayer should only be directed to Allah, religious animal sacrifice should only be done in Allah's name, or fighting to establish and protect religion (Jihaad) should be done for His sake. Tawheed is therefore the central concept upon which all of Islam rests. It is the core belief ('aqeedah) around which everything revolves. Indeed, it is the Islamic position regarding the belief in Allah that makes it unique among the world's religions. Other religions claim to worship one God (monotheism), such as Christianity and Judaism, yet unlike the Islamic concept of God, they either attribute to men what befits only God or they attribute various weaknesses, faults and failings to Him that do not befit His Majesty and are instead more suited to His creation. In the Islamic concept of Allah, none of the weaknesses, failings or needs of the creation can be applied to Him. He is indeed not of a particular race nor does He favor any particular race among His creation except those who are most devoted to Him. Muslims believe in Allah as He or His Prophet have described in the Quraan or the authentic hadeeth that is, the authenticated statements of the Prophet Muhammad himself, sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam. His primary function was to teach mankind about Allah and correct their wrong ideas. People have no right to interject or interpret what they have no ability to comprehend on their own. Whatever people have made up regarding Allah without any basis from the final revelation of the Quraan and Sunnah is purely conjecture from their minds. The Sunnah is literally the manner and way of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). The reports of his speech, actions and tacit approvals are called hadeeth and from these reports scholars derive the Sunnah. The terms hadeeth and Sunnah are sometimes used synonymously.

43.00.00: CREATOR AND CREATION
Islamic teachings describe only two states of being: God the creator, and the Creation. God tells us in the Qur’an that He does not beget,

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nor is He begotten. Begetting offspring, eating, resting, sleeping are all characteristics of created things. God is All-Powerful and is able to do all things. He merely says to it “Be”, and it is. Such as the case of the miraculous birth of Prophet Jesus, the creation of the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them. Every human being has responsibilities to the Creator, and these are referred to as the 5 Pillars of Islam. Then there are responsibilities to one’s family, to one’s neighbors, to the community, to the nation, to humankind, and to all of God is other creation, whether animate or inanimate. Muslims believe that each of us will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment, and will receive reward or punishment, based upon how well he carried out his responsibilities to the Creator, and to His creation in this life. All beings in the heavens and on earth declare God’s glory; all bounties are in His hand; all faces shall be humbled before him; all good is from Him; all honor is with Him; He brings to light what is hidden; creates what He wills; He created all things in due proportions and truth; encompasses all things including unbelievers; enlarges the provision and restricts it; feeds but is not fed; gives life, sustenance, and wealth without measure; knows all that we reveal or conceal; knows the secrets of the heart; is the best of the planners; listens to the distress; listens to those who believe and do righteous deeds; loves those who believe, are kind, just, make themselves pure, and put their trust in Him. In verse 152, Chapter 2 of the Holy Qur’an, God says to His creation: ”Then do ye remember me; I will remember you. Be grateful to me, and reject not Faith.” [www.understandingislam.org]

43.01.00: CREATION OF UNIVERSE
Fourteen hundred years ago, in the 7th Century AD, the Qur’an vividly described the creation of universe, and the creation of life on earth. The Qur’an revealed, that the heavens and the earth were one mass before God ripped them apart, and that the universe is expanding.

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Translation of Verse 30 Chapter 21 of the Qur’an reads: “Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and We made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?” The translation of Verse 47 Chapter 51 of the Qur’an reads: “We have built the heaven with might, and We it is who make the vast extent – thereof.” The first reference is strikingly similar to the widely accepted “BigBang” theory, and Edwin Hubble confirmed the second in 1925. Today we know that the sun, a massive star, travels more than 17 million kilometers a day, and the moon revolves around the earth. The translation of Verses 38–40 of Chapter 36 of the Qur’an describes the motions of the celestial’s bodies: “And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term appointed. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. And the moon, We have measured for it destinations, till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day; they each swim, each with its own motion.” Verse 61 Chapter 25 of the Qur’an further describes the celestial bodies. The sun is described as a ‘lamp’ or ‘torch’, but the moon is simply described as a ‘borrower’ or ‘reflector’ of light. “Blessed be He Who hath placed in the heaven mansions of the stars, and hath placed therein a great lamp and a moon giving light.” [www.understandingislam.org]

44.00.00: Family:
44.01.00: WHY IS THE FAMILY SO IMPORTANT TO MUSLIMS? The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious

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social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry. Children are the blessing of God. Good parenting in the light of Islam has high merits, bringing near God.

45.00.00: Muslim Women
45.01.00: WHAT ABOUT MUSLIM WOMEN? Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right 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. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs. The Messenger of God said: 'The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife.' 45.02.00: What is the position of Women in Islam? Many books have been written on this topic. It follows, then that any answer given here must necessarily be incomplete, barely scratching the surface. Accordingly, we will address only two aspects of question: A) Do women in Islam have equality with men? B) Are Muslim women required to wear the head coverings? A) Before Islam came to the seventh century Arabs; they were a loosely organized society of tribes who were constantly warring with each other. Women in this pre-Islamic society, known as the age of ignorance, were truly second-class citizens. They were completely dominated by men, and had no opportunities to reverse these oppressive conditions. Typical of their status was the fact that they were prevented from inheriting property. When a parent died, his property was divided among his sons. His daughters got nothing. Actually, it was worse than that. For example, a son could inherit

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his father’s wife (assuming, of course, she was not his mother). Children, too (both male and female) were also excluded from their “rightful” inheritance. Then along came Prophet Mohammed and revelations, bringing a message of equality for all, for men and women {for} master and servants. In its own words, the Qur’an makes the case: “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.” 4:19 “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.” 33:35 “And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, (to support their allegations), flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;” 24:4 “And We have enjoined on man (To be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.” 31:14 B) On the matter of whether Muslim women are required to wear the head coverings, following are the instruction in the Qur’an: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”

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“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss”. (24: 30-31) “O Prophet! tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (33:59) The Qur’an requires both men and women to dress modestly. How that modesty is expressed is interpreted differently from one society to another, from one time to another. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali]

46.00.00: Marriage in Islam:
46.01.00: What Is Marriage In Islam? Islam regards male and female as equals before god. Marriage in Islam is a contract between two equals. The wife does not necessarily have to carry the husband’s name. Divorce is permissible but is to be avoided.

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46.02.00: Can A Muslim Have More Than One Wife? The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair. 46.03.00: What is the authority for a Muslim having several wives? The Qur'an and Traditions authorize the Muslim to marry only four wives; i.e. he may divorce one of the four and take another, but he may not at any one time have more than four legitimate wives. However the great majority of Muslims in the world today have only one wife at a time, and some Muslims have reinterpreted the statement of the Qur'an, saying that the verse really upholds monogamy as the ideal form of marriage. (4, Nisa 3 with 128/129). 46.04.00: Is An Islamic Marriage Like A Christian Marriage? A Muslim marriage is not a 'sacrament', but a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. As a result, divorce is not common, although it is not forbidden as a last resort. According to Islam, no Muslim girl can be forced to marry against her will: her parents will simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.

47.00.00: Hijab
47.01.00: What is Purdah? Purdah is the seclusion of women "for God". The Qur'an commanded that Muhammad's wives should remain in their houses and be seen by no adult males other than slaves and close relatives. (33 Ahzab 33: 55).

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Many Muslims have secluded their women-folk in order to follow the example of Muhammad. But other Muslims take this as a command to Muhammad only, or as ancient custom unsuited to modern times. A majority of Muslim women are not now secluded. Again, many Muslims consider that 33, 59 mean that a woman's face should be completely covered when she goes outside the house; others take it to mean simply covering the head and body. [See in details in the book of ‘Garment what’s and Why’ or ‘Garment Hijab Niqab Purdah’: Akm Fakhrul Islam]

48.00.00: Islam and War
48.01.00: What Does Islam Say About War? Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense 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 Quran 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. 48.02.00: Defense of Islam Though the defense of Islam is not a fundamental tenet but its need and importance have been repeatedly emphasized in the Qur'an and the Hadith. It is in essence a test of our sincerity and truthfulness as believers in Islam. If we do not defend one whom we call our friend against intrigues or assaults from his foes, nor care for his interest

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and are guided solely by selfishness we are indeed false pretenders of friendship. Similarly if we profess belief in Islam we must jealously guard and uphold the prestige of Islam. Our sole guide in our conduct must be the interest of Muslim at large and the service of Islam in the face of which all our personal considerations must sink low. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 48.03.00: Jihad Jihad is a part of this overall defense of Islam. Jihad means struggle to the utmost of one's capacity. A man who exerts himself physically or mentally or spends his wealth in the way of Allah is indeed engaged in Jihad. But in the language of the Shari'ah this word is used particularly for the war that is waged solely in the name of Allah and against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice of lives devolves an all Muslims. If however a section of the Muslims offer themselves for participating in the Jihad the whole community is absolved of its responsibility. But if none comes forward everybody is guilty. This concession vanishes for the citizens of an Islamic State when it is attacked by a non-Muslim power. In that case everybody must come forward for the Jihad. If the country attacked has not strength enough to fight back then it is the religious duty of the neighboring Muslim countries to help her if even they fail then the Muslims of the whole world must fight the common enemy. In all these cases Jihad is as much a primary duty of the Muslims concerned as are the daily prayers or fasting. One who shirks it is a sinner. He is plainly a hypocrite who fails in the test of sincerity and all his 'Ibadat and prayers are a sham a worthless hollow show of devotion. [Towards Understanding Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 48.04.00: Real objective of Islam Briefly speaking, it would be enough to state that the real objective of Islam is to remove the lordship of man over man and to establish the kingdom of God on Earth. To stake one's life and everything else to achieve this purpose is called Jihad' while Salah, fasting, Hajj and Zakat are all meant as a preparation for this task. But as you have since long forgotten this objective as well as the task entrusted to you, and because all 'Ibadaat have been turned into mere Tasawwuf, the meaning I have tried to convey in one small sentence

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will be regarded by you as an enigma. Therefore I shall present before you an elucidation of this objective. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 48.05.00: Root of evils---rotten political system The root of all the evils you find in the world lies in the bad character of the government. Power and wealth rest in the hand of the government. Laws are framed by the government. All the authority of administration is exercised by the government. The force of Police and Army is in the hands of the government. Therefore whatever evils there are in the life of the people, are either spread by the government itself or with its help, because the power required making anything prevail rest with the government. As an example, you notice that adultery is openly indulged in and is carried on publicly in brothels. What is the reason? The reason is nothing else except that adultery is not a crime in the eyes of those who hold governmental power. They are themselves used to it and allow others to do it. Otherwise if they wanted to stop it, this evil could not be carried on with such impunity. You notice that usury is rampant and the rich are sucking the blood of the poor. Why is it so? This is just because the government itself takes usury and helps those who take it. Its courts pass decrees in favour of usurers and it is with its support that big money-lending houses and banks are flourishing. You notice that indecency and immorality are increasing in the people. Why is it so? This is merely because the government has made arrangements to impart this very king of education and training to the people and it appreciates these models of morality and humanity which you witness. If you want to produce other types of human beings through a different kind of education and training, wherefrom will you get the resources? And even if you produce a few of a good type, where will they get the jobs? All the sources of livelihood and employment are in the hands of the wrong type of government. You notice that blood shedding is going on extensively in the world. Human knowledge is being used for destruction. The fruits of man's labour are being put to fire, and precious lives are being destroyed with greater callousness than are pieces of clay done away with. Why is it so? This is just because the most wicked and mischievous from among the children of Adam are holding the reins of authority and leadership of the nations of the world. Since power is in their hands, the world is going towards the

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direction they want to take it. Whatever purpose they have prescribed for the use of knowledge, wealth, labour and life, every one of them is being utilized for those purposes. You notice that oppression is being perpetrated everywhere in the world. There is no justice anywhere for the weak. The life of the poor man is difficult. Courts have become shops of traders wherefrom justice is bought in return for money. People are subjected to exorbitant taxes which are being wasted on high salaries of officers, on big buildings, on purchase of armaments and other extravagant expenditures. Moneylenders, zamindars, Rajas and Nawabs, title-holders and title-seeker dignitaries, gaddi-occupying Pirs and Mahants, cinema-proprietors, wine-dealers, publishers of obscene books and magazines, owners of gambling dens and many such people are ruining the life, wealth, honour, morality and everything of God's creation and there is nobody to check them. Why is all this happening? Simply because the government is out of gear. The hands that hold power are bad. They themselves commit oppression and also side with oppressors. And whatever oppression is being perpetrated is due to the face that they want it to be done or are at least tolerant of it. You must have understood from these examples that the ignoble character of a government is the root of all evils. The pollution of people's thoughts, the degeneration of morals, the diversion of human capacities and capabilities into wrong channels, the prevalence of wrong concepts of business and dealings, bad methods of living, the prevalence of oppression and misdeeds and destruction of God's creation, all these result from one thing : the keys of authority and power being in wrong hands. It is obvious that when power will rest in the hands of wrong people and when the resources of livelihood will be under their control, then they will not only themselves spread distortions but every type of malformation will also prevail with their help and support, and as long as power is in their hands, no reform of anything will take place. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 48.06.00: First step towards reform--improvement of government Having grasped this point, it will be easy for you to understand that in order to affect reforms among the people and to bring them on the path of well-being and righteousness after rescuing them from the path of destruction, there is no other remedy except to set right the

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mutilated shape of government. A man of ordinary sense can understand this point that where people are quite free to commit adultery, no amount of sermons can put a stop to it. But if after getting hold the power of government adultery is stopped by force, people will themselves give up this illicit course and take to the licit one. It will be impossible to succeed if you want to stop by means of sermons the evils of drinking, gambling, usury, bribery, obscene shows, indecent dress, unethical education, and such other things. Of course, with the force of government these evils can be exterminated. It will in no way be possible through advice and preaching to make those people give up their booties who plunder God's creation and ruin their morals. Of course if you take power in your hand and end their mischief by force, then all these evils can be stopped. If you want that the labour, wealth, intelligence and ability of God's creation are rescued from being wasted in wrong channels and are utilized in the right directions, if you wish to see oppression rooted out and the justice prevail, if you desire that there be no mischief on the earth, that man should neither suck nor shed the blood of man, that the lot of depressed and fallen human beings be ameliorated and all human beings be granted equal opportunities of having honour, peace, prosperity and progress, then this task cannot be achieved by mere preaching and exhortation. Of course, if you have the power of government in your hand, all this is quite possible. So this is an obvious matter requiring no great thinking, that no scheme of reform for the people can be implemented without acquiring control of the government machinery. Whoever really wants to root out mischief and chaos from God's earth and is genuinely anxious to ameliorate the condition of God's creation, it is useless for him to work as a mere preacher. He should stand up to finish the government run on wrong principles, snatch power from wrongdoers and establish a government based on correct principles and following a proper system.[Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 48.07.00: Basis of ignoble government---man's rule over man After grasping this point, go a step further. You have come to know that the cause of the evils which spread among God's servants is a bad government and that it is necessary for reforming it to set right the root-cause. But the question now arises as to what is the basic cause of the badness of the government itself; where is the root of

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this evil; and what basic reform should be effected in it in order to wipe out the evils mentioned above? The answer to this question is that the lordship of man is over man is the root-cause and there is no other method of reform except that there should be sovereignty of God over man. Do not be surprised at hearing such a brief answer to such a big question. You may do any amount of research work to probe into this question but you will get the same answer as I have given you. Just ponder whether the earth you live upon has been made by God or by some other being? The human beings who inhabit this earth have been created by God or by somebody else? All these countless necessities of life, on which depends the sustenance of man have been provided by God or by somebody else? If the answer to these questions is only this that the earth, the human beings and all these materials have been created by God alone, then it means that the land belongs to God, the wealth belongs to God and the people also belong to God, the wealth belongs to God and the people also belong to God. When this is the situation, how can anybody become their claimant so as to run his writ in the land of God? How can it be considered correct to govern God's subjects by any other law except that of God or by a law made by the subjects themselves? How can your intellect accept the position that the subjects themselves? How can your intellect accept the position that the land is owned by one being and the writ runs there of another being, that a property belongs to one person and some other person becomes its owner, that the subjects belong to one authority and some other authority rules over them ? Such a happening is clearly against justice. And because this is against justice, wherever and whenever such a situation is found, the result is always bad. Those persons who get power to make laws and run their writ bound to commit blunders due to ignorance, while some of them deliberately perpetrate oppression and injustice in order to satisfy their corporeal urges. The reason is that firstly they do not possess enough knowledge to frame correct laws and rules to conduct human affairs, and, far more dangerous than this, is the fact that, being unmindful of the fear of God and of accountability to Him, they become reckless and unbridled. It is quite easy to understand that after gaining authority and power, what else will a man become except an unbridled individual who has no fear of God, who has no thought of being accountable to anybody, and who considers in his own way that there is no one above him to question

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what he does. Do you think that such a person will stick to truth and justice when he holds in his heads the key to providing food to the people, when he controls the life and property of the masses, when lakhs of heads bow to his command? Can you expect him to prove a trustee of public treasury? Can you hope that he will abstain from violating people's rights, from taking illicit money and from subjugating God's creation in accordance with his own whims and desires? Do you regard it possible that such a person will himself follow the right path and make others to walk on that path? Never, Never! Such a happening is irrational. The experience of thousands of years testifies to the contrary. You are today witnessing with your own eyes that to what extent those who feel no fear of God and are heedless of accountability in the Hereafter, have become oppressive, betrayers of trust and evil-doers after they have acquired power. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi] 48.08.00: Basis of reform---God's lordship over man Therefore the reform needed in the very basis of the government is that there should not be lordship of man over man but that of God over man. Those who run the government must not become supreme sovereigns but, recognising God as their Sovereign, they must work as his deputy and trustee and must fulfil their responsibilities with the consciousness that ultimately they have to submit an account of their trust to that Monarch Who is the Knower of the seen and unseen. The law should be based on the guidance of that God Who has knowledge of all realities and is the fountainhead of wisdom. Nobody should have the power to change this law or to amend it or to cancel it so that it may not be distorted due to the infusion of human ignorance, selfishness and improper desires. This is that basic reform that Islam wants to introduce. Islam demands from those who accept God as their sovereign (not imaginary but real sovereign) and affirm faith in the law sent by Him through His Prophet (peace be upon him), that they should gird up their points to enforce their Monarch's laws in His land and break the power of the rebels among His subjects who have become supreme sovereigns, and rescue Allah's subjects from becoming subjects of others. In the eyes of Islam it is certainly not enough for you to believe God as God and His law as true law. Simultaneous with your faith in these two verities, the duty devolves on you that wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must get up there for the reform of

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God's creation, try to transform the wrong principles of government into correct principles, snatch away the power of legislation and lordship from those who do not fear God and are unbridled. And then taking over the leadership and superintendence of God's servants, conduct the affairs of the government in accordance with God's laws and with belief in their responsibility and accountability in the Hereafter as also in God being the Knower of the unseen. The name of this striving is Jihad. [Fundamentals of Islam: Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

49.00.00: Food
49.01.00: What About Food? Although much simpler than the dietary law followed by Jews and the early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids the consumption of pig meat or any kind of intoxicating drink. The Prophet taught that 'your body has rights over you’ and the consumption of wholesome food and the leading of a healthy lifestyle are seen as religious obligations. The Prophet (SAW) said: 'Ask God for certainty [of faith] and wellbeing; for after certainty, no one is given any gift better than health!'

50.00.00: Human Rights
50.01.00: How Does Islam Guarantee Human Rights? Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Quran 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:

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'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 piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware'. (49:13)

Mosque in New Mexico, U.S.A.

Iran

Mali

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University Mosque of Al Azhar - a center of learning since 969 AD.

51.00.00: Angels and Spirits
What are the angels and spirits spoken of in the Qur'an? Angels are represented in the Qur'an as special messengers of God. As intermediaries, they transmit God's commands to mankind. The Qur'an and Traditions speak of Jibril (Gabriel) who brought the word of God to Muhammad; Mika'il (Michael who watches over the world; Israfil who will sound the trumpet at the last judgment; 'Azra'il the archangel of death, and Iblis (Satan) cursed by God because he refused to prostrate before Adam. The spirits (in Arabic, "jinn") may be evil (demond) or good spirits. Believers seek refuge with God against evil spirits, especially by repeating the two final suras, "Falaq" and "Nas".

52.00.00: Hereafter or the Day of Judgment
52.01.00: How is the Last Judgment described? By combining teaching of the Qur'an with Traditions, we get the following picture: At the first trumpet-sound, all living things will die. At the second trumpet, the angel Israfil will call men back to life; then will come the Last Judgment, and every soul will be weighed. "On that day shall men come forward in throngs to behold their works, and he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it, and he who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it". (99, Zilzal 6-8). In order to reach Paradise, the elected ones will, without

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any difficulty, cross over a bridge as narrow as a thread and as sharp as a razor. Sinful Muslims may manage to cross, but it will be a painful ordeal for them; the time they spend in crossing will be according to the number of their sins; the terror of this ordeal will have a purifying effect on them. The unbelievers, as soon as they mount the bridge, will fall into hell, gehenna (aljahannam).

53.00.00: Some Question’s and answered By: Dr. Ibrahim Dremali
53.01.00: When is the Day of Judgment? Only Allah knows. 53.02.00: Are there signs for the Day of Judgment? Plenty. Many have already occurred. To name a few: *Objects will begin to talk. Like TV, Radio, and so on. *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). 53.03.00: What is it that keeps us from entering Heaven? Worship of anyone other than Allah is the greatest sin. It is called shirk, and this is not forgiven except through repentance. 53.04.00: Do we believe that Allah created the heavens and earth in 6 days? Yes, we do. 53.05.00: What is the weighing of souls? Men's deeds will be weighed in a kind of balance, and woe to him whose good deeds weigh lighter than his evil deeds; he is lost!

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53.06.00: In the Muslim view, who are the damned? The supreme sin, according to Islam, is "Shirk” that is, "associating" someone else with God, believing in more than one God. Next, he who does not know the distinction between "pure" and "impure", and so disobeys the prohibitions of the Qur'an, he also is lost. The Qur'an gives to unbelievers the name "Kafirun" or "Kuffar". 53.07.00: What is sin, according to the Muslim view? Sin, to the Muslim, is either a saying which blasphemes against God, or an act which breaks the Muslim rules of prohibition. In short, sin is any word or act which breaks the law, for which God may punish us or demand penance. This differs from the Christian idea of a condition or state of sinfulness, in which man is immersed (like a fish in the sea) and from which he can never extract himself. Again, Christians regard sin as something that grieves God and breaks the communion between man and God (Isaiah 59: 2; 1 John 1:6, Psalm 78: 40; Ephesians 4:30). But Muslims do not normally think of sin in this way, for they feel that the infinitely great Creator is in no way affected or hurt by the actions of His creatures. Christians and Muslims often misunderstand one another's religious language, when they are not aware of these different usages of the word "sin". 53.08.00: Are there major and minor sins? Traditions distinguish between different sins. The most serious are "Shirk" the only sin which the Qur'an declares God will not pardon (5, Nisa 51/48); then, apostasy (i.e. abandonment of Muslim faith), refusal to be converted to Islam, declaring the Prophet to be a liar, killing a Muslim, committing adultery, ill-treating father or mother, and running away in battle. 53.09.00: How do Muslims think of God's forgiveness? As the Muslim idea of sin is different from the Christian's, so the ideas of forgiveness are different. To Christians, God's forgiveness means that He removes the barrier between man and Himself (especially, through the atonement He provided in Jesus Christ), and reconciles us, brings us back here and now into fellowship and peace with Him. But to Muslims, God's forgiveness is that in the Last Judgment He will pardon or "overlook" sins for which He might have exacted a penalty. As a great King who can do whatever

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He pleases and no one can question, God punishes whom He will and pardons whom He will. (3, Ali 'Imran 124/129: 5, Ma'ida 118). Even though souls are weighed in the Last Day, our deeds cannot affect God's decision. Therefore no Muslim can declare that he has already earned or received forgiveness--it is at the Last Day that we shall know. Nevertheless, Muslims do commonly assume that the righteous Muslim will go to Paradise, God overlooking his minor sins; and that the unrighteous Muslim who repents will also reach Paradise, his sins being either pardoned, or cleansed by punishment. But (they say) we cannot know the fate of the unrighteous Muslim who does not repent; while unbelievers will certainly perish in the fire, unless they are converted to Islam. 53.10.00: Why is it said that a man remains in the grave according to the number of his sins? According to Tradition, as soon as a man is buried in the grave, two angels appear and the dead man stands up in the tomb to undergo an examination. This applies both to believer and unbeliever. When the Muslim believer is questioned, he declares that Allah is the One God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God, then he can lie down peacefully to await the Last Day. Those who cannot make this reply are severely beaten, for as long as God pleases. 53.11.00: Are there people predestined to heaven or hell? Since the final decision is with God, who from all eternity knows each of his creatures, Islam believes that He has predestined some to Paradise and some to hell. Man cannot know in advance which side he will be on; but at the Last Day he will be given his "book of destiny", either into the right hand or into the left hand. Those receiving it in the right hand are those destined to salvation, those of the left hand are the ones who were destined to perdition. This doctrine of predestination does not however exclude all human responsibility. Theologians explain that man must be his own will "acquire" the actions which God has predestined for him. 53.12.00: Do we have free will? Answer: Yes, of course. Allah does not punish us for something we did not do on our own. At the same time, our will is not inspired of Allah's will. We cannot do anything if Allah does not allow it. In

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other words nothing goes on in Allah's kingdom without His knowledge. 53.13.00: Did Allah create evil? Answer: 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. 53.13.00: Who are my best friends? Answer: Your best friends are the ones that care where you go after you are dead. This is how the prophets acted. They cared that we go to heaven, even if it meant some hardship on earth. 53.14.00: Who is my worst enemy? Answer: 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. Whether we get rich or do wrong things that we appear to enjoy, he does not care, but he wants to make sure we don't go to heaven.

54.00.00: Pure and Impure in Islam
What is "pure" and "impure" in Islam? The question of ritual purity plays a most important part in the religious education given to Muslims, and the details are extremely subtle. In general, defiling objects are as follows:1. Wine and other alcoholic drinks (strictly forbidden in the Qur'an); 2. Dogs (which may be kept only for hunting, or to guard house or flocks); 3. Pigs; 4. "Mayta" (i.e. an animal that has died other than by ritual throat-cutting; 5. Blood; 6. Excreta (i.e. all that comes out of the body of men or animals, except saliva, sweat, tears and mucous);

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7. In certain regions, a corpse, or the living body of a nonMuslim. Also, certain acts cause a man to be in a stage of ritual impurity:-e.g. urination and excretion, sexual relations, and menstruation.

55.00.00: Worship
55.01.00: Concept of Worship Islam does not teach or accept mere Ritualism. It emphasizes intention and action. To worship God is to know Him and Love Him, to act upon His laws in every aspect of life, to enjoin goodness and forbid evil and oppression, to practice charity and justice and to serve Him by serving mankind. Islam seeks to implant in man's heart the strongest conviction that his every thought and action are with God, Who sees him at all times and in all places. The Qu'ran presents this concept in the following sublime manner: "It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but righteous is he who believes in God and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets; and gives his wealth for the love of Him to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observes proper worship and pays the Zakat. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and are patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress, such are those who are sincere and such are the God fearing". (Holy Qu'ran) 55.02.00: Acts of Worship The basic principle of worship in Islam states that every action of an individual that is carried out to fulfill God's will and is to seek God's pleasure is an act of worship and will be rewarded. According to this principle, for a Muslim to go to work to earn a living, for a father or mother to provide for their children, for a spouse to love and care for the spouse, for parents to raise their children and even to play with their children, and so on, is an act of worship that will be rewarded by God. In addition, there are five obligatory acts of worship, which are also called the five pillars of Islam. The purpose of worship is to remember God, to strengthen the individual's faith and submission

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to God and to solidify the individual's character. This process is to make the individual a better and more useful member of the society. These acts of worship are obligatory to all Muslims at all times and places, except when someone is unable to perform them because of age, sickness, lack of financial resources or the fear of persecution. [Mohammad I. Hussain, M.D.]

55.00.00: Religious Practice
55.01.00: How does the Muslim practice his religion? The Muslim practices his religion primarily by obeying the prohibitions laid down in the Traditions, and by observing what are called the "Pillars of Islam". There are five pillars:1. The Shahada, or confession of faith 2. The Salat, or Ritual Prayer 3. The Zakat, or Ritual Almsgiving 4. The sawm, or Fast in the month of Ramadhan 5. The Hajj, or Pilgrimage to Mecca. 55.01.00: What is the Shahada? The Shahada (Confession of faith) consists in declaring "I bear witness that there is no divinity but God; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God". In Arabic, "Ashhadu an-lailaha illa'llahu; wa-ash-hadu an-na Muhammadan-A’bduhu warasuluhu". This formula must be repeated frequently, especially on conversion to Islam, on hearing the call to Prayer, in the Prayer itself, and at the point of death. 55.02.00: Ablution What is the purpose of Ablutions? Tradition records that Muhammad said, "Ritual purity is the half of faith and the key of Prayer". The acts and objects which cause ritual defilement makes one unfit to perform the Prayer. Therefore a Muslim must know how to purify himself before Prayer. For some defiling acts and objects, a "lesser ablution" is sufficient; this is done by touching with water the face, the hands and arms up to the elbows, the head (rubbed with a wet hand), and the feet up to the ankles, etcetera. All this must be done exactly according to rule. In some other cases the "greater ablution" is necessary; for this a complete bath is needed, so that every part of the body may be touched by water. Pure or running water should be used, but if this

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is not available the worshipper may purify himself with sand or dust, first making a declaration of his intention.

55.00.00: Prayer or Salat
55.01.00: What are the actions of the Prayer? There are four main postures in the Ritual Prayer; standing (Arabic, iqama); bowing (ruku') with hands resting on the knees; prostration (sujud) in which the knees first touch the ground, the worshipper sits on his hells, then bends forward so that hands and first nose then forehead touch the ground; and sitting (julus) on the hells, the body upright, hands on thighs, fingers slightly apart (not together), eyes lowered (but not shut). There are many other complicated details, and a mistake in the actions or in the words may nullify the whole prayer, so that the worshipper must start again at the beginning…..There is also ablution before the Prayer, and at the beginning a declaration of the intention to offer a certain number of prayer-cycles. 55.02.00: What are the words of the Prayer? The words of the Prayer must be recited in Arabic, and consist of praise to God and request for God's blessing. Here is the meaning of some parts of it:-"God is most great…holiness to Thee, O God and praise to Thee…I seek refuge with god from the cursed Satan…God hears him who praises Him…O God, have mercy on Muhammad and on his descendents, as Thou didst have mercy on Abraham and his descendents…O God, bless Muhammad and his descendents…O God, our Lord, give us the blessings of this life and also the blessings of the life to come, save us from the torments of fire…The peace and mercy of God be with you". Some short passages of the Qur'an are recited, always including the 1st Surah (Fatiha) and often the 112th (Ikhlas). Note that there is no "Confession of Sin" and Declaration of Forgiveness, as these are found in Christian worship; also in the Ritual Prayer there is no idea of intimate communion with God, listening to Him and telling Him our personal hopes and wants. However, after the end of the Ritual Prayer there is a place where quiet personal supplication may be offered in the vernacular.

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55.03.00: What are the times of Prayer? 1. Between the first light and sunrise (Arabic: Subh or Salatul Fajr or Fajr Prayer); 2. After midday, but before the sun has declined half way (Salatuz Zuhr or Juhr Prayer); 3. After Zuhr, till just before sunset (Salatul Asr or Asr Prayer); 4. After sunset, till nightfall (Salatul Maghrib or Maghrib Prayer); and 5. After nightfall, till midnight (Salatul 'Isha or Isha Prayer). The Prayer must not be performed at the moment of sunrise or sunset and exactly in the midday, to avoid any impression that the sun is the object of worship. 55.04.00: Is the Prayer performed only five times a day? No, these five times are obligatory, but the zealous Muslim may add Prayers at other prescribed times, and this is recommended as meritorious. Other Nafl or extra Prayer or Salat are: a. Salatul Tahazzad in the midnight, b. Salatul Awabin in between Salatul Maghrib and Salatul Isha, c. Salatul Ishraq after sunset, Salatul Chast in between Ishraq and midday. Friday Jumua’ Prayer is obligatory for all the Muslims. Salatul Eidul Fitr at the end of Ramadan and Salatul Eidul Azha in the Arabic month 10th or 11th or 12 day of Zihajj which are Wazib or obligatory for all Muslims. Salatul Janaja is being performed after the death and before the buried of all the Muslims. 55.05.00: What is the direction of the Prayer? The worshipper faces Mecca, and in particular the shrine Kaaba. Anyone who performs the Prayer in this direction is recognized as a Muslim, and the direction is taken up in many other circumstances-an animal being sacrificed is turned towards Mecca; the dead are buried with the face towards Mecca.

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55.06.00: Who leads the Prayer? In principle, any respected Muslim who knows how to do so may lead the Prayer. The Leader is called the Imam, but this is not a "priesthood" or "order" to which he is ordained. The Imam is in no sense an intermediary between God and the believer; his function is merely to say the Prayer aloud and clearly, so that all may perform the actions and repeat the words in unison. However, in practice there is generally one particular man, well-trained in the Qur'an, who is appointed to lead the Prayer at a particular mosque, and he may be paid for his services. 55.07.00: Who is an Imam? Literally, the word “Imam” means he who stands in front of others, hence the person who leads a congregation or group prayer. In actual practice, an Imam is an Islamic religious leader. Generally, he is the leader of a congregation, although that is not a necessary condition for being an Imam. Traditionally, the person selected by the community to be an Imam is the one among them who is most knowledgeable about the Qur’an and Hadith. [Dr. Ibrahim Dremali] 55.08.00: Where may the Prayer be performed? It may be performed in any place that is ritually pure, not defiled by one of the objects or creatures pronounced unclean. Any space set aside for Prayer becomes a Mosque--it is not necessary to have a building. No dogs may enter, no blood must be spilt, and humans must not relieve themselves there. But there is generally no prohibition on resting, talking, eating and even sleeping in a mosque. 55.09.00: Why is it necessary to remove the shoes before entering a Mosque? Since a mosque must be ritually pure, it is advisable not to enter with shoes which may have touched something impure. Therefore it is customary to leave footwear at the door and enter bare-footed.

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55.10.00: Why are women (or young women) generally excluded from the mosque? Women must not enter the mosque during their menstrual period; therefore they are often strongly discouraged from entering the mosque at all, in case they might carelessly come in a state of impurity. However, their presence is not actually forbidden by Muslim law--women pilgrims do enter the Sacred Mosque at Mecca. A woman past the age of childbearing may be made responsible for cleaning the mosque, and may occupy a modest place at the back to join in the Prayer. 55.11.00: Why do Muslims go to the Mosque on Friday? Every Friday the men of the Muslim community should perform the noon Prayer all together and hear a sermon. This corporate Prayer demonstrates the solidarity of the community, and is considered to have great merit in God's sight. It is prescribed by 62, Jumu'a 9; according to Tradition Adam both entered and left Paradise on a Friday, and the Day of Resurrection will be a Friday! However, in Muslim law Friday is not a day of rest, like the Jewish Sabbath. 55.12.00: What is the Muslim Rosary (Subha or Tasbih)? The Rosary is not peculiar to Islam, but was adopted by Islam from other religions. It helps the worshipper to count the number of his invocation or prayers. For example, it is recommended to recite 100 times the formula "There is no god but Allah, without partner; to Him the kingdom, to Him praise, and He is over all; the power". The Rosary often has 100 beads--one for "Allah" and 99 for His "excellent names". It is used especially during Ramadhan, when God is thought to take special account of men's good deeds. 55.13.00: Why have Muslims propagated their religion by warfare? We must say first that Muslims are by no means the only people to have propagated their religion by warfare! But in Muslim law, "Holy War" (Jihad) has been considered as an obligation imposed by God and his Prophet (9 Tawba 5). The religion of Islam must be spread to the entire world, by force if need be. Idolatry is the

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greatest evil that exists, so warfare is considered legitimate as a means to rid the world of this evil. Idolaters may be forced to convert to Islam, on pain of death or enslavement. It is an act of piety (in Islam) to make converts in this way, and the Muslim who dies fighting "in the way of God" is thought to go straight to Paradise. However, there are two important qualifications to this traditional Muslim outlook. Firstly, the followers of the "religions of the Book", Christians and Jews, should be granted a certain measure of toleration within the Muslim community, e.g. it is contrary to Muslim law to convert a Jew or Christian by force, or to destroy their places of worship. Secondly, Muslims have frequently been more tolerant than their law suggests. Mystics have said that the only true "Jihad" is an inward spiritual battle aiming at moral perfection; while increasingly, Muslims today are saying that the command to use force applied only to the circumstances of Muhammad's time, or only to self-defense and not to the making of converts (2 Baqara 186/190; 257/256). Both Muslims and Christians have, at various times in their history, practiced conversion by force. In the modern world, so torn by suspicion and violence, it is to be hoped that "men of God" will be men of peace, and will spread their faith only by peaceful persuasion and good example. 55.14.00: Why do Muslims kill an apostate (one who changes from Islam to another religion)? The Qur'an gives no authority for punishing an apostate in this world. But many Traditions (e.g. the 40 Hadith of An-Nababi), and all the schools of law, say that a male apostate should be killed. Even if he is not killed in practice, he has often been driven out and his family and possessions taken away--thus he was treated as though he was dead. The reason is that in ancient times anyone who changed his religion used to be considered a traitor and rebel against his country. This was true not only of Islam but of many other religions too. However, surely we are more enlightened today than the people of long ago: we realize that religious observance performed under compulsion is not pleasing to God. If we compel someone to profess what he does not sincerely believe, we are compelling him to act as a hypocrite. Increasingly Muslims are realizing the value of religious toleration. The United Nations Charter, to which nearly all Muslim nations have assented,

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prescribes toleration in religion, with freedom for the individual to change his religion or belief.

55.00.00: Meat slaughtered by a pagan
55.01.00: Why do Muslims refuse to eat meat slaughtered by a pagan? Muslims are forbidden to eat the flesh of an animal which has not been ritually slaughtered; the name of God must be called over it and its throat must be completely cut so that all blood drains from the body. Since the pagan is presumed not to know the correct method and not to know the difference between pure and impure, the Muslim is advised not to eat his food. It is lawful for the Muslim to share in food and drink prepared by Jews and Christians (excluding of course pork and fermented drink)--5, Ma'ida 5/7; however, the Maliki law followed in North and West Africa prescribes that the meat must have been slaughtered in accordance with Muslim law. Muslims living in the West often prefer to eat Jewish "kosher" meat.

56.00.00: Sects in Islam
56.01.00: Are there sects in Islam, as there is in Christianity? Muhammad said (in Hadith) that his people would be divided into 73 sects, and all but one of these would go to hell! About 40 years after the death of Muhammad, the Muslim community divided into two parts, each of which considers itself to be the true Islam and the other a sect. The majority belong to "Sunni" Islam, which is that described in this book. But some 10% of the Muslims of the world belong to "Shi'a" Islam, found mainly in Iran, Iraq and India. Shi'ites believe that 'Ali was the true successor to Muhammad, and some regard him as a kind of incarnation of the divine; they regard 'Ali's son Husain as a martyr, whose death has an almost atoning significance and is celebrated in the Muharram festival. Shi'a Islam accepts a different series of Traditions, and so has minor differences of ritual and major differences of law. Shi'a is itself divided into many sects, of which the most famous is the Isma'ili (in India and East Africa), of which the Aga Khan is one of the spiritual heads. There are however many groups or societies in Islam which should not be regarded as sects, so long as they recognize one another as

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Sunni Muslims. Among these are the religious brotherhoods (tariqa) which originated when a saintly teacher gathered disciples and established rules and rituals additional to the ordinary worship of Islam. Such are the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya brotherhoods. Sometimes the leader was thought to possess powers of healing and of intercession in the day of judgment, and after his death his tomb became a shrine and pilgrims would come to pray there e.g. the Muridiyya (Senegal), venerating their founder Ahmad Bamba. There are also educational and welfare societies such as AnsarudDin, which are not normally to be regarded as sects.

57.00.00: Christian place of worship
57.01.00: Is a Muslim Permitted to enter a Christian place of worship? There is no law in Islam which forbids the Muslim to enter a Christian place of worship; and Christians, for their part, will welcome anyone who enters in a spirit of reverence. The only difficulty is that a Muslim might, by misunderstanding; think that Christians were worshipping two gods, and he could then be seriously offended, since it is the supreme sin in Islam to associate any second divinity with God. 57.02.00: Does Islam teach Muslims to commit terrorist attacks? No, absolutely not. To put it bluntly, terrorists are faithless cowards. Power hungry militants enjoy using the name of Islam in order to manipulate ignorant or very desperate and frustrated men and women who are in search of some sort of direction in their lives. A true Muslim follows the teachings of the Qur'an and God's Messenger in all things. "In all cases, the law precludes the murder of women, children, the elderly, monks, and the defenseless in general. In addition it forbids the destruction of the property and homes of the enemy".(Younis Tawfik, Islam, p.119). Here is a selection of verses from the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad from the Hadith (collections of Muhammad's sayings and deeds) pertaining to the proper conduct of war: 57.01.01: The Holy Qur'an states: "..If anyone kills a person for any reason other than for (the killing of) a person or for sowing corruption in the land, it will be as if he had killed the whole of mankind." (5:32)

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"Those against whom war is made by unbelievers are granted permission to fight because they are being oppressed (Verily God is most powerful to aid them) and have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right for the sole 'crime of saying 'Our Lord is God'" (22:39-40). "Never should a believer kill a believer." (4:92) "Fight in the cause of God against those who attack you. But, be careful to maintain the limit since God does not love transgressors" (2:190). "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not others' hatred of you make you depart from justice and swerve towards wrong. Be just: for justice is next to piety. And fear God; for God knows all you do." (5:9) Suicide is prohibited by the Qur'an. The punishment for suicide is hell-fire. The Qur'an states: "Do not kill yourselves. God is merciful to you, but he that does that through wickedness and injustice shall be burnt in fire. That is easy enough for God".

58.00.00: The Prophet's sayings on the conduct of war
The Prophet Muhammad said: "Do not kill any old person, any child, or any woman" (Abu Dawud). The Prophet Muhammad said: "Do not kill the monks in monasteries" and "Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship." (Musnad of Ibn Hanbal) The Prophet Muhammad said: "Punishment by fire does not behoove anyone except the Master of Fire (God)." (Abu Dawud) The Prophet also related the following: "Do not attack a wounded person," and "no prisoner should be put to the sword." (Mawlana Maududi's 'Human Rights in Islam').

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"The Messenger of God forbade the killing of women and children" (Bukhari 56:147) The Messenger of God said: "He who kills himself with anything, God will torment him with that in the fire of Hell" (Muslim v.1, p.62 #203) Once when a man killed himself, the Prophet said: "He is a dweller of the Fire". When the people were surprised at this, the Prophet (saws) said: "A person performs the deeds which to the people appears to be the deeds befitting the dweller of Paradise, but he is in fact one of the dwellers of the Fire" (Muslim v.1, p.63, #206). Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, "A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him." (Bukhari) "The Prophet has prohibited the Believers from loot and plunder" (Bukhari, Abu Dawud). He further said, "The loot is no more lawful than the carrion." (Abu Dawud). Abu Bakr Siddiq, the first Caliph and the Prophet's closest companion, used to tell soldiers on the way to war: "Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle." Abu Bakr also used to tell the armies that they should not even use the milk of the milk cattle without the permission of the owners. "The Prophet has prohibited us from mutilating the corpses of the enemies" (Bukhari, Abu Dawud). The Prophet said to Ali: "Never be the aggressor who starts a war. First invite your enemy to turn to the true God. If God leads one person through you to enter the life of faith that will be of greater benefit for you than if you owned all that the sun shines upon." The Prophet said: "Beware! Whosoever injures a non-Muslim, or steals even a worn-out piece of cloth or takes the smallest thing he

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owns without his consent, will find me on the side of the prosecution when he comes to trial on the Day of Judgment." As you can see, the actions of these so-called "Muslim militants" or suicide bombers are in no way in keeping with the teachings and principles of Islam. Their actions, in fact, equate them to being infidels according to the Sunnah. Furthermore, let it be said that those who commit acts of terrorism, acts of cowardice, and anyone who supports them or, even worse, rejoices in them, are sick and cowardly infidels who know nothing of Islam and its teachings. [Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi]

58.01.00: War and Peace
The word “Islam” is related to the word “salam”, which means “Peace”. A Muslim is not allowed to initiate a war. “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.” (Chapter 2, Verse 190 of The Qur’an). The only time in which Muslims are allowed to take up arms are when they need to defend their own lives, the lives of their people, when they see the weak being oppressed, and when they are prohibited from practicing their religion. Islam makes a clear distinction between combatants and noncombatants. Soldiers are not allowed to hurt or harm the civilians, cut down trees, destroy livestock, wells, homes, or land of the enemy. Mutilation of the enemy bodies is also strictly forbidden. Prisoners of war are to be treated with kindness. They are to be fed the same food that is consumed by their captors. Muslims are forbidden to breach any treaty to which they have agreed. However, they are not expected to tolerate treachery. “And if thou fears treachery from any folk, then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Lo! God love not the treacherous.” (Chapter 8, Verse 58 of the Qur’an) [www.understandingislam.org]

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58.02.00: Jihad: The Holy Struggle
The word Jihad means, “To strive.” Translation of Verse 69 of the 29th Chapter of the Qur’an reads: “And those who strive in God’s cause, God will certainly guide them to His path: For Verily, God is with those who do right.” God also says that whatever good you send forth for your souls, you will surely find it with God, better and greater in recompense. The biggest Jihad or struggle that a human being experiences is against himself or herself, in striving to lead his or her life in accordance with the guidance provided by God Almighty. In spite of the fact that the consumption of alcohol, and pork is strictly forbidden by the Islamic teachings, Prophet Muhammad said, that if a Muslim breaks the bottle of wine of a Non-Muslim, or kills a pig belonging to a Non-Muslim, then on the Day of Judgment, he, the Prophet will take the side of the Non-Muslim. Then the Prophet reminded all of us that on the Day of Judgment, God Almighty will dispense justice even between two rams that may have locked horns in a fight. Prophet Muhammad also said, “The biggest Jihad is to speak a word of justice to an oppressive ruler.” Translation of Chapter 5 Verse 32 of the Qur’an reads: “That if anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – It would be as if he slew the whole humanity. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the entire humanity.” Even during a war of self-defense, a Muslim is not allowed to hurt or kill non-combatants, women, children, or old people. He is not allowed to destroy crops or event cut down a single tree. In the conquest of Makkah in 632 A.D., Prophet Muhammad left a tremendous example of behavior for a victorious party in a conflict. Prophet Muhammad preached the message of Islam, in and around Makkah, for 13 years with limited success. After suffering many

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hardships and persecution from the pagans of Makkah, The Prophet was ordered by God Almighty to migrate, along with his followers to Madinah. Prophet Muhammad mediated a peace between the warring tribes in Madinah, and established an Islamic State. In order to destroy the Muslims, the Pagans of Makkah attacked Madinah several times, but failed. Nine years after the migration of Muslims from Makkah, Quraish, the most powerful pagan tribe of Makkah, in clear violation of the “Treaty of Hudaybiyya”, supplied men and arms in an effort to attack a Muslim-allied tribe that was slaughtered ruthlessly, some of them even inside the Holy Sanctuary of Ka’ba. Upon learning of the raid, Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims, now much larger in number (10,000), to march on Makkah, and conquered it without any loss of life. In spite of the fact that the people of Makkah had earlier persecuted the Muslims and had robbed them of their properties, the Prophet instructed them not to harm anyone who does not attack them. It is a documented fact of history that not a single human being was harmed, nor any property destroyed. Therefore, under no circumstances, no matter what the cause, Islam does not allow killing or injuring of innocent human beings or damage to their property, or suicide bombings. The Qur’an specifically states, “Do not kill you. God is Merciful to you, but he that does that through wickedness and injustice shall be burned in fire.” [www.understandingislam.org]

58.03.00: Terrorism: Prohibited By Islam
Question: How come that some of the most horrible acts are sometimes committed by individuals who call themselves Muslims? Answer: Evil acts are committed not by Muslims, Christians, Jews, or followers of any other faith as no religion sanctions the killing or hurting of innocent human beings. The Holocaust by the Nazis, the Ethnic Cleansing by the Serbians, and the other similar heinous crimes in human history were not in

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accordance with the teachings of the great prophets of God whom we a people of faith revere, but were the actions of sick minds. Hitler and his followers were evil, not because they believed in Christianity, but in spite of it. That does not mean that Christianity is evil. Had they understood Christianity they would never have committed the horrible acts they did. Likewise, let us hold every terrorist accountable for his action regardless of what faith he may profess to follow. Let us judge every faith by its tenants. Islam rejects the notion of certain individuals or nations being favored over another because of their wealth power or race. God created human beings as equals and they are to be distinguished from each other only on the basis of their faith and piety. Prophet Muhammad said: “O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab, and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red person is not better than a black person, and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.” One of the major problems facing humanity in the 21st century is racism. We sent man to the moon, are attempting to inhabit the space, but have not learnt to live with each other in peace. Timothy McVeigh, an American, was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. That does not mean that all Americans supported, condoned or even understood the reasoning behind his terrorist actions. He may have professed to be a Christian, but his terrorist actions are no more sanctioned by the Christian teachings than any of the evil acts of those who may call themselves Muslims, is sanctioned by the teachings of Islam. In fact, Islam strictly prohibits any act of terrorism against innocent victims. Whenever an evil act to intentionally harm innocent human beings takes place, and the perpetrator calls himself a Muslim, the Muslims suffer three ways: firstly, as human beings they share the pain experienced by the innocent victims; secondly, they feel pain because the perpetrator has brought shame to Islam and Muslims; and thirdly, the Muslims, their families, their homes, and their

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places of worship become targets of those whose sensibilities have been hurt by the evil act. There are over 1.2 Billion Muslims in the world, i.e. one out of every five human beings on our planet calls himself a Muslim. A vast majority of these Muslims are decent, God conscious, and law abiding citizens. Then there are those who have legitimate or not so legitimate grievances for which they want to seek help or revenge. Instead of staying within the limits of the law, they resort to violence thinking that that their cause justifies the means. Islam does not allow killing or hurting of innocent human beings, or causing damage to their property under any circumstances, and for any cause whatsoever. [www.understandingislam.org]

58.04.00: Islam is Not the Source

of Terrorism but It’s Solution
Introduction During the last two decades in particular, the concept of "Islamic terror" has been often discussed. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on targets in New York and Washington which caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, this concept has once again returned to the top of the international agenda. As Muslims, we completely condemn these attacks and offer our condolences to the American people. In this article, we will explain that Islam is by no means the source of this violence and that violence has no place in Islam. One point that should be stressed at the outset is that the identities of the perpetrators of the acts of terrorism which targeted the United States are not yet determined. There is a chance that these horrible attackers are linked to quite different centers. It may well be a communist organization harboring rage and hatred against American values, a fascist organization opposing federal administration or a secret faction in another state. Even though the

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hijackers have Muslim identities, the questions regarding by whom and for what purposes these people were used will probably remain to be a mystery. The fact remains however, that even if the terrorists have Muslim identities, the terror they perpetrated cannot be labeled "Islamic terror", just as it would not be called "Jewish terror" if the perpetrators were Jews or "Christian terror" if they were Christians. That is because, as we will examine in the following pages, murdering innocent people in the name of religion is unacceptable. We need to keep in mind that, among those who were killed in Washington or New York, there were people who loved Jesus (Christians), Prophet Moses (Jews) and Muslims. According to Islam, murdering innocent people is a great sin that, unless forgiven by God, brings torment in Hell. Thus, a religious person who has fear of God can never commit such an act. In fact, the aggressors can commit such violence only with the intention of attacking religion itself. It may well be that they carried out this violence to present religion as evil in the eyes of people, to divorce people from religion and to generate hatred and reaction against pious people. Consequently, every attack having a "religious" facade on American citizens or other innocent people is actually an attack made against religion. All the three Theistic religions command love, mercy and peace. Terror, on the other hand, is the opposite of religion; it is cruel, merciless and it demands bloodshed and misery. This being the case, while looking for the perpetrators of a terrorist act, its origins should be sought in disbelief rather than in religion. People with a fascist, communist, racist or materialist outlook on life should be suspected as potential perpetrators. The name or the identity of the triggerman is not important. If he can kill innocent people without blinking an eye, whatever his label is, and then he is a disbeliever, not a believer. He is a murderer with no fear of God, whose main ambition is to shed blood and to give harm.

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For this reason, "Islamic terror" is quite a erroneous concept which contradicts Islam's message. That is because; the religion of Islam can by no means concur with terror. On the contrary, Muslims are responsible for preventing terrorist acts and bringing peace and justice to the world. The Values of the Qur'an demands Goodness, Justice and Peace: Terror, in its broadest sense, is violence committed against nonmilitary targets for political purposes. To put it in another way, the targets of terror are entirely innocent civilians whose only crime is, in the eyes of terrorists, to represent "the other". This is an act bereft of any moral justification. This, as in the case of murders committed by Hitler or Stalin, is a crime committed against "mankind". The Qur'an is a Book revealed to people as a guide to the true path and in this Book, God commands man to adopt good morals. This morality is based upon concepts such as love, compassion, tolerance and mercy. God calls all people to Islamic morals through which compassion, mercy, peace and tolerance can be experienced all over the world: You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:208) The values of the Qur'an hold a Muslim responsible for treating all people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, kindly and justly, protecting the needy and the innocent and preventing the "dissemination of mischief". Mischief comprises all forms of anarchy and terror that remove security, comfort and peace. As God says in a verse, "God does not love mischief makers". (Surat alQasas: 77) Murdering a person for no reason is one of the most obvious examples of mischief. God repeats in the Qur'an a command He formerly revealed to Jews in the Old Testament thus:

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So We decreed for the tribe of Israel that if someone kills another person - unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth - it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear Signs but even after that many of them committed outrages in the earth. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 32) As the verse suggests, a person who kills even a single man, "unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth", commits a crime as if he had murdered all mankind on earth. It is worth mentioning that in that period, Eastern Christians - the people of Byzantium, for instance - who were culturally far ahead of Western Christians, espoused more humane values. Both before and after the Crusaders' conquests, Orthodox Christians managed to live together with Muslims. According to Terry Johns, the BBC commentator, with the withdrawal of the Crusaders from Middle East, "civilized life started again and members of the three monotheistic faiths returned to peaceful coexistence." [1] The example of the Crusaders is indicative of a general phenomenon: The more the adherents of an ideology are uncivilized, intellectually underdeveloped and "ignorant", the more likely they are to resort to violence. This also holds true for ideologies that have nothing to do with religion. All communist movements around the world are prone to violence. Yet the most savage and blood-thirsty of them was the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia. That is because they were the most ignorant. Just as ignorant people may take a violence-ridden opinion to the point of insanity, so they may confuse violence with an opinion against violence (or to religion). The Islamic world also experienced such cases. The Bedouin Character in the Qur'an In the period of our Prophet, there existed two basic social structures in Arabia City-dwellers and Bedouins (Desert Arabs). A sophisticated culture prevailed in Arab towns. Commercial relations linked the towns to the outer world, which contributed to the

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formation of "civilized life" among Arabs dwelling in cities. They had refined aesthetic values, enjoyed literature and, especially poetry. Desert Arabs, on the other hand, were the nomad tribes living in the desert who had a very crude culture. Utterly unaware of arts and literature, they developed an unrefined, harsh character. Islam was born and developed among the inhabitants of Mecca, the most important city of the peninsula. However, as Islam spread to the peninsula, all tribes in Arabia embraced it. Among these tribes were also Desert Arabs, who were somehow problematic: their poor intellectual and cultural background prevented them from grasping the profundity and noble spirit of Islam. Of this God states the following in a verse: The Desert Arabs are more obdurate in disbelief and hypocrisy and more likely not to know the limits which God has sent down to His Messenger. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Surat at-Tawba: 97) The Desert Arabs, that is, social groups who were "obdurate in disbelief and hypocrisy" and prone to disobey God's commands, became a part of the Islamic world in the Prophet's lifetime. In latter periods, they became a source of trouble for the Islamic world. The sect called "Kharijis" that emerged among Bedouins was an example. The most distinctive trait of this perverse sect (which was called "Kharijis" the rebels because they greatly deviated from Sunni practises), was their extremely vulgar, wild and fanatical nature. The "Kharijis", who had no comprehension whatsoever of the essence of Islam or of the virtues and the values of the Qur'an, waged war against all other Muslims and based this war on a few Qur'anic verses about which they made distorted interpretations. Furthermore, they carried out "acts of terrorism". Caliph Ali, who was one of the closest companions of the Prophet and was described by him as the "gate of the city of knowledge", was assassinated by a Kharijite. In latter periods, "Hashashis" (Assassins), another brutal organization, emerged; this was a "terrorist organization" made up of ignorant and fanatical militants bereft of a profound understanding of the essence of Islam and thus who could be readily influenced by simple slogans and promises.

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In other words, just as the Crusaders distorted and misinterpreted Christianity as a teaching of brutality, some perverted groups emerging in the Islamic world misinterpreted Islam and resorted to brutality. What is common to these sects and the Crusaders was their "Bedouin" nature. That is, they were ignorant, unrefined, uncultivated, vulgar, and isolated people. The violence they resorted resulted from this social structure, rather than the religion to which they claimed to adhere. The Actual Source of Terrorism The Third World Fanaticism These examples from history are enlightening for a better understanding of the phenomenon, the so-called "Islamic terror", which is nowadays on the top of the international agenda. That is because those who emerge and carry out acts of terrorism in the name of Islam or those who back such acts -these people, no doubt, represent a minority in the world of Islam- stem from this "Bedouin character", not from Islam. Failing to understand the essence of Islam, they try to make Islam, essentially a religion of peace and justice, a tool of barbarism, which is simply an outcome of their social and cultural structure. The origin of this barbarism, which may well be called the "Third World Fanaticism", is the benighted initiatives of people who are devoid of love for humans. It is a fact that, for the last few centuries, Muslims in all corners of the Islamic world are being subjected to violence by Western forces and their affiliates. The colonialist European states, local oppressive regimes or colonialists backed by the West (Israel, for instance) caused great suffering for Muslims at large. However, for Muslims, this is a situation that has to be approached and responded to from a purely Qur'anic stance. In no part of the Qur'an does God command believers to "respond to violence with violence". On the contrary, God commands Muslims to "respond to evil with goodness": A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. (Surat al-Fussilat: 34)

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It is no doubt a legitimate right of Muslims to react against cruelty. However, these reactions should never turn into a blind hatred, an unjust enmity. God warns about this in the following verse: "... Do not let hatred for a people who debar you from the Masjid al-Haram incite you into going beyond the limits. Help each other to goodness and heedfulness. Do not help each other to wrongdoing and enmity. Heed God Allah (alone)..." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 2) Consequently, carrying out terrorist acts under the pretence of "representing the oppressed nations of the world", against the innocent people of other nations is by no means compatible with Islam. Another point that deserves a special mention here is that the entire Western world cannot be held responsible for the aforementioned colonialist (or "neo-colonialist) violence and oppression against Muslims. Actually, the materialist, irreligious philosophies and ideologies that prevailed in the 19th century are responsible for these dismal acts. European colonialism did not originate from Christianity. On the contrary, anti-religious movements opposing the values of Christianity led the way to colonialism. At the roots of the greatest brutalities of the 19th century lies the Social Darwinist ideology. In the Western world today, there are still cruel, mischievous and opposing elements as well as a culture dominated by peaceful and just elements that have its roots in Judeo-Christian faith. As a matter of fact, the main disagreement is not between the West and Islam. Contrary to the general opinion, it is between the religious people of the West and of the Muslim world on the one hand, and the people opposing religion (like materialists and atheists.) on the other. Another indication that Third World Fanaticism has nothing to do with Islam is that, until recently, this fanaticism has been identified with communist ideology. As is known, similar anti-Western acts of terror were carried out in 1960s and 70s by Soviet-backed communist organizations. As the impact of the communist ideology faded, some of the social structures which gave birth to communist organizations have turned their attention to Islam. This "brutality presented under the guise of religion", which is formulated by the

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incorporation of some Islamic concepts and symbols into the former communist rhetoric are entirely against the moral values constituting the essence of Islam. A last remark about this issue is that Islam is not peculiar to a particular nation or geography. Contrary to the dominant Western perception, Islam is not an "Eastern culture". Islam is the last religion revealed to mankind as a guide to the true path that recommends itself to all humanity. Muslims are responsible for communicating the true religion they believe in to all people of all nations and cultures and making them feel closer to Islam. Consequently, there is a unique solution for people and groups who, in the name of Islam, resort to terror or establish oppressive regimes and turn this world into a dreadful place instead of beautifying it: revealing the true Islam and communicating it so that the masses can understand and live by it. Conclusion: Recommendations to the Western World Today, the Western world is concerned about the organizations that use terror under the guise of Islam and this concern is not misplaced. It is obvious that those carrying out terror and their supporters should be punished according to international judicial criteria. However, a more important point to consider is the longterm strategies that have to be pursued for viable solutions to these problems. The assessments above reveal that terror has no place in Islam. They further show the inherently contradictory nature of the concept of "Islamic terror". This provides us with an important vantage point: 1) The Western world, especially the United States, will surely take the most dissuasive measures to cope with terror and it has the right to do that. However, it has to state explicitly that this is not a war waged against Islam and Muslims but, on the contrary, a measure serving the best interests of Islam. The "Clash of civilizations", the dangerous scenario envisioned in the 90's should be at all costs prevented. 2) Support should be provided for the spread of "True Islam", which is a religion of love, friendship, peace and brotherhood and for its true understanding by Islamic societies. The solution

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for radical factions in Islamic countries should not be "forced secularization". On the contrary, such a policy will incite more reaction from the masses and feed radicalism. The solution is the dissemination of true Islam and the appearance of a Muslim role-model who embraces Qur'anic values such as human rights, democracy, freedom, good morals, science and aesthetics, and who offers happiness and bliss to humanity. 3) The source of terrorism is ignorance and bigotry and the solution is education. To the circles who feel sympathy with terror, it should be said that terror is utterly against Islam that terror only does harm to Islam, Muslims and to humanity at large. Besides, these people have to be provided with education in order to be purified of this barbarism. The United States' support to such an education policy will yield very positive results. Our hope is that these measures will help to the world get rid of terrorism and all other bigoted, brutal, barbarous structures. With its Christian-dominated culture and population, the United States, which defines itself as "a nation under God", is in fact a real friend of the Muslims. In the Qur'an, God draws attention to this fact and informs us that Christians are those who are "most affectionate to those who believe". (Surat al-Ma'ida: 82) In history, some ignorant people (for instance, Crusaders) failed to understand this fact and caused conflicts between these two great religions. To prevent the repetition of this scenario, true Christians and Muslims need to come together and co-operate. [Harun Yahya]

59.00.00: RESPONSIBILITY
59.01.00: Original Sin and Personal Responsibility Muslims do not believe in the concept of Original Sin. They do not believe that the entire humanity is responsible for the sin committed by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God, and ate fruit from the forbidden tree. Muslims believe that when God admonished Adam and Eve for what they had done, both of them repented, and God forgave them. Then God sent Adam and Eve to earth, not as punishment, but for them to propagate and inhabit here. This was God’s plan.

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Someone asked Prophet Muhammad, “O Messenger of God, ‘Tell me some thing about Islam which I will not ask anyone else after you.” The Prophet replied, “Say, God is my sustainer, and then be steadfast. Follow the right path of faith strictly, and be steadfast, and keep in mind that no person can achieve salvation through his good deeds.” At this point, another person asked, “not even you, O Messenger of God?” The Prophet replied, “Not even me, except, on whom God bestows His Mercy and Grace.” In Verse 19, Chapter 41 of The Qur’an, God reminds us that on the Day of Judgment, our body parts will be a witness against us. Prophet Muhammad said: “On the Day of Judgment, God will speak with everyone amongst you without an interpreter. Man would look to his right, and would find nothing but his deeds, which he had done before, and he would look to his left, and would find nothing but the deeds, which he had done before. He would look in front of him and would find nothing, but the fire just before his face. So protect yourselves from fire even if with half a date (fruit) given as charity, or even by saying a good word.” Prophet Muhammad said: “None of you should desire death because of any misfortune which befalls him. If he cannot help doing so, he should say, O’ God, keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and cause me to die when death is better for me.” [www.understandingislam.org]

59.02.00: Responsibilities to God
A Muslim has five primary responsibilities to God Almighty, and these are referred to as the Five Pillars of Islam. These are: Shahdah or Affirmation that there is only one God, without any partners, and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. Salaat or Daily Obligatory Prayers to be offered five times a day. These prayers are offered at the time of dawn (Fajr), at noontime (Zuhr), late afternoon (Asr), immediately after sunset (Maghrib), and at nighttime (Ish’a). Although it is preferred, and the reward is much greater if the prayers are offered at a Mosque, but one is allowed to offer them at home, at his place of work, at the airport or anywhere else. On Fridays, in lieu of the regular noon prayers,

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congregational prayers are offered after a sermon has been delivered by the Imam (Minister). In order to make an announcement of the time for each prayer, Adhan or a call for prayers is made. Before offering prayers, Muslims are required to perform ‘Wadhu’ or Ablution. Ablution is an act of purifying one’s self prior to appearing before the Creator. It consists of Cleaning one’s mouth and nose, and washing one’s hands, face, fore arms and feet with water. Zakaat or Poor Due: It is an annual tax of 2.5 percent on a Muslim’s savings that he did not use for his needs during the past twelve months, and on certain business assets. Saum or Fasting During the Month of Ramadhan: Muslims are obligated to fast from dawn till sunset for each day of the entire month of Ramadhan, the 9th lunar month, by abstaining from eating, drinking any fluids, smoking, and sexual contact. Those who are sick, or traveling, pregnant or nursing a baby are excused from fasting during the month but are required to make up for the lost days later on. The observance of the Ramdhan starts with sighting of the new moon for the 9th month, and ends with sighting of new moon for the following month. Consequently, Ramadhan lasts for 29 or 30 days. Since a lunar year is 10 days shorter than the solar year, a Muslim gets to observe the month of Ramdhan at different times of the year in his/her life time. The conclusion of the Ramdhan is marked by a day of celebration or feast, Eid-ul-Fitr. Hajj or Pilgrimage to Makkah: In the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, is the Islam’s holiest shrine, The Ka’aba. This cubicle structure was the first house of worship built by Prophet Adam on this planet, was destroyed by the flood during the time of Prophet Noah, and rebuilt by prophet Abraham with his son Ishmael. Muslims all over the world turn towards the Ka’aba at the time of daily prayers. Hajj includes a visit to the Ka’aba, and to other holy sites in and around the city of Mecca. Every Muslim who has the financial means and is physically capable of traveling is required to perform Hajj once in his lifetime. In conjunction with the observance of Hajj, Muslims throughout the world sacrifice animals to commemorate the tradition of Prophet Abraham, when he made the ultimate sacrifice by attempting to slaughter his first born son (Ishmael) in order to

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carry out God’s command. This day of celebration or feast is called Eid-ul-Adha. [www.understandingislam.org]

59.03.00: Responsibilities to Family
Islam places great emphasis on respect and responsibilities towards one’s family. Verse 187 of the 2nd Chapter of the Qur’an, refers to a wife as the man’s garment, and to the husband as the wife’s garment. Prophet Muhammad said, “The best among you is the one that treats his wife in the best manner.” Someone asked Prophet Muhammad, “Who should I obey?” The prophet replied: “Your mother.” The questioner again asked the same question, and the Prophet again said, “Your mother.” The questioner asked again, and the Prophet gave the same answer, “your mother.” The questioner asked the same question one more time, to which the Prophet replied, “Your father.” Prophet Muhammad said, “The best gift a father can give to a child is the best education.” The Prophet also said that if someone has three daughters and raises them with kindness, and gives them good education, then he (the Prophet) would guaranty that the parents would go to paradise. Hearing this, one of the Muslims asked: “What if someone has only two daughters?” The Prophet replied, “He too.” Then another person asked: “What if someone has only one daughter?” The Prophet replied again, “He too.” Prophet Muhammad also said, “Worship God alone, and do not associate anything with Him, and give up all that your ancestors said; and He commands us to establish prayer, to speak the truth, to be pious, and to strengthen the ties of kinship.” [www.understandingislam.org]

59.04.00: Responsibilities to Mankind
Verse 36, Chapter 4 of the Holy Qur’an reminds mankind to “Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; And do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors

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who are strangers or live far, the companions by your side, the wayfarer you meet, and the captives you take in war, for God loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious.” Prophet Muhammad said, “He will not enter paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct.” And, “You are not a believer if your neighbor goes to bed hungry and you had eaten.” The Prophet also said that the Arch Angel Gabriel reminded him so many times about the rights of neighbors that he thought, may be the neighbors would become participants in the heritance as well.” He also said, “The best among you is the one who gives the maximum benefits to others.” Prophet Muhammad said: “God will question a person on the Day of Resurrection saying: ‘O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit me.’ The person will say: ‘O my Lord, how could I visit thee when Thou art the Lord of the worlds?’ Thereupon God will say: ‘Didn’t you know that a servant of mine was sick but you did not visit him, and were you not aware that if you had visited him, you would have found me by him?’ God will then say, ‘O son of Adam, I asked you for food but you did not feed me.’ The person will say: ‘My Lord, how could I feed Thee when Thou art the Lord of the Worlds?’ God will say: ‘Didn’t you know that a servant of Mine asked you for food but you did not feed him, and were you not aware that if you had fed him you would have found me by his side?’ [www.understandingislam.org]

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60.00.00: Muslim Contributions to Humanity
Muslims was a worldwide power found simply on faith. Election of A Leader: After the death of Prophet Muhammad, in 632 AD, Muslims elected Abu Bakr to be their leader and the Head of the Islamic State. Except for the Roman Empire, no one in the world had, at that time heard of electing a Head of State. That was democracy. Water Purification & Distribution: Tunisia, North Africa – Muslims designed an ingenious water purification system using two water basins and gravity to filter clean water from one basin to the other. They built a distribution system so that the cities had clean running water. This was hundreds of years before anyone in Europe thought of having running water in the cities. Baghdad: 200 years after Prophet Muhammad’s death, the borders of the Islamic empire stretched from Spain to India. It took nearly a year to travel from one end of its borders to the other. At its heart was the fabled city of Baghdad. It had exquisite neighbor- hoods filled with parks on both sides of the river. It was a city of learning, filled with the best scholars, the best thinkers, and the best artists. People from all over the empire came there looking for solutions to their staggering scientific and engineering problems. Baghdad’s renowned House of Wisdom and its public libraries attracted Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars from all over the world. Muslim scholars embraced the ideas of Aristotle and Plato, writers that Christian world considered blasphemous. Renaissance had its true beginning during this period. It was during this period that Muslims began to challenge the earlier knowledge. Spirit of scientific investigation and search to develop new solutions was everywhere. System of Arabic numerals, Algebra, Trigonometry, engineering, Astronomy, and countless other disciplines trace their roots to this era. At the time when Europeans were praying to the bones of their saints to cure their illnesses, Muslims determined that tiny

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organisms transmitted disease from one person to another. They concluded that a sick person should be quarantined to protect the rest of the community from germs. This is the beginning of the modern hospital. Separate wards for patients suffering from different diseases were established. They even studied mental illness. Their study of anatomy was so advanced that their discoveries remained unchallenged for the next 600 years. The father of optics was a Muslim named Ibn Al-Hatem. He produced the first treatise as to how the eye sees. A thousand years before the European doctors attempted, Muslim doctors were surgically removing the cataracts. For all this knowledge to be copied and communicated throughout the vast empire, there was a new invention, paper. Around 750 AD, when Muslims reached Central Asia, they found paper. Within 50 years, it was all over their empire, including Spain. From there, Europeans learned to make paper. Scribes were writing books on paper. Baghdad had streets of booksellers, some with as many as a hundred shops selling books. This was at a time when in Europe, a monastery would be lucky if it had five or ten books. During the dark ages, Cordoba in Spain was the most sophisticated metropolis in Europe. It had roads, lights, libraries, hospitals, palaces, running water, and people lived in big houses. The Great Mosque of Cordoba is now the famous Roman Catholic Cathedral. What is now its steeple was once a minaret. A Christian nun in the 10th century called this mosque the “Ornament of The World”. AlHambra is the best remaining example of what a Muslim palace looked like. In the 10th century, here the Muslim elite enjoyed the good life, while Europeans struggled thru the “Dark Ages”. [www.understandingislam.org]

61.00.00: ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION
On September 26, 2001, Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard delivered a speech in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The speech was titled, Technology, Business and Our Way of Life: What’s Next? She ended her speech by telling a story. “There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.

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It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins. One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between. And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for diseases. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration. Its writers created thousands of stories and Stories of courage romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things. When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others. While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent. Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.

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And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population–that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions. This kind of enlightened leadership — leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage — led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.” These are profound words of Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett Packard Company. [www.understandingislam.org]

62.00.00: A Jewel to be Uncovered
Islam is a jewel that has, over the centuries, gotten covered with layers of ignorance and prejudice. It teaches human beings to be peaceful, caring, humble, and God conscious. Prophet Muhammad said that a person is not a Muslim unless he wishes for another human being what he wishes for himself. He also said that a person is not a Muslim if his neighbor goes to bed hungry, while he himself has eaten a meal. A Muslim is not allowed to start a war, but is obligated to defend him and others when attacked. Even when defending himself, he must not harm or attack non-combatants, elderly, women, and children. He is not allowed to cut even a single tree, damage the water supply, or do any other harm to the environment. Chapter 5, Verse 32 of The Qur’an, translated reads; “…That if anyone slew a person – unless it be (after due process) for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” Chapter 2, Verse 256 of The Qur’an, translated reads; “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” Chapter 109, Verse 6 of The Qur’an translated reads; “To you be your way, and to me mine.”

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As Muslims, Christians, Jews, and followers of many other faiths, we believe that we all had a common father and a mother, i.e. Prophet Adam and Eve. We all have love and affection for our immediate biological brothers and sisters. Why not remind us that every human being is our biological brother or sister, though somewhat removed. We all carry the same genes that we inherited from our parents, Prophet Adam and Eve. We should never allow ourselves to get so angry that we forget our blood relationship, and cause pain to each other. We need to be God conscious. Islam teaches us that there are only two states of beings; the Creator, and the Creation. In other words, we as human beings need to be conscious of our kinship with everything around us. Our Creator had a reason and a purpose for creating each and every one of us, and every thing around us, animate as well as inanimate. We as humans, are allowed to use and consume some of these things to take care of our needs, but we are not allowed to waste or destroy. We must constantly remind ourselves that each of us will be held accountable for what we do, and will face the consequences. It is our hope and prayer that God Almighty will guide us all to the right path, and help us become better human beings. Amen. “Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the torment of the (Hell) fire.” (The Qur’an, 2:201) “Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If Though forgive us not And bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.” (The Qur’an, 7:23) [www.understandingislam.org]

63.00.00: Intention and Deeds
Islam gives great importance to a person’s intentions when carrying out any deed, good or bad. Prophet Muhammad said, “Verily the deeds are by the intentions, and for every person (there is in store for him) what he intended.

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God looks not to your figure, nor to your wealth, but He looks to your heart, and deeds.” The Prophet also said: “When two Muslims fight each other with swords, the killed and the killer both are doomed to hell.” Then the Prophet was asked, O’ Messenger of God, as to the one who kills, it is understandable, but what about the “killed”? The Prophet replied, “The other longed to murder his opponent.” God Almighty reminds us in the Holy Qur’an about doing good deeds: “And whatsoever good you do, God is aware of it.” (Chapter 2, Verse 215). “Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it.” (Chapter 99, Verse 7). “If anyone does a righteous deed, it inures to the benefit of his own soul; if he does evil, it works against his own soul. In the end will ye all be brought back to your Lord.” The Prophet also said: “Three things follow a dead body: The members of his family, his possessions, and his deeds. Two of them return back and only one accompanies him. The people and his wealth return back, but his deeds remain with him.” [www.understandingislam.org]

64.00.00: Knowledge
Islam places great emphasis on learning and knowledge. Chapter 20 Verse 114 of The Holy Qur’an reminds us that God is above every human event or desire. His purpose is universal, but He is the Truth, the absolute Truth: and His kingdom is the true kingdom that can carry out His Will that truth unfolds itself gradually, as it did in the gradual revelation of one Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad. But even after it was completed in a volume, its true meaning and purpose only gradually unfold themselves to any given individual or nation. No one should be impatient about it. On the contrary, one should always pray for an increase in one’s knowledge, which can never at any given moment be complete.

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In Chapter 58, Verse 11 of the Qur’an, God Almighty says that faith makes all people equal in His Kingdom, as regards the essentials of citizenship in the Kingdom. But then are leadership, and rank, and degree, joined with greater or lesser responsibility, and that depends on true knowledge and insight. Prophet Muhammad said: “Anyone who travels on a road in quest of knowledge, God will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and the fish in the depth of water will seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned worshiper is like that of the full moon over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who leave no inheritance of wealth, but only of knowledge, and that who acquires it, acquires an abundant portion.” The Prophet also said: “Learn from cradle to grave”, and travel to China if you have to for the sake of knowledge.” [www.understandingislam.org]

65.00.00: Islam's Rational Appeal
Islam is a simple, rational and practical religion. The unity of God, the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) and the concept of life after death are the basic articles of its faith. There is no hierarchy of priests no complicated rites, and rituals. Everybody may approach the Qu'ran directly and translate it's dictates into practice. Islam stands for the middle path and the goal of producing a moral man in the service of a Just Society. "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the hereafter". (Holy Qu'ran ) Islam is a guide to towards a better and complete life and glorifying in all its phases, God the Almighty Creator.

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66.00.00: Patience
Several verses of the Qur’an, talk about patience. Let us share the translation of a few: O’you who believe, be patient, and out do all others in endurance” (Chapter 2, Verse 200). “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure” (Chapter 39, Verse 10). Be sure, We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits of your labor, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say when afflicted with calamity: To God we belong, and to Him is our return. They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance” (Chapter 2, Verse 155 thru 157). “We will surely test you until we know the valiant and the steadfast among you” (Chapter 47 Verse 31). God Almighty has said: “I have no reward other than paradise for a believing servant of mine who remains patient when I take away his loved one from among the denizens of the world.” Prophet Muhammad said: “How excellent is the case of a faithful servant; there is good for him in everything. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to God, and that is good for him, and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently, and that is better for him.” The Prophet also said: “Never a believer is stricken with discomfort, hardship or illness, grief or even with mental worry that his sins are not expiated for him. His sins drop away just as a tree sheds its leaves.” [www.understandingislam.org]

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67.00.00: Manners:
67.01.00: Anger and Good Manners Someone asked Prophet Mohammad for a simple advice that he could follow. His answer was, “Do not get angry.” The Prophet also said: “The strongest among you is not the one with most power or the one in authority or the one with the most money. It is the one who can control his anger.” The Prophet also gave some practical advice as how to control anger. He advised Muslims that when they are angry, to make ablution or wash their face, forearms, and feet with water. Also that if they are standing to sit down and if they are sitting, to lie down. Prophet Muhammad said: “Seven kinds of people will be sheltered under the shade of God on the Day of Judgment. They are: A just ruler; A young man who passed his youth in the worship, and service of God; One whose heart is attached to the mosque; Two people who love each other for the sake of God; A man who is invited to sin but declines, saying: “I fear God”; One who spends his charity in secret, without making a show; And one who remembers God in solitude so that his eyes overflow. The Prophet also said: “A believer, through his good manners, may achieve the status of the one who regularly fasts to please God during the day, and spends the night in prayer.” [www.understandingislam.org]

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68.00.00: Status Of Women In Islam
Contrary to the customs practiced in most of the Muslim world today, Islam granted equal but not the same status to men and women, 1400 years ago. The Qur’an specifically declares that the souls of men and women are equal, and that obligations and rewards are equally bestowed upon both. In Verse 124 Chapter 4 of The Holy Qur’an, God Almighty says: “If any do deeds of righteousness – Be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” Although, men and women are equal in the eyes of God, Islam acknowledges that they are physically, biologically, and emotionally different. It is for this reason that some lifestyle details are different. A woman is made to be a mate or companion for man, and is not to be considered a source of all evil, but a blessing from God. Islam granted women complete economic independence, before and after marriage. A Muslim woman is under no obligation to provide for or supplement the family income. The husband has the entire responsibility. Islamic law gives women the right to choose their husbands and to initiate a divorce. Muslim women have always had the right to vote, a right achieved by the women in the West only recently. Prophet Muhammad said: “Paradise is under the feet of your mother.” [www.understandingislam.org]

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69.00.00: Shariah Law
This is the Law of Islam which is based on the Qur'aan and on the authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. It is the only law that has the solution for every single problem on earth. It is a heavenly law - Divine. Every law in the Shariah is placed in order to protect Human beings from all forms of evil. The five main necessities of existence are protected and all the laws are derived to protect these five points. 69.01.00: Protection of life on earth As Muslims we believe that life is given by God Almighty and whether it is human, animal, insect, bird, fish or even plant life, it is forbidden to take it away without the permission or command of God Almighty. In the case of humans, it is only a court of justice that can decide to take away the life of a person for the known reasons. Individuals who take the lives of humans are guilty of murder. The Shariah has a similar ruling on murderers as the Bible - life for life - but only if it is proven beyond any doubt whatsoever. Two eyewitnesses of an extremely good background of honesty and truthfulness must bear witness separately and describe the entire incident from the beginning to end. If either witness has the slightest difference, then the sentence of death will not be served but it will be up to the presiding judge to look into a suitable lower punishment. This is the case in all cases of the Shariah Courts. If there is the slightest doubt the alleged perpetrator will be given the benefit of that doubt. The laws are greatly deterrent rather than anything else. In the case of animal life, it is only for food, clothing or any other valid reason which the Shariah recognizes that one may take the life of the animal away. Another example is when a dangerous animal is

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in sight and may attack, then in order to defend, it becomes necessary to take the life of that animal. However, the conditions of taking the life of animals are as follows: a) It should be done as quick as possible with the least suffering to the animal b) The Name of God Almighty should be said - seeking permission from the giver of that life to take it away. What gives us the right to take away any life that God has given? In the case of animals being killed for food there are a few more conditions c) The maximum blood must be drained from the animal. d) A knife or very sharp object must be used and the killing should be done from the throat. It has been proven that the animal dies without suffering at all if it is killed from the throat and all major veins are quickly cut. This is because the message from the point of bleeding (the throat) informing the brain that "you are hurt" does not get to the brain at all because it is already cut off. The animal numbs and dies without feeling. This is known as Halaal. If an animal is not Halaal, Muslims consider it condemned because it has literally been "stolen" from the property of God Almighty without seeking His permission or without following the manner taught by Him which is th quickest manner. International Standards of W.H.O. have agreed that Halaal manner of slaughter is the most hygienic in that all the blood is drained so any disease is eradicated with the eradication of the blood, and has least suffering for the animal. Some animals have been prohibited and deemed totally unfit for human consumption either because they are poisonous or they cause sickness and disease or they weaken the brain etc. Examples are pigs, dogs, monkeys, lions etc. Going around killing animals without an acceptable purpose is prohibited in Islam. Destruction of plants unnecessarily or the underwater life etc is also prohibited under the same Law. It is only when one needs to use

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firewood, or has a recognized need such as wanting to build something, may he uproot the trees and plants. Also under the protection of life, we find the Shariah has prohibited backbiting, arguing, causing conflict, not sorting out misunderstandings etc because all these may lead to death if out of proportion. Similarly suicide is prohibited because one will be taking away life that God Almighty gave. Speeding above limits is a religious sin because one will be putting his own as well as other people's lives in danger and it is a category of suicide as well. This law is so vast and wide, but we have just touched on it to make it easy to understand. 69.02.00: Protection of the human brain The difference between man and animal is the brain. God Almighty has chosen us to be above animals through the brain he has granted us. For this reason we must protect it by all means. Anything that will result in the harming of the human brain is strictly forbidden. It would be like rejecting Gods gift and slapping it back at Him. Rather we must acknowledge this gift and protect it totally. Drinking is prohibited under this Law and so are drugs and other intoxicants. Intentionally causing mental stress or tensions to a person is forbidden. 69.03.00: Protection of individual wealth Every human has the right to own property. None besides himself or herself will have a say in the manner in which it is used so long as it is within the parameters of that which is permissible and correct according to Shariah. For us to be protected, we need to protect the wealth of each other. No stealing, cheating, deceiving, conning, forging or robbery etc will be tolerated. Similarly it is prohibited to leave one's valuables in such a manner that one would be inviting theft. In the case of stealing, the Shariah has prescribed a very harsh deterrent. If proven without any doubt at all that property worth more than approximately US$30 has been

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robbed from a place which is regarded as safe for that property by a sane, mature human, then only will the robber have his hand amputated in public. It is not easy to prove without doubt that one has stolen, and in this manner the punishment serves as a very great deterrent. Countries such as Saudi Arabia are enjoying the fruits of this law. 69.04.00: Protection of the family lineage Each person that is born has a father, a mother and a lineage. It is a very great responsibility to have children especially upon the father and mother. The father must provide food, clothing and accommodation for both his wife (the mother of the child) and the child. He needs to fulfill the basic requirements of the family. The mother too, needs to looks after the child and ensure that he/she has a sound upbringing. Islam teaches leading by example. Children should not be expected to leave evil if the parents are engrossed in it. Adultery is therefore prohibited because it results in the loss of the lineage and it is "running away" from responsibility. Baby dumping is prohibited. A divorced male must continue to maintain his children till the age of majority in the case of a male and till marriage in the case of a female. 69.05.00: Interesting Biblical Story. In Islam the role played by the father, mother and children in the home is almost depicted in the story of Joseph PBUH that appears in the Qur'aan and the Old Testament. The dream of Joseph where he saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars is not just a story to be read and appreciated, but it has deeper meanings if we take a closer look. The sun depicted the father (Jacob), the moon depicted the mother and the stars were the eleven children. If we take a close look at the qualities of the sun, we will find that they are surely the qualities that are expected from the father of the home. The sun is strong; it shines so bright one cannot look at it directly. The sun provides a sense of protection as well as sustenance in that people work during the day. The sun brings warmth and it is only through the brightness of the sun that the

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moon shines and the stars twinkle. These are some of the qualities of the father in the home. The moon has the qualities required by every successful mother. It shines but derives it's light from the sun. A strong father in the home makes the moon shine ever brighter. The stars appear when the moon is around depicting the very close link between the mother and the children. One can look straight into the moon and admire the beauty of the moon. There is a sense of peace, quiet and inner serenity when the moon is shining. The stars have the qualities that we need in our children. They twinkle with the moon and yet they appear not to be around when the sun is out. They are definitely there, but the brightness of the sun makes them fall under him. The hold of the father and his careful nurturing of his children is vital. If respect for the father is lost, we have driven into a road that will lead to everything being lost. Now, take a look at the sun and moon. When the sun wants to do what the moon is doing and when the moon wants to do what the sun is doing and they both want to appear in each others places, what do we have? An eclipse! Where both the sun and the moon become insignificant and disappear. The stars are no where to be spotted. There is turmoil and disaster. Similarly, when the mother wants to play the role of the father and the father wants to play the roles of the mother in the home, there is a "social eclipse" where the family unit is disintegrated. Both become insignificant and lose their status. The children lose the most since they will have no guidance whatsoever. There will be no love and peace in the home. The home will be lacking goodness and purity, safety and happiness. This is why it is important to understand that God Almighty has created each person with a specific role to play. We should all fulfill our correct roles and please God. It is only through such means that we will achieve happiness. 69.06.00: Dressing in Islam Also under the protection of lineage, certain dress codes have been established for both men and women. Men should cover from navel

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to knees in public. Women should dress modestly and cover their beauty in public. This is in order to protect society directly from ills such as immorality. Revealing the face, hands and feet is permissible. The idea is to safeguard the precious jewels of beauty that lie there under. A jewel will be kept in a jewelry box in the safe under lock and key, far from the public who may pounce on it and pinch it if it is not properly guarded. Dressing appropriately sends a clear message to the children. A policeman who has no uniform will wave his hand all day trying to bring the vehicles to a halt, but he will not succeed because he is not properly dressed. An ordinary person in police uniform will succeed in stopping any vehicle the moment he makes a single sign with his hand. Parents who do not dress properly will not be able to control the dressing of their kids, no matter how hard they try. Lead by example. It is encouraged to dress similar to the Messengers of God. Studies have proven that they have all dressed in a very similar manner. An interesting example is that of electricity. Regarded as a necessity, electricity has become vital in our day to day lives. Any village with no electricity is termed "backward". Electricity brings light in the home, food, comfort, warmth, security, happiness, ability to see etc. However the wires between the switch and the bulb are compulsorily hidden in both clinging insulators as well as conduit piping. This is necessary in order to protect a mad man, a child or even a normal person out of error who may touch a loose wire. Dangling wires are death. If we see a naked wires, we will immediately call a qualified electrician, and in the mean time we will put up a big notice in clear red ink saying "Danger!" or we will put a person in place to make sure there is no fatality. Electricity is regarded as good but why hide the current? As if it is touched by anyone other than a qualified electrician then there will be the disaster. Similarly, a female brings in all the goodness in the home. If she is uncovered, she may be touched by men who are not qualified to touch her and this can only result in disaster. This is why it is only correct for women to be asked to dress modestly. If we see women in public inappropriately dressed, it should hurt us and we should try to explain to them in the best, most polite and effective manner.

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Islam prefers a wife over an illegal relationship with a female, the latter being prohibited. Taking a woman as one's wife is safeguards her in that the husband will take full responsibility of all her needs and her children too. Marriage is very strongly encouraged. Men should marry one wife, but they are permitted to take up to four wives if they are able to maintain them and be just and equal to them. This prevents promiscuity and assists young widows, divorcees, women who cannot get married and are ageing as well as physically challenged women. It is also the solution to the problem of extra marital affairs which is rampant in most societies. A prohibited woman is only seen when she is needed and therefore she appears to be better than the legal wife of a man, who is with him at all times. The true colors of such a woman will only be known if she is married and brought on the same footing as the first wife. The man will soon come to realize who she is. Divorce is permitted only as a last resort and is regarded as the most disliked of the permissible acts. Divorce can be revocable or irrevocable, and it is very simple. A man can divorce his wife. A woman can have her marriage nullified through the Shariah Court or through a panel of Scholars in her country. 69.07.00: Protection of belief and religion If we try to count what God Almighty has given us it will be like trying to count the stars in the sky. He has showered us with all sorts of goodness. Muslims are taught to look at those who have less or those going through more difficulty. This will allow us to appreciate what God Almighty has given us. If we look at those who have more or those who are better off than ourselves we will never be able to appreciate God's gifts upon us. We need to worship God in return, and stay far away from associating partners with God Almighty. None must be worshipped besides God. No act of worship must be rendered for anyone other than Him. It is not permissible to use any human being as a stepping stone between a person and God.

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Each person must have direct contact with His Creator. It is also prohibited to worship someone or something else (no matter who or what it is) together with God Almighty. No prophet, angel, saint, priest, Imam, Sheikh or others can be given any act of worship at all. This means that we should only worship God Almighty in the manner He has prescribed. It is incorrect to create and innovate acts of worship using our own brains. Under this law, Muslims must fulfill all their obligations and stay away from all prohibitions. Similarly, all religions must be tolerated (freedom of religion and belief) so long as they tolerate us. Interference in Islam will not be tolerated, just as other religions would not tolerate interference in theirs. The Qur'aan clearly states that there is no compulsion regarding entering the religion. Meaning each person, after being told the truth, is free to choose the truth or remains as he/she is. 69.08.00: Turning to God Almighty The Creator/worshipper relationship must be very strong. The Qur'aan states that God Almighty answers the call of every caller positively. Repentance which is coupled with regret and an undertaking not to repeat the sin, is always accepted, making the worshipper pure once again. The Prophet Muhammad has said, "All children of Adam err, but the best of those who err are those who constantly repent!" Similarly, entering the fold of Islam literally deletes all previous sins no matter how major they are. The manner in which to enter the fold of Islam is very simple. Simply declare that that there is no god worthy of worship besides Allah (God Alone), and that Muhammad PBUH is His Messenger and Prophet. Then follow what has been mentioned above. [By Abu Fawzaan, Mufti Isma'il ibn Musa Menk - Harare, Zimbabwe. Courtesy: www.everymuslim.com]

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70.00.00: Islam is a Complete, Comprehensive Code of Life
Islam is the God-given system of life based on Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Islam brings man close to God, taking into consideration his material and spiritual demands, thus elevating his spiritual status and controlling his physical desires. Islam extends its sense of organization to all walks of life: Such as: Individual and social behaviors, labor and industry, economics and politics, national and international relations, and so on. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between citizen and state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism. Examples: Spiritual Life: Prayer, fasting charity, pilgrimage, love for God and His Messenger, love for truth and humanity, hope and trust in God and doing well for the Sake of God. Intellectual Life: Islam demands faith in God on the basis of knowledge and research and leaves wide open all fields of thought before the intellect to penetrate as far as it can reach. The Quran itself is a rich source of knowledge about the universe. Personal Life: Purity and cleanliness, healthy diet, proper clothing, proper behavior, and health sexual relations within marriage. Family Life: Since the family is the backbone of society, Islam builds the family on solid grounds that are capable of providing

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continuity, true security, mature intimacy, sincere reciprocity and moral gratification. Marriage is a strong bond and a commitment to life itself, to society, and a dignified, meaningful survival of the human race. Motherhood is more cherished that fatherhood. Social Life: Man is ordained by God to extend his utmost help and kindness to other family members, relations, and neighbors. There is no superiority on account of class, race, gender, origin or wealth. The unity of humanity is not only its origin but also its ultimate aim. Economic Life: Earning one’s living through decent labor is not only a duty but a great virtue as well. Earning is ones private possession. The individual is responsible for the prosperity of the state and the state is responsible for the security of the individual. In comes to this world empty-handed and departs empty-handed. The real owned of things is God alone. One is simply a trustee. Political Life: The sovereignty in the Islamic state belongs to God; the people exercise it by trust from Him to enforce His laws. The ruler is chosen from the best-qualified citizens by the people to administer justice, provide security, etc., through consultation, within the Laws ordained by God. A religious hierarchy or clergy does not exist. Non-Muslims are entitled to full protection and freedom to practice their religion. War is only justified if state security is endangered. During war, destruction of crops, animal and homes, killing non-fighting women, children and aged people are forbidden. [Dr. Mohamed I. Elmasry]

71.00.00: Summary of the Lessons, Rewards and Benefits of Prayer
You should know - My dear Brother and Sister Muslim that the following has been authentically reported from our Messenger (sas) regarding the lessons, benefits and rewards of the five daily prayers: 01. That Allah the Exalted wipes away sins by the five prayers. 02. That the five prayers are expiation for what occurs between them, if major sins are avoided. 03. That sins burn and destroy a person and thus it is necessary to extinguish that with the prayers. 04. That the Muslim reaches the level of the truthful and the martyrs on account of his prayers, charity and fasting. 05. The superiority of prayer over other actions.

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06. That Allaah the Exalted bestowed a favour upon that companion by entering him into Paradise before his brother who died as a martyr because he prayed more than him. 07. That the prayer is light which illuminates the path of the servant in this world and the hereafter. 08. That an abundance of prostrations and prayers is the way to accompany the Messenger (sas) in Paradise. 09. That a two rakah prayer is more loved by the dead person than the world and what is in it. 10. That emptying the heart for Allaah in the prayer puts a person in the same condition as the day when his mother gave birth to him. 11. That should a person enter the Fire - refuge is sought from that the angels will remove him from it and will recognise him by the marks of prostration.[2] 12. That the prayer participates in undoing the knots which Shaytaan places at the top of ones head. 13. That the night prayer is the most excellent prayer after the obligatory prayers. 14. That the one who prays at night obtains a reward which most of mankind do not. 15. Gratitude is shown to Allaah with the (obligatory) prayer and night prayer. 16. That the prayer most loved by Allaah is the prayer of Daawood (as) which is to pray for a third of the night and to sleep for two thirds of the night.[3] 17. That has Allaah has bestowed a favour upon His servant by the hour during the night in which the supplication is answered. It is befitting for the Muslim that he aspires for it and seeks to find it so that he is given the good of this world and the Hereafter. 18. That the night prayer is an evidence for righteousness and taqwaa and it expiates the sins and prevents one from falling into them. 19. That Allaah Azzawajall covers the husband and wife who help each other in performing the night prayer with His mercy. If one of them refuses, the other sprinkles water on his or her face. 20. That two rakahs of prayer at night makes a person amongst the men who remember Allaah often or the women who remember Allaah often.

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21. That Allah is amazed by the man who gets up from his sleep, leaving his bed sheet, his wife and his love for her in order to perform prayer. Allah laughs at him and informs the angels about him. 22. That there is no jealousy or competition except with regard to two men, one of whom prays at night reciting the Qur'an which Allah has bestowed upon him. 23. That whoever recited ten verses in the night (in prayer) will not be written amongst the heedless, a Qintaar of reward will be written for him and Allah the Exalted will say to him: "Recite and rise by one degree with every verse", until he comes to the last verse he knows. Allah favors him by giving him eternity. 24. That whoever prays at night with a hundred verses is written amongst the devout worshippers and whoever prays with a thousand verses is written amongst the Muqantareen and whoever prays with two-hundred verses is written amongst the devout worshippers and sincere ones. 25. That the one who walks to the prayer (in the mosque) is raised in ranks and has his sins removed, both while he goes to the mosque and when he returns from it. 26. That for every step he takes he receives ten good deeds. 27. That the Muslim is written amongst the worshippers from the time he leaves the house till he returns to it. 28. That the one receiving the greatest reward for the prayer is the one who walks the furthest towards it and then the one further than him (from the mosque). 29. That one step which a servant takes to the prayer in congregation is counted as an act of charity for him. 30. That taking many steps towards the mosque is from ar-Ribaat (guarding the frontiers) 31. That every time a servant leaves for the mosque in the morning or the evening Allah prepares for him a feast in Paradise. 32. That Allah makes the light of those who walk through the darkness to the mosques complete and perfect on the Day of Judgment. 33. That the reward for the one who leaves his house in a state of purity for the obligatory prayer is like the reward of the pilgrim in the state of ihraam.

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34. That the one who leaves for the mosque has a guarantee from Allah in that he should provide for him sustenance and suffice him (in his affairs). 35. That the one who walks for the prayer in congregation, after having beautified his wudhu and travels to visit Allah the Exalted, is bestowed with a great favor in that Allah honors those of his servants who visit Him, and Allah's honoring of them is increasing their Eemaan, showing benevolence to them, rewarding them, raising their ranks, removing their difficulties and making their hearts content and happy. 36. The obligation to pray in congregation. 37. That the Prophet (says) did not make a concession for the old blind man by allowing him to leave the congregational prayer. How then can those who are fit and well be allowed a concession? 38. That whoever abandons the congregational prayer has been threatened with heedlessness and having a seal placed on his heart. 39. That staying away from the congregational prayer is a sign of hypocrisy. 40. The extreme striving of the Companions (ra) for attending the congregational prayer in spite of difficult circumstances. ------------------------Footnotes 1.Its condition is that the Aqeedah of the person is correct, sound and in accordance with the Pious Predecessors of this Ummah. 2.The condition for being removed from the fire due to the intercession of the angels (and others) is that a person should be from the People of Tawheed. Intercession is only for the People of Tawheed. 3.Due to his (sas) saying: "...He used to sleep half the night, then prayer for a third and then go to sleep for a sixth of it." When a half is added to a sixth they give two-thirds. [English Translation by Amjad ibn Muhammad Rafiq]

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72.00.00: Significance Of Physical Postures in Prayer
It is pity that so much effort is being wasted in transcendental meditation (TM) to revive human consciousness (the soul) to the supreme Reality of the Universe. A cursory study of history shows that this technique was never really effective even in the old days and was only confined to a few hermits and Rishis. It was an intellectual exercise of the mind which was practiced by a very few individuals of very high caliber to quench their thirst for the Divine Union and was practically beyond the comprehension of the common man in the street. It is a mental exercise which quietness the mind so long as the person is in that state of meditation but has no permanent effect which can give an individual peace of mind in a practical way. Transcendental meditation (TM) without any conscious objective cannot bring permanent peace of mind. It is a negative approach to human problems and history bears witness to the fact that such intellectual and mental exercises have never achieved anything permanent. It has, however, a temporary effect. It is true that one experiences a soothing effect when in the state of transcendental meditation, but this effect is not confined to this method alone. Any kind of mental exercise, in TM in Subud, or in any other form, will affect the body's physiology and thereby cause changes in an electroencephalogram (EEG or brain waves) and produce similar effects. But it is yet to be proved that such changes do produce any effect of a permanent nature. The human mind is affected by various kinds of creative mental exercises (based on the science of creative intelligence) but such exercises have long been confined to intellectuals or hermits among Hindus or Christians. They are beyond the comprehension of ordinary individuals. Moreover,

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mental exercises which provide some temporary comfort to an individual cannot be effectively used to solve the complicated problems of mankind. Above all, it is a mental exercise in a vacuum without any conscious objective or goal. One practices T.M without any clear goal before him going from nowhere to nowhere and such an exercise cannot really be expected to produce fruitful and beneficial results of any permanent value. In the olden days, Rishis and hermits did practice it, but they had a clear vision of their objective. They wanted to achieve nearness to their Creator through creative reflections (meditations) O It was not an exercise in a vacuum, like modern T.M. But even this did not achieve very encouraging results for it remained an intellectual luxury of the few and was never considered a recipe for the ills of mankind.. Now the question arises: do we need such mental exercises for fun, or momentary excitement and comfort, or something which may provide a real solution to our problems? Obviously mankind is in need of something positive, practical and realistic that may help to secure peace, and happiness at individual as well as at national level. People have lost peace of mind through over-indulgence in pleasures and neglect of their celestial and spiritual needs. A philosophy of life which can bring proper coordination and understanding between the physical and spiritual needs of man could solve many of the problems that face him today. Man has lost his relationship with the Creator and is new wandering around in the wilderness of abstract thinking in search of peace. Surely he can regain his peace of mind through re-establishing his link with his Creator. And the shortest route to renew their relationship is to open dialogue with Him through prayers. It seems very likely that there exists every intimate relationship between the performance of prayer and Divine favors. Presumably the physical postures and movements of prayer have a deep significance and important function in revitalizing and re-igniting the potential of enlightenment and energy inherent in every man. Prayer is composed of four main postures or movements of the body, i.e., qiy'am, ruku, sajdah and qaadah. It is very important that

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these four movements in the prayer are performed exactly in the same manner as taught by the Messenger of God. We offer our prayer to God because the Holy Prophet told us to do so. It is, therefore, absolutely essential that it must be performed in its every detail in the way it was performed by the Messenger of God himself.

Obligatory duty: Prayer is an obligatory duty and mere performance of it will no doubt absolve a believer of his duty to God, but if he wants to nourish and develop his self and soul, he must perform it in the way it was performed by the Messenger of God himself. The Holy Prophet laid great emphasis on the right performance of every act of prayer. Qiy'am must be performed properly; one must not bend forward or backward or lean side wards but stand straight with eyes fixed at the place of sajdah and not looking around. Ruku must be moderate, neither too low nor too high but in line with the body as taught by the Holy prophet. There must be a reasonable gap between ruku and sajdah and between the two sajdahs, as advised by the Holy Prophet. The importance of the proper performance of each part of prayer is emphasized by the Holy Prophet o Anas reported God's Messenger as saying, " perform the bowing and the prostration properly, for I swear by God that I can see you behind me" According to Abu Masud A1 Ansari the Messenger of God said, "A man's prayer do not avail him unless he keeps his back steady when bowing and prostrating himself." (1) Abu Qatada reported the Messenger of God as saying, "The one who commits the worst theft is he who steals from his prayer." When asked how one could steal from his prayer, he replied, "By not performing his bowing and prostration perfectly". There are details of qiy'am, ruku and sajdah in the hadith to help the believers to offer their prayer perfectly.

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According to A'isha, "God's Messenger used to begin prayer with takbir and the recitation of Surah Fatiha when he bowed, he neither kept his head up nor bent it down, but kept it between these extremes; when he raised his head after bowing he did not prostrate himself until he had stood erect; when he raised his head after prostration he did not prostrate himself again until he was in the proper sitting position." If there is any slackness on the part of a believer in performance of any part of prayer, his prayer becomes void and he does not gain anything from it. According to Abu Hurairah, a man entered the mosque when the Messenger of God was sitting in it and offered his prayer. He then came and said, "Peace be upon you" and God's Messenger replied, "peace be upon you. Go back and offer your prayer, for you have not prayed." He returned and prayed, then came and said, "Peace be upon you." The Messenger of God replied, And peace be upon you. Go back and pray again, for you have not prayed." On the third or fourth occasion he said, "Teach me, Messenger of good God." So he said, "When you turn to the qibla and say, Allahu-Akbar, then recite a convenient portion of the Qur’an; then bow and remain quietly in that position; then raise yourself and stand erect; then prostrate yourself and remain quietly in that position; then raise yourself and sit quietly." This hadith confirms our assumption that performance of each part of prayer properly and perfectly as taught by the Holy Prophet is essential. Any variation or alteration in the performance of any part of prayer from what was taught by the Holy Prophet renders it a meaningless exercise. This great emphasis on the proper performance of prayer, even in minute details, is a testimony to the fact that there is a close relationship between the various postures and movements in prayer and the acquisition of Divine favors and enlightenment. The Holy Prophet emphasized again and again the deep significance of the actual performance of the different parts of prayer. It must therefore be performed exactly in the way it was taught by the Holy Prophet,

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otherwise it will not be a prayer but an exercise of the body performed to please yourself or just a habitual act. Relationship between the movements of prayer and Divine blessings: There seems to be an intimate relationship between the movements of prayer and Divine blessings. If it is offered perfectly, then it helps man to benefit from his inner potential energy in the development of his self and his soul. In daily prayer, God has given man the shortest and the quickest method of obtaining His Grace and Blessings. People in the past have spent ages, and sometimes, all their lives, to obtain a glimpse of His Glory and many have failed and died in the wilderness of disillusionment. A very few have received some form of enlightenment after years of hard and strenuous effort. People have starved themselves to annihilate their physical self in order to strengthen their soul and receive Divine Enlightenment, but without success. Some have spent all their lives with very little food and water in the jungles and in the valleys of mountains in the hope of rekindling and rejuvenating the dying light in their souls but with no, or Only partial success. Prayer is a wonderful gift of God: Prayer is a wonderful gift of God. There is no need in Islam to go to the mountains or jungles to kill your physical self in order to obtain dhyan (unbroken concentration) and through these forms of selfannihilation to reach for salvation. Prayer provides all the essential requisites for preparing the mind and transforming it into an extraordinary state capable of receiving the Divine Light. It provides physical as well as mental exercise in such a balanced way that neither is ignored orover emphasized. This harmonious functioning of body and mind at the correct level and in the most balanced way is achieved only through prayer. All the movements of the body from the standing position to the prostrating position are the expression of the extreme humility of the body before the Supreme Being. It is, in fact, total submission of the physical self before the Supreme Authority. Recitation of Divine

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words and praises of God in prayer have a cumulative effect on the mental powers of man, And in this process of submission of the body and the mind to the Divine Will through the synchronization of movements and recitation of the Qur'anic verses in prayer, the spiritual power of man becomes stronger and gains full control over the physical self and gradually lifts it up to the Supreme Being. This process of the total submission of the body and the mind before the Ultimate Authority is explained in the words of the Holy Qur 'an: "When you threw (a handful of dust), it was not your act, but God's."(8:17). The action of the Holy Prophet in throwing stones at his enemies was entirely in obedience to the Command of God and there was no personal motive or any realization of his own physical self. In fact every action of the faithful servants of God, performed in obedience to His Command, can be ascribed to God Himself. According to Abu Hurairah, the Holy Messenger said: "God says, 'My servant becomes closer to Me by performing those deeds which are obligatory on him And he gets close to Me through constant observance of optional (nafila) prayer until he becomes My beloved. When he becomes My beloved, I become his ears through which hears, his eyes through which he sees, and his hand with which he holds, and his feet with which he walks." This hadith shows that all the powers of his body and mind come under the Guidance of God and man attains very close relationship with his Lord. This harmonious working of the body and the mind helps in concentrating and thereby activating the latent energies of the physical self. This process gradually transforms the centrifugal (outgoing) forces operating in mind and body into centripetal (inwardgoing) and unifying forces which lift man from the world of matter into the world of spirit and show him glimpses of the boundless spiritual world. In the course of the transformation of the concealed energies of the physical self into active unifying forces, the mind is slowly but surely released from the limitations of the physical self and is then able to conceive and grasp the meaning of the manifestations of the Supreme Being. At this stage, man is fully prepared and ready, provided he maintains the standard of performance of his prayer, to receive the

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Blessings and Favors of the Supreme Power. In other words, he has reached the stage where he is in a position to establish close communion with God. And why not? After all, man represents the two important aspects of God's Creation, as stated by the Holy Qur’an in these words "That which I have created with both My Hands." (38:75) "Both hands" refers to the two aspects of God's Creation. He has a physical body, which makes him one of the animals, and he has a soul, which makes him supreme over all other creation, including angels. When he is at his best in prayer, he leaps towards his spiritual world and establishes close contact with his Lord. And this is confirmed by a hadith, according to which a Muslim achieves audience with God (hudhur) in prayer. "Prayer is Miraj of the believers" Muslim jurists have taken this hadhur to mean the presence of angels in prayer. This may be explained in another way. The harmonious working of body and mind helps to awaken the Spiritual or super-sensory powers in man. The greater the harmony between the former two forces of man, the stronger the awakening of the super-sensory power in man. The proper balance between the triangular forces of body, mind and spirit acts like an electrical wire, which transfers the necessary electrical current from the main generating station to the electrical lamp. Just as it is unthinkable to transfer electricity direct from the main power house to a small electric lamp, similarly it is inconceivable to receive Divine Light or communion with God without proper harmony between the afore said forces. It may, therefore, be said that a harmonious functioning of the triangular forces in man is absolutely necessary before any progress can be made in this direction. Unless body, mind and spirit (or the soul) is properly functioning in harmony, it is not possible for man to rekindle his soul from the Light of the Power of God or to achieve any sort of close communion with Him. People have in the past adopted various methods to achieve this harmonious functioning of the triangular forces within the self but have often taken years for very little or partial success. Islam has given man a very short but effective recipe in the form of prayer to achieve the required harmony between the triangular

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forces within him. Just study the form and the words of the prayer and how it is performed, and you will notice the wonderful combination it provides for body, mind and soul which no other religion or system has yet suggested. This process of the activation of spiritual or super-sensory powers in man can also be explained in this way. Man is a psychosomatic organism- he has a body, which is the external part of him and a mind, which is the internal part of him His body is composed of matter which, in the ultimate physical analysis, consists of atoms. His mind represents the entire world of ideas, beliefs, hopes, fears and aspirations. All these belong to the world of consciousness, i.e. the inner side of man. This consciousness (mind) of man plays a vital role in relating the soul of man to his environment. In other words, it is a vital factor in relating spirit to matter. There are thus two worlds in man: the physical, represented by body and, the spiritual, represented by mind. The latter belongs to the invisible world which exists side by side with the visible world disclosed by sense perception. The latter is dimensional while the former is extra-dimensional. Internally man belongs to the invisible world, that is to say, his soul or spirit belongs to that world, externally he belongs to the visible world, that is to say, his body belongs to that world, but through consciousness man is related to both the Worlds. If a man looks within his self he moves towards higher levels of consciousness and a deeper understanding of spiritual values. If, on the other hand, he devotes himself to the external world of matter, he tends to move away from the higher Spiritual values to the lower values of the visible world. Regular prayer: Regular prayer helps to attain the right equilibrium between the spiritual and the material worlds of man. He lives in the world of matter, works in it for his livelihood and satisfies all his material Needs, but, at the same time, he keeps his link with the spiritual world and further strengthens it. Prayer enables him to develop and widen his perception of the extra dimensional spiritual world to such an extent that he is able to perceive and understand the things of a higher level of consciousness which he could hardly visualize before.

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Establishment of prayer: Establishment of prayer will strengthen the extra dimensional powers of man to such a degree that he will be able to establish close relationship with the Ultimate Power. It must, however, be emphasized that this link can not be maintained without the establishment of regular prayer. Prayer is the means as well as the end. It helps man to establish and maintain his link with God. If the institution of prayer or its proper performance is lost, the link with the spiritual world will automatically be cut off. Man has not yet known any other effective means of establishing and then maintaining his relationship with God. It is like a wire, as explained before, connected with the main Generator. As soon as the wire is disconnected from the main source of power, the light goes off, and all is darkness again. This wire is prayer. Thus prayer, through multifarious ways beyond human comprehension, acts and reacts on the human mind until the latter is enlightened spiritually with the Nur (Ultimate Light) of the Universe. As all men do not possess similar or equal power, their personal experiences may very considerably. Each man gains this experience according to his own internal as well as external powers. But regular prayer does provide opportunities to every believer to develop his latent energies within his self according to his potentialities and thereby establish his link with God. The greater the perfection in the performance of prayer will be the closer the relationship with God. Prayer was a mi’raj for believers: Communion with the Divine Being is attained when prayer is performed perfectly and properly in body, mind and soul as instructed by the Holy Prophet. This is why the Holy Prophet said that prayer was a mi’raj for believers. It provides an opportunity to believers to have direct and close relationship with God as did the Holy Prophet during the night of the mi’raj. This is also explained by an- other hadith when the Holy Prophet said "When you perform prayer, think that you are standing in front of God and seeing Him with your eyes. And if it is not possible for you to see Him, at least think that He is seeing you" When one achieves this mi’raj in prayer, he is bound to rise far above the physical barriers of this ethereal world and enter into the world of the unknown,

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experiencing new and wonderful things which he could never think of in his ordinary state of mind. The Companions of the Holy Prophet often experienced this in their prayer. Long ruku and sujud Anas used to perform long ruku and sujud; people often thought he had forgotten that he was offering his prayer. Abdullah bin Zubair often stood in qiyam like a lifeless pillar and spent so much time in sajdah that pigeons of Baitullah sat on his back taking it to be an inanimate object. Once, two Companions of the Holy Prophet were on night sentry duty on the battlefield. One was sleeping and the other stood in prayer. One arrow struck him while he was in prayer. He was bleeding but he completed prayer. After completing his prayer, he woke up his colleague on duty and told him that he was reciting one Surah of the Holy Qur’an when the arrow struck him but he did not want to finish prayer without completing that Surah. Once an arrow struck Ali; It was very deep and could not be pulled out. Ali asked his companion to pull it out while he was in prayer. He offered two rakat prayers and the arrow was pulled out of his leg, but he continued his prayer without feeling any pain. Religious ambition sees higher than the ambition of philosophy: Dr. Iqbal recognizes the human quest for a Divine mission in these words. "But as I have said before, religious ambition sees higher than the ambition of philosophy. Religion is not satisfied with mere conception; it seeks a more intimate knowledge of and association with the object of its pursuit (God). The agency through which this association is achieved is the act of worship, ending in a spiritual illumination. The act of worship, however, affects different types of consciousness differently. In the case of the prophetic consciousness, it is mainly creative, i.e. tends to create a fresh ethical world wherein the Prophet, so to speak, applies the pragmatic test to his revelations. Thus you will see that, psychologically speaking, prayer is instructive in its origin. The act of prayer, aiming at knowledge, resembles reflection Yet prayer at its highest is much more than

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abstract reflection. Like reflection it too is a process of assimilation, but the assimilative process in the case of prayer draws itself closely together and thereby acquires a power unknown to pure thought. In thought, the mind observes and follows the working of reality; in the act of prayer it ceases to be a seeker of slow-footed universability and rises higher than thought towards Reality itself, becoming a conscious participator in its life. There is nothing mystical about it. Prayer, as a means of spiritual illumination, is a normal, vital act by which the little island of our personality suddenly discovers its situation in a larger whole." "Do not think I am talking of auto-suggestion. Auto suggestion has nothing to do with the opening up of the sources of life that lie in the depths of the human ego. Unlike spiritual illumination which brings fresh power by shaping the human personality, it leaves no permanent life. Nor I am speaking of some occult and special way of knowledge. All that I mean is to fix your attention on a real human experience which has a history behind it and a future before it. The quest of nameless nothing, as disclosed in Neo-Platonism mysticism be it Christian or Muslim-cannot satisfy the modern mind which, with its habits of concrete thinking, demands a concrete living experience of God. And the history of the race shows that the attitude of the mind embodied in the act of worship if a condition for such an experience. In fact prayer must be regarded as a necessary complement to the intellectual activity of the observer of Nature. (5) While discussing the real object of prayer, Dr, Iqbal says," prayer, then, whether individual or associative, is an expression of man's inner yearning for a response in the awful silence of the universe. It is a unique process of discovery whereby the searching ego affirms itself in the very moment of self negation, and thus discovers its own worth and justification as a dynamic factor in the life of the universe. True to the psychology of mental attitude in prayer, the form of worship in Islam symbolizes both affirmation and negation. Yet, in view of the fact borne out by the experience of the race that prayer, as an inner act, has found expression in a variety of forms, the Qur’an says: "To every people We have appointed ways of worship which they observe. Therefore let them

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not dispute this matter with you, but invite them to your Lord for you are on the right way, but if they dispute with you, then say, God best knows what you do; He will judge between you on the Day of Judgment, in the matters wherein you differ. (22:66-69)." "The form of prayer ought not to become a matter of dispute. Which side you turn your face is certainly not essential to the spirit of prayer. The Qur’an is perfectly clear on this point: 'The East and West is God's, therefore whichever direction you turn, and there is the face of God (2:109). And again, 'There is no piety in turning your faces towards the East or West, but he is pious who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Books and the Prophets, who for the love of God gives his wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and to ransom the slaves; who observes prayer and pays zakat, and fulfils the contracts which he has made; and is patient in pain and hardship, and in time of trouble; those are they who are just, and those are they who fear the Lord (2:177).' "Yet we cannot ignore the important consideration that the posture of the body is a real factor in determining the attitude of mind". Prayer is the key which opens the gate of the kingdom of God: To sum up, prayer is the key which opens the gate of the kingdom of God. And, according to Ibn 'Arabi, creative prayer becomes a dialogue between man and God and provides an opportunity to the earthly creature to open up his heart before his creator. It is creative because it is at once God's prayer and man's prayer. Such an effective prayer opens up new horizons for man beyond the comprehension of an ordinary being. Surah Fatiha in the prayer provides this opportunity to man to enter into such a dialogue and enjoy the excitement and ecstasy of Divine vision. According to the hadith reported by Abu Hurairah, the Holy Messenger said, "God says that I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two parts. Half of it is for Me and half for MY servant and I give whatever he asks me for. When the servant says: 'All praise is for the Lord of the universe,' God replies, 'My servant is grateful to me'. When he says, 'Most Gracious, Most Merciful,' God says 'My servant has praised Me.'

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When he says 'Master of the Day of Judgment, 'God says, "My servant has exalted Me' When the servant says, 'You do we worship and Your help do we seek,' God says This portion is shared between Me and My servant. I bestow whatever he asks.' When he says,' Guide me to the straight path, the path of those whom You blessed, not of those who earned Your anger or went astray.' God says, 'This is for My servant and bestow what he has asked for." This hadith throws some light on the unusual greatness and effectiveness of this prayer: First: nothing can be better and more exalted than what is demanded in the prayer: the servant is asking from God guidance to the right path to reach Him In other words, he is requesting God to show him the way to get closer to Him. Second: it starts with thanks-giving and those attributes of God which entitle him to His blessings Third: by saying, 'We obey You and ask Your help alone' he puts himself completely in the hands of God. He has put his entire trust in Him and thrown himself at His door. He has cut all his relations and come to build only one relation, i.e. with God. There is no reason why his request should not be granted. The final words of the prayer provide the best intercession. The servant prays for guidance to God and requests to be granted the ability and power to tread that path which leads to Him. In these words, God has Himself taught man how to reach Him, get near to Him and open a dialogue with Him. [By: Afzalur Rahman Prayer Its Significance and Its Benefits, Chapter-3 References: 1. Mishkat; 2. Forty hadith; 3. Reconstruction of Religious Thought, Dr. Iqbal; 4. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, Henry Corbin; 5. Tadabbur e Qur’an]

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73.00.00: Why are we not able to wake up for Fajr?
Our Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) is our exemplar who provided the best example in spending long hours of the night in prayer and waking in time for Fajr Prayer. This record was authentically known of him both in his teachings and his living example as he did not like sleeping before Ishaa [night] Prayer and discouraged his followers from useless talk after it. In this he was followed by his companions and all the Muslims up to a time not very far from our own days. They knew the reasons which cause laziness and lessen motivation to observe prayers in time (be such prayers Fard [obligatory] or Nafla [optional]) and warned people against them so much that some of them are reported to have said: "If you are unable to pray at night, then that is a clear sign that your sins have shackled you and deprived you of good deeds". Al-Hasan al-Basri was once asked: "Why is it that we cannot uphold prayers at night?" He answered: "You are shackled in your own sins". Motivation is presently lacking among Muslims. Otherwise they would not have given in to sleep even if they had to stay awake in the first part of the night. When one of them is required by his work arrangements or for his own worldly benefit to wake early at dawn, he would no doubt take the necessary precaution not to miss his appointment. He will forsake his peace of mind and have a restless sleep just for fear he might be punished or have his salary reduced. When it comes to prayer, they have no excuse especially when in our modern times Allah has provided us with alarm clocks which would be set at any time we wish. The problem therefore, is one of laziness. Such people do not know what they are missing. The Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said with respect to those who

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do not observe Ishaa and Fajr prayers: "Had one of them known that he would find a wholesome meal or two good targets, he would have come for Ishaa prayer." All in all, for him who sincerely wants to purify his soul from the attributes of the hypocrites, let him steer clear of laziness, be active, put into practice the action inspiring instructions laid out in our religion, accustom himself to take the initiative and realize what he and everybody in his position are missing in terms of the health of the body and great reward from Allah. Only then will his performance improve, Allah willing, and he will make up for what he has missed and follow the lead of the best of generations. Allah, the Most High and Exalted, is the Provider of success and assistance. Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammed, his household and followers. [Signed: Abdullah Ibn Abdur-Rahmaan al-Jibreen] -----------------------------------------------------------------------The Text -----------------------------------------------------------------------Most surely all praise belongs to Allah, we praise Him and we seek His Aid and Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allah guides there is none to misguide and whomsoever He misguides there is none to guide. I send prayers and blessing upon our leader Muhammed with the best of prayers and the most complete submission. To proceed: One of the ill-seeming phenomena and most serious precedents boding impending danger and punishment, giving reason to fear and calling for most urgent consideration on our part requiring immediate investigation into its causes and treatment of its symptoms is the fact that a growing number of observers of prayer deliberately shun Fajr prayer in congregation and only perform it at times other than its lawful time. It may be the case that this is due to their wasting away long hours at night engaged in idle and leisure pursuits. Our ancestors not very long ago used to make a point of going to bed early, to lock their

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doors after Ishaa prayer and to make their dinner light so as to be able to wake up for Fajr prayer in an energetic state. That is why they led a happy, peaceful and healthy life experiencing the real taste of life. The advent of modern civilization spoiled both our religious observances and our worldly arrangements. As a result, we have fallen into laziness and inertia; our bodies grew fat and flabby; we move about less frequently whilst showing a greater readiness to sleep and a marked inability to perform the most trivial of manual actions. The present paper attempts therefore to suggest ways which may be of help in inducing us to wake up for Fajr Prayer; for instance: ONE: To make sure to go to bed early as the Prophet (sallallaahualaihi-wasallam)used to discourage sleep before performing Ishaa prayer and especially engaging in conversation after it. Certain cases were accepted, some of which are enumerated by Imam Nawawi in his explanation of Muslim's account. Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him says: The reason why conversation after it is discouraged is the fear lest it leads to staying awake for long , which might induce drowsiness and difficulty with observing night prayers or Subh [dawn] prayer in their permitted, preferred or best times. The topics covered by this restriction are all fulfilling no good useful purpose. However, as to useful verbal activities, such as the pursuit of knowledge, listening to the wise tales of righteous people, talking to one's guest or bride, or members of one's family for the sake of company, interacting with travelers with a view to protect themselves and their goods, embarking on talks designed to conciliate between people or intercede before them in a good cause or to enjoin good and forbid evil and admonish people by pointing to a beneficial course of action to follow etc. there are no such restrictions. TWO: To be assiduous in observing the Aadaab [good manners prescribed in Islam] as to what to do before sleep such as making Du'aa [supplication], bringing one's palms together, very mildly spitting into them and reciting the last three soorah's of the Qur'an

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into them and them wiping them over one's face, head and body, being physically and religiously pure and performing a two rakah voluntary prayer after wudhoo [ablution]. A muslim has to ask his wife, parents, relatives or neighbors to help waking him up. Once waken up, he should not linger lazily for long in bed, lest he acquires the vices of the hypocrites who come to prayer showing ample signs of laziness and lack of enthusiasm. THREE: To fill one's heart with faith and good deeds. Once faith is alive in the heart, it induces the person to do good deeds and strive unremittingly hard. Faith is like a tree which only yields good fruit when irrigated from the streamlets of good deeds, thus bringing about an improvement both in personal conduct and at the international level with society at large. The lack of such streamlets or water supplies proportionately causes faith to wither and wilt. The heart is highly sensitive to external hardening stimuli, such as excess food or drink or aberrations in watching or listening (letting your eyes and ears loose to what is unlawful for them). You should therefore protect your heart from such external allurements. FOUR: To keep away from Ma'aasi [acts of disobedience to Allah] by protecting the eyes, the tongue, the hearing and all the senses from indulging in the perception of objects that Allah has made unlawful for us. As an alternative, one should concern himself with matters pertaining to the worship of Allah, such as devoting one's sight to the reading of Allah's Book, meditating over the creatures that Allah has created in this universe, reading books of knowledge etc. One member of the rightly guided early generations was asked about the reason why people found it difficult to uphold voluntary prayers at night. He answered: "Your sins have shackled you". No doubt sins can be a major cause for a persons inability to enjoy the blessings of piety. As Imaam Ibn ul-Qayyim said, sins are wounds and some wounds can be fatal. FIVE: To bear in mind the great reward for attending Fajr prayer in congregation on time, and the strong rebuke for him to fails to observe it and to satisfy its conditions.

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Uthmaan ibn 'Affaan related: I heard Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) say: "He who prays Ishaa in Jamaa'ah [congregation] is as if he has prayed for half the night. As to him who (also) prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed all night." [narrated by Maalik and the wording is that of Muslim who also reported it]. Similarly, Bukhaaaree and Muslim and An-Nasaaee related on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud (radiallaahu-anhu) that he said: The case of a man who slept all the night up to sunrise (without waking up for Fajr) was related to the Prophet(sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) whereupon he said: "That was a man in whose ear Shaytaan has urinated", or he said "in both his ears". The urinating is literally true, as Imaam Qurtubi says, since Shaytaan urinates and has sexual intercourse and procreates in a manner that Allah alone knows (1). To ascertain for yourself the truth of this assertion, look at the faces of those who come to deal in their daily business without having prayed Fajr in congregation at due time; look at their faces at working hours. You will surely ask Allah for refuge from a lot as miserable as theirs. But, after all what do you expect from a person in whose heart Shaytaan has urinated!!! SIX: To realise the bad effects resulting from one's failure to pray Fajr, such as the melancholic and depressive state of mind and the loss of many religious and worldly benefits, and the good effects resulting from managing to perform it. In this respect the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "Shaytaan ties three knots on the crown of any one of you in your sleep. He says upon each knot that he ties: "You have a long night before you, therefore sleep". But if you wake up and mention Allah, Most Exalted in remembrance one knot will be untied. If you then make ablution another knot will be undone. If you then proceed to pray the last knot will be disentangled. Thus, you will feel in the morning energetic and in good spirits. Otherwise you will feel in a despicable state, lazy". [Narrated by Maalik, Bukhaaree, Muslim and Abu Dawood]

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The time following Fajr prayer is full of goodness and blessings. At-Tirmidhee narrated upon the authority of Al-Ghamdi that the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said: "O Allah blesses my Ummah in its early rising!" and whenever he dispatched an expedition or army he sent them early at the beginning of the day. Sakhr was a merchant who always sent his merchandise early in morning thus, becoming wealthy (3). That is why we find the craftsmen and traders are particular about making good use of this time. Those who sleep up to the late morning have denied themselves the blessings of this early hour. There are many benefits to the health derived from waking up for Fajr prayer. For instance, the highest proportion of ozone gas (O3) in the atmosphere is registered at dawn. It then gradually fades away until complete disappearance by sunrise. This gas has a very beneficial effect on the nervous system as it vivifies the brain and energizes the muscles such that when a person inhales the beautiful breeze of the dawn, known as the SABAA wind, he will experience a pleasure that is unparalleled at any other time of the day or night (4). SEVEN: To lose no time to categorically clear yourself from the stigma of hypocrisy. Because of the difficulty of waking for this time, praying Fajr in congregation provides evidence that a person has firm faith and is free from hypocrisy. That is why in a hadeeth narrated by Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihiwasallam) said: "Indeed, the most difficult of prayers to bear, for the hypocrites, are Ishaa [night] and Fajr prayers. If only they knew what they are missing, they would sooner come, even if crawling on their knees". The most worthy companion, Abdullaah and Ibn Mas'ood (radiallaahu-anhu) asserts "The only one indeed who misses them [i.e. Ishaa and Fajr prayers] is a confirmed hypocrite" (5). Ibn Umar (radiallaahu-anhu) said "When we find a man missing from the Ishaa and Fajr prayers we nurture suspicions about him"(6).

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If you want a criterion for evaluating a person's degree of faith and truthfulness monitor his observance of Fajr prayer. If he passes the test, that should be taken as a sign indicating the strength of his Eeman [belief, faith]. Let us then testify to his truthfulness since he managed to achieve the greatest victory over himself and to be superior to the pleasure of sleeping in bed. If he fails the test, this is an index to his weakness in faith, hardness in his heart, an indulgence in Self-gratification and a defeat against his own whims. How is it then that he who indulges in sleep and misses prayer should conceivably feel comfortable while people are delighting in the mosques in the company of the Qur'aan, listening rapturously to Allah's message, and basking happily in His gardens. He who prefers the pleasures of the bed to the pleasure of the communion with Allah is the real loser. These are a few suggestions to help you wake up for Fajr prayer. May Allah make them useful. Glory be to Allah, Most Exalted over any false attributions and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all Beings. [Written by an anonymous student of Islamic knowledge with an introduction by Sheik Abdullah Ibn Jibreen]

74.00.00: Go Back and Pray, For You Have Not Prayed!
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful During the night, Abu Lu’lu’ Al Majoosi hid in the shadows in preparation for the Fajr Salah where he would execute his satanic mission: to Murder the Ameer of the Believers ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab(Radi Allahu Anhu).’ Umar would lead the Fajr with a long surah, giving time for the community to join the congregation. As he led that Salah, Abu Lu’lu advanced from a dim pillar, a poisoned dagger hidden in his sleeve. He jumped in front of Umar(Radi Allahu Anhu) and tore open his stomach with the dagger. Abu Lu’lu’ then attempted an escape through the congregation, slashing left and right, murdering in his path many others. One Companion threw a cloth over and – realizing that he was caught – Abu Lu’lu’

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killed himself. Umar completed the Fajr Salah and passed away later in his bed(Radi Allahu Anhu). The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated. It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after mentioning the testimony of faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples. Allah declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances. For example, when Allah spoke directly to Moses, He said: "And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance." [Taha 13-14] Similarly, the prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven. Furthermore, when Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers. [Successful are the believers, those that offer their Salah with all earnestness and full obedience. Al-Mu’minoon, 23:1-2] The importance of prayer is demonstrated in many of the Prophet’s statements. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad." [Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503] In reality, when the prayer is performed properly – with true remembrance of Allah and turning to Him for forgiveness – it will have a lasting effect on the person. After he finishes the prayer, his heart will be filled with the rem