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Introduction

An introduction to Islam
Akhirah - All Muslims believe in life after death; this
Beliefs and teachings life is the test for the next one. They believe their
Islam is not an easy religion to understand, so you actions will determine a place in paradise. There are
will have to get used to words from the Arabic differences of opinion as to how the next life will
language to explain key terms. Islam, like Judaism come about, but essentially this life earns a place in
and Christianity, is not one united religion; it has an existence where Allah rules and is perfect.
many groups within it. For this GCSE Specification it However, getting there is not easy.
is the Sunni and Shi'a branches you will focus on.
They both have beliefs that underpin their lives:
Practices
Sunni - One God, angels, holy texts, prophets, Day of Much of Islamic practice is focused around the
Judgement, supremacy of Allah's will.
mosque, which is the Islamic place of worship.
Shi 'a - One God, prophethood, resurrection, imams Festivals are celebrated there, fast is broken there,
and justice of Allah. disputes are resolved there. It is the centre of the
community. Whilst many Muslims try to attend
You can see the similarities, but there are differences
mosque for as many of the prayers as they can each
and this is where diversity questions can come from
day, the main Muslim act of worship is led by an
to explain the differences in beliefs.
imam on Friday each week. Mosques in the UK are
Allah - The Arabic name for God. Muslims have 99 very well-attended for this prayer, which will include
names for Allah, but they are more like qualities to religious teachings.
help them try and partially understand His nature.
Words like oneness, immanence (involved in the Sunni have Five Pillars - five compulsory acts they
world), transcendence (beyond time and space), have to do to be a Muslim and a duty of jihad (to
omnipotence (all-powerful), merciful, kind and struggle for the success of their faith in the world).
forgiving, fair and just are used to describe Allah for Shi'as have Ten Obligatory Acts - Five Pillars plus
all Muslims. jihad plus four other key concepts.
Muhammad ~ - All Muslims believe in So, Sunnis and Shi'as have practices in common and
Muhammad ~' the last chosen prophet of Allah. It the Shi' a have extra compulsory acts.
was he who received the Qur'an (Allah's ultimate
These compulsory acts are called Pillars as they hold
message) and he who started the early Muslim
up the religion. Shahadah is the statement of faith
community and set up Makkah as the House of
(like a creed) the other four are actions: prayer,
Allah for worship. It was after his death that
charity, fasting and visiting Makkah. Within these
everything changed. There was a power struggle.
you will find lots of key Arabic terms. It is fine to use
Arguments broke out as to the leadership; should it
the English, but it is more impressive if you
be passed down Muhammad's ss family line or
use Arabic.
elected? They created a divide between two groups of
Muslims (Sunni and Shi'a), that remains up to today. All these actions are done from the heart for a true
Muslim. All are equally important and following
Qur'an - The ultimate book of guidance dictated to
them serves as part of the test for this life. In fact, for
Muhammad ~ through Angel Jibril. It has never
Islam, the whole point to this life is as a test and
been changed and supersedes other early books. You
preparation for the next.
will hear the word 'Surah' as well, this is the word for
chapter and each chapter has a name and number, for Jihad is a much-misused term so be careful when you
example, Surah al-Fatihah. The Hadith is referred to study this that you fully understand its meaning.
and these are simply the teachings of Muhammad ~ There is a greater and a lesser jihad for you to learn
and the Sunnah is the way of life of the prophet. about. Its more important use is the idea of trying to
Muslims use all of these to live their lives as Muslims. follow the religion to the best of ones ability.

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2 Islam

Festivals
There are a number of festivals, only some of which Eid-ul-Adha (or Id-ul-Adha which is a different
you need to study. spelling but is the same festival) ends the period of
hajj and is celebrated both on hajj and at home. It is
Eid ul-Fitr (or Id-ul-Fitr which is a different spelling well celebrated, but also has more of a spiritual
but is the same festival) ends the fasting month of meaning, as it makes Muslims think about the tests
Ramadan. It is the festival most celebrated and that Allah puts in front of them.
should set Muslims up for their life in the coming
year. It reminds them of what is important in life and Ashura is a festival which has much diversity in it
Allah should be at the forefront of that. because both its meaning and celebration are very
different for the Sunni and Shi'a. Its history is
important and again shows why the split in Islam
happened to form the two main groups.

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Diversity of believers within the religion
Before you start to study Islam, it is important you know why Islam has two main sects.
You will need to study the topics to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the
differences in beliefs and practices that exist between the Sunni and Shi'a, especially if you
are aiming for the higher grades.

'Muhammad~ is not the father of one of your men, but the messenger of Allah and the Seal of
the Prophets.' (Qur'on 33.40, Suroh al Ahzob)

Division of Islam into Sunni and Shi'a

( Sunni Shi'a
Sunni form the majority of the Shi'a is the second largest branch of Islam. Shi'a refer to their
Muslim community. Four successors, chosen leader as the 'imam' and they believe that each imam
called caliphs, were appointed to must be chosen by the previous imam. All Shi'a believe that
lead the Muslim community after Prophet Muhammad ~ appointed Ali as his successor. They
the death of Muhammad ~ in 632cE: claim the first three caliphs ignored the Prophet's choice, so
Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. they are only seen as companions. Shi'a believe the imams have
These men were chosen in turn, and, authority from Allah and can interpret the Qur'an and the
known as the 'four rightly guided Laws of Islam. They believe the last imam disappeared or went
caliphs', led the community for the to the sky without dying. This hidden imam, Mehdi, is present
next 24 years. in the world, yet is unseen. He helps those in need and tries
to convert all humankind to Islam. They believe he will appear
Sunni Muslims believe in the
again at end of the world and establish Allah's kingdom.
authority of the Qur'an and Hadiths,
interpreted by leading Muslim After Ali's death, Shi'as believed his son, Hasan, should be the
scholars. next leader, but there was disagreement. Ali himself had been
Sunni comes from the word Sunnah, opposed by Muawiya (Uthman's cousin) and Hasan agreed
that his family would lead the caliphate only after Muawiya
which means 'custom' or 'way'. Sunni
died. Unfortunately, Hasan died and Muawiya made his son,
believe they are the true followers of
Yazid, the leader. Hasan's brother, Husayn, refused to accept
the way of the Prophet Muhammad ~-
Yazid and war broke out.
They believe that as Prophet
Muhammad~ did not choose his Although there are many Shi'a subsects, modern Shi'a Islam
successor, election is the right way. has been divided into three main groupings with Twelver Shi'a
About 90 per cent of all Muslims being the largest and most influential group, and the one this
are Sunni. course focuses on.

These differences caused a split amongst the Muslim community, which we still see today.
There are some within each Muslim group who believe no government can be accepted if it
is not based on the Laws of Islam and the rule of Allah alone.
There is still much hatred between Sunni and Shi'a countries like in Syria where Sunni
fighters are fighting the Shi'a government. Also we see attacks on shrines and mosques by
each group, especially in the Middle East, pointing to a continuing hatred rooted in history.

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2 Islam

The six articles of faith in Sunni Islam


, 'I

'The Oneness of Allah' is the Angels do the work


concept of tawhid meaning of Allah. They deliver
'oneness, absolute, alone'. Surah revelations via the prophets Five sources of authority are
112:1-4 says: so that Muslims know what books: the Torah of Moses; the
Allah wants them to do. Psalms of David; the Gospels;
'He is Allah, the One, Allah is
They record the words and the Scrolls of Abraham; and
Eternal and Absolute. None
actions of each individual the Qur'an. According to
is born of Him, He is unborn.
person, so that they have a Muslims, the first four books
There is none like unto Him.'
book to account for their have been lost in their original
This means that Allah is the creator lives. They receive souls form or changed. The Qur'an
and sustainer of life. He is beyond at death. Angels do not is the only revealed scripture
any human limitations like age and have free will like humans still in its original form. It is the
death because He was not born and and they obey Allah's direct Word of Allah as given
cannot die. He has no partners or commands. through Angel Jibril.
children and nothing is like Him. \.. ~
~ l

Muslims believe in the


supremacy of Allah's
will. Sunni believe
that Allah knows
everything. Qadr
means everything
is ordered by Allah;
nothing is random or
by chance. Humans do
have free will though,
but as Allah knows Prophets and messengers are chosen
the past, present and by Allah to deliver His message to
future their choices humankind. Muslims believe that Allah
are already known to has revealed messages throughout time
Him, but not to them. to guide humanity and that Prophet
Muhammad ~ was the last (Seal) of the
prophets; he was given the ultimate
guidance in the Qur'an. As a result of
Muslims believe that there will be a day (the Day of this, there is no need for any more
Judgement) when all Muslims and others stand alone in prophets.
front of Allah, who decides whether they go to heaven
or hell based on their deeds. Everyone must answer 'Muhammad~ is not the father
for themselves and must accept the consequences of
their thoughts and actions on Earth. Human life acts as
a test for the eternal life to come.
l of any of your men, but the
messenger of Allah and the Seal of
the Prophets.' (Qur'an 33:40).
---
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Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Why are the six articles important?


These six articles underpin religious life for Muslims. They influence all
aspects of life. If Muslims believe in the absolute power of Allah, then
they will live their lives according to His will. The angels are writing up
all thoughts and actions, and people will have to justify them, so this
makes Muslims think about how they approach life and the people
around them. This shows that life here is a test for the afterlife and few
have a guaranteed place in paradise because it has to be earned.
To know what is the right thing to do, Muslims have the teachings of the
prophets, along with the examples of the lives of the prophets, such as
Muhammad ~ and Ibrahim, and the ultimate guide in the Qur'an. If
they are to live according to how Allah wants, then paradise is on offer
to them. Muslims know that they can easily follow the wrong path and
that they have to make the right choices with the free will they have
been given. Allah knows our actions before we even think about
what we do.

Think about how believing in these articles affects how Muslims live their lives
today. How might belief impact on what Muslims say and do? Do you
think these beliefs are equally important?

Complete the questions below. You will see that there are different
question types. You need to learn how to structure your answers. The
more practice you get the better your answers will be.

The Basics
1 Name one of the articles of faith.
2 Explain briefly what is meant by the 'Oneness of Allah'.
3 Explain the three ways Allah communicates with humankind.
4 Explain ways in which belief in these six articles of faith
influences Muslims in their lives today.
S Belief in the Oneness of Allah is all a Muslim needs to
have. What do you think about this statement? Give arguments
for and against the statement and explain your answer.

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2 Islam

The five roots of Usul ad-Din in Shi'a Islam


Usul ad-Din means 'the foundations of the faith'. they link to their own religious practice in all its
These are the principles underpinning Shi'a belief, elements. Of the five roots, tawhid, prophethood and
and from them come the Ten Obligatory Acts (see resurrection are key to all Muslim belief. To be a
page 134). The Twelver Shi'a (the largest group within Muslim means to accept them completely and
Shi'a Islam) who follow this, are encouraged to be without question. If a Muslim rejects the other two
able to explain them; what they mean, why they are (imamate and justice) - then they are still Muslim,
the five key roots to belief and to understand how just not Shi'a Muslim.

Tawhid - 'oneness'
This means the same as in
Sunni beliefs, that Allah is
AI-Ma'ad -
One. Allah is the Almighty and resurrection
unique in His Oneness. Shi'a
The Shi'a believe that there
use Qur'an Surah 112 to explain
will be a Day of Judgement
why they believe Allah is One.
(Yawm al-Qiyyamah). Every
Allah cannot be associated
Muslim and non-Muslim will
with anything as 'none is like
be judged by Allah. Humans
Him'; to do so is to commit
will be physically resurrected
the greatest sin, namely 'shirk'.
to stand to be judged and they
This means 'association' in
will be asked to account for
Arabic and therefore nothing the words and actions of their
and no one can be compared
lives on Earth. The events of
to Allah. Allah is the creator of
J:)~ Q\~ this day are described in both
all, pre-existent, beyond time
e roots of usu\ ao-- the Qur'an and Hadith.
and space and beyond all human
understanding.

Nubuwwah -
prophethood lmamate - leadership
Justice of Allah -
Some believe that Prophet
Adalat Shi'as believe that Allah sent
Muhammad~ said that twelve
messengers to guide people
Allah is 'The Just' and 'The imams from his own tribe (the
to the right path and Prophet
Wise' which means He does no Quraysh) would succeed him as
Muhammad ~ was the last of
wrong. The Shi'a believe they leaders. Shi'as believe that the
them. The 'right path' means a
need to be aware there is good first eleven led the community,
peaceful way of life, lived in total
and evil in everything, but that some were killed, but that
submission to Allah. Prophets
Allah commands them to do the twelfth disappeared after
deliver the messages to spread
good. Surah 16:90 says 'Indeed his father's death. This imam
the religion. The imam protects
Allah commands you towards will appear again when Allah
the messages so that people do
Justice.' Humans will be held decides at the end of time.
not forget and leave the faith in
responsible for all their actions, Currently he is alive and in
the absence of prophets.
good and bad. Allah acts with a hiding. All imams are seen as
purpose which humans cannot infallible ( can do no wrong)
understand. Sometimes justice and must be obeyed. They are
can be hard to see but the Shi'a protectors of the faith, ensuring
should try to understand as the teachings do not become
much as they can. corrupted or spoiled. j
83
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

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How religious beliefs influence a person's choices and behaviour is a key


part of this course at GCSE level. You need to be able to write about how
beliefs affect or influence Muslim lives today. Read over the last four pages
and make your own notes to show how these core beliefs affect both Sunni
and Shi'a.
What if you were asked: Explain how belief in Usul ad-Din affects Shi'as
today. (5 marks) Could you answer that?

The Basics
1 What are the five roots of Usul ad-Din?
2 Explain each of the five roots clearly. You might use this
template:
One of the roots is
This means _
3 Explain how each of the five roots influences the lives of Shi'a
Muslims today.

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2 Islam

ature of Allah - oneness Have you ever wondered about Allah? What the nature
of Allah is? What qualities we assume Allah to have? Are
and omnipotence all qualities good ... or might some be open to question?

Oneness (tawhid)
Muslims believe that Allah is One God, indivisible and absolute;
nothing comes close to Him as the ultimate source of power and
creation. He is totally supreme. There is nothing that can be likened to
Him. He is beyond human understanding. Everything belongs to Allah;
everything humans have is on loan from Allah. Humans only exist
because Allah wills them to. Muslims are what Allah makes them. They
believe any talents come from Allah, so it is wrong to be arrogant.
Nothing happens without Allah allowing it. Allah has absolute
compassion, so even suffering is Allah's will and for a reason. Muslims
should not question this and should never forget His power. Humans He is Allah, One,
cannot obstruct Allah or indeed try to fool Allah as He knows their
Allah the eternal refuge.
every thought and intention. Anything that goes against these beliefs
breaks tawhid. He neither begets nor
If Muslims liken themselves to Allah or to His qualities, then they is born,
commit the sin of shirk. For example, Muslims believe that Jesus could Nor is there to him any
not have been the Son of God, as he could not have had God's qualities equivalent.
(which also means there is no Holy Trinity). The Christian belief in the
Trinity divides Christianity and Islam in the modern world. (Quran 112:1-4)
Many positives can come from belief in tawhid. Having total faith,
humility and modesty should mean a Muslim cannot be jealous of what
does not belong to them. They can trust in Allah and know everything
happens for a reason. If they dedicate themselves to Him, they will be
courageous and determined in their lives to please Him.

Omnipotent
Allah is Al-Qadeer - (all-powerful). The idea that 'He is able to do all
things' ensures a Muslim's submission to Him. Humankind will always
need Him and there is a reason for everything that happens. Muslims
can be secure in knowing that Allah knows what is happening in the '... He who is the
world. He sees their every action and knows their innermost thoughts All-knowing, the All
and desires and He hears when they call Him. There are hidden Powerful, able to do
blessings to everything that happens. anything' (Surah 30:54)

As a Muslim I believe that the omnipotence of Allah affects my life because


·.'1 He is always there for me. To me, the impossible is never impossible. I know
I con trust Allah, and that trust brings me peace. I om weak; Allah strengthens
me. It is all port of His design and weakness is for my own good, so that
I always come bock to Allah even if I stray. I cannot be content without Allah.

85
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Nature of A lah - fairness and justice

'One of .Allah's names)

'Al-'4dl-The Utfar\y Uust)

Justice (Adalat) means fairness, that is, to do what is This belief should influence Muslims in their lives to
right. Allah is absolute, so always does what is right. never be extreme, to deal with people in the right
Muslims must accept this and try to act in a fair way way, to be fair to others and to do good deeds. So a
to others. Humans cannot always see justice being Muslim must never be too angry or too calm, too
served, because they are incapable of fully courageous or too weak, too clever or too foolish. All
understanding how Allah acts. Allah is just in His Muslims should strive to live their lives in a balanced
creation, in His laws and in all His actions. Allah way. Extreme actions cannot be justified.
created all things perfectly through His true wisdom. Shi'a Muslims believe that the justice of Allah is
Allah rewards a good act with a good act and an evil absolute. Everything belongs to Allah, so humans can
act with consequences. Allah's divine justice rules never lose anything. Humans only have things by the
the universe. grace of Allah. Allah punishes humans for any bad
Humans are commanded to be just and fair in their deed. Any situation which seems negative is actually
actions: 'Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity for our own good as Allah would never be cruel or
and let not hatred of any people seduce you that you carry out injustice. At least 40 verses of the Qur'an
deal not justly' (Surah 5:8) and also 'We have made discuss the justice of Allah and on the Day of
you a moderate nation' (Surah 2:143). The Five Pillars Judgement each individual will face justice for their
are all just to help in life. own actions.

The Basics
Look at the news for the week. How would 1 What is meant by Adalat?
believing in a Just God make sense of the stories. 2 How does this apply to Allah?
Think about recent problems or issues in your 3 How might humans show fairness and justice
life. Would you have dealt better with them if in their lives?
your focus had been justice and fairness? Give 4 It is impossible for humans to be truly
some examples. just. Argue for and against this view.

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2 Islam

Ho'W does the nature of Allah influence


Muslinis today?
Read the three accounts below:

Hi ... My name is Tariq. I'm a student in my (,rst year at Uni. I'm Amino, 35, and I'm on aid worker for UNICEF. I'm in
I'm studying Moths which I'm (,nding hard! I try to be as good Turkey working at a refugee comp for Syrian people who
a Muslim as I con, but that is hard too! I believe that my hove left their country due to the civil war. It is a tough
talents were given to me by Allah in his beneficence. It's up job right now - families split up, old people not knowing
o me to make the most of my chances. I know he is always if their sons ore living or dead, people whose homes ore
with me (immanent) but I also know I con never succeed on just rubble, children who ore missing out on their childhood
my own. The moths must be hard for a reason, because this through school and ploying in the streets with their friends.
is Allah's design. Although why I hove to struggle I don't know When I see this I struggle with my faith. Why does my
... It may be a test of my determination. If I foil there will be loving God let this happen? He hos the power to stop it
a lesson for me to learn. I know Allah only acts in a way that doesn't He? Where is His omnipotence, His beneficence,
is best for me ... it's just hard not knowing his pion ... but His fairness and justice? So much suffering. It's easy to let
· hat's a problem for us all, isn't it? these things go through my head but there is good to see
too ... I'm here for a start helping others, each refugee
tries to help the other, there is always someone who hos
greater suffering than them ... it brings out the good in us
all for those who wont to see it. Evil people will suffer the
consequences in the hereafter that's for sure. So I guess
that even in the worst of conditions Allah's light is shining
through ... all we hove to do is see it.

Hi I'm lmron. I'm British, but I felt I never (,tted in here. I saw what was happening
in the world - my fellow Muslims struggling at the hands of richer notions - this
gave me a purpose in life. I started on the internet, listening to certain preachers
and then went across the world to fight for Allah and my religion. To cut a long
story short, what I sow was hard to understand. This wasn't about religion really,
brutalising people, murder, torture - not my religion anyway. I realised all that I
Having read the three hove been told is wrong. I'm telling this now I'm home, I got out. I'm a Shi'o and the
accounts, discuss how belief teaching of Allah the Just (ado/at) is not to be extreme but to deal with people in a
in the nature of Allah fair way. Now I spend my time helping young British Muslims who may end up on
influences the lives of each of
the some path. This is not the way to make the world a better place. Also I hove
them. In your written answer
include which qualities of to accept that I'm being watched for my previous actions because I was arrested
Allah have influenced their when I got bock. I'm serious about making the world better, but in a calm, peaceful,
lives and how. moderate way. Extremism never works as it's not Allah's plan.

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Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Authority - the concept of risalah


What is risalah?

Muslims believe Allah is the ultimate creator of the world. But why did
He create this world? The Qur'an tells us that Allah told the angels that
He was going to put man on Earth. The angels questioned this, as they
believed that man would simply cause chaos. Allah told them that He
knew best and asked the angels to bow down before Adam. All the
angels obeyed except Azazil believing he was better than Adam. Allah
then sent Azazil, now named lblis, to Earth to test humanity. What was
he testing though? Human action? How can humans be tested without
knowing the rules? Allah had a duty to give people a code to live by. If it
is a duty to love, serve and submit to Allah, then humans have to know
how to achieve this to be reunited with Allah at death. Allah is just, so it
must be the case that He has revealed what He wants from humans.

Throughout time there have been


books to guide Muslims in the right
way. Holy Books include the Suhuf Adam was the first prophet appointed by Allah.
of Ibrahim, Tawrat of Musa, Zabur Prophets are guided in the truth and understand
of David (Dawud) and lnjil or the it. Their love of Allah prevents them sinning. They
Gospels of Jesus. Muslims believe deliver the messages Allah sends as guidance.
that these books contain some true Muslims believe that there were 124,000
guidance but have been altered and prophets who developed the religion over time.
are incomplete. The Qur'an is the Some prophets are also messengers 'rasul' (given
directly dictated Word of Allah in its divine revelation to deliver everywhere), whilst
original form; it is absolute. others are 'nabi', who have been given revelation
or news (of an important nature, immediately
concerning themselves or their communities).

Angels have no physical form. They are


messengers of Allah. They are known as
bodies of light, which are in constant contact Muhamrnadjs, last of the prophets, known as 'the Seal'.
with the world. They are there when we Muslims believe that over time previous messages had
pray. Angels have been seen by specifically become lost or changed. Judaism and Christianity
chosen individuals in human form, for contain some truths, but they are not the original
example, Angel Jibril to Muhammad~, but messages. Allah then decided to call Muhammad~ and
they are not human. Muslims believe that we gave him revelations which became the Qur'an. Being
all have two guardian angels who record our written down they could not be changed so no more
actions, which is why they turn to the left prophets would be needed. The Qur'an is the direct
and right at the end of daily prayer as if to Word of Allah, containing everything humankind needs
greet the angels on both shoulders. to do to pass the test for the next life.

Create a mind map with the title Risalah in the middle. On the first ring, name the forms of Risalah;
the second - key points about what they are; the third - how they provide guidance for humans.
Keep them simple with only pointers to remind you. If there are any you find difficult to remember,
jot a few notes on the back of the card. Then test yourself. Take two minutes to look at the mind
map, visualise the information in each section of the card - total focus. Then see how much of the
card you can reproduce. This is a useful revision tool in all subjects.

90
2 Islam

Prophet Adam
'Indeed I am going to set a vicegerent (earthly representative of Allah) on
the earth.' (Qu'ran 2:30)

'... I am going to create a human out of clay ... so when I have made him, and
breathed life into him .. .' (Qu'ran 38:71-72)
The angels collected soil, red, white, brown and black, smooth and gritty, soft and hard.
It came from mountains and valleys, from dry deserts and green fertile lands.
Allah honoured Adam. He blew life into his soul. He ordered his angels to bow down
before Adam as a sign of respect and honour. His descendants were to be as diverse as
the clay he was created from.

So what do we know Why is Adam important in Islam?


about Adam? 1 He is the father of all humankind.
Everything was created for Adam and his 2 He was a prophet until his death.
descendants so to be able to worship and know Allah. 3 He taught the revelations to his sons.
Adam was to be the caretaker of the Earth. Adam
was taught everything by Allah, given the ability to 4 He taught about the work of Iblis and how to
identify and give names, language, and the ability to protect themselves from jinn.
communicate. Allah gave him a thirst for learning, 5 He taught life on Earth was temporary, eternal life
the ability to reason, evaluate and make choices. is in the next life.
To prevent loneliness Adam was given Hawwa (Eve), 6 He built the Ka'aba as the first place of worship, with
a woman for company. Allah told Adam and Hawwa the help of the angels after he was sent to Earth.
to enjoy all the things made for them, but not to eat
from one tree. Iblis (a jinn, or supernatural creature)
managed to tempt them to taste the fruit, hence
What can Muslims learn
disobeying Allah. They also became aware of their from Adam?
nakedness and covered themselves. As punishment,
Iblis and Adam disobeyed Allah. However, Adam
Allah banished them to Earth, but He forgave them
repented his sins straight away and regretted it all his
because they asked for mercy. They became ordinary
life, so finding salvation. He openly criticised himself
people living on Earth instead of in the Garden of
for falling into Iblis' trap but he hoped he could make
Bliss (Eden). On Earth, Allah sent guidance to Adam,
amends and receive Allah's mercy. Iblis did not show
so he could teach people about Allah.
repentance or regret. He lost all hope and was
Adam and Hawwa had many children, the most forever tormented.
famous being Qabeel (Cain) and Habeel (Abel). The
brothers continued the evil side of humankind when
Qabeel killed Habeel, fulfilling a prophecy in the
Qur'an. When Adam died, he named his son Seth as
successor but over time his descendants split up and
moved apart.
In groups, carry out a silent debate
(communication is only through writing) using a
large piece of paper and different coloured
pens. Respond to the statement: Prophet
Adam can teach Muslims all they need to
know.

91
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Prophet Ibrahim
Overview of his life
Ibrahim lived in Ur in Mesopotamia about 1900BCE. He
sold small statues (idol gods) for his father, Azar, who was a
sculptor. One day, he decided to test the power of the idols.
He threw them into the river to show they did not have any
power to save themselves - they sank, proving his point. He
realised there was no power in these statues. He began to -~e,

search for the truth, and looking at the sun, moon and stars ~
1 SAUDI ARABIA
but became convinced there was just one true power; a , '-,
single One God. Allah called him to be a prophet and Ibrahim submitted to Him. 'For me, I have set my face
towards the One who created the skies and the Earth. I will never make partners with Allah' (Qur'an 6:79). He
then tried to convert his father and save him, but his father threatened to kill him and sent him away.
Ibrahim preached in public but people did not listen. They ridiculed him. He went into their temples and
destroyed all the idols except one. The people were angry and questioned his motives. Ibrahim told them to
ask the remaining idol for answers, which of course did not answer. Ibrahim asked them why they worshipped
useless idols. Furious, the people shouted for him to be burned. A fire was built and Ibrahim was chained up
then catapulted into it. An angel spoke to him in the fire asking what he wanted most, but Ibrahim said he
wanted only to please Allah. As a result, Allah commanded the fire to be cool. People were amazed: the chains
were burned, but Ibrahim was untouched. Ibrahim continued to receive revelations and wrote them on scrolls
called the Suhuf. People including his nephew, Lut, began to follow him. After a disagreement with Nimrud,
the King of Ur, Ibrahim realised that he would have to leave. With his family, he set off to the Promised Land
(Qur'an 21:71). On the journey quarrels led the group to split. Lut went to the plains east of the Dead Sea and
Ibrahim carried on to the Promised Land.
Ibrahim married Sarah and later took on Hajar as a second wife because Sarah was barren. Hajar had a son,
Ismail, whom Ibrahim loved greatly. He dreamt he was told to sacrifice Ismail, and when he told Ismail of the
dream both agreed to do what Allah commanded. As both were willing, the test was passed and a ram was
sacrificed instead. Clearly, Ibrahim was willing to give up everything for Allah. Allah then granted Sarah with
a son, Ishaq. It has been said that Hajar and Sarah were jealous of each other, so Hajar and Ismail left to live
elsewhere. They were on their own, but they never gave up hope and when they ran out of water, Allah gave
them a well, which Hajar named Zamzam. In thanks to Allah for the lives of his families, Ibrahim built (or
rebuilt) the Ka'aba with Ismail.
Later, Ismail took his father's place as a prophet and led the first community in the valley of Makkah.

· The Basics
1 What are the qualities of Ibrahim which
Muslims could try to copy? Do you think that
would be difficult?
2 Explain how Ibrahim was responsible for the
development of Islam at this time in history.
3 How does the life of Ibrahim influence Muslims
in their lives today?
4 Ibrahim is the perfect role model for
modern Muslims. Write some reasons to
agree and disagree with this statement and
explain them. What is your overall opinion?

92
2 Islam

The life of Prophet Muhammad ~


Why Muhammad ~ was chosen to be the Prophet of Allah
You have probably studied the life of Prophet Muhammad ~ already in previous lessons and so
already know the key events like his early childhood, his meeting with Angel Jibril, his work in
Makkah, the Hijrah, his migration to Madinah, the battles to retake the city of Makkah and
his death. Makkah and Madinah are cities in modern-day Saudi Arabia. If you are not aware of
any of these key events, use the internet to research them. Jot down what you do not know.
What you need to do as part of this course, is to look at the importance of Prophet
Muhammad ~ for Islam at the time and for Islam today.
In 610cE, at the age of 40, Muhammad ~ was called to serve Allah. Why Muhammad ~
though, and why at this point? Muhammad ~ had a tough life, he never knew his father
because he had died before Muhammad ~ was born. He became an orphan at age six when
his mother died, and he had to grow up very quickly, earning his keep by looking after his
grandfather's sheep and then working as a merchant for his uncle Abu Talib. Many boys
might have struggled with this. For Muhammad ~ it made him stronger, developing
characteristics in him such as responsibility, determination, patience, courage, honesty,
trustworthiness and self-discipline. By age 40 he was married to Khadijah, had children, had
his own successful business and was highly respected in the community.
This was all part of Allah's plan; Muhammad's se role would now be as Prophet to deliver
a message that was never going to be changed or corrupted. Prophet Muhammad ~ had
the task of converting the people of Makkah and beyond to the ways of One God and
laying down the basic structures for a religion.

What did Muhammad ~ do as a prophet?


The conversion of Makkah was not straightforward, and Muhammad ~ had to escape to
Madinah (the Hijrah) after his religious message was rejected and his life came under threat.
In Madinah, he became the ruler of the city both spiritually and politically. This was the first
Islamic community to be set up. He later did fulfil his task of converting the people of
Makkah to Islam.

Without Prophet Muhammad ;&., Islam would never have developed as a religion. Do you
agree? Show that you have thought about more than one point of view by presenting explained
arguments to agree and disagree.

93
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

The call of Muhammad ~ to prophethood


Given we are thinking about the prophethood of
Muhammad ~' we need to go back to when he
was living in Makkah. He was a wealthy
merchant, but was disillusioned with life in
Makkah; people behaved in an immoral way,
cheated people out of money, gambled,
prostitution was rife and idol worship the norm.
He began to spend time alone outside the city,
meditating in a cave to find peace of mind and
the right path to follow. Most scholars agree on
the account that on Allah's command Angel
Jibril appeared beside Muhammad ~,
commanding him to 'Recite!' Muhammad ss
said he could not read. The Angel squeezed him
tight three times before he said the words. When Muslim pilgrims visit the cave where the Angel Jibril first
the angel left, Muhammad sa left the cave, appeared to Muhammad.
trembling from what had happened. He returned
to Khadijah to tell her the story. (In the Shi'a tradition they believe that
Muhammad ~ was not terrified and that he was in fact expecting it.)
After reassurances from Khadijah and her Christian cousin, three years
passed with Muhammad ~ spending more time in meditation and
spiritual contemplation. The revelations continued. Allah commanded
him to preach to close family friends and then the people of Makkah
about Islam and One God.
Why was it important for Muhommad's ss prophethood to happen at
that point?
I It was all part of Allah's plan for it to happen then.
2 People were becoming more distanced from the ways of Allah, earlier
revelations were being ignored; Makkah was becoming a centre for
idol worship as it grew as a trade centre.
3 Previous holy books had been lost or changed.

4 The religion now needed structure in its organisation in the same way
that Judaism and Christianity had.
5 Muhammad ss was a role model
that people could follow and The Basics
trust in. It is said he stood for
Use pages 93 and 94 to answer the following:
the truth when truth was lost,
1 Where was Muhammad~ called to be a prophet?
was gracious to those who A Mt Thaw B Mt Hira C Makkah D Madinah
persecuted him, always 2 Explain briefly what is meant by the term 'prophet'.
compassionate and respectful, 3 Explain what Muslims believe happened when Muhammad 5:5
was concerned with the welfare was called by Allah.
of others (human or animal), 4 Explain ways in which the life of Muhammad 3'.E. has influenced
loved children, taught equality, Muslims today.
lived humbly and was the model 5 Muslims can never lead their lives as well as
husband, father and friend. Muhammad ~ did. Explore argument for and against this
statement in detail. Refer to Islam in your answer.

94
2 Islam

Muhammad's ss Sunnah and Hadith


The second most important source of authority for Muslims is the Sunnah. The
Sunnah are the practices, customs and traditions of Prophet Muhammad ~-
These give the perfect example for Muslims to follow. They are found in the
Hadith (sayings of the prophet) and other texts. Different groups of Muslims
accept different collections of Hadith as reliable sources of authority. Reading
the Hadiths helps Muslims learn how Muhammad ~ explained the teachings
from the Qur'an. The language and style of the Qur'an do not lend themselves to
easy interpretation, so Hadiths are helpful. The Shi'a, in addition to using the
Hadith narrated by Muhammad ~' also refer to the teachings of the <Imams'.
Sunni Muslims believe that the Hadith are important because the Qur'an says:
'A similar (favour you have already received) in that We have
sent among you a Messenger of your own ... and instructing
you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge' (2:151).
Also
'You have in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern for any
one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day' (33:21).
The role of Muhammad ss was to teach and live by the Qur'an so
that humankind could understand it and live by it. Muhammad ~
should never be worshipped (as Jesus is by Christians, for example).

What does the Sunnah tell Muslims?

The Sunnah covers many areas of life including:

Sunnah for marriage.


Sunnah for rituals for birth of children.

Sunnah towards animals.

Sunnah to have good sense of humour.

Sunnah for helping the poor and needy.


Sunnah to always remember Allah.

The Sunnah is the guideline for Muslim life and there is a Sunnah for everything.

Research 'The Sunnah of Muhammad E-'. Choose three areas from the above list and find out what
rules apply in your chosen areas.
Give an evaluation of these Sunnah. Are they easy or difficult to implement? Why/why not?

95
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

What impact does Prophet Muhammad ~ have


on Muslims today?
Muhammad ~ the individual Muhammad ~ the leader
Muslims believe he is the perfect example of a man Muslims claim that Muhammad lS was the
serving Allah without question. Firstly, that he was greatest political and religious leader of all time,
a man without godlike qualities, means there is no managing to combine the two roles perfectly. He
reason why they themselves cannot aim to live as set up a community where individuals were
good a life as Muhammad lS did. He did not have it respected. He allowed religious freedom, gave
easy; he had to be determined to succeed all his life. women rights, looked after the elderly and sick,
He had to have patience in his prophethood before welcomed strangers and created rules which
it brought results. He rejected the immorality he allowed the best possible outcomes for everyone.
saw around him. He always focused on Allah. He He had charisma as a leader so that people
was humble, modest, caring, prayed and knew followed him in religion, in ordinary life and
Allah would help when difficulties arose. He is the militarily. Ten thousand men went into battle for
best example to follow for all those reasons. He was him in Makkah. The Islamic Empire spread from
a better human being because of his sense of southern Europe to northern Africa and across
morality, of duty and his belief in the importance of Asia, in his name and the name of Islam. Today,
his community. Regardless of a person's position in thirteen centuries later, 1.3 billion Muslim
society, Muslims believe everyone could learn from followers repeat his name daily and many people
him, then and now. study his life worldwide.

Muhammad ~ the family man Muhammad ~ the teacher


Muhammad lS was the ultimate family man, He was the greatest teacher, because of what he said.
carrying on from other prophets. In the Qur'an He lived every aspect of Islamic life, so others could
there is a theme of good fathers: Adam, Noah, Lut, learn and follow. He spoke with authority, but made
Jacob, Ibrahim and then Muhammad lS. Islam sees it easy for others to learn. His spoke clearly and
the family as the basic unit for the well-being of precisely, making learning easier. He spent thirteen
society. If family works well, society works well. years in Makkah teaching people the Word of
Muhammad lS said 'The best of you is he who is best Allah. Many initially rejected his teachings and
to his family' (Hadith). Muhammad lS led a strong though he faced hatred and violence, he carried on.
family unit. He loved his wife, and still cared for the Muhammad lS realised that everyone can learn
extended family after she died. He was as caring to with the right method and the patience to succeed.
his other wives, spending time with them, was never His determination to teach Allah's way meant he
harsh with them and did his duties around the had the patience he needed.
house. He kept all his wives happy, dealing with any
issues justly. He had four daughters whom he
educated (not the tradition at the time), marrying
them to decent men, and he was a good grandfather. One new aspect of this course is to look at
He also suffered the loss of his own sons and needed how people, teachings and practices influence
his faith in Allah to help him through this. As a the lives of Muslims today. Give a variety of
loving father, he never forgot his sons. ideas in your answer.
a Briefly outline the key events in the life of
Muhammad xS.
b Explain how Muslims can try to live up to
Prophet Muhammad's ~ example in their
lives in Britain.

96
2 Islam

The Our'an - its revelation and compilation


Revelation of the Qur'an Compilation of the Qur'an
The Qur'an has 114 chapters (Surah) which contain Some Hadith say that Muhammad ~ left behind two
6,237 ayahs (verses). During his thirteen years in examples: the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The word
Makkah, 86 Surahs were revealed to Prophet used is Al Kitab meaning a compiled book. As
Muhammad ~, the remaining 28 were revealed in his Muhammad ~ put so much importance by the
ten years in Madinah. The original first revelation Qur'an he would have had it written down in full.
happened on The Night of Power (see page 94). It is Others disagree; they believe the Qur'an was
believed that the first revealed message was 'Recite! In collected and ordered as the Prophet had recited, but
the name of your Lord, Who created all that exists.' It not in one book. Shi'a believes that Imam Ali had all
was the direct message from Allah through Angel the Surahs in the right order six months after
Jibril with no change or alteration. In Surah 10:15 it Muhammad's ;/! death, but not as a complete book.
states that whilst Muhammad ~ received the Other Muslims claim Ali's version had non-authentic
revelations, he had no authority to change them. What verses in it, so rejected this copy.
was revealed was the will of Allah, Allah Himself was
The majority of Sunni Muslims believe that Umar
not seen. Muhammad ~ was said to have described
insisted Abu Bakr (the first caliph) have one copy
the receiving of revelations like the ringing of a bell,
completed. Certainly, the need for one single volume
but also that some were painful, as if his soul was
was urgent, because many scholars and many hafiz
being ripped from him. Once received, he recited them
(those who memorised the Qur'an word for word)
in public, instructing one of his scribes to write them
had died in the battle of Yamama; including Salim a
down. He appointed Zayd ibn Thabit as his lead scribe
teacher of the Qur'an, The Qur'an was compiled,
to record, organise and keep the messages.
passed onto Umar who became the second Caliph.
Each Surah begins 'In the Name of Allah, the Most He then handed it over to Hafsa, his daughter and
Merciful, The Most Compassionate'. Zayd and 48 wife of Muhammad ;/!. The next Caliph, Othman,
other scholars recorded the Quran in written form, made sure that as Islam spread, copies of Hafsa's
though it was only later that this was as one book. version were sent out, so that everyone was reading
Sunni and Shi'a believe the revelations were complete the same book.
by the time Muhammad ~ died.
Since the seventh century CE there have been many
forms of the Qur'an from different scholars using
different calligraphy and bindings, but the teachings
remained the same. The first mass-printed version
did not appear until the 1920s, produced in Cairo,
The Basics Egypt. This version very quickly became accepted by
Sunni and Shi'a alike as the 'official' Qur'an.
1 For each of revelation and compilation, list
key words, one idea under the other to
remind you of the order of events. Your list
will help you with the following questions
and is a good revision tool.
2 Explain what Muslims believe about how the
Qur'an was revealed.
3 Explain the different views of how the
Qur'an was compiled.
4 It does not matter how it was revealed
or compiled, it is the fact Muslims have
the Qur'an that is important. Explore
this statement to find reasons to agree and
disagree.

97
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

The Our'an and its authority


Why is this book so important to Muslims? Is it because of where it comes from and why? Or
is it about what is contains? The answer to both these questions is 'partly'.

Belief and origins What the Qur'an contains


The Qur'an is the direct Word of Allah and The Qur'an has authority because it covers every
therefore has His authority. aspect of life: past, present and future.
It is infallible (without error) and remains in its It influences a person throughout their lives:
original form: birth, ceremony, marriage, death and in
daily prayers.
'Falsehood shall never come to it'
(Qur'on 41:42). It contains the basics of worship which
Muhammad ~ developed.
It supersedes other books like the Torah and Injil.
It contains the legal (Shari'ah Law) and
The Qur'an was revealed to the Seal of the
social systems.
Prophet (Muhammad ~) and because no man
would be capable of writing such a book, it made It explains the creation and other ultimate
him even more important. questions like why we are here and what happens
when we die.
'If all men and jinn should combine to
bring about the likes of the Qur'an, It has been suggested by some that science and
they could not bring the like of it, even the Qur'an go together; they are compatible and
if they helped one another.' Suroh 17:88 the Qur'an reveals ideas that scientists did not
even know at the time.
Muhammad ss was illiterate, making the Qur'an
the first great miracle. It provides personal and spiritual guidance for all
life's situations and challenges.
A written book (the Qur'an) was needed to
formalise the religion.

If Muslims combine all these ideas there is no reason to not believe that the Qur'an has supreme authority.
It is a timeless book. Equally though, other religions also believe that their holy books are as important to
them and have as much authority. Christians, for example, may say that where the Bible comes from is a
secondary issue, what is far more important is how it speaks to people when they read it. In other words, God
speaks to them individually in their hearts when the Bible is read. Other books have been translated, but in
general the meaning still exists. What is more important is that people can read it in their own language and
it is available to all. The Qur'an is only infallible in its original language (Arabic), and translation is exactly
that; a translation and not the Word of Allah.

Getting prepared
Now that you have the ideas about why the
Qur'an for Muslims has supreme authority, If you're studying at the higher level, make sure you
research one other religion and see why they understand religious diversity and can compare
believe their holy book has authority for them. different religious views.

98
2 Islam

The Our'an as the basis for Shari'ah


'It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His messenger have decided
a matter, that they should (thereafter) have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys
Allah and His messenger have certainly strayed into a clear error.' (Suroh 33:36)

What makes up the Shari'ah?


· · · ater'
Shari'ah (Islamic law) means 'a ~ath to h~e-g1~mg w Why is there a need for Shari'ah1
and goes back to Ibrahim. Sha:' ah co~s1ders.f All h Allah's laws are always su . •
1 the Qur'an - containing direct guidance rom ~ laws, because He I penor to human-made
2 the Sunnah - many of the prophet's t_eachings an world humans live ~n~ws and understands the
actions putting the Qur'an into practice. could. Also Allah . rn ~rhbetter than they ever
' IS Wit out p . d"
so is absolutely ob· . re1u rce or favour.
Leading scholars use these to make d~cisions (ijma', b" Jectrve where h '
which means consensus). Muslims believe that an~ rased. Laws are needed for s . as umans are
devout Muslim has the right to make judgements,~ properly and fairly. Shari'ah L ociety to function
areas: behaviour and aw _covers five main
kee in with the Qur'an and Sunnah where ther~ ts no
beliefs; transactions mdanne~s; ritual worship;
uilan~e The opinions of the Prophet's compamo~~' ' an pun,shme t ff h
g h A. bu Bakr and Qatadah, are like laws, later qrna a country are not b d n s. t e laws in
sue as . b r f h t Shari'ah Law is mo as_e on absolute justice, then
are only seen as guidelines. There ts the e ,e t a
are taught to obey:~ r~portant to follow. Muslims
these can be changed as time moves on. live in, but some M t aws of the country they
used alongside gov us rms do want Shari'ah to be
ernment law in d 1·
r . matters of religion Th·
. b"
IS SU ject h
ea rng with
b
S unni and Shi'a diversity . . ., rn Britain as radical M ,. as een debated
to be the law of the U~.'~~ called for S~ari'ah Law
For Sunni Muslims there are four schools of meant to be imposed Wever, Shan ah is not
thought within Islamic Shari'ah Law ( h I the consensus So on people, it must be part of
as a madh'h b) eac <nown · me parts of Sh ., h
Hanb 1· h al : the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Britain, for example . I . an a are used in
a r sc oo s Some S . I ' rn re ation to marr,·age.
[af . h . unm a so accept the Shi'a
an sc ool of thought. Shi'a M 1·
accept the jaf . h us rms only
1-------------------------..,.
,,,,-
'arr sc ool wh · h ·
of learned individuals ca'11 d IC _rs ~a e ~~
d
Categones O e aviour
· fb h ·
,- . e muJtahrds (livrng I
re rgrous sc~olars or ayatollahs representin 1 Fard or Wajib: compulsory actions, for examp e, prayers.
the twelve rmams). Their opinio _g 2 Mustahab and Mandoob: things that are recommended
based o th Q ' ns must strll be fil
n e ur an and Sunnah thou h for Muslims, for example, na I prayer.
------------~=g~·___J 3 Mubah: things that are allowed, but neither recommended
nor forbidden.
4 Makruh: allowed actions which are disliked or
disapproved of, for example, divorce.
5 Haram: forbidden actions, for example, adultery. ,)
\.--=--~-----------------
How does Shari'ah fit in a modern world?
Shari'ah Law comes from 1,400 years ago. How can they
apply today? Are our_ lives too complex today? Should religion
In groups of five give each person
one of the boxes on this page to really ~overn our actions, for example, telling me whether I
research. Each person should then can drrnk alc~hol? M~slims see all the rules as Allah looking
feed back to the group so that notes after us, helprng us stick to the right path, rather than them
can be made. being seen as restricting us. They are all there to help.

99
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

The Torah (Tawrat) and the Scrolls of Ibrahim


The Tawrat
The Tawrat is the Arabic word for the Torah, which
are the revelations given to Musa (Moses) by Allah on
Mount Sinai. Some say that the Tawrat is the first five
books of the Bible (the Pentateuch). Other Muslim
scholars say the Tawrat is equal to all of the Old
Testament. The Qur'an states that it confirms what
was before, that is, the Torah and the Gospels,
although those texts have themselves become
corrupted. Some scholars believe these earlier books
to be 'lost' and no longer existing in any form.
The Tawrat does not exist in its original language or
its original text. It was put together by the followers
of Moses a long time after his death. The compilers 4 The fact that Muhammad ~ was told if he was
changed the text, so some is the Word of Allah and ever unsure to search out meaning from those who
some is human addition.
had received scripture, suggests that the original
That being said, some believe that Allah preserves the scriptures were still believed to be reliable at the
books, so they have not been lost or added to. This time the Qur'an was written.
view is supported by these teachings: Whatever the case, the Qur'an refers to the Tawrat as
1 Allah is all-powerful and His Word cannot be 'guidance and light', revealed by Allah and clearly
changed. 'None can change His words for He is the very important. On retiring to bed at night,
one who hears and knows all.' (Surah 6:115) Muhammad's ss prayer put his life into Allah's hands
(the creator and lord of everything, the source of the
2 A proverb given to Prophet Sulayman says: 'Do not
Tawrat, the Gospels and the Qur'an) and asked for
add to His words or He will rebuke you.'
protection from Shaytan (the Devil). The Qur'an also
3 Deuteronomy 4:2 says: 'Do not add to what I seems to suggest that the Torah was not only taught
command and do not subtract from it ... ' by Musa, but by all prophets and priests.

The Scrolls of Ibrahim The Basics


'Or has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of
Musa and Ibrahim.' Surah 53:36 1 Explain briefly what is
meant by the Tawrat.
'Verily, this is the earliest scripture, the scripture of Ibrahim 2 Explain the different ideas
and Musa.' Surah 87:18 held about the Tawrat,
what it is and what it
Very little is actually known about these scrolls (often called Suhuf). means.
The revelations were said to have been received by Ibrahim on the first 3 Describe what the 'scrolls
day of Ramadan and contained parable-like stories about worship, of Ibrahim' are.
reflection and building a livelihood. Ibrahim is termed 'the upright one', 4 The scrolls of Ibrahim
always faithful to Allah. The scrolls were written on parchment but are of no use today. Try
perished over time. It is generally agreed that they were not a 'book' to argue for and against
rather they were individual revelations. this statement, explaining
your ideas.

100
2 Islam

The Psalms (Zabur) and the Gospels (Injil)


Psalms - Zabur Gospel - lnjil
One of the other two holy scriptures of Islam, the This is the good news about Isa (Jesus) written by his
Zabur (Psalms) of Dawud are a collection of prayers disciples. Muslims highly respect Isa because there
to Allah (some refer to them as poems). Dawud was a are revelations in the Qur'an about him. Muslims
great king, whose people were God-fearing and believe:
righteous. In Surah 4:163 it says 'we gave Dawud the • He was born of a virgin mother.
Zabur.' They contain lessons of guidance for the • He was the Masih.
people and he recited them in song version. • He was not the son of Allah (as Allah can have no
A fragment of an Arabic translation of Psalm 78 from partners).
the second century CE was found in Damascus, Syria. • He followed Allah.
+ He was not crucified (but did not die; rather he
One important message in the Zabur is the idea of
ascended to heaven).
the Masih (Messiah). The Masih was to be a symbol
+ He did not die to save sins (Allah is all-
of hope for the future in a world where many had
compassionate, so He will forgive sins, so this
failed to obey Allah's commands. Isa (Jesus) also
sacrifice would have been unnecessary).
referred to what had been said about the Masih in the
+ The gospels in their current form contain mistakes
Gospel of Luke, 'Everything must be fulfilled that is
because they were written by disciples many
written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets
years after the death of Isa, having had only weak
and the Psalms (Zabur).' He taught in a way which
understanding of his teachings in the first place.
allowed people to understand the scriptures. For
Muslims, Jesus was the Messiah and will return.

So ... what about the authority of these four books?


All four books are referred to in the Qur'an, so they
are important.
Muhammad ~ learned from them and referred to
them, therefore giving them authority.
They were associated with key prophets and their
revelations which gives them importance.
However ...
Some are lost and no one knows what they said.
It is alleged they have been changed, so do they still
have some authority?
Why were they not preserved like the Qur'an if they
In pairs ...
were that important?
Write a discussion in the form of a play. One
person should be a Muslim and the other a Having been so changed, Muslims cannot use them,
non-Muslim. The non-Muslim needs to ask the so they have no impact/authority today.
questions and the Muslim needs to provide the
answers. Use this and the previous page to
help you. Start with: What can we say
about the books of Islam?

101
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

All about angels


What are angels actually?
As stated on page 81, believing in angels is one of the six articles of faith.
The Qur'an tells us that humans are made from clay; jinn are made
from smokeless fire; angels are made of elements of light. Angels are said
to have wings and can move at the speed of light. They can appear in
human form, but dazzle so are not like humans. They have no gender
and are part of the unseen world. What they do we cannot see and they
always complete what Allah asks. Their purpose is to obey Allah as they
have no free will. Surah 19:64 says:

'We don't descend except for the command of our Lord.'

What do angels do?


Angels watch over humans, bringing peace to believers and instilling
fear in unbelievers. They record every thought and action to report on 'They do not precede Him in
Judgement Day. One angel delivers all Allah's messages to humans and
speech and ( only) according to
His commandment do they act.'
has appeared to all the prophets. Angels can cause natural disasters
Surah 21: 73
when Allah commands them to. There is the Angel of Death who takes
the soul at death (it is taken gently or with extreme pain depending
upon a person's life). There are angels who question each soul, either
punishing or soothing it as it waits for Judgement Day. Angels greet
those who enter paradise, two stand at each gate to wish peace upon
those entering. In hell there are angels who throw people into the pits of
hell and do not let people escape. On Judgement Day one angel will blow
the horn at Allah's command to signify the end of the world.

Some famous named angels in the Qur'an

G)

Nakir and Munkir Malik lsrafil Kiraman and Katibeen

Research each of the four angels named. Jot down some notes
about what each does and why each of them is important for
Muslims in their lives today. Look at the images as the pictures
will give you clues as well.

102
2 Islam

Jibril - the 'Angel of Holiness'


Jibril is the most famous angel, and in Islam, the most important. You
might be more familiar with his name as Gabriel (the one who visited
Mary to tell her she was to have Jesus). Jibril is the same one and indeed
in Islam he did visit Maryam the mother of Prophet Isa (Jesus). 'Iibril' is
said to mean 'God is my strength'. So what do we know about him?
Does the Qur'an give us any ideas?
Jibril is known as the 'spirit of holiness' as he always brings good news.
In the Hadith, Muhammad ~ was said to have described Jibril as having
600 wings. Each wing filled the horizon as far as the eye could see in all
directions. Jibril was the first thing to be given life by Allah and he was
sent to look at paradise. On seeing it, he claimed that no one would ever
stray away from it for its beauty and wonder. He was sent a second time
to look at it when it was surrounded by a barrier of difficulties and
hardship. His reaction then was that no one would ever reach it. He was
then sent to look at hell; he said that no one would want to go there. So
Allah surrounded hell with desires and lusts, at which Jibril said that no
one would ever be able to avoid it. What do you think is the
message here?
Jibril spoke with many prophets who received revelations from Allah.
He is mentioned five times in the Qur'an but also in the Hadith.
These include:
I He helped Ibrahim when he was thrown into the fire.
2 He opened up the Zamzam well so that Hajar could give her dying
son water.
3 When Yusuf (Joseph) was thrown into a well by his brothers, Jibril
caught him and was his protector.
4 He told Zakariyya (Zechariah) about a son he was to have in his old
age, Yahya (John).
5 Jibril told Maryam she would have a son, Isa (Jesus).

6 [ibril spoke to Muhammad's ~ in Cave Hira, over 23 years dictated


the Qur'an directly from Allah, and taught him the Sunnah and the
Five Pillars, teaching him that faith meant believing in Allah, angels,
books and messengers.

Belief in angels has no impact on the life of Muslims


today. Evaluate this statement. In your answer you should:
• apply religious arguments
• give developed arguments to support this statement
• give developed arguments to support a different point of view
• reach a justified conclusion.

103
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

The Angel Mika'il


Most of what is known about Mika' il is from Islamic tradition rather
than the Qur'an. He is mentioned as one of the most important angels.
Angel Mika' il not only assisted Muhammad ~ with his spiritual
mission, but still does that for people today. He is often known as the
giver of rain and sustenance. He was one of the first to bow to Adam
and he was put in charge of the plants and rain. Muslim teachers think
this is symbolic to mean that Mika' il provides spiritual help to the soul
and material help to the body. Mika' il had to prepare Muhammad ss by
providing the water that Jibril used to purify him, before Jibril took
Muhammad ~ to the seven heavens and the throne of Allah.
Some Islamic tradition says that Mika' il lives in heaven, has wings of a
dark green colour and hairs of saffron. Each hair has a million faces and
mouths that can communicate in all languages, all asking for Allah's
mercy for humankind. He is mentioned as helping Muhammad ~ at the
Battle of Badr, which was fought for Makkah.
On Judgement Day both Jibril and Mika'il will help with the weighing of
a person's actions. Mika'il has seen hell and how easy it is to get there, as
opposed to how hard it is to get to paradise, so it is believed that he does
not smile. He is the friend of humankind as he knows what awaits; the
path to paradise being thinner than a human hair.

Angels of the seven heavens


Islam believes in other angels, who have specific jobs, and some of
whom are named:
Hafaza is the guardian angel, whilst Jundullah (the army of Allah)
helped Muhammad ~ in battle. There are angels whose job it is to
maintain order, angels who protect people from death until the given
time, angels who carry Allah's throne, angels who bestow blessings from
Allah, angels who ensoul each foetus and angels who travel the Earth
finding those who worship Allah.

The Basics
1 Explain briefly who Jibril was.
2 Describe what we know about what he did.
3 Explain why Jibril is important for Muslims.
4 Who was Mika'il? What does Mika'il do?
5 Mika'il is more important than Jibril. Do you agree? Show that
you have thought about more than one point of view. Refer to Islam
in your answer.
6 Explain how belief in angels might influence the lives of Muslims today.

104
2 Islam

Akhirah - belief in life after death


What happens after we die is one of life's biggest mysteries. Philosophers call it an
'ultimate question', which is one that has no answer that can be empirically tested or even
agreed upon. What happens when we die is something some people fear as it is a move
into the unknown. There are many possibilities given as 'answers' (resurrection,
reincarnation, heaven, hell) whilst others think that death is the end and that is it.

What do you think? Discuss in small groups in a silent debate the phrase
Death is simply death! Present the ideas and further discussion as a class.

How does Islam explain life after death for its followers?
+ Akhirah definitely exists. The Qur'an says it does and as the Word of Allah, is right.
+ Life after death makes sense of our short existence on Earth - why we are here at all.
+ On Earth, Muslims' lives are tested by Allah and the end result is akhirah in one form
or another.
+ Most of the prophets state that Muslims were created deliberately, people will be
accountable for their actions in order to complete the journey back to Allah.

What is actually being tested,


People face different tests in ) though? Everything A person's There are two angels who keep a
their lives, not always equal tests whole way of life, how they treat record of everything This idea can
either. Some suffer; others live others, the qualities they show, be quite scary because it is very
very well. Both are a test, even if their reactions to what happens easy to be selfish and negatively
it is hard to understand or might to them and how they face up to affect others, whilst being good
seem very unfair, even to the difficulties or use good fortune. can seem far harder. Every action
point of questioning if Allah is fair taken can either help or harm
or not. Muslims believe that no in relation to the afterlife, which
one will face a test beyond what is determined only by a person's
they are able to face. It is how a actions. A good record in this
person faces up to what happens life will earn a place in paradise.
in life that is important. Muslims believe a bad one is not
~ even worth contemplating!

The 'Angel of Death' - the grave and Barzakh


When a person dies, their soul is taken by the Angel of Death, called Azra' il. The soul
hovers around the corpse, seeing everything but unable to communicate. It watches the
burial, as it is no longer part of the body. Two angels visit to ask three questions:
1. Who is your Lord? 2. What was your life like? 3. Who is your prophet? If these are
answered correctly it is believed that the soul is made comfortable to sleep until the Day
of Judgement. If not, it is tormented by angels. This is known as the punishment of the
grave. After this stage, waiting for the Day of Judgement is called Barzakh. Barzakh
means 'barrier'. This is not governed by time and there is no return to life even to warn
or help others.

105
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Akhirah - the end of the world


Surahs 81 and 82 describe what will happen when
this time comes. The Angel Israfil will sound the
trumpet, there will be blinding light and the sky
will be cut. The Earth will be destroyed, with
mountains becoming dust and oceans boiling
over with fire. The Earth will be transformed and
the dead raised up. The living will die instantly.

The Mahdi (guided one; Messiah) will come to Earth As the dead will be raised, Muslims believe they need
and Isa will return to help the Mahdi to fight against their physical body, so are never cremated. This belief
false prophets. It is believed that the Qur'an will be affects some Muslim attitudes to transplant surgery
taken up to paradise and not even hafiz (those who and organ donation, as they feel they need to be
know the Qur'an by heart) will remember its words. whole (though this can be over-ridden by the need to
New heaven will also replace the old. Forty days after help others). Many will try to resist post mortems on
the trumpet, there will be smoke covering the world. relatives for the same reasons.
A second trumpet will then sound when the dead
will rise to await judgement.
'Whoever remembers the hereafter '1
What is important here is not just to know what happens
but more importantly how a belief in the afterlife affects
more, their sins decrease.' l
i
Muslims in their lives today - let's take a look at this issue. Imam Al~

Muslims believe that death and judgement are


-
certainties in their lives that they must face up to.
Everything leads to these, so the afterlife gives a
purpose here and now. Things happen for a reason and
actions have consequences. Often people ask the
question: Why are we here? For Muslims 'to secure The Basics
afterlife in paradise' is the answer. Believing as fact that
angels are recording thoughts and actions makes 1 Explain briefly the term akhirah.
people think about what they do, should make them do 2 Describe why Muslims believe in an afterlife.
the right thing, and regret the wrong thing, seeking 3 Explain the role of Azra'il.
forgiveness. The Qur'an describes paradise as far more 4 Religious believers have no proof that
beautiful than humans could ever imagine and so how an afterlife exists. What do you think
could any Muslim not want to work to get there. of this statement? Argue for and against it,
explaining your points.
Human life is short, whereas the afterlife is eternal. At
S Explain how a belief in an afterlife could
the same time hell sounds horrible. Muslims have the
influence the life of a Muslim today. Include
two places on offer to them and it is up to them which some examples in your answer.
they work for.

106
2 Islam

Al-Oadr and human freedom


Say, 'Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.'
And upon Allah let the believers rely.' (Surah 9:51) ·
Al-Qadr means that everything happens as a result of Allah's will and nothing is ever random or
without reason. It means predestination of the will of Allah; that Allah is in charge of everything
in life and has a purpose for everything as part of His plan.

What is the point in life then for (Think again


humans? Why does Allah design
Actually, according to Islam, it is not really like this at all. Humans
humans to be able to do things
control themselves, for example, thoughts, feelings, emotions,
wrong? Why punish humans? responses, choices, decisions, which can all be good and bad.

?
Why not prevent misbehaviour Some things are not controllable, for example, the weather, how
to avoid punishing? Are humans people treat you, who helps you, which family a person is born into
like puppets with Allah pulling or where they are born and people certainly do not choose the
the strings? In which sufferings they go through. Though not able to always control what
case, are humans happens, humans can control their reaction. This is human free
really independent? will. However, Allah already knows a person's choices. Whilst Allah
If Allah already knows controls the boundaries of a person's life, each person has control
who is going to paradise


over the part they play. Undoubtedly humans control their own
or hell then what is lives, as they have free will, but they do not know what their destiny
the point? is, only Allah knows that.

Responsibility and accountability


Often Muslims use the words 'Insha'Allah' (if Allah
wills). However, everything cannot just be left to
Allah, humans have to take responsibility for as
much as they can and then put their trust in Allah.
Being responsible also means being accountable for
actions. Surah 16:93 states ' ... and most certainly you
will be questioned as to what you did.' This will lead
to paradise or hell.

\
Whose is this camel? Tie your camel first \
,then trust in Alloh. )
0

It's mine. I came to pray first then l

I will depend on Al/oh to return it.


Think about the last week in your life. What
have you done that you would not want to be
held accountable for? How could you put these
things right? How easy would it be? If you had
What does this story mean? What does it say about this time again would you do things differently
Muslim responsibility? and why?

107
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Day of .Iudqement

The Heights
Those who do not
deserve hell
but not good
enough to enter
paradise yet

Look at the images on this


page. Research The Islamic
Day of Judgement. Write
your own account of what
will happen. The images give
you the outline, but you need
to fill in more detail. Think
back to when you looked at
Mika'il and his reaction to
what Allah showed him. At
the end of your description,
write a simple paragraph
explaining how important this
day is for Muslims and how
they might feel about what
they are told will happen.
Surah 9:51 states that 'Allah is
our protector'. How does this
1\-IE SoRT1NG-
fit with the Day of Judgement
for Muslims?

I WILL SHOW
You M£"1Z_CY

108
2 Islam

Paradise and hell- (Jannah and .Iahannam)


'No soul knows what
delights of the eye
are kept hidden from
them of joy, as a
reward for what they
did.' Suroh 32:17

Jannah Jahannam
What kind of place is 'Oh humanity - your sins are against your
J annah (paradise)? soul. It is an enjoyment of the life of the
present ... we will show you the truth of
• It is magical and
what you did.' Suroh 10 :23
mystical, where all wishes/desires are fulfilled.
• No growing ill, old or dying and no pain or worries. What kind of place is Jahannam (hell)?
• It is a reward and a gift from Allah.
• It is a fire seventy times hotter than any flame
What is done to get there? on Earth.
• People will wail in misery.
• It cannot be reached by any known means.
+ Boiling water will be poured over their heads, they
• A person must have lived religiously and asked for
will experience pain everywhere, be dragged in
Allah's forgiveness.
chains, have black smoke in their eyes.
• Good beliefs and actions provide the entrance
• Anyone trying to climb out is pushed back in.
ticket.
What is done to get there?
The entry itself:
• People will be invited in, 'Enter among my • Live a wicked life full of evil.
servants! Enter My Paradise!' (Qur'an 89:29-30) • Reject the teachings of the Qur'an.
• People will arrive over the As-Sirat Bridge, joy • Make excuses and not take responsibility; try to
overwhelming. blame others for your own sins.
• There are eight gates. People are called to a gate
What is the fire pit like?
(each represents a good action) and the gate that
calls you will represent the good action you did For the worst, fire will burn off their skin but it will be
the best. replaced to repeatedly suffer in this way. For the least
• Two angels welcome people, saying 'Peace be upon of the sinners, their boots will be filled with fire but it
you', 'Enter here and live within.' feels like their brains are boiling. There are seven levels
• People will say 'Praise be to Allah who has fulfilled of Jahannam. Some will be left there for a set time,
his promise to us.' others forever. There will be different punishments for
each kind of sin, for example, those who did not pray
The Qur'an and Muhammad ss gave detailed
will have their heads smashed against boulders, people
descriptions of Jannah, but it is beyond human
who gossiped will have their lips cut off, arrogant
imagination. There are seven levels of J annah; those
people will be reduced to the size of an ant.
with the most reward will gain the higher levels.
People will be asked to read from the Qur'an; the
more they can read, the higher they go. That layer is
their paradise. Families will be reunited, no one will
be alone. There will be: rivers, gardens, beautiful
weather, creatures to look after everyone, as much
food as wished for and wine that does not get you
drunk. Clothes will look splendid and radiant. Surah Explain how belief in paradise and hell could
35 implies people will never grow tired of the influence the life of a Muslim.
pleasures and delights.

109
Testing your knowledge
One-mark questions Two-mark questions
The one-mark questions will be multiple choice. The two-mark questions are asking you to write a
brief response.
You have to choose the correct answer, from the
four you are offered. Name two ...
Focusing on the first section of Islam, on beliefs Give two examples/causes/effects of ...
that you have now studied, try the following:
Don't waste time writing too much but make sure
1 What is meant by 'tawhid'? to write enough to fully answer the question ..
A life after death B Oneness of Allah 1 Give two Muslim beliefs about 'akhirah.
C prophethood D declaration of
2 Name two of the prophets of Islam.
faith
3 Give two reasons why the Qur'an is important.
2 What is Shari'ah?
4 Name two of the books of authority for Islam.
A a chapter of the Qur'an B Islamic law
Ca prophet D prayer 5 Give two of the roles of angels in Islam.

3 Who were the Zabur (Psalms) written by?


Make up three two-mark
A Moses B Ibrahim
questions to test your partner.
C David D Jesus ~ J

4 What are angels made of?

A elements of light B fire


C clay D gold
5 Who was asked by Allah to sacrifice his son?

A Moses B Ibrahim
CAdam DNoah
/' "I

Make up four answers to each of these and test


your partner? Do not forget only one can be correct
1 Which of these is not one of the six
articles of faith?
2 What is the name of the place where
Muhammad~ received the Qur'an?
3 Name the Angel who will blow the
trumpet at the end of the world.
4 What is meant by al-Qadr?
5 What is the imamate?
'"

110
2 Islam

Influence Questions
Four-mark questions
These questions are where you show your Look at the following answers. Which do you think
understanding of the religion you have studied, and is better, and why? Think about how clear the
how a person's beliefs have an influence on their answer is, how detailed it is and whether it is clear
lives. It is clear that when people believe things, to see the influence or effect on the believer.
their thoughts, words and actions become shaped
Explain two ways in which believing in Risalah
by their beliefs - this question wants you to show
(Prophethood) influences Muslims today.
that. It might look a bit scary at first, but if you get
used to them, they become quite straightforward. r

You will have to answer one of these in each of the


Answer 1
beliefs sections of your chosen two religions. They One way that believing in Risalah influences
are always worth four marks, and always ask you to Muslims today is that they think they
explain two ways. should follow the teachings of the Prophets,
especially Prophet Muhammad~. Another way
r
is that they think they should read their books,
The wording will always begin 'Explain two ways like the Sunnah, and do as they did.
in which ' '-

Followed by one of these, or something similar -


r
• 'belief in/about .. .'
• 'learning about .. .'
Answer 2
Finishing off with 'influences Muslims today'. Muslims believe that Risalah is Allah's way to
~ ~ communicate His message (what He wants
them to do) to human beings. By following the
Here are some examples for you to see how that teachings in the holy books, and by following
works (and to try): the examples of the Prophets, they can do
I Explain two ways in which belief in the afterlife as Allah wants them to. This means they will
influences Muslims today. please Allah, and be rewarded in heaven.
~ ~
2 Explain two ways in which beliefs about Allah
being Just (Adalat) might influence Muslims ·u!Ejdxa no,( 4:>!4M AEM pumas E iu!ppE ,<q S!4=1 oxo.rdun p1no:, no,J-.
today. 'l!E'.lap JO ::io1 E LI! '.I! saop ::inq •,(1uo AEM auo saA!i S!41- :z: JaMSU\f
·sEap!
3 Explain two ways in which believing in Risalah J!a4::i iu!U!Ejdxa ,<q wa4::i JOJ S!4=1 aAoJdw! p1no:, no,J-. 'AEM Ja4::i!a
(Prophethood) influences Muslims today. urejdxa ::i,usaop =I! 'JaAaMO4 'SAEM poos OM'.1 saA!i S!41-: ~ JaMSU\f

Go back through your answers to those earlier three


questions. Using AQA's mark scheme, how could you
improve them?

111
Topic 2.1 Beliefs and teachings

Explaining Beliefs and Teachings


,,
Five-mark questions Sample answer
These questions ask you to explain two beliefs and/ In the Qur'an1, it says that Muslims will go
or teachings from the religion. to Paradise2 - 'Enter among my servants!
/'
Enter My Paradise' (89:27)1. This means that
those people who become Muslims, and follow
The wording will be:
the teachings of Allah will go to Paradise3.
Explain two Muslim teachings about .... They will have to have lived as a good Muslim,
Refer to scripture or sacred writings in for example, following Muhammad's example
your answer. closely to be able to go to Paradise4.
\..
' ~
They will be marked against AQ/\s mark scheme Looking at the sample answer:
which can be found on the AQA website.
1
it opens by saying where the belief comes from,
From the question wording and the mark scheme the quote has also been given;
you can work out how to answer the question
2
effectively. Each question is different, but in this what is believed about who can enter Paradise;
case you would: 3
it explains by saying that a person who follows
• Chose your two teachings and then explain each the teachings of Allah counts as a Muslim;
one 4
it further explains by showing that Prophet
• Develop your explanations fully Muhammad is a good example to copy.
+ Include a relevant teaching. 'Refer to scripture or
sacred writing' means the Qur'an or any other Of course, the answer needs a second teaching
book Muslims believe to be holy, like the Sunnah about Paradise, written in the same way to ensure
and Hadith. the best response.

Remember this is just one example to help you Practise some for yourself:
practice. In the exam, you will need to think 1 Explain two Muslim teachings about the
carefully and respond to actual question you are creation. Refer to scripture or sacred writings in
given. your answer.
2 Explain two Muslim teachings about the
What does 'fully develop' mean? imamate in Shi'a Islam. Refer to scripture or
When students in RS explain something, it is quite sacred writings in your answer.
often the case that they just write a sentence in
explanation. That is a 'simple explanation'. For
these questions, you have to 'fully develop' your
explanation, i.e. give more detail about each point
you make. Here is an example, the explanation and
further development are highlighted so that you
can see them clearly.
Explain two Muslim teachings about paradise.
Refer to scripture or sacred writings in your answer.

112
2 Islam

Analyse and Evaluate


For GCSE RS you have to be able to show you can react to a given statement. This means that you consider
what the statement says, present arguments to agree and disagree and come to a conclusion of what you
yourself think of the statement. You also have to demonstrate what a religious person would say and what
arguments they would use. In the religious section of the paper it will be impossible not to include
religious ideas so do not worry too much about this. This type of question takes the most thinking. In fact,
together these questions will be worth 50 per cent of your exam, so it is essential you practise them.
It is always a good idea to work to a formula when you answer this type of question. This structures your
answer which makes it clear and also makes sure you meet all the necessary criteria to give a full answer.
Here is one formula you might consider using:

( DREA ER X 3 = C)

• give developed arguments to support a


D = Disagree different point of view
R = Reason to disagree • reach a justified conclusion.
E = in-depth explanation of that reason
A= Agree 3 The Sunnah is more important than the
= Reason to agree Qur'an as a guide to life for Muslims today.
E = in-depth explanation of that reason Evaluate this statement. You should:
Ideally, there should be at least three reasons • refer to Muslim teaching
on each side. • give developed arguments to support
R = You need to make lots of references to this statement
religion - use religious arguments. • give developed arguments to support a
different point of view
C = Conclusion - This is where you get to give
• reach a justified conclusion.
your own reasoned opinion, but only if it is
different to the arguments you have already used. 4 The Muslim idea of Paradise is just wishful
~ ~
thinking.
I For a Muslim, believing that Allah is all- Evaluate this statement. You should:
powerful is not important. • refer to Muslim teaching
• give developed arguments to support
Evaluate this statement. You should:
this statement
• refer to Muslim teaching
• give developed arguments to support a
• give developed arguments to support
different point of view
this statement
• reach a justified conclusion.
• give developed arguments to support a
different point of view The more practice you get at this type of question
• reach a justified conclusion. the better, as you need to be able to give different
points of view. The point of these questions is to
2 Muslims should be more concerned with this
challenge your application of knowledge, and to
life than the next.
make you show your skills in analysis and
Evaluate this statement. You should: evaluation. Your conclusion is only valuable if it
• refer to Muslim teaching gives a different viewpoint to what you have
• give developed arguments to support already written.
this statement
For more practice, go back and redo evaluation
questions using this formula.

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