Introducing Islam

In the name of God; the most merciful the most compassionate

Islam
‡ The Arabic meaning of Islam is submission to God/Allah; the creator of the universe. ‡ Islam provides a comprehensive concept to humanity¶s eternal question: who are we? ‡ Islam is a comprehensive and balanced system of life encompassing the spiritual and the temporal realms.

The Creator ‡ Attributes Genderless and beyond imagination  Mercy  We are his honoured creatures  Direct relationship between God and the believers  Worship is intimate & personal  .

Humanity on Earth A purpose and a design Trustees of God on Earth Relationship with Nature & Environment ‡ Harmony ‡ Complementary ‡ Animals are like us .

no compulsion in religion ‡ Freedom of religious practice ‡ Special status for Christian and Jews (monotheist outlook) .Relationship with fellow humans Relationship with other religions ‡ Inherent designed diversity ‡ Based on justice & fairness ‡ Obligations towards the poor ‡ Freedom of faith.

Five tenets of Islam Declaring your faith (Shahada) Five daily prayers and one communal on Friday Fasting one month every year Pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia once in a life time ‡ Helping the needy and the poor (Zakat) ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ .

but not well-to-do.The Prophet His background ‡ An orphan of a noble. She was 40. when he was 25. family that lived in Mecca. . His uncle raised him. ‡ He was known for being honest and truthful before prophethood. ‡ Worked as a shepherd and later as a trader ‡ Married his first wife Khadija. His mother died when he was six. ‡ His father died before his birth. and the mother of his surviving children.

the holy book of Muslims ‡ The nobles of Mecca refused his call. ‡ In 633. generosity and forgiveness. he was a prophet and a statesman. ‡ After 12 difficult years. he died in Medina after 11 years at 63 ‡ His personality revolves around the traits of mercy. These revelations were compiled later into the Quran. he immigrated in 622 to Medina whose people welcomed him.The Prophet His prophethood ‡ In 610. . ‡ In Medina. ostracized and persecuted him and his followers. he received his first revelation at 43.

‡ It acknowledges the diversity of the human race and freedom of religions . Isaac.The Prophet The message ‡ The oneness of God. Moses. ‡ The moral principles of the ten commandments are reflected in the message of Muhammad. the creator of the whole universe ‡ Islam is the continuation of divine messages that God sent to humanity through prophets like Abraham. and Jesus.

In Arabic. French and most of the world¶s languages . ‡ The translation of its meaning is available in English.The Quran ‡ The revelation of God to Muhammad ‡ It has been preserved as revealed 14 centuries ago. it numbers about 604 pages. ‡ It consists of 114 chapters of various lengths.

Mary. Jesus. . ‡ Rulings on social and commercial issues. Moses. Isaac.The Quran ‡ Appeals to the mind to reflect on creations and the creator ‡ Glad tidings for the believers ‡ Admonitions to the nonbelievers ‡ Stories of previous messengers of God such as Noah. Abraham. etc.

get your people from darkness to light and remind them of the miracles of Allah. For in it are signs for the thankful (14:5) ‡ Mary: The angels said. a word from Him whose name will be Christ Jesus. Mary. held in honour in this world and the hereafter and of those nearest to Allah. purified and chosen you among the women of this world. ³O Mary! Allah brings you good news. He shall speak to the people when infant and old and shall be of the righteous. the son of Mary.What the Quran says about ‡ Moses: And we sent Moses with our signs. worship your Lord devoutly: Prostrate and bow with those who bow down.(3:42-43) ‡ Jesus: The angels said. ³O Mary! Allah has chosen. (3:45-46) .

The Muslim legal code ´Shari·aµ ‡ Consists of the following components: ‡ Rulings mentioned in the Quran ‡ Precedents in the life of Muhammad as it explains and complements the Quran in more details ‡ Opinions (fatwa) of Muhammad¶s prominent companions. ‡ Opinions of previous jurisprudents ‡ Opinions of contemporary scholars ‡ Importance of majority and consensus .

of a prayer hall. The Imam (religious leader) leads the prayers and delivers sermons. His powers vary but normally limited to just that. The mosque is run by a board or a committee. As a courtesy. in Canada. ‡ ‡ Islamic Foundation. Persons entering the mosque are supposed to have cleansed themselves. offices. non-Muslims should seek permission before entering the mosque. Scarborough . Consists. and to avoid embarrassment or offence.The Mosque ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ The Muslim¶s house of God Muslims are encouraged to pray their daily prayers in congregation at the mosque. multi-purpose hall. washrooms.

Friday sermon & prayers .

Muslims are not homogenous in their interpretation and practice of Islam. Ismaili 1%? ‡ Homogenous when it comes to core beliefs and essential practices of Islam like daily prayers. History. ‡ Socially diverse .5 billions ‡ The fastest growing religion ‡ Sects: Sunni (the majority). etc ‡ Like followers of international religions. Shia 7%.The Muslims of the world ‡ The number of Muslims in the world is estimated between 1. dominant culture. and social factors influence them.2-1. fasting. government.

India.000-750. Guyana. Montreal. . Ottawa.000 in GTA. Calgary and Edmonton.The Muslims of Canada ‡ Muslims in Canada: 700. Vancouver. ‡ 86% live in 6 metropolitan areas: Toronto.000 with about 450. Somalia and Arab countries (North Africa in Montreal). ‡ Notable countries of origin: Pakistan.

The Canadian average is 7%. ‡ Muslim families derive only 4% of their total income from social security programs. ‡ The income of Muslims is below the national average. among Muslims there are 15 workers to support each retiree. 60% higher than the population as a whole. compared with 14% for Jewish children. about 60% of Muslim children live below poverty line. ‡ There are only five people working to support one in retirement in the country. In Toronto. .The Muslims of Canada ‡ Young: 27% of the Muslims are in age group 25 to 44 years and have one or more university degrees.

north Etobicoke. Markham.000. .Muslims in the GTA ‡ Their numbers: about 450. seniors¶ home. and ISSRA. and Mississauga. ‡ About 15 full-time schools and many weekend schools at mosques. ‡ About 55 mosques. ‡ Mostly in Scarborough. ‡ Housing co-op.

N York ‡ Islamic Centre of Canada. Markham ‡ Madina Mosque. Etobicoke ‡ Masjid Toronto. Toronto ‡ Abubakr Mosque. north Oakville ‡ Khalid bin Al-Walid Mosque. Mississauga ‡ Al-Falah Mosque. Scarborough ‡ TARIC Mosque. Etobicoke ‡ Islamic Community Centre of Ontario.Muslims in the GTA MAJOR MOSQUES/ORGANIZATIONS ‡ Islamic Foundation. Toronto downtown .

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the poor and women. ‡ No nation can claim a monopoly on Islam.Why Muslims are positive about Islam? ‡ Islam brought liberation and justice for the underprivileged. defended the rights of the oppressed and constituted the moral and vocal opposition to tyrants and dictatorships. Everyone is welcome to enter. in general. . ‡ The Muslim clergy.

± The right to own property independently of their husbands or children. ± The right to conduct their own commercial business. 1400 years ago: ± The right to decide their future Muslim husbands. ± The right to participate in politics. . ‡ Islam gave women the following rights. ± The right to education. A will cannot take away or abrogate this right. husband or children. Many of his followers were women who embraced Islam before their spouses or fathers. ± The right to a definite share of the estate of a father.The Muslim Women ‡ The first to accept Muhammad¶s message was his wife Khadija.

at schools. To achieve this: ± Men are requested to lower their gaze when talking to women and not to indulge in their beauty. with various rigour and degrees in different societies. for the sake of looking after their children (usually longer than the Canadian average). ± Separation between men and women. Muslim men and women are urged ³to keep the temptation away´ and to remain faithful to their spouses. ± Women are requested to dress modestly and cover their hair. many qualified women don¶t work. mostly traditional. The relationship between a man and a woman is to be established only through marriage with mutual. or defer work. they display their beauty only to their near family. roles and commitments.The Muslim Women ‡ The family/home is the focus of the majority of Muslim women. work and social functions Women keeping maiden names ‡ ‡ ‡ .

Hijacking b. Politically. a. New phenomenon for Muslims. Suicide bombing 5. 4. It has only political solutions. Grows with despair and hopelessness. rooted. and not religiously.Islamic Terrorism 1. The expression 2. . 3.

Myths Realities 1. 4. Muslims have different sets of standards or rules when dealing with non-Muslims . 2. Jihad can always have a radicalizing potential upon any and all Muslims. Muslims have existed fundamentally and irreparably in a state of conflict with the Judeo-Christian civilization. 3. Islam is fundamentally aggressive or totalitarian.

Here are some highlights: Arabs favourable to: 2 American policy 1 American freedom and democracy 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% The Economist. that Muslims would like to have better relations with America. that there is no clash of civilisations between Islam and the West since both share similar values and concerns. but rather widely mistrusted because of its policies in the region. that America is not hated for itself. to provide answers.The Muslims¶ Aspirations For the past year Americans have asked why Muslims and Arabs hate them. 2002 . and that even the most conservative Muslim societies are changing fast. October 19. opinion polls. Now they have the most American of tools. The results of half a dozen surveys show. broadly.

The Muslims¶ Aspirations Where religious groups would place the statement "I approve of democratic ideals" on a scale of 1:100 3 M uslims 2 Western Christians 1 Others 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% .

The Muslims¶ Aspirations Iranians 2 who favour restoring ties with America 1 who think America is friendly 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% .

not because they are avoiding you. and its symbols. ‡ Muslim women are required to dress modestly and not to show their beauty except to near family. mainly they are not allowed to eat pork.Dealing with Muslims ‡ Muslims take their religion. ‡ Muslims are not supposed to sit or meet alone with members of the opposite sex. ‡ Muslims are respectful of elders. wild animals or animal slaughtered improperly. ‡ Muslims have dietary restriction. Out of respect they may not look you in the eye. Islam forbids alcoholic beverages and drugs. very seriously. . women and persons of authority. ‡ Muslims invoke prayers frequently in their daily chores.

Winning the Muslims ‡ While the absolute majority are law-abiding citizens. they¶ll feel uneasy about cooperation with the police for the following reasons:  Police in countries of origin represents the repression of the state and the corruption of its apparatus.  The perception. growing stronger everyday. stereotype and frenzy.  US policies (foreign and domestic) are perceived as biased against Islamic issues.  Muslims feel under siege especially with increased scrutiny. about a hidden agenda against Islam and Muslims. .

Winning the Muslims  Know them better.  Affirmative recruitment of Muslims to the force.  Show respect and understanding: soft approach works better than hard one.  Solicit advice from leaders on handling issues and situations.  PR directed at Muslims and participation in Muslim events to socialize with Muslims. .  Communicate with leaders and institutions to build trust and cooperation. their religion and culture(s).

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