Introduction to Islam

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah

619.864.000 131.647.000 31.610. Algeria 10.000 67. India 4.000 54.642.Top 10 largest Muslim populations # Country 1. Bangladesh 5. Nigeria 9. Morocco Muslims 188.213.512.000 144.000 67.000 31. Pakistan 31% 3.000 64. Iran 7.000 .891. Turkey 6. Indonesia 13% 2.000 118.788. Egypt 8.729.

Ethiopia Morocco Afghanistan Iraq Sudan Uzbekistan Saudi Arabia Yemen Syria Tanzania 29 29 27 23 22 22 21 18 15 13 .

Russia Malaysia Mali Tunisia Senegal Niger Azerbaijan Somalia Kazakhstan Guinea 12 12 10 10 9 8 8 7 7 6 .

Burkina Faso French Colony-Independent since 1960 United States Tajikistan Congo Libya Turkmenistan Jordan Cote D'ivoire Ivory Coast-Republic of Cote D'ivore 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 .

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Defining Islam  Submission (God-Man Dimension) Peace (Man to Man Relationships)   A phenomenon. founder or a tribe etc. an act and not a person. .

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Articles of Faith       Islamic Creed or Shahadah The Angels The Prophets The Scriptures The Day of Judgment The Divine Decree .

The Acts of Worship      Shahadah or Ethical Monotheism Five Daily Prayers Poor-due Fasting the month of Ramadan Pilgrimage or Hajj .

Shahadah or Ethical Monotheism  The essence of Islamic faith A unique concept   Human responsibility Social transformation  .

Elohim (plural). Elahna (our God) Jesus’ mother tongue “Aramic”     Eloh (God).Allah: The Almighty God  The Arabic word for God Jews’ original language “Hebrew” El (God). Elohi (my God) .

The first order has but one member. "Nothing is like unto Him". paradise and hell. the Transcendent. of experience. Allah (SWT). Creator and creature. of creation. It includes all creatures. the Eternal. The second is the order of space-time. jinn and angels. heaven and earth. and all their becoming since they came into being. He remains forever absolutely unique and devoid of partners and associates. humans. plants and animals. He alone is God. the Creator. God and non-God. .The Two Orders of Reality  "Reality is of two generic kinds. the world of things.

The Two Orders

The two orders of Creator and creation are utterly and absolutely disparate as far as their being, or ontology, as well as their experience and careers, are concerned. It is forever impossible that the one be united with, infused, confused with or diffused into the other. Neither can the Creator be ontologically transformed so as to become the creature, nor can the creature transcend and transfigure itself so as to become, in any way or sense, the Creator."

Strict Monotheism

The belief in the Unity, Oneness, Uniqueness and Transcendence of God Almighty is the pivot of al-Qur'an. That is the thread which runs through the entire Qur'anic corpus and is the core of the Qur'anic message. The all Qur'anic concepts, ideas, and ideologies are woven together to pinpoint, elaborate, and describe this very doctrine of the Oneness, Unity, and Transcendence of God, and to encourage mankind to establish a meaningful and right relationship with Him.

Islamic Creed

The Qur'anic monotheism does not start with monolatry or with the affirmations of the existence or Oneness of the Deity. It starts by absolutely negating all concepts, kinds, ideas, understandings, and illusions of divinity or godhead other then the One and the only Divine. It starts with the Credo of Islam "La ilaha illa Allah", the shahadah or confession, which is derived from the Qur'an itself.

"and Muhammad is the messenger of God." . It says.Meanings of Shahadah  The second part of shahadah contains an immediate corollary on the mission and prophethood of Muhammad. "Muhammadun Rasul Allah".

and of reason to revelation. P. J. offers distinctive solutions to the thorny problems of the nature of God and the relationship of freedom to predestination. of good to evil.. the Qur'anic understanding of the Almighty has contributed greatly to work towards providing many of those solutions. Islam insists on God's absolute transcendence and perfect unity. as we will have the opportunity to see in the coming sessions. The radical monotheism of Islam." . Contrary to that. however..A Way Out  The Bible's understandings of God had left many problems unsolved. Awn observes that "A commitment to monotheism is nothing new in the history of Western religious traditions.

1982. Islam has most insistently asserted the unity and oneness of God. Prentice-Hall."[i] [i]Richard C.A Unique Concept  Therefore the distinctive feature of Islam. is that "Among the Western religious traditions. as Richard C.. Martin. New Jersy. Englewood Cliffs. 9  . Martin observes. Inc.

language. anthropomorphism. that has been reflected into Islamic art. . and other aspects of the Islamic civilization and culture. or any other kind of comparability.Absolute Transcendence  It is this notion of the absolute transcendence and alertness against corporeality.

Never has any Muslim mosque contained any object associated with divinity. The latter were designs made of stylized stalk. leaf and flower. The mosque has always been an empty building.Transcendence in Art  "The association of things and sensory images with God was meticulously avoided by Muslims at all times and places. It walls and ceiling would be decorated either with verses from the Qur'an or with abstract arabesques. deliberately denaturalized and symmetrically repeated to dispel any suggestion of the creaturely natural as vehicle of expression for the divine." .

Transcendence in Language

"Transcendence in language was equally well maintained by Muslims around the globe, speaking all sorts of languages and dialects and belonging to all sort of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Any God-talk by Muslims became exclusively Qur'an-talk, one adhering scrupulously to the Arabic categories of the Qur'an, and to its Arabic terms, its Arabic literary forms and expressions.... Thus, empirical language-figures and relations from the world are used; but with the unmistakable denial that they apply to God simpliciter."

The Essence of al-Tawhid

Al-Tawhid, with all this multiplex emphasis, is not meant merely to exalt God and chant His glories, or claim special closeness to Him to enjoy special privileges or a sense of superiority over others. None of these elements or claims are implied in the Qur'anic understanding of monotheism. Contrary to that, it is meant to create a proper response in man, the response that will encourage man to work towards transforming the human society of time and space in accordance with divine moral laws.

The Essence of al-Tawhid

The essence of al-Tawhid can be summarized in the following five terms: (1) Duality of reality i.e., God and non-God, and God as normativeness, meaning. the Being who commands (moral will of God) and whose commandments are ought-to-be. (2) Ideationality: meaning that the relationship between the two orders of reality is ideational in nature. Man can understand this relationship easily through the faculty of understanding.

Essence (Continued)  (3) Teleology: that the nature of the cosmos is teleological. Man also has a purpose and that is to be God's vicegerent on earth. (4) Capacity of man and malleability of Nature: since the nature of the cosmos is teleological. and doing so out of design. purposive. serving a purpose of its Creator. hence the actualization of the Divine purpose must be possible in space and time. that is.  .

Human Responsibility  (5) Responsibility and Judgment i." . They constitute the core of al-tawhid and the quintessence of Islam. society.e. and environment so as to conform to the divine pattern. To do so is success and to disobey Him is to incur punishment and failure. The forgoing five principles are self-evident truths. that man stands responsible to realize the moral will of God and change himself..

Man. becomes a problem chiefly. duties and destiny are. his nature. conduct. if not exclusively. in connection with the problem of how man reacts to it. says and does. in fact. . What God is.Man: the Focus of Islam  "For among all these created things "man" is the one to which is attached so great an importance in the Koran that it attracts at least the same amount of our attention as God. as much the central preoccupation of the Koranic thought as the problem of God Himself. psychology.

" . the Book would have not been "sent down". the concept of man is important to such a degree that it forms the second major pole standing face to face with principal pole. that is concept of Allah.Human Salvation  The Koranic thought as a whole is concerned with the problem of salvation of human beings. And in this particular sense. as the Koran itself explicitly and repeatedly emphasizes. If it were not for this problem.

and all that has to take place here and now i.e. the Tawhid is directly connected with the moral sphere of human life. and equity among the human race.. unity. Its essence cannot be achieved without actualizing its demands of unity and universality of truth. .Human Society: The Theater  Consequently. practically in the human society. equality.

Ethic of Action  "Al-Tawhid commits man to an ethic of action.. that is. It does not deny the ethic of intent where the same measurement is made by the level of personal values effecting the moral subject's state of consciousness alone. for the two are not incompatible. to an ethic where worth and un-worth are measured by the degree of success the moral subject achieves in disturbing the flow of spacetime. in his body as well as around him." ...

having committed himself. He cannot lead a monastic. his life and all energies to His service." . isolationist existence unless it be as an exercise in self-discipline and self-mastery. and having recognized His Master's will as that which ought to be actualized in space-time. he must enter the rough and tumble of the market place and history and therein bring about the desired transformation.Transformation of Society  "Having acquiesced to God alone as his Master.

. justifies his creation in God's moral image. Islamic understanding of monotheism is moralistic through and through again.Moralistic Monotheism  This moral function of man. in the best of form. Therefore. as the vicegerent of God on earth.

Social Justice        Ten Commandments Universal message Justice is God and God is justice Human equality and universal brotherhood Universal human rights Salvation based on Grace and Actions Human preparedness .

Rest of the Articles  Angels: the infallible beings Created before Man and Jinn   God’s agents in the universe Multiple functions including revelation & recording human deeds  .

preachers. 24000 in total . Spiritual bridges between man and God 27 mentioned by name.The Prophets        Infallible human beings Recipients of Divine revelations Embodiment of Divine moral will Conveyers of Divine message Reformers. kings etc.

style. relevance .The Books        Revealed Scriptures Four known books Many smaller booklets Historical additions and deletions Final Book Affirmation of all the previous revelations Language. contents.

The Hereafter        Human accountability Barzakh or death Resurrection Universal assembly Utmost justice Paradise or Hell fire Eternity .

Divine Decree       Universe Divinely ordained & planned God is not retired after creating it Free will & Predestination debate Gives the believers certainty & confidence Freedom from fear of anyone or anything other than God Meaningfulness & purposefulness of life .

economic and universal levels of existence Refine God to man and man to man relations .Acts of Worship     Rehearsal and training mechanism Daily. spiritual. social. collective. monthly and yearly crush courses and field work Cover personal. weekly. corporeal.

Humility. brotherhood/sisterhood. accountability. re-assurance.Salah      Five daily prayers Supplications vs physical gestures Holiness. networking. socialization. humbleness. reminder Equality. community building etc. God consciousness (Taqwa) .

Zakat         2.5% of annual savings Poor’s right 8 categories of Zakat recipients Mutual sense of caring and sharing Mutual love/respect between rich & poor A self sufficient society Historical testimonies Income tax vs Zakat .

Sawm        The month of Ramadan Self control and discipline Bodily sacrifice Feeling for the poor and needy Iftra. Zakat al-Fitr Eid al-Fitr A month long retreat. Taraweeh. human concerns .

brotherhood in faith A rehearsal of the Day of Judgment Human responsibility & accountability . peaceful co-existence.Hajj       Once in a life time experience Climax of Islamic devotional acts An international assembly An expression of human equality.

Summary  Submission to the moral will of God Almighty Peace with Him and through Him with His creatures. Arabic Salam) Transformation of individual and collective life in conformity with Divine will   . (Hebrew Shalom.

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