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  • Khalid Bin Umar
    KNOW THE RULINGS [45] BECOMING MUSLIM ... How to Become a Muslim ? All praise be to Allah, the lord of the universe. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2004
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      How to Become a Muslim ?
      All praise be to Allah, the lord of the universe. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Mohammad, His last messenger. 
      The purpose of this hand-out is to correct a false idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people have a wrong notion that entering into th Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of high ranking scholars or shaikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that the act accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificate issued by the authorities, as evidence to that effect.
      We wish to clarify that whole matter is very easy and that none of these conditions or obligations are required. For Allah, Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, as this procedure may facilitate for them many matters including the possibility of performing Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah.
      If anyone has a real desire to be a muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human-being, then, one should pronounce the �shahada�, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The Holy Qur�an is explicit on this regard as Allah states : �The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam� (Qur�an 3:19)
      in another verse of the Holy Qur�an, Allah states : �If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the hell fire).� (Qur�an 3:85)
      In addition, Islam is the only religion prevailing over all other religions. Allah states in the Holy Qur�an : �To thee We sent the Scripture in the truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety :�. (Qur�an 5:48)
      Mohammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), said : �The superstructure of Islam is raised on five (pillars) : testifying that there is no God (none truly to be worshipped) but Allah, and that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah, performing the prayer, paying the Zakah (poor-due), fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing Hajj.� 
      The Shahada can be declared as follows :  �ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH�. 
       The English translation is : �I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped) but, Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.�
      However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimony oraly either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he will find himself a new born person. 
      This will move him to strive more and more to improve his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fill his heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith.
      What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim ? one should then know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the oneness of Allah and meet its requiremants. One must behave accordingly, applying this true faith to every thing one speaks or does.
      What do the words of the �Shahada� signify? The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He-glory be to Him � is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.
      The second part of the Shahada �i.e., Wa Ash-hadu anna Mohammadan abduhu wa rasuluh� means that Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), to believe him in what he has said, to practise his teachings, to avoid what ha has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelation and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah.
      What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service, showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah�s commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit.
      Worship fall into two categories :
      Visible (manifest or outward).
      Invisible (concealed or inward).
      Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the �Shahada�, performing prayers, giving Zakah (the poor-due), recitation of the Holy Qur�an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.
      This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of the human body. 
      Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgement (in the Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone).
      This type worship does not involve movement of parts of the body but it surely has bearing on one�s heart which subsequently affects one�s  way of life. 
      It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alone will be rejected as one form of polytheism and this causes apostasy from the Islamic fold.
      The next step for a newly revert to Islam is the purify himself by taking a cmplete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be rigtheous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the requisites of the motto of Islam � that is, Laa ilaha illallah. 
      Allah states in the Holy qur�an : ��whoever rejects evil and believes in the Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold, that never breaks�� (Qur�an 2:256).
      We have to consider that when declare from our heart that � there is no god (deity) worthy to be worshipped but Allah�, it implies on our part love, devotion,  faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislations which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is a requiremant of  �there is no god worthy to be  worshipped but Allah� to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah.
      This is the firmest anchor of belief which materialise the meaning of �AL WALA� and �AL BARA�. It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practise, dissociate himself completely from the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in wordly and religious matters.
      We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the hearts and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers. Aameen
      My father is African American and my mother is white and i have done a lot of research on this religion i am 16 and i really want to become a muslim i wanted to know if i could be one?
      Among the beauties of Islam is the fact that in this religion there are no intermediaries in the relationship between a person and his Lord. Entering this religion does not involve any special ceremonies or procedures that need to be done in front of any other person, nor does it require the consent of any specific people. Becoming Muslim is very easy and anyone can do it even if he is all alone in the desert or in a locked room. All it takes is to say two beautiful sentences which sum up the meaning of Islam and which include the statement that a person is the slave of his Lord and that he submits himself to Him and recognizes that He is his God and Helper and Protector Who decrees for him whatever He wills; and that Muhammad is the slave and Messenger of Allaah whom he must follow with regard to what was revealed to him from Allaah, for obeying the Messenger is part of obeying Allaah. Whoever utters these twin statements of faith, with conviction and believing in them, becomes a Muslim, sharing all the rights and duties that other Muslims have. After that he can start straight away to do the things that Allaah has made obligatory, such as the five daily prayers at the right times, fasting during the month of Ramadaan, and so on. From this it should be clear to you that you can become a Muslim straight away, so get up, have a shower and say: �Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan �abduhu wa rasooluhu (I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).� 
      Why has Islam continued to be so successful in the modern world?
      Islam continues to be successful in the developed world, and elsewhere, because its call is in accordance with the fitrah or natural inclinations of mankind, and it advocates the best of human values, such as tolerance, love, mercy, truthfulness and sincerity.
      Islam educates people and lifts them up to righteous conduct, good manners and virtue. Its call is distinguished from others by its realism, balance and moderation. Islam pays due attention to both the soul and the body. It neither suppresses physical desires nor allows extravagance in this regard; it makes a distinction between the natural inclination to enjoy the pleasures of this world and forbidden desires that come under the heading of depravity and perversion.
      People embrace Islam because they find security, comfort and peace in it, they see a cure for their problems in it, and through it they are able to get rid of their feelings of confusion, anxiety and loss.
      Islam is the religion of the fitrah, the natural inclination or pattern on which Allaah has created mankind. For this reason, people of sound minds and upright inclinations embrace Islam, as Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: �The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �There is no child who is not born in a state of fitrah (i.e., Islam), then his parents make him into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian (Zoroastrian), just as animals produce whole animals (i.e., the animals are born perfect with no part of their bodies missing). Do you find any born with their ears cut off?�� Then Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: � �� Allaah�s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allaah: that is the Standard Religion�� [al-Room 30:30 � interpretation of the meaning � Yusuf Ali�s translation].� (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1359). What is meant is that Allaah has created mankind with the potential to learn the truth, accept Tawheed (pure monotheism) and submit to Allaah. Their natural inclination is to learn Islam and love it, but a bad education, a kaafir (disbelieving) environment, their own whims and desires and the devils among jinn and mankind turn them away from the truth. Mankind is basically inclined towards Tawheed (pure monotheism), as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) reported that his Lord (Allaah) said:
       �I created all my slaves as �hunafa� (pure monetheists), but the devils turned them away from their religion.� (Reported by Muslim). For this reason the one who becomes a Muslim after having been a disbeliever is described as having �reverted� to Islam, as this is more correct than saying that he �converted.�
      When Islam enters a country where there is no nationalism or great legacy of jaahiliyah (ignorance), it spreads quickly because of its strength and the small number of obstacles. You may also see that Islam is suitable for all people, educated and uneducated, male and female, old and young; everyone finds in it what he wants and needs. Those who become Muslim in developed countries realize what their country�s civilization and laws, which have been fabricated from men�s whims and desires, have done to them, and they realize the extent of the misery in which people in developed countries are living. They see how prevalent psychological illnesses, nervous breakdowns, insanity and suicides are, despite the technological advances and great number of discoveries and inventions and modern systems of management. This is because all of that is concerned only with the physical and the outward, but it neglects the inward and fails to nourish and nurture the heart and soul. Allaah says of these people (interpretation of the meaning): �They know only the outside appearance of the life of the world, and they are heedless of the Hereafter.� [al-Room 30:7]
      Islam will continue to succeed, with the permission of Allaah, so long as those who work for its sake are sincere and its followers adhere to it and believe in it, and apply its laws.
      The fact that there are those who are not committed or who fall short will not prevent Islam from succeeding, with the permission of Allaah, and nothing can distort its beauty. Its light will not falter because some people abandon it or fail to adhere to it. What Islam has given humanity in the way of progress and civilization, and lifting them up from the darkness of oppression and enmity, is pride enough
      Who began the Muslim tradition, when did this faith start, what are the rules and how do you begin? Praise be to Allaah. If what you mean by the �Muslim tradition� is the Islamic religion itself, the answer will be given in the second section below. 
      1-     But if what you mean is what the Muslim ummah (nation) has achieved down throughout the ages of prosperity, then this was not achieved in one instant, but it started when Islam started, especially after the establishment of the Islamic state at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then it started to flourish and develop as the Islamic conquests spread and reached the level that they did. If this can be attributed to anyone, it can only be attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), after Allaah. With regard to other people, everyone contributed as much as he could until the structure (of the Muslim civilization) was complete.
      2-     With regard to the beginning of the religion, it seems that what is meant by religion is the religion of Islam with its beliefs and laws. This started with the mission of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 
      With regard to the rules of Islam, they are many and it is difficult to list them all here, but the most important of them are: 
      The testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing regular prayer; paying the zakaah (obligatory charity, a share of one�s wealth to be given to the poor); fasting in Ramadaan; and Hajj or pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allaah. 
      An individual enters this religion after bearing witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, then after that he is obliged to adhere to the other pillars, prayer, fasting and Hajj. There are many further details involved in these matters
      What is the difference between Islam religion and the Muslim religion? Or are they the same?
      Praise be to Allaah. Islam means submitting to Allaah, worshipping Him alone and obeying Him, and shunning shirk (polytheism, associating others with Allaah) and those who believe in that. This is the religion which Allaah approves for His slaves. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): �Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam�[Aal- �Imraan 3:19] 
      �And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers�[Aal �Imraan 3:85] 
      The person who enters this religion is called a Muslim (one who submits), because he has submitted (aslama) to all the rulings that have come from Allaah and from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): �And who turns away from the religion of Ibraaheem (Abraham) (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.When his Lord said to him, �Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!� He said, �I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the �Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).�� [al-Baqarah 2:130-131] 
      �Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allaah (i.e. follows Allaah�s religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin ( a doer of  good who does good deeds solely for the sake of Allaah) then his reward is with his Lord (Allaah), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve�[al-Baqarah 2:112]
      How can we prove to non-Muslims that Islam is a tolerant and easy religion?
      Islam is the religion of mercy and kindness, the religion of tolerance and ease. Allaah has not burdened this ummah with more than it can bear. Whatever good it does, it will be rewarded for it, and whatever evil it does, it will have to bear the burden of that sin, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  �Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned� [al-Baqarah 2:286] 
      Allaah has spared the Muslims any difficulty or hardship in all that He has enjoined upon them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  �He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion of Islam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship� [al-Hajj 22:78] 
      Every sin that a Muslim commits because he makes a mistake, or forgets, or is forced to do it, is forgiven by Allaah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  �Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error� [al-Baqarah 2:286] 
      And Allaah says: your prayer is granted.  The Muslim will be brought to account for what he does deliberately, not for what he does by mistake, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  �And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend� [al-Ahzaab 33:5] 
      Allaah is Kind and Merciful. He sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with ease and the tolerant monotheism:  �Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you [al-Baqarah 2:185 � interpretation of the meaning]   
      The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.� (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 39). 
      The Shaytaan is man's greatest enemy. He makes him forget the remembrance of his Lord (dhikr) and makes his sin attractive to him, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  �Shaytaan (Satan) has overpowered them. So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allaah. They are the party of Shaytaan (Satan). Verily, it is the party of Shaytaan (Satan) that will be the losers![al-Mujaadilah 58:19] 
      What one�s own nafs (self) says has been forgiven by Allaah, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �Allaah has forgiven my ummah for thoughts that cross their minds, so long as they do not speak of them or act upon them.� (Narrated by Muslim, 127) 
      Whoever commits a sin then Allaah conceals it, it is not permissible for him to speak of it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �All of my ummah will be fine except those who commit sin openly.� (Narrated by Muslim, 2990). 
      If a person commits a sin then repents, Allaah will accept his repentance:  �your Lord has written (prescribed) Mercy for Himself, so that if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allaah), then surely, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful� [al-An�aam 6:54 � interpretation of the meaning] 
      Allaah is Generous and Kind, He multiplies the reward for good deeds and forgives bad deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, narrating the words of his Lord: �Allaah has decreed hasanaat (good deeds) and sayi�aat (bad deeds), then He explained that. Whoever intends to do a good deed then does not do it, Allaah will write it down as one complete hasanah; if he intends to do it then he does it, then Allaah will write it down as between ten and seven hundred hasanaat, or more.  Whoever intends to do a bad deed, then he does not do it, Allaah will write it down as one complete hasanah; if he intends to do it then he does it, Allaah will write it down as one sayi�ah.� (Agreed upon; narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Raqaa�iq, 81) 
      The west accuses Islam of oppressing women. What is the status of woman in Islam?
      In Islam, woman has a high status which no past nation ever achieved and which no subsequent nation has been able to attain, because the honour which Islam gives to humanity includes men and women equally. They are equal before the rulings of Allaah in this world and they will be equal with regard to His reward and punishment in the Hereafter. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings): �And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam�[al-Isra� 17:70] 
      �There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related�[al-Nisa� 4:7] 
      �And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable�[al-Baqarah 2:228] 
      �And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: �My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young��[al-Isra� 17:23-24] 
      And Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings): �So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), �Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female�[Aal �Imraan 3:195] 
      �Whoever works righteousness � whether male or female � while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)�[al-Nahl 16:97] 
      �And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer [in the Oneness of Allaah (Muslim)], such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a date stone), will be done to them�[al-Nisa� 4:124] 
      There is nothing in any other religion, nation or law that can compare to the honour which woman gains in Islam. The Roman civilization decreed that woman was a slave who belonged to man, and had no rights at all. In Rome a major synod met to discuss the case of woman, and decided that she was a being who had no soul, and that therefore she would not inherit life in the Hereafter, and that she was evil. 
      In Athens women were regarded as chattels; they were bought and sold, and were regarded as evil, the handiwork of the devil. 
      The ancient laws of India state that disease, death, Hell, snake venom and fire were all better than woman. Her right to life came to an end when her husband�s � or master�s � life ended. When she saw his body burning she would throw herself into the flames; if she did not do so, she would be subject to curses. 
      With regard to woman in Judaism, the ruling on her in the Old Testament is as follows: �So I turned my mind to understand,
      to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare,whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains��(Ecclesiastes 7:25-26 � New International Version) 
      It is known that the Old Testament is venerated and believed by both Jews and Christians. This was the situation of woman in ancient times. With regard to her situation in the Middle Ages and in modern times, this will be explained by the following: 
      The Danish writer Wieth Kordsten explained the view of the Catholic Church towards women. He said: �During the Middle Ages very little care was given to women, following the teaching of the Catholic church which regarded woman as a second class creation.� In France, a council in 586 CE decided to research the case of woman and whether she was to be counted as human or not. After some discussion, they decided that woman was human, but she was created to serve man. 
      The 217th clause of the French law states the following: �A married woman � even if her marriage is based on the condition
      of separating what belongs to her and what belongs to her husband � is not permitted to give anything as a gift or to transfer any of her property or use it as collateral, or to take possession of anything whether in return for payment or otherwise, without her husband being a party to the contract or agreeing to it in writing.� 
      In England, Henry VIII forbade the English woman to read the Bible. Until 1850 CE women were not counted as citizens, and until 1882 CE they did not have any personal rights. (Silsilat Maqaarinah al-Adyaan, by Dr. Ahmad Shalaby, vol. 3, p. 210-213) 
      As for contemporary woman in Europe, America and other industrial nations, she is a creature which is degraded and abused for commercial purposes. She is a feature of advertising campaigns, and things have reached a stage where she takes off her clothes in order to advertise products on posters, and she sells and displays her body according to systems devised by men, so that she is no more than an object of pleasure for them in every place.  
      Woman is cared for so long as she is able to give and contribute physically or mentally. When she becomes old and cannot give any more, society � individuals and institutions � forsakes her and she lives alone in her house or in a mental hospital. 
      Compare this � and there is no comparison � with the teachings of the Noble Qur�aan, given above.
      Since her Lord has honoured her in this way, it is clear to all of mankind that He has created her to be a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister, so He prescribed laws which apply exclusively to women and not men. 
      I believe that there is only Allah (one God). Ibelieve that Muhammed is the seal of the prophets. History bears this out. My question is: How do I declare this (shahadah) if I do not speak arabic?  How do I perform the five daily prayers (salah) without understanding arabic? Finally would I have to change my name?
      I welcome you with a warm greeting.  I was besieged with great joy as I discovered your question while browsing through the ten questions which arrived during the past hour today, and it was the dearest question for me.  This fact is not surprising, as how could our hearts not open to a wise man who has discovered the truth and has acknowledged and confirmed it for himself--one who wishes to embrace Islaam and asks about the next steps?
      In reality, everything that poses a problem for you is actually an easy matter, and can be solved simply, God willing (in shaa' Allaah), so let's take them one by one:
      First:  all that is required of you to embrace this religion right now as you are reading these lines is to pronounce al-shahaadatain, or the two confirmations and attestations of faith, to the best of your ability.  Perfect pronunciation of the Arabic letters is not required, and the following is a transliteration of the phrases with English letters to help you:
      ash-hadu an laa ilaahah illallaah (I bear witness and attest that there is no god worthy of worship but the One God Allaah) ash-hadu anna muhammad-ar-rasool ullaah (I bear  witness and attest that Muhammad is the messenger of Allaah)
      After pronouncing them, you should promptly hasten to take a shower to purify yourself and prepare to start performing your regular prayers which will be an obligation as soon as you have declared your belief.
      Second:  If you have not yet learned the manner and characteristics of performing the prayer (i.e. at least the movements and positions), appended to this message is a description from which you can learn.  What is requried from you for the time being is to say in the beginning of the prayer and between each movement between positions "Allaahu ak-bar" (a glorification of Allaah).  While standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting, you should say "subhaan allaah wal-hamdu lillaah wa-laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar."  (Glory be to Allaah, and praise and thanks be to Allaah, and there is no god but Allaah, and Allaah is the most Exalted and Great.)  Then conclude the prayer by turning your head to the right then left, each time saying "as-salaamu alaikum."
      This way of performing salaat is permissible for you until you can learn and memorize what should be said in each movement and position of the salaat.
      Third:  You are not required to change your name, and in fact, a number of scholars among the forefathers and modern-day Muslims have indicated declared that your name is in fact the name of one of the prophets!
      I ask Allaah to aid you and ease your affairs, and to bestow upon you the blessing of Islaam and perseverence in adhering to it.  We are ready and willing to assist in explaining or helping to solve any problem or difficulty you may face, and to provide support and aid in any way
      Discuss the rise of Islam by exlporing the life and religious ideas of muhammad, Then explain how and when Islam spred from Arabia to Europe adressing Islam's inpact on the Christian West as well as arabia and its surrounding regions.
      Praise be to Allaah.   Firstly: Our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not produce his ideas by himself, rather the message that he brought came from Allaah � it was Revelation (wahy) which Allaah sent to him. 
      Secondly:  with regard to his life (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):He was the best of all people on earth in terms of lineage, for he was descended from the noblest line. Even his enemies bore witness to that. Hence his enemy Abu Sufyaan testified to that effect before the Byzantine ruler
      Allaah sent him as a Prophet at the age of forty, which is the age of perfection. The first sign of Prophethood which was sent to the Messenger of Allaah was dreams: he did not see any dream but it would come true like daybreak. It was said that that lasted for six months. The period of his Prophethood lasted for twenty-three years. These dreams were one of the forty-six parts of Prophethood. Then Allaah honoured him with Prophethood, and the angel came to him whilst he was in the cave of Hira�, where he used to love to go to be alone. The first words (of the Qur�aan) to be revealed to him were: 
      �Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists)�[al-�Alaq 96:1 � interpretation of the meaning] 
      His message came in stages. Firstly, he was appointed as a Prophet; secondly, he warned his nearest kinsmen; thirdly, he warned his people; fourthly, he warned the people to whom no warner had ever come, namely all the Arabs; fifthly, he warned all those whom his message reached, both jinns and humans, until the end of time. 
      After that (initial revelation), he spent three years calling people to Allaah in secret. Then the following words were revealed to him: �Therefore proclaim openly (Allaah�s Message Islamic Monotheism) that which you are commanded, and turn away from Al‑Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, and disbeliever�[al-Hijr 15:94 � interpretation of the meaning] 
      Thirdly: With regard to the message to which our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) called people, it is sufficient to quote what was said by Abu Sufyaan � who was a kaafir (disbeliever) at the time. Heraclius, the ruler of Byzantium, asked Abu Sufyaan, �What does he tell you to do?� Abu Sufyaan said: �He tells us to worship Allaah alone, not associating anything with Him, and he forbids us to worship that which our fathers used to worship. He commands us to pray, to give in charity, to be chaste, to keep our promises and fulfil our trusts.� Heraclius commented on Abu Sufyaan�s words by saying: �This is the description of a Prophet. I knew that he would appear, but I did not think that he would be from among you [the Arabs]. If you are indeed speaking the truth, then soon he will take possession of the place where my feet are standing. If I thought that I could meet him I would not hesitate to go to him, and if I were with him I would wash his feet.� (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2782; Muslim, 1773). 
      Fourthly: After the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he was succeeded as khaleefah (leader of the Muslim community) by Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq,
      Then came �Umar ibn al-Khattaab, who was one of the earliest Muslims, one of the ten whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had testified would enter Paradise, He was martyred in 23 AH by the kaafir Magian murderer Abu Lu�lu�ah. 
      Then came �Uthmaan ibn �Affaan, who was also one of the ten whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had testified would enter Paradise. He had also become Muslim in the earliest days.  He ruled as khaleefah for twelve years, then he was martyred in 35 AH at the age of eighty-odd. 
      Then came �Ali ibn Abi Taalib, who was also one of the ten whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had testified would enter Paradise.he was also the Prophet�s son-in-law as he married his daughter Faatimah, the best of all women (may Allaah be pleased with her). He was also one of the first people to become Muslim, one of the greatest scholars, bravest warriors, prominent ascetics and preachers. He was one of those who compiled the Qur�aan and showed it to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 
      Fifthly: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was guided by the teachings of the Qur�aan, indeed his whole attitude was the Qur�aan as the Mother of the Believers �Aa�ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said.
      Both his companions and his enemies described him in a befitting manner, as he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) deserved, saying that he was honourable, brave, merciful, well-spoken, worshipped a great deal, was honest and trustworthy, and so on. This was all summed up in the verse: 
      �And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character�[al-Qalam 68:4 � interpretation of the meaning] 
      His good character and attitude had a great effect, as it was the reason for some of the mushrikeen (pagans, polytheists) coming to Islam. 
      It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: �The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent some cavalry towards Najd, and they brought a man from Banu Haneefah whose name was Thamaamah ibn Athaal and tied him to one of the pillars of the mosque. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out and said, �Untie Thamaamah.� Then he (Thamaamah) went to grove of palm trees near the mosque and washed himself (did ghusl), then he entered the mosque and said, �I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.�� (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4114; Muslim, 1764). 
      Sixthly: With regard to Islam reaching Europe, it did so in several ways, including the following: 
      1 � The keenness of the Muslims to convey the truth to all of mankind. Andalusia [in Spain] was conquered by Taariq ibn Ziyaad in 92 AH/711 CE, and the conquests in western Europe continued until they reached southeastern France in 114 AH. 
      2 � People coming from North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia to look for work and a better future. 
      3 � Westerners bringing some people from other countries, such as the Germans bringing Turks, to work in their country. 
      4 � The presence of Muslim daa�iyahs (callers, �missionaries�) in those countries. 
      5 � The conquests of the Ottoman state of part of Europe. 

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