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FWD. File - Introduction To ISLAM.htm

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  • K. A. Shaikh
    ISLAM - A Brief Introduction What is Islam? Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that Allah revealed through all His Prophets to every people. For a
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2006
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      ISLAM - A Brief Introduction
      What is Islam?
      Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that Allah revealed through all His Prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world's population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events, which have come to he associated with their faith through a biased media.
      Who are the Muslims?
      Over one billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe - from the southern Philippines to Nigeria - are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world's largest Muslim community is Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most parts of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in Russia, China, North and South America, and Europe.
      What do Muslims believe?
      Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the Proph­ets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and the individual accountability for actions; in God's complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of Prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John and Jesus, alayhimus salam. But God's final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam through Archangel Gabriel.
      How does someone become a Muslim?
      Simply by saying 'there is no deity apart from Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.'
      What does 'Islam' mean?
      The Arabic word 'Islam' simply means 'submission,' and derives from a word meaning 'peace.' In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of Allah. 'Muhammadanism' is thus a misnomer, because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than Allah. "Allah" is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.
      Why does Islam often seem strange?
      Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims have religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between the secular and the sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari'ah, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important.
      Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?
      No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the Prophet and Patriarch Abraham, alayhi salam, and their three Prophets are directly descended from his sons - Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement, which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka'bah towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.
      What is the Ka'bah?
      The Ka'bah is the place of worship which Allah commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what was the original site of the sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today, they say 'At Thy service, O Lord,' in response to Abraham's call.
      Who is Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam?
      Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam was born in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.
      Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal Al-Nur, the 'Mountain of Light' near Makkah.
      How did he become a Prophet and a Messenger of God?
      At the age of 40, while engaged in meditative retreat, Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam received his first revelation from Allah through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty three years, is known as the Qur'an.
      As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which Allah had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622, Allah gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijrah, 'migration,' in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 420 kilometres to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
      After several years, the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam died at the age of 63, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.
      How did the spread of Islam affect the world?
      Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine - Islam calls for faith in only One God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation.
      Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, 'Seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim.' The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems, such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments, which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery, were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.
      What is the Qur'an?
      The Qur'an is a record of the exact words revealed by Allah through the Angel Gabriel, alayhi salam, to the Prophet Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It was memorized by Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross­checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Surahs, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Qur'an is in every detail the unique and miraculous text, which was revealed to Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam fourteen centuries ago.
      What is the Qur'an about?
      The Qur'an, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time, it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.
      Are there any other sacred sources?
      Yes, the Sunnah, the practice and example of the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is the second authority for Muslims. A Hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, did, or approved. Belief in the Sunnah is part of the Islamic faith.
      Examples of the Prophet's Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam sayings:
      The Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:
      'Allah has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.'
      'None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.'
      'He who eats his fill while his neighbour goes without food, is not a believer.'
      'The truthful and honest businessman will be in the company of the Prophets, the truthful people, and the martyrs on the Day of Judgement.'
      'Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.'
      'Allah does not judge according to your bodies and appearances, but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.'
      'A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drinking his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud and quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. Allah forgave his sins for this action.'
      The Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam was asked: 'Messenger of Allah, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?' He said: 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.'
       
      (From the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi.)which have come to he associated with their faith through a biased media.


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    • dont_worship_words
      But the important question remains, what has islam added New to christianity? Christinity already worship the One and only GOD, it was already teaching
      Message 2 of 3 , May 1, 2006
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        But the important question remains, what has islam added New to
        christianity? Christinity already worship the One and only GOD, it was
        already teaching absolute LOVE and submission and total giving, so the
        question would be what did islam add and what did it substract from the
        teachings of christianity what sins did it permit to be practiced again,
        did it legalise polygamy and killing did it implement the infallibilty
        of a prophet , this is what must be asked



        DWW
      • K. A. Shaikh
        Thanks for raising the questions: 1.The issue of God: Christians do not believe in one God. They were and they are confused whether Prophet Jesus is God or his
        Message 3 of 3 , May 1, 2006
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          Thanks for raising the questions:
           
          1.The issue of God: Christians do not believe in one God. They were and they are confused whether Prophet Jesus is God or his so called Father ( according to Christians) is the real God. You seem to be from the second group who believe that "Father" is the real God and not the son. I am afraid most Christians won't agree to you as they say that Jesus is God. You tell me whether Jesus is God or God's son?
           
          If he is God why he ate food, why he slept and why he "died" ( according to your belief ) and why he will die ( according to our belief).  
           
          Sorry we believe in God
           
          who is indeed capable of everything but it is against his grace to do humanly things like sleeping , eating, dying etc.
           
          1.  He never sleeps
          2.  He never eats.
          3. He never dozes
          4. He never marries
          5. He has no son , no daughter
          6. There is no partner to him.
           
          2. Issue of polygamy
           
          There is nothing wrong in polygamy as it allows mutiple ( upto 4 wives). Islam does not allow mutiple sexual partners but allows upto four full time wives for the whole life with all marital terms and conditions, not a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship which is though not religiously legal in Christian countries but legal by the laws of their country. We do not want such a thing in our coutries. There is nothing wrong in upto four marriages but terms and conditions apply.
           
          3. Killing People
           
            Islamic war is only either against injustice  oppression or in self defence. Killing people is only justified in war when the targets are the soldiers and innocent citizens especially elderly, wonmen and children are not affected.  Islam does not allow  
          killing of innocent people at all. People who target innocent people are not doing something according to Islam.
           
          dont_worship_words <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          But the important question remains, what has islam added New to
          christianity? Christinity already worship the One and only GOD, it was
          already teaching absolute LOVE and submission and total giving, so the
          question would be what did islam add and what did it substract from the
          teachings of christianity what sins did it permit to be practiced again,
          did it legalise polygamy and killing did it implement the infallibilty
          of a prophet ,  this is what must be asked



          DWW






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