Islam at a glance

Since 2012-11-20

Islam is an Arabic word that linguistically means submission, peace and security.

 

What is Islam?
 
Islam is an Arabic word that linguistically means submission, peace and security. It is not a religion per se, but a state of mind and body that comes from submission to God's will, and the peace and sense of security that results from that submission. The word "Muslim", which is derived from the same root, is an adjective that means "one who submits (to God)." Today, Islam refers to the way of life that entails following the guidance of the Quran and the practices of Prophet Muhammad.
 
However, Islam was not founded by Muhammad. The Quran explains that messengers and prophets have been sent to people throughout the ages, all with the same message of Islam.
 
{And verily, We have sent among every nation a Messenger proclaiming: worship God (alone) and avoid all false objects of worship.} [An-Nahl 16:36]
 
{وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ...} النحل: 36
 
Transliteration: Walaqad baAAathna fee kulli ommatin rasoolan ani oAAbudoo Allaha waijtaniboo alttaghoota 
 
{Say (O Muhammad SAW): "We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma'il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya'qub (Jacob) and Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya'qub (Jacob)] and what was given to Musa (Moses), 'Iesa (Jesus) and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted (in Islam)."} [Al-‘Imran 3:84]
 
{قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ} آل عمران: 84
 
 

 

Transliteration: Qul amanna biAllahi wama onzila AAalayna wama onzila AAala ibraheema waismaAAeela waishaqa wayaAAqooba waalasbati wama ootiya moosawaAAeesa waalnnabiyyoona min rabbihim la nufarriqu bayna ahadin minhum wanahnu lahu muslimoona
 
Muslims believe that all prophets invited their peoples to the worship of the one and only God, who is called 'Allah' in Arabic. Allah literally means "the God" Unlike the word "god" in English, Allah can not be made plural (gods) or given gender (goddess). It is a unique Arabic word that is used by all Arabic-speaking people when referring to God, whether they are Muslim, Christian or Jew.
 
 
What do Muslims Believe In?
 
There are six main articles of faith
 
* Belief that the One True God is the only being worthy of worship.
* Belief in angels, who were created to carry out God's commandments on earth and in the heavens.
* Belief in the divinely revealed books, including the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms and the Quran.
* Belief in all God's prophets and messengers, 25 of whom are mentioned in the Quran.
* Belief in the Day of Resurrection, on which people will stand accountable before God for their faith and deeds.
* Belief in God's Will and Predestination, which alludes, to God's wisdom in choosing aspects of our lives over which we have no control.
 
 
Where Are the Teachings of Islam?
 
The Qur'an is the main source of Islamic teachings. It was revealed through inspiration to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) more than 1400 years ago. The Quran is considered the word of God transmitted in the Arabic language. Muhammad and his contemporaries memorized and recorded the Qur'an, and careful measures have been taken since that time to preserve it from alterations, corruption and omissions. This was achieved so successfully that the Qur'an in print today is exactly the same as was revealed to Muhammad. Not a single letter has changed during the passage of centuries.
 
Many translations of the Qur'an can be found in almost every language; these are not considered the Qur'an itself, but rather approximations of its meaning. Anyone who can read the Arabic text will agree that it is Impossible to translate the majesty, style and manifold meanings of the Qur'an. For this reason, the Arabic text is often printed aside the translations as a reference point.
 
The Qur'an is recited as a method of worship, and Muslims study and memorize it from a young age. Many Muslims have memorized the entire Qur'an.
 
In addition to the Qur'an, Muslims adhere to the guidance of Muhammad, known as the "sunnah." It includes his sayings, actions and tacit approvals, which show how a Muslim should conduct his daily life and dealings with others. However, Muhammad's words have been recorded separately from the Qur'an, and are collected in books of "hadeeth." These collections of biographical information have gone through a rigorous authentication process. The collections considered most reliable are those by the tenth century scholars Muslim and Bukhari.
 
About Muhammad, the Qur'an says,
 
* {Indeed in the Messenger of God you have a good example to follow for he who hopes in (the meeting with) God and the last Day and remembers God much.} [Al-Ahzab 33:21]
 
{لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّـهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّـهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا} الأحزاب: 21
 
 

 

Transliteration: Laqad kana lakum fee rasooli Allahi oswatun hasanatun liman kana yarjoo Allaha waalyawma alakhira wathakara Allaha katheeran
 
*  {Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him) with the truth (Islam), a bringer of glad tidings (for those who believe in what you brought, that they will enter Paradise) and a warner (for those who disbelieve in what you brought, they will enter the Hell-fire).} [Al-Baqarah 2:119]
 
{إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا...} البقرة: 119
 
Transliteration: Inna arsalnaka bialhaqqi basheeran wanatheeran 
 
Although revered by Muslims, Muhammad is not worshipped or considered divine in any way. It is customary, however to invoke God's peace and blessing on him when his name is mentioned.
 

 

 
How do Muslims Manifest their Faith?
 
There are five main deeds in Islam, called "pillars" of the Islam, which every Muslim should perform. They are:
 
I . The Declaration of Faith: A Muslim declares his faith by saying, "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except the One True God, and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His messenger."
 
2. Five Daily Prayers: Prayers are prescribed five times and as a duty toward the Creator. If done conscientiously, it strengthens faith, purifies the heart and controls temptation and wrong doing.
 
3. Zakat: A Muslim pays zakat (compulsory charity) to the poor and others in need. It amounts to 2.5% of one’s excess wealth that has accumulated for a year. Zakat helps to establish economic balance and social justice in the society, and promotes goodwill between the rich and the poor.
 
4. Fasting In Ramadan: A Muslim fasts from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, abstaining from food, drinks, smoking and sexual relations. Through this month-long exercise, the Muslim has the opportunity to develop mindfulness of God, patience and self-restraint
 
5. Hajj: A Muslim performs the pilgrimage to, Mecca known as Hajj, once in his lifetime on the condition that he is physically and financially able.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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