Saturday, June 13, 2009

basics of Islam

Belief in God:

Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. He is the true God, and every other deity is false. He has the most magnificent names and sublime perfect attributes. No one shares His divinity, nor His attributes. In the Quran, God describes Himself:

Allah said: Say, “He is God,
the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.” (Quran, 112:1-4)

In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension; Muslims are not expected to visualize God in this life, but only in
Paradise, in the other life. To a Muslim,Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Quran, which is considered the essence of the unity and monotheism. This is chapter 112 which reads the versts above.

Some of the "most beautiful names" of God:
The Most Gracious ; The Most Merciful ; The Ever Forgiving ; The Ever Providing ; The Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds ; The Self Subsisting (upon whom all creatures depend for sustenance) ; The Eternal Lord (who never dies) ; The Supremely Wise

Belief in the Angels:
Belief in
Angels is crucial to the faith of Islam. The Arabic word for Angels (malak) means "messenger", like its counterparts in Hebrew (malakh) and Greek (angelos).
Angels were created from light
before human beings were created. Nevertheless, they are generally beautiful beings with wings as described in Quran. And each Angels have different purposes or messages to bring to earth.

The angels do
not possess free will,they worship God alone, obey Him, and act only by His command. Among the angels is Gabriel, who brought down the Quran to Muhammad. Each man or woman has two angels who record his actions; one records good deeds, the other bad deeds.

Prophet Muhammad, (bpuh), said:
“I have been given permission to speak about one of the Angels of God who carry the Throne. The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.” (Abu Daud)

Belief in God’s Revealed Books:
Muslims believe that God revealed
books to His messengers as proof for mankind and as guidance for them. The last books of them is the Quran, which God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad . God has guaranteed theQuran’s protection from any corruption or distortion. God has said:

Indeed, We have
sent down the Quran, and surely We will guard it (from corruption). (Quran, 15:9)

There are
four inspired books, the Torah of Moses, the Psalms (Zabin) ofDavid, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Injil) and the Quran(Qur'an). All but the Quran have been interpreted and changed by Jews and Christians.

Belief in the Prophets and Messengers of God:
Muslims believe in
all prophets sent by God to humanity, in different times and places, starting with Adam, including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac,Jacob, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them), and all of them were created human beings who had none of the divine qualities of God.

“The Prophet (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in
God, His Angels, His Books, and His prophets. (They say,) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His prophets...’” (Quran 2:285)

final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad . Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last prophet sent by God, as God has said:

"Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets... " (Quran, 33:40)

Belief in the Day of Judgment and the Afterlife:
Muslims believe in the
last day, the day of resurrection and Judgment when those who were muslims ( believers ) and follow Allah and Muhammad will go to Paradise. Those who do not will go to hell.
In Islam, The dead have a continued and conscious existence of a kind in the
grave. Upon dieing, a person enters an intermediate phase of life between death and resurrection. Many events take place in this new “world”, such as the “trial” of the grave, where everyone will be questioned by angels about their religion, prophet, and Lord.
At the end of the world, People will be
resurrected into their original physical bodies from their graves, thereby entering the third and final phase of life. Then God will judge His creation then unbelievers will be eternally damned to the hill, whereas believers will enter Paradise.

Belief in Al-Qadar (Divine Creed):
Muslims believe in
divine decree which means that everything good or bad, all moments of happiness or sorrow, pleasure or pain, come from God, and in the same time muslims believe that God has given human beings freewill and humain will be asked by God about everythings he did.
The belief in Divine Predestination includes belief in four things:
God knows everything. He knows what has happened and what will happen.
- God
has recorded all that has happened and all that will happen.
- Whatever God
wills to happen happens, and whatever He wills not to happen does not happen.
- God is the
Creator of everything.

The Five Pillars of Faith

The five pillars of faith are duties each Muslim performs to demonstrate his or her faith.

  1. Testimony of Faith (Kalima)- One must state, "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah." publicly to become a Muslim.
  2. Prayer (Salat)- Prayer must be done five times a day (upon rising, at noon, in mid-afternoon, after sunset, and before going to sleep) towards the direction of Mecca. The call to prayer is sounded by themuezzin (Muslim crier) from a tower (minaret) within the mosque.
  3. Almsgiving (Zakat)- Muslims are legally required to give one-fortieth of their income to the needy. Since those whom alms are given are helping the giver achieve salvation, there is no sense of shame in receiving charity.
  4. Fasting (Sawm- During the holy month of Ramadan, faithful Muslims fast from sunup to sundown each day. This develops self-control, devotion to God, and identity with the needy.
  5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)- Each Muslim is expected to make the pilgrimage to Meccaat least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do it and are physically capable of the trip. It is an essential part of gaining salvation, so the old or infirm may send someone in their place. It involves a set of rituals and ceremonies.

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