Understanding ISLAM and the MUSLIMS (part 1)
Posted on Khamis, 05 Ogos 2004 @ 0:54:35oleh Hanan
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH,THE COMPASSIONATE,THE MERCIFULL
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh..Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters...Please read, understand, follow and forward the following. Your valueable comments and suggestions are welcome...
*Question 1 "What is Islam?"
Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God 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 be associated with their faith.
*Question 2 "Who are the Muslims?"
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 in Indonesia;
substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while
significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China,
North and South America, and Europe.
*Question 3 "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 Judgment and 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 the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. 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 (SAW) through Gabriel.
*Question 4 "How does someone become a Muslim?"
Simply by saying 'There is no god apart from God, and Muhammad is
the Messenger of God.' By this declaration the believer announces
his or her faith in all God's messengers, and the scriptures they
*Question 5 "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 God. 'Mohammedanism' is thus a misnomer
because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad (SAW) rather than
God. 'Allah' is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab
Muslims and Christians alike.
*Question 6 "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 secular and sacred. They believe
that the Divine Law, the Shari'a, should be taken very seriously,
which is why issues related to religion are still so important.
*Question 7 "Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?"
No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch
Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his
sons--Muhammad (SAW) from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus,
peace be upon them, from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement
which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka'ba towards which
all Muslims turn when they pray.
*Question 8 "What is the Ka'ba?"
The Ka'ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and
Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was
constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a
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 summons.
*Question 9 "Who is Muhammad?"
Muhammad (SAW) was born in Makkah 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 (SAW) 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.
*Question 10 "How did he become a prophet and a messenger of God?"
At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad
received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel.
This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as
As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and
to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small
group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce
that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This
event, the Hijra, 'migration', in which they left Makkah for the
city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of
the Muslim calendar.
After several years, the Prophet (SAW) and his followers were able
to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and
established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (SAW) died at the
age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a
century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as
far East as China.