Q&A on Islam

WHAT ISLAM IS ALL ABOUT?


WHAT is Islam and WHO are Muslims?

Islam is a complete way of life that encourages a person to give due attention to their relationship with God and His creation. 

It teaches all of us to find true happiness and peace through performing good actions that are approved by God that benefit both the society and the individual. 

The message of Islam is simple: to believe in and to worship The One True God alone and to accept Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His final Messenger. 

The word “Islam” means submission to God, and its followers are known as Muslims who can be from any racial, ethnic, or geographical background.


WHO is Allah?

Allah is the personal name of the one and only God. Allah has no partners, equals, parents or children. All of Allah’s attributes are perfect.  This include such as The Creator, The Most Merciful, The All-Powerful, The Most Just, The All-Wise and The All-Knowing. No human or object shares in Allah’s lordship and His divine attributes and as such, He alone deserves to be worshipped directly and exclusively.


WHO is Muhammad?

Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet in the long line of Prophets, sent to call all mankind to the worship of God alone. He was an ideal father, husband, teacher, leader and judge, and the perfect example of an honest, just, compassionate, and brave human being. 

Although greatly respected, he, like the other Prophets, is not worshipped by Muslims.


WHAT is the Quran?

The Quran is the final revelation to mankind. It explains and confirms the existence of God for those who are sincere and open-minded. It is unmatched in its style, wisdom, guidance, beauty and eloquence. It is the literal word of God, as revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Angel Gabriel. Hence, The Quran supersedes all previous revelations, such as the Gospel and the Torah. 

It is the primary source of Islamic knowledge. It explains and clarifies many issues such as: 

·      the purpose of our existence; 

·      the correct concept of God; 

·      the actions liked and disliked by God; 

·      the stories of the Prophets and their lessons; 

·      accounts of Heaven, Hell, and the Day of Judgement. 

One of the great miracles of the Quran is that it has been preserved and unchanged since it was revealed over 1,400 years ago. It also contains many scientific and historical facts that were unknown to the people of that time and have only been discovered recently, which is one of the proofs that it is from God.


WHAT is The Hadith?

The Hadith is a collection of recorded sayings, actions, approvals and features of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

They present the example of the Prophet Muhammad, the way he lived his life, from general characteristics to the smallest details of his actions, as well as the things he said that includes advice warnings or explanations of the Quran. 

Together, the knowledge that we gain from the Hadiths is knows as the Sunnah (actions of the Prophet Muhammad), which all Muslims aim to follow.


WHAT are the basic teachings of Islam?

 There are five Pillars in Islam:

§  Declaration of the Faith:  To testify there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God.

§  Praying: Pray five times each day.

§  Alm: For those eligible, to donate a portion of your wealth to the poor.

§  Fasting: Abstain from food, drink and having relations with your spouses from dawn until sunset during the month of Ramadan.

§  Pilgrimage: Visit Makkah and perform the Hajj once in a lifetime if you have the means to do so.

These pillars are built on the Articles of Faith – which can simply be broken down into the following:

1.   God: There is only one God with no associate or partner. All that happened in the past, happening now, and  going to happen in the future is by the will of God.

2.   The Angels: Angels are created from light and execute the commands of God without question.

3.   The Books of God:  These include the Torah, the Psalms of David, The Gospel revealed to Jesus and The Quran.

4.   Prophets of God: There were thousands of prophets who preached God’s message. Muslims believe that all prophets are true  messengers of God and there is no difference between them. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last prophet for all humanity and completed the message of God.

5.   Day of Judgement: On this day all mankind will be raised back to life and judged by God. Those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds will be allowed to enter Paradise and those whose bad deeds outweigh their good deeds will be condemned to Hell, except whom God has mercy on.

6.   Divine Decree: God’s predestination of all things and events and His Decree. Nothing in the universe can occur without the knowledge of God. There is no power or any movement except by God.


WHO Can Become Muslim?

Allah has opened the doors of Islam to all of mankind, regardless of their past or current situation. 

Therefore, anyone can become Muslim at any time by simply believing in and uttering the following testimony of faith:

‘I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger’.

Becoming a Muslim means acknowledging the greatness of The Creator and developing and maintaining a close relationship with Him by obeying Him. This will lead to happiness and contentment in this life and the next, and the realization of one’s purpose of life.

It is well established that Islam can never be forced upon and all individuals embrace Islam only at their own will. This is mentioned in the Quran. 

“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path”

Al-Quran 2:256


DO Muslims worship Muhammad?

Islam is based on uncompromising monotheism. God alone is to be worshipped and nothing else, so Muslims do not worship Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or any other human being. Like all prophets he is a man, and despite his extraordinary accomplishments he never claimed divine status. Rather, he always maintained that he is a human like everyone else, that he spoke nothing of his own accord, and that The Quran is a message from God, revealed to him by God. 


He never took personal credit for any success. All the principles he taught, the legislation he pronounced, and the great achievements for which he could have attained personal renown and advantage were attributed to the guidance and support of God alone. Muslims strive to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Additionally, Islam teaches Muslims to respect all of God’s prophets and messengers.

However, respecting and loving them does not mean worshipping them, for all forms of worship must be directed only to the Creator


DO Muslims believe in other prophets?

Muslims believe in all the Prophets and Messengers that God sent to mankind from the days of Adam to the days of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In fact, God sent over 124,000 Prophets in the history of mankind. However, God mentioned 25 names in The Quran some of them being: Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, King David, King Solomon, Jonah, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them). It is important to note that Muslims believe in all of these prophets  and they did not differentiate in their missions – which was the calling to  worship The One God. 


DOES Islam Force People to Become Muslim?

God says, 

“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path”

Al-Quran 2:256

Although it is a duty on Muslims to convey and share the beautiful message of Islam to others, no one can be compelled to accept Islam. To accept Islam, a person must sincerely and voluntarily believe and obey God. So, by definition, no one can (or should) be forced to accept Islam.

Consider the following:

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population, yet no battles were fought to bring Islam there.

There are millions of Arab Coptic Christians that have been living in the heart of Arabia for generations.

Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the western world today.

Although fighting against oppression and promoting justice are valid reasons for waging the proper reaction and struggle, forcing people to accept Islam is not one of them[SEBAE1] .

Muslims ruled Spain for around 800 years yet never coerced people to convert.


Do Muslims Share Good and Noble Values with non-Muslims?

“The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.” – Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Some people allege that Islamic values are somehow incompatible with decent “Western” values. Such claims could not be further from the truth.

Muslims cherish noble and universal values such as:

·      being honest and just.

·      keeping one’s word.

·      allowing freedom of religion.

·      respecting parents, relatives, neighbours, and the elderly

·      being charitable, generous, and looking after the poor and needy

·      not lying, cheating, swearing, or backbiting anyone

Muslims are required to contribute positively towards society and to always conduct themselves with the highest of morals and best of actions.


DOES Islam Condone Terrorism?

As a matter of fact, Islam and terrorism are precise opposites; the very name, Islam, denotes peace and submission. The fundamentals of Islam direct its followers to maintain and promote peace throughout the world. Islam is a faith of moderation; thus, a righteous and God-fearing Muslim can neither be a fanatic nor an extremist. There is no connection whatsoever between Islam and the violence practiced by terrorist groups in different parts of the world. In no way does it condone hijackings, hostage taking, and the torture and killing of innocent people in order to achieve particular goals.

In war, the targeting of innocent non-combatants is a despicable act which Islam clearly prohibits. In fact, Muslims are not even allowed to destroy plants and animals unnecessarily, let alone innocent humans. This is just but one example of many ethical guidelines of war stipulated in Islam. However, it is important to distinguish between terrorism and legitimate resistance to occupation, as the two are very different and can be explained justly.

“Permission to fight (against the disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged; and surely Allah is able to give them (believers) victory.”

Al-Quran 22:39

The Islamic basis for national and international relations is peace rather than war. Prominent Muslims, Islamic organizations and Islamic scholars have repeatedly denounced terrorist attacks and terrorism in general. Islam emphatically prohibits and disassociates itself from the violent acts that have been carried out by some of its members in the name of religion.

All religions and ideologies have some misguided followers, and it is surely unfair to judge any one of them by the behavior of such people. Accordingly, Islam should not be judged by the acts of misguided Muslims or even by the obvious corruption that permeates many Muslim countries. For in fact, what Islam teaches is one thing and what these so-called Muslims practice is something else. The only way to know the truth about Islam is to study its teachings, for they are the standard by which the actions of Muslims can be assessed as being right or wrong. Islam emphasizes the sanctity of life in general and particularly human life. The Quran prohibits murder in clear terms:

“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden to be killed except by legal right.”

Al-Quran 5:32

“Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption (done) in the land, it is as if he had slain mankind entirely; and whoever saves one it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”

Al-Quran 6:151

Such is the value of a single human life that God equates the unjust taking of one life with killing all of humanity. Only a proper and competent court can decide whether an individual has forfeited his right to life by commission of a major crime. Individual Muslims can never take decisions about who should be killed or punished. Conviction and punishment may not be implemented except by a qualified judge under lawful authority.

Terrorism involves the indiscriminate use of force to achieve certain objectives, and in reality, it manifests itself in various forms. The head of state who orders the bombing of entire cities, the councils that kill millions of civilians by imposition of sanctions, and the wealthy nations that would rather destroy their surplus food than make it available to those afflicted by famine are rarely punished for crimes against humanity.

While Islam seeks to promote peace, it also directs its followers to oppose oppression. Both these objectives may on occasion require the use of force. It is precisely for this reason that police use force against criminals and anti-social elements to maintain law and order in society. So, Islam does allow taking up arms under particular circumstances. Any civilization could never survive without defense. However, it prohibits the slightest injustice, even toward those who oppose the religion. The Quran orders:

“And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”

Al-Quran 5:8

Enmity toward any people or nation should not provoke Muslims to commit aggression against them or disregard their rights. As for the spread of Islam, this is supposed to take place peacefully by disseminating the message through the written and spoken word.


What is Islam’s view about Education, Science, and Technology?


A Muslim is  required to acquire both religious and worldly knowledge. The framework of Islamic thought represents a comprehensive view of life and the universe. In fact, Islam advocated knowledge at a time when the whole world was engulfed in ignorance. In a matter of years, the early generation of Muslims became a learned and refined people, for Islam had awakened in them the faculty of intellect. Those early Muslims understood from the teachings of their religion that useful knowledge is necessary for the benefit of the self and of humanity.

Hence, they pursued it to such a degree that they surpassed other nations in development and productivity and carried the torch of civilization for many centuries. Muslim history abounds with examples of scientific and cultural ingenuity. Muslims inherited the knowledge of the nations that came before them, developed it and placed it in the context of a precise moral framework.

Muslim scholarship made a vital contribution to the enrichment and advancement of human civilization.


HOW does Islam view human rights? 

Human rights in Islam stem from two foundational principles: dignity and equality. Dignity is a fundamental right of every human being merely by virtue of his or her humanity. As God states in the Quran, 

“And indeed We have honored the children of Adam and We have carried them by land and sea and have provided them with lawful good things. And have preferred them to many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.”

Al-Quran 17:70

Regarding equality, God (Allah) clearly declares that the only distinguishing factors between humans are righteousness and piety:

“O mankind! We created you from a male and a female, and made you into nation and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has fear of Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, Well-Acquainted (with all things)”

Al-Quran 49:13

The, racial superiority and discrimination is prohibited in Islam and contradicts its essence. The diversity of humanity into many races and ethnicities is a testament to God’s majesty and wisdom. This concept is exemplified in the final sermon of Prophet Muhammad who proclaimed:

“No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay”

Therefore life, honor, and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or not. 

Freedom of conscience is laid down by The Quran itself: 

“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path”

Al-Quran 2:256


WHERE can I learn more about Islam? 

There are many Islamic centers, institutions and website present wonderful Islamic teaching and information’s services, among them:

1-      www.islamreligion.com/ 

2-      www.Islamhouse.com

3-      www.islamqa.info/en

4-      www.theeasyquran.org/en

5-      www.mlquran.com

6-      www. mushafmakkah.com

7-      www.alquranweb.com/en

You will find relevant audio, video, books, and articles which will expand on all the above questions In Shaa Allah. 

REFERENCES:

Islamicpamphlets.com

Whyislam.com

Clear Your Doubt About Islam by Saheeh International 

Most Common questions asked by Non-Muslim Dr Zakir 

Collect Free Quran Project Canada 

Darussalam Al-Quran Printing