Islam

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Introduction

The Arabic word 'Islam' means peace. It also means submission and surrender. The person who submits his/her will to the only true God (known in Arabic as Allah) is called a Muslim.

The religion of Islam is not named after a person or a place, nor it was decided by later generation. Rather the word Islam was given to the religion by God and is mentioned in the Qur'an.

Islam (submission to the will of God) is not a new religion. It is the religion, which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of God. Also it was the same religion all other prophets came with.

Today in the world there are around 1.6 Billion Muslims. In the UK alone there are about 3 Million, and in Dundee there are about 3000 Muslims.

Sacred Texts

There are two sacred sources in Islam:

  1. The Qur'an: was revealed from God to prophet Muhammad through Archangel Gabriel about 1400 years ago. The Qur'anic text in Arabic has been preserved in its original form revealed in. Muslims recite parts of the Qur'an in their daily prayers. The contents of the Qur'an cover many topics such as creed, morality, history, worship, knowledge, wisdom, human relations, and many more. In the Qur'an there are many facts that have been mentioned, which were only recently discovered or proven by scientists.
  2. The Sunnah: is what prophet Muhammad said, did or approved of. The Sunnah comprises of hadiths (narrations), which are reliably transmitted reports by the prophet's companions. There are tens of thousands of hadiths collected in many volumes of books, which also covers a very wide spectrum of topics.

Beliefs

There are six fundamental beliefs in Islam:

  1. BELIEF IN GOD
    Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son or partner, and that none has the right to be worshiped 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.
  2. BELIEF IN THE ANGELS
    Muslims believe in their existence, and that they worship God alone, obey Him and act only by His command. Amongst them is Archangel Gabriel who brought down revelations to prophets of God.
  3. BELIEF IN DIVINE SCRIPTURES
    Muslims believe that God revealed books to His messengers as proof for humankind and guidance for them.
  4. BELIEF IN PROPHETS
    Muslims believe in all prophets and messengers of God, starting with Adam, including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Also that God's final message to humans was revealed to Muhammad the last and final prophet.
  5. BELIEF IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
    Muslims believe that all people will be brought back to life after death for God's Judgment according to their beliefs and deeds.
  6. BELIEF IN AL-QADAR (PREDESTINY)
    Muslims believe God has given each human freewill to do right or wrong, and humans are responsible for their choices. It also means God knows everything at all times and Has full control over it.

Practices

Every action and practice which is done with the correct intention is considered an act of worship in Islam. Never the less there are specific acts of worship, termed the Pillars of Islam, which provide the framework of a Muslim's life.

  1. TESTIMONY OF FAITH
    To testify that: "NONE IS WORTHY OF WORSHIP EXCEPT GOD AND MUHAMMED IS HIS MESSENGER", this is to be said verbally, believed in sincerely, and Muslims need to live according to it.
  2. PRAYER
    Prayer in Islam is a direct link between the worshiper and God, and Muslims perform the prayers five times a day, each of which only takes a few minutes.
  3. ZAKAT
    A small percentage of excess wealth to be given to needy people by wealthy Muslims.
  4. FASTING IN RAMADAN
    Every year in the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, abstaining during this period from food, drink, and sexual relations.
  5. PILGRIMAGE
    The annual pilgrimage (HAJJ) to Makkah is an obligation once in a lifetime for those Muslims who are physically and financially able. This year over three Million Muslims gathered from all over the world to perform it.

Festivals

There are two major Muslim festivals:

  • Eid al-Fitr after the fasting of the month of Ramadan.
  • Eid al-Adha during the Pilgrimage.

To find out more visit: www.islam-guide.com/