03-Mar-2009

What is ISLAM ?

                   Islam  is the name of a religion founded by Muhammad in ancient Arabia in the 7th century. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. They believe in only one God, That God is called Allahwhich is the Arabic phrase for "the (only) God". There is no plural for Allah in the Arabic language. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet(or messenger) of God. Muslims read a holy book called the Qur'an, sometimes also spelled "Koran". Muslims also look to other writings, theSunnah and Hadith, as important guides. In Islam there is only one unforgivable sin, that is worshipping another god or giving gods qualities to a person, animal or drawing.

As well as having religious laws, Islam has laws on how the government should be run. These laws are called "Shariah Law". Lawyers have looked at Shariah, and interpreted it; these interpretations are called Fiqh.

Unlike Christianity and Judaism, Islam was not named after its founder,Muhammad, because Muhammad was not considered "holy." 


Qur'an

The most holy book in the religion of Islam is the Qur'an. The Qur'an is assumed to be the sayings of Allah. Islam teaches that the Qur'an was revealed by Allah, or God, to Muhammad with the help of an angel called Gabriel. It also teaches that the Qur'an is in heaven and that it is a perfect book. The Qur'an has a total of 114 chapters. In each chapter there are many verses. Many Muslims try to memorize the entire Qur'an and ones that do are generally called upon as Hafiz or Hafez.

Other important books are the Sunnah, or biographies of Muhammad and Hadith compilations, which are collections of sayings attributed to Muhammad.

The Five Pillars of Islam

There are five things that Muslims should do. They are called "The Five Pillars of Islam".

1. Faith: The Testimony (al-Shahada in Arabic) is the Muslim belief that there is no god but Allah Himself, and that Muhammad is His messenger.

2. Prayer: Muslims pray five times at special times of the day.

3. Charity: Muslims who have money must give alms (Zakah or Zakat in Arabic) to help poor Muslims in the local community .

4. Fasting: Muslims fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. They do not eat or drink from sunrise till sunset for one lunar month. After Ramadan, there is a holiday called Eid al-Fitr (English: Festival of end-fast). Muslims usually have a party with families and friends and go to the mosque in the morning for a special service.

5. Hajj (Pilgrimage): During the Hajj season, many Muslims go to Makkah, the holiest city of Islam, which is in Saudi Arabia. Muslims must make the hajj at least once in their life if they can afford to do so. There is no need if a Muslim does not have the money to make the Hajj. At the end of Hajj season, there is a holiday called Eid al-Adha (English: Festival of Sacrifice). Muslims in general who can afford or who have made the Hajj must buy an animal, usually a goat, to sacrifice according to Islamic laws and cook as food or give away to the poor, if they have the money for it. Muslims believe that Abraham, one of Allah's earliest messengers, was told by Allah on the day of Eid al-Adha to sacrifice his son in Jerusalem. But the angel Gabriel congratulated Abraham's obedience to Allah and gave him a lamb instead.


Place of Worship

Muslims pray in a mosque, like this one in Jerusalem.

Muslims, the people who follow the religion of Islam, pray in a holy place called the mosque. Most mosques have at least one dome and some have one or more towers. But a mosque does not need to have a dome or tower. Muslims take their shoes off before entering the mosque to pray. Prayer is one of the most important things that a Muslim does.

Different movements and beliefs

Like with other religions, over the time different movements have developed in Islam. These movements are based on different interpretations of the scriptures.

Sunni

Sunni Islam is the biggest movement in Islam. About 89% of Muslims are Sunni. [4]After Muhammad died, the Sunnis believed that Abu Bakr should lead Islam. This is because they believe leaders of Islam should be chosen by the consensus of the Ummah, the Muslim world. After he died Omar took his place then Othman then Ali. All of them were companions of Prophet Mohammed and lived in Medina. Sunni beliefs are usually based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.


Shi'a

The Shia are the second largest movement in Islam. About 11% of Muslims are Shi'a. They believe that before Muhammad died, he chose his cousin Ali to come after him as the caliph, the leader of the Muslim world. Shia Muslims think Ali was the first Imam, a leader who was closer to Allah than others. The children of Ali were seen as the next Imams. Shi'a beliefs include the Qur'an and Sunnah, but also the beliefs of the Imam.


Kharijite

Kharijites were a movement during the early years of Islam. This movement has no followers today. At first they accepted the rule of Ali, but rejected him to later support the view that Abu Bakr, and his successors were the rightful Caliphs. The only group of Kharijites that still exists are the Ibadi. The Ibadi do not consider themselves to be Kharijite. Most Ibadis live in Oman. Smaller numbers live in AlgeriaTunisiaLibya andZanzibar.   Sometimes, the term Kharijite (or Neo-Kharijite) is also used for some islamic terrorist groups. Examples of such groups are the Groupe islamique armé in Algeria, or the Takfir wal-Hijra in Egypt.


Sufism

The Sufi are not a movement like the Sunni or the Shia. They focus more on the spiritual and mysticelements of Islam. Some followers of Sufism are Sunni, others are Shia.


18-Feb-2008

What Is Islam? Its Pillars & Articles

इस्लाम के फ़रायाज़ और हुकूक .

By F. Kamal
(An excerpt from a book about the religion of Islam called "Easily Understand Islam")

Islam is a way of life. It is simple, practical, and easy to understand.

FIVE PILLARS
Islam is based on five pillars.

One
To declare ”There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” Islam is based primarily on the Quran (the word of God) and secondarily on the authentic sunnah (the example of the prophet).

Note: The ulema (Islamic scholars) have historically played an important role as leaders in Muslim societies and in explaining (called tafsir) the Quran and the sunnah (life and example) of the Prophet. Of themselves, however, they do not have the authority to forgive or to define right (halal) or wrong (haram). Rather they help elucidate concepts and define principles. There is no priesthood in Islam. A Muslim does not have to have any “intermediary” between himself and God.

Two
Salat: To worship God in prayer five times a day.

Three
Sawm: To fast during the month of Ramadan. (The purpose of fasting in Islam during Ramadan is not penance for sins, but rather to develop taqwa —God-consciousness.)

Four
Zakat: To give charity to the poor.

Five
Hajj: To perform pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime if one has the financial means and health to do so.

Note: It is important to recognize that God does not “need” or “require” anything from His creation. God is not a “needy god.” That would be to misunderstand God’s Power and Majesty. Thus, worship, for example, is for the benefit of the worshiper not God. And indeed prayer disciplines, purifies, and elevates the worshipper.

Islamic articles of faith
There are six basic articles of faith.

One
To believe in God.

Two
His Angels.

Three
His Apostles (like Abraham, Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jonah, David, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus ) .

Four
His revealed books (e.g. Taurat, Zabur to David, Injeel to Jesus, & Quran). (According to Muslim belief, only the Quran –alternative spellings: Qur’an or Koran – however is available today in an original, pure form.)

Five
To believe in resurrection, the Day of Judgment, and Heaven and Hell.

Six
Divine Decree: That God is omniscient (All Knowing) and has power over all things.

Who Is A Muslim?
If you believe, sincerely in your heart, the five pillars and the articles of faith you are a Muslim. It is that simple!

Summary
For Muslims, Islam is a very simple, practical, and balanced religion. One can communicate directly with God. There is no need for intermediaries like priests. There is no sharp delineation between worldly and spiritual realms. Perhaps an illustrative example of this is that, while some religious traditions may have encouraged clerical celibacy amongst their religious hierarchy Islam in contrast encourages marriage amongst its adherents.. “Marriage is one half your deen [e.g. religion]” (Baihaqi) is well known among Muslims. Almost all Muslim leaders have been married (and usually with lots of children!). Muslims thus view their religion as practical -- and as a mercy from God.

Religion is not seen as something special to be isolated from life but as an integral part of everyday life. As one non-Muslim remarked a century ago while journeying in Muslim lands: “the average man on the street in Islam has the same intensity for his religion as we see in our priests.” Islam is not an abstract idealism but rather a complete way of life well within the grasp and understanding of the average individual. It forms the dynamic core of societal life in active Muslim communities.

Muslims would say that following Islam is like returning to a natural and intuitive path for humans that leads to peace and contentment of the soul.

02-Feb-2008

ISLAM ON MOBILE

Few months back I created an sms group using smsgupshup service by Webaroo Technology (India) Private Limited where subscribers get sms of Quranic ayat (English translations of Yusuf Ali, Md. Shakir, Pickthal, Mohsin khan) and Hadith (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, Malik Muwatta) daily on their mobile phones free of cost.

It’s a humble attempt to create a medium to connect Muslims and invite Non-Muslims to the teachings of Islam. In today’s world of busy life we can successfully stay in touch through mobile phones. SMS is a very effective medium where user can view messages as per his convenience.

Subscribers join this group by sending sms JOIN BELIEF to 567678 or 9945599455. Once they joined it they start receiving the sms, which is sent by me. Currently this group has over six thousand subscribers based in various cities of India. This service is currently available in India only.

I intend to make this group a religious, peaceful and knowledgeable source that will connect the Muslims of India particularly tech savvy young generation. This is just the start and it needs rigorous publicity to achieve its aim.


Following is the Ad which I am propagating.

#
Get daily free sms on Al-Quran and Sahih Haidth on your Mobile Phone.

(For INDIA only)

To avail this service, just do the following.

Just sms - JOIN BELIEF to 9945599455 or 567678

(sms charge as per your network rate, just for one sms)

And daily you will get sms of authentic verses of Al- Quran

and Sahih hadith with references (short code for Quran: Q,

Sahih Bukhari:SB, Sahih Muslim: SM etc)

For this type of service in South Africa you will be charged

R1.5 (Rs.9/) per sms. Alhamdulillah here you can get daily

sms free of cost. Its a duty of every Muslim to spread

the words of Allah and Prophet Muhammad (sws).

If you are already member of this sms group then

join ur friends into this group. Its very easy.

Just sms - SHARE BELIEF 9xxxxxxxxx, 9xxxxxxxxx,

9xxxxxxxxx, 9xxxxxxxxx

( 9xxxxxxxx : Mobile number of your friend).

eg. SHARE BELIEF 9876543210 9812345678

Thus you can join 13 friends in one sms.

If you want to give feedback or complain any inconvinience,

just mail to belief_group@rediffmail.com

If you want to view the previous sms of this group just go to

http://www.smsgupshup.com/groups/BELIEF

25-Apr-2006

Arabic: The Language of the Qur’an

Arabic: The Language of the Qur’an



Article originally taken from www.alharamain.org

The Praise is for Allah, the one who has honored us with the Qur'aan, and chosen for us the noblest of languages, and the peace and the blessings be upon the best one of the ones who articulated themselves in Arabic, and the most-preferred from the servants of Allah, Our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and his family and his distinguished companions.

The Arabic language is the language of the Noble Qur'aan, and with it, the Qur'aan was revealed upon the seal of the Messengers (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam), so attention to the Arabic language is to have attention to the Book of Allah the Most High and the studying and the practicing of it helps in the understanding of the Noble Book of Allah and the narration of the master of the Prophets, Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). It is also the language of our esteemed Islamic law (As-Shari'ah), so when we defend it we are not proceeding on a path of nationalism or racism or culturalism, but in fact we are defending the language of our religion (way of life) and it is the cloak of our Islamic Civilization.

As such, Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

"The Arabic Language is from the Religion, and the knowledge of it is an obligation. For surely the understanding of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah is an obligation, and these two are not understood except with the understanding of the Arabic Language, and whatever obligation is not fulfilled except by certain steps then those steps themselves become obligatory (to fulfill the initial obligation)"[1]

So then the knowledge of the Arabic language is essential for every Muslim so that he can perform his religious acts of worship and he can be proficient in the recitation of the Noble Qur'aan. Allah says in His Book (which means):

"Verily we have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'aan in order that you may understand" (Surah Yusuf: 2)

And likewise the Most-Glorious said (which means):

"And thus We have inspired unto you (O Muhammad) an Arabic Qur'aan that you may warn the mother of the towns (Makkah) and all around it." (Surah ash-Shura: 7)

And The Exalted said (which means):

"And truly this (the Qur'aan) is a revelation from the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists), which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibreel) has brought down upon your heart (O Muhammad) that you may be (one) of the warners, in the plain Arabic language" (Surah ash-Shura: 192-195)

And He the Most High also said (which means):

"A Book whereof the verses are explained in detail, a Qur'aan in Arabic for people who know" (Surah Fussilat: 3)

The Most Merciful said (which means):

"Verily! It is We who have sent down the Reminder (i.e. the Qur'aan) and surely We will guard it (from corruption)" (Surah Hijr: 9)

Despite this, many of the Muslims are content by spending their whole lives reading a translation of the Qur'aan and so depriving themselves of the miracle of the Speech Of Allah. Also a translation implies a human factor, which goes against the very essence of the Book of Allah. Also, the person who does not know Arabic, will have added difficulty in his concentration during his prayers and also in his understanding of the Sunnah. This is because a language is just not a collection of words which can readily be translated into another language but is a whole way of thinking.

Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali (Translator of the Noble Qur'aan) writes:


"It is a pity that many nations are only satisfied in the translated meaning of the Qur'aan and Prophet's Sunnah instead of studying the (true) Arabic text of the Qur'aan and Prophet's Sunnah. For this reason they are divided into various sects (due to the lack of knowledge about the religion of Islam) e.g. as regards to the ways of religious education, etc. so they are plunged in differences, which was prohibited by Allah. If the translation of the meaning of the Qur'aan is meant for the above said purpose then it is a real mischief-doing, and an evil action and is against what was brought by Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) and also against the opinions of the early present day religious scholars. All the religious scholars unanimously agree that the Qur'aan and the Sunnah should be taught in the language of the Qur'aan (i.e. Arabic Language). So did the early religious scholars of the Muslim nation when they conquered different countries.

Translations are mainly meant for informing the people who have not yet embraced Islam to make clear to them the principles of Islam and the teachings of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and to know its exact facts. When they reach this state and Allah has blessed them with Islam, they must take the Qur'aanic and the Messenger's Language (i.e. Arabic) as the only language to understand Islam. May Allah's mercy be on Sheikh 'Umar Uzbak, a great Turkish man, who strove for Islam in Uzbakistan under the Russian government, after his long fight against the enemies of Islam with fire (iron) and tongue (speech), he took refuge in Afghanistan at Kabul, where the government honoured him. I met him there in 1352 A.H. (approx. 1932 CE) i.e. nearly 40 years ago, and he had vowed to Allah that he will never speak to a relative or anybody else except in the Qur'aanic and Messenger's (Arabic) language. His wife sent a man for me to intercede for her to him that he should speak with her and her children in the Turkish language even for an hour everyday. So when I spoke to him about it, he said:


'Russians had compelled us to learn perfectly the Russian language (by force), so we learnt it. And unless they knew that the learning of the Russian language will make the person who learns it, follow their ways of thinking, characters, and their traditions, they would not have forced anybody to learn it.'

He further said to me,


'I have vowed to Allah long ago not to speak except in the language of the Qur'aan and Sunnah (i.e. Arabic) and I do that only for Allah's sake. If my wife and children desire to enjoy speaking with me, they should learn the language of the Qur'aan and of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) (i.e. Arabic) and I am ready to teach them the Qur'aanic language whenever they desire that"[2]

24-Apr-2006

The Meaning of The Pronoun "We" As Used in The Qur'aan

It is a feature of literary style in Arabic that a person may refer to himself by the pronoun nahnu (we) for respect or glorification. He may also use the word ana (I), indicating one person, or the third person huwa (he). All three styles are used in the Qur'an, where Allaah addresses the Arabs in their own tongue. ( Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 4/143).

"Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, sometimes refers to Himself in the singular, by name or by use of a pronoun, and sometimes by use of the plural, as in the phrase (interpretation of the meaning):'Verily, We have given you a manifest victory" [al-Fath 48:1], and other similar phrases. But Allaah never refers to Himself by use of the dual, because the plural refers to the respect that He deserves, and may refer to His names and attributes, whereas the dual refers to a specific number (and nothing else), and He is far above that."

( Al-'Aqeedah al-Tadmuriyyah by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, p. 75).

These words, innaa ("Verily We") and nahnu ("We"), and other forms of the plural, may be used by one person speaking on behalf of a group, or they may be used by one person for purposes of respect or glorification, as is done by some monarchs when they issue statements or decrees in which they say " We have decided…" etc. [This is known in English as "The Royal We" – Translator]. In such cases, only one person is speaking but the plural is used for respect. The One Who is more deserving of respect than any other is Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, so when He says in the Qur'an innaa ("Verily We") and nahnu ("We"), it is for respect and glorification, not to indicate plurality of numbers. If an aayah of this type is causing confusion, it is essential to refer to the clear, unambiguous aayaat for clarification, and if a Christian, for example, insists on taking ayaat such as

"Verily, We: it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e., the Qur'an)"

[al-Hijr 15:9 – interpretation of the meaning] as proof of divine plurality, we may refute this claim by quoting such clear and unambiguous aayaat as (interpretation of the meanings):

"And your god is One God, there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful" [al-Baqarah 2:163]

and

"Say: He is Allaah, the One" [al-Ikhlaas 112:1]

and other aayaat which can only be interpreted in one way. Thus confusion will be dispelled for the one who is seeking the truth. Every time Allaah uses the plural to refer to Himself, it is based on the respect and honour that He deserves, and on the great number of His names and attributes, and on the great number of His troops and angels.