Islam: Did you know Allah is not the 'God of Muslims'?
Many non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Allah is the ‘God of Muslims’ – A deity somehow different from the God of the other faiths. It should be emphasized that the term “Allah” has no implied meaning at all of an Arabian god, a Moon god or even a Muslim god. Muslims are not claiming any exclusiveness when they say "Allah". However Allah is simply the Arabic Name of the one Almighty God; the same name by which Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians, refer to God. The Allah comes from the term ‘al-ilaah’. Al is the definite article in Arabic, equivalent to ‘the’ in English, while ilaah means ‘a deity or god’. So Allah means The God. This is beautifully articulated in the first pillar of Islam which is to believe that God is One, in Arabic it would be, "La ilaha illallah" meaning "There is no god but God"
Islam: Did you know Islam isnt a new religion started by Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)?
Islam is not a new Religion started by the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) around 1400 years ago.It is the same truth proclaimed by all the Prophets who came before him, right from the time of Adam.Muslims believe in all the Prophets like (to name a few)Abraham,Moses and Jesus(peace be upon them all) and the divine revelations like the Torah(Jewish Holy Book) and the Bible(Christian Holy Book). But these books have been interpolated by so-called "saints" or "holy men" over a period of time to suit their whims and fancies for example, Pork is prohibited in the Torah and the Bible but these have been iterpolated and made into acceptable things over a period of time.
The Holy Qur'an clearly states-
This Qur'an is not such as can be produced by other than God; On the Contrary it is a Confirmation of (Revelation) that went before it. And a fuller explanation of the Book Wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the Worlds. Holy Qur'an (Chapter 10, Verse 37)
Islam: Did you know Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was unlearned?
The Life of Muhammad(peace be upon him)
Muhammad(pbuh) was born with no silver spoon in his mouth.His life began with infinitesimal support.His father had died before he was born.His mother dies by the time he was six years old.He was doubly orphaned at this tender age, his grandfather Abdul Muttalib took charge of him, but he too died within three years.As soon as he was able, Muhammad(pbuh) began to look after his uncle's sheep and goats.Contrast this poor, double orphaned Arab child with no formal education (God calls him "The Unlettered Prophet" in the Qur'an) with some of the great religious personalities that preceeded him, and you must marvel at what destiny had in store for him!
Muhammad(pbuh) had no bread nor meat to offer; no sugar plums of any kind, in this world or the next! The only thing he could offer his bedraggled, poor shepherd people was trial and tribulations and the strait-jacketing of their lives on earth and the good pleasures of God in the HereAfter.His life was an open book before them.The nobility of his character, his integrity of purpose, his earnestness and fiery enthusiasm for the truth he had come to preach revealed the hero and they followed him.
The Holy Qur'an says- And We sent thee not (O Muhammad), but as a mercy unto all the worlds. Chapter 21:107
Want to know more about the life of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)
Islam: Did you know Islam encourages reasoning?
Islam is not a religion which hovers on blind beliefs. Instead, God tells mankind in several verses of the Qur'an to use their intellect, to use their reasoning power which they have been bestowed with (which differentiates man from other beasts) to try and understand the 'signs' in this world.This is possible only for ppl who give thought, who ponder.
Find below a few of the many verses where God tells mankind to use its intellect.
1)In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people with intelligence: those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. (Surat Al ‘Imran: 190-191)
2) In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people's benefit, and the water which God sends down from the sky – by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind – and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. ( Surat al-Baqara: 164)
3)Do you not see that God sends down water from the sky and by it We bring forth fruits of varying colours? And in the mountains there are streaks of white and red, or varying shades, and rocks of deep jet black. And mankind and beasts and livestock are likewise of varying colours. Only those of His slaves with knowledge have fear of God. God is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Fatir: 27-28)
4)Will they not ponder the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it. ( Surat an-Nisa': 82)
Islam: Did you know Islam preaches moderation in life?
The teachings of Islam are balanced in all of their aspects. Even though Islam is an all-encompassing way of life, it preaches moderation and rejects extremism. On the one hand, Islam does not preach complete rejection of all worldly pleasures in view of the life hereafter; and on the other hand it does not teach that earthly life is only for pleasure and enjoyment. In Islam, wealth and worldly pleasures can be partaken of in this life as long as they are enjoyed in a way that is in obedience to God. However, Muslims are taught to keep in mind that the life hereafter is their ultimate goal, and therefore one should be charitable and not become too attached to worldly things.It rejects all man-made religious excesses, such as certain forms of monasticism where people try to completely "reject the world" and other forms of extreme self-denial. Islam teaches that human beings have responsibilities at all levels -- to other individuals, to their families and to society as a whole.
Islam: Did you know Jihad does NOT mean 'Holy War'?
Almost everyone in the world today has heard the word Jihad, thanks to the media.This word has a very broad meaning and does not mean 'Holy War' as many people believe.
The meaning of the word Jihad is 'Striving'.It applies to any sort of activity made by any person because of love of God.It covers every aspect of a muslim's life. It is Jihad when a muslim is called upon to make an extra effort - for example, to get up before dawn in order to pray, to fast during Ramadan abstaining from all the things which would invalidate the fast.It is jihad when a person helps another, and goes out of their way to be a friend etc (the intention being to please God alone and not for anything else, if it is done with any other motive, it is NOT Jihad).For example, a person can lay down his life for his country without being religious at all - this is NOT Jihad.
It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) said: *"The most excellent jihad is that for the conquest of oneself." The soul is tempted to do certain things which are prohibited(haraam) at times and a person who strives to eradicate such thoughts and seeks refuge with God is doing Jihad by controlling his/her desires.
• Hadith from Bukhari
Islam: Did you know suicide is prohibited in Islam?
Suicide is prohibited in Islam.It is considered a sin.Man is not allowed to kill himself no matter how difficult his affairs have become in this earthly life.For example, somebody might be in severe financial difficulties or may be suffering from an illness with no cure but this does not give the person the right to take his own life.God has promised man "Allah does not impose on any self any more than it can bear" (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286).Man, on his part, must realise that the life of this world is a test and is temporary and God has promised great reward for those who patiently persevere. "Say:Servants of Mine who believe, heed your Lord.For those who do good in this world there is good, and Allah's Earth is spacious.The steadfast will be paid their wages in full without any reckoning."(The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 39, Verse 10)
Islam: Did You know Monotheism is the fundamental of Islam?
Monotheism is the fundamental of Islam.It is the basic foundation on which Islam stands and all other pillars and principles of Islam depend on it.Without it, all other pillars and principles become just a set of rituals. Associating partners with God and associating divine attributes to "saints" or "holy men" is looked down upon in Islam.In fact,it is considered to be the gravest sin that one can commit(a.k.a. Shirk). Hence, Muslims are called upon to bow only to the Creator and not to any creation.In fact, Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) himself said *"Do not praise me excessively as the Christians did to Eesaa ibn Maryam (i.e.Jesus, son of Mary), verily I am only a slave, so call me instead the slave of Allah and His messenger." Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol.4, p.435, no.654
Muslims who pray to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) or to mystics in the Sufi hierarchy of saints believing that they can answer their prayers are in fact committing Shirk. The concept of God is beautifully articulated in the Qur'an "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 112, Verses 1-4
God is one.He has no beginning and has no end.Neither was he born nor does he beget offspring.There is nothing in this world comparable to Him.
Islam: Did You Know the meaning of the Azaan?
Most of us have heard the sound of ‘Azaan’ or the Call for prayer emanating from mosques at some time or the other. The call for prayer is given 5 times a day as it is required of a practicing Muslim to pray 5 times a day. The actual prayers start within a short time after the call for prayer is given. There is a dedicated person usually to give the Azaan at a mosque and is called the ‘Mu’azzin’. This method of calling people was formulated during the time of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) after other methods like blowing of horns, ringing of bells etc were rejected. The amazing part about the Azaan is that Azaan will be given every moment somewhere in the world.Given below is the text of the Azaan with English translation:
Allahu Akbar (recited 4 times)
Ash-hadu al La ilaha illallah (recited 2 times)
Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar rasoolullah (recited 2 times)
Hayya’ala-salaah (recited 2 times)
Hayya’alal-falaah (recited 2 times)
Allahu Akbar (recited 2 times)
La ilaha illallah (recited once)
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“God is great” (recited 4 times)
"I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah(God)”(recited 2 times)
"I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah(God)." (recited 2 times)
"Come to prayer." (recited 2 times)
"Come to Success." (recited 2 times)
“God is great” (recited 2 times)
"There is no other object of worship except Allah(God)." (recited once)
The following phrase is added after "Hayya 'alal-falah" in the Azaan of the early morning prayers:
"As-salatu khairum minannaum" ( recited two times)
"Prayer is better than sleep" (recited two times)
Islam: Did You Know the purpose of creation?
The purpose of creation is a topic that puzzles every human being at some point of his or her lifetime. Although most people put the question of why we are created aside after occasional brief reflection, it is extremely critical for human beings to know the answer.
1) God created in order to manifest His attributes. Consequently,
Creation is the consequence of His being the Creator
Paradise manifests His Mercy and Grace
Hell, His justice etc
2) However, it is of even greater importance that human beings know the purpose for which they were created.The final revelation teaches that it is to worship God because humankind must worship Him in order to attain righteousness and the spiritual status necessary to enter paradise. The significance of this knowledge is that human beings understand that worship is as much a necessity as eating and breathing and that it is not a favour they are doing for God. "I have created the jinn and humankind only for My worship" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 51, Verse 56
3) "[It is He] who created death and life to test which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 67, Verse 2
Thus, the purpose for the creation of human beings in this world is to test their conduct. This world of life and death, wealth and poverty, sickness and health, was created to sift out the righteous souls from the evil souls. The tests serve to confirm on the Day of Judgment that those going to hell deserve it and those going to paradise only got there by God's grace.
Islam: Did you know our lives are an on-going test?
Nothing on this earth is created in vain, but rather with wisdom. Understanding this fact depends on the wisdom of people themselves. One of the most important precepts is that we are being tested throughout our whole lives. Allah tests our sincerity and our faith in different situations. He may create difficulties to reveal whether we behave with patience or not. He may give us favours to test whether we are grateful to Him or not. Find below few verses from the Glorious Qur'an which point out this fact.
Did you think that you would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (in His Cause) and remained steadfast? The Holy Qur'an, Surat Aal-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 142
Do men think that they will be left alone on saying 'We believe', and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. The Holy Qur'an, Surat al-Ankaboot, Chapter 29, Verses 2-3
Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us you will be returned. The Holy Qur'an, Surat al-Anbiya, Chapter 21, Verse 35
Be sure we shall test you with fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. The Holy Qur'an, Surat al-Baqara, Chapter 2, Verse 155