The Muslim belief system and total way of life rests upon this central principle; that there is no G-d, but Allah, who is the Creator of the Skies above, the earth below, and everything in between. It is only the Creator of air, water, fire, and earth that is to be trusted, to be prayed to, to be worshipped, for HE is the power and control behind all existence and the only one whose will should be submitted to.

The Muslim believes that Allah is distinct and separate from HIS creation and that there is nothing in creation like HIM, yet HE is everywhere and omnipresent throughout HIS creation and controlling and governing it with HIS attributes and angels.

Muslims challenge those who believe in other things; including human beings, as G-d. The Muslim asks the question, “Who created the person whom you think to be G-d?” Did they create themselves or do they owe their existence to the One who created the very stuff out of which they are made.

However, Muslims accept that people with different religions and beliefs may refer to the Creator by many different names and we acknowledge those names once we recognize that they are speaking of the one who made everything. While some Muslims see the name Allah as a personal name, the community of Imam W. Deen Mohammed does not subscribe to this view. We believe that Allah is the Arabic equivalent of the word G-d.

The community of Imam W. Deen Mohammed is a community of Muslims who completely embrace this principle of Al-Islam and it is this belief that has led us to the understanding that all human beings are one family under Allah and this idea helps liberate human beings from the superiority and inferiority complexes human beings fall prey to.

This great principle of Al-Islam is liberating for a human being because it puts only one authority over us and makes everyone else our equal. Thus, the human being is free to grow and expand as far and wide as our capacities and efforts take us, provided we do not violate the commands and guidance of Allah, which teach respect for our equals; other human beings and all other things, living and non-living.

1-Faith in Allah

The First Great Principle of Al-Islam

Salat is the principle of inner cultivation. Al-Islam requires that the believers perform Salat, which means Prayer, at least five times per day. The Qur’an instructs the Muslim to pray in the early morning (Fajr Prayer), a little after high noon (Zuhr Prayer), in the afternoon; midway between noon and sunset (Asr Prayer), a little after sunset (Maghrib Prayer), and at night time (Isha Prayer).

Prophet Muhammad has taught us that if a person prays at these regular intervals throughout the waking hours, his or her soul will be cleansed, heart will be purified and character made pleasing to oneself, one’s neighbor, and to Almighty Allah.

The Muslim practice of prayer ritual, practice, tradition has been designed by Allah to help cultivate the inner self of the one who believes. Thus, the submission of one’s will to the Will and Guidance of Allah is actually a benefit to the self.

Allah tells us that if everyone on earth were to suddenly begin worshipping HIM, it would not add a single thing to HIM or if everyone were to suddenly turn away from HIM; it would not take away a single thing from HIM. Hence, our prayers do not magnify Allah, nor do they stroke HIS ego (for HE has no ego). Indeed, our giving of spirit and action to HIS guidance is a requirement of the nature in which HE made us in order for us to find and grow into a state of Peace, Wholeness, and Security, which is Al-Islam.

The Muslim prayer (Salat) requires use of the mind, heart, and the body. This teaches the Muslim that to serve Allah, one must do so with mind, body, and soul. This is our whole self.

There are many other types of prayers that Muslims make; such as Sunnah prayers, Eid prayers, Funeral prayers, and more. Al-Islam is a way of life that contains practices, such as prayer, which cultivate the inner soul, which results in Muslims, as a whole, being among the best people to have in society.

2-Salat (Prayer): The Inner Cultivation

The Second Great Principle of Al-Islam

4-Saum: Fasting that Purifies

The Fourth Great Principle of Al-Islam is Fasting

The ritual of fasting in Al-Islam is filled with wisdom. To fast is to refrain from eating food or drink, to abstain from sex, from emotional extremes, and from the pleasures in which we normally overindulge in during the daylight hours. We perform this fast for 29 or 30 days during the Islamic month of Ramadhan.

During this month, Muslims also pray more and they read more of the Generous Qur’an. In fact, it is the goal of every Muslim to read the entire Qur’an by the end of the month by reading 1/30th of the book each day.

The ritual of restraining oneself from eating and drinking and indulging in our other appetites is symbolic of the real principle of the Ramadhan fast, which is the mastery over self. You master yourself by mastering your appetites and your desires. He or she who can discipline their desires, drives, the urgings of their body can guide that body and its miraculous powers to make progress in the world in service to Allah and humanity.

The fast of Ramadhan gives the individual the opportunity to bring himself or herself back into harmony by disciplining the physical, mental, and spiritual (emotional) appetites. A corollary to this self-control is the strengthening of one’s resistance to temptation, wrongdoing, and bad behavior and bad thinking.

All of the activities that occur during Ramadhan are geared towards returning the individual back to the state of being that Allah intended when HE first created the human being. This natural state is called Fitrah and the great celebration or Holiday (Holy Day or Wholesome Day) that commemorates the victory over self is called Eidul Fitr or the return to the original (self).

When the human being gains control over self and resists wrong-mindedness they will automatically and naturally return back to their good state of mind and spirit. When a human being returns to the natural state that Allah intends, they will solve all of the problems that confront them and they will be inspired to many beautiful and useful things into the world.

3-Zakat: Charity that Enhances

The Third Great Principle of Al-Islam

The third great pillar or principle in the way of life of Al-Islam is Zakat; usually translated as charity. Charity is the giving of something that you possess to another free of charge, without seeking something in return, out of the goodness of your heart to help another person or thing.

Muslim society has also institutionalized the concept of Zakat and Muslims are told by some scholars that they are required to give 2.5% of their gross wealth to Zakat or charitable causes, such as feeding the poor and helping the needy and those burdened with unexpected tragedy and hardship. In addition to this many Muslims further build perception of Zakat upon the meaning of the word Zakat. Literally, Zakat means “to increase.”


Thus, we give with the consciousness that we are hoping to increase the good of situation. For example, we know that by helping the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, we are increasing the strength of the society. For the stronger its weakest members, the more help the society gets and the less burdened down it is.

 

We are taught in Al-Qur’an to spend out of what Allah has provided to us. Some of us have more than others and each of us has something unique and special that Allah has given to us. Hence, with all of us giving of our talents and gifts, we increase the overall well being of each other, our families, and our society.

However, it is important to note that Muslims do not believe in being wasteful spendthrifts. We do not give with the spirit of the gambler or the showoff or recklessly. Allah tells us that the one who squanders what Allah has given them is practicing an evil. Why is this so? Because, to waste or act recklessly does not lead to increases for the better. Such behavior usually leads to a loss of wealth, resources for self and family, and takes away from the person’s ability to contribute in a way that increases.

Charitable giving is not just a material giving. Zakat includes giving a helping hand, making someone smile, taking the time to console a friend, make a child laugh, speak words that touch the soul of the wife or husband, that gives hope for a brighter day.

We believe that the Muslim is a person who has internalized the concept of zakat and will carry the spirit of increasing and advancing and enhancing lives and circumstances wherever he or she is.

At least once in their lifetime a Muslim is to make the Hajj, if they can afford it. The Hajj is a practice where Muslims from around the world travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform rituals in and near the sacred masjid, near the Kaaba. Most people in the world are familiar with the picture shown above of a million Muslims circling around the Kaaba, which is believed to be the first house built to commemorate the worship of the One G-d, the Creator of the skies and the earth.

At the Hajj, many rituals are performed and these rituals contain tremendous symbolic meaning and wisdom, which cannot be fully explained in this short description of the Hajj. But, Imam Mohammed has described the meaning of these rituals and in time we will include these descriptions on this website.

Some of the major rituals that are performed are the circling of the Kaaba seven times in a counter-clockwise direction, the running back and forth between two mountains, drinking from the well of ZamZam, throwing stones at the heads of the devil,  climbing up the mountain of Arafat, kissing the black stone, prayers, sacrificing an animal and feeding it to the people, and a few more other practices.

But, these are the practices of making the Hajj. We referred to the Hajj as a great principle of Al-Islam. What is that principle? It is the principle that humanity is on a lifetime journey back to its unity as a human family, practicing the noble principles and values under G-d, the Creator of the skies and the earth. This is our great destiny as human beings.

For most Muslims, making the Hajj is a life-changing or inspirational experience. The Hajjis (males) and Hajjahs (females) return filled with stories to tell of their experiences, their contemplations, and their struggles.

The apex of the Hajj is the celebration of Eidul-Adha, which is a celebration commemorating the human being’s return to enlightenment. Eidul-Adha is the second Holy Day for Muslims and we celebrate with food, prayer, socializing, and much much more.

Allah says in 22:27, “and proclaim the Hajj among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.”

So, every Muslim seeks to make this journey, for its message is so important to inculcate into our heart and this powerful set of rituals helps to plant those lessons, feelings, and ideas deep within the love in our hearts.

5-Hajj (Pilgrimage): Humanity’s Journey

The Fifth Great Principle of Al-Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

The Last Revelation

The Meaning of Islam


"ISLAM" is derived from the Arabic root salaama peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

Everything and every phenomenon in the world, other than man and jinn is administered totally by God-made laws, they are obedient to God and submissive to His laws, i.e. they are in the state of Islam. Man possesses the quality of intelligence and choice, thus he is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey His law, i.e. become a Muslim. Submission to the good will of God, together with obedience to His beneficial law, i.e. becoming a Muslim, is the best safeguard for man's peace and harmony.

Islam dates back to the age of Adam and its message has been conveyed to man by God's Prophets and Messengers including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Islam's message has been restored and enforced in the last stage of the religious evolution by God's last Prophet and Messenger Muhammad.

The word ALLAH in the Arabic language means God, or more accurately The One and Only Eternal God, Creator of the Universe, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. The word Allah to mean God is also used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians.

Al-Qur'an

The Last Revelation

Holy Qur'an Recitation

With English Language Translation Recitation

Instructions: Select the episodes by scrolling and click to play .

Al-Qur’an is the book of scripture, the book of revelation that guides the thinking, feelings, and actions of every believing Muslim on the planet earth. It literally means ‘A Reading’ and ‘A Proclamation.’

The Qur’an is inspiration that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad over 1,400 years ago and the Qur’an is still inspiring millions today. The Qur’an gives guidance specifically and majestically designed for human beings. As such, it speaks to our intellect, our emotions, our material appetites and concerns, our relationship with each other and our environment. Its goal is not to turn human beings into unnatural spiritual beings or into unnatural materialistic “animals,” but to help us preserve the natural human qualities that allow us to fulfill the potential and qualities that Allah put in the human so that he can live a life with the peace that only Allah can give to us.

Prophet Muhammad

The Last Prophet

Muhammad the Prophet was the man who Allah chose to inspire with the divine revelation that we call the Glorious or Noble or Generous Qur’an. It has these titles and more because the way the content is expressed is truly glorious and the ideas and principles it espouses are truly noble and what its message offers to its readers is truly generous.

Well, such a message could only be entrusted to a man with a heart and mind worthy of such a trust. That man was Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, whose natural orientation and inclinations were honorable, humble, fair, just and all of the qualities that we wish for in an exemplary human being.

Not only did he have the right character, he had a desire to see the lives of his people be liberated from enslavement to ignorance and decadence. So, he search in himself and to a greater source for answers.

Allah rewarded this man with the gift of the last revelation to humankind and grew and guided him to be the final prophet to humans with a completed message for all humans.

His achievements and accomplishments in history are phenomenal. Allah has told us that he is the most excellent model of conduct among us, but that he is just a human person like us who has demonstrated the kind of person that we should all become.

Muslims look to the example of Prophet Muhammad to acquire understanding of the qualities and goals that Allah intends for us all.

Articles of Islamic Faith

The Components of Peace

1. Allah, the One and Only God


A Muslim believes in ONE GOD, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. God has neither father nor mother, neither sons nor was He fathered. None equal to Him. He is God of all mankind, not of a special tribe or race.

Allah is High and Supreme but He is very near to the pious thoughtful believers; He answers their prayers and helps them. He loves the people who love Him and forgives their sins. He gives them peace, happiness, knowledge and success. Allah is the Loving and the Provider, the Generous, and the Benevolent, the Rich and the Independent, the Forgiving and the Clement, the Patient and the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and the Peace. Allah's attributes are mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws).

Allah creates in man the mind to understand, the soul and conscience to be good and righteous, the feelings and sentiments to be kind and humane. If we try to count His favours upon us, we cannot, because they are countless. In return for all the great favours and mercy, Allah does not need anything from us, because He is Needless and Independent. Allah asks us to know Him, to love Him and to enforce His law for our benefit and our own good.

2. Messengers and Prophets of God​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


A Muslim believes in all the Messengers and Prophets of God without any discrimination. All messengers were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelations and appointed by God to teach mankind. The Holy Qur'an mentions the names of 25 messengers and prophets and states that there are others. These include Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Their message is the same and it is Islam and it came from One and the Same Source; God, and it is to submit to His will and to obey His law; i.e., to become a Muslim.

3. Revelations and the Qur'an​​​​​​​​​​​


A Muslim believes in all scriptures and revelations of God, as they were complete and in their original versions. Allah, the Creator, has not left man without guidance for the conduct of his life. Revelations were given to guide the people to the right path of Allah and sent down to selected people, the prophets and messengers, to convey it to their fellow men.

The message of all the prophet and messengers is the same. They all asked the people of their time to obey and worship Allah and none other. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad who were revealed their own book of Allah, were sent at different times to bring back straying human beings from deviation to the right course.

The Qur'an is the sacred book of the Muslims. It is the last book of guidance from Allah, sent down to Muhammad, peace be upon him, through the angel Jibraeel (Gabriel). Every word of it is the word of Allah. It was revealed over a period of 23 years in the Arabic language. It contains 114 Surahs (chapters) and over 6000 verses.

The Qur'an deals with man and his ultimate goal in life. Its teachings cover all areas of this life and the life after death. It contains principles, doctrines and directions for every sphere of human life. The theme of the Qur'an broadly consists of three fundamental ideas: Oneness of Allah, Prophethood and life after death. The success of human beings on this earth and in the life hereafter depends on obedience to the Qur'anic teaching.

The Qur'an is unrivalled in its recording and preservation. The astonishing fact about this book of Allah is that it has remained unchanged even to a dot over the past fourteen hundred years. No scholar has questioned the fact that the Qur'an today is the same as it was revealed. Muslims till today memorize the Qur'an word by word as a whole or in part. Today, the Qur'an is the only authentic and complete book of Allah. Allah is protecting it from being lost, corrupted or concealed.

4. The Angels​​​​​​​​​​​


There are purely spiritual and splendid beings created by Allah. They require no food or drink or sleep. They have no physical desires nor material needs. Angels spend their time in the service of Allah. Each is charged with a certain duty. Angels cannot be seen by the naked eyes. Knowledge and the truth are not entirely confined to sensory knowledge or sensory perception alone.

5. The Day of Judgement​​​​​​​​​​​


A Muslim believes in the Day of the Judgement. This world as we know it will come to an end, and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. On that day, all men and women from Adam to the last person will be resurrected from the state of death for judgement. Everything we do, say, make, intend and think are accounted for and kept in accurate records. They are brought up on the Day of Judgement.

One who believes in life after death is not expected to behave against the Will of Allah. He will always bear in mind that Allah is watching all his actions and the angels are recording them.

People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah's Heaven. People with bad records will be fairly punished and cast into Hell. The real nature of Heaven and Hell are known to Allah only, but they are described by Allah in man's familiar terms in the Qur'an.

If some good deeds are seen not to get full appreciation and credit in this life, they will receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on the Day of Judgement. If some people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, seem superficially successful and prosperous in this life, absolute justice will be done to them on the Day of Judgement. The time of the Day of Judgement is only known to Allah and Allah alone.

6. Qadaa and Qadar


A Muslim believes in Qadaa and Qadar which relate to the ultimate power of Allah. Qadaa and Qadar means the Timeless Knowledge of Allah and His power to plan and execute His plans. Allah is not indifferent to this world nor is He neutral to it. It implies that everything on this earth originates from the one and only Creator who is also the Sustainer and the Sole Source of guidance.

 

Allah is Wise, Just, and Loving, and whatever He does must have a good motive, although we may fail sometimes to understand it fully. We should have strong faith in Allah and accept whatever He does because our knowledge is limited and our thinking is based on individual consideration, whereas His knowledge is limitless and He plans on a universal basis. Man should think, plan and make sound choices, but if things do not happen the way he wants, he should not lose faith and surrender himself to mental strains or shattering worries.

Qur'an Recitation

with Translation in Portuguese & Spanish Languages

Holy Qur'an Recitation

With Spanish Language Translation Recitation

Instructions: Select the episodes by scrolling and click to play .

Holy Qur'an Recitation

With Portuguese Language Translation Recitation

Instructions: Select the episodes by scrolling and click to play .

INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM
ON THIS PAGE

KNOW ISLAM (FAQs)

INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM

ISLAM DEFINITION

AL-QUR'AN (HOLY BOOK)

PROPHET MUHAMMAD

ARTICLES OF FAITH

FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM

ISLAMIC AUDIO LECTURES

ONLINE ISLAMIC RADIO

HOW TO BECOME A MUSLIM

ISLAMIC VIDEO-LECTURES

"O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger and those from among you who are in charge of your affairs; and if you differ over any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you do believe in God and the last day."

(Qur'an 4:59)

 

"And let there among you be a group of people who invite to all that is good, who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong."

(Qur'an 3:104)

In the name of  Allah (God),

the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.​

Islamic Audio Lectures

BY IMAM W. D. MUHAMMAD

Instruction: Select the episodes by scrolling and click play button

Islamic Video-Lectures

By Imam W D Muhammad

American Muslim 360
Online Radio Channel

New Muslim Institute

Online Radio Channel

W.D. Mohammed 24/7

Radio Channel

Online Islamic Radio

How to become a Muslim

It is not very difficult to become a Muslim in name or by declaration, but becoming a Muslim in its fullest sense; in the way that leads to all of the blessings that being a Muslim in substance brings, is a journey that lasts a lifetime.

When a person becomes aware of the religion of Al-Islam and spends some time becoming familiar with its teachings; its beliefs, principles, ideas and practices, they may decide that they would like to become a Muslim.

To become a Muslim one need only attend a gathering of Muslims and let an Imam or someone in the gathering know that they desire to publicly make a declaration of faith in Allah and HIS messenger Muhammad. This declaration of faith is called the Shahadatain, which literally means I witness twice.

The Muslims will gather around the new person and one of them will administer the Shahadatain. They will ask the new person to repeat the following declaration after them, first in Arabic and then in English (or their native tongue).

Ash’haadu an-la elaha  il-lallah, which means I witness that there is no G-d, but G-d (Allah, the Creator).

Ash’hadu anna Muhammadan Rasuululah, which means I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of G-d (Allah, the Creator).

Upon making these two public declarations, the Muslims will declare that they recognize the new person as a Muslim and a member of the family of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world and they will all shake his hand and give him hugs and make du’a (prayer) for his success.

At this moment, the new person is officially a Muslim. After this moment, the new Muslim then starts his new life and path on the road of Al-Islam; that is the road to Peace and Wholesomeness. From here the person begins to study and learn in depth the beliefs, ideas, principles, and practices of a Muslim.

The new person not only engages in learning to enlighten his mind and increase his knowledge, but he or she cleanses their heart and strengthens their moral character and courteous behavior.

The Muslim life, called Al-Islam (The Peace) or Deen Al-Fitrah (The Way of Nature) requires a journey back to the natural, wholesome human self that Allah intended for him or her to be. This journey leads to great rewards not only at the destination, but all along the way.

If you are a new Muslim, we pray that Allah will bless you to enjoy your new life.

KNOW ISLAM (FAQs)

About Islam & Muslims

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.

What does 'Islam' means?

​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 rather than God. 'Allah' is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.

What is the Quran or the Koran?

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago​

What is the Quran about?

The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.​

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.

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 Judgement 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 through Gabriel.​

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 brought​

Who is Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)?

Probhet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), 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 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.

How did Muhammad (PBUH) become a prophet and a messenger of God?

At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran.

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 (PBUH) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (PBUH) 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.

Are there any other sacred sources?

Yes, the sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet said, did, or approved. Belief in the sunna is part of the Islamic faith.

Examples of the Prophet's sayings

The Prophet said:

'God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.'

'None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.'

'He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer.'

'The truthful and trusty businessman is associated with the prophets the saints, and the martyrs.'

'Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.'

'God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.'

'A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.' The Prophet was asked: 'Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?' He said, 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.'

From the hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi.

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​

What are the 'Five Pillars' of Islam?

FAITH

PRAYER

THE ZAKAT

THE FAST

PILGRIMAGE (Hajj)

More information on the five pillars of Islam are listed on this page on the right.

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.​

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 from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus 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.​

How did the spread of Islam affect the world?

Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine - Islam calls for faith in only One God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation.

​Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet, 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman'. The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.

Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?

The Quran says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Quran 60:8)

It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.

Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.

What do Muslims think about Jesus?

Muslims respect and revere Jesus, and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him be peace'. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:

'Behold!' the Angel said, 'God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.'

She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is.' (Quran 3:42-47)

Jesus was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam into being without a father:

Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was. (Quran 3:59)

During his prophetic mission Jesus performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said:

I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers and I raise the dead by God's leave. (Quran 3:49)

Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus is reported as saying that he came:

To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me. (Quran 3:5O)

The Prophet Muhammad said:

Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. (Hadith from Bukhari)

Why is the family so important to Muslims?

The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry..

What about Muslim women?

Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's.

Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs.

The Messenger of God said:

'The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife.'

Can a Muslim have more than one wife?

The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair.​

Is Islamic marriage like Christian marriage?

A Muslim marriage is not a 'sacrament', but a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. As a result, divorce is not common, although it is not forbidden as a last resort. According to Islam, no Muslim girl can be forced to marry against her will: her parents will simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.

How do Muslims treat the elderly?

In the Islamic world there are no old people's homes. The strain of caring for one's parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and blessing, and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. God asks that we not only pray for our parents, but act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves. Mothers are particularly honored: the Prophet taught that 'Paradise lies at the feet of mothers'. When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with the same kindness and selflessness.

In Islam, serving one's parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult.

The Quran says: 'Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say 'uff to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, 'My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little'. (17:23-4)

How do Muslims view death?

​Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present life is only a trial preparation for the next realm of existence. Basic articles of faith include: the Day of Judgment, resurrection, Heaven and Hell. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed, usually by a family member, wrapped in a clean white cloth, and buried with a simple prayer preferably the same day. Muslims consider this one of the final services they can do for their relatives, and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet taught that three things can continue to help a person even after death; charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught and prayers on their behalf by a righteous child.

What does Islam say about war?

Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. As Muslims see it, injustice would be triumphant in the world if good men were not prepared to risk their lives in a righteous cause. The Quran says:

Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors. (2:190)

If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things. (8:61)

War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term jihad literally means 'struggle', and Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle which everyone wages against egotistic desires, for the sake of attaining inner peace.

What about food?

Although much simpler than the dietary law followed by Jews and the early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids the consumption of pig meat or any kind of intoxicating drink. The Prophet taught that 'your body has rights over you', and the consumption of wholesome food and the leading of a healthy lifestyle are seen as religious obligations.

The Prophet said: 'Ask God for certainty [of faith] and well-being; for after certainty, no one is given any gift better than health!'

How does Islam guarantee human rights?

Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Quran itself: 'There is no compulsion in religion'. (2:256)

The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not.

Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Quran speaks of human equality in the following terms:

O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All Aware (49:13)

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