Islam

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

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I. Islam and Muslims.

The name of this religion is Islam, the root of which is Silm and Salam which means
peace. Salam may also mean greeting one another with peace. One of the beautiful
names of God is that He is the Peace. It means more than that: submission to the
One God, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and
with the environment. Thus, Islam is a total system of living. A Muslim is supposed to
live in peace and harmony with all these segments; hence, a Muslim is any person
anywhere in the world whose obedience, allegiance, and loyalty are to God, the Lord
of the Universe.

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II. Allah the One and the Only God.

Allah is the name of the One and Only God. Allah has ninety-nine beautiful names,
such as:

The Gracious, The Merciful, The Beneficent,
The Creator, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise,
The Lord of the Universe, The First, The Last, and others.

He is the Creator of all human beings. He is the God for the Christians, the Jews, the
Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists, and others. Muslims worship God
whose name is Allah. They put their trust in Him and they seek His help and His
guidance.

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III. Muhammad.

Muhammad was chosen by God to deliver His Message of Peace, namely Islam. He
was born in 570 C.E. (Common Era) in Makkah, Saudia Arabia. He was entrusted with
the Message of Islam when he was at the age of forty years. The revelation that he
received is called the Qur'an, while the message is called Islam.
Muhammad is the very last Prophet of God to mankind. He is the final Messenger of
God. His message was and is still to the Christians, the Jews and the rest of mankind.
He was sent to those religious people to inform them about the true mission of Jesus,
Moses, David, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham.

Prophet Muhammad's Mosque

Muhammad is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets
and messengers that came before him. He purified the previous messages from
adulteration and completed the Message of God for all humanity. He was entrusted
with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teachings of the Qur'an.

Seal of Muhammad

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IV. Source of Islam.

The legal sources of Islam are the Qur'an and the Hadith. The Qur'an is the exact words
of God; its authenticity, originality and totality are intact. The Hadith is the report of the
sayings, deeds and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad. Hence, it is the life history of
the Prophet Muhammad which provides examples of daily living for Muslims.
Right: A passage from the holy Qur'an.
The translation is as follows:
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1. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent,
the Merciful
2. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
3. The Beneficent, the Merciful:
4. Owner of the Day of Judgment,
5. Thee (alone) we worship; Thee
alone we ask for help.
6. Show us the straight path,
7. The path of those whom Thou hast
favored; Not (the path) of those
who earn Thine anger nor
of those who go astray.
Holy Qur'an

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V. Some Islamic Principles.

A. Oneness of God:
He is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that
Islam rejects the idea of trinity or such a unity of God which implies more than one
God in one.
B. Oneness of mankind:
People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race
over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as
to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than
others; it is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness.
C. Oneness of Messengers and the Message:
Muslims believe that God sent different messengers throughout the history of mankind.
All came with the same message and the same teachings. It was the people who
misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Muslims believe in Noah, Abraham, Isaac,
Ismail, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Prophets of Christianity
and Judaism are indeed the Prophets of Islam.
D. Angels and the Day of Judgment:
Muslims believe that there are unseen creatures such as angels created by God in the
universe for special missions. Muslims believe that there is a Day of Judgment when all
people of the world throughout the history of mankind till the last day of life on earth,
are to be brought for accounting, reward and punishment.
E. Innocence of Man at Birth:
Muslims believe that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of
puberty and it is only after they commit sins that are to be charged for their mistakes.
No  man is responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others. However,
the do. Forgiveness through true repentance is always open.
F. State and Religion:
Muslims believe that Islam is a total and a complete way of life. It encompasses all
aspect of life. As such, the teachings of Islam do not separate religion from politics.
As a matter of fact, state and religion are under the obedience of God through the
teachings of Islam. Hence, economic and social transactions, as we educational
and political systems are also of the teachings of Islam.

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VI. Practices of Islam.

God instructed the Muslims to practice they believe in. In Islam there are five pillars:

A. Creed:
The verbal commitment and pledge that there is only One God and that Muhammad is
the Messenger of God, is considered to be Creed of Islam.
B. Prayers:
The performance of the five daily prayers required of Muslims.
C. Fasting:
Fasting is total abstinence from food, liquids and intimate intercourse (between married
couples) from dawn to sunset during the Month of Ramadan.
D. Purifying Tax:
This is an annual payment of a certain percentage of a Muslim's property which is
distributed among the poor or other rightful beneficiaries.
E. Pilgrimage:
The performance of pilgrimage to Makkah is required once in a lifetime if means are
available. Hajj, pilgrimage, is in part in memory of the trials and tribulations of Prophet
Abraham, his wife Hagar and his eldest son Prophet Ishmael.

Makkah

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VII. Non-Muslims.

Muslims are required to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people,
namely those who received messages, Christians and Jews. Muslims are asked to call
upon them for common terms, namely, to worship One God, and to work together for
the solutions of the many problems in the society.
Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims throughout centuries in the Middle
East and other Asian and African countries. The second Caliph Umar did not pray in
the church in Jerusalem so as not to give the Muslims an excuse to take it over.
Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem is
still in the hands of the Muslims.
Jews fled from Spain during the Inquisition, and they were welcomed by the Muslims.
They settled in the heart of the Islamic Empire. They enjoyed positions of power and
authority. Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools
were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims
even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East.

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For more information please contact
The Institute of Islamic Information and Education
P.O. Box 41129
Chicago, Illinois 60641-0129 U.S.A.

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(c) 1998 Jassim Alhor. All Rights Reserved.