Islam and Muslims by Shaad Ahmed

Islam can be translated into English as ‘submission to The God’. Muslim can be translated as ‘one who submits to The God’. Thus Islam is the religion of Muslims.

Islam is based on a foundation of five pillars:

  1. To declare there is none worthy of worship except Allah (translates to ‘The God’) and that Muhammad is the (last) messenger of Allah
  2. Praying five times a day
  3. Fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan
  4. Giving alms to the needy
  5. Performing the pilgrimage in Arabia

Islam is also anchored by a core of six beliefs:

  1. To believe in One Unique God - Muslims believe God has no partners and is not the father or son of any man, but that He is the Creator of all that exists.

  2. To believe in the angels - Muslims believe God created angels and they only obey God.

  3. To believe in the revealed books of God - Muslims believe the Torah was revealed to Moses and the Bible to Jesus, but hold over time these books have been changed. The Qur’an, on the other hand, still consists of the same Arabic as when it was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and Muslims adhere to the Qur’an while leaving the changed books.

  4. To believe in all prophets of God - Muslims hold God sent prophets to mankind to tell them about the Oneness of God and to worship Him alone. Muslims believe in prophets such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). Muslims hold that there will be no more prophets since Muhammad (peace be upon him) is stated being the seal of the prophets in the Qur’an. Muslims do not elevate the status of any of these prophets to godhood.

  5. To believe in the Day of Judgment - Muslims have the belief every soul is going to be judged by God based on how they obeyed the commandments He sent. Those who obeyed the teachings in the Qur’an with a pure and sincere intention will be rewarded with Heaven, while those who disbelieved will enter the Hell fire. Some sinners who believed in God Alone but still were sinful face the possibility of entering the Hell fire, and then leaving it for Heaven once their punishment is over.

  6. To believe in Destiny - Muslims hold they have been given the power to make choices by God, and that He knows the choices they will make before they have made them since God is the All Knowing.

 The Prophet Muhammad

Muhammad was known for his sincerity, generosity, and honesty even before he became a prophet. People gave him the title of ‘Al-Amin’ (The Trustworthy). After he started receiving revelations from God through Angel Gabriel and starting preaching about Islam he faced many hardships. He dealt with all the hardships and continued to preach about the truth of Islam. When many people had accepted Islam he still lived a simple life proving he was a prophet of God.

Misconceptions about Islam

Racism/Nationalism: Many people think that Islam preaches racism or nationalism. However one can see from the Qur’an this is not true, as it states what means, "Oh 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)

Women: Many people seem to think women are not treated fairly in Islam. In Islam women have always been allowed to own property and keep their own last name when married. Women are allowed to keep any money they earn, while men must spend the money they earn on their family first. Women also have a key role in Islam. Ayesha, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s wife is known for her spreading religious knowledge in Islam.

Terrorism: There is a common notion that Islam supports terrorism, which is totally untrue. Islam strictly forbids the killing of an innocent human, comparing it to killing all of mankind, while Islam compares the saving of a human to saving all of mankind. The Qur’an also says (what means): "If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that hears and knows all things." (8:61)

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