Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Introducing Islam to Non-Muslims

Islam
Islam is an Arabic word which comes from the word Salam which means peace. It is derived from the root word Silm which means submission to the will of God. The basic definition of Islam is “Peace acquired by submitting yourself to the will of God.”

Quran
The Quran is the literal word of God. There is a misconception that Islam is a new religion, but Islam has been there since man set foot on this earth. The Prophet Muhammad is not the founder of the religion of Islam. But he is the last and final messenger of God. God says in the Quran, “In every age have we revealed a book” but the last revelation was the Quran. Each revelation was for a particular group of people at a particular time; however the Quran is not only for the Muslims or Arabs but for the whole of humankind. 

Allah
Many non-Muslims have a misconception that Muslims worship a different God. Islam is a monotheistic religion. The word Allah is the Arabic word for God. Whether we refer to the almighty as Allah or God, we are referring to the same thing.

Prophet Muhammad
The Prophet Muhammad is the seal of the prophets. He is the final messenger of Islam. Unlike other messengers, Prophet Muhammad was sent for humanity and not only for Muslims. He was a universal messenger.

Sunnah and Hadith
Alongside the Quran, the sunnah and hadith also pay a vital role in Islam. The sunnah is the authentic recorded actions of the Prophet Muhammad. The hadith is the authentic recorded sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. No authentic hadith will ever contradict the Quran. 

5 Pillars
Muslims are enjoined to organize their lives on the basis of a series of ritual acts of worship which are ordained in the Qur'an as ways which discipline human beings to remember God constantly. These acts of worship form part of the 5 pillars of Islam.
1.    Declaration of belief (Shahada): this is the initial act of faith, expressed in a simple statement: "I bear witness that there is no god but God; I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet.” This basically means that Muslims believe that there is only one God and that they believe the Prophet Muhammad is the final messenger.
2.    Prayer (Salat), offered five times a day, has the effect of reminding the faithful that "remembrance of God is indeed the greatest virtue", and helps them adhere to the path of righteousness, and to restrain from indecency and evil.
3.    Fasting (Sawm), observed through the daylight hours of the 29/30 days of the Islamic month of Ramadan, involves abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking and marital intercourse; this reminds the believers of their dependence upon God, as well as their kinship with, and responsibility for the millions of human beings in the world who experience involuntary fasting because of lack of food, or its unjust distribution.
4.     Purification of wealth (Zakat); this requires the annual giving of a fixed amount of excess personal assets for the benefit of the poor, the incapacitated, the deprived, and the welfare of the community; it serves to remind Muslims that all beneficence comes from the bounty of God, and is enjoyed only through His mercy; sharing becomes an act of purification both of the wealth itself, and of the giver whose soul is disciplined against greed by the practice of selflessness.
5.    Pilgrimage (Hajj), which all Muslims should perform at least once in a lifetime, if personal circumstances permit; it gathers the believers as members of the diverse human family into a single community. They perform prescribed acts of worship at the Holy House of the Kaba in Makkah (Mecca) which, according to the Quran, was originally built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael.
Misconceptions
Terrorism 
Islam denounces terrorism. This is prohibited in Islam. Honour killings, terrorism, suicide bombings and suicide are not allowed in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad said killing of one innocent creature (human or animal) it is equivalent to killing humanity.

From the Holy Quran:

"Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression." (5:2). 
"And do not let ill-will towards any folk incite you so that you swerve from dealing justly. Be just; that is nearest to heedfulness" (5:8).
Those who make mischief on this earth, theirs is the curse” – Surah ar Ra’d.

Women
Non-Muslims believe that Muslim women are oppressed by Islam. If they spent just a few hours reading the Quran and researching Islam, they will see how wrong they are. I agree that there are many oppressed Muslim women in the world, but these women are certainly not oppressed by the fundamental teachings of Islam. The Quran has an entire chapter dedicated to women. Women are not inferior to men and nor are they superior. The Prophet Muhammad brought a message that says women are equal to men in their value. The Quran says that the person who is the most noble in the eyes of God is the one who has the most awareness of God, this can be gained by both men and women. Your gender has nothing to do with whether you can submit yourself to God.

Science
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -   Albert Einstein

Dr Zakir Naik states that the Quran is not a book of science but a book of signs. There are more than 6000 signs in the Quran and 1000 speak about science.

Example:
Astronomers spoke about the Big Bang in 1973; initially our universe was a primary nebular and then there was a secondary separation. The Quran mentions this in a nutshell 1400years ago. “Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” Surah Al-Anbiya. Read more about The Quran and Modern Science.

2 comments:

  1. Good work, Su! I really do enjoy reading all your blogs!!

    This one has reminded me of some things I know & haven't thought about in a while, but it's also taught me a few things I didn't know...

    Thank you,
    Tiff*

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  2. Quran is book of God, and it do have what God says,, it have been revealed by God to our beloved prophet Muhammad(PBUH) through angel gebrial... Quran is the guidance for the people of every nation, every era,,, it always call people to good deeds, and avoid us from bad... so being a muslimg we should have to follow, it,,and have strong faith on it..

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