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The most common questions generally asked about Islam

What is Islam and who are Muslims?

What or who is Allah?

Does Islam -Islaam- believe in several Gods because the Quran uses the word ‘We’ when God speaks in the Quran -Koran or Qur'an? Why does God use the word "we" in the Quran? How could that mean anything but more than one God? Doesn't that mean that Quran teaches Muslims to believe in more than one God, or believe in the trinity?

What are the pillars of Islam

Do Muslims believe in the hereafter?

Where are Muslims found? Aren't all Muslims Arab who live in the Middle East? Isn't Islam a religion of the people in the Middle East?

What do Muslims believe in?

What does Islam teach about racism and color, who is the best?

I have done some readings about "the Nation of Islam", they seem to have different teachings than what you say here, aren't they suppose to be the same Muslims too?

What does Islam teach? What are some examples of what Islam teaches? What does the Quran teach about God, Jews and Christians, people of other faiths or non at all, the prophets, the holy spirit, satan, signs in nature and creation, judgment day and the hear after and racism, parents, neighbors, and animals and other creatures?

What are the sources of the teachings of Islam? Or, what are The Quran (Koran), The Hadith (Hadeeth) and Sunah (Sunna)?

How did the revelation of the Quran start?

What is the holy month of Ramadan (Ramadhan)? Why is it holy? What do Muslims do in it or how do they celebrate it?

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Questions about Jihad and terrorism

Questions about women or woman in Islam

Questions about The Mosque (worshipping place) and prayers in Islam

Questions about Muhammad, Mohammad, or Muhamet peace be upon him.

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Q1-What is Islam and who are Muslims?

Islam is a religion based upon the surrender to God, who is One. The very name of the religion, AL ISLAM is an Arabic word that means submission, which means submission to God's will and commandments. AL-ISLAM also means peace, for it is in submitting to God's will, human beings gain peace in their lives in this world and in the hereafter. Islam therefore considers itself not to be an innovation but a reassertion of the one universal truth of all the previous revelations. Just like every religion, where they have those who hold wrong beliefs, those whom we call extremists, Islam does too.

Muslims is an Arabic word that means "Those who are in submission". 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 Judgment 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).

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Q2-What or who is Allah?

Just like in any other language there is a different word for "God", for example in the French language it is Dieu, in Spanish it is Dios, also in the Arabic language it is ALLAH -Ilah or Elah depending on the accent and the grammar. Allah is the equivalent to the word Elohim in Hebrew; it is also the equivalent to Eloi, or Eli in Aramaic, the language spoken during the time of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). As we find in the Bible;

Matthew 27:46

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Mark 15:34

"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Since Spanish speaking people use the word Dios in their own language to refer to God, and as the French speaking people would use the word Dieu for God, all Arabic speaking Christians and Jews use the same word "Allah" to refer to God.

Muslims usually prefer the word "Allah" because the word "Allah" is the proper "Name" of God in Arabic. It is a unique term that has no plural form, like (gods), and it is the noun that God chose to use in all of His scriptures.

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Q3-Does Islam -Islaam- believe in several Gods because the Quran uses the word ‘We’ when God speaks in the Quran -Koran or Qur'an? Why does God use the word "we" in the Quran? How could that mean anything but more than one God? Doesn't that mean that Quran teaches Muslims to believe in more than one God, or believe in the trinity?

Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion. It believes in and adheres to uncompromising monotheism. It believes that God is one, and unique in His attributes. In the Qur’an, God often refers to Himself using the word ‘We’. But this does not mean that Islam believes in the existence of more than one God.

TWO TYPES OF PLURAL

In several languages, there are two types of plurals, one is a plural of numbers to refer to something that occurs in a quantity of more than one. The other plural is a plural of respect.

THE PLURAL OF RESPECT.

The word "We" in the English dictionary, as well as many other languages, could be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president this is also known as the ‘royal plural’. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we". In other words, according to the English language dictionary and many others, a king can use the word "we" yet means "myself".

MONOTHEISM IN THE HOLY QURAN

The Holy Quran teaches of the existence and uniqueness of one and only one God. There are many verses in the Quran that state so, for example:

  • "Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal." (2:255)
  • "Say He is Allah the One" (112:1)

NO VERSES FOR POLYTHEISM

While many seem to have searched the Holy Quran and came with the legitimate Question about the word "we", the Holy Quran -or any other Islamic teachings in that matter- don't teach polytheism in any form. A good proof of that is that many have searched the Holy Quran to criticize it, yet we have not seen anybody presents any verse from the Quran that indicates that there are more than one God or one Allah…!?

THE PILLARS OF ISLAM

Tawheed or monotheism is the first pillar of Islam, one must accept that there is no God except Allah. If there were more than one God for Islam, that would have been the very first thing Muslims would be asked to testify for.

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Q4-What are the pillars of Islam

The pillars of Islam are the frameworks for any Muslim's life. There are five pillars that one can build his house (of faith) on. The foundation of that house is submission to God. One must start with the foundation then continue upward, by submitting and accepting the oneness of Allah, His Messengers and His true commands, then start building up. One step at the time, one must continue upward or forward not downward or backward.

1. The Testimony of faith (Shahada)

'There is no God worthy of worship except One God (Allah) and Muhammad is His Messenger'.

This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is la ilaha illa'Llah - 'there is no god except God'; Ilaha (god) can refer to anything, which we may be tempted to put in place of God - wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa'Llah:' except God, the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu'Llah: 'Muhammad is the Messenger of God'. This is the first step one takes in Islam, then should try to improve and advance.

2. Prayer (Salah)

'Salah' -link in English- is the name for the daily prayers, which are performed five times a day, this way, Muslims are given a chance to be more God conscious. In standing, bowing and prostrating like others in the daily prayer, one recognizes both physically and spiritually that we are all the same before the one God. Doing the same thing other Messengers -such as; Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad peace be upon them- did to worship or to pray to God. It also teaches Muslims that they need to pray to God daily not only when they have to or need to. One can perform extra prayers, however 'Salah' are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, after sunset and at nightfall, and the weekly congregation formal prayer on Friday noon. The choice of the weekly prayer to be on Friday was determined by God in chapter 62 of the Quran entitled Al-Jumu’a, which is Arabic for "Friday".

There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so any learned person, who knows the Quran and the prayers well, is accepted by the congregation to lead the prayers.

These prayers 'Salah' contain verses from the Quran, personal supplication can be offered as well. Although congregational ‘Salah’ is preferable in a Mosque (the Muslims worshipping place), a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in the daily life.

  • Please ask the person who gave you this paper for your copy of: "why do Muslims pray that way", to learn more about praying and worshipping in Islam and for the meaning of the word Mosque.

3. The 'Zakat' (Poor due)

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat literally means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Setting aside a proportion for those in need purifies our possessions. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually and it does not have to go through specific channels, but one can give directly to the poor, even in his family to strengthen family ties.

For most purposes this involves the payment each year of 2.5 %. Not of one's income, but of his saved money. A pious person may also give as much as he pleases as sadaqa (donation), and does so preferably in secret.

Although the word sadaqa can be translated as 'voluntary charity' or 'donation', in Islam it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said: 'Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity'. The Prophet also said;

"Charity is a necessity for every Muslim'. He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity'. The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet said: 'He should help poor and needy persons (physically)’, They further asked 'What if he can not do even that?' The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do good'. The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also a charity".

4. Fasting

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Although many start earlier as a practice, Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty. Although fasting is most beneficial to the health physically, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go -involuntarily- hungry, as well as growth iin one's spiritual life.

In observing the month of Ramadan, Muslims follow the lunar calendar, which was the way God taught man how to count time -months and years- from the beginning. That's why many civilizations -ancient and modern- associate counting time with the moon. The word "Month"; in chronology, is the conventional period of lunation, i.e. the passage of the moon through all of its phases. In many other references of religion and history, we find that all the messengers of God had taught their followers nothing -about time and calendars- except observing the "lunar calendar".

5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah -The Hajj- is an obligation only for those who are able physically and financially to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year, which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: for men it is simple white garments that strip away distinctions of class, color, national origin and culture, so that all stand equal before God, no royalty, just loyalty to the one God and His command. Such a trip is never forgotten by Muslim's mind and is often thought of as a preview of the Day of Judgment. All are the same before The One Judge.

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Q5-Do Muslims believe in the hereafter?

God is Just and manifest His justice, He established the system of accountability. Those who do good will be rewarded and those who do wrong will be punished accordingly. Thus, He created Heaven and Hell and there are admission criteria for both. Muslims believe that the present life is a temporary one. It is a test and if we pass the test, we will be given a life of permanent pleasure in the company of good people in Heaven.

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Q6-Where are Muslims found? Aren't all Muslims Arab who live in the Middle East? Isn't Islam a religion of the people in the Middle East?

Muslims live in every country and region on earth from Norway to Malaysia and Morocco to Mexico. Muslims form a large percentage of the population in Russia, China, India and Eastern Europe. Some important Islamic lands include Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Nigeria. Arab-Muslims form a small minority of the world-wide Muslim population. There are nearly eight million Muslims in North America alone. That is more than the population of some states such as Alaska, Nevada and Rhode Island. The total number of Muslims around the world is about 1.3 billion.

Arabs present only about 18 % of the world Muslim population, the rest (about 82%) are all colors and races. By calling and visiting your local Islamic Center, you should be able to see Muslims and new converts to Islam from all walks of life, race and color, many of them were originally born and raised under other religions.

By calling and visiting your local Islamic Center, you should be able to see Muslims and new converts to Islam -both men and women- from all walks of life, race and color, many of them were originally born and raised under other religions.

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Q7-What do Muslims believe in?

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 Judgment 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 (PBUH).

Beside many other verses in the Quran, this verse teaches the main beliefs all Muslims have to accept:

"…It is righteousness- to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers. To spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves. To be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing." The Holy Quran 2.177.

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Q8-What does Islam teach about racism and color, who is the best?

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). The holy Quran 49:13

  • Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

The act of worshipping "Salat" in Islam -which is done on a daily basis, is done in standing with other Muslims in congregation and bowing down together, makes one forget the worldly differences. All Muslims are the same before God regardless of any differences they may have. Not only by words "we all are the same before God", but also with complete submission in action.

Also the pilgrimage trip -The Hajj- to Makkah or Macca is another way that makes Muslims aware of being equal befor God. A bout two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. All pilgrims wear special clothes: for men it is simple white garments that strip away distinctions of class, color, national origin and culture, so that all stand equal before God, no royalty, just loyalty to the one God and His command.

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Q9-What does Islam teach? What are some examples of what Islam teaches? What does the Quran teach about God, Jews and Christians, people of other faiths or non at all, the prophets, the holy spirit, satan, signs in nature and creation, judgment day and the hear after and racism, parents, neighbors, and animals and other creatures?

Islam calls humanity to the service of the One, Omnipotent Creator, Who is known as "Allah" (The Deity) in the Arabic language. It further instructs people on how they may live together in peace and harmony regardless of race, class or beliefs. The unity of purpose brought by all previous religious guides is highlighted as are traditional morality, the equality of the sexes before God and the virtues of patience and humbleness

Here are some examples of the teachings of Islam;

Examples of general teachings from the holy Quran: God, Jews and Christians, people of other faiths or non at all, the prophets, the holy spirit, satan, signs in nature and creation, judgment day, the hear after and racism.

Examples of general teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) the Messenger of Islam

Examples of Islam's teachings about parents.

Teachings about neighbors.

Teachings about orphans

Teachings about Animals and other creature.

Examples of the general Teachings from the Holy Quran1234

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: THE QURAN AS A BOOK

"This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God." 2:2 "Do they not ponder on the Qur'an? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy." 4:82 "(This is) the revelation of the Book in which there is no doubt - from the Lord of the Worlds. Or do they say, 'He has forged it?' Nay, it is the Truth from thy Lord." 32:2-3

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: GOD

"Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare the Praises and Glory of God - the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to purify them, and to instruct them in The Book and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error." 62:1-2 "To God do belong the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goeth back every affair (for decision): so worship Him, and put thy trust in Him: and thy Lord is not unmindful of aught that ye do." 11:123 "God! There is no god but He - the Living, the Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is thee can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?" 2:255 "Put thy trust in God. For God loves those who put their trust (in Him). If God helps you, none can overcome you: if He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In God, then, let Believers put their trust." 3:159-160 "God is He, than Whom there is no other god - the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the justly Proud. Glory to God! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him." 59:23 "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him." 112:1-4

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: JEWS AND CHRISTIANS

"Say: O People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah (alone); that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we are Muslims (submitting to God's Will)". 3:64

"And dispute ye not with the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); but say, 'We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we submit (in Islam).'" 29:46

"O People of the Book! Exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by - who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even Way." 5:77

  • Islam recognizes THE ORIGINAL REVELATION to the above Messengers to be of divine origin. In fact Muslims are taught to say (peace be upon him) after mentioning any of the Prophets' names.
  • Had Islam instructed Muslims not to have any type of contact or friendship with non-Muslims as many claim, then what would be the purpose of encouraging a dialogue between Muslims and the people of the Book in the above verses?

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS AND THOSE WITH NON AT ALL.

All people have come from the same pair, none is better except with his own actions: "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). The holy Quran 49:13

The Quran teaches that Allah has never left any group of isolated people, civilization or a nation without a Messenger from Him. As we see this in (16:36): "For We assuredly sent amongst every people a Messenger, (with a command) serve Allah and eschew (avoid) Evil"

Quran also teaches that because all Messengers were sent by the same God and with the same goal, to elevate mankind, they all were sent with the same Message: "The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - that which We have sent by inspiration to thee. And that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus…" (42:13)

  • Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

Islam, or, the Way of Self-Surrender to God, was taught by all Prophets whether their race was Jewish, Chinese, African, Greek, or Aztec. Accordingly, Moses, who is regarded as the pivotal figure in Judaism, and Jesus, who is the central personality of Christianity, both taught Islam to their peoples. The teachings of these great Messengers of God did not go unchanged, however, over the centuries, and one can find that many practices, beliefs and customs practiced by the adherents of those faiths today differ from the original purity of their founder's Message. Knowing now that according to the Quran, every group of people have had a Messenger, that will explain how ancient civilizations were made aware of God’s laws regarding right and wrong. That also will explain why some prophecies of ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Mayans were true prophecies. According to the Quran, Allah has told them through their Messengers these prophecies sometime in the past. The Quran recognizes the original revelations to other Messengers, but also recognize that they have been corrupted after the original revelation.

The Holy Quran encourages Muslims to establish the dialogue with non-Muslims As a confirmation that it is the duty of every Muslim to tell others about Islam, we find in (41:33): "Who is better in speech than one who calls to God, works righteousness, and says, "I am of those who bow in Islam?"

An invention to think of the proofs God is presenting in the Quran that it had to have been revealed by he who knows the secrets that are in Heaven and in Earth, the one who knows how Creation started. "Do not the Non-believers (infidels) 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? (21.30)

God in the Quran recognizes the individual's choice to choose to believe or not. And He tells what will happen to each of us as a result of the choice we make regarding believing in God and obeying him as humanly as possible.

"And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about. and if they cry for water, they shall be given water like molten brass which will scald their faces; evil the drink and ill the resting-place. Surely (as for) those who believe and do good, We do not waste the reward of him who does a good work. These it is for whom are gardens of perpetuity beneath which rivers flow, ornaments shall be given to them therein of bracelets of gold, and they shall wear green robes of fine silk and thick silk brocade interwoven with gold. Reclining therein on raised couches; excellent the recompense and goodly the resting-place". (18:29-31)

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: THE PROPHETS

"Muhammad is no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to God; but God (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude." 3:144 "Behold! the angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God; he shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.' She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a matter, He but saith to it, 'Be', and it is! And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, The Torah and the Gospel." 3:45-48 "O Moses! I have chosen thee above (other) men, by the messages I (have given thee) and the words I (have spoken to thee); take then the (revelation) which I give thee, and be of those who give thanks." 7:144 "Abraham: he was a man of Truth, a prophet. Behold, he said to his father: 'O my father! why worship that which heareth not and seeth not, and can profit thee nothing? O my father! to me hath come knowledge which hath not reached thee: So follow me: I will guide thee to a way that is even and straight. O my father! serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel against (God) Most Gracious.'" 19:41-44

 

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: THE HOLY SPIRIT

"Say, the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad Tidings to Muslims." 16:102 "...Gabriel - for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by God's will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe." 2:97

  • The Holy Spirit in Islam is the Angel Gabriel. He brought down the revelation to the Messengers, and helped them to perform some of their Miracles by God's permission. The Holy Spirit in Islam is not God nor a part of God, he is an angel that was created by God.

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: SATAN

"Behold! We said to the angels, 'Bow down to Adam': they bowed down except Iblis [Satan]. He was one of the Jinns [spirits with a free-will], and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers!" 18:50 "Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?" 5:91 "And Satan will say when the matter is decided: 'It was God Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me: then reproach not me, but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with God. For wrongdoers there must be a Grievous Penalty.'" (14:22)

  • Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

 

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: SIGNS IN NATURE AND CREATION

"It is He Who sends down rain from the sky. From it ye drink, and out of it (grows) the vegetation on which ye feed your cattle. With it He produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes, and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought. He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the Sun and the Moon; and the Stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for those who are wise. And the things on this earth which He has multiplied in varying colours (and qualities); verily in this is a Sign for those who are mindful. It is He Who has made the sea subject, that ye may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender, and that ye may extract therefrom ornaments to wear; and thou seest the ships therein that plough the waves, that ye may seek (thus) of the bounty of God and that ye may be grateful. And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and ways: that ye may guide yourselves; and marks and sign-posts; and by the stars (humans) guide themselves. Is then He Who creates like one that creates not? Will ye not receive admonition? If ye would count up the favours of God, never would ye be able to number them: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And God doth know what ye conceal, and what ye reveal. Those whom they invoke besides God create nothing and are themselves created. (They are things) dead, lifeless: nor do they know when they will be raised up." 16:10-21 "Seest thou not that God sends down rain from the sky, and leads it through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow, therewith, produce of various colours: then it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this, is a Message of remembrance to Men of understanding." 39:21 "Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did God create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny their meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)! Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the End of those before them? They were superior to them in strength: they tilled the soil and populated it in greater numbers than these have done: there came to them their messengers with Clear (Signs), (which they rejected, to their own destruction): it was not God who wronged them, but they wronged their own souls. In the long run Evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil; for that they rejected the Signs of God, and held them up to ridicule". 30:8-10 "Among His Signs is this, that He created you from dust; and then - behold, ye are men scattered (far and wide)! And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know. And among His Signs is the sleep that ye take by night and by day, and the quest that ye (make for livelihood) out of His Bounty: verily in that are Signs for those who hearken. And among His Signs, He shows you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope, and He sends down rain from the sky and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead: verily in that are Signs for those who are wise." 30:20-24

 

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: JUDGMENT DAY AND THE HEREAFTER

"Man says: 'What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive?' But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?" 19:66-67 "And ye devour Inheritance - all with greed, and ye love wealth with inordinate love! Nay! When the earth is pounded to powder, and thy Lord cometh, and His angels, rank upon rank, and Hell, that Day, is brought (face to face)- on that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance profit him? He will say: 'Ah! Would that I had sent forth (Good Deeds) for (this) my (Future) Life!' For, that Day, his Chastisement will be such as none (else) can inflict, and His bonds will be such as none (other) can bind. (To the righteous soul will be said:) 'O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back thou to thy Lord - well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him! Enter thou, then, among my Devotees! Yea, enter thou My Heaven!'" 89:19-30 "God hath promised to Believers - men and women - Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of God: that is the supreme felicity." 9:72 "It is God Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all between them, in six Days, then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority); ye have none, besides Him, to protect or intercede (for you): will ye not then receive admonition? He rules (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all affairs) go up to Him, on a Day, the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning. Such is He, the Knower of all things, hidden and open, the Exalted (in power), the Merciful - He Who has made everything which He has created Most Good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay, and made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised: But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the facilities of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give! And they say: 'What! When we lie, hidden and lost, in the earth, shall we indeed be in a Creation renewed?' Nay, they deny the Meeting with their Lord! Say: 'The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls, then shall ye be brought back to your Lord." 32:4-11 "The (Judgment) ever approaching draws nigh: no (soul) but God can lay it bare. Do ye then wonder at this recital? And will ye laugh and not weep - wasting your time in vanities? But fall ye down in prostration to God and adore (Him)!" 53:57-62 "As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts refuse to know, and they are arrogant. Undoubtedly, God doth know what they conceal, and what they reveal: verily He loveth not the arrogant. When it is said to them, 'What is it that your Lord has revealed?' they say, 'Tales of the ancients!' Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!" 16:22-25 "Do they not think that they will be called to account?- on a Mighty Day, a Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds?" (83:4-6)

  • Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

 

THE HOLY QUR'AN ABOUT: RACISM AND COLOR, WHO IS THE BEST?

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). The holy Quran 49:13

  • Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

1)-Examples of general teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) the Messenger of Islam:

The Holy Qur'an is the highest authority in Islam. It contains the exact words of God as revealed to Prophet Muhammad (P) and recorded by his companions. In applying the Qur'anic teachings to everyday life, Muslims rely upon the sunnah (sayings and actions) of the Prophet (P). This sunnah is a concrete implementation, a tangible form, and the actual embodiment of the will of God in the form of Muhammad's deeds. They were recorded in what are called ahadith (pieces of news, stories, or reports). This pamphlet conveys to you just a portion of the many interesting and enlightening ahadith. Numbers 1-20 have been extrapolated from "Riyadh-Us-Saleheen" Volumes 1 and 2. Numbers 21-25 have been extrapolated from "An-Nawawi's Forty Hadith". Both works were compiled by Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi (R). Each hadith quoted in this pamphlet is followed by an individual reference which indicates the original source of ahadith collection: Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Abu Daud, or Imam Tirmidhi (R).

KEY
"Hazrat" - An honorable title sometimes given to the companions of Muhammad (P).
(P) - Peace be upon him.
(R) - May God be pleased with him or her.

Examples of Hadith

1) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "The strong one is not he who knocks out his adversary; the strong one is he who keeps control over his temper." (Bukhari and Muslim)

2) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "It does not befit a Siddiq (a true man) that he should opt to cursing." (Muslim)

3) Hazrat Jarir Ibn Abdullah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "God the Dignified has no mercy for one who has no mercy for others." (Bukhari and Muslim)

4) Hazrat Anas Bin Malik (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "None of you is a perfect Muslim until he desires for his brother Muslim that which he desires for himself." (Bukhari and Muslim)

5) Hazrat Anas Bin Malik (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed person. A companion asked: 'Messenger of God (it is true) I will help him if he is an oppressed person, but please tell me how I am to help him if he happens to be an oppressor.' The Holy Prophet (P) answered: check him from doing injustice. Because preventing him from committing aggression is a help to him." (Bukhari)

6) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Look at the person who is inferior to you; and do not look at one who is superior to you. Thereby you would be able to appreciate better the benevolences of God bestowed upon you." (Muslim)

7) Hazrat Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'Aas (R) says that by nature the Holy Prophet (P) neither talked indecently nor did he listen to indecent talk. He used to say: "The best of you are those who have the best manners." (Bukhari and Muslim)

8) Hazrat Sahl bin Sa'd (R) says that the Holy Prophet (P) has said: "A person who gives surety to (safeguard) the thing between the jaws (tongue) and the thing between his two legs (private organs), I guarantee his entrance into Paradise." (Bukhari and Muslim)

9) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Among the Muslims most perfect, as regards his faith, is one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well." (Tirmidhi)

10) Hazrat Abu Zarr relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Do not consider even the smallest good deed as insignificant; even meeting your brother with a cheerful face (is a good deed)." (Muslim)

11) Hazrat Anas Bin Malik (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Make things easy and convenient and don't make them harsh and difficult. Give cheers and glad tidings and do not create hatred." (Muslim)

12) Hazrat Ayaz bin Himar (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "God, the Most Exalted, has revealed to me that you should show courtesy and be cordial with each other, so that nobody should consider himself superior to another nor harm him." (Muslim)

13) Hazrat Ayesha (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Do not reproach or abuse dead persons for they are facing the consequences of what they had done in this world." (Bukhari)

14) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Avoid jealously for this destroys good deeds as fire destroys wood." (Abu Daud)

15) Wasila bin Al-As-qa'a (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Do not rejoice over the troubles of your brother lest God the Most High might have mercy on him and involve you in this trouble." (Tirmidhi)

16) Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) once asked: "Who is that person among you who loves the property of his successor more than his own property? The Companions submitted: 'O Messenger of God (P) there is none among us who loves his successor's property more than his own.' He said: Then his property is which he has sent ahead; and that which he retains belongs to his successor." (Bukhari)

17) Hazrat Ayaz bin Himar (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "God the Most High has revealed to me that you should adopt humility, so that nobody oppresses another, nor one should hold himself above another." (Muslim)

18) Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas'ud (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "A Muslim never taunts or curses or abuses nor resorts to vulgar talking." (Tirmidhi)

19) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Let no Muslim male entertain any malice against a Muslim female. He may dislike one habit in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing." (Muslim)

20) Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R) relates that the Holy Prophet (P) said: "Plenty of provision or abundance do not make a person rich and wealthy; real richness is the benevolence of heart." (Bukhari and Muslim)

21) On the authority of Abu Huraira (R) who said: the Messenger of God (P) said: "Part of someone's being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him." (Tirmidhi)

22) On the authority of Abu Huraira (R), that the Messenger of God (P) said: "Let him who believes in God and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent, and let him who believes in God and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour, and let him who believes in God and the Last Day be generous to his guest" (Bukhari & Muslim)

23) On the authority of Abu Malik al-Harith ibn Asim al-Ash'ari (R), who said: The Messenger of God (P) said: "...Prayer is light; charity is a proof; patience is illumination; and the Qur'an is an argument for or against you. Everyone starts his day and is a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin." (Muslim)

24) On the authority of Abu Huraira (R), who said: The Messenger of God (P) said: "Each person's every joint must perform a charity every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it is a charity; every step you take to prayers is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity." (Bukhari & Muslim)

25) On the authority of an-Nawwas ibn Sam'an (R) that the Prophet (P) said: "Righteousness is good morality, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul and which you dislike people finding out about." (Muslim)

2)-Examples of Islam's teachings about parents:

Most religions teach about caring for parents, the Quran teaches and explains that in many places, (2:83, 2:215, 4:36, and 46:15-17). As a matter of fact, kindness to the parents comes directly after worshipping God:

"Thy Lord decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in life, say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them. But address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them the mercy even as they cherished me in childhood" (17:23-24).

Honoring parents is taught by other religions as well, however, Islam stands out when it honors mother’s bearing and delivering: "And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning in two years". (31:14)

Also the teachings of the Messenger (pbuh) honors the mother, in Bukhari's record of Hadith we find:

"A man came to the Prophet Muhammad and said, "O Messenger of God; who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: {your mother.} The man said, "Then who?" The Prophet said: {Then your mother} The man further asked, "Then who?" The Prophet said: {Then your mother.} The man asked again, "Then who?" The Prophet said: {Then your father}

Honoring parents is taught in many places in the Quran (2:83, 2:215, 4:36, 31:14-15, 17:23-24 and 46:15-17). Even when a person decides to accept Islam while his family are not Muslims, the Quran teaches that one still is obligated to be kind to them (31:14): "And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning in two years. Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life kindly. And follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you all that ye did."

3)-Teachings about neighbors:

Islam engages all aspects of life, such as dealings with Non-Muslims in our community and in our immediate family. The Quran sets the standards for how to treat them:

In the verse (49:13) the Quran teaches that we all are brothers and sisters of humanity, descended from the same "single (pair) of a male and a female", so that "ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other".

Again we find in 4:36 "Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers. The companion by your side, the wayfarer -traveler- (ye meet)".

In chapter 107, the Quran criticizes those who don't do small favors for their neighbors;

"So woe to the worshippers. Who are neglectful of their prayers. Those who (want but) to be seen (of men). But refuse (to supply) (even) neighborly needs. (107:4)

Doing good to one's parents is the same commandment which Muslims have to follow concerning their neighbors. Yet, not only do Muslims have to do good and care for their immediate neighbors, but they also help those who are strangers or far away neighbors, no matter what belief they hold. Muslims must also assist those who are travelers, i.e. to those whom they may meet only once in their lifetime.

3.1)-Teachings about orphans:

The pure and true religion of Allah ordered its member to have mercy and to be merciful towards all creatures. In this regard our prophet Muhammed peace be up on him said:

"Like this it is asked from believers to be adorned with mercy, and to deal with kindness towards one and other, especially toward those who are in need of mercy".

The orphans are among those who need mercy and they ask from us to deal with them in good way!

Our religion shows a great deal of sympathy for orphans. We see and understand that clearly when we look at the Qur' an we will see that the word "orphan" is mentioned 23 times in 12 different forms in 12 different surah or chapters.

Some may think that it is a common sense that we should treat orphans with mercy. Yet all other religions teach that you should not kill for example. If these religions depended only on common sense then there would have been no need to teach that you should not kill, since it calls for even less common sense not to kill another person.

We would like to mention to you that our beloved prophet Muhammed (peace be up on him), was an orphan. His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was still a child. Therefore his uncle Abu Talib took care of him. Allah, God in Arabic, had protected him, raised him and trained him properly. In this regard Allah says:

" Did He not find you (O Muhammed) an orphan and gave you refuge?" (93:6)

Here are some examples of the teachings of the holy Quran regarding orphans:

Harshness to orphans is a sign of a non-believer:

"Have you considered him who calls the judgment a lie? That is the one who treats the orphan with harshness." (107:1-2)

Take care of the orphans and be good to them:

"Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers. The companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For God loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious." (4: 036)

Spend you wealth in charity and give the orphans:

"They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for." (2:215)

To stand for justice for them:

"…. As also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that ye stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which ye do, but God is well-acquainted therewith." (4:127)

True believers are devotees to Allah in everything they do:

"They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive -(Saying): We feed you for the sake of Allah alone, no reward do we desire from you or thanks. We only fear a Day of distressful Wrath from the side of our Lord."(76: 7-10)

In case there are some orphans happen to inherit a wealth, as in the case of the death of a wealthy parents. Islam as a universal way of living that covered all aspects of life, did not leave it up to the caretaker to abuse the wealth of the young orphan -or orphans. The caretaker is warned to be careful, honest and just about the orphan’s wealth and how to spend it to the orphan’s benefits. Now we share some ayat –verses- that teach us how to deal with orphans, in case we happen to be the caretakers of their wealth, and their goods:

"…Come not near to the orphan's property, except to improve…"(6:152)

It is a big sin to use the wealth of orphans for our selves or for your family unjustly. In this regard Allah Says:

"Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire." (4:10)

When they reach the age of maturity, they are to be given the command of their wealth:

"To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your won. For this is indeed a great sin." (4: 2)

Another clarification as to when we should give them their property back:

"Test the orphans till they reach the marriageable age; then, if ye find them of sound judgment, deliver over unto them their fortune. And devour it not by squandering and in haste lest they should grow up Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans); and whoso is poor let him take thereof in reason (for his guardianship). And when ye deliver up their fortune unto orphans, have (the transaction) witnessed in their presence…" (4:6)

From the above verse, we also learn that it is good to take human witnesses when you faithfully discharge your trust; but remember that, however fully you satisfy your fellow-men when you give your account to them, there is a stricter account due from you to Allah. If you are righteous in Allah's eyes, you must follow these stricter standards.

Allah informed us that bad dealing with orphans give bad result as he tells us:

"And as for man, when his Lord tries him, then treats him with honor and makes him lead an easy life, he says: My Lord honors me. But when He tries him (differently), then straitens to him his means of subsistence, he says: My Lord has disgraced me. Nay! But you do not honor the orphan. Nor do you urge one another to feed the poor…" (89:15-18)

Finally, it is a part of righteousness to spend your wealth on them:

"…It is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer…" (2:177)

4)-Teachings about Animals and other creatures

These are some of the teachings of Islam concerning animals, they are found in the books of Hadith and Sunna as they are not the word of God, but the teachings of His Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him.

Practicing with arrows

Hazrat Anas Bin Malik (R.A.A) relates that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has forbidden making an animal a target for arrow shooting.

(Bukhari and Muslim)

The crying camel

One day, the Blessed Prophet went for a walk through Medina to meet with the Muslims and talk to them. After a while, he came to a garden (a farm) and went in.

There was a man sitting under a tree, in the cool shade. There were many other Muslims in the garden, too. Then, the Blessed Prophet saw a camel standing in one corner of the garden. The camel was tied to a post. It was making a pitiful howling sound.

The Blessed Prophet walked over to where the camel was tied up. As he got closer, he saw that the camel was crying. Big tears were rolling down its cheeks and making the fur on its face all wet.

The Blessed Prophet felt great pity for the camel. He went up to it and stroked its fur, and wiped away its tears. The Blessed Prophet saw that the camel was very thin. After a while, the camel stopped crying and howling. It gave a snort, as camels do when they are pleased.

The Blessed Prophet looked around at all the people standing in the garden.

" Who is the owner of this camel?" he asked. The man who had been sitting beneath the tree stepped forward.

" I am the owner of the camel, O Messenger of God!" he said.

The Blessed Prophet told him that he had been very cruel to the camel. The poor animal was howling and crying because his owner made it work very hard, but did not give it enough to eat and drink. Everyone in the garden could see how thin the camel was and how cruelly the man had acted towards the camel. When the owner of the camel heard this, he began to feel ashamed.

" Do you not fear Allah because of this camel?" The Blessed Prophet asked him.

The owner of the camel now felt very ashamed indeed.

" I have done wrong!" he said. " The camel is one of Allah's living creatures. I am sorry for my cruelty."

The camel's owner never forgot what the Blessed Prophet told him. After this, he always looked after his camels properly. Although the camels still worked hard, for they were strong animals, the man always saw that they had enough food and water.

Allah had given the camel into the man's care to help him in his work and carry burdens for him. The man had the duty to treat the camel well and see that it had enough to eat and drink. If he did so, the camel would work well for him.

All living creatures must be treated kindly. The Blessed Prophet always taught that if they were treated well, Allah would be pleased. But if they were treated badly, Allah would be angry.

A sparrow and little ants

Hazrat Abullah Bin Mas'ud (R.A.A) relates: we accompanied the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) on journey at a halt when the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) went away some-where for a while for some private work, we noticed a small red bird with two little birdies. We caught the little ones, and the mother-bird seeing this became perturbed and started beating the earth with its wings. By that time the Holy prophet (S.A.W) returned and asked: Who has caused trouble to this bird by catching hold of its youngs? Return them to her. He (S.A.W) also noticed a mound of ants that we had burnt down: He (S.A.W) inquired. " Who has burnt down these ants? We answered: We have done this. He (S.A.W) observed: It is not proper for anybody to torture (any creature) with fire except the Sustainer of the Hell (Allah the Almighty).

(Abu Dawud)

The hungry cat

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: That the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said: A woman was punished (tortured) because she locked up a cat till it died. On account of this she was doomed to hell. She had not given the cat anything to eat or drink when she confined it, nor did she free it to enable it pick up its food from among the insects and similar other creatures of the earth. (Bukhari and Muslim)

The thirsty dog

The Messenger (pbuh) once told the following story:

'A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, he 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: 'O, Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals? He said; 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing".

Giving a charitable gift

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Allah's Apostle said, "There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a person, a bird or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him."

  • Even though the teachings of the Quran, Hadith and Sunna evolve around a basic understanding, which is every one of us is ultimately accountable for his or her actions before Allah, there are many stories told by Muhammad (pbuh) about being kind to animals. In these stories, Islam taught how to be humane and kind to animals.
  • Islam teaches that kindness to animals is not only "O.K or good" but it is "a must". It teaches of a reward just for doing so, to make us aware of our actions, even if our actions were towards speechless creatures.

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Q10-I have done some readings about "the Nation of Islam", they seem to have different teachings than what you say here, aren't they suppose to be the same Muslims too?

You are right, the teachings of the group called; "The nation of Islam" is much different from what Islam really teaches. In Islam, al are the same before God "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). The holy Quran 49:13

  • Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

The nation of Islam teaches of the superiority of one race only, they believe that God favor people only because of their race and nothing else. Furthermore, they have their own political agenda, which mainly has to do with the history of slavery in the west. Therefore, it will be safe to say that the nation of Islam is a political party that uses the name of Islam.

If you search the Internet for their official site, you could easily find for yourself what exactly they believe in, and be the judge yourself as to whether their teachings are the same of what Islam teaches.

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Q11-What are the sources of the teachings of Islam? Or, what are The Quran (Koran), The Hadith (Hadeeth) and Sunah (Sunna)?

Muslims have two major sources for the religious teachings in Islam. The first is Islam's holy book "The Quran", the second is the actions and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be up on him. These actions and verbal teachings are collected in books called the books of "Sunna" to refer to the actions which he did, and books of "Hadith" which are the sayings or the teachings of Muhammad peace be up on him.

The Quran

To Muslims, or followers of Islam, the Quran is the actual Word of God, it is the verbal revelation to His Messenger, and it was written down as it was revealed to him. While was still alive, Muhammad (pbuh), as instructed and commanded by God, arranged and organized Quran in chapters and verses in the same way we find it today.

Throughout history, there has never been an area in the whole world that has been colonized by a foreign power like the Middle East. Yet neither colonization nor people could change even one word in the original Arabic text since it was originally written. Nothing has been taken out and nothing has been added to it.

The Quran found today everywhere in the world is the same Quran compiled 1400 years ago. Early handwritten versions can be found in different museums in various countries.

The Hadith and the Sunna (sunah)

Though, some may think that the Quran is the record of Muhammad's life, the Quran is not that at all, actually the name 'Muhammad' occurs in the Quran only five times.

Muhammad's life and the way he did things, after being chosen by God as a Messenger, is a separate account called "Sunna". Things that he said when he was asked a specific Question or in a certain situation is called "Hadith". Since the best one to interpret the meaning of the scriptures, no doubt, has to be the one who received them first hand from God, Muhammad (pbuh) used to interpret the Quran in his "Hadith" too. Both Hadith and Sunna are "divine inspiration" from God. This "divine inspiration" is necessary so that we may exactly understand the intended "meaning or interpretation" of the "Quran", otherwise the interpretation would be "unguided".

Here are a few examples of Muhammad (pbuh) teachings:

  • "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".
  • "God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others".
  • "Powerful isn’t 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 -shapes or colors- 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, he 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: 'O, Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals? He said; 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing".

Even though the teachings of the Quran, Hadith and Sunna evolve around a basic understanding of personal accountability before Allah, there are many stories told by Muhammad (pbuh) about being kind to animals. In these stories, Islam taught how to be humane and kind to animals.

Islam teaches that kindness to animals is not only "O.K or good" but it is "a must". It teaches of a reward just for doing so, to make us aware of our actions, even if our actions were towards speechless creatures.

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Q12-How did the revelation of the Quran start?

It was this man Muhammad (pbuh) whom Allah chose to be the His last Prophet and Messenger to all people. He was illiterate as such was unable to read or write. His parents died when he was a child and passed his childhood as a shepherd and when he grew up he would spend many hours in seclusion in the cave of Hira on a mountain near Mecca.

It is reported in Sahih of al Bukhari (the collection of the Traditions of the Prophet) that sometimes he would stay in the cave for hours and sometimes for days contemplating about the creation surrounding him. This was similar to what other prophets like Abraham, Moses and Jesus did. He continued this practice, until one night Allah sent His Angel Gabriel to him and asked him to read. Muhammad (pbuh) replied "I do not know how to read". The Angel forced him to read again, and Muhammad (pbuh) replied "I do not know how to read". The Angel forced and insisted him to read the third time and Muhammad replied "I do not know how to read' (or what shall I read?). The Angel replied:

"Read in the name of your Lord who created ...". This is referred to (Surah 96 Verses 1-3) which was the first revelation, it reads:

"Proclaim! (or Read!) In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created. Created man out of a (mere) Leech-Like clot; Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful." (96:1-3)

The first revelation was received after he completed 40 years of his life. This formed the basis of his Prophet hood. After the first revelation, there was a couple of days before the second revelation when the Angel Gabriel descended again and revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) the following verse:

"O thou wrapped up (in a mantle)!" (74:1)

From here on the revelation of Allah came regularly, until the whole Qur'anic revelation was completed, which took almost 23 years. Every word revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) through Angel Gabriel were Verbatim Words of Allah.

The revelation to Muhammad (pbuh) is not unique - Allah had revealed his message to humankind through his chosen prophets and messengers since the beginning of Man (Adam). Whenever He willed to guide a group of people He choose His messengers and revealed His message through them, as testified in the Qur'an:

"We have sent thee inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham, Ishmail, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms." (4:163)

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Q13-What is the holy month of Ramadan (Ramadhan)? Why is it holy? What do Muslims do in it or how do they celebrate it?

In observing the month of Ramadan, Muslims follow the Lunar calendar, which was the way God taught man how to count time -months and years- from the beginning. That's why many civilizations -ancient and modern- associate counting time with the moon. The word "Month"; in chronology, is the conventional period of lunation, i.e. the passage of the moon through all of its phases. In many other references of religion and history, we find that all the messengers of God had taught their followers nothing -about time and calendars- except observing the "Lunar calendar".

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Lunar calendar. Because the Lunar calendar is a few days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, the month of Ramadan moves throughout the year, from winter to fall to summer and to spring very slowly. This way, one gets to experience the month of Ramadan about twice in all the seasons of the year - winter, fall, summer and spring- in his/her lifetime.

Ramadan is a holy month because the records of Islam indicate that Allah (God in English) has started his revelation to all the messengers in that month. The Torah to Moses (Peace be upon him) in the 7th day, the Psalms to David (Peace be upon him) on the 13th day, the Gospel to Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) on the 19th day and the Quran to Muhammad (Peace be upon him) on the 27th day.

Fasting is a command from God to all his Messengers, that’s why there are other records of religion and history beside Islam that indicate that other Messengers and prophets of God have fasted too.

When fasting, one gives a time for the body to rest from the regular working and eating schedule, which in turn allows the body to take it’s time in cleaning up itself form any excessive minerals or substances that are unneeded.

Although fasting is most beneficial to the health physically, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go -involuntarily- hungry, as well as growth in one's spiritual life. Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. This is the way the Messenger, Muhammad peace be upon him has taught his followers how to fast.

Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Although many start earlier as a practice, Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty.

In the Quran, the command with fasting is found in chapter 2:183

"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. 184 - (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. 185 - Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful".

According to the verses above, God will not hold us responsible for anything which we don't have a choice about, as in the case if one being ill and has to take medications.

Fasting, as well as all other forms of worshipping in Islam, is the responsibility of each person. Everyone will have to answer only for what he/she does here on Earth not about what somebody else has done whether it was good or a sin. We read in the Quran:

"On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns. And it suffers every ill that it earns" (2:286).

As for the celebration, it is at the end of the month. Muslims celebrate the end of their fasting. The celebration starts with a prayer in the morning. Everybody tries to attend that prayer then the celebration with family and friends come next. The visiting and celebrating is usually to the neighbors and so on. If the family happen to live close by, one may start by visiting his family members' first then neighbors. As far as driving to celebrate with the family, we would do the same too, if family members were on a driving distance, many drive to celebrate with their relatives.

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1-We in the Holy Quran:

Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

Next page of general questions about Islam

Choose a section of the common questions about Islam:

Questions about Jihad and terrorism

Questions about women or woman in Islam

Questions about The Mosque (worshipping place) and prayers in Islam

Questions about Muhammad, Mohammad, or Muhamet peace be upon him.

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