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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 29 May 2010 21:38

 

...About Human Rights

HOW DOES ISLAM GUARANTEE HUMAN RIGHTS?

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

The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not. Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Qur'an speaks of human equality in the following terms: 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 (49:13)

 

...About Food

Although much simpler than the dietary law followed by Jews and the early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids the consumption of pig meat or any kind of intoxicating drink. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) taught that 'your body has rights over you', and the consumption of wholesome food and the leading of a healthy lifestyle are seen as religious obligations. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: 'Ask God for certainty (of faith) and well-being; for after certainty, no one is given any gift better than health!'

 

...About Peace

 

The Arabic word sallam has the same root as the word Islam. One Islamic interpretation is that individual personal peace is attained by utterly submitting to Allah. The greeting "Salaam alaykum", has the literal meaning "Peace be upon you". Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said once: "Not one of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." Great Muslim scholars of prophetic tradition such as Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and Sharafuddin al Nawawi have said that the words ‘his brother’ mean any person irrespective of faith.

 

The ideal society, according to the Qur’an (10:25) is Dar as-Salam, literally, "the house of peace" of which it intones:  And Allah invites to the 'abode of peace' and guides whom He pleases into the right path. The establishment of abode of peace on earth means the establish peace in everyday lives, at all levels. This includes personal, social, state and international levels.

 

...About War

WHAT DOES ISLAM SAY ABOUT WAR?

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

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

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

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

 

...About Death

HOW DO MUSLIMS VIEW DEATH?

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

 

...About the Importance of PARENTS

HOW DO MUSLIMS TREAT THE ELDERLY?

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

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

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

 

...About Marriage

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

 

...About Polygamy

CAN A MUSLIM HAVE MORE THAN ONE WIFE?

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

 

...About Muslim Women

WHAT ABOUT MUSLIM WOMEN?

Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bridge for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs.

WHY IS THE FAMILY SO IMPORTANT TO MUSLIMS?

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

 

About Jesus Christ (AS)...

WHAT DO MUSLIMS THINK ABOUT JESUS?

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

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

She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is (3:42-7)

Jesus was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam into being without a father: Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. (3:59)

During his prophetic mission Jesus performed many miracles.

The Qur'an tells us that he said:
I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers (3:49)

Neither Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it.

In the Qur'an Jesus is reported as saying that he came:
To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me (3:50)

The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said:
that Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received. (Hadith from Bukhari)

 

...About Other Beliefs

DOES ISLAM TOLERATE OTHER BELIEFS?

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

It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.

 

Pilgrimage (Hajj)

5. PILGRIMAGE (Hajj)

 

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah -- the Hajj -- is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able 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: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.


The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka'abah seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for Allah's forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment.


In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modern transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities. The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar.

 

The Fast

4. THE FAST

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. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, 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 hungry as well as growth in one's spiritual life.

 

Zakat

3. THE 'ZAKAT'

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to Allah, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

 

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one's capital. A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as 'voluntary charity' it has a wider meaning.

 

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said 'even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity'.

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: 'Charity is a necessity for every Muslim'.

He (P.B.U.H.) was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?'

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) 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 (P.B.U.H.) said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.'

The Companions further asked 'What is he cannot do even that?'

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said 'He should urge others to do good'.

The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?'

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.'

 

Solat (Prayer)

2. PRAYER

 

Salah is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and Allah. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Qur'an, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Qur'an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one's own language.

 

Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, 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 daily life.

 

Faith

1. FAITH


There is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) is His messenger.
This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is la ilaha illa'Llah - 'there is no god except Allah'; 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 Allah, the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu'Llah (P.B.U.H.): 'Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'. A message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.


A translation of the Call to Prayer is:

Allah is most great. Allah is most great.
Allah is most great. Allah is most great.
I testify that there is no god except Allah.
I testify that there is no god except Allah.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success (in this life and the Hereafter)! Come to success!
Allah is most great. Allah is most great.
There is no god except Allah.

Five Pillars of Islam

WHAT ARE THE 'FIVE PILLARS' OF ISLAM?

They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

1. Faith
2. Prayer
3. The Zakat
4. The Fast
5. The Pilgrimage (HAJJ)

 

Other Sacred Sources & Prophet (P.B.U.H.) sayings

ARE THERE ANY OTHER SACRED SOURCES?


Yes, the Sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), is the second authority for Muslims. A Hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said, did, or approved. Belief in the Sunna is part of the Islamic faith.

 

EXAMPLES OF THE PROPHET'S SAYINGS :

 

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said:

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


(From the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi)

Qur'an

WHAT IS THE QUR'AN?


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

 

WHAT IS THE QUR'AN ABOUT?


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

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 May 2010 00:48