Bismillah-hir-Raluna11-/7 i r-Rahcem
In th e name of Allah (God), the Co m passiona te, th e Mer ciful
Please accept our greetings of PEACE.
There are hundred s of immigrants enterin g this beautiful cou ntry of
ours every d ay from all around the globe who belong to different religions
which include Mu slims. The impression Am er ican s have abou t Islam and
Mu slim s is mo stly throu gh the media, wh ich has treated Mu slims rather
unfairly. They have been lab eled as terror ists, fundamentalists an d so forth. As
a matter of fact, this ima ge is far fro m the truth.
At the Institu te of Islam ic Knowled ge we cons ider it our responsibil ity
to inform the residen ts of North Am er ica abou t Muslim s and their religion
ISLAM just as we ar e obliga ted to tell Mu slims ar ound the world ab ou t
Am erica at lar ge and Uni ted States in particul ar. We would like to en lighten
the read er abou t som e of the ba sics of Islam with the intention of building
a bridge be tween the Mu slim and non-Muslim com m unities. Thi s will crea te
mu ch be tter understandin g and a sense of harm on y between our com mu nity
members, en abling all of us to live and w ork together w ith int egri ty and honesty
in a peaceful atmosphere.
Islam is an Arabic word, which no t onl y means subm ission (to God)
but also means PEACE. It is our aim to clari fy our posit ion and dispel an y false
impression th at exists ab ou t Islam and Muslim s. We hope th at by informin g
the reader ab ou t Islam, our daily intera ction with each other will becom e more
productive for ou r com munities of God-Loving and God -Fearin g people.
May God A lmighty bless you for taking the time
to read this booklet.
Your Well Wisher
Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam Malik
Chairman, Board of Trustees
AT A GLANCE
Wh at is Islam?
Is Islam a ne w Religion?
Wha t is th e d istinctive Featu re of Islam ?
How does Islam re late to Mankind?
What is Worship in Isla m?
What are the Five Pillars of Isla m ?
Wh a t is th e Ka 'bah?
Who are th e Muslims?
What are th e Pillars of Faith?
Why Mus lims use th e wo rd 'Allah'
ins tea d of ' God'?
How d oes so meone becom e a Muslim?
What is Prophethood in Islam?
Who is Muhammad?
What is Sunnah?
Wha t d oes Islam say abou t Torah and
How Islam views Judaism and
Wha t does Islam say abo ut Original
Wha t does Islam say abo u t Je sus?
What is th e Qur'an ?
Does Isla m recognize Science
Wha t are Human Rights in Islam ?
Wha t is Jihad in Islam ?
Wh at is Hijaab (Islamic Dress Co de)?
How does Islam view Fam ily Life ?
Wha t is the Status of Women in Islam ?
Wh at is Marriage in Islam?
Why is More than One Wife pe rmi tted
in Islam ?
Wh at d oes Islam say abo u t Parents
and the Elderly?
Wha t does Islam say abo ut Food ?
Wha t d oes Islam say abo u t Intoxicants
Wha t Islam say abo u t Business
What is th e
What is th e
Wha t is the
in Islam ?
What is the
concep t of God in Islam?
concept of Life in Islam ?
conce p t of Life after Death
concept of Sin in Islam ?
which was given to Moses and to Jesus
and to other Prophets from their God; we
make no distinction between any of them,
and to Him we are ivIuslims."
A I-Qur'an 3:84
In the name of Allah (God), the
Compassionate, the Merci u l
What is Islam?
Islam is an Arabic word which means
peace, subm iss ion an d ob ed ience. It
also mean s acceptan ce and comm it
ment to abide by th e tea chin gs and
gu id an ce of God. On e of th e beautiful
n ames of God is As-Salem (The Pea ce).
Islam also m eans to be at peace with
God and H is creatures. Bein g at peace
wi th God implies complete sub m iss ion
to Hi s w ill, Who is th e source of all
purity an d goodness. Bein g at peace
with Hi s crea tu res implies living in
peace within one 's self, with other
peop le an d with th e en v ironmen t.
Thus, Islam is a tot al system of living
in peace. Isl am is the same m essa ge
and guidan ce which Go d reveal ed
through all Hi s Pro phets to every
pe op le throughout the h ist ory of
m ankind . One who follows Islam
is called a Mus lim (an A rabic wor d
which m ean s, the one who sub m its to
the w ill of Go d ).
Is Islam a new
No! It is th e same religion w hich w as
preache d b y all th e proph ets and
is further elab or at ed th rou gh the
P rop he t Mu hammad, peace be u pon
him. God or d ered him:
"Say: We believe in A llah and in that
which was revealed to 1/S, and in that which
was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and
Isaac and Jacob and the tribes and in that
The re ligio n of Islam is as old as
humanity itself. It wa s in fact th e
religion of e ver y proph et of Go d,
w ho ap pe are d in an y pa rt of the
world . Acco rding to the Quran,
Islam was the religio n of Adam, N oah,
Ab ra ha m , Ishmae l, Isaac, Jacob, M oses
an d Jesus, peace be upon them all.
Howe ver, it was revealed to Prophet
Muham m ad , p eace be up on him, in
its com p reh ensive, com p lete and fina l
for m .
What is the
distinctive Feature of
The m ajor characteristic of Islam is th at
through b elievin g in all the Prophets
an d God 's message reveal ed to each of
th em; it lays d own the basis of peace
an d harmony amo ng th e peop le of the
The grea t mis sion of Islam is not on ly
to preach th e abo ve-mentione d tru th ,
but also to corr ect those er ro rs w h ich
had crep t into th e prevailing religions.
Most important o f all, Islam ga th er s in
on e b ook all th ose truths which we re
conta ine d in ea rlier Di vine re velat ions
gra n ted to pr evious Prophe ts for the
gu id an ce of m ankind , an d to m eet all
the sp iritu al and m oral req u irements
of an ever-adva ncing humanity.
Muslim s ar e encou rage d to coo pe ra te
w ith all th ose who a re faithful and
God-con sciou s p eople, namely those
w h o received scrip hues (Torah,
Ps alms and Gos p el) th rough Hi s
Pro phe ts. Christia ns and Jews ar e
called th e "People of th e Book: ' and
the ir Prophe ts and Scrip tu res a re
ho nored by the Musli ms.
How Islam relates to
Islam teache s th at diversity amo ng
human beings is a sign of God 's mer cy
and no one ha s su pe riority based on
one's color, lang uage or nationali ty.
Islam p ro motes th e br otherhood
of m an , toleration of one ano the r,
sy m path y for th e unfortunate and
coope ration for general human
happiness. If th ere is anyone religion
in the world w hich ha s strove
to elim ina te racism, it is Islam.
The re is no di stinction bet ween men
on accou nt of mere birth in a partie
ular family, particul ar profession,
particul ar race or p arti cula r coun try,
and that all human beings ar e equal.
God crea ted people of di ffer ent colors,
na tio nalities, lan gu ages and ethnic
origins so th at we may recognize one
In Islam , su periority is based on the
lov e and fear of Go d, doing good
d eed s, and maint aining h igh mor al
an d spi ritual qua lities . In many
resp ects Islam ha s reg u lated the
relation ships between men regardless
of cree d s, races or colors. One of
the aims of Islam is to em phasize
the oneness of humanity as a whole
and also the One nes s of the Crea tor
of m ankind an d of all beings. Islam
prono unce s loudly, dearly, and with
gre at em p hasis th at all people are, b y
nature, equa l in all resp ects an d th at
no one is be tte r or su perior to an yone
else excep t throu gh p iety.
Who are the
Mu slims are those 1.9 billion people
(per CIA Wor ld 's Facts Book in
year 2000), from all races, color s,
nation alities and cu ltu res who
believe in One God (Allah ) and accept
Muham mad, peace be u po n hi m,as the
last Prophet. The majorit y of Muslim s
live in Indonesia, Ban glad esh ,
Pak istan , Afghanis tan, Iran , Turkey,
Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egy pt,
Libya , Algeria, Morocco, Bosnia and
other parts o f the con tine n ts of Asia
and Africa. Significan t min or ities
are in India, China, Russia, Europe,
North Ame rica (ove r 9.993 million in
the USA) and Sou th Ame rica.
A Mu slim is a person who freely
and willing ly accepts the sup reme
power of God an d strives to organize
his or her life in accorda nce w ith His
comma ndments. He nce a Mus lim is an y
person anyw here in the wo rld whose
obe dience, allegiance, an d loyalty are
to the One and Only God (Allah), the
Creator of the Universe, and as such
sub mits to the Divin e Laws following
the Sunnah (tradition s) of the Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him .
My Lord! Let me die as a Muslim and
count me among the right eous
What are the Pillars
of Imaan (Faith)?
Muslims believe in:
• One and Onl y Go d (Allah) w ith all
H is unique attributes;
• Angels created by Him;
• All the Holy Book s or iginall y
revealed to the different Prophet s,
in clu din g th e Tora h, Psalms, Gos pel
(Bible) and th e Quran:
• All the Prophets through whom
Go d sen t Hi s Messa ge to mankind
including N oah, Abrah am, Ishmael,
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David,
Jesus and Muhammad, pea ce be
upon them all;
• Th e Da y of Jud gm ent (the Day o f
Resurrection - Life after Death) an d
in divid ua l's acco un ta bility (re wa rd
and pun ishment ) for good an d bad
d eed s / actions; an d
• Al-Qa d ar (God's Pre-estimation),
whi ch m eans God kno ws ever ything.
H e knows what ha s happen ed and
what will h appen.
Why Muslims use the
uiord 'Allah' instead
The wo rd 'Allah' is the com bin ation
of tw o Arabic words 'A L Ilah' which
means 'Th e God'; it is the proper
name of the onl y Su p reme Bein g
Wh o ex ists necessarily by Himself .
Thi s word comp rises all the attributes
of p erf ection . This word is neither
femin ine n or p lural and has never
been applied to an y other being. Thi s
word ha s no correspond ing word in
English or in an y other lan gu age of
the world. Allah is th e One an d Only
True God's personal name. Nothing or
no one else can be called Allah. That is
why Muslims us e th e wo rd All ah, Hi s
p ers onal name, and not God .
It is inter estin g to note that Allah is also
used for God in Aramaic, the language
of Jesus, p ea ce be upon him, an d that
all Arab Jew s and Christians also us e
the word Alla h for God .
How can someone
become a Muslim?
between God and m an. Th e purpose
of Prophethood is to con firm what
m ankind alrea d y kn ows or can kn ow,
and to teach th em what th ey do not
An yon e w ho believes in One Go d or cannot kn ow by thei r own me ans.
and d oes not cons ide r any other deity Su ch as: why we ar e cre ated? Wh at w ill
worthy of worship besides Him, all he happen to us after death ? Is ther e any
or she ha s to do is to affirm the belief in life after death? Are we accountable for
th e last Prophet of Go d Muhammad, our actions? Sim ila rly qu estions abo u t
p eace be upon him throu gh saying:
Go d, An gels, paradise, and hell cannot
be ans we red
La llaha l llallahu Ivuihu mmad-ur
withou t revel ations from
th e Cre ato r and Knower of the unseen .
It is also to h elp man to fin d th e Right
Path, an d to d o what is righ t an d sh un
what is wrong. Pr ophethood is an
eloqu en t exp re ssion of God's love for
human bein gs an d Hi s will to gu ide
th em to the right way of belief and
behavior. He p rovides true gu idance
'There is no deity (god) except A llah (the to ma n kind, and then h old s them
One and Only True God) and Muh ammad responsible for their d eed s. H e gave
is the M essenger of All ah,' an d th en th em warnings through Hi s prophets
follo w the Qu ran an d tr adition s of abo u t th e conseque nces of th eir
th e Prophet Muhammad , pe ace be wrong fu l de eds, an d th e goo d n ew s of
upon him . This is called th e Sha h adah rewards for th eir goo d d eeds.
(bearing witness to the Tru th) .
Th e Source of Prophethood and the
appointment of all th e p rophet s is One
and th e Same : it is th e On e an d Only
Go d (Allah) . The Prophet's aim is to
serv e God, to acq u ain t hum an bein gs
The Me rciful an d Loving God not with God and H is Divin e teach in gs, to
only crea ted human bein gs, but also est abli sh tru th an d goodness, to h elp
arranged for th eir gu idance through m an kind realize th e true purp ose of
through out th eir existence and to help th em in
th e ag es fr om amo ng th e human livin g th eir lives in a purposeful w ay.
beings. Go d revealed Hi s will to the It is on thi s basis that th e Mu slims
Pr ophet s, peace be upon th em all, and m ak e no d istinction amo ng an y of th e
commission ed them to deliv er that Pr ophets an d accep t their tea chings as
Message. In every known n ati on on e consistent and comp lemen tary to each
or m ore Prophets we re appointed. All othe r.
th e prophets of Go d w ere m en of good
ch ara cter an d high honor. The ir h onesty
and truthfulness, th eir in telli gence an d
integrity we re beyond d oubt.
Muham mad, peace be upon him, is
What is Prophethood
Who is Muhammad?
The appointment of these Proph ets
from God is a clear manifes tati on o f a
strong link between Heaven an d Earth,
th e last Prophet of Go d ap poin te d for
th e guidance of th e whole of m ankind.
H e is answer to th e prayer of Prophets
Abraham an d Ishmael, peace b e upon
"Our Lord, appoint f rom among them
(residents of Makkah) a Messenger who
shall recite to them Your Revelations and
teach them the Book and the Wisdom
and purify them; surely, You are the A ll~
Mighty, the W ise."
Al -Qur 'an 2:129
Muhammad, peace be upon him, is a
human being who was chosen by God
and as ~i gn ed the mission of leading
hu m an ity to righteousnes s, and
se rving as a mod el of moral condu ct.
In this role, Muhammad pea ce be upon
h im , did ex perie nce the diffi culties
and trials w h ich all Prophets before
him experi en ced .
His appointment is foretold bv th e
Prophet Jesus, peace be upon hiI~ :
"And remember when lsa (Jesus) the
son of M~ry said: " 0 children of Israel!
I am the Messenger of Allah towards
you, confirming the Torah which came
before me, and giving you good news of a
Messenger that will come after me whose
name shall be Ahmad (another name of the
Prophet M uhammad)." Al -Qu r'an 61:6
He was b orn in 570 AD in M akkah.
Arabia . As he grew up h e be came
known for hi s honesty and truthfuln ess
and p eople u sed to call him Al-Arn een
(the trustworthy) and Al-Sadiq (the
truthful) . H e was very calm an d
meditative. H e had no ambition for
becoming a leader. He u sed to go awa y
from the city cro wd and meditate in a
cave calle d H ira on a nearby barren
o Prophet' Surely. We have sent
you as a witness. as a bearer of good
news and as a Warner, and to call the
people towards Allah
As soon as he began to re cite th e
revelations he received from God,
he and hi s small gro u p of follower s
suffered bitter persecution. Fina lly
in the year 622 A.D. (after 13 years of
preaching), Go d ga ve him p ermission
to immigr at e from Makkah to a city
o ver 200 miles away called Yathr ib
which is now known as Al-Mad inah .
This mi grati on , called the Hijra, m arks
the beginning of the Islamic calen d ar.
Cave of Hira at the Mountain of Light
Masjid Nainoi - Madinah, Saudi A rabia
It wa s in thi s se clu d ed pla ce wher e
Of all th e Pr ophets of Allah, Prophe t
Muhammad , peace be upon him, is the
only on e whose life is well documented
in the hi stori cal records. Although
Jesus, peace be upon him, lived only
God sent him the first re velati on
through An gel Gabriel when h e wa s
forty years old . It is im p or tant to note
that he cou ld n either read nor writ e.
2,000 years ago in an important part of
the Roman Empire, the Empire was at
its prim e and had many em ine n t
historians and wr iters recording every
development, bu t no early historian
mentioned the birth, the mission
an d the crucifixion of Jesu s, p eac e be
upon him . Only one Jewish hi storian,
Josephus, m ade a cas u al reference,
which is consid ered to be a later
Inside view of Masjid Nobi oi - Madillah
It is part of human nature to look
to someon e higher and nobler for
g uid an ce to make him on e's ro le
model. Muhammad, pea ce be up on
him, is an exe m pla r. The life of
Muhammad is like an open book from
cover to cover; from his posthumous
birth to his childh ood, to hi s you th,
to his Prophethood. to his being the
rul er of Arabia and finally right up to
his death. One non-Muslim sch olar,
Lamartine, writes the followin g words
ab out him:
" If greatness of purpose, sm allne ss of
means, and astounding re sults are the
three criteria of human genius, who
co uld dare to com pare an y great m an
in modern history with Muhammad.
Th e most famous m en created arms,
laws and em p ires on ly. They found ed ,
if an ythin g at all, n o more th an m aterial
powers which often cru m bled away
before th eir eyes. This m an moved
not only armies, legislations, empires,
people an d dyna sties but mill ions of
m en in one-third of th e then inhabited
world ; and more than that, he mo ved
the altars, the god s, the religions,
th e ideas, the b eliefs and souls. On
the basis of a Book , every letter of
which h as become law, he created a
sp iri tu al n ationality, w h ich blended
together people of ev ery tongue and
of ev ery race. H e ha s left for us as the
ind elible characteristic of this Muslim
nati onality, th e h atred of false gods an d
the p assion for th e on e and immat er ial
God. Philosopher, Orator, ap os tle,
leg islat or, wa rrior, con queror of id ea s,
restorer of rational d ogm as, of a cult
without im age s, the founder of tw enty
terrestrial empires and of on e sp iritual
empire, th at is Muhammad. As
regards all st andards by w hich human
grea tn ess may be measured w e m ay
well ask , is th ere an y man great er th an
H istorledela Turquie, Paris.
What is Sunnah?
Sunnah is th e sayings, actions and tacit
approval of the Prophet Muhammad ,
peace be upon him . It is another
source of Islamic Laws, rul es an d
regulations, an d ranks secon d after the
Quran. Su nn ah is re corded in b ook s of
Hadith (narrations) and is important
in under standing the meaning of the
Qurani c text, exp loring the principl es
outlined in the Quran and show in g
how to und erstand and practice th em .
Examples of Prophet's sayings:
No one can be a believer until he wishesfor
his brother what he wishesf or himself
It is not befitting f or a believer to sever his
relationship (not be on speaking terms)
with his brother for more than three days.
The one who is ungratef ul to others is
ungrateful to God.
others), We sent Jesus, the son of Mary,
confirming whatever remained intact
from the Torah in his time, and gave him
Actions (and deeds) are judged (by God) the lnieel (Gospel/Bible) wherein was
based on one's intentions.
guidance and light, confirming what was
The best approach in everything is revealed in the Torah; a guidance and
an admonition to those who fear Allah.
Therefore, let the people who follow the
This world is a prison for the believer and lnjeel (Gospel/Bible), judge by the Law
paradise for the unbeliever.
which Allah has revealed therein; those
In forgiveness of a king lies the survival of who do not judge by the Law which A llah
has revealed, are indeed the transgressors.
To you (0 Muhamm ad), We have revealed
this Book (A I-Qur'an) with the truth. It
confirms whatever has remained intact
from the Book which camebefore it (Gospel!
Bible) and also to safeguard it. Therefore,
judge between them according to A llah's
revelations and do not yield to their vain
desires, diverging f rom the truth which
has come to you. We have ordained a law
M uhammad is the Messenger of A llah
and a Way of life for each of you. If Allah
The upper hand (giving) is better than the wanted, He could have made all of you a
lower hand (receiving).
single nation. But He willed otherwise in
order to test you ill what He has given you;
True Mu slim is the onefrom whose tongue
therefore, try to excel aile another in good
and hands other Mus lims aresafe.
deeds. (Ultimately) you all shall return to
/sllah; then He will tell you the truth of
those matters in which you disputeo
What does Islam say
When the leader of a Community comes to
you, receive him with due respect.
about Torah and Bible
How Islam views
Islam requires th e Muslims to be lieve Judaism and
in all th e p rior scr ip tu res including Christianity?
Taurat (Torah) an d Injeel (Gos pel!
Bible) th at th ey were the true
revelati on s from All ah. Because of not
preser ving in orig ina l lan guages in
written form and tran slat in g them in
vari ous lan gu ages fro m oral n a rr ati ons
through centuries, human words w ere
min gled with Divin e Words, th erefore,
th ey lost th eir pure forms. Relating to
thi s fact th e Holy Quran s tates:
Then in the f ootsteps of those Prophets
(llbraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, M oses and
Islam calls Jew s an d Christians as 'the
Peopl e of the Book ' to wh om came
th e great Prophets incl uding Mo ses
(Musa) an d Jesu s (Isa) . Islam invites
th em to cooperat e in w ha t is com mo n
b etween th em an d Islam. In the
resp ective Prophets' tim e th ey w ere
also called Muslims as God Alm igh ty
sa id in the Holy Quran ab out Prophet
Abraham , th e for efather of Mo ses
and Jesus, p eace b e upon th em, in th e
Say: " 0 people of the Book! Let us get
together on what is common between us
and you: that we shall worship none but
Allah (the One and only True God); that
we shall not associate any partners with
Him; that we shall not take [ro m among
ourselves any lords beside A llah." If they
reject your invitation then tell them: "Bear
witness that we are M uslims (who have
surrendered to Allah)." 0 people of the
Book! Why do you argue
with us about A braham
as to whether he was a
Jew or a Christian ? You
know that the Torah and
the Gospel were revealed
long aft er him? Have
you no sense at all?
So far, you have been
arguing about things
of which you had some
knowledge! M ust you
I lOW argue about that of
which you know nothing
at all? Allah knows while
you do not. A braham
was neither a Jew nor a
Christian but he was a
Mu slim, true in faith.
He was not one of the
Iviu shrikeen (who set up
partners with Allah).
A l-Qur 'an 3: 64-67
have believed, they shall be rightly guided;
if they reject it, they will surely fall into
dissension (divide into differing factions);
Allah will be your sufficient def ender
against them, and He hears and knows
Baptism is the baptism of Allah; and who
is better than A llah in baptizing ? Him do
Say (0 Muhammad):
"Would you dispute with
us concerning A llah, who
is our Lord and your
Lord as well? We shall
be accountable to Him
for our deeds and you f or
yours; to Him Alone we
are devoted. Do you claim
that Abraham, Ishmael,
Isaac, Jacob and their
descendants were all Jews
or Christians? Say: Are
you more knowledgeable
than A llah? rr Who is
more unjust than the one
who hides the testimony
receivedfrom A llah? A llah
is not unaware of what
A l-Qur'an 2:B6-140
Muslims are requir ed
to believe in all the Holy Scri ptu res
revealed to variou s Pr ophets in th e
followin g word s:
Say: "We believe in Allah and that which
is revealed to us; and what was revealed
to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and
their descendants, and that which was
given to Moses, Jesus and other Prophets
f rom their Lord. We make no distinction
between any of them, and to Him (A llah)
we have surrendered ourselves (in Islam)."
So, if they believe (accept Islam) like you
Ioday all good clean things have been
made lawf ul for you; and the food of the
People of the Book (jews and Christians) is
also made lawful for you and your food is
made lawful for them. Likewise, marriage
with chaste free believing women and also
chaste women among the People who were
given the Book bef ore you is made lrm1iAi
for you, provided that you give them
their dowries and desire chastity, neither
committing fornication nor taking them
as mistresses. A nyone who commits Kufr
with bruin (rejects faith), all his good deeds
will become void (zero) and in the hereaft er,
he will be among the losers.
A I-Qur'an 5: 5
truth distinct from falsehood).
A I-Qur'an 17:15
Foll owing is th e prayer of Ada m and
Eve, p eace be upon th em, w h ich they
made, after the y were sen t down on
ear th , seeki ng for gi veness for th eir sin
of d isobedi ence to God :
What does Islam say
about Original Sin?
Islam says th at every sou l is b orn sin
free. When a chi ld grow s up an d is
abl e to distinguish b etwe en right an d
wrong, sin an d virtue an d in ten tion ally
does so meth ing wrong or com m its a
sinful ac t then h e/sh e commits th e first
sin . Regardi ng this th e Holy Q uran
By the soul and He (Cod) Who perf ected it
and inspired it with knowledge of what is
wrong f or it and what is right for it: indeed
successf ul will be the one who purifies it,
and indeed unsuccessjul will be the one
who corrupts it!
A I-Qur'an 91:7-'10
Everyo n e w ill bear the burden of one 's
own sin an d no one wi ll be held for th e
sin of another:
Say: "Should ] seek another Lord besides
Allah when He is the Lord of everything?"
Every soul will reap the fr uits of its own
deeds; no bearer of burdens shall bear the
burden of another. Ultimately you will
return to your Lord, and He will resolve
for you your disputes.
He that seeks guidance, that guidance shall
bef or his own soul, but he that goes astray
does so to his own loss. No bearer shall
bear the burden of another (on the Day of
Judgment), We do not inflict punishment
un til We send f orth a Messenger (to make
Our Lord! We have wronged our souls. If You
do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall
certainly be among the losers.
When th ey rep ented, Go d for ga ve
their sin of disobed ience. Th e H oly
Quran sta tes:
But Satan (tempted them to disobey
A llah's commandment) and caused them
to slip therefrom (paradise), and get
them expelled from where they were. We
said: "Get down from here, some of you
being enemies to others, and there is for
you in the earth an abode and provisions
f or a specified period." Then Adam
received appropriate words from his Lord
and repented, and (A llah) accepted his
repentance. Surely, He is the Acceptor of
Repentance, the Merciful.
A I-Qur'an 2:36-37
Islam says th at all ch ild ren th at die
before th e age th ey cou ld di stin guish
between rig ht an d w rong shall en ter
Paradise. Th is is w here Islam differ s
w ith Ch ristiani ty :
The church holds that all unbaptised
people, including new born babies who
died, would go to hell. This was because
original sin - the punishment that Cod
inflicted on humanity becauseof Adam and
Eve's disobedience - had not been cleansed
by baptism. Father Brian Harrison, a
theologian, argues that the clear "doctrine
of the Catholic Church for two millennia
has been that wherever the souls of such
inf ants do go, they defin itely don't go to
BBCs Religion and Ethics Website
What does Islam say
In Islam Jesus, p eac e be upon him,
was a Prophet of God the same as
Noa h, Abraham, David , Mo ses an d
Muhammad , pe ace be upon th em
all. He wa s a human being, son of
M ary an d born miraculously without
a father. His example .Is like that of
Adam born without a mother or father
an d so wa s Jesus, pea ce be upon him,
born without a father. These examples
are from th e signs of God to show
mankind th at He, the Almighty, does
not ne ed p arents to cre ate if He so
Will s. Muslims believe in Jesu s, peace
be upon him, as a Prophet of God; they
respect and revere him to the extent
that they n ever mention him simply
as Jesus but add the word s ' pea ce
be upon him .' Th ere is a full chapter
in th e Holy Quran called "Ma ry"
He said, 0 my Lord! Grant me a righteous
child as Your specialfavor; surely, You
hear all prayers.
The Quran describes the birth of Jesus,
peace be upon him, and th e miracles
given to him as follows:
Behold! When the angels said " 0 Mary!
God gives you the good news with a Word
from Him that you will be given a son: his
name will be Messiah, lsa (jesus) the son
of Mary. He will be noble in this world and
the Hereafter; and he will be from those
who are very close to God. He will speak
to the people in the cradle and in his old
age and he will be among the righteous."
Hearing this, Mary said, "0 my Lord!
How can I have a son when 1'10 man has
ever touched me?" He replied, "Even so,
A llah creates however He wants; whenever
He decides to do anything, He only says
to it, 'Be,' and it is! God will teach your
son the Book the Wisdom, the Torah, and
the Injeel (Gospel) and send him forth as a
Prophet to the Children of Israel with this
message: 'I have brought you signs of my
Mary, may Allah be pleased with her, is appo intment from your Lord. I will make
conside red am ong the purest women for you the likeness of a bird f rom clay; I
in the whole world . As for Jesus, peace will breathe into it and, with God's leave,
it will become a living bird. I will heal the
be upon him, God says in the Quran:
blind and the lepers, and raise the dead to
These are the Messengers (which We have life, by God's leave. Furthermore, I will
sent for the guidance of mankind). We tell you what you have eaten and what you
have exalted some above others. To some have stored in your houses. Surely these
Allah spoke directly; others He raised in are the signs to convince you if you are
ranks; to Isa (Jesus) the son of Mary, We believers.
gave Clear Signs and supported him with
About the status of Jesus, peac e be
the Holy Spirit.
u pon him, God sa ys :
o People of the Book! Do not transgress
the limits of your religion. Speak nothing
but the Truth about God. The Messiah,
Jesus the SOIl of M ary was no more than a
Prophet of God and His Word (Be) which
He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from
Him (which took the shape of a child in
her womb). So, believe in God and His
Prophet and do not say: "Trinity" ." Stop
saying that, it is betterfor you. God is only
One Deity. He is far abovefrom the need of
having a son! To Him belong all that is in
the Heavens and in the Ea rth. God alone is
sufficient for their protection.
Al-Qur'an 4:1 71
While poin ting ou t th e innovation s
an d cha nges m ade by th e Jew s an d
Chris tians in th eir religions an d their
claim ab ou t the di vinity an d crucifixion
of Jesus, peac e be upon him, th e H oly
Quran h as stated th e foll owing facts:
They (Jews) went in their unbelief to such
an extent that they uttered terrible slander
against M ary.
They even say: "We
have killed the Messiah, lsa (Jesus), son
of Mary, the Prophet of God." 'vVhereas
in f act, neither did they kill him nor did
they crucify him but they thought they did
(because the matter was made dubious f or
them). Those who differ therein are only
in doubt. They know nothing abou t it but
f ollow mere conjectures, for they were not
sure that they did actually succeeded in
killing Jesus. Nay! The fact is that God
raised him up to Himself God is Mighty,
Wise. There are none of the Peo ple of the
Book but will believe in this before his
death; and on the Day of Resurrection
Jesus will bear witn ess against them.
Al-Qur 'an 4: 156-159
On the Day of Jud gm ent Go d will ask
Jesus, peace be up on him, to testify
abo u t his own sta tem ents an d the
mi sunder st andings a ttributed to him
by the Ch ris tians; th is d ialo gu e is
d ocum ented in th e Holy Quran in the
follow ing wo rds:
(On the Day of Judgment) God will ask:
"0 Isa (Jesus) son of M ary, Did you ever
say to the people, "worship me and my
mother as gods beside Allah (God)?" He
will answer: "Glory to You! How could I
say what 1 had / 20 right to say? If I had
ever said so, you would have certainly
known it. You know what is in my heart,
but I know not what is in Yours; for Yo u
have f ull knowledge of all the unseen. I
never said any thing other than what Yo u
commanded me to say, that is to worship
Allah (God), vVho is my Lord and your
Lord. I was a witness over them as long
as 1 remained among them; but when You
recalled me, You were the Watcher over
them and You are a Wi tness to every thing.
If You punish them they surely are Yo ur
servants; and if You forgive them, You are
M ighty, W ise." A l-Qur'an 5: 116-118
Our Lord, do 110t let our hearts deviatefrom
the truth. aft er you have guided us, and grant
us Your OW I1 mercy; You are the Grantor
oj bounties without measure.
What is the Qur'an?
Th e Qur'an is th e last w ord of God
revealed to th e Prophe t Mu ha m ma d,
p eace be upon him, th rough Angel
Gabriel. It is the primar y source of
Isl amic teac hings an d la ws. It d eals
wi th th e w ho le of hum an life including
the basi c beliefs of Islam, m or alit y,
worship, kn owledge, wi sdom, God
an d -man rel ationship an d re la tions
with one another. Com prehe ns ive
tea chings on which so u n d systems
of social ju stice, p oliti cs, econom ics,
leg islation, jurisp ru de n ce, law and
international relati on s can be built
form an important part of the Holy
Quran. Th e Qu ran wa s revealed
to the Prophet Muhammad , peace
be upon him, from God gr adually
on va riou s occasi ons ove r a 23 year
period to answer certain qu est ion s,
solve certain problem s, settle certain
di sputes, an d to be man 's best guide to
th e truth of God an d ete rn al happiness.
Every lett er in th e Qu ran is the word
of God . Reve aled in Arab ic, it is still
and will remain in its original and
com plete Ara bi c ver sion, bec ause God
ha s m ad e it Hi s conc ern to pr eser ve
th e Qu ran, to m ake it alw ay s th e
best gu id e for m an , an d to safeg u a rd
it against cor ru p tion . Th e Quran has
114 cha p ters called Su rahs, with over
6,000 ve rses .
In testimon y to Go d's conservation,
the Quran is the only Scripture in
human hi story th at has been preserved
in its com p lete and original ver sion
w ithout the sligh tes t chang e in style
or even punctu ati on. The h istory of
recording the Quran, compiling its
cha pters an d con serving its text is
beyond an y doubt. Of all religiou s
books, the Quran alone ha s remain ed
unaltered , uned ited and un changed.
Wh ether or not non -Muslim scho lars
acce p t the Quran as th e word of God ,
they ar e unanim ous in the view th at
its lan gu age an d its wording have
rem ain ed in their or iginal form. Th is
is unique to Islam. All other di vine
books ha ve been ed ited , reh ash ed
and revis ed by their votaries w ith th e
pa ssage of time . As a matter of fact, it
is suc h a s tan di ng miracle best owed
on Muh ammad, p ea ce be upon him,
th at if th e w ho le of mank in d we re to
work together th ey could n ot p rodu ce
th e like of one Quran ic chap ter.
Th e Holy Qu ran is neith er only a b ook
of law (th ou ghit contains the principl es
of th e law s n ecessary for th e gui d ance
of m ankind), n or me rely a book of
sac red hist ory (tho ugh it con tains th e
n ecessary sacred history). It is p re
em in entl y a book th at manifests th e
glory, gr eatness. grandeur, go odness,
love, pu rit y, p ower an d knowl edge
of God , th e Su preme Being. Thi s is
the onl y bo ok that is m em ori zed by
hundred s of th ou sands of Muslims. It
is a living miracle that the whole book
can b e memorized word for word with
Th e origin al and complete text of the
Quran in Arabic an d tran slati ons of
its m ean ing in m os t known lan guages
are ava ilable in ma jor libra ries, Islamic
cen ters and bookst ores.
Within a sh or t peri od of tw enty
three year s its injunction s swe p t
aw ay the deep-rooted ev ils, like
id olatry, d rinkin g, gamb ling, ad u ltery,
fornicati on, child abuse, etc., from
Ar abi a and any w here Islam spread. It
erased all tra ces of vice s in the Ar abi an
society and transformed ign or ant
p eople into the for emost torchb earers
of knowled ge and science. Every word
of this Book gives expression to the
Divine Majest y an d Glory, and Power
in a m anner which is not approached
by an y other religious book. TIle Holy
Quran has ch allenged ev eryone, who
has a doubt in its revelation from
God, to produce on e cha p ter like any
ch ap ter of thi s Holy Book. No on e has
been able do it.
Islam recognizes and en courages
th e use of science and the scien tific
methods. According to th e Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him,
acquisi tion of knowled ge is obli gatory
on eve ry Muslim m an and woman .
In Islam , scien ce an d technology
shou ld be used for m oral en ds and
serve all legitimate needs of m ankind .
Moreover, both ar e view ed as ye t
an othe r means to understand an d see
th e power and glory of God .
,1' ~ --- 1~~!f0:: );1' J,::;.7 t '::;'-j IJG
• ...,:..;:;J...,:~t:i.& ~
is indeed the Truth. Is it not enough that
your Lord is a witness over everything ?
Al-Qur' an 41:53
Based on th e sa yin gs of th e Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, and
the tea chings of th e Quran, Mu slims
of th e early period of th e Islamic
era be cam e pioneer s in medicine,
che m istry, physics, arts, astronomy,
mathematics, logarithms, calcu lu s,
ar chitecture, literature, and history.
Islamic Architect: Taj Mahal- Agra ill India
Arabic numer als, th e con cep t of zero
(which is vital to the advancement
of m athematics) and algebra were
d ev eloped and transmitted from Islam ic
states to Europe, which con tribu ted to
the Renaissance of Europ e and world
civiliza tion. Muslims also d eveloped
sop histicated in struments like th e
astrolab e, the quadrant and good
navigational m aps.
What is Worship in
Read! Your Lord is the Most Gracious,
Who taught by the Pen, taught man what
he knew not.
A l-Qur'an 96:3-5
Soon shall We show them Our signs in
the universe and in their own souls, until
it becomes clear to them that this Qur 'an
In Islam ea ch an d ev ery acti on which
is d one in accorda nce with God's
commandment is w orship. Th erefore,
doing a job, raising a famil y, in teraction
with comm u nity ar e all acts of worship
if done in accordance with God 's
commandments as acted upon and
di rected by th e Prophet Muh am mad,
pe ace be upon him. Islam requires
the individual to submit h ims elf
complet ely to Allah:
forb id wrongdoin g and oppression,
to p ractice ch a rity and justice and to
se rve H im by se rving mankind . Th e
Qu ran presents this su blime concep t
in the following word s:
"Say, sureLy my prayer, my sacrifice, my
Life and my death are aLL for ALLah, the Lord
of the worlds, He has no partners; thus 1
am commanded, and 1 am the first of the
A -Qur'an 6:162-163
"It is not righteousness that you tum
your faces to the East or the West, but
righteous is he who believes in Allah
and the Last Day and the AngeL and
the Book and the Prophets; and gives his
wealth for L of Him to kinsfolk and to
orphans and the needy and the wayfarer
and to those who ask, and sets slaves free;
and observes proper worship and pays the
Zakah. A nd those who keep their treaty
iohen they make one, and they are patient
in tribulation, adversity and time of stress;
such are those who are sincere. Such are
A I-Qur'an 2:177
Inside of King Faisal Masjld
Islamabad in Pakistan
First Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah,
Saudi A rabia
Th e natural re sult of th is submission
is th at on e's action s sho u ld conform
to the ins truc tions of th e One to
Wh om the pe rso n is sub mitting . Islam
re qu ires that its follow er s m odel th eir
lives accor d in g to its teachings in ev ery
Islam d oes not teach ritualism. It places
grea t em phasis on in ten tion an d action .
To wo rship God is to love Him an d
to act upon Hi s commands in eve ry
asp ect of life, to enjoin go od ness and
What are the Five
Pillars of Islam?
Eve ry ac tion d one w ith the aw areness
that it ful fills the Will of Go d is
cons ide red an act of worshi p in Islam .
But five specific acts of worsh ip
ter m ed as th e Pill ar s of Isla m p rovide
the framework of Muslim 's spiritual
life. These are: declar ation of Faith,
Pr ayer s, Alms giving. Fas tin g and
Pilgri mage to M ak kah for tho se who
can afford to d o so physi cally and
fin anci ally.
1. The Declaration of Faith:
La lIaha Illauohu Mu hl1l1lmlld-lir-Rllsoolll111 l1h
"Th er e is none wor th y of w orshi p
except On e God (Alla h), and tha t
M u ha m ma d is His m essen ger."
p ar en ts, ch ild re n , an d th e rest of the
w orld .
It is called Shahadah (to b ear witness).
This is to affirm th at God is One and
th at M u ham mad, pea ce be upon h im ,
is one of H is Prophets. In other words,
to m ak e a comm itm ent th at on e sha ll
follow Go d's com mandments and
th e exem p lary life of th e P ro phe t
Muh am mad, peace be u p on him, in
each an d every respect.
2. Prayers (Salat) are p rescribed five
tim es a d ay as a d u ty tow ard s God .
Sal at is the d irect link betw een the
w orsh ip p er and Go d. Sal at and Za kat
(2nd and 3r d p illa r of Islam ) have been
m an d at ory in th e Sh ari'ah (laws) of all
p rior p rophet s. The Holy Qu ran states
th e ad d ress of Jes us, p eace be u p on
him, to hi s people at hi s birth:
Whereupon the baby (jesus) spoke out:
NJ am indeed a servant of Allah. He has
given me the Book (Gospel) and made
me a Prophet. He has made me blessed
wherever J may be. He has commanded me
to establish Salah (prayer) and give Zakah
(obligatory charity ) as long as I live.
Al-Qur'all 19: 30-31
Salat (Pr ayer) is co m mand ed for
sp iri tual eleva tio n of the in d ividu als.
It p urifies th e heart an d con trols
tem ptati on, wrongd oing, an d evi l.
There is no p riesthood in Islam , so th e
collec tive prayers are led by a learned
person w ho knows the Quran, an d is
chosen by th e congregation .
Praye rs are offered th e way th e
Pr op h et offered his p rayers. Prayers
ar e said in Arabic which inclu d e:
p raise to God, a few verses fr om th e
H ol y Quran, sa luta tion to th e P rophet
an d supp lica tio n for oneself, one's
Prayers are o ffere d at d a wn, a fte rnoon ,
b efo re s un se t, after su nset and
nightfall. A lthou gh it is p refer able to
offer th e prayers in congrega tio n in a
m osque, a Muslim can pra y a t h ome or
an yw here, such as in offices , facto ries
an d parks when it is the time to offer
th e prayer.
'purification' an d it also means
grow th . We alth is p urified through
se tting asi de a specified portio n o f
one's wea lth fo r the poor, n eedy,
those who su ffer losses from inc id ents
beyond th eir con tro l and th e general
welfa re to es tablish econom ic balance
and social jus tice in th e soc iety.
Muslims ar e enco u raged to spen d in
charity as much as th ey can beyond
th e m an d at ory requiremen t of Za ka t
w h ich is calle d Sadaqa h (vo lu n ta ry
ch arity) .
It is im p ort ant to no te that Zakat is on
savings held for one full year and is n ot
on th e m oney in circu lation . In other
w ords Islam encourages th e Muslims
to put th eir m oney in circ u la tion so
th at ev eryone in th e com m un ity can
benefit from it. Th ose w h o h ol d capital
fro m circula tion ar e hurtin g th e p oor
and the co m m u ni ty 's w elfare p rojects.
Th er efore, The P r ophet M u hamma d
(peace be upon him ) ordered suc h
per sons to pay a m inimum of on e
fortieth (tw o and a ha lf p ercent) for th e
p oor, n eedy an d com m u n ity we lfare
following th is m or al cod e d uri ng
Ram adan , fastin g is re duced to sim ple
starv ation w i th outbringin g any reward
or sp irit ua l b en efit. Fas ting d evelops
pati en ce, piet y, self -restra in t, Go d
consc ious nes s, an d willpower to bea r
hardship s. Its ob jective is to d evelop a
com m u nity of God-cons cious people.
Zak at is an act of worsh ip for th e
wealth of a belie ver and pla ys an
import ant role in pr ovidin g fina n cial
sta bility to th e com mu n ity.The Pr ophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, sa id:
"Zaka h is th e tre asure of Islam ." On e
of th e ma in reasons for povert y in th e
Mu slim coun tries is neglectin g this
pillar of Islam .
4. Fasting tSaunn) du ring the m onth of
Ramad an : Th is m ean s abs tention from
foo d, bev erages , an d sex from d aw n
to suns et, a nd curbing evi l int ention s,
desir es and ac tions. Thos e w ho are
sick, on a journey, too old, an d wome n
who ar e in m en st ru ation , pr egn ant or
nursing are n ot required to observe the
fastin g but are required to make u p th e
mi ssed da ys later in the year. All those
who are physically unabl e to ke e p the
fast, th ey must feed a poor or need y
p er son (mini m um of tw o m eal s tha t
they wou ld ea t th em selves) for ev ery
day mi ssed . It inculcates sy m pa thy for
th ose who go hungry, an d increa ses
love, sincerity, d evoti on an d obedience
to God's comman dments.
Fas ting requ ires the Muslims to live
by the mo ra l code of Islam. Without
It is the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'al1
is ieucaled, the Guidancefor I1wnkin d, clear prooj«
ami the criterion of Right and Wrollg
Surely, the noblest of yO Il ill the sight of
A llah, is he who is the most righteous
The close of th e m onth of Fasting
is m arked by a festiva l called Eid
al-Fitr wh ich is celebrate d throu gh
givin g charity to poor pe ople in
the com m u n ity an d congrega tiona l
pra yer s.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj) to M akk ah ,
once in a lifetime. It is an obliga tion
only on th ose who are physicall y
an d finan cially ab le to undert ak e the
Over tw o milli on p eopl e go to Ma kka h
eac h yea r from almost all th e cou n tries
of th e wo rld. In fact it is a p eace
conf erence at the world leve l. It is
m eant to provide a m eeting place for
Mu slims fro m the various part s of
the wo rld to exch ange th e progress
of Islam in their respective coun tries
an d to su ggest to each othe r wo rking
solu tions of their mutu al problem s.
Over three million pilgrims in prayer daring
Hajj in the valley of Amfat near Makkah
Pilgrims ar e requ ired to wear specia l
dress to strip away the distin ctions of
class an d cu lture. It provides pra ctical
train in g to kn ow th at th e who le of
m an kind is a single b rot herhood,
and that no on e has superiority over
the other based on lan gu age, colo r,
rac e and ethnic ba ckgr ound, excep t
th rough p iety and righ teou sn ess.
l'ilgrims during prayer around the Ka'bnh
Haj j is p erform ed on the 9th day of the
12th month of Islam ic Ca lenda r called
Z ul-H ijjah. Th e rites of H ajj in clu d e
circling aro und th e Ka'bah seven
tim es counter clockwise, wa lking and
runn in g b etween th e tw o hills called
Safa and M arwa as did Haga r, the
w ife of the Prophet Abra ham, p eace
be u pon h im , in search of wa ter for her
Walking between the hills of Safa and M arwa
daring pilgrimnge - a tradition ofiooman (wife of
the Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him)
The pi lgrims sta nd in p rayer togeth er
in th e wide valley of Arafa t ncar the
'M oun t of Mercy' where Adam, p eace
be u p on him, stood to repent for h is sin
of d isobeying God as a res ult of w h ich
he was expelled fro m paradise . God
forgave his sin and now th e chi ldren
of Adam stan d in the sa me pl ace to
see k forg iveness for their sins.
The close of Hajj is m arked by
com m em ora tin g the tradition of the
Prophet Abraham, p eace be u p on
him, when he offered h is son Ishm ael ,
peace be u pon h im , in sacrifice to God
an d God replaced his son wi th a lamb
an d accep ted th at grea t sac rifice . God
man dated the followers of Abra h am,
peace be up on him , to sac rifice an
animal on tha t day (10th of Z ul
Hijjah, which is called Eid-al-Adha
(Festival of Feast). It is celebrated with
congreg ational prayers, sa cri ficing
an anim al (lam b, goat, cow or camel)
and the exchange of gifts in th e family
an d Muslim comm uni ties all over the
What is the Ka'bah?
The Ka'ban is the central place of wor ship
for Mu slim s, locat ed in Makkah, Saudi
Arabia . Thi s is the first Hou se of God
built by Adam (pea ce be upon him ),
the forefather of mankind. This place
of worship was demolished during the
great fl ood of Noah, peace be up on him ,
and rebu ilt by the Prophet Abraham and
his son Ishm ael, peace be upon them.
This is a cube sh ape building in the
cent er of sacr ed Mosqu e called Al-Masjid
eve ryone sayin g: "0 mankind you are
all the children of A dam and Adam was
created f rom dust."
Islam ha s laid down some fund am ental
rights fo r humanity as a whole,
which are to be respected under all
circu m stan ces whether a person is a t
peace with th e Isl amic st at e or a t w ar. It
op p oses all tho se who ex plo it, op p ress
an d deal unjustly with people. Th e
Holy Quran very clearly st ate s:
"0 believers! Be stead ast for the sake of
A llah and bear true witness and let not
the enmity of a people incite you to do
injustice; do justice; that is nearer to piety.
Fear Allah, surely, Allah is f ully aware of
all your actions."
AI-Qu r'an 5:8
Free d om of ch oice is laid down in th e
Ka'bah ill the middle of Masjid-al-Haraam
Thi s san ctuary can accom mo d a te
over one million worshippers at a
time. Every year ov er three million
w orsh ip pe rs visit th e Ka'bah during
Hajj and Umrah (pilgrimage at an ytime
other th an th e tim e of H ajj).
What are Human
Rights in Islam?
Islam clearly commands unqualified
tole rance towards all human beings .
In fact, Islam defend s humanity
a ga in st all crim in al behavior including
di scrimination. The life, honor an d
property of all citi zens in an Islamic
State are considered sacred.
Islam does not seek to restri ct human
rights or p rivileges to a geogra phical
boundary. Th e Prophet Muhammad,
p eac e be upon him, reminded
"There is no compulsion in religion."
Thi s principle is the ba sis for
establishin g universal peace. Islam
in teg ra tes races and colors and
enc ourages tolerance, friendliness and
com pa ssion among hum an beings. Thi s
humanitarianism is ea sily di scerned
in the gene ra l Islamic principl es. God
"0 mankind! We created youf rom a single
(pair) of a male and a female, and made
you into nations and tribes, that you may
know each other (not that you may despise
A I-Qur'an 49: 13
Islam protect s all noble va lue s and
human righ ts. Free d om, eq u ality,
justice, and the right to life , lib ert y,
an d secu rity of person ar e of prim e
conce rn in Islami c law.
"Whosoever kills a human being for other
than manslaughter or corruption in the
earth, it shall be as if he had killed all
mankind, and whosoever saves the life of
one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of
A I-Qllr'an 5:32
all mankind. . . rr
• Pro tection of Religiou s Sen timen ts
• Protection from Arbitrary
• The right to Basic Necessities of Life
• Equality before l aw - Rulers are not
above l aw
• The right to participate in the Affairs
of Sta te
Good is the rewardfor the righteous people
ill this world and the home of the hereafter
will be evell better, an ti splen did will be
the home for the righteous
Islam places gre a t em p hasis on social
ju sti ce an d does n ot permit to op press
m en, wom en, child ren, old p eo ple,
orphans, th e sick o r th e wounded.
Women 's honor and cha stity ar e to
be respected under a ll circumst an ces.
Th e hungry p erson must be fed, the
wou n ded an d sick must be provided
m edical treatment irre sp ective of
whether th ey b elong to the Muslim
com m u n ity or fro m among the
ene m ies . Human rights ha ve been
gran ted by Go d, not by any king or
legisl ative as sembly. N o legislative
ass em b ly or govern me n t has the right
or authority to amen d, ch ange or
abro ga te th e ri ghts con ferr ed by Go d .
These rights in clude:
The Secur ity of Life and Prop erty
The Protection of Honor
Sanctity and Security of Priva te Life
The Security of Person al Freedom
The Right to Pro test Agains t Tyranny
Freedom of Exp ression
Freedom of association
Freedom of Cons cience and
Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together and be
not divided amollg yourselves
The verd ict of th e Holy Quran is very
clear an d unequi vocal: "Those who do
not judge by what God has sent down,
they are the disbelievers ... they are the
transgressors ... they are the wrong
A l-Qur'an 5:44, 46 and 47
What does Islam say
Isl am stresses th e u se of ju sti ce, ev en
if it be agains t one 's own int er est .
H ere is what the H oly Quran sa ys
abo u t ju sti ce:
o believers! Stand firm for justice and
bear true witness for the sake of A llah,
even though it be against yourselves,
your parents or your rela tives. It does not
matter whether the party is rich or poor
- Allah is the well wisher of both. So let
not your self ish desires swerve you from
justice. If you distort your testimony
or decline to give it, then you should
remember that A llah is f ully aware of your
actions. . rr
A I-Q Hr 'an 4:135
o believers! Be steadfast f or the sake of
A llah and bear true witness and let not
the enm ity of a people incite you to do
injustice; dojustice; that is nearer to piety.
Fear A llah, surely, Allah is fu lly aware of
all your actions.
A I-Qur'an 5:8
coopera te in
Have fear of
with one another tn
and piety, and do not
sin and transgression.
Allah. Allah is stem in
Isl am stan ds for peace and p eace can no t
be achiev ed wi thout establishing
ju sti ce. Th er efore , Islam requires all
Muslims to strive for es tablish ing
justice in the land .
~ . ~t!~;;~~1:3 'J
~;",I w~", ';;'i;<"1 ,:: !;.:.! I ..) I;J.;i l
j • .,;:.~ . • ~ ij ~~~ I .f"":;'..J
Islam com m an ds Muslims to stan d up
ag ains t injustice, op pression, poverty,
ignorance, racism , bigo try
in tolerance eve rywh ere in th e wo rld .
Without jus tice, rights are denied,
victims ar e crea ted, ang er giv es way to
an ar ch y a nd extremism in its different
forms gains more gro un d. We ha ve
had eno ug h wa rs, crimes, terro r and
an ger in human hi st or y. N ow, it is
time to id entify the root cau ses and
find so lu tions w itho u t partiality and
fav or itism .
What is Jihad in
In Isl am , pe ace is th e ru le w h ile wa r is
the excep tion . Peace is a pr eamble to the
principle of ha rm ony in the univer se,
th e laws of life an d th e origin of m an,
while w ar is th e res ult of viol ations of
harmon y such as injus tice, desp otism
an d corruption. Islam el iminat es
almos t all reasons th at normally in cite
war and abo lishes all wa rs for unju st
gain an d op pre ssion .
Jihad, which is often confused w ith
figh ting an d war, actua lly m eans
" to s truggle or to str ive. " Jihad is of
three kinds. Th e first and primary
for m of Jihad is 'Jihad A lan-Nate,' th e
personal struggle again st on e's ow n
shortcomings. Second is 'Jihad A lash
Shai tiin, ' the str u ggle agains t the
temptati ons of Satan . Thi rd is 'Jihad
A lai- KlIf7~ ' th e stru gg le ag ains t those
w ho d o n ot le t the Muslims liv e in
accordanc e w ith the Com m an d me n ts
of Go d (A llah) and the traditions of
the Prop he t Muh ammad , peace be upon
him. Un der thi s ca tegory of Jih ad Islam
allo ws th e fightin g in self-defense and
in defen se of reli gion or on th e pa rt of
th ose w ho h a ve been ex pe lled forc ibly
fro m th eir h omes. Islam con de m ns
fighting which is based on:
• Racism, as con trary to the principles
of the oneness of human ity.
• Ambiti on and exploitation . It does not
permit wa r which aims at cap tu ring
market s, acqu iring materi als or
exp loiting h um an labor an d resour ces.
In fact, Islam looks at humanit y as
one big cooperative family and a
part of a univers al un ity. It orda ins
all believ ing peopl e to coop erate
in realizin g uni ver sal welfare and
in abs taining from doing wrong.
Islamic jur isp rudence pro mis es all
hu mans absolut e equa lity and justice
regardless of race, sex, or creed .
• Ostentation, the purpose of wh ich is to
magnify the p ride and pom p of kings .
Islam allows figh ting as th e last resort
whe n h u ma n rights ar e vio la ted,
propagation of God 's M essage to
man kind is obs truc ted an d d ipl omat ic
solutions have failed to solve th ese
oppressions. Islam lays d own strict
rul es of com ba t an d prohibits h ar ming
civ ilians , m onks, pri ests, nuns, old
people, wom en an d you ng ch ild ren
who a re un abl e to fight. Islam also
p rohib its dest roying th e cro ps, tre es,
livestock an d looting which usu all y
"Fight in the cause of God with those
who fight against you, but do not
transgress the limits. God does not like the
A I-Qur 'an 2:190
"If your enemy is inclined towards peace,
do make peace wi th them, and put your
trust in God. He is the One Who hears all
and knows all."
What is Hijaab
(Islamic Dress Code)?
except what normally appears thereof let
them draw their veils over their bosoms
and not display their adornment except to
their husbands, theirfathers, theirfathers
in-law, their own sons, their stepsons,
their own brothers, their nephews on
either brothers' or sisters' sides, their
ow n womenfolk, their own slaves, male
attendants who lack sex ual desires or small
children who have no carnal knowledge
of women. Also enjoin them not to strike
theirfeet in order to draw attention to their
hidden trinkets. And 0 believers! Turn to
Allah in repentance, all of you (about your
past mistakes), so that you may attain
A l-Qur 'an 24:30-3 1
Islam requires both m en and women
to dress sim p ly, m od estl y, and with
di gnity. A man must alwa ys wear
loo se and unrevealing clothes from his
n av el to h is knee. Thi s is th e abso lu te
m inimum covering required . He must
n ever, for exa m p le, go ou t in public
wear ing a short whi ch d oes not m eet
th e minimum requirem ent. A wom an
must cove r all h er bod y with loose an d
unrevealing clothing exce pt her face
an d hands. When leaving the h ome she
People usuall y discuss 'h ijaab' in
th e con text of women. H ow ever, th e
Q u ran, firs t m ention s hijaab (d ress
code) for m en before h ijaab (d ress
code) for the wo men :
"Enjoin the believing men to lower their
gaze and guard their modesty; that is
chaster for them. Surely, A llah is well
aware of their actions."
Then th e hijaab for wom en
m enti oned in th e next verse:
"Likeunse, enjoin the believing women to
lower their gaze and guard their modesty;
not to display their beauty and onJaments
sh ou ld also cove r h er hair ob scuring
th e details of her body from the public.
The wisdom beh ind th is dress cod e is
to minimi ze sex u al e nticeme n t and
degradation in society as much as
possible for b oth m en an d w om en.
In men's clothing an d adorn me n t,
Islam se rio us ly cons iders the principles
of decency, m odesty, ch astity an d
manliness. Any clothin g or adornmen t
inco mpat ibl e w ith the a ttai n me n t,
m ain tenance an d develop ment of
th ese qualities are proh ibited in Isla m .
Cloth ing m at erial s, w hic h s tim u la te
arrogance or fal se pride, are strictly
p rohibited. Th is is the reason why
Islam wa rns men n ot to u se certai n
clo thing m at eri al s, su ch as p ure silk,
an d wearing cer tain adorn me n t, su ch
as go ld .
Th e Islamic d res s cod e ap p lies to both
wo me n an d men. It sets expecta tions
of m oral an d respectfu l in teractions
between the gen ders. As a result both
men and wo me n are liberat ed from
their baser instin cts to focus on hi gh er
pu rsu its. Islamic dress takes on m an y
beau tifu l for ms, reflecting cul tura l
di versity fro m all over the world .
Is lam allows wo man to u se those
th in gs w h ich are forb id den fo r m en bu t
ar e sui tab le for the fem in ine nature.
Wh en a girl reaches the age of puberty,
she shou ld cover her bo dy except face
an d hands. Th e m anner in which
wo men sho u ld d ress, beautify, wa lk,
tal k an d eve n look is a very d elicat e
question, and Isl am pa ys speci al
attention to the matter. Islam teac hes
th at the cons equences of im modesty
fall not on ly on the in di vidual but also
upon the soc iety tha t pe rm its wo me n
and men to mingle freel y, dis play
them selves, and com pet e or all u re one
an other through sexual attrac tion.
How does Islam view
Family in Islam is the fou nd ation of
society. The fam ily pro vid es sec urity
an d op portunity for th e sp iritua l
an d m at e rial grow th of its mem bers.
The fam ily bond entails m u tual
expecta tions of righ ts and ob liga tio ns
tha t are prescribed by relig ion,
en forced by la w, an d observed by
th e family members. Accordingly,
th e fa mi ly members share cer tain
m u tual com m itm ents. These per tai n
to id entity and p ro vision , inherit an ce
an d cou nsel, affec tio n for the yo ung
an d sec uri ty for th e ag ed, and
m aximi zati on of effort to ens ure th e
fam ily con tinu ity in peace. Ch ild re n
are considered to be th e main treasu re
of the fami ly.
Say: "0 my l.ord! Forgive, have Mercy; You
are the Best of those who show mercy! "
M u tu al alliance, clien tele, private
consen t to sex ual intim acy, and
"comm on law " or " trial m arr iages"
are not acceptabl e in Is lam . Islam
bu ild s the fam ily on so lid groun ds to
provide reasonabl e conti nuity, true
sec u ri ty, an d m ature intim acy. Islam
recognizes tha t there is no m ore n a tu ral
rel ati on ship th an th a t of blood , an d
n o m ore wholesome pa tte rn of sex ua l
in tim acy th an on e in w hi ch mo ra lity
and gra tification ar e join ed .
Islam recogni zes th e religiou s vi r tue,
th e socia l n ecessi ty, an d th e moral
advantages of m arriage. Th e norma l
course of beha vior for th e M us lim
individual is to be fam ily orien ted
an d to seek a fami ly of th eir own.
There are m an y passages in the
Qu ran an d sta tements by the Prop he t
Muhammad, peace be upon him,
wh ich go as far as to say th at when a
Mu slim m arries, he or sh e h as th er eb y
per fected h alf of th eir religion; so let
th em b e Go d-conscio us an d car eful
with th e other h alf.
Mu slim scho la rs ha ve in terpreted the
Quran to mean th at marriage is a
rel igiou s duty, a m oral sa feg ua rd, an d
a social com mit me n t. As a re ligious
duty, it mus t b e fulfilled ; but like all
other duties in Islam, it is enjoined
on ly up on tho se who are capable of
m eetin g th e resp on sibilit ies in volved.
What is the Status of
Women in Islam?
Islam regards m an an d wo ma n as
tw o comp onents of hum anity, one
com p leting the o ther. Wom an is h alf
of hum ani ty and m an is the other
h alf. Both play a p art in p erformin g
th e fun ctions of humanity and, in fac t,
one without the other is incomplete
and can no t fu n ction p ro perl y for
th e purposes of hum an ity. Thus,
both ar e com p leme ntary as well as
su p ple me nta ry to one ano ther in life.
Any p ro gr am of life ign ori n g on e of
th ese com p on en ts, m an or woman,
w ill be d efective and in com plete.
There fore , it is not pr actical to form
a socie ty consistin g of on ly wome n
or onl y m en . Th ey are d ep en d ent
on ea ch othe r, m an cannot b ecom e
ind ep endent of woma n, nor can
woman ever liv e a full an d com plete
life w itho u t ma n . Bo th n eed ea ch
other, no t on ly for sexu al relationship,
but also for em oti on al satisfaction, as
well as for companions h ip .
The typ e of know ledge th at is m ost
em pha size d is religious kn owl ed ge.
It is also req u ired within a society to
h ave profession als of bo th ge n de rs
availabl e for th e ben efit of the public;
su ch as d octors, teacher s, co unselors,
so cial worke rs .
In Islam , a wo ma n h as th e right to ow n,
inheri t and di spose of her propert y
as she likes. At th e tim e of m arriage
d owry given by groom to th e br id e is
for h er p ersonal use and she keeps h er
own fam ily n ame rather th an takin g
h er husb and's. She h as the right to
vo te an d voice h er op inion even in th e
affairs of go vern m en t.
Go d enjoins good con d u ct toward
wo m en fr om b irth to death . Verb al,
psychological, emotiona l, sexua l, and
physical violence are forbi d den , as
a re false allegations against w om en 's
ch as tity an d honor. God h as d eclar ed
in the H oly Quran :
who does righieou» deeds,
whether a male or afemale - provided he or
she is a believer - shall enter paradise and
no injustice will be done to them, even to
the size of a speck."
A I-Qur'an 4:124
What is Marriage
In Islam m arriage is a simp le legal
con tract b etween a m an and a woman
to live together as husb and and w ife.
In thi s contract ei ther pa rty is free to
in clude con di tions. A Muslim girl
cann ot b e forced to m ar ry aga inst her
will; pa ren ts Sim p ly sugges t a you n g
m an tha t th ey think may be su itable
for h er, an d sh e is free to choose.
See kin g kn owled ge is the obligation
of every Mu slim, m ale or female.
Ma rr iag e is s tro n gly encou rage d and
is based on mutual love and resp ect. It
is both a leg al ag ree ment and a sac red
bond . Go d has com man de d in th e
H oly Qu ran:
"Get the singles among you married
as well as those who are f it for marriage
anzong your male slaves andf emale slaves.
If they are poor, A llah will make them free
from want out of His grace: for A llah has
boundless reso urces and is A ll-Knowing."
A I-Qur'an 24:32
"And of His signs is that He crea ted for
you mates f rom among yourselves that
you may find comfort with them, and He
planted love and mercy for each other in
your hearts; surely, there are signs in this
for those who think about it."
A l-Qur'an 30:21
A woman has th e same right to own
proper ty, ea rn weal th and spe nd it as a
m an h as. H er wea lth d oes n ot bec ome
the prop ert y of her husb an d after
m a rri age or di vorce. A wo ma n d oes
not h ave to change her las t name as a
result of ma rr iage.
Husbands an d wi ves are p rotectors
of ea ch othe r. Th ey are eq ual p artners
and best of friend s, rem aining fai thfu l
to one ano th er. The husb and provides,
m aintains, p rotects and is resp on sibl e
for the fam ily. H e fulfills hi s duties
wi th con sultation and kindness. If
cou p les are un abl e to live wi th' one
an other p eacefully, ami cabl e d ivorce
is permi tted as a last resort. Divorce,
ev en th ou gh perm itted an d sim p le,
is no t common in Mu slim fam ilies .
In case of di vorce mother s are give n
priority in th e custo dy of yo ung
ch ildren an d th e father is required to
provide chi ld support.
Th e Pro phet Muhammad , peace be
u p on hi m , h as said : "The best among the
believers is he who is best in manner and
kindest to his wife."
Why is 'More than
One Wife' permitted
Islam is for all societi es an d for all tim es
to com e, th erefore, it accommod ates
va rio us different social re quiremen ts.
To h ave m or e than one w ife is neither
m and atory nor enco uraged, but m er ely
permitted . The reason for p ermission
to marry more th an on e is com passion
an d support toward wi dows an d
orphans . Even in suc h a situ ation, the
p ermi ssion is far more res tricted th an
th e norm al practice, w hic h exis ted
at th e tim e of th e Prophe t, peace be
upon him, among the Ar abs and o ther
p eopl e who married as m any as ten or
mo re w ives .
Dealing justly with on e's wives is an
obliga tion . Th is appl ies to h ou sin g,
food, cloth in g an d kind trea tment. If
one is not sure of being a ble to deal
ju stl y wi th m or e th an one, th e Q ur 'an
"Then (marry) only one." A I-Qur'an 4:3
Th ere was n o restriction on m arriages
before thi s commandm ent. Th is
comm an d m ent pu ts a rest riction
on th e number of w ives eve n in
exceptiona l cases. The requi rement of
justi ce between the wives ruled out the
fanta sy that a m an can h ave as many
w ives as h e pleases. Go d -consc ious
m en d o n ot marry more than one if
they are unabl e to d o just ice bet ween
th em . Th at's why m ore than one
wife is an excep tion among Muslim s
and n ot a gene ra l rul e. M arr iage in
Isla m is a legal con tract an d it is not
valid unless both con trac ting parties
conse n t to it. Thus no wom an can
be forced or " give n" to a man wh o
is alre ady m arri ed aga inst her will.
What does Islam say
about Parents and the
reach old age , Muslims are required to
treat the m with m ercy, kindness and
sel flessne ss . All elderly p eopl e of the
com m u ni ty enjoy the sim ilar respect
an d h onor.
Islam puts grea t em phasis on the s tatus
and honor of p ar ents and elderly folk.
Parents ar e nex t on ly to God Almighty
when it comes to resp ect, obedience
a nd h onor. Go d says in th e Q uran :
"Your Lord has decreed to you that: You
shall worship none but Him, and yOIl
shall be kind to your parents; if one or
both of them live to their old age in your
lifetime, yOlt shall not say to them any
word of contempt nor repel them and you
shall address them in kind words. YO li
shall lower to them your wings of humility
and pray: '0 Lord! Bestow 011 them YOllr
blessings just as they cherished me when
I was a little child.' Your Lord knows
best what is i11 your hearts. If .110 11 do good
deeds, certainly He is most f orgiving to
those who tum to Him in repentance."
God d id n ot give an yone a choice to
se lect ch ildren or p arents. This cho ice
is m ad e by God H imself, th erefor e,
H e wan ts eve ryone to h on or H is
cho ice by putting the re qu iremen t of
obeyin g the paren ts im med ia tely after
commanding the human bein g to obey
H im . H e has com manded th e believers
to be k ind to th eir paren ts and m ake a
p rayer of forgiveness for their parents,
their ch ildren an d believe rs at large.
In Islam, ther e is n o ro om for nursing
h om es for elde rly peop le. Takin g care
of the eld erly is consi de red an honor
and blessin g. Mo th ers are par ticul arly
honor ed ; th e Prophet, peace be upon
h im , sa id: "Paradise lies under th e feet
o f yo ur m other." Serving one's parents
is a duty secon d only to p rayer, and it
is th eir ri gh t to exp ect it. Wh en p aren ts
Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents
and all believers a ll the Day when
acco untability W Ill take place.
M others h ave a sp ecial pl ace of h on or
a nd resp ect in Isla m . A m an once came
to th e Prophe t Muhammad, peace be
up on him, an d asked: "0 Messenger
of God! Who among the p eople is m ost
worthy of m y good comp ani on sh ip?"
The Prophet, peace be u p on h im,
rep lied : " Your m oth er." Th e m an then
asked who is next, the Prophet, peace
be upon him, replied "You r mother."
The man repea ted th e question a th ird
time and go t th e same answer. The
ma n aske d on ce aga in, "Who is next?
On ly th en did the Prophet, peace be
upon him , said "Your father."
What does Islam say
Science tells us tha t wh atever on e ea ts,
it h as an effect on one 's beh avior. This is
one of th e reasons that Islam proh ibits
the eati ng of carnivorous anim als like
lion, tiger, leop ard , etc. who are vi olent
an d ferocious . Th e cons u mp tion
of th e meat of suc h ani mals wo uld
proba bly make a person vi olent and
fero ciou s. Islam only allows th e ea ting
of herb ivor ous ani mals like cow, goa t,
sheep, w h ich are peaceful an d d ocile.
The Pro phet, peace be upon hi m,
prohi bited th e ea ting of wil d animals
with canine tee th and mea t eatin g
carnivorous animals such as lio ns,
tige rs, cats, d ogs, wo lfs, and hyenas
and cer tain ro dents lik e m ice, rats,
an d rab bits w ith claws. Also reptiles
like snakes and alliga tors. Bird s
of prey w it h talons or claws, like
vu ltures, eagle, crows an d ow l are also
Islam re quires tha t in order to m aintain
a pure hea rt an d a so und m ind, to
nourish an asp irin g so u l an d a clean
heal th y body, sp ecia l a ttentio n shou ld
be giv en to th e di et on which m an
lives. Th e ge neral princ ip le of Isl am
in thi s respect is th at all those things,
w h ich are pu re and good for m en and
w om en, are lawful, as long as th ey
are taken in moderate qu antities. A n d
all th ose th ings, which are impure,
ba d or harm fu l, are unlawful under
all ordi nary circ umstances. Ther e
is a lways roo m and tl exib ili ty for
excep tio ns to m eet cases of a bso lute
Beyond th is genera l p rin cip le, th ere
are cer tain foods and d rinks specified
by Go d as forbidd en . Among these
are : m eat of d ead ani mals and bir ds,
th e fles h of swine an d tha t of an y
ani mal which is slaughtered with the
invocatio n of an y name ot her than th at
of God . The Prophet said : "Your body
ha s rig hts over yo u ," and at another
tim e he sai d, "No on e is given any gift
better than health ." Wholesome food
and leadi n g a h ea lth y life sty le are
considered religio us ob liga tion s, The
drinks which Islam considers ha rm ful
and destruc tive to the human sp irit an d
m ora lity as well as to th e physique are
in cluded in the Quranic verse w hic h
for bid s all intoxicants an d all forms of
gambling or games of chance.
What does Islam say
about Intoxicants and
In the proh ib itio n of in tox ica n ts an d
ga m bling, Islam stan ds uniq ue among
all religions and am ong all sys tems.
"0 believers! Intoxicants and gambling
(games of chance), dedication to stones
(paying tribute to idols) and using arrows
(for seeking luck or decision) are the filthy
works of Satan. Get away from them, so
that you may prosper.
to stir up enmity and hatred between
you with intoxicants and gambling, to
prevent you from the remembrance of
A llah and from Salah (prayers). W ill you
Obey Allah and obey the
Messenger and abstain from these things.
If you do flat , then you should know that
Our Messenger's duty is only to convey
My message clearly."
A l-Qur'an 5:90-92
Th ese vices have ruined innumerable
liv es, sha tte re d multitudes of homes,
and cau sed more mi ser y to m ankind
th an all other vices pu t togeth er.
In Islam, drinking alcohol is a serio us
crime. A drunkard in intoxication is
d eprived of m akin g th e distinction
b etween right and wrong, virtue an d
vice, good an d evil. Hi s action s can
result into en m ity and h atred , which
di sturb the p eac e an d tranquillit y of the
society. Gamblin g is a lso a sin w h ich
d estroys w ealth . Th ese m or al vices are
injurious to the hea lth y atmosphere of
What Islam says
God h as provided gu ida nce ab out
all aspects of human life including
bu siness in teraction. H er e is what
th e Holy Q uran say s ab out business
tr ansaction s:
"0 believers! When you deal with each
other in lending for a fixed period of
time, put it in writing. Let a scribe
write it down with justice between the
parties. The scribe, who is given the gift
of literacy by A llah, should not refuse
to write; he is under obligation to write.
Let him who incurs the liability (deb tor)
dictate, fearing A llah his Rabb and not
diminishing anythin g from the settlement.
if the borrower is mentally unsound or
weak or is unable to dictate himself let the
guardian of his interests dictate for him
with justice. Let two iuitneseesfrom among
you bear witness to all such documents, if
two men cannot be found, then one man
and two women of your choice should
bear witness, so that if one of the women
f orgets any thing the other may remind
her. The witnesses must not ref use when
they are called upon to do so. You must not
be averse to writin g (your contract) for a
f uture period, whether it is a small matter
or big. This action is more just for you in
the sight of Allah, because it establishes
stronger evidence and is the best way to
remove all doubts; but if it is a common
commercial transaction concluded on the
spot among yourselves, there is no blame
on you if you do not put it in writing. You
should have witnesses when you make
commercial transactions. Let no harm be
done to the scribe or witnesses; and if you
do so, you shall be guilty of transgression.
Fear A llah; it is A llah that teaches you and
A llah has knowledge of everything."
Al -Qur'an 2:282
What is the concept of
God in Islam?
Islam tells u s th at God, Who crea ted
the whole of univer se, is One. His
personal n ame is A llah. N othing
else can be called Allah. The term
ha s no plural gender. Th is sh ow s its
uniqueness as compared to th e term
' god,' w hich can be m ade plural, gods
or feminine, goddess.
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth
To a Muslim Allah is th e Almighty,
Cre a tor an d Susta ine r of the u niverse,
Who is sim ilar to nothing and nothing
is com p arable to Him.
H e depends on n on e but eve ry th in g
else, which exists, d ep ends on Him;
neither h as H e begotten an y ch ild nor
is H e Hi m self the chi ld of anyone.
Th ere is n o on e else th at can be sai d
to be p arallel or eq u al to Him. He is
the first, an d He is the Last. He is the
ult im at e go al of all that ex ists in thi s
Th e uniqu e belief in th e One God
(Allah) is a reflection of Islam 's
emph asis on the purity of the belief
in Go d , which is the essence of th e
m essa ge of all His Prophets. Because
of this, Islam considers ass ocia ting
an y deity or pe rson ality with God as
a d eadl y sin, w hic h Go d w ill neve r
for give, despite th e fact th at H e m ay
forgive all oth er sins.
Surely, A llah does not forgive shirk
(asso ciating any partner with Him); and
may forgive sins other than that if He so
pleases. This is because one, who commits
shirk with Allah, does indeed invent a
A I-Qur'an 4:48
great siniu l lie.
Surely A llah will never forgive the one
who commit s shirk (worships anyone
other than Him); and may forgive anyone
else, if He so pleases. One who commits
shirk has indeed gone far away from the
Al -Qur 'an 4:116
Say: "He is Allah the One and Only;
A llah is the Self-Sufficient (independent of
all, while all are dependent on Him); He
begets not, nor is He begotten (he has no
child, nor is He a child of anyo ne); and
there is none comparable to Him."
A l-Qur 'an 112:1-4
Islam rejects characterizing God in
any human for m or d epi ctin g H im as
favoring certain in d ividuals or n ations
on th e basis of w ealth, power or ra ce.
H e cre ated all human bein gs as equals .
Th ey may di st in gu ish th em selves an d
ob tain H is favor onl y th rough vi rtue
and p iety.
The con cep t th at Go d res ted on the
seventh d ay of cre ation, th at Go d
wr estl ed with one of H is sold iers,
that God is an en vio us p lotter aga ins t
mankind, or that God is in carnat e
in an y human being are consid ered
blasphemy from the Islami c point of
He (Allah) has power over every thing
God ha s th e power to do whatever
He w ills. H e is Ever -Liv ing. H e is
the Give r of life. Th e Love of God for
Hi s creatu res is immense and beyond
hum an ima ginati on . Manki nd canno t
measure or coun t the favors of Go d .
He creates men an d wo me n in the
best form of cre ation and gives th em
all th e se nses and faculties th at they
ne ed for thei r growth. H e creates
th e m in d to understand, the so u l an d
conscience to be goo d an d righteou s,
and th e feelings an d sen time n ts to
b e kind and humane. Th e m er cy of
Go d gives m en an d w omen hope
and p eace, cou rage and con fid en ce. It
ena bles them to remedy their grief and
sorrows, to overcome their diffi culties
and obtain success an d
Ind eed, th e m er cy of C od reliev es
the di stressed , che ers the afflicted,
consol es th e sick, strength ens th e
d esperate, an d com forts the ne ed y.
God m ean s to help m an to fulfill the
purpose of life an d realize the go al
of exis ten ce. He means to help him
to learn the creative art of living and
enjoy th e go od taste of life acco rd in g
to Di vine gu ida n ce. Life is a trust
from C od, an d m en an d women ar e
trustees who should handle th is tru st
with consc ious ness of responsibility
What is the concept of
Life in Islam?
Life is a b rilli ant d emonstration of
God's wi sd om and kn owledge, an d a
vivid reflecti on of Hi s art and pow er.
H e is th e Civer and Crea tor of life.
No thing com es in to exist en ce by
chan ce. Life is a d ear an d cherishab le
asset, an d n o sens ib le or n orm al
p erson would like to lose it by choice.
Life is give n to mankind by Cod, and
He is the onl y Rightful Owner to take
it back. Thi s is w hy Islam forbids all
kinds of suic ide an d self-de struc tion,
and recommend s patienc e an d good
faith when a dear soul p asses aw ay.
When a murder er is exe cu ted in
p unishment, hi s life is tak en away by
the right of Go d and in accor d ance
with Hi s Law. It is a traged y th at the
secu lar and the religious, th e scien tific
and th e spiritual seem to be in confli ct
in secu lar soc ieties . Islam puts an end
to th is con flict an d brings harm on y in
all these asp ects of human life.
When God giv es life to m en an d
w omen, it is no t in va in th at He endows
them wi th unique qualities and gr eat
abilities. N or is it in vain that He
ch arges them with certain ob ligations.
W e have indeed created mall in the best stature
Life may be liken ed to a journey
st arting fr om a cer tain point and
ending at a cer tain d estination. It is
a transi tor y sta ge, an introduction
to th e Etern al Life in the Hereafter.
In this journey, m en an d wom en ar e
traveler s an d shou ld be conce rned
with on ly what is of us e to th em in
the Future Life. In other words, th ey
shou ld do all th e good the y can an d
make themselves fully prep are d to
m ove an y minute to Eternal Life. The y
shou ld con sider thei r life on earth as
a ch ance provided for them to make
the b est of it while they can, becau se
when their tim e to leave com es the y
can n ever d ela y it for on e moment. If
their term exp ires, it will be too lat e to
d o an ything ab out it or ex tend it. The
best u se of life, th er efore, is to live it
accordin g to th e teachings of Cod an d
m ak e it a safe p assage to th e fu ture
Eternal Life. Islam h as laid d own a
compl ete sy stem of regulations an d
principles to sh o w man how to live it,
what to tak e and what to leave, w h a t
to do an d what to shun, and so on. In
one of hi s comprehensiv e statem en ts
Prophet Muhammad, pea ce be upon
him, wi sely ad vised m an to cons ider
himself a stranger in thi s life or a
tr aveler pa ssing through this world.
Wha t is the concept
of Life after Death in
Man's life is not lim ited to th e short
span of ea rth ly existence. Thi s world
w ill come to an end some da y, and
th e d ead w ill rise on th e Day of
Judgment to s tan d for th eir fina l
and fair trial. Every one will a p pe ar
befor e th e Almighty God and face th e
con sequences of th eir deeds d on e in
thi s life. Thus, life in th e H er eafter is
a con tinua tio n of th e ea rthly life but
different in n ature .
Our Lord! Give us the good life, both ill this
world and ill the Hereaft er and save us from
the torment of the fire.
Everythin g we d o in thi s world, ev ery
in tention we ha ve, every move we
m ake, ev ery th ought we en ter tain,
and every word w e say, are all coun ted
and kept in accurate records. On th e
Da y of Judgm ent, the y will be brought
forth . People with go od records w ill
be gen erou sly rewarded and warmly
welcomed to the Paradise of God,
an d th ose with bad record s will be
punish ed an d cas t into H ell. Th e real
na lure o f Paradise or H ell, and th e
exa ct descripti on of them ar e kn own
to God only. Th ere are d escriptions
of Paradise and Hell in th e Quran.
In Paradise, said the Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, ther e
ar e things, whi ch no eye has ever seen,
no ea r has eve r h eard, an d no min d
ha s ev er conc eived .
Belief in Life afte r Death and man's
accou n ta bility to God gives a se ns e and
meaning to on e's life and differentiates
human beings from animals .
In fact , if th ere is n o life aft er death, the
very belief in God becomes irrelevant
because God w ould be unjust and
indifferent; ha ving created human
beings not concerned w ith cruelty,
corr u p tion, ag gression an d inju sti ce
tha t is going on in thi s world. God
is ju st. H e will punish those who
are re sponsible for killing inno cen t
p eople, cre a tin g corruption in the
societies, en slavin g tho usan ds' to
serve their whims. Punishment and
reward equ al to th e evil or no ble d eed s
of p eopl e are n ot p ossible in this sh or t
sp an of worldly life. Life aft er d eath
will be etern al an d it will be possibl e
to reward or punish th e persons to th e
full exten t that the y d eserve, th erefore,
b elief in the ' Life after De ath' serv es as
a reminder against crime, corr u ption,
immorality, and injusti ce on thi s earth .
What is the concept of
Sin in Islam?
One of the maj or troublesom e area s of
human existence is th e pr oblem of sin
or evil in th e world. Th e belief th at the
first sin started with Ad am an d Eve
during their life in the Garden of Eden.
That even t led to th eir fall an d has ever
since branded the hum an race with
gu ilt, sti gma, an d bewild erment.
Islam tak es a u n iqu e position on the
whole issue. The Quran states that
Adam and Eve w ere directed by God
to resid e in the Gar de n of Eden and
enjoy its produ ce as they pleased,
assured of bountiful supplies and
The y w ere w arned not to ap pro ach a
particul ar tree and not to follow the
footsteps of Sa tan so that they would
not run into h arm and injustice.
Satan in trig ue d th em to temptation
and cause d th em to for get God's
prohibition, and ther efor e, to lose thei r
joyful state. TIley were expelled from
the Gard en an d br ou ght down to earth
to live , die, and be tak en out again for
the final Jud gm en t. Ha ving realized
what th ey had d on e, they felt sha me,
guilt, an d rem orse. TIl ey prayed for
God 's for giveness an d were forgi ven.
The id ea of O rigina l Sin or h ereditary
crimin ality h as n o pl ace in th e
teachings of Islam . Man , accordin g
to the Qu ran an d to the Prophet, is
born in a n atural state of purity called
fitrah (nature), which is Islam or
submission to th e w ill an d law of God .
After that, whatever becomes of man
is th e res u lt of ex terna l in fluen ces and
in tru d ing factor s. A p erson is innocent
until he grows to an age when he can
di stinguish Right from Wrong. Th e
home envi ro nmen t is crucial and it
pl ays a decisive role in the formation
of human pe rso nality and th e
development of m oral character. Thi s
does not d en y the in dividu al his or her
freedom of choice nor exempt him or
her from respon sibility, rather it is a
relief from heavy burd en of hereditary
criminality or in stinctual sin.
According to th e moral scale of Islam ,
it is not a sin to be imperfect or fallib le.
Thi s is part of human n ature as a
finit e limited creatu re. But it is a sin if
a p er son h as the ways and means of
relati ve perfec tion and chooses n ot to
see k it. A sin is any act, thought, or will
th at is:
1. Deli bera te
2. Defies the un equivocal law of Go d
3. Viola tes th e rig hts of God or th e
rights of m an
4. H a rm ful to the soul or body
5. Norm ally avo id ab le
6. Co m mi tted rep eatedly
These are th e components of sin,
wh ich are n ot innate or hereditary.
It is true th at men and women h av e
th e pot ential of sin latent in them , but
thi s is n ot be yond their capacity of
pi et y an d goo dne ss. If th ey choose to
actualize the po ten tial of sin, ins tead of
th e p otential of good ness, th ey will be
ad d ing a n ew ex ternal elem en t to thei r
pure nature. For this added ex terna l
eleme n t man alone is responsible .
o A llah! 1 ask You to provide me a good
life and let me die 0 /1 the Right Path
Allah has told the Greatest Trut h
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