Introducing islam

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Introducing islam

  1. 1. Introducing Islam
  2. 2. In the name of God; the most merciful the most compassionate
  3. 3. Islam • The Arabic meaning of Islam is submission to God/Allah; the creator of the universe. • Islam provides a comprehensive concept to humanity’s eternal question: who are we? • Islam is a comprehensive and balanced system of life encompassing the spiritual and the temporal realms.
  4. 4. The Creator • Attributes  Genderless and beyond imagination  Mercy  We are his honoured creatures  Direct relationship between God and the believers  Worship is intimate & personal
  5. 5. Trustees of God on Earth Humanity on Earth A purpose and a design Relationship with Nature & Environment • Harmony • Complementary • Animals are like us
  6. 6. Relationship with fellow humans • Inherent designed diversity • Based on justice & fairness • Obligations towards the poor • Freedom of faith; no compulsion in religion • Freedom of religious practice • Special status for Christian and Jews (monotheist outlook) Relationship with other religions
  7. 7. • Declaring your faith (Shahada) • Five daily prayers and one communal on Friday • Fasting one month every year • Pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia once in a life time • Helping the needy and the poor (Zakat) Five tenets of Islam
  8. 8. The Prophet His background • An orphan of a noble, but not well-to-do, family that lived in Mecca. • His father died before his birth. His mother died when he was six. His uncle raised him. • He was known for being honest and truthful before prophethood. • Worked as a shepherd and later as a trader • Married his first wife Khadija, and the mother of his surviving children, when he was 25. She was 40.
  9. 9. The Prophet His prophethood • In 610, he received his first revelation at 43. These revelations were compiled later into the Quran; the holy book of Muslims • The nobles of Mecca refused his call, ostracized and persecuted him and his followers. • After 12 difficult years, he immigrated in 622 to Medina whose people welcomed him. • In Medina, he was a prophet and a statesman. • In 633, he died in Medina after 11 years at 63 • His personality revolves around the traits of mercy, generosity and forgiveness.
  10. 10. The Prophet The message • The oneness of God, the creator of the whole universe • Islam is the continuation of divine messages that God sent to humanity through prophets like Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus. • The moral principles of the ten commandments are reflected in the message of Muhammad. • It acknowledges the diversity of the human race and freedom of religions
  11. 11. The Quran • The revelation of God to Muhammad • It has been preserved as revealed 14 centuries ago. • It consists of 114 chapters of various lengths. In Arabic, it numbers about 604 pages. • The translation of its meaning is available in English, French and most of the world’s languages
  12. 12. The Quran • Appeals to the mind to reflect on creations and the creator • Glad tidings for the believers • Admonitions to the non- believers • Stories of previous messengers of God such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, Mary, etc. • Rulings on social and commercial issues.
  13. 13. What the Quran says about • Moses: And we sent Moses with our signs; get your people from darkness to light and remind them of the miracles of Allah. For in it are signs for the thankful (14:5) • Mary: The angels said. “O Mary! Allah has chosen, purified and chosen you among the women of this world. Mary, worship your Lord devoutly: Prostrate and bow with those who bow down.(3:42-43) • Jesus: The angels said, “O Mary! Allah brings you good news; a word from Him whose name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the hereafter and of those nearest to Allah. He shall speak to the people when infant and old and shall be of the righteous. (3:45-46)
  14. 14. The Muslim legal code “Shari’a” • Consists of the following components: • Rulings mentioned in the Quran • Precedents in the life of Muhammad as it explains and complements the Quran in more details • Opinions (fatwa) of Muhammad’s prominent companions. • Opinions of previous jurisprudents • Opinions of contemporary scholars • Importance of majority and consensus
  15. 15. The Mosque • The Muslim’s house of God • Muslims are encouraged to pray their daily prayers in congregation at the mosque. • Consists, in Canada, of a prayer hall, offices, washrooms, multi-purpose hall. • The mosque is run by a board or a committee. • The Imam (religious leader) leads the prayers and delivers sermons. His powers vary but normally limited to just that. • Persons entering the mosque are supposed to have cleansed themselves. • As a courtesy, and to avoid embarrassment or offence, non-Muslims should seek permission before entering the mosque. Islamic Foundation, Scarborough
  16. 16. Friday sermon & prayers
  17. 17. The Muslims of the world • The number of Muslims in the world is estimated between 1.2-1.5 billions • The fastest growing religion • Sects: Sunni (the majority), Shia 7%, Ismaili 1%? • Homogenous when it comes to core beliefs and essential practices of Islam like daily prayers, fasting, etc • Like followers of international religions, Muslims are not homogenous in their interpretation and practice of Islam. History, dominant culture, government, and social factors influence them. • Socially diverse
  18. 18. The Muslims of Canada • Muslims in Canada: 700,000-750,000 with about 450,000 in GTA. • 86% live in 6 metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. • Notable countries of origin: Pakistan, India, Guyana, Somalia and Arab countries (North Africa in Montreal).
  19. 19. The Muslims of Canada • Young: 27% of the Muslims are in age group 25 to 44 years and have one or more university degrees, 60% higher than the population as a whole. • Muslim families derive only 4% of their total income from social security programs. The Canadian average is 7%. • There are only five people working to support one in retirement in the country, among Muslims there are 15 workers to support each retiree. • The income of Muslims is below the national average. In Toronto, about 60% of Muslim children live below poverty line, compared with 14% for Jewish children.
  20. 20. • Their numbers: about 450,000. • Mostly in Scarborough, Markham, north Etobicoke, and Mississauga. • About 55 mosques. • About 15 full-time schools and many weekend schools at mosques. • Housing co-op, seniors’ home, and ISSRA. Muslims in the GTA
  21. 21. • Islamic Foundation, Markham • Madina Mosque, Toronto • Abubakr Mosque, Scarborough • TARIC Mosque, N York • Islamic Centre of Canada, Mississauga • Al-Falah Mosque, north Oakville • Khalid bin Al-Walid Mosque, Etobicoke • Islamic Community Centre of Ontario, Etobicoke • Masjid Toronto, Toronto downtown Muslims in the GTA MAJOR MOSQUES/ORGANIZATIONS
  22. 22. Why Muslims are positive about Islam? • Islam brought liberation and justice for the underprivileged; the poor and women. • No nation can claim a monopoly on Islam. Everyone is welcome to enter. • The Muslim clergy, in general, defended the rights of the oppressed and constituted the moral and vocal opposition to tyrants and dictatorships.
  23. 23. The Muslim Women • The first to accept Muhammad’s message was his wife Khadija. Many of his followers were women who embraced Islam before their spouses or fathers. • Islam gave women the following rights, 1400 years ago: – The right to decide their future Muslim husbands. – The right to a definite share of the estate of a father, husband or children. A will cannot take away or abrogate this right. – The right to own property independently of their husbands or children. – The right to education. – The right to conduct their own commercial business. – The right to participate in politics.
  24. 24. The Muslim Women • The family/home is the focus of the majority of Muslim women; many qualified women don’t work, or defer work, for the sake of looking after their children (usually longer than the Canadian average). • The relationship between a man and a woman is to be established only through marriage with mutual, mostly traditional, roles and commitments. • Muslim men and women are urged “to keep the temptation away” and to remain faithful to their spouses. To achieve this: – Men are requested to lower their gaze when talking to women and not to indulge in their beauty. – Women are requested to dress modestly and cover their hair; they display their beauty only to their near family. – Separation between men and women, with various rigour and degrees in different societies, at schools, work and social functions • Women keeping maiden names
  25. 25.  1. The expression 2. New phenomenon for Muslims. 3. Politically, and not religiously, rooted. 4. Grows with despair and hopelessness. a. Hijacking b. Suicide bombing 5. It has only political solutions. Islamic Terrorism
  26. 26. 1. Muslims have existed fundamentally and irreparably in a state of conflict with the Judeo-Christian civilization. 2. Islam is fundamentally aggressive or totalitarian. 3. Jihad can always have a radicalizing potential upon any and all Muslims. 4. Muslims have different sets of standards or rules when dealing with non-Muslims Myths Realities
  27. 27. The Muslims’ Aspirations Arabs favourable to: American policy American freedom and democracy 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1 2 For the past year Americans have asked why Muslims and Arabs hate them. Now they have the most American of tools, opinion polls, to provide answers. The results of half a dozen surveys show, broadly, that America is not hated for itself, but rather widely mistrusted because of its policies in the region; that there is no clash of civilisations between Islam and the West since both share similar values and concerns; that Muslims would like to have better relations with America; and that even the most conservative Muslim societies are changing fast. Here are some highlights: The Economist, October 19, 2002
  28. 28. The Muslims’ Aspirations Where religious groups would place the statement "I approve of democratic ideals" on a scale of 1:100 Muslims Western Christians Others 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 2 3
  29. 29. The Muslims’ Aspirations Iranians who favour restoring ties with America who think America is friendly 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 2
  30. 30. • Muslims take their religion, and its symbols, very seriously. • Muslims invoke prayers frequently in their daily chores. • Muslim women are required to dress modestly and not to show their beauty except to near family. • Muslims are not supposed to sit or meet alone with members of the opposite sex. • Muslims are respectful of elders, women and persons of authority. Out of respect they may not look you in the eye, not because they are avoiding you. • Muslims have dietary restriction; mainly they are not allowed to eat pork, wild animals or animal slaughtered improperly. Islam forbids alcoholic beverages and drugs. Dealing with Muslims
  31. 31. • While the absolute majority are law-abiding citizens, they’ll feel uneasy about cooperation with the police for the following reasons: Police in countries of origin represents the repression of the state and the corruption of its apparatus. The perception, growing stronger everyday, about a hidden agenda against Islam and Muslims. US policies (foreign and domestic) are perceived as biased against Islamic issues. Muslims feel under siege especially with increased scrutiny, stereotype and frenzy. Winning the Muslims
  32. 32.  Know them better; their religion and culture(s).  Communicate with leaders and institutions to build trust and cooperation.  Solicit advice from leaders on handling issues and situations.  PR directed at Muslims and participation in Muslim events to socialize with Muslims.  Affirmative recruitment of Muslims to the force.  Show respect and understanding: soft approach works better than hard one. Winning the Muslims

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