Difference between revisions of "Islam"

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(Islam and Paganism)
(or Mohammedans)
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'''Islam''' is a [[monotheism|monotheistic]] religion based on the teachings of [[Muhammad]], a 7th century Arab political and religious figure.  The word "Islam" means "submission." The followers of Islam are called [[Muslim|Muslims]] or Moslems. Muslims follow the teaching of Muhammad, whom they believe to be God's last and greatest prophet. Muslims believe that God (Allah, in Arabic) revealed the [[Qu'ran]] to Muhammad. The [[Qu'ran]] is considered to be the pure and holy word of Allah. Like [[Christianity]], and [[Judaism]], Islam originated in the [[Middle East]] and claims to trace its roots back to [[Abraham]]. Muslims do not believe that Muhammad was the founder of Islam, rather that he restored the original faith of Abraham and the prophets, which had been corrupted and/or misinterpreted over time. Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1.4 billion followers, the number of Muslims is rapidly growing, mainly due to high birth rates in Muslim countries. Both Christian and Muslim sources agree that conversions to Islam outnumber those to Christianity.<ref>[http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: Numbers of adherents; names of houses of worship; names of leaders; rates of growth...]</ref>
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'''Islam''' is a [[monotheism|monotheistic]] religion based on the teachings of [[Muhammad]], a 7th century Arab political and religious figure.  The word "Islam" means "submission." The followers of Islam are called [[Muslim|Muslims]], Moslems, or Mohammedans. Muslims follow the teaching of Muhammad, whom they believe to be God's last and greatest prophet. Muslims believe that God (Allah, in Arabic) revealed the [[Qu'ran]] to Muhammad. The [[Qu'ran]] is considered to be the pure and holy word of Allah. Like [[Christianity]], and [[Judaism]], Islam originated in the [[Middle East]] and claims to trace its roots back to [[Abraham]]. Muslims do not believe that Muhammad was the founder of Islam, rather that he restored the original faith of Abraham and the prophets, which had been corrupted and/or misinterpreted over time. Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1.4 billion followers, the number of Muslims is rapidly growing, mainly due to high birth rates in Muslim countries. Both Christian and Muslim sources agree that conversions to Islam outnumber those to Christianity.<ref>[http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: Numbers of adherents; names of houses of worship; names of leaders; rates of growth...]</ref>
 
<ref>[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/AlJazeerahAfrica.php Translation of AL-Jazeerah interview between Maher Abdallah and Shiekh Ahmed Katani]</ref>
 
<ref>[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/AlJazeerahAfrica.php Translation of AL-Jazeerah interview between Maher Abdallah and Shiekh Ahmed Katani]</ref>
  

Revision as of 15:54, 5 April 2007

Islam is a monotheistic religion based on the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab political and religious figure. The word "Islam" means "submission." The followers of Islam are called Muslims, Moslems, or Mohammedans. Muslims follow the teaching of Muhammad, whom they believe to be God's last and greatest prophet. Muslims believe that God (Allah, in Arabic) revealed the Qu'ran to Muhammad. The Qu'ran is considered to be the pure and holy word of Allah. Like Christianity, and Judaism, Islam originated in the Middle East and claims to trace its roots back to Abraham. Muslims do not believe that Muhammad was the founder of Islam, rather that he restored the original faith of Abraham and the prophets, which had been corrupted and/or misinterpreted over time. Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1.4 billion followers, the number of Muslims is rapidly growing, mainly due to high birth rates in Muslim countries. Both Christian and Muslim sources agree that conversions to Islam outnumber those to Christianity.[1] [2]

Mecca, the Islamic holy city.

Five Pillars of Islam

  • Shahadah (Profession of Faith) -The Shahadah is the Muslim profession of faith. 'ašhadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa 'ašhadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh, a loose English translation reads "There is none worthy of worship except the God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God" This testament can be seen as the foundation of all of the other tenets of Islam.
  • Salat (Ritual Prayer) -All Muslims are required to Pray to Allah five times each day while facing Mecca.
  • Zakat (Charity) Able Muslims must donate to the poor based on the wealth one has accumulated. In current usage it is interpreted as 2.5% of the value of most valuables and savings held for a full lunar year.
  • Sawm (Fasting) All able-bodied Muslims (children, the elderly, and the ill are exempt) must fast during daylight hours during the daylight hours of the entire month of Ramadan. According to Muslims, this purifies the body and soul. Some Muslim sects allow military, police and emergency services personnel to receive an exemption from fasting from an imam, on the grounds that their work supports the community or national good.
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage) All able-bodied Muslims must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives.
Pages from the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic religion.

Islam and Christianity

While Muslims do not believe Jesus to be the Son of God or in the resurrection, they consider him to be one of God's most important prophets. However, the Qu'ran warns against worshiping Jesus, for fear of idolatry.[3]

The Qur'an states that Christians will be punished, though the nature of the punishment is not specified:

"Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity)." But there is no god but One God (Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.

Will they not repent to Allah and ask His Forgiveness? For Allah is OftForgiving, Most Merciful.

The Messiah , son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a Siddiqah (i.e. she believed in the words of God and His Books ). They both used to eat food (as any other human eat). Look how We make the signs clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth)."

Qur`aan 5:73-75

However, Islam does recognize Christians and Jews as "people of the book" since both refer to one God only, and recognize Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic) as a founding prophet.

Islam and Paganism

Although Muslims profess belief in a single, almighty God, some Western scholars believe that some Muslim beliefs, like some of the church and indeed early Judaism, can be traced back to distinctly polytheistic antecedents. Some, for example, have attempted to link Allah to a moon deity, though Allah is cited in the Koran as the God of Abraham and Isaac (Judaism and Christianity). [4] Others have pointed to the pagan roots of various Muslim prohibitions, such as the ban on pork (also practiced in Orthodox Judaism) originating in the 3rd-century AD Damascene cult of the pig-god Jamal. [5] . As well as various recently-recovered scrolls that hint at early Muslim human sacrifice, which was also a part of early Judaism (eg: Story of Abraham being ordered to sacrafice his son by God. The story can be found in both the Bible and Qur`aan). However such claims remain unverified. [6]

Sharia

Sharia is the body of Islamic law. The term means "way" or "path"; it is the legal framework within which public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Muslim principles of jurisprudence. It is not actually part of the canonical Koran; that is to say, it is not believed to be the direct word of Allah by Muslims, but rather the interpretation of it.

Sharia deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, sexuality, and social issues. Some Islamic scholars accept Sharia as the body of precedent and legal theory established before the 19th century, while other scholars view Sharia as a changing body, and include Islamic legal theory from the contemporary period.[Citation Needed]

References

  1. RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: Numbers of adherents; names of houses of worship; names of leaders; rates of growth...
  2. Translation of AL-Jazeerah interview between Maher Abdallah and Shiekh Ahmed Katani
  3. Christian Churches of God Articles on Islam, March 10, 2007
  4. Abramahov, "Islamic Theology". Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 1988. [1]
  5. Ibid.
  6. Esposito, "The Oxford History of Islam", p. 523. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1999. [2]