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Transcript of Islamic Faith
What do we know?
Islam at a Glance
The word Islam means 'submission to the will of God'.
* Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia
* Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
* Muslims believe that there is only One God.
* The Arabic word for God is Allah.
* According to Muslims, God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them
how to live according to His law.
* Jesus, Moses and Abraham are respected as prophets of God.
* They believe that the final Prophet was Muhammad.
* Muslims believe that Islam has always existed, but for practical purposes, date their religion from the time of the migration of Muhammad.
* Muslims base their laws on their holy book the Qur'an, and the Sunnah.
* Muslims believe the Sunnah is the practical example of Prophet Muhammad and that there are five basic Pillars of Islam.
* These pillars are the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca (at least once).
Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over 1 billion followers.
Muslims have six main beliefs.
* Belief in Allah as the one and only God
* Belief in angels
* Belief in the holy books
* Belief in the Prophets...
o e.g. Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Isa (Jesus).
o Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final prophet.
* Belief in the Day of Judgment...
*The day when the life of every human being will be assessed to decide whether
they go to heaven or hell.
* Belief in Predestination...
o That Allah has the knowledge of all that will happen.
o Muslims believe that this doesn't stop human beings making free choices.
Digging Deeper Into Islam
Basic articles of faith
Allah is the name Muslims use for the supreme and unique God, who created and rules everything. The heart of faith for all Muslims is obedience to Allah's will.
Allah is eternal, omniscient, and omnipotent...
* Allah has always existed and will always exist.
* Allah knows everything that can be known.
* Allah can do anything that can be done.
Allah has no shape or form...
* Allah can't be seen.
* Allah can't be heard.
* Allah is neither male nor female.
Allah is just...
o Allah rewards and punishes fairly.
o But Allah is also merciful.
A believer can approach Allah by praying, and by reciting the Qur'an.
Muslims worship only Allah...
o because only Allah is worthy of worship.
The one and only God
All Muslims believe that God is one alone:
* There is only one God.
* God has no children, no parents, and no
* God was not created by a being.
* There are no equal, superior, or lesser Gods.
The literal meaning of Jihad is struggle or effort, and it means much more than holy war.
Muslims use the word Jihad to describe three different kinds of struggle:
* A believer's internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible
* The struggle to build a good Muslim society
* Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary
Many modern writers claim that the main meaning of Jihad is the internal spiritual struggle, and this is accepted by many Muslims.
However there are so many references to Jihad as a military struggle in Islamic writings that it is incorrect to claim that the interpretation of Jihad as holy war is wrong.
The internal Jihad is the one that Prophet Muhammad is said to have called the greater Jihad.
But the quotation in which the Prophet says this is regarded as coming from an unreliable source by some scholars. They regard the use of Jihad to mean holy war as the more important.
Jihad and the Prophet
Hijab is an Arabic word meaning barrier or partition.
In Islam, however, it has a broader meaning. It is the principle of modesty and includes behaviour as well as dress for both males and females.
Muslim women are required to observe the hijab in front of any man they could theoretically marry. This means that hijab is not obligatory in front of the father, brothers, grandfathers, uncles or young children.
Hijab does not need to be worn in front of other Muslim women, but there is debate about what can be revealed to non-Muslim women.
Sharia is a now a familiar term to Muslims and non-Muslims. It can often be heard in news stories about politics, crime, feminism, terrorism and civilisation.
All aspects of a Muslim's life are governed by Sharia. Sharia law comes from a combination of sources including the Qur'an (the Muslim holy book), the Hadith (sayings and conduct of the prophet Muhammad) and fatwas (the rulings of Islamic scholars).
Many people, including Muslims, misunderstand Sharia. It's often associated with the amputation of limbs, death by stoning, lashes and other medieval punishments. Because of this, it is sometimes thought of as draconian. Some people in the West view Sharia as archaic and unfair social ideas that are imposed upon people who live in Sharia-controlled countires.
Many Muslims, however, hold a different view. In the Islamic tradition Sharia is seen as something that nurtures humanity. They see the Sharia not in the light of something primitive but as something divinely revealed. In a society where social problems are endemic, Sharia frees humanity to realise its individual potential.
The Prophet Muhammad
Muslims believe that Islam is a faith that has always existed and that it was gradually revealed to humanity by a number of prophets, but the final and complete revelation of the faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century CE.
Muhammad was born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570.
He was a deeply spiritual man, and often spent time in meditation on Mount Hira.
The traditional story of the Qur'an tells how one night in 610 he was meditating in a cave on the mountain when he was visited by the angel Jibreel who ordered him to recite.
Once Jibreel mentioned the name of Allah, Muhammad began to recite words which he came to believe were the words of God.
The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf.
The burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It covers the entire face and body, leaving just a mesh screen to see through.
The word hijab comes from the Arabic for veil and is used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women. These scarves come in myriad styles and colours. The type most commonly worn in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.
The al-amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close fitting cap, usually made from cotton or polyester, and an accompanying tube-like scarf.
The shayla is a long, rectangular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.
The khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear.
The chador, worn by many Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak. It is often accompanied by a smaller headscarf underne
The Muslim view of People in the Bible
Find out for yourself.
1.) Get into Groups
2.) Pick one of the Holy days
3.) Inform the class
* Eid ul Adha
* Eid ul Fitr
* Lailat al Miraj
* Lailat al Qadr
* Lailat ul Bara'h
* Milad un Nabi
Pick one and find out what Muslims think
The Five Pillars
The most important Muslim practices are the Five Pillars of Islam.
The Five Pillars of Islam are the five obligations that every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life according to Islam.
sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith
There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger."
This is the basic statement of the Islamic faith: anyone who cannot recite this wholeheartedly is not a Muslim.
When a Muslim recites this they proclaim:
* That Allah is the only God, and that Muhammad is his prophet
* That they personally accept this as true
* That they will obey all the commitments of Islam in their life
The Shahadah is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam.
performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day
Salat is the obligatory Muslim prayers, performed five times each day by Muslims. It is the second Pillar of Islam.
God ordered Muslims to pray at five set times of day:
* Salat al-fajr: dawn, before sunrise
* Salat al-zuhr: midday, after the sun passes its highest
* Salat al-'asr: the late part of the afternoon
* Salat al-maghrib: just after sunset
* Salat al-'isha: between sunset and midnight
All Muslims try to do this. Muslim children as young as seven are encouraged to pray.
Prayer for a Muslim involves uniting mind, soul, and body in worship; so a Muslim carrying out these prayers will perform a whole series of set movements that go with the words of the prayer.
paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy
Zakat is the compulsory giving of a set proportion of one's wealth to charity. It is regarded as a type of worship and of self-purification. Zakat is the third Pillar of Islam.
Zakat does not refer to charitable gifts given out of kindness or generosity, but to the systematic giving of 2.5% of one's wealth each year to benefit the poor.
The benefits of Zakat, apart from helping the poor, are as follows:
* Obeying God
* Helping a person acknowledge that everything comes from God on loan and that we do not really own anything ourselves
o And since we cannot take anything with us when we die we need not cling to it
* Acknowledging that whether we are rich or poor is God's choice
o So we should help those he has chosen to make poor
* Learning self-discipline
* Freeing oneself from the love of possessions and greed
* Freeing oneself from the love of money
* Freeing oneself from love of oneself
* Behaving honestly
The 2.5% rate only applies to cash, gold and silver, and commercial items. There are other rates for farm and mining produce, and for animals.
fasting during the month of Ramadan. It's the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
During the 29/30 days of Ramadan all adult Muslims must give up the following things during the hours of daylight:
* Food or drink of any sort
* Smoking, including passive smoking
* Sexual activity
Muslims who are physically or mentally unwell may be excused some of these, as may those who are under twelve years old, the very old, those who are pregnant, breast-feeding, menstruating, or traveling.
If an adult does not fast for the reasons above they should try to make up the fast at a later date, or make a donation to the poor instead.
Muslims do not only abstain from physical things during Ramadan. They are also expected to do their best to avoid evil thoughts and deeds as well.
There are many good reasons for this fast, including:
* Obeying God
* Learning self-discipline
* Becoming spiritually stronger
* Appreciating God's gifts to us
* Sharing the sufferings of the poor and developing sympathy for them
* Realising the value of charity and generosity
* Giving thanks for the Holy Qur'an, which was first revealed in the month of Ramadan
* Sharing fellowship with other Muslims
pilgrimage to Mecca Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allah together.
It is a ritual that is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.
The Hajj makes Muslims feel real importance of life here on earth, and the afterlife, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride. In the Hajj all are truly equal.
The Hajjis or pilgrims wear simple white clothes called Ihram. During the Hajj the Pilgrims perform acts of worship and they renew their sense of purpose in the world.
Mecca is a place that is holy to all Muslims. It is so holy that no non-Muslim is allowed to enter.
For Muslims, the Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It occurs in the month of Dhul Hijjah which is the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the journey that every sane adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their lives if they can afford it and are physically able.
The Five Pillars consist of:
Why are they important
Carrying out these obligations provides the framework of a Muslim's life, and weaves their everyday activities and their beliefs into a single cloth of religious devotion.
No matter how sincerely a person may believe, Islam regards it as pointless to live life without putting that faith into action and practice.
Carrying out the Five Pillars demonstrates that the Muslim is putting their faith first, and not just trying to fit it in around their secular lives.
Reciting this statement three times in front of witnesses is all that anyone need do to become a Muslim.
A Muslim is expected to recite this statement out loud, with total sincerity, fully understanding what it means.oming a Muslim
Becoming a Muslim
The Qur'an is the holy book for Muslims, revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad over 23 years.
Qur'anic revelations are regarded by Muslims as the sacred word of God, intended to correct any errors in previous holy books such as the Old and New Testaments.
During the rest of his life Muhammad continued to receive these revelations. The words were remembered and recorded, and form the text of the Holy Qu'ran, the Muslim scripture.
In addition to the Qur'an, the other sacred sources are the Sunnah, the practise and examples of the Prophet Muhammad's life, and the Hadith, reports of what the prophet Muhammad said or approved.
Believing that God had chosen him as his messenger Muhammad began to preach what God had revealed to him.
The simple and clear-cut message of Islam, that there is no God but Allah, and that life should be lived in complete submission to the will of Allah, was attractive to many people, and they flocked to hear it.eving
Muhammad's popularity was seen as threatening by the people in power in Mecca, and Muhammad took his followers on a journey from Mecca to Medina in 622.
This journey is called the Hijrah (migration) and the event was seen as so important for Islam that 622 is the year in which the Islamic calendar begins.
Return to Mecca
Within ten years Muhammad had gained so many followers that he was able to return and conquer Mecca.
From this time on he was generally accepted by the faithful as the true final Prophet of God.
Muhammad continued to lead his community both spiritually and in earthly matters until his death in 632.
Worship n a building called a mosque. An alternative word for mosque, from the original Arabic, is masjid, meaning place of prostration.
Outside every mosque, or just inside the entrance, is a place where worshippers can remove and leave their shoes. There is also a place where they can carry out the ritual washing required before prayer.
The main hall of a mosque is a bare room largely devoid of furniture. There are no pictures or statues. Muslims believe these are blasphemous, since there can be no image of Allah, who is wholly spirit.
Everyone sits on the floor and everywhere in the mosque is equal in status.
A niche in one of the walls, called a mihrab, shows the direction that the worshippers should face in order to face Mecca.
Many mosques have a minaret which is a tall thin tower. A muezzin stands at the top of the tower and calls Muslims to prayer at the five ritual times of the day. Not all mosques in the UK have a minaret.
Women can attend the mosque and when they do they sit separately from the men. This is out of modesty and to prevent any distraction. It is more usual for women to pray at home.
Wudhu is the ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer. Muslims must be clean and wear good clothes before they present themselves before God.
Muslims start in the name of God, and begin by washing the right, and then the left hand three times.
Sunni & Shi'a
Sunni and Shi'a beliefs is important in understanding the modern Muslim world
They both agree on the fundamentals of Islam and share the same Holy Book (The Qur'an), but there are differences mostly derived from their different historical experiences, political and social developments, as well as ethnic composition.
These differences originate from the question of who would succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the emerging Muslim community after his death.
the Shi'a began to show a preference for particular Hadith and Sunnah literature.
The concept of the Mahdi is a central tenet of Shi'a theology, but many Sunni Muslims also believe in the coming of a Mahdi, or rightly guided one, at the end of time to spread justice and peace.However, some more Orthodox Sunni Muslims dispute the concept of the Mahdi because there is no mention of it in the Qur'an or Sunnah.
The Wahabi movement within Sunni Islam views the Shi'a practice of visiting and venerating shrines to the Imams of the Prophet's Family and other saints and scholars as heretical. Most mainstream Sunni Muslims have no objections. Some Sufi movements, which often provide a bridge between Shi'a and Sunni theologies, help to unite Muslims of both traditions and encourage visiting and venerating these shrines.
All Muslims are required to pray five times a day. However, Shi'a practice permits combining some prayers into three daily prayer times. A Shi'a at prayer can often be identified by a small tablet of clay from a holy place (often Karbala), on which they place their forehead whilst prostrating.
There is a hierarchy to the Shi'a clergy and political and religious authority is vested in the most learned who emerge as spiritual leaders.
There is no such hierarchy of the clergy in Sunni Islam. Most religious and social institutions in Sunni Muslim states are funded by the state.
The Five Pillars and Jihad
The five Pillars of Islam form an exercise of Jihad in this sense, since a Muslim gets closer to Allah by performing them.
Other ways in which a Muslim engages in the 'greater Jihad' could include:
* Learning the Qur'an by heart, or engage in other religious study.
* Overcoming things such as anger, greed, hatred, pride, or malice.
* Giving up smoking.
* Cleaning the floor of the mosque.
* Taking part in Muslim community activities.
* Working for social justice.
* Forgiving someone who has hurt them.
What can Justify Jihad
There are a number of reasons, but the Qur'an is clear that self-defence is always the underlying cause.
Permissable reasons for military Jihad:
* Strengthening Islam
* Protecting the freedom of Muslims to practise their faith
* Protecting Muslims against oppression, which could include overthrowing a tyrannical ruler
* Punishing an enemy who breaks an oath
* Putting right a wrong
What a Jihad is Not
A war is not a Jihad if the intention is to:
* Force people to convert to Islam
* Conquer other nations to colonise them
* Take territory for economic gain
* Settle disputes
* Demonstrate a leader's power
The Rules of Jihad
* The opponent must always have started the fighting.
* It must not be fought to gain territory.
* It must be launched by a religious leader.
* It must be fought to bring about good - something that Allah will approve of.
* Every other way of solving the problem must be tried before resorting to war.
* Innocent people should not be killed.
* Women, children, or old people should not be killed or hurt.
* Women must not be raped.
* Enemies must be treated with justice.
* Wounded enemy soldiers must be treated in exactly the same way as one's own soldiers.
* The war must stop as soon as the enemy asks for peace.
* Property must not be damaged.
* Poisoning wells is forbidden. The modern analogy would be chemical or biological warfare.