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Transcript of Islam
Islam is the third in succession of the three great monotheistic faiths born in the Middle East
Origins and Muhammad
Muslims believe that the Islam faith has always existed, but it was gradually revealed to humanity through a series of prophets. The final complete revelation of the faith was brought forth by.....
Basic Facts about Islam
Islam is the second largest religion in the world - 1.5 billion adherents
There is an estimated 1 million Muslims living in Canada
"Across the country, the Muslim population is growing at a rate exceeding other religions, according to Statistics Canada. It is even growing faster than the number of Canadians identifying as having no religion...
The Muslim population exceeded the one million mark, according to the survey, almost doubling its population for the third-consecutive decade."
- National Post
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world!
an Arabic word that means "submitting to God" and "peace"
a person who follows the teachings of Islam and "submitting to God and finds peace in Him". All creation is Muslim.
"There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God"
Arabic name for God. It is preferred over other names because it has no gender affiliation and does not have plurality.
Islam is a rational religion: "The vilest of creatures are those who choose to be deaf and dumb and do not use their reason" (Qur'an 8:2)
Muhammad reminded his followers that "The first thing God created was reason". Therefore, believers must take personal responsibility for one's actions and faith.
Freedom of Conscience
"There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clearly from falsehood; whoever rejects evil believes and in God has grasped the strongest rope that never breaks. And God is All Hearing and All Knowing" - Qur'an 2:256
Just like Judaism and Christianity, Islam's origins begin with Abraham - or Ibrahim.
In the Qur'an, Abraham is depicted as a man who struggles to understand God and is trying to discover God. He was a man fighting against the pagan beliefs of "gods" - sun, moon and stars - but rather that God was a single being.
Therefore, Abraham is not seen as a Jew, Christian or Muslim, but a hernif - someone who knows intrinsically that there is really only one God.
Religious Systems in 7th Century Arabia
People of Arabia were
(belief in many gods), practicing
Idolatry is the worship of objects - usually in the form of a sculpture or a picture - to represent a spiritual characteristic.
Born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570
A deeply spiritual man - spent a lot of time in meditation on Mount Hira
The Qur'an tells the story of Muhammad's call from God:
One night in 610 he was mediating in a cave and the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) who told him to recite words from Allah
For the rest of Muhammad's life he received revelationsHis revelations were remembered, recorded and began the text of the Holy Qur'an
By 570 CE, Muslims believed the Ka'bah - a cubed-shaped building built by Abraham to honour God - was filled with idols.
This involved Muhammad and Angel Gabriel travelling on a winged horse - called Buraq - from Makkah to Jerusalem. After arriving they ascended through the seven heavens.
Known as the Mi'raj.
First Heaven - Adam
Second Heaven - John and Jesus
Third Heaven - Josheph
Forth Heaven - Enoch
Fifth Heaven - Aaron
Six Heaven - Moses
Seven Heaven - Abraham
Muhammad finally meets God at the Throne of God.
Belief in only one God
He is defined as Eternal, Absolute, Infinite, Compassionate, and Merciful; the sole creator and provider of the universe
Engage only in Righteous Actions
in all areas: spiritual, intellectual, and physical activity.
All God's creation is "Muslim"
Only humans are given CHOICE
to submit (be Muslim) or reject submission to God's will.
All children are born without sin and are Muslim
As they grow older, they make their religious CHOICE.
God created human beings with a body and soul
The body is a temporal host for this life, whereas the soul is eternal. It is the soul that will survive beyond death.
Universality for the call
All Muslims are brothers and equals without any distinction of class, race or tongue. Superiority is only based on the greater fear of God and greater piety.
Profession of faith, makes anyone a Muslim
Pray 5 times a day
Annual fee given to the poor and needy
Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Pilgrimage to Mecca
Six Basic Islamic Beliefs
1. Belief in God
" Say, “He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.” (Quran, 112:1-4)
2. Beliefs in Angels
Honoured creatures who worship God alone, obey Him and act only by His commands.
3. Belief in God's Revealed Books
" Indeed, We have sent down the Qur'an, and surely We will guard it (from corruption). " (Qur'an, 15:9)
4. Belief in the prophets and messengers of God
"Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets... " (Qur'an, 33:40)
5. Belief in the Day of Judgement
When all people will be resurrected for God's judgement according to their beliefs and deeds.
6. Belief in Al-Qadar
Divine Predesetination: 1. God knows everything 2. God has recorded all that has happened and will happen 3. Whatever God wills to happen happens 4. God is the creator for everything
Worshipers line up in rows and enact ritual unison (prostration)
Friday midday prayers at mosque
Month of Ramadan (ninth month of lunar year) to test spirit, discipline the will and remind of the hungry and the poor.
Numerous important events took place during Ramadan (first revelation in 610 CE, flight to Mecca in 622 CE, victory in 624 CE)
Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr (period of spiritual and moral renewal)
Muslim place of worship - where Muslims come together in a mosque for prayers at midday on Friday (Muslim Holy Day)
MIHRAB - small arch or hole in a wall which indicates the direction of the Ka'bah in Mecca
MINARET - a high tower or dome from which a muezzin (person chosen to lead prayers and recite from the Qur'an) calls the faithful to prayer
WUDU - cleansing process before prayer (use of water)
IMAM - the chief officer of the mosque who leads prayers
The importance of worship is that is was prescribed by God in all religions prior to Islam. In the Qur'an it says:
“And assuredly We have sent among every people a messenger (with the command): worship God” (Qur'an 16:36)
There are many aspects of worship in Islam. Worship in Islam means:
1. Inclusive of everything that is pleasing to God (issues of belief or deeds of the body)
2. Everything God requires, external, internal or interactive. This includes rituals, beliefs, work, social activities, personal behaviour, etc.
Specific beliefs, feelings and visible acts of devotion for God and what He commanded
All other acts of goodness generally encouraged in the life of a Muslim.
Classifications of Worship
Two Forms of Worship
Worship based on the inner self deals mainly with beliefs and feelings.
Humans are commanded to believe in specific truths, the articles of faith,
God also commands humans to maintain certain feelings - about God, creation and others - in their heart.
Muslims must love God - fear Him, be in awe of Him, trust and revere Him, love their fellow Muslims - showing compassion and mercy, love righteousness and hate sin.
These examples are considered inner self worship because they are fulfilling commandments from God and will be rewarded.
The Islamic faith believes that certain religions have tampered with the concept of worship; putting an emphasis on the inner form of worship, dismissing the outer form
In Islam, there is not a complete separation of inner and outer worship. Inner forms of worship should produce outer manifestations, while outer forms have inner consequences.
Visible acts of worship...
Offered to God are fruits in the Muslim belief, thus in Islam, a person is demanded to believe in the doctrine and visible action. It is not enough for a person to believe, good works are vital for a successful present life and in the next life.
These acts of worship are fulfilled through following the Five Pillars of Faith
The Purpose and Benefit of Worship:
Muslims believe that God is not in need of our worship, but it is essential for individual and social spiritual maintenance and growth in faith
Formal worship trains a Muslim believer to love God and have a constant awareness of God.
"O people! Worship your Lord Who has created you
and those before you in order that you may be of the God-conscious" Qur'an 2:21
Acts of worship are to remind a person of God and to have a relationship with Him
Worship creates a strong sense to remove evil from a person's life
"...Indeed the prayer prevents one from committing licentious and evil deed" Qur'an 29:45
Worship can have an impact on an entire society - an act of worship done as one creates unity.
Sacred Text: Qur'an
Holy book of Islam which means "recitation"
Records the revealed word of God that came through the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad over 23 years
Muhammad dictated revelations to scribes and companions who memorized passages
It is the only revealed book that has remained intact and unchanged since its revelation (oral tradition)
Principle source of Muslim faith and practice
Children learn to memorize the Qur'an at a young age
Divided into 114 suras (chapters); longest chapter has 286 verses, the shortest has 3 verses; approximately 78 000 words in length
al- Fatihah (The Opening) - Qur'an 1:1-7
"In the name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Words. Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we worship and Thine aid we seek: Show us the straight way. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose portion is not wrath and who go not astray."
The Hadith (Sunnah) is the other sacred texts used in Islam. While the Qur'an is the first source of Islamic Law, the Hadith is the second source providing laws. There are three kinds of Hadith: 1. Sayings directly from Muhammad2. Actions or practices of Muhammad3. Muhammad's silent approval of a person's actionsThe Hadith must stick closely to narration to ensure authenticity.
A cube shaped building that was built by Abraham to honour God
Viewed as Adam's original place of worship
Was filled with idols as people of Arabia followed polytheism
Muhammad - received revelations that led to Islam and monotheism (removal of idols)
Site of Hajj - pilgrimage to Mecca
Islam and Controversy
About 85% of Muslims in the world are Sunnis
Sunni comes from the word "sunna" meaning "well trodden path
Came into existence after the death of Muhammad
over time they have become the most influential Islamic group
Sunnis believe in a common understanding within the community to achieve a just and equitable society
Follow the tradition of Muhammad and the Four Schools of Law: Hanafi, Shafi'i, Hanbali and Maliki
Means "party of Ali"
Shi'ahs believe that prior to Muhammad's death, he chose is son-in-law, Ali, as his successor. Ali was not chosen as leader, but instead Abu Bakr was, which created a political division amongst Muslims
These differences are mainly made up of doctrinal interpretation
Shi'ahs also believe in "Imams"
After Muhammad's death, there was a series of just, truthful leaders incapable of failing to teach proper Islamic doctrine to lead the people
A small, but powerful group dominating in politics and religious life in Iran and represent vocal minorities in Iraq, East Africa, Pakistan and India.
Islam and War
Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes
Strict rules for combat, which includes prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock
"Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. Allah does not love transgressors" - Qur'an 2:190
"And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers" - Qur'an 2:193
One hundred years after Muhammad's death, Muslims had established control of a great territory of land spanning from northern India to Spain and Morocco. This was achieved through the use of either defensive or preventive military action.
Jihad does not mean "holy war".
Translated from Arabic "jihad" means: to strive, struggle and exert effort.
Concepts of struggle include:
- struggle against evil inclinations with oneself
- struggle to improve quality of life in society
- struggle in the battlefield for self defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression
There are many references to Jihad as a military struggle in the Qur'an.
Just like there are those in other religions - i.e. Christianity - that have taken their respective religious teachings and beliefs to an extreme point of view, so too have certain Islamic followers. Islamic extremists - many from the Shi'ah sect of Islam - have taken excerpts from the Qur'an to fit their personal interpretation for their personal gain and/or agenda.
Dr. Shabir Ally explains Jihad...
Some of the teachings from the Qur'an taken by extremist include:
" Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not" - Qur'an 2:216
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits...And slay them wherever ye catch them" - Qur'an 2:190-191
"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and capture them, beseige them, and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush." - Qur'an 9:5
Jihad and Rewards
Jihad guarantees eternal life
"Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah, whether he is slain or gets victory soon shall we give him a great reward" - Qur'an 4:74
Note that the Qur'an does not define what this reward will be (i.e. 72 virgins)
Some of these misconceptions or interpretations have come from extremist belief
Not all Muslims believe that Jihad is meant for violent or terrorist actions
These passages and others from the Qur'an and Sharia law have been taken by some extremist Muslims to enact violent and/or terrorist behaviour.
Why is there so much controversy surrounding the Islamic faith?
What are some misconceptions you or others you know have regarding the Islam faith?
Role Play Activity
In groups of 3-4 you will be given a role: Sunni, Shi'ah and a "Westerner". In your roles you will create a short skit (1-2 minutes) to demonstrate, highlight and correct the the misconceptions of the Islamic concepts of Jihad and women's rights. You may use your notes, the hand out, and/or the Qur'an to support your role.
According to the Qur'an men and women are equal before God
Under Islamic law - Sharia law - women have the right to own property, receive an education and take part in community life
Islamic rules for simple, modest dress applies to women and men equally
In many Muslim countries, there are cultural practices that are inconsistent and contrary to the authentic teachings of Islam