Bismillah ar Rahman ar Raheem

Bismillah ar Rahman ar Raheem
May Allah increase us in knowledge Ameen

Hadith on knowledge

Rasullah(saw) said: "He who takes the path to seeking knowledge Allah makes easy for him the path to Paradise"

(Abu Dawood)

Monday, 10 January 2011

What Do You Really Know About Islam?

The Five Pillars and Articles of Faith


Islam is one of the three Monotheistic religions practiced in the world today, the other two being Judaism and Christianity. Islam is the second most practiced religion after Christianity. Statistically 1 in every four people are Muslim. The aforementioned statistics show how popular Islam is. There are 1.57 billion Muslims around the world so you would think that the belief and practices of Muslims would be common knowledge right? Wrong.

I have found since embracing this religion that many peoples’ ideas about Islam are based upon, stereotyping and misconceptions which are being fuelled by the constant misrepresentation and negative images being feed to the general public by the media.
In order to challenge these false ideas we must as a Muslim Ummah spread the truth of this noble deen.

People are often scared of what they do not understand and therefore my aim with this article is to shed some light upon what Islam stands for in a brief and concise explanation. Firstly it is often common amongst non Muslims to believe that Allah is a different God to that of the other two monotheistic religions mentioned previously. We believe in all the same prophets Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus etc with the exception that we recognise Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as being the last and final messenger.

In order to see the true beauty of Islam people must first have to throw away their perceptions of Islam and Muslims – forget about the way we dress or what you may have heard about Muslims themselves and seek for truth about the religion itself with sincerity and an open heart. I will briefly give an explanation to the meaning of who we worship, what our religion means and who we are as Muslims.


Allah is simply an Arabic word meaning:‘The God’ (Al = the + illah = God). This is the same God of the Christians and the Jews. The Hebrew word for God is  Eloh in Aramaic you will find that Jesus (pbuh) would not have said:  ‘God,  Rather he would have said Eloh or Alah. As Muslims we can in fact use the English translation yet we choose and prefer to say Allah because there is no way to change the meaning of the word; make it plural or use it to describe any thing or any one other than Allah. Surah al Ikhlas sums up what we believe bout Allah perfectly.
               “Say: He is Allah the One,
                Allah the self sufficient master whom all creatures need  
                He was not created by anyone
                nor did he father any children
                And there is none comparable to Him”  

The literal meaning of Islam is peace. It derives from the root word Salam, which also means peace.
 In the religious sense Islam means: “to submit to the will of Allah

Therefore a Muslim is: one who submits to the will of Allah.

Islam is a culmination of  Belief and Practices which go hand and hand with each other. The fundamental and basic belief and practices in Islam and of  Muslims can be summed up by looking at the Five Pillars of Islam and the articles of faith (Iman)  
The Five Pillars of Faith

1. Shahaadah

Shahadah is the first step to reverting to Islam. Its meaning is to testify that|:

Laa Illaaha ill  lal laah wa shahadu anna muhammadan abduhu wa rasullulah
I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that muhammad is the  servant and messenger of Allah.  

Simply saying these words with sincerity will admit you into the fold of Islam.

2. Salat (Prayer)

The prayer is the second and most important acts that must be preformed as a muslim failure to do this could lead you out of the fold of Islam. This act is performd daily at the minimum of five designated times of day. This helps the believer to be constant in their rememberance of  Allah and helps to keep them focused upon the straight path.

3. Fasting (Sawm)
This fasting refers to the fasting in the month of Ramadan. it consists of the abstination from food, drink, bad behaviour, cursing, smoking and marital relations. This is obligatory and each year all muslims must participate in this fasting which begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. It reminds the believer of their dependance upon Allah as well as giving the believer time to ponder upon those who are starving around the world who are fasting volutarily. Those who have a valid reason for not participating, i.e pregnancy, can opt out of fasting but it will have to be made up at a later time when they are able to do so.
4. Zakat

Zakat is basically charity. A set amount of money that the muslim must pay out of their excess wealth each year is gioven to hose who are less fortunate. This is a way of not only purifying your wealth but also a sheild for yourelf against selfishness and giving you practice in selfless ness.

5. Hajj
Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca that every able Muslim is required to do at least once in their lifetime.

Articles of faith

1.Belief in Tawheed
Muslims belief in their being ONLY one God who has no partners or associates in worship. So belief in the Trinty, as in Christianty, of their being 3 Gods is not acceptable. Belief that Allah has a son or praying to or worshipping Jesus or any one other than Allah is not acceptable and is the only sin that we will  not be forgiven for.

2.Blief in the messengers of Allah
Muslims must believe in every single prophet that was sent by God. whom you would find mentioned in the Quran. i.e Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Muhammad (peace be upon them all) so if you reject one prophet as the jews reject jesus or the Christians reject Muhammad (pbut), you in effect are rejecting Islam all together.

3.belief in the Holy books
Likewise Muslims must accept all the scriptures and holy nooks sent down by allah i.e The Torah and the Gospel(Injeel) with the Quran being the final and last book (Testement) sent down by Allah.

4.Belief in the Angels
Muslims must believe in the unseen those things which we have no knowledge of with our own eyes. The Angels being a part of the unseen.

5.Belief in Judgement Day
Muslims must believe that there will be a day when every living exsistance will be brought before Allah and  held accountable for our actions in this life both the good and the bad of them and we will be recompensed with whatever we have earned whilst on the earth.

6.Belief in the divine decree of Allah
Muslims must believe in the divine decree or Qadar of Allah. Allah is the all knowing. he knows what we know and what we do not know. His knowledge is limitless. He has control over alll things both the good and the bad that may befall us. So no matter how much we may plan ultimatly our fate is in the hands of Allah   so we must never lose hope if things dont go as we like, rather we should put our trust in Allaah teh best of all planners. 

May Allah forgive me for anything i may have said wrong and allow anything that is correct to be of benefit.' How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.’

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