Re: A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM !!!!!!!!!!!!!



This is a wonderful explanation of ISLAM. Btw, I was a Christian but am now an Agnostic. Meaning I don't believe or disbelieve
in a god or gods. It is impossible for me to KNOW. I envy you, bw, in your beliefs.



"bv" wrote in message news:dd6d0e2a-8539-46cf-bd98-f92d55c31872@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM

Islam and Muslims
The word "Islam" is an Arabic word which means "submission to the will
of God". This word comes from the same root as the Arabic word
"salam", which means "peace". As such, the religion of Islam teaches
that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one
must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law.
The most important truth that God revealed to mankind is that there is
nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God,
thus all human beings should submit to Him. The word "Muslim" means
one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race,
nationality or ethnic background. Being a Muslim entails willful
submission and active obedience to God, and living in accordance with
His message. Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a
religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not
only are there converts to Islam in every corner of the world,
especially in England and America, but by taking a look at the Muslim
World from Bosnia to Nigeria, and from Indonesia to Morocco, one can
clearly see that Muslims come from many various races, ethnic groups
and nationalities. It is also interesting to note that in actuality,
more than 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs - there are more Muslims in
Indonesia than in the whole Arab World! So though even though it is
true that most Arabs are Muslims, the large majority of Muslims are
not Arabs. However, anyone who submits completely to God and worships
Him alone is a Muslim.
Continuity of the Message
Islam is not a new religion because "submission to the will of God",
i.e. Islam, has always been the only acceptable religion in the sight
of God. For this reason, Islam is the true "natural religion", and it
is the same eternal message revealed through the ages to all of God's
prophets and messengers. Muslims believe that all of God's prophets,
which include Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, brought the
same message of Pure Monotheism. For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad
was not the founder of a new religion, as many people mistakenly
think, but he was the Final Prophet of Islam. By revealing His final
message to Muhammad, which is an eternal and universal message for all
of mankind, God finally fulfilled the covenant that He made with
Abraham, who was one of the earliest and greatest prophets. Suffice it
to say that the way of Islam is the same as the way of the prophet
Abraham, because both the Bible and the Qur'an portray Abraham as a
towering example of someone who submitted himself completely to God
and worshipped Him without intermediaries. Once this is realized, it
should be clear that Islam has the most continuous and universal
message of any religion, because all prophets and messengers were
"Muslims", i.e. those who submitted to God's will, and they preached
"Islam", i.e. submission to the will of Almighty God.
The Oneness of God
The foundation of the Islamic faith is belief in the Oneness of
Almighty God - the God of Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus. Islam
teaches that a pure belief in One God is intuitive in human beings and
thus fulfills the natural inclination of the soul. As such, Islam's
concept of God is straightforward, unambiguous and easy to understand.
Islam teaches that the hearts, minds and souls of human beings are
fitting receptacles for clear divine revelation, and that God's
revelations to man are not clouded by self-contradictory mysteries or
irrational ideas. As such, Islam teaches that even though God cannot
be fully comprehended and grasped by our finite human minds, He also
does not expect us to accept absurd or demonstrably false beliefs
about Him. According to the teachings of Islam, Almighty God is
absolutely One and His Oneness should never be compromised by
associating partners with Him - neither in worship nor in belief. Due
to this, Muslims are required to maintain a direct relationship with
God, and therefore all intermediaries are absolutely forbidden. From
the Islamic standpoint, believing in the Oneness of God means to
realize that all prayer and worship should be exclusively for God, and
that He alone deserves such titles as "Lord" and "Savior". Some
religions, even though they believe on "One God", do not make all of
their worship and prayers for Him alone. Also, they also give the
title of "Lord" to beings that are not All-Knowing, All-Powerful and
Un-Changing - even according to their own scriptures. Suffice it to
say that according to Islam, it is not enough that people believe that
"God is One", but they must actualize this belief by proper conduct.
In short, in the Islamic concept of God, which is completely based on
Divine Revelation, there is no ambiguity in divinity - God is God and
man is man. Since God is the only Creator and continual Sustainer of
the Universe, He is transcendent above His creation - the Creator and
the creature never mix. Islam teaches that God has a unique nature and
that He is free from gender, human weaknesses and beyond anything
which human beings can imagine. The Qur'an teaches that the signs and
proofs of God's wisdom, power and existence are evident in the world
around us. As such, God calls on man to ponder over the creation in
order to build a better understanding of his Creator. Muslims believe
that God is Loving, Compassionate and Merciful, and that He is
concerned with the daily affairs of human beings. In this, Islam
strikes a unique balance between false religious and philosophical
extremes. Some religions and philosophies portray God as just an
impersonal "Higher Power" who is uninterested, or unaware, of the life
of each individual human. Other religions tend to give God human
qualities and teach that He is present in His creation, by being
incarnate in someone, something - or even everything. In Islam,
however, Almighty God has clarified the truth by letting mankind know
that He is "Compassionate", "Merciful", "Loving" and the "Answerer of
Prayers". But He as also emphasized strongly that "there is nothing
like unto Him", and that He is high above time, space and His
creation. Finally, it should be mentioned that the God that Muslims
worship is the same God that Jews and Christians worship - because
there is only one God. It is unfortunate that some people mistakenly
believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians,
and that "Allah" is just the "god of the Arabs". This myth, which has
been propagated by the enemies of Islam, is completely false since the
word "Allah" is simply the Arabic name for Almighty God. It is the
same word for God which is used by Arabic-speaking Jews and
Christians. However, it should be clarified that even though Muslims
worship the same God as Jews and Christian, their concept of Him
differs somewhat from the beliefs of other religions - mainly because
it is based completely on Divine Revelation from God. For example,
Muslims reject the Christian belief that God is a Trinity, not only
becaue the Qur'an rejects it, but also because if this was God's true
nature, He would have clearly revealed it to Abraham, Noah, Jesus and
all of the other prophets.
The Qur'an
The Arabic world "Al-Qur'an" literally means "the recitation". When
used in regards to Islam, the word Qur'an means God's final message to
mankind that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The Qu'ran,
sometimes spelled Koran, is the literal the word of God - as it
clearly says time and time again. Unlike other sacred scriptures, the
Qur'an has been perfectly preserved in both its words and meaning in a
living language. The Qu'ran is a living miracle in the Arabic
language; and is know to be inimitable in its style, form and
spiritual impact. God's final revelation to mankind, the Qur'an, was
revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. The
Qur'an, in contrast to many other religious books, was always thought
to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e. it wasn't
something decreed by a religious council many years after being
written. Also, the Qu'ran was recited publicly in front of both the
Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet
Muhammad. The entire Qur'an was also completely written down in
lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet
memorized the entire Qur'an word-for-word as it was revealed. So
unlike other scriptures, the Qur'an was always in the hands of the
common believers, it was always thought to be God's word and, due to
wide-spread memorization, it was perfectly preserved. In regards to
the teachings of the Qur'an - it is a universal scripture, and it is
addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or "chosen
people". The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same
message of all of the prophets - submit to Almighty God and worship
Him alone. As such, God's revelation in the Qur'an focuses on teaching
human beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and
framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent.
Additionally, the Qur'an contains the stories of the previous
prophets, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus; as well as many
commands and prohibitions from God. In modern times in which so many
people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair and "political
correctness", the Qur'anic teachings offer solutions to the emptiness
of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the world today. In
short, the Qur'an is the book of guidance par excellence.
The Prophet Muhammad(S)
Unlike the founders of many religious, the final prophet of Islam is a
real documented and historical figure. He lived in the full light of
history, and the most minute details of his life are known. Not only
do Muslims have the complete text of God's words that were revealed to
Muhammad, but they have also preserved his saying and teachings in
what is called "hadith" literature. This having been said, it should
be understood that Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was only
a man chosen by God, and that he is not divine in any way. In order to
avoid the misguided wish to deify him, the Prophet Muhammad taught
Muslims to refer to him as "God's Messenger and His Slave". The
mission of the last and final prophet of God was to simply teach that
"there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for
Almighty God", as well as being a living example of God's revelation.
In simple terms, God sent the revelation to Muhammad, who in turn
taught it , preached it, lived it and put it into practice. In this
way, Muhammad was more that just a "prophet" in the sense of many of
the Biblical prophets, since he was also a statesman and ruler. He was
a man who lived a humble life in the service of God, and established
an all-encompassing religion and way of life by showing what it means
to be an ideal friend, husband, teacher, ruler, warrior and judge. For
this reason, Muslims follow him not for his own sake, but in obedience
to God, because Muhammad not only showed us how to deal with our
fellow human beings, but more importantly, he showed us how to relate
to and worship God, worship Him in the only way pleasing to Him. Like
other prophets, Muhammad faced a great deal of opposition and
persecution during his mission. However, he was always patient and
just, and he treated his enemies well. The results of his mission were
very successful, and even though his mission started in one of the
most backward and remotes places on earth, within a hundred years of
the death of Muhammad, Islam had spread from Spain to China. The
Prophet Muhammad was the greatest of all of God's prophets, not
because he had new doctrines or greater miracles, but because the
results of his mission have broght more human beings into the pure and
proper belief in the One True God than any other prophet.
The Islamic Way of Life
In the Holy Qur'an, God teaches human beings that they were created in
order to worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is God-
consciousness. Since the teachings of Islamic encompass all aspects of
life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human affairs.
Islam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship if they
are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Law. As such,
worship in Islam is not limited to religious rituals. The teachings of
Islam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and such
qualities as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are strongly
encouraged. Additionally, Islam condemns pride and self-righteousness,
since Almighty God is the only judge of human righteousness. The
Islamic view of the nature of man is also realistic and well-balanced.
Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as
equally capable of both good and evil. Islam also teaches that faith
and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people free-will, and the
measure of one's faith is one's deeds and actions. However, human
beings have also been created weak and regularly fall into sin. This
is the nature of the human being as created by God in His Wisdom, and
it is not inherently "corrupt" or in need of repair. This is because
the avenue of repentance of always open to all human beings, and
Almighty God loves the repentant sinner more than one who does not sin
at all. The true balance of an Islamic life is established by having a
healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite Mercy.
A life without fear of God leads to sin and disobedience, while
believing that we have sinned so much that God will not possibly
forgive us only leads to despair. In light of this, Islam teaches
that: only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord.
Additionally, the Holy Qur'an, which was revealed to the Prophet
Muhammad, contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter
and the Day of Judgment. Due to this, Muslims believe that all human
beings will ultimately be judged by God for their beliefs and actions
in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Almighty God will be
both Merciful and Just, and people will only be judged for what they
were capable of. Suffice it to say that Islam teaches that life is a
test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God. A
sincere belief in the life hereafter is key to leading a well-balanced
life and moral. Otherwise, life is viewed as an end in itself, which
causes human beings to become more selfish, materialistic and immoral.
Islam for a Better Life
Islam teaches that true happiness can only being obtained by living a
life full of God-consciousness and being satisfied with what God has
given us. Additionally, true "freedom" is freedom from being
controlled by our base human desires and being ruled by man-made
ideologies. This stands in stark contrast to the view of many people
in the modern world, who consider "freedom" to be the ability to
satisfy all of their desires without inhibition. The clear and
comprehensive guidance of Islam gives human-beings a well-defined
purpose and direction in life. In addition to being members of the
human-brotherhood of Islam, its well-balanced and practical teachings
are a source of spiritual comfort, guidance and morality. A direct and
clear relationship with Almighty God, as well as the sense of purpose
and belonging that ones feels as a Muslim, frees a person from the
many worries of everyday life. In short, the Islamic way of life is
pure and wholesome. It builds self-discipline and self-control thought
regular prayer and fasting, and frees human-beings from superstition
and all sorts of racial, ethnic and national prejudices. By accepting
to live a God-conscious life, and realizing that the only thing that
distinguishes people in the sight of God is their consciousness of
Him, a person's true human dignity is realized.

IF YOU WISH TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ISLAM, WE PREFER TO VISIT THE
FOLLOWING WEBSITES:



http://www.islam-guide.com

http://www.islamhouse.com/s/9661

http://www.thisistruth.org

http://www.quran-m.com/firas/en1

http://kaheel7.com/eng

http://www.knowmuhammad.com

http://www.rasoulallah.net/v2/index.aspx?lang=e


http://imanway1.com/eng


http://www.todayislam.com

http://www.thekeytoislam.com

http://www.islamland.com

http://www.discoverislam.com

http://www.thetruereligion.org

http://www.beconvinced.com

http://islamtomorrow.com

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran

http://www.quranforall.org

http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran

http://www.prophetmuhammed.org

http://www.chatislamonline.org/ar

http://www.dar-us-salam.com

http://youtubeislam.com

.



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