Islam: An Introduction

Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over 1 billion followers. There are 6-8 million Muslims in the USA or around 2% of the population and around 2 million in Britain, around 2.7% of the population.

The word 'Islam' in Arabic means submission to the will of God and is etymologically related to the Arabic word 'peace'.

Followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims believe there is one true God Allah (the Arabic word for God).

Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia through a man called Muhammad. Muhammad is so revered that it is usual for Muslims to say 'peace be upon him' whenever they mention his name.

Muhammad is believed by Muslims to be the last prophet sent by God (Allah). According to Muslims, God sent prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to His law. Jesus (Isa), Moses (Musa) and Abraham (Ibrahim) are other respected prophets.

The Muslim holy book is called the Qur'an. Muslims believe this to be the word of Allah as dictated to Muhammad. They also have the Sunnah, which Muslims believe to be the practical example of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims follow the five basic Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars of Islam are an essential part of Muslim life.
These pillars are:

* the declaration of faith (Shahada)
* praying five times a day (Salat)
* giving money to charity (Zakah)
* fasting (Sawm)
* a pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in a lifetime (Hajj)

Muslims worship in a building called a Mosque. On Friday at noon, the most important of the weekly services is held. When Muslims pray, they must always face Makkah.
(Above is adapted from the BBC website)
Learn more about Islam on the BBC Islam website
Watch videos to better understand Islam at the Deen Show
and a lot more at Islamopedia
Dr. Mohammad Salah on Huda TV

Watch more Islamic Television at Huda TV

What are your views on Christianity and other religions?

AC Univ. of Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas USA

Do you ever think about all the religions in the world and how do we know which one is the one that is real? Univ. of Incarnate Word, San Antonio Texas, USA

What does Islam say about the Virgin Mary? Univ. of Incarnate Word San Antonio, Texas USA

How do Al Azhar Muslims view the Taliban? List of Taliban laws below. Which of these laws are supported in the Quran? Which in the Hadith? Which are not? (Project Coordinator)

Taliban Flyer distributed in the streets of Afghanistan in September 1996 after the Taliban took control
(from Khaled Hosseini’s book A Thousand Splendid Suns. Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965 and moved to the United States in 1980.)

Our watan is now known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. These are the laws that we will enforce and you will obey:
All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something other, you will be beaten.
All men will grow their beards. The correct length is at least one clenched fist beneath the chin. If you do not abide by this, you will be beaten.
All boys will wear turbans. Boys in grades one through six will wear black turbans, higher grades will wear white. All boys will wear Islamic clothes. Shirt collars will be buttoned.
Singing is forbidden.
Dancing is forbidden.
Playing cards, playing chess, gambling, and kite flying are forbidden.
Writing books, watching films, and painting pictures are forbidden.
If you keep parakeets, you will be beaten. Your birds will be killed.
If you steal, your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again your foot will be cut off.
If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed.
Attention women:
You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside you must be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home.
You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten.
Cosmetics are forbidden.
Jewelry is forbidden.
You will not wear charming clothes.
You will not speak unless spoken to.
You will not make eye contact with men.
You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten.
You will not paint your fingernails. If you do you will lose a finger.
Girls are forbidden from attending school. All school for girls will be closed immediately.
Women are forbidden from working.
If you are found guilty of adultery, you will be stoned to death.
Listen. Listen well. Obey. Allahu-akbar.

Rasoulallah Website

The Goals of the Site
This Site “Rasoulallah” (The Prophet of Allah PBUH) aims not only to retell the Prophet’s Biography from a historical point of view, but it is for the sake of refreshing our love to our Prophet whom we all love for sure and then to follow his example in our lives, as mentioned in the Holy Quran:”Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow"
The third aim of this site is to imitate the Prophet’s morals and ethics in representing Islam and in all our speeches and discussions with “the other”. (Al Ahzab:21)

Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shaykh Ali Gomaa Responds to 6 Questions from Americans

Sheikh Ali Gomaa is the Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt - the second highest religious position in the country, after the position of Sheikh al-Azhar, one of the most respected religious authorities in the entire Muslim world. As Grand Mufti, he oversees the premier institution in the Muslim world for religious legal direction, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah. Since his appointment as Grand Mufti in 2003, he has become a leading advocate for moderation, and an outspoken critic of extremist ideologies, which he says are antithetical to Islam. 

1. What are the most misunderstood Islamic principles that cause alarm to the international community today?

2. Is there room for greater cooperation between Islamic scholars and experts on the one hand, and imams and other religious leaders in Muslim societies on the other?

3. How can ijtihad (or ongoing reevaluation in accordance with the principles of Islamic juristic reasoning) by religious leaders and academics help shift public opinion toward the real tradition of Islam and toward better relations between East and West?

4. To what extent can Muslim scholars in the West contribute to a better understanding of Islam’s principles all-round, especially Islamic sacred law or shari‘ah?

5. What lessons can Muslims learn from the challenges faced by scholars and experts in other religions such as Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity?

6. What role can individual ijtihad play in people’s lives without altering its specialized qualifications?

Read Shaykh Ali Gomaa's responses by clicking on the picture link below

How do Azhar Muslims Respond to the Ideas in Western Media Shown in the Article Below? How many of these 10 are true?? Which ones?? Please explain the inaccuracies in the article below.

A Beginner’s Guide to Islam
By Geoff Dickson Friday, May 1, 2009
Australian Islamist Monitor

For many people living busy lives, to get an understanding of Islam is not easy or indeed possible. By the time you have attended to making a living, raising a family, engaging in recreational activities and fulfilling your social obligations, there is just no time left to understand why Islam is so in your face these days. In the newspapers, on TV and even on-line, there are daily scenes of atrocities, from bombings, shootings, honour killings, rape, piracy, forced marriages, news on polygamy, forced conversions to Islam, burning of churches and so on.
Sometimes you may stop to wonder “why”?

Because the busy person does not have time to sit down with an Imam or take time off from work to visit a mosque on Fridays, we have compiled a simple guide to “what is Islam” to help you get a better understanding of why the world seems to be going crazy.

Of course it is very easy to become a Muslim. All that is required is to recite the Testimony of Faith.
The first pillar of Faith : al-Shahaadatayn.
“None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Mohammed is his slave and messenger”.
But Islam is a bit like debt. Easy to get into, but so hard to escape from (and more dangerous).
If you leave Islam for whatever reason and become an apostate, then you must be killed!

Consider then the TEN steps to being a good Muslim.
TEN easy Steps to being a good Muslim

1. Every Muslim must follow Mohammed’s example.
The Quran is quite explicit here, that every Muslim should follow the “perfect example” of Allah’s prophet, Mohammed.
“Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.” [Sura 33.21]
So the first step is for you to follow what Mohammed did.
2. The first duty is to Jihad.
Now consider what Mohammed tells us is the greatest priority for every Muslim.
From the Hadith collection.
Bukhari Volume 2, Book 26, Number 594: Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet was asked, "Which is the best deed?" He said, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle." He was then asked, "Which is the next (in goodness)?" He said, "To participate in Jihad in Allah's Cause."
So each and every Muslim is obliged to participate in Jihad.
And who can ever forget the words of Sheik Feiz Mohammed from Undercover Mosque fame?
“The pinnacle, the crest, the summit of Islam is……..Jihad!”.
Now you ask what could be the purpose of the Jihad?
3. The whole world must be converted to Islam.
The Quran now tells us that Mohammed was sent to bring Islam to the whole world.
“It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it)”. [Sura 9.33]
So now we know that every Muslim is called to participate in Jihad with the aim to bring Islam to the whole world. So what will bring victory and how do we do this? Once again, we look to Mohammed.

4. Mohammed states that Terror brings Victory.
Mohammed is very clear here. He achieved victory through the use of Terror! From the Hadith collection.
Al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).
And this is supported by the Quran.
“Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." [Sura 8.12]
So this is very clear. Terror is the tool that brings about victory (according to Mohammed).
And good Muslims everywhere are finding many ways to strike terror into the infidels, from flying planes into tall buildings, blowing up railway stations, London buses, tourist havens in Bali, burning churches, forest fires, beheadings and many more.
5. Allah will punish you if you don’t fight.
By now you will be aware that to be a good Muslim, you must engage in Jihad and use terror to be victorious. If this thought makes you a little squeamish, consider what will happen if you DON’T follow Mohammed’s example and conduct Jihad with terror.
From the Quran we learn this:
“Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.” [Sura 9.39]
So understand that if you don’t join in the Jihad, Allah will punish you!
Perhaps we should pause at this point and take some guidance from a Saudi cleric on Jihad.
6. Muslims must fight ALL non Muslims.
There are many verses from the Quran to instruct you here. Here are but a few:
‘Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” [Sura 9.29]
Or maybe this:
“O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” [Sura 9.123]
And remember that infidels are your sworn enemies [Sura 4.101], and you must be ruthless to the infidel [Sura 48.29]. Neither may you take Jews and Christians as friends. [ Sura 5.51]
7. Fight with any means available to you.
So now we ask if there are “rules of engagement” to conduct Jihad?
Well, Allah makes it easy for you here, There are NO rules! You can use whatever means you have to instill terror and conduct Jihad. From the Quran:
“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sura 9.5]
Allah has been so generous here, and there are so many available today, from flying planes into buildings, blowing up public infrastructure, lighting forest fires, using nuclear bombs or biological weapons, or even poisoning food at the local supermarket. Nothing is forbidden to you.
8. If a Muslim leaves Islam, you must kill them.
Now you must be aware that if you leave Islam, you must be killed. Consider this from the Quran:
“They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.” [Sura 4.89]
So understand that Islam does NOT tolerate apostates. They must be killed.

9. If you suspect another Muslim is not on the correct path, kill them.
Apparently there are about 72 different sects in Islam, and each sect believes that they are the ones following the true path. When you look at Iraq you find Sunnis killing Shi’ias and vice versa. In Pakistan the Taliban kill anyone who is NOT Taliban, and so on.
“Seventy-two of the seventy-three Muslim sects will go to hell; only one of the sects will be in Paradise; it is the majority group” (Sunaan Abu Dawud, 3.40.4580)
Whoever creates disunity in the Islamic community kill him…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 3.40.4744)
In a note (footnote 4153), the English translator of Sunaan Abu Dawud, Professor Ahmad Hasan admits that it is permissible to ‘cannibalize’ dissident Islamic group/s. He writes: ‘
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) did not tolerate disunity and schism among Muslims. Therefore, he ordered that, instead of causing separation and disagreement in the community, it is better to kill the person who causes disunity.’ (See References on Islamic canibalism)
Another hadis (Sunaan Abu Dawud, 40.4747, Sahih Bukhari, 4.55.577) asks to murder those Muslims who are insincere in their faith. This hadis even tells that Allah loves the Muslims who kill those insincere Muslims.
10. If you get killed fighting for Allah, you will go to Paradise.
Of course you realise that with all this killing and fighting, your own life could be at risk.
But don’t worry, Allah has promised to take you into Paradise, unless perhaps if you are a woman, as Mohammed said that Hell will be full of women!
“Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.” [Sura 9.111]

So let us just recap on what we have learned about being a good Muslim, from Mohammed:
• Jihad is the first duty, the best in goodness
• The whole world must be converted
• Terror will make you victorious
• Allah will punish you if you don’t fight
• You must fight all infidels around you and be ruthless with them
• You may use any means at your disposal to fight
• You must kill anyone who leaves Islam or is not following the true path
• And if you are killed fighting, Allah will take you into paradise.
So it only takes a few minutes reading out of your busy life to understand that Islam is all about Jihad, killing the infidel, and bringing Islam to the whole world.
Of course, once you understand that, you can start to consider living under Sharia Law and experiencing the delights of 7th century living. There is the genital mutilation of young girls, child marriage and polygamy, concubines and raping infidel women, beheadings, honour killings, stoning women to death for adultery, cutting of hands and feet for minor offences, and of course, slavery. And don’t forget that music is banned as is wine! So if you like 7th century living like this, then Islam is for you!

Then one day you might just have doubts and understand that Allah is NOT the loving, all merciful, creator God that you thought he was. Let us hope it is not too late!