Basics of Faith

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Basics of Faith

ISLAM 101 (Basics of Faith)

Allah, the Creator:  In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

He is Allah, besides Him there is no god, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. He is Allah, besides Him there is no god, the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him.

He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. [The Holy Quran, Chapter 59: verses 22-24]

Need for religion:

• Soul of the universe – remembrance of the Creator!

• Manual of human life (role-model for every walk of life) – success in the world

• Correct relationship with the Creator and the creation

• Mercy for mankind – success in everlasting life Hereafter

Articles of Faith in Islam:

Belief in Allah (God Almighty), His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Day of Judgment, and in the fact that fate or destiny, good or bad, is from Allah, and in the resurrection after death.

Sources of Islamic Teachings:

1. The Holy Qur’an: Arabic speech of God, revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him, SAW*) in words and in meaning, and preserved in written form. Hundreds of thousands of people, including small children, have memorized this book from cover to cover. Not a single word or letter in Quran has changed in last 14 centuries!

2. Actions, sayings, and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW*), role-model for every walk of life.

Prophets in Islam:

Islam teaches us to believe in all the Prophets and Messengers. The Quran is filled with stories of prophets.

Adam (peace be upon him), the first man/ prophet – God created him without a father or mother

Abraham (peace be upon him), who built the house of worship in Mecca. Muslims face the direction of Mecca for all prayers.

Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) were sent to free their nation from Pharaoh;

Mary (peace be upon her), the most chaste woman ever created;

Jesus (peace be upon him), Jesus is the word of God. God said be and Jesus was created;

Muhammad (peace be upon him, SAW*), the final messenger who was sent as a mercy to the world;

The Quran teaches us that all the messengers taught their people to submit to the Will of God, to worship one God and to prepare for the life hereafter. All these messengers came with the same message.

Moses (peace be upon him) in Islam:

The Quran teaches us a great deal of the events related to Moses (peace be upon him).

70+ chapters in the Quran (out of 114) have references about the stories of Prophet Moses and his people.

Jesus (peace be upon him) in Islam:

– Jesus is one of the greatest prophets

– Jesus is the word of God

– He performed numerous miracles:

• He cured the blind with the Will of God.

• He raised the dead with the Will of God

• He cured the leper with the Will of God.

Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him, SAW*):

The Last in the chain of Divine Messengers of God (ALLAH), he gave to mankind the universal message of love and respect for all Divine Messengers. He could not read, write or even sign his name, yet he gave to mankind the most unique gift-the Quran; a complete code of life and a living miracle across all spaces and times.

He was born an orphan, lived a very modest life, never had much worldly means, yet by the power of his character and conduct he changed the face of earth and the history of mankind. He lived such a pure and transparent life that even his harshest critics could not yet find a spot of his character and conduct.

He was the living embodiment of the Final Divine Revelation of God–the Quran.

Say (O Muhammad SAW*): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah”  [The Holy Quran, 7:158]

Basic Duties (Five Pillars of Islam):

1. Emaan (To firmly believe in the heart and declare one’s faith: There is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad (Sallallaho ‘Alaihi- Wa Sallam) is the Messenger of Allah.)

2. Salat (To pray five times a day)

3. Zakat (Paying charity if financially capable)

4. Saum (Fasting in the month of Ramadan)

5. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah once in a lifetime if one is physically able and can afford it)

A person who practices Islam is called a Muslim. It means ‘one who surrenders’. A Muslim is required to do all that Allah (God Almighty) and His Messenger (peace be upon him, SAW*) have asked to do, and to keep from doing things which Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have told not to do.

Islam as a Way of Life:

• Muslims believe that humans were created for the purpose of worshiping the Creator (God Almighty)

• A Muslim remembers his Creator (Allah) at every step in daily life — while sleeping, waking-up, eating, leaving/ entering home, driving — at every happy or sad moment in life.

“Worship” for Muslims entails not only prayer and fasting, but every permissible act that we do with the intention to please Allah (God Almighty):

– Working to provide shelter and food for our family

– Even a simple smile to someone!

Universal message in Qur’an:

“O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become God- fearing.” [2:21]

“This is the Book (the Quran), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance for the God-fearing.” [2:2]

“O mankind! We have created you from a male* and a female, and made you into races and tribes, that you may identify one another. Surely, the noblest of you, in Allah’s sight is the one who is most pious of you. Surely, Allah is All- Knowing, All-Aware.” [49:13]

*We are all decedents of Adam (peace be upon him), who was the creation of God.

Prophets’ mission in the Holy Qur’an:

Message for Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) [20: 123-126] 

Message of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) [71: 10-13] 

Message of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him): [26: 78-89] 

Message of Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him): [12: 39-40] 

Message of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him): [26: 24-26] 

Message of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him): [19:30-36] 

Message of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him): [7:158]

*SAW = Sallallaho ‘Alaihi-WaSallam