Islam BAsic Beliefs Part 1
The Arabic word Islam means voluntary surrender
to the will of Allah and obedience to His commands.
Allah is an Arabic word, the proper name of God.
Muslims prefer to use the word Allah rather than
God. A person who freely and consciously accepts
the Islamic way of life and sincerely practices it is
called a Muslim.
is the most important Islamic belief. It
implies that everything in existence originates from
the one and only Creator, who is also the Sustainer
and the sole Source of Guidance. This belief should
govern all aspects of human life. Recognition of
this fundamental truth results in a unified view of
existence that rejects any divisions of life into the
religious and the secular. Allah is the sole source
of Power and Authority and therefore entitled to
worship and obedience from mankind. There is no
scope for any partnership with the Creator. Tawhid
teaches man that Allah is not born, nor is anyone
born of Him. He has no son or daughter. Human
beings, like the rest of creation, are His subjects.
means Prophethood and
Messengership. Allah has not left humanity without
guidance for the conduct of our affairs. Since
the creation of the first human, Allah has revealed
His guidance to mankind through His prophets. The
prophets who received books from Allah are called
messengers. The message of all the prophets and
messengers is one and the same. They urged the
people of their time to obey and worship Allah alone
and none other. Whenever the teachings of a prophet
were distorted by people Allah sent another prophet
to bring human beings back to the Straight Path.
The chain of Risalah began with Adam, included
Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lot, Jacob, Joseph,
Moses and Jesus, and ended with
Muhammad (peace be upon them all), as the final
messenger of Allah to mankind.
The revealed books from Allah are: the Torah
(Tawrah), the Psalms (Zabur), the Gospel (Injeel)
and the Qur’an. The Qur’an was revealed to Prophet
1, as the final book of Guidance.
Among all these books, it is only the Qur’an that
remains unchanged, in its original revealed form.
means life after death. Belief in Akhirah
has a profound impact on the life of a believer. We
are all accountable to Allah on the Day of Judgment
when we will be judged according to how we
lived our lives. One who obeys and worships Allah
will be rewarded with a permanent place of happiness
and bliss in Paradise (
Jannah); One who does
not do so will be sent to Hell (
Jahannam), a place
of punishment and suffering.
FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Islam has five pillars or basic foundations of action.
Acting correctly and sincerely on these foundations
transforms a Muslim’s life into one that is in harmony
with nature and thus in conformity with the
will of the Creator. Faithful practice of these duties
inspires her to work towards the establishment of
justice, equality and righteousness in society, and
the eradication of injustice, falsehood and evil.
, the first of the five basic foundations,
is the declaration, knowingly and voluntarily,
La ilaha illal lahu Muhammadur rasulul lah. “There
is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger
This declaration is the basis of all actions in Islam,
and the other basic duties follow this affirmation.
(compulsory prayer) is offered five times
a day. It is a practical demonstration of faith, and
keeps a believer in touch with her Creator. The benefits
of Salah are far-reaching, long lasting and immeasurable.
It develops in a believer the qualities of
self-discipline, steadfastness and obedience to the
Truth, leading her to be patient, honest and truthful
in the affairs of her life.
(welfare contribution) is a compulsory
payment from a Muslim’s annual savings. It can
only be spent on helping the poor, the needy, and
the oppressed, and for the general upliftment of
society. Zakah is one of the fundamental principles
of Islamic economy, which insures an equitable
society where everyone has a right to contribute
is the annual obligatory fasting during
the month of Ramadan - the ninth month of the
Islamic calendar. A Muslim, every day of this
month, refrains from eating, drinking, smoking, and
sex, from dawn to sunset. Sawm develops a
believer’s moral and spiritual standard and keeps
him away from selfishness, greed, extravagance
and other vices. Sawm is an annual training program
that increases a Muslim’s determination to fulfill
his obligation to the Almighty Lord.
(pilgrimage to the House of Allah) is an
annual event, obligatory on those Muslims who can
afford to undertake it, at least once in their lifetime.
It is a journey to the “House of Allah” (Al-Ka’bah) in
Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the twelfth month of the
Islamic calendar. Hajj symbolizes the unity of humankind;
Muslims from every race and nationality
assemble together in equality and fraternity to worship
The Qur’an is the final Book of guidance from Allah,
sent down to Prophet Muhammad (p) through
the angel Gabriel (Jibra’il). Every word of the Qur’an
is the word of Allah. The Qur’an is unrivaled in its
recording and preservation. Unlike other scriptures
that were corrupted with human interpolations and
omissions, the Qur’an has remained unchanged
even to a letter for over fourteen hundred years. The
Qur’an is the last and final revelation to mankind
and covers all aspects of human life, and its relation
to the life after death.
Islam BAsic Beliefs Part 2
The Hadith is the collection of sayings, actions and
silent approvals of Prophet Muhammad (p). It explains
the Qur’an, and how to practice it. The Hadith
were recorded meticulously by the Prophet’s companions.
Muhammad (peace be upon him), the final messenger
of Allah, was born in Mecca, Arabia, in the
year 571 CE. His father died before his birth and
his mother died when he was only six. He received
first revelation from Allah at the age of forty.
The people of Mecca at that time used to worship
idols. The prophet (p) invited them to Islam. Some
of them accepted and became Muslims, while others
rebuked him and turned against him. In the
13th year of his prophethood, Muhammad (p) migrated
from Mecca to Madinah.
The Prophet (p) organized the early Muslims and
preached the message of Allah with patience and
profound wisdom. Eventually Islam was established
in the whole of Arabia and was set to make a tremendous
contribution to the history and civilization
of the world. Prophet Muhammad (p) died in
632 CE at the age of 63. He left behind the Qur’an
Sunnah (way) as the source of guidance
for all generations to come.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE
Marriage is the basis of family life in Islam. It is a
solemn yet simple contract between a man and a
woman. Marriages are arranged with the consent
of the couple, as required by Islamic law. Islam
does not allow the free mixing of men and women;
nor does it allow sex before marriage. Extra-marital
sex is severely punishable. No discrimination
is made on the basis of sex. Husband and wife are
equal partners of the family and play their part in
their respective fields.
Muslims are encouraged to eat what is good for
them. Islamic law requires an animal to be slaughtered
while invoking the name of Allah. All varieties
of alcoholic drinks are prohibited. Pork and blood
are also forbidden.
Muslims must cover their bodies properly and decently.
When it comes to dressing-up, simplicity
and modesty are encouraged. No particular dress
is recommended, however, men must cover their
body from navel to the knees. Women must cover
their whole body except the face and hands. Any
dress that is suggestive, transparent, skin-tight or
half-naked may send wrong signals to others; signals
that are contrary to Islam’s teachings. Pure
silk and gold are not allowed for men.
Islam teaches decency, humility and good manners.
Muslims greet each other by saying:
(peace be upon you) and the reply is:
(peace be upon you too).
Keeping promises, truthfulness, justice, fair play,
helping the poor and needy, respect for parents,
teachers and elders, love for children and good relations
with neighbors and relatives are the most
valued virtues of a Muslim. Islam condemns enmity,
back-biting, slander, blasphemy, ridicule, use of offensive
names, suspicion and arrogance.
Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’ meaning
peace. When our individual and collective lives are
in harmony with nature and with the will of the Creator,
peace is inevitable. Islam, as a way of life, is
the solution to all problems of the human race, and
is the only hope for the present as well as the future.
The need is to practice it faithfully.