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Understanding Islam


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Title: Understanding Islam

Understanding Islam
Denise Ozbudak Boston Dialogue Foundation 05/20/04
"ISLAM" is derived from the Arabic root salaama
peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the
religious sense, Islam means submission to the
will of God
  • Pillars of Islam
  • Witnessing (Shada) that Allah is One and Muhammad
    is his Messenger.
  • Prayer
  • Fasting (Savm)
  • Obligatory Charity (Zakah)
  • The Pilgrimage (Hajj)

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The Article of faith
  1. Belief in One God (Allah)
  1. Belief in all Messengers of God (Jesus, Moses,
  1. Belief in Holy book
  1. Belief in Angels
  • Belief in Life after Death and the Day of
  • Judgment, Heaven and Hell
  1. Belief in Destiny (Qadaa and Qadr)

1- Belief in One God
  • Allah is the Arabic name for God used by Muslims
    of the world as well as Arab Christians.
  • Say He is God, the One and Only  God, the
    Eternal, Absolute  He begets not, nor is He
    begotten And there is none like unto Him.
    (The Quran, Surah 112)

2- Belief in all Prophets of God
  • SOME PROPHETS Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael,
    Ishaq, Jacob (Israel), Joseph, Benjamin, Moses,
    Aaron, David, Solomon, Zakareya, Jesus, Muhammad
  • (peace be on them)
  • Attributes Of Prophets
  • a) Sinless
  • b) Trustworhy
  • c) Righteous
  • d) Intellectual

3- Belief in all scriptures and revelations of
  • Original Old Testament (Torah)
  • Original Psalm (Zabur)
  • Original New testament (Injeel)
  • Quran

Quran The Holy Book
  • Original intact as given by the Prophet in Arabic
  • 23 Years of Revelations (610 - 632 C.E.)
  • 114 Chapters One Chapter, Multiple Revelations
  • Chapter (Surah) names
  • Historic Context matters
  • Verses Explain Verses
  • Commentary needed in the light of Arabic,
    History, and Sunnah

5- Belief in Life after Death and the Day of
Judgement, Heaven and Hell
  • This world as we know it will come to an end,
    and the dead will rise to stand for their final
    and fair trial. Everything we do, say, make,
    intend and think are accounted for and kept in
    accurate records. They are brought up on the Day
    of Judgment.

4- Belief in Angels
  • They are purely spiritual and splendid beings
    created by God from Divine Light. They require no
    food,drink or sleep. They have no physical
    desires nor material needs. Angels spend their
    time in the service of Allah.

6- Belief in Destiny (Qadaa and Qadr)
  • A Muslim believes in Qadaa and Qadar which
    relate to the ultimate power of Allah. Qadaa and
    Qadar means the Timeless Knowledge of Allah and
    His power to plan and execute His plans.

World Muslims
  • 1.2 billion, Muslims represent between 19.2 and
  • 22 of the world's population.
  • One of every five humans in the world is a Muslim
  • Second largest religion in the world
  • Fastest growing including Europe and America

World Distribution of Muslims
Source  Britannica Yearbook, 1997
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American Muslims
  • 6 million (The New York Times, Feb. 21, 1989)
  • About 40 Afro-American
  • Not all Muslims are Arabs, Not all Arabs are

Status of Human Beings
  • A Muslim believes that human beings enjoy an
    especially high ranking status in the hierarchy
    of all known creatures
  • Every person is born FREE FROM SIN

  • A Muslim believes that man must work out his
    salvation through the guidance of God
  • In order to obtain salvation, a person must
    combine faith and action, belief and practice
  • Allah does not hold any person responsible until
    he has shown him the Right Way
  • No one can act on behalf of another or intercede
    between him and God

Saying Of Prophet Muhammed
  • "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions
    and every person will get the reward according to
    what he has intended.
  • Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day
    should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who
    believes in Allah and the Last Day should
    entertain his guest generously and anybody who
    believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk
    what is good or keep quiet. (i.e. abstain from
    all kinds of evil and dirty talk).

  • The one who visits the sick is in fact like one
    who is in the fruit garden of Paradise so long as
    he does not return.
  • "The strong is not the one who overcomes the
    people by his strength, but the strong is the one
    who controls himself while in anger.
  • "If any Muslim plants any plant and a human
    being or an animal eats of it, he will be
    rewarded as if he had given that much in

Woman in Islam
  • The right and duty to obtain education.
  • The right to have their own independent property.
  • The right to work to earn money if they need it
    or want it.
  • The same injunctions and prohibitions of Islam
    equally apply to both sexes.
  • The right to provisions from the husband for all
    her needs and more.
  • The right to negotiate marriage terms of her
  • The right to obtain divorce from her husband,
  • The right to keep all her own money
  • The right to get sexual satisfaction from her

  • The custody of their children after divorce
  • The right to accept or reject a marriage proposal
    free from pressure
  • The right of inheritance and the right of
    individual independent ownership unhampered by
    father, husband, brother, son or anyone else.
  • "Heaven is under the feet of mothers", is a basic
    Islamic teaching.
  • "The best of you are the kindest to their wives
    and I am your best to mine",
  • The women are not blamed for the exile of human
    from heaven.

Islams approach to other religions
Islam is the religion of all prophets. Muslims
believe that all the prophets were sent to their
respective peoples from God (Allah). They all had
the same mission and message - guiding people to
the right path. The three revealed, monotheistic
religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, go
back to Abraham.
People of the book (Christian and Jews) "Verily
those who believe, those who follow the Jewish
(Scriptures), the Christians and the Sabians any
who believe In Allah and the last day, and work
righteousness shall have their reward with their
Lord They will not be overcome by fear nor grief
2,62. "There is no compulsion in religion
2256 Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says "Whoever
oppresses any Dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen of the
Muslim Country), I shall be his prosecutor on the
Day of Judgment."
Muslims Contribution To Science
  • Islam urges people to read and learn on every
    occasion. The verses of the Qur'an command,
    advise, warn, and encourage people to observe the
    phenomena of nature, the succession of day and
    night, the movements of stars, the sun, moon, and
    other heavenly bodies
  • The Muslims invented the symbol for zero (The
    word "cipher" comes from Arabic sifr), and they
    organized the numbers into the decimal system -
    base 10. Additionally, they invented the symbol
    to express an unknown quantity, i.e. variables
    like x.

  • Al-Khawarizmi, invented the subject of algebra
    (al-Jabr) Ibn Sina (d. 1037), better known to the
    West as Avicenna, was perhaps the greatest
    physician until the modern era. His famous book,
    Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, remained a standard textbook
    even in Europe, for over 700 years.
  • Many new stars were discovered, as we see in
    their Arabic names - Algol, Deneb, Betelgeuse,
    Rigel, Aldebaran.

Suleymaniye Mosque - Istanbul
For many Muslims, light is the symbol of divine
unity. In Islamic architecture, light functions
decoratively by modifying other elements or by
originating patterns. Light can add a dynamic
quality to architecture, extending patterns,
forms and designs into the dimensions of time.
And the combination of light and shade creates
strong contrasts of planes and gives texture to
sculpted stone. Taj Mahal
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        The Blue Mosque - Istanbul
The mystic ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes -
                        Selimiye Mosque - Edirne
         Halil Rahman Mosque - Urfa
  • Alan Reynolds
  • Salih Yucel
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