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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

30 facts about Islam - please share

1) "Islam" means "peace through the submission to God".

2) "Muslim" means "anyone or anything that submits itself to the will
of
God".

3) Islam is not a cult. Its followers number over 1.85 billion
worldwide.
Along with Judaism and Christianity, it is considered to be one of the
three
Abrahamic traditions.

4) There are five pillars of practice in Islam. These practices must
be
undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true
Muslim:
A) Shahadah - declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that
Muhammad
is the last prophet of God. B) Formal prayer five times a day. C)
Fasting
during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. D) Poor-due "tax" -
2.5%of one's savings given to the needy at the end of each year. E)
Pilgrimage
to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.

5) There are six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic
beliefs
that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are
belief
in: A) the One God. B) all the prophets of God. C) the original
scriptures
revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. D) the angels.
E)
the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter. F) the divine decree (or
destiny).

6) Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life:
moral,
spiritual, social, political, economical, intellectual, etc.

7) Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. To
become
Muslim, a person of any race or culture must say a simple statement,
the
shahadah, that bears witness to the belief in the One God and that
Prophet
Muhammad was the last prophet of God.

8) "Allah" is an Arabic word that means "God". Muslims also believe
that
"Allah" is the personal name of God.

9) Allah is not the God of Muslims only. He is the God of all people
and
all creation. Just because people refer to God using different terms
does
not mean that they are different gods. Spanish people refer to God as
"Dios"
and French people refer to God as "Dieu", yet they are all the same
God.
Interestingly, most Arab Jews and Arab Christians refer to God as
"Allah".
And the word Allah in Arabic appears on the walls of many Arab
churches.

10) The Islamic concept of God is that He is loving, merciful, and
compassionate. But Islam also teaches that He is just and swift in
punishment. Nevertheless, Allah once said to Prophet Muhammad, "My
mercy
prevails over my wrath." Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope,
protecting one from both complacency and despair.

11) Muslims believe that God has revealed 99 of His names (or
attributes)
in the Holy Qur'an. It is through these names that one can come to know
the
Creator. A few of these names are: the All-Merciful, the All-Knower,
the
Protector, the Provider, the Near, the First, the Last, the Hidden, and
the
Source of Peace.

12) Muslims believe in and acknowledge all the prophets of old, from
Adam
to Jesus. Muslims believe that they brought the message of peace and
submission (islam) to different peoples at different times. Muslims
also
believe that these prophets were "muslims" because they submitted their
wills to God.

13) Muslims neither worship Muhammad nor pray through him. Muslims
solely
worship the unseen and Omniscient Creator, Allah.

14) Muslims accept the original unaltered Torah (the Gospel of Moses)
and
the original Bible (the Gospel of Jesus) since they were revealed by
God.
However, none of those original scriptures are in existence today, in
their
entirety. Therefore, Muslims follow the subsequent, final, and
preserved
revelation of God, the Holy Qur'an.

15) The Holy Qur'an was not authored by Muhammad. It was authored by
God,
revealed to Muhammad, and written into physical form by his companions.

16) The Holy Qur'an has no flaws or contradictions. The original
Arabic
scriptures have never been changed or tampered with.

17) Actual seventh century Qur'ans, complete and intact, are on
display in
museums in Turkey and many other places around the world.

18) If all Qur'ans in the world today were burned and destroyed, the
original Arabic would still remain. This is because millions of
Muslims,
called Hafiz (or "preservers") have memorized the text letter for
letter
from beginning to end, every word and syllable. Also, chapters from the
Qur'an are precisely recited from memory by every Muslim in each of the
five
daily prayers.

19) Muslims do not believe in the concept of "vicarious atonement"
but
rather believe in the law of personal responsibility. Islam teaches
that
each person is responsible for his or her own actions. On the Day of
Judgment Muslims believe that every person will be resurrected and will
have
to answer to God for their every word, thought, and deed. Consequently,
a
practicing Muslim is always striving to be righteous.

20) Islam was not spread by the sword. It was spread by the word
(Islamic
teachings) and the example of its followers. Islam teaches that there
is no
compulsion in religion (the Holy Qur'an 2:256 and 10:99).

21) Terrorism, unjustified violence and the killing of innocent
people are
absolutely forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to
bring
peace to a society, whether its people are Muslim or not. The extreme
actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be, among other things, a
result
of their ignorance or uncontrolled anger. Tyrant rulers and those who
commit
acts of terrorism in the name of Islam are simply not following Islam.
These
people are individuals with their own views and political agendas.
Fanatical
Muslims are no more representative of the true Islamic teachings than
Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh are of Christianity. Extremism and
fanaticism is a problem that is common to all religious groups. Anyone
who
thinks that all Muslims are terrorists should remember that the famous
boxer
Muhammad Ali, perhaps the most celebrated person of our era, is a
practicing
Muslim.

22) The word "jihad" does not mean "holy war". Instead, it means the
inner
struggle that one endures in trying to submit their will to the will of
God.
Some Muslims may say they are going for "jihad" when fighting in a war
to
defend themselves or their fellow Muslims, but they only say this
because
they are conceding that it will be a tremendous struggle. But there are
many
other forms of jihad which are more relevant to the everyday life of a
Muslim such as the struggles against laziness, arrogance, stinginess,
or the
struggle against a tyrant ruler or against the temptation of Satan, or
against one's own ego, etc.

23) Women are not oppressed in Islam. Any Muslim man that oppresses a
woman is not following Islam. Among the many teachings of Prophet
Muhammad
that protected the rights and dignity of women is his saying, "...the
best
among you are those who treat their wives well." (Tirmidhi)

24) Islam grants women numerous rights in the home and in society.
Among
them are the right to earn money, to financial support, to an
education, to
an inheritance, to being treated kindly, to vote, to a dowry, to keep
their
maiden name, to worship in a mosque, etc., etc.

25) Muslim women wear the head-covering (hijab) in fulfillment of
God's
decree to dress modestly. From a practical standpoint, it serves to
identify
one as attempting to follow God in daily life and, therefore, protects
women
from unwanted advances from men. This type of modest dress has been
worn by
righteous women throughout history. Prominent examples are traditional
Catholic Nuns, Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

26) Arranged marriages are allowed in Islam but are not required.
Whereas
"forced" marriages, usually stemming from cultural practice, are
forbidden.
Divorce is permissible, however, reconciliation is what is most
encouraged.
But if there are irreconcilable differences then Islam permits a fair
and
just divorce.

27) Islam and the "Nation of Islam" are two different religions.
Islam is
a religion for all races and enjoins the worship of the one unseen God
who,
orthodox Muslims believe, never took human form. The "Nation", on the
other
hand, is a movement geared towards non-whites and teaches that God
appeared
in the form of Fard Muhammad in 1930 and that Elijah Muhammad (a man
who
died in 1975) was a prophet of God. These beliefs clearly contradict
the
basic Islamic theology outlined in the Qur'an. The followers of "the
Nation"
adhere to some Islamic principles that are mixed with many other
teachings
that are alien to Islam. To better understand the difference between
the
two, read about Malcolm X, his pilgrimage to Mecca and his subsequent
comments to the media. Islam teaches equality amongst all the races
(Holy
Qur'an 49:13).

28) All Muslims are not Arab. Islam is a universal religion and way
of
life which includes followers from all races of people. There are
Muslims in
and from virtually every country in the world. Arabs only constitute
about
20% of Muslims worldwide. Indonesia has the largest concentration of
Muslims
with over 120 million.

29) In the five daily prayers, Muslims face the Kaaba in Mecca,
Arabia. It
is a cube-shaped stone structure that was originally built by Prophet
Adam
and later rebuilt by Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that the Kaaba
was the
first house of worship on Earth dedicated to the worship of one god.
Muslims
do not worship the Kaaba. It serves as a central focal point for
Muslims
around the world, unifying them in worship and symbolizing their common
belief, spiritual focus and direction. Interestingly, the inside of the
Kaaba is empty.

30) The hajj is a simultaneous pilgrimage to the Kaaba made by
millions of
Muslims each year. It is performed to commemorate the struggles of
Abraham,
Ismail and Hagar in submitting their wills to God.

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This pamphlet was produced by MeccaCentric.com (visit their website at
http://meccacentric.com/).

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