In addition to the Pillars of Islam that have to be practiced, there are six core principles (The Article of Faith) that comprise the belief of a Muslim. These articles of faith form the foundation of Islamic belief system.
The word Muslim means anyone or anything that surrenders itself to the true will of God. This is done by declaring that “there is no god except one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” In a broader sense, anyone who willingly submits to the will of God is a Muslim. One cannot judge Islam by looking at those individuals who have a Muslim name but in their actions, they are not living or behaving as Muslims.
A person does not convert to Islam but rather reverts to it as all are born Muslim at birth. In order to revert, a person must testify that there is nothing or no one worthy of being worshipped, except for God, and that Muhammad is His final messenger. In Arabic, this statement is “Laa ilaaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasool Allah.” This declaration is the first pillar of Islam, which makes a person a Muslim.
The term Jihad is often mistranslated as “holy war“. It literally means, “struggle”, and it takes many forms: a spiritual struggle against one’s self, a personal struggle to make one’s environment better, a community’s non-violent struggle against injustice, and a nation’s military or diplomatic struggle against oppression.
Sharia is the comprehensive Muslim law derived from two sources, a) the Quran b) the Sunnah or traditions of Prophet Muhammad (P). It covers every aspect of daily individual and collective living such as; family, business, crime, politics, Judicial matters and etc. Sharia law is derived by scholars through interpretations of Islam’s canonical texts, the Qur’an and Hadith (sayings and actions of Muhammad).
Islam emphasizes modesty to protect individuals and society. No person should be perceived as a sex object. There are certain guidelines for both men and women. Men’s dress code should neither be thin nor tight enough to reveal body forms, must at least cover the area from the knee to navel. For women, their dress should cover all areas except the hands and face.
Muslims come from everywhere: The Caribbean (some were born right here in Dominica), Australia, China, Europe, America and many were born in majority Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco, and Afghanistan. About 20% of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Arab world, whereas approximately 60% live in Asia-Pacific. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country by population (home to approximately 15.6 % of the world’s Muslims).
The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was memorized by Muhammad (peace be upon him) and then dictated to his companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. The Qur’an has been preserved in the original language of revelation, and it is taught and recited all over the Muslim world.
“Allah” is not the “Muslim God”. Allah is the Arabic word for God, used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians long before Islam existed (the name Allah was used). It is a unique term since it has no gender and no plural forms. He has 99 names, which describe His attributes. Allah is unlike anyone or anything imaginable. No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated, prayed to, or shown any act of worship, but God alone.
Yes, we do. In Islam, Jesus “Isa” (peace be upon him) is a prophet. The Quran tells us that Jesus was born of a miraculous birth without a father. “Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then He said unto him: Be and he is” (Quran 3.59). Muslims revere Jesus as a messenger God, but we do not worship him.
Actually, they don’t. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham (Ibrahim), and their prophets are directly descended from his sons – Muhammad from the eldest son, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement that today is the city of Makkah (Mecca) and built a cubed-shaped building called the Kaa’ba, which Muslims turn towards daily when they pray.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final messenger in a long line of messengers sent by God—including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them). He was born in Makkah in the year 571 A.D. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity, and sincerity so much that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. Muhammad is a human and a messenger of God, he is never to be worshiped, worship is reserved exclusively to the creator.