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November 1, 2011

Islam / Muslim Religion




Islam / Muslim Religion 

Islam is a monotheistic faith and the world's second-largest religion.In Arabic, Islam means "submission" and is described as a Din, meaning "way of life" and/or "religion." Etymologically, it is derived from the same root as, for example, Salam meaning "peace" (also a common salutation). A more precise translation of the word Islam would be the serenity that is created by submission. The word Muslim is also related to the word Islam and means "one who surrenders" or "submits" to God.Islam / Islamic / Muslim BeliefsFollowers of Islam, known as Muslims, believe that God (or, in Arabic, Allah) revealed his direct word for mankind to Muhammad (c. 570–632) and other prophets, including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims assert that the main written record of revelation to mankind is the Qur'an, which they believe to be flawless, immutable and the final revelation of God. Muslims believe that some parts of the Bible and the Torah may have been misinterpreted or distorted by their followers. With that perspective they view the Qur'an as corrective of Jewish and Christian scriptures.Muslims hold that it is essentially the same belief as that of all the messengers sent by God to mankind since Adam, with the Qur'an (the one definitive text of the Muslim faith) codifying the final revelation of God. Islam sees Judaism and Christianity as derivations of the teachings of certain of these prophets - notably Abraham - and therefore see them as fellow Abrahamic religions, and People of the Book. Islam has two primary branches of belief, based largely on a historical disagreement over the succession of authority after Muhammad's death; these are known as Sunni and Shi'ite.The basis of Muslim belief is found in the shahadatan ("two statements"): la ilaha illa-llahu; muhammadur-rasulu-llahi — "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God." In order to become a Muslim, one needs to recite and believe these statements. All Muslims agree to this, although Sunnis further regard this as one of the five pillars of Islam.There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims:Belief in God, the one and only one worthy of all worship. Belief in the Angels. Belief in the Book (al-Quran / Koran) (sent by God). Belief in all the Prophets and Messengers (sent by God). Belief in the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah) and in the Resurrection. Belief in Fate (Qadar)The Muslim creed in English:I believe in God; and in His Angels; and in His Scriptures; and in His Messengers; and in The Final Day; and in Fate, that Good and Evil are from God, and Resurrection after death be Truth. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship but God; and I testify that Muhammad is His Messenger.Islam God / AllahThe fundamental concept in Islam is the oneness of God (tawhid). This monotheism is absolute, not relative or pluralistic in any sense of the word. God is described in Sura al-Ikhlas, (chapter 112) as follows: Say "He is God, the one, the Self-Sufficient master. He never begot, nor was begotten. There is none comparable to Him."In Arabic, God is called Allah, a contraction of al-ilah or "the (only) god". Allah thus translates to "God" in English. The implicit usage of the definite article in Allah linguistically indicates the divine unity. In spite of the different name used for God, Muslims assert that they believe in the same deity as the Judeo-Christian religions. However, Muslims strictly disagree with the Christian theology concerning the unity of God (the doctrine of the Trinity and that Jesus is the eternal Son of God), seeing it as akin to polytheism. 

 "O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth . The Messiah , Jesus son of Mary , was only a messenger of Allah , and His word which He conveyed unto Mary , and a spirit from Him . So believe in Allah and His messengers , and say not "three" . Cease! ( it is ) better for you! Allah is only One God . Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that he should have a son . His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth . And Allah is sufficient as its defender." [Chapter 4 : Surah 171] 

No Muslim visual images or depictions of God exist because such artistic depictions may lead to idolatry and are thus prohibited. Moreover, many Muslims believe that God is incorporeal, rendering any two or three dimensional depictions impossible. Instead, Muslims describe God by the many divine attributes mentioned in the Qur'an, and also with the 99 names of Allah. All but one Surah (chapter) of the Qur'an begins with the phrase "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful". These are consequently the most important divine attributes in the sense that Muslims repeat them most frequently during their ritual prayers (called salah in Arabic, and in India and Pakistan called "namaz" (a Persian word)).

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