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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oneness of God

Islam enjoins faith in the Oneness and Sovereignty of God, which makes man aware of the meaningfulness of the Universe and his place in it. This belief frees him from all fears and superstitions by making him conscious of the presence of Almighty Allah and of man's obligations towards Him. Belief in one God requires that we look upon all humanity as one family irrespective of colour, class, race or territory, under the Omnipotence of Allah the Creator and Nourisher of all. Islam rejects the idea of a chosen people, making faith in Allah and good action the only way to Heaven. Thus a direct relationship is established with Allah, open to all alike, without any intercessor.

Qur'an and Hadith

The Qur’an is the last revealed Word of Allah and as such affirms and completes the total process of revelation which has come from the Divine Guidance for the human race. The Qur’an is the basic source of Islamic teachings and laws and deals with the bases of creed, morality, history of humanity, worship. knowledge, wisdom, the God-man relation, and human relationship, in all aspects. Comprehensive teachings on which sound systems of social justice, economics, politics, legislation, jurisprudence, law and international relations can be built, are important contents of the Holy Qur’an. Prophet Muhammad himself was an unlettered man who could not read or write. The Holy Qur’an was revealed to him piece-meal over a period of 23 years and committed to memory and writing by his followers under his supervision during his lifetime. The original and complete text of the Qur’an is available to everybody in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed. Translations of the meaning into many languages are widely used.

Hadith, the teachings, sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, meticulously reported and collected by his devoted companions, explain and elaborate the Qur'anic verses.

Jihad

Jihad consists in exerting oneself to the utmost in order to personally follow the teachings of Islam. A Muslim, therefore expends all the powers of body and soul, his wealth, possessions and even life in the fight against the evil forces of the world in order that injustice, oppression and contumacy are annihilated and Allah's just order is established. Therefore to struggle in the path of Allah with the pen; speech or the sword is Jihad.

“What has happened to you? Why don't you fight in the way of Allah in support of men, women and children, whom finding helpless. they have repressed; and who pray, ‘0 Allah! liberate us from this habitation which is ruled by tyrants.” (Holy Qur’an 4:75)

“What has happened to you? Why don't you fight in the way of Allah in support of men, women and children, whom finding helpless. they have repressed; and who pray, ‘0 Allah! liberate us from this habitation which is ruled by tyrants.” (Holy Qur’an 4:75)

The Five Pillars of Islam

Every action which is done with the awareness that it fulfils the will of Allah is considered an act of worship in Islam. Nevertheless, the specific acts of worship, termed the pillars of Islam, provide the framework of spiritual life.

They are the following:

1. The declaration of faith: 'I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger; the prophethood of Muhammad obliges the Muslims to follow his exemplary life in every way.

2. Prayers are prescribed five times a day as a duty towards Allah. They strengthen and enliven the belief in Allah and inspire man to a higher morality. They purify the heart and control the temptation towards wrong doing and evil. It should be stressed that while Allah does not need our prayers we cannot survive without His blessings and guidance. "0 you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere." (Holy Qur'an 2:153)

3.
Fasting is observed once each year during the month of Ramadaan. This means abstention from food, drink and intimate marital relationship from dawn to sunset. and also from evil intentions and desires. It teaches love, sincerity and devotion. It develops a sound social conscience, patience, unselfishness and willpower. When we fast by choice. Allah remembers our sacrifice.

4.
Zakaat - payment annually of 2.5% of one's net savings as a purifying sum to be spent on the poor and needy. Zakaat implies that everything man possesses belongs to Allah and therefore anyone in need has a share in it.

5. Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah - once in a lifetime provided one has the means to do so. Hajj implies man's temporary suspension of all worldly activities and his realisation of himself as a naked soul in front of Allah alone.

What is the Qur'an?

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was memorized by Muhammad (SAW) and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (SAW) fourteen centuries ago.

What does 'Islam' mean?

The Arabic word 'Islam' simply means 'submission', and derives from a word meaning 'peace'. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. 'Mohammedanism' is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad (SAW) rather than God. 'Allah' is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.

Who is the founder of 'Tabligh'?

It is Abu AlQasim (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him), also known as Muhammed ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim, who is not the father of any man and the seal of the prophets. After receiving the messengership, Muhammed (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) conveyed the message of truth to His companions (called the Sahabah), who then brought the message to the rest of the world. It is this work that is, by the grace of Allah, alive and active today. It is by their efforts, May Allah be pleased with them and have mercy upon them, that we are Muslims.

Who are the 'jamaat tabligh'?

It is a great Mercy from Allah (All glory is due to Him the Most High) that this work has been revived in many places throughout the world. It is also a great Mercy from Allah (All glory is due to Him the Most High) that people doing this effort are able to organize together and support and help each other out in doing this work.

The ways that are followed are what Allah has revealed in the Quran, and according to the traditions of Muhammed (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.)

It is inappropriate for people to call people that do this work as the 'jamaat tabligh'. It is out of ignorance, and the works of the shaitan, to divide the Muslims. The Muslims are one Ummah (Nation), and amongst them are some that are foremost in good works, some that wrong their souls, and some that follow a way between the two. It is every muslim's duty to convey the message given by Abu AlQasim (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him). It is the responsibility of every Muslim to first convey the message to himself/herself, by learning more about Islam, then conveying the message to his/her family, and to the people around them.

Allah Commands us to do tabligh.

Allah commands all of us to do tabligh. Allah says in the Quran:




061.014 O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of God: As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) God?" Said the disciples, "We are God's helpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved..

Allah makes this command to all the believers. We must be helpers of Allah and convey the message that Allah gave to His final messenger (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him). Muhammed (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) fulfilled his duty by conveying this message to his sahabah, its now for us to convey it to others.

Also in Bukhari hadith:


4.667: ------- Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: The Prophet said, "Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of Bani Israel (which have been taught to you), for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire."

In the above hadith from Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) commands us to convey the message. In arabic the word for convey is baligh. That is what is tabligh. This command is for everyone. The prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) orders us to convey the message even if it were a single statement. The prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) also commands us to relate the stories of Bani Israel, and whoever says a lie about prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) will find his seat in the hell fire.

Who is Muhammad (P.B.U.H)?

Muhammad was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before birh, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his trthfulness, generosity and sinceriy, so hat he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.

Muhammad was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the ‘Mountain of Light’ near Makkah.

What do Muslims believe?

Muslims beliee in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through Gabriel.

What is Quran about?

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was recited by Muhammad to his Companions as if it had been burned into his heart and mind. It was written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.

The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim’s faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.

What is Hajj?

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah- the Hajj- is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another.

Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so the Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka’ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa nd Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgement.

In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modern transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities.

The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

What is Ka’ba?

The Ka’ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say ‘At Thy service, O Lord’, in response to Abraham’s summons.

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