Who is Allah?
The Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East use the word “Allah” to refer to God, which refers to The Only True God ( the Creator). The word Allah was mentioned in the earlier version of the Old Testament 89 times. (Refer to Genesis 2:4, Book of Daniel 6:20 Hebrew and Arabic Bible)
What is the meaning of the term Islam?
Islam means total submission to the Creator and the worship of Him alone without any intermediary .The name of Islam is not connected to any person or place or a special group, but reflects the relationship with God (submission to God).
What are the teachings of the religion of Islam?
Islam the religion of all the prophets is:
- There is no god except The Only God, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe and its contents.
- Pray only to Him, and no others.
- Believe and follow the messengers (of that period). (The messengers prophesied the coming of last Prophet- Muhammad, and urged their followers to believe in him and follow him if they reach his time).
- Do good and avoid evil.
Ever since Man appeared on earth – from the time of Adam- the Creator appointed the most righteous person in a particular society as a prophet to guide mankind towards Truth with ultimate goal of reaching Him. Throughout history, He would send a prophet whenever people slipped into moral decline and aimless lives; after an earlier prophets’ message became corrupted and adulterated.
All Prophets carried the same message to all nations. A simple straightforward message as the condition of salvation: Belief in One God (the Creator) and unifying Him in worship. Every Prophet was the way for his followers in his time to get the salvation, and that was by following his teachings; worshiping like the Prophet does, not worshipping the Prophet himself or any other intermediary (idol, saint, priest, etc.), as it is the right of the Creator to be worshipped alone and the right of the human being to have direct connection with His Creator. This is the message of Islam which started with Prophet Adam and was completed with Prophet Muhammad.
The teachings of Islam include:
- Performing the ritualistic prayers to keep the connection with the Creator.
- Fasting the month of Ramadan to developing better self-control and appreciate God’s blessings.
- Giving a certain specific percentage of certain types of a person saved annually wealth, reaching to the poor people to keep economic balance in society, purify the wealth, and revive the economy.
- Performing the pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime to symbolize the unity of all believers regardless of their classes, backgrounds, cultures, or languages.
The Creator is One. He sent one message through many prophets to all nations. For example, at the time of Prophet Abraham, what was the correct faith? What did followers of Abraham have to do? The followers of Abraham had to testify that:
‘I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except the Creator, Allah, and I bear witness that Abraham is His messenger.’
Then Prophet Moses came to confirm the message of Abraham. What did the followers of Abraham have to do? They had to accept Prophet Moses and to testify: that no God is worthy of worship except the Creator, and Moses and Abraham are messengers of God.
When Prophet Jesus came to confirm the message of Moses, the followers of Moses had to accept Jesus, and to testify that there is no God worthy of worship except the Creator, and Jesus, Moses, Abraham are His messengers.
Prophet Muhammad came to confirm the message of Jesus. The followers of Jesus had to accept Prophet Muhammad and testify that: ‘I bear witness that no God is worthy of worship except the Creator, Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad, Jesus, Moses are messengers of God.’
While many of the prophets and messengers that God sent to different nations are mentioned by name in the Qur’an like Jesus, Moses, Abraham, David, Solomon, Ishmael, Isaac, etc., others are not mentioned. Therefore, the possibility that other famous religious teachers such as the Hindu lords, Ram, Krishna, were prophets of God, cannot be outrightly negated.
Islam involves belief in all the messengers of God who were sent to different people in different eras without differentiating between any of them. Denial of one of God’s prophets violates Islam. This establishes a very strong common bond with people of other faiths.
“The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in God (The Creator) and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], we make no distinction between any of His messengers. And they say, we hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.” (Qur’an 2:285)
What is the concept of God in Islam?
God is the Creator, He is Self-Sufficient, it does not befit His Majesty to take a son or wife, or to beget or to be begotten, and there is no similitude to Him. Who created space and time, is necessarily transcendent in relation to both and it is an error on our part to think that He is bound by either. It is The Creator who created the law of causation and we cannot consider Him as a subject to the law He created, therefore He does not change. He created the time, so He is not subjected to time. He does not go through the same stages of time that we go through, does not get tired, and does not need to put Himself in a human or animal form and descend to Earth. Therefore we cannot see Him in this life because we are trapped in time and space, while He transcends both. For example: a person sitting in a windowless room can only see the room’s interior. To see outside, he must leave the room; that is to say, he must overcome the room as a hindrance to see the outside.
Who created God?
Is God a thing that falls under the category of created things? Can this question be valid? We can’t ask what anger tastes like as it does not fall under the category of things we can eat, rather it is a thing that falls under a category of things that we can feel. Similarly, a question of what red color smells like is not valid since colors do not fall under the category of things that have smell. Everything need a cause, but God simply exists and is uncaused. Something had to have been in existence before everything else. God is the primary cause.
If we say that everything has a source, and this source itself has a source and if we keep up this pattern; each source causatively coming from a previous source, then the pattern will carry on perpetually. Therefore, logically this pattern must come to an end or rather to a beginning. It must reach a source that has no source. That’s what we call the’ Primary Source.’
The primary source must have existed before the beginning of time, because if it came into existence after the beginning of time, then that source itself must have had a beginning, there must be something that preceded its existence. The primary source must have preceded time and space. Without the sun, the moon, the planets, the stars, there would be no night or day; there would be no hours, days or months. Therefore, time and space must have come into existence simultaneously, and that is what science has proven.
“And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.” (Qur’an 21:33)
There is a difference between the primary cause and the primary event. The primary event according to science is the Big Bang, (a scientific theory about how the universe was created) but the primary cause should be what caused the Big Bang.
During ancient philosophy, Aristotle argued that the world must have existed from an eternal source. A primary source that is uncaused.‘God to Aristotle is the first of all substances, the necessary first source of movement who is Himself unmoved. God is a being with everlasting life, and perfect blessedness, engaged in never-ending contemplation.’
Other classical philosophers defined certain characteristics to the primary cause.
- That it must have preceded time and space, energy and existence, therefore nature cannot possibly be the creator of the universe because nature itself is time, space and energy, and therefore the cause must have existed before nature.
- It must also be omnipotent (having power over everything).
- It must be capable of making decisions in order to make the decision to start creation.
- It must have foresight, and must be omniscient (have perfect knowledge of all things).
- It must be one, because if this cause is perfect then it should not need any other cause with it.
Why is it impossible for the universe to have been created by chance ?
In fact, the word “chance” cannot be used to interpret anything. The universe cannot be created by chance. The chance by itself is nothing at all.
A rolling dice that has six sides can be thrown by a person in any way he or she likes. The probability of him or her obtaining the number 5 will occur by chance of 1/6. If they want to get the number 6, it will still happen by chance and the probability of obtaining the number 6 will be exactly equal to the probability of obtaining the number 5. However, for this chance to occur the person who threw the dice and the dice itself must exist. The chance cannot happen if nothing caused it. Therefore, chance cannot be the primary cause; it is a secondary result that depends on other factors. Moreover, if you expose the dice to heat, it will simply melt and the shape of it will change. So the chance or the probability of obtaining the number 5 this time will change since the dice will not be usable anymore.
The problem with putting our whole faith in science is that science is a shifting foundation; new discoveries are made every day which negate previous theories. Some of what we take as science is still theoretical. Even if we assume all science is proven and accurate, we still have a problem. Science nowadays gives all glory to the discoverer and ignores the originator. For example – let’s say someone walks into a room and discovers a beautiful painting, very precisely executed, with unbelievable order and color symmetry, and then he walks out to tell people about it. Everybody is so impressed with the guy who discovered the painting that they forget to ask the more important question: ‘who painted it?’ This is what humans do; they are so impressed with scientific discoveries of the laws of nature and space that they forget the creativity of He who created the laws of gravity, centrifugal force, energy, matter and so on. All what scientists do is discover the laws. They didn’t originate these laws. The Creator did.
Science, in fact, it presented as an alternative to religion. It is like being asked to choose between a book and its author. They are not alternatives. Does the discovery of a book disprove the existence of the author??
Why God created us?
- God created us to worship Him as He is the Master of the universe “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”(Qur’an 51:56)
- When we are generous and rich, we invite others to food and drink because we want to fulfill our generosity. God is the most generous, the most merciful. He created us to bestow His blessings on us and provide His mercy. All beautiful human attributes are derived from His attributes.
He gave us life, health and all what we have in this life, so it makes no sense to worship and ask His creatures instead of Him. As an example: God gave us health, so why should we ask saints, priests, idols, prophets, or any other creature to heal us when we get sick.
For many people, their main problem is how to conform the soul to reality.
It is therefore, no wonder that some communities, despite their many luxuries and comforts, have had the greatest difficulty grappling with the problem of evil.
As Victor Frankl put it well:
“More people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for. Meaninglessness is what renders life a prison in which occupants frantically scramble between the walls of life and death, panicking from every sting. In a life without meaning, every pinch is an unexplainable—and unavoidable—random event that can only be classified in terms of energy and matter, and only represents chaos, commotion, and a tragedy. ”
The primary purpose of the human being is not to enjoy a transitory sense of happiness; rather, it is to achieve a deep internal peace through knowing and worshipping God. This fulfillment of the Divine purpose will result in everlasting bliss and true happiness. So, if this is our primary purpose, other aspects of human experience are secondary.
What is the wisdom behind natural disasters and suffering?
God also created us for a test, and part of this test is to experience trials with suffering and evil. Passing the test facilitates our permanent abode of eternal bliss in paradise. The Qur’an explains that God created death and life.
“so that He may put you to test, to find out which of you is best in deeds: He is the The-Almighty, The-Forgiving.” (Qur’an 18: 7-8 )
- To teach us that we must adhere to God’s natural and moral laws as natural disasters may happen when Man violates God’s laws.
- Suffering of the righteous comes with promises of great reward and blessings from God.
- Natural disasters bring out the best in some people in terms of the display of elevated human values and charity.
In any case, it must be noted that God did not make this world permanent. This world is temporary and everything in life is limited by time. When its time finishes, it dies or it ends. Neither the good things of this world are everlasting, nor are the bad things eternal. We are here for a short time and we are being tested. Those who pass this test will find an eternal world that is perfect and permanent. Those who fail this test shall see the consequences of their sins and corruption.
On a basic level, the atheist misunderstands the purpose of our existence on Earth. The world is supposed to be an arena of trials and tribulations in order to test our conduct and for us to cultivate virtue. For example, how can we cultivate patience if we do not experience things that test our patience? How can we become courageous if there are no dangers to be confronted? How can we be compassionate if no one is in need of it? Life being a test answers these questions. We need them to ensure our moral and spiritual growth. We are not here to party; that is the purpose of paradise.
So why is life a test? Since God is perfectly good, He wants every single one of us to believe and as a result to experience eternal bliss with Him in paradise. God makes it clear that He prefers belief for us all:
“And He does not approve for His servant’s disbelief.” (Qur’an 53 :7 )
This clearly shows that God does not want anyone to go to hell. However, if He were to enforce that and send everyone to paradise, then a gross violation of justice would take place; God would be treating Moses and the Pharaoh and Hitler and Jesus as the same. A mechanism is needed to ensure that people who enter paradise do so based on merit. This explains why life is a test. Life is just a mechanism to see who among us are truly deserving of eternal happiness. As such, life is filled with obstacles, which act as tests of our conduct.
In this regard, Islam is extremely empowering because it sees suffering, evil, harm, pain and problems as a test. We can have fun, but we have been created with a purpose and that purpose is to worship God. The empowering Islamic view is that tests are seen as sign of God’s love. The Prophet Muhammad said:
The reason God tests those whom He loves is because it is an avenue to achieve the eternal bliss of paradise—and entering paradise is a result of Divine love and mercy. God points this out clearly in the Qur’an: “Do you suppose that you will enter the Garden without first having suffered like those before you? They were afflicted by misfortune and hardship, and they were so shaken that even [their] messenger and the believers with him cried, ‘When will God’s help arrive?’ Truly, God’s help is near.”
The beauty of the Islamic teachings is that God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, has already empowered us and tells us that we have what it takes to overcome these trials. “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear.”
However, if we cannot overcome these trials after having tried our best, God’s mercy and justice will ensure that we are recompensed in some way, either in this life or the eternal life that awaits us.
What is the greater good in Islam?
Having hardship and suffering enables us to realize and know God’s attributes, such as The-Protector and The-Healer. For example, without the pain of illness we would not appreciate the attribute of God Being The-Healer, or the one who gives us health. Knowing God in the Islamic spiritual teachings is a greater good, and worth the experience of suffering or pain, as it will ensure the fulfilment of our primary purpose, which ultimately leads to paradise.
Suffering and evil allow a greater good, also known as second-order good. First-order good is physical pleasure and happiness, and first-order evil is physical pain and sadness. Some examples of second-order goodness include courage, humility and patience. However, in order to have a second-order good (like courage) there must be a first-order evil (like cowardice). According to the Qur’an, elevated good such as courage and humility do not have the same value as evil.
Say Prophet, bad cannot be likened to good, though you may be dazzled by how abundant the bad is. Be mindful of God, people of understanding, so that you may prosper. (Qur’an )
Even if there is a lot of greater good to be actualized, one may observe that some people still suffer without experiencing any relief. This is why in Islam; God not only provides justifications for evil and suffering in this world but also recompenses them. At the end, all believers who suffered and were innocent will be granted eternal bliss, and all the suffering they had—even if they suffered all of their life—will be forgotten forever. The Prophet Muhammad said:
“… the person who had suffered the most affliction in the world of those destined for Paradise will be brought forth and merely dipped into Paradise for a moment. Then he will be asked: ‘O son of Adam, have you ever seen suffering? Have you ever experienced hardship in your life?’ He will reply ‘No my Lord, by God. I have never undergone suffering. I have never seen hardship.’”
What is the Qur’an?
The Qur’an is the last holy book sent by God, but not the only book, as Muslims believe in all the earlier revelations of God (the scriptures of Abraham, the book of David, the Torah, the Gospel,etc.). Muslims believe that the original message in all the sacred books is Pure Monotheism (unifying God in worship). Unlike the Divine scriptures that preceded, the Qur’an has not been kept in the hands of any particular group or clergymen of Muslims which would lead to the misinterpretation or alteration of it. On the contrary, the Qur’an has always been within the reach of all Muslims who recite it in their daily prayers, and they refer to it for all their concerns. Muslims read and recite the same Qur’anic text that was read and recited during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Not a single letter has been added or removed from the Qur’an. God the almighty challenged the Arabs and the non-Arabs to bring forth a book similar to the one He revealed, even though the Arabs at that time were masters of eloquence and rhetoric, they were unable to meet the challenge, and they realized that the Qur’an could not be from any other than God, the Lord of the universe.
Why does God refer to Himself as ” We” in the Qur’an ?
The reference of God to Himself as WE or US in many verses of the Qur’an denotes Grandeur and Power in Arabic. In the English language this is known as the royal WE, where a plural pronoun is used to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch. For the avoidance of doubt, the Qur’an has consistently reminded us of the SINGULAR pronoun in reference to God, when called upon by His servants.
Do Muslims believe in the original sin?
No, Islam relieves the burden of the original sin.
Every child is born sinless. The lesson for humanity when God accepted Adam’s repentance for eating the forbidden fruit is the first instance of forgiveness.
- Every soul bears the burden of its own sin. This shows the justice of God. Humans cannot be blamed for sins they did not commit, nor can they get salvation if they are evildoers on Earth.
- No-one is tortured for a sin he did not commit. You do not sacrifice one child to forgive another’s sin. Life is a test and each soul is responsible for his own actions.
What is the Ka’aba?
The Ka’aba is a building covered with black cloth, which is placed in the city of Mecca (in Saudi Arabia). It has a door but no windows. No one is buried in the Ka’aba, it is a prayer room not a tomb. A Muslim praying inside the Ka’aba can pray in any direction. The Ka’aba was rebuilt several times. Muslims believe that the most important person who rebuilt the Ka’aba was Prophet Abraham together with his son Ishmael. An original part of the outer walls of the Ka’aba is the black stone believed by Muslims to have come to the Earth with Adam. Muslims do not believe that this stone is divine or has any healing or other special powers.
Muslims believe that the Ka’aba was the first place of worship built by the first human and first prophet; Adam. It was later rebuilt on the same foundations by Abraham and his son Ishmael who started to circumambulate around the Ka’aba in a counterclockwise motion. This motion is in harmony with the movement of planets around the sun, the electrons around the nucleus, and the circulation of the blood in the human body. Muslims believe that the universe is praising the Creator as well. This shows the unity in the creation of the universe. When Muslims do the Pilgrimage, they circumambulate like Prophet Abraham around the Ka’aba.
Moreover, when Muslims from some part of the world pray to the Creator to the direction of Mecca they join their fellow Muslims praying elsewhere in the world in concentric human circles, they worship God towards the same spiritual center. This means that Muslims pray to their Creator all the time. In other words, when some Muslims finish their 5 minutes’ prayer somewhere, another Muslims start their 5 minutes elsewhere. The prayer timings depend on the sunrise and sunset and they concurrently occur with the movements of the pilgrims in Makah, which is also consistent with the movement of the universe.
Is there priesthood in Islam ?
In Islam, there is no priesthood, religion is for all. All people are equal and they are treated as they deserve to be, according to their deeds, good actions, and duties in this world. There is no superiority of one race over another.
Every child is born sinless. Everyone can call upon their Creator without any intermediary. If the child is left alone without parents or any teachings, he will grow up worshipping the Creator alone. At the age of puberty, he will be responsible for his actions and he has a choice to remain monotheist worshiping his Creator alone, or to change his natural religion and take a wrong path by praying to God through an intermediary (Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Idols, Muhammad… etc.).
Are women oppressed in Islam?
What many don’t know that if a Muslim woman wants to adopt women rights as declared by the United Nations, and forgo her rights in Islam, it will be her loss, as she has more rights in Islam.
Before the advent of Islam, women were treated as property, and had a lower status than livestock. They were offered in trade or taken in marriage without their consent or any consideration for their feelings.
These days, people are so busy proving that women can do what men can do, that women are losing their uniqueness. Women in fact were created to do everything a man cannot do: give birth, breastfeed, nurture, etc. In Islam, men and women are moral equals in God’s sight and are expected to fulfill the same duties of worship, prayer, faith, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca.
Islam generally improved the status of women compared to earlier Arab cultures, prohibiting female infanticide and recognizing women’s full personhood. Islamic law emphasizes the contractual nature of marriage, requiring that a dowry be paid to the woman rather than to her family, and guaranteeing women’s rights of inheritance and to own and manage property. It gave women the right to inherit similar to or more than their male counterparts in more than 30 cases (males inherit more than females in 4 cases only depend on the degree of kinship, the generation position, and the financial obligations). when a deceased leaves a son and daughter, the man inherits twice the woman’s share. But the man heir is obligated to support a woman (i.e. his wife) and their kids. On the other hand, the female heir is provided for along with her kids by another man (her husband). Now, the share inherited by the female is purely her own property. It is free of financial support obligations and she can save it for any needs or emergencies in the future.
Women were also granted the right to live in the matrimonial home and receive financial maintenance during marriage and during the waiting period following death and divorce.
The Qur’an states that Eve is not blamed for Adam’s sin. Each of them accepted their own mistake and repented to God, and asked God to forgive them and God did forgive them. So, this burden of seduction and the original sin is lifted from women.
Islam elevated kind treatment of women to the best of good deeds.
“The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character. And the best of you are those who are best to their women.”At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani.
“Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember God often and the women who do so – for them God has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”(Qur’an 33:35)
“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and God makes therein much good.”(Qur’an 4:19)
“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear God, through whom you ask one another, and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Indeed, God is ever, over you, an Observer.”(Qur’an 4:1)
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.”(Qur’an 16:97)
“…,they (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them,…”(Qur’an 2:187)
“And among His signs is this that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”(Qur’an 30:21)
“And they seek of thee the decision of the Law with regard to women. Say, God gives you His decision regarding them. And so, does that which is recited to you in the Book concerning the orphan girls whom you give not what is prescribed for them and whom you desire to marry, and concerning the weak among children. And He enjoins you to observe equity towards the orphans. And whatever good you do, surely God knows it well. And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear God – then indeed God is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (Qur’an 4:127-128)
God has commanded men to provide for women and allow them to keep all of their wealth, inheritance and income without any obligations to support their families. It has protected women’s rights by keeping their identity separate as they are not the property of men. As such, they are no longer forced to change their last names to be that of their husbands. This is still the practice of Muslim women today just as it was fourteen hundred years ago.
Divorce is allowed but hated; and marriage is sanctified. If the couple cannot live in harmony there are three necessary steps prior to divorce: advice, mediation, and waiting out a period while tempers cool off.
Mary (The mother of Jesus Christ) is the only woman mentioned in the Qur’an by name. While the Qur’an does not directly name any woman except for Mary, women play a role in many of the rich and varied stories that the Qur’an tells.
For example, the Qur’an describes the encounter of the Queen of Sheba with Prophet Solomon and her subsequent embrace of his faith (to believe in the Creator and unify Him in worship).
“A woman ruling over them, and she has been given abundance and she has a mighty throne.” (Qur’an 27:23)
History shows us that Prophet Muhammad consulted women and weighed their opinions seriously. Women prayed in mosques with men, gave sanctuary to men, fought in wars, nursed men in combat, engaged in commercial transactions, were encouraged to seek knowledge, and were both instructors and pupils in the early Islamic period.
Islam also gave the women full status as citizens over 1,400 years ago giving them the right to speak and vote. Up until the last century, women of the West had to take their cause to the streets with the “Women’s Suffrage Movement” to demand the right to vote.
Although Qur’an permits limited polygamy, it is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to marry more than one wife.
“…, marry woman of your choice in twos’ threes’ or fours’ but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, (with them), then only one.” (Qur’an 4:3)
Qur’an is the only religious scripture in the world that says ‘marry only one’. Before the Qur’an was revealed there was no upper limit for polygamy and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals with them justly, which is extremely difficult.
“And you will never be able to be just and fair between wives [in feeling] , even if you should strive [to do so],…” (Qur’an 4:129)
By nature, males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. During childhood itself a female child has more immunity than a male child and has better chances for survival. Also, during wars, more men are killed compared to women. The average life span of females is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more widows in the world than widowers. World female population is more than male population. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife may not be practical.
In some societies where polygamy is prohibited it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple extra-marital affairs, in which case, the mistress can lead, a shameful, unprotected life, without rights for herself or her children. It is strange that we have no problem accepting relations without marriage; same sex marriages; relations without responsibility; children without fathers, etc.; but have no tolerance for a legal marriage between a man and more than one woman. Currently, the only two options for a woman who cannot find a husband are to marry a married man or to become a mistress. Islam prefers the more honorable status of a wife.
In any case a woman has the right to be the only wife for her husband by stating this condition in the marriage contract. The basic principle with regard to the conditions stipulated by both partners in the marriage contract is that it is a valid condition that must be fulfilled, and it is not permissible to break it.
One very important point that is often overlooked by modern society is the right that Islam gave to women that it does not give to men. A man is limited to marry only unmarried women. Obviously, this provides rights for the children and protects their inheritance from their father. But Islam permits women to marry a man who is already married, as long as he has fewer than 4 wives. Therefore, a woman has a larger selection of men to choose from. She has the opportunity to see how the other wife is being treated and enters into marriage knowing exactly what to expect from her husband.
Women’s rights from God, but oppression from people. So, when Muslim women are oppressed in some communities, it is the case with Christian, Hindu and Buddhist women in the same country. This is the culture of the people, but it has nothing to do with the religion of God.
Is Islam a religion of terrorism?
Islam preserves human values, human dignity, and teaches us that people are equal in rights and duties. It calls to peace and justice through comprehensive security, social solidarity, good-neighborliness, preservation of money and property, and the fulfillment of covenants and other principles. This is another common denominator with the followers of other religions and shows that the origin of the divine religions is one.
Islam emphasizes that the approach to call others to God should be through a gentle respectful approach.
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” (Qur’an 16: 125)
And it rejects rancor and violence in guidance and expression.
“O by mercy from God, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So, pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon God. Indeed, God loves those who rely [upon Him].” (Qur’an 3:159)
Islam’s ultimate goal is to spread mercy and lead all people to the righteous path.
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Qur’an 21:107)
Islam enjoins people to respect covenants and to avoid prohibitions, treachery and betrayal.
“O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur’an] – hunting not being permitted while you are in the state of ihram. Indeed, God ordains what He intends.”(Qur’an 5:1)
“And fulfill the covenant of God when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made God, over you, a witness. Indeed, God knows what you do.” (Qur’an 16:91)
Islam values life. Fighting non-combatants is not allowed. Their properties, children and women should be protected.
“God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly. God only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. “(Qur’an 60:8-9)
“…., whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”(Qur’an 5:32)
Islam rules all aspects of human behavior, and builds strong nations and great civilizations. Throughout its history, Islam has established the foundation for science and provided thought leadership. Islam encouraged the participation of non-Muslims in its achievements and thus scored a record in tolerance and respect for humanity.
The Islamic civilization succeeded in illustrating the mind and thought. The religion of Islam was itself responsible not only for the creation of a world civilization in which people of many different ethnic backgrounds participated, but it played a central role in developing intellectual and cultural life on a scale not seen before. For around eight hundred years Arabic was the major intellectual and scientific language of the world.
The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is based on justice and peace.
“Fight in the way of God those who fight against you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors.” (Qur’an 2:190)
The real Muslim denounces the contemporary concept of terrorism, as represented in aggression against the rules of God and intimidation of civilians, the wounded, prisoners, and the use of immoral means to destroy the cities and civilizations.
” Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason. ” (Qur’an 6:151)
As you will see from what follows, Islam builds a strong system of morality, purifies the soul from self-seeking egotism, oppression, and indiscipline, and calls to gentleness, friendliness, generosity, mercy, compassion and peace, towards all creation in all situations. It creates God-conscious human beings, devoted to their ideals, possessed of piety, uncompromising with falsehood and evil; human beings who construct the Earth and benefit its peoples.
Islam calls for good manners and avoiding evil, therefore bad behavior of some Muslims is due to their cultural habits, or ignorance of their own religion, and Peace comes from God, but violence from people. We have many bad examples other than Muslims and we find killing them in the name of God. But the problem nowadays is that the media focus on the bad examples of Muslims and ignore the bad examples of others.
Do Muslims believe in the concept of the reincarnation?
No, because all what exist in the universe is under God’s possession and domination. He has comprehensive knowledge, prevalent power and absolute control. Everything is subjected to His Absolute Knowledge and Will. The Sun, planets and galaxies operate in precision, without fail since they were created. This same precision applied to the humans’creation. Perfect harmony and order between body and soul show that God never puts souls of human being into bodies of animals and never let him wander between plants and insects (reincarnation), in case which the person will never know what his past was in his last life. God made the human being civilized innately and gave him mind and knowledge and assigned him vicegerent for Earth and commander over other creatures. God will never humiliate human beings. Day of Judgment, Heavens [Paradise] and Hellfire represent the Justice of the Creator, when sins and good deeds of humans are weighed.
“whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Qur’an 99:7-8)
And for example in any school nobody can continue other’s exam when the time is over, even his twin. Every soul has its own entity. When the body dies, the soul continues its own way to be judged by the Creator.
What is the greatness of Islam?
The greatness and uniqueness of Islam (which means total submission to the Creator and the worship of Him alone without any intermediary) when compared to any other religion is evidenced in three things:
Islam has retained the genuine concept of Oneness of God, devoid of any philosophy or complexity.
It has the only true preserved Scripture – The Word of God. The full text of the Qur’an is available in the exact form as uttered by Prophet Muhammad at the time of its revelation and in the original language in which it was revealed.
The teachings of the Prophet Muhammad were transmitted through confirmed chains of authenticated narrators.
Why are Muslims non- vegetarian ?
Meat is a source of a complete protein. Humans have flat teeth and pointed teeth. Therefore, they have teeth suited for both herbivorous as well as carnivorous food. The Creator provided the digestive system to humans for both meats and vegetables. Unlike herbivorous animals can digest only vegetables. And unlike carnivorous animals their digestive system can digest only meat.
Why usury is not allowed in Islam?
In Islam, money is intended for exchange of services and building economies. When we loan money to make money from money, we subvert the purpose of money as a means of exchange and development, and make money an end unto itself.
Charging interest gives banks and the rich an incentive to lend money without fear of loss. Consecutive years of banks’ lending, money with interest has led to a monopoly of wealth and has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. In the last few decades’ countries, governments and associations have also gotten involved in interest on a huge scale. We saw several examples of global economy collapses as an aftermath of dealing with Interest on a global scale. Usury has the potential to corrupt a society in a way that other crimes can never do.
“The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth, this is the most unnatural.” (Aristotle)
“To take usury for money lent is unjust in itself, because this is to sell what does not exist, and this evidently leads to inequality which is contrary to justice” (Thomas Aquinas)
“O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear God that you may be successful.” (Qur’an 3:130)
“And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with God. But what you give in alms, desiring the countenance of God – those are the multipliers.” (Qur’an 30:39)
Does the destiny of God contradict human’s free will?
Our deeds are foreknown to God in His Record but they are not preordained for us against our will. They are only preordained in His Prescience. In the same way we may foresee in the light of knowledge of our children’s characters, that they will make a wrong choice before they actually make it. We did not impose their choice upon them against their will, even though we may have expected that choice. God preordains the intentions and hearts of man; if these are evil, man will come to evil; if good, good will be his fate. Predestination does not contradict with freedom of choice as God predestines us based on His complete knowledge of what our choices and intentions will be.
Man, in his freedom, may act contrary to what satisfies God, but he cannot do anything in contradiction to His Will. God granted us freedom to transgress against His wishes (we disobey Him) but He gave no one the freedom to transcend His Will. This freedom is further affirmed by our experience that it is impossible under any pressure to compel the heart to accept anything it does not want to. We can force anyone through threats and force them to stay with us but no pressure whatsoever can make them love us. God has safeguarded our hearts from all forms of compulsion and duress. This is why God judges according to what is in the heart and rewards according to the intention, which is visible to no-one but Him.
Man has freedom of choice in relation to what he knows and controls; he is preordained with regard to what he does not know or control. Judgment follows responsibility. Thus, God will not judge us for our physical appearance, our social status or tribal affiliations, nor will He punish us for failing to stop the sun in its orbit.
God could have compelled Man to believe by revealing incontestable signs or miracles, and He could make us obey Him without giving us the choice, but compulsion is not a part of Divine Law. He wants us to be free to obey or disobey as freedom with strife is more honorable to man than slavery with happiness; judgment and reward is meaningless without choice.
Does God Punish People in Hellfire?
A person in Paradise is rewarded as per his/her deeds, good actions, and duties in this world. And the people of Hellfire will suffer torment according to their quantity of sins and faults. Some people’s souls are in reality blazes of envy, jealousy and bitterness; they are flames of wrath and resentment. Such souls can never live in peace or endure just one hour without causing conflict and setting fire to everything that surrounds them; for fire is their element and natural habitat. It is a just judgment that Hellfire be their final abiding place. It will be like placing a thing in its rightful element. They do not deserve the beauty and peaceful state of Paradise as they disdained peace while on Earth
What is the difference between Islam and other religions?
If you ask any Hindu or any Christian about the Creator, he will tell you: God is One, He has no second. Nothing is like him. So, he already has Tawheed Al Rububeyya (The faith in one God). But his problem is with Tawheed Al Ebada; (The worship of the Creator alone by having a direct connection with the Creator). As he believes that God The Almighty comes to Earth in any animal form or human form or that he has a child. So, another problem appears here, which is the true concept of God. Our target here is to know the original concept of God, because when I know the attributes of my Creator very well, who my Creator is, everything will be easy afterwards. I will never believe that he would come to Earth in any animal form or human form. He would never have a son and He will never die. So, everything would be easy.
But the concept of God in the mind of human beings is very corrupt. They have to know that the Creator is unique and we should not try to project our human attributes and feelings to Him. Causation is a law for us, who live in space and time. God who created space and time is definitely transcendent in relation to both, and it is an error on our part to believe or to think that he is bound by either.
If a child is left alone, without parents or any teachings, he will grow up worshiping the Creator alone. At the age of puberty, he will be responsible for his actions, and he has a choice to remain monotheist, worshiping his Creator alone, or to change his natural religion and take a wrong path by praying to God through an intermediary like Jesus Christ, The Virgin Mary, Buddha, the Prophet Muhammad, idols, etc.. Here we have a very important point, on which we need to focus, and this is the natural faith of human beings.
Despite claims to the contrary, all people seek refuge in the Creator of the universe and resort to him alone in adversities and difficulties. Deep in their hearts, they consider that one holy power in the heavens has a solution to their problems, a fulfillment to their needs, and the relief of their distress. They consider that their success and victory are dependent on His guidance and kindness.
Article by Mohammad Alshinawi. Why Do People Suffer? God’s Existence & the Problem of Evil.
Fadil soliman. an Islamic scholar.
The original Concept of God. Faten Sabri.
Dialoge with an athiest. Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud.
Why Islam? Faten Sabri.