A MUSLIM-Defined: By The 5 Pillars of Islam

· Islam, Religion
Authors

A MUSLIM – DEFINED: By The 5 Pillars of Islam

This article describes the “Gold Standard Measure” for an (orthodox) Muslim adhering to the Islamic definitions of a Muslim according to the Qur’an and the Sunnahs and the conditions that encompasses the basics of the 5 Pillars of Islam. The fact that there are also many, many “cultural Muslims” is also recognised but they are not to be confused with orthodox Muslims who practice Islam as preached by the Prophet Muhammad. As far as this author is concerned those are the only classifications of Muslim as described in this article.

Unfortunately and with apologies, as there will be many non-constructive critics, I have had to be didactic and punctilious in order to minimise the need for unnecessary unproductive proofs/authentications for the original statements. It is therefore necessarily detailed. (With references liberally provided.) 02.04.11/12.04.11 (13,620 words)

Contents

PREFACE

In order to avoid disputes over the word “Muslim” which has been very loosely used and has created ambiguities, I will attempt to make as precise a definition as possible based on Islamic (Qur’an and Sunnah) values.
It is much too general to associate a Muslim with the 5 Pillars of Islam without identifying the commitments and obligations connected with that pledge (Shahadah), besides the liberal/common use of Taqiyya/Kitman devalues many confessions. Hence, associated with this pledge (Shahadah,) I will elaborate the significance and responsibilities of each of the 5 Pillars in detail to ensure the responsibilities that accompany each of them are clearly identified and clarified. The total package defines a Muslim. Any shortcomings will be judged by Allah alone and by the Muslim’s own conscience.

To Be A Muslim: One has to accept and observe the 5 Pillars of Islam

To be a Muslim, one has to  accept Islam totally which means , “one who submits to (the Will of) Allah”. Muslims  must believe that there is only one god, no other, translated in Arabic as, Allah.

Muslims believe that Allah revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad, Allah’s final prophet, and regard the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the words and deeds of Muhammad) as the fundamental sources of Islam. They do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and all the other prophets pre-Muhammad. Islamic tradition holds that Judaism and Christianity distorted the messages of these prophets over time either in interpretation, in text, or both.

Islam includes many strict religious practices. Adherents are required to observe the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the five duties that unite Muslims into a community (Ummah). In addition to the Five Pillars, Islamic law (Sharia) has developed a tradition of rulings that touch on virtually every aspect of family life and society. This Sharia Law encompasses everything from practical matters like personal activities, dietary laws and banking to warfare.

The 5 Religious Duties of Islam (5 Pillars of Islam) Mentioned in the Quran and Listed by Muhammad

The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic arkan ud-Din, “pillars of the faith”) are five religious duties expected of every Muslim. The five pillars are mentioned individually throughout the Qur’an and Muhammad listed them together in the Hadith when he was asked to define Islam.

Within a few decades of Muhammad’s death, the five practices were singled out to serve as anchoring points in the Muslim community and designated “pillars.” Fulfillment of the Five Pillars is believed to bring rewards both in this life and in the afterlife.

The pillars are acknowledged and observed by all sects of Muslims, although Shi’ites add further obligatory duties, including: jihad, payment of the imam’s tax, the encouragement of good deeds and the prevention of evil. ( )

“The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic: : اركان الدين) are the five practices essential to Sunni Islam. Shi’a Muslims subscribe to the same 5 Pillars plus additional ritual practices which not only includes but overlaps the Five Pillars.

The 5 Pillars of Islam are:

(1) The SHAHADAH – The Muslim Pledge – “The Bond of Islam”

The Shahadah, which is the basic creed or tenet of Islam: “‘ašhadu ‘al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa ‘ašhadu ‘anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh“, or “I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

This testament is the foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam (although technically the Shi’a do not consider the Shahadah to be a separate pillar, just a belief). Muslims must repeat the Shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.

Comments: What the Shahadah implies is that there is NO GOD worthy to be worshipped except “ALLAH” and that Muhammad is His Messenger. This is “THE FUNDAMENTAL BASIS OF ISLAM” and is final and irrevocable. This fundamental belief runs through the whole Qur’an. Any Muslim not accepting this “fundamental ideology” cannot possibly be a Muslim.

But this fundamental basis, “There is no god worthy of worship except Allah” is the very ideology that will forever brand all non-Muslims as infidels/kafirs and thus segregate Islam from all others. This is what alienates all non-Muslims from Islam, without compromise.

That is ISLAM. But many Muslims have argued that it is all in the matter of interpretation of the scriptures, hence I quote 30 verses from Al-Baqara (The Cow) to illustrate exactly what the Qur’an says about the authenticity of the scriptures. I have quoted these 30 verses to show that 

“Those who believe they know better than Allah are Losers.”

(using Shakir & Khan translations):

And the Sunna, The Cow (Al-Baqara) states:

AL-BAQARA (THE COW)

Total Verses: 286
Revealed At: MADINA

002.001
SHAKIR: Alif Lam Mim.

002.002
SHAKIR: This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil.)

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
This is the Book (the Qur’ân), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqûn [the pious and righteous persons who fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].

[Comment 2:2 The Qur’an is a complete guide for the pious who fear Allah and obeys his commands.]

002.003
SHAKIR: Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Who believe in the Ghaib and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and spend out of what we have provided for them [i.e. give Zakât, spend on themselves, their parents, their children, their wives, etc., and also give charity to the poor and also in Allâh’s Cause – Jihâd, etc.].

[Comment 2:3 Those who believe in the unseen/spiritual and perform Prayers, give Alms to the poor and to Jihad.]

002.004
SHAKIR: And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you they are sure of the hereafter.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And who believe in (the Qur’ân and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad Peace be upon him ) and in [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] which were sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell, etc.).

[Comment 2:4 Those who believe/accept that which has been revealed in the Quran are sure of the hereafter.][

002.005
SHAKIR: These are on a right course from their Lord (Allah) and these it is that shall be successful.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
They are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and they are the successful.

002.006
SHAKIR: Surely those who disbelieve, it being alike to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, will not believe. 

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe.

[Comment 2:6 Those who disbelieve/doubt (Islam) will not/never believe.]

002.007
SHAKIR: Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is A GREAT PUNISHMENT FOR THEM.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Allâh has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (i.e. they are closed from accepting Allâh’s Guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great torment.

[Comment 2:7 To these doubters/disbelievers Allah has set a SEAL upon their hearts and they will be Punished.]

002.008
SHAKIR: And there are some who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are but  all believers.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: “We believe in Allâh and the Last Day” while in fact they believe not.

[Comment 2:8 There are hypocrites who say they are Muslims but are liars]

002.009
SHAKIR: They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
They (think to) deceive Allâh and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!

[Comment 2:8 These hypocrites only deceive themselves.]

002.010
SHAKIR: There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a “PAINFUL CHASTISEMENT” because they lie.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allâh has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies.

[Comment 2:10 These doubters and hypocrites lie and will be punished.]

002.011
SHAKIR: And when it is said to them, “Do not make mischief in the land, they say: “We are but peace-makers.”

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And when it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.”

[Comment 2:11 These mischief makers lie and say they are only making peace.]

002.012
SHAKIR: Now surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not..

[Comment 2:12 These mischief makers a oblivious to their crimes.]

002.013
SHAKIR: And when it is said to them: “Believe as the people believe,” they say: “Shall we believe as the fools believe?” now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do no know.”

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And when it is said to them (hypocrites): “Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad Peace be upon him , Al-Ansâr and Al-Muhajirûn) have believed,” they say: “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?” Verily, they are the fools, but they know not.

[Comment 2:13 When the hypocrites were asked to believe what pious Muslims believe in, they said, “Shall we believe what the fools believe?]

002.014
SHAKIR: And when they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe;” and when they are alone with their Shaitans, the say: “Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.” 

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And when they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe,” but when they are alone with their Shayâtin (devils – polytheists, hypocrites, etc.), they say: “Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.”

[comment 2:14 When they meet pious Muslims the say, “We believe, we are Muslims like you,” but they were saying it mockingly because they have not changed their views.]

002.015
SHAKIR: Allah shall pay them back their mockery. and He leaves them alone in their inordinacy, blindly wandering on.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Allâh mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wander blindly.

[Comment 2:15 Allah will ignore them.]

002.016
SHAKIR: These are they who buy error for the right direction, so their bargain shall bring no gain, nor are they the followers of the right direction.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
These are they who have purchased error for guidance, so their commerce was profitless. And they were not guided.

[Comment 2:16 These hypocrites chose a false interpretation and are losers.]

002.017
SHAKIR: Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness– they do not see.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it lighted all around him, Allâh took away their light and left them in darkness. (So) they could not see.

[Comment 2:17 These hypocrites thought they lit a fire and illuminated all around them, but when Allah took away their lies they were left in the dark.]

002.018
SHAKIR: Deaf, dumb (and)_ blind, so they will not turn back.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path).

[Comment 2:18 The mischief makers were left deaf, dumb, and blind so they could not find the way back to the right path of Allah.]

002.019
SHAKIR: Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peal, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder, and lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allâh ever encompasses the disbelievers (i.e. Allâh will gather them all together).

[Comment 2:19 But Allah gathers the disbelievers together.]

002.020
SHAKIR: The lightning almost takes away their sight; whenever it shines on them they walk in it, and when it becomes dark to them they stand still; and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have taken away their hearing and their sight; surely Allah has power over all things.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
The lightning almost snatches away their sight, whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still. And if Allâh willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Certainly, Allâh has power over all things.

002.021
SHAKIR: O men! serve your Lord Who created you and those before you so that you may guard (against evil).

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allâh), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2). :

[Comment 2:21 Allah asks them to Worship Allah and be pious.]

002.022
SHAKIR: Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and (Who) sends down rain from the cloud then brings forth with it subsistence for you of the fruits; therefore do not set up rivals to Allah while you know.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allâh (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped).

[Comment 2:22 [Allah tells the hypocrites not to challenge Allah or his views because He Alone (Allah) has the right to be worshipped.]

002.023
SHAKIR: And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur’ân) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Sûrah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allâh, if you are truthful.

[Comment 2:23 Then if you doubt/challenge Allah’s Words, then produce your own Chapter/verse and prove it.]

002.024
SHAKIR: But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.

[Comment 2:24 But if you cannot prove you are right (liar), then fear Hell Fires.]

002.025
SHAKIR: And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow; whenever they shall be given a portion of the fruit thereof, they shall say: This is what was given to us before; and they shall be given the like of it, and they shall have pure mates in them, and in them, they shall abide.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwâjun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.) and they will abide therein forever.

[Comment 2:25 Those who believe in Allah and do good deeds will be rewarded with Paradise.]

002.026
SHAKIR: Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth any parable– (that of) a gnat or any thing above that; then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to err by it (any) except the transgressors,

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Verily, Allâh is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allâh intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).

[Comment 2:26 Those who disbelieve may mislead many by false interpretations and they are the rebellious and the disobedient to Allah.]

002.027
SHAKIR: Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
Those who break Allâh’s Covenant after ratifying it, and sever what Allâh has ordered to be joined (as regards Allâh’s Religion of Islâmic Monotheism, and to practise its legal laws on the earth and also as regards keeping good relations with kith and kin ), and do mischief on earth, it is they who are the losers.

[Comment 2:27 Those who make mischief/lie about Islam in the land; these are the losers.]

002.028
SHAKIR: How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
How can you disbelieve in Allâh? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return.

[Comment 2:28 How can you disbelieve Allah when he created you?]

002.029
SHAKIR: He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawâ (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.

[Comment 2:29 Allah created you and the universe and knows all things.]

002.030
SHAKIR: And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.

T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.” They said: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, – while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You.” He (Allâh) said: “I know that which you do not know.” Translations

[Comment 2:30 Allah said, “I know that which you do not know.”]


The above verses from Al-Baqara, clearly state the views of Allah about those who accept the Word of Allah or those who believe they know better (those who can spin their own meanings to the Qur’an.) It clearly defines those who believe and those who believe they know better, by this verse: “Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.” Khan’s translations provides a fresh/different insight to those verses.

The following verses too have often been quoted out of context that needs clarification:

There Is No Compulsion in Religion

002.256
SHAKIR: There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

002.257
SHAKIR: Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light, and (as to) those who disbelieve, their guardians are Shaitans who take them out of the light into the darkness; they are the inmates of fire, in it they shall abide.

It is clear that the choice is either Allah or Shaitan and eternal fire. The compulsion for a Muslim is obvious, follow Allah who will provide a sure support, or choose Shaitan and burn in hell. There was no real choice or an option, but rather a threat of either Allah or Hell fires with Shaitan.

Since all those who do not worship Allah are therefore infidels/kafir, the following 3 Qur’anic verses becomes compatible to  the Islamic pledge, the Shahada, that  “non but Allah is worthy of worship.” Those who do not accept Allah (oppose Allah) are thereby enemies of Allah and are logical enemies of Islam. Hence the logic and sense in the following 3 verses and many other verses similar to it in the Qur’an and the Hadiths. Otherwise the Shahadah would be meaningless and toothless.

Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers (infidels) wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
Qur’an:9:112 “The Believers(Muslims) fight in Allah’s Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed.”
Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those (infidels) who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.

THE LAWS OF ALLAH – SHARIA [1a]

Every Muslim who pledges the Shahadah, must, by the very nature of the pledge also accept the “Laws of Allah” or the pledge would be meaningless. The Laws of Allah, the Sharia, are derived from the teachings in the Holy Quran, and the Sunnah for the Islamic Ummah. To claim to be a Muslim but to reject the Sharia is similar to being a Muslim but rejecting some verses in the Qur’an or the Hadiths. It would amount to blasphemy.

Thus when a Muslim pledges the Shahadah, he also accepts the 5 Pillars of Islam, the Qur’an, the Finality of the Prophet Muhammad, the Sunnah, and the Sharia in full and without deviation. That, including all the details presented below, is A DEFINITION OF A MUSLIM.

(2) SALAH (Ritual Prayers – “The Oxygen of Islam”)

Salah, or ritual prayer, which must be performed five times a day. (However, the Shi’a are permitted to run together the noon with the afternoon prayers, and the evening with the night prayers). Each Salah is done facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Salah is intended to focus the mind on God, and is seen as a personal communication with him that expresses gratitude and worship. Salah is compulsory but flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on circumstances. In many Muslim countries, reminders called Adhan (call to prayer) are broadcast publicly from local mosques at the appropriate times. The prayers are recited in the Arabic language, and consist of verses from the Qur’an.

Five times a day, at dawn, noon, late afternoon, dusk and evening, Muslims are called to Salat (prayer) when they hear the Adhan. The purpose of Adhan is to call people to the mosque for the Fa (mandatory) prayers. However, the prayers may be performed anywhere (?*), including at home or in the workplace.

God is (the) most great. God is most great.
God is most great. God is most great.
I testify that there is no god except Allah.
I testify that there is no god except Allah.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success! Come to success!
God is (the) most great. God is most great.
There is none worthy of worship except Allah.

Muslims hearing the adhan, must repeat it with a low voice, but in the place of the 4th and the 5th element, they say “There is no strength nor power but in God”. The added sentence of the morning prayer (as seen above) is not repeated either, but replaced with: “You have said what is true”.

 A New Born’s Introduction to Islam

While the performance of adhan is melodious, there are no fixed melodies. The muezzin is free to modulate the sentences to what he feels is best. The adhan is also used in connection with the birth of a cild, when the father recites the adhan into the ear of his newborn child.[1]

Muslim are Reminded 5 times a Day their Duty to Allah


Five times a day every Muslim will be reminded of his Shahadah, his pledge, that there is “no god worthy of worship than Allah.” And that Allah is the Greatest. Five times a day a Muslim is reminded, indirectly, to verses Qur’an 9:5, 9:112, and 9:29. Five times a day a Muslim is reminded of his pledge to Allah and his duties to Allah. There can be no stronger reminder of his obligations to Allah than that in Islam. Attendance at the Mosque binds the people together as a community and the brief social intercourse during cleansing (Wudu’) brings everyone to the same level with shared commonality. No other religion fosters such a close bond between members and the clergy and the Mosque, and the Ummah.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RITUAL PRAYERS MUST NEVER BE OVERLOOKED

The relevance of the ritual Islamic prayers is “the oxygen of Islam.” There is nothing like it in other religions. It is not only the “oxygen,” but it is also the “cement” of the Islamic faith and Ummah, (this ritualism is the same whether you are in Riyadh,Jarkata, or London.) Why? Because, the practice of Islam, its rituals, its prayers, its Wudu’ is familiar to every Muslim present no matter where you are, and you are made to feel a part of the Ummah immediately. A universal brotherhood, that many westerners can never envisage.

“Introduction

The five prayers are among the best acts of faith that the Muslim performs.
Performing them is the best deed after having the correct belief in Allah and His
Messenger. Prophet Muhammad, may Allah raise his rank, was asked what the best deed was and he said it was performing the “obligatory prayers” at the beginning of
their times (al-Bayhaqiyy):

When we say “prayers” we are referring to an act of worshipping Allah which has a
specific format as Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad, may Allah raise his rank. The
prophets from Prophet Adam to Prophet Muhammad, may Allah raise their rank,
ordered their followers to pray as per Allah’s orders.

Since the prayer is the most important matter of Islam after having the correct belief
in Allah and His Messenger, one must plan his life around the prayer. It would be a great sin to neglect praying at work if a prayer was required at that time. If a
believer is shopping at the mall or waiting at the airport and there is no way to get
home or to a mosque, he is still obligated to perform the prayer within its due time
instead of purposely leaving out or delaying the prayer. This indicates the importance
of the obligatory prayer. “Doing the “obligatory prayer” on time takes priority over other non-obligatory matters.”

Chapter 1: Preparations Before Praying

There are five prayers which are abligatory and rewarding. There are other prayers
which are rewarding but optional to perform. The optional prayers require the same
preparation as the five required prayers. There are several requirements of the person

who performs the prayer. The person praying must be Muslim and must have reached
the state of mental discrimination which is usually around seven lunar years (about 6
3/4 solar years).

Taharah (Purification)

The Muslim must have the proper Taharah (purification) before performing the prayers. This comprises the removal of najas (filthy) substances and performing
wudu’ (ablution) or ghusl (full shower).

Removal of Najas (Filthy substances)

From Islamic points of view, there are substances that are considered filthy and must not be on the person’s body, clothes, place of prayer, or even carried when praying. Some of these
substances include urine, faeces, blood, vomit, pus, and discharges from the penis and
vagina, except maniyy (semen and the woman’s fluid of orgasm) which is not filthy.

To clean oneself after urinating and defecating, the person dries himself of all urine
with toilet paper after urinating, and then pours water on the areas where the urine
was. In the case of defecation, the person is correct if he removes the defecation with
toilet paper and then pours water on the stained area to remove the traces. It is also
acceptable to use either toilet paper or water only. However, the exclusive use of toilet
paper has conditions. The urine must not go beyond the exit area and must not dry
there. Also, one’s defecation must not spread past the area of the buttocks which
comes together when one is standing.

Wudu’ (Ablution)

Allah revealed:‬

The verse from the Qur’an states: “0 you who believe, if you stand up for prayer,
wash your face and arms up to [and including] the elbows and wet wipe [part of] your
head and wash your feet up to [and including] the ankles.” (al-Ma’idah, 6)

Wudu’ (Ablution) has obligatory and recommended parts.The obligatory parts are
those parts which if left out the wudu’ is not valid. The recommended parts are those

parts which if left out the wudu’ would still be valid, but one misses out on that
reward. The wudu’ must be made with water only.

Invalidators of Wudu’

If you have wudu’ and any of the matters which invalidate wudu’ takes place, you must not pray until you make a new wudu’ Among the invalidators of wudu’ are:

1. The emission of any substance from the elimination outlets, such as urine,
defecation, or gas, except maniyy *(sexual fluids without orgasm.)

2. Touching the penis or vagina, or the anus with the inside of the bare hand
(the palm).

3. Losing the mind or losing consciousness

4. Sleeping without having the buttocks firmly seated, such as sleeping on
the stomach, back, and on the side.

5.
Skin to skin contact with a member of the opposite sex, who has reached
an age where he or she is normally desired. (the females whom one is not
allowed to marry in any circumstance such as his mother, sister etc. (are
not included).

6. If one of these matters happens to you during prayer, you stop the actions
of the prayer, perform wudu’ and then start the prayer from the beginning.

Ghusl (Full Shower/Cleansing)

You must perform a Ghust (full Shower) in order to pray after the following:

1. You perform sexual intercourse.

2. Your menstruation ends.

3. Your postpartum bleeding ends.

4. You give birth to a child, even if it was without bleeding.

5. Your maniyy is emitted

Chapter 2: The Salah (Prayer)

There are five (5) prayers which must be performed by the Muslim and are called “OBLIGATORY” prayers. “It is a GREAT SIN to neglect performing any of these “obligatory” prayers.  Among the merits of performing the obligatory prayers is that one’s small sins, which may be committed between prayers, are forgiven. The Prophet , may
Allah raise his rank, said: “Whoever makes a complete wudu’, his sins will depart his body, until they leave from under his nails” (Muslim).

Invalidators of the Prayer

In addition to leaving out the obligatory parts, there are other matters that invalidate the prayer.They must be known to be avoided. Among these matters are:1. Saying words other than the words of the prayer intentionally,
remembering that one is praying, and knowing that it is forbidden to do so.2. Making many moves for a time that is enough to make one rak^ah .3. Performing an excessive move, such as an excessive jump.4. Adding an extra obligatory action such as making two ruku^s or three
sujuds in one rak^ah, on purpose and while remembering that one is
praying.5. Making one move with the intention of playing, such as to extend one’s
tongue or to wink playfully.6. Eating or drinking even a small amount while remembering one is
praying.7. Invalidating one’s ablution, such as passing gas or urine.

8. Intending in the heart to interrupt the prayer. Intending to interrupt it if a
specific matter happens, such as if one holds: “if the door bell rings I will
interrupt my prayer”, invalidates the prayer immediately. [2]

The rules and regulations that regulate Islamic prayer is incomprehensible to those who are not Muslim, but it has been strictly observed by Muslims for the past 1400 years and Muslims have never considered it a burden. In fact the ritualism’s and the community activities binds Muslims closer together and never allows them to lose focus of who they worship, Allah.

The Jam^ah (Congregational) Prayer

It is very rewarding to perform the five obligatory prayers in congregation. This can
be done in the masjids (mosques) and elsewhere. In the congregational prayer one
person (imam) leads the prayer, with one (ma’mum) or more persons following him.
The reward of the prayer performed in congregation is 27 times that of the one performed individually, as mentioned in the hadith narrated by Imam Muslim:

While following the imam in the Congregational prayer:

• Your heels must not be ahead of those of your imam. It is recommended that
they be behind those of the imam.

• Say your opening takbir only after the imam has finished saying his opening
takbir.

• Have the intention to follow the imam. For example, intend in the heart to
follow the imam, praying the obligatory Dhuhr prayer.

• It is recommended that you wait for the imam to change his position before you
go to that same position.

The Jumu^ah (Friday) Prayer

Friday is the best day of the week. On Friday there are certain blessings that may be
bestowed particular to that day. The Muslim men are required to attend the Friday
prayer as stated in the Holy Qur’an (al-Jumu ^ah, 9):

Prophet Muhammad said:

” Performing the Jumu ^ah prayer is an obligation upon every (male) pubescent person” (anNasa’iyy) Although not obligated, women can pray the Friday
prayer.

The Friday prayer is usually performed in a congregation at a mosque. It is performed
in the Dhuhr prayer time, replacing the Dhuhr prayer for that day. Instead of the four
rak ^ahs of the Dhuhr prayer, you pray only two rak^ahs and begin your prayer
intending to pray the congregational Friday prayer instead of intending the Dhuhr
prayer.

If you miss joining the group of the Friday prayer, then you must pray the Dhuhr
prayer with its normal four rak ^ahs.

At the Friday prayer, the group listens attentively to two speeches which the imam
gives before the prayer. Both the speeches and the prayer are done in the Dhuhr
prayer time,. and the prayer follows immediately after the speeches. [2]

Thus, we see that the statement “Salah is the oxygen and cement of Islam” bears significance.PS: English translations of Islamic Prayers are found at this link, [3]To illustrate the importance the Prophet Muhammad placed on “Congregational Worship at the Mosque” the following is reproduced:

***BURN THOSE WHO MISS CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS (REGULARLY)

Bukhari:V1B11N626 “The Prophet said, “burn all those who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.’”

Following this famous Hadith and Sunna , practising Muslims and Salafi followers of  Abdul Wahab killed or maimed 400,000 wishy washy Muslims of Arabia in 19th century . This terrorized the Muslims of the world and convinced them the power of Islam and increased conversion to Islam many fold.

EVEN OCCASIONAL MISSING OF PRAYERS MUST BE PUNISHED

BUKHARI:V1B11N617: “I (Mohammed) would order someone to collect firewood and another to lead prayer. Then I would burn the houses of men who did not present themselves at the compulsory prayer and prostration.”

As a part of Kitman, these two Hadiths are never mention by Muslims in their discussions with the infidels.

(3) Zakat  (Obligatory Alms)

Zakat or obligatory alms-giving: This is the practice of giving based on accumulated wealth, and Zakat is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford it. A fixed portion is spent to help the poor or needy, and also to assist the spread of Islam. The Zakat is considered a “religious obligation” (as opposed to voluntary charity) that the well-off owe to the needy because their wealth is seen as a “trust from God’s bounty”. The Qur’an and the Hadith also suggests a Muslim give even more as an act of voluntary alms-giving (sadaqah). Many Shi’ites are expected to pay an additional amount in the form of a khums tax, which they consider to be a separate ritual practice.

Obligation of Zakat and Rates

The payment of Zakat becomes obligatory on every sane and mature Muslim and Muslimah whenever there is an economic activity resulting in the net increase in their wealth.

The following are the categories of production. Profit, investments and savings are subject to Zakat.

1. They produce of land. The rate is one tenth of the produce of the unirrigated and undeveloped land and one twentieth of the produce of the irrigated and developed land.

2. Pure economic profit business.

3. Inheritance, once for all.

4. Cash, investments, food, merchandise, jewelry, gold and silver kept in the inventory for full one year and above the certain value defined as Nisab.

The rate of Zakat on each of the above categories is different.

The rate of Zakat and the amount of Nisab can be decided by the Islamic State taking into consideration the prevailing standard of living and the risks and uncertainties of different modes of productions.

For the articles in category four the rate of Zakat is two and half percent on the amount which is more than the Nisab.

The Nisab for certain articles is as follows: Silver; 200 dirhams or 21 ozs., Gold; 3 ozs.,

Merchandise, jewelry etc. equal to 21 ozs. of Silver.

If the individual items in category 4 do not come up to the Nisab but the combined value of all the items is more than Nisab, Zakat is obligatory.

It should be kept in mind that these rates of Zakat are the minimum rates and the Muslims have been urged by Allah and the Prophet time and again to pay as much as they can after providing for their legitimate needs.

Thus the rate of Zakat and the amount of Nisab is dynamic with a given minimum, but the maximum amount is left to the Ijma of Ummah.

Who is deserving of Zakat

The Holy Quran describes the following eight categories who are entitled

to receive Zakat.

1. Fuqara: the people who have some money but not enough to meet their

needs. They live in a precarious circumstances but do not ask for help.

2. MISKINS: these are a very miserable people who do not have anything for food, clothing and shelter. The Khalifa Umar ibn al-Khattab also included in them those

who are fit to earn but do not have means to earning.

3. Aamileen (Collectors of Zakat): the officials engaged in the collection and distribution of Zakat are paid from the Zakat fund.

4. Muallafat-ul-Qulub (Those whose hearts are to be reconciled): this includes the new Muslims, to strengthen them in Islam, as well as those for whom it may be necessary to give Zakat to win their heart.

5. Fir-riqab.(Emancipation of slaves): this means the person who wants to free himself from the shackles of slavery should be given Zakat so that he can pay to this category (those persons who are imprisoned for nonpayment of fines).

6.Al-Gharimeen: this means the people who are in debt, which is more than the assets so that after paying the debt, their wealth that is left is less than the Nisab.?

7.Fi Sabeelillah (IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH):

this is a common word used for all good deeds, but in the case of Zakat it means rendering help to an endeavour TO SERVE ISLAM SUCH AS THE PROPAGATION OF ISLAM, JIHAD. etc.

Zakat can be given in the path of Allah. By this is meant to finance a Jihad effort in the path of Allah, not for Jihad for other reasons. The fighter (mujahid) will be given as salary what will be enough for him. If he needs to buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam. [ http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/zakat.htm]

8.Ibn-us-Sabil (the wayfarer): a traveler, if he is in need of money while traveling , is entitled to Zakat .

Some essential Points about Zakat

1.A person who qualifies to pay Zakat is not eligible to receive.

2. It is not permissible to pay Zakat to your husband , wife, parents , grandparents, and the children and grandchildren.

3 Expenditure to Zakat is not permissible on the construction of a mosque.

4. It is preferable to pay Zakat to deserving relatives.

5. The Zakat of every locality should be spent on the poor inhabitants of the same community except if there is a calamity in other parts of the country or the world.

6. Any one who qualifies to receive Zakat, can be given it as assistance or a gift, without telling him that it is Zakat.

7. All articles of household use and properties given on rent are exempted from paying Zakat.

8, Zakat money of a particular year could be spent during the same year in advance, could be given all at once or in instalments.

The collection of Zakat

In the Islamic state, it is the responsibility of the state to collect and distribute Zakat. The Quran says, “Take alms of their wealth and make them pure and clean ”

The Prophet says: I have been commanded to collect zakat from the rich among you and distribute it to the poor among you.

In case an Islamic society does not exist or in a non-Islamic society, the local organization of the Muslims should make arrangements for the collection and distribution of Zakat.

Wherever such arrangements exist, every Muslim is required to pay Zakat to this organization and conform to the rates and the amount of Nisab decided by the organization.

Allah has made Zakat one of the pillars of Islam and has often mentioned it in the Quran immediately after the Prayer, saying, “And perform Prayer and give Alms “.

The Prophet said, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying the Zakat, making the pilgrimage to the House (Hajj), and fasting in Ramadan” (Bukhari, Muslim).

Allah has warned those who do not give Zakat that they will face dire consequence. He says, “O you who believe! Verily, there are many of the rabbis and the monks who devour the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And those who hoard up gold and silver, and spend it not in the Way of Allah-announce unto them a painful torment (Quran 9:34). [4]

Without a doubt, Zakat is the life blood of the Islamic hierarchy. It finances Islam. With the absence of State Welfare systems in most Arab/Islamic countries, this “compulsory alms” has been an essential blessing to the needy. It also created a degree of compassion for fellow brethren and binds the community together with the feelings that each cares for the other. Yet it is clearly seen as the benevolent work emanating from the Mosques/Islamic benevolence.However, in times of turmoil, the flexibility of the distribution of Zakat  could distort disproportionately the distribution of Zakat towards  7. Fi Sabeelillah (In the Cause of Allah)” thereby funding a Jihadist movement. For example:

By this is meant to finance a Jihad effort in the path of Allah, not for Jihad for other reasons. The fighter (mujahid) will be given as salary what will be enough for him. If he needs to buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam.[5]

(4) Sawm  – Fasting during Ramadan

Sawm or fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must not eat or drink (among other things) from dawn to dusk during this month, and must be mindful of other sins. The fast is to encourage a feeling of nearness to Allah, and during it Muslims should express their gratitude for the dependence on Him, atone for their past sins, and think of the needy.Sawm is not obligatory for several groups for whom it would constitute an undue burden. For others, flexibility is allowed depending on circumstances, but missed fasts usually must be made up quickly.

Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

During the 29/30 days of Ramadan all adult Muslims must give up the following things during the hours of daylight:

  • Food or drink of any sort
  • Smoking, including passive smoking
  • Sexual activity

Muslims who are physically or mentally unwell may be excused some of these, as may those who are under twelve years old, the very old, those who are pregnant, breast-feeding, menstruating, or travelling.

If an adult does not fast for the reasons above they should try to make up the fast at a later date, or make a donation to the poor instead.

Muslims do not only abstain from physical things during Ramadan. They are also expected to do their best to avoid evil thoughts and deeds as well.

There are many good reasons for this fast, including:

  • Obeying Allah
  • Learning self-discipline
  • Becoming spiritually stronger
  • Appreciating Allah’s gifts to us
  • Sharing the sufferings of the poor and developing sympathy for them
  • Realising the value of charity and generosity
  • Giving thanks for the Holy Qur’an, which was first revealed in the month of Ramadan
  • Sharing fellowship with other Muslims

Eating in Ramadan

During Ramadan many Muslims will try to eat a large meal called suhur just before dawn.

When daylight is over, most Muslims will break or open the fast with dates or water, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, before having a proper meal later.

The evening meals during Ramadan are occasions for family and community get-togethers.

Eid ul-Fitr

The month of Ramadan ends with the festival of Eid ul-Fitr. This is marked by dressing up and visiting the mosque for prayer, and with visits to family and friends for celebratory meals.

Ramadan and the Western calendar

Because Islam uses a lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan comes around 11 days earlier each successive year, so there is no Western season associated with Ramadan. [6]

Spiritual Benefits of Ramadan1-Attaining Taqwa

Allah says in the Holy Quran, ” O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that attain Taqwa
(Surah Baqarah 2:183)
Hence, the real purpose of keeping fasting is to earn taqwa. The Arabic word Taqwa is translated in many ways including Allah consciousness, Allah fearing, piety, and self restraining. Taqwa is a very broad term. Allah judges people on the amount of Taqwa they possess. It is mentioned in the Holy Quran , ” Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one with the most Taqwa”
(Surah Hujrat 49:13). Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) also elaborated this point in his last sermon of hajj.

2-Protection from other Sins

Fast acts as a shield and protects us from other sins as mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in his ahadith. Main purpose of fast is to suppress our vain desires and Nafs and recognize our innerself. Fasting helps us understand the reality of the world.
“Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins”
(Sahih Bukhari)

3-Self Restraint

When a person fasts he is constantly reminding himself not to eat or drink This is in spite of the fact that eating and drinking are perfectly lawful for him at other times. He abstains from these otherwise lawful acts on account of Allah’s promise, in hopes of attaining Allah’s reward. It naturally follows that he will abstain from sin, from those acts that are prohibited to him at all times.
A Muslim needs to understand that this is the whole idea behind fasting. How can a person abstain from food and drink – though they are lawful to him at other times – and then go on to backbite people, spread rumors, tell lies, and engage in all sorts of other sins?

The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.”(Sahih Bukhari)
We know that Allah has no need for us to leave off eating and drinking in any case, even when we abstain from false words and false deeds. What this means is that fasting has not been prescribed because Allah needs us to do so, it has only been prescribed to assist us in restraining ourselves from false words and evil deeds. Therefore, if we do not abandon these things, then to what avail is our fasting?

4-Strengthening Devotion to Allah

Fasting brings to fore the reality of our subservience to Allah and it helps in our submission to Him. As Allah says in Hadith e Qudis“Fast is for Me”. Fasting conditions the worshipper upon obedience and upon carrying out his religious duties. It also reminds him that he is the servant of Allah Almighty and of no one else.
We see that Allah orders His servants to eat at certain times, so that if they were to fast at those times, they would be sinning. This is the case for the two Eid celebrations. This is also the case for someone who fasts consecutive days without breaking his fast at night. At other times, by contrast, the worshippers are ordered to fast, so that if they were to eat at those times, they would be sinning.

This is a concept of great significance that if people would only realize it in their worship, their devotions would then have a far greater impact upon them. The state of a believer should be that of a dutiful sentinel standing at attention, whose hand is ever poised to action and who is ready to advance and go forth whenever he is commanded to do so.

The importance of our worshipping Allah is one of the greatest objectives behind our fasting and behind all of our acts of devotion. Unfortunately, many Muslims fall short in their appreciation of this fact. Though they adhere to the performance of these acts of worship, their devotions are bereft of spiritual meaning and consequently fail to have the desired effect of bringing about true devotion and subservience to Allah.

5-Developing Patience

People who learn patience earn the inner bliss and peace. No matter what disaster occurs people who have learned patience have firm faith in their lord. Fasting is reffered to as a “Month of Patience”. It teaches us patience. Psychologist tell us that those who can control their desire of hunger can control their all other desires be it anger, happiness etc. Hence keeping fast is a comprehensive method of learning patience.
Allah says in Surah Baqarah , “And seek assistance through patience and prayer”. According to some scholars patience in this verse refers to fasting.

6-Developing Character

People belonging to different religions and different parts of the world have different concept of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ deeds. One thing is to be noted that concept of good deed is dependent on an eternal life to follow this temporary one, because, if that life is not there and this is the only life than a successful person would be one who is successful, rich in this world irrespective of the fact ‘how’ he acquired that money and status. This disastrous concept will completely shatter the concept of good deed. In Ramadan, we are being constantly reminded of a life to follow. We abstain from eating and drinking even when we are starving , although we have a lot of food available. Reason being that we are looking for a better reward. We are waiting for the true life to come. Similarly, on a broader aspect this life is not a means of enjoyment, in fact, it is a test and the real life to enjoy awaits us. [7]

(5) The HajjPilgrimage to Mecca

Hajj, which is the pilgrimage during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it MUST MAKE THE PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA AT LEAST ONCE IN HIS OR HER LIFETIME. When the pilgrim is about ten kilometres from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white seamless sheets. Rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, running seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina. The pilgrim, or the hajji, is honoured in his or her community, although Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to God instead of a means to gain social standing.

Brothers in Islam! Hajj, or the Pilgrimage, is the last among those acts of Worship, which Islam enjoins upon you. Like the prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, it mounds your life and prepares you so that you may live in surrender to Allah.

The word Hajj means to make a resolve to visit a holy place: Visiting the Ka’ba in Makka is therefore called Hajj.

Virtue and Piety

You will find that your love of ALLAH heightens as you start preparing for your pilgrimage journey, with the sole intention of pleasing Allah.  With your heart longing to reach your goal, you become purer in thought and deed.  You repent for past sins, seek forgiveness from people whom you might have wronged, and try to render your due to others where necessary so as not to go to Allah’s court burdened with injustices that you may have done to your fellow beings.  In general, the inclination for doing good intensifies and abhorrence for doing evil increases.

After leaving home, the closer you get to the House of Allah, the more intense becomes your desire to do good.  You become careful so that you harm nobody, while you try to render whatever service or help you can to others.  You avoid abuse, indecency, dishonesty, squabbles and bickering, because you are proceeding on the path of Allah.  Thus your entire journey constitutes an act of worship.  How can, then you do wrong.  This journey, in contrast to every other, is a continuing course through which a Muslim attains a progressive purification of the self.

On this journey, then, you are pilgrims to Allah.

Importance of Hajj

 

            See, now, how important this Hajj is.

Allah says:

A duty owed to Allah by all men is the Pilgrimage to the House, if he is able to make his way there.  And as for the disbeliever, Allah is All-sufficient, needing nothing from all the worlds (Al-Imran 3: 97).

Here, failure to perform Hajj if you have the means to do so, is described as KUFR.   Its explanation is found in two Hadith of the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him:

Whosoever possesses provisions and conveyance for the journey to the House of Allah, but in spite of this, does not perform Hajj, then his dying is like the dying of a Jew or a Christain. (Tirmidhi)

Whosoever is not prevented from proceeding for Hajj by any clear, dire need that must fulfil, or by a tyrant ruler, or by a disease which confines him, and yet he fails to perform Hajj and dies in this condition, he may as well choose to die either a Jew or a Christian. (Darimi) [9]

There is no ambiguity in the above 2 Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, that Hajj is a compulsory requirement to be a Muslim (if you can afford it.)

Elucidating this Hadith, Umar said: I wish to impose jizyah (poll tax meant specifically for non-Muslims who were exempt from conscription) on those who do not perform Hajj in spite of possessing the required means.  They are not Muslims, they are not Muslims!

From the commandment of Allah and its elucidation by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, and his Caliph, you can clearly see that Hajj is not something, which may or may not be performed according to personal whim.  It is Obligatory at least once in a lifetime on all Muslims, wherever they live in the world, who can afford to make the journey and who are physically able to.  Responsibilities to one’s family or business are no grounds for exemption.

Those who, despite the necessary means, put off Hajj year after year on some pretext or other should take care of the state of their Iman.  As for those who never bother to think about performing the Hajj at all, but who nonetheless manage to travel all over the world, perhaps even passing within a few hours’ journeying time of Makka on their way to Europe – such people are certainly not Muslims.  They lie if they call themselves Muslims, and people who consider them Muslims are ignorant of the Qur’an.  At least their hearts are devoid of any feelings of obedience to God and they have no faith in His commandments.

Significance of Performing Hajj

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is a visit to the Ka’ba, the house of Allah (SWT). The Ka’ba is a cube-like building that was built by Prophet Adam, the first man and Prophet on earth. During the battles that took place over time, the Ka’ba was damaged. Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail then rebuilt the Ka’ba and restored its dignity. The Ka’ba is the oldest House and was built for the purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT). Today it is known as the holiest place for Muslims and represents the direction that Muslims pray five times a day; from all around the world.It is compulsory for every Muslim to make at least one journey in their lifetime to Makkah for Hajj if they can afford it. The teachings of Hajj are very significant to a Muslim’s daily life. During Hajj, we learn to establish our prayers five times a day and stay clean and pure at all times. Prayer is mandatory during the period of Hajj as well as throughout one’s life. Praying near the Ka’ba rewards a Muslim more then 100,000 times the reward of praying anywhere else in the world.

Sacrificing a lamb or goat during Hajj teaches us to share and to give to the poor. It teaches us generosity, kindness, and the ability to share with others less fortunate. In Mina, when we throw pebbles at the three pillars representing Shaitaan, we learn that we should be truthful and clean and live a life free of sins. We learn to try to reject and avoid the evil whispers of Shaitaan and stand against him. Apart from kindness and generosity, Hajj teaches us that Allah (SWT) has blessed us greatly. The water from Zam Zam is a special gift from Allah (SWT) to Muslims till the Day of Judgement. It is that anyone who drinks the water of Zam Zam will be granted a cure from all the illnesses and diseases. Some of the scholars say that Zam Zam is whatever you make it to be, so for instance, if you drink Zam Zam water and supplicate to Allah (SWT) that He make it a source of healing from a sickness, it will indeed play that role, insha’Allah. Supplicating at Arafaat is also a blessing. All duas are answered and all wishes are made true.

This pilgrimage helps us learn the history of Islam and see how it has been held up over the past centuries. We should remember the work of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (S). We should learn the patience and the sacrifices made by our Prophet at this very time and place many centuries ago. The gathering of Muslims all around the world helps us to remember that we are all Muslims and worshippers of Allah (SWT) and that we are all brothers and sisters in Islam. We learn the different nations and we see that Muslims are not joined together on the basis of color or race. They are joined together on the basis of belief in Allah (SWT) and his messenger (S). The pilgrimage brings Muslims of all countries, colors, and races to one place — the Ka’ba. This strengthens the spirit of unity, equality and brotherhood. These are the values on which Islam builds the human society and it will continue this way till the Day of Judgment insha’Allah. [8]

***SHI’A MUSLIMS HAVE  ADDITIONAL PILLARS OF ISLAM

  1. In addition to the khums tax, Shi’a Muslims consider three additional practices essential to the religion of Islam. ***(1)The first is jihad, which is also important to the Sunni, but not considered a pillar. (2) The second is Amr-Bil-Ma’rūf, the “Enjoining to Do Good”, which calls for every Muslim to live a virtuous life and to encourage others to do the same. (3)The third is Nahi-Anil-Munkar, the “Exhortation to Desist from Evil”, which tells Muslims to refrain from vice and from evil actions and to also encourage others to do the same.” In fact the differences are: Shia Muslims believe in Salat, Sawm, Hajj, Zakaat, Khums, Amr-Bil-Ma’rÅ«f , Nahi-Anil-Munkar,. Tawalla and Tabarra. Sunnis, on the other hand, believe in Shahadah, Salah, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj. The most significant is the open accepance of Jihad as a Pillar of Shia.And this is what these additional principle mean: Principles of Faith (Usūl al-Dīn)* Tawhid (Oneness): The Oneness of Allah* ˤAdālah (Justice): The Justice of Allah* Nubuwwah (Prophethood): Allah has appointed perfect and infallible prophets and messengers to teach mankind the religion (that is, a perfect system of how to live in “peace” (“submission to Allah”)).* Imāmah (Leadership): Allah has appointed specific leaders to lead and guide mankind — a prophet appoints a custodian of the religion before his demise.* Qiyāmah (The Day of Judgment): Allah will raise mankind for Judgment – the Day of Resurrection

  2. JIHAD-The 6th Pillar of Islam (It is an Islamic Pillar with Shiites but not with Sunni)

  3. Jihad means “to strive or struggle,” and is considered the “sixth pillar of Islam” by a minority of Muslim authorities. Within Islamic jurisprudence, jihad is usually taken to mean military exertion against non-Muslim combatants in the defence or expansion of the Islamic state, the ultimate purpose of which is to establish the universal domination of Islam. Jihad, the only form of warfare permissible in Islamic law, may be declared against non-Muslims who refuse to convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule. Jihad is perpetual in nature; in theory, there can be no permanent peace with non-Muslim states, only truces which can be repudiated when circumstances become favourable for the resumption of hostilities. It ceases only when Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians submit to the authority of Islam and agree to pay the jizya (a poll tax) and kharaj (a land tax) admitting to being a dhimmi, and when polytheists convert to Islam.
  4. Under most circumstances and for most Muslims, Jihad is a collective duty (fard kifaya): its performance by some individuals exempts the others. Only for those vested with authority, especially the sovereign (imam), does Jihad become an individual duty. For the rest of the populace, this happens only in the case of a general mobilization. For most Shias, offensive Jihad can only be declared by a divinely appointed leader of the Muslim community, and as such is suspended in his absence. Some Muslim authorities, especially among the Shi’a and Sufis, distinguish between the “greater jihad”, which pertains to spiritual self-perfection, and the “lesser jihad”, defined as warfare. Jihad also refers to one’s striving to attain religious and moral perfection.”

JIHAD (SHIA – SUNNI)

Although Jihad is one of the Pillars of Islam, the Sunnis know the importance Jihad plays in Islam and it is a part of their overall beliefs. How can it not be when there are 164 verses in the Qur’an advocating Jihad for all Muslims. Thus Jihad is a driving force in both the Shia and the Sunni faiths. [10]

The Additional Shia Doctrines
The additional 5 principles in the Shia doctrine in no way detracts from the original 5 Pillars of Islam common with the Sunni beliefs with the exception of Jihad.

There is No Such Thing as an Extremist or Radical or Fundamentalist Muslim

Some politically correct Westerners try not to offend Muslims by saying that all Muslims are Terrorists or Jihadists, so the next best thing they try to do is to isolate such people and label them Extremists or Fundamentalists. Yet, all Muslim Terrorists, or Fundamentalists, or Extremists are nothing but Muslims who have interpreted Islam as a devout Muslim. These Jihadists have obeyed every command of Allah as stipulated in the Quran and no where can I fault them for violating any of the commands of Allah or the Quran or the Hadiths or the Shariah Laws of Islam. These Muslims are Jihadists and some are martyrs but all in the legitimate cause of Islam for they have not violated any of Allah’s commands or laws. They are actually the most prized of all Muslims as far as Allah is concerned because they have discharged their duties as true Muslims sacrificing their lives where necessary. So a Extremist or Radical Muslim is the highest and purest of all Muslims and some will, no doubt, have a place reserved for them in Paradise with Allah.[11]

Labelling a warrior/Jihadist for Islam as an “Extremist” shows the lack of appreciation of the ideology of Islam and the high regard Islam holds for those who serve Allah with their self sacrifice in defending or promoting Islam.

There is No Such Thing as a Moderate Muslim nor is there a Moderate Islam

This is a “politically correct” term used initially so as not to offend or alienate  Muslims. But it is a misnomer unless some westerners mean a “Nominal Muslim” similar to a “nominal Christian” in the western jargon. We shall elaborate on this later. But I see what most people say are “moderate Muslims” are those Muslims who work and live peacefully within their communities not causing any problems with their neighbours. But they, nevertheless are as devout in their beliefs as “orthodox Muslims” but exist peacefully. I assess such Muslims as most likely “dormant Muslims” or “sleeper Muslims” who are playing a low profile in an alien or unfriendly environment but may become activated when called upon. These are the Muslims who will not raise their voices against the Islamic Jihadists who perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities in New York, or the 7/7 carnage in London because it is not politic to do so. They may even rejoice quietly among themselves when they see Islam winning over non-Muslims. In fact these Muslims empathize with the cause of Islamic Jihadists worldwide but lie low. They will in all probability surreptitiously give material or spiritual or moral support to Islamic Jihadist quietly or demonstrate by dancing and shouting Allahu Akbar on occasions like 9/11 or 7/7. But they are, in truth, orthodox Muslims, living a quiet and peaceful life, and unobtrusive or lying low, yet loyally and piously Muslim. Perhaps he is even a Jihadist sleeper.

These Moderate Muslims are not Muslims who have accepted the peaceful aspects and rejected the militant aspects of Islam, because by rejecting any part of the Qur’an amounts to rejecting the Word of Allah, and that is blasphemy, and the penalty is death. So taking this into consideration, either a Muslim accepts the whole of Islam or he is an apostate. An apostate is not a Muslim, he is a “non-Muslim.” So calling a Muslim a “Moderate Muslim” implies he is not an orthodox Muslim, but a “false Muslim.” So either a Muslim is a Muslim accepting all the conditions expected of a Muslim or he is an apostate. There can be no half-Muslim. But a Muslim could be a “dormant Muslim.” That can be the only explanation for a “moderate Muslim.”

The Nominal Muslim/Cultural Muslim – A Renegade Muslim – non-practising Muslim – an Apostate

There are many Muslims, especially some living in the West, who could be classified as “nominal Muslims” similar to “nominal Christians” who live the life of the “Muslim culture” but do not observe  most or any of the Commands of Allah as in the Qur’an. In fact they may even contravene all or some the Commandments of Allah like (1) Not observing the mandatory Islamic ritualistic religious prayers in communion in a mosque, (2) Not observing Halal foods and alcohol ban and other personal practices, (3) Not adhering to rules like,  Sex outside the codes of Sharia Law, (4) or not attending prayers in Mosques, (5) or Ignoring the requirements of the 5 (or 6) Pillars of Islam, and so on. But these people are still seen as Muslims by the ill-informed Westerner but are actually “non-practising Muslims.” To be correct and precise these people are “Muslim renegades” or “ex-Muslims” or “Apostates of Islam.”[11]

Misconceptions are due to lack of understanding

So it is quite evident that to the westerner, such critical assessment is impossible unless we understand what constitutes “Haram & Halal” in Islam. This requires a good understand of Islam, the Hadiths, the Islamic traditions, Islamic history, Sharia Law, and the Islamic culture. Here we can only see the tip of the iceberg. [9]

The Well Informed Cultural Muslim

Is often highly educated and lives in a Western nation. He is nominally well informed and understands the fundamentals of Islam, and likely born and educated in a Muslim family with an Islamic education in his early years. He may view Islam from a cultural perspective, and lives in an Islamic environment, but choose to lead a non-religious Islamic life. But he may observe some of the Islamic customs for appearances sake, like Ramadan or Islamic salutations when he meets other Muslims. But otherwise he would live a secular lifestyle. He will, if confronted use skilfully “taqiyya” and skirt around all Islamic religious matters. He is socially and professionally doing well and does not wish “to rock the boat.” He can easily be confused or mistaken for a “pious savvy orthodox Muslim.” If the rules of the 5 Pillars of Islam were applied to him, he would fail and thus he is, in the eyes of orthodox Muslims a renegade Muslim – an apostate.

The Self Deceived Cultural Muslim

This cultural Muslim is a very shallow Muslim with poor knowledge of the Qur’an and the Hadiths and the Sira. He was probably born of a non too religious Muslim family and has had little interest in the Islamic religion for one reason or another. He is not interested in Islam ideologies but leads a Muslim style life, like dressing as a Muslim, eating as a Muslim, speaking the local language and jargon, but ignoring all the restrictive ideologies of Islam. He may or may not believe in Allah and that Mohammed is a prophet. He is indifferent to Islam and is only interested in his own well being. He will be considered a non-Muslim (an apostate) using orthodox Muslim criteria, but may live happily and harmoniously in a Muslim community unobtrusively. He will go along happily with the “well informed Cultural Muslim.”

The Ignorant Cultural Muslim

There are millions of Muslims (living in Western countries like America, and across Asia) who apparent fit into this category. The are your friendly, pleasant, easy going Muslim who has a lifestyle that is worldly but which does not comply with the ideology of the Qur’an or the Hadith or the Sira. They do not have much time for considering religious Islam but who may still be looked upon as Muslims by most Westerners and non-Muslims. These cultural Muslims do neither actively oppose orthodox/fundamentalist Islam nor actively pro-active for secular forms of Islam. These cultural Muslims just want to be left alone to live in peace. These cultural Muslims are completely theologically and ideologically passive. But if coerced will probably submit to orthodox Islam under intense pressure. However, by any Islamic yardstick these “ignorant cultural Muslims” have violated most of the Orthodox Islam if codes of conduct and will be considered “non-Muslims” by their peers even if many Westerners will wrongly still see them as representative of Muslims.

Note: The author John Marion has observed that all these Muslims have been conditioned to be sensitive about what they perceive as “the honour of their prophet Mohammed, and Allah.” Even the cultural Muslims have been so conditioned that they would not say anything construed as dishonourable about the prophet Mohammed or Allah. [11]

AFTER ELIMINATING APOSTATES REMOVE NON-PRACTISING MUSLIMS


Half a Muslim is worse than a kafir. Only a true Muslim can be a terrorist and can terrorise the world. The litmus test is the five times prayers in a mosque where they can be seen and counted.  Our great apostle thought of an ingenious way to correct this situation. When he noticed some Muslims missing Congregational prayers in Mosque regularly, he wanted to set an example for others, he had the vermin burnt alive along with their houses and the families.

Bukhari:V1B11N626 “The Prophet said, “burn all those who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.’” [11]

HADITHS

Hadith (Arabic for “narrative” or “report”) is Islamic tradition: it is a record of the words and deeds of the Prophet, his family, and his companions.

Although not regarded as the spoken Word of God like the Qur’an, Hadith is an important source of doctrine, law, and practice. It is “revered in Islam as a major source of religious law and moral guidance” {1} and has been studied in Muslim religious colleges since the Middle Ages by both male and female scholars. {2}

The word “Hadith” technically refers to a single piece of tradition (ahadith is the Arabic plural), but in English it is used to refer to the entire body of Muslim tradition as well.

Each Hadith consists of two parts: the tradition itself, or matn (for instance, the words of the Prophet) and the isnad(chain of authorities). The isnad indicates the human transmitters through which the tradition was relayed. For example, one Hadith reads:

Narrated Hisham Ibn ‘Urwa from his father who said: [isnad]

While I was a youngster, I asked ‘Aisha the wife of the Prophet. “What about the meaning of the Statement of Allah… [matn{3}

Collections of Hadith were compiled in the first three centuries of Islamic history, with the above literary form taking shape early in the second Islamic century (c. 720 CE). As might be expected, many Hadiths arose, with varying degrees of authenticity.

Muslim scholars soon set about the task of scrutinizing Hadiths and distinguishing those which were sound (sahih), from those that were only good (hasan) or weak (da’if.) Hadith criticism was solely based on the authenticity of theisnads, not on a scrutiny of the tradition itself.

The question was not, “Is this the sort of thing Muhammad might credibly be imagined to have said or done?” but “Is the report that he said or did it well supported in respect of witnesses and transmitters?” The first question would have introduced too great a danger of subjective judgment or independence of mind. {4}

Several such scholars compiled collections of Hadith. The earliest is the Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, arranged byisnad, but the collections of six other scholars, arranged by matn, came to be recognised as canonical in Sunni Islam:

  1. Al-Bukhari (d. 870 CE)
  2. Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaj (d. 875)
  3. Abu Da’ud (d. 888)
  4. Al-Tirmidhi (d. 892)
  5. Ibn Maja (d. 886)
  6. Al-Nasa’i (d. 915)

Of these six books, the Sahih (Sound Collection) of al-Bukhari and the Sahih of Muslim are the best known and most quoted. These two are known as the “two Sahih,” and “enjoy a prestige that virtually eclipses the other four.” {4}

Shi’a Muslims use the above six Hadith, but also have their own collections that focus on the sayings and virtues of the imams. The four canonical Shi’a Hadiths are those of:

  1. Abu Ja’far Muhammad Al-Kulayni (d. 940 CE)
  2. Ibn Babuya (d. 991)
  3. Al-Tusi (d. 1068)
  4. Al-Tusi [Al-Tusi compiled two collections] [12]

Conclusion:

I have attempted to classify an (orthodox) Muslim and a “cultural” Muslim, and an “apostate.” `But the final judge is by Allah, inshallah.

References:
[1a] Examples of Sharia: http://knol.google.com/k/mbp-lee/sharia-law-an-insight/1l23x9udotn1a/117#[1b] The 5 Pillars of Islam: http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/practices/five_pillars.htm
[1] Adhan: http://www.apologeticsindex.org/a115.html
[2] Basics of Muslim Prayer:
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:E4s8wV1iUW4J:www.aicpmi.org/Islamic_info/English/The_Basics_of_the_Muslim_Prayer.pdf+Samples+of+Islamic+Prayers+in+English&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjosnVRP-3jpxzusMAeYI7FdjHkjvmxsAPmCeAghNX7h_6e0zwRmtg1_eB6oJg4TwcQetSzEhYSBKfG814opcl1tYFaKF82JnNWTuGdrndltgWBBwpHr1y0RE-oK7JysgU8HoBM&sig=AHIEtbTnMSIGPn6Jj2FwapLEAz18qoUjaw&pli=1http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:E4s8wV1iUW4J:www.aicpmi.org/Islamic_info/English/The_Basics_of_the_Muslim_Prayer.pdf+Samples+of+Islamic+Prayers+in+English&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjosnVRP-3jpxzusMAeYI7FdjHkjvmxsAPmCeAghNX7h_6e0zwRmtg1_eB6oJg4TwcQetSzEhYSBKfG814opcl1tYFaKF82JnNWTuGdrndltgWBBwpHr1y0RE-oK7JysgU8HoBM&sig=AHIEtbTnMSIGPn6Jj2FwapLEAz18qoUjaw&pli=1
[3] Guide to (Islamic) Prayer:
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:toO8bOp6lkgJ:www.islamicbook.ws/english/english-020.pdf+5+obligatory+prayers+in+Islam+in+English&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESijduCFA_KW6j-0z5hDL2xnl5k1ZNuQ4NVKnW5lfvlYFwSSQXU-hVbtxn6266iVt525JlHnZa1osnVn89kan7RKoYVjrTItJv7307bhakNXjgEyGm1z3j91OK3ioVZmtcYfsDUo&sig=AHIEtbSB2Pyjsk5lfGwZccOuSyJXTU5SrQ
[4] Zakat: http://www.soundvision.com/Info/zakat/howzakat.asp
[5] Zakat for Jihad: http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/zakat.ht
[6] Sawm:Fasting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/practices/sawm.shtml
[7] Spiritual Benefits of Ramadan: http://islamandpsychology.blogspot.com/2009/08/benefits-of-ramadan.html
[8] Significance of Hajj: http://www.hajjplans.com/hajj_significance.php
[9] Obligations of Hajj: http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/hajj/letsbemuslims.htm#importanceofhajj
[10] 164 verses re: Jihad in Quran: http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html
[11] Cultural/Apostalte Muslims: http://knol.google.com/k/mbp-lee/only-one-islam-but-many-different/1l23x9udotn1a/58#The_Nominal_Muslim(2F)Cultura
[12] Hadiths: http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/texts/hadith.htm

*maniyy

The following shows the difference between Maniyy (sperm), Mathi (pre-seminal fluid) and Wadi:
Maniyy: it is a thick white fluid emitted by the male or female as the result of sexual ejaculation. Some scholars define Maniyy as the thick spurting water discharge through orgasm. When the above characteristics are not present Ghusl (a ritual bath) is not compulsory for ritual purity. Another case where Ghusl is not compulsory is when the sperm is discharged due to illness or extreme cold or the like. It is narrated in a Prophetic Hadeeth that Ghusl is only obligatory if one discharges (sperm) with orgasm. However, if sperm discharge happens unwillingly and without pleasure, then one does not have to perform Ghusl.

If someone wakes up and finds some sperm moistness on him or on his clothes he should perform Ghusl.  This also applies to women. The Maniyy of a woman is a thin yellow fluid. Ghusl is obligatory any time one has sexual intercourse.

According to the predominant opinion of the Muslim scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them  Maniyy is a pure fluid.
Mathi: it is a thin white sticky fluid which is discharged due to sexual stimulation, e.g. thinking about sexual acts, or kissing or the like. One is usually unaware of exactly when it is discharged. It emits from both the male and female. Muslim scholars unanimously agree that Mathi is impure.

Wadi: it is a thick white fluid that comes after urinating. It is also considered impure. Ibn ‘Abbaas,  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him  said: “Maniyy discharge requires Ghusl. However, Mathi and Wadi only require performing Wudhoo’ (ablution) and cleaning the private parts and part of the clothes it touched”.


Additional References:
[A1]
Muslims are obligated to Sharia: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/08/its-an-obligation-for-all-muslims-to-fully-apply-the-sharia-im-here-to-make-sure-that-happens.html

3 Comments

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  1. Makkah

    Allah wanted a man to surrender himself for him and discover the real purpose of life. From Tawaf we get to know that our life focus should be only Allah the Almighty, there is no one else worth of this praise and respect.

    • mbplee

      Makkah, you are right, Allah expects total submission to Him and Him Alone.

      “To totally submit to the Will of Allah is to succumb to that superior status of Allah’s Lordship and to obey as would an obedient slave his wise master. This obedience, at its highest level, would mean that the obedient obeys in such a way that (s)he does not think about a matter or perform an act but to think of Allah before, during and after the execution of that act, something that necessitates total remembrance of Allah and His commands and the subsequent absence of room for disobedience be it the misuse or abuse of His gifts to humans. This total obedience also means thankfulness in its entirety since it means that the thankful thanks Allah by not misusing the gifts that he was endowed with by remembering Allah and adhering to His commands whenever (s)he employs any of His gifts.”

      But no one has ever proven that Allah is any other than a god based on ancient Quraysh myths.
      “ISLAM’S ROOTS ARE FROM THE MYTHICAL PAGAN QURAYSHI WORSHIP OF THE MOON GOD.
      Pagan Beginnings for Muhammad

      Mohammad was born 570 AD of pagan parents of the Quraysh tribe. The Quraysh tribe worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca where there stood 360 idols on the alter. Muhammad was brought up worshipping the Quraysh gods and was familiar with the customs of his family because Muhammad only formulated the concept of his Muhammadan faith later in his life, having learned about Judaism and Christianity from them. through his inquiries. Because it was not till Muhammad was 40 years of age (610 AD) that he felt he knew enough about religion, that he began preaching his new monotheist religion, Islam. In fact Muhammad was so well involved with the religion of his Quraysh family that Muhammad has been recorded as saying, [1]

      “I have offered a white sheep to al-‘Uzza while I was a follower of the religion of my people.” [2]

      al-Uzza is of course one of the goddesses of the Quraysh tribe, and one of the three daughters of the Sun God, Hubal also addressed as “Allah” by the Quraysh tribe. Allah is a pre-Islamic name from the compound Arabic word Al-ilah meaning god, a generic name for the “highest god.” The Crescent moon was the symbol of the moon god Hubal (Allah) and its continued use today as observed over every Islamic mosque, and is the ancient pagan symbol of “fertility.” Because the idol of Allah is located in the Kaa’ba all Muslims pay their respect to Allah by facing toward Mecca when they pray 5 times a day. Also their dead are buried facing Mecca for the same reason. [1]Despite Muhammad’s pagan roots, be became impressed and fascinated with the culture of the Jews and Christians and their worship of monotheism. He was impressed at the way they conducted their daily lives and that they were a happy and content progressive peoples. There were many Jewish settlements in Hijaz, the neighbourhood of Muhammad’s birth, and he also met many Jews who dominated the city of Medina, the city that also dominated Muhammad’s life. The Jews were merchants, farmers, vintners, smiths and some of them also lived among the Bedouin tribes intermingling harmoniously. Their culture seemed more sophisticated and they led a more prosperous life than the Bedouin tribes, traders and camel herders. Muhammad was keen to emulate this more sophisticated society and began to study their ways, and their monotheistic religious teachings. Perhaps it was their polytheism and the more primitive pagan lives that held back their progress. (So not unlike Kemal Ataturk several centuries later, Muhammad decided to emulate a new way of life, based on monotheism(Judaism & Christianity) but with a Quraysh tint, and so Muhamadism/Islam was born.) As Muhammad was illiterate, he was unable to study Judaism or Christianity religious texts. So he eagerly listened to verbal narratives from friendly Jews and Christians and absorbed a tremendous amount of Jewish and Christian ideologies, scriptures, and traditions (including many jumbled ideologies and misconceptions) that he incorporated into his philosophies. The similarities of many parts or verses in the Koran to the Bible, especially the Old Testament is testament to the amount Muhammad was able to absorb from his Jewish and Christian friends. However, some of these Biblical concepts clashed with his pagan concepts and he had to abrogate his earlier pronouncements with something that suited his lifestyle and his change of personality as he gained experience especially after Medina. [1]
      Early Islam

      Muhammad’s early attitudes emulated the Jewish and Christian philosophies of compassion and tolerance. Muhammad initially show not animosity towards other faiths. Muhammad referred to Jews and Christians as “People of the Book” (Torah/Bible) and had passages that showed compassion and tolerance. For example, when Muslims were persecuted by pagans in Mecca, Muhammad to the Muslims to take refuge with King Negus, the Christian King of Ethopia where they were received with kindness and respect. King Negus even declared that Muslim refugees could live freely in his country. And when the Meccans approached the King and demanded the surrender of these Muslims, the King refused to accede to those demands, offering protection to the Muslims. And Muhammad knew this. Muhammad even made a rare tribute to Christians:

      Surat al-Ma’ida 82: “….You will find the people most affectionate to those who believe (Muslims) are those who say. “We are Christians.”

      Some common identifiable values of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are:(1) God is Creator of the Universe and is omnipotent. (2) God created man: Adam. (3) God sent prophets like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. (4) Many customs and traditions and rituals are similar like food abstinence, fasting, prayer, circumcision, and observances of similar festivities. The influence of Judaism and Christianity upon Islam cannot be dismissed. Yet Islam is not of the same roots. In the early stages of Islam, Muhammad made special concessions for “People of the Book” compared with that of infidels, or pagans, or kafirs, or polytheists. Muhammad’s tolerant verses include:
      [73.9] The Lord(Allah) of the East and the West– there is no god but He (Allah)– therefore take Him for a protector. [73.10] And bear patiently what they(infidels) say and avoid them with a becoming avoidance. [73.11] And leave Me (Allah) and the rejecters (of Allah), the possessors of ease and plenty, and respite them a little.”

      Thus Muslims surrender themselves to an god based totally on ancient myths. There is no historical or archaeological proof that this is not the case. So Muslim surrender themselves to a mythical god i.e., a god construed by man (Muhammad.)

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