Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
-Christian definition
 -Shared beliefs
 -Handling change
 -Bible topics
 -Bible inerrancy
 -Bible harmony
 -Interpret the Bible
 -Persons
 -Beliefs & creeds
 -Da Vinci code
 -Revelation, 666
 -Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Islam

Part 2

Introduction

horizontal rule

This topic is continued here from Part 1 of this topic

horizontal rule

Topics discussed in this essay:

horizontal rule

Important texts:

There are six main texts consulted by Muslims:

bullet The Qur'an (Recitation) are believed to be the literal words of God in their original Arabic language. Muslims believe that it was dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Jibril over an interval of 23 years. The text was originally preserved in oral form.

The original written version of the Qur'an was completed by 634 CE during the political reign of Abu Bakr. It was accepted as accurate because each verse in written form had to be vouched for by two or more Muslims who had earlier memorized the oral version.

However, within a decade, different written versions of the Qur'an in were in circulation. Caliph Uthman arranged the original manuscripts to be rewritten into four copies and to destroy by fire all of the other full or partial copies of the Qur'an. 1

"Qur'an" is often spelled "Koran" in English. This is not recommended, as some Muslims find it offensive. In it original language, Arabic, it is the only book that is considered free of tahrif (error). Translations of the Qur'an into other languages are referred to as "interpretations"
bullet There were four additional revealed books:

bullet The Suhuf-i-Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham/Ibrahim) which most Muslims believe have been lost.

bullet The Tawrat (a.k.a Tawrah or Taurat) This is the Pentateuch, the first five books from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). Many Muslims believe that the text has been altered by ancient Hebrews.

bullet The Zabur which many Muslims believe are the Psalms from the Hebrew Scriptures. According to the Qur'an, the Zabur was revealed to David when he was king of Israel.

bullet The Injil (a.k.a. Injeel). These are the Gospels, referred to as the words of Jesus, Some Muslims believe that this consists of the entire Christian Scriptures (New Testament); others believe it refers to only the four canonical Gospels: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. The Injil are also believed to have been distorted and corrupted over time. Other Muslims believe that the Injil is not a book, but a lost group of teachings written by the apostles or authors connected to the apostles.
bullet The Hadith, which are collections of the sayings of Muhammad. They are regarded as the Sunnah (lived example) of Muhammad.  The Qur'an gives legitimacy to the Hadith. It states: "Nor does he say aught of his own desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him" (53:3-4). However, the writings are not regarded as having the same status as the Holy Qur'an; the latter is considered to be God's word. The great Islamic scholar Yahya bin Sharaf Ul-Deen An-Nawawi compiled a collection of 43 sayings of Prophet Muhammad. It is is now known as "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths" 2

horizontal rule

Islamic beliefs:

bullet Muslims consider six fundamental beliefs to be the foundation of their faith:
  1. A single, indivisible God. (God, the creator, is just, omnipotent and merciful. "Allah" is often used to refer to God; it is the Arabic word for God.)

  2. The existence of the angels.

  3. The divine scriptures, which include the Torah, the Psalms, the rest of the Bible, (as they were originally revealed) and the Qur'an (which is composed of God's words, dictated by the Archangel Gabriel to Muhammad).

  4. The Messengers of God, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad -- the last prophet. Muhammad's message is considered the final, universal message for all of humanity.

  5. The Day of Judgment when people will be judged on the basis of their deeds while on earth, and will either attain eternal reward of Heaven or punishment in Hell. They do not believe that the death of Jesus or of any other individual can atone for another person's sin. Hell is where unbelievers and sinners spend eternity. One translation of the Qur'an, 98:1-8, states: "The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures." ("People of the Book" refers to Christians, Jews and Muslims). Paradise is a place of physical and spiritual pleasure where the sinless go after death.

  6. The supremacy of God's will.

Many males who regard themselves as Muslims, but which engage in terrorism, hold the belief that if they die as martyrs, they will automatically attain Heaven and be met there by 72 virgins. This belief is based on a translation of Chapter 78 in the Qur'an which is called "The Great News."

  • As translated by Moshin, Verse 33 refers to "... young full breasted maidens of equal age."

  • As translated by Yusuf ali, Vers 33 refers to "companions of equal age." 3

Other beliefs include:

  • Allah did not have a son.

  • Jesus is a prophet, born of the Virgin Mary. They regard the Christian concept of the deity of Jesus to be blasphemous; it is viewed as a form of polytheism.

  • Jesus was not executed on the cross. He escaped crucifixion and was taken up into Paradise.

  • The existence of Satan drives people to sin.

  • Muslims who sincerely repent and submit to God return to a state of sinlessness.

  • All people are considered children of Adam. Islam officially rejects racism.

  • All children are born in Al-Fitra (a pure, natural state of submission to Islam). Some parents convert them to Christianity, Judaism, etc.

  • When a child reaches puberty an account of their subsequent deeds is opened in Paradise. When the person dies, their eventual destination (Paradise or Hell) depends on the balance of their good deeds (helping others, testifying to the truth of God, leading a virtuous life, etc.) and their bad deeds.

  • Alcohol, illegal drugs, eating of pork, etc. are to be avoided.

  • Gambling is also to be avoided.

horizontal rule

Islamic practices:

A Muslim's duties as described in the Five Pillars of Islam are:

  • To recite at least once during their lifetime the shahadah (the creed: "There is no God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet"). Most Muslims repeat it at least daily.

  • To perform the salat (prayer) 5 times a day, if possible. This is recited while orienting one's body with qibia (the shorter of the two great circle routes towards the Kaaba at Mecca) This is generally North East in the U.S. and Canada 4 The five prayers are:
    • Fajr (Morning Prayer) which is performe
    d some time between the break of dawn and just before sunrise.
    • Zuhr (Noon Prayer) offered from just after midday to afternoon.
    • 'Asr (Afternoon Prayer) offered from late afternoon until just before sunset
    • Maghrib (Sunset Prayer) offered between sunset and darkness
    • Isha (Night Prayer) offered at night time, often just before sleeping. 5

  • The Pray-in-time web site provides an Islamic prayer time calculator for locations worldwide. See: www.pray-in-time.org

  • To donate regularly to charity through zakat. This is a 2.5% charity tax on the income and property of middle and upper class Muslims. Believers are urged to make additional donations to the needy as they feel moved.

  • To fast during the lunar month of Ramadan. This is believed to be the month that Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur'an from God.

  • if economically and physically able, to make at least one hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca during their lifetime.

horizontal rule

This topic is continued in the next essay

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Is the Qur'an Pure?," Spiritual Technology, undated, at: http://www.harvardhouse.com/ The web site is based on the book "Gabriel's Faces: Voice of the Archangel by John Zachar. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  2. Yahya bin Sharaf Ul-Deen An-Nawawi , "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths" at: http://www.dartmouth.edu/ No longer online.
  3. Does the Quran really promise Islamic martyrs 72 virgins?," Just Islam, undated, at: http://www.justislam.co.uk/ 
  4. "Calculating Qibla Direction," at: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/
  5. "Correctional Institution's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Excerpts are available at: http://www.cair-net.org/ This is a PDF file.

horizontal rule

Site navigation: Home page > World Religions > Islam > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1995 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2017-MAY-29
Author: B. A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored links

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the Islamic menu, or choose:

Custom Search

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.