THE FAMILY IN ISLAM (PART 1 OF 3) !

In Islam, considering the well-being of the “other” instead of just the “self” is a virtue so rooted in the religion that it is evident even to those outside it.  The British humanitarian and civil rights lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, a non-Muslim, stated: “What I like about Islam is its focus on the group, which is opposite to the West’s focus on individuality.”[1]

 

Individuals comprising any society are tied together by related group bonds.  The strongest of all societal bonds is that of the family.  And while it can be justifiably argued that the basic family unit is the foundation of any given human society, this holds particularly true for Muslims.  As a matter of fact, the great status that Islam affords to the family system is the very thing that so often attracts many new converts to Islam, particularly women.

 

“With laws for almost every aspect of life, Islam represents a faith-based order that women may see as crucial to creating healthy families and communities, and correcting the damage done by the popular secular humanism of the past thirty or so years, several experts said.  In addition, women from broken homes may be especially attracted to the religion because of the value it places on family, said Marcia Hermansen, a professor of Islamic studies at Loyola University in Chicago and an American who also converted to Islam.”[2]

 

Nowhere is this trend of a people who value traditional family values as they embrace Islam more prevalent than in North America’s Latino or Hispanic community.  As one of Florida’s Muslims observed:  “I have seen an increasing rate in Hispanics converting to Islam.  I think the Hispanic culture itself is very rich in terms of family values, and that is something that is very prominent in the religion of Islam.”

 

So, what are the particular values or traits of Islamic family life that so many are finding so appealing?

 

At a Columbia University Islamic event, Hernan Guadalupe, an Ecuadorian-American: “spoke of the cultural similarities and family values inherent to Hispanics and Muslims.  Typically, Hispanic households are tight knit and devout, and children are reared in a strict environment - traits that mirror Muslim households.”[3]

 

And in another recent newspaper report, it was also observed how: “Family values play an integral role in the formation of a Muslim community.  Because of those family values, there are a lot of other norms that are consistent within the Hispanic community and Islam; for instance, respect for elders, married life and rearing children, these are some of the traditions Hispanics have in common with Islam.”[4]

 

Some ordinary American converts also have had a say about real life experience, and some of these are collected in a book by the mother of such a convert; Daughters of Another Path by Carol L. Anway.  One woman, quoted in the book[5],  spoke about her change in attitude towards marriage and family life after converting to Islam.  “I became cleaner and quieter the further I went into the religion.  I became highly disciplined.  I had not intended to marry before I was a Muslim, yet I quickly became a wife and then a mother.  Islam has provided a framework that has allowed me to express belief, such as modesty, kindness and love, that I already had.  It has also led me to happiness through marriage and the birth of two children.  Before Islam I had had no desire to have my own family since I hated (the thought of having) kids.”

 

Another woman speaks of her acceptance into the extended family in the same book.  “We were met at the airport by a lot of his family, and it was a very touching moment, one I will never forget.  Mama (her mother-in-law) is like an angel… I have spent a lot of time in with tears, because of what I see here.  The family system is quite unique with closeness that is beyond words.”[6]

 

In Appendix C of the book, a 35 year old American convert, at that time 14 years a Muslim, wrote about the family of her husband and their values relative to her own American values.  “I have met all the members of my husband’s immediate family and some members of his immense extended family… I have learned a great deal from my in-laws.  They have a wonderful way of relating to their children, a way that engenders respect for others and great amounts of self esteem.  It is interesting to see how a child-orientated and religious orientated culture operates.  My in-laws, by virtue of being a contrast to American culture, have given me a great appreciation for certain elements of my American cultural identity… I have seen that Islam is truly correct in saying that moderation is the right path.”[7]

 

From these quotations, one from a non-Muslim intellectual, others from converts and reporters, and some from quite ordinary American women who embraced Islam, we can see that family values in Islam are one of its major attractions.  These values stem from God and His guidance, through the Quran and the example and teaching of His Messenger, Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who indicates the family unit as being one of the mainstays of religion and Islamic the way of life.  The importance of forming a family is underscored by a saying of the holy Prophet himself, who said:

 

“When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear God regarding the remaining half.”[8] (al-Baihaqi)

 

The two articles that follow will discuss the family in Islam in the light of the Quran and Prophetic teachings.  Through briefly exploring Islam’s take on the themes of married life, respect for parents and elders, and the rearing of children, we can begin to appreciate the benefits of the family in Islam.

 

To be continued…

 

http://www.islamreligion.com

WHY ISLAM?

 

 

 

 

 

image52.jpgLet’s talk frankly.  Almost never do non-Muslims study Islam until they have first exhausted the religions of their exposure.  Only after they have grown dissatisfied with the religions familiar to them, meaning Judaism, Christianity and all the fashionable “-isms”—Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism (and, as my young daughter once added, “tourism”)—do they consider Islam.

 

Perhaps other religions do not answer the big questions of life, such as “Who made us?”  and “Why are we here?”  Perhaps other religions do not reconcile the injustices of life with a fair and just Creator.  Perhaps we find hypocrisy in the clergy, untenable tenets of faith in the canon, or corruption in the scripture.  Whatever the reason, we perceive shortcomings in the religions of our exposure, and look elsewhere.  And the ultimate “elsewhere” is Islam.

 

Now, Muslims would not like to hear me say that Islam is the “ultimate elsewhere.”  But it is.  Despite the fact that Muslims comprise one-fourth to one-fifth of the world’s population, non-Muslim media smears Islam with such horrible slanders that few non-Muslims view the religion in a positive light.  Hence, it is normally the last religion seekers investigate.

 

Another problem is that by the time non-Muslims examine Islam, other religions have typically heightened their skepticism: If every “God-given” scripture we have ever seen is corrupt, how can the Islamic scripture be different?  If charlatans have manipulated religions to suit their desires, how can we imagine the same not to have happened with Islam?

 

The answer can be given in a few lines, but takes books to explain.  The short answer is this: There is a God.  He is fair and just, and He wants us to achieve the reward of paradise.  However, God has placed us in this worldly life as a test, to weed out the worthy from the unworthy.  And we will be lost if left to our own devices.  Why?  Because we don’t know what He wants from us.  We can’t navigate the twists and turns of this life without His guidance, and hence, He has given us guidance in the form of revelation.

 

Sure, previous religions have been corrupted, and that is one of the reasons why we have a chain of revelation.  Ask yourself: wouldn’t God send another revelation if the preceding scriptures were impure?  If preceding scriptures were corrupted, humans would need another revelation, to keep upon the straight path of His design.

 

So we should expect preceding scriptures to be corrupted, and we should expect the final revelation to be pure and unadulterated,for we cannot imagine a loving God leaving us astray.  What we can imagine is God giving us a scripture, and men corrupting it; God giving us another scripture, and men corrupting it again … and again, and again.  Until God sends a final revelation He promises to preserve until the end of time.

 

Muslims consider this final revelation to be the Holy Quran.  You consider it … worth looking into.  So let us return to the title of this article: Why Islam?  Why should we believe that Islam is the religion of truth, the religion that possesses the pure and final revelation?

 

“Oh, just trust me.”

 

Now, how many times have you heard that line?  A famous comedian used to joke that people of different cities cuss one another out in different ways.  In Chicago, they cuss a person out this way, in Los Angeles they cuss a person out that way, but in New York they just say, “Trust me.”

 

So don’t trust me—trust our Creator.  Read the Quran, read books and study good websites.  But whatever you do, get started, take it seriously, and pray for our Creator to guide you.

 

Your life may not depend on it, but your soul most definitely does.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2007 Laurence B. Brown; used by permission.

 

About the author:

Laurence B. Brown, MD, can be contacted at BrownL38@yahoo.com.  He is the author of The First and Final Commandment (Amana Publications) and Bearing True Witness (Dar-us-Salam).  Forthcoming books are a historical thriller, The Eighth Scroll, and a second edition of The First and Final Commandment, rewritten and divided into MisGod’ed and its sequel, God’ed.

 

 

Source : http://www.islamreligion.com

CAN WE SEE GOD?

 

 

 

 

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The human mind is a true marvel, but in certain areas it is limited.  God is different from anything the human mind can think of or imagine, so the mind will become confused if it tries to picture God.  Nevertheless, it is possible to understand the attributes of God that do not require one to make any mental pictures of Him.  For example, one of God’s names is al-Ghaffar, which means He forgives all sins.  Everyone can understand this easily because that is how the human mind can think of God.  Jewish and Christian teachings on God are confused partly because of incorrect understanding of this issue.  The Jewish Torah teaches God is like man,

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…so God made man in His own image.’” (Genesis 1:26-27)

Moreover, certain churches contain statues or images of an old white bearded man depicting God.  Some of these were produced by the likes of Michelangelo who depicted the Face and Hand of a god – a tough looking old man - in paintings.

Rendering images of God in Islam is an impossibility, and amounts to disbelief, as God tells us in the Quran that nothing resembles Him:

“There is nothing like Him, but He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Quran 42:11)

“There is nothing comparable to Him.” (Quran 112:4)

The Request of Moses to See God

Eyes can not bear the vision of God.  He tells us in the Quran:

“Vision cannot grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision.” (Quran 6:103)

Moses, to whom God spoke and gave great miracles, was chosen by God to be His Prophet.  It is said that he thought that, since God used to speak to him, he might be able to actually see God.  The story is in the Quran, where God tells us what happened:

“And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’  (God) said, ‘You will not see Me, but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’  But when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.  And when he awoke, he said, ‘Exalted are You!  I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.’” (Quran 7:143)

God made it clear that no-one, including the great prophet Moses, can bear the sight of the divine, for God is too great to be grasped by human eyes in this life.  According to the Quran, Moses realized his request was in error; therefore, he sought forgiveness from God for having asked.

Did Prophet Muhammad See God In This Life?

Prophet Muhammad traveled in a miraculous journey through the heavens and met God.  People thought that since Prophet Muhammad spoke to God in that journey, he probably saw God too.  One of the companions, Abu Dahrr, asked him about it.  The Prophet replied:

“There was only light, how could I see Him?” (Saheeh Muslim)

What was the light he saw?  The Prophet explained:

“Surely, God does not sleep nor is it befitting for Him to sleep.  He is the one who lowers the scales and raises them.  The deeds of the night go up to Him before the deeds of the day and those of the day before those of the night, and His veil is light.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Visions of God in Spiritual Experiences

Some people, including some who claim to be Muslims, report spiritual experiences where they claim to have seen God.  Common reported experiences also include seeing light, or a magnificent being seated on a throne.  In the case of Muslims, such an experience is usually accompanied by dropping basic Islamic practices like salah and fasting, under the mistaken opinion that such practices are only for common people who had not had their type of experience.

So what does Islam teach about this?  Islam teaches us that it is Satan who pretends to be God to deceive ignorant people who believe in such experiences and go astray.  One of the fundamental foundations of Islam is that the law revealed to Prophet Muhammad cannot be changed or canceled.  God neither makes lawful for some what He has made unlawful for others, nor does He communicate His Law through such experiences to people.  Rather, divine law is revealed through the proper channel of revelation to the prophets, a channel that was closed after the advent of the prophet Muhammad, the last of God’s prophets. 

Seeing God in Afterlife

In Islamic doctrine, God cannot be seen in this life, but the believers will see God in the next life; even then, God will not be grasped in totality.  This is stated clearly in the Quran and the Sunnah.  The Prophet said,

“The Day Of Resurrection is the first day any eye will look at God, the Mighty and Exalted.”[1]

Describing the events of Resurrection Day, God states in the Quran:

“On that day some faces will be bright, looking at their Lord.” (Quran 75:22-23)

The Prophet was asked if we will see God on the Day of resurrection.  He replied, “Are you harmed by looking at the moon when it is full?”[2]  ‘No,’ they replied.  Then he said, “Surely, you will see Him likewise.”  In another hadith the Prophet said, “Surely, each of you will see God on the day when you shall meet Him, and there will be no veil or translator between Him and you.”[3]  Seeing God will be a favor that is additional to Paradise on the people who will dwell therein.  As a matter of fact, the joy of seeing God for a believer will be greater than the all the joys of Paradise combined together.  The unbelievers, on the other hand, will be deprived of seeing God, and this will be greater punishment for them than all the pain and suffering of Hell combined together.

 source ; http://www.islamreligion.com

THE MALICE OF LYING !

 

 

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Lying is a common part of human relationships.  People lie for a variety of reasons.  They may lie as part of self-presentation, in order to present a more favorable image to others.  People may also lie in order to minimize conflict, because lying may make disagreements less obvious.  Although lying may serve useful functions in these respects, it can also be damaging to relationships.  An exposed lie undermines trust and sows suspicion, because a person who has been lied to is likely to mistrust the person who lied in the future.[1]  Some people even lie due to habit at first impulse.  ‘Everyday lies are really part of the fabric of social life,’ says Bella DePaulo, a psychologist and lying expert at the University of Virginia.  Her research shows both men and women lie in approximately a fifth of their social exchanges lasting 10 or more minutes; over the course of a week they deceive about 30 percent of those with whom they interact one-on-one.  Furthermore, some types of relationships, such as those between parents and teens, are virtual magnets for deception.  Lying is considered integral to many occupations: we see lawyers constructing far-fetched theories on behalf of their clients or reporters misrepresenting themselves in order to gain access to good stories.[2]

Lying is a despicable vice, rampant in our societies.  Deceiving others with the canny use of words is seen as clever.  Public figures lie.  Governments lie.  One of the distinctions of our age is that lying no longer carries the stigma it once did.  Today lying has become institutionalized.  It is the way many of us live now, right from the top, because we figured out that if we are persuasive enough, lying works.  Countries are invaded and wars are started based on lies.  “We” never lie, we just bend the truth a little, put a spin, having no intention to mislead, but the “others” are liars.  Ours is a society that has perfected the “art” of lying.  Gone are the days when a lie destroyed the liar’s dignity and deprived him of our trust.

Islam views lying as a serious vice.  God says in the Quran:

“And do not say that of which you have no knowledge.” (Quran 17:36)

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, stressed the importance of always being truthful and the seriousness of habitual lying, “Truthfulness leads to piety and piety leads to the Paradise.  A man should be truthful until he is written down as truthful with God.  Lying leads to deviance and deviance leads to the Fire.  A man will lie until he is written down as a liar with God.”[3]  Truth is to state what corresponds with reality, how things are, and is the opposite of lying.  The malice of lying is tied to hypocrisy as described by the Prophet Muhammad, “If anyone has four characteristics, he is a pure hypocrite, and if anyone has one of them, he has an aspect of hypocrisy until he gives it up: whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust; whenever he speaks, he lies; when he makes an agreement, he breaks it; and when he quarrels, he deviates from the truth by speaking falsely.”[4]  The Prophet’s teaching is that we try our best to free ourselves of hypocrisy by keeping our trusts, telling the truth, keeping our promises, and not speaking falsely.

Islamicly, the most heinous lie is against God, His prophets, His revelation, and bearing false witness.  We should be careful not to make false excuses like ‘I was too busy or I forgot,’ or say words that can be taken as promises by others like ‘I’ll call back tomorrow,’ with no such intention.  At the same time, not lying should not be confused with impoliteness, ‘saying at it is,’ but we should be careful not to lie about little things when no one apparently gets hurt.  This can be done by carefully choosing our words.

Is “Never lie!” an absolute principle of Islam or are there exceptions?  Suppose that a would-be murderer comes knocking on your door, looking for his victim.  Is the morally correct answer, “She’s hiding upstairs, hoping you will go away”?  Philosophers like Kant wrote as if this was in fact the morally correct thing to do, but Islamicly, lying is justified in such cases.

 

Source : http://www.islamreligion.com

 

THE SEARCH FOR INNER PEACE (PART 1 OF 4) !

The topic of inner peace addresses a universal need.  There is nobody on this planet that does not desire inner peace.  It is not a desire that is new to our time; rather, it is something that everybody has been searching for throughout the ages, regardless of color, creed, religion, race, nationality, age, sex, wealth, ability or technological advancement.

 

People have taken a variety of different paths in trying to achieve inner peace, some through accumulating material possessions and wealth, others through drugs; some through music, others through meditation; some through their husbands and wives, others through their careers and some through their children’s achievements.  And the list goes on.

 

Yet the search also goes on.  In our time we have been led to believe that technological advancement and modernization will produce for us physical comforts and through these we will attain inner peace.

 

However, if we were to take the most technologically advanced and most industrialized nation in the world, America, then we would see that what we have been led to believe is not factual.  The statistics show that in America some 20 million adults suffer from depression yearly; and what is depression but a total lack of inner peace?  Furthermore in the year 2000 death rate due to suicide was double the rate of those who died from Aids.  However, the news media being what it is, we hear more about those who die from Aids than we do about those who die by committing suicide.  Also more people die from suicide in America than from homicide, and the homicide rates themselves are massive.

 

So the reality is that technological advancement and modernization have not bought inner peace and tranquility.  Rather in spite of the comforts that modernization has brought us, we are further away from inner peace than our ancestors were.

 

Inner peace is for the most part of our lives very elusive; we never seem to get our hands on it.

 

Many of us mistake personal pleasures for inner peace; we achieve elements of pleasure from a variety of things, be it wealth, sexual relations or other than that.  But these do not last, they come and go.  Yes we have personal pleasures from time to time and we are pleased with various things from time to time, but this is not inner peace.  True inner peace is a sense of stability and contentment which carries us through all the trials and difficulties of life.

 

We need to understand that peace is not something that will exist in this world around us because when we define peace according to the dictionary definition it states that peace is freedom from war or civil strife.  Where do have this?  There is always a war or some sort of civil unrest happening somewhere in the world.  If we look at peace in terms of the state level then peace is freedom from public disorder and security, but where in the world do we have this in a complete form?  If we look at peace on a social level, family and work, then peace is freedom from disagreements and arguments, but is there such a social environment that never has disagreements or arguments?  In terms of location, then yes, we can have a place which is calm, peaceful and tranquil, some islands for example, but this external peace only exists for a small amount of time, sooner or later a storm or a hurricane will come.

 

God says:

“Verily, I have created man in toil (struggle).” (Quran 90:4)

This is the nature of our lives; we are in toil and struggle, ups and downs, times of difficulties and times of ease.

It is a life full of tests as God says:

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to as-Saabirin (the patient ones, etc.).” (Quran 2:155)

 

To deal with our circumstances, the circumstances of toil and struggle in which we live, patience is the key.

 

But if we go back to the inner peace that we are looking for, then patience cannot manifest itself if we do not have that inner peace.

 

We are living in a world of toil and struggle, but yet within ourselves it is possible to attain inner peace, peace with the environment, with the world in which we live.

 

Obviously there are some obstacles which prevent us from attaining peace.  So first we have to identify the obstacles in our lives which prevent us from achieving maximum inner peace and develop some kind of strategy to remove them.  The obstacles will not be removed just by thinking that we need to remove them; we have to develop some steps to achieve this.  So how do we go about removing these obstacles so that we can achieve what is possible of inner peace?

 

The first step is to identify the obstacles themselves.  We have to be aware of them, because if we cannot identify them then we cannot remove them.

 

The second step is to accept them as obstacles within ourselves.  For example anger is one of the biggest obstacles to inner peace, for example.  If a person is angry, worked up and has blown a fuse, how can he or she have inner peace in that circumstance?  It is not possible.  So the person needs to recognize that anger is an obstacle to inner peace.

 

However, if a person states that, “Yes, it is an obstacle but I do not get angry”, then such a person has a problem.  He has not accepted that obstacle as a problem and is in a state of self denial.  As such he cannot remove it.

 

If we look at the obstacles in life we can put them under a variety of headings: personal problems, family issues, financial dilemmas, work pressures and spiritual confusion.  And there are many issues under these headings.

 a suivre sur …

 

Source : http://www.islamreligion.com

ACCEPTING ISLAM (PART 1 OF 2): A RELIGION FOR ALL PEOPLE, IN ALL PLACES.

 

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Many people throughout the world today are searching for the truth; they search for meaning in their lives, and wonder what life is all about.  Men and women ask the question, why am I here?  In the midst of suffering and pain, humankind calls out silently or loudly asking for relief, or understanding.  In the midst of pleasure often, a person seeks to understand the source of such elation.  Sometimes people contemplate accepting Islam as their true religion but find some obstacles.

In life’s most joyous moments or darkest hours, a person’s most instinctive reaction is to reach out for a connection to some sort of Supreme Being, to God.  Even those who would consider themselves atheists or non-believers have at some stage in their lives experienced that innate sense of being part of a grand plan.

The religion of Islam is based on one core belief, that there is One God.  He alone is the Sustainer and Creator of the Universe.  He is without partners, children, or associates.  He is the Most Merciful, the Most Wise, and the Most Just.  He is the all Hearer, all Seer, and the All Knowing.  He is the First, He is the Last.

It is comforting to think that our trials, tribulations, and triumphs in this life are not random acts of a cruel unorganised universe.  Belief in God, belief in One God, the Creator, and Sustainer of all that exists is a fundamental right.  Knowing with certainty that our existence is part of a well-ordered world and that life is unfolding as it should is a concept that brings serenity and peace.

Islam is a religion that looks at life and says this world is but a transient place and our reason for being is to worship God.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?  God is One, acknowledge this and worship Him and peace and serenity are obtainable.  This is within the grasp of any human being and can be had simply by believing sincerely that there is no god but God.

Sadly in this brave new century, we continue to push the boundaries and rediscover the world in all its glory but have forgotten the Creator, and forgotten that life really was meant to be easy.  Finding our connection to God and establishing a relationship with Him is paramount if we are to live peacefully and throw off the shackles binding us to pain, psychological turmoil and sadness.

Islam was revealed for all people, in all places and at all times.  It was not revealed for men or for a particular race or ethnicity.  It is a complete way of life based on the teachings found in the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad.  Once again, sounds simple doesn’t it?  Guidance revealed by the Creator to His creation.  It is a foolproof plan to achieve everlasting happiness in both this life and the next.

The Quran and the authentic traditions explain the concept of God and give details of what is permissible and what is forbidden.  They explain the basics of good manners and morals, and give rulings about worship.  They tell stories about the Prophets and our righteous predecessors, and describe Paradise and Hell.  This guidance was revealed for all of humankind, and God Himself says that He does not want to place humankind in difficulty.

“God does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour to you that you may be thankful.” (Quran 5:6)

When we reach out to God, He listens and responds and the truth that is Islam, pure monotheism, is revealed.  This all sounds simple, and should be uncomplicated, but sadly, we, humankind, have a way of making things difficult.  We are stubborn yet God continuously leaves the path clear for us. 

Accepting Islam as the one true religion should be simple.  There is no god but God.  What could be clearer than that statement?  Nothing is less complicated, but sometimes considering the prospect of redefining out belief system can be scary and fraught with obstacles.  When a person is considering Islam as their religion of choice they are often overcome by reasons for not accepting what their hearts are telling them is the truth. 

Currently, the truth of Islam has become blurred by what appears to be a set of rules and regulations that seem almost impossible to fulfil.  Muslims do not drink alcohol, Muslims do not eat pork, Muslim women must wear scarves, Muslims must pray five times every day.  Men and women find themselves saying things like, “I could not possibly stop drinking”, or “I would find it too difficult to pray every single day let alone five times”.

The reality however is that once a person has accepted that there is no god but God and developed a relationship with Him the rules and regulations drift into insignificance.  It is a slow process of wanting to please God.  For some accepting the guidelines for a happy life is a matter of days, even hours, for others it can be weeks, months, or even years.  Every person’s journey into Islam is different.  Every person is unique and every person’s connection to God comes about via a unique set of circumstances.  One journey is not more correct than another.

Many people believe that their sins are too big and too frequent for God to ever forgive them.  They hesitate to accept what they know is the truth because they fear they will not be able to control themselves and give up committing sins or crimes.  Islam however is the religion of forgiveness and God loves to forgive.  Although the sins of humankind may reach the clouds in the sky, God will forgive and go on forgiving until the Final Hour is almost upon us.

If a person truly believes that there is no god but God, he or she should accept Islam without delay.  Even if they believe they will continue to sin, or if there are some aspects of Islam they do not fully understand.  Belief in one God is the most fundamental belief in Islam and once a person establishes a connection with God changes will occur in their lives; changes they would not have believed possible.

In the following article we will learn that there is only one unforgiveable sin and that God is the Most Merciful, oft Forgiving.

A suivre sur le lien…

Source : http://www.islamreligion.com

I WANT TO BE A MUSLIM BUT…

 

 

 

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I WANT TO BE A MUSLIM BUT… MYTHS ABOUT CONVERTING TO  ISLAM (PART 1 OF 3)

 

The most fundamental belief in Islam is that there is no true god (deity) but Allah.  He, the One, the Only, the First and the Last, has no partners, sons, daughters or intermediaries.  He is Alone in His Dominion and in His Omnipotence.  It is a very simple concept, it is simply the truth.  Nevertheless sometimes the pure belief in God can be overwhelming.  Often we are surprised when we call for God and He answers immediately.

 

The religion of Islam encompasses that simple concept – that God is One and wraps it in a package called submission.  Islam means, submission to the will of God. The root word of Islam (sa-la-ma) is the same that is shared with the Arabic word meaning peace and security. In essence, peace and security comes from living life according to God’s will.  Like a circle of life it always begins and ends in the same place – there is no god but Allah.  When we submit to the will of God, we are Muslims and to demonstrate our sincerity we testify that we are Muslim by saying, alone or in the company of other Muslims, La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.  There is no true god (deity) but Allah and Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, is His messenger.

 

Whenever any human being experiences and understands God’s mercy, Satan tries his best to harm that individual.  Satan does not want us to feel comfort and mercy; he wants us to feel anxious and depressed.  He wants us to make mistakes and commit sins.  Satan despairs of ever feeling God’s love therefore he wants to corrupt as many human beings as he can.

 

(Satan said)  “…surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path.  Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left…” (Quran 7:16-17)

 

Whenever a person realises the truth and wants to become a Muslim, Satan introduces the word ‘but’.  I want to become a Muslim…BUT!  But I am not ready.  But I don’t speak Arabic.  But I am white.  But I don’t really know about Islam.  God warned us against Satan and his cunning ways.

 

“O children of Adam.  Let not Satan deceive you.” (Quran 7:27)

 

“Surely Satan is an enemy to you so take him as an enemy.” (Quran 35:6)

 

Satan’s whispers try to  prevent us from converting to Islam.  These ideas should not stand in the way of a person connecting, or reconnecting with the Most Merciful God.  In this series or articles we will discusssome of the most prominent myths, lay them open to scrutiny and see that God is indeed Most Merciful.  He makes converting to Islam easy, not difficult.  No buts!

 

1.     I want to be a Muslim but I do not want to change my name.

 

A person embracing Islam does not have to change his or her name.  Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said that everybody was entitled to a good name, a name that had meaning or character.  For the vast majority of people it is not an issue, however if you discover that your name has a bad meaning or an association with sinners or tyrants it is better to change it to something more acceptable.  If the person’s name is a name of an idol or reflects servitude to something or someone other than God, then it has to be changed.  Remember though that Islam is easy.  If changing your name officially would cause hardship, distress or harm, it would suffice to change it only among friends and family.

 

2.     I want to be a Muslim but I do not know any Arabic.

 

The religion of Islam was revealed for all people, in all places, at all times.  It is not a religion exclusively for Arabs or Arabic speakers.  In fact the majority of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims are not from an Arab background.  A person can become Muslim without knowing a single word of Arabic; it does not affect his or her ability to accept Islam.  However, the language of Quran is Arabic and the daily prayers are performed in Arabic, so although it is not necessary to learn the whole language, after conversion it will be necessary to learn some Arabic words.

 

If a person is unable to learn enough Arabic to perform his prayers because of a speech defect or because he is not able to pronounce the Arabic, he must try as much as he can.  If learning at least some Arabic is not possible, then he is relieved of this obligation, because God does not burden people with more than they are able to bear.  However God also says that he has made learning Quran easy, therefore it is obligatory for a person to try his best.

 

“God burdens not a person beyond his scope.” (Quran 2:286)

 

“And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember” (Quran 54:17)

 

A man came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of God, teach me something of the Quran that will suffice me, for I cannot read.” He said, “Say: Subhaan-Allaah wa’l-hamdu Lillaah wa laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa Allaahu akbar wa laa hawla wa la quwwata illa Billaah (Far removed is God from every imperfection, praise be to God, there is no god except Allah and God is Most great, there is no god except Allah and there is no power or strength except with God).”[1]

 

Entering the fold of Islam is easy.  It is a simple process, free of complications.  In part 2 we will discuss circumcision, the fact that Islam has no ethnic or race restrictions and becoming Muslim without knowing very much about Islam.

 A suivre sur …

http://www.islamreligion.com

Islam and Muslims !

 

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The Arabic word ‘Islam’ means ‘submission’, and is derived from a word meaning ‘peace’.  As such, the religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law.

Islam is not a new religion because ‘submission to the will of God’, i.e. Islam, has always been the only acceptable religion in the sight of God.  For this reason, Islam is the true ‘natural religion’, and it is the same eternal message revealed through the ages to all of God’s prophets and messengers.  The main message of all the prophets has always been that there is only One True God and He alone is to be worshipped.  These prophets start with Adam and include Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them all.  God says in the Holy Quran:

“We did not send before you (O Muhammad) any messenger but We revealed to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25)

However, the true message of these prophets was either lost or got corrupted over time.  Even the most recent books, the Torah and the Gospel were adulterated and hence they lost their credibility to guide the people to the right path.  Therefore 600 years after Jesus, God revived the lost message of previous prophets by sending the Prophet Muhammad with His final revelation, the Holy Quran, to all of mankind.  Since the Prophet Muhammad was the final prophet, God Himself has promised to preserve His last revealed words so that it is a source of guidance for all humanity till the Last Day.  It is now imperative for everyone to believe and follow this final message from God.  God Almighty says in the Quran:

“We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but to all mankind as a giver of good news and as a warner, but most people do not know.” (Quran 34:28)

 “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” (Quran 3:85)

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of his/her race, nationality or ethnic background.  Hence, any person who is ready to submit to the will of God is eligible to become a Muslim.

Benefits of Converting to Islam

There are many benefits of converting to Islam.  Some of them are:

•      One forms a personal and direct relationship with God by worshipping Him alone, without the need of intermediaries.  One feels this personal relationship and is aware that God knows everything and is there to assist him/her.

•      A person realizes the true purpose of his or her life, which is to recognize God and follow His commandments.

•      A person is provided with a light, which guides him/her through life.  The religion of Islam has answers to all situations, and one will always know the right steps to take in all aspects of life.

•      One finds true happiness, tranquility, and inner peace.

•      Upon converting to Islam, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness.  And as a Muslim, when one makes a mistake thereafter, he/she can always repent to God who forgives the sins of those who repent to Him sincerely.  There are no intermediaries or created beings to make confessions to.

•      One achieves salvation from Hellfire, which all prophets have warned against.

•      The greatest benefit is that a Muslim is promised by God the reward of eternal Paradise (Heaven).  Those who are blessed with Paradise, will live eternally in bliss without any sort of sickness, pain or sadness.  God will be pleased with them and they will be pleased with Him.  Even the lowest in rank among the dwellers of Paradise will have ten times the like of this world, and they will have whatever they desire.  In fact, in Paradise there are pleasures that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no mind has ever thought of.  It will be a very real life, not spiritual only, but physical as well.

To know more about some of the benefits in converting to Islam, you may read this article “The Benefits of Converting to Islam (3 parts)”.

How to Convert to Islam - The Testimony of Faith (Shahada)

Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process.  All that a person has to do is to say a sentence called the Testimony of Faith (Shahada), which is pronounced as:

I testify “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.

These Arabic words mean, “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.”  Once a person says the Testimony of Faith (Shahada) with conviction and understanding its meaning, then he/she has become a Muslim. 

The first part, “There is no true deity but God,” means that none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, and that God has neither partner nor son.  The second part means that Muhammad was a true Prophet sent by God to humankind.

To be a Muslim, one should also:

- Believe that the Holy Quran is the literal word of God, revealed by Him.

- Believe that the Judgment Day (Resurrection Day) is true and will come.

- Believe in the prophets that God sent and the books He revealed, and in His angels.

- Accept Islam as his/her religion.

- Not worship anything nor anyone except God.

It is that easy!  To hear the Testimony (Shahada), click here or click on “Live Help” for immediate assistance by chat.

 

The conversion can be done alone, but it is much better to do it with the help of one of our advisors through the “Live Help”, so we may help you in pronouncing it right and to provide you with important pieces of information and advice that is especially prepared for new converts, to help them get started with their newfound faith.

Alternatively, we can call you over the phone to help you with the conversion process.  In this case, please leave us your phone number and the suitable time to call through our Contact Us form.

You are Not Alone

If you have followed the guidance above and converted to Islam by yourself, then rest assured that you are not alone, rather the same faith is shared by 1.7 billion people.  We highly recommend that you inform us now through the Contact Us form or through the “Live Help”, so that we can provide you with useful resources and advice, suitable for you as a new Muslim.

We congratulate you on your decision, welcome you to Islam, and will try our best to help you in any way we can! :)

Some Common Misconceptions

Some people may postpone their conversion to Islam, though they believe it to be the true religion of God, due to some misconceptions.  They may think that things like changing their name, knowing some Arabic, informing others of their conversion, knowing some Muslims, or not having committed many sins, are conditions for conversion – however the reality is that none of these are valid excuses for delaying the conversion. 

If you would like to learn more about these and other similar misconceptions, please read the article, “I want to be a Muslim but… Myths about Converting to Islam (3 parts)”.

For Those Not Yet Convinced

Islam claims to be the true way to God.  What makes one religion valid over other ideologies is the proofs it offers for its truthfulness.  Hence, one needs to look at these proofs, weight them and take an informed decision.  One needs to be sincere in one’s endeavour and above all seek the help of the Almighty to guide him/her to the right path.

If a person is still not convinced of the truthfulness of Islam, then he/she can further look at the proofs Islam offers.  Islam offers overwhelming proofs of its truthfulness and is the only religion that completely appeals to common sense.

Some of the proofs Islam offers are: the scientific proofs in the Quran, the miracles performed by the Prophet Muhammad and the prophesies of his coming in previous scriptures, the foretold events mentioned in the Quran that later came to pass, the unmet challenge of the Quran to bring even a chapter like it, and the divine wisdom in the laws and teachings of Islam that cover all aspects of life.  To learn more about the proofs of Islam, please check the articles under this section, “Evidence Islam is Truth”.

If you would like to learn more about Islam and its fundamental beliefs and practices, then please refer to the article “What is Islam? (4 parts)”.

Our everlasting life in the Hereafter depends on what faith we choose to follow in this transient life, hence let us give this struggle the priority it deserves.

 

Source :  http://www.islamreligion.com

These blessed that God has elected…

Rest assured, if you are sincere in your research and look for hard to know the true religion and Islam by belief, God will help you and will light your way and that you guessed one moment, you’ll find yourself in a world that you will certainly regret not to have known rather… Have the will, made only the first step, Allah will do the rest for you… Allah loves us so strong that can we love our own mothers, and he has no interest in what we were going to hell, on the contrary, Allah by his goodness and his infinite indulgence, created heaven and its unimaginable delights only for man, for believers and his sincere servants and hell and his torments for the demons and their allies… (Abdullah Mokhtary translated from the french).

The truth is like the Sun…

The rush of hundreds of thousands of Christians to Islam around the world, is a no-brainer, a great reality that every day that God made teaches us advantage, on the other hand the alleged conversion of Muslims to Christianity is a silly way to hide the truth.Whether we like it or not, Islam is a great truth, a truth that exists in all of us.Yet it is enough just to look around…Islam is a heavy burden on the backs of the unbelievers, enemies of Islam, his load weighs too heavily on their backs. And whatever we say or whatever you do, this great truth of God will prevail one day, and all the world knows, only for many of us, it will be too late, because everyone will know the truth at the moment even where they leave this world.

Author: Abdullah Mokhtary (translated from the French).



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