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Just The Basics
Islam: A peaceful religion of worship and submission to God.
Muslim: A person who believes in and practices Islam. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today from all races and backgrounds.
Allah: Arabic word for God. Allah is the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. He is the Creator of all human beings.
Prophet Muhammad : The Last Prophet sent by God to deliver His message to all of humanity. He was born over 1400 years ago in the city of Mecca.
Quran (or Koran): The sacred book of Islam. The Quran is the Speech of God that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and written down during his life.
Allah is Simply the Name of the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus in Arabic
MISCONCEPTION: One of the greatest misconceptions about Islam is regarding the Arabic term for God. Some non-Muslims assume that ‘Allah’ is a God other than the God of Judaism or Christianity.
The Muslim scripture states
We believe in God,And what has been sent down to us,And what has been revealed to Abraham and IshmaelAnd Isaac and Jacob and their offspring,And what was given to Moses and to JesusAnd to all the other prophets by the Lord.We make no distinction among them.
FACT: Arab Jews and 12 million Arab Christians use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God. The Arabic Bible refers to God as ‘Allah.’ Two quotes from the Arabic Bible:
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning Allah created the heavens and the earth.”
Matthew 19:17‘And he (Jesus) said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? No one is good but One, that is, Allah. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
God has No Sons, Children, or Wife
- Christians believe that God has a son, whereas Islam teaches that God does not have a son.
- Jesus, in Islam, is a highly honored prophet of God, but not His son.
The Muslim scripture states:
The disbelievers say, ‘The Lord of Mercy has a son.’This is certainly a monstrous lie!It almost causes the heavens to be torn apart, the earth to split asunder, the mountains to crumble to pieces,That they attribute offspring to the Lord of Mercy.It does not befit the Lord of Mercy to have a son:There is no one in the heavens or earth who will not come to the Lord of Mercy as a servant.’
Faith in God Means:
- God exists
- God is the Supreme Lord
- Only God must be worshipped
- We know God by His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes
1- God’s Existence
- God is Real and His existence is true.
- God’s existence is recognized by the innate nature of every human being.
- God’s existence is also known by answers to prayers, through the miracles of prophets, and the books that God has revealed.
2- God is the Supreme Lord
- God is the sole Lord and Sustainer of the world.
- God is the ‘Ruler’ of human beings:
- He establishes what is right from what is wrong.
- He alone has the authority to determine acts of worship and set standards of human behavior.
- God does not sleep or get tired.
- God is above His creation:
- God does not reside in idols, human beings, nature, or the universe.
- God is unique, everlasting, powerful, and eternal.
- God alone is the Creator, Controller, and Owner of the universe.
- The kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs exclusively to Him.
- Stars, rings, necklaces, charms, and amulets do not bring good or bad luck.
- God is the King and the Savior, a Living God, a Loving God, full of wisdom.
- Angels, prophets, human beings, and all of creation are under His control.
The Quran states
Is He not closer than the vein of your neck?You need not raise your voice,For He knows the secret whisper,And what is yet more hidden. . .He knows what is in the land and in the sea;No leaf falls but He knows it;Nor is there a grain in the darkness under the earth,Nor a thing, green or dry, but it is recorded.”
Quran 6:12, 59
3- Only God must be worshipped
- The most fundamental teaching of Islam is that the sole purpose of our creation is to worship and serve God.
- It was the central message of all prophets of God.
- No one can be worshipped apart from God; no one can be worshipped with God.
- God must be worshipped by one’s heart and body.
- God has no son, daughter, helper, partner, or associate in worship:
- Muslims do not worship or pray to Muhammad ﷺ.
- Islam does not allow worshipping or praying to Jesus.
- Idol worship is not allowed in Islam.
- Islam has no concept of saints who are prayed to and who have supernatural powers.
- Worship, in its comprehensive sense, is directed to God alone.
- Only God should be asked for forgiveness of sins.
Moses declared, "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord." (Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4)
Jesus repeated the same message when he said, "The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’" (Bible, Mark 12:29)
Muhammad said some 600 years after Jesus,
And your God is One God: there is no god but He
FACT: A person becomes a Muslim by testifying to God’s right to worship. All one has to do is say the words La ila-ha il-Allah wa Muhammad ar-Rasul-Allah (No one has the right to be worshipped except Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah).
4- We know God by His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes
We know God by His Names and Attributes that describe Him. We know God through His majestic Self-description and through the Prophet Muhammad’s descriptions that he received through divine revelation.
FACT: More than 99 beautiful names and many more attributes are found in the Quran and the teachings of His Prophet Muhammad .
The Quran states
And the Most Beautiful Names belong to God, so call on Him by them.
Two Names of God:
“The Most Merciful”
- Every chapter of the Quran (the Muslim scripture), with the exception of one, begin with the phrase, "I begin in the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate."
- Muslims utter this phrase to remind themselves of God’s loving grace and mercy every time they eat, drink, or perform anything important.
An Attribute of God:
Forgiving of Sins
The Prophet Muhammad said
God’s mercy outweighs His wrath.
- Mercy defines God’s relationship with human beings.
- In Islam, there is no concept of the original sin. Children are born innocent and sinless.
- There are no middlemen to confess sins to.
- Islam teaches that a Muslim communicates directly with God, acknowledges their weakness, and asks for His forgiveness.
Beautiful Prayer of Forgiveness From the Prophet Muhammad :
O Allah, You are my Lord, there is none worthy of worship except You. You created me and I am Your slave. I adhere to Your covenant and to Your promise as much as I am able to. I seek protection with You from the evil of what I have done. I admit to You your blessings on me and I admit to my sins. So forgive me, for there is no one who can forgive sins except You.