10 facts about Islam.

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Islam shares the same Abrahamic heritage as Judaism and Christianity and, therefore, espouses many similar beliefs and practices. Among them are the belief in angels, prophets and scriptures and practices such as prayer, fasting and charity. Adherents are called “Muslims” and number over 1.5 billion. They pray to Allah, the same God Jesus worshipped. Jesus called God “Eloi” (Mark 15:34). But the difference is in the language only. Hispanics call God “Dios”. French call God “Dieu”. Arab Jews and Christians call God “Allah”. But they’re all the same God. Muslims believe God revealed the same general message to all true prophets but that message was changed over time. To correct these changes God revealed His will a final time in the Qur’an and promised to preserve it. Although preserved, the Qur’an is greatly misunderstood by those without knowledge, including some Muslims. “Holy war” appears nowhere in the Arabic text and verses about violence do not condone terrorism. Rather they permit self-defense, capital punishment and protecting the weak from oppression. The Qur’an also protects the rights of women and Islam forbids their mistreatment. True Islam teaches spirituality, morality, pure monotheism, modesty, education and serving family and society. It views all humans as equal in the eyes of God, being distinguished only by their deeds. Such deeds will be judged after death by the All-Knowing Creator who will reward or punish with perfect justice.

  1. “Islam” means “surrender” or “submission”. “Salam” (which means “peace”) is the root word of “Islam”. In a religious context, the word “Islam” means “the surrendering of one’s will (without compulsion) to the true will of God in an effort to achieve peace”.
  2. Islam is not a new religion or cult. It is a universal way of life and civilisation. Studies show that between 1.5 and 1.8 billion people in the world identify their religion as Islam. Along with Judaism and Christianity, it traces its roots through Prophet Abraham and back to the first humans Adam and Eve.
  3. Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life: moral, spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, economical, etc.
  4. Muslims neither worship Muhammad nor pray through him. Muslims solely worship the Unseen and Omniscient Creator, Allah.
  5. The Christian concept of “vicarious atonement” (the idea that Jesus died for the sins of humanity) is alien to the Islamic concept of personal responsibility. Islam teaches that on the Day of Judgment every person will be resurrected and will be accountable to God for their every word and deed. Consequently, a practising Muslim is always striving to be righteous while hoping and praying for God’s acceptance and grace.
  6. “Muslim” means “anyone or anything that surrenders itself to the true will of God”. By this definition, everything in nature (trees, animals, planets, etc.) are “Muslims” because they are in a state of surrender to God’s will. In other words, they are fulfilling the purpose for which God created them.
  7. Terrorism, unjustified violence and the killing of non-combatant civilians (and even intimidating, threatening or injuring them) are all absolutely forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to bring peace to a society whether its people are Muslim or not. The extreme actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be a result of their ignorance, frustration, uncontrolled anger or political (not religious) ambitions. Anyone who condones or commits an act of terrorism in the name of Islam is simply not following Islam and is, in fact, violating its very tenets. These people are individuals with their own personal views and agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true teachings of Islam than fanatical Christians are the true teachings of Christianity, or fanatical Jews are the true teachings of Judaism. The most prominent examples of such “religious” fanatics are Anders Behring Breivik, the 2011 Norwegian terrorist who claimed in his manifesto to be “100 percent Christian” and Baruch Goldstein, a perpetrator of the 1994 Hebron massacre who is considered by some Jews to be a “hero” and a “saint”. Extremism and fanaticism are problems not exclusive to Muslims. Anyone who thinks that all Muslims are terrorists should note that terror groups like ISIS (or ISIL), Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram kill Muslims as well. Also, the former boxer Muhammad Ali, perhaps the most celebrated person of our era, was a practising Muslim.
  8.  Women are not oppressed in Islam. Any Muslim man that oppresses a woman is not following Islam. Among the many teachings of Muhammad that protected the rights and dignity of women is his saying, “…the best among you are those who treat their wives well.”
  9. The Qur’an was not authored by Muhammad. It was authored by God, revealed to Muhammad (through angel Gabriel) and written into physical form by his companions.
  10.  Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. To become Muslim, a person of any race or culture must say a simple statement, the shahadah, that bears witness to the belief in the One God and that Muhammad is a prophet of God (Allah)
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