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Frequently Asked Questions

Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.

Get a better understanding and learn more about muslims and where they come from.

Muslims account for over one billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe–from the southern Philippines to Nigeria–are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe.

What do Muslims believe in? How did this belief system came about?

Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through Gabriel.

Find out the true meaning of the word Islam and where it comes from.

The simple meaning of ‘Islam’ is ‘submission’, and derives from a word meaning ‘peace’. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. ‘Mohammedanism’ is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad (SAW) rather than God. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.

Learn about the origins of how Islam and Christianity are linked.

Islam and Christianity together with Judaism, go back to the prophet Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons–Muhammad (SAW) from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them, from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka’ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.

Learn about the Kaba, the big black cube in Makkah.

The Kaba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say ‘At Thy service, O Lord’, in response to Abraham’s summons.

Learn about the prophet Muhammad.

Muhammad (SAW) was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.

Muhammad (SAW) was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the ‘Mountain of Light’ near Makkah.

Learn about how prophet Muhammad became a messenger of God

Prophet Muhammad became a messenger of God at the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran.

As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, ‘migration’, in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.

After several years, the Prophet (SAW) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (SAW) died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.

Learn about the book of Muslims, the Quran.

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was memorized by Muhammad (SAW) and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (SAW) fourteen centuries ago.

Learn about what the Quran contains and what’s it about.

The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim’s faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system

Learn about the pillars of Islam.

First Pillar: Faith

There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is la ilaha illa’Llah – ‘there is no god except God’; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God–wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa’Llah: ‘except God’, the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu’Llah: ‘Muhammad is the messenger of God.’ A message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.

Second Pillar: Prayer

Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.

Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

A translation of the Call to Prayer is:

‘God is most great. God is most great. God is most great. God is most great. I testify that there is no god except God. I testify that there is no god except God. 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 (in this life and the Hereafter)! Come to success! God is most great. God is most great. There is no god except God.’

Once Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem, but during the Prophet’s lifetime it was changed to Makkah. From the minbar, the pulpit, the Imam who leads the prayer gives the sermon at the Friday noon community prayers.

Third Pillar: Zakat

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one’s capital.

A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as ‘voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning. The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.’

The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.’ He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet (SAW) replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’ The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’ The Companions further asked ‘What if he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet (SAW) said ‘He should urge others to do good.’ The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet (SAW) said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’

Fourth Pillar: Fasting

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one’s spiritual life.

Fifth Pillar: The Pilgrimage (Hajj)

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah, the Hajj, is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every comer of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka’ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgement.

In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modem transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities.

The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar.

Does islam tolerate other beliefs

The Quran says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Quran, 60.8)

It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.

Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.

When the caliph Omar took Jerusalem from the Byzantines, he insisted on entering the city with only a small number of his companions. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places.

The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque. Above is the mosque built on the spot where Omar did pray.

According to Islam, man is not born in ‘original sin’. He is God’s vicegerent on earth. Every child is born with the fitra, an innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Islam considers itself to be the ‘primordial religion’, din al-hanif, it seeks to return man to his original, true nature in which he is in harmony with creation, inspired to do good, and confirming the Oneness of God.

Learn about what Muslims think of Jesus

Muslims think of Jesus (SAW) in the utmost respect and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as ‘Jesus’, but always adds the phrase ‘upon him be peace’. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Mary’), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:

‘Behold!’ the Angel said, ‘God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.’

She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He says to it, “Be!” and it is.’ (Quran, 3.42-7)

Jesus (SAW) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (SAW) into being without a father:

Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was. (3.59)

During his prophetic mission Jesus (SAW) performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said:

‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God’s leave.’ (3.49)

Neither Muhammad (SAW) nor Jesus (SAW) came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus (SAW) is reported as saying that he came:

‘To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you that of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me.’ (3:5O)

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

‘Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad (SAW) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven.’ (Hadith from Bukhari)

In islam, followers of Muhammad who had personal contact with him, however slight. In fact, any Muslim who was alive in any part of the Prophet’s lifetime and saw him may be reckoned among the Companions.  The muhajirun (those who followed the Prophet from Mecca to Medinah in the Hijrah), the ansar(the Medinese believers), and the badriyyūn (those who fought at the Battle of Badr) are all considered Companions of the Prophet. 

The first four caliphs of islam are Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali are referred to as Rashidun (rightly guided) Caliphs (632-661 CE) by mainstream Sunni Muslims. Their tenure started with the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632 CE, when Abu Bakr took the title of Caliph – the successor of the Prophet, although not a continuation of prophethood itself (according to the Muslims, it had ended with Muhammad), and ended with the assassination of Caliph Ali in 661 CE.

God is a maximally perfect Being. He possesses all the perfect names and attributes to the highest degree possible. In Islam, God is described as the The-Loving, and this means that His love is the most perfect and greatest love possible. It is because of these names and attributes that God must be worshipped. We always praise people for their abilities, kindness, knowledge and wisdom. However, God’s power, kindness, knowledge and wisdom are to the highest degree possible with no deficiency or flaw.  God is also the only One entitled to our supplications and prayers. He knows best what is good for us, and He wants what is good for us. Such a Being with these attributes must be prayed to, and be asked assistance of. 

Therefore, He is worthy of the most extensive form of praise, and praising God is a form of worship. In this light, God is worthy of worship by virtue of who He is. God is worthy of our worship because there is something about God that makes Him so, he is the Being with the most perfect names and attributes.

“It is truly I. I am God! There is no God worthy of worship except Me. So worship Me alone, and establish prayer for My remembrance.” The Qur’an, Chapter, 20, Verse 14

Azkar’ is plural of the Urdu word ‘Zikar’ which means ‘mention’. In Islam, it means praying to the Almighty, creator for all the blessings he’s bestowed upon us and for all the times He’s forgiven us for our sins. Therefore, Azkar is done in the morning after Fajr, in the evening before Maghrib and via prayers or various forms of supplications; for every prayer has Allah’s name on it.

God declares in the Quran, “And I did not create … mankind except to worship Me.”  (For Muslims, the purpose of life is to worship God, the Creator of all things. Worship in Islam is a comprehensive concept that urges people to be conscious of God throughout their daily lives and provides a framework to help people live a balanced and virtuous life.

This way of life promotes strong moral character, good relations with people, and just and harmonious societies. Devoting one’s self to a life of submission to God is the key to attaining a true sense of peace because it produces a balance of spiritual needs with worldly affairs. It also lends special meaning to the concept of living one’s life responsibly, aware of the accountability to come in the hereafter.

Belief in the Day of Judgment is extremely important in Islam. This event will signal the transition between the temporary life of this world to the eternal life in the hereafter. On that day, people will be resurrected and held accountable for their deeds in life, which will determine their eternal destination in Heaven or Hell. Many verses in the Quran describe the events on the Day of Judgment in great detail and give a description of Heaven and Hell.

Sadaqah is the term used to describe an act of kindness that is given to someone without the expectation of anything in return. It can be as simple as sharing a smile with a stranger or offering answers to someone seeking information.

Eid in Arabic means “festival, holiday”

Eid is a worldwide festival and celebration for Muslims. During the calendar year there are two Eid’s that are celebrated by Muslims. Eid ul Fitr, which means “festival to break the fast”, is at the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims fast for a whole month.

Eid ul Fitr is also known as the lesser Eid, and is determined by the confirmed sighting of the new moon. Eid is a time for reflection and starting a fresh, a time to rejoice with family and friends, but also a time for remembering those who are less fortunate. It’s a time to count our blessings while also giving charity to those in need. In this time of year it provides Muslims belief and the opportunity to feel closer to God by carrying out various works of charity to benefit the poor and by offering prayers imposed and enacted. There are special morning Eid prayers offered in congregation to accompany the 5 daily prayers to mark the occasion. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reported that servants who get cleaned by fasting and worshipping should wish for whatever they want from Allah in Eid prayers.

Eid is a momentous, happy and joyous occasion shared with family and friends, Muslim and non-Muslim. A celebration of this nature, with family and friends following a month fasting, is a reminder and expression of trying to be a better person in all aspects (health, spiritual, belief and faith)

 

Eid’ul Adha

The second Eid is Eid ul Adha, which means “Festival of Sacrifice” and occurs two months after Eid’ul Fitr in which Muslims sacrifice animals for the sake of Allah. The date of Eid al-Adha also varies in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar, falling on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah (the twelfth month).

Eid ul Adha is known as the greater Eid and commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah at which point Allah showed great mercy by switching a ram with Ishmael at the last moment of sacrifice. Muslims believe that the very moment Abraham raised the knife, Allah instructed him to stop, that Abraham had passed the test, and to replace Ishmael with a sacrificial ram. In Britain, anyone wishing to sacrifice a sheep is required to make arrangements for the sheep to be slaughtered humanely.

Eid ul Adha also marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, and is an integral part of the Muslim faith. According to the Koran, all Muslims who can afford to should make the journey to Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime. Every year, at least two million Muslims will make the pilgrimage and stand before the Kaaba, a shrine built by Ibrahim, and pray to Allah. The prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him, said that a person who performs Hajj properly “will return as a newly born baby and hence free of all sins”.

Islam teaches Muslims how to celebrate Eid. The day begins with morning prayers, followed by visits to family and friends and the exchange of food and gifts. Muslims are obliged to share food and money with the poor so that they can take part in the celebrations. On these days, Muslims bath and wear their best clothes. Even though fasting is not permitted on Eid days and food plays a big part in Eid, the major part of the celebration is not eating or drinking; rather, it is a prayer that brings Muslims together to remember Allah’s bounties and celebrate in his glory and greatness. Eid is a chance to multiply good deeds by bringing happiness and pleasure to the hearts of other Muslims, helping and supporting the poor and needy and by getting involved in pastimes that emphasize the strong and caring Islamic character.

The Sunnah refers to the sayings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad and is the second source of knowledge for Muslims. Muhammad is considered to be a perfect model. This can be seen at prayer time or Salat – whilst the Qur’an explains when and how one should pray, Muslims use the example of Muhammad to know what words and movements to use during prayer.

Fard or faridah in Islam is a religious duty commanded by God. Muslims who obey such commands or duties are said to receive thwab each time for each good deed.

 it is one thing to have knowledge in a field of Quran and Hadith, it is another to have thorough understanding or ‘Ijtihad’ (exercise of independent judgement). The person who is an expert in the science of these laws is called a ‘faqih’. Today, most Muslims accept the ‘ijtihad’ of only four Muslim theologians and jurists who lived in the first three centuries of Islam. 

So who are these four fuqaha,

  • Imam Abu Hanifah al-Nu’man
  • Imam Malik bin Anas
  • Imam Al-Madh’hab Al-Shafii
  • Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal

 

 

 

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Prayer Times
November 26, 2020
Fajr Iqamah

6:30 am

Prayer Athan Iqamah
Fajr6:01 am 6:30 am
Sunrise7:27 am
Zuhr12:02 pm 12:30 pm
Asr2:18 pm 3:00 pm
Maghrib4:40 pm 4:50 pm
Isha6:03 pm 6:30 pm
Jumuah 12:30 | 1:15