Presented here are a few questions that prop up in the minds of someone alien or new to Islam. The answers, though a few might be repetitive in nature, have been framed to help give a complete picture of Islam covering all that usually form the reigning doubts in people's minds.
Q. What is Islam?
Q. What is Islam?
A. The base of Islam is the belief that God is one, and one alone, it is He who created us, gave us life and is the one who shall give us death too, and also the one who shall resurrect us to take account of all that we have done in this world. Islam is this recognition of God, along with the acceptance of all the prophets and books that He sent on earth to guide humankind to His oneness, up till his last prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is a way of life asking us to live according to the rules set for us by God himself.
Q. Who are Muslims?
A. Muslims are believers in one God and all His prophets along with the last prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Q. How and by whom was Islam founded?
A. Islam is not a new religion that was brought about by Muhammad (pbuh), in fact it is an ingrained belief in the oneness of God that is present in mankind, and which had been revived and refreshed time and again by the many prophets that God sent to the humans to save them from going astray and adopting deities besides the one almighty God. It was the religion of Adam, the very first man on earth, and the religion of all those prophets that came after him, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (pbut).
Q. What is the Quran?
A. As said before, God sent many prophets from time to time to bring back mankind to the oneness of God; He gave them books, scriptures and laws for the humans to follow. By name four such scriptures or books are known (that is four books are mentioned in the Quran by name), the Torath (or Torah given to Moses), Zabur (or Psalms given to David), Injeel (or Gospel given to Jesus) and lastly the Quran given to Muhammad (pbut). It is the last of all the books sent down to mankind given to the last of all the messengers, that is Muhammad (pbuh). No more prophets or books are to come after this, and hence the Quran is to be followed till the end times.
Q. What are the basic teachings of Islam?
A. Apart from the basic beliefs and tenets of Islam which have been discussed here:
Pillars Of Islam
Islam calls man to keep away from all kinds of evils and vices such as lies, deceit, back biting, robbery, alcoholism, racial discrimination, adultery, etc. All these problems find a solution in Islam. Salvation in Islam is not just faith dependent but also actions and works dependent. Islam promotes piety, humbleness, modesty, bashfulness, respect towards parents and all elders, fairness in all dealings business or otherwise, either large scale or minute, taking care of neighbors and fulfilling their rights, good behavior towards spouses, and all humans in general. According to Islam all humans are equal and this is one of the most important teachings of Islam.
Q. What is the status of women in Islam?
A. Women in Islam are awarded with special position, respect and favors. It guards their respect and modesty like no other religion. Women in Islam are to be respected and behaved properly with, by all men. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is recorded to have said and taught that out of all men, he is the best who is best to his wives. Special concessions and favors are present for women in Islam like, for example the ruling of mahr which is the dower or amount that the man gives as a “gift” to his wife at the time of marriage, in no other religion is such a beautiful custom present, in fact in some areas of the world it is the lady who is supposed to give dowry to the groom and is even forced to do so, Islam protects women from such hardships. A mother in Islam is one, who is to be respected the most, prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is recorded to have said, that paradise lies at the feet of one’s mother, this is to say that one can attain success and salvation in afterlife through respecting, honoring and serving one’s mother the most.
Q. What is jihad?
A. Jihad is the struggle a Muslim takes up for the sake of Allah. This struggle could be physically through weapons in defense against those who attack or mental and spiritual fight against one’s inner self in over coming evil desires and wishes to remain on the right and correct path. Killing of innocent lives with no reason what so ever is in no way encouraged or promoted by Islam.
Q. How does one become a Muslim?
A. A person becomes a Muslim just by declaring that God, Almighty Allah, is the only one worthy of worship and Muhammad (pbuh) was his messenger.