Islam in 1,000 words..
How does one begins to comprehend a religion that supports peace,promises rewards on earth and in the afterlife,and yet has extreme followers who use it to rationalise terrorist attack?
Islam,for believers,is a relegion of peace,moderation and has all the answere to their worldly question.For fanatical Muslims Islam gives them the licence to defend their religion and their way of life,by encouraging suicide bonbings and acts of terror againts Western countries.And for non-Muslims, their perception of the relegion varies - from acceptance to mortification, to sheer cinfusion.
Hence a brieft and whirlwind lesson in Islam is offered, to foster some understanding about Muslims..
The definition of Islam..
Islam means submission to Allah,God, the Creator of all things.The word Islam is derived from the Arabic language,To understand it further,here's a brief look at the roots of the word itself:
"Should we take its root from the word 'Salima', hence Islam mean 'safe': saviour or sanctuary.In this context,Allah takes care of the welfare of all Muslims, in both worlds - the
present and the afterlife. A believing Muslim will then take care of his family,his freinds,his community and their worldly safety.
"If Islam is derived from the word 'Salmi' then it means peace. If from the word 'Istaslama',then Islam means to obey God and be faithful to the teachings,as promoted and taught by the Prophet,Nabi Muhammad - peace be upon him(pbuh). It also means honesty and sincerity. If Islam comes from the word 'Sullam', it means 'ladder' or 'advancement', for all believers must strive to be the best they can be." (Bimbingan Lengkap Fardu Ain,Abu Humaira).
Any Muslims, practising or not, should be able to spout the trunk of Islamic beliefs in a second.These have been drummed into their heads from young, and woe to those who cannot remember them.Like the recitation of the Al Fatihah.Muslim children are taught the pillars of Islam and faith the moment they can warble.
The Five Pillars of Islam are:
* The testimony that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Mohammad is His Messenger
* Establishing the prayer.and the one is to pray five times a day:
at dawn, afternoon, late afternoon, at sunset and at night (Subuh,Zuhur,Asar,Magrib and Isya')
* Zakat - giving alms to the poor
* Fasting in the month of Ramadhan
* Perfoeming the Hajj at least once in a lifetime, provided the believer is sane, has reached puberty, is a free man as opposed to being a slave, and financially and physically able to perform the hajj.
Then there are the Six Pillars of Faith (Iman), which is not to be confused with the former.The believer must believe in:
* Allah (God)
* His Angles (mentioned in Surah Al Baqarah 2:177 & 285)
* The Book - Quran
* The Messengers
* Qiamat - the Last Day on earth
* Qada' and Qadar - Divine Preordainment
What is the different then between the two? The Pillars of Islam mean the performed deeds that are seen, while Iman refers to the affair of the soul.Both go together, and are to be observed strictly.
You may be seeing thes terms along the way. A brief interpretation of them follows:
* The Muttaquns - the Pious. The Believers. The word 'Muttaqun" originates from 'taqwa' which means protecting one's self from God's punishment by obeying Him.
* The Munafiks - Hypocrites. They say they are Muslims but do not behave so. There is a whole chapter devoted to them: Surah Munaafiquun.
* The Musyrik - they do not believe in God; most devote themseives to idol worship.
Here are more rules to abide: no premarital or extra-marital sex, no indulging in anything that will make you khayal - high - such as alcohol,drugs and other substances, or activities that make you forget the world. Dress modestly, and behave with utter decorum. Food fall into two categories: halal and haram. Pork is bad, while fish is good. Chicken and beef have to be slaughtered in the proper Islamic manner before consumption.
Then dogs You can keep them as watchdogs but not as pets and you can touch them, but only when they are dry. And why is that? Dogs are dirty. What about cats? Cats lick their behinds, don't they? And if alcohol is sinful, what about alcohol in medication and perfume? What's the difference?
Another question that was lobbed my way: if you can't have premaritial sex, then what about masturbation? Which is better,solo sex or real sex? The former is not encouraged as it has been said that it is the Devil that performs the deed, and may make you go blind, while the latter is a no-no, you will go to hell, but in this day and age when marriage is not necessarily and attraction option any more, and you know you can't have permarital sex, what on earth are you to do?
The interpretation of Islam in modern times has made the religion seem anti-social, anti-human rights and againts progress. Islam is a dynamic guide to vartious living, for its people to cultivate a life and a world that will reward them on earth and in the Afterworld.
So how do you go about being a Muslim?