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 Seven Common Questions about Islam (part 2 of 2)

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MessageSujet: Seven Common Questions about Islam (part 2 of 2)   Mar 11 Aoû - 1:54

Seven Common Questions about Islam (part 2 of 2)




Description: Some of the most common questions asked about Islam. Part 2: About the Islamic teachings and the Holy Quran.




5. What are the Teachings of Islam?



The foundation of the Islamic faith is belief in
absolute Monotheism (the Oneness of God). This means to believe that there is
only one Creator and Sustainer of everything in the Universe, and that nothing
is divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Him. Truly, believing in
the Oneness of God means much more than simply believing that there is “One
God” - as opposed to two, three or four. There are a number of religions that
claim belief in “One God” and believe that ultimately there is only one Creator
and Sustainer of the Universe, but true monotheism is to believe that only the
One True Deity is to be worshipped in accordance to the revelation He sent to
His Messenger. Islam also rejects the use of all intermediaries between God
and Man, and insists that people approach God directly and reserve all worship
for Him alone. Muslims believe that Almighty God is Compassionate, Loving and
Merciful.


A common misconception is the claim that God cannot
forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasizing the burden and penalty of
sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive humans directly, people often
despair of the Mercy of God. Once they become convinced that they cannot
approach God directly, they turn to false gods for help, such as heroes,
political leaders, saviors, saints, and angels. We often find that the people
who worship, pray to, or seek intercession from these false deities, do not
consider them to be a ‘god’. They claim belief in One Supreme God, but claim
that they pray to and worship others beside God only to get closer to Him. In
Islam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There
is no ambiguity or mystery in issues of divinity: anything that is created does
not deserve to be worshipped; only Allah, the Creator, is worthy of being
worshipped. Some religions falsely believe that God has become part of His
creation, and this has led people to believe that they can worship something
created in order to reach their Creator.


Muslims believe that even though God is Unique and
Exalted beyond speculative comprehension, He definitely has no partners,
associates, peers, antagonists or offspring. According to Muslim belief, Allah
“neither begets, nor was He begotten” - neither literally, allegorically,
metaphorically, physically or metaphysically. He is Absolutely Unique and
Eternal. He is in control of everything and is perfectly capable of bestowing
His infinite Mercy and Forgiveness to whomever He chooses. That is why Allah
is also called the All-Powerful and Most-Merciful. Allah has created the
Universe for man, and as such wants the best for all human beings. Muslims see
everything in the Universe as a sign of the Creatorship and Benevolence of
Almighty God. Also, the belief in the Oneness of Allah is not merely a metaphysical
concept. It is a dynamic belief that affects ones view of humanity, society
and all aspects of practical life. As a logical corollary to the Islamic
belief in the Oneness of Allah, is its belief in the oneness of mankind and
humanity.

6. What is the Quran?




The Quran is the final revelation of Allah to all of
mankind, which was spoken by Allah the Exalted Himself and conveyed through the
Arch-Angel Gabriel in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad, in sound, word and
meaning. The Quran, (sometimes incorrectly spelled Koran), was then relayed to
the Prophet's companions, and they diligently memorized it verbatim and
meticulously complied it into written form. The Holy Quran has been
continually recited by the companions of the Prophet and their successors until
the present day. In short, the Quran is the revealed book of Divine scripture
from Allah to all humanity for their guidance and salvation.


Today the Quran is still memorized and taught by
millions of people. The language of the Quran, Arabic, is still a living
language to millions of people. Unlike the scriptures of some other religions,
the Quran is still read in its original language by countless millions of
people. The Quran is a living miracle in the Arabic language, and it is known
to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact, as well as the unique
knowledge that it contains. The Quran was revealed in a series of revelations
to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. In contrast to many other
religious books, the Quran was always believed to be the exact Word of Allah. The
Quran was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and non-Muslim
communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and thereafter. The
entire Quran was also completely written down in the lifetime of the Prophet,
and numerous companions of the Prophet memorized the entire Quran word-for-word
as it was revealed. The Quran was always in the hands of the common believers:
it was always thought to be God's word; and, due to wide-spread memorization,
it was perfectly preserved. Never was any part of it altered or decreed by any
religious council. The teachings of the Quran comprise a universal scripture
addressed to all of mankind and not to any particular tribe or ‘chosen people’.
The message that it brings is nothing new but the same message of all of the
prophets: 'submit to Allah the One God and worship Him alone and follow Allah's
Messengers for success in this life and salvation in the hereafter'. As such,
Allah's revelation in the Quran focuses on teaching human beings the importance
of believing in the Oneness of Allah, and framing their lives around the
guidance which He has sent, which is articulated in the Islamic Law. The Quran
contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and
Jesus, peace be upon all of them, as well as commands and prohibitions from God.
In our modern times, in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual
despair and social and political alienation, the Quranic teachings offer
solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the
world today.

7. How Do Muslims View the Nature of Man, the Purpose of
Life and the Life Hereafter?





In the Holy Quran, Allah teaches human beings that they
were created in order to glorify and worship Him, and that the basis of all
true worship is God-consciousness. All of Allah's creatures worship him
naturally and only the humans have the free will to worship Allah their Creator
or to reject Him. This is a great test, but also a great honor. Since the
teachings of Islam encompass all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness
is encouraged in all human affairs. Islam makes it clear that all human acts
are acts of worship if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His
Divine Scripture and Law. As such, worship in Islam is not limited to
religious rituals, and for this reason it is more properly known as ‘way of
life’ than a religion. The teachings of Islam act as a mercy and a healing for
the human soul, and qualities such as humility, sincerity, patience and charity
are strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islam condemns pride and
self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human
righteousness.


The Islamic view of the nature of man is also realistic
and well-balanced in that human beings are not believed to be inherently
sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil; it is their
choice. Islam teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given
people free-will, and the measure of one's faith is their deeds and actions. However,
since human beings have also been created innately weak and regularly fall into
sin, they are in need of continually seeking guidance and repentance, which is,
in itself , also a form of worship loved by Allah. The nature of the human
being as created by God in His Majesty and Wisdom, is not inherently ‘corrupt’
or in need of repair. The avenue of repentance is always open to all. Almighty
God knew that humans were going to make mistakes, so the real test is whether
they seek repentance for their sins and try to avoid them, or if they prefer a
life of heedlessness and sin, knowing well that it is not pleasing to God. The
true balance of an Islamic life is established by having a healthy fear of Allah's
rightful punishment for crimes and sins, as well as a sincere belief that
Allah, in His infinite Mercy, takes pleasure in bestowing His reward for our
good deeds and sincere worship to Him. A life without fear of Allah leads to
sin and disobedience, while believing that we have sinned so much that God will
not possibly forgive us only leads to despair. In the light of this fact,
Islam teaches that only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord, and
only wicked criminals are devoid of the fear of Allah their Creator and Judge.
The Holy Quran as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, also
contains a great deal of teachings about life in the hereafter and the Day of
Judgment. Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by
Allah, the Absolute Sovereign King and Judge, for their beliefs and actions in
their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Allah the Exalted will be both
Absolutely Just, by only punishing the truly guilty and rebellious unrepentant
criminals, and Absolutely Merciful for those people who He, in His wisdom,
judges worthy of mercy. None will be judged for that which was beyond their
capacity, or for that which they did not actually do. It is sufficient to say
that Islam teaches that life is a test designed by Allah, the Creator, Almighty
and Most Wise; and that all human beings will be accountable before Allah for
what they did with their lives. A sincere belief in the life of the hereafter
is the key to leading a well-balanced and moral life. Otherwise, life is
viewed as an end in itself, which causes people to become more selfish,
materialistic and immoral by their blind pursuit of pleasure even at the
expense of reason and ethics.
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