Teachings of Islam
What do Muslims believe?
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 ones 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 through Gabriel.
What does Islam Mean?
The Arabic word ‘Islam’ simply means ‘submission’, and is derived from a word meaning ‘peace’. In a religious context, it means complete submission to the will of God.
Who is Muhammad?
Muhammad was born in Makkah in the year 570 AD, 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 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.
How did he Become a Prophet and 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 Qur’an.
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 AD 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 and his followers could return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet 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.
What is the Quran?
The Qur’an is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorised by Muhammad 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, Surahs, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Qur’an is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.
What is the Quran about?
The Qur’an, 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.
Are there any other sources?
Yes, the Sunnah, the practice and example of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A Hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet said, did, or approved. Belief in the Sunnah is part of the Islamic faith.
Foundations of Faith
The five pillars of Islam define the basic identity of Muslims – their faith, beliefs and practices – and bind together a worldwide community of over a billion believers into a fellowship of shared values and concerns.
1. Shahada – every Muslim must BELIEVE in and DECLARE the shahada which means that there is none worthy of worship but ALLAH and Muhammad ( Sallallaho-Alaihe-Wa-Sallam), is ALLAH’s Messenger.
2. Salah – it obligatory upon every Muslim to pray 5 times daily.
3. Fast (Sawm) – in the month of RAMADHAAN.
4. Zakaat – to give charity (2.5% of one’s wealth).
5. Haj – to perform pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah (at least once in a lifetime).
Shahadah (Testimony of Faith)
The profession of faith, is the first pillar of Islam. Muslims bear witness to the oneness of God by reciting the creed, “There is no true God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of and total commitment to Islam.
Salah (Obligatory Prayer)
Salah, is the second pillar. The Islamic faith is based on the belief that individuals have a direct relationship with God. The world’s Muslims turn individually and collectively to Makkah, Islam’s holiest city, to offer five daily prayers at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. In addition, Friday congregational service is also required. Although Salah can he performed alone, it is meritorious to perform it with another person or with a group. It is permissible to pray at home, at work, or even outdoors; however, it is recommended that Muslims perform Salah in a mosque.
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, is the fourth pillar of Islam. Ordained in the Holy Qur’an, the fast is an act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a richer perception of God. Fasting is also an exercise in self-control whereby one’s sensitivity is heightened to the sufferings of the poor. Ramadan, the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, begins with the sighting of the new moon, after which abstention from eating, drinking and other sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset.
Ramadan is also a joyful month. Muslims break their fast at sunset with a special meal, iftar, perform additional nocturnal worship, tarawih, after evening prayer; and throng the streets in moods that are festive and communal. The end of Ramadan is observed by a day of celebration called Eid Al-Fitr, the feast of the breaking of the fast. Customarily, it is a time for family reunion and the favoured holiday for children who receive new clothing and gifts.
Social responsibility is considered part of one’s service to God; the obligatory act of zakat enshrines this duty. Zakat prescribes payment of fixed proportions of a Muslim’s possessions for the welfare of the entire community and in particular for its neediest members. It is equal to 2.5% of an individual’s total net worth, excluding obligations and family expenses.
The pilgrimage to Makkah, is the fifth pillar and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity in the world. For those Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah, the Hajj is a once in a lifetime duty that is the peak of their religious life. The Hajj is a remarkable spiritual gathering of over two million Muslims from all over the world to the holy city. In performing the Hajj, a pilgrim follows the order of ritual that the Prophet Muhammad performed during his last pilgrimage.
- Allah is ONE.
- He alone is worthy of worship and none besides Him is worthy of worship.
- He has no PARTNER.
- Nothing is hidden from Him, He even knows the thoughts that go into a person’s mind.
- He is the most POWERFUL.
- He created the earth, the skies, the sun, the moon, the stars, the Angels, human beings and the whole universe.
- He gives life and death.
- He gives sustenance to all creation.
- He does not eat, drink or sleep.
- He is forever and will be forever.
- He was not created by anyone.
- He does not have any parents, wife or children.
- He does not depend on anybody. All depend on him.
- No body resembles Allah, and He resembles none.
- He is pure from all faults.
- He does not have eyes, nose or a body like that of human beings.
- We should therefore PRAY to HIM for all our needs.
- Allah has created Angles out of light and gave them various duties to perform.
- They are not visible to us.
- They do not commit sin nor do they disobey Allah.
- They ALWAYS do what Allah has orders.
- We do not know their exact number.
- We know of four famous Angels (the archangels).
They are :
1. JIBRAEEL (Alayhis-Salaam) – brought Allah’s Book, Orders and messages to all the Prophets. He was also sent to help the Prophets at times to fight against their enemies.
2. MICHAAEEL (Alayhis-Salaam) – is in charge of food and rain. Other Angels work under him who are in charge of clouds, the seas, the rivers and the winds. He gets the order from Allah.
3. IZRAAEEL (Alayhis-Salaam) – takes away life with the order of Allah. He is in charge of death. Numerous Angels work under him. Some take away the lives of good people whilst others looking very fearful take away the lives of sinners and disbelievers.
4. ISRAAFEEL (Alayhis-Salaam) – will blow the SOOR (TRUMPET) on the DAY OF JUDGEMENT. The sound will destroy and kill everything that is on earth and in the skies. When he blows for the second time all will come to life with the order of Allah.
- There are two Angels that are always with every person. One writes all his GOOD DEEDS whilst the other enters all his BAD DEEDS, They are known as
- Also, the angels MUNKAR and NAKEER question a person when they die.
- There are many Angels with various responsibilities. Some Angels are in charge of HEAVEN, some of HELL, some are looking after children, the old, the week and others whom Allah wishes to protect.
- From the QURAAN and HADITH we come to know that various other Angles are in charge of various other duties.
Books of Allah
- Allah has revealed His Books to various Prophets for the guidance of their nations.
- The big Books are called KITAABS whilst the small ones are called SAHIFAS.
- The four main Books that were revealed are the
1. TOURAAT (The Old Testament) – was given to Musa (Moses) (Alayhis Salaam).
2. ZABOOR (The Pslams) – were given to Dawood (David) (Alayhis-Salaam).
3. INJEEL (The New Testament) – was given to Esaa (Jesus) (Alayhis-Salaam).
4. HOLY QURAAN (The Final book) – was revealed to Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe-Wa-Sallam).
- Besides these there were many more smaller Kitaabs revealed, e.g. 10 Sahifas were revealed to Adam (Alayhis-Sallam), 50 Sahifas were revealed to Sheeth (Alayhis-Salaam), 30 Sahifas were revealed to Idris (Alayhis-Salaam), between 10 and 30 Sahifas were revealed to Ibrahim (Alayhis-Salaam) (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon all of
- All the other Books besides the QURAAN were revealed at once.
- The QURAAN was revealed over a period of 23 years.
- All the other Books are no more in their original form. Changes, alterations and additions have been made to them.
- The QURAAN has been memorised by thousands from the beginning of ISLAM right to the present day.
- Allah has promised to safeguard the text of the QURAAN, which is miraculous.
- The QURAAN is the final book of Allah. It is still pure, clear and free form any change or alteration.
Messengers of Allah
- Allah sent many messengers to this world from time to time to guide mankind.
- These messengers were known as RASOOLS and NABIS.
- The FIRST of these messengers was : Adam (Peace be upon him).
- The LAST was Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
- We do not know the names of all the NABIS that were sent to the world. There were about 124000 Nabis.
- All the NABIS and RASOOLS were human beings whom Allah chose to convey His message to the people.
- They always spoke the truth, committed no sins and conveyed the message without adding or leaving out anything.
- They performed miracles with the help of Allah Ta’ala.
- All the RASOOLS were NABIS but not all NABIS were RASOOLS.
- A RASOOL is a Prophet who received a new SHARIAT (Divine Law) and Book from Allah. A NABI follows the SHARIAT of a RASOOL or a Prophet before him.
- No person can become a NABI or a RASOOL by his own effort.
- No more Prophets will come after our Muhammad (Peace be upon him). He was the final Prophet of Allah.
- In the QURAAN Allah Ta’ala mentioned our Nabi Muhammad(Peace be upon him) as KHAATIMUN NABIYEEN which means that he is the LAST of all the NABIS.
- The name of some other NABIS and RASOOLS mentioned in the QURAAN are
Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmail), Yahya (John), Zakaria (Zachariah), Yunus (Jonah), Idris (Enoch), Yaqoob (Jacob) and Sulaiman (Solomon) (Peace be upon all of them).
- Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was of the highest position amongst all the Prophets.
- All the prophets of Allah preached the oneness of Allah Ta’ala.
The Sahaabah(Companions of the prophet)
- People who either saw Muhammad (S. A. W) or stayed in his company, embraced ISLAM and died as MUSLIMS are known as SAHAABAH (Sahaabi-singular).
- Any person who was in the companionship of saw NABI (S. A. W) for even a very little while is a Sahaabi provided he or she died a MUSLIM.
- Rasulullah (S. A. W) mentioned: “All the Sahaabah are just and pious and whomsoever amongst them you shall follow you shall be guided.”
- The highest rank amongst the Sahaabah is that of Abu Bakkar (Radiallahoanh). His position is superior to the entire Ummah (followers) of Rasulullah (S. A. W) till the day of judgement.
- Next in rank is: Omar bin Khattab (R. A).
- Thereafter is the position of: Uthman (R. A) and then Ali (Karramallahu Wajhuh).
Thereafter the position of the other Sahaabah is best known by ALLAH TA’ALA alone. Amongst the Sahaabah is a group of TEN companions regarding whom the Prophet
(S.A.W. gave the glad tiding of JANNAT (Paradise). These are known as the ASHARAE-MUBASHSHARAH (the ten who have been given the glad tidings of JANNAT) they
1. Abu Bakr (Radiallahoanh)
2. Hazrat Omar (Radiallahoanh)
3. Hazrat Osman (Radiallahoanh)
4. Hazrat Ali (Karramallaho Wajhuh).
5. Hazrat Talha (Radiallahoanh)
6. Hazrat Zubair (Radiallahoanh)
7. Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (Radiyallahu-anh)
8. Hazrat Saad bin abi Waqqas (Radiyallahu-anh)
9. Hazrat Saeed bin Zaid (Radiyallahu-anh)
10. Hazrat abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (Radiyallahu-anh).
- It is from the Sahaabah the world learnt the DEEN of ISLAM. It is from them that we established the SHARIAT and obtained the SUNNAH of our prophet (S. A. W).
- A non-Sahaabi is not equal in rank to the LOWEST Sahaabi, even though the non-Sahaabi may be the greatest WALI (pious friend of Allah).
- It is COMPULSORY to show respect to all the sahaabah Radiyallahu anh and ABSTAIN from speaking ill and criticizing the noble Sahaabah of Rasullah
- Allah has the knowledge of everything before its creation.
- Allah has given human beings and Jinn (another creation of Allah) free will (the ability of doing good or bad).
- Allah’s knowledge of what good or bad one would do even before one is created is called TAQDEER or FATE.
- All favours are by Allah’s will alone and no misfortune can happen expect by the will of Allah (often to test his creation so that he can raise their ranks provided they pass of course).
- Therefore, we should not despair over any misfortune or boast over any favour.
- This teaches us that we should be thankful to Allah for his favours and patient over any misfortune.
The Last Day (Qiyaamah)
- This world will one day come to an end.
- Besides Allah Ta’ala no one knows the exact day of Qiyamah. Only this much is known that on one Friday the 10th of Muharram the Archangel Israfeel (Alayhis
Salaam) will be ordered to blow the soor (Bugle).
- The sound will cause every living person or creature to die.
- The earth will be shaken up. The mountains will become like flakes of cotton wool, the sun and the moon will crash. The stars will lose their shine and the whole universe will be destroyed.
- The approach of Qiyamah will be known by its signs shown to us by our prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alayhe-Wa-Sallam).
Some off these signs are as follows:
1. People will disobey their parents and disrespect them.
2. Breach of trust will be common.
3. Singing, music and dancing will become widespread.
4. Illiterate people will become leaders.
5. People will speak ill of their ancestors and the previous pious people.
6. People of low means will begin to boast of high buildings.
7. Unworthy people will be given high posts.
Life after Death
- After the day of Qiyamah when everything will be destroyed, Israfeel (Alayhis Salaam) will be ordered to blow the bugle (Soor) for the second time.
- Once again every Person that lived on this earth from the time of Adam (Alayhis Salaam) up until the final day would be given new life.
- They will all gather before Allah Ta’ala for judgement in the MAIDAAN-ESHASHR (Field of Resurrection).
- They would have to give an account of their deeds.
- The day on which this will be donehas many names, Yawm – ul – Hashr (Day of Resurrection), Yawm – ul- Jaza or Yawm – ud – Deen (Day of Judgement) and Yawm – ul- Hisaab (Day of Reckoning).
- The good would he blessed and rewarded with Jannah (Paradise).
- The evil ones would be punished in Jahannam (Hell).
- Besides the Kuffaar and Mushrikeen Allah Ta’ala will forgive whomsoever He wishes.
– KUFFAAR – Plural of KAAFIR meaning one who disbelieves in Allah.
– MUSHRIKEEN – Plural of MUSHRIK meaning one who associates with Allah Ta’ala any partner in His being or attributes.