Posts Tagged arab

Dr. Periyarthasan embraced islam

Dr. Periyarthasan, A well-known indian psychotherapist embraced islam on Thursday.

Dr. Periyarthasan, who has changed his name to Abdullah, told arabnews friday that islam is the only religion in the world that follows a book directly revealed from God.

For detailed interview, visit arabnews.com

Plz visit my new Tamil Islamic blog http://valikaatti.blogspot.com, which has collection of quran aayaahs and hadiths under different topics in Tamil Language.

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. When Islam is against idol worship why do the Muslims worship, and bow down to the Kaaba in their prayer?


Kaaba is the Qibla i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the Kaaba during prayers, they do not worship the Kaaba. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.

It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah:

“We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.”
[Al-Qur’an 2:144]

1. Islam believes in fostering unity

For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south. In order to unite Muslims in their worship of the One True God, Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Kaaba. If some Muslims live towards the west of the Kaaba they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of the Kaaba they face the west.

2. Kaaba is at the Centre of the World Map

The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The Kaaba was at the centre. Later, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet, Alhamdullilah the Kaaba is at the centre of the world map.

3. Tawaaf around Kaaba for indicating one God

When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaaf or circumambulation round the Kaaba. This act symbolizes the belief and worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.

4. Hadith of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)

Regarding the black stone, hajr-e-aswad, there is a hadith (tradition), attributed to the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you”.

5. People stood on Kaaba and gave the adhaan
At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Kaaba and gave the ‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that Muslims worship the Kaaba; which idol worshipper stands on the idol he worships?

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Why are non-Muslims not allowed in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah?


It is true that non-Muslims are not allowed in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, by law. The following points will serve to elucidate the possible reasoning behind such a restriction.

1. All citizens are not permitted in the cantonment area
I am a citizen of India. Yet, I am not permitted to enter certain restricted areas like the cantonment. In every country there are certain areas where a common citizen of that country cannot enter. Only a citizen who is enrolled in the military or those who are connected with the defence of the country are allowed in the cantonment area. Similarly Islam is a Universal Religion for the entire world and for all human beings. The cantonment areas of Islam are the two holy cites of Makkah and Madinah. Here only those who believe in Islam and are involved in the defence of Islam i.e. the Muslims are allowed.

It would be illogical for a common citizen to object against the restriction on entering a cantonment area. Similarly it is not appropriate for non-Muslims to object against the restriction on non-Muslims against entering Makkah and Madinah.

2. Visa to enter Makkah and Madinah

a. Whenever a person travels to a foreign country he has to first apply for a visa i.e. the permission to enter that country. Every country has its own rules, regulations and requirements for issuing a visa. Unless their critera are satisfied they will not issue a visa.

b. One of the countries which is very strict in issuing a visa is the United States of America, especially when issuing visas to citizens of the third world. They have several conditions and requirements to be fulfilled before they issue a visa.

c. When I visited Singapore, it was mentioned on their immigration form – death to drug traffickers. If I want to visit Singapore I have to abide by the rules. I cannot say that death penalty is a barbaric punishment. Only if I agree with their requirements and conditions will I be permitted to enter the country.

d. The Visa – The primary condition required for any human being to enter Makkah or Madina is to say with his lips, La ila ha illallah Muhammed ur Rasulullah meaning that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammed (pbuh) is His Messenger.’

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Journey To The Moon


Al-Quran [84-The Splitting, 18-20]
18- And the Moon when it is full
19- You will surely ride from stage to stage
20- So, why do they not believe?

The moon is associated in our minds with beautiful scenes and romantic landscapes. For those who use the lunar calendar, it is a precision calculator. The ebb and tide it causes have always been a mystery for men. It is used to symbolize mathematics, astronomy, art and romanticism.

Throughout history the moon has been the symbol of the unattainable. All these features also existed at the time of the Prophet.

For 1400 years the meaning of the above quoted verses remained unraveled. In the Quran, the conjunction “and” (wa) is frequently used to stress a point; sometimes it is rendered in English by the preposition “by” when making serious promises, taking an oath or calling someone to witness. Commentators dealt differently with the “ride from stage to stage.” The reason was the inaccessibility of the moon at the time. Going to the moon was beyond imagination.

This “riding from stage to stage” had the association for some of spiritual ascension, symbolizing the passage from this world to the other world, the stages of development of man from an embryo to adolescence and senescence. Yet, the verse foresees that human beings will pass from stage to stage in the future. Spiritual ascension and man’s biological development were nothing new. Therefore, I am of the opinion that these interpretations of the past do not reflect reality. The context of the verse connotes the anticipation that a particular phenomenon will take place in the future and the verse questions the reason why the people do not believe when this event takes place. The Arabic word “tabaq” (stage) also mentioned in the sura 67, 3rd verse, and the sura 71, 15th verse, refers not to spiritual, but concrete things. The use of the word “ride” clearly connotes a journey.

Having thus explained the 19th verse in this fashion, the thing that our attention is drawn to, the moon in the 18th verse, supports the idea that “riding from stage to stage” is done by means of a shuttle from the earth to the moon.

WHY DO THEY NOT BELIEVE?

The Russian spacecraft Luna 2 was the first probe to hit the moon (September 12, 1959), and Luna 3 took the first photographs of the far side of the moon. But the most important event was the landing on the moon on July, 21, 1969 by Neil Armstrong and his companions aboard the Apollo 11. The scene of landing on the blurred TV screen was surely one of the most spectacular events in human history.

What had been thought impossible had come true. There were positivists, however, who pointed to this event as a scientific achievement and used it as an argument against religion. Certain bigoted scholars of Islam contended that it was a lie that there had been such an event, and that anybody who claimed that man was on the moon would be cursed.

The miraculous prediction had come true, showing once again God’s art and power. Photographs taken from the moon reflect once more the splendor of God’s design. The mass of the moon, the moon’s distance from the earth point to God’s splendid design. Had the mass of the moon been larger or had the moon been nearer the earth, the continents would be flooded following the tide, rendering our survival impossible.

Verse 20 that comes after verses 18 & 19 in which the journey to the moon is predicted, which reads: “So, why do they not believe?” may refer to the unbelievers and atheists who remained blind to God’s splendor and wisdom, considering this a victory of science over religion. This misconception accounts for the misinterpretation of God’s ways, namely the fact that science is nothing but the entirety of rules He infused into matter. They labor under the delusion that science and religion vie for supremacy. The origin of science and religion is God. Two things that emanate from God cannot be contradictory. Any contradiction may have been due either to scientific errors or to bigoted theologians who dared to make announcements in the name of God. Verse 21, coming after the verses that I have analyzed in this section, is as follows:

21- And when the Quran is read to them, they do not fall prostrate.
84-The Splitting, 21

THE MOON HAS SPLIT

1- The Hour has come closer and the moon has split (shaqqa).
54-The Moon, 1

There is another indication in the Quran in the above verse referring to the landing on the moon. In order to have a better insight into this, let us dwell on the connotation of the Arabic word “shaqqa” which, among its multifarious meanings, signifies “rending asunder,” “splitting,” “fissuring;” it may also signify plowing the soil.

25- We pour forth water in abundance.
26- And We split (shaqqa) the earth in fragments.
80-He Frowned, 25-26

As we see, to describe the fissures made by water on the earth’s soil, the same word “shaqqa” is used. One of the most important events that occasioned man’s visit to the moon was the sampling of the soil on the surface of the moon. The surface of the moon was fissured by man for the first time in history. The term “shaqqa” may refer to this cleavage. We have examined the 1st verse of the sura “The Moon.” The 2nd verse of the same sura addresses the wrongdoers who preferred to ignore the evidences of God.

2- Yet if they see a sign they turn away and they say, “A continuous sorcery!”
54-The Moon, 2

Thanksto : http://www.islamicmedicines.com

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Islam in China (650 – 1980 CE) – Yusuf Abdul Rahman

[The Ancient Record of the Tang Dynasty describes a landmark visit to China by Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (ra), one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (s) in 650 C.E. This event is considered to be the birth of Islam in China. The Chinese emperor Yung-Wei respected the teachings of Islam and considered it to be compatible with the teachings of Confucius. To show his admiration for Islam, the emperor approved the establishment of China’s first mosque at Ch’ang-an. That mosque still stands today after fourteen centuries.


Muslims virtually dominated the import/export business in China during Sung Dynasty (960 – 1279 CE). The office of Director General of Shipping was consistently held by a Muslim during this period. During the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 CE), a period considered to be the golden age of Islam in China, Muslims fully integrated into Han society by adopting their name and some customs while retaining their Islamic mode of dress and dietary restrictions.

Anti-Muslim sentiments took root in China during the Ch’ing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 CE), which was established by Manchus who were a minority in China. Muslims in China number more than 35 million, according to unofficial counts. They represent ten distinct ethnic groups. The largest are the Chinese Hui, who comprise over half of China’s Muslim population. The largest of Turkic groups are the Uygurs who are most populous in the province of Xinjiang, where they were once an overwhelming majority.]

Although it may come as some surprise, Islam has survived in China for over 1300 [1400] years. It has done so despite such upheavals as the Cultural Revolution as well as regimes hostile to it.

Even though there are only sparse records of the event in Arab history, a brief one in Chinese history, The Ancient Record of the Tang Dynasty describes a landmark visit to China by an emissary from Arabia in the seventh century. Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (ra), one of the companions of Prophet [Muhammad (s)], led the delegation [in 650 C.E.], which brought gifts as well as the belief system of Islam to China. According to the traditions of Chinese Muslims, this event is considered to be the birth of Islam in China.

Although the emperor of the time, Yung-Wei, found Islam to be a bit too restrictive for his taste, he respected its teachings and considered it to be compatible with the teachings of Confucius. For this reason, he gave Saad complete freedom to propagate the faith among his people. To show his admiration for Islam, the emperor ordered the establishment of China’s first mosque at Ch’ang-an. The mosque still stands today, after thirteen [fourteen] centuries.

As time passed, relations between the Chinese and the Muslim heartland continued to improve. Many Muslim businessmen, visitors, and traders began to come to China for commercial and religious reasons. [Arabs had already established trade in the area before Prophet Muhammad (s).] The Umayyads and Abbasids sent six delegations to China, all of which were warmly received by the Chinese.

The Muslims who immigrated to China eventually began to have a great economic impact and influence on the country. They virtually dominated the import/export business by the time of the Sung Dynasty (960 – 1279 CE). Indeed, the office of Director General of Shipping was consistently held by a Muslim during this period.

In spite of the economic successes the Muslims enjoyed during these and later times, they were recognized as being fair, law-abiding, and self-disciplined. Thus, there is no record of appreciable anti-Muslim sentiment on the part of the Han (Chinese) people.

By the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 CE) Islam had been nourishing in China for 700 years. Up to this time, the Muslims had maintained a separate, alien status which had its own customs, language, and traditions and was never totally integrated with the Han people. Under the Ming Dynasty, generally considered to be the golden age of Islam in China, Muslims gradually became fully integrated into Han society.

An interesting example of this synthesis by Chinese Muslims was the process by which their names changed. Many Muslims who married Han women simply took on the name of the wife. Others took the Chinese surnames of Mo, Mai, and Mu – names adopted by Muslims who had the names Muhammad, Mustafa, and Masoud. Still others who could find no Chinese surname similar to their own adopted the Chinese character that most closely resembled their name – Ha for Hasan, Hu for Hussein, or Sai for Said, and so on.

In addition to names, Muslim customs of dress and food also underwent a synthesis with Chinese culture. The Islamic mode of dress and dietary restrictions were consistently maintained, however, and not compromised. In time, the Muslims began to speak Han dialects and to read in Chinese. Well into the Ming era, the Muslims could not be distinguished from other Chinese other than by their unique religious customs. For this reason, once again, there was little friction between Muslim and non-Muslim Chinese.

The rise of the Ch’ing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 CE), though, changed this. The Ch’ing were Manchu (not Han) and were a minority in China. They employed tactics of divide-and-conquer to keep the Muslims, Han, Tibetans, and Mongolians in struggles against one another. In particular, they were responsible for inciting anti-Muslim sentiment throughout China, and used Han soldiers to suppress the Muslim regions of the country.

When the Manchu Dynasty fell in 1911, the Republic of China was established by Sun Yat Sen, who immediately proclaimed that the country belonged equally to the Han, Hui (Muslim), Man (Manchu), Meng (Mongol), and the Tsang (Tibetan) peoples. His policies led to some improvement in relations among these groups.

After Mao Zedong’s revolution in 1948 and the beginning of communist rule in China, the Muslims, as well as other ethnic minorities found themselves once again oppressed. They actively struggled against communists before and after the revolution. In fact, in 1953, the Muslims revolted twice in an effort to establish an independent Islamic state [in regions where Muslims were an overwhelming majority]. These revolts were brutally suppressed by Chinese military force followed by the liberal use of anti-Muslim propaganda.

Today, the Muslims of China number some 20 million, according to unofficial counts. The government census of 1982, however, put the number much lower, at 15 million. These Muslims represent ten distinct ethnic groups. The largest are the Chinese Hui, who comprise over half of China’s Muslim population and are scattered throughout all of China. There is also a high concentration of Hui in the province of Ningsha in the north.

After the Hui, the remainder of the Muslim population belong to Turkic language groups and are racially Turks (except for the Mongol Salars and Aryan Tajiks). The Turkic group is further divided between the Uygurs, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kirgiz, Tatars and Dongshiang. Nearly all of the Turkic Muslims are found in the western provinces of Kansu and Xinjiang. The largest of these Muslim groups are the Uygurs.

The Uygurs are most populous in the province of Xinjiang, where they make up some 60% of the total population. This relatively small percentage is due to the massive influx of non-Muslim Chinese into the province in recent times, a situation that has brought problems of assimilation and raised concerns about the de-Islamization of one of China’s predominantly Muslim regions. [Muslims in Central Asia, under the USSR, were subjected to a similar population management, Russification of Central Asia].

Muslims, and the Uygur in particular, suffered tremendously under the regime of Mao Zedong and his “Cultural Revolution.” During the communist reign of terror, there was a violent campaign to eradicate all traces of Islam and of the ethnic identity of all non-Chinese. The Uygur language, which had for centuries used Arabic script, was forced to adopt the Latin alphabet. The Uygurs, as with most believing Muslims, were subjected to forced labor in the some 30,000 communes set up in the predominantly Muslim provinces. The imams and akhunds were singled out for humiliating punishments and tortures….[and were forced to] tend to pig farms, which were sometimes kept in government-closed mosques.

Under the pretext of unification of national education, Islamic schools were closed and their students transferred to other schools which taught only Marxism and Maoism. Other outrages included the closing of over 29,000 mosques, the widespread torture of imams, and executions of over 360,000 Muslims.

Since the death of Mao and the end of his hard-line Marxist outlook nearly fifteen years ago, the communist government has greatly liberalized its policies toward Islam and Muslims. And despite the horrors of the Cultural Revolution, Islam has continued to thrive in China.

Today the campaign for assimilation started during the Cultural Revolution has slowed somewhat and the Turkic Muslims have greater freedom to express their cultural identity. The government has, for instance, allowed the reinstatement of the Arabic alphabet for use with the Uygur language. There is, however, continued discrimination against the Turkic Muslims by the immigrant Chinese (favored by the government) who have settled in the far western province of Xinjiang. This immigration has posed a problem as Han Chinese are migrating to Muslim areas at the rate of 200,000 a year. In many places where Muslims once were a majority, they are now a minority.

Since religious freedom was declared in 1978, the Chinese Muslims have not wasted time in expressing their convictions. There are now some 28,000 mosques in the entire People’s Republic of China, with 12,000 in the province of Xinjiang. In addition, there is a large number of imams available to lead the Muslim community (in Xinjiang alone there are over 2,800).

There has been an increased upsurge in Islamic expression in China, and many nationwide Islamic associations have been organized to coordinate inter-ethnic activities among Muslims. Islamic literature can be found quite easily and there are currently some eight different translations of the Qur’an in the Chinese language as well as translations in Uygur and the other Turkic languages. The Muslims of China have also been given almost unrestricted allowance to make the Hajj to Mecca [Reflections from the Hajj]. In 1986 there were some 2,300 Chinese Muslims at Hajj. (Compared to the 30 Soviet Muslims allowed to make the same pilgrimage, this number seems quite generous, considering that the Soviet Muslim population outnumbers China’s by nearly four times).

China’s Muslims have also been active in the country’s internal politics. As always, the Muslims have refused to be silenced. Several large demonstrations have been staged by Muslims to protest intrusions on Muslim life. Last year, for instance, Muslims staged a massive protest rally in Beijing to demand the removal of anti-Islamic literature from China’s bookstores. The Turkic [group] Muslims have also held demonstrations for a greater voice in the running of their own affairs and against the continued large-scale immigration of non-Muslims into their provinces. In the news this spring are more reports of demonstrations and struggles by Chinese Muslims to regain their rights. Insha’Allah they will be successful.

Thanks to: http://www.islamawareness.net

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INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM

ALLAH – for Muslims the greatest and most inclusive of the Names of God, an Arabic word of rich and varied meaning, denoting the one who is adored in worship, who creates all that exists, who had priority over all creation, who is lofty and hidden, who confounds all human understanding. It is exactly the same word that the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (eloh), the word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Allah is the same God worshipped by Muslims, Christians and Jews.
“He is God, the One God Independent and sought by all; He begets not, nor is begotten, and there is none like unto Him” (The Holy Qur ‘an – Chapter 112 – Al-Ikhlas- Sincerity of Faith)
Islam teaches that all faiths have, in essence, one common message: the existence of a Supreme Being, the one and only God, whose Sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places throughout history.
Islam, An Arabic word, rich in meaning. One important dimension is the “commitment to submit and surrender to God so that one can live in peace”; Peace (Salam) is achieved through active obedience to the revealed Commandments of God, for God is the Source of all Peace. Commitment to Islam entails striving for peace through a struggle for justice, equality of opportunity, mutual caring and consideration for the rights of others, and continuous research and acquisition of knowledge for the better protection and utilization of the resources of Creation.
Islam teaches that the objective of the Commandment of God is that peace should be established in the human societies of this world, in preparation for a further dimension of human existence in the world to come, the Afterlife. Islam’s vision of peace is therefore truly universal; it transcends time and belongs to the order of God’s eternity.
Islam does not regard itself to be a new teaching, different or separate from that of other world religions. It is the reaffirmation of the ancient yet living truth of all religions, which can be expressed in the following beliefs:
The Uniqueness of the one and only God who is Sovereign of the universe;
The Revelation of the teaching and commandments of God through Angels in heaven to Prophets on earth, and written in sacred writings which all have the same transcendent source; these contain the will of God which marks the way of peace for the whole universe and all of humankind;
The Day of Judgment which inaugurates the after-life, in which God rewards and punishes with respect to human obedience and disobedience to His will.
Islam affirms these simple beliefs as the basis for the decent, civilized society towards which it strives. Its vision of society is; in essence, no different from that upheld by all monotheistic religions. This is particularly true of Judaism and Christianity, which share with Islam the direct spiritual lineage of the Prophet Abraham. Islam affirms the divinely ordained missions of the Prophet Moses, through whom God revealed the sacred scripture called the Torah, and of the Prophet Jesus, through whom God revealed the scripture known as the Gospel. The message of Islam is in essence the same as that which God revealed to all His prophets and messengers. The Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessing of God be upon him) was commanded to recite in the Holy Qur’an:
“Say, we believe in God, and that which was revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and lshmael and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord; We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered” (The Holy Qur ‘an 3.84)
The success of civilizations and cultures is directly related to the extent of their practice of the righteous way of life revealed in the teaching and commandments of God, and set forth in the monotheistic religions which are confirmed by Islam. God’s revelation enshrines the highest values of humankind, and the divine commandments are essentially no different from the values which human beings have cherished and striven to maintain throughout history, regardless of cultural, racial, linguistic and socioeconomic differences. Success in this life is directly related to the practice of these values.
The irreducible minimum of faith is to believe in God as the sole sovereign Lord of this world and the next, and to believe in the reality of the Afterlife for which human beings are to prepare by living righteously in this world. God Alone is the Judge of human righteousness, and it is God Alone who rewards and punishes in this life and in the life hereafter.
Righteousness does not mean for you to turn your faces towards the East and towards the West, but righteousness means one should believe in God (Alone), the Last Day, the angels, the Book and the prophets; and no matter how he loves it, to give his wealth away to near relatives, orphans, the needy, the wayfarer and the beggars, and toward the freeing of captives, and to keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax, and those who keep their word whenever they promise anything; and are patient under strain and hardship and in time of peril Those are the ones who act royally and perform their duty. (The Holy Qur ‘an 2:177)
A Muslim is one who is committed to peace continuously striving to follow the way of righteousness and justice revealed by God; the Arabic word muslim refers to a man, muslima to a woman. In either case the literal meaning is “one who submits to God’s teachings and commandments, which leads to peace.”
Muslims have three distinct advantages to help them in the practice of Islam as their way of life:
1. The Sacred Scripture called the Qur’an, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century of the Common Era, and which, after 1400 years, remains authentic in its original Arabic text, in the language which is still used and understood by millions of people throughout the world today; it contains God’s guidance in teachings and commandments which are valid for all times and all places, and which encompass all spheres of human life.
2. The Prophet Muhammad, whom the Qur’an names as “the Seal (last) of the Prophets”, and of whose life and mission there is a complete and authentic record in the Sira and the Hadith. These show how he exemplified the teachings and commandments of God in practice, and elaborated the principles laid down in the Qur’an in order to provide a sure guidance for their interpretation and application for all later times and societies.
3. The Sacred Law, called the Shari’ah, which sets out the way of worship prescribed in the Qur’an and the Prophet’s practice; it goes beyond the common understanding of worship as the performance of religious rituals, and encompasses the whole of human life, individual as well as social. Thus all so-called secular activities become acts of worship, provided they are performed with pure and righteous intention, seeking God’s pleasure.
Muslims are enjoined to organize their lives on the basis of a series of ritual acts of worship which are ordained in the Qur’an as ways which discipline human beings to remember God constantly, accepting his Sovereignty and pledging to obey His commandments:
1. Declaration of belief (Shahada): this is the initial act of faith, expressed in a simple statement which testifies to one’s commitment to following the straight path of God’s guidance upon which Muslims seek to live their lives;
“I bear witness that there its no god but God; I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet. ”
2. Prayer (Salat), offered five times a day, has the effect of reminding the faithful that “remembrance of God is indeed the greatest virtue”, and helps them adhere to the path of righteousness, and to restrain from indecency and evil.
3. Fasting (Sawm), observed through the daylight hours of the 29/30 days of the Islamic month of Ramadan, involves abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking and marital intercourse; this reminds the believers of their dependence upon God, as well as their kinship with, and responsibility for the millions of human beings in the world who experience involuntary fasting because of lack of food, or its unjust distribution.
4. Purification of wealth (Zakat); this requires the annual giving of a fixed amount of excess personal assets for the benefit of the poor, the incapacitated, the deprived, and the welfare of the community; it serves to remind Muslims that all beneficence comes from the bounty of God, and is enjoyed only through His mercy; sharing becomes an act of purification both of the wealth itself, and of the giver whose soul is disciplined against greed by the practice of selflessness.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj), which all Muslims should perform at least once in a lifetime, if personal circumstances permit; it gathers the believers as members of the diverse human family into a single community. They perform prescribed acts of worship at the Holy House of the Ka’ba in Makkah (Mecca) which, according to the Qur’an, was originally built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael; and at Mount Arafat, where they remember the pure and original way of life of Adam, the progenitor of the human race, reaffirmed by the Patriarch of the entire human family, the Prophet Abraham, and finally perfected and completed by God for all humanity through the mission of the Prophet Muhammad – the way of life known as Islam which has at its heart the doctrine of the unity and uniqueness of the One God.
Each of these prescribed acts of worship brings Muslims daily and repeatedly before God Almighty as the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all humanity.
Through these acts of worship, God helps Muslims to fulfill the obligation of striving which he has ordained for this life; the striving actively and freely to surrender one’s own will in obedience to the Will of God, inwardly in intention and outwardly in word and deed; individually in personal conduct and collectively in the improvement of society; the striving for peace in the world through the proclamation of true faith, and its defense against all that threatens it.

Islam presents human beings with a simple two-fold invitation:
to witness that there is no God but God Almighty;
to witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
This declaration is the door to a life of service. One of participation in a community of believers whose highest duty is to call on humanity to embrace what is righteous and good and to reject what is evil and degrading. Muslims are brothers and sisters of all people of good faith, and wish to strive with them for peace in this world.

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