Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. Â“IslamÂ” simply means peace through submission to God. For a fifth of the world's population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life.
Muslims praying in Jerusalem outside The Dome of the Rock
2)"Muslim" means anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God.
3)Islam is not a cult. Along with Judaism and Christianity, it is considered to be one of the three Abrahamic traditions.
Its followers number over 1.5 billion worldwide. One billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe - from the southern Philippines to Nigeria - are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world's largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe.
Islam is a multi-national faith with Muslims in every country!
4)There arefive pillarsof practice in Islam. These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true Muslim:
A) Shahadah Â– or declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God.
B) Formal prayer five times a day.
C) Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan.
D) Poor-due charity - 2.5% of one's savings given to the needy at the end of each year.
E) Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.
5)There aresix articlesof faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. 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 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.
In Summary the articles of faith are belief in:
A) The One God.
B) All the Prophets of God.
C) The original scriptures revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad.
D) The Angels.
E) The Day of Judgment and the Hereafter.
F) The divine decree (or destiny).
6)Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life: moral, spiritual, social, political, economical, intellectual, etc.
7)Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. To become Muslim, a person of any race or culture must say a simple statement, the Â“shahadahÂ” (or the Â“witnessingÂ”), that bears witness to the belief in the One God and that Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet of God.
The word Â“MuslimÂ” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.
The Shahada inscribed outside a mosque, Istanbul
The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Holy Quran:
Â“We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him that Â‘None has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me.Â’Â” (Quran 21:25)
This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it is praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone. Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger such as Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.
Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof from the revelation or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for oneÂ’s family and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.
The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.
One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:
Â“And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.Â” (Quran 68:4)God also said:
Â“And indeed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.Â” (Quran 33:21)
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the Â“shahadahÂ”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The Â“shahadahÂ” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam. With the pronunciation of this testimony, or Â“shahadahÂ”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.
Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of oneÂ’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:
Â“Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?Â”
When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The personÂ’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his motherÂ’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.
The Holy Quran and Hadeeth (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:
Â“The only religion in the sight of God is IslamÂ” (Quran 3:19)
In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:
Â“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word(i.e. He says to something Â“BeÂ”, and it is) which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.Â”
The Prophet of God, may the blessing and mercy of God be upon him, also reported:
Â“Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: Â“I testify that none has the right to worship except Allah (God),Â’ seeking thereby the Face of God.Â”
8)What is Prayer in Islam?
Â“SalatÂ” (or prayer) is the second pillar of Islam and the most important pillar after the declaration of faith. Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by any learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one's own language. Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.
The call to prayer
9)"Allah" is an Arabic word that means God. Christian and Jewish Arabs also use the term Â“AllahÂ” to mean God. The word Allah in Arabic appears on the walls of many Arab churches. In Hebrew the term for God is Elohim or Eloah. In fact the English term Â“GodÂ” is relatively new, and the Aramaic word (the language Jesus habitually spoke) for God is Â“ElahÂ”!
(see video link: http://thedeenshow.com/video.php?action=detail&id=763)
A translation of the Bible from its original language
Do Islam and Christianity have different origins? No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the Prophet Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons, Muhammad from the elder son Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus (as well as many other Prophets) from the younger son Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Mecca, and built the Ka'ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.
The Sacred Mosque, Mecca
10)Why does Islam often seem strange? Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims have religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari'a, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important.
11)The Islamic concept of God is that He is Loving, Merciful, and Compassionate. But Islam also teaches that He is Just and Swift in Punishment. Nevertheless, God once said to Prophet Muhammad, "My mercy prevails over my wrath." Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope, protecting one from both complacency and despair.
12)Who was Muhammad?
Muslims neither worship Muhammad peace be upon him (pbuh) nor pray through him. Muslims solely worship the unseen and Omniscient Creator, Allah. How did Muhammad become a prophet and a messenger of God?
At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran.
The Mountain of Light where Gabriel came to Prophet Muhammad.
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 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, 'migration', in which they left Makkah for the city of Madina some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
After several years, the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (pbuh) 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.
The Prophet's Mosque, Medina.
During this short period of 23 years of his prophet hood, he changed the complete Arabian peninsula from paganism and idolatry to the worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since Â– and imagine all these unbelievable wonders in just over two decades!
13)What was the Prophet Muhammad like?
He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come. The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity to reconstruct accurately the lives and teachings of these men. Not so this man. He accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the records so preserved is vouched for not only by the faithful followers but even by his prejudiced critics.
The Prophet peace be upon him was also the standard bearer of character for all people. He was a leader, father, and husband, and set the standards of righteous conduct in each respect. The companions of the Prophet attested to this, as one of them said:
Â“I served the Prophet for 10 years. He never said to me Â“UffÂ” or Â“why did you?Â” or Â“why didnÂ’t you?Â”
Historians have also studied the life of the Prophet peace be upon him and have come to remarkable conclusions. The Encyclopedia Britannica states:
"...a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men." (Vol. 12)
George Bernard Shaw said about him:
"He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness." (The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)
Lamartine, the renowned historian, speaking on the essentials of human greatness, wonders:
"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls... his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two-fold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words. Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater then he? (Lamartine, Historire de la Turquie, Paris, 1854, Vol. II pp. 276-277)
Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed as to
"how one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."
Michael H. Hart, in his recently published book on ratings of men who contributed towards the benefit and upliftment of mankind writes:
"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list (he placed Jesus as second) of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels." (M.H. Hart, "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History", New York, 1978, p. 33)
K.S. Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian professor of Philosophy, in his booklet "Muhammad the Prophet of Islam" calls him the "perfect model for human life." Professor Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying: "The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes. There is Muhammad the Prophet. There is Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."
Indeed God states in the Quran:
Â“And indeed you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of characterÂ” 68:4Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of MuhammadÂ’s (pbuh) followers, but the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.
The least you can do as a thinking and concerned human being is to stop for a moment and ask yourself: Could these statements sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary really be true? And supposing they really are true and you did not know this man or hear about him, isn't it time you responded to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him? It will cost you nothing, but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life.
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Gospel- he commands them the good and prevents them the evil, he allows them the lawful good things and prohibits them the unlawful, he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who
are successful. "(Quran 7:157)
14)What is the Quran?
Muslims accept the original unaltered Torah (the Scripture of Moses) and the original Bible (the Gospel of Jesus) since they were revealed by God. However, none of those original scriptures are in existence today, in their entirety. Therefore, Muslims follow the subsequent, final, and preserved revelation of God, the Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran was not authored by Muhammad. The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It was memorized 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 has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) fourteen centuries ago.
The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects that 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.
Actual seventh century QuranÂ’s, complete and intact, are on display in museums in Turkey and many other places around the world.
16)If all QuranÂ’s in the world today were burned and destroyed, the original Arabic would still remain. This is because millions of Muslims, called Hafiz (or "preservers") have memorized the text letter for letter from beginning to end, every word and syllable. Also, chapters from the Quran are precisely recited from memory by every Muslim in each of the five daily prayers.
17)Are there any other sacred sources?
Yes, the Â“Sunna,Â” or Â“the practice and exampleÂ” of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A Â“hadithÂ” is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophetsaid,did, orapproved. Belief in the Sunna is part of the Islamic faith.
Examples of the ProphetÂ’s sayings:
Â“My example and the example of the other Prophets is that of a man who built a house, so he built it completely and well except for a place of a brick. When the people entered it they wondered at its beauty and said Â“But for the place of this brick!Â” So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets.Â”
Â“God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.Â”
Â“None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.Â”
Â“Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.Â”
Â“God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.Â”
Â“I am the nearest of all people to Jesus son of Mary in this world and the next. The prophets are paternal brothers, their mothers are different but their religion is one.Â”
Â“A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.' The Prophet was asked: 'Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?' He said, 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.Â”
Â“God will say to that person of the Fire who will receive the least punishment; Â“If you had everything on the Earth, would you give it to ransom yourself? He will say Â“Yes.Â” Then God will say Â“While you were in the backbone of Adam I asked you much less then this; not to associate partners with Me, but you insisted on worshipping others besides Me.Â”
18)What do Muslims think about Jesus?
Muslims respect and revere Jesus, and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'peace be upon him'. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered one of the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:
"'Behold!' the Angel said, 'God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.'
She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is.' "(Quran, 3:42-7)
Jesus was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam into being without a father:
"Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was."
During his prophetic mission Jesus performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said:
"I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers and I raise the dead by God's leave." (Quran, 3:49)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus is reported as saying that he came:
Â“To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; and I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me." (Quran, 3:5O)
The Prophet Muhammad said:
Â“Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven according to his deedsÂ”.
Muslims do not believe in the concept of "vicarious atonement" but rather believe in the law of personal responsibility. Islam teaches that each person is responsible for his or her own actions. On the Day of Judgment Muslims believe that every person will be resurrected and will have to answer to God for their every word, thought, and deed. Consequently, a practicing Muslim is always striving to be righteous.
20)Does Islam tolerate other beliefs? The Quran says:
"God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loves those who are just." (Quran, 60:8)
It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.
Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.
21)Terrorism and the killing of innocent people are forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to bring peace to a society. The extreme actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be, among other things, a result of their ignorance or uncontrolled anger. These people are individuals with their own views and political agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true Islamic teachings than Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh are of Christianity. Extremism and fanaticism is a problem that is common to all religious groups.
22)What does Islam say about war?
Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. As Muslims see it, injustice would be triumphant in the world if good men were not prepared to risk their lives in a righteous cause. The Quran says:
Â“Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.Â”(Quran 2:190)
Â“Indeed those who believe fight in the name of God. And those who disbelieve fight in the name of falsehoodÂ” (Quran 4: 76)
"If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that hears and knows all things." (Quran 8:61)
War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term jihad literally means 'struggle', and Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle which everyone wages against egotistic desires, for the sake of submitting to their Creator and attaining inner peace.
23)Why is the family so important to Muslims?
The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry.
Â“And of His Signs is that He has Created for you wives from among yourselves so that you may live with them, and He has made between you love and mercy. Indeed in that are Signs for those who reflectÂ” (Quran 30:21)
24)Women are not oppressed in Islam as Â“modernÂ” society would have you believe! Any Muslim man that oppresses a woman is not following Islam. Among the many teachings of Prophet Muhammad that protected the rights and dignity of women is his saying:
"The best among you are those who treat their wives best, and I am best towards my wives."
25)Islam grants women numerous rights in the home and in society. Among them is the right to earn money, to financial support, to an education, to inherit, to a dowry, to keep their maiden name, to worship in a mosque, etc, etc. If the woman demands, the husband must support her financially and he has no right in using her money.
26)Muslim women wear the head-covering (hijab) in fulfillment of God's decree to dress modestly. From a practical standpoint, it serves to identify one as attempting to follow God in daily life and, therefore, protects women from unwanted advances from men. This type of modest dress has been worn by righteous women throughout history including the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
27)Arranged marriages are allowed in Islam but are not required. Whereas "forced" marriages, usually stemming from cultural practice, are forbidden. Divorce is permissible; however, reconciliation is what is most encouraged. But if there are irreconcilable differences then Islam permits a fair and just divorce.
28)In the five daily prayers, Muslims face the KaÂ’ba in Mecca, Arabia. The KaÂ’ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say 'At Thy service, O Lord', in response to Abraham's summons.
It is a cube-shaped stone structure. Muslims believe that the KaÂ’ba was the first house of worship on Earth dedicated to the worship of one god. Muslims do not worship the KaÂ’ba. It serves as a central focal point for Muslims around the world, unifying them in worship and symbolizing their common belief, spiritual focus and direction.
29)The hajj is a once in a life-time pilgrimage to the KaÂ’ba made by millions of Muslims each year. It is performed to remember God and commemorate the struggles of Abraham, Ismail and Hagar in submitting their wills to God.
30)How do Muslims view death?
Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present life is only a trial preparation for the next realm of existence. In this life God tries us all in various ways, either through hardships or through ease, to see which one of us is truly patient or gives true thanks by acknowledging Him and following the truth and worshipping Him. In this way all people are equal and they only differ as regards to their faith and deeds. God says in the Quran:
Â“Do you think that we had not created you for purpose and that you would not come back to Us?Â” (Quran 23:115)
Â“The One whom has created death and life to try them, which of them is best in deeds. And He is the All-Mighty, Oft-ForgivingÂ”
Â“Every soul shall taste death and you will only receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection. So whoever is saved from the Fire and is admitted into Paradise then he has won. And the life of the world is only an illusionary enjoymentÂ” (Quran 3:185)