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 Basic Questions about Islam-Part 2

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Registration date : 2007-06-12

PostSubject: Basic Questions about Islam-Part 2   Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:25 am

5. What are the Teachings of Islaam?
The foundation of the Islaamic faith is belief in the Unity 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 Unity 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. Islaam, however, not only insists on this, but also rejects using such words as "Lord" and "Saviour" for anyone besides Almighty God. Islaam 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.
The essence of falsehood is the claim that God cannot deal with and forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasising the burden of sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive you directly, false religions seek to get people to despair of the Mercy of God. Once they are convinced that they cannot approach God directly, people can be mislead into turning to false gods for help. These "false gods" can take various forms, such as saints, angels, or someone who is believed to be the "Son of God" or "God Incarnate". In almost all cases, people who worship, pray to or seek help from a false god don't consider it to be, or call it, 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 Islaam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There is no ambiguity in divinity - anything that is created is not deserving of worship and only 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 beyond comprehension - He has no "Son", partners or associates. According to Muslim belief, Almighty God "does not beget 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 is called the All-Powerful and Most-Merciful. Almighty God 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 Unity of God is not merely a metaphysical concept. It is a dynamic belief that effects ones view of humanity, society and all aspects of life. As a logical corollary to the Islaamic belief in the Oneness of God, is its belief in the oneness of mankind and humanity.

. What is the Qur'aan?
It is the final revelation of the will of Almighty God's to all of mankind, which was conveyed through the Angel Gabriel, in Arabic, to the Prophet Muhammad in its sounds, words and meanings. The Qur'aan, sometimes spelled Koran, was relayed to the Prophet's companions, which they memorised verbatim, and which has been publicly and continually recited by them and their successors until the present day. In short, the Qur'aan is the book of guidance from God par excellence. The Qur'aan is still memorised and taught by millions of people. The language of the Qur'aan, Arabic, is still a living language to millions of people, so unlike the scriptures of other religions, the Qur'aan is still read in its original language by countless millions of people. The Qu'ran is a living miracle in the Arabic language; and is know to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact. God's final revelation to mankind, the Qur'aan, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. The Qur'aan, in contrast to many other religious books, was always thought to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e. it wasn't something decreed by a religious council many years after being written. Also, the Qu'ran was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The entire Qur'aan was also completely written down in lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet memorised the entire Qur'aan word-for-word as it was revealed. So unlike other scriptures, the Qur'aan was always in the hands of the common believers, it was always thought to be God's word and, due to wide-spread memorisation, it was perfectly preserved. In regards to the teachings of the Qur'aan - it is a universal scripture, and it is addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or "chosen people". The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same message of all of the prophets - submit to Almighty God and worship Him alone. As such, God's revelation in the Qur'aan focuses on teaching human beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent. Additionally, the Qur'aan contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus; as well as many commands and prohibitions from God. In modern times in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair and "political correctness", the Qur'aanic 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 Qur'aan, God teaches human beings that they were created in order to worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is God-consciousness. Since the teachings of Islaamic encompass all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human affairs. Islaam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Law. As such, worship in Islaam is not limited to religious rituals. The teachings of Islaam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and such qualities as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islaam condemns pride and self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human righteousness. The Islaamic view of the nature of man is also realistic and well-balanced. Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islaam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people free-will, and the measure of one's faith is one's deeds and actions. However, human beings have also been created weak and regularly fall into sin. This is the nature of the human being as created by God in His Wisdom, and it is not inherently "corrupt" or in need of repair. This is because the avenue of repentance of always open to all human beings, and Almighty God loves the repentant sinner more than one who does not sin at all. The true balance of an Islaamic life is established by having a healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite Mercy. A life without fear of God 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 light of this, Islaam teaches that: only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord. Additionally, the Holy Qur'aan, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgement. Due to this, Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by God for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Almighty God will be both Merciful and Just, and people will only be judged for what they were capable of. Suffice it to say that Islaam teaches that life is a test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God. A sincere belief in the life hereafter is key to leading a well-balanced life and moral. Otherwise, life is viewed as an end in itself, which causes human beings to become more selfish, materialistic and immoral..
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