I want to share with you all, the heart of a Muslim. It's such a beautiful religion/way of life. I hope you will take some time out of your day to read this! :)
Meaning of Islam: Islam is a monotheistic religion, and a way of life. The Arabic word Islam means submission and derives from a word meaning peace. In a religious context it means submission to the will of God. The word Allah is simply the Arabic meaning for God. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) received the Word of God. The Quran is the sacred writings of Islam, also sometimes transliterated as the Qur'an, Kuran, Koran, Qur’ān, Coran or al-Qur’ān. Muslims hold that the Quran is the verbal divine guidance and moral direction for mankind. The Five Pillars of Islam are five basic acts of Islam. They're considered obligatory for all Muslims. The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are 1. The testimony of faith 2. Prayer (Salat), 3. Giving Zakat (Support of the needy), 4. Fasting on Ramadan (Sawm), 5. The Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj). More about the Five Pillars here.
Meaning of A Muslim: A Muslim is any male or female person who believes in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as His Messenger who then testifies to that belief to witnesses announcing his/her acceptance of Islam as his/her religion. Muslim should not be confused with Arab; A Muslim is a person who follows the religion of Islam and she/he can be of any race while Arab refers to a race of people. An Arab can choose to be of any religion or belief system.
Misconceptions about Islam:
All Muslims are violent, terrorists, and/or extremists. Yes some Muslims are violent, terrorists, and/or extremists. But, that has nothing at all to do with the religion Islam, itself.
Islam oppresses woman. In some Muslim countries they may have laws that oppress women, this shouldn't be seen as coming from Islam though. Many of these countries do not rule by any type of Islamic law, and introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender equity. However, Islam looks at a woman as an equal, mature and capable partner of a man, without whom a family cannot exist and teaches that all men and woman are all creation of Allah(God), existing on a level of equal value and worth. A woman must be treated with honor and respect. An Islam marriage cannot take place unless the female freely agrees to it. Islam puts priorities for the husband and wife. The responsibility for providing for the family is on the husband, while the responsibility to care for the house and raising the children is on the wife. And she can work outside of the house if she desires.
Muslims worship a different God. Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah, for Muslims, is the greatest and most inclusive of the names of God, it is an Arabic word of rich meaning, denoting the one and only God and ascribing no partners to Him. It should be noted that God in Islam is one and only. He the exalted, does not get tired, does not have a son (i.e. Jesus) or have associates, nor does He have human like attributes as found in other faiths. MISCONCEPTION #4
Islam was spread by the sword and intolerant of other faiths. Many social studies textbooks show the image of an Arab horseman carrying a sword and the Quran in the other hand conquering and forcibly converting. This, though, is not a correct rendition of history. Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. Freedom of religion is laid down in the Quran itself: "There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam).
The Nation of Islam(NOI) is a Muslim group.
Islam and the so called "Nation of Islam" are two different religions. NOI is more of a political organization since it's members are not limited to a single faith. Muslim consider this group to be one of many cults using the name of Islam for their own gain.
Muslims don't believe in Jesus.
Well, here it says: "Many non-Muslims are surprised to find out that according to Islam, Jesus, the son of Mary, is one of the greatest messengers of God. A person cannot be a Muslim without believing in the virgin birth and miracles of Jesus Christ. Muslims believe these things about Jesus because the Quran says these things about him. However, Islam emphasizes that the miracles of Jesus, and all other prophets, were by "God's permission". Likewise, the Quran clearly says that Almighty God does not have a "Son" neither allegorically, physically, metaphorically or metaphysically since this would undermine His unity and compromise pure Abrahamic monotheism. Islam rejects Christian doctrines regarding Jesus, such as the Incarnation, the Trinity and the Atonement precisely because they did not originate from Jesus. In this way, Muslims feel they are the true followers of Jesus because they defend him from theological exaggerations and practice the same monotheism as Jesus himself."
Oneness of Mankind:
- People are created equal in the sight of Allah. There is no superiority of one over another for any reason except piety and righteousness. Muslims are required to respect the dignity of mankind, regardless of religion, race, nationality, or place of birth, all of mankind are honored.
- People are not to be judged on factors that they had no choice over, such as gender, color, size, race, health, etc. Islam teaches that human diversity is a sign of the richness of Allah's mercy and the beauty of His creation. Prophet Muhammad said: "Surely Allah(God) does not look at your faces or your bodies, but looks at your hearts and your deeds".
- In Islam there are no priests, priesthood or holy men, and no one has special access to sacraments, there are however, scholars who are knowledgeable of Islam, and their duty is to truthfully explain Islam to others. However, they're just advisers.
For any further questions, leave a comment with your email and your question and I will get back to you ASAP! Thank you all so much for all the love and support! - "Peace be upon you" :)