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Who is Allah?

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What is Islam?
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The main message of Islam is the same basic message in all revealed religions, as they are all are from the same source, and the reasons for disparity found between religions.

Among the blessings and favors that God has bestowed upon humanity is that He endowed them with an innate ability to recognize and acknowledge His existence. He placed this awareness deep in their hearts as a natural disposition that has not changed since human beings were first created. Furthermore, He reinforced this natural disposition with the signs that he placed in Creation that testify to His existence. However, since it is not possible for human beings to have a detailed knowledge of God except through revelation from Himself, God sent His Messengers to teach the people about their Creator Who they must worship. These Messengers also brought with them the details of how to worship God, because such details cannot be known except by way of revelation. These two fundamentals were the most important things that the Messengers of all the divine revelations brought with them from God. On this basis, all the divine revelations have had the same lofty objectives, which are:

1. To affirm the Oneness of God - the praised and glorified Creator – in His essence and His attributes.

2. To affirm that God alone should be worshipped and that no other being should be worshipped along with Him or instead of Him.

3. To safeguard human welfare and oppose corruption and evil. Thus, everything that safeguards faith, life, reason, wealth and lineage are part of this human welfare that religion protects. On the other hand, anything that endangers these five universal needs is a form of corruption that religion opposes and prohibits.

4. To invite the people to the highest level of virtue, moral values, and noble customs.

The ultimate goal of every Divine Message has always been the same: to guide the people to God, to make them aware of Him, and to have them worship Him alone. Each Divine Message came to strengthen this meaning, and the following words were repeated on the tongues of all the Messengers: "Worship God, you have no god other than Him." This message was conveyed to humanity by prophets and messengers which God sent to every nation. All of these messengers came with this same message, the message of Islam.

All the Divine Messages came to bring the life of the people into willing submission to God. For this reason, they all share the name of "Islam", or "submission" derived from the same word as "Salam", or "peace", in Arabic. Islam, in this sense, was the religion of all the prophets, but why does one see different variations of the religion of God if they all emanated from the same source? The answer is twofold.

The first reason is that as a result of the passage of time, and due to the fact that previous religions were not under the Divine protection of God, they underwent much change and variation. As a result, we see that the fundamental truths which were brought by all messengers now differ from one religion to another, the most apparent being the strict tenet of the belief and worship of God and God alone.

The second reason for this variation is that God, in His infinite Wisdom and eternal Will, decreed that all the divine missions prior to the final message of Islam brought by Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, be limited to a specific time frame. As a result, their laws and methodologies dealt with the specific conditions of the people whom they had been sent to address.

Humanity has passed through numerous periods of guidance, misguidance, integrity, and deviation, from the most primitive age to the heights of civilization. Divine guidance accompanied humanity through all of this, always providing the appropriate solutions and remedies.

This was the essence of the disparity that existed between the different religions. This disagreement never went beyond the particulars of the Divine Law. Each manifestation of the Law addressed the particular problems of the people it was meant for. However, the areas of agreement were significant and many, such as fundamentals of faith; the basic principles and objectives of the Divine Law, such as protecting faith, life, reason, wealth, and lineage and establishing justice in the land; and certain fundamental prohibitions, some of the most important of these being idolatry, fornication, murder, theft, and giving false witness. Moreover, they also agreed upon moral virtues like honesty, justice, charity, kindness, chastity, righteousness, and mercy. These principles as well as others are permanent and lasting; they are the essence of all the Divine Messages and bind them all together.


What is the Qur'an?
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QuranThe Qur'an comprehends the complete code for the Muslims to live a good, chaste, abundant and rewarding life in obedience to the commandments of Allah, in this life and to gain salvation in the next. It is the "chart of life" for every Muslim, and it is the "constitution" of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

The Qur'an is the eternal contemporary of the Muslims. Each generation of Muslims has found new sources of strength, courage and inspiration in it. It is also, for them, a "compass" in the turbulent voyage of life, as it has explained itself in the following verses:

. . . Indeed, there has come to you light and a clear book from Allah; With it Allah guides him who fill follow His pleasure into the ways of peace and brings them out of utter darkness into light by his will and guides them to the right path. (V: 15-16)

It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It deserves the highest praise for its conceptions of Divine nature in reference to the attributes of Power, Knowledge, and Universal Providence and Unity--that its belief and trust is one God, creator of Heaven and Earth is deep and fervent, and that it embodies much of a noble and moral earnestness. It is Qur'an which transformed the simple shepherds and wandering Bedouins of Arabia into the founders of empires, the builders of cities, the collectors of libraries. If a system of religious teachings is evaluated by the changes which it introduces into the way of life, the customs and beliefs of its follower, then Qur'an as a code of life is second to none. It is not strange then, that more translations and more commentaries of the Holy Qur'an have been published than that of any other book claimed to be the Divine Revelation.

By Anwer Ali. Preface to the Holy Qur'an. Published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc.


Who is Allah?
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Arabic calligraphy for "Allah"Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word "Allah." For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. This is totally false, since "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "God" - and there is only One God. Let there be no doubt - Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus - peace be upon them all. However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims - like Jews - reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God - because, as we have already said, there is only One True God. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be "Abrahamic Faiths", and all of them are also classified as "monotheistic." However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

First of all, it is important to note that "Allah" is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word "Allah" being used where "God" is used in English. This is because "Allah" is a word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word "God" with a capital "G". Additionally, the word "Allah" cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God.

It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word "El", which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word "Allah" than the English word "God." This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are "El" and "Elah", and the plural or glorified form "Elohim." The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins. It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word "El" is translated variously as "God", "god" and "angel"! This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views. The Arabic word "Allah" presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone. Additionally, in English, the only difference between "god", meaning a false god, and "God", meaning the One True God, is the capital "G". Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word "Allah" into English might be "The One -and-Only God" or "The One True God."

More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word "Allah" contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin. This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta'allaha (or alaha), which means "to be worshipped." Thus in Arabic, the word "Allah" means "The One who deserves all worship." This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam.

Suffice it to say that just because someone claims to be a "monotheistic" Jew, Christian or Muslim, that does not keep them from falling into corrupt beliefs and idolatrous practices. Many people, including some Muslims, claim belief in "One God" even though they've fallen into acts of idolatry. Certainly, many Protestants accuse Roman Catholics of idolatrous practices in regards to the saints and the Virgin Mary. Likewise, the Greek Orthodox Church is considered "idolatrous" by many other Christians because in much of their worship they use icons. However, if you ask a Roman Catholic or a Greek Orthodox person if God is "One", they will invariably answer: "Yes!." This claim, however, does not stop them from being "creature worshipping" idolaters. The same goes for Hindus, who just consider their gods to be "manifestations" or "incarnations" of the One Supreme God.

Before concluding… there are some people out there, who are obviously not on the side of truth, that want to get people to believe that "Allah" is just some Arabian "god", and that Islam is completely "other" - meaning that it has no common roots with the other Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism). To say that Muslims worship a different "God" because they say "Allah" is just as illogical as saying that French people worship another God because they use the word "Dieu", that Spanish-speaking people worship a different God because they say "Dios" or that the Hebrews worshipped a different God because they sometimes call Him "Yahweh." Certainly, reasoning like this is quite ridiculous! It should also be mentioned, that claiming that any one language uses the only the correct word for God is tantamount to denying the universality of God's message to mankind, which was to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.

We would like to ask our readers about the motives of these people? The reason is that the Ultimate Truth of Islam stands on solid ground and its unshakeable belief in the Unity of God is above reproach. Due to this, Christians can't criticize its doctrines directly, but instead fabricate things about Islam that aren't true so that people lose the desire to learn more. If Islam were presented in the proper way to the world, it surely might make many people reconsider and re-evaluate their own beliefs. It is quite likely that when they find out that there is a universal religion in the world that teaches people to worship and love God, while also practicing Pure Monotheism, would at least feel that they should re-examine the basis for their own beliefs and doctrines.


Who is the Prophet Muhammad?
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Arabic calligrapht of "Muhammed peace be upon him"Muhammad was born in Makkah in the year 570. Since his father died before his birth and his mother died shortly thereafter, he was raised by his uncle who was from the respected tribe of Quraysh. He was raised illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained so till his death. His people, before his mission as a prophet, were ignorant of science and most of them were illiterate. As he grew up, he became known to be truthful, honest, trustworthy, generous, and sincere. He was so trustworthy that they called him the Trustworthy.1 Muhammad was very religious, and he had long detested the decadence and idolatry of his society.

At the age of forty, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. The revelations continued for twenty-three years, and they are collectively known as the Quran.

As soon as he began to recite the Quran and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered persecution from unbelievers. The persecution grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This emigration from Makkah to the city of Madinah, some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.

After several years, Muhammad and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies. Before Muhammad died, at the age of sixty-three, the greater part of the Arabian Peninsula had become Muslim, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China. Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the truth and clarity of its doctrine. Islam calls for faith in only one God, Who is the only one worthy of worship.

The Prophet Muhammad was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful, and brave human being. Though he was a man, he was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of God and His reward in the Hereafter. Moreover, in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of God.


What is Jihad?
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QuranIt is unfortunate that Islam, the religion of peace, hope, harmony, goodwill and brotherhood had been badly tarnished by the perpetrators of various terrorists acts and barbarism as seen on September 11, 2001.

This article is written to set forth the teachings of Islam so that manifestations of various terrorist acts are fully exposed in the light of Islamic teachings under whose shelter these activities are being committed.

It is unfortunate that Islam, the religion of peace, hope, harmony, goodwill and brotherhood had been badly tarnished by the perpetrators of various terrorists acts and barbarism as seen on September 11, 2001.

This article is written to set forth the teachings of Islam so that manifestations of various terrorist acts are fully exposed in the light of Islamic teachings under whose shelter these activities are being committed.


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