Know Islam

Feb 27 2010

Islam means "submission to the will of God". Muslims accept the Qur’an, as the word of God revealed to His last and final prophet, Mohammed (peace be upon him). Islam states that Allah sent messengers and prophets throughout the ages with the message of Unity of God, and accountability in the Hereafter. Islam thus makes it an article of faith to believe in all the earlier prophets, starting with  Adam, and continuing with Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, John and Jesus amongst many others (may peace be on them all).

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Belief in all the prophets of God is essential in Islam because  all of the prophets were sent by the same God.  To accept some and reject others could imply a racial bias or ignorance about the role of prophets and the fact that they all invited people to the same God.  They conveyed whatever guidance they were asked to share with mankind at that stage in mankind’s spiritual evolution. 

“Say: ‘We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: we make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam). ”   (Quran 3:84)

The Muslims prefer calling the Supreme Creator, Allah, instead of by the English word ‘God’. The Arabic word, ‘Allah’, is pure and unique, unlike the English word ‘God’, which can be played around with.

If you add ‘s’ to the word God, it becomes ‘Gods’, that is the plural of God. Allah is one and singular, there is no plural of Allah. If you add ‘dess’ to the word God, it becomes ‘Goddess’ that is a female God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add the word ‘father’ to ‘God’ it becomes ‘God-father’. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no word like ‘Allah-father’. If you add the word ‘mother’ to ‘God’, it becomes ‘God-mother’. There is nothing like ‘Allah-mother’ in Islam. Allah is a unique word. If you prefix tin before the word God, it becomes tin-God i.e., fake God. Allah is a unique word, which does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Therefore the Muslims prefer using the Arabic word ‘Allah’ for the Almighty.

Some may argue that God does not become a human being but only takes a human form. If God only takes a human form but does not become a human being, He should not possess any human qualities. We know that all the ‘God-men’, have human qualities and failings. They have all the human needs such as the need to eat,drink, sleep, etc.
The worship of God in human form is therefore a myth and should be despised in all its forms and manifestations.
That is the reason why the Qur’an speaks against all forms of anthropomorphism. The Glorious Qur’an says :

"There is nothing whatever like unto Him."  [Al-Qur'an 42:11]

Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed and wrapped in a clean, white cloth (usually by family members) and buried after a special prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this a final service that they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember that their own existence here on earth is brief.

Surely Allah will raise all the dead. But Allah has His own plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then the dead will be resurrected to stand before Allah. That day will be the beginning of a life that will never end, and on that day every person will be rewarded by Allah according to his or her good or evil deeds.

The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity of life after death is what the moral consciousness of man demands .Surely, Allah is just. He will punish the tyrants, whose crimes are beyond count - having tortured and killed hundreds or thousands of innocent people, created great corruption in society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc., because man has a very short life span in this world and because numerous individuals are affected by one’s actions, adequate punishments and rewards are not possible in this life. The Quran very emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and that Allah will decide the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds:

And he (i.e. man) presents for Us an example (i.e. attempting to establish the finality of death) and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?” Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.” [It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is so]; and He is the Knowing Creator.  (Quran, 36:78-81)