1 What are Islam and Muslims all about? What are Islam and Muslims all about? A CHANCE TO CORRECT ALL YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS Barely a day goes by without mentioned on the television or on hearing the words ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’ the radio? or ‘Jihaad’ from the media. In fact one would guess that the vast It is for this purpose that we have majority of people have heard such provided you with this short terms from the media or from pamphlet about Islam, Muslims and friends or family. However, have all that you may wish to know about you ever asked yourself what these them. We hope that you find the terms really mean? Have you gone information beneficial and useful out and spent some time to research and encourage you to make contact about these Muslims and what they with the authors if you wish to believe in? further your understanding of Islam or correct any misconceptions you Perhaps you may think that these may have about it. people are all foreigners and therefore have no bearing on your Islam life. Well, you may be surprised then if I were to tell you that there Islam is the world’s fastest growing are up to 3 million Muslims living divine way of life with around 1.3 on your doorstep in the United billion adherents worldwide. From Kingdom; from the furthest south countries ranging far a field as of Lands End to remote areas in America to Zimbabwe, Muslims can northern Scotland. You may not feel be found on all continents of the this a strong enough reason to go globe. A Muslim is someone who out and read about Islam; however, believes in and adheres to a way of do you not feel at least a little life known as Islam. ignorant when you hear it 2 What are Islam and Muslims all about? Islam is an Arabic word which Century, the development of literally means ‘submission’. The Biblical studies and the discovery Islamic faith was revealed to the last of many manuscripts more ancient and final Messenger Muhammad than those upon which the King (saw) from Allaah (lit. God) in the James Version was based, made it deserts of Arabia some 1400 years manifest that these defects are ago; and was a continuation of the so many and so serious as to Judaeo-Christian religions that call for revision of the English preceded it. In fact Islam came as a translation.” rectification for both the Jewish and Christians scriptures since over The Islamic way of life is centred time they had undergone numerous around the belief in a single Creator changes and additions from their known as Allaah; this is often original revealed form. The editors translated as God in English. Some of the Revised Standard Version of may think that in this day and age the Bible 1971 comment in their of science, technology and introduction to the RSV Bible, development, it is old-fashioned to believe in a God or a Creator. “The King James Version has with Others seem to think that the theory good reason been termed, ‘the of evolution and genetic noblest monument of English engineering have made the need for prose’. Its revisers in 1881 God redundant. In fact the evidence expressed admiration for its of a Creator is all around us and we simplicity, its dignity, its power, its need only take one look at ourselves happy turns of expression.’ It to come to this conclusion. entered, as no other book has, into the making of the personal The Myth of ‘Science Has character and the public Answers to All Things’ institutions of the English-speaking peoples. We owe to it an It seems that if one speaks about incalculable debt. Yet the King God or a Creator in today’s society, James Version has grave one would get strange looks from defects. By the middle of the 19th friends of work colleagues or would 3 What are Islam and Muslims all about? be accused of becoming more about what is going on around ‘brainwashed.’ In fact the majority them. When one looks back to the of people in British society are comments of scientists living in the atheist (i.e. do not believe in any 12th century, without microscopes, God or Creator); most of whom without their telescopes, they would claim that the theories that believed that the earth was flat, science have forwarded have motionless and the centre of the refuted such an historical concept. universe. Before we explore whether there Now if you were alive during that exists a creator or not, one must time, would you too say that the first mention that science is merely world was flat and the centre of a tool by which one looks upon universe? Let us say that you did reality. Those great oft-repeated and that you backed your claim by laws such as Newton’s three laws of saying, ‘because the great scientists motion, or the law of gravity etc. say so.’ Well, in the 20th century were merely observations and you would be considered backward documentations of certain laws that and ignorant since those such existed before, during and after observations have been nullified as such scientists. Is it not true that we have more advanced tools gravity existed before Newton proving otherwise. So by following noticed it? Or the laws of motion the scientists in the 12th century were allowing things to move and you would have arrived at a for friction to work before those completely incorrect understanding scientists decided to compile works about the world. about them? Who is to say that following the So the first point regarding science comments and statements of the is that it is simply a comment by scientists of the 20th and 21st certain scientists upon a reality they century so too would not be proved envisage. Now the way they wrong at a later date? Who then envisage the reality, and the tools would be held to account for they use allow them to understand believing in such misconceptions – 4 What are Islam and Muslims all about? obviously one can only blame Without having any answer to such yourself if you did not truly go out questions we are simply continuing to seek the truth. There are in a life which has no meaning and manifest examples of such no purpose. And as a result it is no contradictions in more recent times wonder why suicide rates and the as well, topics ranging from prevalence of self-harm are whether the universe is expanding, rocketing. or whether the cause of asthma is as a result of pollution or not. In fact If you were to be drugged such contradictions will remain and unconscious, transported to an continue so long as technology unknown location and then left to develops. However, development find yourself awake in a darkened does not necessarily mean one will room, you will naturally ask; Who arrive at the correct answer as we put me here? Why am I here? And have explained. what will happen next? These questions would be foremost in Mankind’s Greatest Question your mind such that you probably would not be able to do anything Despite the great advancement in without answering these questions technology in recent times, there first. Are you and I not in exactly still remain fundamental questions the same situation upon this earth? which science has been unable to Who put us here? Why did they put answer. Where did I come from, us here? What will happen once we where am I going? What is the die? relationship between man, life and the universe? What is the link Questions of what happens after between life and what was before death evoke in many an uneasy life, and what is after life? Such feeling, a feeling that many shy questions have been asked of away from if they do not have a oneself by each and every human convincing answer. The truth of the being at some stage of their life. matter is that the only certainty in this life is that we are all going to die. We all know people who were 5 What are Islam and Muslims all about? once alive and have since died. asking for any evidence. To do so, Where have they gone? What will renders one on a level lower than a happen to them? These are all farm animal and affords the chance questions that have passed through to be exploited by others. our minds but are we really content with the excuses and answers we Returning to the issue as to whether have provided ourselves with? there exists a Creator or not, to answer such questions we firstly The Proof of the Existence need to draw upon the of a Creator understanding we have about ourselves and all those things that If we were to ask Joe public how we surround us. Looking to oneself as a came about on this earth, you would human what do we notice? We find probably hear a plethora of that we are all born i.e. we have a different answers from Evolution, starting point and that we grow to a Big-Bang to a Supreme Creator. certain height, achieve a maximal However, as intelligent individuals, weight, and expire once we attain a you and I do not go on or believe certain age – some more what other people simply say, prematurely than others. Hence we rather we want to be convinced by are limited. We have a limited the greatest faculty we have been lifespan, limited dimensions, and blessed with, the faculty of thinking limited intelligence. Therefore from and intellect. As a human being, we observing oneself, we can make a have been given the gift of thought blanket statement about human and of comprehension such that beings in general, all humans are one is able to judge and weigh up limited. What we mean by this different arguments according to statement is that we are not one’s level of understanding. It is an unlimited or infinite i.e. we don’t insult for anyone to forego this live for ever or continue to grow faculty and to follow any concept, without end. whether that may be the theory of evolution, the existence of a God, The second concept we can notice is the Big-Bang theory blindly without that human beings are dependent 6 What are Islam and Muslims all about? and needy i.e. they require nutrition limited in that they grow only so tall to live and grow, oxygen to breathe and live so long. and dwellings for protection from the environment. Humans are not Similarly if we look to the stars and self-subsistent and consequently the planets, even though they seem without food, water, warmth and so huge and great, they are still oxygen they would not be able limited in size and are dependent survive. Therefore human beings on many factors including are limited, needy and dependent. gravitational pulls, energy etc. to If one were to gather 100 persons in maintain their course and existence. a single hall they still would have If we total the existence of all these the same attributes of being needy, things, the stars, planets, people limited and dependent. This is and things, we find that they too are because the totality of limited limited, needy and dependent on beings is limited. If one were to other things; since they are gather 1,000, 1 million nay even 1 dependent on other factors to bring billion people into a single space, them into being, to maintain their they all still would have the complex interactions and to sustain attribute of being weak, limited and their existence. needy, since they still require food, shelter, and will each live for a fixed Now we turn to the following period of time. possibilities, Now if we turn our attention to i) either all these limited objects other things around us such as brought themselves into being and animals and plants, we observe consequently maintain themselves exactly the same findings. Animals and are self subsistent or and plants are dependent upon water, oxygen and carbon dioxide, ii) these limited things are warmth and sun light; without such dependent upon other limited things they will wither away and things for their existence which are die. Animals and plants are also in turn dependent upon other 7 What are Islam and Muslims all about? limited things which are in turn those others things consequently dependent ad infinitum or lastly; must be dependent upon other dependent things which they iii) all these things are dependent themselves are dependent upon upon a being that is independent, until eternity. Since all these things eternal, unlimited and not needy. are dependent, which one was first? Naturally, there cannot be a first If we take the first possibility dependent thing without an (which is what the scientists would initiator as that is the nature of like you believe) that things came being limited and dependent. So about on their own existence and again, this argument is totally are self maintaining. We ask you to baseless and flawed and is to be simply look around you and bring a rejected by any sane person. single example of a thing that is unlimited, self sustaining and not The last possibility is the only dependent on other things or explanation that makes any sense. factors. The fact of the matter is All dependent things have complex that there is not a single thing that interactions and relationships with one can perceive that fits into this other dependent objects, however and consequently such a claim is each of these dependent objects, rejected as being false and irrespective of how numerous they misleading. are, are still dependent and hence require a being that has the If we take the second possibility attributes of being independent, that all the things you see around unlimited and eternal to bring them you are dependent upon other into creation. And that being which dependent things for their brought them into being is known existence; we ask the following by some as God, and by the tongue twister; what are these other Muslims as Allaah (swt). dependent things dependent on themselves? If they are dependent upon other things which they themselves are dependent, then 8 What are Islam and Muslims all about? What about the Big Bang? from the shop, opened them, mixed them into a batter and then The Big Bang is a much quoted physically placed them in an oven, scientific theory that is mentioned the cake would not be made. by scientist which is meant to give a Similarly for the Big Bang theory, rational reason for the creation or where did the ingredients of the beginning of the universe. Many universe originate from? Who put people believe that such a theory them together? The Big Bang theory disproves the third possibility as does not provide a satisfactory mentioned above i.e. the concept of answer to how you or I were a creator. However, if we analyse created. And our simple lines of the big bang theory we see that it questioning provide further proof simply states that the universe and that much of what we hear from all that is around us had a scientists shouldn’t be taken for beginning from the mixing of a granted. cocktail of gases and chemicals. After numerous interactions and What about Evolution? reactions, it is alleged that simple proteins were constructed that The theory of evolution was a began as the building blocks of the notion championed by Charles universe. Darwin as an explanation for the varieties of species that exist on the Although we will not explore this earth. However, over 100 years theory in much further detail, it is since the theory was propositioned, important to ask from where did it still remains a theory in that the these alleged chemicals and gases concept has not yet been proven to come from? Who put them there? It be fact. Despite evolution being is like saying that the sponge cake taught in schools and colleges up was made by a mixture of water, and down the country, one is not flour, eggs, cream, jam, baking taught the complete lack of powder in a heated environment. scientific evidence or fossils which But you and I know that if a person show the missing-link between a did not get the initial ingredients single specie evolving into another. 9 What are Islam and Muslims all about? The concept of evolution states that analysis techniques, human DNA is the different species are in a 50% similar to banana DNA and continual state of strife and only the 75% similar to the DNA of mice! fittest is able to survive. Genes by Could it ever be postulated that half their nature mutate and change, the humans evolved from bananas? consequently, in the brutal nature And the other three-quarters of the environment only the fittest evolved from mice? would therefore stay alive. Any genetic mutation that enable a The reality is that the whole living specie to become fitter, surviving world is derived from a series of 4 longer and procreate can pass on building blocks (amino acids) their genes for generations. known as A, T, C and G. Depending Subsequently, that specie will have on the length and composition of a better chance of survival. By this these chain of DNAs, different notion they explain that the beings exist. Similarity between the amphibious being, fishes and their chains is not an indication of likes, grew wings and evolved into common ancestry but points to a birds, others grew legs and walked common designer. Think about a out of their swamps and evolved Porsche and a BMW car. They both into dogs, cats, humans, monkeys, have air-cooled, flat, horizontally- elephants and their likes. opposed, 4-cylinder engines, independent suspension, two doors, As proof for their theory, they tell a boot, and many other similarities. you that the similarities between Why do these two very different the chimpanzee DNA and the cars have so many similarities? Can human DNA is around 97% and one deduce that the BMW evolved therefore humans have evolved from the Porsche? Of course not! So from the chimp. Although it is why then is such an idea postulated that perhaps Darwin entertained for the more complex kept pictures of monkeys in his environment around us? family album! However, what the same evolution proponents fail to What about the Survival of the mention is that using the same DNA Fittest? 10 What are Islam and Muslims all about? What about the idea that existence There is this Creator –What’s that is governed according to the theory got to do with me? of survival of the fittest? If one were to apply this theory to humans, it We have seen how using our minds would make little sense for a and rational faculties there is no mother to spend thousands of choice but to believe in the pounds trying to cure her sick child; existence of an originator of man, and it would make perfect sense life and the universe. The various that we dispose of sick parents scientific theories, and postulations when they become too burdensome do not provide satisfactory answers for us. Doing so would help our to why we are here and how we species become even more fit. Yet came about; rather, they have many instead of sounding logical this holes and faults in their reasoning behaviour only sounds revolting. and line of argumentation that a Why? Look to your own self. sane human being will never accept Humans have morals, a sense of them as providing any solution to guilt. How did this became installed the fundamental questions. in us? We feel a need to seek justice when we’ve been wronged, and to If one looks around at the seek forgiveness when we’ve environment, one notices that there wronged others. All humans are is a myriad of different organisms, conscious of good and evil to some beings, persons, animals, plants all degree. Why is it that the humans interacting and functioning in a have courts and systems of law for particular manner. If one looks at a when one person kills another, but higher level at the stars and planets, in the animal kingdom random similar one finds such interactions killings (for whatever reason) and a sense of organisation. If the within the same species or between sun were 1cm closer to the earth the different species are never brought temperature difference resulted to trial?! would be so great that no living being could survive upon it! If the earth were even a few millimetres from its normal orbit, the 11 What are Islam and Muslims all about? gravitational changes between the If we use this line of thinking, then different planets would result in the what about our own lives, what law earth being flung out of the solar do we live by? If there is this creator system! There is evidently a delicate it is unfathomable to think that they organisational structure running have not given us any information throughout the whole universe, or a manual on how we should live obeying a particular law and set of our lives and solutions for the day rules; whereby any deviation from to day problems that we may face. these will result in inevitable Everything around us that we can complete chaos. see and perceive has a role to play, a function and a purpose. The sun If one were to purchase a new provides nutrition, warmth and television, a state of the art plasma light. Water provides life and screen or LCD device, the first thing purification. Air carries us the you or I do when we take it out of oxygen we need to breath as well as the box is read the manual to help removing the carbon dioxide which us use the machine to the best of its in excess could kill us. purpose. This is because the person or company who made that If all these things around us has television screen, or that games purposes, what is the purpose of us console knows better than you or I beings then? Is it for you and I to how to use it, its limitations and its decide or is it for the creator? We functionality. If we were to play can see how perfectly the system of around with the television without the creator works in all levels of life. reading the manual, we may learn a And we can also see how flawed the lot about it, perhaps even enough to human based systems that exist all use it. However, if we were to break around us are, from capitalism, it having not read the manual, then tribalism, communism, to this would surely void the guarantee democracy; injustice, unfairness, as it can be argued that one was not cold blooded killings, rapes and being prudent with the product. murders are all too common for the eye to see. 12 What are Islam and Muslims all about? The annals of history are full of The Need for Messengers man’s oppression of man. Greed, and a Message selfishness, killing, monopoly, and vice are manifestations of man It is not possible for a limited being fulfilling their survival instincts. If to comprehend an unlimited being, man is prepared to go as far as therefore the Creator has given killing others in satisfaction of his mankind communication through a needs, then surely man is in need of channel that is clear for him. God control over his actions. Without a has sent Prophets and Messengers criterion for action the striving for (Prophets with the divine law) to satisfaction of mans’ needs will lead mankind to give guidance in all of him to constant conflict with others. our affairs. Each of whom were each One man’s freedom is another’s given miracles which proved to slavery. The Creator has not left mankind the authenticity of their man to his own devices, man has prophethood. never been free to undertake his life in whichever way he feels best. It is So we see that Musa (Moses) was wholly consistent with our given the power of magic, when his perception of man as being limited, staff was thrown down and turned dependant and imperfect that for to a snake devouring the staffs of man to bring his own way, his own the magicians. Or similarly Isa system, would be false, due to man’s (Jesus) was given the ability to cure limited understanding of life. Man the sick. The miracle given to is always subject to bias, disparity, Muhammad (saw) was the Qur’an, differences, contradictions and the the word of God. As only the influence of his current Messengers of God are given the environment, hardly a basis for Divine Law of God then complete impartiality and absolute Muhammad must definitely be the truth. Any man made system will Prophet and Messenger of God. To suffer from these same bias, prove this point comprehensively disparity, differences, we must examine critically the contradictions and influence. Qur’an. 13 What are Islam and Muslims all about? Indeed, messengers have been sent long times in contemplation and to mankind since the beginning of meditation. It was during these human history, carrying this periods that he (saw) would receive guidance and imploring people to revelation from God at the hands of recognise the nature of their the angel Jibrael (Gabriel) until his existence and to understand the death some 23 years later. The reality and purpose of their lives. revelation that was received would deal with subjects as far reaching as The last of these Messengers was politics, spirituality, afterlife, the Messenger Muhammad (saw) economics, inheritance, women’s and with his guidance, came the rights, warfare, prayer etc. and clarification of not only the truth of would be immediately recorded, God’s existence, but also the code of memorised such that it could not conduct for humanity to achieve undergo any distortion. Such justice and prosperity in both this revelation is what we have today life and the next. known as the Qur’an, or final testament from God and is what the Who Was the Messenger Muslims profess to follow and Muhammad (saw) believe in. Muhammad (saw) was born into a The Miracles of the Qur’an noble tribe in Makkah now in modern day Saudi Arabia, in the If a person came into your room, or year 570CE. An orphan at birth, he said on the television ‘I am a was cared for first by his prophet of God’ it is more than grandfather and later by his uncle. likely that you would shut your ears He started life as a shepherd, then and claim him to be mad or schizo became a trader and finally a and one would hope such people prosperous merchant. At the age of would be placed under the care of forty, disillusioned by the the local mental unit. However, if materialistic lifestyle and ignorant such a person claimed to be a practices of the Pagan Arabs, prophet and then in front of your Muhammad (saw) began to spend eyes began performing tasks which 14 What are Islam and Muslims all about? you know was beyond the capacity and the people they were performed of a normal human being, you to. It is reported that the prophet would think twice before calling the Muhammad (saw) performed many psychiatrist. Rather you yourself such miracles to his people. would want to know what this However, we did not witness such person is really about before events and consequently these are making any rash decisions. Perhaps not proof of prophethood for you or his feats of walking on water, I in this day and age. Rather what is bringing the dead back to life or alleged by us Muslims is that the healing the leper may convince you Qur’an is the only living miracle of about his call. the prophethood of Muhammad (saw) and is the final revelation However, if a person told you that from the Creator to mankind. they saw a person perform these extraordinary feats, you would be The Qur’an and Science less likely to believe them or take them for granted; even if such a The Qur’an is the last revelation, person was your close friend or and a proof not only to the pagan family member. This is because Arabs one thousand four hundred such feats need one to actually years ago, but also to the scientists visualise and experience them to of today. Perhaps one of the most truly believe in their occurrence. remarkable qualities of the Qur’an Therefore, all the claims made that for those living in the twenty first previous prophets and messengers century, is the complete consistency performed such fantastic feats and between the Qur’an and most of the miracles may well be true but bear discoveries of modern science, in no direct relevance to us as we were some cases even pre-empting facts unable to experience such. No discovered within the last twenty matter how many people speak years. about them or how many times they are repeated, this reality is not One of the first Western scientists changed. Such miraculous feats are to make a serious study of this only suitable as proof for the time subject was Dr Maurrice Bucaille, 15 What are Islam and Muslims all about? who wrote a book called, “The Bible, in the former, which are the Qur’an and Science”. In this scientifically unacceptable, and book, he compared the statements declarations in the latter which are concerning natural and scientific in perfect agreement with modern data in the Bible and the Qur’an data: this was the case of the concluding, Creation and the Flood. Besides, there are major differences “The Qur’an follows on from the between the Qur’an and the Bible two Revelations that preceded it on the other subjects: they serve to and is not only free from disprove all that has been contradictions in its narrations, the maintained-without a scrap of sign of the various human evidence-concerning the allegation manipulations to be found in the that Muhammad is supposed to gospels, but provides a quality all have copied the Bible to produce of its own for those who examine it the text of the Qur’an. In view of the objectively and in the light of level of knowledge in Muhammad’s science, i.e. its complete agreement day, it is inconceivable that many with modern scientific data. What of the statements in the Qur’an is more, statements are to be found which are connected with science in it (as has been shown) that are could have been the work of a man. connected with science: and yet it It is, moreover, perfectly is unthinkable that a man of legitimate, not only to regard the Muhammad’s time could have been Qur’an as the expression of a the author of them. Modern Revelation, but also to award it a scientific knowledge therefore very special place, on the account allows us to understand certain of the guarantee of authenticity it verses of the Qur’an which, until provides and the presence in it of now, it has been impossible to scientific statements which, when interpret. The comparison of studied today, appears as a several Biblical and Qur’anic challenge to explanation in human narrations of the same subject terms.” shows the existence of fundamental differences between the statements 16 What are Islam and Muslims all about? Some of the statements found in the Then we made the drop into Qur’an that match with recent an Alaqah (leech-like) and scientific discoveries are as follows, then we changed the leech-like structure into a Mudghah 1. The Accurate Description of (chewed-like) and then We Embryonic and Fetal made out of that chewed-like Development substance bones then We At the time of Prophet Muhammad clothed the bones with flesh ideas surrounding the development then We caused him to grow of the foetus in the womb were and come into being and similar to those of Aristotle who attain the definitive form. thought that a child was formed by Blessed be Allah the Perfect the menstrual blood clotting by creator. After that, at length touching male blood. Even until the you will die. Again, on the Eighteenth Century, foetal Day of Judgment, you will be development was completely raised up.” (23:12-16) misunderstood as Hartsoeker claimed to have seen a pre-formed Professor Keith Moore, Chairman of human being within a sperm. the Department of Anatomy in the Amazingly, the Qur’an reflected University of Toronto, Canada, and none of these theories as would be author of The Developing Human, expected if it was written by man, said concerning these statements in rather the Qur’an describes the the Qur’an: development of the embryonic human with an exceptional “Until the 19th Century, nothing precision that has only been was known about classifying the possible in the past thirty years. stages of human development. A Allaah (swt) says, system of staging human embryos was developed around the end of “We created man from a the 19th Century based on quintessence of clay, We then alphabetical symbols. During the placed him as a drop (Nutfa) 20th century, numerals were used in a place of rest firmly fixed, to describe 23 stages of embryonic 17 What are Islam and Muslims all about? development. This system of understand the words that are numbering the stages is not easy to translated to me from the Qur’an. follow and a better system would If I were to transpose myself into be based on the morphological that era, knowing what I do today changes. In recent years, the study and describing things, I could not of the Qur’an has revealed another describe the things that were basis for the classification of the described. I see no evidence to stages of the developing embryo refute the concept that this which is based on easily individual Muhammed had to be understood actions and changes in developing this information from shape. It utilizes terms which were some place, so I see nothing in sent from God to Muhammed the conflict with the concept that Prophet by the Angel Gabriel and Divine Intervention was involved recorded on the Qur’an. It is clear on what he was able to say.” to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from 2. Cosmology God because almost all of this There is much information in knowledge was not discovered modern times regarding theories until many centuries later. This about the development of the proves to me that Muhammed must universe and the creation of the have been a Messenger of God.” worlds. This is what God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) Professor Marshall Jonson, through the Qur’an regarding it, Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Director of the Daniel “Have not those who Baugh Institute, at the Thomas disbelieve known that the Jefferson University in heavens and the earth were Philadelphia, U.S.A., said: joined together as one united piece, then We parted them. “As a scientist I can only deal with And We have made from things I can specifically see. I can water every living thing. Will understand embryology and they not then believe.” (21:30) developmental biology; I can 18 What are Islam and Muslims all about? This verse clearly mentions the “Allah is the one who created common origin of the universe, a the night and day, the sun and fact that was not discovered until moon. Each one is travelling forty years ago with the advent of in an orbit with its own nuclear physics. The separation motion.” seems to refer to what the scientists call the “Big Bang”. Also, the Qur’an The sun is actually in orbit, not mentions that all living things are around the earth but around the composed largely of water, again a centre of the galaxy, so there is no scientific fact only recently proven. contradiction, since the Qur’an does not specify the Sun’s orbit. “Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was “It is He who made the Sun a smoke, and said to it and to shining thing and the moon as the earth: ‘Come willingly or a light, and measured out unwillingly.’ They both said: their stages.” (10:5) ‘We come willingly.’” (41:11) The Qur’an describes the Sun as a The word smoke describes “siraj” which means a torch, accurately the primeval state of the generating its own heat and light universe, which was composed of a where as the Moon is described “an- hot gaseous mass, with particles nur” which is light originating from moving vigorously, just as in smoke. another source. Is it merely by From this the stars, planets and the chance that a Bedouin arab in the earth were formed. middle of the desert some 1400 years ago could make such bold “The heaven, We have built it assertions without the help of a with power, verily We are telescope or any magnifying expanding it.’ (51:47) instrumentation? It is also an accepted fact that we are living in an expanding universe. 19 What are Islam and Muslims all about? 3. Geology 5. Atomism “Have We not made the earth The Greek philosopher Democritus an expanse; and the (460-361 BC) advanced the theory mountains stakes?” (78:6-7) that matter was composed of tiny, indivisible particles called Atoms. “And Allah has cast into the Modern science has discovered that ground mountains standing there is the Atom, but that Atom is firm so that it does not shake divisible and consists of smaller with you.” (31:10) parts. The Qur’an states, It has recently been discovered that “He is aware of an atom’s mountains have roots that go into weight in the heavens and on the earth’s crust which is composed the earth, and even anything of seven tectonic plates. Their smaller than that.” (34:3) movement is the cause of earthquakes. It is thought that the 6. Dermatology roots and weight of the mountains “Those who reject Our signs play a vital role in stabilizing the We shall soon cast into the earth’s crust. fire, As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall 4. Animal and Plant life change them for fresh skins so The sixteenth chapter of the Qur’an that they may truly taste the mentions the bee that leaves its Penalty, For Allah is exalted home to gather as feminine, in power, wise.” (4:56) although it has generally been believed that the bees are soldiers The nerve ends that feel pain are and they answer to a King. The found in the skin. When the skin is Qur’an also mentions the sexes of severely burnt the nerve ends are plants and the winds as a means of destroyed and pain is not felt. In their fertilization. All recently Hell, Allah will recreate the skin so discovered matters. that its inhabitants may permanently feel intense pain. This is not common knowledge now, let 20 What are Islam and Muslims all about? alone in Muhammad’s time. The Chairman of the Department of author of the Qur’an is, however, Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and well acquainted with these facts! Dentistry, at the University of Manitoba, in Canada commented: 7. The Water Cycle The Qur’an correctly describes the “Muhammed was a very ordinary water cycle, and the origin of man, he couldn’t read, didn’t know underground springs as being from how to write, in fact he was an rain water. Obvious you may think, illiterate; we’re talking about 1400 but the Greek philosophers did not years ago you have some illiterate get it right, suggesting that person making profound underground springs were pronouncements and statements produced by sea spray collecting in that are accurate of a scientific caves which fed a great nature. I personally can’t see how underground sea through the this could be a mere chance, there ‘abyss’! In fact the water cycle was are too many accuracies. I have no not accurately propounded until the difficulty in my mind reconciling 18th century. The Qur’an, however, that this is a divine inspiration or a states: revelation which led him to these statements.” “Hast though not seen that Allah sent water down from Let us not forget the words of Dr, the sky and led it through Bucaille that these facts “appear as sources into the ground?” a challenge to explanation in (39:21) human terms.” And Professor Persud’s statement that it cannot be For the sake of brevity, we have coincidence, there are too many only mentioned a few of the accuracies! The probability against statements and provided limited Muhammad taking wild guesses explanation of the statements and getting each fact right are contained in the Qur’an and indeed phenomenal! These traditions dealing with scientific scientists, renowned experts in their subjects. Professor Persud, fields, like the Arabs who had 21 What are Islam and Muslims all about? mastered their language in the time history of recording the Qur’an, of the Prophet, recognize the clear compiling its chapters and proof and miraculous nature of the conserving its text is beyond any Qur’an. Allaah (swt) says in the doubt not only in the minds of the Qur’an, Muslims but also in the minds of honest and serious scholars. This is “We will show them our signs a historical fact which no scholar on the furthest horizons and from any faith who respects his within themselves until they knowledge and integrity has ever know that this is the truth.” questioned. As a matter of fact, it is Muhammads’ standing miracle that The Qur’an is consistent with if all mankind were to work external realities, and it is also together they could not produce the consistent internally. It is the like of one Qur’anic chapter. nature of the works of men, be they scientists, philosophers, sages or Muhammad (saw) and mystics to contain inconsistencies Prophecies and contradictions. This cannot be so with the Divine Revelation as the One of the gold standards a lot of Qur’an states: people use to judge whether or not a person is capable of being an “Have they not carefully apostle of God is whether their considered the Qur’an, had it prophecies turn out to be true of been from other than Allah false. Of course, if one was receiving they would have found many true revelation from the creator of discrepancies within.” the universe, then not a single prophecy should ever be incorrect. In testimony to God’s conservation, We will mention a few of the the Qur’an is the only Scripture in numerous prophecies made by the human history that has been Prophet Muhammad (saw) 1400 preserved in complete and original years previous. version without the slightest change in style or even punctuation’s. The 22 What are Islam and Muslims all about? 1. The Qur’an mentions, translated “a few”, is bid’a, which “The Roman Empire has been actually means from three to nine defeated in a land close by; years. By the year 623, Heraclius, but they, even after this the Byzantine Roman Emperor, defeat, will gain victory in a took to the field and vanquished the few years. Allah’s is the Persians in a series of battles, command, in the past and in culminating in the battle of Niveveh the future. On that day shall in 627. At this same time the the believers rejoice, with the Muslims had been victorious over help of Allah, He helps whom the pagan Quraish and were He wills. And He is the mighty rejoicing, as the Qur’an foretold. and the most Merciful. It is the promise of Allah. Allah never 2. The Prophet (saw) also predicted departs from His promise: but the capture of Egypt, and told his most men understand not. companions to treat the people well, They crave for the outer and that they would seize the things of life, but of the treasures of the Persian Choseros hereafter they are heedless.” (Emperor), who lives in the white (30:1-7) palace, all of which they accomplished, and that Suraqa bin The Eastern Roman (i.e. Byzantine) Malik (one of the companions) Empire suffered a massive defeat at would have the bracelets of Caesar the hands of the Persians who put on his hands. So it happened captured Jerusalem in 614, and that some such bracelets fell into after that Egypt and Syria fell, and the possession of ‘Umar and he Constantinople was laid siege to - called Suraqa, and placed the (“a land close by”). The pagan Arabs bracelets on him, reminding him of delighted in this, as it seemed to the Prophet’s words. signal to them the success of idolatry over the followers of 3. The Prophet mentioned that the revelation. When this verse was Muslims would conquer both Rome revealed it seemed impossible that and Constantinople. He was asked Rome would recover. The word, which would fall first, and the 23 What are Islam and Muslims all about? Prophet said: “The city of camels and sheep, are competing in Heraclius”, i.e. Constantinople. building the tallest tower blocks Constantinople was taken by the such as in Dubai or the UAE. Muslims in the fifteenth century. Rome still remains to be conquered, b. The Mosques would be like as it will be. So the order is correct, palaces. This is clearly the case, and rest still to be fulfilled. What is even though the Prophet ordered noteworthy about these statements simplicity in the houses of Allah, the of the Prophet is that they were mosques have become more and made at a time when no one could more fantastic, with golden domes, imagine that a small city state, marbled floors, lavish carpets and permanently under siege by the chandeliers. pagan Arabs, would reach such heights of power and strength, and c. Disappearance of that these predictions are not trustworthiness, so much so that couched in some vague terminology one would only be able to say: “I open to various interpretations, like know a trustworthy person in the meanderings of Nostradamus. such-and-such town”. The language is clear, their assertions direct, and often with d. The increase in killing, so that the specific names and dates. one who kills does not know why he killed, and the one killed does not 4. The Prophet mentioned that know why he was killed. The there would be signs forewarning massacre of civilians in the Vietnam the approach of the Final Day. War, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars Among those that have clearly come by American troops who had little to pass are: idea why they were there, and the increase of such conflicts, is further a. The barefooted bedouins illustration of the fulfilment of this competing in building tall prophecy. As are the rise of insane buildings. Today we find in the mass murders, of children killing Arabian Peninsula, the Arabs who children, such as Jamie Bulger. used to be impoverished herders of 24 What are Islam and Muslims all about? e. The increase of the use of riba oppressors, just look to George (usury/interest) so that no one will Bush and many of the leaders of the able to escape being tainted by it. Middle East. This clearly the state of the world economy today with the rise of the k. A man will obey his wife and usage of Credit Cards, Hire disobey his mother, and treat his purchase agreements and bank friends kindly and shun his father. mortgages. So these are just some of the f. The enemies of the Muslims numerous prophecies of dividing the Muslim’s wealth and Muhammad, that have clearly come lands between them, the Muslims true, and some have been fulfilled abandoning jihad, and concerning in this age in which we live, all themselves only with the worldly adding weight to the evidence in matters. We have already favour of his claim. mentioned this. Basic Muslim Beliefs g. The increase of literacy. We have mentioned some of the h. The increase of sexual undisputable facts found within the promiscuity, and new diseases that Qur’an which confirm that the Book people had not herd of before is one of the divine books revealed spreading amongst them as a from the Creator of the universe to consequence of that. This is clear, mankind. The Qur’an is the with the arrival of AIDS, and other cornerstone of a Muslim believers previously unheard of viruses. faith and as such a Muslim cannot be a Muslim without believing in i. The drinking of wine and and following its commands. We intoxicants becoming common and will mention a few other matters widespread. that are considered by the Muslims principals that all Muslims believe j. The worst and most ignorant will in and are guided by. The true, become leaders and they will be 25 What are Islam and Muslims all about? faithful Muslim believes in the same time to the same nation. The following, Holy Qur’an mentions the names of twenty-five of them, and the Creator Muslim believes in them all and He believes in One God, Supreme accepts them as authorized and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, messengers of God. They were, with Merciful and Compassionate, the exception of Muhammad, Creator and Provider. This belief, in known as “national” or local order to be effective, requires messengers. But their message, complete trust and hope in God, their religion, was basically the submission to His Will and reliance same and was called ISLAM, on His aid. It secures man’s dignity because it came from One and the and saves him from fear and Same Source, namely, God, to serve despair, from guilt and confusion. one and the same purpose, and that The reader is invited to see the is to guide humanity to the Straight meaning of Islam as explained Path of God. All the messengers above. with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, endowed Messengers with Divine revelation, and He believes in all the messengers of appointed by God to perform God without any discrimination certain tasks. Among them among them. Every known nation Muhammad stands as the Last had a warner or messenger from Messenger and the crowning glory God. These messengers were great of the foundation of prophethood. teachers of the good and true This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor champions of the right. They were is it just a convenient belief. Like all chosen by God to teach mankind the other Islamic beliefs, it is an and deliver His Divine message. authentic and logical truth. Also, it They were sent at different times of may be useful to mention here the history and every known nation had names of some of the great one messenger or more. During messengers like Noah and certain periods two or more Abraham, Ishmael and Moses, messengers were sent by God at the Jesus and Muhammad, may the 26 What are Islam and Muslims all about? peace and blessings of God be upon the Qur’an. In principle, the Muslim them all. The Qur’an commands the believes in the previous books and Muslims thus: revelations. But where are their complete and original versions? “We believe in God, and the They could be still at the bottom of revelation given to us, and to the Dead Sea, and there may be Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, more Scrolls to be discovered. Or Jacob and the Tribes; and that perhaps more information about which was given to Moses and them will become available when Jesus, and that which was the Christian and Jewish given to all prophets from archaeologists reveal to the public their Lord. We make no the complete original findings of discrimination between one their continued excavations in the and another of them, and we Holy Land. For the Muslim, there is bow to God.” no problem of that kind. The Qur’an is in his hand complete and Scriptures authentic. Nothing of it is missing The true Muslim believes, as a and no more of it is expected. Its result of article two, in all the authenticity is beyond doubt, and scriptures and revelations of God. no serious scholar or thinker has They were the guiding light which ventured to question its the messengers received to show genuineness. The Qur’an was made their respective peoples the Right so by God Who revealed it and Path of God. In the Qur’an a special made it incumbent upon Himself to reference is made to the books of protect it against interpolation and Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. corruption of all kinds. Thus it is But long before the revelation of the given to the Muslims as the Qur’an to Muhammad some of standard or criterion by which all those books and revelations had the other books are judged. So been lost or corrupted, others whatever agrees with the Qur’an is forgotten, neglected, or concealed. accepted as Divine truth, and The only authentic and complete whatever differs from the Qur’an is book of God in existence today is 27 What are Islam and Muslims all about? either rejected or suspended. God evil ones. That is the Day of Justice says: and final settlement of all accounts. ‘Verily We have, without Belief in the Day of Judgment is the doubt, sent down the Qur’an, final relieving answer to many and We will assuredly guard complicated problems of our world. it’ There are people who commit sins, neglect God and indulge in immoral Day of Reckoning activities, yet they seem to be The true Muslim believes in the “superficially” successful in Last Day of Judgement. This world business and prosperous in life. will come to an end some day, and And there are virtuous and God- the dead will rise to stand for their minded people, yet they seem to be final and fair trial. Everything we do getting less rewards for their sincere in this world, every intention we effort, and more suffering in the have, every move we make, every present world. This is puzzling and thought we entertain, and every incompatible with the Justice of word we say, all are counted and God. If the guilty people can escape kept in accurate records. On the the mundane law unharmed and, in Day of Judgement they will be addition, be more prosperous, what brought up. People with good is, then, left for the virtuous people? records will be generously rewarded What will promote the cause of and warmly welcomed to the morality and goodness? There must Heaven of God, and those with bad be some way to reward goodness records will be punished and cast and arrest evil. If this is not done into Hell. In Heaven, said here on this earth-and we know that Muhammad, there are things which it is not done regularly or no eye has ever seen, no ear has immediately it has to be done some ever heard, and no mind has ever day, and that is the Day of conceived. However, the Muslim Judgment. This is not to condone believes that there definitely will be injustice or tolerate mischief in this compensation and reward for the world. It is not to sedate the good deeds, and punishment for the deprived or comfort their 28 What are Islam and Muslims all about? exploiters; rather, it is to warn the Purpose of Creation deviants from the Right Path and The true Muslim believes that God’s remind them that the Justice of God creation is meaningful and that life shall run its full course sooner or has a sublime purpose beyond the later. physical needs and material activities of man. The purpose of Nature of the Creator life is to worship God. This does not The true Muslim believes in the simply mean that we have to spend timeless knowledge of God and in our entire lives inconstant seclusion His power to plan and execute His and absolute meditation. To plans. God is not indifferent to this worship God is to know Him; to world nor is He neutral to it. His love Him; to obey His knowledge and power are in action commandments; to enforce His law at all times to keep order in His vast in every aspect of life; to serve His domain and maintain full command cause by doing the right and over His creation. He is Wise and shunning the evil; and to be just to Loving, and whatever He does must Him, to ourselves, and to our fellow have a good motive and meaningful human being and To worship God is purpose. If this is established in our to “live” life not to run away from it. minds, we should accept with good Faith all that He does, although we In brief, to worship God is to instil may fail to understand it fully, or ourselves with His Supreme even think it is bad. We should have Attributes. This is by no means a strong Faith in Him and accept simple statement, nor is it an whatever He does because our oversimplification of the matter. It knowledge is limited and our is most comprehensive and thinking is based on individual or conclusive. So if life has a purpose personal considerations, whereas and if man is created to serve that His knowledge is limitless and He purpose, then he cannot escape the plans on a universal basis. responsibility. He cannot deny His existence or ignore the vital role he has to play. When God charges him with any responsibility, He provides 29 What are Islam and Muslims all about? him with all the required assistance. Freedom He endows him with intelligence This Islamic concept of freedom is and power to choose his course of based upon the principle of God’s conduct. Man, thus, is strongly justice and the individual’s direct commended by God to exert his responsibility to God. Each person utmost to fully serve the purpose of must beat his own burden and be his existence. Should he fail to do responsible for his own actions, that, or misuse his life or neglect- because no one can expiate for his duties, he shall be responsible to another’s sin. Thus, a Muslim God for his wrong deeds. believes that if Adam had committed the First Sin, it was his Original Sin? own responsibility to expiate for The true Muslim believes that every that sin. To assume that God was person is born free from sin and all unable to forgive Adam and had to claims to inherited virtue. He is like make somebody else expiate for his a blank book. When the person sin, or to assume that Adam did not reaches the age of maturity he pray for pardon or prayed for it but becomes accountable for his deeds it was not granted, would be and intentions, if his development extremely unlikely and contrary to is normal and if he is sane. Man is God’s mercy and justice as well as to not only free from sin until he His attribute of forgiveness and commits sin, but he is also free to power to forgive. To assume the do things according to his plans on said hypothesis, would be an his own responsibility. This dual audacious defiance of common freedom: freedom from sin and sense and flagrant violation of the freedom to do effective things, very concept of God. clears the Muslim’s conscience from the heavy pressure of Inherited Sin. On this rational basis as well as on It relieves his soul and mind from the authority of the Qur’an, the the unnecessary strains of the Muslim believes that Adam realized Doctrine of Original Sin. what he had committed and prayed to God for pardon, as any other sensible sinner would. It is also on 30 What are Islam and Muslims all about? the same basis, the Muslim concerned. It also shows that no believes, that God, the Forgiving one can act on behalf of another or and Merciful, granted Adam intercede between him and God. pardon. Hence, the Muslim cannot possibly accept the doctrine that Blind Faith Adam with the whole human race The true Muslim believes that Faith had been condemned and is not complete when it is followed unforgiven until Jesus came to blindly or accepted unquestioningly expiate for their sins. Consequently, unless the believer is reasonably the Muslim cannot entertain the satisfied. If Faith is to inspire dramatic story of Jesus’ death on action, and if Faith and action are to the cross just to do away with all lead to salvation, then Faith must human sins once and for all. be founded on unshakable convictions without any deception Way for Salvation or compulsion. In other words, the The true Muslim believes that man person who calls himself a Muslim must work out his salvation through because of his family traditions, or the guidance of God. This means accepts Islam under coercion or that in order to attain salvation a blind imitation is not a complete person must combine Faith and Muslim in the sight of God. A action, belief and practice. Faith Muslim must build his Faith on without action is as insufficient as well-grounded convictions beyond action without Faith. In other any reasonable doubt and above words, no one can attain salvation uncertainty. If he is not certain until his Faith in God becomes about his Faith, he is invited by God dynamic in his life and his beliefs to search in the open book of are translated into reality. This is in Nature, to use his reasoning complete harmony with the other powers, and to reflect on the Islamic articles of Faith. It shows teachings of the Qur’an. He must that God does not accept lip service, search for the indisputable truth and that no true believer can be until he finds it, and he will indifferent as far as the practical certainly find it, if he is capable and requirements of Faith are serious enough. 31 What are Islam and Muslims all about? regards to Islam’s treatment of This is why Islam demands sound women are probably the most convictions and opposes blind severe. Numerous verses of the imitation. Every person who is duly Qur’an make it clear that men and qualified as a genuine earnest women are equal in the site of God. thinker is enjoined by Islam to According to the teachings of Islam, employ his faculties he fullest the only thing that distinguishes extent. But if a person is unqualified people in the site of God is their or uncertain of himself, he should level of God-consciousness. Due to pursue his thinking only as far as this, many people are surprised to limits can take him. It will be quite find out that Islamic Law in order for such a person to rely guaranteed rights to women over only on the authentic sources of 1400 years ago that women in the religion, which are sufficient in Europe and America only obtained themselves, without applying to recently. them any critical questioning of which he is incapable. The point is For example, Islam clearly teaches that no one call himself a true that a woman is a full-person under Muslim unless his Faith is based on the law, and is the spiritual equal of strong convictions and his mind is a male. Also, according to Islamic clear from doubts. Because Islam is Law, women have the right to own complete only when it is based on property, operate a business and strong convictions and freedom of receive equal pay for equal work. choice and cannot be forced upon Women are allowed total control of anybody. their wealth, they cannot be married against their will and they Islam and Women are allowed to keep their own name when married. Additionally, they Even though many aspects of Islam have the right to inherit property are misunderstood by non- and to have their marriage Muslims, the ignorance, dissolved in the case of neglect or misinformation and incorrect mistreatment. Also, Islam does not assumptions that are made in consider woman an “evil 32 What are Islam and Muslims all about? temptress”, and thus does not came about after the West blame woman for the “original sin”. abandoned religion for secularism. Women in Islam participate in all Even those in the West who claim to forms of worship that men follow the so-called “Judeo- participate in. Actually, the rights Christian tradition” really follow the that Islam gave to women over 1400 values of Western liberalism; but years ago were almost unheard of in just to a lesser degree than their the West until the 1900s. more liberal countrymen. Less than fifty years ago in England If women in the Muslim World and America, a woman could not today don’t have their rights, it is buy a house or car without the co- not because Islam did not give them signature of her father or husband! to them. The problem is that in Additionally, Islam gives great many places alien traditions have respect to women and their role in come to overshadow the teachings society; it gives them the right to of Islam, either through ignorance own property, marry who they want or the impact of Colonialisation. and many other rights. Also, it should be mentioned that the Summary and Call Prophet Muhammad’s mission stopped many of the horrible Having read this short work, we practices in regards to women that hope that your eyes have been were present in the society of his opened to the Islamic way of life, time. For example, the Qur’an put and we have contributed at least a an end to the pagan Arab practice of little to improving your killing their baby daughters when understanding about the Muslim they were born. Additionally, Islam faith. However, knowledge is of put restrictions on the unrestricted little benefit if one does not act polygamy of the Arabs of the time, upon it; rather if one believes that and put many laws in place to some truths have been mentioned protect the well-being of women. in this leaflet then one should strive Today, most of the so-called hard to investigate them further reforms in the status of women and accept the call if it is the Truth. 33 What are Islam and Muslims all about? 34 What are Islam and Muslims all about?