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1.               What is Islam?

Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion and way of life which stresses that God has created man in this world as ruler over this planet and as a test for man to remain righteous in times of fortune and in times of hardship. It means submission to the will of God.

 

2.             Does Islam mean peace?

Islam’s root comes from the Arabic word “salaam” which means peace. It is by submitting your will to God that one gains true peace.

 

3.              When was Islam founded?

The moment that God created something, Islam, or submission to God’s will came into existence. All we know is of this universe. It is quite possible that God has created before this universe, but this universe is 13.8 billion years old and it does as God wants it to do, thus it is in a state of Islam. As such, Islam is at least 13.8 billion years old.

 

4.           Who is its founder?

Islam’s founder is God. No one and nothing existed before or along with God until he created it.

 

5.              What is a Muslim?

A Muslim is a person who forsakes their own will or the will of others and submits to the true will of God.

 

6.            So everyone is a Muslim?

Every person who sincerely believes in God and submits to God’s will, by definition, is a Muslim. However many people have a misconception or misunderstanding about what God’s will is. Many follow the corrupted version of God’s will due to man’s inventions, additions and subtractions to God’s message.

 

7.              How many Muslims are there worldwide?

To date there are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.

 

8.            Are Most Muslims Arabs?

There are 1.8 billion Muslims on earth and only 20% of them are Arabs. There are 7.27 million Muslims in North America, 600,000 Muslims in Oceania, 2.41 million Muslims in South America, 51.46 million Muslims in Europe, 1.215 billion Muslims in Asia and 509 million Muslims in Africa. Most Muslims are Asian.

 

9.            How do you become a Muslim?

By following the 5 fundamental principles of Islam.

 

10.      What are the 5 principles of Islam?

Shahadahtain (2 Testimonies), Salat (Prayer/Worship), Zakat (Charity), Saum (Fasting) and Hajj (Pilgrimage)

 

11.          What is the Shahadahtain?

Shahadahtain is the testimony or oath that a person makes to be a Muslim. It is as follows: I bear witness that there is no god but ALLAH and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His messenger.

 

12.        Who is ALLAH?

ALLAH is the incomprehensible, incomparable Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. ALLAH literally means The One God.

 

13.         Can you see ALLAH?

No one can see or has ever seen ALLAH with their bodily eyes, but the sight of ALLAH is a reward promised to believers in Heaven.

 

14.      Can ALLAH do anything?

God has power over all of his creation, but he cannot do anything. He can only do godly things, according to his nature. So he cannot sin or change his nature of oneness to more than one.

 

15.         Why do Muslims call God “He”?

God has no gender. The usage of the word “He” is due to the limitations of man’s language to explain God.

 

16.       Is ALLAH a vengeful God?

The Qur’an says ALLAH is a God of loving-kindness. It repeats throughout that He is most gracious and most merciful and He is oft-forgiving. Yet He is a just God, who punishes for wrong-doing and rewards for righteousness.

 

17.         Does ALLAH punish out of anger?

No, He punishes man out of justice. He says in the Qur’an that man’s sin does not harm Him in the least. Their sins harm themselves.

 

18.       Was ALLAH a moon god?

No, ALLAH is not the mood god, but He is God of the moon, the sun, the universe and everything and everyone in it.

 

19.       Do Muslims worship the moon?

No, because many have misrepresented ALLAH as the moon god of the pagan Arabs, some have fallen under the impression that Muslims worship the moon. This is completely untrue. Muslim follow the lunar calendar, just as Jews do, but the Jewish people are not labeled as worshipping the moon. Neither is Western society accused of worshipping the sun, because they follow the solar calendar.

 

20.    Is ALLAH the same God as the Jewish and Christian God?

Yes. Jesus and the other Prophets of God (pbut) mentioned in the Bible spoke Aramaic and/or Hebrew. The Aramaic and Hebrew names for God (El, Elah, Eli, Alaha) are related to the Arabic name for God because all 3 are sister languages.  Just as God (English) and Gott (German) both describe the same being.

 

21.              Does God rest or sleep?

The Qur’an says that no slumber or sleep can seize God and He feels no fatigue.

 

22.            Is there a Trinity in Islam?

Absolutely not. The Qur’an is replete with references to God’s oneness. The Qur’an also says that God is not 3 in 1 and it strongly advises against such a belief.

 

23.       Why is God referred to as “We” and “Us”?

In the Semitic languages and many other languages there are two types of plurals. The usage of plurals that English speaking people are most familiar with is that of numbers (using plural forms to describe more than one of something.) However, plurals are also used to signify the royalty, sovereignty and majesty of a subject. It is sometimes called the “royal we,” as a King might say, “We are not amused” when he is really only speaking of himself. The Hebrew and Arabic language use this form of plurals to describe God, because He is the most deserving of this honor.

 

24.    Is the Holy Spirit in Islam?

Islam has many holy spirits. They are angels. The Holy Spirit mentioned most in the Qur’an is the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) because he is the angel that sends God’s revelation to the prophets. Yet no Muslim worships angels. They are merely servants of God.

 

25.       Is God a spirit?

No, spirits are God’s creation and He is far from His creation. He is something unimaginable.

 

26.     Are there any other spirits in Islam?

The Qur’an speaks of jinn which are invisible beings.

 

27.       From what are jinn made?

They are made from smoke-less fire.

 

28.     Why did God create jinn?

God created jinn to worship him, yet they have free-will to obey God or not to obey him.

 

29.     What is the difference between jinn and man?

Jinn are spiritual beings, whereas human are physical and spiritual beings. And jinn have the ability to whisper suggestions of wrongdoing to man.

 

30.     From what are angels made?

Angels are made from light.

 

31.         What are humans made of?

God made man from the soil of the earth and blew the breath of life into him.

 

32.       Can Angels disobey God?

No, they are not given freewill. They do exactly as they are commanded by God.

 

33.        Are angels superior to humans?

A righteous human being is considered to be greater than an angel because he chose righteousness, whereas an angel has no choice but to obey God.

 

34.     Is there a Devil in Islam?

Yes, he is called Iblis and Shaitan and he is a jinn.

 

35.        Is the Devil equal to God?

Not at all, God is the Supreme Being and there is nothing comparable to him. The devil is a creature made by God.

 

36.      Is the Devil superior to man?

No, jinns are called whisperers because they merely suggest things for men to do. Man relinquishes his control if he succumbs to the suggestions.

 

37.        So the Devil is not a fallen angel according to Islam?

No, he was a righteous jinn ranked amongst the angels until he disobeyed God and sought to lead mankind astray.

 

38.      Why is Shaitan against man?

God commanded the angels and jinn to prostrate before Adam (the 1st man) and Shaitan refused because he felt superior to man. Thus God punished him for his arrogance and he felt the means to get back at God was to lead mankind towards sin.

 

39.      In Islam, is there the story of Adam and Eve?

Yes, the story of Shaitan deceiving Adam and his wife are mentioned in the Qur'an on numerous occasions.

 

40.  What are the similarities in this story?

In both the Bible and the Qur'an the man and wife are in a Garden, God has given them an abundance of fruit, but they are not to eat from one particular tree and the Devil fools them into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. In both books, they are banished from the Garden and made to earn the utopia that they once dwelled in.

 

41.      What are the differences in this story?

They are many subtle differences between the narrative told in the Qur'an and that told in the Bible. One of the major differences is that Adam and his wife repent and they are forgiven in Islam, while the Bible suggests that everything from hard labor to pain in childbirth are punishments placed upon mankind for the sins of our first parents. Another difference is that Adam and Eve are held equally responsible for their transgression in Islam. Yet the Biblical understanding is that Eve beguiled Adam into eating the fruit, thus she bears the brunt of the blame.  Also Shaitan is not mentioned as a serpent and Eve is not named in the Qur'an, though her name is in the traditions.

 

42.    Is humanity punished for the sins of Adam and his wife?

According to Islam, the sinner bears his own sin. So mankind was not punished for the sins of Adam and Eve.

 

43.     What is a prophet?

A prophet is an extremely righteous man that is appointed by God to deliver the message of submission to God’s will (i.e. Islam).

 

44.  What is a messenger?

A messenger is a prophet who is given specific scripture from God to be taught and followed.

 

45.     Who were these Prophets and Messengers sent to?

There were prophets sent by God to every nation throughout history.

 

46.   How many Prophets and Messengers have there been?

It is reported that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that there has been 124,000 prophets and 315 messengers sent throughout man’s history.

 

47.     Who are some Messengers?

Messengers include Muhammad (who was given the Qur’an), Jesus (who was given the Injil), David (who was given the Zaboor), Moses (who was given the Taurat), and Abraham (who was given the Scrolls) (pbut).

 

48.   Who are some Prophets?

Idris, Ishmael, Isaac, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Solomon, Aaron, Lot, Adam, Joseph, Hud, Schuaib, Zacharias, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Noah, Salih, Jacob, Jonah and Job (pbut)

 

49.   Do Muslims believe in a Messiah?

Yes, Muslims believe in the Messiah. We believe Jesus (pbuh) to be the long awaited Messiah of the Jews.

 

50.     Is there a difference between a Messiah and a Prophet?

Messiah means "appointed by God" and a prophet is also one appointed by God. They have the same religious meaning. But some titles are simply used to identify different prophets. When a Muslim says "Messiah" he is referring to Jesus, when he says "the Prophet" he means Muhammad, and when he says "the friend of God" he is referring to Abraham (pbut), yet these words describe all the prophets of God.

 

51.         Who was first, Jesus or Muhammad (pbut)?

The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was on this earth 600 years before the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Jesus (pbuh) was the last Prophet sent to the Jewish people. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last prophet sent to mankind.

 

52.       Is one Prophet better than another?

The Qur'an commands Muslims not to make distinctions between the prophets of God. All of them were sent to do God's work and we are not to rank them.

 

53.        What does PBUH (AS) mean?

It means “peace be upon him.”  PBUT means peace be upon them. It is a form of respect and honor that Muslims hold for its Prophets and Messengers. AS signifies the Arabic phrase,” alayhi salaam,” which is equivalent to the English “peace be upon him.”

 

54.     What do SAAS, SAW, and SAAW mean?

All 3 of these abbreviations are for the Arabic phrase, “sall Allahu alayhi wa sallam,” which means “May ALLAH honor him and give him peace.” This phrase is used for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

55.        What does SWT mean?

It is an abbreviation for the phrase, “Subhanahu wa ta'ala.” It is used exclusively for God and it means “glorified and exalted be HE.”

 

56.      What is the meaning of the numbers 786?

Many Muslims use the number 786 in the heading of emails, letters, books, etc. because in Arabic, words also have numeric value. In this case, 786 is the equivalent of the Arabic phrase “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem” or In the Name of God the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

57.        Do we worship prophets and messengers?

No, they are exemplary men that should be respected, honored and followed, but none is to be worshipped but God.

 

58.      How did Muhammad (pbuh) become a prophet?

When he was in a cave meditating, the angel Jibreel (pbuh) came to him to deliver God’s message. That day he became a messenger of God.

 

59.      What sources do Muslim use for guidance?

The Qur’an and the Authentic Hadiths (Traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

60.   What are the Hadiths?

The Hadiths are the recorded words and action of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as well as the words and actions by his companions that he approved of.

 

 

 

61.       How are they authenticated?

There is a rigorous science used by Muslim scholars to determine which Hadiths were authentic.

 

62.     What is the Qur’an?

The Qur’an is a collection of the infallible words of God given to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over 23 years of his prophetic life.

 

63.      What is the relationship between the Qur’an and the Hadiths?

The Qur’an is the cornerstone for the religion of Islam. The Hadiths are secondary to the Qur’an. As Muhammad (pbuh) was the Qur’an in action, the Qur’an is the means by which one views and understands the Hadiths.

 

64.   What is the relationship between the Qur’an and other religious scriptures?

One of the names given to the Qur’an is the Furqan, which means the Criterion. This is because the Quran is the measuring stick by which a Muslim judges the validity of any other scripture.

 

65.      When was the Qur'an revealed?

It was revealed around 610 CE.

 

66.    How was it revealed?

Prophet Muhammad, at age 40, was meditating in a cave when the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) commanded him to repeat after him, the words of God. For 23 years, the angel came to the Prophet to reveal the words of God as the need arose.

 

67.      Why do Muslims believe that it is the word of God?

Muslims accept the Qur’an as the word of God for a multitude of reasons. The Qur’an, itself gives a number of methods that one can use to prove its origin. For example, it challenges the reader to find a mistake in it, if he doubts that it is from God. The Qur’an is also filled with a plethora of scientific accuracies which were impossible to have been known without the scientific methods and instruments used by scientists in current times. The Qur’an describes everything from the microscopic embryo to the formation of the universe with such accuracy that many scientists are compelled to acknowledge that these words are from God. The excellence of the language is another miracle of the Qur’an. Also the candor and the manner in which the Qur’an speaks to the listener or reader sets it apart from any other book in existence.

 

68.    What are some examples of scientific claims?

The Qur'an, a book 1400 years old, says the universe was one mass and God split it apart which is a description of the Big Bang origin of the universe. The Qur'an says that the universe is expanding and the sun and moon have their own orbit. It says that the earth is rotating in an orbit. The Qur'an said that mountains have large roots that are embedded in the ground and that female bees carry honey to the hive. It accurately describes an embryo and the origin of life, as well as the barriers found in meeting bodies of water. From the formation of iron to the sex of plants, the scientifically proven subjects touched upon in the Qur'an have converted scientists to Islam.

 

69.    Has the Qur’an been changed?

This is another testament that it is the word of God. The Qur’an says that God will preserve it forever and it is the only unchanged Holy Book from ancient times.

 

70.     How was the Qur’an preserved?

Because there were no such things as printers and copiers, there were very few books in those times. The majority of the people were illiterate, so oral teaching and memorization became second nature to them. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions memorized the entire Qur’an. And those who could write wrote down the words of the Qur’an and they compiled it into book form. There are two copies of the Arabic Qur’an which exist to this day in Uzbekistan and in Turkey, which can be compared to the Arabic of any Qur’an we have today.

 

71.         Why were copies of the Qur’an burned?

In those times, there were no typewriters or computer keyboards. Everything was written by hand. And the scribes wrote the Qur’an in shorthand (without the vowels). Though the average Arabic speaking person understood the shorthand of the Qur’an, those who were unfamiliar with Arabic shorthand were reading and reciting the Qur’an incorrectly. So the shorthand written Qur’ans were destroyed to avoid confusion.

 

72.       Are there different versions of the Qur’an?

There are no different versions of the Qur’an. The Arabic of every Qur’an is the same that it was 1400 years ago. There are different translations. A translation is the transmission of the Arabic book into another language.  Different English translators may use different English words to convey the Arabic Qur’an, but the Arabic does not change.

 

73.        Do people still memorize the Qur’an today?

Yes, they are called hafiz. There are tens of millions of Muslims who have memorized the entire Qur’an. HBO has just made a documentary about this phenomenon called “Koran By Heart.”

 

74.     What is Salat?

It is the worship or prayer Muslims give to God/ALLAH five times a day.

 

75.        When are the times of Salat?

Dawn (Fajr), Noon (Thur), Afternoon (Asr), Sundown (Maghrib) and Night (Isha)

 

76.      How do Muslims know when it is time for Salat?

For every time of prayer there is a call to prayer. This call to prayer is the “adhaan.”

 

77.        Who gives this call to prayer?

It is generally one person appointed by the community who has a beautiful and loud enough voice to resonate through the community. This person is called the “muaddhin” or the one who called the adhaan.

 

78.      Who was the 1st muaddhin?

The first muaddhin that The Prophet Muhammad appointed was Bilal, a slave freed by the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) companion Abu Bakr. He was chosen for his beautiful voice and his commitment to Islam.

 

79.      Does Islam have personal prayer to God?

Yes, they are called du’a, where you speak to God freely.

 

 

80.   What is Salat’s purpose?

It is not the traditional prayer of requests for God. It is structured for the praise and remembrance of God throughout the day.  Muslims prostrate with their forehead on the ground as the ultimate humility of man and the utmost reverence for the Creator of the universe.

 

81.       Are there examples of others who prayer in the same manner?

In the Bible, Abraham and his servant, Moses and Aaron, Joshua, Elijah and Jesus prayed “with their face on the ground,” just as Muslims do. (Gen. 24:52, 17:3, Ex. 34:8, Num. 16:22, 20:6, Jos. 5:14, 1Ki. 18:42, Matt. 26:39)

 

82.     Do Muslims pray by themselves or in congregation?

They can pray by themselves but it is preferable to pray with fellow Muslims to strengthen their unity and camaraderie.

 

83.      Where do they pray?

Muslims can play anywhere, but the place built for congregational prayer is called as Masjid or Mosque.

 

84.   Is there a leader in the Masjid?

Yes, he is the Imam and he leads the prayers and gives the sermons on religion.

 

85.      Are men and women separated at prayer?

Men and women are separated at prayer because the prayers’ postures and positions include touching shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot with fellow Muslims. It also includes bowing, and prostrating several types in front of, beside and behind others Muslims, which would make men and women uncomfortable in a time when their entire focus should be on worshiping God.

 

86.    What is Jumu’ah?

Jumu’ah is the congregational prayer, where a sermon is given by the Imam every Friday.

 

87.      What is Saum?

Saum is the Arabic word for fasting.

 

88.    When do Muslims fast?

Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan from food, water and sex from sunrise to sunset.

 

89.    What is the Night of Power?

The initial Night of Power is the first night that the angel Jibreel appeared to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and began giving him the Qur’an. No one knows the exact day, but it is one of the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. So Muslims pray to commemorate this day and ask God for forgiveness for their sins. The Night of Power is better than 1,000 months (Al-Qur’an 97:3).

 

90.   How does the fasting end?

Each day, Muslims traditionally end their fast with dates or with water, then they pray and eat their meal. After the last day of Ramadan, there is a large feast to celebrate the completion of the fast.

 

91.       What is the purpose of fasting?

In fasting, there is a lesson in self-restraint and a way in which one can feel the struggle of those less-fortunate. This is also a time to reacquaint one’s self with the Qur’an and to renew their commitment to following the decrees set forth in Islam.

 

92.     Why does the time for Ramadan change?

The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar calendar which is 11 or 12 days shorter than the solar calendar used by Western society, therefore the date for Ramadan changes slightly each year.

 

93.      What is Zakat?

It is the Arabic word which means charity and purity. As a pillar of Islam, it is the obligation on every Muslim to give 2.5% of his wealth to the poor, the sick and for travelers in need.  God gives people opportunities to help others. One of these opportunities is with one’s wealth, but it also includes sharing your time and effort to help others. In fact, a smile or a kind word is an act of charity and worship in Islam.

 

94.   Why give charity?

Muslims give charity to those in need because none of our possessions are actually our own, not even our lives. They are only gifts loaned to us by God and one day we will lose them all. So a Muslim gives of his wealth and himself as a gratitude to God for giving him such an abundance of blessings. He is obliged to help others whenever it is possible.

 

 

 

 

 

95.      What is Hajj?

This is the largest pilgrimage in the world. It is a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca and it is required of all able bodied Muslims, who can afford it, at least once in their life.

 

96.    Why do Muslims perform this pilgrimage?

Every Muslim, whether rich or poor, black or white, short or tall are all brothers and sisters. We all pray in unison in one direction, at the same time and using similar words in praise to God and this pilgrimage serves as the ultimate manifestation of the oneness of the 1.8 billion Muslim community. It crushes prejudices, stereotypes, racism, classism, nationalism and any other superiority complex that one person has over another.

 

97.      What is a Mu’min?

Mu’min means believer. It is one who believes in God, believes in the messengers, angels, God’s revelation to man and in the Day when God will judge man for his deeds and misdeeds done in the world.

 

98.    What is Iman?

Iman is often translated as faith or belief in the Qur’an. Faith insinuates an acceptance of something without proof. However, “iman” means confirmation and acceptance of the truth. It is belief in something because you have proof.

 

99.    What is sin?

Sin is the intentional violation of God’s laws. Sin also includes persuading, enticing, assisting, allowing, or conforming to the violation of God’s law.

 

100.   What is atonement in Islam?

A person is forgiven by God if they sincerely repent of their sin, eschew their unrighteousness and make amends.

 

101. Who is a disbeliever?

A disbeliever is not simply someone who is not a Muslim, but someone that clearly understands Islam to be true, yet they reject it. A disbeliever is also someone who fails to investigate the claims of Islam.

 

102.     What is Jihad?

The Arabic word “jihad” means struggle. This struggle can be an inner struggle or an external struggle. The external struggle can be the fighting in the cause of Allah or simply the struggle to propagate Islam to others. But the most important jihad is the one which the Muslim has with himself. He struggles daily to be righteous and to do what is best and resist what is wrong. In all, jihad is not a holy war, but an internal and external struggle to do what is right. In this sense, everyone is a mujahid or one who indulges in jihad.

 

103.Can Muslims and Christians be friends?

Yes, Muslims and those of any other faith or no faith at all can be friends. The Arabic word “auliya” is often translated “friend and protector” and the Qur’an says not to take “friends and protectors” from amongst the disbelievers over their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. However, “auliya” is better translated as someone from whom you received religious guidance. In this light, it is clear that the Qur’an does not teach that Muslims and non-Muslims are not friends. In fact, the Qur’an says that Muslims will find closeness from amongst Christians and Jews.

 

104.   Was Islam spread by the sword?

Absolutely not. This is a myth which has permeated for centuries. Islam spread in the past the same way that it is spreading now, willing conversion.  Some Muslims have used force on Non-Muslims, but this was not to spread Islam, but to further their own selfish agenda.

 

105.Why are some Muslims so violent?

With close to 2 billion Muslims, you are bound to find varying beliefs and behaviors. Many of the Muslims shown on television are poor, illiterate, and desperate. They have lived most of their lives in war, under totalitarian rule or under occupation. Under these circumstances, some people respond violently. Yet they are only in accordance with Islam if they are fighting in self-defense.

 

106.    Why don't Muslims speak out against the fellow Muslims in error?

Muslims speak out against terrorists, and other travesty done by Muslims all the time. Every Friday prayer in every Masjid around the world, Muslims are condemning the acts of terrorism, kidnapping and murder. There is a multitude of conference halls meetings held throughout the year with all the top speakers for Islam and every speaker expresses their disdain for the negative light placed upon Islam by these egregious acts. The problem is that speeches of peace and coexistence do not gain media coverage. But if one Muslim man decides to go on a shooting spree in a mall, every media outlet will cover it with the headlines “Islamist Attacks in the Mall.”

 

107.How is Islam supposed to be spread?

The Qur’an sums it up nicely. “Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious” (16:125)

 

108.    What if the person refuses to accept Islam, how should a Muslim react?

If someone refuses to accept Islam, we are to say “you have your way of life and we have our way of life” (Qur’an 109:6).

 

 

109.    How do Muslims handle a person who leaves Islam?

A Muslim does not know the heart of a person, so this matter is left to God to handle. The Qur’an speaks about those who repeatedly leave the fold of Islam and in each case the matter is left for God’s judgment.

 

110. What is the Kaaba?

As the Muslims 1st house of worship, it is the centerpiece and focal point by which all Muslims pray to God as one in brother and sisterhood.

 

111.     Who built the Kaaba?

The Kaaba was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael (pbut).

 

112.   What is the Qibla?

The Qibla is the direction that a Muslim turns to face the Kaaba. Of course, it is dependent upon the Muslims location to the Kaaba.

 

113.    Do Muslims worship the Kaaba?

Not at all. Throughout the 5 daily prayers, there is not one mention of the Kaaba. Muslims worship none but God and he is not personified in any form, shape or size at any time.

 

114. Do Muslims worship the stone in the Kaaba?

During the Hajj or Muslim pilgrimage, some Muslims, who are close enough, touch or kiss the black stone, which is embedded in the Kaaba. This has caused some people to incorrectly state that some Muslims worship this black stone. First, kissing is not a form of worship in Islam. Muslims kiss their spouse, their children and they even kiss each other on the cheek and this is never considered a form of worship. Secondly, the majority of people are unable to get that close to the black stone due to the large crowd. And third, neither the Qur’an nor the Hadiths tell Muslims to worship anyone or anything besides God. There is not one mention of worshiping the Kaaba or the black stone in our prayers. This allegation is one made of pure conjecture.

 

115.    What is the significance of the star and crescent symbol?

The star and the crescent have no religious significance in Islam. During the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) there were no symbols of Islam. In 1453, the Ottoman Empire adopted the symbols of the moon and star and they have been since seen as symbols of Islam.

 

116.  Does Islam put great emphasis on works?

Islam does put great emphasis on righteous works, because righteousness is the greatest testament to your belief in God and in Islam. A Muslim works to help his fellow man, to help the community, and to help the environment. In doing so, he becomes an excellent example for others to follow.

 

117.    What is the difference between Islam and Christianity?

The major difference between Islam and Christianity is that Islam proclaims that each person must bear their own sins, whereas Christianity maintains that Jesus (pbuh) paid for man’s sins. Also in Islam, God does not incarnate into a human being, nor does he have sons or daughters. In Christianity, Jesus (pbuh) is considered to be God and/or God’s son.

 

118.  What is the difference between Islam and Judaism?

The major difference between Islam and Judaism is that Islam purports that God sent prophets to every people throughout history to convene his message. However Judaism centers on the belief that God chose one particular group and he sent prophets to them.

 

119.  What is the difference between Islam and Hinduism?

The major difference between Islam and Hinduism has to do with the conception of God. In Hinduism, God incarnates into human beings and animals. In sharp contrast, Islam suggests that God does not incarnate at all. He does not have to become his creation in order to provide for it. He merely wills his intentions into being without having to change himself in any way. Islam also rejects the racism of the caste system and the continuous reincarnation of a human being which are both find in Hinduism. Islam maintains that man is given but one life to live and he must live as righteously as he can in this lifetime.

 

120.     What is the difference between Islam and Buddhism?

The major difference between Islam and Buddhism is the focus on God and his purpose for mankind. While Islam is fixated on these 2 points and their explanation, Buddhism all but ignores them. Buddhism instead uses man’s suffering as its focal point. Islam also rejects the Buddhist’s doctrine of man’s continuous reincarnation, as well as their monasticism. Muslims believe that living righteously amongst those who are non-Muslims will help guide the non-Muslim towards righteousness.

 

121.   Is there a common thread between all of the world’s major religions?

Almost all major religions have a belief in some form of deity and the accountability of people for their actions. There exists a pursuit of happiness and tranquility with their fellow man and with the world around them in all these religions. They also share the “golden rule” of “do unto others, as you want others to do unto you.”

 

122. What is Islam’s take on the commonality of religions throughout the world?

Islam says that this common thread shared between religions throughout the world and throughout history is due to its common source, God. God has sent prophets to every people with the same message, yet this message has been distorted after some time. Now God has sent his last Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) to complete his message to all of mankind.

 

123.  Do Muslims believe in a soul?

Yes, ALLAH created man from the earth and blew the breath of life into him. This breath is our soul and our true selves, which will live on after are physical bodies are gone.

 

124.     Do Muslims believe in the end of times?

Yes, Muslims believe that God created this universe for a fixed time and one day it will cease to exist.

 

125.  How will the end come?

The Qur’an says the end will come as the angel of God blows the trumpet which will destroy the physical universe.

 

126. Do Muslims believe in heaven and hell?

Yes, Muslims believe in heaven (Paradise) and hell. There will be a day of judgment for all of mankind for all of his deeds and misdeeds and on that day he will be rewarded for his good deeds and punished for the sins that he did not repent and make amends for. Those whose good deeds outweigh their sins will be granted heaven. And those whose sins outweigh their good deeds will dwell in hell.

 

127.  What does the Qur’an say about the people in hell?

The Qur’an says only the most wretched on people will go to hell.

 

128. How long are they in hell?

The Qur’an repeatedly states that those in Hell will dwell there forever. It also says that they will dwell there for a very long time. The Qur’an hints that some people may possibly leave Hellfire if God wills. Keep in mind that the Qur’an speaks of time relatively, thus “forever” and a very long time may be the amount of time that it feels like and not actually the length of time.

 

129. How long are people in Heaven?

The Qur’an leaves no room for ambiguity of the stay of those who have earned their reward in Paradise. It explicitly says that they will be there forever and they will never leave this state of bliss.

 

130. How will hell be?

It will be a place of fire and torment for its inhabitants. Those in hellfire will be filled with regret as they will be able to see those who are living in heaven.

 

131.    How will Heaven be?

Heaven will be an abode of pleasure and comfort, where the righteous will eat and drink of the finest quality provided by God. And they will be permitted to see the Almighty God.

 

 

132.  Are there levels in heaven and hell?

Yes, there are levels or degrees of bliss in heaven and degrees of punishment in hell. They are measured by your level of righteousness or wickedness.

 

133.   Will you be with your family and friends?

The Qur’an says that Muslims will be reunited with their family and friends, those that are righteous enough to enter heaven that is.

 

134.What about the 72 virgins?

The Qur’an says that righteous husbands and wives will be united in heaven. For those believing men and women without a spouse, God will provide them will beautiful and pure companions. The idea of 72 virgins is not to be found in the Qur’an. The Qur’an permits up to 4 wives, which means any more than that would be in opposition to the words of God in the Qur’an.

 

135.   What if you have never heard of Islam?

In Islam, one is judged by their intentions; therefore if they have never heard or understood the truth of Islam, they will not be punished for not adhering to Islam’s tenets. They will be judged according to the amount of truth that they are aware.

 

136. What if you are not good enough for heaven or bad enough for hell?

Then you are put in a place called the Heights, which in between heaven and hell.

 

137.   Who will testify against you on the Day of Judgment?

On this day, the people you have wronged will testify against you. And so will the angels who recorded your every deed. Also those whom you worshipped will testify against you. Jesus (pbuh) himself will testify that he never told anyone to worship him as God. And last but not least, God will make you testify against yourself for the deeds and misdeeds that you have committed.

 

138. When is the Day of Judgment?

This is a day that only God knows.

 

139. What is fitrah?

Fitrah is man’s predisposition towards righteousness. God has made man righteous and given him a conscience as a compass towards righteousness. Islam suggests that every person is born a Muslim and they decide to continue on this path or not.

 

140.   What is the meaning of a "revert"?

The term "convert" is usually used to describe a person who has accepted a religion. Muslims call such a person a "revert" because every person is born in a state of Islam, so if they chose another path and later rejected it for Islam they are returning or reverting back to their previous state.

 

141. Do we have free will?

God has given man free will to chose right or wrong. And we will be rewarded for our good deeds and punished for the bad deeds that we have done and not repented and made amends for.

 

142.     Did God create evil?

Evil is a thing which is relative to man. It is what is harmful to man or to our existence and to the existence of everything around us. And what is good is everything beneficial for our well-being and that of everything around us. God has made this world as a test of man’s righteousness. Therefore he created the circumstance by which man can chose right or wrong and because we have free will, our choices and their consequences are our responsibility, not God’s.

 

143. Does God have a purpose for us?

God created man to worship him and every action that is not a sin is a form of worshiping. Worshiping God means being a righteous person, an asset to your community, a good husband or wife, a good father or mother, a good friend, and so on. You are to be a righteous person for the benefit of this world and its inhabitants and if you do so, you will attain eternal bliss.

 

144.   What does Islam say about race?

The main reason for racism, bigotry, and prejudice is ignorance. The Qur’an explicitly states that God has made us different races and placed us in different places, so that we will learn and know one another. And in Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) last sermon he said “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”

 

145.Are women oppressed in Islam?

There is no doubt that in some Muslim countries women are oppressed. However they are in violation of the tenets of Islam. Islam teaches that men and women are equal before God, though they have differing roles. The Qur’an says that men and women are protectors of one another and that men should not treat women harshly, but with kindness.

 

146.    Can women drive cars?

There are over 50 Muslim countries and only 1 which prohibits women from driving. This has placed a dark stain of the entire religion. Fortunately, the women of Saudi Arabia (with worldwide Muslim support) are vehemently protesting to gain their rights, so this injustice will be eradicated.

 

147.Is female genital circumcision a part of Islam?

Not at all. There are some tribes of people who indulge in such acts, but this is in no way a part of Islam. It is the culture of a people mistaken for a practice of Islam.

 

148.    Does Islam promote polygamy?

The Qur’an adamantly promotes marriage and monogamy between a man and a woman. However, the Qur’an does allow for polygamy in special circumstances. Though it is presented by Muslims and non-Muslims oftentimes as a very important part of Islam, polygamy is not a widely practiced part of the religion. In fact, it is not prescribed but permitted in circumstances like the aftermath of a war where men are scarce and the women agree to marry a man already married.  Islam allows for up to 4 wives under strict conditions.

 

149.    Can a Muslim marry a Jew or Christian?

A Muslim man can marry a Jewish or Christian woman, but it is preferably that he marries a Muslim woman.

 

150.Does Islam allow divorce?

Islam allows divorce for men and women, but it is discouraged. Divorce is a last resort. Reconciliation is far more acceptable in Islam.

 

151.    Does Islam promote slavery?

No, Islam abolished slavery. The Qur’an systematically freed all slaves. Keep in mind that the Qur’an speaks of “those who your right hand possesses” but these are not actually slaves but prisoners of war, who are later freed.

 

152.  Do Muslims believe in the Bible?

Muslims believe the Bible to be the words of men, falsely attributed to God. Due to this fact, Muslims do not accept the Bible as ultimate truth, though it does contain many truths. Muslims use the Qur’an to measure the accuracy of the words of the Bible.

 

153.   Which came first, the Bible or the Qur'an?

The Bible came first. The books of the Bible were written over a period spanning 1500 years. And they were compiled in the form that we have now in the year 375. The Qur’an was completed in the year 632. Of course, this does not speak to the validity of either book. Jewish people do not assert that the New Testament is false because the Tanakh (or the Old Testament) came first.

 

 

154.Does the Qur’an reference the Bible?

The Qur’an makes reference to the Torah of Moses (pbuh), The Zaboor (Psalms) of David (pbuh) and the Gospel of Jesus (pbuh). However Muslims do not believe these revelations still exist (They were probably never written down, but orally transmitted because most people were illiterate in those times). The Bible purports to contain these books, but Biblical scholars agree with Muslims that Moses (pbuh) did not write the 1st 5 books of the Bible, David (pbuh) did not write the Psalms and it is crystal clear that Jesus (pbuh) did not write any of the 4 Gospels. But the Qur’an does make reference to the scriptures that the Jews and Christians possess.

 

155.   How does the Qur'an speak of the Bible?

The Qur’an suggests that the Bible contains truths and falsehoods alike and that the Qur’an is the means by which we can discern the truth from the false.

 

156. Does the Qur’an copy the Bible?

Not at all. The Qur’an speaks of many people, prophets and events that are mentioned in the Bible, but there exists two vastly different vantage points from these 2 sources. The list of reasons that this is not true is rather long, but the primary reason to discount this theory is that the Bible was not translated into Arabic when the Qur’an was revealed and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could not read or write if it were.

 

157.   Why do Muslims say Jesus is not God/ God’s son?

According to Islam, God has no partners, associates or any equals. He is unique and one in its most elementary sense. Also God cannot ‘become’ anything besides God, like a human being, or an animal. Furthermore, God in Islam, does not beget children. Everything besides God is his creation and under his authority. If God had a son, the son would share his nature. As such, he would be God also, which makes for two gods.

 

158. Why do Muslims say that Jesus (pbuh) was not crucified?

According to the Qur’an, God saved Jesus (pbuh) from this most gruesome and humiliating death.  There is also ample evidence in the Bible to support this claim (for more information see the book “Jesus Was Not Crucified”).

 

159. So how did Jesus (pbuh) die?

Jesus (pbuh) did not die, but God raised Jesus (pbuh) to heaven and he will return as a sign of the Last Day.

 

160.    Do Muslims accept the stories in the Bible about the Prophets?

Muslims look at the stories in the Bible pertaining to the Prophets of God with great skepticism. In Islam, we share many of the same Prophets mentioned in the Bible. However in Islam, Prophets are men of the highest moral conduct. This is one of the reasons that they are chosen by God to deliver his mission of righteousness. So when there are disparaging tales written about these men of God, a Muslim has to reject them as erroneous reports which are not inspired by God.

 

161.  Does Islam promote terrorism or violence?

Islam in no way promotes terrorism. Killing one innocent person is like killing the whole of humanity according to Islam, so terrorism is in complete opposition to the fundamental teachings of Islam.  Violence is only permissible in self-defense or in the defense of the oppressed. Every instance in which fighting is mentioned in the Qur’an is it in the context of defense and not unprovoked aggression.

 

162.What is the difference between Sunni and Shi’ite?

A Sunni Muslim is one who accepts the 4 caliphs (leaders) of the Muslims after the death of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They include Uthman, Umar, Abu Bakr and Ali. The Shi’ites only accept Ali. This is the primary reason for the split of 90% of the Muslims (Sunni) with the 10% (Shia).

 

163. What are some other well-known sects of Islam?

Wahhabis and Ahmadiyyas are subdivisions of Sunni Muslims, while Sufis are mystics. Another popular sect of Islam is the “Nation of Islam” which became popular during the Civil Rights movement of African Americans. Due to the strict monotheistic understanding of God in Islam, the “Nation of Islam” and its claim that God incarnated as a man named Fard Muhammad are considered to be outside of the religion.

 

164.    Are Muslims supposed to be split into sects?

No, the Qur’an specifically warns against Muslims dividing into sects in chapter 6:159.

 

165. What does Islam say about suicide?

Islam strictly forbids suicide. It is a sin that one can’t make amends for. The Qur’an says no burden is so much that you should end your life.

 

166.     What does Islam say about abortion?

Islam is vehemently against abortion. A woman should not feel that the burden of a child is too much to bear. She is instructed to put her trust in God.

 

167. What does Islam say about Adultery/ Fornication?

Islam prescribes marriage as a prerequisite for sex. Therefore any sex outside of marriage is prohibited.

 

168.     What does Islam say about homosexuality?

Islam defines marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is a sin in Islam.

 

169.     What about the roles of men and women?

Islam maintains that a man is to be the head of the household. He is to be the breadwinner and the provider and the wife is the caretaker of the family. This does not negate women from working or taking leadership roles.

 

170.What about their religious duties?

Muslim men and women share the same religious duties. The Qur’an seems to specifically answer this question in the following verse:

 

“For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.”

Al-Qur’an 33:35

 

171.    What does Islam say about domestic abuse?

Though some translations of the Qur’an suggest that a man can lightly beat his wife as a last resort if she is disloyal, the translation is incorrect. The Arabic word used in the Qur’an can mean to hit or to leave. The proper translation should be that a man should leave his wife if she persists in her actions.

 

172.  What about the dress code?

The Qur’an tells both men and women to guard their modesty in their dress. Neither should be dressed in a way which draws the attention of the opposite sex, unless he/she is their spouse. Obviously a woman has more to cover than a man. Her dress is for the sake of her chastity, her husband and God.

 

173.   What is jiyza tax?

It is often made a big deal of but jiyza tax is the taxation of non-Muslims in a Muslim run country. Just like every other civilized country on earth, people pay taxes. The thing which is often not mentioned is that this tax is less than the Muslim obligatory zakat, which is 2.5% of his wealth.

 

174.Can Muslims lie?

Lying is a sin in Islam. It is only permitted in times of duress.

 

175.   What does Islam say about honesty?

Islam commands Muslims to stand for truth and justice even if it against yourself and your own interests.

 

176. What does the Qur’an say about war?

The Qur’an tells Muslims to fight oppression until oppression no longer exists. It says to attack the enemy where they attack you, but not to transgression bounds. If the oppressor seeks peace, we are to cease fighting immediately.

 

177.   Does Islam tolerate other religions?

Islam teaches tolerance of other people’s religion. Muslims are to invite non-Muslims to Islam by discussing the commonalities in their beliefs, as well as the differences. But if a person rejects Islam, they are to coexist peacefully. In fact, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was so tolerant that he allowed Christians to pray and sleep in the masjid.

 

178. Is Islam anti-Semitic?

First, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an Arab and Arabs are a Semitic people. Secondly, the Qur’an says that the children of Israel were chosen by God, but they disobeyed God, persecuted his prophets and distorted their message. For this reason, many have accused Islam of anti-Semitism.  However every one of these claims mentioned about the children of Israel can be easily found in their own holy scriptures. Thus the Qur’an is merely stating well-established facts. Not to mention that throughout history, Jews have fled to Muslim lands to avoid persecution. But the greatest evidence that Islam is not anti-Semitic is its invitation for Jews and anyone else to join its fold.

 

179. What does the Qur’an say about the land of Israel?

The Qur’an agrees with the Bible that God promised the land of Israel to the Children of Israel. The Qur’an and the Bible also agree that the Israelites dwelling there was based upon their submission to God. The Bible and the Qur’an are replete with their continued transgressions against God and his messengers. In fact, they totally reject his last 2 prophets, Jesus and Muhammad (pbut). Because of these things, they broke their promise to God and nullify their religious right to the land.

 

180.    Is Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned in the Bible?

Muslims maintain that Moses and Jesus both prophesied about the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pbut) and these prophecies exist in the Bible that we have today.

 

181.  Where is Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned?

Prophet Muhammad is believed to be the “prophet like Moses” spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:18 and the Comforter foretold by Jesus in John 14:26.

 

182.What does the Qur’an say about Muslims forgiving others?

The Qur’an has many verses commanding Muslims to forgive those who seek to harm them. It allows for self-defense, but it recommends that you forgive your enemy. The Qur’an tells Muslims to forgive those who corrupt their religion and even those who try to turn Muslims away from Islam. (42:39-43, 5:13, 2:108-109)

 

183. Are there forced conversions in Islam?

The Qur’an says that there is no compulsion in religion and that truth stands out clear from falsehood.  This means that forced conversion is contrary to Islam. Islam’s veracity should speak for itself.

 

184.    What foods do Muslims avoid?

Muslims are to avoid eating animals found already dead, animals not killed in the name of God and pork.

 

185. Can Muslims eat shellfish?

Though some Muslims avoid shellfish, the majority view the eating of shellfish as permissible according to the Qur’an 16:14.

 

186.     Are there instances when a Muslim can eat of forbidden foods?

Of course. In times of necessity, a Muslim can eat of these foods. God judges from our intentions and circumstances.

 

187. Does Islam teach respect for parents?

Islam stresses honor and respect for your mother and father, even if they are adamantly against Islam.

 

188.     What does Islam say about gambling?

The Qur’an says that there is a benefit in gambling, but the harm is far worse, so we are to shun gambling. Muslims are to use their excess money as a means to better mankind, not to squander it on games of chance.

 

189.     What does Islam say about drugs and alcohol?

Islam strongly forbids intoxicates of any kind. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “what intoxicates in greater quantities should be forbidden in smaller quantities.”

 

190.    Does the Qur’an say the earth is flat?

No, the Qur’an says that God has spread the earth out like a carpet, but this in reference to the land that we travel and not the shape of the planet. The Qur'an says that the earth is round. (55:17)

 

191.  Does the Qur’an say that the sun orbits the earth?

No, it only says that the sun has its own orbit, which is a scientific fact. (21:33, 36:40)

 

192.Does the Qur’an say that the sun sets in murky water?

This is a myth that has become quite popular. In the Qur’an, there is a description of a man called Dhul-Qarnayn and his perception of the sun setting in the water and many detractors of Islam attempt to attribute this perspective to Muhammad (pbuh), when this is not the case.  But even the perception of Dhul-Quarnayn is nothing to ridicule. It is not to be taken literally, just as the idea of the sun setting is a figure of speech and not our actual understanding. The sun does not set at all, though it is common for us to describe sunrises and sunsets.

 

193. Does the Qur’an say the earth is 6000 years old?

No. Some people have confused the Bible with the Qur’an and come up with this ascertain, but the Qur’an says that the universe was created in 6 periods, not 6 days. And the Qur’an does not give a specific date for the earth’s creation, nor does it spell out the genealogy of mankind as does the Bible, from which the 6000 year old earth hypothesis derives.

 

194.    Does the Qur’an mention the flood?

The Qur’an does mention the story of the Prophet Noah (pbuh) and the flood.

 

195. Did the flood cover the earth?

Unlike the Bible, the Qur’an says that the flood covered the land of Noah and not the entire earth.

 

196.     How do Muslims greet each other?

Muslims greet each other with the words “Peace be upon you.” It actually is a prayer for peace to another individual.

 

197. How do other Muslims respond to the greeting?

They are required to respond with a similar greeting (ex. “Peace be upon you also) or one that is better (ex. “Peace be upon you and the Mercy and Blessings of God).

 

198.     Is this greeting found in the Bible?

Yes, Joseph’s (pbuh) steward, the Spirit of God, David, Jesus (pbut) and God are said to have greeted with the same words that Muslims use today. (Gen. 43:23, 1Chr. 12:18, 1Sam. 25:6, John 20:19, 20:21, 20:26, Ju. 6:23)

 

199.     What does “ALLAHUAKBAR” mean?

It means God is the Greatest, but the phrase is literally “God is greater…” It is an open phrase which can be filled with any and everything because God is greater than everything.

 

200. What does “inshaALLAH” mean?

It means “if God wills” and a Muslim says this when they are promising to do anything in the future because they realize that every minute of their lives is due to God’s mercy to keep them alive.