Being a Muslim

Being a Muslim

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Being a Muslim

Yes I think it is hard to be a Muslim in a country like England for
example if you go to school or work you have to miss some of the
prayers.

Five Pillars of Islam

Shahadah

A Muslim expresses his/her faith in the following words:

Ash-hadu anla ilaha illal-Lahu Wahdahu la Sharika Lahu wa-ash-hadu
anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu

The English translation of the Shahadah is as follows:

" I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah,
the One, without any partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His
servant and His Messenger."

The declaration of faith consists of two different parts, i.e., the
absolute belief in the Unity of Allah (God) and the belief in the Holy
Prophet Muhammad as a mortal human being and the Messenger of Allah.
A Muslim accepts Allah as the only God, and only Master, Lord and
Ruler with no partner sharing in any way His Being, Powers and
Attributes. He is One; He is Unique; He is not the father of any one,
nor He has or had any father. He is Almighty and Self-Sustaining. He
is there forever, and will be there forever.
A Muslim believes in Allah as the Ruler and must not disobey Him. In
fact everything that exists in the universe obeys Him. He is the
Fashioner of all the Universes that may exist.
This statement makes one to completely submit to the Will of Allah and
that is why one who declares this belief is called a Muslim - one who
completely submits to the will of Allah.

Salat

Salat is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is a most important
element of the faith. It is prayer of a very high level. The Holy
Quran repeatedly enjoins the offering of salat and indeed declares it
to be a fundamental characteristic of a believer. The benefits of
salat are countless. The Holy Quran says:

"And enjoin Prayer on thy people, and be constant therein.

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We ask thee
not for provision; it is We that provide for thee. And the end is for
the righteous".

Salat strengthens man's spiritual faculties. It is the best way to
form a relationship with one's Creator. It purifies one's spirit, and
through it, constant remembrance of Allah delivers one of the self
that incites to evil.
God created man to worship Him and salat is the most excellent kind of
worship.

Saum

Along with salat, another important form of worship is fasting. It is
obligatory for each Muslim, apart from some exemptions, to fast in the
month of Ramadhan. During the hours of fasting, food and drink and
conjugal relations between husband and wife are forbidden. It is
enjoined that during fasting one should pay attention to remembrance
of God and study the Holy Quran in abundance. One should try to
restrain one's worldly pastimes as much as possible during Ramadhan,
and to be particularly inclined towards charity and alms giving.
Human life is dependent on food and drink and the continuation of the
human race depends on the marital relationship. While fasting one
refrains from them both, as if bearing witness to God that for His
pleasure man gives up the factors (temporarily) upon which his very
existence depends. The various other benefits of fasting are that man
gets to exercise sacrificing physical comfort and to endure hunger and
thirst. Fasting creates a sense of equality between the rich and the
poor. By developing an appreciation of hunger and thirst, it makes the
well-off think of the needs of the poor and impresses a feeling of
compassion in their hearts. It makes them appreciate, through the
practicality of it, the state a human being endures when hungry and
thirsty. Ramadhan is a most effective and excellent means of spiritual
development for mankind. After Ramadan there is a celebration called
Eid-ul-fitr.

Zakat

Zakat (Alms giving) is a part of devotion enjoined upon Muslims by the
Holy Quran. It is a means where the well-off pay a set amount of their
wealth. Zakat means to purify oneself. It is obligatory on Muslims to
pay a little percentage of their accumulated wealth towards Zakat,
which is used for the benefit of the needy and the poor. Zakat is not
levied on one's property that is in personal use, rather on the assets
which have a means of increasing and which are surplus to one's needs.
It is a means of social justice and order. It teaches sympathy of the
highest order.

Hajj

Hajj is the fifth Pillar of Islam and another form of worship. It is
an annual pilgrimage to the holy sites in Mecca which each adult
Muslim, who can afford it, has to perform once in life time. Apart
from the financial aspect, the ability to afford the pilgrimage also
means that one is able to travel and perform the Hajj in peace.

Muslims perform Hajj in order to visit for themselves the holy sites
where their faith started. More importantly it is a pilgrimage to the
Ka'aba, which we believe is the first place of worship ever built on
this earth; Muslims thus refer to it as House of God. The ceremony of
Hajj is also symbolic of the Unity of God; all Muslims gather from
four corners of the earth in one spot at an appointed time and worship
God. There are no difficulties to perform Hajj apart from the obvious
financial commitment in order to travel to Mecca. That is the reason
why, strictly speaking, Hajj is only obligatory to those who have
fulfilled all their worldly needs and have no pressing commitments
left and indeed can afford the passage to Mecca.


Halal and Haram

Halal: that which the Legislator has permitted to be done lawfully.

Haram: that which the Legislator strictly and specifically forbade in
such a way that doing it would bring punishment in the hereafter and
possibly a penalty in this life as well.

Islam established a number of principles which constitute a solid base
for differentiate between Halal and Haram. The basic principles are:

1. The rule is that everything is Halal unless explicitly forbidden.

2. Only Allah has the right to legislate for man.

3. Prohibiting Halal and permitting Haram is synonymous with shirk.

4. Haram is always associated with what is bad and harmful.

5. There is always a better substitute in Halal for that which is made
Haram.

6. Anything that leads to Haram is considered Haram.

7. It is Haram to declare something Halal when it is manifestly Haram.

8. Good intentions do not justify committing Haram.

9. One should guard oneself against matters that are on the borderline
between Halal and Haram.

10. In extreme circumstances, Haram is permissible within certain
limits.

Mosque

It is a place of worship. The first mosque was built by Prophet Adam
but then it was destroyed by the flood in Noah’s time. Then it was
rebuilt by Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael. The person who leads
the prayer is called an Imam.

Dome

Domes are common in many mosques in the Middle East and Turkey. They
are often decorated on the outside and inside with beautiful tiles in
geometric designs. Domes give a building a spiritual feeling in that
they bring one's attention from the ground level (the world of man) to
the heavens (the world of God).

Mimbar

A mimbar is a pulpit in the mosque where the Imam (leader of prayer)
stands to deliver sermons. The mimbar is usually shaped as a small
tower with a pointed roof and with a stair leading up to it. It is
often richly ornamented, though in its simplest form the mimbar is
just a small platform with only a few steps. The mimbar is located to
the right of the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of
prayer (i.e. towards Mecca). In some mosques there is a platform
opposite the mimbar. That is the place of the assistant of the Imam,
the muezzin, stands during prayer. The muezzin recites the answer to
the prayer of the Imam.

[IMAGE]

Mihrab

Mihrab is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla,
(i.e. the direction of Kaaba that Muslims should face when praying).
The wall is called the qibla wall. The mihrab gives the impression of
a door or a passage to Mecca. They vary in size but are usually
ornately decorated. Mihrabs first appeared in the reign of the Umayyad
khalif al-Walid I (705–715).

Minarets

Minarets originally served as beacons of light. In more recent times,
the main function of the minaret was to provide a vantage point from
which the muezzin can call out the adhan, calling the faithful to
prayer. However, it should be noted that in most modern Mosques, the
adhan is called not in the minaret, but in the musallah, or prayer
hall, via a microphone and speaker system. Therefore, the role of the
minaret is now largely for traditional and decorative purposes.

Dress Code

Islam does not force Muslims to wear any particular clothe however the
Quran does give advice about clothing and suggests that Muslims dress
modestly.

Men

They are expected to cover their body from waist to their knees.

Women

They are expected to wear clothes that cover all of their body except
hands and face in the presence of men other than their immediate
family. Some women choose to wear a headscarf. Women play an important
role in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad once said “Paradise lies at the
feet of your mothers”.

Eid

There is two eids in the Islamic calendar Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha.
One is celebrated after Ramadan to be happy that the fasting month has
gone. The other one is the celebration when Prophet Abraham obeyed
what Allah told him to do. We sacrifice a sheep or a goat on that day.
Every Eid we have to get up early and go to mosque and greet our
families.
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