“ Genre: Religion / Spirituality „
ISLAM means ''peace''. The word is derived from the hebrew (the sister language of Arabic) word for peace, ''shalom''. The word Qur'an is derived from the Arabic word for ''recitation''. The founder of the religion we know as Islam was Muhammad, although it is often argued that ABRAHAM was the founder of worship of the ONE TRUE GOD. This is probably true, but Abraham's religion was never Islam in the modern sense that this review refers to.
He is thought by tradition to have been born in the year A.D.570, the son of a well respected family in Mecca. Mecca was a relatively well-off town, but the family into which Muhammad was born were by no means rich.
Although there is not much information on his early life, it is thought that he was an orphan by the age of 7, his father having died before Muhammad was born. Muhammad was cared for after his mother died by his grand father and uncle.
When he was about 25 years of age he married an older, wealthy woman called Khadija. They had several children but Muhammad out-lived all of them except Fatima, his daughter.
MUHAMMAD'S CALLING BY GOD
About 15 years after he married Khadija, Muhammad claimed that he was visited by the angel, Jibril (Gabriel), who commanded him ''in the name of Allah'' to recite. Muhammad was an unlettered man, illiterate and actually refused SEVERAL times. Eventually Jibril grabbed him by the throat and shook him. Muhammad opened his mouth and started to recite aloud the words of what we know today as the Qur'an. The full Qur'an was revealed over a period of some 23 years. Muhammad was told to memorize it in its' entirety and was even tested by Jibril to make sure he had done so.
Faithful converts also memorized it and eventually it was written down as a permanent record. Even today, impossible as it may seem, some Muslims are able to recite the complete Qur'an from memory... I find this absolutely amazing! I would need to hear this to believe it!
Outside of the Qur'an, The Prophet Muhammad also left
traditions and sayings on leading a pious life. Muslims follow these Hadiths, and a non-Muslim could be forgiven for thinking that some Muslims place more importance on the Hadiths than the Qur'an itself. Other Muslims appear not to follow the hadiths at all.
Tradition holds that at the time of Muhammad's death he was at home. There was a knock at the door. His daughter Fatima went to answer it. She slammed the door shut and ran back in to her father.
Muhammad asked her, '' Who was at the door?''
Fatima replied, '' A man. I became very much afraid because he spoke perfect Arabic!''
Muhammad said, '' my child, go back and open the door, allow him in because he is the angel of death and no doors or locks or bolts can keep him out''.
So Fatima allowed the man in. Muhammad asked to be allowed time before dying, to say goodbye to his family. The angel granted him respite for one hour.
ISLAM = SURRENDER TO PEACE
I dedicate this review to (Sam1942) She is a good guide on this site. She encouraged.
I am giving below some common questions and answers relating to ISLAM
1-Why do muslims copy jews in their greetings ?
We dont copy jews, Quran says we should say Salam Alaikum as greetings, salam means peace.
2-What is this peace anyway ?
To follow commandments in QURAN, it says dont steal, dont kill, dont lie, dont take interest, dont do injustice, dont fornicate, dont worship except ALLAH etc.,
3-So basically muslims follow book written by MUHAMMAD ?
Mohammad lived upto 63 years and died without knowing how to write, he is buried in city of Medina, Saudi Arabia.
4-Who wrote QURAN then ?
Muhammad 1417H. years ago at his age 40 saw an angel asking him to read, he said I am not literate, I cant read and write.The Angel pressed him to his chest and said repeat after me
(\READ IN THE NAME OF MY LORD WHO MADE EVERYTHING\\MADE HUMAN FROM A LEECH LIKE SHAPE\\\READ YOUR LORD IS KIND\\\\WHO TAUGHT WITH PEN\\\\\TAUGHT MAN WHAT HE KNEW NOT)
This is how 114 Chapters completed, MUHAMMAD memorised the recitation and his friends memorised
all taught MuHAMMAD. (QURAN means recitation in Arabic).
5-Are there sayings of MUHAMMAD mixed in the QURAN ?
No !!! the sayings of Muhammed are saved in another book called (Hadees)The Quran is the Words of ALLAH (Lord) only. Muhammad is mentioned in quran like (YOU WRAPPED UP IN THICK CLOTHES, GET UP AND WARN YOUR PEOPLE).
6-Can QURAN be edited and changed by anyone today or before ?
Impossible, whole Quran was memorised by 50% of his companions (150,000) A hand written copy of one of his companions still exist and from that time, even today 7% of Muslims spread all over the world have memorised the same quran and we read the full quran in the month of RAMAZAN with the full community present once every year in the Mosque (Masjid) (Masjid means a place of prostations in Arabic) We call RAMAZAN the month of QURAN from the times of MUHAMMAD a changed and printed quran will be laughed at by centuries old memorized quran. We recite the quran in the dialect of MUHAMMAD, it is not just ARABIC language, its dialect is of Muhammad times.
7-How many enemies he had and how many followers he had in his first 10 years of teachings ?
His first 10 years, He had rougly 70 followers in a city full of 90,000 people, he was beaten, laughed at and his followers were made to sit on burning coal to give up saying ALLAH is ONE and QURAN is sent by him or it is the word.
8-What was the bribe of Mecca people to Muhammad ?
They said we will give gold equal to your weight, we will give you any woman you want in Mecca, if she is married already we will get her divorce or any number of virgins, we will make you king of Arabia, just stop teaching this quran or edit it to please us.
9-What was the reply of Muhammad to the bribe ?
I dont recite the quran with my wish, these are the words revealed to me, everyone's lord is one, we surrender to his peace as muslims (Muslims means a surrender-er to peace).
10-What is migerationg and what is muslim calender ?
Mecca people decided to kill Muhammed, he placed Ali incharge of the trust (Goods and Money)which Meccans used to keep with him and he fled in the dark of night with his friend Abubaker, he migrated to Medina a city full of date palms (500 Kms from Mecca) he was 53 years old and was married 32 years to one wife. Who had just died from atrocities of Mecca, it was 13th year of revelation, this is first year of muslim calender Hijri (Hijra = Migration).
11-Did Meccans had access to reading of Quran and were they able to analyze it ?
Yes Mecca never said Muhammad is a lier or deceitful or untrustworthy, they only objected that the quran be changed and made to fit with the times and the idol worshippers ideology, they had full access to quran.
12-Do muslims love Muhammad because he commanded the MOUNTAIN to come to him ?
Muhammad is the most well documented person in the history of mankind after 1427H.Years we still have 500,000 uncorrupted sayings of Muhammad and we also have QURAN as taught by Muhammad. We muslims dont know the writer from which source he got this mountain story ? As far as Muslims are concerned he was a trustworthy man, never lied and HE KEPT HIS TRUST no matter what difficulty.
We muslims love him for his trust and truth. He said dont even get up to show respect to me to all. That is how simple and humble he was.
13-Why Muslims grow beards, why they marry 4 wives and why woman wear veils and body cover ?
Quran teaches us all this. Quran says marry upto 4 woman if you can do justice to all, if not one is better for you if you knew. Quran says keep covered those parts of your body which attract for your purity and sense of safety.
14-Why muslims come to Mecca in millions every year ?
Lord said to ABRAHAM (Ibrahim) the world knows your love for me with your sacrifice. How will they know my love for you ? This is the reason we muslims do (HAJ) Pilgrimage, We sacrifice a lamb on the 10Th day of Zulhijja(12 Th. Month of Hijri (Lunar Calender)) during Haj and also muslims all over the world sacrifice a lamb per person on this day. It is our festival. All things we do in pilgrimage is the actions of ABRAHAM(Ibrahim) even our prayers are praises of Ibrahim during HAJ time. (Muhammad said those who can afford to do it can do it).
15-What QURAN say about itself , is there a test of its authenticity ?
Quran says if this book was from other than Lord (Allah) you will find many discrepancies (Physical, Textual, Psychological, Environmental, Astronomical, Biological etc.,etc.,) if you still doubt than produce 10 chapters like it in Arabic ?
16-Is the translated text of quran equal word of God (Allah) ?
No, translations pass thru human mind and cannot retain the original grammatical meanings ment by Lord, the words of (Allah) are his meanings not man's interpretations. Lord speaks like lord and man speaks like man.
17-What is the belief of FATE and predestination of Muslims ?
Muslims believe everything is under rule of Lord(Allah) my job my car, the accident, the world wars all events are his workings, we should keep faith in him no matter what happens, we cannot judge him or call him cruel. He made us out of nothing so his mercy preceeds his justice
When we become equal to him in creating a universe with moons and suns and galaxies we can pass our judgements on him and evaluate him !!!!!! his trust with us is the GUIDANCE our tool is the intelligence, we rule everthing on earth (Other beings) we should keep his trust and be truthful about him and to him. QURAN says treat equal all your sons and daughters, sons has equal inheritance of your money and daughters has equal inheritance. (This is how Lord speaks).
ALLAH proper noun cannot be converted or modified to mean anything except ALLAH, where as GOD is a weak word, it can be modified to mean Goddess and Godson etc., I say to the reader all mistakes here are mine, please dont judge me with harshness.
I have not used P.U.B.H (Peace be upon him) beside the names of prophets, it is duty of muslims to use it, but I wanted to keep this review simple for non muslim readers. So please take this note as my justification.
With my limited knowledge I tried to make plain a very vast subject, I have confessed to the mistakes I made in this review "PLEASE DONT SUE ME"
I entered the ballroom of the five-star Jakarta hotel where the Saudi Embassy was celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. There was Tommy Suharto surrounded by his bodyguards. There was Megawati, standing alone. There was me, being stared at. I had wandered onto that side of the room reserved for the women. I made a hasty retreat and headed towards a man I took to be the Minister of Welfare. I began talking about mentally backward people and was given a puzzled look by the elderly gentleman. I had made another mistake. The man I was talking to was the Chairman of the Ulemas Council (an expert on Islam). I retreated to the tables laden with food (no alcohol) and, while occasionally dropping bits of rice and lamb on the floor, got talking to Samsu, a retired university teacher. "I don't know much about Islam," I said sheepishly. "You should have had a longer conversation with the Chairman of the Ulemas Council," said Samsu, a man who reminded me of a kindly little polar bear, "but I will teach you. ############################################ The following section uses material from Encyclopedia Britannica and The Encyclopedia of World Religions (Octopus) and various other sources- Muhammed's revelations were memorised by his followers. Different sections were also, from time to time, written on bits of stone, bits of leather, palm leaves and scraps of paper. Mohammed died in 632 AD and about 650 AD the revelations of Mohammed were collected together in the Koran. The battle of Yamamah (633) saw the death of a great many of the Moslems who knew the Koran by heart. There was a worry that knowledge of the Koran might disappear. So it was decided to collect all the separate sheets on which bits of the Koran had been written and to collect the recitations from surviving followers. Different versions of the Koran were used
in different parts of the Moslem world. The Caliph Uthman is reported to have organised an authoritative version. The Koran is divided into 114 chapters. The chapters revealed at Mecca during the early years deal with spiritual and ethical teachings and the Day of Judgement. The chapters revealed at Medina deal with social legislation and the principles for running a community. The oldest chapters are generally found towards the end of the book. The earliest chapters use short sentences and are poetic in style. The later chapters become more like prose. Few of the chapters seem to be uniform in style or content. To some outsiders, the Koran might seem not to be a planned, organised or systematic work. In the Koran we find references to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Jesus and Mary among others. But there is little detail of these people's lives. The stories of most of these biblical people assume that we already know the details. The Koran is shorter than the Bible. Some Western scholars believe (1) that some of the Koran's material was borrowed from Jewish sources such as Midrash and (2) that the description of paradise has been borrowed from the Syriac church. The Koran tells us that Adam was forgiven by God. There was no long Fall from Grace. No need for a saviour to die on a cross. The Koran is not a comprehensive legal code. Hence the need for 'traditions', 'consensus', and 'individual thought'. ############################################ Ramadan, the Moslem month of fasting, came round again and I found myself in the front room of Samsu's humble bungalow. "I saw some graffiti supporting Saddam Hussein," I said, knowing that Samsu was a tolerant fellow. "Ignorant youth," said Samsu. "Not you. I mean Moslems are supposed to support love, not war. 'God does not love aggressors', according to
the K oran, chapter 2, verse 190. However I'll tell you why some Indonesians support Saddam. Because israel has taken lots of Arab land." "What about the fighting in the Middle East?" "Moslems are only allowed to fight back after there has been continued injustice and oppression." "I saw some graffiti attacking Jesus." "Ignorance. So many Moslems here are poorly educated. In the Koran, Jesus is a great prophet who cures people of sickness. 'Jesus, son of Mary, highly distinguished in the world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near to God.' that's from the Koran chapter 3, verses 45 and 46." "But Moslems don't see Jesus in quite the same way as christians?" "Moslems," said Samsu, "worry about Jesus being seen as identical in every way with God. According to Christians, Jesus talks to God as his Father. He's not talking to himself, is he? Jesus is tempted in the wilderness. Could God be tempted?" "And Jesus talks of himself as the Vine and God as the Vinedresser," I added. "So, you Moslems don't worship either Jesus or Mohammed, but only God." "Yes, but Moslems should respect Christians and Jews. Chapter 2, verse 62 of the Koran says, 'Jews and Christians, whoever believes in God and in the Last Day and does right, there will be no fear among them, and neither will they grieve.' Next question." "What about people getting their hands chopped off for stealing?" "Matthew's Gospel," said Samsu, "If your hand or foot leads you into evil, cut it off." "Wait a minute. Jesus meant we are supposed to cut the bad things out of our own lives. We are not supposed to chop other peopl'e hands off." "The Koran says, 'Those who repent, God will forgive, God
is forgiv ing. Merciful.'" "Moslems don't believe in turning the other cheek," I said. "Remember Kane and Abel?" said Samsu. "In the Koran, Abel says he is not going to strike back at Kane, even if Kane strikes him. Chapter 5, verse 28 of the Koran." "What about stoning to death?" "If a murderer pleads for forgiveness, the family of the victim may spare the man's life. And of course they should spare the murderer's life, if they are good Moslems." "Why?" "Because in Islam it says, 'Unless you want for your neighbour what you want for yourself, you don't have faith.' Of course there are lots of bad Moslems." "Why do you say that?" "Another Islamic quote: 'A man who goes to bed with his stomach full, while his neighbour is hungry, he is not a Moslem." "And there are lots of rich, well-fed Moslems with hungry neighbours?" "Some individuals at the Religious Ministry are said to own several cars and several houses. I'll tell you, I am not a fanatic. i would not survive in Afghanistan. The trouble is that I am educated. Can you believe it? An educated Moslem?"" "Indonesia has a Moslem Intellectual's Society." "I am not a member. I am a traditional and not an orthodox Moslem," said Samsu. "Why are there so many different kinds of Moslem?" "The first Arabic biography of the Prophet was written 100 years after the Prophet's death. The Koran was not written down at the time the prophet revealed it. And critics claim, as with the Christian Gospels, that there are inconsistencies." "Such as?" "Some parts of the Koran seem to suggest that God is all powerful and that everything is determined. Other par
ts suggest free will. This difficulty was debated by early Moslems. Some parts of the Koran imply tolerance of Christians and Jews. Other parts seem less tolerant. Critics puzzle over apparent errors of Geography or History. Look at the Christian Bible. It says 'an eye for an eye', and then it says 'turn the other cheek'. Mark's Gospel gets the Geography wrong. It happens, when people write things down." "What do you think about the inconsistencies in the Koran?" "Apparent inconsistencies. The Mtazilites were a group of Moslems who belived that only God is perfect. Only God is eternal. They argued that the Koran could not be eternal like God." "What do you think?" "The Prophet was a man. You know he originally got Moslems to face Jerusalem when they prayed. He sometimes lost in battle. Moslem scholars often disagree about the Koran, but don't you spread that around. We have had different schools: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali. They don't all agree on everything. In the 8th century there was a Consensus of Scholars trying to get agreement on belief. And remember we have the split into Sunni and Shia sects. I can't lie to you about differences in interpretation." "Do you worry about disagreements?" "Not me. I think it is bad that around the 9th century there was a decline in debate. Moslems should not be scared of holding individual opinions. I think I need to explain about the early history of Islam." ############################################# Another year and another visit to Samsu. "It starts with Abraham and the Jews," said Samsu. "What sort of people were these early Jews?" "A small tribe from Iraq?" I ventured. "Your J M Roberts in his History of the World says the Jews were barbaric, raw and backward. Just like
the Arabs before the time of the Prophet." "And this affected their thinking?" "The early Jewish religious thinking came about in a backward world. So we get the slaughter of animals and the extremely tough and cruel laws. Some of the prophets tried to get people to see God as a God of love and forgiveness." "And Mohammed?" "In Arabia, at that time,the old nobles and the rich merchants were in conflict with the young and the poor. Life could be barbaric for women, the poor, and slaves." "Mohammed wanted to change things?" "He wanted change. Most Arabs knew all about the Jewish and Christian religions. Some Arabs envied these religions." "Mohammed wanted people to worship the one God, the God of Abraham and Jesus?" "Yes. Mohammed began to preach about God and the need for all men to be brothers." "And Islam began to spread." "To Iraq," said Samsu, "To Syria, North Africa, parts of India. Moslem armies even invaded France." "Why did the conquests come to an end?" "At times, Moslems were fighting Moslems. The Moslems were not always a united band of brothers. There was corruption." "Corruption?" "The first Caliphs, most of whome were related to Mohammed, were criticised for being too keen on wealth and power. It was said they acted as tyrants. Some of them were murdered." "So Moslem rulers are not necessarily better than Christian leaders?" "The Crusaders slaughtered everyone in Jerusalem in 1099. Saladin never did that." "Agreed." "But here's a question. The Prophet won a battle at Badr. Some of his supporters saw that as a sign of God's support. Then the Prophet lost the battle at Uhud. Why?
" "Wh at do you think?" "Life did not go smoothly for Jesus, did it? All I know is that, as revealed by the Prophet, God is a God of love and forgiveness. A God who likes peace, not war."
For books concerning the history and tenets of Islam.