Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Years ago I read an English translation of the Qur'an, but today we learned a bit about Islam and it was good to hear it again in light of everything going on in the world.

Just a few things:
  • Islam means "submission to God's will"
  • Arab refers to the culture, Muslim is the religion, and Islamist is political and a newer term, and it's basically referring to anyone who wants to implement Islam into daily life.
  • Of all Muslims, only 19% are Arabs
  • Egypt has the largest population of Muslim Arabs
  • The 5 pilars of Islam are: 1) Shahada (belief system including there is only one God and Mohammed was the last prophet); 2) Salat (ritual prayers 5x per day); 3) Zakat (charity that everyone should give 2.5% of their annual salary to others); 4) Sawm Ramadan (fasting); and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca where they circle the Kaaba 7 times)
  • Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus and that he was a messiah, but that he was not born of God. They also don't believe that the crucifixion happened - that Christ died for 3 days. They don't believe in original sin.
  • They believe in all the miracles of Chirst, such as healing and walking on water.
  • They believe that your deeds take you to heaven or hell. Prophets won't save you, but they will help you.
  • Fatwa is essentially a statement of what is okay behavior as times change.
  • Harram is essentially clear cut wrongs, such as killing or stealing.
  • Big sins for Muslims include Killing, Dishonoring your parents, Gambling, Drinking Alcohol and not eating Halal.
  • Rules of war for Islam I found especially interesting - don't kill unless in self defense, don't pursue fleeing soldiers, don't kill women/children.
  • Wahabism is an extreme interpretation of Islam and is considered corrupt by Muslims
  • Muslims believe in angels, which have free will and come from light, and Man is born of clay with free will, and Jinn comes from fire with no free will.

1 comment:

Shazia Manzar said...

Shorey - Just wanted to correct something. I hope you do not mind.
Zakat is not due on annual salary. There is no required tax/charity on income in Islam. Zakat is due on your assets that you save over a year.

Fatwa is a non-binding legal ruling.

I think you may have Jinns and Angels reversed. Jinns have free-will, Angels have no free-will.

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I volunteered in April/May and loved reading your blog :-)