Q1: What is Islam?
A: The word Islam literally means ‘Peace and surrender to the will of Allah the Creator’.
It was founded by Prophet Muhammad(saw) over 1400 years ago in Arabia. Prophet Muhammad(saw) received revelation from Allah in which he was told that Islam was the final and most complete religion for mankind. The followers of Islam are called Muslims.
Islam’s holy book is The Holy Qur’an and this was revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad(sa). It is a source of complete guidance. Its teachings are in agreement with human nature. Islam is a religion revealed for the whole of mankind for all time to come.
Q2: Who was the Prophet Muhammad (saw)?
A: Muhammad (saw) was the prophet of Islam and the one to whom the final religion was revealed by God. He was born in a noble family in 570CE in Makkah, Arabia and he was a descendant of Prophet Abraham(as). The word ‘Muhammad’ literally means ‘praiseworthy’.
Q3: What is the Holy Qur'an?
A: The Holy Qur'an is the holy book of Islam. It is the original Word of Allah revealed in the Arabic language to Prophet Muhammad(saw). The word ‘Qur’an’ literally means something that is read or recited often. It comprises thirty parts and one hundred and fourteen chapters. It has remained unchanged since its revelation as noted in the Quran itself. (Holy Qur’an, Ch.15: V.10)
Translations of the Qur’an are now also available in over 50 languages including English.
Q4: Who are Muslims?
The Arabic word "Muslim" literally means "someone who submits to the will of God" . The message of Islam is meant for the entire world and anyone who accepts this message becomes a Muslim.
Q5: What does it mean to believe in Allah?
To believe in Allah’s total Perfection and Uniqueness.
To believe in the Angels. We must love them all in the same way, we cannot hate an Angel; for example, it is forbidden to hate Michael who is given the charge of Rain and the vegetation of the Earth or Gabriel, who is entrusted with Revelation (i.e. he brings down the Scriptures to the prophets, may Allah exalt their mention).
To believe in Allaah's books revealed to His Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, taking into consideration that all of these books have either disappeared or changed, except the last divine book, the Quran.
To believe in His Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, because they are His Messengers and He sent them. We cannot pick and choose, a Muslim must believe in all the Prophets of Allah, may Allah exalt their mention.
To believe in the Last Day: The Day of Judgment.
To believe in Allah's predestination of good and bad (we might consider something bad from our perspective), but to Allah everything He does is good).
Q6: What can I ask of Allah?
Any thing but don't ask Him to do things like make you a prophet, because He has already said that there will be no more prophets. You can ask Allah for guidance. Meaning you can ask Him to show you the correct religion.
Q7: Can anyone become a Muslim?
Yes, anyone can. There are two declarations, which are necessary:
To bear witness that no one deserves to be worshiped except Allah.
To bear witness that Prophet Muhammad , is the Messenger of Allah. This is the declaration of faith which makes a person Muslim, however, this should be said in Arabic.
After a person becomes a Muslim he/she is taught about Prayers, Fasting, the Poor due, Pilgrimage. These are the pillars of Islam.
Muslims are brothers. A Muslim should love for his brother what he loves for himself. Allah's wealth does not run out and Allah can provide for us all. We pray for each other and love each other, and love for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves.
Q8: Are non-Muslims allowed inside mosques?
The Qur’an does not prohibit anyone from visiting a mosque (provided they are not there to cause trouble) as it is a House of God that can and should be used for the worship of God by all. Only idolatry is prohibited in a mosque but even then all are welcome to visit a mosque. This declaration against idolatry in a mosque was to protect the Ka’aba (and therefore any mosque) and to ensure that it would remain a sanctuary for those who believe in the Oneness of God.
Q9: Why do Muslim men have beards and wear turbans?
Muslims seek to follow the noble example of the Prophet of Islam(saw). The Holy Prophet(saw) had a beard and wore a turban, both of which were the custom appearance of men of that age and country. However, these were not done simply to follow custom or tradition.
The growing of beards has been linked with piety and manhood for thousands of years across many cultures and civilisations and it is common in many religions.
Islam has continued this noble tradition, where the Prophet of Islam (saw) encouraged the growth of beards: ‘Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle (saw) said, “Trim the moustaches short and grow the beard.” ’ (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 781)
As for turbans it is true to say that many Arab and Asian Muslims wear the turban purely for customary reasons, but there is no religious requirement that a turban should be worn. The reason why Muslims may wear a turban is because it reflects the spirit of Islam that seeks to remind people of God. When praying Muslims are required to cover their heads as they are in the presence of their Lord. Covering the head is a sign of showing respect to God. Similarly some Muslims choose to cover their heads at other times as a reminder of their faith and of God. The form of head covering is not prescribed so can range from caps and hats to turbans.
Q10: Why do the Muslims worship, and bow down to the Kaaba in their prayer?
Kaaba is the Qibla i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the Kaaba during prayers, they do not worship the Kaaba. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.