talk about the five roots of religion (Usul ad-Din), whereas Sunni. Muslims refer to the six Id-ul-Fitr, Ashura and the Night of Power. The spelling of words used
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Islam ˜ The Big Picture The word ‚Islam™ means ‚submission’. Why do Muslims believe they need to live their lives in submission to God? What issues do you think Muslims face living in Britain today? Is belief in angels still important for Muslims today?What is the difference between Sunni and Shi’a? Why is the Prophet Muhammad known as the ‚Seal of the Prophets’? Which holy books do Muslims use?Core Questions What are Muslim beliefs about the afterlife and God’s plan for our lives? Does belief in Al-Qadr (predestination) mean people aren’t responsible for their actions? What is meant by the greater and lesser jihad? Which festivals are important to Muslims? How do Muslims make decisions about right and wrong? God’s plan for our lives? for their actions? Which festivals are important to Muslims? wrong? 219 Tawhid ‚Oneness™ in reference to God. The basic Muslim belief in the oneness of God. Prophethood or ‚risalah™ The term used of the messengers of God, beginning with Adam and ending with the Prophet Muhammad. Halal (permitted) Actions or things which are permitted within Islam, such as eating permitted foods. Haram (forbidden) Any actions or things which are forbidden within Islam, such as eating forbidden foods. Jihad Means ‚to strive™. There are two forms of jihad. The greater jihad is the daily struggle and inner spiritual striving to live as a Muslim. The lesser jihad is a physical struggle or ‚holy war™ in defence of Islam. Mosque or ‚masjid™ A ‚place of prostration™ for Muslims, it is a communal place of worship for a Muslim community. Shari™ah (straight path) A way of life; Muslims believe God has set out a clear path for how Muslims should live. Shari’ah law is the set of moral and religious rules that put the principles set out by the Qur’an and the Hadith into practice. Ummah Means ‚community™. Refers to the worldwide community of Muslims who share a common religious identity. Key Concepts
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220Islam ˜ Overview This chapter begins by asking ‚What is Islam?™. It looks at the diversity of the ummah (the Muslim community) in the UK and across the world, exploring the similarities and differences between the two great branches of Sunni and Shi’a. Important beliefs such as the nature of revelation and authority in Islam are discussed.It then moves on to look at the beliefs, teachings and practices within the religion (the foundations of faith), exploring signi˜ cant aspects of both the Sunni and Shi™a traditions. Shi™a Muslims talk about the ˜ ve roots of religion (Usul ad-Din), whereas Sunni Muslims refer to the six articles of faith. The following beliefs are covered in some detail: God (Allah), prophethood (risalah), angels (malaikah), holy books (the Qur™an), the afterlife (akhirah) and predestination (al-Qadr). The second section covers some of the main practices in Islam, looking at the Ten Obligatory Acts of Shi™a Islam and the Five˚Pillars of Sunni Islam: the declaration of faith (Shahadah), prayer (Salah), charity (Zakah), fasting during Ramadan (Sawm) and pilgrimage (Hajj). It then moves on to discuss jihad, exploring the difference between greater and lesser (military) jihad, and concludes with a description of Islamic festivals and commemorations: Id-ul-Adha, Id-ul-Fitr, Ashura and the Night of Power. The spelling of words used in Islam can cause many problems, because there is often disagreement about how words should be translated from the original Arabic. This book uses the generally accepted spellings. Throughout the book the word ‚God™ has been preferred to the word ‚Allah™ to emphasise to the non-Muslim reader that Muslims worship God, not some other being *. It was the Prophet Muhammad™s belief that he was worshipping the same God as the Jews.Discuss some of the ‚core questions™ on page 219 in pairs. Write a brief answer to one of them, showing you have thought about different perspectives. questions™ on page 219 in pairs. Task* The speci˜ cation uses Allah and both/either will be accepted in the exam.
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221 What is Islam? ˜ What is Islam? The word ‚Islam™ means ‚submission™ in the Arabic language. Muslims believe in one God (Allah) and they worship him because he is the divine creator . Islam teaches that, through the centuries, God revealed his truth to many special people or prophets. However, most importantly, God spoke to the last and greatest Prophet, Muhammad, in special messages that were collected together in the form of the Qur™an. Another meaning of the word Islam is ‚peace™ and Muslims are committed to establishing a fair and respectful society. They believe that God has set out clear laws (called the Shari™ah) to guide human beings, allowing them to live together in peaceful communities, as he has intended. Islam worldwide There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today (23˚per˚cent of the world™s population), making Islam the world™s second largest religion after Christianity. It is also the fastest growing religion in the world. Islam originates from the Middle East: Muhammad lived in Arabia (modern-day Saudi Arabia) and the most important Islamic holy sites are in this part of the world. The Middle East and North Africa has the highest concentration of Muslim population today: 93 per cent of people in this region are Muslims. However, nearly two-thirds of the world™s Muslims live in the Asia-Paci˜ c region (in countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia). Islam in Britain In Britain today there are nearly 3 million Muslims, making up more than 4.5 per cent of the population. Up until the mid- twentieth century there were very few Muslims in the UK, but from the 1950s onwards signi˜ cant numbers of people came from the former colonies, taking up the offer of work in post-Second World War Britain. Some of the ˜ rst were East African Asians, while many others came from South Asia. The 2011 census shows that Britain is now home to one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the world. The largest groups originate from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but many come from Arab and African communities, as well as Muslims from south-east Asia, the Balkans and Turkey. There are also many Muslims who have converted from other faiths. Some Muslims in Britain describe themselves as Su˜ s. Su˜ s try to ˜ nd the heart of the religion and they practise a more mystical version of Islam. There is also a signi˜ cant Ahmadiyya community in the UK. They believe the long-awaited Messiah (Mahdi) has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad after Muhammad. Many Muslims regard the Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims. The majority of British Muslims are Sunnis (95 per cent), with the remaining 5 per cent coming from the Shi™a tradition. Within the Sunni community there are groups such as the Deobandi, Barelvis and Sala˜ . Types of Shi™a groups include the Twelvers, Zaydis and Ismailis. Islam submission or peace. Divine perfect or God-like. Creator one who brings something into existence, in this case the world. Muslims believe that Islam did not begin with Prophet Muhammad; it goes right back to the earliest humans (Adam). Islam is the natural religion of all people, and while Muhammad is understood to be the ˜ nal prophet, he is not the founder of Islam. A useful infographic showing diagrams and statistics relating to different Islamic sects, schools and groups can be found at: http://www. informationisbeautiful.net/ visualizations/islamic-sects- schools-branches-movements/ In your own words, can you explain why Muslims believe they should submit to God. explain why Muslims believe TaskIn your own words, can you explain why Muslims challenge the idea that Muhammad was the ‚founder of Islam™. explain why Muslims challenge Task
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222Islam Sources of authority in Islam Islam teaches that there is a divine law, sent by God, to guide human beings in the right way to live. They believe that this law is, set out in the Qur™an, which is the perfect communication from God to humans. However, not every single area of life is covered by its teachings, so Muslims also look to a number of other sources of authority to help guide them. Some of these other authorities are: Hadith, Sunnah, Shari™ah, traditions, Imams, scholars, etc. The Qur™an is the word of God The Qur™an is the most important source of authority in Islam. Muslims believe that the Qur™an: ˜ is the complete book of guidance for all human beings ˜ was revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (through the Angel Jibril) over a period of 23 years ˜ was written down in Arabic by his followers and compiled into one book shortly after the Prophet™s death in 632 CE. Authority the idea that something or someone is in charge of what is right or wrong. We look to an authority to guide our own understanding and decision-making. ‚The Qur™an is not the Qur™an unless it is heard.™ The Art of Reciting the Qur™an by Kristina NelsonThe Qur™an is arranged into chapters (surahs) and verses (ayat). There are 114 surahs and 6,616 ayats. World map showing the distribution of Muslims Percentage of population that is MuslimLess than 33Œ9.79.7Œ18.518.5Œ29.929.9Œ42.842.8Œ61.461.4Œ82.182.1Œ93.393.3Œ99.9No dataQur™an means ‚reading™ or ‚recitation™. The Qur™an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad as a ‚living sound™ and it must be spoken to reveal its beauty and truth. A Ha˜ z someone who has been able to memorise the whole Qur™an in Arabic. 1 Explain what a ‚ha˜ z™ is. 2 Why do you think it is considered to be special amongst Muslims to become a hafiz? Task
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223What is Islam? The Sunnah: the way of the Prophet The Prophet Muhammad is an inspiration to all Muslims, so they try to imitate the way he lived. The Sunnah:˜ is the second most important source of authority for Muslims ˜ describes the customs, practices and traditions of Muhammad ˜ teaches the perfect path or model of how Muslims should live. The Hadith: the sayings of the Prophet Muslims love and respect the words of Prophet Muhammad, because he was such an outstanding character. He had deep devotion to God, but he was also a man of enormous wisdom, kindness and compassion. The Hadith is a book which contains his sayings, as recorded by his family and companions. There are different collections of these sayings, each accepted by different Muslim groups. ‚The warrior who truly ˜ ghts for God™s cause is he who looks after a widow or a poor person.™ Hadith‚If you think of God, you will ˜ nd Him there before you.™ HadithHadith an account describing the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. To ‘tell’ or ‘narrate’. Shari™ah (straight path) A way of life; Muslims believe God has set out a clear path for how Muslims should live. Shari™ah law is the set of moral and religious rules that puts the principles set out by the Qur™an and the Hadith into practice. Halal (permitted) Actions or things which are permitted within Islam, such as eating permitted foods. Haram (forbidden) Any actions or things which are forbidden within Islam, such as eating forbidden foods. A way of life; Muslims believe God has set out a Key Concepts The Shari™ah: the straight path The Shari™ah law sets out the moral and religious rules that Muslims must follow. It puts into practice the principles set out by the Qur™an, the Sunnah and the Hadith, so by following Shari™ah law Muslims can know that they are obeying the will of God. Shari™ah lays down laws about what is halal (allowable) and what is haram (forbidden). It deals with many everyday topics, setting out rules for Muslims on personal matters like food, clothing, crime, money, sex and relationships. In the Hadith there is an account of Prophet Muhammad™s last sermon, delivered in Makkah shortly before his death. Here he instructed his followers to be obedient to the teachings set out in the Qur™an and the Sunnah.‚I have left among you that which if you hold fast to, then you would never go astray, clear things, the book of God and the Sunnah of his prophet.™ 1 What is the Hadith? 2 Although Muslims treat the Hadith with enormous respect, can you explain why you think it is not regarded as sacred in the same way as the Qur™an? Tasks The Hadith are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad The Sunnah is the record of all that Muhammad said and did and this helps guide Muslims today, to live a life that is pleasing to God.
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224 Islam The ummah is the worldwide community of Muslims. Within the ummah all Muslims are equal, whatever their language, culture or nationality. There is great diversity across the Islamic world. There is no one, single pattern for what it means to be a Muslim, but there are certain fundamentals they all hold to. The central belief for Muslims is that there is one God (Allah) who has revealed his divine teachings to the Prophet Muhammad, in the Qur™an. Sunni and Shi™a: who are they? One of the major divisions within Islam is the split between Sunni and Shi™a. Sunnis form the majority of Muslims in the world today (87Œ90 per cent); they live in the countries of North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Indonesia. The remaining 10Œ13 per cent of Muslims today are from the Shi™a community (although only about 5 per cent of British Muslims are Shi™as). Shi™as live mainly in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and India. Sunnis and Shi™as have coexisted for centuries, living peaceably side by side, often worshipping together in the same mosques, sometimes inter- marrying. Although they share most central beliefs, they do have signi˜ cant differences in the way they understand religious truth, laws and practices. The Sunni and Shi™a split Soon after the death of Prophet Muhammad a dispute arose over who should lead the emerging Muslim community. Abu Bakr had been a close companion of the Prophet and a large group of believers chose him to become the new Khalifah (leader). After Abu Bakr™s death Umar became the leader, then Uthman and then Ali. These four leaders have come to be known as the Rightly Guided Khalifahs and Sunni Muslims accept that they were God™s appointed leaders. However, there was a smaller group who believed that Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, should have become the ˜ rst Khalifah. It was their belief that the Prophet Muhammad had chosen and appointed Ali as his successor and they rejected the leadership of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. They were angry that Ali had been overlooked and when Ali was later murdered they began to separate themselves, calling themselves the Shi™a (the House of Ali). They believe that the Prophet Muhammad appointed 12 successors (Imams) from his own descendants, who are known as the Ahl al-Bayt, ‚the Family of the House™ of Muhammad. Sunni ‚one who follows the Sunnah™. (The Sunnah is the book which describes the way the Prophet Muhammad lived.) Shi™a ‚from the House of Ali™. (Ali was a close relative to Muhammad.) ˜ The Islamic community Ummah, the worldwide Islamic community Ummah Means ‚community™. Refers to the worldwide community of Muslims who share a common religious identity. Means ‚community™. Refers to the worldwide community of Key Concept Imam a leader, but Sunnis and Shia™s differ in the way they understand the term. In Sunni Islam an imam is the leader in a local mosque, where he has been chosen by the local Muslim community to lead worship. In Shi™a Islam there were only twelve Imams. They are seen as holy ˜ gures who were all divinely appointed members of Muhammad™s descendants.
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226 7 Islam: Beliefs and teachings The foundations of faith ˜ The six articles of faith in Sunni Islam There is no of˜ cial creed in Islam, but for Sunni Muslims there are six central beliefs, or articles of faith, which de˜ ne their understanding of God. This teaching can be found in the Hadith, where Muhammad is recorded as saying: ‚You must believe in Allah, his angels, his holy books, his messengers, in the Last Day and in fate (both in its good and in its evil aspects).™ 1 Allah (God): the unity and oneness of God is called Tawhid. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe in one God. The Arabic word for God is Allah, which simply means ‚the (al) God (ilah)™. 2 Malaikah (angels): God created angels to interact with human lives, bringing his divine message. Each Muslim has two guardian angels who record that person™s good and bad actions. 3 Holy books: God has revealed his word to humans in the Qur™an. This tells Muslims all they need to know about how to live their lives. Other inspired scriptures include the Tawrat of Musa (Torah), the Zabur of Dawud (Psalms) and the Injil of Isa (Gospels).4 Risalah (prophethood): God has spoken through numerous prophets throughout time, including Adam, Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus). However, Muhammad is the greatest prophet. 5 Akhirah (the afterlife) Belief in the ˜ nal judgement and life after death. This life is a preparation for the eternal life that follows. On the last day there will be a time of judgement, when Muslims will have to account for their lives. 6 Al-Qadr (God™s predestination): God is responsible for everything and has set out a divine destiny for all things. God has written down all that has happened and all that will happen in the universe. However, this does not take away human free will. Jihad striving to do what is right, for God. The greater jihad is the struggle that each person has, as an individual, to follow God™s will in their life. The lesser jihad is the ˜ ght to defend Islam (holy war). Submission to the will of God Islam means ‚submission™; following the Five Pillars and the rules of Shari™ah law are a sign of being a true Muslim. Creed a set statement of faith that all religious believers follow.
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227 The ˜ ve roots of religion in Usul ad-Din in Shi™a Islam Although these six beliefs are central to the Islamic faith they are not the only important beliefs. Others include: the jihad and submission to the will of God .The six articles of faith in Sunni Islam Create a mind map around these six articles of faith. Write out the six key beliefs on a large sheet of paper and add in the following ideas, linking them in where you think they belong: Prophet Muhammad Angel Jibril The Qur™an Free will or predestination? The afterlife One God (Tawhid) Ibrahim, Musa and Isa Two guardian angels Revelation from God Can you think of six more of your own to add to the diagram? Create a mind map around these six articles of faith. Write out the six key beliefs on a large sheet of paper and add in TaskBelief in GodBelief in al-Qadr (God™s divine plan)Belief in theprophethood Articles offaithBelief in theafterlifeBelief in theangelsBelief in theholy books ˜ The ˜ ve roots of religion in Usul ad-Din in Shi™a Islam Diversity of beliefs in Islam All Muslims share the central beliefs of the Islamic faith: the understanding that there is one God (Allah) who is creator, protector and judge; the belief that Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets, to whom God revealed the Qur™an. However, over the centuries, as Islam developed in different cultures and societies, Muslim scholars developed different ways of understanding the faith. Today there are some signi˜ cant differences in the way different Muslim groups interpret these˚truths. The ˜ ve roots of religion (Usul ad-Din) Shi™a Islam emphasises the importance of ˜ ve fundamental principles which are sometimes called the ‚roots of religion™. Every individual must make themselves aware of these truths as the foundation of their faith. Justice of God(Adalah)Prophethood (Nubuwwah)Leadership(Imamat)Resurrection (Qayamat)Oneness of God(Tawhid)
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228 7 Islam: Beliefs and teachings Usul ad-Din, the ˜ ve roots of religion, can also be referred to as the ‚foundation of faith™. They are: ˜ oneness of God (Tawhid) ˜ justice of God (Adl or Adalah) ˜ prophethood (Nubuwwah) ˜ leadership (Imamate)˜ resurrection (Qayamat). 1 The oneness of God (Tawhid): There is one God who has no equals; he is a divine unity. He cannot be compared to anyone or anything. He is perfect and unique and he possesses infinite power and knowledge. He is immortal (he was never born) and has no partner or children. He alone should be worshipped. ‚Say, ﬁHe is God, [who is] One, God, the Eternal Refuge.™ Qur™an 112:1Œ22 The justice of God (Adl or Adalah): God is perfect justice, fairness and wisdom. He does not wrong anyone and he will not tolerate wrongdoing. He cannot abuse his power by performing acts that go against his own nature to be just and fair. Humans must be responsible for their own actions, good or bad. 3 Prophethood (Nubuwwah): God has appointed prophets and messengers to guide human beings, showing them how to live in peace and submission to God. According to some Islamic sources, God sent 124,000 prophets; some of these bought God™s divine scriptures with them. Muhammad was the Seal of the Prophets, meaning that he brought the ˜ nal, perfect and unchanging message from God. 4 Leadership (Imamate): Most Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet, who brought the ˜ nal scripture (the Qur™an) to humanity. Shi™as believe that, after his death, God appointed 12˚infallible Imams to guide the Muslim community, leading them on the path set by the Prophet Muhammad. These Imams are part of what Shi™as call Ahl al-Bayt (the Family of the House). In other words, they are part of Prophet Muhammad™s extended household. Of these 12, 11 have been killed. They believe that the 12th (or hidden) Imam is still alive, but is in hiding (occultation), waiting to reappear and rule on earth with justice. They sometimes refer to him as the Mahdi.5 Resurrection (Qayamat): The belief that, on the Day of Judgement, there will be a resurrection, when all human beings will be physically raised to life to be judged by God. He will reward the good and punish the evil. ‚So whoever does an atom™s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom™s weight of evil will see it.™ Qur™an 99:7Œ8Using the information here and on page 275 (Key differences between Sunni and Shi™a beliefs and practices) compare and contrast Sunni and Shi™a beliefs about imams. Task Sunni Shi™aSunni and Shi™a beliefs about imams
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229Al-Fatihah, the opening The Nature of God (Allah) 1 Copy out the al-Fatihah in your book. 2 Why do you think Muslims might try to learn this passage by heart? 3 Choose three things it says and write down what they teach Muslims about God. Copy out the al-Fatihah in TasksAl-Fatihah in calligraphy Tawhid ‚Oneness™ in reference to God. The basic Muslim belief in the oneness of God. ‚Oneness™ in reference to God. The basic Muslim belief in the Key Concept The single most important belief in Islam is Tawhid, the oneness and unity of God. There is one God (Allah) who is the universal God of all humanity. Muslims believe that God is: ˜ Immanent: God is always close by. The Qur™an says that God is closer to each one of us than the veins in our necks (50:16). ˜ Transcendent : God is beyond all things, not limited by the rules of nature.˜ Omniscient: God has all knowledge, nothing can be hidden from him. ˜ Bene˜ cent : God is always kind; he loves us. ˜ Merciful: God is always fair; he forgives us if we are sorry. ˜ Judge: on the last day, God will be our judge. ˜ Creator : God is the beginning; he is the cause of all that exists.In Shi™a Islam there is an emphasis on Adalat, the Justice of God. This is one of the ˜ ve roots of religion (Usul ad-Din). The Qur™an teaches that it was God ‚Who created the heavens and the earth™ and that ‚He has power over all things.™ (46:33) ˜ Al-Fatihah, the opening The al-Fatihah is the ˜ rst surah (chapter) in the Qur™an. It means ‚the opening™, and many Muslims learn to recite it from memory in their daily prayers. ‚In the name of God, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to God, Lord of the worlds Œ The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path Œ the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.™ Qur™an 1:1Œ7Allah the Arabic word meaning God. Muslims believe that they worship the same God that spoke through Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus). ‚God witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge Œ [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.™ Qur™an 3:18
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