Islam God

The Muslim creation story is one which tells that God made the world and the heavens and all creatures that walk, crawl, swim and fly on it. In Islam god also made angels, the heavens, the sun, the moon and the stars to live in the universe.  The Qur’an tells how God then made the rains to pour down on the earth and break up the soil to bring forth fruits and vegetation.

It then tells of how God ordered the angels to go to the earth and return with seven handfuls of different colour soils from which he could model man. Once He had moulded man from the soils He breathed life and power into it and it sprang into life as Adam the first man. God then took Adam to live Paradise; He then created Eve from one of Adam’s side. God taught Adam all of the creature’s names and ordered the angel Iblis to bow down before Adam. Iblis refused to do this and began to disobey God’s will.

In Islam God placed Adam and Eve in a garden in Paradise, telling them they could eat anything except the fruits of the forbidden tree. However, the evil one tempted them to eat the fruits from the forbidden tree. When God knew that Adam and Eve had disobeyed him, he cast them both out of paradise and sent them to earth to live.

The story says that as God is merciful and he created the earth to give food, drink and shelter to humans, the sun, and moon and stars to give light and that the world is good. The Qur’an teaches that if people serve God and obey His will they will be saved and taken to live in Paradise forever.

Muslims believe that God created a good world and when people obey or submit to God then life is good. The word ‘Islam’ means submission and although God made man superior to the rest of creation the earth is not theirs to do what they want with and Muslims believe that humans have been given everything on earth to care for and look after. The Qur’an teaches that Muslims should be grateful for all living things as God is the creator of life.

In Islam God is the sole creator, the Muslim creation story is found in both the Qur’an and explained in the teachings by the prophet Mohammad, which were collected together and are known as the Hadath.

Muslim Beliefs

Muslims beliefs follow the Five Pillars of Islam, which they regard as the most important practice of their religion. The Five Pillars of Wisdom are obligations which Muslims must fulfill in order to live the way of Islam. By carrying out these obligations Muslims intertwine all aspects of their lives with their religion as they believe that it is pointless to live without putting their beliefs into action. By carrying out the Five Pillars of Wisdom shows that Muslims put their faith and beliefs before anything else in their lives. Muslims believe that it is pointless trying to cheat on the Five Pillars as Allah cannot be fooled and the only person who suffers in that one individual.

The Five Pillars of Wisdom:

Shahadah; There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger. Any Muslims who cannot recite these words wholeheartedly cannot call themselves a true Muslim. By reciting the words means that they believe that there is only one God, that they will live their life according to his ways and that they personally believe this to be true. The words are written in Arabic on the Saudi Arabian flag to inform everyone that the state contains Islam’s holiest places.

Salat: Salat is the practice of praying five times a day a times set by Allah. Prayer times are before sunrise, before midday, late afternoon, just after sunset and between sunset and midnight. All Muslims, including children aged seven and over are encouraged to carry out their prayers at these set times as this provides them with a pattern for the day. The public call to prayer sets the pattern and rhythm of the day for all people. The prayers said are more than just repeating learned words, Muslim prayers involve the mind, body and soul and Muslims carry out set movements which accompany the words of the prayers. Muslims believe that if they pray without sincerity then it is the same as if they haven’t prayed at all and is pointless. As Allah has no needs Muslims do not pray to Him, they pray because He told them to and because they believe they achieve great benefits of doing so.

Zarkat is the compulsory giving of a set amount of wealth, cash, gold, silver and commercial items to charity; it is seen as a type of worship and self-purification. 2.5% is given out of one’s wealth every year; it is not the charitable donations that are given out of kindness or generosity.  It is believed that Zarkat helps Muslims to not only obey God but to acknowledge that everything comes from God and cannot be taken with them when the die and so there is no reason to cling on to it, Muslims also believe that it is God’s choice whether you are rich or poor, if he has chosen you to be rich then you should help those he chose to be poor.

Sawm is fasting during Ramadan. Adult Muslims must not eat or drink anything during daylight hours, nor can they smoke, this includes passive smoking, nor have any type of sexual activity. For Muslims with a physical or mental impairment, are very young or very old, pregnant, breast feeding, menstruating or travelling may be excused from some of these.

Hajj; Muslims from all ethnic groups, social class, color and culture stand together in front of the Kaaba and pray together.

These are the Five Pillars of Islam which Muslim beliefs follow.

Islam Faith

Muslim prayer items include prayer rugs which are used to ensure that the praying area is clean, along with other Islam faith items; however, they are not used by all Muslims and are not a requirement of Islam. Prayer rugs have become a traditional way to ensure the cleanliness and give an isolated space to concentrate in prayer.

Prayer rugs are sufficiently big enough for an adult to fit comfortably while kneeling or prostrating and are usually made from silk or cotton. The rug designs can be geometrical, floral, arabesque or show landmarks such as the ka’aba in Mecca. The rugs are designed to have a top and bottom and include an arch at the top. The prayer stands on the bottom and the top arch points towards the direction of prayer. The rugs will quite often have a deliberate mistake in the pattern which reminds the owner that nothing is perfect except God.

At prayer times the worshipper places the rug on the ground with the top pointing towards the direction of Mecca. When prayers have been performed the rug is immediately folded or rolled and put away to keep the rug clean. To help the owner find the correct position for prayers there is quite often a compass pocket at the back of the rug. Gifts, such as compasses and books giving the directions from around the world are put into these pockets.

Other Islam faith items include prayer beads, the Subha, are made up of three sets of thirty three beads and one large bead, making a total of one hundred and are generally made of wood or plastic. The ninety nine beads are used to say the ninety nine names of God during prayer. Muslims believe that by saying God’s name repeatedly brings them closer to God.

Men must cover their head while praying and it usual for them to wear cotton crocheted prayer cap, the Tigiyha under their head shawl to keep their hair in place.

When the Qur’an is used it must be kept off the ground and rest on a special Qur’an book stand, which are usually made of wood with intricate carvings on. The Islam faith has many different items which may be used with prayer, however it is important to remember that they are not a necessity.

Islam Prayer

Islam prayer ensures that prayers are said five times each day and the timings are spread evenly throughout the day, so that a Muslim is constantly reminded of God and given sufficient opportunities to seek forgiveness and guidance from Him.

There are five obligatory prayers, which are rewardable and other optional prayers to perform. A praying Muslim must have reached the state of mental discrimination which is when a child reaches about seven lunar years.

Before a Muslim prays they must have the proper Taharah, purification. This means that they perform wudu’, ablution, or ghusl, full shower to remove najas, filthy substances.

There are substances, najas, which not be on a person’s body, clothes, place of prayer or carried when praying. This includes urine, faeces, blood, vomit, pus and penis or vaginal discharges, except maniyy, semen and the woman’s fluid of orgasm, as these are not regarded as filthy.

After urinating or defecating the person uses toilet paper to dry and then pours water on the area. It is acceptable to use just toilet paper or water only. However, the urine must not go past the exit area and faeces must not spread past the buttock area.

Ablutions, wudu, has recommended and obligatory parts which include washing of the hands, wrists, nose, mouth, ears, forearms and elbows, as some parts are washed Muslims say ‘inwardly’ specific words.

Muslims observe the formal Islam prayer at the following times:
The prayer Fajr begins the day and is performed before sunrise to start the day in remembrance of God.

The next prayers, Dhuhr, are said after the day’s work has begun and take place after noon to remember God and seek His guidance.

‘Asr are the prayers said in the late afternoon and Muslims believe that although they may be busy with their daily lives it is important to give time to remember God and the greater meaning of their lives.

Just after sunset Maghrib are the prayers which are said to remember God as the days comes to a close.

Before going to bed Muslims take time to remember God’s presence, guidance, mercy and forgiveness by performing Isha.

In Muslim communities people are reminded of the prayer times through the calling of the adhan. For Muslims who live Muslim minority communities adhan programmes of Muslim prayer schedules are available and these give Islam prayer schedule times across the world to encompass all time zones.

Islam Beliefs

Islam beliefs included by many are the beliefs that to be a true Muslims you must believe in the Six Articles of Faith.

The most important Islam beliefs are their belief in Allah, the Prophets, life, salvation and that there is an afterlife.

1.    That there is only one God
2.    The Angels of God
3.    The Qur’an, the book of God
4.    The prophets of God, in particular Mohammed
5.    The Day of Judgment, the afterlife
6.    The supremacy of God’s will

Followers of Islam believe that there is only one God whom they call Allah. The word Allah is derived from the Arabic ‘The’ al and ‘God’ llah. Muslims believe that God is all-powerful and is transcended and not a part of his own creation.

God is referred to in the Qur’an over ninety nine times and is given names which reflect his superiority and supremacy, among these names the more frequently used names include The Creator, The Fashioner, The Lord of the World, The Prevailer.

Muslims believe that Allah is a God of justice and will reward those who are righteous and punish those who are unrighteous.

Muhammad, founder of Islam is known as The Seal of the Prophets, he is held in high esteem, although he is not regarded in any way as divine because Islam does not permit this due to their belief that there is only one God.

Islam beliefs are that Allah created to men as the greatest of all creatures, they have free will which enables them to obey and serve Allah.

The object of life for Muslims is to live in a way which pleases Allah which will enable them to enter paradise. Muslims believe that at puberty a record of deeds is opened which will be used at the Day of Judgment to establish his eternal fate.

Muslims believe that man has a soul and Islam teaches that the soul and a changed physical appearance are present after death. The Day of Judgment will split humanity into the two final destinations, heaven or hell.

Muslims view their religion as the only true religion and welcome all nationalities, races and religions to join them and be part of their faith.