Belief in Allah

Muslims believe in Tawheed. ’Tawheed’ means believing in Allaah alone as God and Lord and attributing to Him alone all the attributes of Lordship and divinity.

Allah is the Most Powerful and Most Wise. He Created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. Muslims believe that only He (Allah) deserves to be worshipped alone without any partner.

In the Quran, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

1. “Say (O Muhammad): He is Allaah, (the) One [Ahad].

2. Allaah‑us‑Samad [Allaah — the Self‑Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.

4. And there is none co‑equal or comparable unto Him”

[Quran 112:1-3]

Source:

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Every Nation was sent a Prophet

Muslims believe that thousands of prophets were sent periodically by God, at least one to every nation, as a mercy to mankind for their guidance. Some of the Prophets sent include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them).

In certain circumstances, the message of the Prophets was lost, corrupted, forgotten, neglected, or denied by the people. These were some of the reasons why a new Prophet would be sent to re-convey Allah’s message.

Muslims believe in and respect every Prophet sent by God. Muslims also believe in all of the divine books which were revealed to the Prophets, mindful of the fact that none of these books exist today in their original form, aside from the Quran.

“It is He (Allah) Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad) with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” Quran 3:3

Characteristics of Prophets

All Prophets have common characteristics which make them exceptional human beings.

The main difference between an ordinary human being and a Prophet is that a Prophet receives revelation from God (Allah).

Prophets never sought personal benefits such as wealth, high status or power – rather, they only sought the approval of God.

Prophets were the best examples amongst their people in character and righteousness. They lived in obedience to God, with excellent morals and were always truthful in speech and conduct. For this reason, Muslims reject totally the false attribution of major sins to the Prophets, as appears in some scriptures of other religions.

Prophets are not divine

While Prophets are chosen by Allah Almighty, they are in no way divine and should not be worshipped. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was commanded to say:

“I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is One God.” Quran 18:110

It is clear even from the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, that the Prophets were not divine, and would worship and prostrate to the One True God.

“And he [Jesus] went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed…” Matthew 26:39

“And they [Moses and Aaron] fell upon their faces…” Numbers 16:22

“And Abram [i.e. Abraham] fell on his face: and God talked with him…” Genesis 17:3

The Message of the Prophets

Since all Prophets were sent by the One True God, they all conveyed the same message and had the same mission – to remind and educate their people of the purpose of life.

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allâh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Tâghût besides Allâh).””  Quran 16:36

The main focus of all the Prophets was to clarify the concept of God: that He has no partners or equals, and that all worship should be directed exclusively toward Him. In the Quran, there are numerous examples of Prophets proclaiming this message:

Noah (peace be upon him) said [Quran 7:59],

“O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other gods besides Him.”

Abraham (peace be upon him) said [Quran 21:66],

“Do you worship besides Allah, things that can neither bring you benefit nor cause you harm?”

Moses (peace be upon him) said [Quran 7:140],

“What! Shall I seek for you a god other than Allah even though He has made you excel (all) created things?”

Jesus (peace be upon him) said [Quran 3:51],

“Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord: so worship Him (alone): this is the Straight Way.”

Muhammad (peace be upon him) said [Quran 18:110],

“It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. So whoever expects to meet his Lord then let him do good deeds and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”

This message was consistent throughout the generations, and highlights the importance of having the correct belief in God.

The Final Prophet

As mentioned earlier, Muslims believe that thousands of Prophets were sent periodically by Allah to specific groups of people.

“And for every nation there is a messenger.” Quran 10:47

Over time, the messages with which the Prophets came were lost or corrupted.

However, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not sent to a specific people, but to mankind as a whole, and his message has been preserved both in the form of the Quran and the Sunnah. Since the Quran and Sunnah are preserved and easily accessible, there is no need for another Prophet.

“Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets.” Quran 33:40

The Quran is the spoken word of Allah, and is free of any corruption, errors or contradictions. It is a book of “guidance for mankind… and the distinction (between right and wrong).” Quran 2:185

God has guaranteed the Quran’s protection from any corruption or distortion. Allah says in the Quran,

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” Quran 15:9

The Sunnah is a collection of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as recorded by his companions and their students. The fact that there are thousands of these recorded and rigorously authenticated makes it very easy for anyone to follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) correctly.

The message of Prophet Muhammad is in complete harmony with the teachings of the previous Prophets, and reaffirms their message.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet for all mankind from his time up until the end of time, including current and future generations. He was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful and brave human being. He, like other Prophets before him, did not have any evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of Allah.

Sources:

  • “Prophethood in Islam” Pamphlet by islamicpamphlets.com
  • A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, I.A Ibrahim, Second Edition, Darussalam

What is Islam?

Makkah - Haram picture.gif
Muslims praying in Makkah facing the direction of the Qiblah (the Ka’bah).

Islam is a monotheistic religion with over one billion followers all over the world. Islam means ‘submission to the will of Allah’. Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God (Allah) and the Truth revealed to the final prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Islam governs every aspect of life and teaches man to adhere to righteous deeds while restraining from all evil.  Allah says in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning) :

“Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allah and Islamic Monotheism) by their Lord’s Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praise. “ (Quran 14:1)

There is a misconception that Islam is a new religion which came into existence nearly 1400 years ago and that Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the founder of this religion. This is NOT the case as Islam has existed since man set foot on earth and Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is not the founder of Islam, rather he is the last and final Messenger of God. Throughout ages, Allah has sent many Prophets and Messengers to people in order to invite them to the worship of Allah and Allah alone, to order them not to ascribe partners unto Him and bring them out of the darkness of polytheism into the light of Monotheism. Allah says in the Quran:

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).’ Then of them were some whom Allah guided, and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth) .” (Quran 16:36)

All the previous revelations were sent for a particular group of people and was supposed to be followed till a particular time period. However the last and final revelation is the Quran, revealed to the last messenger Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for the whole of mankind. Allah says:

Say: “O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He that giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, who believed in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided.”  (Quran 7:158)

So the aim of sending these Prophets and Messengers to men and jinn was only that they should worship Allah Alone, as Allah says:

“I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me.”  (Quran 51:56)

And to worship Allah means to obey Him and to do all He has ordained and to fear Him by abstaining from all that He has forbidden. This present realm of existence contains trials and tests for each individual. However after death, the final destination for all is either Paradise or Hell.  As Allah says:

“But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are Companions of the Garden therein shall they abide (for ever)” (Quran 2:82)

“And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. But if ye cannot and of a surety ye cannot then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, which is prepared for those who reject Faith.” (Quran 2: 23-24)

Sources:

  •  Some material extracted from a public lecture by Dr. Zakir Naik
  • Islam QA
  • Appendix II in Translation of the meanings of the Noble Quran in the English Language, By Dr. M. Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al- Munawwara).