New to Islam? Common questions answered!

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Questions Answered
Q: Who is Allah, and is He the same as God?
A: When talking about God, Muslims automatically think of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Allah, in Arabic language, is "God". He is the Almighty, the One Creator who created the universe, mankind and all other forms of life.
Q: Is it true that Adam was the first messenger of God سبحانه وتعالى?
A: Yes, Adam had the responsibility to convey God's message and laws to his descendants. From the beginning, Adam's message to the first generation of mankind was to worship One True God, Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Q: Who is Satan and what's his name in Arabic?
A: Satan belongs to another form of life "jinnkind" or spirits. His name in Arabic is (Iblis) and he goes by another name "Sheetan" (Devil).

Q: Why does Satan despise humans and desire their destruction?
A: When God سبحانه وتعالى created Adam, God wanted to give Adam some sort of respect, value and position among the other creations. God سبحانه وتعالى commanded the Angels, including Satan from the Jinn, to prostrate to Adam as a sign of respect and not as a sign of worship. All prostrated to Adam but Satan. Satan was a mighty & a distinguished Jinn. God سبحانه وتعالى asked him what made you not prostrate to Adam and disobeyed my commandment? Satan replied, I am better than Adam, you created him from Clay and created me from Fire. God سبحانه وتعالى cursed Satan. Satan vowed to destroy Adam and his descendants forever.

Q: I am still confused, I thought Satan was an Angel like Gabriel and he has no free will but to worship God?
A: False. If Satan was an Angel, then we wouldn't have any problems with him at all. Angels are a special creation of God سبحانه وتعالى. God سبحانه وتعالى created Angels from divine light (Nur). Angles don't have free will in doing things but to worship God سبحانه وتعالى and obey his commandments. Satan, on the other hand, is a Jinn "spirit", and like humans, Satan and his race "jinnkind" have free will in their actions; free will of doing good and free will of doing bad. Ref. QURAN (18:50)

Q: Why did God سبحانه وتعالى send messengers, and why not instead, communicated with us directly?
A: First, that is God's سبحانه وتعالى will. Second, and because of God's greatness and might, humans, in their earthly bodies, can't withstand God's direct presence. We would die instantly if God سبحانه وتعالى would to manifest Himself to us. Only from the mercy of God سبحانه وتعالى prophet Moses (as) fell unconscious when God سبحانه وتعالى began manifesting him self near the mount. The mount itself exploded to pieces. God's messengers are nothing but human beings, who ate like us, dressed like us, grew up amongst us, spoke our language in order for mankind to comprehend what they utter. God سبحانه وتعالى equipped His messengers with miracles to prove the authenticity of their message.

Q: What is Islam, and what does the word "Islam" mean?
A: Islam is God's eternal message to mankind. Islam originated by our father Adam (as) and then the torch was passed on to other God's elect messengers. Islam's message was, still and will be the belief in and submission to ONE God سبحانه وتعالى, the Creator and the Sustainer of all things, the Exalted and the Redeemer of all things. The word Islam itself means "submission and surrendering" to God سبحانه وتعالى.

Q: What is the deal with the term(s) "Mohammadeen", "Muhammedanism" or Mohammedans in Islam?
A: There are no such terms at all. Other religions have been named after their founders or after the community in which the religion was prospered. For example, Christianity has been named after Christ. Judaism after the tribe of Judah, and Buddhism after Buddha. Westerners falsely gave the name "Muhammedanism" or Mohammadeen" to Islam after Mohammad (pbuh) the prophet of Islam, and also called his followers "Mohammedans". Islam and Muslims are the words of the QURAN (27:31), (3:19) & (22:78). Again, Islam is God's eternal message to mankind that originated by Adam (as) and sealed by prophet Mohammad (pbuh).

Q: I heard something about the 5 pillars of Islam and the 5 pillars of faith. Could you elaborate more on these pillars?
A: You are right! Islam has two different types of pillars: The pillars of Islam and the pillars of faith in Islam. The 5 pillars of Islam are: "Al-Shahadatan" the testimony that there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is Messenger of Allah, performing prayer (Salah), giving Alms (Zakah), fasting (Sawm), and performing Pilgrimage (Hajj) for those who are able.

The 5 pillars of Faith in Islam are: The belief in One God, Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the belief in His Angels, the belief in His Scriptures, the belief in His Messengers, and the belief in Judgment Day.

Q: Who is Mohammad?
A: Mohammad (pbuh) was born in Mecca 570 AD. At age forty he was elected by God سبحانه وتعالى to convey His Message to mankind. The Message is to worship only One God, Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Mohammad (pbuh) spent the last 23 years of his life conveying God's Message to all people. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) died at age 63 and his resting place lies in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. He is God's final Messenger to mankind. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) came to re-institute Islam, the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (as). The following prophecy is obtained from the Bible regarding Mohammad's cometh from Arabia. In HABAKKUK 3:3 " God (Jesus) came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise." The place of Teman is the area located southeast of Palestine, and Paran is the area of Mecca in Saudi Arabia where the Holy One (Mohammad pbuh) came from.

Q: Are you telling me both Moses and Jesus were Muslims? If so, prove it and I would like to see something from the Bible in this regard?
A: Both Moses and Jesus (as) were Muslims, since both had conveyed the very same Message, "Submission and surrendering" to One God سبحانه وتعالى. Here is the proof from the Bible: Moses said: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is ONE Lord." (DEUTERONOMY 6:4). Approximately 1500 years later Jesus said: "...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is ONE Lord." (MARK 12:29), and of course Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) came along approximately 600 years later, bringing identical message again: "And your God is ONE God: There is no God but He, ..." (The QURAN 2:163)

Q: I am still confused, if Mohammad was to be God's final and most glorified Prophet, how come we don't see his name in the Bible?
A: Mohammad's name is indeed mentioned in the original Bible manuscripts. The word "Mahmad" is found in the original Hebrew manuscript and it means the "desired one", or the "glorified one". In the 15th century, exactly in 1539, "Great Bible" was the first and official English translated bible to be authorized for public use, and when the Bible was translated to the English language, many words and expressions were translated differently and sometimes omitted altogether, including the word "Mahmad" which is the name of Prophet Mohammad, the prophet of Islam (pbuh). Here is the verse in the Bible: HAGGI 2:7 "And I (God) will shake all nations, and the "desire one" of all nations shall come."

Also the Bible says: Deuteronomy 18:18-19 "" I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.""

Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was similar to Moses (as) and he was the only prophet from whose mouth the words of God were spoken (Quran). Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) spoke in God's name all the time. Also in Isaiah 51:4, it is said that there will be a new law for all the people. Also, in Isaiah 66:20, it was made clear that the prophet would come from BRETHREN, not children of the Israel.

Q: Are you telling me, all other religions are bogus and Islam is the only true religion?
A: Well, isn't that the case with all religions! Every religion claims that he is right and others are wrong. Islam is the belief in One God, Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the Creator of all things. Islam doesn't believe in the "middleman" fallacy as the case with many religions including Christianity. In Christianity, to be saved you have to believe in Jesus (as) as the Son of God, and without such confession and belief in Jesus, you're most definitely going to Hellfire. Islam, on the other hand, declares that believing in One God, Allah سبحانه وتعالى and that Mohammad is His messenger, and obeying God's laws and His prophet's doctrine is the only passport to Heaven.

Q: Is it really sensible that God will reward Heaven only to Muslims and punish others that can easily add up to millions or even billions of people of various religions?
A: Yes it is very sensible. If you read both the Bible and the Quran you will uncover that God سبحانه وتعالى severely punished the unbelievers and the wicked people through out the history of mankind. That includes the people of Prophet Noah (as), the people of Prophet Abraham (as), Lot, Moses (as), etc... Numbers don't mean a thing in the eyes of God سبحانه وتعالى and that shouldn't be considered as an exception at all. Only faith counts and not numbers.

Q: But what about people in our time! We don't know anything about Islam and Mohammad! Would that be considered against us on Judgment Day?
A: Yes it will be considered against you. Before the cometh of prophet Mohammad (pbuh), God سبحانه وتعالى vowed not to punish people or hold them responsible without sending messengers. Unlike Moses & Jesus (as), prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was very distinct since he was sent to all mankind with God's final message to humanity and before Judgment Day. Everybody, the least, heard of Mohammad's name. We live in the information age, and within our finger tips, using computers or TVs, we can learn just about anything including religions. The Prophet (pbuh) told us that everyone of us is born a submitter " Muslim" to the One God, the Almighty Allah سبحانه وتعالى, but many factors have tendency to force a person to deviate from the right path such as: Satan's influence, Parents, Society, etc.

Q: How many prophets and messengers did God send to mankind?
A: Our prophet (pbuh) told us approximately 124 Thousand prophets and messengers were sent to mankind. The Quran lists 25 of the most popular ones. They are: Adam, Enoch (Idris), Noah, Hud, Salih, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lot, Jacob (Yaqub), Joseph (Yusuf), Shu'aib, Job (Ayyob), Moses (Musa), Aaron (Haroon), Ezekiel (Dhul-Kifl), David (Dawood), Solomon (Sulaiman), Elias, Elisha (El-Yasa), Jonah (Yunus), Zechariah, John (Yahya), Jesus, and Mohammad, peace be upon them.

Q: Why can't Muslims accept the term "Son of God", even though it is in the Bible and referring to Jesus?
A: The term "Son of God" was used metaphorically speaking to those who were godly and pious men. It was never meant to be used literally as the case with Christianity toward Jesus (as). In fact, the term "Son of God" is used all over the Bible referring to people other than Jesus, check out the following verses: LUKE 3:38 " the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.", GENESIS 6:2 " that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.", EXODUS 4:22 " Then you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD, Israel is My son, My firstborn." , JEREMIAH 31:9 "...For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.", ROMANS 8:14 "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.". So how come Christians don't regard those people as Gods, the way they regard Jesus (as)?

Q: Why Muslims don't eat Swine (Pork) meat?
A: For the same reason both Moses & Jesus (as) refused to eat it. God سبحانه وتعالى commanded Muslims not to eat Swine meet. God سبحانه وتعالى also commanded Moses not to eat or even touch the Swine meat as in the following verses in the Bible: LEVITICUS 11:7-8 "and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you. "

Q: But hey, we are not Jews! We are Christians governed by Grace and not Law?
A: Who said anything about the Jews. The above verses are found in the Christian Bible. Plus, we all know that God سبحانه وتعالى gave Moses (as) numerous commandments and laws including the Ten Commandments, for people to obey, comply and to adhere to. Jesus (as) came along 1500 years later to re-institute Moses's laws & commandments and that by itself is a sign that Prophets came from the same institution with the same message & guidance. Jesus (as) said: MATTHEW 5:17 " Think not that I am come to make void the law or the prophets; I am not come to make void, but to fulfill." Jesus (as) said: JOHN 14:15 " If you love me, keep my commandments." One of these commandments is not to eat Swine meet. I don't see Grace at all, all I see Laws and Commandments that ought to be followed.

Q: According to Muslims, God vowed to preserve the Quran. How come the earlier scriptures weren't persevered, and after all, they are God's words?
A: Nowhere in the Quran God سبحانه وتعالى promises such protection or preservation to the former scriptures as the case with the Quran. Every prophet was armed with special miracles to prove the authenticity of his message. Moses came to people who rely heavily on magic, so God سبحانه وتعالى gave him immense power through his Cane. Jesus came to people who were known of strong medical abilities, so God سبحانه وتعالى gave him the ability to cure people and even to raise the dead. Both prophets Moses & Jesus (pbut) were sent to specific people (sons of Israel) with the mentioned miracles and the scriptures. On the other hand, Mohammad (pbuh) was sent to people who were fluent in Arabic Language and its grammar. God سبحانه وتعالى gave him the Quran as his Main and lasting Miracle. The Quran is very unique in its originality and delivery, and the Arabic Language is the best to preserve such revelation. Since Mohammad (pbuh) is the final messenger to mankind and the Quran was his Main miracle, God سبحانه وتعالى has promised to protect the Quran forever. Remember, if the miracle dies, then its authenticity will most definitely die and perish. Moses and Jesus (pbut) had their miracles but not in their books, but rather in their actions (the power of the Cane & Healing), and once they're gone, it was easy for people to edit and interpolate their scriptures (Torah & Bible) to fit their own selfish desires. So far, and after 1400 years later, the Quran remains untouched and persevered from corruption. Muslims still believe in Mohammad's original revelation and divine message. The preservation isn't only limited to the text, but to the divine message, and to the delivery and originality.

Q: I heard many comments as in: "bibles aren't identical" or "bibles aren't the same"! In Christianity, we do have the original manuscripts somewhere in Greece, but the bibles we have in our hands are only translation based on those original manuscripts. So, what's the big deal! Don't Muslims have many different English translations that aren't a like?
A: The original Quranic manuscript is written in Arabic Language. Every single Muslim have an identical Arabic copy based on the original Quranic manuscript written in Arabic. When Muslims perform their 5 daily prayers, they recite the Quran in its original language, the Arabic Language. Many Muslims memorize the Quran by heart at young age. The English, Spanish or French Quranic translations are nothing but interpretation to the meanings of the words of the Quran, and they are only used as a reference for those Muslims who don't speak Arabic. Unlike Muslims, almost the majority of Christians don't even know where the original manuscripts are located at. None of the Christian Churches have, in their possession, a copy in either Hebrew or Greek that is based on the original manuscripts. Christians have translations, translations, translations and as for the original Bible, it's buried somewhere overseas collecting dust.

The Bible (OT & NT) has endured many severe predicaments because of the language barrier. The original manuscripts (ancient Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures) were translated to Greek and Latin. In fact, from the year 800 AD to 1539 AD, Latin was the only language of the Bible. Because of the continuous waves of translations; Aramaic, to Greek, to Latin, to English; Christians most definitely and seriously handicapped any attempts to faithfully translate the original author's intended meanings. This problem, all thanks be to the Almighty سبحانه وتعالى, has been completely avoided in the Qur'an, since it has remained from the time of its inspiration to the present day in the same language it was originally revealed in, the Arabic Language. The Arabic Language has remained a living language from that day to this, and the book itself has always been in the hands of the people and not "the elite."

The foremost miracle of the Qur'an is in its text. The text of the Arabic language. You can not translate a miracle no matter how you may try. The Arabic language can not be compared to any other language in its intricate complexity, diversity of form, richness of meaning, brevity of parlance, beauty of construct and power of delivery.

Q: I am spiritually confused! What should I do?
A: You owe it to yourself to search for the truth, and I am sure if you have an honest intention searching for the truth, God سبحانه وتعالى will aid you in your endeavor. Read more about Islam and weigh your options. Read more about the early revelations & messengers of God سبحانه وتعالى and comprehend their law & guidance that they had conveyed to their people at that time, then compare all present religions and see which one coincide with the early revelations.

Q: But I am satisfied with my own belief, so why should I pursue other religion in the first place?
A: Remember, mankind has a free will to do whatever he desires, and we are all held accountable for what we do. If you are content with your religion, then you are solely responsible for your actions & belief and no one else.

Q: Is it true the Quran has scientific and medical facts?
A: Yes it is. But remember though, the Quran is not a scientific book. The Quran carries a divine message and guidance from the Almighty سبحانه وتعالى to all mankind. This message touches upon all aspects of human's life including science and medical aspects. When people embraced Islam, it wasn't because of the scientific facts the Quran brought forward, but rather because of the divine message in the belief of the One, the Almighty سبحانه وتعالى. People embraced Islam because Islam is a simple religion that is sensible and harmonize with the human instinct. Islam is a complete way of life that is based on fairness, equality, and purity amongst all mankind.

Q: How do I become a Muslim?
A: Unlike other religions, Islam doesn't have certain rituals or baptism by religious groups or individuals. All you need to do is to declare the Testimony (Shahadatan). The Testimony is: "I testify that there is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah". Once you establish this pure belief in your heart, then you can proceed unto the rest of the pillars of Islam. Many Islamic foundations and Mosques will be able to help you getting started learning about Islam..

Q: I noticed various Islamic Sects! Could you list them for me?
A: About 84 % of Muslims are Sunni, the word Sunni is based on the word Sunnah which is an Arabic word means the Prophet's Doctrine. Sunnis believe in Allah سبحانه وتعالى as the One Creator and Mohammad is His last and final Messenger. Also, Sunnis believe in the Quran and Sunnah as the two main sources of Islam. There are, however, Muslim bunches who deviated from the right path of Islam such as: Shia, Baha'i, Sufi, Ahmadiya, etc. So be cautious in knowing who you are dealing with.

Q: What is the total number of Muslims around the world?
A: 1997 Statistics shows a population of 1.78 Billion Muslim. Click here for more details.

Q: Could you list some Islamic countries in the world?
A: Sure, please click here for the list.

Q: Why do Muslims pray so much, you know, 5 times a day! Isn't belief in Allah enough?
A: Besides the fact it's a Commandment from the Almighty سبحانه وتعالى, the prayer (Salah) is considered to be a continuos and daily discipline for Muslims. It's true we have the belief in One God سبحانه وتعالى and His messenger Mohammad (pbuh) embedded in our hearts, but like earlier Muslims, God سبحانه وتعالى has proscribed Laws and Commandments for us to observe and adhere to. When we pray, we recite the Quran that has God's genuine words and directions. We also offer supplications and blessings to God سبحانه وتعالى. The line of communication between Muslims and God سبحانه وتعالى never slows down ever. The prayer (Salah) itself is considered a supplication to the Almighty سبحانه وتعالى.

Q: Is it true that the Bible had prophesied many Islamic Events?
A: Yes it had. The Bible had clearly prophesied the Conquest of Jerusalem at the time of the Muslim Caliph, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab. In the year 637 AD, The people of Jerusalem, mostly Christians & Jews, refused to give up Jerusalem without a personal pledge from Omar that he will spare their lives and let them practice their religion freely and without restraints. Omar traveled from Medina to Jerusalem on an Ass, when the people of Jerusalem saw him, they ran outside welcoming him since Omar had fulfilled a prophecy in the Bible: The Bible says: ZECHARIAH 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy Leader cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Also the Bible had prophesied the Conquest of Mecca by prophet Mohammad (pbuh) along with his 10,000 followers (Sahaba) in 630 AD. DEUTERONOMY 33:2 " And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with 10,000 of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them."

Q: But Mohammad doesn't relate to Abraham?
A: False. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is a direct descendent of Prince Kedar. Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, and the children of Kedar later formed a tribe called Quraish, which is Mohammad's tribe. The Bible says: GENESIS 25:13-18 " And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, . And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, . Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: . These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations......"

Q: So what about Ishmael! How does he fit in the picture?
A: From the early prophecies found in the Bible. God سبحانه وتعالى blessed Ishmael with twelve sons (princes) and God made a great nation (Muslim nation) from his seed, through prophet Mohammad (pbuh) that reaches from the Euphrates to the Nile forever. The Bible says: GENESIS 17:20 " And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."

Q: Christians believe that Jesus is the way and their Only Savior, could you give me a solid proof to indicate otherwise?
A: Yes I could, and again, it will be from the Bible. The Bible says: ISAIAH 43:9-11 " Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. . Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. . I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Savior."
God سبحانه وتعالى said, to let all nations and people gather together to bear witness to this truth (Islam), and know that I (God) have chosen my servant (Mohammad). And that He is God with none other before or after. The Chapter talks about all nations being unified under one flag (Islam ). Also, In verse 11, God very clearly and categorically stated that He is the Only Savior and none else.

Article taken (with Thanks) from