Islam

Islam is the religion articulated by the Quran, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of the single incomparable God and by the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s demonstrations and real-life examples. The word Islam is a homograph, having multiple meanings which are directly interpret as peace. Other meanings include submission or the total surrender of oneself to God. The origin of Islam dates back to the creation of the world. All the prophets who came to this world preached the same message of believing in one God and to accept them as His messenger. The prophets were also blessed with a manifestation of divine will or truth. Likewise, Prophet Mohammad was also a messenger of God. He revealed the truth and the way of life through the Holy Quran. Before the birth of Prophet Mohammad, the Arab society was sunk into darkness. Although the Arabs believed in the unity of God, but they also claimed that God has entrusted His duties to various gods, goddesses and idols.For this purpose, they had more than 360 idols. They considered angels as the daughters of God. They were ignorant of social values. They were nomadic people who were dependent on cattle for their living. There was no government or law. All power existed with the rich. The society was full of barbarity and brutality. Tribes fought with each other over trivial matters for centuries. A slight argument over horses or water could lead to the slaughtering of thousands of innocent people. It was the birth of Prophet Mohammad in 570 A.D in the city of Makkah which brought a revolution to the entire fate of the nomadic Arabs. He became famous among the people of Makkah at a very early age because of his allegiance and reliability. He was widely known as Al-Ameen or honest, trustworthy. At the age of 40, when Mohammad was meditating at Mt. Hera, he received a revelation from God. The angel Gabriel said to him, “Iqra” which means “to read”. Mohammad replied “I cannot read”. Gabriel embraced and released him. Then the first five verses of God were revealed to him who said, “Recite in the name of your Lord who created!He created man, out of a (mere) cloth of congealed blood. Recite; and thy Lord is most bountiful. He who had taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not.” Mohammad started proclaiming the message of believing in one God. The people who once called him “Trustworthy” and “Honest” boycotted and plotted to kill him. In 622 A.D., due to worsening living conditions and social isolation, was broken in 629 A.D by the non-Muslims of the Makkans. Mohammad moved towards Makkah with 10,000 men and the battle was won without a single Prophet Mohammad migrated to Medina along with his followers. This flight was known as Hijrah and marks the beginning of the Muslims calendar. Mohammad’s message spread rapidly and the number of followers increased in Medina. During the next few years, a series of battles were fought between various tribes of Makkah and the Muslims of Medina. In 628 A.D, the Treaty of Hudaibiyah was signed between the two parties. Truce was declared for 10 years.The treaty bloodshed.  Mohammad died in 632 A.D, at the age of 63 in the city of Medina. Mohammad’s death brought a huge catastrophe among Muslims. People could not believe that Mohammad had left them forever. Many of the followers were perplexed and distraught, and claimed him to be still living.  At that time Mohammad funeral, Abu Bakr, who was the most respected of all the followers affirmed that, “O people, those of you who worshipped Mohammad, Mohammad has died. And those of you who worshipped God, God is still living.” Now being a Muslim requires that they read their Quran or their bible. “Reading” The Quran is the “Word of God” to Islam. About 4/5 the length of the New Testament. Muslims believe the identical book is in Heaven and Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Mohammed to reveal his “Word”. The Quran is divided into 114 chapters or Surahs. The Surahs are revelations given to Mohammed during his 23 years of “Prophet Hood” from 610 AD to 632 AD.The Quran, composed during Mohammed’s lifetime corresponds to the time and circumstances of his life. The Surahs or chapters can be divided into three time periods. The earliest Surahs are the shortest and known as Early Meccan, and date from 610 to 622 AD. Composed in Mecca, prior to Hejira where Mohammed fled to Medina in September 622 AD. The Median Surahs were composed during the time Muslims controlled the city of Medina. They date from 622 to 630 AD. The doctrine of Jihad was introduced as war was waged against Mecca and its idol worshipers. Animosity toward the Jews and Christians increased as they rejected Mohammed as a prophet from God. Late Meccan Surahs were between 630 and 632 AD. The last 2 years of Mohammed’s life after Mecca surrendered to his authority. Surahs were at this time not collected in one book but were memorized and collected on various items. In the battle of Yamamah in 633 AD many of the Hafiz died. The Hafiz were Muslims who had committed much of the Quran to memory.With the urging of Umar, Zayd ibn Thabit, one of Mohammed most trusted secretaries was appointed to the task of collecting the Quran into one book. Still later after different versions of the Quran began to appear Zayd was put in charge of collecting all the Qurans throughout the Muslim world and issuing an authorized copy in the place of one’s collected.  The Quran makes the appeal to its beauty and consistency with previous scriptures as proof of its inspiration. The teaching of Quran and Hadith (sayings of Prophet Mohammad) revolves around two Arabic words namely, Emaan (Faith) and Amaal (Acts). Emaan is like the roots of a tree and Amaal are the stems, leaves or other parts of it. Just as without the roots, the tree cannot survive, similarly, without faith, the acts are useless.The teachings of Quran emphasize mostly on the beliefs and an overview the acts, whereas the Hadith explains both beliefs and acts in details. Muslims believe that although there may be reservations in the Hadith, but Quran is free from all the mistakes and is infallible. Quran is comprised of 114 Surahs (chapters) and 6236 Ayats (verses). Quran was preserved through writing and memorization. Undoubtedly, today Quran is the only book which is fully memorized by more than 10 million people all over the world. The teachings of Quran confirm the revelations of other books and scriptures on various prophets. But, at the same time, all these books are considered to be corrupted with time and do not contain the original script of God. The six articles of faith are the main doctrines of Islam. All Muslims share beliefs in God, Angels, Scriptures, Prophets, Resurrection and Divine Creed. They also believe in the five pillars of faith. These are duties each Muslim performs to demonstrate his or her faith. They include: Testimony of Faith, Prayer, Almsgiving, Fasting and Pilgrimage or taking a trip somewhere.Works Cited1989 Jews in the Quran: An Introduction. Electronic Document,                http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/introduction/, accessed November 15, 2009The Condition of the Arabs Before the Advent of the Holy Prophet and the Transformation He Wrought in Them. Electronic Document, http://aaiil.org/text/pbuh/art/others/, November 15, 2009.Robinson, B.A. “Religious Tolerance”. CNN. November 15, 2009 ;http://www.religioustolerance.org/islam.htm;.