Washington: “To judge a religion, we should not look at its followers. Rather we should look at who they strive to be.” This is the view of an American Christian who believes that Islam should not be judged by the acts of its followers but be judged by the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
He said, “If we look at Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), we can see how he lived, and by those observations we should judge Islam.”
He emphasized that Americans ought to know real Islam and it is truth that many people don’t know much about Islam which is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity and growing rapidly.
He stated with dismay, “Today when we think of Muslims, it can be associated with negative feelings about the Middle East. Muslim extremist groups make up less than 1 percent of Muslims. Remember, always keep an open mind, a guarded heart and a good attitude to people of other religions.”
He highlighted the teachings of Islam saying that Islam has many traditions, but one of the most important is that Muslims are required to fulfill the 5 Pillars of Islam in their lifetime. The 5 Pillars of Islam are so important because they are the foundation to how a Muslim lives, and include Shahadah, Salah, Zakat, Soum, and Hajj.
He elaborated that the Pillars are meant to guide a Muslim on how to live so that they may enter into paradise after death. The first pillar, Shahadah, is a proclamation of faith. To complete this Pillar of Islam, a Muslim must say that “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) is His Prophet.” By completing Shahadah, a Muslim verbally proclaims their belief. The second pillar, Salah, is prayer. Muslims believe that they have a direct relationship with Allah; by praying, they can communicate with and ask things of Allah. The third pillar, Zakat, is giving alms (money) to the poor. Muslims consider this to be an act of service to Allah. The fourth pillar, Soum, is the practice of fasting during the months of Ramadan. The fast is considered a “deep act of spiritual worship.” The last pillar, Hajj, is a pilgrimage to Makkah. This is considered the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith.
“Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the Prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of Prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist and Jesus (Peace Be Upon Them). But Allah’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) through Gabriel,” he added.
In Islam, Allah is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. Worship and obedience belongs to Allah and Allah alone. Joining other gods with God is an unforgivable sin. Anyone who joins other gods with God has strayed far, far away from the Truth.
The Holy Quran states, “He is Allah: The Creator, The Evolver, The Bestower of Forms. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: Whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is The Exalted in Might, The Wise.” (Chapter 59, Surah Hashr, verse 24).
Where there is good there must be evil. The evil figure throughout The Holy Quran is known as Iblis (Satan). Similarly to many other monotheistic religions, there is a good side and an evil side. However, there also happens to be mention of a Prophet sent by God. In Islam, this man’s name is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
“Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is a direct descendant of Prophet Ismail, the first son of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was born in Makkah as a fulfillment of the prayer of Abraham,” he said.
Abraham had a promise from God that he would have descendants so vast that they were compared to the number of stars in the sky. However, Abraham and his wife were too old to have children so he prayed to God for a child, resulting in a massive family tree.
He described the noble life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) saying that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was born in 570 AD. Both of his parents had died, so he lived with his uncle in the tribe of Quraish. Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) received his first revelation at the age of 40 from Allah through the angel Gabriel. These revelations went on for 23 years, and today, they are known as The Quran. After gathering a small group of believers, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his disciples were forced out of Makkah. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) took his disciples 270 miles north. After many years, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) conquered Makkah and lived there until he passed away at the age of 63.