What Muslims Believe
23 Dec 2011 08:12 GMT
There are many misconceptions about what it is that Muslims actually believe. It is possible that information about Islam is the best possible way to fight modern Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Understanding what one fifth of the world's population believes may help dispel myths about Islam that have become prevalent in today's media. After all, much of the anti-Muslim movement that has gained power in the right wing in Western Europe and the United States is based almost entirely on ignorance – on a view of Muslims that is limited to the radical acts of extremists. In fact, the core beliefs of Islam are almost identical to the fundamental beliefs of Judaism and Christianity. While there are differences that are important, the misconception that Islam is completely alien to these other two religions is completely wrong.

Muslims believe in a single God. A God that has absolutely no divisions, associates, family, or human features. Muslims believe that God is merciful and compassionate, and begin their prayers and many of their activities by doing them in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate (al-rahman and al-raheem.) Muslims believe that God is all-powerful, all-present, and just. Muslims consider that God's will is absolute and supreme. Muslims also believe in the existence of angles, and in particular the Archangel Gabriel who dictated the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that their God is the same God that Christians and Jews worship and refer to God with the word “Allah” which is simply the Arabic word for “God.” In fact, it is exactly the same as the Hebrew word that Jews use to refer to God, “Elloh.”

The divine scripture of Islam is the Qur'an, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims also consider that the Torah, the Old Testament, and the Psalms are all part of the divine scriptures. Muslims believe in the Bible as it was originally revealed. They reject certain aspects of the New Testament that claim that Jesus is the son of God. However, Muslims consider that Jesus was one of the greatest of God's prophets and, like many Christians, await his second coming. Muslims believe that God has sent many messengers to mankind, including Moses, Noah, Jesus, and Muhammad, the last of God's messengers. Muslims also believe that the Day of Judgment will come and that each person will be judged according to his virtues and wrongdoings. Muslims believe in the concepts of heaven and hell. However, Muslims also believe in personal responsibility and that, as the Qur'an says, there can be no coercion in religion. Muslims believe that each human being is free to exercise their own free will to either follow the path of God or reject it.

-- Al Arabiya Digital

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