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introduction to islam and its principles pdf

  • Book Title:
 Introduction To Islam And Its Principles
  • Book Author:
al-Haramayn Foundation
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  • Preface 5
  • What Is Islam? 6
  • Monotheism 8
  • The Oneness of God in His Lordship (Omnipotence) 8
  • The Devotion of All Worship to the One God Alone 9
  • The Uniqueness and Oneness of God in His Names and Attributes 11
  • The Six Articles of Faith 14
  • Belief in God 14
  • Belief in His Angels 14
  • Belief in His Books 15
  • Belief in His Prophets and Messengers 16
  • Belief in the Day of Judgment 18
  • Belief in Divine Decree 19
  • The Free Will of the Human Being 21
  • There Is No Compulsion in Religion 22
  • The Five Pillars of Islam 23
  • The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) 23
  • Praying Five Times a Day (Salah) 24
  • Paying the Yearly Alms (Zakah) 25
  • Fasting During Ramadan (Sawm) 26
  • Making the Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) 26
  • The Qur an 28
  • The Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (Peace be upon him) 32
  • The Dangers of Innovations in Islam (Bid ah) 34
  • The Story of Adam and Eve 36
  • Jesus (Peace be upon him) 39
  • Sin and Repentance 41
  • Organizational Structure of Islam 43
  • Islamic Law 45
  • The Islamic Dress Code 47
  • Women in Islam 49
  • Male Chauvinism and the Muslim World 51
  • Science and Technology 54
  • Summary 56
  • Editor’s Note 58

What is Islam?

The –Arabic word Islam literally means ‘surrender’ or ‘submission.’ Islam, as a faith, means total and sincere surrender to God so that one can live in peace and tranquility. Peace (Salam in -Arabic, Shalom in Hebrew) is achieved through active obedience to the revealed commandments of God, for God is The Just, The Peace.2

The name Islam3 is universal in meaning. Islam is not named after a tribe of people or an individual, as Judaism is named after the tribe of Judah, Christianity after Christ, and Buddhism after Bud- dha. Islam is not a name chosen by human beings; it was divinely communicated from God. Islam is a global faith, not of the East or the West. Islam is a complete way of life, implying total sub- mission to God. One who surrenders his or her will to God, vol- untarily,4 is called a Muslim. It was not Muhammad but -Adam

(l) who first brought Islam to humanity. Then, each Prophet and Messenger came to exhort the people to a clear understand- ing of God’s commandments. They offered teachings relevant to that time, until God chose the final Prophet, Muhammad, to come with the Last Testament referred to as the Qur’an.

Allah is an Arabic word, meaning ‘The one and only True Deity’, the proper name of the one who created the heavens and the earth. Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians also call God


The concept of monotheism (known as ‘tawheed’ in Arabic) is the single most important concept in Islam. Monotheism points to the first of the Ten Commandments, and in Islam everything is built upon the oneness of God. Islam calls humanity away from the worship of any part of creation to the worship of The One and Only True God. No act of worship or devotion has any meaning or value if the concept of monotheism is in any way compromised.

Due to its importance, the concept of monotheism (divine unity and singularity) must be properly and fully understood. For ease of discussion, monotheism can be looked at from the following three perspectives:

  1. The Oneness of God in His Lordship (Omnipotence)
  2. The Devotion of all worship to The One God Alone
  3. The Uniqueness and Oneness of God in His Names and Attributes

This breakdown is by no means the only way to approach the subject that God is one and unique, but it allows the topic to be easily analyzed and discussed. (Monotheism is the key to under- standing Islam, and revisiting this concept is recommended.)

The Oneness of God in His Lordship

The oneness of God in His Lordship means that God, The Originating Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, has absolute and perfect mastery over the universe. He alone is The Creator of all things. He alone causes everything to happen. He is The One who provides all sustenance and who determines all life and death. He is The Powerful, The Omnipotent, absolutely perfect and free from any defect. No one shares in His dominion.

None can resist His decree. He is The One who created each of us from a single cell and made us into what we are. He is The One who created over a hundred billion galaxies and every electron, neutron, and quark contained within them, keep- ing all that exists and all the laws of nature in perfect measure. Not a leaf falls from a tree without His permission. Everything is kept in a precise record.

He is far greater than our imagination. He is so powerful that for anything to be created He simply says, “Be!” and it is. He created time, space, and all the known and unknown worlds, yet He is not part of any of them. Most faiths recognize that The Creator of the universe is one, without partner. Islam includes the knowledge that God is not a part of His creation and none of His creation shares in His power.

In Islam, to believe that any of God’s creation shares in His power or attributes is considered polytheism and disbelief. Examples of such false beliefs would be to consider that fortune- tellers or astrologers can predict the future; God, The All-Aware, says that only He possesses the knowledge of the future. Only the Divine can give divine help. No being except God has the ability to give divine help or divine guidance. Belief that good luck charms and talismans have any power is a form of polytheism. These concepts are renounced in Islam.

The Devotion of A Worship to the one God A one

Only God, The Appreciative, is to be worshipped. This was proclaimed by all the Prophets and Messengers of Islam who were sent by God throughout the ages, and is the core belief of Islam. God tells us that the purpose of the creation of humanity is to worship Him alone. The purpose of Islam is to call people away from the worship of creation and to direct them toward the worship of The Creator alone.

This is where Islam differs from other religions. Although most religions teach that there is a creator who created all that exists, they are rarely free of some form of polytheism (idolatry) with respect to worship. These religions either call on their adherents to worship other beings besides God (though usually placing these other gods on a lower level than the God who is The Creator), or they demand that their adherents call on other beings as intercessors between themselves and God.

All the Prophets and Messengers of God, from Adam to Muhammad, called people to worship God alone, without partner or intermediary. This is the purest, simplest, most natural faith. Islam rejects the notion held by cultural anthropologists that the early religion of human beings was polytheism – which gradually evolved into monotheism.

In fact, Muslims believe just the opposite, human cultures descended into idolatry during the intervals of time between the many Messengers of God. Even while the Messengers were among them, many people resisted their call and practiced idolatry despite their warnings. Subse- quent Messengers were commissioned by God to bring people back to monotheism.

God created humans with an innate, natural inclination toward the worship of Him alone. Satan, on the other hand, does his ut- most to get people to turn away from monotheism, enticing man- kind to the worship of creation (idolatry). Most people have a tendency to focus their devotion on something they can visualize, something imaginable, even though they have an instinctive knowledge that The Creator of the universe is far greater than their imaginations. Throughout human history, God sent a succession of Prophets and Messengers to call the people back to the worship of The one and on y True God. Due to the allure of Satan, people repeatedly deviated to the worship of created beings (idolatry and polytheism).

God created human beings to worship Him alone. In Islam, the greatest possible sin is to worship anything or anyone other than God, even if the worshipper intends to draw nearer to God by offering devotions to another being. God, The Sufficient, does not need intercessors or intermediaries. He hears all of our prayers and has complete knowledge of everything that happens.

At the same time, God does not need our worship, but He says that it is pleasing to Him. He is completely independent of all things. All creation is dependent upon Him. If every person in the world were to come together to worship only God, it would not benefit God in the least. It would not add an atom’s weight to His majestic dominion. Conversely, if all creation abandoned the worship of God, it would not decrease His dominion in the least. By worshipping God, we benefit our own souls and fulfill the noble purpose for which we were created. God has no needs; He is The Eternal, The Absolute.

Worship is not just traditional religious ceremonies or practices. The concept of worship is inclusive. Changing a diaper, honoring and caring for one’s parents, as well as picking up a piece of bro- ken glass from the sidewalk – all can be forms of worship if they are done with the primary intent to please God. If any sort of gain, be it wealth, job, power, or recognition, becomes more im-

portant than pleasing God, even that is a form of polytheism.

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