Don't really know why I posted this. Just some points to bring to peoples attention, perhaps clear up some misconceptions. It's probably going to be
This is the most important tenent of Islam. It's the thread that runs through the whole of Islam.
See, in Muhammad's time, although they believed in God, they had all these mini-gods to represent various aspects of God, or to render assistance in
various fields. So if you wanted help with your crops, you asked the god of fertility. You wanted help with some battle, you asked the god of war,
etc. Muhammad asked "If God is all-powerful, why does he need all these assistants? He can handle all the work himself". Hence the Islamic creed
"There is no God but God".
When asked "Who is God?", the Quran tells muslims to reply:
Say: He is Allah, the One and Only
(Oneness of God)
Allah the Eternal/Absolute
(The Alpha and the Omega)
He begetteth not, nor is he begotten
And there is none like unto him
(Uniqueness of God)
This concept of unity is also meant to be mirrored in the behaviour of Muslims. They are meant to be one people, united in ideology.
The second most important aspect of Islam is equilibrium. God created everything in balance. The Quran says that everything was created in pairs (eg.
man-woman, heaven-earth, etc.), everything was created "in due measure and proportion". Nature is in perfect balance, and people are expected to be
Islam instructs the muslims to be balanced in their lives. Obviously, one must not be given to materialism and extreme worldliness, but neither should
they go towards exaggerated asceticism or withdrawl from worldy affairs. There are numerous hadith that tell how Muhammad prohibitted people from
praying throughout the night, or fasting every single day. Your body has a right over you, your family has a right over you, the rest of humanity has
a right over you. You cannot forsake these rights. The Quran refers to muslims as "The middle-most community" or "The community of the middle
way". Not too hot and not too cold.
It is interesting to note that the word for "balanced" and for "just" is the same in arabic. So something which has balance is also just.
God is just, but is not a machine to be handing out "Judgements" without a care for humanity. God's justice is tempered with mercy. Almost every
chapter of the Quran starts with the words "In the name of God, Most gracious, Most merciful". It is believed that in the end, even the devil will
be forgiven. It is incredibley easy to be forgiven, the only thing you need do is ask. Of course, there are some criteria:
1) You must mean with all your heart
2) You must not be asking for forgiveness with the intention in mind to do the same thing again
3) You must make amends to right the wrong.
Once again, Muslims are expected to be merciful to the best of their abilty. The Quran says that you have a right to obtain justice, but you'd be a
better person if you forgave.
Here's an interesting bit, that has lots of people confused. Islamic belief is that there is both free will and pre-destination. Human has been given
the ability to choose which course of action to take, but God knows everyone's choice and plan.
Something to be noted here: What a person decides, and what actually happens may not be the same. However, intention is very important. If a person
intended to do something (eg. go to study) but then was unable to do it (died on the way), since the intention was there, it would be as if the person
had done the deed (and in this case go to heaven, as it is considered that the person died while attempting jihad).
Some points of difference: Islam believes God gave humans free will, but the angels do not have free will. The "Jinn" (of which Satan was the
greatest) are also said to have free will.
Islam has some interesting ideas on worship. The word is "ibadat" in arabic, which stems from the word "abd" which means slave, or servant.You'll
notice "Abdullah" (Servant of Allah) is a common muslim name. So in order to worship God, you must serve Him, do his bidding unswervingly.
There is a Hadith where Muhammad said that there are 60 branches of worship. The first (greatest) is belief in God, and the last is to remove
obstacles from people's paths.
Another Hadith relates how Muhammad asked: "Do you know who is poor?". His companions replied "One without wealth". He answered "The poor among
you will be the one who comes on the Day of Judgement with prayers, fasts and zakat, but would find himself bankrupt as he abused others, brought them
misfortune, took the wealth of others and beat others".
Throughout the Quran there is written stuff like "We have sent you signs in .... for you to study" or "Did you not see how....?". Islam believes
that the existence of God is shown throughout his creation. The Quran tells the muslims to study EVERYTHING: The stars, sky, earth, life, etc.
Travelling is also very much encouraged, so as to see new things.
The Quran is very clear: "There is no compulsion in religion". One must decide for themself. There is the story of Abraham in the Quran, how he
logically "found" God. The Quran also states, remarkably, that if you find any single thing wrong in it, it cannot possibly be the truth, and you
are free to leave it! You must constantly question everything: The Quran also warns against doing something because those before you did that.
Of course, for those who do not have a chance to understand (those who died as children, the mentally handicapped, those who did not have all the
information), it is not put against them if they didn't/couldn't understand. The ones that draw anger are those that realise that God is the truth
but (due to pride, or materialism etc.) do not accept God. An example of this is the devil.
Woah. That was long. I hope some people find it useful. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
[edit on 24-6-2006 by babloyi]
[edit on 24-6-2006 by babloyi]