Who is a Muslim?
A person who believes in and consciously follows Islam is called a Muslim, also from the same root word. So, the religion is called “Islam,” and a person who believes in and follows it is a “Muslim.”
What is the difference between Muslim, Moslem and Islamic?
Definition: A person who peacefully submits his or her self to God; a follower of the faith of Islam.
Pronunciation: moos-lim (with a strong ‘s’ sound as in ‘snake’)
Alternate Spellings: Moslem — but “Muslim” is preferred and renders a pronunciation more faithful to the Arabic word.
Common Misspellings: “Muslim” is used when referring to people; “Islamic” refers to countries, laws, etc.
Examples: My neighbor is a Muslim.
How Many and Where?
Islam is a major world religion, with over 1 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population). It is considered one of the Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths, along with Judaism and Christianity. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are in fact Arab. Muslims are found all over the world, of every nation, color and race.
Who is Allah?
Allah is the proper name for Almighty God, and is often translated merely as “God.” Allah has other names that are used to describe His characteristics: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, etc.
Muslims believe that since Allah alone is the Creator, it is He alone that deserves our devout love and worship. Islam holds to a strict monotheism. Any worship and prayers directed at saints, prophets, other human beings or nature is considered idolatry. More..
Who is ‘Allah’ and what is His nature?
The most fundamental belief that a Muslim has is that “There is only One God” the Creator, the Sustainer — known in the Arabic language and by Muslims as Allah. Allah is not a foreign god, nor an idol. Arabic-speaking Christians use the same word for the Almighty.
The fundamental pillar of faith in Islam is to testify that “there is no deity worthy of worship except the One True Almighty God” (in Arabic: “La ilaha ill Allah”).
In the Qur’an, we read that Allah is Compassionate and Merciful. He is Kind, Loving, and Wise. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Healer. He is the One who Guides, the One who Protects, the One who Forgives. There are traditionally ninety-nine names, or attributes, that Muslims use to describe Allah’s nature.
Some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Allah is an “Arab god,” a “moon god,” or some sort of idol. Allah is the proper name of the One True God, in the Arabic language used by Muslims all over the world. Allah is a name that is neither feminine nor masculine, and it cannot be made plural (unlike god, gods, goddess, etc). Muslims believe that there is nothing in the heavens nor on earth that deserves worship except Allah, the One True Creator.
Islam is based on the concept of Tawhid, or Unity of God. Muslims are strictly monotheistic, and fiercely reject any attempt to make God visible or human. Islam rejects any form of idol worship, even if it is an attempt to get “closer” to God, and rejects the Trinity or any attempt to make God human.
“Say, ‘He is Allah, the One;
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
And there is nothing that can be compared to Him.”
In Muslim understanding, God is beyond our sight and understanding, yet at the same time “nearer to us than our jugular vein” (Qur’an 50:16). Muslims pray directly to God, with no intermediary, and seek guidance from Him alone, because “…Allah knows well the secrets of your hearts” (Qur’an 5:7).
“When My servants ask thee concerning Me,
I am indeed close (to them).
I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me.
Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me,
that they may walk in the right way.”
In the Qur’an, people are asked to look around them for the signs of Allah in the natural world. The balance of the world, the rhythms of life, are “signs for those who would believe.” The universe is in perfect order: the orbits of the planets, the cycles of life and death, the seasons of the year, the mountains and the rivers, the mysteries of the human body. This order and balance are not haphazard nor random. The world, and everything in it, has been created with a perfect plan, by the One who knows all.
Islam is a natural faith, a religion of responsibility, purpose, balance, discipline, and simplicity. To be a Muslim is to live your life remembering God and striving to follow His merciful guidance.
What do Muslims believe about God, prophets, the afterlife, etc.?
The basic beliefs of Muslims fall into six main categories, which are known as the “Articles of Faith”:
1. Faith in the unity of God
2. Faith in angels
3. Faith in prophets
4. Faith in books of revelation
5. Faith in an afterlife
6. Faith in destiny/divine decree
The “five pillars” of Islam:
In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes obedience to Him a duty.
The Muslim concept of worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah’s guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help strengthen a Muslim’s faith and obedience. They are often called the “Five Pillars of Islam.”
((Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast.
A. During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. As a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.
Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits — essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for “fasting” (sawm)literally means “to refrain” – and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.
During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained.
The tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip. The eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things. The hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it. The ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words. The feet must refrain from going to sinful places. In such a way, every part of the body observes the fast. Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person’s body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one’s self on the worship of God.))
What is Islam?
The name of the religion is Islam, which comes from an Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission.” Islam teaches that one can only find peace in one’s life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us “Salaam alaykum,” (“Peace be with you”), the universal Muslim greeting.
To know more about Islam, Zayed House for Islamic Culture provides courses and help to enrich your knowledge about Islam or to help you as a convert.
Contact: Zayed House for Islamic Culture
Address: Shab Al Ashkhar Area, Mubazzara and Jebel Hafeet road Al Ain
Phone: +971 3 782 9191
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1. Adhan (Noun)
Definition: The Islamic call to prayer .
Pronunciation: A thaan where “th” is as in the English word “The”
Alternate Spellings: azan, adan, Muslims went to the masjed for prayer.
2. A.H. (Islamic calendar)
Definition: “Anno Hegirae” or “After Hijrah.” Hijrah means “Emigration”. The Islamic calendar starts from the day Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, emigrated (made hijrah) from the city of Mecca to the city of Medina in 622 A.D.
Example: The year 2003 A.D. corresponds to the year 1423-1424 A.H.
3. Alhamdulillah (Phrase)
Definition: A phrase that Muslims often use in conversation, meaning “Praise be to Allah. Usually as an answer for the question Kef Al Hal? How are you?
Example: “I got an A on my exam, alhamdulillah!”
Alternate Spellings: al-hamdilillah, al-hamdulillah
4. Allah (Noun)
Definition: Literally “The God.” There is no plural, masculine or feminine form of this word in Arabic. It denotes the One True God, the Almighty Creator, Who is neither male nor female.
Pronunciation: Al-lah (proper noun)
5. “Assalamu alaikum” (Phrase)
Definition: A common greeting among Muslims meaning “Peace be with you.” Extended forms include “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” (May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you) and “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” (May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you).
Alternate Spellings: salaam alaykum, assalaam alaykum, assalaam
6. Eid (Noun)
Definition: “Festival,” of the two Islamic holidays.
Also Known As: Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha
Example: During the last few days of Ramadan, children begin to anticipate the celebration of Eid.
Alternate Spellings: Id, ‘Id, ‘Eid
7. Eid al-Fitr (Noun)
Definition: “Festival of Fast-Breaking,” an Islamic holiday that falls at the end of Ramadan.
Pronunciation: eed-al- fitter
Example: On the morning of Eid al-Fitr, we go to the mosque to pray, give in charity, and celebrate the completion of the fast of Ramadan.
Alternate Spellings: Id al-Fitr, Eid ul-Fitr, ‘Id, ‘Eid
8. “Eid Mubarak!” (Phrase)
Definition: A phrase of greetings said among Muslims to congratulate each other on holidays. It literally means, “Blessed Festival!” The appropriate answer is, “Allah yubarak feek!” (May Allah bless it for you also!)
Pronunciation: eed moo-bar-ak
Example: A U.S. postage stamp commemorating the Muslim holidays reads “Eid Mubarak” in both English and Arabic script.
Alternate Spellings: Id Mubarak, ‘Eid Mubarak
9. Fajr (Noun)
Definition: One of the five daily Islamic prayers, performed before the break of dawn
Also Known As: salaat-l-fajr
Example: During Ramadan, Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal before fajr.
10. Hilal (Noun)
Definition: The very slight crescent moon that is first visible after a new moon. Muslims look for the hilal when determining the beginning and end of Islamic months.
Example: As Ramadan approaches, Muslims begin searching the night sky for the hilal which marks the beginning of the month.
11. Iftar (Noun)
Definition: A meal served at the end of the day during Ramadan, to break the day’s fast. Literally, “breakfast.”
Also Known As: fotoor
Examples: During Ramadan, we sometimes go to the mosque to have iftar, breaking the day’s fast with a community meal.
12. I’tikaf (Noun)
Definition: A spiritual retreat in the mosque, usually performed during the last ten days of Ramadan. A person “making i’tikaf” will spend the evening and night in the mosque, devoting his or her time to worship and to read the Qur’an.
Pronunciation: i’tikaf (stands for a guttural stop, an Arabic sound that does not exist in the English language)
Example: During the last ten days of Ramadan, many people perform i’tikaf, spending a whole night in worship in the mosque.
13. Leylat al-Qadr (Noun)
Definition: “The Night of Power” – a special night that falls during the last ten days of Ramadan. It commemorates the night when the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Muhammad, peace be upon him. Leylat al-Qadr is said to fall on one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of the month (21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th of Ramadan). The Qur’an describes it as a night that is more valuable than a thousand months. For this reason, many Muslims spend the entire last ten days in extra worship or retreat in the mosque.
Also Known As: The Night of Power
Examples: Leylat al-Qadr is a very special night of Ramadan, commemorating the first revelation of the Qur’an given to Muhammad.
Alternate Spellings: leylatulqadr, leyla-tul-qadr, layla al-qadr, others
14. Maghrib (Noun)
Definition: One of the five daily Islamic prayers, performed just after sunset.
Pronunciation: ma-gh-rib (the (gh) sound is a blend that does not exist in English)
Also Known As: salaat-l-maghrib
Examples: During Ramadan, Muslims break each day’s fast at maghrib.
Alternate Spellings: maghreb
15. Masjed (Noun)
Definition: Mosque; a Muslim house of worship. Literally means “place of prostration” (in prayer).
Examples: During Ramadan, Muslims spend a lot of time at the masjed for special prayers and community events.
Alternate Spellings: masjid
16. Qur’an (Noun)
Definition: Islam’s holy book; Allah’s final revelation
Example: Every day during prayer, Muslims recite passages from the Qur’an.
Alternate Spellings: quran, koran
17. Ramadan (Noun)
Definition: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims spend the daylight hours in a complete fast.
Example: During Ramadan, Muslims fast and spend extra time in devotion and prayer.
Alternate Spellings: Ramadhan
18. Sadaqah (Noun)
Definition: Charitable giving, or the money given in charity.
Example: During Ramadan, Muslims give a lot of sadaqah to help those in need.
Alternate Spellings: Sadaqa
19. Sadaqah al-Fitr (Phrase works as Noun)
Definition: An amount given in charity to the poor at the end of Ramadan, to ensure that everyone has enough to eat during Eid al-Fitr. This amount is traditionally paid in food goods (rice, barley, flour, dates, etc.), collected locally, and distributed before the morning prayer on the day of Eid.
20. Sawm (Noun)
Definition: Fasting. As practiced in Islam, this means a complete fast: no food or drink at all during the daylight hours. Married Muslims refrain from intimacy as well, and all those fasting are to steer away from anger, bad language, and bad deeds. The fasting person’s complete attention is to be on worship and devotion to God.
Alternate Spellings: siyam
21. Taraweeh (Plural Noun)
Definition: Special evening prayers performed during Ramadan. During each night’s prayer, one juz (1/30) of the Qur’an will be recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur’an will be completely read.
22. Suhoor (Noun)
Definition: A small meal traditionally eaten before dawn during Ramadan; the final meal before the day’s fast begins. It is very important to help the Muslim tolerate fasting hunger.
Example: During Ramadan, He wakes up before dawn, has some eggs and toast for suhoor, and then prays salaat-l-fajr. Then he will fast for the whole day, until he has iftar just after sunset.
23. Zakat (Noun)
Definition: Alms giving; one of the five “pillars” of Islam. Muslims who have wealth remaining over the year must pay a certain percentage to aid those in need. While it can be paid anytime during the year, many people prefer to pay it during Ramadan.
Alternate Spellings: Zakah