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Religion
Asterisk Let’s Talk Islam | Being Muslim
15/09/2017 The Fit Hijabi in Religion / 2 responses

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From this point, on I’m starting an Islamic bookclub with you! I’ll post a summary of each chapter of an Islamic book I’m reading, so you get the rundown without ever picking it up! The first book is Being Muslim, and the first chapter is on Islam.

Let’s start with the basics…

Being Muslim : A Practical Guide by Asad Tarsin.

Starting Point

Context

This is a little background on the religion!

  • Islam has Two Testimonies of faith, also known as the Shahadah. The Two Testimonies of faith are “There is nothing worthy of worship except God, and, “Muhammad is the messenger of God.” It is as if to say, ‘We remember the covenant we made before life here, and we still honor it, and we will live our lives according to it [pg. 4].”
  • Adam and Eve disobeyed God, but when they realized what they had done and  they repented, God accepted their repentance. Even though He forgave them, He kicked them and all of their offspring out from the Garden and put them down on Earth to live their lives.
  • God sent a succession of prophets and messengers. (This means all people sharing Go’s message from Adam all the way to Jesus). Each was sent to specific groups, and sometimes with a message particular for them. They always had a core message to give to the Lord of all creation.
  • People began to alter the scriptures brought by the messengers of God, which is the Torah and the Bible. The ideas were then sold as truths from God. God renewed His guidance to us to help us follow His original teachings.
  • Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, didn’t come to replace the previous versions of the message, but to perfect and complete them. The original Arabic Qur’an, The Holy Qur’an, the teachings from Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, survived unaltered over history. “This protection from distortion, along with the universality of its teachings, is what makes Islam the religion of God for all people everywhere [pg. 5].”

 

Now for the real stuff

Learning Islam

The religion is comprised of three elements: islam, iman, and ihsan.

Islam means to submit or surrender in Arabic. What they mean by submitting is to do the Five Pillars of Islam. Those include; saying the Shahada, praying 5 times a day, to fast during Ramadan, to give to charity, and to make pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in our lives. (Action of the Body)

Iman means to believe in Arabic. This element isn’t an act but a “conviction of the mind which settles in the heart [pg. 7].” (Belief of the Mind)

Ihsan means to make beautiful or good in Arabic. This is just between you and God, because this element is about your relationship with Him. (Purity of the Soul)

 There are two primary sources of knowledge in Islam: the Qur’an and the Prophetic Way.

The Qur’an is the direct word of God, and requires specialized training to interpret it in the way it was given to the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh.

The Prophetic Way, also known as the Sunnah, is the perfect interpretation of the Qur’an, according to Islam. It is based off the Prophet Muhammad’s, pbuh, teachings and his actions.

These sources are proof text for scholars which help with religious understanding and legal rulings. There are many different Islamic schools, madhhabs, that differ in these legal rulings. The madhhabs are essential because it shows that you can interpret the verses differently, as long as it is backed by a qualified scholar. This allows many opinions in the religion that are all correct.

 

Misinterpretations!

There are many many many reasons for misinterpretations. One reason is that Islam is written in Arabic, and Arabic is a very precise language. If you don’t read the context correctly, you will think it’s the wrong word. If you use the wrong pronoun, it will be a different word. Phrases and statements in the Qur’an that are proverbial. By that, I mean that if a verse is quoted alone, without context, you can easily say that it’s an evil thing. With people doing that, they can do some serious danger to the listeners and can lose the intention of the meaning, and we know as stated above, intention is everything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the next chapter here!

 

 

 

Get the book here!

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