There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Allah has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another.
(Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 1589)
Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers. (Final Sermon of Muhammad)
The religion and philosophy of Islam, is based upon the belief that God (Allah) transmitted knowledge to Muhammad (c. 570–632) and other prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus). The followers of Islamic religion, muslims, believe that this revelation to humanity was written down in the Quran, which is the flawless word of God.
The theology of the Islamic scriptures informs most aspects of muslim life and culture. The Five Pillars of Islam is expressed in the Quran (Koran), which is a practical doctrine that encourages Muslims to pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan, pilgrimage to Mecca, declare 'There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet' and pay money to the poor.
Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.
(Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376)
The Hadith is a collection of sayings and stories which are commonly related back to the life and sayings of prophet, Mohammed.
With such a strong foundation in revelation and prophets of God, Islamic philosophy benefited in the eighth century a.d. by the translations of ancient Greek philosophy into Arabic. In the ninth century a.d. a school of translators and intellectuals, known as 'The House of Wisdom' was founded in Baghdad. It was here and largely through the translations of these scholars, that the writings of Plato, Aristotle and the Neoplatonists became known to the Arabs, and subsequently to the western world which led to the Renaissance. The influence of the ancient Greek philosophers upon the arabic philosophers / thinkers stimulated them to study and interpret the Quran / Koran from a rational foundation.
I think the history of Islamic religion is really interesting (even though I am not Muslim). I hope you find the following information on Islam / Muslim beliefs, the Quran and Mohammed useful.
Islam is a monotheistic faith and the world's second-largest religion.
In Arabic, Islam means "submission" and is described as a Din, meaning "way of life" and/or "religion." Etymologically, it is derived from the same root as, for example, Salam meaning "peace" (also a common salutation). A more precise translation of the word Islam would be the serenity that is created by submission. The word Muslim is also related to the word Islam and means "one who surrenders" or "submits" to God.
Followers of Islam, known as Muslims, believe that God (or, in Arabic, Allah) revealed his direct word for mankind to Muhammad (c. 570–632) and other prophets, including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims assert that the main written record of revelation to mankind is the Qur'an, which they believe to be flawless, immutable and the final revelation of God. Muslims believe that some parts of the Bible and the Torah may have been misinterpreted or distorted by their followers. With that perspective they view the Qur'an as corrective of Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Muslims hold that it is essentially the same belief as that of all the messengers sent by God to mankind since Adam, with the Qur'an (the one definitive text of the Muslim faith) codifying the final revelation of God. Islam sees Judaism and Christianity as derivations of the teachings of certain of these prophets - notably Abraham - and therefore see them as fellow Abrahamic religions, and People of the Book. Islam has two primary branches of belief, based largely on a historical disagreement over the succession of authority after Muhammad's death; these are known as Sunni and Shi'ite.
The basis of Muslim belief is found in the shahadatan ("two statements"): la ilaha illa-llahu; muhammadur-rasulu-llahi — "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God." In order to become a Muslim, one needs to recite and believe these statements. All Muslims agree to this, although Sunnis further regard this as one of the five pillars of Islam.
There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims:
Belief in God, the one and only one worthy of all worship.
Belief in the Angels.
Belief in the Book (al-Quran / Koran) (sent by God).
Belief in all the Prophets and Messengers (sent by God).
Belief in the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah) and in the Resurrection.
Belief in Fate (Qadar)
The Muslim creed in English:
I believe in God; and in His Angels; and in His Scriptures; and in His Messengers; and in The Final Day; and in Fate, that Good and Evil are from God, and Resurrection after death be Truth.
I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship but God; and I testify that Muhammad is His Messenger.
The fundamental concept in Islam is the oneness of God (tawhid). This monotheism is absolute, not relative or pluralistic in any sense of the word. God is described in Sura al-Ikhlas, (chapter 112) as follows: Say "He is God, the one, the Self-Sufficient master. He never begot, nor was begotten. There is none comparable to Him."
In Arabic, God is called Allah, a contraction of al-ilah or "the (only) god". Allah thus translates to "God" in English. The implicit usage of the definite article in Allah linguistically indicates the divine unity. In spite of the different name used for God, Muslims assert that they believe in the same deity as the Judeo-Christian religions. However, Muslims strictly disagree with the Christian theology concerning the unity of God (the doctrine of the Trinity and that Jesus is the eternal Son of God), seeing it as akin to polytheism.
"O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth . The Messiah , Jesus son of Mary , was only a messenger of Allah , and His word which He conveyed unto Mary , and a spirit from Him . So believe in Allah and His messengers , and say not "three" . Cease! ( it is ) better for you! Allah is only One God . Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that he should have a son . His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth . And Allah is sufficient as its defender." [Chapter 4 : Surah 171]
No Muslim visual images or depictions of God exist because such artistic depictions may lead to idolatry and are thus prohibited. Moreover, many Muslims believe that God is incorporeal, rendering any two or three dimensional depictions impossible. Instead, Muslims describe God by the many divine attributes mentioned in the Qur'an, and also with the 99 names of Allah. All but one Surah (chapter) of the Qur'an begins with the phrase "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful". These are consequently the most important divine attributes in the sense that Muslims repeat them most frequently during their ritual prayers (called salah in Arabic, and in India and Pakistan called "namaz" (a Persian word)).
The Quran speaks of God appointing two classes of human servants: messengers (rasul in Arabic), and prophets (nabi in Arabic and Hebrew). In general, messengers are the more elevated rank. All prophets are said to have spoken with divine authority; but only those who have been given a major revelation or message are called messenger.
Notable messengers include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, all belonging to a succession of men guided by God. Islam demands that a believer accept all of the Judeo-Christian prophets, making no distinction between them. In the Qur'an, 25 specific prophets are mentioned.
Mainstream Muslims regard Muhammad as the 'Last Messenger' or the 'Seal of the Prophets' based on the canon. However, there have been a number of sects whose leaders have proclaimed themselves the successors of Muhammad, perfecting and extending Islam, or, whose devotees have made such claims for their leaders. However, most Muslims remain unaffected by those claims and simply regard those said groups to be deviant.
Muslims in Islamic societies have traditionally viewed Islamic law as essential to their religious outlook. For Muslims living in secular Western countries sharia ceases to be relevant as law, but remains a source of personal ethics (for example, the avoidance of pork and alcohol, and the use of Sharia-compliant banking services). The Qur'an is the foremost source of Islamic jurisprudence; the second is the Sunnah (the practices of the Prophet, as narrated in reports of his life). The Sunnah is not itself a text like the Qur'an, but is extracted by analysis of the Hadith (Arabic for "report") texts, which contain narrations of the Prophet's sayings, deeds, and actions of his companions he approved.
One hadith of special importance for Islamic contractual law should be mentioned here. A merchant named Hakim ibn Hizam reported, "I asked the Prophet: O Messenger of Allah! A man comes to me and asks me to sell him what is not with me, so I sell him and then buy the goods for him in the market. And the Prophet said: sell not what is not with you." This hadith has rendered controversial within the Muslim world much of what is considered routine finance outside of it, including the sale of futures and options, both of which might be characterized as the sale of 'what is not with you.'
In recent times, traditional Islamic law has often been questioned by liberal movements within Islam. In a related development, Mohammad Hashim Kamali has questioned the reliability and contemporary relevance of the above quoted hadith of Hakim ibn Hizam.
There is no official authority who decides whether a person is accepted to, or dismissed from, the community of believers, known as the Ummah ("Family"). Islam is open to all, regardless of race, age, gender, or previous beliefs. It is enough to believe in the central beliefs of Islam. This is formally done by reciting the shahada, the statement of belief of Islam, without which a person cannot be classed a Muslim. It is enough to believe and say that you are a Muslim, and behave in a manner befitting a Muslim to be accepted into the community of Islam.
Islamic eschatology is concerned with the Qiyamah (end of the world) and the final judgement of humanity. Like Christianity and some sects of modern Judaism, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah (Paradise), while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam (a fiery Hell, from the Hebrew ge-hinnom or "valley of Hinnom"; usually rendered in English as Gehenna). A significant fraction of the Qur'an deals with these beliefs, with many hadith elaborating on the themes and details.
The Five Pillars of Islam is the term given to the fundamental aspects of Islam. These five pillars are the most important obligations of a Muslim under Sharia law, and which devout all Muslims will perform faithfully, because they are essential to pleasing Allah.
The Five Pillars of Islam are:
"Shahadah": The Testimony that there is none worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is his messenger.
" Salah": Establishing of the five daily Prayers (salah).
" Zakat": The Giving of Zakaah (charity), which is one fortieth (2.5%) of the net worth of possessions kept for more than a year, with few exemptions, for every Muslim whose wealth exceeds the nisab, and 10% or 20% of the produce from agriculture. This money or produce is distributed among the poor.
" Ramadhan": Fasting from dawn to dusk in the month of Ramadan (sawm).
" Hajj": The Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca during the month of Dhul Hijjah, which is compulsory once in a lifetime for one who has the ability to do it.
NOTE: For the Shi'a a sect of Islam, the Five Pillars, or more correctly translated "the principles of religion", are the five fundamental principles of Islam; no more, no less. The Shi'a sect consider the Sunni five pillars to be merely the most important obligations rather than these being the Five Pillars of Islam.
The Five Pillars of the Shi'a sect are:
The Oneness of God (tawhid).
The Justice of God ('adl).
The Leadership of Mankind (imamah).
The Resurrection (me'ad).
The Qur'an is the sacred book of Islam. It has also been called, in English, the Koran and the Quran. Qur'an is the currently preferred English transliteration of the Arabic original (قرآن); it means “recitation”.
Muslims believe that the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel on numerous occasions between the years 610 and Muhammad's death in 632. In addition to memorizing his revelations, his followers are said to have written them down on parchments, stones, bones, sticks, and leaves.
Muslims believe that the Qur'an available today is the same as that revealed to Prophet Muhammad and by him to his followers, who memorized his words. Scholars accept that the version of the Qur'an used today was first compiled in writing by the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, sometime between 650 and 656. He sent copies of his version to the various provinces of the new Muslim empire, and directed that all variant copies be destroyed. However, some skeptics doubt the recorded oral traditions (hadith) on which the account is based and will say only that the Qur'an must have been compiled before 750.
There are also numerous traditions, and many conflicting academic theories, as to the provenance of the verses later assembled into the Qur'an. (This is covered in greater detail in the article on the Qur'an.) Most Muslims accept the account recorded in several hadith, which state that Abu Bakr, the first caliph, ordered Zayd ibn Thabit to collect and record all the authentic verses of the Qur'an, as preserved in written form or oral tradition. Zayd's written collection, privately treasured by Muhammad's widow Hafsa bint Umar, was used by Uthman and is the basis of today's Qur'an.
Uthman's version organized the revelations, or suras, roughly in order of length, with the longest suras at the start of the Qur'an and the shortest ones at the end. Later scholars have struggled to put the suras in chronological order, and among Muslim commentators at least there is a rough consensus as to which suras were revealed in Mecca and which at Medina. Some suras (eg surat Iqra) were revealed in parts at separate times.
Because the Qur'an was first written [date uncertain] in the Hijazi, Mashq, Ma'il, and Kufic scripts, which write consonants only and do not supply the vowels, and because there were differing oral traditions of recitation, there was some disagreement as to the correct reading of many verses. Eventually scripts were developed that used "points" to indicate vowels. For hundreds of years after Uthman's recension, Muslim scholars argued as to the correct pointing and reading of Uthman's unpointed official text, (the rasm). Eventually, most commentators accepted ten variant readings (qira'at) of the Qur'an as canonical, while agreeing that the differences are minor and do not greatly affect the meaning of the text.
The form of the Qur'an most used today is the Al-Azhar text of 1923, prepared by a committee at the prestigious Cairo university of Al-Azhar.
The Qur'an early became a focus of Muslim devotion and eventually a subject of theological controversy. In the 8th century, the Mu'tazilis claimed that the Qur'an was created in time and was not eternal. Their opponents, of various schools, claimed that the Qur'an was eternal and perfect, existing in heaven before it was revealed to Muhammad. The Mu'tazili position was supported by caliph Al-Ma'mun. The caliph persecuted, tortured, and killed the anti-Mu'tazilis, but their belief eventually triumphed and is held by most Muslims of today. Only reformist or liberal Muslims are apt to take something approaching the Mu'tazili position.
Most Muslims regard the Qur'an with extreme veneration, wrapping it in a clean cloth, keeping it on a high shelf, and washing as for prayers before reading the Qur'an. Old Qur'ans are not destroyed as wastepaper, but deposited in Qur'an graveyards. The Qur'an is regarded as an infallible guide to personal piety and community life, and completely true in its history and science.
From the beginning of the faith, most Muslims believed that the Qur'an was perfect only as revealed in Arabic. Translations were the result of human effort and human fallibility, as well as lacking the inspired poetry believers find in the Qur'an. Translations are therefore only commentaries on the Qur'an, or "translations of its meaning", not the Qur'an itself.
The Islamic view of non-monotheist religions differs among scholars and varies according to time and place. For example, the relationship of Islam with Hinduism and non-monotheist religions varied greatly according to the religious outlook of individual rulers. In India, the Mughal emperor Akbar, for example, was very tolerant towards Hindus, while his successor Aurangzeb was less so. This variability persists today; while fundamentalists are often less tolerant, liberal movements within Islam often try to be more open-minded.
The Qur'an uses the term People of the Book to include all monotheists, including Jews, Christians and Muslims. According to Islam, all nations were given a Messenger and guidance from Allah.
Muslims believe that Judaism and Christianity started out with the same message as Islam, but that eventually, due to their abandonment of adherence to strict monotheism, the followers of Moses earned God's anger (by worshipping the Golden Calf, mentioned in the Biblical account of Moses, and later Ezra) and the followers of Jesus went astray (by worshipping him). "And when Allah saith : O Jesus , son of mary! Didst thou say unto mankind : Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith : Be glorified It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right . If I used to say it , then Thou knewest it . Thou knowest what is in my mind , and I know not what is in Thy mind . Lo! Thou , only Thou art the Knower of Things Hidden." [Surah 5:116]
It is popularly held by the vast majority of Muslims that the Holy Tawrat (revelation given to Moses) and the Holy Injil (revelation given to Jesus Christ) have been corrupted over time and that the present day Bible and Torah share little or no resemblance to the original message. According to Islam, Muhammad was sent during a time of spiritual darkness and once the Qur'an was finally established, all past revelations were abrogated, making the Last Testament not only for the Arab nation but for all mankind until the Day of Judgement.
Some parts of the Qur'an attribute differences between Muslims and non-Muslims to tahref-ma'any, a "corruption of the meaning" of the words. In this view, the Jewish Bible and Christian New Testament are true, but the Jews and Christians misunderstood the meaning of their own Scripture, and thus need the Qur'an to clearly understand the will of God. However, other parts of the Qur'an make clear that many Jews and Christians used deliberately altered versions of their scripture, and had altered the word of God. This belief was developed further in medieval Islamic polemics, and is a mainstream part of both Sunni and Shi'ite Islam today. This is known as the doctrine of tahref-lafzy, "the corruption of the text". Either way the Quran clearly states that the necessary information which was written in the previous scriptures can also be found in the Quran: "And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Qur’aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Mohaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge among them by what Allah has revealed" [Surah 5:48]
Historically, Islamic scholars have agreed that the Qur'an gives "People of the Book" special status, allowing those who live in Muslim lands (called dhimmi—protected people) to practice their own religions and to own property. People of the Book were not subject to certain Islamic rules, such as the prohibitions on alcohol and pork. Under the Islamic state, they were exempt from the draft, but were required to pay a tax known as jizyah, part of which went to charity and part to finance churches and synagogues. (They were, however, exempt from the zakat required of Muslims.) This agreement has in the past led to Islamic countries practicing religious toleration for Christians and Jews, although they were never accorded the full status enjoyed by Muslims.
One part—often seen as the largest or at least currently the most vocal—focuses on the differences takes an exclusivistic and aggressive approach to the differences between Islam and the Judeo-Christian community. Like in other faiths, this can lead to parts of the Muslim community holding beliefs like the necessity of bringing them back to the "Straight Path" by persuasion, or even force, and then acting them out.
Another part—often with a lower-profile, if not currently an outright minority—of Muslims focus on the similiarities and believe that people of faith in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all serve the same God, and cite verses such as the following:
"We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Surat Al Imran; 3:84).
" Those with Faith, those who are Jews, and the Christians and Sabaeans, all who have Faith in Allah and the Last Day and act rightly, will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow." (Surat al-Baqara; 2:62).
" The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believes in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His Messengers. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His Messengers." And they say: "We hear, and we obey, (we seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys." (Surat al-Baqara; 2:285).
" Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided." (Surat an-Nahl; 16:125).
" ...You will find the people most affectionate to those who have faith are those who say, 'We are Christians.' That is because some of them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant." (Surat al-Ma'ida; 5:82).
" Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way - except in the case of those of them who do wrong - saying, 'We have iman in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him." (Surat al-`Ankabut; 29:46).
One verse of the Qur'an says "God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just." (Qur'an, 60:8), which is interpreted as a clear admonition not to be disrespectful or unkind to non-Muslims. According to a hadith, Muhammad said to his people "The one who murders a dhimmi [non-Muslim under protection of the state] will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even if its smell was forty years travelling distance" [Sahih Ahmed].
Based on the percentages published in the 2003 CIA factbook, Islam is the second largest religion in the world. According to the World Network of Religious Futurists (http://www.wnrf.org/news/trends.html), the U.S. Center for World Mission (http://www.religioustolerance.org/growth_isl_chr.htm), and the controversial Samuel Huntington, Islam is growing faster numerically than any other religion. It is a matter of great controversy whether this is due in large part to the higher birth rates in many Islamic countries, or whether a high conversion rate may also be a factor.
The Muslim population today comprises over 1.3 billion people; estimates of Islam by country based on US State Departement figures yield a total of 1.48 billion, 22.82% of the world's population. However, only 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world; a fifth is found in Sub-Saharan Africa, about 30% in the Indian subcontinental region of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and the world's largest single Muslim community (within the bounds of one nation) is in Indonesia. There are also significant Muslim populations in China, Europe (especially in the Mediterranean countries), Central Asia, and Russia. There are approximately 5 million Muslims in North America. The world population is growing at about 1.10% per year, but the percentage of Muslim population is increasing by 1.4% per year, mostly due to higher birth rate of African and Asian countries. Birth rates in many Muslim countries have begun to decline, although more slowly than in other nations, which also may be a factor.
There are a number of Islamic religious denominations, each of which has significant theological and legal differences from each other. The major branches are Sunni and Shi'a, with Sufism often considered as an extension of either Sunni or Shi'a thought. All denominations, however, follow the five pillars of Islam and believe in the six pillars of faith (mentioned earlier).
The Sunni sect of Islam comprises the majority of all Muslims (about 90%). It is broken into four similar schools of thought (madhhabs) which interpret specific pieces of Islamic practice. They are named after their founders Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanafi, and Hanbali. Each school of thought differs slightly on fiqh (thoughts on how to practise Islam) although all accept the fundamentals contained within the Holy Quran.
Shi'a Islam comprises most of the Muslims that are not counted among the Sunni. The Shi'a consist of one major school of thought known as the Jafaryia or the "Twelvers", and a few minor schools of thought, as the "Seveners" or the "Fivers" referring to the number of infallible leaders they recognise after the death of Muhammad. The term Shi'a is usually taken to be synonymous with the Jafaryia/Twelvers.
While some consider the Islamic mysticism called Sufism to constitute a separate branch, most Sufis can easily be considered Sunni or Shi'a. Sufism is the hardest to understand by non-practitioners because on first sight it seems that sufis are either of Shi'a or Sunni denomination, but it is true that some sects of Sufism can be categorised as both Sunni and Shi'a whilst others are not from either denomination. The distinction here is because the schools of thought (madhhabs) are regarding "legal" aspects of Islam, the "dos" and "don'ts", whereas Sufism deals more with perfecting the aspect of sincerity of faith, and fighting one's own ego. Other people may call themselves Sufis who may be perceived as having left Islam (or never followed Islam). There are also some very large groups or sects of Sufism that are not easily categorised as either Sunni or Shi'a, such as the Bektashi or those that can be categorised as both at the same time, like the Barelwi. Sufism is found more or less across the Islamic world, though bearing distinctive regional variations, from Senegal to Indonesia.
According to Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot, Head of the al-Azhar University in the middle part of the 20th Century, the Ja'fari school of thought, which is also known as "al-Shi'a al- Imamiyyah al-Ithna Ashariyyah" (i.e., The Twelver Imami Shi'ites) is a school of thought that is religiously correct to follow in worship as are other Sunni schools of thought. This position was not generally accepted by mainstream Sunni scholarship, and al-Azhar itself distanced itself from this position.
" Muhammad" is a common male name for Muslims.
Muhammad (also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, and formerly Mahomet, following the Latin) is revered by Muslims as the final prophet of God. According to his traditional Muslim biographies (called sirah in Arabic), he was born c. 570 in Mecca (or "Makkah") and died June 8, 632 in Medina (Madinah), both cities in northern Arabia. His name is Arabic for "he who is highly praised".
Pious Muslims consider that his work merely clarified and finalized the true religion, building on the work of other prophets of monotheism, and believe Islam to have existed before Muhammad.
Muhammad is said to have been a merchant who travelled widely. Early Muslim sources report that in 611, at about the age of 40, he experienced a vision. He described it to those close to him as a visit from the Angel Gabriel, who commanded him to memorize and recite the verses later collected as the Qur'an. He eventually expanded his mission, publicly preaching a strict monotheism and predicting a Day of Judgement for sinners and idol-worshippers — such as his tribesmen and neighbors in Mecca. He did not completely reject Judaism and Christianity, two other monotheistic faiths known to the Arabs; he only claimed to complete and perfect their teachings. He soon acquired both a following and the hatred of his neighbors. In 622 he was forced to flee Mecca and settle in Medina with his followers, where he established legal authority as leader of the first avowedly Muslim community. War between Mecca and Medina followed, in which Muhammad and his followers were eventually victorious. The military organization honed in this struggle was then set to conquering the other pagan tribes of Arabia. By the time of Mohammed's death, he had unified Arabia and launched a few expeditions to the north, towards Syria and Palestine.
Under Muhammad's immediate successors the Islamic empire expanded into Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain. Later conquests, commercial contact between Muslims and non-Muslims, and missionary activity spread his faith over much of the globe.
The sources available to us for information about Muhammad are the Qur'an, the sira biographies, and the hadith collections. While the Qur'an is not a biography of Mohammed, it does provide some information about his life. The earliest surviving biographies are the Life of the Apostle of God, by Ibn Ishaq (d. 768), edited by Ibn Hisham (d. 833); and al-Waqidi's (d. 822) biography of Muhammad. Ibn Ishaq wrote his biography some 120 to 130 years after Muhammad's death. The third source, the hadith collections, like the Qur'an, are not a biography per se. They are stories of the words and actions of Mohammed and his companions.
Muslim tradition holds that the Quran is a message of Allah, delivered through Muhammad ibn Abd Allah as dictated to him by the angel Jabreel (Gabriel). It was delivered in Arabic, and all attempts at translation into other languages are deemed inadequate to proper transmission.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the Day of Judgment.
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Show us the straight way,
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
(The Opening of The Quran as translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Hadith (Sayings) is a term used primarily for collections of sayings of Muhammad ibn Abdullah that have been collected as guidance for followers of the Muslim traditions. There are tens of thousands of hadith that are attributed to him, and a compilation of hadith without commentary alone could fill an encyclopedia of books.
A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.
(Bukhari 4:538 This is an extraordinary hadith, because following the Sunnah of Muhammad, prostitutes can be extremely despised figures among most Muslims, yet it expresses the idea that even someone working in one of the most despised of professions, in showing mercy to an animal, can merit the forgiveness of Allah, and the wise. It is in many ways comparable to Yeshua's (Jesus Christ's) parable of the good Samaritan.)
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.
Final Sermon of Muhammad
[Allah] has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another.
Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 1589.
Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, #473
Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour. Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously. And anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet.
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 47.
Avoid cruelty and injustice for, on the Day of Judgment, the same will turn into several darknesses; and guard yourselves against miserliness; for this has ruined nations who lived before you.
Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 203.
By his good character, a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day.
Abu Dawood, Hadith 2233.
Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376.
(Each one) of you should save himself from the fire by giving even half of a date (in charity). And if you do not find a half date, then (by saying) a pleasant word (to your brethren).
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 394.
Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.
Final Sermon of Muhammad
Five kinds of animals are mischief-doers and can be killed even in the Sanctuary: They are the rat, the scorpion, the kite, the crow and the rabid dog.
Hadith - Bukhari 4:531, Narrated 'Aisha
" God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds."
" [The man asked] 'Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?' The Prophet said, 'Your mother.' The man said. 'Who is next?' The Prophet said, 'Your mother.' The man further said, 'Who is next?' The Prophet said, 'Your mother.' The man asked for the fourth time, 'Who is next?' The Prophet said, 'Your father.' "
Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:2.
Happy is the man who avoids dissension, but how fine is the man who is afflicted and shows endurance.
Sunah of Abu Dawood, Hadith 1996.
He who has been a ruler over ten people will be brought shackled on the Day of Resurrection, until the justice (by which he ruled) loosens his chains or tyranny brings him to destruction.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1037
" 'I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,' putting his index and middle fingers together."
Sahih Al-Bukhari 8:34. 4
" I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."
Narrated by 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1:
In the name of God, I put my trust in God. O God, I seek refuge in Thee lest I stray or be led astray or cause injustice or suffer injustice or do wrong or have wrong done to me!
Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 67b.
It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1011
It is a fine thing when a believer praises and thanks God if good comes to him, and praises God and shows endurance if smitten by affliction. The believer is rewarded for (every good action), even for the morsel he raises to his wife's mouth.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 537.
It is better for any of you to carry a load of firewood on his own back than begging from someone else.
Riyadh-Us-Saleheen, Chapter 59, hadith 540
Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 38
Righteousness is good morality, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul and which you dislike people finding out about.
An-Nawawi's "Forty Hadith," Hadith 27.
Seven kinds of people will be sheltered under the shade of God on the Day of Judgment...They are: a just ruler, a young man who passed his youth in the worship and service of God...one whose heart is attached to the mosque...two people who love each other for the sake of God...a man who is invited to sin...but declines, saying 'I fear God'...one who spends his charity in secret, without making a show...and one who remembers God in solitude so that his eyes overflow.
Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 376.
Sometimes I enter prayer and I intend to prolong it, but then I hear a child crying, and I shorten my prayer thinking of the distress of the child's mother.
Fiqh us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 51b.
The example of a believer is like a fresh tender plant; from whichever direction the wind blows, it bends the plant. But when the wind dies down, (it) straightens up again.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 1.
The first to be summoned to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection will be those who praise God in prosperity and adversity.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 730.
" '...what is the best type of Jihad [struggle].' He answered: 'Speaking truth before a tyrannical ruler.' "
Riyadh us-Saleheen Volume 1:195
" While a man was walking along a road, he became very thirsty and found a well. He lowered himself into the well, drank, and came out. Then [he saw] a dog protruding its tongue out with thirst. The man said: 'This dog has become exhausted from thirst in the same way as I.' He lowered himself into the well again and filled his shoe with water. He gave the dog some water to drink. He thanked God, and [his sins were] forgiven.' The Prophet was then asked: 'Is there a reward for us in our animals?' He said: 'There is a reward in every living thing.' "
Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 104.
You have seen nothing like marriage for increasing the love between two people.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 921.
You should marry virgins, and verily they are sweeter in tongue, more prolific in wombs, and easily satisfied with little.
Al Hadis, Vol. 2. p. 638
You should show courtesy and be cordial with each other, so that nobody should consider himself superior to another nor do him harm.
Riyadh-us-Saleheen. Hadith 602.
The last day will not come until very tall buildings are constructed.
The last day will not come until the land of Arabia once again returns to meadows and is filled with rivers.
Many believe that "meadows" and "rivers" could be references to modern-day gardens/agricultural fields and water pipelines.
God: One Infinite
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