YOUR WAY TO ISLAAM
DR. MOHAMMAD SULEIMAN AL-ASHQER
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY
DR. ABDUL-WARlS SAEED
Revised Edition with Additions 1415
J. D. C. SERIES ON ISLAM NO. 11
Note: Dear reader, this is a book which I found to be quite information, and believe that it can be very useful for the new Muslim, and the person interested in learning more about Islam. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Ashqar is a well known knowledgable scholar in Islam. May Allah reward him, and the Dr. Abdul-Waris Saeed for their efforts in making this writing, and translating this valuable book. There are many Arabic words in here. They have mostly been explained. Many of these words are common Muslim words that a Muslim will here frequently. For this reason I think it is good that they are also in Arabic so that you can begin to learn, and recognize these words.
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH
MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
O you people, adore your Lord who created you and those who came before you, that you may have the chance to be righteous. (The Quran 2:21)
Your Way to Islam
An invitation to all to join the faithful in their progress to Allahs blessing. Those who obey Allah and His Messenger are in the Company of those who are blessed by Allah, The Prophets, The Sincere (faithful), the Witnesses (Martyrs) and the Righteous (who do good), and what a beautiful fellowship! (The Quran 4:69).
- Behold all that is around you on earth: things, plants, insects, animals, birds and fish...
- Dont you see that they have accurate systems governing and guiding their life?
- Behold all that is above you in space: sun, moon, planets, stars, clouds, wind ... etc., arent they all functioning properly and accurately and rendering valuable services to our life on earth?
- Think of yourself, of your organs, of your numerous and efficient body systems, how they are cooperatively functioning to secure healthful life for you!
- Who created all these fantastic things? Who established their accurate systems? Who is controlling this huge and complicated universe?
- No one dared so far to claim creating, or being able to create, any single thing, even a hair!!
- The Creator and The Sustainer of all these Creatures is One only; if there were more than one there would have been confusion in the heavens and the earth! That One is Allah (the only true God).
- It is very logical, then, to acknowledge this fact, to know our Creator and Provider to be grateful to Him, and to submit ourselves and our life to His Wise and Merciful Guidance.
- Our Creator has endowed us with intellect to understand and with freedom to choose the right path.
- Allah has showed us the right path through his messengers sealed by Mohammad and His Books completed by The Quran.
- In front of us there are two ways: one is leading to bliss in this life and in the Hereafter that is Islam.
- The other is leading to misery and loss in this world, and to eternal punishment in the Hereafter. The choice is ours, what are we going to choose? May Allah guide us into the Right Path! Aameen!
ISLAM WHY? FOR WHOM? WHEN?
- Because Islam is the religion chosen by Allah for all humanity.
- Because Islam is the religion of all prophets since Adam to Mohammad (Peace be upon them all).
- Because Islam is the religion delivered by all Messengers of Allah and Islam is the seal of all heavenly revelations, and
- Because Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam the Messenger of Islam is the last of Gods apostles, and
- Because The Quran is the last of Allahs scriptures.
- Allah taala (Glory be to Him) says: Do they seek other than the Deen (Religion) of Allah? While all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, Willingly or unwillingly, bowed to His Will (accepted Islam), and to Him shall they All be brought back, (The Quran 3:83) If anyone desires a Deen (Religion) other than Islam (submission to Allah) it will never be accepted from him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (everything) (The Quran 3:85).
Islam... for whom?
- For every person upon whom Allah has bestowed life and intellect.
- For those who can see the blessings of Allah.
- For those who can hear the Words of Allah.
- For those who can comprehend the signs of Allah.
- For those whose hearts are full of love and gratitude to Allah.
- For you, for me, and for those whose blessed hearts are open to faith.
Islam ... When?
- Now and always.
- Obey your hearts call to faith.
- It is your life chance.
- A golden chance that might not strike your heart again.
- Answer Allahs call. He summons you.
- But your God is one God, submit your wills to Him (in Islam), and give the good news to those who humble themselves. [The Quran 22:34].
THE GREAT TRIP
- If you become convinced that Islam is the true religion,
- Seek a trustworthy Islamic authority such as an Islamic Center, a mosque, or an Islamic Organization.
- Contact the person in charge and tell him about your wish to embrace Islam.
- The person in charge will ask you some questions to know how far you are convinced with Islam.
- This pamphlet will provide you with answers for such questions.
- Before you reach that honorable occasion, i.e., declaring conversion to Islam, wash the whole of your body with the intention of converting to Islam. It is also recommended for this very special occasion, to shave under-arm and pubic hair, dress up, and apply a pleasant-smelling perfume to the body.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO DECLARE
YOUR CONVERSlON TO lSLAM?
- To achieve this, it is sufficient to say (in Arabic, if possible):
- Ash-hadu an la ilaha illaal-lah!
- Wa ash-hadu an-na Muhammadan rasulul-lah
- Wa ash-hadu an-na isa abdul-lahi wa rasuluhu
- Baritu min kulli dinin yukhalifu dinal-Islam
The meaning of this is as follows:
- I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah.
- And I bear witness that Muhammad is Allahs Messenger.
- And I bear witness that Jesus is the slave and messenger of Allah.
- deny and refuse any religion except Islam.
Also you can say:
- I (firmly) believe in Allah, His Angels, His scriptures, His Messengers, the Last Day, and in the ability of Allah to will the existence of good or bad.
- I promise Allah not to associate with Him (in worship) anyone or anything (whatsoever), and,
- I will steadfastly perform Salat (the Five Prayers), and
- I will give out Zakat (special Islamic system of charity), and
- I will never steal, and
- Never commit adultery (or fornication), and
- Never illegally kill a person, and
- Never disobey Allah.
- Praise be to Allah Who has guided me to belief !
Note: The person in charge, in front of whom a new Muslim has announced his conversion to Islam, prays Allah for him with such prayers: Allah may forgive me and you! And Allah may accept (submission) from me and you! O Allah! Accept him with those on whom You did bestow your Grace, of Prophets, the Sincere (lovers of Truth), the Witnesses, and the righteous! What a beautiful Fellowship!
What is Islam?
- Islam is (composed of) three (main) areas: Utterance, faith, and deeds.
- The utterance was explained in chapter 4.
- Faith is to believe in Allah, the Angels, the Heavenly Scriptures, Prophets, the last Day and in the ability of Allah to will the existence of good or bad.
- Deeds are: Salat (Prayers), Zakat (Alms-giving), Siyam (Fasting), and Hajj (Pilgrimage).
FAITH IN ALLAH
- We believe that Allah is one God, our Lord and the Lord of everything,
- Allah is the Creator of everything,
- All other than Him are created, and are servants who share nothing with Allah.
- Even Angels and Prophets are merely created servants submitting to Allah.
- Among them are Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them); both have no trace of deity (godhood).
- Allah is the Living Self-Subsisting, Eternal, the First without a beginning and the Last without an end.
- He hears everything and sees everything.
- He is Most Gracious, Most Merciful, All-Dominating,
- He has the Most beautiful Names and the Noblest Attributes.
- He has created us out of nothing,
- And made us in the best form.
- He has given us all graces and bounties.
- Hence we are not permitted to worship or submit to any other than Him, whether a favorite Angel or a chosen Prophet!
- Whoever directs his prayers, bows or prostrates (in worship), or offers sacrifice to any other than Allah, he is an infidel! and not a Muslim even if he declares that he is a Muslim:
- Allah says: Say: Truly my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. No partner has He. This I am commanded and I am the first of those who submit to His Will. [The Quran 6:162 -163]
- Islam is the religion of Monotheism: it denies the Dualism of Magians and the Trinity of Christians. Islam teaches that Allah is One and only One. No one shares with Him, His Dominion or His Command. He has the Most beautiful Names and the Noblest Attributes:
- Allah says: Say! He is Allah, the One. He is the Most Unique, the Eternal,the Absolute. He neither gives birth, nor is He born. And there is none like unto Him. [Al Quran 112).
FAITH IN ANGELS
- Allah has created Angels to worship Him, to carry out His commands and to be His messengers to His Prophets.
- One of the angels is Gabriel who used to bring down Revelation to our Prophet Muhammad 'Alayhis-Salatu was-Salamu (peace be upon him).
- Another Angel is Michael who is in charge of rain falling.
- A third one is the "Angel of Death" who is in charge of taking the souls of people whose death is due.
- Angels are but servants honored by Allah.
- Hence we honor them and speak of them respectfully.
- But we worship none of them, nor do we take them as Allah's sons or daughters (as infidels claim).
- We worship only Allah who created them in this wonderful kind of creation.
Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And they say: The Most Gracious has begotten a son, Glory be to Him! They are but servants raised to honor. They do not speak before He speaks, and they act (in all things) by His command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they offer no intercession except for those whom He accepted, and they stand in awe and reverence of Him. If any of them should say, I am a God besides Him, such one We should reward with Hell. Thus do We reward those who do wrong. [The Quran 21:26-29]
FAITH IN HOLY SCRIPTURES
- Allah has sent down to a number of Messengers, Books in order to proclaim them to mankind.
- These Books contain the Words of Allah.
- Among them are the Sheets of Ibrahim (Abraham), Taurat revealed to Moosa (Moses), Az-Zabour (psalms) revealed to Dawood (David), The Injil (Gospel) revealed to Isa (Jesus), And The Quran sent down to Muhammad, (Peace be upon them all).
- Jews and Christians distorted some parts of their Books (Taurat and Injil).
- Being the last Book assuredly guarded from corruption, The Quran confirms the truth in the previous Books and guards it.
- Whatever, in those Books, differs from The Quran is corrupted or abrogated.
- Allah (Glory be to Him) says: To you We sent the scripture in truth Confirming the scriptures that came before it, And guarding it... [The Quran 5:48].
- Allah revealed The Quran in Arabic and has firmly promised to protect. His last Message from all corruption; He says about The Quran: We have, without doubt, sent down the Message, and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption) [The Quran 15:9]
FAITH IN PROPHETS
- We believe that: Allah chose from among mankind some Prophets to deliver His Guidance.
- From among those Prophets He selected Some Messengers.
- He sent to the Messengers Laws and commanded them to proclaim these laws and to clarify them to their people.
- Some of the great Messengers of Allah were Nooh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
- Embracing Islam does not mean to disbelieve in Moosa, Isa, or any other prophet.
- Islam teaches you how to believe correctly in all Prophets.
- Allah (Glory be to Him) says in The Quran: To you We sent the Scripture in Truth, Confirming the scriptures that came before it, And guarding it... [The Quran 5:48]. Meaning: Clarifying the Truth they distorted.
- Allah mentioned names of a number of Prophets, He says: Say you (Muslims): We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Ibrahim, lsmail, Isaac, Yaqoob (Jacob) and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moosa (Moses), and Isa (Jesus), and that which was given to all Prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between one and another of them, and we submit to Allah (in Islam) [The Quran 2:136]
- The first Prophet was Adam, father of mankind, Alayhis-Salam (Peace be upon him).
- Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam Alayhis-Salatu was-Salamu (Peace be upon him) is the Seal (the last) of the prophets. No prophet is to come after him up to the end of this world.
- Hence the fact that Islam is the only true religion to remain up to the Last Day.
- He is Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdul-Muttalib. He is an Arab from (the famous tribe) of The Quraysh, a descendant of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) Alayhimus-salatu was-salamu (Peace, and prayers of Allah be upon them).
- He was born in Makkah (Mecca) in 571 AD (Known as the Year of the Elephant).
- Allah sent Revelation to him when he was 40 years old.
- He stayed in Makkah 13 years calling people to (believe in) Allah.
- Only a limited number of people believed in him.
- After that he emigrated to Al-Madinah and invited its people to believe in Allah, and they accepted.
- He became the leader of Makkah in the year 8 AH He died at the age of 63 after the whole of The Quran was revealed, and all Arabs embraced Islam.
FAITH IN THE LAST DAY
- We believe that there will be another life after this life.
- When the determined term of this life comes to an end, Allah will command an Angel to sound the Trumpet and all mankind and all other creatures will die.
- Then he (Angel) will sound it again, when, behold, all dead since Adam will stand out of their graves.
- Then, Allah will gather all people to account them for what they did:
- Those who believed (in Allah), accepted the Messengers (as truthful) and did good deeds (commanded by Allah), Allah will put them in Paradise.
- In Paradise, they will enjoy eternal Bliss.
- But those who rejected the Messengers and disobeyed Allahs commands, will be put in Hell.
- In Hell Fire, they will be in continuous eternal punishment.
- O Allah! We ask Your Paradise and seek refuge with You from Fire of Hell! Aameen!
- Allah (Glory be to Him) says: As for those who had transgressed all bounds; and had preferred the life of this world; the Abode will be Hell-Fire. And for those who had feared of standing in front of their Lords (Tribunal); and had restrained (their) souls from lower desires; their Abode will be Paradise. (The Quran 79:37-41)
FAITH IN FATE AND DIVINE DECREE
- We believe in the timeless knowledge of Allah and in His power to plan and execute His plans and nothing could happen in His Kingdom against His will.
- His knowledge and power are in action and command at all times over His creation.
- He is Wise and Merciful and whatever He does must have a meaningful purpose.
- If this is established in our minds and hearts, we should accept with good faith all that He does,
- Although we may fail to understand it fully, or think it is bad.
IBADAT (RELIGIOUS DEEDS)
- Deeds in Islam are of two main categories:
- Ibadat, these are the rituals, or devotional duties, of worship: Salat, Zakat, Siyam, and Hajj.
- Muamalat, these include all life activities related to the individual, family, society, or the whole Ummah (Muslim Community at large), political, economic, cultural, legal, ethical , national or international.
- Muamalat when carried out in fulfillment of Allahs Sharia (Law) will be a sort of Worship in the general sense.
- In this pamphlet, Muamalat will not be dealt with. You have to consult in each case either a book of Fiqh (Islamic Law) or any well informed Muslim scholar or authority.
- The practical Pillars (Foundations) of Islam are Five:
- The two Shahadas (Declarations of submission to Allah)
- Salat (Prayer)
- Zakat (Poor Due)
- Siyam (Fasting of Ramadhan)
- Hajj (Pilgrimage)
THE TWO SHAHADAS (DECLARATIONS)
Ash-Shahadah means to say, with a firm belief in heart, and mind, the following:
- Ash-hadu an Laa ilaha illal-Lahu,
- Waash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasulul-Lah.
The meaning of these is:
- I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah,
- and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allahs Messenger.
These imply two things:
- That are deeds must be sincere to God alone.
- That we only worship God as Muhammad taught.
We pray five times everyday:
- The Fajr (dawn) prayer. Two Rakahs (Units). Its time starts just after dawn and ends at sunrise.
- The Dhuhr (noon) prayer. Four Rakahs. Time starts just after sun moves down from its zenith and ends at the midpoint between zenith and sunset.
- The Asr (Late afternoon) prayer: Four Rakahs. Time starts after the end of the Dhuhr prayer and ends at sunset.
- The Maghrib (Sunset) prayer: Three Rakahs. Time starts just after sunset.
- The Isha (Evening) prayer: Four Rakahs. Preferable time starts when twilight disappears and ends at midnight.
- A Muslim must be pure and clean when he performs his prayer, (otherwise his prayers will not be valid).
- At-Taharah is of two types: Wudu, (Ablution) and Ghusl (full Ablution).
WUDU (Ablution) which is performed as follows:
- Have Niyyah (the clear intention) of performing wudu.
- Say: "Bismil-Lahi r-rahmani r-rahim" (in the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful).
- Wash the hands, rinse the mouth and clear with water the inside of the nose (sniffing).
- Wash the face.
- Wash the arms up to the elbows (start with the right arm)
- Rub the head with wet hands, and the ears.
- Wash the feet up to the ankles (starting with the right foot)
- Say the two Shahadahs.
- No need for reapplying Wudu as long as it has not been invalidated.
- Wudu' is invalidated by: Passing of excrement, urine, wind or by sleeping.
GHUSL (Taking a shower):
A Muslim must take Ghusl after:
- Ejaculation of semen because of any reason.
- Intimate intercourse.
- For women: End of Menstruation period.
- End of the childbirth period.
Ghusl is washing the whole body with clean water.
TAYAMMUM (Dry Ablution):
In case of not having water for Wudu or Ghusl, or being unable to use it for any reason, apply the Dry Ablution:
- Have Niyyah (the clear intention) of performing Tayammum.
- Say: "Bismillahir-rahmanir-rahim" (in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful).
- Hit the palms once on any clean dust-containing material,
- then rub the face with the palms, then the hands.
HOW TO PERFORM SALAT (PRAYERS)?
- The best way for men is to perform salat in congregation with Muslims in the mosque. There you will be given more reward by Allah and you will leam easily how to pray.
- Be sure that your body, clothes and place are clean.
- Stand facing towards the direction of QIBLAH, that is the direction of the Sacred mosque in Makkah, in Al Hijaz (Saudi Arabia).
- Raise the hands to the shoulder level and say: Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest).
- Fold the hand on the chest, the right hand over the left.
- Recite Al-Fatihah (The Opening Chapter of The Quran) and another chapter or some verses of The Quran (See App. 1)
- Say. Allahu Akbar while making Ruku (bowing and bending the body at a right angle placing the palms on the knees)
- Say in Ruku: Subhana rabbiyal-atheem (Glory be to my Lord, the Great!) three times.
- Go back to the standing position saying: Samia allahu liman hamidah! Rabbana wa lakal-hamd. (Indeed, Allah listens to one who praises Him O! Our Lord! All praises be to You)
- Then, you say Allahu Akbar and immediately fall down to make the first Sajdah (Prostration) with forehead, nose, palms, knees and toes resting on the ground,-saying: Subhana rabbiyal ala (Glory be to my Lord, Most High) Three times.
- Move from sajdah (prostration) position to sitting posture while saying; Allahu Akbar! While sitting, say Rabbighfirli warhamni (O My Lord! Forgive me! and have mercy on me)
- After this, another sajdah is done in the same way with Allahu Akbar uttered before it, and Subhana rabbiyal ala Three times during Sujud.
- After completing the second sajdah, one Rakah is completed.
- Stand up saying Allahu Akbar in order to begin a new Rakah, exactly as the first Rakah.
- After finishing the second Rakah you sit down and recite Part One and Part Two of At-Tashahhud.
- Finally you turn the face to the right hand side and say: As-Salamu alaykum wa rahmatul-lah which means Peace be upon you and The Mercy of Allah!
- Then you do the same to the left side.
- Thus a two- Rakah prayer is completed, such as the Fajr Prayer.
- As for 4 Rakah prayers such as the Dhuhr, only the first part of At-Tashahhud is recited after completing the second Rakah. Then you stand up to perform two more Rakahs in the same way, but without reciting any verses from The Quran after Al-Fatihah.
- The Asr and t Isha prayers are performed exactly as the Dhuhr.
- In the Maghrib Prayer, the final Tashahhud and As-Salam come after the third Rakah.
WHY WE PRAY
- The Muslim observes his Prayers to show devotion and obedience to Allah, because Prayer is one of the greatest forms of worship that Allah likes His servants to offer.
- To thank Him for creating us in the best form of creation.
- Because He has guided us to the Deen (Complete way of Life, Religion) of Islam.
- Prayer is a chance for a Muslim to express to his Lord whatever he feels and needs through Divine Words of Allah i.e. the Quran.
- To remember his Lord and not forget His commands amid lifes pre-occupations.
- To ask Allah, The Exalted, to give him aid and continuous guidance in the darkness of life.
- To strengthen love and fear of Allah in the Muslims heart so that he might remain sticking to the Right Path of Islam, and its laws and manners.
- Gaining good rewards from Allah and having our sins forgiven.
- To rejoice when he finds himself on the Last Day pleased with the great reward allotted to him in the Gardens of Bliss.
- Prayer is a unique training and developmental program which, if well and devotedly performed, can achieve for Muslims many valuable physical, ethical and spiritual gains such as cleanliness, health, order, punctuality, brotherhood, equality, social consolidation, etc.
ZAKAT (Poor Due, Alms)
WHAT IS ZAKAT
- The term Zakat originally means: growth, and purity.
- In Islamic Law, it means paying every lunar year a certain percentage of your savings to certain charitable usage defined by The Quran.
- If you have, for that period, an amount of money equal to the value of 85 grams of pure gold (now 1985, is about $1000) or more, you must pay 2.5%.
- Zakat is paid for the poor and the needy Muslims, for the wayfarers, for propagating Islam or fighting for Islam, for helping new Muslims or encouraging non-Muslims to embrace Islam, for those who are burdened with debts and are unable to pay them.
- If you have articles of trade, you calculate their Zakat in the same way.
- You can ask some Muslim scholar or refer to any good reference book to know more about Zakat.
WHY WE PAY ZAKAT
- To show devotion to Allah Who commanded us to do so and informed us that He loves the charitable.
SAWM, or SIYAM (Fasting)
ABOUT THE FAST
- In Ramadan, (the 9th month of the lunar Islamic year) Muslims fast in obedience to Allahs command and in gratitude for Allahs Grace for revealing His Glorious Book, The Quran, in Ramadan.
- Sawm (Fasting) is to abstain from eating, drinking and intimate intercourse from dawn to sunset.
- If sick or on a journey, a Muslim is permitted to break his fast.
- If he breaks the fast, he has to make it up by fasting a number of days equal to the days in which he broke fasting in Ramadan.
- After the end of Ramadan comes Eid al-Fitr (the Holy day of Breaking the Fast) which is the 1st day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadan.
- On the Eid morning, all Muslims congregate, in open grounds or in mosques, to perform Eid Prayer to express their happiness and gratitude to Allah for enabling them to complete this duty of Fasting.
- Concerning this important duty, Allah says: O you who believe. Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (observe) piety and self-restraint [The Quran 2:183]
- Also, He says: Ramadan is the month in which was sent down The Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong). So, every one of you who is present (at his home, village, or town) during that month should fast it, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by other days. [The Quran 2:185].
WHY WE FAST
- We fast in obedience to Allahs command, and because Allah loves those who fast.
- To show our gratitude to Allahs Grace of sending down His Guidance, The Quran, to guide us and the whole humanity.
- To thank Allah for making us of those who believe in The Quran.
- And because He enabled us to memorize His Book, to recite it, to study and understand it, and to benefit in its guidance.
- To develop control on our material desires Allah planted in our nature.
- To control ourselves in front of all things prohibited by Allah.
- Fasting makes us remember the needy who suffer from hunger and deprivation.
Hence, to become more sympathetic to them and help them with part of what Allah has bestowed upon us.
- To check our engrossment in our desires, and increase our care for our spiritual entity through intensifying our deeds and acts of worship in this month of The Quran.
- To increase our share of sincerity, consience, patience, discipline, as well as many healthful benefits.
- Above all these, the great reward Allah promised to give us on the Last Day.
HAJJ (THE PILGRIMAGE)
WHAT IS HAJJ
- Hajj is a journey to Al-Kabah (the sacred House of Allah) in Makkah (Mecca) with the intention of obeying Allahs command and performing certain prescribed rites there. (For the details of performing Hajj, you may consult any Islamic reference book on the subject).
- Performing Hajj is obligatory, once in a lifetime, upon every mature Muslim provided he is able (physically and financially).
- The whole journey of Hajj and its rites conform to a unique form, the principles of Islam and commemorate Islamic milestones related to Prophets Ibraheem (Abraham), Ismael and Muhammad, Alayhimus-salam.
- The rites of Hajj are performed, in general, in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic Year).
- On the 9th of Dhul Hijah the culminating rite is performed at Mount Arafat where all pilgrims, sometimes about two million, gather.
- Pilgrims stand at Arafat to declare their supplications to Allah and their repentance and need of His Mercy and Forgiveness.
- This reminds us of the Grand Assembly on the Day of Judgment.
- The next day (the tenth) is the great Eid Al-Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice) when pilgrims offer their sacrifices. After slaughtering their sacrifices, pilgrims go to Makkah and make Tawaf (circumbulate) seven times around Al-Kabah.
- Muslims everywhere slaughter their sacrifices (of camels, cows, or sheep) after performing the Eid Prayer.
- These sacrifices were prescribed in commemoration of the great sacrifice of Prophet Abraham (Alayhis-salam) when he was about to slaughter his only son, Ismael, whom he loved much, when Allah ordered him to do so to test his loyalty and obedience to Him.
- After completing the acts of Hajj, you can enjoy visiting The Mosque of Prophet Muhammad sallal-lahu alayhi wa salam in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah (the illuminated town) and attend some Prayers there. The reward for praying at that Mosque is great.
- When in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, pay a greeting visit to the Prophets grave and to his noble companions graves, in the Islamically accepted form.
- Also visiting the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is recommendable in Islam.
WHY WE PERFORM HAJJ
Purposes and lessons of performing Hajj are so many. Among them are:
- Responding in obedience to Allahs commands.
- To be grateful to Allah for His Grace and Favors on us, such as health, wealth and children.
- To glorify Allah by visiting and making Tawaf (gowing around) His Sacred House, Al-Kabah.
- (Al-Kabah is the first House built on earth for worshipping Allah, which Ibrahim The Friend and his son Ismail erected by the instruction of Allah).
- To pray at Al-Kaba, which is the Qiblah (direction) to which all Muslims turn their faces in the five daily prayers.
- To visit and stand in devotion to Allah at the Sacred Mountains such as Mount Arafat. There we celebrate the praises of Allah, purify our souls and repent of all sins.
- To see the places where Ibrahim, the noble Friend and Prohpet of Allah, and his first son Ismail Alayhis-salam stayed and worshiped Allah.
- To visit the places where Prophet Muhammad alayhis-salam was born, brought up, received the Divine Message, suffered and struggled for spreading the light of Allah.
- To meet our Muslim brethren coming from all countries, and to see the actualization of brotherhood, equality, cooperation and love among Muslims regardless of their differences in nationality, color, standard of living, and other worldly matters. To see the universality of Islam.
- To practice patience, sacrifice, endurance, simplicity and other spiritual capacities we are in urgent need of.
- To come back cleansed of our sins, so as to start a new page in our life, hoping to keep it free from sins until the end of life, so that we may be accepted and well rewarded by Allah in the Hereafter.
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR ISLAM?
- Becoming a Muslim after becoming convinced is opening a plain page in your deed record.
- Whatever bad deeds you have committed before, Allah will forgive because of your embracing Islam.
- Becoming a Muslim is like starting a new life.
- You have to grow and develop in Islam. How can you do so? By the following:
Firstly: Increasing your knowledge of Islam, through:
- Reading the Quranic text.
- Reading some interpretations of the Quran.
- Reading Traditions (Sayings) of Prophet Muhammad, Alayhis-salatu was-salamu).
- Reading the biography of Prophet Muhammad Alayhis-salatu was-salamu).
- Reading the biographies of the great Muslim figures among our righteous fore-Muslims who propagated Islam and proclaimed it to mankind.
- Attending Jumuah (Friday) congregational prayer, listening to its Khutbah (sermon) and praying with Muslims.
- Attending the two Eid (holiday) prayers.
- Performing the five daily prayers in congregation at the mosque whenever you are able to do so.
- Attending Islamic religious, teaching sessions.
- Contacting scholars, shaikhs, mosque imams (leaders) and preachers, introducing yourself to them and asking them about any Islamic matter you need to know. They are always happy to provide you with the required clarification.
- Having one or more friends of good Muslims who are fairly knowledgeable about Islam to be your permanent reliable reference.
- Read as much as you can of the basic sources of Islam (The Quran and As-Sunnah) and of the authentic and trustworthy writings about Islam to understand it more.
- You will learn a lot about the laws and systems of Islam related to worship, family structure, life activities, manners, economic and public affairs.
- You will know the ideology of Islam and its view in regard to creation, the universe, man, and life.
- Islam is not rituals or morals only, it is in fact a comprehensive system for society, a constitution for the state and a way of life.
Secondly: Doing good deeds as much as you can:
- Try to do good deeds more than the five basic duties mentioned before, such as:
- Performing voluntary prayers, in addition to the compulsory five daily prayers.
- Helping the poor and the needy by extra charity in addition to Zakat, or by assisting them in carrying out their necessary difficult duties.
- Fasting a day or more other than in Ramadan.
- Taking part in useful social projects aimed at reforming Muslim Society.
- Inviting others to embrace Islam.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ISLAM
- Becoming a Muslim means that you have achieved a lot of good for yourself.
- It is like owning a valuable treasure.
- The owner of a treasure will have many enemies who strive to take his treasure away from him.
- And you have gained the treasure of Islam.
- Some people will try to drive you away from your Deen (Religion).
- Those people are the foes of Allah.
- The foes of Allah are devils whether from among Jinn (whom we do not see) or from among human beings.
- Human devils may try to mock at you.
- Or, they may try to persuade you by money so that you may turn back from your Religion.
- They may accuse Islam of many things, or cloud your mind with some misconceptions.
- You have to know that Allah has said in the Quran And no question do they bring to you but We reveal to you the truth and the best explanation (The Quran 25:33).
- So, consult Muslim scholars about what Allah has revealed in the Quran to answer such misconceptions.
- As for Jinn devils they whisper into your heart. Would you desert your fathers and forefathers religion, and follow a different one?
- Would you follow a religion that tasks you with prayers, fasting and giving others your property? And that deprives you from wine etc.
- In fact, many people grow up, and find themselves traditionally following and honoring their parents religions and beliefs.
- All followers of true, or false religions are like that, but the problem is: which of these religions is the true one and which is the false?
- Surely, Islam is the only Deen (Religion) which is pure and free from all types of superstitions, polytheism and paganism.
- It is the Deen of pure Monotheism.
- When you feel these whispers of Jinn devils, recite:
- Rabbi authu bika min hamazatish-Shayateen, Wa audhu bika rabbi an yahduroon (The Quran 23:97-98) O my Lord ! I seek refuge with you from the suggestions of the Evil Ones. And I seek refuge with You, O my Lord!, lest they should come near me.
- And recite also the chapters Al-Falaq and An-Nas of the Quran. These are included in Appendix (I) with transliteration.
HOW TO INVITE OTHERS TO ISLAM?
- Our noble Prophet Muhammad Sallal-lahu alayhi wasallam said: If Allah guides one person to Islam through you, it is better for you, than having the greatest wealth.
- He also said: Whoever calls (others) to guidance has the same reward as the rewards of those who follow him, without decreasing anything from their rewards.
- Therefore be keen to invite to Islam those non-Muslims whom you know.
- Start with people who are closest to you, such as: your parents, wife, son, daughter, brother, then relatives and friends.
- Allah (Glory be to Him) said to His Messenger Muhammad Sallal-lahu Allahu alaihi wasallam [The Quan 26:214], And admonish your nearest Kinsmen.
- Make clear to them the right religion, and make them interested in it!
- Tell them of the glad tidings of which Allah has promised, and the blessings and favors that Allah will endow upon them in this world and the next if they follow Islam.
- Warn them of Allahs wrath upon them if they disbelieve in the Holy Quran which He has revealed to be a guidance to everyone.
- Or if they disbelieve in Prophet Muhammad Sallal-lahu alayhi wasallam whom He has sent as a mercy to the worlds.
- Invite them with love and sincerity.
- And you, yourself, should be an example of good character.
- Be quick in doing good and in helping others. If you do so:
- You will be a propagator of Islam by your actions as well as your words.
- Your friends will be quick to accept when you invite them to Islam, and then Allah will lead them to guidance.
- They will come to know that what you say is the truth.
- They will consequently accept Islam and love this religion and love you too.
- You must know well the wise approach of inviting others to Islam and teaching them. Thus you should speak what is suitable for every occasion.
- One of the wise sayings of Arabs is: There is suitable speech for each situation.
- Allah (Glory be to Him) says in Al Quran: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His path and who receive guidance. [The Quran 16:125]
- If you do not know Arabic, it is strongly advisable for you to learn that language so as to be able to understand Islam through its original sources.
- If you do so, you will be able to speak with confidence about Islam, because you have direct knowledge of Allahs words, of the sayings of His messenger Muhammad Sallal-lahu alayhi wasallam and of the statements of Muslim scholars.
- Presenting copies of this booklet to those whom you would like to invite to Islam will help you inshallah (God willing) in propagating this religion of Allah.
(THE FORBIDDEN THINGS)
- Allah (Glory be to Him) has prescribed for us in the Holy Quran and in the Sunnah (Traditions of the Prophet) many laws:
- Some of these are obligations and others are Muharramat (forbidden things, when something is prohibited we say it is Haram).
- As for the obligations, I have already pointed them out previously.
- As for the Muharramat, some of the most important of them are the following:
First: Forbidden Foods:
- Dead Meat: These are the dead bodies of animals which died naturally, (i.e. without being Islamically slaughtered) or by being strangled, or by falling from a high place, or by being partly eaten by a wild animal, and were not slaughtered before being dead.
- Also, those animals slaughtered by other than Muslims, Jews or Christians.
- But the meats of dead sea animals are not forbidden.
- Blood poured forth.
- Flesh of the Pig (pork).
- Meat which has, when slaughtered, had the name of anything or anyone other than Allah invoked upon it, or that was slaughtered to glorify any one other than Allah.
- The meat of beasts of prey, such as lions, dogs... etc, and those of preying birds that attack with their claws, such as eagles, vultures etc.
- The meat of domestic donkeys and asses.
- The meat of animals that feed on filthy things, except if they are isolated and fed clean food for sufficient time.
- Any food spoiled by filth until it is cleaned by water if it is possible.
- Wine and all kinds of intoxicants.
- Foodstuffs containing toxic elements which are harmful to our bodies.
Second: Forbidden Deeds:
Allah Hates these deeds and their doers and punishes them:
- To associate (in worship) anything or anyone with Allah.
- To be disobedient to our parents.
- To give false testimony.
- To kill a person whom Allah has forbidden to, except by Law (Legally).
- Adultery and fornication.
- To steal.
- To take anything, unjustly, from the property of an orphan,
- To desert the battle-field while fighting unbelievers.
- To falsely accuse with adultery or fornication a chaste Muslim woman or man.
- To uncover Awra infront of anybody.
- To take others wealth illegally, by means of bribery, robbery trickery, or deceit.
- To bribe in order to take others properties illegally, or to get what you have no right to.
- To marry mother, daughter, sister, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, brothers daughter, sisters daughter, whether they are through blood or foster relationship, your fathers wife, your sons wife, your wifes mother or daughter.
- A Muslim man is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim woman unless she becomes Muslim; but he can marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.
- A Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, even a Christian or a Jew, unless he becomes a Muslim.
- To take part in back-biting or scandals.
Allahs AWLIYA (Allahs Friends)
- Allahs friends are those true Muslims whom He loves and who love Him.
- They are all the righteous Muslims who truly believe in Allah and constantly follow His commands.
- Their reward is a good life in this world, and nearness to Allah in the Hereafter, in His Paradise.
- However, they cannot do anything to help anybody after their death, nor in their life except through normal reasons.
- Allah (Glory be to Him) says of them: Behold! Verily on friends of Allah there is no fear, Nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and constantly guard against evil. For them are Glad Tidings in this life and in the Hereafter; No change can there be in the Words of Allah, This is indeed the supreme felicity [The Quran 10:62-64]
- Therefore, be a good Muslim and you will be one of them.
- Allah (Glory be to Him) says: Those who obey Allah and the Messenger. Are with those who are blessed by Allah, Of the prophets, the (sincere) believers, the martyrs and the righteous (doers of good). And how excellent a company are they! [The Quran 4:69]
- On top of Allahs Friends are His Noble Prophets.
- And among them too are the true and sincere followers of Prophets.
- And Prophet Muhammads companions and wives (Mothers of the Faithful).
- The best of his companions are the Ten who were mentioned by name by Prophet Muhammad Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam as those who will be in Paradise.
- These chosen companions are distinguished and known for their precedence, firmness and sacrifice in Islam.
- On top of these Ten are the four righteous Caliphs (Khalifas) who were chosen by Muslims to rule the Muslim state after Prophet Muhammad Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam They are (in their caliphate order);
- Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (The sincere believer) (d. 13 AH)
- Umaru Ibnul _Khattab (d. 23 AH)
- Uthmanu bnu Affan, (d. 35 AH)
- Aliy-yu bnu Abi Talib. (d. 40 AH)
- The rest of the Ten are: Az Zubayr ibn Al-Awwam, Sad ibn Abi Waqqas, Talhatu ibn Ubaydillah, Abdurrahman ibn Awf, Abu Ubaidah Amru ibn Al-Jarrah and Saeed ibn Zayd. (May Allah be pleased with them and with all other companions).
- A Muslim always speaks the truth, he never tells lies.
- A Muslim is true to his word, not treacherous, honest, does not betray.
- A Muslim does not speak badly of other Muslims behind their backs.
- A Muslim is courageous, not cowardly.
- A Muslim is very enduring in situations of defending the truth, bold in saying the truth.
- A Muslim is just with others, even against himself; does not transgress others rights; also, does not accept to be treated unjustly by anyone; he is strong and does not accept to be humiliated by anybody.
- A Muslim consults about all of his affairs, and (after that) puts himself in Allahs hands.
- A Muslim performs his work as perfectly as he can.
- A Muslim is modest, merciful, does good and enjoins it, abstains from evil and forbids it.
- A Muslim strives and fights for the victory of Allahs cause, and for His Deen (religion) to spread.
- A Muslim woman wears her Islamic dress which must cover the whole of her body, in front of any stranger (whom she can marry).
- Before you start eating or drinking, say: (bismillahi) meaning: (I start) in the name of Allah.
- Eat with your right hand.
- When you finish eating or drinking, say: (al-humdu lillah) meaning: All praise is due to Allah.
- When you meet any brother in Islam, shake hands with him, smile at him, and greet him, saying: (as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatul-lahi), meaning Peace be upon you and Allahs mercy.
- And when a Muslim brother greets ye first, answer his greeting by saying: (wa alaykumu s-salamu wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuh) which means: And upon you (too) be the peace, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings.
- When you see the dawn breaking or the fall of evening, say: (Asbahna (or Amsayna) ala fitratil-Islam) We enter the morning (or evening) with our Islamic nature pure. (Wa kalimatul Ikhlas), and with the statement of sincere faith. (Wa deeni nabiy-yina Muhammad) Adhering to the Path of our Prophet Muhammad. (Wa millati abina Ibrahima hanifan musliman) And to the Path of our father Abraham, true in faith, a Muslim (Wa maa ana minal mushrikina) And, certainly, I am not a polytheist.
- When you see the new moon, say: (Hilala Khayrin wa rushdin) (You be) a moon of goodness and straight forwardness, (Allahumma ahillahu alayna bilyumni wal Iman) Allah ! Make it dawn on us with blessing and belief. (Was-salamati wal-Islam) And with safety, and submission!
- When you visit a sick person, say: (Bismillah)In the name of Allah (Allahumma Adh-hibil bas rab-ban-nasi) O Allah! Take harm away, Lord of mankind! (Allahumma ishfi wa antash-shafi) O Allah Heal (him) ! Your are (really) the healer, (la shifa illa shifauka) (In fact) there is no healing but the healing you give. (Shifaan la yughadiru saqaman) Grant recovery that leaves no ailment behind!
- When you enter the mosque say: (bismillah In the name of Allah (Was-salatu was-salamu ala rasulillahi) Blessings and peace be upon Allahs Messenger. (Allahumma ighfir li dhunubi) O Allah ! Forgive me my sins, (wa ftah li abwaba rahmatika) And open for me the gates of your mercy
- When you go out of the mosque, say the same, but, instead of the last portion, say:
- (wa ftah li abwaba fadlika) And open for me the gates of your grace!
- When you go to your home, say: (Al-hamdu lil-lahil allathi atamana wa saqana wa aawana) Praise be to Allah Who provides us with food, drink and shelter!. (Fakam miman la kafiya lahu wala muwiya) So many are there who have none giving them provision or shelter. Repeat whenever you can, these favorite phrases of glorification,
- (Subhanallah) Glory be to Allah.!.
- (Walhamdulillah) Praise be to Allah !.
- (Wa lailaha,illal-laah) No (true) god except Allah
- (Wallahu akbar) Allah is the Greatest !
- (Wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa bil-lahi) There is no power nor strength save by Allah !.
- Also, repeatedly send your prayers of blessings to Prophet Muhammad Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam , particularly when you hear his name uttered, or when you utter it; you will say: (Sallal-lahu alaihi wa sallama) May Allah give him blessings and peace!
- Women in Islam are the sisters of men.
- She, just as man, is created by Allah.
- Thus, she is invited to become Muslim.
- She is commanded to have belief in Allah, obedience and love to Him.
- Also, she must believe in the message of Prophet Muhammad Sallal-lahu alayhi wasallam.
- Commanded to fulfill Salat, Siyam, Zakat and Hajj in worship to Allah.
- Required to follow the Shariah (Law) of Allah, exactly as man.
- To bring up her children on the bases of Islam and its good morals, and to protect them.
- She puts on full dress which covers all of her body in the presence of strangers.
- When in her period (of menstruation or confinement) she abstains from praying, fasting, reciting The Quran, and remaining in mosques.
- When her period expires, she must have Ghusl (Taking a bath), and make up for fasting, not for prayers.
- She is exempted from attending Salat Al-Jumu`ah (Friday congragation Prayer )
- She is not permitted to marry a non Muslim ( Christian ,Jew or atheist ) unless he announcees his faithful embrace of Islam .
(Chapters from The Quran)
- Bismil-lahi r-rahmani r-rahim(i)
- Al-hamdu lil-lahi rabbil-aalameen(a)
- Ar-rahmanir r-rahim(i)
- Maliki yawmid-deen(i)
- lyyaka nabudu wa Iyyaka nastain(u)
- Ihdina s-sirata l-mustaqeem(a)
- Siratal-ladhina anamta alayhim, ghayril-magdhoobi alayhim waladdaal-leen(a)
- 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 Judgement.
- You (alone) do we worship, and Your aid we seek
- Show us the straight way!
- The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose portion is not wrath and who do not go astray.
Surat Al-Asr (Time through Ages) - 103
Bismil-lahi r-rahmani r-rahim(i)
- Innal-insana lafee khusr(in)
- lllal-ladhina aamanoo wa amilus-saalihati
- Wa tawasaw bil-haqqi wa tawasaw bis-sabr(i)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
- By (the token of) time (through the ages)
- Verily man is in loss,
- Except those who have faith, and do righteous deeds
- and join together in mutual teaching of truth and of constant patience [The Quran 103]
Surat Al-Ikhlas (Purity of Faith) - 112
Bismil-lahir rahmani r-rahim(i)
- Qul huwa l-lahu ahad (un)
- Lam yalid wa lam yulad
- Wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad(un)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Say: He is Allah, the One and the Only,
2. Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute;
3. He begets not, nor is He begotten;
4. And there is none like unto Him
Surat Al-Kawthar (Abundance) - 108
Bismil-lahir rahmanir rahim(i)
- Inna ataynakal-kawthar(a)
- Fa salli li rabbika wanhar
- Inna shaniuka huwal-abtar(u)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
- To you have we granted the Fount (of Abundance)
- Therefore to your Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.
- For who hates you, he will be cut off (from future hope).
Surat Al-Falaq (The Dawn) - 113
Bismi l-lahi r-rahmani r-rahim(i))
- Qul audhu bi rabbil -falaq(i)
- Min sharri ma khalaq(a)
- Wa min sharri ghasiqin idha wa qab(a)
- Wa min sharrin-naf-fathati fil-uqad(i)
- Wa min sharri hasidin idha hasad(a)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
- Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn,
- From the mischief of created things;
- And from the mischief of darkness as it overspreads;
- And from the mischief of those who practice secret arts;
- And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy.
Surat An-Nas (Mankind) - 114
- Qul audhu bi rabbin-nas(i)
- Maliki n-nas(i)
- ilahi n-nas(i)
- Min sharri l-waswasi l-khannas(i)
- Alladhi yuwaswisu fi sudurin-nas(i)
- Minal-jinnati wa n-nas(i)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
- Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,
- The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,
- The (True) god of Mankind,
- From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),
- The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind
- Among Jinn kind, and Mankind.
- (at-tahiyyatu li-lahi) (was-salawatu) (wat-tayibatu)
- (As-salamu alayka) (ay-yuhan-nabiyyu) (wa rahmatul-lahi) (wa barakatuhu)
- (As-salamu alayna)(wa ala ibadil-lahi s-salihinah)
- (Ash-hadu al-laa ilaha illal-lahu)
- (wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan)(Abduhu wa rasuluhu)
- All reverence is due to Allah, and (all) worship, and (all) good,
- Peace be upon you, o Prophet!, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings.
- Peace be upon us all, and upon the righteous servants of Allah,
- I bear witness that there is no god but Allah,
- And I bear witness that Muhammad, is His servant and His Messenger.
Prayers for Abraham (after At-Tashahhud)
- Allahumma salli ala Muhammad
- Wa ala aali Muhammad
- Kama sallayta ala Ibrahim
- Wa ala aali Ibrahim
- Wa barik ala Muhammad
- Wa ala ali Muhammad
- Kama barakta ala Ibrahim
- Wa ala ali Ibrahim
- Fil aalamina
- In-naka hamidun majeed
- Allah! Send Your grace on Muhammad
- And on the Family of Muhammad
- As you have sent your grace on Ibrahim
- And on the Family of Ibrahim
- And send your blessings on Muhammad
- And on the Family of Muhammad.
- As you have blessed Ibrahim.
- And the Family of Ibrahim.
- In this world and in the Hereafter
- Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.