seacapes 2 by Anton Gorlin

Picture: Stunning seascape by Anton Gorlin (from www.cuded.com and www.inspirefirst.com)

Article Title: Sharing Some Basic Islamic Beliefs

Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Religion, Islam, Muhammad (Mohammed), religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity

Web site: http://www.islam-guide.com/

Submitter’s web sites:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjk

http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com

http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles by Craig are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, words of inspiration, “spiritual, spiritual writings” (how “airey-fairey”), and money management – how boring now, Craig!)

Publishing Guidelines:

This short article was directly sourced from a most informative and enlightening booklet ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’ (easy-to-understand and well-written too!) available at http://www.islam-guide.com/ (If used please acknowledge the author, I.A.Ibrahim and the source website, thanks). All my other articles may be freely published, electronically or in print.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
#

ISLAM The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…

and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.

He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God

(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…

and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:

One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s alotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law (Islam is a religion of justice)

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

* *

MUSLIMS (ISLAM)

Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Mohammed (or Muhammad), mediated by Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation. They believe that God himself, not Mohammed, is the author and therefore that the Koran is infallible. Collection of passages revealed in his prophetic life – 610-632. 114 chapters. Earliest teachings – one transcendent and personal God. Last Judgment and social and personal justice. God, he asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history; but having failed to reform, these nations had been destroyed. Mohamed was the last prophet. Monotheistic. Well ordered, harmonious whole – everything has its proper place and limitations. God presides over and governs the universe, which with its orderly functioning, is the primary sign and proof of God and His unity. Mohammed’s miracle is the Koran, the like of which no human can produce.

Last Judgment:

The “successful ones” will go to the Garden (heaven) and the “losers” (the evil) will go to hell; although God is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness. Besides the last judgment, which will be on individuals, the Koran recognizes another kind of divine judgment, which is meted out in history to nations, peoples and communities. Nations, like individuals, may be corrupted by wealth, power and pride, and, unless they reform, these nations are punished by being destroyed or subjugated by more virtuous nations. Islamic Beliefs: ONE God. Thus it’s a monotheistic religion. Muhammad proclaimed that Allah alone is God and that other idols were not to be worshipped. Muslims reject the Christian concept of the Trinity. Angels, who are sinless. God’s messages were brought directly to Mohammed by Gabriel. God is believed to be too exalted to speak directly with men. Belief in God’s prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. The Koran is believed to be the exact revelation of God to humanity. Koran is believed to have taken the place of all previous revelations of God’s will – only the Koran is considered binding. A trumpet sounds – the dead will be raised and judged for their deeds – going to paradise or hell. Only those who die as martyrs slain in the battle for Islam are considered to be granted immediate access to paradise. Prosperous and evil nations will ultimately be destroyed by God. “Islam” means surrender or submission to the will of God. Mohammed was closest to God, so his example is to be followed. Muslims believe in and honour many of the prophets of the Old Testament. But they also say that the Bible must have been corrupted; because it points out the errant behaviour of these prophets, and since no prophet of God would ever err, the Bible must be wrong. Muslims have high respect for Jesus, but the view that Jesus is divine or the son of God is, to them, the highest blasphemy. The Koran says that God is not a man, therefore he cannot have a son. He would never stoop to enter our world. The story of Christ’s death reinforces their belief that the Bible has been corrupted over the years.

Basic tenets – the 5 pillars of Islam: ·

1. Confession of faith ·

2. Ritual prayer *

3. Obligatory alms – ‘zakat’ to help those less fortunate ·

4. The holy fast of Ramadan: a time where there is no smoking, drinking, swearing, anger, sex – use month of fasting to draw closer to God and renew their spiritual strength.

and

5. Pilgrimage to Mecca, the “Hajj”. Every Muslim who is not sick and can afford must complete. It is a time when all are deemed equal before God, regardless of social or financial position. As part of their purification process, participation heightens their social status.

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all … always

* *

I hope that this brief introductory information about Islam may be of interest to you…and perhaps get you thinking about these “deep and serious subjects”… and that’s my reason for sharing.

“Those of us who long for moderation will continue to hope for understanding of complex issues with reasoned dialogue and a spirit of understanding between different faiths.”

Humanity has far more in common than our differences, what separates us. So Isn’t WHAT UNITES US, our common (shared) humanity, FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all cause – goodwill among men and peace on earth.”

– Albert Einstein

“We can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, righteousness, justice, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph.”

Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”

– John F Kennedy

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE and with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING. Religion divides; whereas truth unites.

God’s greatest gift to us is the choice to find, then follow our own truths.

Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

It’s not so much what we believe, as HOW, the way we live.

*

Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu once said these wise and inspiring words: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”

– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe… because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”

– craig

About the submitter:

Craig is “passionate about religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, Craig strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of hope”. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us

www.craiglockbooks.com http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

Craig’s new manuscripts, ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’ are set in the Middle East: In them he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building tiny bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story(stories) of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjk

http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmland http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon: a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always “

– me

“Until there is peace among the religions, there will be no peace in the world.”

– The Dali Lama

* “What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

– craig

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let the Spirit of our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better future.

“God is a mystery, the ‘mystery of life’, a Creative Presence, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”

“God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He(??) is understandable.”

“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light.

These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).

What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.PPS

May you find and experience the richness of God’s infinite Love and Grace