Invitation to Islam

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Invitation to Islam Author:
Category: Religions and Sects

Invitation to Islam

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: Moustafa al-Qazwini
Category: visits: 4380
Download: 1535


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Invitation to Islam

Invitation to Islam


This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Alhassanain (p) Network for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Invitation to Islam

Author:Moustafa al-Qazwini

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Preface 4

Chapter 2: Introduction 5

What is Islam? 5

Chapter 3: Islamic beliefs (the Pillars of Islam) 7

Describing God 7

The 99 Names of Allah 8

The Viewpoints of Islam and Christianity Regarding Allah (God) 10

The Family of the Prophet (Ahl al-bayt) 19

Death and Life after Death 20

Repentance and Forgiveness 21

Chapter 4: Islamic Practices 24

The necessity of connection with the Absolute 24

When a society ceases prayer 25

Details of the Five Prescribed Prayers 25

Place 26

Purity of the body 26

Clothing 26

The prayers 27

2. Fasting (sawm) 29

3-4. Almsgiving (zakaat and khums) 29

Specifics of the zakaat and khums 31

5. Pilgrimage to the city of Makkah (hajj) 31

Significance of the hajj 32

The rites of hajj 32

6. Jihad 33

7-8. Enjoining good (amr bil-ma'rouf) and forbidding evil (nahiy an al-munkar) 34

9. Supporting those who walk in the path of Allah (tawalli li awliyaa' Allah) 35

10. Turning away from the enemies of Allah (tabarri min a'daa Allah) 35

Chapter 5: Religious Texts 36

The Qur'an 36

Science and the Qur'an 36

The Qualities of the Qur'an 38

The du'a, or supplications to God 38

Du'a Kumail 38

Chapter 6: Other Islamic Issues 40

Leadership of the Muslims after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) 40

Social life in Islam 40

Marriage and Family Life 41

Women in Islam 42

Human Rights in Islam 43

Islamic Law and Punishment 44

Notes 46

Chapter 1: Preface

As of June, 1999, I will have lived five years in the United States of America. Through this time, I have met many intellectual, educated individuals who have inspired me to introduce the beautiful religion of Islam to the masses through speeches, writings, and articles. I also have had the honor of spending almost three years with our future generation, the youth, in Southern California and other parts of the United States. The more time I spent discussing and debating aspects of Islam with them, the more I was convinced of the necessity to put the basic ideas of Islam on paper and introduce them to the ever-increasing number of youth who seek to discover the last revelation of Allah to mankind. Through my work as a humble student and a preacher of Islam in the West, I realized that the Islamic centers and institutions have shortages and inefficiencies in the field ofda'wah (the invitation to Islam). Although many valuable works have been done in this field, the literature is still insufficient to attract all the different people to the simplicity and values that this message carries for humanity. Therefore, I decided to contribute according to my ability to do my share in spreading the word of Allah, a duty incumbent upon all Muslims. I hope Allah will accept this humble effort and count it for me on the Day when nothing will be of aid except good deeds.

I would like to thank SisterAmina Inloes for her help in editing this work.

May Allah continuously guide me and guide all the sincere brothers and sisters to His righteousness and piety.

Moustafa al-Qazwini May 6, 1999

Chapter 2: Introduction

What is Islam?

"Islam"[1] means "submitting or surrendering one's will to the will of Allah".[ 2] Mankind naturally submits to Allah; this instinct was born with him on the day of his creation. In reality, the entire universe - the stars, the planets, and the oceans - submits to the will of Allah through its ordered workings. Modern science calls this phenomenon "the laws of nature," but these laws of nature, from an Islamic perspective, are not just any laws of nature but the laws of Allah for nature. Human beings, as creatures of Allah who are in need of Him throughout their entire lives, must also surrender their wills and desires to the will of the Almighty, the Creator.

Submitting to Allah does not mean humiliating the individual self or denying the human intellect; rather, it means trusting in the knowledge, wisdom, and fairness of the Creator. People voluntarily give over their lives to others almost every day; for example, passengers embarking on an airplane place their lives in the hands of the pilot because of the pilot's knowledge, experience, and assumed goodwill. Similarly, friends trust friends, and if a wise, knowledgeable, rational, and good-intentioned friend invites another to go into the middle of the desert in the middle of a dark night, that person would follow because he knows that his friend would not endanger his life. The decision to trust a person with more knowledge is logical, and so people do not abandon their own intellects by trusting in the wisdom of God.

"Islam" has other meanings, one of which is "to have peace." Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

"He is Allah - there is no God but Him - the King, the Holy One, and the Peace." (59:23)

"And Allah invites to the abode of peace." (10:25)

By its connotations of peace and safety, "Islam" indicates that the religion of Islam is free from any deficiencies or defects. As a religion, Islam is perfect because it was ordained by Allah and not invented by humankind.

Prophet Abraham (peacebe upon him) was the first person that God commanded to use the words "Islam" and "Muslim"[3] :

"It [Islamic monotheism] is the religion of your father Abraham. He [Allah] has named you Muslims both before and in this [Qur'an]." (22:78)

"Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim (submissive to Allah) and was not one of the polytheists." (3:67)

Not only Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) but also all the sincere, truthful people after him called their religion "Islam." Prophet Joseph (peacebe upon him) says in the chapter of the Qur'an named "Joseph":

My Lord! You have given me authority and taught me the interpretation of things. O Creator of the heavens and earth! You are my guardian in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim, submitting toYour will, and join me with the righteous. (12:101)

Thus Allah declares in the Qur'an: "Truly the religion before Allah is Islam." (3:19)

Who are the Muslims?

Muslims are the followers of the religion of Islam, i.e. those who submit to the will of Allah as explained in the Qur'an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), the Messenger of Islam. The Muslim population today is about 1.2 billion and is spread over a vast range of races, nationalities, and cultures. Approximately 18% of the Muslims live in the Arab world, but the majority live in Asia and Africa. The country that has the largest Muslim population is Indonesia, and significant Muslim minorities exist in Russia, China, and Europe as well as North and South America. The Muslim population of the United States is estimated to be around 6 million.

How does someone become a Muslim?

The basic requirement to become a Muslim is to say, "Ashhadu an laa ilaaha illa Allahwa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah," which means, "I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." Anyone who says this phrase joins the ranks of the Muslim nations. However, saying this only begins the long physical and spiritual journey to practice all aspects of Islam in life and become one of those whom the Qur'an terms "the faithful" (mu'min ). Although this journey is long, its rewards are numerous for those who embark on it with sincere will and intentions.

Practicing Islam requires learning the Islamic ideas, teachings, and practices, and then adapting to them - a process that does require some sacrifice. The necessity of sacrifice, however, should not be a deterrent since the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peacebe upon him and his family) has said that whenever someone gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will replace it with something better.

Sincerity of belief also develops over time. When Prophet Muhammad (peacebe upon him and his family) was first spreading the message of Islam, some people came to him and informed him that they were believers. In reply, Allah revealed: "Say: 'You believe not, but say, 'We have submitted in Islam,' for faith has not yet entered your hearts.'" (49:14)

The first successor to the Holy Prophet, Imam 'Ali (peacebe upon him), has described the dynamic process of following Islam:

I am defining Islam as no one has defined it before me: Islam is submission, submission is conviction, conviction is affirmation, affirmation is acknowledgement, acknowledgement is performance of obligations, and the performance of obligations is good deeds.[ 4]