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Newsletter for May 2012
How Does One Become A Muslim?
Islam is a practical and adaptable religion. Its ideology is logical and true to Nature. Islam gives clear guidance to human beings for their affairs in this world and the Hereafter. It makes its followers content with themselves in a way that they have no complaints. Islam teaches self-respect, self confidence and makes one self-sufficient. One who follows Islam relies on God; he recognizes that all material things are perishable. God alone is immortal. Islam aims at establishing a just and equitable society where all human beings are treated as equal without distinction of color, caste, gender or nationality. In essence, Unity (tawheed) and Adl (justice( are the foundation of an Islamic society and true peace can only be achieved through justice and equality. The belief in One and Only One God, the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus is the key to understanding Islam. The belief in God is best explained in a short chapter of Qur’an, totled " Tawheed " or Unity. It reads:
" In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Say: He, God is One, God is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like Him. " (Holy Qur'an 112:1-4)
The attributes " Siffat " of God are very eloquently and succinctly described by Imam Ali ibne abi Talib (a), the brother of the Prophet Muhammad (s). He says,
" God has many attributes which are unique and inseparable. He is
All-Knowing but His knowledge cannot be separated from His existence, as He is self-existing His attributes are also within Himself: "The foremost in religion is His knowledge, the perfection of His knowledge is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His oneness the perfection of His purity is to regard Him Pure and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him Attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus whoever attaches attributes to God recognizes His like, and whoever recognizes His like regards Him too and whoever regards Him recognizes parts for Him and whoever recognizes part for Him mistook Him; and whoever mistook Him pointed at Him and whoever pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him and whoever admitted limitations for Him numbered Him. Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained and whoever said on what is He held He is not on some thing else. He is a Being but not through the phenomenon of coming into a being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at form among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence." Imam Ali(P) ('Nahjul Balagha: Sermon No.1)
The creed of Islam is: "Ash-hadu an La ilaha illal Allah. Wa Ash-hadu anna Mohammadur Rasulul Allah". I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. And I bear witness that Mohammad is his messenger.
Islam believes in 124,000 Prophets of God, among them are Adam, Noah,
Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The last one among the chain of the prophets is Prophet Mohammad(pbuh).
The one who comes to this conclusion automatically becomes a Muslim. Such a person joins the nation of over 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world.
The duties of a Muslim include praying (salat) five time a day, fasting (saum) in the month of Ramadan, giving charity ( Zakat and Khums) to the needy, and going to Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, at least once in a life time. For further details one is to study more about Islam.
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