Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

what Islam is all about~ general info and Frequently asked Questions, HOW to pray + Glossary

Posted by (Group Owner) on Feb. 19, 2007 at 7:48 AM
  • 74 Replies
  • 5946 Total Views

Salaam to all
In this thread. we will post basic introductory information about our faith. to kind of give a general glimpse or description if you will, to our new non-Muslim sisters and to the visitors to the group.
it will also contain some fundamental information for our Muslim sisters as well. for knowledge and for tathkira ( reminders)
every now and then we will be adding more info, and please feel free to ask your questions about anything. and sisters, please feel free to add any information you feel needs to be shared.

............................................................
per some sisters' request, we will also include translations of some of the words that are frequently used by Muslims.. ( thank you bfssmom)




Peace (salaam) to all


--------------------------------------------------------

 First and most importantly:

 

HOW TO PRAY.  video that helps.. may it be of benefit insha Allah.

_________________________________

here is the link to one of our main discussions of Hijab.. I thought I'd add it here to free the front page from too many stickies..

Why the head cover?

Here are other posts that were sticky for a while but are not anymore, or those that contain important information about our beautiful faith:

personal experience vs Islamic teachings


Islam is against terrorism and extremism


What is Jihad?


Ahmadiya, Qadyiahniya, Lahoriaya = Kuffaar


Abortion in Islam


Questions about  Islam posted on other groups


Ramadan: Questions and comments


Our Duty towards the Quran


When backbiting is allowed


More info on nation of Islam

 

the crescent and the star are they symbols of islam?

 

Istikharah prayer : when , how, and other related issues


Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 7:48 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 7:52 AM
Basically speaking..
 
Islam means the
total surrender
to God.
1.we believe in the
ONE God. he has no equals. He is eternal, no beginning no end. ever so merciful. and almighty God. ( the word Allah
is the Arabic word for God)
2.We believe in all His
Angels,

3.we believe that the
holy books
are revelations from God: The Torah, The Bible, and the Quran
4.we believe
in All his messengers,
  and prophets  ( here they are in no particular order) like : Adam, Joseph, Issac, Moses, Abraham,..... Jesus and Mohammad peace be upon all of them
5.and we believe in
judgement day, and destiny
.  ( those are the Pillars of  Iman ~faith)

as a
practice
 a Muslim has to
1. testify there is no God but the one God and that prophet Muhammad is his messenger (
the testimony of faith
)
2.
Pray
five times aday
3. Pay charity
and alms to the poor ( a set percentage of your earnings) once  a year ( other than regular charity)
4.
fast the month of Ramadan
( every year)
5, go on
pilgrimageto Mecca ( once in a life time for those who are able)  and those are the pillars of Islam
 ~ practice)

there is always the emphasis on
good character
, and acting with love and kindness. taboos and sins in Islam are not that much different from those in Judaism or Christianity.

God almighty says:

"(O Prophet Muhammad,) give good news to the humble, whose hearts tremble (with awe) at the mention of God, who endure adversity with patience, who establish prayer and spend in charity out of what we have given them."

The Holy Quran, 22:35



sadly , what you see on Tv is not Islam. it is a twisted version of it in sick minds. as I said in a previous post, they have as much to do with true Islam as the KKK have to do with TrueChristianity.

this is Islam in a nutshell~~~~~~ and by the way, Islam has nothing to do with the group that calls itself the Nation of Islam. their teachings are not Islamic. not at all but that is another topic for anther day.
peace (
Salaam ) to all
Wink
proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 8:30 AM

frequently asked Questions


I would like to post on here a few questions that I had been asked about Islam, those questions were offered to me by a very sweet Christian sister .. and I just thought I would share them with you..


Q: 1. Does Allah see, walk or speak?

2. Does God have any human like characteristics? If not, are we still created in his image?


Allah,{God} is all seeing , of course, he knows what we think even if we do not speak it.

We do not believe that we were created in God's form. for to us he is greater than his creations. When God told the Angels he was to create Adam, he created him in the best and most beautiful image. (that is why we believe that man was never an ape) it does not say in our Quran that he created Adam in "His" image. for God is far more sublime, and greater than any human can imagine or comprehend.. though he is closer to us than our own veins in our own bodies. He is far greater than anything else in existence.


Q.
3. Do Muslims believe in the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit as one)?


No, Muslims do not believe in the trinity. we believe that there is only one God. we DO believe in Jesus (peace be upon him) but not as the son of God but rather a messenger and a prophet who carried the word of god to us. he is the Messiah that will come back to lead people to the path of God again, he will fight the anti- Christ, and all Muslims will follow him .  we also believe in the holy spirit : Gabriel (peace be upon him). but not as an equal to God, but as the Greatest of the angels, and God's messenger to the Prophets.

to us God has no equals, no children, and no go-betweens


Q. 4. Is paradise  the Muslim version of the Christian heaven? What types of spiritual and physical benefits does a Muslim have in paradise after death?


of course Paradise is the same as heaven. and to Muslims it is a place of utter and total indulgence.. there is no time, no pain, no worries. it is has rivers of honey and wine and trees that bend down to you so you can pick the fruit.. seats of silk, floors of gold diamonds, silver ...etc. it is every thing you would imagine, but nothing like it. rather thousand times better. we believe that the lowest level of heaven is ten times better than the entire earth.

If any one is interested, I will post  a separate post with verses from the Quran that have descriptions of Eden.



Q. 5. What is the purpose or prayer three times daily and facing towards Mecca when a Muslim prays? Will Allah still hear your prayers if you do not face Mecca?


actually we pray fivetimes daily not three.  and if anyone is interested, I can go into more detail about prayer ( Salah), however, there is a difference between praying and supplication.. when you are doing the actual act of praying you have to face Mecca.. but when you are simply addressing God in a supplication (dua' ) or praising him, or just asking for something, it does not matter where you are facing or even if you move your lips..

our praying five times a day, is a duty, it is a worship and requirement of our faith.


Q.6. What do you do to become a Muslim? Is it similar to Christianity but you accept Allah as your personal savior and die to yourself in submission to him?


you become Muslim by pronouncing "shahada" which is the testimony of faith. you testify that there is no God but the one God, and that prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is his messenger.

one of the meanings of the words Islam is submission to God. total submission and surrender  to the one God.


Q. I worship a God whose image I was created in. He himself died on a cross and rose on the third day. My God has no sin. He did not die on the cross for himself but for the sins of man so that once we accepted him as our savior or sins were then paid for and our slate wiped clean. I do not think I need to ask forgiveness for every little sin I do though. I worship a God who wants a personal relationship with me. Although I can have a mustard seed of faith in him, out of love and respect for the price he paid for my sins I've asked him to forgive me for the life I head before I came to know him. My God created Eve from Adam (thus man being short one rib I think..?


A. We also believe that God created Eve from Adam's rib , but we do not  believe that all humans are sinful from Adam's sin.  in the Quran it is shown that Adam peace be upon him , did ask God for forgiveness and God forgave him and his wife their disobedience. God told the angels before he created Adam that man was to inhabit the earth, so God foresaw their trespasses, God did not say I will put man on earth damned with eternal sin until Jesus comes (peace be upon him). what about the believers that followed Noah, or Abraham, or Moses? We believe that each are accountable for their own actions. no one is to  be punished for a sin they did not commit.

as for God's dying .. to us God does not die.. He is God.. He has no beginning nor end.. He created all, He does not need to eat or drink, and He definitely does not die

it is funny that you used the term mustard seed, because it is mentioned in our Quran that if one has but the faith in the size of a mustard seed, they will eventually enter heaven

Our God and your God are one in the same. May be it is hard to realize, but Allah is the Arabic word/name for God. If you know, or can ask a Christian Arab who his God is, he will also say (Allah) , and Jesus to him is like he is to us, called Isa ( eesa)


I am not trying to offend any one, we truly believe that each are entitled to their own beliefs. We believe in the same God, but we worship differently. My words on here are not to criticize nor to offend. They are just to explain some of the questions that I am always faced with from my Christian sisters.

Peace to all.

blondegoofygirl
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 12:57 PM
wow! thanks for all the information...it's very helpful. i love being able to learn about different faiths and the reason behind them.

i was talking to my dd last night and told her how there are alot of similarities between the christian faith and muslim and she said they were the same until abraham....is this true?

kim
muslimah4life Group Admin
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 1:07 PM
SALAMO ALIKOM.
I  Hope you wont mind proud. I found the posts we had on club mom about the nation. and I will copy and paste them here to save you the trouble of typing it all over again.


.....................................................................................
Q. from firecracker003.

Hello Ladies,
Can you please tell me the difference between Islam, nation of Islam and United nation of Islam?
some people I know call themselves moslims but they belong to Nation of Islam




A. from Proud2bmom3:

where do I start? Nation of Islam believe that God is a man that lives and dies they believe that he came from mecca and revealed truth to their "prophet" Elijah Poole (Then named himself  Elijah Muhammad.) . both doctrines are unacceptable by Muslims.. God is Divine.. and prophet Muhammad is his last messenger to whom the Quran was revealed..
they are more of a racial society that emerged in the 30's I think as a response to the racial abuse and degradation African Americans received from the whites.. but true Islam does not see color .

one of the most prominent figures of the nation of Islam was Malcolm little, later known as Malcolm x he embraced nation of Islam until he realized that one of the ministers committed adultery. with two of his secretaries... he rejected nation of Islam and went to Africa and the middle east to learn true Islam, he went on the pilgrimage to Mecca and realized the differences between Islam and the teachings of his minister , so he embraced Islam and shortly after that he was assassinated.. he made the distinction between a Muslim organization, and an African American movement, and he was the founder of both: they were : The Muslim Mosque Inc; and the Organization of Afro-American Unity OAAU.. ...

after the passing of Elijah Mohammad, his son Wallace took charge and was wanting to make major changes as he was familiar with orthodox Islam.. but he was not that successful after factions formed especially that lead by Farrakhan.. they went back to the original teachings of the nation of Islam...
among their unislamic teachings and doctrines is that God that created the world is not the same god living right now??? (astagfiru allah) (this is Arabic which means I ask forgiveness from God for even typing this statement )
as for their view on Jesus we disagree in the respect that we believe he will come back to this earth.. and that he is in heaven.. they claim he will never come back alive, and that he is not in heaven...
TRUE Islam..   does not see color.. and it definitely does not promote violence.. and most importantly, we believe in the divinity of God..
............................................................................................

A 2. from Proud2bmom3:

 looked up the UNITED NATION OF ISLAM, and they are even more disturbing than the NATION  they were established in the year 2000 I believe, in Kansas.. their leader is "Royal" :Allah in person (they call him) Yellastagfirul allah ( I ask Allah for forgiveness),
to me they sounded more like a group for advertising their businesses .. as I was browsing their website, they kept talking about their businesses and their work ethics and the street addresses of said business.Surprised.like the nation of Islam they are all African American... it is sad to see how they have branded Islam as this social exclusive club for one race... Islam is FOR ALL RACES, and it is about so much more than they claim, and far more sublime than they portray.. 

The worst thing about both movements is that they trifle with the divinity of God (Allah) , they make him human..  that alone, put everything else aside, that alone is unacceptable.. and categorically rejected in Islam.  

..........................................................................................
I had to edit a few things, just the things that were talking about clubmom. but I left everything else as Proud wrote in her original posts.
Salaam

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 2:30 PM
assalamu alaikum sisters,
first
thank you muslimah4life. for your help with the information on the Nation and united Nation of Islam. it would have taken me forever to dig out that post. and even a longer time to type it if I didn't find it. so thank you so much for your help.
I hope that the visitors and new sisters will find it informative.



Quoting blondegoofygirl:

wow! thanks for all the information...it's very helpful. i love being able to learn about different faiths and the reason behind them.

i was talking to my dd last night and told her how there are alot of similarities between the christian faith and muslim and she said they were the same until abraham....is this true?

kim
Salaam Kim, I am glad that you are enjoying our posts,,
as for your question.

Abraham to us was Muslim. I am not saying that he worshipped as the Muslims now a days do. for there was no Quran and no Prophet Muhammad yet. he was Muslim in the sense that he surrendered totally and completely to the will of God. he believed in the One God. no equals and no go- between's.

Now if I can phrase this in a way that is not offensive to anyone, I will certainly try.. but the fact remains that this is what Muslims believe, and I won't make excuses for that, so there goes:Wink

We believe in Moses peace be upon him. and that the word he brought his people was the truth as revealed to him by God. the true Jews that followed him  are true believers ..
once they changed the Torah, and steered away from the teachings of Moses. God sent Jesus Christ to them ( peace and blessings  be upon him and his virgin mother) , and the word revealed to him we believe in also the truth from God. and the Christians that followed Jesus peace be upon him are true believers and we have  a lot of their inspiring stories in our Holy Quran. like the story of the boy that was murdered because he did not leave Christianity. and like the entire town that was burnt because they would not denounce their faith in God.
but after People once again changed the bible. and a lot of people steered away from the worship of the One God, then God sent Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. and the word revealed to him was the Quran. and it is the truth from God..  God says in the Quran that it is the final book and that it will be preserved.
so in the Quran , you will find stories of all the blessed prophets. from Adam to Noah, to Abraham, Issac, Ismael, Joseph , Jonah, Ezekiel, Solomon...etc. we believe in all . not just Abraham.
The Quran that we have today, is the same Quran that was revealed to prophet Muhammad. no changes, not even one word  has been changed.

 contrary to common belief, Heaven is not just for Muslims.. all the prophets will come on the day of judgement with their true followers. and when I say true, I mean the ones that followed the authentic teachings of each prophet. 
may God guide us all to his righteous path., Amen

no offense intended.
love and SalaamWink
practicingislam
by on Feb. 20, 2007 at 12:23 AM
wa'alaykum asalam rahmatullah wa barakatuh sister PROUD NOW YOU SEE THAT IS WHY YOUR THE MOM OF THE BOARD IN MY OPINION AND IM SURE OF MANY OTHERS just like you were on club mom....MASH'ALLAH BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO i learned something knew from you today and in a different perspective......may Allah SWT bless you and all the sister that have given dawa to non muslims and muslims AMEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
kaiekaie
by on Feb. 20, 2007 at 7:09 PM

Wow!!! Thank you so much for all this interesting information!!!

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 21, 2007 at 12:16 PM

what is JIHAD?

I thought this deserved a spot in the sticky post on top of the forumWink
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>




assalamu alaikum sisters,

I brought this over from a post I had posted on the
muslim board
over at club mom. I will be bringing some more relevant posts from there as the need arises.  insha' Allah

this is an answer by one of
our prominant scholars who knows the Quran more than I do, and knows the Hadith more than I do  .Embarassed so I would think his answer will weigh in better  Smile sheikh : Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

mind you it is a bit long, and I had modified it a bit to highlight key points

<>>><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Actually, as it has been clarified again and again that while Jihad serves as a means of defense for Muslims against aggression, and acts as a deterrent factor against any anti-Islam scheme launched by enemies, it must never be construed as something synonymous with aggression.

Jihad is never a tool of waging war against the innocents; it's never a means of flexing muscles or bullying the weak and oppressed. Jihad in Islam is something unique, established to defend the divine message from being eliminated or hindered by its enemies.

Shedding more light on the true concept of Jihad, here is the statement made by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council ofNorth America , states:


Allah says, (And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and you be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector, the best to protect and the Best to help!) (Al-Hajj 22: 78 )

Jihad is one of the most misunderstood, and abused aspects of Islam. There are some Muslims who exploit and misuse this concept for their own political objectives. There are many non-Muslims who misunderstand it. There are some non-Muslims who misinterpret it to discredit Islam and Muslims.

What is Jihad?

The word Jihad does not mean "Holy War". It means "struggle" or "striving". The word for war in the Qur'an is "Harb" or "Qital". Jihad means serious and sincere struggle on the personal as well as on the social level. It is a struggle to do good and to remove injustice, oppression and evil from the society. This struggle should be spiritual as well as social, economic and political. Jihad is to work hard to do right things. In the Qur'an this word is used in its different forms 33 times. It often comes with other Qur'anic concepts such as faith, repentance, righteous deeds and migration.
Jihad is to protect one's faith and one's human rights. Jihad is not a war always although it can take the form of war. Islam is the religion of peace, but it does not mean that Islam accepts oppression. Islam teaches that one should do one's utmost to eliminate tension and conflict. Islam promotes non-violent means to bring change and reform. Actually, Islam urges that one should eliminate evil through peaceful means without the use of force as much as possible. In Islamic history from the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) until now, Muslims most of the time resisted oppression and struggled for liberation in non-violent and peaceful manners.

Islam teaches proper ethics in the situation of war also. The war is permissible in Islam, but only when other peaceful means such as dialogue, negotiations and treaties fail. It is a last resort and should be avoided as much as possible. Its purpose is not to convert people by force, or to colonize people or to acquire land or wealth or for self-glory. Its purpose is basically: defense of life, property, land, honor and freedom for oneself as well as defense of others from injustice and oppression.

The basic rules of war in Islam are:


1. Be strong so that your enemy fear you and should not attack you.
2. Do not begin the hostilities. Work for peace as much as possible.
3. Fight only those who fight, no collective punishment; non-combatants should not be harmed. Weapons of mass destruction should not be used.
4. Stop hostilities as soon as the other party is inclined to peace.
5. Observe the treaties and agreements as long as the enemy observes them
.


Allah says very clearly: (Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not do aggression, for Allah loves not the aggressors.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 190)

(The prohibited month, for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 194)

Jihad is not terrorism:

It is to be emphasized that terrorism against the innocent civilians, whether through aggression or suicidal means, is under no circumstances permissible in Islam. Islam encourages the oppressed people to struggle for their liberation and it commands other Muslims to help those who are oppressed and suffering, but Islam does not allow, under any circumstance, terrorism against non-combatants and innocent people. Terrorism is not Jihad, it is Fasad (mischief). It is against the teachings of Islam. There are some people who use their twisted arguments to justify terrorism for their causes, but it has no justification: Allah says: (When it is said to them: 'Make not mischief on the earth,' they say: 'Why, we only want to correct things.' Indeed they are the mischief doers, but they realize (it) not.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 11-12)

Islam wants to establish a world order where all human beings - Muslims and non-Muslims - can live with justice in peace, harmony and good will. It gives its followers full guidelines to find peace in their personal and social lives, but it also tells them how to extend the good will on the basis of human relations towards others. Muslims worked under these principles for centuries. People of many faiths lived with them and among them. Islamic societies were known for their tolerance, generosity and humanity.
In our modern society where we are living in a global village, where non-Muslims are living with Muslims in the Muslim countries and Muslims are living with non-Muslims in countries where non-Muslims constitute a majority, it is our duty to bring better understanding among ourselves, work for peace and justice for all people and cooperate with each other in matters of goodness and virtue in order to stop all terrorism, aggression and violence against the innocent people. This is our Jihad today.

<><><><><><><><><>

hope proves to be helpful in shedding some light on the concept of Jihad in Islam.
Here is a link to the entire post discussing Jihad on this board.
love and Salaam to all
Wink

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 24, 2007 at 2:46 PM
assalamu alaikum


first and foremost,
~Allah: ( the exalted) is the Arabic word for God.  and yes even Christian Arabs pray to Allah ( God ) and Isa ( eesa- Jesus Peace be upon him)


~Insha' Allah: God willing. we say it if we are planning to do or say something in the near or far future.for nothing can happen without the will of Allah

~ al-hamdullilaah
: thanks and gratitude given to Allah almighty.

~
masha'
Allah  : roughly means "God bless" people use it when they are admiring something mostly

~
 la hawla wa la quwata illa billah
:  roughly translated to "there is no ability nor strength except through Allah ( God)"  : people say that when they are sad, offering sympathies, or angry..to kind of gain strength  and help from Allah,. for we are all helpless without Him and His blessings, the almighty and exalted Allah...



ladies, please feel free to add.. either to ask about a meaning or to offer more translations..

love and SalaamWink
proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Mar. 17, 2007 at 11:45 PM
Why should muslims pray in Arabic?

please sisters, for those of you that have this question on their minds, please read the following fatwa carefully.
hope you find it helpful and informative.  and remember, when we say pray we mean the five daily prayers ( salat) facing Mecca, not the supplication, that you can use your own language,.


bismillah, and peace be upon his messenger salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Being a universal religion, Islam is meant for all people with their different languages. Although Arabic is the language of the Qur'an and Islamic heritage, Islam did not aim at eradicating other languages that are mother tongues of Muslims in some parts of the globe. Islam views the differences of human tongues as one of the Signs of Allah in His creation. This is proven by the fact that Arabic is not the native tongue of the majority of Muslims. However, Muslims are required to perform prayer in Arabic with few exceptions, as in case of new converts until they become able to say their prayers in Arabic, according to the Hanafi Juristic School.



Explaining the wisdom behind this ruling, Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah in his well-known book,Introduction to Islam, states the following:


"(1) It is well known that during their service of worship [Salaat], Muslims employ only the Arabic language: They recite certain passages of the Qur'an and pronounce certain formulae to attest to the sublimity of God and humility of man. This is done both by the Arabs and the non-Arabs, even by those who do not know a word of Arabic. Such was the case in time of the Prophet Muhammad and such has been the case (since to this day, whatever the country and the tongue of Muslims.


(2) At first sight it may seem normal and even desirable that the faithful should address his prayer to the Lord in a way that he is fully conscious of what he says. Of course, the mother-tongue is the medium best suited for the purpose, the worship being performed in as many languages as are spoken by the Muslim community. But a little deeper consideration shows that there are reasons that militate strongly against such a solution.


(3)It is noteworthy that according to the Islamic belief the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, the recitation of which is considered as something meritorious. This is evident from the spiritual point of view. It stands as the faithful journey's unto the Lord through the sacred word of the Lord Himself. His Word is the path towards Him, something like a wire to conduct the electrical current that illuminates the bulb. The journey unto the Lord is of course the ultimate goal that every soul aspires to reach. The original Word has been revealed in Arabic: any translation would be a human work and human word, and this can scarcely serve the purpose of this mystical journey.


(4) For those who would seek more mundane reasons, let us recall first that a clear distinction is to be made between prayer, in the sense of supplication(Du`aa'), and the prayer in the sense of the service of worship (Salaat), in so far as Du`aa' is concerned -- i.e., the prayer in general and outside the formal way of worshiping Allah, the tete-a-tete with the Lord (munajaat)-- nobody has ever raised the slightest objection to the liberty of the individual to address one's need, one's petitions to the Lord in any language and in any physical posture one prefers. It is purely personal and private affair and concerns the relations of the individual creature directly with the Creator.

The Salaat [prayer], on the contrary, is a collective and public affair,where the needs and requirements of other companions of the congregation are evidently to be taken into consideration. It is pointedly to bring into relief that the Salaat is in principle and preferably to be performed in common along with others (congregation): the Salaat individually and in isolation is only tolerated and never recommended, the preference going to the congregational service. Let us see now more closely the diverse aspects of this collective and public act which is performed in the company of others.


(5)Had Islam been a regional, racial or national religion, one would certainly have employed the current language of the region, of the race, of the nation. But quite different are the requirements of a universal religion, whose members speak hundreds of regional languages -- of which each is incomprehensible to all the rest of the human groups -- belonging to all the races and inhabitants of all the regions of the earth. Our life today is getting more and more cosmopolitan, and practically every town has Muslims belonging to several linguistic groups, both from among the permanent residents and the travelers in transit, and has to take into consideration the aspect of courtesy and hospitality to strangers. Supposing an Englishman goes to China and knows not a word of its language, and supposing he hears in the street something like "chen chu chih shan", evidently he would not understand what is meant by that; and if it is the regional translation of the well-known call to prayer, the Allahu Akbar, he would fail to perceive it and would miss the weekly prayer on Friday, or the congregational prayer of the moment.


Similarly a Chinese Muslim, traveling through other countries, would find nothing in common with his co-religionists if these others said their congregational worship in their local tongues. So a universal religion requires certain basic things to be common to all the faithful. The call to prayer and the formulae to be recited in the act of worship evidently constitute part of such fundamental and basic elements of the practice of the cult. A passing remark may be made about the fact that sometimes words of two different languages sound alike but have different significations, at times the harmless word of one signifying something ridiculous or obscene in another. Such a risk is greater in languages with which one is utterly unfamiliar, and hears them only during a journey for example. This would be contrary to the dignity of the service of worship to Allah. Things familiar from childhood avoid such complications, even if the individual is a non-Arab and recites in Arabic the required formulae.


(6) One cannot neglect the psychological aspect of human beings who have at times petty prejudices of xenophobia. Occasions would arise daily when political (national) or even personal and individual frictions would induce, for instance, an Englishman not to participate in the Salaat led in French or Russian or some other language. Arabic, as the language of the Qur'an and the Hadith, has a respect and a halo in the minds of every Muslim, and one employs it not as the language of the Arabs but as the language of the Prophet Muhammad, the language of the Mothers of the Faithful, the language Allah Himself has chosen for revealing His latest Word for us.


(7) The needs of unity among the co-religionists can never be too much stressed upon. One should create new links to strengthen their ties of fraternity, rather than destroy those that already exist.


(8 ) There is another aspect of the question which is no less important. In fact no translation ever replaces the original.There are for instance, nowadays numerous translations of the Holy Qur'an in English (as also in practically every language of the world), yet every now and then there are new and unceasing attempts to produce another translation, thinking that the older ones are partly defective. This is true not only of English but of every language of the world, and true also of the translation of any and every work. Should one utilize a defective thing or the perfect one, the translation or the original?


(9)Let us recall in this connection that practically no religion, excepting Islam, possesses today integrally the original of the Revelation on which it is based, the original teaching of its founder: It is the translation, or at best fragments, of which dispose the Christian, Jewish, and other communities. How fortunate the Muslims are that they form an exception, and possess integrally the original text of the Revelation, the Holy Qur'an!


(10) One should not lose sight of the fact that in the entire Salaat there are very few passages to recite. There are first the Adhan and Iqamah (call to prayer).Then inside the service of worship there are the formulae Allahu-Akbar, Subhana rabbiyal-'azim, Subhana rabbyal-a`la, the short chapter al-Fatiha, two other short chapters, the Tashahhud, and that is all. The totality does not exceed a page of small size, and most of the words of these texts are commonly understood by the Muslim masses and have penetrated into all the languages of the Muslim countries, so much so that even a child or a beginner learns their meaning without pain and without strain.And once the significance of these formulae is learnt, the Salaat of a Muslim remains no more a mechanical recitation without understanding.


(11) There is an aspect of Arabic language which merits to be brought into relief here. Apart from its incomparable musical qualities, recognized on all hands, the Arabic language itself, in its literary form, has changed since at least 1500 years neither in grammar, nor vocabulary, nor spelling, nor even pronunciation.Those who understand the language of Arabic newspapers and radio broadcasts today understand as perfectly the language of the Holy Qur'an. For a religion brought by the last of the Messengers of Allah and the Seal of the prophets, and also destined for all times till the end of the world, is it not providential that the language selected for this Message should also be otherwise stable and unchanging? Otherwise Allah in His unlimited mercy would uselessly be obliged to repeat the same Message to a new prophet in a new book comprehensible to the living men.


(12) To end, there are writers who say that they have the backing of such authorities as the Imam Abu Hanifah(d. 767 C.E.) to say that the recitation of the translation of the Qur'an in the service of worship is permitted. But this is only a half-truth. These writers omit to mention that theImam Abu Hanifah, although he had this opinion in the beginning changed it later on, and that he rallied to the general opinion that in normal cases only the Arabic text is to be employed in the services of worship. Of course, there are provisions for exceptional cases, such as the needs of a new convert: immediately on his embracing Islam, he has to commence to perform the five daily services in which it is necessary to recite by heart the prescribed formulae. Until such time as he learns these formulae by heart, he may use their sense in any other language he can. For this we have the very high precedent of Salman al-Farisi,who sent the translation of al-Fatiha to some Persian converts, with the authorization of the Prophet Muhammad himself and they used it until their tongue got familiarized with the Arabic text. So, for some hours or some days, the new converts may use validly the translation


><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
I leave you all in the trusted care of Allah,
love and salaam
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)