Do all Muslims Represent Islam? (Part 2 / 2)

Do all Muslims Represent Islam? (Part 2 / 2)

By Aisha Stacey

The origin of the blue beads is difficult to trace however, it is common in all countries around the Mediterranean Sea including Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.

The origin of the blue beads is difficult to trace however, it is common in all countries around the Mediterranean Sea including Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.

                                        Part 1

In the previous article, we discussed the fact that not all Muslims represent the religion of Islam. Our focus was Islam’s attitude towards war, violence and terrorism. We established that Islam is a religion of peace, and that unjustifiable killing or violence is absolutely forbidden. Sadly, many Muslims around the world have sullied the name of Islam by committing acts and atrocities that have no place in a religion based on the concepts of justice and mercy. However, this is not the only way that Muslims themselves misrepresent Islam.

From the outset, it is important to understand the foundation of Islam – God is One. He has no partners, no sons, daughters or helpers. He alone created, and sustains the universe. Nothing happens without His permission.

“He is Allah, (the) One. Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (Al-Ikhlas 112)

“Is there any god with Allah? High Exalted be God above all that they associate as partners (to Him)!” (An-Naml 27:63)

Muslims believe this with certainty, there is no god but Allah, and they believe that the prophets and messengers were sent by God to guide humankind to the truth that God is One. Therefore, in Islam there is no room for intercession of any kind. It is God Alone that Muslims worship and God Alone that they ask for help, in all endeavors. This concept is known as tawheed and it forms the basis of the religion of Islam.

Sadly, however, when we look at the behavior of some Muslims we find practices and superstitions that are actually forbidden in Islam. Sincere worship for God Alone has become adulterated by the local customs and traditions, yet many Muslims are unwilling to admit that such corruption exists. The fact is not all Muslims worship in the correct way and not all Muslims are representative of Islam.

One of the gravest sins is calling on somebody or something other than God. This is forbidden in Islam, yet around the world, these deeply entrenched cultural practices remain. Muslims who call on the dead to intercede for them do not represent the religion of Islam. Muslims, who believe that righteous people are able to intercede between ordinary people and God, do not represent the religion of Islam. Muslims who wear good luck charms and amulets in the belief that they can somehow ward off evil or bring good, do not represent the religion of Islam. These are direct contradictions to the Oneness of God.

Corruption of worship is evident in the many myths and traditions that surround pregnancy and childbirth. Many traditions involve the use of charms spells and amulets. A Muslim however, knows that everything is from God, and that there is no luck or randomness involved. Strange superstitions can bring neither harm nor good. Islam teaches that there is no power or strength except with God, it dispels these myths and superstitions thereby freeing humankind from this type of bondage.

Bearing this in mind let us examine the cultural practices surrounding two fictional women. The women in these anecdotes are fictional but the practices are real and form just a small part of hundreds of traditions and practices used throughout the Muslim world to ward off evil or obtain good.

In a small village outside Mogadishu in Somalia, 18-year-old Nura has just given birth to her first child. A beautiful healthy boy. Nura and her family believe that the bracelet he wears made from string and herbs will protect him from the evil eye. Most Somali people link their identity with Islam however, a large number of pre Islamic practices have survived. There is a strong belief in jinn (devil) possession and zar (a cult in which women are willingly possessed) and most Bedouin Somalis routinely wear protective amulets. Prior to Islam the belief system in Somalia was largely animist, it dates back to the Paleolithic age in which every object, be it animate or inanimate had a soul.

These traditions and practices usually evolve around major life experiences such as birth and death and often involve the use of plants and herbs both for their medicinal properties and the belief that such plants and herbs offer protection from malevolent spirits. Thus, a newborn baby would be given an amulet to safeguard him from harm. This practice clearly denies the Oneness of God. These are traditions that do not make sense when the true nature of God is revealed through Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.

Far away in Turkey in the thriving metropolis of Istanbul Ceylan’s mother and aunts are adorning the wall of the room in which she will give birth with strings of onion, garlic and blue beads. They believe that this will protect Ceylan and the newborn baby from the evil eye and evil jinn known in Turkey as the “baby snatcher”. Amongst the strings of herbs, being hung in the birthing room in Turkey you may also find blue beads. These are prevalent in many Muslim communities. People wear amulets, keep them on hand to give to guests, hang them near the doors of their homes or in their cars. The beads are usually made of glass in order to reflect any bad luck or evil and the belief is that like a mirror it draws positive energy away and reflects the bad intentions back. According to this false belief, if the evil is too strong for the blue eye to push away, it breaks and sacrifices itself.

The origin of the blue beads is difficult to trace however, it is common in all countries around the Mediterranean Sea including Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. It may even date back as far as the ancient Egyptians. The eye of Horus (ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and power) may be the origin of this widespread belief, and the color blue has been used since antiquity to denote healing and protection. Islam is clear, healing and protection is from God Alone.

Corrupted worship and superstitious practices are prevalent in Muslim communities throughout the world. You may have noticed some in your own community; however, they are not representative of Islam. Islam is the religion of informed knowledge, not blind belief and strange superstitions. The power of God is Omnipotent. When Muslims behave in a manner that seems to encourage superstitions and strange behavior, they do not represent Islam. The message of Islam is clear. There is no power or strength except with God, and Prophet Muhammad is His final Messenger.

—————

Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.IslamReligion.com.

Aisha Stacey is an Australian revert to Islam. She currently spends her time between Australia and Qatar. Aisha works as a writer at the Fanar Cultural Islamic Centre in Doha, Qatar while studying for an Arts/Psychology degree.

Soucre Link

A Brief Guide to Hajj (Poster)

A Brief Guide to Hajj (Poster)

Every year millions of Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah on the lifetime spiritual journey of Hajj, where one meets Allah in the context of matchless diverse and multicultural meetings.

It is a great favor Allah (glory be to Him) has bestowed upon His servants so that they can draw closer to Him and have their sins forgiven.

Hajj types and rituals are briefly explained in the poster below.

BriefguidetoHajj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download the original poster from here.

Link to the e-book on Sound Cloud: http://bit.ly/1NN2uML

 

Soucre Link

The One & Only God – Allah

The One & Only God – Allah

Almighty Allah is the Creator of all that exists. He brought the entire universe into being and created us for a purpose and test. Theories suggesting that nature works on its own run against logic. There are countless signs and miracles in the universe that prove the existence of the One and Only Creator…

Soucre Link

Prophet Abraham & the Trial of Faith: Doubt & Trust

Prophet Abraham & the Trial of Faith: Doubt & Trust

What trials did Prophet Abraham and his family go through? How did they come out of them? What is the difference between the Qur’anic and biblical accounts of the story?

Prophet Abraham & the Trial of Faith

Beyond his human grief, Abraham develops a relationship with God based on faithfulness, reconciliation, peace, and trust.

There are simple facts alone illustrate the remarkable bond linking Muhammad’s life to Abraham’s (peace be upon them). Yet it is the spiritual lineage that even more dearly reveals the exceptional nature of this bond.

The whole Abrahamic experience unveils the essential dimension of faith in the One. Abraham, who is already very old and has only recently been blessed with a child, must undergo the trial of separation and abandonment, which will take Hagar and their child, Ishmael, very close to death.

Doubt & Trust

His faith is trust in God: he hears God’s command-as does Hagar-and he answers it despite his suffering, never ceasing to invoke God and rely on Him.

Hagar questioned Abraham about the reasons for such behavior; finding it was God’s command, she willingly submitted to it. She asked, then trusted, then accepted, and by doing so she traced the steps of the profound ‘active acceptance’ of God’s will: to question with one’s mind, to understand with one’s intelligence, and to submit with one’s heart.

In the course of those trials, beyond his human grief and in fact through the very nature of that grief, Abraham develops a relationship with God based on faithfulness, reconciliation, peace, and trust. God tries him but is always speaking to him, inspiring him and strewing his path with signs that calm and reassure him.

Several years after this abandonment in the desert. Abraham was to experience another trial: God asked him to sacrifice his first-born son, Ishmael.

Abraham in the Qur’an

The Islamic tradition is that God asks Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael; in the Bible, the tradition is that Abraham is asked to sacrifice his second son, Isaac.

This is how the Qur’an recounts the story:

So We gave him (Abraham) the good news: the birth of a sweet-tempered son. Then, when (the son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “0 my son! I have seen in a dream that I offer you in sacrifice. Now see what you think!” (The son) said: “0 my father! Do as you are commanded; you will find me, if God so wills, one of the steadfast” So when they had both submitted (to God), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead, We called out to him: “0 Abraham! You have already fulfilled the dream!- thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was a clear trial.” And we ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. And we left for him among generations (to come) in later times: peace and salutation to Abraham! (As-Saffat 37:101-109 )

The trial is a terrible one: for the sake of his love and faith in God, Abraham must sacrifice his son, despite his fatherly love. The trial of faith is here expressed in this tension between the two loves.

Abraham confides in Ishmael, and it is his own son, the object of sacrifice, whose comforting words to his father are like a confirming sign: “0 my father! Do as you are commanded; you will find me, if God so wills, one of the steadfast.”

As was the case a few years earlier with Hagar, Abraham finds in others signs that enable him to face the trial. Such signs, expressing the presence of the divine at the heart of the trial, have an essential role in the experience of faith and shape the mode of being with oneself and with God.

When God causes His messenger to undergo a terrible trial and at the same time associates that trial with signs of His presence and support (the confirming words of his wife or child, a vision, a dream, an inspiration, etc.), He educates Abraham in faith: Abraham doubts himself and his own strength and faith, but at the same time the signs prevent him from doubting God. This teaches Abraham humility and recognition of the Creator.

Then Abraham is tempted by deep doubt about himself, his faith, and the truth of what he hears and understands, the inspirations and confirmations of Hagar and Ishmael (whom he loves but sacrifices in the name of divine love) enable him not to doubt God, His presence, and His goodness. Doubt about self is thus allied to deep trust in God.

In the Bible

Indeed, trials of faith are never tragic in Islamic tradition, and in this sense, the Qur’an’s story of Abraham is basically different from me Bible’s when it comes to the experience of sacrifice. One can read in Genesis:

After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” (God) said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” …

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and me knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” (Isaac) said. “Behold me fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God Himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Genesis, 22:1- 2 and 6-8)

Abraham must sacrifice his son, and here he experiences this trial in absolute solitude. To his son’s direct question, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham answers elliptically. He alone answers God’s call.

This difference between the two accounts may seem slight, yet it has essential consequences for the very perception of faith, for me trial of faith, and for human beings’ relation to God .

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press (2007).

Soucre Link

Moral Teachings of Muhammad: Lessons from the Sunnah

Moral Teachings of Muhammad: Lessons from the Sunnah

By Editorial Staff

Prophet Muhammad had possessed an exceptionally moral character among his people from the very beginning of his life. God selected such a man to convey the message of Islam.

morals sunrays

The Prophet’s life mirrored the due harmony between faith and actions.

Muhammad perfectly fulfilled his message of responsibility of leading Arabia from the darkness and ignorance of Jahiliyyah to the light of Islam and its moral teachings which are actually offered to all humanity.

It was by the mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them (O Muhammad), for if you had been severe or harsh-hearted, they would have dispersed from round about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when you are resolved, then put your trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). (Aal `Imran 3:159)

The Prophet’s life mirrored the due harmony between faith and actions. He is the exemplary and the prime model of conduct for all Muslims to follow.

The Qur’an emphasizes the exalted moral character of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Nun. By the pen and by what you write, (Muhammad), you are not insane, thanks to the bounty of your Lord. You will certainly receive a never-ending reward. You have a sublime morality. (Al-Qalam 68:1-4)

Lessons from the Sunnah

The Prophet’s hadiths about righteousness, tolerance and moral conduct are the embodiment of his noble character.

Morality and moral conduct constitute a basic principle of Islam and one cannot be a true Muslims without good moral qualities.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“There are two characteristics which are not combined in a believer; miserliness and bad morals.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“The heaviest thing which will be put on the believer’s scale (on the Day of Resurrection) will be good morals.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

Also, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “The fear of Allah and good morals (akhlaq) are the two major characteristics which lead to Paradise.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

The Best Believer

Allah’s Messenger also said: “The best amongst you are those who are best in morals.”  (Muslim)

An-Nawwas ibn Sam`an narrated, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah about virtue and sin and he replied:

“The essence of virtue is (manifested in) good morals (akhlaq) whereas sinful conduct is that which turns in your heart (making you feel uncomfortable) and you dislike that it would be disclosed to other people.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

“You (people) cannot satisfy people with your wealth, but satisfy them with your cheerful faces and good morals.” (Abu Ya`la and Al-Hakim)

Moral Conduct in Daily Life

Once the Prophet passed by an Ansari who was scolding his brother about his immodesty. The Prophet advised him to let him go as modesty was a branch of faith.

A man who harasses his neighbor and makes him suffer any kind of damage is called cruel and stonehearted by the religion. In this connection the decision of the Prophet is:

“By God, he cannot be a believer; by God, he cannot be a believer; by God, he cannot be a believer. He was asked: ‘who’, He answered: ‘He from whose misdeeds his neighbor is not safe’.“ (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet advises his companions to keep away from the talk that is trash, the acts that are wicked, and the deeds that are senseless. He says:

“A person who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should speak about good things or else should keep quiet.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet’s Du`aa’ for Perfect Morality

Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah You have made my creation perfect, so make my moral characteristics also be the best.” (Ahmad)

Also, Qutbah bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to say:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from evil morals, deeds, passions and diseases.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

 

_________________________

Soucre Link

The Testimony of Faith

The Testimony of Faith

The Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith and the first of the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam. The word shahada in Arabic means ‘testimony.’ It must be recited by every Muslim at least once in a lifetime with a full understanding of its meaning and with an assent of the heart.

Soucre Link

The First Pillar of Islam: Testimony of Faith

The First Pillar of Islam: Testimony of Faith

All practicing Muslims accept belief in the ‘Six Articles of Faith’ and are obliged to follow the ‘Five Pillars.’  They are:

1.    Muslim profession of faith or shahada.

2.    Ritual Prayer or salah.

3.    Obligatory Charity or zakah.

4.    Fasting or sawm.

5.    Pilgrimage or hajj.

The First Pillar

Muslim Profession of Faith

The Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith and the first of the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam.  The word shahada in Arabic means ‘testimony.’  The shahada is to testify to two things:

(a)   Nothing deserves worship except God (Allah).

(b)  Muhammad is the Messenger of God (Allah).

A Muslim is simply one who bears witness and testifies that “nothing deserves worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” One becomes a Muslim by making this simple declaration.


It must be recited by every Muslim at least once in a lifetime with a full understanding of its meaning and with an assent of the heart.  Muslims say this when they wake up in the morning, and before they go to sleep at night.  It is repeated five times in the call to prayer in every mosque.  A person who utters the shahada as their last words in this life has been promised Paradise.

Many people ignorant of Islam have misconceived notions about the Allah, used by Muslims to denote God. Allah is the proper name for God in Arabic, just as “Elah”, or often “Elohim”, is the proper name for God in Aramaic mentioned in the Old Testament.  Allah is also His personal name in Islam, as “YHWH” is His personal name in Judaism. However, rather than the specific Hebrew denotation of “YHWH” as “He Who Is“, in Arabic Allah denotes the aspect of being “The One True Deity worthy of all worship”.  Arabic speaking Jews and Christians also refer to the Supreme Being as Allah.

 

(a)   Nothing deserves worship except God (Allah).

The first part of this testimony states that God has the exclusive right to be worshipped inwardly and outwardly, by one’s heart and limbs.  In Islamic doctrine, not only can no one be worshipped apart from Him, absolutely no one else can be worshipped along with Him.  He has no partners or associates in worship.  Worship, in its comprehensive sense and all its aspects, is for Him alone.  God’s right to be worshipped is the essential meaning of Islam’s testimony of faith: Lā ‘ilāha ‘illā llāh.  A person becomes Muslim by testifying to the divine right to worship.  It is the crux of Islamic belief in God, even all of Islam.  It is considered the central message of all prophets and messengers sent by God – the message of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon them.  For instance, Moses declared:

“Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

Jesus repeated the same message 1500 years later when he said:

“The first of all the commandments is, “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)

…and reminded Satan:

“Away from me, Satan!  For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:10)

Finally, the call of Muhammad, some 600 years after Jesus, reverberated across the hills of Mecca,

‘And your God is OneGod: there is no god but He.’ (Quran 2:163).

They all declared clearly:

“Worship God!  You have no other god but Him.” (Quran 7:59, 7:73; 11:50, 11:84; 23:32)

But by a mere verbal profession alone, one does not become a complete Muslim.  To become a complete Muslim one has to fully carry out in practice the instruction given by Prophet Muhammad as ordained by God.  This brings us to the second part of the testimony.


(b)  Muhammad is the Messenger of God (Allah).

Muhammad was born in Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 CE.  His ancestry goes back to Ishmael, a son of Prophet Abraham.  The second part of the confession of faith asserts that he is not only a prophet but also a messenger of God, a higher role also played by Moses and Jesus before him.  Like all prophets before him, he was a human being, but chosen by God to convey His message to all humanity rather than one tribe or nation from among the many that exist.  For Muslims, Muhammad brought the last and final revelation.  In accepting Muhammad as the “last of the prophets,” they believe that his prophecy confirms and completes all of the revealed messages, beginning with that of Adam.  In addition, Muhammad serves as the preeminent role model through his life example.  The believer’s effort to follow Muhammad’s example reflects the emphasis of Islam on practice and action.

Soucre Link

The Second Pillar of Islam: Prayer

The Second Pillar of Islam: Prayer

The Second Pillar of Islam: The Prayer

 

Salah is the daily ritual prayer enjoined upon all Muslims as one of the five Pillars of Islam.  It is performed five times a day by all Muslims.  Salah is a precise worship, different from praying on the inspiration of the moment.  Muslims pray or, perhaps more correctly, worship five times throughout the day:

  • Between first light and sunrise.
  • After the sun has passed the middle of the sky.
  • Between mid-afternoon and sunset.
  • Between sunset and the last light of the day.
  • Between darkness and midnight.

Abdullahi Haji-Mohamed kneels during evening prayers while waiting for fares at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, May 4, 2005. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Gus Chan)

Each prayer may take at least 5 minutes, but it may be lengthened as a person wishes.  Muslims can pray in any clean environment, alone or together, in a mosque or at home, at work or on the road, indoors or out.  Under special circumstances, such as illness, journey, or war, certain allowances in the prayers are given to make their offering easy.

Having specific times each day to be close to God helps Muslims remain aware of the importance of their faith, and the role it plays in every part of life.  Muslims start their day by cleaning themselves and then standing before their Lord in prayer.  The prayers consist of recitations from the Quran in Arabic and a sequence of movements: standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting.  All recitations and movements express submission, humility, and homage to God.  The various postures Muslims assume during their prayers capture the spirit of submission; the words remind them of their commitments to God.  The prayer also reminds one of belief in the Day of Judgment and of the fact that one has to appear before his or her Creator and give an account of their entire life.  This is how a Muslim starts their day.  In the course of the day, Muslims dissociate themselves form their worldly engagements for a few moments and stand before God.  This brings to mind once again the real purpose of life.

These prayers serve as a constant reminder throughout the day to help keep believers mindful of God in the daily stress of work, family, and distractions of life.  Prayer strengthens faith, dependence on God, and puts daily life within the perspective of life to come after death and the last judgment.  As they prepare to pray, Muslims face Mecca, the holy city that houses the Kaaba (the ancient place of worship built by Abraham and his son Ishmael).  At the end of the prayer, the shahada (testimony of faith) is recited, and the greeting of peace, “Peace be upon all of you and the mercy and blessings of God,” is repeated twice.

Though individual performance of salah is permissible, collective worship in the mosque has special merit and Muslims are encouraged to perform certain salah with others.  With their faces turned in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, the worshipers align themselves in parallel rows behind the imam, or prayer leader, who directs them as they execute the physical postures coupled with Quran recitations.  In many Muslim countries, the “call to prayer,” or ‘Adhan,’ echo out across the rooftops.  Aided by a megaphone the muezzin calls out:

Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest),

Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest),

Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest),

Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest),

 

Ash-hadu an-laa ilaaha ill-Allah (I witness that none deserves worship except God).

Ash-hadu an-laa ilaaha ill-Allah (I witness that none deserves worship except God).

 

Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasool-ullah (I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God).

Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasool-ullah (I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God).

 

Hayya ‘alas-Salah (Come to prayer!)

Hayya ‘alas-Salah (Come to prayer!)

 

Hayya ‘alal-Falah (Come to prosperity!)

Hayya ‘alal-Falah (Come to prosperity!)

 

Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest),

Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest),

 

La ilaaha ill-Allah (None deserves worship except God).

 

 

Men are joined by some of the students from the Noor-ul-Iman School for afternoon prayer at the Islamic Society of New Jersey, a mosque in suburban South Brunswick, N.J., Tuesday, May 13, 2003.  Many Muslims communities across the United States are spreading out from the cities to the suburbs. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

Friday is the weekly day of communal worship in Islam.  The weekly convened Friday Prayer is the most important service.  The Friday Prayer is marked by the following features:

  • It falls in the same time as the noon prayer which it replaces.
  • It must be performed in a congregation led by a prayer leader, an ‘Imam.’ It can not be offered individually.  Muslims in the West try to arrange their schedules to allow them time to attend the prayer.
  • Rather than  a day of rest like the Sabbath, Friday is a day of devotion and extra worship.  A Muslim is allowed normal work on Friday as on any other day of the week.  They may proceed with their usual activities, but they must break for the Friday prayer.  After the worship is over, they can resume their mundane activities.
  • Typically, the Friday Prayer is performed in a mosque, if available.  Sometimes, due to unavailability of a mosque, it may be offered at a rented facility, park, etc.
  • When the time for prayer comes, the Adhan is pronounced  The Imam then stands facing the audience and delivers his sermon (known as khutba in Arabic), an essential part of the service of which its attendance is required.  While the Imam is talking, everyone present listens to the sermon quietly till the end.  Most Imams in the West will deliver the sermon in English, but some deliver it in Arabic.  Those who deliver it in Arabic usually deliver a short speech in the local language before the service.
  • There are two sermons delivered, one distinguished from the other by a brief sitting of the Imam.  The sermon is commenced with words of praise of God and prayers of blessing for Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.
  • After the sermon, the prayer is offered under the leadership of the Imam who recites the Fatiha and the other Quranic passage in an audible voice.  When this is done, the prayer is completed.

Special, large congregational prayers, which include a sermon, are also offered at late morning on the two days of festivity.  One of them is immediately following the month of fasting, Ramadan, and the other after the pilgrimage, or hajj.

Although not religiously mandated, individual devotional prayers, especially during the night, are emphasized and are a common practice among pious Muslims.

Soucre Link

The Spirit of Prayer

Prayer has a very unique status in the Islamic Shari`ah as it represent the link between the servant and his/her Lord. It is the first obligation after the testimony of faith. Prayer is the comfort of the heart of the Muslim and the honor of the believer.

In this short talk, Dr. Bilal Philips clarifies the real purposes of the acts of worship and how to feel the spirit of them. He gives the example of offering prayer and how some parents order their children to offer it as it is just an obligation. Therefore, children offer it as a tradition as well as a command of their parents.

Ibn Mas`ud  (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is only one arm-length between him and it (Paradise), and that which has been ordained overtakes him, and so he commits the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it.”  (Muslim)

Dr. Bilal comments on the previous hadith showing that one may offer prayer regularly but it has no weight on the Day of Judgment.

Enjoy watching this interesting talk with Dr. Bilal Philips to know more about the spirit of prayer in Islam.

__________________________

Source: Muslim Speakers Channel on Youtube.

Soucre Link

Importance of Ablution (2/2)

Ablution is an essential part of cleanliness and a basic principle of prayer. Prayer is not valid without ablution. Here, Sheikh Bilal Philips continues his interesting talk regarding the importance of ablution and he sheds some light on the common mistakes that many people commit while performing ablution:

1- Wiping over the front part of the head only:

The majority of scholars reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to wipe his whole head from the front to the back including the sides. Nowadays, many people wrongly just wipe over the front part of their heads three times.

2- Disregarding to pass a wet finger in between the toes:

In order to have a perfect ablution, one should pass one of his fingers in between the toes. This act is not an obligation, but this is among the acts that complete the ablution.

3- Forgetting to mention the name of Allah before ablution:

Many people forget to do that before offering their ablution.

Enjoy watching this fascinating talk with Sheikh Bilal Philips to learn more about the common mistakes that are made during ablution.

___________________________

Source: DigitalMimber Channel on youtube.     

Soucre Link