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Islamic Studies

Islamic studies

refers to the academic study of Islam, and generally to academic multidisciplinary “studies” programs—programs similar to others that focus on the history, texts and theologies of other religious traditions, such as Eastern Christian Studies or Jewish Studies but also fields such as (environmental studies, Middle East studies, race studies, urban studies, etc.) —where scholars from diverse disciplines (history, culture, literature, art) participate and  .exchange ideas pertaining to the particular field of study.

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.

 Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Aware. [Quran]

Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah reported that: Islam is built on five (pillars): Testification of ‘La ilaha illallah’ (none has the right to be is his  worshipped but Allah), that Muhammad (ﷺ)  slave and   Messenger, the establishment of Salat, the payment of Zakat, the pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Ka’bah), and Saum during the month of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

 

The Five Pillars of Islam

 The prophet of Islam has prescribed these five things as the foundation prosperous toda of Islam and they are: Faith, prayer, fasting, Zakat and Hajj for the Sunnis and prayer, fasting, Zakat, Hajj and Imamate for Shia. These five things contain the totality of the religion of Islam as we shall see. Faith The first thing before any action or behavior takes place from a human agent is to utilize the ideology or worldview on which the human agent exists on. Human mind is like a memory with a processing unit which runs program it installs. These programs are ideological unit or worldviews which shape and guide human thought and activities. The purpose of the first pillar of Islam is to make your ego (kibriya nafs) submit to a higher power. When you are your God you do what you want and the consequences you fear are as much as you fear of your material harm, but by faith in a higher power you submit yourself to this power. Islam defines this power and the living God. So Islamic faith prepares you and establishes a platform of thought utilization before you act in this world. Without faith all other activities are null and void to God with respect to the hereafter success and God’s pleasure. So Islamic faith is the very first step towards God because at this point you are submitting your ego, your race, your tribe, your nationality, your class and your family under God’s system and guidance. Nothing is above or more important than God.

 Prayer:

Once you have mentally prepared yourself by submitting to Allah in your heart it is time to take the next step through prayer. The five times prayers remind the Muslim that his or her life means a life defined by Islam, in every capacity of their lives. Islam is not something partial to social life and followed occasionally as social formalities. The prayer obligates that you have to invoke God by making the religion sincere for Him. This is both personal and  collective achievement. Personally, you cannot continue in haram beliefs and acts while invoking God so you must not live a do a double life. Their policies must be Islamic just like their prayer. They must establish islamic rule, laws and protocols and then their Islam will be sincere when praying. Prayer such as Jum’a prayer is a place for raising Muslim issues and problems of their society and governance as the Prophet and His ahl el bayt did. The Friday prayer thus also acts as a social problem-solving event. So, considering all these collectively the prayer protect the Muslim from evil and thus the second pillar. This nature of prayer can be established from Quran. let’s look at Quran “They said ,”O Shu’eyb , does your prayer command you that we should leave what our fathers worship or not do with our wealth what we please ? Verily, you are the forbearer, right-minded !”(They said this sarcastically). Worshipping of forefathers would be similar to ideological foundation such as secularism, racism, nationalism etc. godless TRADITION as an authority and economic would be dismantling capitalist corporate economic and financial system.

The mushrikeen among whom the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent did not disagree.

 The Meaning of Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah)Tawheed.
Tawheed basically is an Arabic word which means unification or asserting oneness. So, Tawheed basically means believing in the Oneness of Allah.

Now, one of the questions that comes up a lot especially for new Muslims is: “where is Allah?

Now, there’s a very simple answer to this and it’s very clear in the Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is in fact above his creation. He is above his throne. And  there is a hadith or many hadith but one particular one that says that Rasul Allah (Allah’s Messenger) (salla Allahu ‘alaihee wa sallam) says as part of this hadith.

He who is above the Heavens
Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas (Pure Sincerity)
Now one surah in the Quran which is usually one of the first ones that we learn is Surat Al-Ikhlas.

 Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, “He is Allah, the One).

 Allah-u ṣ-ṣamad (Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute).

 Lam yalid walam yūlad (He begets not nor is He begotten).

So, in other words he doesn’t have a mother and father and he doesn’t have offspring, that sons and daughters.

 Walam yakun lahu kufuwan aḥad (And there is nothing like Allah).

So, we can’t imagine what Allah looks like. We shouldn’t imagine what Allah looks like. However, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives us a description of his attributes and there are 99 names that describe these. .One of them for example is Al-Rahman, the Merciful
Now, Tawheed like we were talking about before is split into three different areas.
The first area is Tawheed Al-Rububiyah (the Unity of Allah’s Lordship).
The second area is Tawheed Al-Asmaa wal Sifat which means the unity of Allah’s names and attributes. That basically means that we are not allowed to give a false attribute to Allah or add names to Allah’s .names
So, for example and we couldn’t describe Allah like in the Bible. Allah is described as creating the heavens in the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Resting is a human attribute. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) doesn’t feel any fatigue or need a rest. Allah is not a human. Allah created humans. He doesn’t have these needs like we have.

And the third area is Tawheed Al-‘Ibadah.

Al-‘Ibadah means the unity of worship. So, Tawheed (the Unity) Al-“Ibadah (of Worship).
Now, this is where we put our belief in the one God into action and that means that we avoid all Shirk. Shirk is a word that means when we associate something with Allah. So, for example (shirk is) when somebody worships another god other than Allah even if they believe in Allah but then they worship another god. So, for example that the Christians will say that in ’Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him) is the son of God. This is a shirk in Islam. !

Alhajj

 

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam; Allah, The Exalted, ordained it in the ninth year after Hijrah (the Prophet’s sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) migration from Makkah to Madenah), according to the preponderant opinion.

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {…And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House—for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves—then, indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.}

 

Hajj is obligatory once in a lifetime on every sane Muslim who has reached the age of puberty and is physically and financially capable of performing it. It is one of the best deeds that draws the person closer to Allah, the Exalted. There are many authentic Ahadeeth that were narrated

concerning the virtues of Hajj, and we will mention some of them.

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him that the

Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) was asked: “‘What is the best deed?’ He said: ‘To believe in Allah and His Messenger.’ He was asked, ‘Then what?’ He answered: ‘Performing Jihaad in the path of Allah.’ He was asked, ‘Then what?’ He said: ‘(Performing an) acceptable Hajj.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah may Allah be pleased with her said, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! We find Jihaad to be the best of deeds. May we (i.e. women) participate in it?’ He replied: ‘The best Jihaad for you (i.e. women) is an accepted Hajj.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The ‘Umrah to the following ‘Umrah expiates the sins committed in between them, and there is no reward for an accepted Hajj except Paradise.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The accepted Hajj is the one in which one does not commit sins.

 

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him that he heard the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) saying: “Whoever performs Hajj for the Sake of Allah during which he neither has sexual relations (with his wife) nor commits sins will return (after Hajj, as sinless) as he was on the very day his mother gave birth to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

After learning about the great reward of Hajj, in addition to it

 being one of the pillars of Islam, no Muslim should miss out on it

  rather, he should hasten to perform it as soon as he is capable of doing so. This is because one does not know when he will die, and he should take  advantage of his life before his death. We seek to the

.Help of Allah to enable us to do good

                                                                                                       

Fasting 

Fasting teaches us self-sacrifice, patience for God and in God.   It also teaches us to feel for the poor, the needy and of their hunger. It prepares us by some suffering and hardship for Jihad and encourages us with perseverance and determination. This is all true for the sincere fasting which is free from all the faults that Islamic texts identified. Only a sincere fasting will teach you and prepare you. Zakat
Zakat as the foundation of Islamic socio-political welfare and taxation under the supervision of the Islamic state through state appointed zakat collector as mentioned in Quran 9:60. Zakat is the principle Islamic tax even though there are other types of Islamic taxes to be paid. Zakat ensures that the wealth is not stuck only among the rich rotting in their bank accounts. Islamic economic system centered around the Zakat proposes a welfare system of exhaustive taxation models for both Muslims and non-Muslims. Such a system is designed to minimize the inequality gap by maintaining a quantified wealth flow between the rich and the poor. Welfare economy such as proposed by Islamic system is based on the idea that not everyone will become champions and not everyone will become successful in business and knowledge. Hajj Hajj is the symbol of accepting God’s authority and rejecting the tyrants and persecutors as stated in Quran 9:3. Hajj is the preparation to be ready to abandon world for God and it is also a preparation to travel to the next life. Hajj is also a symbol of Islamic unity of Humanity that under God all humanity is one through faith and servitude. Malcolm X highlighted this when in 1964 he stated “There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying aspirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in

Tawheed al-rubobiyyah means affirming that Allaah is One and Unique in His actions, such as creation, sovereignty, controlling affairs, provision, giving life and death, sending down the rain, and so on. A person’s  Tawheed is not complete unless he affirms that Allaah is the Lord, Sovereign, Creator and Provider of all things, that He is the Giver of life and death, the One Who brings benefit and causes harm, the only One Who answers prayers, the One Who is in control of all things, in Whose hand is all goodness, the One Who is able to do whatever He wills – which also includes believing in the divine will and decree (Al-qadar), both good and bad.

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a holy month of worship, study of    the Quran, prayer, and fasting Ramadan occurs during the month in which Muslims believe the Quran began to be revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is a joyous celebration for Muslims.

Ramadan occurs during the month in which

Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Healthy adults are expected to observe the fast. During Ramadan, the fast helps believers purify their hearts, renew their faith, seek forgiveness, and increase self-discipline. It is also a time to focus on what is most important and positive in a .believer’s life

The Ramadan fast is absolute. Each day, from the time of Suhoor (the final meal before sunrise) until Iftar (the meal to break the fast), Muslims abstain from all food and water. Nothing may be .consumed during these hours.

Believers are also encouraged to abstain from anger and to show compassion. Fasting can be a way to increase awareness of Allah and to be more aware of the plight of those who are poor and suffering. Acts of charity are encouraged.

When is Ramadan?
Muslims observe a lunar calendar. Ramadan is the ninth month in the lunar year.

 

Eid-Al-Fitr:

At the conclusion of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the holiday of Eid-Al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). It begins with the communal Eid prayer. The holiday includes breaking the month-long fast and celebrating together.

Laylat ul-Qadr falls on the 27th day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the highlight of the Ramadan period.

Muslims use a lunar calendar which differs in length from the Gregorian calendar used worldwide. This means the Gregorian date of Muslim holidays shifts slightly from one year to the next, falling about 11 days earlier each year.

Laylat ul-Qadr Date Can Vary:
There is a difference of opinion over the exact date of Laylat ul-Qadr, but there is a general consensus it should take place in the last 10 days of Ramadan, with odd-numbered days being more likely. Most Muslims celebrate Laylat ul-Qadr on the 27th of Ramadan, but some Muslim communities may do so on a different date.

The timing of Muslim months and holidays generally depends on the sighting of the Moon’s crescent following New Moon. Because the Moon’s visibility depends on clear skies and a number of other factors, the exact date of Muslim holidays cannot be predicted.

Also, since the Moon is never visible in all world regions at once and current local dates can vary from one country to another, a holiday may fall on different dates according to a country’s longitude and time zone. Depending on their country of origin, religious orientation, or cultural affiliation, some Muslims may, therefore, celebrate a holiday one day earlier than others.

When is the next New Moon?

Is Laylat ul-Qadr a Public Holiday?
While Laylat ul-Qadr carries great significance for Muslims, there are no bank holidays associated with this particular date in the United Kingdom. However, since the Gregorian date of Muslim holidays changes every year, Laylat ul-Qadr can fall on other UK bank holidays.

Islamic businesses and organizations may change opening hours to suit prayer times during Ramadan. There may also be some congestion around mosques, such as the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, especially in the evenings.

Laylat ul-Qadr Spellings and Names.
Laylat ul-Qadr can also be written Laylat al-Qadr or Lailatul Qadr. Other names include Shab-e-Qadr, Night of Power, Night of Decree, Night of Value, Night of Measures, and Night of Destiny.

Laylat ul-Qadr Events and Traditions
According to the Islamic faith, Laylat ul Qadr is the holiest day of the year. On the evening preceding the date, Muslims all across the UK flock to their local mosques to pray. It is believed that worshipping Allah on Laylat ul-Qadr is more rewarding than doing so for 1000 months. Some Muslims spend the whole night praying or reciting the Quran.

Praying for Forgiveness
Forgiveness and atonement are central themes of this day. In a practice called Ehyaa, many Muslims in the UK congregate during the night of Laylat ul-Qadr to pray to God for mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. Some Muslim communities organize talks and discussions on these topics. These meetings may also include members of other faiths.

A Day for Good Deeds
Another central feature of Laylat ul-Qadr is Zakat, the practice of giving to charity or contributing to the community in some way. While Muslims consider the whole month of Ramadan a period of charity, a good deed on Laylat ul-Qadr is believed to be particularly rewarding.

Why Is Laylat ul-Qadr Celebrated?
Muslims believe that Laylat ul-Qadr marks the day in 610 CE when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet  Muhammed. The Quran is the central religious text of Islam.

Tawheed

 

                                        ( The Meaning of Tawheed )     

 

”. Tawheed basically is an Arabic word which means unification or asserting oneness. So, Tawheed basically means believing in the Oneness of Allah.

Now, one of the questions that comes up a lot especially for new Muslims is: “where is Allah?”

Now, there’s a very simple answer to this and it’s very clear in the Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is in fact above his creation. He is above his throne. And this is related in Surah (70:3-4), surah (35:10). And also there is a hadith or many hadith but one particular one that says that Rasul Allah (Allah’s Messenger) (salla Allahu ‘alaihee wa sallam) says as part of this hadith:.

He who is above the Heavens (fi al-samaa) which means the heavens will be Merciful to you.

So, these are sort of things because sometimes people misunderstand and people say that Allah is everywhere. Allah is not everywhere. Allah is All-Knowing. Allah is aware of everything, everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. He is so close to us but physically he is above His Throne in heaven.

Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas (Pure Sincerity)
Now one surah in the Quran which is usually one of the first ones that we learn is Surat Al-Ikhlas.

 Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, “He (is) Allah, the One).

 Allah-u ṣ-ṣamad (Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute).

 Lam yalid walam yūlad (He begets not nor is He begotten).

So, in other words he doesn’t have a mother and father and he doesn’t have offspring, that sons and daughters.

 Walam yakun lahu kufuwan aḥad (And there is nothing like Allah)

So, we can’t imagine what Allah looks like. We shouldn’t imagine what Allah looks like. However, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives us a description of his attributes and there are 99 names that describe these. One of them for example is Al-Rahman, the Merciful.

Now, Tawheed like we were talking about before is split into three :different areas

The first area is Tawheed Al-Rububiyah (the Unity of Allah’s Lordship)
The second area is Tawheed Al-Asmaa wal Sifat which means the unity of Allah’s names and attributes. That basically means that we are not allowed to give a false attribute to Allah or add names to Allah’s names.
So, for example and we couldn’t describe Allah like in the Bible. Allah is described as creating the heavens in the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Resting is a human attribute. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) doesn’t feel any fatigue or need a rest. Allah is not a human. Allah created humans. He doesn’t have these needs like we have And the third area is Tawheed Al-‘Ibadah.

 

Tawheed al-ruboobiyyah means affirming that Allaah is One and Unique in His actions, such as creation, sovereignty, controlling affairs, provision, giving life and death, sending down the rain, and so on. A person’s Tawheed is not complete unless he affirms that Allaah is the Lord, Sovereign, Creator and Provider of all things, that He is the Giver of life and death, the One Who brings benefit and causes harm, the only One Who answers prayers, the One Who is in control of all things, in Whose hand is all goodness, the One Who is able to do whatever He wills – which also includes believing in the divine will and decree (al-qadar), both good and bad.

The mushrikeen among whom the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was sent did not disagree with this aspect of Tawheed, rather they affirmed it in general terms, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):.

“And indeed if you ask them: ‘Who has created the heavens and the earth?’ They will surely say: ‘The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them’”.

And they affirmed that Allah is in control of all things and that in His hand is sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. Thus it is known that affirming the Lordship of Allah is not sufficient for a person to be a true Muslim, rather he must also affirm that which is implied by that, namely the oneness of the divinity of Allah and he must devote his worship to Allah alone.

This Tawheed – i.e., Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah – is not denied by anyone of the sons of Adam. No one says that the world has two creators who are equal. No one argued with the idea of Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah except Pharaoh, who denied it out of arrogance and stubbornness and even claimed – may Allah curse him – to be the Lord. Allaah says of him (interpretation of the meaning):

“Saying: ‘I am your lord, most high”

[al-Naazi’aat 79:24]

“ ‘I know not that you have an ilaah (a god) other than me’”

[al-Qasas 28:38]

This was arrogance on his part because he knew that the Lord was someone other than him. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they belied them (those signs) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof”

[al-Naml 27:14]

And Allaah tells us of Moosa when he was debating with him:

“[Moosa (Moses)] said: Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth”

[al-Isra’ 17:102]

So he himself recognized that the only Lord is Allaah.

Similarly the Magians (Zoroastrians) rejected the idea of Tawheed al-ruboobiyyah when they said that the world has two creators, darkness and light. However they did not regard these two creators as equal, rather they said that the light is better than the darkness, because it creates good, and darkness creates evil, and that which creates good is better than that which creates evil. Moreover darkness is non-existent and does not shine, whereas light exists and shines so it is more perfect in and of itself.

The fact that the mushrikeen affirmed Tawheed al-ruboobiyyah does not mean that they did so in a complete sense. Rather they used to affirm it in a general sense, as Allaah tells us in the verses quoted above. But they had some faults in their beliefs that undermined this concept, such as attributing rain to the stars, and their belief that soothsayers and fortunetellers had knowledge of the unseen, and other forms of shirk concerning the divine Lordship. But these faults are limited compared to their incorrect beliefs with regard to the oneness of the divine nature (Tawheed al-uloohiyyah) and worshipping Allaah alone (Tawheed al-‘ibaadah).

We ask Allaah to make us steadfast in adhering to His religion until we meet Him. And Allaah knows best.

The prophet Mohammed