Allah is an Arabic-word for: The One and Only Deity/
Islam is the only religion that can describe themselves
as True-monotheists, why?
In Islam, we do not believe in anthropomorphism (i.e.
attributing human-facets to The Divine One)
In the Old Testament, in Genesis it says:
And God said; Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness : and let them have dominion over the fish
of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the
cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping
thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image , in the
image of God created he him; male and female created he
So it is said that "God created man in his own
image" which we reject in Islam, because
our belief is that God cannot be likened to any form
which He Himself created, He is far beyond the
perception of man, through man's mortal means of :
Along with "Allah" the Qur'an contains 99
names which are the attributes of Allah
They can be found at the following link: http://www.revertmuslims.com/islam/Allah_99names.htm
Similarities between the Bible & Quran
Lord is One' (Deuteronomy 6:4) 'Say: He
is God, the One ' (112:1)
'above all gods' (Psalm 135:5) 'Glorify
the name of your Lord the Highest' (87:1)
'His understanding is infinite' (Psm 147:5) '...and
of all things He is the Knower' (2:29)
'He who lives forever' (Isaiah 57:15) '...God,
the Eternal ' (112:2)
'He is holy' (Psalm 99:5) 'the
'The Lord is righteous' (Psalm 11:7) '...the
Right in Guidance' (11:87)
'He loves righteousness' (Psalm 7:11) '..indeed
full of mercy and love' (11:90)
'Your wrath .brings You praise' (Psalm 76:10) '...We
shall exact due retribution' (32:22)
'merciful' (Psalm 145:8) 'In the Name
of God, the Merciful ...' (1:1)
'The Lord is. compassionate' (Psalm 111:4 ) 'In
the Name of God, ..the Compassionate..' (1:1)
'God is not man, that He should lie' Num 23:19 "...God
is the Truth..." (22:6)
-- taken from http://www.jewsforallah.org/
Allah has no English equivalent:
Allah is an Arabic-word for: The One and Only Deity/ God
Who are the ahlulbayt?
"Ahlulbayt" literally means
"People of the House" ('Ahl' means
"people", while 'bayt' means
"house"). Its meaning in context of Islamic
vernacular is "members of the household of the
Prophet". The Ahlulbayt are one of the two most
important sources of Islamic guidance after the demise
of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). The holy Qur'an,
when referring to them, states:
" . . . . Verily Allah intends to keep off from you
every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt),
and purify you with a perfect purification."
(The last section of Verse 33:33)
This verse attests to their sinlessless, as all sins are
a form of impurity, and this has been completely removed
The Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet consist of the following
* Fatimah al-Zahra (AS) - the only daughter of the
* Imam Ali (AS) - first cousin, and son-in-law of the
* Imam al-Hasan (AS) - grandson of the Prophet, and
eldest son of Fatimah al-Zahra (AS)
* Imam al-Husain (AS) - grandson of the Prophet, and
second eldest son of Fatimah al-Zahra (AS)
* Nine descendants of Imam al-Husain (AS).
More about the Ahlulbayt and their uniquely honorable
status in Islam can be read at the following web page:
Is it 'revert' or 'convert'?
Both terms are correct. However, often
people who convert to Islam often call this a
"reversion" as opposed to a
"conversion", because of the understanding
that Islam is simply the extension of our innate human
nature (fitrah). Because of this, these converts feel
that they were always "Muslim", but due to the
influence of their society or environment, their ideas
and viewpoints differed from those expressed in Islam.
But upon studying the teachings of Islam, they feel this
unique resonance between their innate nature and Islamic
ideology, and thus call their choice to accept Islam a
"reversion" to their true nature.
The holy Qur'an speaks about this when it says:
So set your purpose for religion as a man upright (hanifan)
by nature (fitrah) - the nature (fitrah) framed by
Allah, in which He created mankind. There is no altering
(the Laws of) the creation of God. [The holy Qur'an -
How do Muslims pray?
The method of offering the prescribed
prayers in Islam (also referred to as salah/salat) can
be seen here:...>>>here
How often do Muslims pray?
There are five daily obligatory
prayers. These are the dusk prayer (Maghrib), night
prayer (Ishaa), dawn prayer (Fajer), noon prayer (Zuher),
and the afternoon prayer (Asr). Besides these there are
a few other prayers that should be performed only on
certain occasions, but not regularly, like the prayer at
the burial ceremony of a Muslim who has passed away, the
prayer on two specific Islmaic festivals (called "Eid"),
Other than these, one can pray whenever he or she
desires, but these are counted as supererogatory
prayers. Basically, Muslims must offer the five daily
prayers (these are obligatory), but there is no limit to
how much extra a person can pray.
Do all Muslims pray the same
No. There are many different
denominations within Islam, and the mothod of offering
prayers by certain denominations may differ from that of
others. For example, the Ja'fery Shia method of offering
prayers (which is described on this page: http://www.revertmuslims.com/sala.html
is different from that of Hanafi Sunnis.
These differences arise because of lack of consistency
in the reports that describe the praying style of the
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). However, these
differences are usually very minor. All Muslims pray to
the only God, Allah. We all pray facing the same
direction (the Ka'ba in Mecca). We all have the same
number of obligatory prayers, with the same number of
units in each prayer. We all have to recite Qur'anic
verses in our prayers, and most of the actions performed
in the prayers are also alike.
The differences include things like, how most Sunni
Muslims will fold their hands in front of them while
they are standing in prayer, whilst Shias (and Maliki
Sunnis, among others) leave their hands by their sides.
How the sitting and standing postures might vary
slightly - for example, some denominations believe that
the feet should not be far apart when standing, while
others believe that there should be a considerable gap
between them. There are also other minor variations in
issues like the recitation while sitting during prayers,
and also on the issue of what materials are permissible
to prostrate on. So although Muslims don't all pray the
same way, the differences are not very significant.
What's wudu mean?
Wudhu is the ritual ablution in Islam.
It is the act of washing or wiping specific parts of the
body with clean water, which Muslims perform prior to
certain acts of worship (primarily Salah). The method of
performing this ritual ablution can be seen here: http://revertmuslims.com/sala_wudu.html
What does "Ghusl" mean?
Ghusl literally means "bath".
In cetain circumstances Muslims are required to bathe
completely with clean water as a means of purification.
This ritual bath in Islam is called "Ghusl".
The circumstances where ghusl is required include (but
is not limited to):
. After ejaculation (through sexual intercourse or
. Upon coming in contact with a dead body
. Ghusl for menstruation
More details about the circumstances that require ghusl
and the method of performing it can be seen here: http://revertmuslims.com/sala_wudu.html
What's Tayammum mean?
Tayammum is the Islamic term for
"dry ablution". This is the type of ablution
performed when clean water is not readily available, or
it is not feasible for a person to perform regular ghusl
or wudhu because of medical reasons or similar issues.
In such circumstances, instead of water, the person
wipes a small amount of sand, dust or dry earth on
his/her face and hands. More details about tayammum and
the method of performing it can be seen here: http://revertmuslims.com/sala_wudu.html
Why do so many Muslim women
cover their heads with a scarf?
The act of covering one's hair by
Muslim females is an integral part of the larger concept
of Hijab. Hijab, in essence, is the notion of displaying
a sense of modesty in dress and demeanour.
Modesty and chastity are very important ideologies in
Islam, and the most effective approach to achieve these
qualities is by prescribing standards on behavior and
the dress of Muslims. As a result, Muslim women who
choose to follow the tenets of Islam are asked to cover
(or veil) their bodies (all of it, except the face and
hands) from men who are not either their direct family
members, or their husbands. In this way Muslim women are
recognized as individuals, who are admired for their
mind and personality, and not for their physical
For more information about the concept of hijab,
especially it's philosophical and practical importance,
feel free to read the following online book by the late
Ayatollah Murtadha Mutahhari:
What does haram or halal mean?
"Haram" is derived from the
Arabic word "Hurum" which means
"impermissible". Thus "haram" means
that the thing under discussion is Islamically
impermissible. (For example, pork is haram for
Conversely, "halal", being the opposite of
haram, means "permissible".
Why did the Shi'a separate from
The Shia-Sunni split is not a recent
phenomenon. The root of this division can be traced to
just a few days after the death of our Prophet (pbuh&hp).
Shi'as believe that the Prophet within his lifetime
unambiguously appointed Imam Ali bin Abi Talib as his
successor, and the caliph of the Muslim ummah (nation)
after his death. However, Sunnis believe that the
Prophet did not decicively fix the choice of the caliph
after him, nor did he fix or proscribe any method of
selection of this next caliph. As a result, Sunnis
accept Imam Ali (a.s.) to be the fourth caliph, not the
first (the first three recorded in their histories are
Abu Bakr, Umar al-Farook and Uthman bin Affan).
The Shi'a call themselves so, because we describe
ourselves as "Shi'an-e-Ali" (Party/Followers
of Ali - "Shia" means party member or
follower). Now this difference of belief did not
immediately result in a division amongst Muslims at that
time. The division occurred later when the
self-appointed caliphs of the Islamic nation began
persecution of Shi'as because of their refusal to
acknowledge the caliphate of these rulers. These Shi'a
refused to acknowledge the caliphate of these rulers
because of the Shi'a belief that only the Prophet (under
instructions from Allah) could appoint a caliph for the
Muslim ummah, as he had already done so during his
The history of the Muslim ummah, after the demise of the
Prophet, unfolded in the following manner. After a large
portion of Muslims refrained from acknowledging Imam Ali
as the first caliph, he (Imam Ali) chose to wait with
patience over this affair, rather than fight for his
right, since the Prophet had advised him in the last
days of his life to deal with the clamities that
followed his (the Prophet's) death with patience, so as
to not cause divisions within the Muslim ummah. As a
result, he withrew himself from active participation in
political affairs and with matters regarding the
handling of the government.
After the death of the third caliph, the state of the
Muslim nation had severely deteriorated since the time
of the Prophet, and much of the injustice and suffering
that was prevalent during the pre-Islamic era had
creeped back into society. Muslims, acknowledging the
dire situation their nation was in, then earnestly
appealed to Imam Ali to take up the caliphate as they
realized that there was no one more worthy than him for
that position. After a lot of persuasion, Imam Ali
Now within the rule of Imam Ali, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan
rose up and waged a bloody war against him. He (Muawiyah)
unjustly claimed that Imam Ali was either responsible or
connected to the death of the previous caliph, and that
this war of his was revenge for that death. Eventually,
after a long war, a compromise was reached, and partial
peace was restored.
However, after the death of Imam Ali, Muawiyah declared
himself caliph of the Muslim ummah, and confronted Hasan
bin Ali (a.s.), the son of Imam Ali, who was appointed
by him as his successor. Again Muawiyah tried to wage a
war against the true caliph, but this time Hasan bin Ali
(a.s.) managed to work out a compromise with him that
permitted him governance of the Muslim ummah till his
death, after which it would return to Hasan bin Ali (a.s.)
or his successor.
However, before Muawiyah died, he appointed his son
Yazeed bin Muawiyah as the next caliph, blatantly
contradicting the terms of the peace-treaty that he had
given his oath of allegiance to earlier with Hasan bin
Ali (a.s.). Meanwhile Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) had appointed
his brother Husayn (a.s.) as his successor, and he was
thus the rightful caliph. But Yazeed had taken that
title for himself, and ordered Husayn (a.s.) to pay
allegiance to him. Husayn (a.s.) refused. As a result,
Yazeed's forces salughtered Husayn (a.s.), the grandson
of the Prophet (pbuh&hp), and his family members in
the land of Karbala, on the day of A'shurah.
In Yazeed's rule, and in the rule of the succeeding
rulers appointed by him, the Shi'as suffered extreme
levels of injustice and mistreatment from these rulers,
who deliberately persecuted Shi'as without inhibition,
and without any regard for Islam or morality. As a
result the Shi'as withdrew themselves from the
government (which was mainly Sunni), and remanied
secluded from matters of caliphate for hundreds of years
that followed, and this seclusion has resulted in the
prominent Shi'a-Sunni split that you see today.
For a much more detailed analysis of the historical
causes of this issue, read the following online book:
The Origins and Early Development of Shi`a Islam
Is Islam a terrorist religion?
Not in the least. Islam strictly condemns the use of
violence against innocent lives. There is no
justification in Islam for terrorism. Targeting the
lives of innocent civilians and their property through
suicide bombings or any other means of attack is haram
(impermissible), and those who commit these acts are
criminals, not martyrs.
The Qur’an states in this regard: "Whoever kills
a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all
mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he
had saved all mankind." (Qur’an, 5:32)
Respect for persons of all faiths and backgrounds is
integral to Islamic principles. As it has been said by
Imam Ali (a.s.): "People are divided into two
groups. Either they are your brothers in faith, or your
brothers in humanity."
are the pillars of Islam?
is divided into two categories. Think of Islam as a
tree. You have the roots of religion, without roots a
tree cannot grow, and then the branches of Islam,
without which there will be no beauty.
will start by explaining the roots of religion. There
are 5. They are called the Usool-e-Deen.
refers to the oneness of Allah. It means there is no God
other then Allah (Swt). He isn't the son of anyone, nor
is anyone His son. He does not have a family, he is
alone and one.
refers to the justice of Allah. He is just to everyone
and everything. Some people tend to believe that
everything we do in our life is because Allah has
pre-planned it for us, though this is not the case; and
shows great injustice and gives man no choice to make
decisions between the right and wrong. It may seem to us
sometimes that injustice is being done to us or others,
but this is not the case, rather it is our lack of
knowledge and understanding.
means Prophethood. Muslims must believe in the concept
of Prophethood, and that there were about 124, 000
Prophets sent down on earth to guide us. All the
Prophets were sinless, and all preached the correct
message, from the time of Hazrat Adam (as) till the last
and final Prophet; Muhammad (PBUH).
is divided into Nabi and Rasool. Every Rasool (Apostles)
is a Nabi (Messenger), but not all Ambiya (Plural of
Nabi) are Rusul (Plural of Rasool). A Rasool brings
divine law, and a Nabi continues the message of the
Rasool before him.
like Prophethood is in the hands of Allah (swt), same is
the case with Imamat. An Imam is a leader. Muslims
believe that there were 12 Aaima (Plural of Imam) after
the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). An Imam does not bring new
law or rulings, but continues the message of the last
and final Prophet. The Imams were also sinless, and did
not make mistakes. The Aaima have authority over us as
our leader, and we have to obey them, just like we obey
Allah and his Messengers.
ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and
those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a
dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the
messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and
the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.
but not least, the concept of Qiyamat; the Day of
Judgment. Every Muslim must believe in the Day of
Resurrection, where all human beings will be judged
according to their deeds. People will either be rewarded
for their good deeds, or punished for their evil deeds.
we will take a quick definition-type look at the
branches of Islam. The Firo-e-Deen. They are 10 in
Praying; 5 times a day.
Fasting, in the month of Ramadhan
Making pilgrimage to the Holy city of Makkah, atleast
once in their lifetime; whenever given the chance.
Islamic tax, given from one's wealth to the poor and
Islamic tax; one-fifth of certain items which a person
acquires as wealth, and which must be paid as an Islamic
To struggle, or strive. Jihad is divided into two.
Jihad-e-Akbar (Major Jihad) and Jihad-e-Asghar (Minor
Jihad). Major Jihad involves fighting against one's
desires, where as the Minor Jihad involves fighting
against the enemies of Islam when attacked upon first.
Means to enjoin in what is good and telling or asking
others to enjoin in good.
Staying away from evil, and telling or asking others to
stay away from evil.
To love the Ahlul Bayt and their followers.
To disassociate from the enemies of Ahlul Bayt
is Mecca and what's the kabba and hajj?
is the capital city of Saudi Arabia's Makkah province,
in the historic Hijaz region. It has a population of
1,294,167 (2004 census). The city is located 73
kilometers (45 mi) inland from Jeddah, in the narrow
sandy Valley of Abraham, 277 meters (909 ft) above sea
level. It is located 80 kilometers (50 mi) from the Red
The city is revered as the holiest site of Islam, and a
hajj pilgrimage is required of all able-bodied Muslims
who can afford to go, at least once in their lifetime.
The Hajj: In Arabic, the word, Hajj means a
resolve of magnificent duty. Hajj also means visit to
the revered place, or the pilgrimage to the Ka’bah in
the Grand Mosque (Masjid AlHaram or Haram AlSharef), in
the City of Makkah (Mecca), in Arabia, which is one of
the basic manifestations of the Islamic faith, and a
display of unity of the Muslims throughout the world.
The Kabba: (The Sacred House"), is a
building located inside the mosque known as Masjid al
Haram in Mecca. The mosque was built around the original
The Kaaba is the holiest place in Islam. The qibla, the
direction Muslims face during prayer, is the direction
from any point to the Kaaba.
a Muslim, can I marry anyone I wish?
in Islam is the uniting, or creating a bond between a
man and a woman, who will gradually develop into a deep
spiritual, sentimental and socio-economic relationship.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: "No
institution of Islam is liked by God more than that of
marriage." When one marries in Islam, he/she has
saved half of his religion.
basic object of marriage is to secure a comfortable
atmosphere for a man and a woman, and also to produce a
new generation of healthy, faithful and virtuous
children. A Muslim husband and wife should always be a
source of comfort for each other, and their relationship
should be far above mere sexual enjoyment.
one is looking to get married, he/she should at best,
try to consider the following qualities in a spouse.
Faith, Morals, Knowledge, and Compatibility; Faith
obviously being the most important factor to consider.
Muslim man or woman cannot marry a Mahram. Mahram
relationships on the grounds of blood-relationship
include that of:
Mother/Father (includes grandparents)
Daughter/Son (includes descendants)
Sister/Brother (includes descendants)
can also not marry those with whom he/she had
relationship on the grounds of nursing, which is
established on the requirements of some special
conditions (which we will not get too much into)
can also not marry those people who are declared Mahram
on the account of affinity, relationships created by
marriage. They are the following:
Mother/Father in law
Daughter/Son in law
A man can not marry his wife's sister
A woman can not marry her sister's husband
with one's cousin is allowed.
does Imam mean?
can mean prayer leader and elder of a mosque. The word
‘Imam’ also describes the infallible Imams or
religious leaders who were all members of the Prophet
Mohammad’s (PBUH) family.
is the Mahdi
A figure more legendary than that of
the Mahdi, the Awaited Saviour, has not been seen in the
history of mankind. The threads of the world events have
woven many a fine design in human life but the pattern
of the Mahdi stands high above every other pattern. He
has been the vision of the visionaries in history. He
has been the dream of all the dreamers of the world. For
the ultimate salvation of mankind he is the Pole Star of
hope on which the gaze of humanity is fixed.
For more information
is a shariah law?
There is a difference but a yet a strong
link between the words deen and sharia. Deen means
religion, while Shari'a means the laws of Islam. Shari'a
are the Islamic laws that govern our way of life, and
without it, the deen is incomplete.
What is the source of Shari'a law in Islam? In Islam we
are bound by rules formulated by the following:
1. Directly by Allah (Qur'an)
2. By the Prophet or Imams; the Sunnah (Hadith)
3. Mujtahids* (Mujtahid (jurist), capable of inferring
and deducing from the religious sources and evidence)
4. Ijma (consensus)
5 Aqal (reasoning and intellect)
*The Mujtahids base
their laws from the Qur'an and Hadith, and if an answer
is not available there they will go to number 4 and/or
Taqleed and Ijtihad?
Islam is a way of life. The laws and teachings of Islam
are known as Shari'ah, and these laws have come to us
through the Qur'an and the sunnah. The Qur'an has over
6000 verses, and the Sunnah derived from various ahadith
are thousands in number. This means that not every Shia
can spend time to study for so many years the Qur'an and
the ahadith (plural of Hadith); that too in Arabic.
All baligh (those at the age of maturity) males and
females, have to follow a mujtahid. This concept is
called Taqleed. If one wishes to study the Qur'an and
Hadith on his/her own, then that is called Ijtihad.
There are a few conditions of becoming a Mujtahid (One
that has done Ijtihad, and has the right to pass
religious rulings derived from Qur'an and Sunnah). They
5. Born in wedlock
7. A'lam (well learned alongside all other mujtahids)
8. Adil (just)
Most of the Mujtahids now a days live in Iran or Iraq.
If you would like an answer to a question on behalf of
your mujtahid, you can do the following:
- Ask your local Aalim
- Read your Mujtahids law books (Tawzihul Massail)
- E-Mail the question to his office
- You can also travel to Iran or Iraq and meet them in
Most Mujtahids now a days have their own websites, with
their laws and rulings posted online. Two of the
well-known Mujtahideen of todays times are:
1. Ayatollah Al-Udhma Sayyid Ali Al-Hussaini Khamenei
2. Ayatollah Al-Udhma as-sayyid Ali Al-Hussaini as-Seestani
about men marrying as many wives as they want?
Polygamy; or in other words, the plurality of wives.
First of all, it should be recognized, that polygamy
existed before the Islam brought by the Prophet Muhammad
among the Jews, Arabs, Persians etc. All Islam has done,
is put some restrictions on it. It is mere propaganda,
started in Europe during the Middle Ages that polygamy
was introduced by Islam. This is not the case.
There are some conditions of men marrying more than one
woman in Islam. They are:
1. Equal treatment of all the wives
2. Preserving the purity and feeling of family life, so
that it does not become the cause of disruption in
3. The number of wives does not exceed four
If you look at point number one (Equal treatment of all
the wives), we will realize as to how hard that task is,
to accomplish. Let's see what the Qur'an has to say
about polygamy: "And if you fear that you cannot
act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as
seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you
fear that you will not do justice (between them), then
(marry) only one or what your right hands possess;
this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the
right course." (4:3)
As mentioned earlier, that polygamy existed prior to
Islam, but it existed with no limitations or
restrictions. It was Islam which has restricted it as it
was used and abused a lot by the wealthy people, rulers
etc. that were not just at all. If a man lacks that
special spirit and strength of treating more than one
wife equally, he is not allowed to take more than one
At the end, the best and the most satisfactory form of
marriage is naturally monogamy, and therefore men should
avail themselves of the permission of polygamy only
in exceptional circumstances..
Sunnah refers to the deeds, sayings and approvals
(including silent approvals) of Prophet Muhammad
and the twelve Imams. The twelve Imams however also
followed the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ,
so the sunnah of the Imams, is infact the sunnah of the
What is the
Koran or Quran?
The Qur'an is the Holy Book of Islam, revealed to the
Prophet Muhammad ,
and it is the literal word of Allah (swt). It was
revealed over a period of 23 years by the angel Jibraeel.
It consists of 114 Surahs (chapters) with 6236 ayahs
(verses). The original text of the Qur'an is in Arabic,
but it has been translated in a lot of languages.
Can I still drink
wine or smoke after I become a Muslim?
No, a Muslim can not drink wine and other alcoholic
beverages, as the Qur'an clearly forbids it.
"They ask you about intoxicants and games of
chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and
means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than
their profit. And they ask you as to what they should
spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make
clear to you the communications, that you may
As far as smoking is concerned, the opinion of some
Mujtahids might differ. For example; Ayatullah
Fadhlullah has declared smoking as haram. Others will
say that it is haram to start and get addicted to it in
the first place. And some might say that it is haram
once the person is aware of the damage being done on his
body from smoking.
How do I greet
The Islamic way of greeting a Muslim is by saying
"As-Salamu Alaykum". It means "Peace be
upon you", and the response of it is "Wa
Alaykum As-Salam" meaning, "and on you be
peace". It is highly recommended to greet a fellow
Muslim in this manner, and once greeted, it is wajib
(compulsory) on the other person to reply back.
It is also stated in the Qur'an to say this greeting
when one enters his/her house, even if the house is
empty. "...So when you enter houses, greet your
people with a salutation from Allah, blessed (and)
What happens to
people that kill themselves?
Allah (swt) is the one that gave us life and only He has
the right to take it away from us. Suicide is clearly
haram in Islam. This is what the Qur'an has to say about
[4:29] O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among
yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you
Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or
destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to
you Most Merciful!
[4:30] If any do that in rancour and injustice,- soon
shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for
However, now-a-days, we see on the news, the acts of
'suicide bombing' during Jihad. The killing of any
innocent, elderly, women, children, is haram in Islam.
So any form of suicide with the intention of Jihad,
should not be carried out on those who are not taking
part in a war against you.
What is a
A mosque is a place
of worship for Muslims.. Masjid is the Arabic term for a
mosque. This term is used widely throughout the Islamic
world, and the word masjid is widely preferred by many
Muslims. The word masjid is from the Arabic root sajad
which means to prostrate (Islamic prayers require
What does Zakat mean?
Shia Muslims not
only pay 2.5% left over from savings as zakat, but also
an additional 20% as khums or general charity. However
most prefer to pay directly to the needy.
Note that it is
forbidden to give Zakat and charity to the descendants
of the Prophet. Thus Zakat revenues and charities go to
those needy who are NOT the descendants of the prophet,
while half of the Khums goes to those needy people who
are the descendants of the Prophet. One should also note
that during the history of Islam till now, the
descendants of the prophet were being prosecuted every
where and were deprived of their rights. Also a minority
among Muslims continue to pay Khums (i.e., only Shia
follow this Sunnah of the Prophet). In other words, only
20% of all Muslims pay Khums which heavily decreases the
amount of what the needy descendants of Prophet get from
Khums (=20%*1/2*1/5=2%) when it is compared with the
amount that needy people who are not the descendants of
the Prophet get through Zakat from all Muslims (2.5%)
plus all the charities which could be much more than
Who are the Shi'a?
The word Shi'a, to
quote Ibn Manzur, means "those people who love what
the Prophet's Progeny loves, and they are loyal to such
Progeny". Hameedullah Khan states "Shiat Ali
means specifically that party which, after the death of
the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) attached itself to Hazrat
Ali...considering him the successor of the Prophet (PBUH)
both in temporal and religious matters".
1. Lisan al-'Arab,
by Ibn Manzur, vol. 8, p189
2. Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence, by Hameedullah Khan
The term Shi'a in fact derives its actual origin from
the Qur'an, in which Allah (swt) calls Prophet Ibrahim
(as) a Shi'a of Prophet Nuh(as) . In another verse Allah
(swt) informs us of a fight between two men, one was a
Shi'a of Prophet Musa (as) and the other was an enemy of
1. The Holy Qur'an
2. The Holy Qur'an 28:15
It is in praise of the Shi'a of Ali that Allah (swt)
sent down the following revelation: "Those who
believe and do righteous deeds are the best of the
creatures. Their reward from their Lord shall be
everlasting gardens, below which flow rivers, they will
abide there forever. Well pleased is God with them and
they are well pleased with Him.
The Holy Qur'an 98:7
What can Muslim's
[5:88] Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as
food lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in
Whom ye are believers
Muslims can eat meat and vegetables.
The restrictions are moslty realted to the type of meat
we can eat. We must eat food that is halal, i.e.
slaughtered in an Islamic manner. We are allowed to eat
animals such as cow, sheep, camel and chicken etc.
Muslims can not eat pigs, carnivorous animals, reptiles,
insects, animals that were already dead and halal
animals that were not slaughtered in Islamic fashion.
[16:5] And He created the cattle for you; you have in
them warm clothing and (many) advantages, and of them do
[2:173] He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood,
and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name
hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is
forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor
transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. For
Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful
In terms of eating fish, since they die once out of
water, we do not have to worry about it being
salughtered in a halal manner, but are only allowed to
eat fish that has scales on it.
Muslmis can also eat, plants which are not intoxicant,
vegetables, fruits, grain foods; such as wheat and rice.
What is Hajj and
is the lesser pilgrimage which is optional and can be
performed at any time.
pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia,
which every adult Muslim who is physically and
financially able must make at least once in his or her
lifetime. About 2,000,000 persons perform the hajj each
year, and the rite serves as a unifying force in Islam
by bringing followers of diverse backgrounds together in
religious celebration. Hakeem's first pilgrimage was in
more detailed explanation
shahadah, or the Islamic creed, is the declaration of
belief in the unity of Allah(Swt) and the prophethood of
Muhammad(pbuh). When stated aloud, one is
considered to have officially declared oneself a convert
I have to change my name?
No you do not have
to change your name when you convert to Islam. However
if your name were considered unIslamic or against Islam
such as having pagan origin ie: Tyrone, it is desirable
to change the first name but in fact you should keep
your given last name. Many new Muslims find themselves
changing their names to an Islamic first and or first
and middle name but do not have it changed
What is Mutah/Nikkah?
Mutah: is a fixed-time marriage
which is a marriage with a preset duration, after which the marriage is automatically dissolved. It is the second form of marriage, described in the Qur'an (4:24).
Nikkah: is the contract between a bride and bridegroom and part of an Islamic marriage, a strong covenant (mithaqun Ghalithun) as expressed in Qur'an 4:21).
The first part of the marriage ceremony, Nikah, is the signing of the marriage contract itself
What is Islam?
Islam is a monotheistic religion originating with the teachings of
Muhammad (pbuh), a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. It is the second-largest religion in the world today, with an estimated 1.4 billion adherents, spread across the globe, known as
Muslims. Linguistically, Islam means submission, referring to the total surrender of one's self to
Allah(Swt), and a Muslim is "one who submits to
As Muslims we believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad
(pbuh) and that Muhammad (pbuh) is God's final prophet. The Qur'an and the traditions of Muhammad in the Sunnah are regarded as the fundamental sources of
Islam. Muslims do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Ibrahim and other prophets whose messages had become corrupted over time (or according to some authorities only
misinterpreted). Like Judaism, Christianity, and the Bahá'í Faith, Islam is an Abrahamic
It is the fastest
growing religion in the world. There are now up to 5
million Muslims in the U.S., and over 1,100 mosques or
Who is the
The Prophet as the
founder of Islam and the messenger of God's revelation
to mankind is the interpreter par excellence of the Book
of God; and his Hadith and Sunnah, his sayings and
actions are, after the Qur'an, the most important
sources of the Islamic tradition.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
was born in Makkah in the year 570. Since his
father died before his birth and his mother died shortly
thereafter, he was raised by his uncle who was from the
respected tribe of Quraysh. He was raised
illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained so
till his death. His people, before his mission as
a prophet, were ignorant of science and most of them
were illiterate. As he grew up, he became known to
be truthful, honest, trustworthy, generous, and sincere.
He was so trustworthy that they called him the
Trustworthy. Muhammad (pbuh) was very
religious, and he had long detested the decadence and
idolatry of his society.
What does school
of thought mean?
Schools of thought (madhahib)
are the paths people follow to the Holy Qur'an and Holy
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf). Obviously,
these schools of thought were founded considerably after
the death of the Prophet (pbuh&hf) and, in
fact, never took shape until the time of the Umayyid
Caliphate. The common phrase ahl al-sunnah
wal-jama'ah, for example, became prevalent during
the third century hijri. By the year 250 h.,
the four Sunni schools of thought were being popularized
and patronized during the 'Abbasid Caliphate. The
Shi'a school of thought, on the other hand, continued
its growth and progress after Imam 'Ali (pbuh)
through his descendants who were connected to each other
through a chain of narration and knowledge. The
Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf) and the
designated imams in the Shi'a school of thought
were shielded by Allah from any sin, religious error, or
Today, the five
schools of Islamic thought accepted by all Muslims are
the Ja'fari, comprising 23% of the Muslims; the Hanafi,
comprising 31% of the Muslims; the Maliki, comprising
25% of the Muslims; the Shafi'i, comprising 16% of the
Muslims; and the Hanbali, comprising 4% of the Muslims.
The remaining small percentage follows minority schools
such as the Zaydi and the Isma'ili.
Who are the
Sunni Muslims are the largest denomination of Islam.
They represent the branch of Islam that accepted the caliphate of Abu Bakr
. There are four schools of thought for Sunni Muslims:
Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii or Hanbali.
Wahhabism is a
movement of Islam named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab
(1703–1792). It has become an object of increased
interest because it is the major sect of the government
and society of Saudi Arabia. Some will claim that
Wahabis are the most extreme of Muslims (also known as
Salafism). Wahhabis differentiate themselves from
orthodox Sunnis by labeling themselves Salafis, which
refers to the word salaf – the time period in which
the early Muslims lived in the first 300 years after the
Hijra, or emigration, of Prophet Muhammad from
in 622. It is said that the Wahabis are anti-Sunni
and anti-Shi'a. Wahabis have been religiously criticized
for labeling many major Muslim groups, such as Sufi
and Shi'a Muslims, as apostates. They also take stances
against the the graves of saints, and the practice of Tawassul
which consists of asking the saints for prayer on their
Was Islam spread
by the sword?
The Holy Quran
clearly says "Let there be no compulsion in
religion". In addition to this, Islam teaches that
a person's faith must be pure and sincere, so it is
certainly not something that can be forced on someone.
In debunking the myth that Islam was "spread by the
sword", the (non-Muslim) historian De Lacy O'Leary
"History makes it clear, however, that the legend
of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and
forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered
races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that
historians have ever accepted." (Islam at the
Crossroads, London, 1923, p. 8.)
Prophet Muhammad was not inclined to war; he had not
once handled the sword in actual fighting up to the
fifty-fifth year of his age, and this in a country
where, owing to constant internecine warfare, fighting
had become a vocation of the people. The religion which
he preached, Islam (lit. peace or submission), was a
religion of peace, laying stress on prayer to God and
the service of humanity, and he was required to preach
this religion; to deliver the message, not to enforce it
There is no compulsion in religion. [2:256]
As a Muslims, can I still eat
In Islam, pork was
forbidden for human consumption more than 1400 years
ago. The wisdom behind this Divine prohibition was only
discovered in the 20th century by doctors and
The abstention from
eating pork is one of the steps taken by Islam to practice
hygiene and to attain purity of soul. There is a saying
in English that "a man becomes what he eats".
According to physicians and medical experts, pork is a
harmful diet. The Qur’an has prohibited the
swine-flesh, hence why Muslims would not touch it. The
Bible has also forbidden swine-flesh, but Christians but
most will still consume it.
The life of a man is
a compound of body and soul. Anything, which is harmful
for the body, hurts the soul as well.
Who are the Sufis?
The Suffi are
considered by some as the inner or mystical
dimension of Islam They are not considered a sect of
Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally
known as a Sūfī , though some senior members
of the tradition reserve this term for those
practitioners who have attained the goals of the Sufi
tradition. Another common denomination is the word dervish. The
word, 'Sufi' has been ascribed various origins, among
them words meaning 'purity' and 'wisdom.
Shi'ite beliefs had
a lot of influence on Sufism, but mostly in the early
days. One important idea which was transmitted from from
the Shi'a to Sufism is that of the Mahdi (as), will come
to save Muslims from corrupt worldly rulers.
is an esoteric doctrine transmitted by word of mouth,
and sometimes, is is told, without even a spoken or
written word, by an authorized teacher to a disciple,
and from disciple to another disciple, in confidence.
These secret instructions are acted upon by a disciple
with perfect faith in the teacher. The disciple gives a
report of his condition and experience in confidence to
his teacher and receives another set of instructions
most suitable to his state.
Do I have to
learn to speak Arabic?
If you are a new
Muslim and you don't speak Arabic you are not obligated
to speak Arabic. However you are obligated to speak it
while in prayer. You must recite salat (prayer) in the
Arabic language. It is encouraged to learn the language,
both to speak it and to read it since the Holy Qur'an is
in the Arabic language. You can learn this by
going over the 'Salat page' of the Revert Muslim
website, or contact us for a copy of the Salat prayer
The Arabic language
is a complicated language and some of which can not be
properly translated into English or other languages,
thus it's importance to learn it so that you could
better understand the Qur'an and better concentration
while in prayer.
Do Muslims get along with Jews
and Christians and other faiths or non-faiths?
Yes, of course
Muslims get along with people of the Jewish and
Christian faiths. It is a myth or bad rumor that Muslims
hate Jews and Christians or anyone else, for that
matter, who isn't Muslim. The Qur'an, sadly, has
been taken out of context more then once surrounding
It is incumbent upon
us, as Muslims, to get along with those around us
regardless of their beliefs, epically those of other
faiths who believe in God. The Prophet (pbuh) lived
along side Jews and Christians in Madinah
where by they got along and did not force their beliefs
on one another but instead respected each other and
helped one another.
When the Prophet
settled in Madinah, he wanted to create a cooperating
human community and establish an exemplary civil society
at a time when these poor Arabs could never imagine what
a civil society could mean. So for the first time in
history, he established the pact of Madinah.
constitution, all signing parties — including
Muslims, Jews, and other (pagan) Arabs — agreed
that they would live in Madinah together as a society
and would defend it in case of an attack and would never
help any outsider against any of the other signing parts
and would never betray the agreement.
At Revert Muslims
Association we encourage Interfaith dialogue and we
encourage all those new to Islam to respect the beliefs
of others and to not force your beliefs of Islam onto
them. It's important to defend your beliefs and to
discuss them when others are curious of your
Treat others as you
would like to be treated and do not judge someone based
on their beliefs or cultures, only Allah(Swt) may do
Now that I'm a Muslim do I
have to stop talking to my non-Muslim
Of course not!! Your
beliefs are your beliefs and they should not stop you
from interacting with your friends and family.
What a lot of new
Muslims find, however, is that the lifestyle of a Muslim
is not conducive to that of a Western individual.
As Muslims we dress
more conservatively/modestly, we do not drink Alcohol
and our overall behaviour is very different to that of
someone who is not a practicing Muslim.
It is hard for the
family and friends of the 'new' Muslim/Revert Muslim.
They are confused and bewildered by your move to Islam.
They most likely have little information about Islam and
Muslims and they have misconceptions which have them
It's important to
keep contact with your friends and family. It's
important to let them know that you are still you and
that being a Muslim is only going to improve who you
On average some
reverted Muslims say it can take any where from 1 to 6
years for family/friends to accept or understand your
The Revert Muslims
Association offers support to all those who become
Muslim by means of the forums/msn and phone.
What is a
A fatwa is issued by
a recognized religious authority in Islam. The
people who pronounce these rulings are knowledgeable,
and base their rulings in knowledge and wisdom. They
need to supply the evidence from Islamic sources for
their opinions, and it is not uncommon for scholars to
come to different conclusions regarding the same issue.
As Muslims, we look
at the opinion, the reputation of the person giving it,
the evidence given to support it. When there are
conflicting opinions issued by different scholars, we
must compare the evidence.
Can I still
own my pets when I become Muslim?
Yes, you can! What
you need to know, however, is that there are certain
pets that are najis
and so they need to be kept away from the area in which
you pray. Cats are not najis and so they are permissible,
although some Muslims are not comfortable with any pet
that leaves hair behind. Dogs are another matter, their
hair is najis and if you pray with dogs
hair on your clothing your prayer will be invalid. It's
very important that if you own a dog and he spends some
of his time indoors that you consider making sure you
have removed all of his hair from your person before you
begin salat/prayer. It is recommended that if at
all possible you keep your dog outdoors. It is our
duty, as Muslims, as humans - to care for our
domesticated pets, with love and kindness.
72 virgins story has been abused and used as a
propaganda tool by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. As
with most things, the answer is in the interpretation.
Firstly with respect to suicide and therefore suicide
bombers, is forbidden in the Traditions (Hadith in
Arabic), which are the collected sayings and doings
attributed to the Prophet and traced back to him through
a series of trustworthy witnesses.
However a distinction needs to be between the martyr and
the suicide bomber. A martyr killed in a real Jihad is
an honorable thing to do in Islam, and rewards in
paradise for this are offered. What occurred on 911
was not a Jihad, but mass murder. In Iraq Ayatollah
Ali Sistani - the leader of the majority of Shia's has
not declared a Jihad, similarly in Afghanistan and its
The Quran does make reference to virgins, though the
definition of the word virgin is disputed. Some claim
the definition of the Arabic word "Abkarun" is
not virgins, but Angels.
Christopher Luxenberg's book, Die Syro-Aramaische Lesart
des Koran, available only in German, has an enjoyed an
enthusiastic reception, particularly among those
scholars with a knowledge of several Semitic languages
at Princeton, Yale, Berlin, Potsdam, Erlangen,
Aix-en-Provence, and the Oriental Institute in Beirut.
Luxenberg tries to show that many obscurities of the
Quran disappear if we read certain words as being Syriac
and not Arabic. Luxenberg claims that the context makes
it clear that it is food and drink that is being
offered, and not unsullied maidens or houris (virgins).
In Syriac, the word hur is a feminine plural adjective
meaning white, with the word "raisin"