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Wajibad

Learn All About The Stories of The Prophets, & All Islamic Wajibad & The Sunan.

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Islam

History of Qibla

History of Qibla

The shift from Bait-ul Maqdas to Masjid-al Haram

Written by: Amna Anwaar Continue reading “History of Qibla”

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The virtue of building a Masjid (Mosque)

The virtue of building a mosque

Question

”What kinds of blessings can we attain by participating in building a mosque?”

Answered by:
Sheikh Khâlid b. Sâlih al-Muwayni`

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Continue reading “The virtue of building a Masjid (Mosque)”

The Prophet Muhammad In The Bible

The Prophet Muhammad
In The Bible

Peace be upon him

Written by: Ali Unal

Continue reading “The Prophet Muhammad In The Bible”

Virtues of Surah al-Kahf

Sura al-Kahf
سورة الكهف

About this Article: Virtues of Surah al-Kahf

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Sura al-Kahf “The Cave” (Arabic: سورة الكهف‎, Sūratu al-Kahf) is the 18th surah of the Qur’an with 110 ayat. It is a Meccan sura.

Continue reading “Virtues of Surah al-Kahf”

Al-Masjid An-Nabawi: اَلْمَسْجِد اَلنَّبَوِي

Masjia An-Nabawiyah - والمسجد النبوي

Al-Masjid An-Nabawi
اَلْمَسْجِد اَلنَّبَوِي

المدينة المنورة يلقبها المسلمون “طيبة الطيبة” أول عاصمة في تاريخ الإسلام،

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The Prophet’s Mosque

Al-Masjid al-Nabawī (Arabic: اَلْمَسْجِد اَلنَّبَوِي‎ “Mosque of the Prophet”), often called the Prophet’s Mosque, is a mosque built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad situated in the city of Medina. It is the second holiest site in Islam (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca) It was the second mosque built in history and one of the largest mosques in the world. After an expansion during the reign of al-Walid I, it also now incoporates the site of the final resting place of Prophet Muhammad and early Muslim leaders Abu Bakr and Umar.

Al-Masjid An-Nabawi: اَلْمَسْجِد اَلنَّبَوِي

  • Location: Medina, Hejaz, Saudi Arabia[1]
  • Established: c. 622
  • Branch/tradition: Islam
  • Administration: Saudi Arabian government
  • Leadership: Imam(s): Sheikh Hussain Abdul Aziz Aal Sheikh
  • Architectural information
  • Style: Classical and contemporary Islamic; Ottoman; Mamluk revivalist
  • Capacity: 600,000 (increased to 1,000,000 during the hajj period)
  • Minaret(s): 10
  • Minaret height: 105 meters (344 ft)

The site was originally adjacent to Prophet Muhammad’s house; he settled there after his Hijra (emigration) to Medina. He himself shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.

The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who taught the Quran. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. In 1909, it became the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be provided with electrical lights. The mosque is under the control of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

One of the most notable features of the site is the Green Dome over the center of the mosque, originally Aisha’s house, where the tomb of Prophet Muhammad is located. It is not exactly known when the green dome was constructed but manuscripts dating to the early 12th century describe the dome. It is known as the Dome of the Prophet or the Green Dome. The mosque is located in what was traditionally the center of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site and many people who perform the Hajj go on to Medina before or after Hajj to visit the mosque.
First Built

The original mosque was built by Muhammad next to the house where he settled after his journey to Medina in 622 AD. The original mosque was an open-air building (covered by palm fronds) with a raised platform for the reading of the Quran. It was a rectangular enclosure of 30 × 35 m (98 × 115 ft) at a height of 2 m (6 ft 7 in) wall which was built with palm trunks and mud walls. It was accessed through three doors: Bab Rahmah (Door of Mercy) to the south, Bab Jibril (Door of Gabriel) to the west and Bab al-Nisa’ (Door of the Women) to the east. The basic plan of the building has since been adopted in the building of most mosques throughout the world.

Inside, Muhammad created a shaded area to the south called the suffah and aligned the prayer space facing north towards Jerusalem. When the qibla (prayer direction) was changed to face the Kaaba in Mecca, the mosque was re-oriented to the south. The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school.

Seven years later (629 AD/7 AH), the mosque was doubled in size to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims. The area of the mosque was enlarged by 20 × 15 m (66 × 49 ft) and became almost a square 50 × 49.5 m (160 × 162.4 ft). The height increased to became 3.5 m (11 ft) and the mosque encompassed 35 columns. The mosque remained like that during the Caliph Abu Bakr until the khilafah of ‘Umar bin al-Khattab who enlarged the area of the mosque to 3575m2 and built more wooden columns. During the Uthman ibn Affan an arcade of stone and plaster was added to he mosque and the columns were remolded and built of stone.

Umayyads

Subsequent Islamic rulers continued to enlarge and embellish the mosque over the centuries. In 707, Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik (705-715) replaced the old structure and built a larger one in its place, incorporating the tomb of Muhammad. This mosque was 84 by 100 m (276 by 330 ft) in size, with stone foundations and a teak roof supported on stone columns. The mosque walls were decorated with mosaics by Coptic and Greek craftsmen, similar to those seen in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (built by the same caliph). The courtyard was surrounded by a gallery on four sides, with four minarets on its corners. A mihrab topped by a small dome was built on the qibla wall.

Abbasids

Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdi (775-785) replaced the northern section of Al-Walid’s mosque between 778 and 781 to enlarge it further. He also added 20 doors to the mosque: eight on each of the east and west walls, and four on the north wall.

Mamluks

During the reign of the Mamluk Sultan Al Mansur Qalawun, a dome was erected above the tomb of Muhammad and an ablution fountain was built outside of Bab al-Salam (Door of Peace). Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad rebuilt the fourth minaret that had been destroyed earlier. After a lightning strike destroyed much of the mosque in 1481, Sultan Qaitbay rebuilt the east, west and qibla walls.

Ottmans

The Ottoman sultans who controlled Medina from 1517 until World War I also made their mark. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) rebuilt the western and eastern walls of the mosque and built the northeastern minaret known as al-Suleymaniyya. He added a new mihrab (al-Ahnaf) next to Muhammad’s mihrab (al-Shafi’iyyah) and placed a new dome covered in lead sheets and painted green above Muhammad’s house and tomb.

Ar-Rawdah

The green dome over the center of the mosque, where the tomb of Muhammad is located was constructed in 1817C.E. during the reign of Mahmud II and painted green in 1839 C.E.. It is known as the (Green) Dome of the Prophet. During the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid I (1839–1861), the mosque was entirely remodeled with the exception of Muhammad’s Tomb, the three mihrabs, the minbar and the Suleymaniyya minaret. The precinct was enlarged to include an ablution area to the north. The prayer hall to the south was doubled in width and covered with small domes equal in size except for domes covering the mihrab area, Bab al-Salam and Muhammad’s Tomb.

The domes were decorated with Quranic verses and lines from Qaṣīda al-Burda (Poem of the Mantle), the famous poem by 13th century Arabic poet Busiri. The qibla wall was covered with glazed tiles featuring Quranic calligraphy. The floors of the prayer hall and the courtyard were paved with marble and red stones and a fifth minaret (al-Majidiyya), was built to the west of the enclosure.

Saudis

When bin Saud took Medina in 1805, his followers, adherents to Wahhabism, destroyed nearly every tomb dome in Medina in order to prevent their veneration, and the Green Dome is said to have narrowly escaped the same fate. Muhammad’s tomb however was stripped off its gold and jewel ornaments. Similar events took place in 1925 when the Saudi ikhwans retook—and this time managed to keep—the city. In the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, burial is to take place in unmarked graves. From 1925, after Medina surrendered to Ibn Saud, the mosque was gradually expanded by demolishing several historical places around it.

After the foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, the mosque underwent several major modifications. In 1951 King Ibn Saud (1932–1953) ordered demolitions around the mosque to make way for new wings to the east and west of the prayer hall, which consisted of concrete columns with pointed arches. Older columns were reinforced with concrete and braced with copper rings at the top. The Suleymaniyya and Majidiyya minarets were replaced by two minarets in Mamluk revival style. Two additional minarets were erected to the northeast and northwest of the mosque. A library was built along the western wall to house historic Qurans and other religious texts.

In 1973 Saudi King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz ordered the construction of temporary shelters to the west of the mosque to accommodate the growing number of worshippers in 1981, the old mosque was surrounded by new prayer areas on these sides, enlarging five times its size. The latest renovations took place under King Fahd and have greatly increased the size of the mosque, allowing it to hold a large number of worshippers and pilgrims and adding modern comforts like air conditioning. He also installed twenty seven moving domes at the roof of Masjid Nabawi.

In 2007, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh, stated that “the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet’s Masjid”. The original mosque was not very large, and today the original exists only as a small portion of the larger mosque. The newer and older sections of the mosque are quite distinct. The older section has many colorful decorations and numerous small pillars.

Architecture and Special Structures

As it stands today, the mosque has a rectangular plan on two floors with the Ottoman prayer hall projecting to the south. The main prayer hall occupies the entire first floor. The mosque enclosure is 100 times bigger than the first mosque built by Muhammad and can accommodate more than half a million worshippers.

The mosque has a flat paved roof topped with 27 domes on square bases. Holes pierced into the base of each dome illuminate the interior. The roof is also used for prayer during peak times, when the domes slide out on metal tracks to shade areas of the roof, creating light wells for the prayer hall. At these times, the courtyard of the Ottoman mosque is also shaded with umbrellas affixed to freestanding columns. The roof is accessed by stairs and escalators. The paved area around the mosque is also used for prayer, equipped with umbrella tents.

One of two courtyards inside the mosque

The north facade has three evenly spaced porticos, while the east, west and south facades have two. The walls are composed of a series of windows topped by pointed arches with black and white voussoirs. There are six peripheral minarets attached to the new extension, and four others frame the Ottoman structure. The mosque is lavishly decorated with polychrome marble and stones. The columns are of white marble with brass capitals supporting slightly pointed arches, built of black and white stones. The column pedestals have ventilation grills that regulate the temperature inside the prayer hall.

This new mosque contains the older mosque within it. The two sections can be easily distinguished: the older section has many colorful decorations and numerous small pillars, and fans have been installed in the ceiling; the new section is in gleaming white marble and is completely air-conditioned. The open courtyard of the mosque can be shaded by folded, umbrella-like canopies, designed by Bodo Rasch and Buro Happold.

Al-Riyad-ul-Jannah

The heart of the mosque houses a very special but small area named al-Riad-ul-Jannah, which extends from Muhammad’s tomb (Rawdah) to his pulpit (minbar). Pilgrims attempt to visit and pray in Riad-ul-Jannah, for there is a tradition that supplications and prayers uttered here are never rejected. Entrance into Riad-ul-Jannah is not always possible (especially during the Hajj season), as the tiny area can accommodate only a few hundred people.

Al-Riad-ul-Jannah is considered part of Jannah (Paradise). It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that Muhammad said: “The area between my house and my minbar is one of the gardens (rawdah) of Paradise, and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)”

Ar-Rawdah – Green Dome

Ar-Rawdah is one of the most important feature of the site. It is the green dome over the center of the mosque, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. Constructed in 1817C.E. diring the reign of Mahmud II and painted green in 1839C.E., it is known as the Dome of the Prophet. Early Muslim leaders Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab are buried beside Muhammad. Ar-Rawdah has two small gateways. The current marble pulpit was constructed by the Ottomans. The original pulpit was much smaller than the current one, and constructed of palm tree wood, not marble.

Minbar

Muhammad was preaching while he stands by a wood of palm tree. In 628 a minbar replaced it so that the Prophet was able to raise above the crowd; besides leading prayer. It was a 3 steps 1 meter high wooden pulpit. This was burn in a fire in 654. The minbar which was built in the reign of Murad III is still in use.

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi Mosque of the Prophet

  • Location: Saudi Arabia Medina, Saudi Arabia
  • Established: c. 622
  • Branch/tradition: Islam
  • Administration: Saudi Arabian government
  • Leadership: Imam(s): Sheikh Hussain Abdul Aziz Aal Sheikh

Architectural information

  • Style: Classical and contemporary Islamic; Ottoman; Mamluk revivalist
  • Capacity: 600,000 (increased to 1,000,000 during the hajj period)
  • Minaret(s): 10
  • Minaret height: 105 meters (344 ft)

The Five Pillars Of Islam

The Five Pillars Of Islam

Islam has five primary obligations, or pillars of faith, that each Muslim must fulfill in his or her lifetime. They are as follows:

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Ash-Shahadah

The First pillar of islam

Profession of faith, is the first pillar of Islam. Muslims bear witness to the oneness of God by reciting the creed “There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of and total commitment to Islam.

As-Salah

Prayer, is the second pillar. The Islamic faith is based on the belief that individuals have a direct relationship with God. The world’s Muslims turn individually and collectively to Makkah, Islam’s holiest city, to offer five daily prayers at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. In addition, Friday congregational service is also required. Although salah can he performed alone, it is meritorious to perform it with another or with a group. It is permissible to pray at home, at work, or even outdoors; however it is recommended that Muslims perform salah in a mosque.

Az-Zakat

Almsgiving, is the third pillar. Social responsibility is considered part of one’s service to God; the obligatory act of zakat enshrines this duty. Zakat prescribes payment of fixed proportions of a Muslim’s possessions for the welfare of the entire community and in particular for its neediest members. It is equal to 2.5 percent of an individual’s total net worth, excluding obligations and family expenses.

As-Sawm

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, is the fourth pillar of Islam. Ordained in the Holy Qur’an, the fast is an act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a richer perception of God. Fasting is also an exercise in self-control whereby one’s sensitivity is heightened to the sufferings of the poor. Ramadan, the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, begins with the sighting of the new moon, after which abstention from eating, drinking and other sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset.

Ramadan is also a joyful month. Muslims break their fast at sunset with a special meal, iftar, perform additional nocturnal worship, tarawih, after evening prayer; and throng the streets in moods that are festive and communal. The end of Ramadan is observed by three days of celebration called Eid Al-Fitr, the feast of the breaking of the fast. Customarily, it is a time for family reunion and the favored holiday for children who receive new clothing and gifts.

Al-Hajj

The pilgrimage to Makkah, is the fifth pillar and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity in the world. For those Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah, the Hajj is a once in a lifetime duty that is the peak of their religious life. The Hajj is a remarkable spiritual gathering of over two million Muslims from all over the world to the holy city. In performing the Hajj, a pilgrim follows the order of ritual that the Prophet Muhammad performed during his last pilgrimage.

The five pillars of Islam define the basic identity of Muslims – their faith, beliefs and practices – and bind together a worldwide community of believers into a fellowship of shared values and concerns.

The Five Pillars of Islam (arkān-al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān ad-dīn أركان الدين “pillars of the religion”) are five basic acts in Sunni Islam, considered obligatory by believers. These are summarized in the famous Hadith of Gabriel.

The Qur’an presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are:

  1. The Shahada (Islamic creed),
  2. Daily Prayers (salah),
  3. Almsgiving (zakāt),
  4. Fasting during Ramadan (sawm), and
  5. The Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.

The minority Shi’a and majority Sunni both agree on the essential details for the performance of these acts, but the Shi’a do not refer to them by the same name (see Ancillaries of the Faith, for the Twelvers, and Seven pillars of Ismailism).

Ash-Shahadah

The Shahadah the declaration of faith, i.e. the professing that there is only one God (Allah) (monotheism) and that Muhammad is God’s messenger. The shahadah is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: ash’hadu an lā ilāha illà-llâh, wa-ash’hadu anna muḥammadan rasûlu-llâh “I testify that there is no god except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah.” Reciting this statement is obligatory in daily prayer (salâh) as well as on other occasions; it is also a key part in a person’s conversion to Islam.

Salat: Prayer

Salat (ṣalâh) is the Islamic prayer. Salat consists of five daily prayers according to the Sunna; the names are arcording to the prayer times: Fajr (morning dawn), Zuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (after-sunset), and ‘Isha’ (late evening, night). The Fajr prayer is performed before sunrise, Zuhr is performed in the midday after the sun has surpassed its highest above you, Asar is the evening prayer before sunset,

Maghrib is the evening prayer after sunset and Isha is the night prayer. All of these prayers are recited while facing the Ka’bah in Mecca. Muslims must wash themselves before prayer, this washing is called wudû’ (“purification”). The prayer is accompanied by a series of set positions including; bowing with hands on knees, standing, prostrating and sitting in a special position (not on the heels, nor on the buttocks). Salat is the second of the five pillars of Islam.

Az-Zakât: Charity

Zakat or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality. Zakat consists of spending 2.5% of one’s wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, including slaves, debtors and travelers. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward. There are two main types of Zakat. First, there is the kajj, which is a fixed amount There are five principles that should be followed when giving the Zakat:

  • The giver must declare to Allah his intention to give the Zakat.
  • The Zakat must be paid on the day that it is due.
  • After the Offering, the payer must not exaggerate on spending his money more than usual means.
  • Payment must be in kind. This means if one is wealthy then he or she needs to pay 2.5% of their income. If a person does not have much money, then they should compensate for it in different ways, such as good deeds and good behavior toward others.
  • The Zakat must be distributed in the community from which it was taken.

As-Sawm of Ramadan | Fasting

Three types of fasting (Sawm) are recognized by the Qur’an: Ritual fasting, fasting as compensation for repentance (both from sura Al-Baqara), and ascetic fasting (from Al-Ahzab).

Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins. Fasting is necessary for every Muslim that has reached puberty (unless he/she suffers from a medical condition which prevents him/her from doing so.)

The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, to express their gratitude to and dependence on him, atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, profane language, gossip and to try to get along with fellow Muslims better. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.

Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory, but is forbidden for several groups for whom it would be very dangerous and excessively problematic. These include pre-pubescent children, those with a medical condition such as diabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Observing fasts is not permitted for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is considered acceptable not to fast are those who are ill or traveling. Missing fasts usually must be made up for soon afterward, although the exact requirements vary according to circumstance.

Al-Hajj | Pilgrimage to Mecca

The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime . When the pilgrim is around 10 km (6.2 mi) from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. After a Muslim makes the trip to Mecca, he/she is known as a hajj/hajja (one who made the pilgrimage to Mecca). The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, traveling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.

The pilgrim, or the haji, is honoured in the Muslim community. Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to Allah, not a means to gain social standing. The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage. This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement. A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah, and while not mandatory is strongly recommended. Also, they make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Jerusalem in their alms giving feast.

Pillars of Shia Islam

Shia Islam is like a tree whose roots are its beliefs and whose branches are its practices. If the roots are not firm and healthy, the tree will not survive – but the roots only form the foundation of the tree.
Shia Faith is based on the following:

1. Monotheism: The Oneness of Allah (tawhid):

Allah, or God, is the center of Muslim belief. Whereas certain religions focus on individuals, like Christianity focuses on Jesus, Islam focuses solely on Allah. Although Muslims respect the divine prophets, the prophets – including Muhammad – are still only servants of Allah.

The Qur’an speaks of the oneness of God: “Allah has borne witness that there is no God but Him – and the angels, and those with knowledge also witness this. He is always standing firm on justice. There is no God but Him, the Mighty, the Wise.” (3:18).

Describing God (Allah):

One of the shortest chapters of the Qur’an, “The Oneness of God”, summarizes the nature of God in five verses:

  1. In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the Most Merciful
  2. Say, He is Allah, the One
  3. Allah, the Eternal
  4. He begets not, nor was He begotten
  5. And there is nothing at all comparable to Him.

2. Divine Justice (‘adl):

Anyone who believes in Islamic monotheism must believe in the Almighty’s justice. Because Allah is just, He never wrongs His creatures, for injustice is an evil deed while He is far from doing evil. Because He is omniscient, He does not neglect anything, and because He is self-sufficient, He has no cause to wrong others. Since He owns everything, He does not need the actions of anyone. His wisdom also transcends the universe.

Thus, unlike some human beings, He has no cause for injustice: “He is always standing firm on justice.

  • There is no God but Him, the Mighty, the Wise.” (3:18)
  • “And your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone.” (18:49)
  • “We[8] did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves.” (16:118)

Just as Allah encourages human beings to emulate some of His attributes, such as being patient and forgiving, He also tells us to follow the way of justice. “Say: ‘My Lord has enjoined upon me justice.'” (7:29) Although common people may falter in this area, none of the prophets of God or their successors ever committed any act of injustice.

3. Prophethood (nubuwwa):

The prophets were the people who received divine revelation. Allah has sent numerous prophets and messengers to humankind since the dawn of history. These prophets were of two types: “local” and “universal.” While the local prophets were sent with specific messages to specific groups of people, the universal prophets were sent with messages and books for all of humankind. There were only five universal prophets, and their names were Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon all of them).

A unique characteristic of all the prophets and messengers is that they were infallible – that is, they never committed any sin. The easiest way to see this is to consider that these people were the examples sent for humanity to follow, and so if they committed errors, people would be obliged to follow their errors, thereby making the prophets and messengers untrustable. Infallibility means protection, and, in Islamic terminology, means the spiritual grace of Allah enabling a person to abstain from sins by his own free will. This power of infallibility and sinlessness does not make a person incapable of committing sins; rather, he refrains from sins and mistakes by his own power and will.

4. Succession to Muhammad (imama):

All of the prophets and messengers of God had successors, and just as Allah appointed His prophets and messengers for the guidance of mankind, He also appointed successors to the prophets and messengers as a matter of necessity. Abraham was succeeded by two of his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, while Moses was succeeded by his brother Aaron and Jesus by two prophets whom the Qur’an mentions in the chapter called “Ya Sin”. (36:13-14) Likewise, Muhammad was succeeded by twelve distinguished successors, one after another.

These successors were called imams and were appointed by Allah, not by humankind. The right to ordain imams belongs only to Almighty Allah, and the Qur’an speaks about this in many verses:

  • “And remember when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Verily I am going to place a successor (khalifa).” (2:30)
  • Allah addressed David as such: “O David! Verily We have placed you as a successor on earth.” (38:26)
  • “And remember when the Lord of Abraham tried him with certain commands which he fulfilled; Allah said to him, ‘Verily I am going to make you a leader (imam) of mankind.'” (2:124)
  • Allah also attributes the right of appointing leaders to Himself: “We made from among them leaders, giving guidance under Our command.” (32:24)

5. The Day of Judgement and the Resurrection (qiyama):

Approximately 1,200 verses of the Qur’an speak of life after death and the Day of Resurrection, as do a vast number of sayings related from Muhammad and his successors. This number reveals the importance and significance of life after death and emphasizes that the life of the human being does not end at death but in fact continues afterwards towards a new life – indeed, its true life.

Allah placed human beings on the earth to test them, and so different people live for different lengths of time before they die and their souls are separated from their bodies. Their souls then live on, facing the grave and the questioning therein. After that, the souls return to their bodies which will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement, on which day they will receive whatever they deserve according to their beliefs and deeds in life.

Some people will go to Heaven, also called the Garden, or the Paradise. Others will go to Hell, oftentimes called the Fire. And a select few will be brought into a state of nearness to God.
Both Heaven and Hell have different levels; the worst of people will be in the lowest depths of Hell, while the best of them will be in the highest parts of Heaven.

Shia Practice of Islam is based on the following:

  1. Prayers (salaat) – 5 times a day
  2. Fasting (sawm) during Ramadan
  3. 3-4 Almsgiving (zakaat and khums)
  4. Pilgrimage to the city of Makkah (hajj)
  5. 5-6 Jihad The literal meaning of jihad is “to strive hard” to progress in all aspects of life. Although this word, in English, has taken on purely military connotations, in reality it covers the vast range of human enterprise – family life, work, spiritual development, and, at the end of all this, justified defensive warfare.

The most important jihad is the struggle to purify the soul, and this jihad far outweighs any military jihad. Once, Muhammad met a group of soldiers returning from a defensive battle and addressed them: “Welcome to the people who have concluded the minor jihad (struggle).” Astonished, the soldiers asked, “Was this the minor jihad? Then what is the major jihad?” Muhammad replied: “The major jihad is the jihad to purify one’s self.”

The beginning of the jihad to purify the soul is to restrain the self from committing sins and thereby corrupting the soul. The next step is to control material desires and ambitions and free the self from the things that distract it from Allah. All of the forms of worship in Islam – prayers, fasting, charity, and so on – exist to purify and perfect the soul.

Only in the upward development of the soul do human beings find happiness in this life and the next, for if the soul is unhappy, a person will be miserable regardless of how materially wealthy he or she may be. “And by the soul and Him Who perfected it, then showed it what is right and what is wrong for it – indeed, he succeeds who purifies his soul, and, indeed, he fails who corrupts his soul.” (91:7) The soul is the essence of man; it is the part which will outlast this life and be judged in the next, and one of the main reasons human beings were placed in this world is to test and develop their souls.

Jihad does also refer to the legitimate struggle to defend human rights, such as personal and religious freedom as well as the defense of land, property, and families. Those who are being attacked have the right to defend themselves in jihad.

7-8. Enjoining good (amr bil-ma’rouf) and forbidding evil (nahiy an al-munkar):

“Let there arise from you a group of people inviting to what is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong; these are the ones who will be successful.” (3:104)

In order for religion to progress and society to flourish, people must take the initiative and attempt to guide each other towards the right and away from the wrong. This kind of advising is mandatory on those who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement. Giving sincere advice is not, as some may argue, meddling in someone else’s business, but is in fact a valuable favor and one of the best forms of charity.

09. Supporting those who walk in the path of Allah (tawalli li awliyaa’ Allah):

This entire phrase means to be a friend and a helper of the righteous, pious people who are on the side of Allah and religion. Specifically, it includes the prophets and imams (successors to the prophets) as well as those who work to establish order, justice, and religion on earth:

“And whoever takes Allah, His messenger, and those who have belief as protectors and guardians, then the party of Allah will be victorious.” (5:56)

10. Turning away from the enemies of Allah (tabarri min a’daa Allah):

This phrase refers to the opposite of tawalli li awliyaa’ Allah. Those who sincerely believe in Allah must dissociate themselves from those people who obstruct truth and justice and prevent the light of Allah from reaching others:

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity. It is regarding those who fought against you on account of religion and have driven you out of your homes and helped to drive you out that Allah forbids you to befriend them, and whoever will befriend them, then such are the wrongdoers.” (60:8-9).

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