I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.
Ayat Al Qursi, The Throne Verse, from the Holy Quran
This is a really brief overview compilation or summary of some of the things I recently went over with a teacher who was curious to learn something more about Islam than what is commonly viewed by the mainstream sectarian society, and so she asked me some questions about Islam as she was teaching an overview of Islam as the second largest religion of the world to a class of grade 6.
The first thing to mention here is that i am a convert, and that i am not knowledgeable only a fascinated kind of child in Islam, who studies many things, and study also Christianity and Judaism as well as much more…..I really love to study and to learn. Some of what I have written here is copied and pasted from what I believe to be indifferent and educated sources. So please forgive me if I say anything that offends you or anything that is in error, it is sincerely not my intention, and I admit my ignorance whole heartedly, I pray God Almighty forgive me, and ask to be corrected and be guided with gentleness and interest, I would love to learn more. I keep in mind very closely how one must be so conscious, when writing within such a controversial topic, how very difficult it is to please everyone.
Some further basic preliminaries:
I should also mention that I am following a certain teacher who is wise and very old, and a saint in my humble opinion, here he is meeting the Pope. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-fV1-K2vWA&feature=related.
One of the more beautiful blogs I have come across which I highly recommend:
I also learn much from such people Shaykh Habib Ali Jifri, here is a beautiful video he collaberated in about the only living companion Sahabi of beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him ::))
I also learn from primarily as I mention later Abdal Hakim Murad, formerly Timothy Winter, and study some of the teachings of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, who is an official in islamic jurisprudence.
I believe strongly that it should be made known, and understood that there is an incredible array of different kinds of Muslims as brothers and sisters on earth, some you would never recognize as a brother or sister in Islam, the quiet converts I call them, barely or lets just say not recognizable, they do not wear a scarf or hat or beard, and are very secular looking, they dont attend any mosque and they often dont pray either 😉 It is fascinating the incredible variation of muslims in the world, some forced into hiding others in other countries, extraordinary and unique, women wearing bright bold colors, some dressed in black from head to toe, while some muslim American convert sisters I have met are so serious about wearing full cover as a kind of revenge on the extreme sexualization of women they experienced growing up in America. Others strictly do not cover. The variety is endless and incredibly rich, I am constantly brilliantly and pleasantly surprised and intrigued at the endless variety and immensity of the community of Muslims, the Ummah.
Some of my more recent and rather shocking surprises.
Verging on irreverence, but boldly an advocate for Islam, this blog BadAss Muslimahs a blog of pictures by a provocative Muslim sister
And here is another reality in our community of muslims, this rapper calls himself the narcicyst :
Just as you have a rainbow of different people and personalities, extremes etc, within the world at large, just so within the religion of Islam.
One of the first things I wanted to say to the teacher, was what is to me one of the most miraculous aspects of Islam in this day and age.
If one can imagine the earth from a vantage point in space, and its turning, and one can also imagine the holy city of Mecca, then one can imagine that all over the world, as the world is turning, the prayers are being commenced and completed by millions of people, all on different latitudes and at different times within a very distinct accurate rhythm and number according to the suns lights movement and the earths turning, facing in the direction they would take if they were to travel by land or sea or air to the Holy City of Mecca which contains the Holy Kaaba. Now imagine that each person has a glowing heart, and that the light from the human heart journeys the distance to Kaaba in a stream, the Kaaba is connected by that stream of light, then imagine that at all different times Kaaba is like a great sun, as a prayer is completed another is begun, so the beams of light are in constant motion coming and going, so that the kind of sun which is Kaaba is indeed a sun as its beams are constantly in motion the rhythm of which is specific and measured, and should be measured! I hope some scientist will some day try to measure this miracle and draw some diagrams. It is indeed a great miracle and the Kaaba therefore does have a living heart beat, the power of the human heart being what it is, a miracle that shows in very great magnitude the significance and wonder in the divine order of the prayer, their times and the miraculous relation to the earth and cosmos they offer to those who wish to search further into the mystery of the revelations.
This of course does not go into the esoteric and incredible scientific significance of the spiral and the Kaaba and the actual journey of Hajj.
As within the three major Abrahamic religions, we find that the most holy numbers are those that we see repeated throughout the religions themselves, 3 being significant in multitudes of ways throughout each, (the teacher asked specifically about the number 3 probably because of the trinity) and of course throughout nature and throughout the study of sacred geometry, all odd numbers being so incredibly intermingled within our existence, as the science of creation is made obvious to the educated observer; those who are educated according to some universities, and those who are simple observers, the best of scientists in my opinion, as such the aboriginal peoples are an excellent example.
An interesting video, is here, it just briefly covers the really incredible reality of the golden ratio
a good critical comment by a man posting was :
I can understand the reservations some people are feeling, in particular the one comment made above:
“All points on the same Latitude (around the Globe) as Mecca will enjoy the Golden Ratio”
Absolutely correct. However, if you look at the horizontal ratio, and along the diagonal, then only Makkah fulfills all 3 requirements, no other point on the planet.
The breaking of the cross at the end of the movie is symbolic for Muslims as to say that no, our Beloved Prophet Isa, Jesus, `Alayhi-salam means ‘Upon Him Be Peace’. Did not die on a cross, or suffer on a cross, because we believe Allah would never do such a thing to any of his Prophets, and because it is clearly written within the holy Quran. So Christ Alayhi-salam was brought straight to heaven, because God Almighty is capable of doing anything and everything 😉
This is the wonderful Spiritual Teacher, Abdal Hakim Murad, a Convert to Islam, his name is also Timothy Winter, and he has been studying Islam for many many years, Winter is currently the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University, He is also one of the only english speaking authorities on the works of Imam Al Ghazali, one of the greatest scholars of all time in my opinion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ghazali
Here is some of his lectures and writings He is a wonderful resource if you have a question about any aspect of the religion of Islam, here is a place you can have it well answered.
If his lectures do not show up when you enter this link, search Abdal Hakim Murad, and sort by All Posts.
The Five Pillars
Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;
Establishment of the daily prayers;
Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;
Self-purification through fasting; and
The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.
Here you can listen to a really beautiful lecture by the above mentioned scholar, he talks about the 3 dimensions of the muslim faith, as well as a break down of the five pillars. If you dont want to listen to the whole video, which is long …. 🙂 skip ahead to 27:34 min and sec in the video to get to the points mentioned.
the Ritual Washing Ablution(Wudu) very beautiful and true video
If you do not have water, wudu can also be performed with a stone, or dry earth.
Wudu is an incredible aspect of the religion of Islam. Cleanliness being foremost, in mind and spirit and body.
Wudu, is an act of prayer, and is a preparation for the Salat.
Reciting bismillah. (In the Name of Allah I wash)
Intention of performing wudu.(The intention in cleaning example : to purify and cleans in praying that we be shone like the moon, with the beauty of goodness and love, that we walk the straight path that we do not do things to hurt mankind and that we can be accepted into heaven on the day of judgment.
Washing both the hands up to the wrists.
Rinsing the inner mouth.
Sniffing water and blowing it out
Passing of wet fingers between the fingers of the hand and feet.
Passing of wet fingers into the beard or face.
Brushing the teeth, preferably with a miswak a kind of natural wood tooth brush, like cinnamon stick.
Wudu is done systematically.
Washing of each part one after the other without pause, so no part dries up before wudu is completed.
Washing each limb thrice.
Performing wudu towards the Qiblah toward Mecca, toward Kaaba
The prayer SALAT
Interestingly when we study nature closely we find that water is essential to our living selves but also that water carries our energy and feeling, both negative and positive, that the times of prayer are greatly interlinked with the timing of certain incredible happenings in nature, in the botany, biology, the living nature of the planet, for instance water being taken in by the living plants and other living organisms to the greatest degree at the time of the fajr prayer etc..
there are some excellent scientific movies concerning water, and it is as it says in the Holy Quran, every living thing made from water
This incredible movie called HOME, exquisite cinematography watch free
A slightly tedious but incredible and vitally important study in water, and its element and its reality in our daily lives watch here:
To spend the last 3rd of the night in prayer, is very highly recommended, and is Sunnah ( Sunnah is as our Prophet pbuh did) is hugely comforting for the human being in its entirety and builds incredible trust and peace in life and all its upheavals.
If performed properly each movement awakens and enlivens the all vital organs and elements of energy (chi etc) within the body, strengthening most especially the elements of self restraint and calm.
interesting notes simply on the posture ruku
One rakat is the complete set of movements from standing to placing your head upon the ground in sujud.
2 rakats, is the complete set of movements in which you stand twice and twice place your head upon the ground, ending in sitting.
This is a terribly brief explanation of the very deep and significant practice of salat, forgive me:
a complete thorough overview is here http://www.sunna.info/prayer/TheBasicsoftheMuslimsPrayer.php
The morning prayer
before dawn called Salat al Fajr
2 rakat -out loud
The Noon Prayer Salat al Zoor
4 rakat – silently
The Mid Prayer Salat al Asr,
4 rakat – silently
The Sunset Prayer, or Dusk Prayer Salat al Maghrib,
3 rakat out loud
The Night Prayer When the Stars Appear, Salat al Aisha
4 rakat out loud
This does not include the extra prayers which complete ablution or those salat which are Sunnah, highly recommended. As well as many other additional prayers, those for rain, those for the dead etc
The Islamic Months and Festivals and the Lunar Calendar
The Lunar Calendar is the oldest calendar known to mankind, the ancient chinese, the babylonians etc..
We believe it is the counting best counting system most accurate that God gave mankind. The moon and its cycles the most natural and accurate form of counting time http://www.infoplease.com/calendar/lunar.html
There are 12 months in the Islamic Calendar and each has a name
Meaning the Islamic New Year
We celebrate Ashura
The day when God rescued Prophet Moses and the Children of Israel from Pharaoh. It was also the day the ark of Prophet Noah landed on Mount al-Judiyy, the day the Prophet Jonas was relieved of his confinement in the belly of the Wale, and many other acts of mercy.
We celebrate this day just as both the Christians and the Jews were celebrating this day during the time of our Prophet Muhammad pbuh.
On this day we fast and give thanks to Allah for His Mercy.
2. SAFAR meaning the month of Battles
During this month we work on our personal battles, the battles of the soul, and spirit, and how to meet our difficulties and conquer them for the good of all.
3. RABI-AL-AWWAL The The first of of Spring and Great Renewal Spiritually
We celebrate the Birthday of our Prophet Muhammad pbuh, and learn more about all the Prophets and what they brought to us.
4. RABI-AL-THANI the Second month of Spring
We focus on the springing forth of spirituality and Renewal.
5. JUMADA-AL-AWWAL The Month of the Cold
Here we explore the incredible reality of the elements, and our weather, as Allah has placed it, for instance we believe that the angels are the force of the wind.
6. JUMADA-AL-THANI The last month where water is,
During this month we explore and contemplate and practice, moderation, the middle, and the aspects of calm and manners and behavior. We believe our Prophet Muhammad pbuh was perfectly balanced in this moderation and so we study his way of life.
7. RAJAB It is the Month of Allah Almighty,
Inner spiritual journeys, Prayer as a spiritual journey, holy pilgrimages.
our Holiday Special Day and Night in This Month, Huge spiritual Benefit to spend the night in prayer.
Isra and Mi’raj is a two-fold event that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven, according to Islamic belief. One night during the 10th year of Muhammad’s prophecy, the angel Gabriel woke him and traveled with him to Jerusalem. Muhammad prayed at the site of the Temple of Solomon with the prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.
8. SHABAN To Spread and Distribute
Focus on Good Deeds, our Zakat, the giving to the poor and needy.
We are recommended to fast during this month as well,
There is a holy night in this month Laylatul-bara`ah, it is during this night many mercies are sent to us, if we pray during this night.
The Month of fasting, we wake before the sun rises, and we eat, then we pray fajr the morning prayer before the sun is bridging the horizon. We fast, no water or food, until the after the setting of the sun, Maghrib the prayer at Dusk.
For those who cannot fast it is recommended to give to the poor each day of the whole month. Or to make up the days missed at a later date.
During this month We celebrate the Holy Night of Lailatul Qadr’ (Arabic: لیلة القدر) (also known as Shab-e-Qadr), the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures
Lailatul Qadr’ is the night that the Quran was revealed. All Muslims believe that revelation of the Quran occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Lailatul Qadr’ to Gabriel in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel (Jibril in Arabic). The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Nur (Mountain of Light) in Mecca.The first Surah that was revealed was Surah Al-Alaq. Muslims worship as much as they can on this night.
Eid-ul-Fitr it marks the end of Ramadan
10. SHAWWAL To Be Light Natured and Strong
We learn much of the Prophet Solomon of Noah, of the our Animal companions, and Creation.
During this month it is forbidden to have any conflicts, or war, during this month, it is customary that with anyone you have had an argument with, you go to their house offer gifts and ask for their forgiveness, and try to work it out. Rest an Meditation, Helping others Relax.
= Other Pilgrimages
Outer Spiritual Journeys
During this month we celebrate
Eid al Adha
the greater Eid, It is the Festival of Sacrifice, where we remember the great test of sacrifice of Abraham and his son Ishmael. It is the realization that with sacrifice, absolute submission the transcendence in letting go and becoming obedient in serving others caring for others, the sacrifice of ego and will power for the greater will and absolute truth in the servitude of Allah alone.
If I told your everything about each month, it would take a long time. So I have just mentioned minimally some things.
The rules of War
The Rules of Combat
Oliverus Scholasticus praised the Islamic laws of war, commenting on how Al-Kamil supplied the defeated Frankish army with food:
“ Who could doubt that such goodness, friendship and charity come from God? Men whose parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, had died in agony at our hands, whose lands we took, whom we drove naked from their homes, revived us with their own food when we were dying of hunger and showered us with kindness even when we were in their power.
Muslim jurists agree that Muslim armed forces must consist of debt-free men who possess a sound mind and body. In addition, the combatants must not be conscripted, but rather enlist of their free will, and with the permission of their family.
The Qur’an commands Muslims to make a proper declaration of war prior to the commencement of military operations. Thus, surprise attacks are illegal under the Islamic jurisprudence.
According to all Muslim scholars it is not permissible to kill women or children. According to Hanafi and Hanbali and Maliki it is not permissible to kill old men and monks and peasants and employees and traders.
Harming civilian areas and pillaging residential areas is also forbidden, as is the destruction of trees, crops, livestock and farmlands. The Muslim forces may not loot travellers, as doing so is contrary to the spirit of jihad. Nor do they have the right to use the local facilities of the native people without their consent. If such a consent is obtained, the Muslim army is still under the obligation to compensate the people financially for the use of such facilities. However, Islamic law allows the confiscation of military equipment and supplies captured from the camps and military headquarters of the combatant armies
Commentators of the Qur’an agree that Muslims should always be willing and ready to negotiate peace with the other party without any hesitation. According to Maududi, Islam does not permit Muslims to reject peace and continue bloodshed.
Islamic jurisprudence calls for third party interventions as another means of ending conflicts. Such interventions are to establish mediation between the two parties to achieve a just resolution of the dispute
If, however, non-Muslims commit acts of aggression, Muslims are free to retaliate, though in a manner that is equal to the original transgression.
Prisoners of war
Men, women, and children may all be taken as prisoners of war under traditional interpretations of Islamic law. Generally, a prisoner of war could be, at the discretion of the military leader, freed, ransomed, exchanged for Muslim prisoners, or kept as slaves. In earlier times, the ransom sometimes took an educational dimension, where a literate prisoner of war could secure his or her freedom by teaching ten Muslims to read and write. Some Muslim scholars hold that a prisoner may not be ransomed for gold or silver, but may be exchanged for Muslim prisoners.
Women and children prisoners of war cannot be killed under any circumstances, regardless of their religious convictions, but they may be freed or ransomed. Islam forbids keeping female slaves as a means of sexual enjoyment.
Here is the Agnostic Woman Jewish Scholar Speaking about Islam Lesley Hazleton
Some really wonderful poems and recipes, I regularly frequent this website
This music is moving from our over view of Islam into Sufism
some beautiful music Al Kindi named after one of the great muslim scholars and scientists
Many people who love Rumis works, do not know that he was a Muslim Saint, and this is what he had to say about Islam :
I am the servant of the Qur’an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words. Rumi
― Rumi, The Quatrains of Rumi: Complete Translation with Persian Text, Islamic Mystical Commentary, Manual of Terms, and Concordance
A beautiful poem by Rumi
is a glowing tribute to our Prophet Muhammad pbuh from non Muslim and prominent figures in our history. ex: La Martin, and Mahatma Gandhi.
My conclusion is simply, if anything comes toward you and makes you feel dark or heavy, fear or worry enter you, about anything, about even your friends other friend, because of what you heard, or about for instance a certain religion or belief. Let it go, allow it to be present in passing as a subjective, objective opinion worthy perhaps of further interest and study, but dismiss it from your emotive pathways at first. Our hearts are fragile, the subjects of women and children are tender and precious, the powers that be will try to pull us into feeling what they would have us feel and think. Later and within a healthy time of allotted study if you feel so inclined learn from as many points of view as is possible, empathy being the absolute key to knowledge, and knowledge being irrelevant if it is a product of reaction, a product of exclusion rather than the most necessary and fundamental part of human existence absolute inclusion and care.
Where ever there is darkness there is light, where darkness is darkest, the light will be brightest, where difficulty is the most heavy there you will find the most patient, where you find hatred and fear its product will be tolerance and understanding. What makes one thing forms the other. Our resistance is the path to our release, those who resist more, are often more easily broken.
And Rumi wrote, when you see the Rose you are the Rose, when you see the thorn bush you are the thorn bush.
My song is my surrender, and my path a siratal mustaqeem, as God reveals it to me, in His timing, and He alone knows how I will arrive there or when I am there.