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Muslims
Suhel Farooq Khan

A follower of the religion Islam is called a Muslim.
The word Muslim means one who is obedient to Allah (God) and follows His commands in all walks of his life as shown by the last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.

Muslim is a person who believes in the following fundamentals of Islam:

  • The Oneness of Allah (God), and all of His attributes.
  • All the revealed books (The Qur-an, The Torah, The Bible etc).
  • All Rusul (Messengers) of Allah (God) like Idris A (Enoch), Nuh A (Noah), Ibrahim A (Abraham), Lut A (Lot), Isma'il A (Ishmael), Ishaq A (Isaac), Musa A (Moses), Harun A (Aaron), Da'ud A (David), Dhul-Kifl A (Ezekiel), Sulayman A (Solomon), Ilyas A (Elijah), Al-Yasa A (Elisha), Yunus A (Jonah), Ya'qub A (Jacob), Yusuf A (Joseph), Ayyub A (Job), Zakariyya A (Zechariah), Yahya A (John) and 'Isa A (Jesus) etc, and in Muhammad S as the last and final Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God).
  • Mala”ikah (Angels) of Allah (God).
  • The Day of Judgment and life after death.
  • Al-Qadr (Destiny).

Any one who wants to live in peace with himself, his family, his friends and rest of the world, is a Muslim.
Muslims
seek to live in accordance with Allah (God)'s laws. By doing so, they strive to obtain nearness to Allah (God) and victory over the temptations in this world. All of their religious practices are intended to help meet this goal. Islam is not merely a religion of Prayers and some ritualistic practices, but it is a complete way of life. It applies on each and every walk of life of an individual and it expands to a society, a country or the entire world at large. Islam requires its followers to be active participants in their communities.

To be a Muslim, one has to believe that Allah (God) is one; and that He sent Rusul (Messengers) for the guidance of mankind, and Muhammad S was His last Rasul (Messenger). This concept is also formally declared by Muslims and is known as Shahadatayn (The Twin Declarations of Faith):

 
La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah
There is no one worthy to be worshipped but God (Allah) Muhammad is His (last) Messenger
 

Muslims also believe in the Holy Qur-an, revealed to Muhammad S for the guidance of mankind. It contains many stories that are familiar to Christians and Jews. The Holy Qur-an contains no scientific fallacies or internal contradictions. The Holy Qur-an contains many scientific facts discovered by scientists only in this century. The Qur-an is also an unparalleled Arabic literary masterpiece. Furthermore, unlike the Torah and the Gospel, it survives in its original revealed.

People living in the West or elsewhere in the world should not allow themselves to be ignorant about Islam and Muslims. Currently, there are more than 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Every fourth person on the face of the earth is a Muslim.

Contrary to the popular myth, only a small percentage of Muslims (About 18%) live in the Arab world. The largest Islamic populations are concentrated in Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia. More than Fifty (50) countries in the world have Muslim majority.

In the year 2000, Islam became the second largest religion in the United States of America, surpassing Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, and all other religions. The population of Muslims living in the USA is estimated to be seven to nine million. A significant percentage of Muslims living in the United States is indigenous. According to demographic surveys, Islam is the fastest growing religion not only in the U.S.A. but also in the world.

Unlike Christianity, there are no organized and dedicated Muslims missionaries working anywhere in the world converting people to Islam.

Presidents Clinton and Bush of the U.S.A., recognized festivals of Islam and other religious occasions. Both had hosted Iftar (Breaking of Fast) parties for Muslims in the White House to respect the month of Ramadan (Fasting). In the year 2000, U.S. Postal Service had issued a commemorative stamp at the occasion of Id al-Fitr (Festival of Charity), the main festival of Muslims.

Anyone can easily become a Muslim by believing in its basics. All are welcome to the Religion of Islam, irrespective of color, caste, economic and social status, level of education and geographical boundaries, if they want to sincerely submit themselves to the will of God, and want to live in peace with themselves and the entire mankind.

Muslims are allowed to eat all kinds of pure and clean foods. Islam allows them to eat Halal (Lawful) meats. However, they do not eat pork and anything that is impure and unhealthy. Alcohol is also made unlawful in Islam. Alcoholic beverages, irrespective of their alcoholic contents, are forbidden in Islam.

 

Forbidden to you (for food) are Al-Maithah (the dead animals - cattle - beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which Allah's name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols) and that which has been killed by strangling, or a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and that which has been (partly) eaten by wild animal -unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) - and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone-altars)...
Surah (Chapter) Al-Ma"idah (Table Spread with Food) Qur-an 5:3


Muslims
are often branded as fundamentalist. A true Muslim is technically a fundamentalist. Fundamentalist means the one who faithfully and sincerely follows the fundamentals of one’s religion. In the same manner a true Christian, a true Jew, a true Hindu, all are fundamentalists.

Taking a lead from Christian , the followers and worshipers of Christ; the West had also coined the Term Mohammaden for Muslims, mistakenly assuming them to be followers or worshippers of Muhammad S, the last Messenger of Allah (God).

The West has deliberately or otherwise, given a wrong definition to the word fundamentalist. It often equates fundamentalism with terrorism, and uses the word fundamentalist in a derogatory way, mostly as an equivalent to terrorist. This is a wrong connotation, which needs to be corrected.


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