Islam: Questions And Answers - Islamic History and Biography
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Generation M by Shelina Janmohamed is a survey of Muslim youth: what they think, feel and do that makes them a unique force in the world today.
They are millennials with a religious twist, and this book paints a vivid picture of them as they grapple with entrepreneurship, technology, fashion, food, consumerism, climate change and so much more. The Story of the Quran by Ingrid Mattson is a short book, but it clarifies the religious, cultural and even political significance of Islam's holy book, the Quran. What role does this book play in a Muslim's life, who wrote it, what feelings do we have for it? All these questions and more are answered by Mattson, who is a religious scholar and teacher.
Armstrong has written several books about Islam, and all are worth reading, but this one is helpful for those who do not know much about the Prophet. It is an unbiased, historical book that is much-needed today, regardless of your religious beliefs. It's a National Geographic presentation -- it also offers a kids' version -- that showcases all the various scientific and technological creations dreamed up by Muslims and still in use today.
Hint: Muslim contributions are invaluable! Diouf shatters stereotypes that all Muslims are Arab, South Asian or newly arrived in this country.
It offers meticulous research showing the arrival of Islam with African slaves and the struggle for religious survival. Muslims and the Making of America by Amir Hussain is another book about Muslims in America, but from a surprisingly different perspective. Hussain highlights the aspects of American popular culture where Muslims have made an indelible mark: music, politics, architecture and sports. It's a short read but highly informative. I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim is a series of essays written by 40 American Muslim women about their experiences in their faith journey.
Although their religion may be the same, their personal narratives and backgrounds are completely different, showing the diversity of Islam in a beautiful and eye-opening way. An accurate, working watch? A beautifully designed watch? Would they not conclude that there does exist a watchmaker? An intelligent watchmaker? One who appreciates beauty? Such is God who made us. It is a fact that throughout history and throughout the world, man had been found to worship and to believe in a Creator. Specialists in Anthropology, Civilizations and History are unanimous on this.
We see this evidence with the early Egyptians, thousands of years ago, when they mummified their dead and built great pyramids as graves and even placed the treasures of the dead in their graves in addition to drinks and mummified food!
In the Beginning
From the earliest recorded history, mankind had been unanimous, with very few exceptions, that there is a Creator and that there is life after death. However, they differed about the essence of this Creator, how to worship Him and the description of the life after death. People of other religions like Jews, Christians and Muslims also believe in life after death, but not in reincarnation like the Hindus.
The fact that all nations and communities throughout history believed in a Creator with the exception of insignificant few made the mission of all prophets in all ages concentrate on guiding their people away from the worship of creations to the worship of the one and only Creator God, i. The theory of evolution says that man evolved from the ape, rather than being created by a Creator. Although this theory has no academic or scientific substance, it gained favor with so many people because it appealed to the doubts they had about the God that they were told to believe in.
This is not surprising. If you give an educated person a description of a Creator that is illogical and unreasonable and then ask that person to believe in Him as his God, he would refuse. This unfortunately is the situation right now, especially in the west. The Christian Doctrines advocate the trinity, that God manifests Himself in three distinct and equal persons, and that God came down to earth in the form of a man that is Jesus and that He was crucified and died as a vicarious sacrifice for the so-called sin of man.
So the Christians believe that Jesus was God in human form, God-incarnate. But how can the Creator die? Some of the most important doctrines of Christianity - the doctrines of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine-Sonship of Jesus, the Original Sin and the Atonement are neither rational nor in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. These dogmas took shape long after Jesus, as a result of old pagan influence. Modern Hindus take Krishna the son of Divachi, the virgin, as Vishnu incarnate.
Krishna is the savior who as a sacrifice for their sin, had to suffer. He was crucified, died and then was raised from death. In Buddhism we find the Buddhist gods: Guatama the holy spirit , Maya the virgin mother and Buddha, the son who was conceived when Maya was filled by the holy spirit and who is the savior who died and was raised from death.
It may be interesting to mention that the 25th of December is not the birthday of Jesus. It is the birthday of Krishna in Hinduism, and of Nimrod, the divine son a Babylonian god , and of Mithra, the god of light one of the gods of the Greeks and the Romans! The religion revealed to the prophets of various nations was the same, but in the course of time it had been misinterpreted and become mixed up with superstitions and degenerated into magical practices and meaningless rituals.
Karen Armstrong: "There is nothing in the Islam that is more violent than Christianity" - Nieuw Wij
The concept of God, the very core of religion, had become debased by a the anthropomorphic tendency of making God into a being with a human shape, needs and human deficiencies, b the association of other persons with the one and only God in His Godhead as in Hinduism and Christianity , c by the deification of the angels e.
As a result, more and more students of school and university age are now Atheists. I was recently attending a lecture in a Western country given by a Muslim to a group of retired men and women - more than 65 years of age. The lecturer in the beginning asked the group: which of you believe in God? They all raised their hands except two men. Then the lecturer asked: which of you do not believe in God? The remaining two elderly men then raised their hands. However, one of them paused and immediately interrupted the lecturer.
Those who believe in the Creator can answer the questions: where from? And where to? They know that they have come into existence by being created by the Creator and they also know that there is an eternal life after death. But what about the answer to the third question, that is: why have we been created? Muslims say they know the answers because they have the Quran. But people of other religions also have their own scriptures, so what is so special about the Quran? The Quran is basically a book of divine guidance in areas that cannot be covered by the human senses or intellect, such as faith, acts of worship, a moral code and a code that governs the transactions between people.
These are the four basic foundations of religion, an area in which man always needs divine guidance.
Muslims contend that the Quran is the last revealed scripture by Allah Allah is the proper name of God and is not used to denote any other being. Therefore, I shall use the name Allah in preference to the word God. It is divided into units, each called a surah. At times several surahs , particularly the longer ones, were being revealed to him concurrently.
Those scribes used parchment, pottery, date palm leaves, flat stones, tree bark, wood, dried animal skins and even the shoulder blades of sheep or camels to write on; and the revealed verses were memorized by heart as the mere recitation of the Quran is in itself an act of worship, and as Muslims used these verses in their judgments and in their daily five prayers. In this manner, the verses of the Quran were preserved in the hearts of Muslims, as well as written down, during the lifetime of the Prophet. No revealed book has ever enjoyed the authenticity of the Quran or had the cherishing, reverence, surveillance and care of its followers as the Quran.
The whole Quran has been memorized by a large number of Muslims in the lifetime of Muhammad. Zaid produced a whole copy of the Quran written on pages of leather. It was arranged in the order we have today. This copy was then entrusted with the second Caliph, Omar, and finally with the third Caliph, Othman. During the reign of Othman, the Arabs came to know the paper industry from China and Othman called on Zaid to head a committee of four Quranic scholars who would take on the task of making seven copies.
Is Islam ‘Exceptional’?
At least three of those original copies of the Quran are still intact, one in Tashkent, one in Istanbul, and one in Cairo. They do not differ in one letter from the millions of copies of the Quran that are in the hands of people today. This authentication of the last revelation is in itself miraculous. The Quran is the oldest book within the hands of humanity that has been kept intact in exactly the same language of revelation word for word and letter for letter. That is why the Quran is unique, because it is the word of the Creator in its purest divinity.
Muslims believe in the authentic original revelations given to Prophets Moses, David and Jesus, but none of these original revelations is found intact, and none is found in the original language of revelation, and here the Quran stands unique in its divine purity. Again the Quran is different from any human writings because it is neither prose nor poetry. It came to the Arabs when they were at their peak in eloquence and challenged them to produce one single chapter of it, or similar to it, or to produce ten similar chapters or even a book like it.
This challenge still exists today and no challenger is forthcoming.