Islam is one of the most talked and followed religions in the world in today’s world. It is one of the oldest and most successful religions in the world with its followers found in each and every country of the world. There are many countries in the world like Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh, UAE, and Russia with Muslim population dominating the nation with as much as 99% in some countries. The statistics say that there are about 1.2 billion Islam followers in the world. Islam is a religion that is complete in every sense. It guides its followers on each and every issue that mankind faces and will ever face. Social, political, economical, personal, married life, divorce, children, property settlement etc all the possible matter are discussed in detail under Islam. Thus Islam has made living very easy for its believers as they simply have to follow the guidelines that have been stated for them. Although Islam is such a widespread religion not many of us understand the concept of Islam. It is in true sense an authentic religion and this is making Islam so popular these days. More and more people are accepting Islam each day all over the world. It is impossible to capture the teachings of Islam in one article but I will try to explain some important aspects about Islam here. The following are the top 10 facts about Islam that you should know.
Most of the people around sadly even Muslims do not understand the guidelines for marriage under Islam. You will find men saying with pride that a Muslim man is allowed to marry four times. It is true but there are a few conditions to be followed here. Firstly if a man is re marrying with his wife still alive and not divorced then he needs to seek permission from his wife for a second marriage. If the wife allows only then he can get married again. If he divorces the wife he needs to fulfill all her responsibilities and take care of children if any. It is a misconception that men are allowed to do anything in Islam. So yes a man is allowed to four times but only under certain conditions. It is applicable to women as well. A widow or a divorcee is given all the rights to get married again.
Islam has stated in its teachings even the way Muslim men and women are suppose to dress themselves. Muslim men are not supposed to wear clothes that go below their ankle or above their knees. It is compulsory for Muslim men to endorse a beard. For women the hijab is very important. Women are supposed to wear dresses that do not reveal their body frame. Women are not supposed to interact with other men and that is the reason women in Islam wear a cloak called “Burqa”. This is to protect the women from the satanic thoughts and actions of the evil men around. Same is applicable to men. They are not supposed to interact or even look at other women.
I am sure everyone is familiar with this term Hajj. Hajj is the annual pilgrimage of the Muslims. Every year thousands of Muslims gather in the city of Mecca to perform Hajj. Mecca is a city is Saudi Arabia. It is a cubical stone structure called Kaba covered in black cloth. A very common misconception people have is that Muslims worship the kaba. It is totally wrong. Muslims do not worship anyone other than the almighty Allah. Kaba is just a symbol of unity and uniformity. Revolving around it in Hajj is a symbol of obedience to God. In no way kaba is worshiped. Islamic texts say that in the past people have stood over Kaba to say Azan (call of prayer). If it was worshiped people would have not stood on it. It is a very important fact to know that Kaba is only a monument that symbolizes unity for Muslims.
7. Women in Islam
It has prevailed in the society for quite a long time that in Islam women are kept subordinate to men. It is a wrong belief. Islam has always preached equality of sexes since the beginning. In Islam a women is given all the rights. She has the right to agree or disagree on a marriage proposal. She has the right to education. She also has the right to do business. All this is permissible provided she is taking care of her hijab. If there are complications she has the right to demand a divorce and can also remarry. Whether to feed her baby or not is her decision entirely and no one can force her on anything. Islam greatly condemns female feticide. The position of women is evident from the beautiful relation Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had with his daughter Fatima (rau).
6. Holy Quran
Quran is the holy book of the Muslims. It is originally an Arabic text which has now been translated into many languages all over the world. Many people do not know about the origin of Quran. It was delivered through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a total of 23 years around 1400 years back. A thing to know here is that Quran was not created by him but he was just a medium through whom the text or message was delivered. He never wrote the Quran. History states that Prophet Muhammad did not know to read or write. So he could not have written such a brilliant book or learnt from somewhere. Quran is purely a work of the almighty. In it are the direct words of Allah to his followers. It is the only text in the world that exists in an authentic form. Quran has been accepted by scholars of all religion as an authentic literature.
5. Science and Islam
No other religion has so much in common with the science. Quran that is the book of Islam talks about all the things that have happened and that will happen. Scientists found out that Quran that was written 1400 years back had mentioned about the existence of an atom and nucleus. It had mentioned about the occurrence of rains. It had mentioned about the flow of fresh and salt water in the ocean. It had talked about the importance of mountains on land, the appearance of a fetus. These were all found to be perfectly correct. But scientists came to know all this recently with the help of technology. A book 1400 years back could say all this when there was no technology. Hence looking at the sync science had with Quran verses many research institutes started using this book as a reference for their unknown answers.
4. Zakat (tax)
No religion on this Earth makes payment of tax as a part of religion. It is one of the pillars on which Islam stands. Every Muslim is required to pay zakat which is 2.5% of his annual savings and property. The amount can be given as per the payers wish to any needy he wants. He can give it to charitable institutes or some poor neighbor. A thing to remember here is that zakat money cannot be utilized for religious works like building a mosque or given to caretaker for use in the mosque. It is for the needy and poor less fortunate people around you. It is not necessary for the receiver to be a Muslim. The zakat can be given irrespective of the religion.
3. Pillars of Islam
Islam basically stand on 5 pillars 2 of which are situational. The three compulsory ones are Tawheed that is accepting that Allah is one and Prophet is his messenger. Second is Salat that is offering of prayers five times in a day. Third pillar is of Ramadan that is fasting from sunrise to sunset in the holy month of Ramadan. These three things are essentials and are to be fulfilled by everyone. The 2 situational ones are performing Hajj at least ones in lifetime and paying zakat. These depend on the person’s financial state and therefore are situational. If the person falls in the category then it is a compulsion for him to do Hajj and pay zakat.
2. Religion of peace
In the past 12 to 15 years Islam has been tagged as the religion of terror. It has been spread in the masses that Islam peaches violence. This is wrong to the core. Anyone who practices violence in the name of Islam is not a Muslim in the first place. Islam teaches peace. It promotes equality and affection. Islam says forgiving is better than revenge. The Islamic literature has given many incidents where the soldiers who accepted defeat were allowed to go safely and were even protected. When prophet (pbuh) was brutally hit by a tribe and he was dripping of his blood he chose to forgive them instead of taking revenge. Islam has no relation with terror and terrorist has no ties with Islam.
1. Kalma (shahadah)
Islam stands on one belief that is called tawheed. The kalma says that Allah is one and only one and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is his messenger. Thus it is to be remembered that Islam does not just believe in Allah but also in his messenger. A person practicing Islam cannot compare or combine anyone with the almighty. He prays only to Allah and does all that prophet did in his life. A firm belief in Allah, his messengers, his books, in angels, death and after life is a part of Islam. A person disagreeing to any of this has incomplete faith.