What is Islam and Who are Muslims?

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What is Islam and Who are Muslims? 

Islam is the last of the great Abrahamic faiths following Judaism and Christianity prior to its advent in 7th century Arabia. Abraham’s first son was Ishmael and his other son was Isaac. The progeny of Isaac became Jews and Christians while the descendants of Ishmael became Muslims. As such, Jews, Christians and Muslims have a common ancestor in Abraham and their teachings overlap significantly.

The word Islam has two seemingly unrelated meanings: “to surrender” and “peace.” The entirety of one’s life should be devoted to surrendering ourselves to the Will of God. It is in this surrender desiring the pleasure of God that we find inner peace that we seek. A Muslim is the one who is an adherent to the religion of Islam similar to Jews and Christians as the followers of Judaism and Christianity respectively.

The belief in One God, or monotheism, is at the heart of the Islamic faith from which all other teachings follow. The word for this One and unique God is Allah similar to the semitic names Ellohim and Ellih found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus is the God that Muslims worship. Moreover, the word Allah cannot be made plural or given a gender as we can in the English language by adding “s” or “dess” to the word “god.” The notion of gods or goddess is alien to the Islamic faith because Allah is unique, free of human attributes, and the originator and sustainer of all things.

The Quran is the sacred text of Islam and the word Quran literally means “to read and recite.” The Quran is recited in Arabic since Arabic was the language of revelation. There are adequate translations of the Quran that can be provided upon request, but the true essence of the Quran cannot be captured in any translation. The first seven verses of the Quran are recited in every prayer and this passage is similar to the Christian Lord’s Prayer. These verses are as follows: “All praise is to God Who is Master and Sustainer of the universe, God is Most Gracious and Most Merciful, Lord of the Day of Judgment, You alone we worship and to You alone we turn to for help, show us the straight path, the path of those You have honored, and not the path of those who You are displeased with and nor of those who go astray.” The Quran teaches that God communicated revelation to His chosen Messengers and all these noble teachers taught the worship of One God and a moral code that all of us are to follow. This is why Muslims believe in all of the great teachers including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and of

course, Muhammad who was the final Messenger sent to humanity. The Quran describes human beings as God’s representatives on earth who must do good to God’s creation as a way to attain nearness to the Divine. Terrorism or violence against civilians is condemned strongly and without equivocation throughout the Quran. In fact, the Quran declares “If anyone kills one person, it would be as if he killed the lives of all humanity. And if anyone saves one life, it would be as if he saved the lives of all humanity.”

There are 1.57 billion Muslims throughout the world and Islam is the dominant religion in 57 of the 193 countries. Despite the fact that Islam emerged in the Arabian peninsula, most Muslims are not Arabs. Again, Islam is a religion and being Arab is an ethnicity among those who speak the Arabic language. In fact, only about one-fifth of the total Muslim population consists in the Arab world, and there are sizeable Christian populations throughout Arab countries including Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. The most populous Muslim country is Indonesia, and the largest number of Muslims comes from the South Asian subcontinent comprising Pakistan, India and Bangladesh (about 500 million Muslims overall). Throughout the centuries, Muslims have lived in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors upholding the universal values of peace, tolerance, and mutual respect.

Springfield Call to ACTion Unity Rally

This Saturday, January 21, 2017 the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield is partnering with a number of other organizations to hold Springfield Call 2 ACTion Unity Rally.

http://www.springfieldcall2action.org/about.html

It will be held on the Old State Capital Plaza – Springfield, IL from 1- 2pm.

InshaAllah we will stand in solidarity with women and men who are rallying across the country.

We will show an alternative, positive vision for our community and our country.

And, we will highlight Springfield issues and organizations that help people who are affected by the changing national landscape and continued state deadlock.

Please plan on attending. You are encouraged to involve your children. Work with them to make posters with positive messages about the Muslim presence in the United States.

42nd Frontier’s MLK Breakfast

Bismillah
As salamu Alaikum

The Frontiers International Club thanks those of us who attended the breakfast this morning. We ended up having a full table. There were other members in community at the tables of other organizations.

Brother Driss gave the closing prayer. This was the first time in the 42 year history of the breakfast that a Muslim was asked to give a prayer. His presentation was well received. They tell us that this was the first time that a closing prayer received a standing ovation. The mayor and religious leaders have asked Brother Driss for a copy of the prayer. Several members of the audience says he could have been the keynote speaker.

Please vote for our students

Assalmau Alaikum,
As circulated earlier, the following two students of Al-Noor Islamic school participated Guidance goes green video contest. If you vote for them and they win, the school gets the same amount of money as prize as the student gets. Please encourage the students by voting for them and help the school earn a good amount. You can click the following link to vote for each student separately.
If any other student(s) submitted video for the contest, please let us know.

Eid ul Adha 2016

Eid-ul-Adh’ha will be Monday, September 12th
the tenth of Dhul-Hijja

The Eid Prayer will be held at ISOGS Masjid, 3000 Stanton, Springfield, IL 62703.
– Takbeerat-ul-Ihram will begin at 8:30 a.m.
– Eid Prayer will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.
– Potluck Breakfast

Arafah is Sunday (Do Not Miss Fasting On This Day)

ISOGS reminds everyone for these blessed first 10 days of Dhul-Hijja to increase prayers, fasting, and charity.

Potluck Dinner

A sister would like to embrace Islam and take her Shahada today. She has been studying Islam and came last Friday to observe Jummah with us. We would like to arrange a potluck dinner for her.

What: Potluck dinner, When: Friday night at 7:30