Article - We are Muslims. Who are we?


Imam Tammam Adi Ph.D, Director of the Islamic Cultural Center, Eugene, Oregon explains basic Islamic beliefs and history for a non-Muslim audience.

Beliefs. We are known as one of the three great Abrahamic faiths. Like Judaism and Christianity, our religion was founded by a descendant of Abraham. We believe in Moses and Jesus, the Torah and Gospel. We believe in the Ten Commandments.

We believe in angels, in heaven and hell and the Day of Judgment, in the return of Jesus, in the books and messengers of God, and in predestination and free will.

Some people think we have a different God because we use the Arabic language name for God, “Allah.” Whether we are Christians, Jews or Muslims, we all pray to the same God.

To those of you who are Hindu, Buddhist, or any other faith, we share your love of God and all humanity. We believe God sent a messenger to every nation with the same message: Believe in one God and be fair to each other.

We are taught that Islam is just the final brick in the house that God has built through his other prophets.

One becomes a Muslim by declaring there is only one God (thus, no one should play God) and Mohammed is his messenger.

Duties. We pray 5 times a day, pay a tax to help the needy, fast during the month of Ramadan, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if we are able.

Beginnings. In the year 610 C.E., the angel Gabriel appeared to a descendant of Abraham and Hagar. His name was Mohammed, a contemplative and respected citizen of the trading metropolis of Mecca.

Mohammed could not read or write, but he listened carefully, and the messages from God, brought by the angel, were written down by others during the next 23 years of his life and later put together in a book called the Koran, in Arabic “The Reading.”

The religion was called Islam, which, in Arabic means “submission to God, peace, safety, purity.” Followers were called Muslims. Both word were derived from the stem “salam.”

The Islamic empire spread rapidly throughout the Middle East, all of North Africa, parts of Europe, Persia and as far as China. Those supporting freedom of speech and religion (such as India) joined the empire by treaties. Islamic teachings were later voluntarily accepted by many because they were simple and supportive of diverse culture and science.

Muslims led a Golden Age of local rule and pluralism supporting science and culture in Baghdad, Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Spain for hundreds of years. Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Hindus lived together in peace.

The Crusades. This holy war was stirred up in Europe and continued off and on for centuries. It was sparked when the Islamic rulers of Jerusalem attacked churches, prevented pilgrimage and persecuted Christians. The Church of Rome spread the idea that Muslims were infidels—godless. Muslims had violated the most fundamental Islamic principle of protection of religious freedom.

And when Muslims started attacking churches in Spain, a brutal Inquisition destroyed the multicultural civilization there that had lasted for 8 centuries. Similarly, intolerant Baghdad was destroyed by Mongol invaders and the Ottoman Empire was carved up into artificial states after WWI.

Dictatorships followed and continue until the present day throughout the Islamic world, sometimes supported by outside influence. Internal democracy movements are crushed.

Many Muslims do not understand their religion well anymore. In unfree societies, one is not taught to think, only to hear and obey.

Still, suicide bombings are condemned by all Muslims. The vast majority believe that political grievances should be resolved with demonstrations and fair fights which do not harm the innocent. Muslims see terror as sabotage of their just causes.

Terrorists work for political ends. Muslims do not know who they are. They do not hang out in mosques and mix with us.

Even Muslims who are very angry at America abhor terror and cannot be recruited into it.


Toko Sisi

About Toko Sisi

Sabar dan tahan uji, serta penuh harap (optimisme) terhadap pertolongan Allah seperti dipesankan Khalifah Umar haruslah menjadi keyakinan kaum beriman. Dalam Alquran ditemukan banyak ayat yang menjanjikan kemudahan di balik kesulitan.

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