Cause She says Me &My Stuff is Fake
The Dome of the Rock, being among a complex of buildings on the Temple Mount (the other principal building being the Al-Aqsa Mosque), is one of the holiest sites in Islam, following Mecca and Medina. Its significance stems from the religious beliefs regarding the rock at its heart. According to Islamic tradition, the rock is the spot from where Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel.
It is reported that The last holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah Karim be upon him) started his heavenly journey (Ma'raaj) from the Dome of the Rock. That is why it is important for the Muslims.
Once that secret is known, a whole new understanding of early Islam in its relation to Christianity comes on the scene that greatly enhances our comprehension of the theological history of the period. It reveals religious attitudes that existed between early Muslims, Jews and Christians.
There is a linguistic key that has great relevance in knowing why the Dome of the Rock was constructed and it provides the true meaning for its existence. Once this is realized, it will help divert Muslim attention away from their present attitude of reverent holiness toward the Dome and it will redirect their attention to the Al Aqsa Mosque located to the south, and it will further emphasize the importance of Mecca in the eyes of all Muslims. This new information will also aid Christians to know that the Dome of the Rock was actually built by Abd al-Malik in 692 A.D. as a rebuilt Christian Church that once stood in its place. The Rock that sanctified the shrine was first an important Christian holy place and NOT an early Jewish sacred spot (nor was it the site of the former Temples).
The first inscription on the outside is meant for all Muslims and the inner inscription is written for Christians ALONE. Jews are not even considered in the context of the inner (or even the outer) inscription. The analysis of these two inscriptions shows that Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock t o satisfy Christian religious matters and it shows that the Dome of the Rock HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH JEWISH MATTERS WHATEVER! The historical evidence shows conclusively that no Jewish person was ever interested in any religious or national manner to the "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock until the time of the First Crusade. The area was NEVER considered a sacred spot of Jews until the time of Benjamin of Tudela in the twelfth century (check other articles on the ASK Web Page on the Internet for proof of this). The site of the Dome of the Rock was ONLY of Christian significance BEFORE the time of Omar and Abd al-Malik. It only became important to Muslims in the eighth century to the eleventh, and only important to Jews in the twelfth century.
In actual fact, Omar (the Second Caliph and the first Muslim leader to enter Jerusalem) and Abd al-Malik about 50 years later actually honored the real site of the Jewish Temple that were shown to them on the southeast ridge and over the Gihon Spring (that is the very thing that Omar came to Jerusalem to accomplish) but these early Muslim leaders did NOT show the same type of reverence to the Rock now under the Dome of the Rock. The Dome was built by Muslims to wean Christians from the site, NOT to make it a more sanctified spot in Islam nor did the building of the Dome of the Rock have anything to do with Jewish religious matters or aspirations. Indeed, the "rock" underneath the Dome of the Rock was specifically and significantly of Christian importance and that the Jews up to the time of the Crusades showed no interest whatever in this former Christian spot that Abd al-Malik rebuilt as a Christian type of building (with its characteristic Byzantine dome) in order to wean Christians (who comprised at least 90% of the population of Jerusalem in the seventh century) from New Testament teachings and to win them over to the doctrines then being taught by Islam in and through the Koran.
Now for a question: What was happening at the time the Dome was built that inspired this display of theological symbolism in the erection of certain buildings in Jerusalem and also in Mecca? The answer has relevance in knowing prophecy for us today.
One of the most volatile geopolitical hot spots on earth today revolves around the national or religious possession of this natural outcropping of an oblong rock located in the City of Jerusalem. That spot is the Rock that is presently situated under the building now known as the Dome of the Rock. The building itself is without doubt the most beautiful piece of architecture in the City of Jerusalem and it represents the centerpiece of religious importance in the Holy City for both Muslims and Jews. But strange as it may seem, history shows that Christians also have a stake in its symbolic relevance. Little do Christians know, but that "Rock" was at first considered by both Muslims and Jews (in the early days of Islam) as being a Christian holy place and NOT one that Muslims or Jews thought as having high religious value. That's right! The spot is actually of Christian importance. The real story behind the significance of the site of the Dome of the Rock will cause Muslims and Jews to reevaluate its meaning in relation to their own belief systems that they have erroneously accepted over the centuries since the beginning of Islam.
The proper identity of the "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock will truly be a revelation to all modern religious groups when they discover the truth of its biblical relevance. They will be amazed when they realize that the area was NOT the site of the former Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and Herod. It was a "Rock" purely of Christian importance and it was formerly recognized by Christians until the seventh century (and even historically until the time of the Crusades) as a most prominent Christian site that was singled out in the Gospel of John as a "Rock" that dealt directly with the mission of Christ Jesus to this earth. The early Christians, Jews and Muslims knew this. The reason the Dome was built by Abd al-Malik in 692 A.D. was to direct Christians away from that "Rock" and to orient them toward the newly constructed Al Aqsa Mosque (which they reckoned to be the re-christened Muslim Temple of Solomon) that was located near the south wall of the Haram esh-Sharif. This in turn was intended to further lead Christians directly toward the City of Mecca where Allah (the Arabic for "God") now had symbolic residence.
To understand why the Dome of the Rock was built by Abd al-Malik, we first have to understand how Muslims looked (and still look) upon the significance of their central shrine in Mecca that is shaped as a cube (as was the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple). That holy building of the Muslims contains the black meteorite stone that the ancient Arabs used to worship in their pagan days but which Muhammad placed in the southeast corner of his building called the Ka'aba toward which all Muslims must pray five times a day (and, if possible, visit on pilgrimage at least once). Wherever Muslims find themselves in the world, they must direct their prayers toward the Ka'aba in Mecca. When they go on their pilgrimage, they gather at the southeast angle of the cube-style sanctuary. Though the ground level design is a perfect square, the building is angled so that the corner where the meteorite stone is located is just south of east (at about 100 degrees in direction). The required circumambulation (walking or trotting around) the building begins opposite this stone with the people at first facing north toward the region of the heavens to which all biblical peoples believed God dwelt in His heavenly abode (Psalm 75:6). The Muslim ritual at the Ka'aba has profound astronomical (that is, astrological) significance and it is designed to mimic the motions of the inner and outer planets within our solar system. The Temple at Jerusalem had a similar astronomical basis but with an entirely different liturgical motif. There was in both sanctuaries deep symbolism involved and what was ritualistically accomplished was of religious value.
What did Muslim pilgrims perform at the Ka'aba in Mecca? In the monumental work by Sir Richard Francis Burton in the last century (who was the first Christian or European to clandestinely enter the sacred area of Mecca and describe it in detail), we are informed of the liturgical factors that Muslims were expected to perform when they made their pilgrimage to Mecca. They were to assemble at the southeast corner of the Ka'aba and face northward. Each person's left shoulder was always to be toward the building housing the meteorite stone (idol) as they circle the structure in a counterclockwise fashion (this is the same manner the Jews entered the Temple and exited it). They are required to circle the building seven times (the first three with a slow pace "like walking in sand" and the last four with a faster pace). This represents the movements of the heavenly bodies. The three outer planets as viewed from the earth (Saturn, Jupiter and Mars) move slowly in the heavens relative to the fixed stars, while the inner celestial bodies (Sun, Mercury, Venus and Moon) appear to move faster. In early astrological view, the earth was believed to be the center of the universe with Saturn being the furthest planet away from earth, with Jupiter nearer and Mars nearer still. Then came the Sun, Mercury, Venus and the nearest of all was the Moon. Thus, the first circuit of the Ka'aba was in honor of Saturn, the second Jupiter and on through to the seventh, the Moon. The last circuit symbolically confirmed the pilgrims as being true Muslims and their astronomical symbol became the Moon (the Moon was singled out in the seventh circuit of the Ka'aba). At the end of the seventh circling (and after having recited certain prescribed prayers at various points in their seven circlings), the Muslim pilgrims found themselves back at the place they started opposite the black stone and again facing north to where God was actually thought to have His residence in heaven. There was much mimicking by early Muslims of the Temple rituals performed in Jerusalem by the Jews as demanded in the Scriptures and in Jewish tradition. Muhammad kept the same themes in his ritualistic interpretations. This is important to know in viewing the architectural design of the Dome of the Rock and the ritual focus intended by Abd al-Malik.
The "Rock" at the Dome of the Rock Was of Christian Value, NOT Jewish or Muslim
The "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock is the most conspicuous natural feature within the whole of the Haram esh-Sharif. For anyone to build a magnificent shrine over it shows that the "Rock" must have had great significance. And it did. The first Christian pilgrim that has left us a record of his journey to Jerusalem was the Bordeaux Pilgrim who in 333 A.D. mentioned that the most significant building east of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (then being built) was the Roman Praetorium where Pilate sentenced Jesus. This structure had its walls centered directly within the Tyropoeon Valley. This was NOT the site of the Temple in the eyes of the Bordeaux Pilgrim. He had already described the Temple site (and several other buildings around it) a few paragraphs before. But only later (after concluding his account of the Temple and its associated buildings) did the Bordeaux Pilgrim mention the imposing structure to the east of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with its walls within the valley which he called the Praetorium where Pilate judged Jesus (see John Wilkinson's excellent translation of the Bordeaux Pilgrim in his book Egeria's Travels, p.158). Clearly, the Pilgrim was describing the Haram esh-Sharif as being the Praetorium. He was looking mainly toward the southwest angle of the Haram and northward toward the spot where the "Wailing Wall" of the Jews is presently located. The Pilgrim said this "walled area" contained the residence of Pilate. It was the Roman Praetorium that also went by the name of "Fort Antonia." In Roman usage, the Praetorium was the headquarters of a military unit and could refer to the whole camp or to the commander's tent. There was associated with the military fort a prominent "Rock" The apostle John was well aware of its significance in Christian history. Within this walled enclosure of the Praetorium was the "Rock" called in John's Gospel (John 19:13) "the Pavement-Stone" (in Greek, lithostrotos and in Hebrew Gabbatha).
This particular "Rock" within the Praetorium area had a "Pavement" or flagstones around it. The "Rock" was associated with the Praetorium and was part of Fort Antonia, the permanent Roman Camp that was located in Jerusalem in the time of Pilate and Jesus. And what did Josephus say (he was the Jewish historian of the first century and an eyewitness to the early Praetorium of the Romans called Fort Antonia)? He stated that the central feature of Fort Antonia was a major rock. He said: "The tower of AntoniaÃ¢ï¿½Â¦was built upon [around] a rock fifty cubits high and on all sides precipitousÃ¢ï¿½Â¦the rock was covered from its base upwards with smooth flagstones" (Jewish War, V.v,8 para.238). Before construction of the fortress, the "Rock" was 50 cubits high (75 feet), but Herod later built a platform around it (when it became the north/south center of the walled fortress) and this made it not as high and it became accessible for judicial purposes. That "Rock" around which Fort Antonia was built (and mentioned by Josephus) was the chief geographical feature of the site. It was near this "Rock" that Pilate had his residence at the time of Jesus' trial. Later Christians believed that some indentions in that "Rock" must have come from the footprints of Jesus as he stood before Pilate and God supposedly allowed his feet to sink into the "Rock." Though these indentions were not the actual footprints of Jesus (a great deal of Christian folklore became associated with the "Rock"), early Christians came to believe they were the literal outlines of Jesus' feet. It is easy to explain how this conclusion came to be associated with the "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock.
The so-called footprints came into vogue when later Christians noticed in the New Testament that a "Judgment Seat" was placed by Pilate on the "Rock" (called in Greek a bematos). That word comes from the root word bema that literally means footprint, or by common usage a footstool where a king or a ruler in judgment would place his feet when he sat on a throne in order to sentence people in any official judicial event. Indeed, even the throne of God was reckoned in the Bible as a spot where God placed His feet below the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple when He sat or stood to make His divine judgments (Psalms 99:5; 132:7; Lamentations 2:1). Each military governor of the Romans carried his official bema or bematos with him in order to make his judgments on behalf of the emperor, and Julius Caesar carried one with him everywhere he went in order to render official judgments (see "Praetorium," Hasting's Bible Dictionary). Later Christians simply confused the literal meaning of bema [footprint] and the indentions they saw in the natural outcropping of rock became "Jesus' footprints." Though this was error, the reckoning became an indelible identifying mark associated with the "Rock" where Pilate made his judgment against Jesus. This "Rock" (called "the Pavement" by the apostle John) was well known in the time of Constantine. The records show that Helena, the mother of Constantine, ordered that a small Christian Church with the name "St.Cyrus and St.John" be built over that "Rock" (see Life of Constantine in Wilkinson's Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, p. 204). This small church was later enlarged probably in the fifth century to become a major church in Jerusalem called "The Church of the Holy Wisdom." This church is described very well (and accurately) in a sixth century work written by the Piacenza Pilgrim. He said (with words in brackets mine):
"We also prayed at the Praetorium, where the Lord's case was heard: what is there now is the basilica of Saint Sophia [the Holy Wisdom Church], which is in front [north] of the Temple of Solomon [located] below the street [east and downslope] which runs down to the spring of Siloam outside of Solomon's porch [the eastern wall of Solomon's Temple]. In this basilica is the seat where Pilate sat to hear the Lord's case, and there is also the oblong stone [I emphasize this point about the "oblong stone" to help identify the spot] which used to be in the center of the Praetorium [the Praetorium tent was moveable]. The accused person whose case was being heard was made to mount this stone so that everyone could hear and see him. The Lord mounted it when he was heard by Pilate, and his footprints [italicized for emphasis] are still on it. He had a well-shaped foot, small and delicate."
This Church of the Holy Wisdom (which the Pilgrim had just described) was built over "the oblong stone" which the people thought had the footprints of Jesus embedded in it. Just as Josephus stated that the "Rock" was the most prominent part of Fort Antonia [the Praetorium area], so this "oblong stone" was the central feature of the Church of the Holy Wisdom (that was destroyed by the Persians and Jewish soldiers in 614 A.D.). This is the same "Rock" that is now under the Dome of the Rock in the Haram esh-Sharif. The fact that later Christians thought the footprints of Jesus were embedded in this "Rock," is a key for identification. There are historical references both Christian and Muslim that attest that the "Rock" over which the Dome of the Rock now stands was the same "Rock or Stone" that had the footprints of Jesus inlayed as foot-like depressions sunk into the "Rock." Indeed, even as late as the period of the Crusades we read that the court recorder of Saladin (the Muslim who reconquered Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187 A.D.) made mention that Jesus' footprints had been embedded in the "Rock" underneath the Dome of the Rock (see article "Saladin" in Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam). There are several other Muslim references to these footprints of Jesus in the "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock that I have present in a more extended context in my new book "The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot." In fact, in the book I will show in a future article that those footprints of Jesus were sawed away from the "Rock" and placed in a location within the Haram esh-Sharif about 200 yards north of the Dome of the Rock. This later fact is a most interesting and important aspect of the story.
In short, there can be no doubt of the identification. The "Rock" of the Dome of the Rock (which is clearly oblong in shape) and the "oblong stone" within the Church of the Holy Wisdom were one and the same "Rock/Stone." Sophronius, the Archbishop of Jerusalem in the time of Omar when the Muslims first conquered Jerusalem, called the Church of the Holy Wisdom (when it was yet standing before its destruction in 614 A.D.) as "the House and the Stone" (Sophronius, Antacroeontica as translated by John Wilkinson in Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, p.91). This fact shows that Sophronius saw great significance in the "Rock/ Stone." That "Rock" that later became the spot for the Dome of the Rock to Sophronius was the very stone called "the Pavement" mentioned in John 19:13 (rendered in Greek as the Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha).
Why the Dome of the Rock Was Built by Abd al-Malik in 692 A.D.
During the first hundred years of Muslim rule in Jerusalem (since more than 90% of the population was Christian) was one of conciliation and ecumenism between Muslims and Christians and between Muslims and Jews. This does not mean that the Muslims wanted to embrace some of the teachings of Christianity. The Muslims abhorred what they believed to be outright idolatry among Christians with their statues, pictures and pagan practices within the Christian community, but they still thought in this early period that they could wean Christians away from their religious beliefs unto the new Islam that God had now revealed to the world by Muhammad. This was the central reason why Abd al-Malik first devised and designed the building called the Dome of the Rock to be built over the Christian spot where once the Church of the Holy Wisdom had stood. His attempt was ecumenical in its spiritual intent, but still to show the superiority of Islam over what Abd al-Malik believed to be a decadent type of Christianity. The fact is, the Dome of the Rock was built exclusively to vie with (and to appeal to) Christians in Jerusalem to accept the new truth of Islam which was (in the Muslim view) a major advance in proper religious interpretation that the "Peoples of the Book" (the Christians and Jews) ought to have enough sense to accept. And though Jews were also accounted as being "People of the Book," the construction of the Dome of the Rock was NOT intended in any manner to influence Jews. After all, Jews would NOT have reckoned as important a "Rock" that was exclusively a Christian religious site because it was identified with "the Pavement" recorded in the Gospel of John (John 19:13). In a word, Abd al-Malik and the early Muslims felt they could effectively (in an intellectual and philosophical way) convince Christians that Islam was correct by constructing the Dome of the Rock and to include within it a message from Islam that would glorify Muslim theology.
So, Abd al-Malik set out in 692 A.D. to woo the Christians to Islam. What he did was to rebuild in the exact spot and in the precise form "The Church of the Holy Wisdom" that had been destroyed by the Persians and Jews in 614 A.D. (and he desired it to have as much architectural grandeur as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). He then built what looked like a grand Byzantine "Church" directly over the very "Rock" that Christians believed contained the footprints of Jesus. Abd al-Malik did not design the Dome of the Rock as a Muslim type of building. He wanted it to appear as a rebuilt Church of the Holy Wisdom (the reason for this I will explain in my new book on the Temples). The Muslim Caliph designed the building to be like a "Church," but one that contained the new and advanced teaching of Islam. Within this new (or renewed) "Church," Abd al-Malik placed two inscriptions in Arabic. One was to Muslims in general (the outer inscription), and the other was exclusively for Christians (the inner inscription next to the "Rock" itself). That inner inscription specifically mentions Jesus and the supposed errors of some Christian doctrines. Abd al-Malik was appealing exclusively to Christians by emphasizing this Christian holy spot through Muslim eyes, NOT to Jews who did not yet accept Jesus as the Messiah as did Muslims and Christians. And in attempting to wean the Christians from their former beliefs unto the new Islam, Abd al-Malik used every architectural artifice and symbolic nuance he knew in a brilliant maneuver to woo the Christians of Jerusalem to accept Islam in a non-offensive way. He did so with a deliberate and steadfast allegiance to Muhammad that made Islam the dominant religion for all mankind, including those who then accepted Christianity.
One must carefully notice every architectural device used by Abd al-Malik to see what his intentions were and they must be minutely observed with utmost precision to the dotting of an "I" to the crossing of a "T." Every detail of the architecture that the Caliph designed was meant to systematically lead Christians (NOT Jews, in this case) to the advanced teachings of Islam as he believed them to be. And what a master he was in his endeavor! Though he built the Dome of the Rock as a facsimile of the Church of the Holy Wisdom (there was NOT the slightest intention on the part of Abd al-Malik to give heed to ANY JEWISH PERSON OR EDIFICE WHATEVER in the architectural design of the Dome of the Rock), he changed the entrance to the octagonal building from its original design with its entrance on the west. Abd al-Malik deliberately altered the entrance to Dome of the Rock to be from the south. This is most UN-Muslim! The ideal for those north of Mecca is (like the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem) to enter from the north and pray toward the qibla (the direction to Mecca) in the south. Not so the Dome of the Rock! Abd al-Malik designed it to be entered from the south with one's back to Mecca (at the start of the liturgical theme)! Why do we know this? Because the two inscriptions in Arabic (containing vital information from cardinal verses in the Koran and also a religious commentary by Abd al-Malik himself as the successor of Muhammad) are a direct appeal to Muslims in general (the outer inscription) and then to Christians exclusively (the inner inscription that is written closer to the "Rock"). A significant feature of the inner inscription is the fact that it can only be read with one's back to the "Rock." This was intended to give a negative emotional reaction to the reader of the inscription that the architecture was designed to evoke. The inner inscription was not designed to be read by Jews who did not believe in Jesus in the first place (like the Muslims and Christians). The writings on the cornice were to give definite and decisive positive and negative psychological impressions through liturgical and ritualistic themes that Abd al-Malik designed into the architecture. Again (and it is important to note) the Caliph did NOT address any Jews nor did he show the slightest interest in Jewish matters or religious beliefs when he designed the Dome of the Rock. He built the Dome of the Rock to appeal strictly to Christians, NOT Jews! [To read what the two inscriptions state in English, read the excellent translations with outstanding pictures and explanatory text in Professor Oleg Grabar's book titled The Shape of the Holy.]
A Historical Review of What Happened Surrounding the Site of the "Rock."
In 638 A.D., when Omar (the Second Caliph) went to Jerusalem, he asked Sophronius the archbishop to show him where King David had prayed before the building of the Temple. Omar said he wished to pray in the same spot. Sophronius showed him, first, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which Omar rejected. Then Sophronius took the Caliph to the traditional Zion on the southwest hill. Omar rejected that spot too. Then, when Omar stated that he wished to build a shrine at the place where David prayed, Sophronius then took him to the place over and near the Gihon Spring where the Jews had attempted to rebuild the Temple in the time of Constantine (as permitted in the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. and with construction continuing to 325 A.D.) and also in the time of Julian the Apostate (362 A.D.). At that former Temple site over the Gihon Spring, Omar was impressed. He dug through the filth and found a stone that he removed and took it through the South Gate of the Haram esh-Sharif. There he placed it near the qibla [the site toward which Muslim pray as they bow toward Mecca] on the elevated platform directly abutting the southern wall. He called the place the Al Aqsa (and a Mosque was soon built there). But one of Omar's generals named Ka'ab (a recent convert from Judaism who had extensive Christian indoctrination) found the place of the "Rock" where the former Church of the Holy Wisdom once stood. He told Omar that it would be better to place the qibla NORTH of this "Rock" and NOT down at the southern end of the Haram. Omar rejected this suggestion of Ka'ab and chided the general for making such a suggestion. That would have given much prestige to that "Rock" in the north, and Omar steadfastly refused. He turned his back on that "Rock" where the Christian church once stood, and went back south to the qibla of the Al Aqsa area. The truth is, Omar (in his role as the Second Caliph and the divine successor of Muhammad in Muslim theology) totally rejected that northern "Rock." And later, Abd al-Malik wanted to show a further rejection by building the Dome over that northern "Rock" some fifty years afterwards.
Let me explain how this rejection is designed into the Dome. The original entrance designed by Abd al-Malik was from the southern most octant of the octagonal design. Once a person entered the Dome, he was directed to read the start of the first inscription that was located at the top of the cornice on the far right side of the southern octant. Since Arabic (like Hebrew) is written from right to left, the first inscription contained no message for Christians and it was meant for Muslims in general. To read the whole inscription one must start with one's back to Mecca (this is important to note), but then circle around the whole of the Dome clockwise (just the opposite from what Muslims do in circling the Ka'aba at Mecca) until one comes to the exact spot where one commenced his reading (when one returns to this southern point the person can conveniently turn his back to the "Rock" and pray directly toward Mecca in the south). The design of the outer message is to circle the "Rock" in the wrong direction (which gives a negative impression to any early Muslim, Jew or Christian). But the complete encirclement requires one to return to the south once again and the person is forced to face Mecca when one leaves the Dome with one's back to the "Rock" as Omar insisted one must do (and Abd al-Malik designed this symbolic stance - with one's back to the "Rock" - into the liturgy associated with the architecture of the Dome of the Rock).
The inner inscription is different. One must go further into the Dome to the other side of the same cornice and look upward at the same southern octant, but to its far-left side if one is facing the "Rock" (indeed, one must look at its far left side only when facing the "Rock" itself, but inside the inner area of the Dome one must look southerly and also upwards at the start of the inscription which will be seen on one's upper right side - this requires a person to have his back to the "Rock" and looking toward Mecca). To read the inner inscription one must crane the neck upward to see the start of the inscription that is circling and facing the "Rock." One then begins to read the inscription in Arabic devoted strictly to Christians (NOT to Jews) because the whole emphasis of the message is about the importance of Jesus in Muslim theology. One must read this inscription which completely encircles the Dome (like the outer one in the opposite direction), but one must do so in a counterclockwise manner as one does at Mecca (a positive sign) but this time with one's back to the "Rock" (another positive sign from a Muslim point of view, and a negative one as Christians would view it).
Now note this important point. All the time a Christian is reading the teaching from Abd al-Malik in the inner inscription, he has to do so with his back deliberately turned away from the "Rock" and with his head craned upward in the most uncomfortable position that one can imagine. The whole anatomical awkwardness forced upon the human observer is a deliberate attempt to show disdain for the symbolic meaning that Christians had placed on the "Rock." The original symbolism for Christians was different. The Christian entered the Domed Church from the west and looked eastward toward the Mount of Olives. Once the circuit of the "Rock" was made, the Christian could again look through the "Rock" eastward toward Olivet in symbolic anticipation for the Second Advent (Christ is to come back from the east - as the sun in its circuit of the earth).
However, Abd al-Malik designed the Dome of the Rock to be entered from the southern octant. But even if a Christian entered from the south (as designed by Abd al-Malik), though his circuit around the "Rock" would be all negative to Christianity because his or her back would always be away from the "Rock" (while reading the inner inscription), the Christian upon completing the circuit could simply refuse to face Mecca when his circuit ended in the south. He could then turn directly northward and pray through the "Rock" (which symbolized the rule of Christ in his or her life) and direct his ultimate attention to the north quarter of the sky where all people knew God the Father had His residence. If Abd al-Malik saw a Christian do this after the circuit deposited the person in the south, then Abd al-Malik knew that the person would never be a Muslim and the Christian would be accepted as a "Person of the Book" (the Holy Scriptures) but inferior to Muslims. Thus, the person would then pay the poll tax to the Muslims and carry on with his own beliefs.
Still, when one completed the circuit by reading either the outer or the inner inscription in order to exit the Dome of the Rock as intended by Abd al-Malik, the person is forced to face directly toward Mecca. But there is one other thing. The person is also facing directly toward the Al Aqsa Mosque established by Omar the Second Caliph, and directly through the former site of the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple (because the Muslims knew then where Solomon's Temple was formerly located over the Gihon Spring). The prayer of the Muslim would transverse Solomon's Temple and focus onward to the Ka'aba in Mecca. Every device imaginable was used by Abd al-Malik in his building of the Dome of the Rock to direct people (both Muslims and Christians) AWAY FROM any significance of the "Rock" (just as Omar had demanded when he was first in Jerusalem). This is because it was well known in the seventh century that the "Rock" was actually a Christian holy spot.
What is most important for us of modern times to realize is the fact that the site of the "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock is purely and simply a Christian holy place (before the time of Omar and Abd al-Malik), and it did not become a Muslim holy site until many folklore traditions about the "Night Journey" of Muhammad began to be associated with the "Rock" from the eighth century on to the time of the Crusades. I explain in my book "The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot" how the many Muslim mythic accounts (which were outright fables and lies that even Muslim historians admit to be so) erroneously got attached to the "Rock" under the Dome of the Rock. As for the Jews, NO JEW showed any interest whatever in the "Rock" and the Dome of the Rock until the time of the First Crusade. This is a fact! For more information see further articles on this subject on our ASK Web Site.
So, the Dome of the Rock was built over a prime Christian holy place (where the Church of the Holy Wisdom was once situated). Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock with the intended purpose of getting Christians to forget the "Rock" on which Jesus was judged at the time of Pilate. Abd al-Malik wanted Christians to abandon the Christian significance to the "Rock" by having them turn their "backs" on it and he wanted Christians to convert to Islam and then to focus on the Ka'aba stone where Muslims supposed Abraham erected at Mecca in Arabia for the true worship of God. My book "The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot" provides more details to this important historical fact.
The split in Islam that resulted in the formation of two distinct sects Sunni and Shia can be traced back to a disagreement over the succession of the Prophet Muhammad. After the death of the Prophet in 632 CE the Community of Believers was divided over who should take his place as leader of the Muslim community. Sunnis who form the majority of Muslims believe the rightful successor to Muhammad was Abu Bakr one of the Prophets closest companions. They also believe that the Islamic leadership should be based on consensus and the selection of the most qualified individual. Shias on the other hand believe that Muhammad chose his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib to be his successor and that the leadership should only be passed down through his descendants. This disagreement over the rightful successor to the Prophet has led to the split of Sunni and Shia Islam.
The three pillars of BSP are price stability, a stable banking system, and safe and efficient payments and settlement system.
a word that best describes muhammad is intellegent
unlike some blondes
In the Middle Ages, Muslims treated non-Muslims in a way that was superior to contemporaneous civilizations and introduced the concept of religious tolerance (as opposed to Europe which was practicing the exact opposite at the time). However, it is nothing close to equality or Rights. An important thing to note is that the concept of Rights comes out the Enlightenment. Prior to this point, there was a system of privilege wherein the Ruler would provide privileges (out of the kindness of his heart) to a certain group of people to do acts. A person did not have the "right" to anything and this was the mentality worldwide.
The Pact of Omar was a document of submission signed by the Caliph Omar and defeated Christians and Jews during one of Omar's Wars. While the factual accuracy of that story may be doubted, there is no doubt that the Pact of Omar formed the basis for the treatment of non-Muslims in the conquered territories. The Pact of Omar set out a number of regulations that will be described in this answer.
The Dhimmi, or non-Muslim under Muslim occupation was required by the Pact of Omar to pay a number of taxes that were connected with his Dhimmi status. The most famous was the jizya, which was a tax that Dhimmi had to pay for Muslims for the right to not be killed where they stood for not acknowledging Mohammed's Prophecy; it was a form of humiliation. Additional taxes included the kharaj, which was a tax on non-Muslim* land-holdings in the Muslim World. The kharaj was so untenable that most Dhimmi were forced to live in the cities where the tax would not be applicable. There was also inequality concerning the justice system. On paper, a Christian or Jew could testify against a Muslim, but in reality, such testimony was not acceptable and the attempt to defame a Muslim would receive retribution. Christians and Jews were not allowed to build new houses of worship, restore old houses of worship, proselytize in any way (this included religious debate or dialogue), or allow wine or pigs to be shown in public.
Polytheists were forced to convert to Islam with some rare exceptions (such as the Hindus in India). Zoroastrianism was the majority faith in Iran until Islam almost completely extinguished it, both by sword, economic inequality, and brutal repression of Zoroastrian customs (unless they could be Islamicized like Nourouz).
This system of inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims persisted up to the colonial period, when it reversed. As a result of colonization, the segregated Dhimmi System gave way to a new, modern bureaucratic system where Europeans were the dominant class and natives, regardless of their religion were second-class, unless they became part of the bureaucracy. To do this, a person would require an education in order to become literate and be able to successfully perform functions in the Arab World. As Jews and Christians sought education, they were able to ascend the hierarchy and become relatively powerful compared to the Muslim majority. When the Islamic World became independent, only the Lebanese Christians were able to maintain this dominant position (and only until the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-1991). In other countries, the end of colonization saw a brief rise in Anti-Semitism followed by a mass exodus of Jews from majority-Muslim countries for Israel, UK, France, the United States and Canada. Those Jews and Christians who remained garnered a more equal status than anything that they had previously had under Muslim leadership, but still are unequal in terms of their inability to proselytize, the unofficial "requirement" to avoid offending Islam in public, and the need to seek the authority of high government officials to build new houses of worship or to repair existing ones.
*Although Muslims also had to pay the kharaj in theory, in practice the tax rate for kharaj on Muslims was slight compared to the amount required by the Dhimmi peoples.
Most of the lands conquered by Muslim armies were not for the sake of spreading Islam. They were mostly defensive wars. In some cases the local people invited the Muslims to liberate them from the yoke of the dictatorial rules of their cruel kings. As a matter of fact no nation should rule another nation without her will. All nations and peoples should live peacefully respecting the sovereignty of others. No country should invade the lands of others.
Absolutely can. In my point of view there is nothing wrong if a boy with nagadhosha marry girl without nagadhosha. God created human for live happily with their choosen life. Of course there is bad and good in human life and we must struggled, faced and settled down whatever appeared problems. Problems are created by human itself. There is nothing to blame dhosha or God. People out there are you'll agree with me "There is pro and cons in life to help human live happily? If yes, why don't a boy/girl with or without ( positive + negative = positive life) dosha get marry? Try to think and see life in good and better way. There is lot of things /challenges out there to face as a human.
The meaning of Monothesism is the bellive that there's only one God.The meaning of Monothesism is the bellive that there's only one God.
A rakat can be said to be a" round" of prayer. The word denotes " bowing". The bowed down position in prayer is called ruku. You are said to have offered 2 RAKATS of prayer when your prayers have two rukus or bowing down in them.
The dawn prayer is of two rakats or rounds . the night prayer consists of four.
Hope you are satisfied
A zikr (or dhikr) is an Islamic prayer where a phrase or expression of phrase is repeated continually.
Hazrat Ibrahim's father name was Aazar.
This is an attempt to put together a list of all differences between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and includes all previous answers. Each answer will have J:, C:, I: which correspond to the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic perspectives on the question raised. Please note that most of these questions are far more involved than these short answers allow. For more information, please check to see that the question is not answered elsewhere or ask it.
When was the religion founded?
J: According to Judaism, the first Jew was Abraham who recognized God's oneness at around 1800 B.C.E.. However, the Laws of the Torah which define Jewish practice were only revealed at Mount Sinai some five-hundred years later. Archaeologists believe that the Jewish religion did not crystallize fully until 500 B.C.E.
C: Christianity was developed by Peter and Paul along with Jesus other disciples and followers. It split off from Judaism by around 80 C.E. and set out its basic beliefs in the Nicene Creed in 325 C.E. and 381 C.E.
I: According to Islam, Islam is a natural state of humanity, making Adam the first Muslim. However, the institutionalized beliefs of Islam come from the implementation of the Divine Revelation of the Qur'an in 615 C.E. and later. In 622 C.E. the first Muslim Community in Yethrib (Medina) was founded. Qur'anic scholarship, which defined the general parameters of Islam began in earnest in the mid-600s C.E. and continues to this day.
What is God's name?
J: According to Judaism, the name of God is the unpronounceable YHVH Tetragrammaton. Archaeologists believe that the YHVH was once pronounced "Yahweh", but this name is rejected by religious Jews. Jews refer to God as HaShem, which means "the Name", in common conversation and as Adonai, which means "Our Lord" when praying. There are also a number of names used to describe his different attributes.
C: Some sects of Christianity name God as Jehovah from a pronunciation of YHVH. Others just use vernacular terms for God such as "Our Lord", "Our Father", or "Our King". These vary both from sect to sect and from language to language.
I: Islam does not have a name for God and just calls him "Allah" which is the Arabic word for "God". Muslims also call God by one of 99 descriptive names such as "Al-Khaleq" - "The Creator", "Al-Rahman" - "The Merciful", "Al-Fatih" - "The Conqueror", and so on when referring to particularly attributes of his personality.
How is the concept of the Trinity viewed?
J: Judaism rejects the Trinity as heresy and polytheism.
C: The Trinity is the basic understanding of the relationship between all three essences of God and the way in which they interact with one another. Most Christians believe in the Holy Trinity, that God is composed of three parts (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
I: Islam rejects the Trinity as the violation of the sin of "shirk" or allowing things to be co-equal with God.
Has God ever become incarnate and when did this happen?
J: No, this has never happened.
C: God became flesh in the form of Jesus Christ around 2000 year ago.
I: No, this has never happened.
Is the God of all three religions the same God?
J: Judaism holds that the Christian understanding of the Trinity makes the Christian God a different God than the Jewish God. However, the God of Islam shares enough in common with the Jewish God to be the same God.
C: There are varied opinions on this in Christian circles. The dominant opinion is that all three religions worship the same God. A significant minority opinion is that Jews and Christians worship the same God, but that the characteristics of the Islamic God show that that God is distinct.
I: It is an Islamic position of faith derived from the Qur'an that all three religions worship the same God.
Prophets and Prophecy:
What makes a Prophet?
J: A Prophet must receive visions or have communications with God and relay those to the people. Prophets are fallible human beings who may commit sin or equivocate before seeking repentance. There are a number of exemplars in Judaism, like Isaac, who are not Prophets by virtue of this definition.
C: A Prophet must receive visions or have communications with God and relay those to the people. Prophets are fallible human beings who may commit sin or equivocate before seeking repentance. There are a number of exemplars in Christianity, like Isaac, who are not Prophets by virtue of this definition.
I: The lineage of Prophets was those men who revealed the nature of God to all peoples and cultures. Each Prophet was pure and blameless. A Prophet need not have received a direct vision from God, merely to believe in Him, encourage others to join in that belief, and provide a good example.
If there is a hierarchy of Prophets, what is it?
J: Moses is considered a Prophet whose ability to prophesy and communicate with God face to face can never be paralleled.
C: All Prophets are equal, but Moses is first among equals. Of course, this assumes that Jesus, as God, is not himself a Prophet, since Jesus has a stronger position on Christianity than any of the Judeo-Christian prophets.
I: Five Prophets: Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed are what are called "Rasul" which means "Messenger" since each came down with a Heavenly Book for humanity. The remaining prophets are "Nabi" which just means prophet. They are of lesser importance.
What are some recognized valid Prophets outside of the accepted Prophetic tradition?
J: Judaism holds that Moses had a counterweight in the non-Jewish world called Bilaam (as mentioned in the Book of Numbers). Bilaam was a legitimate Prophet, but used his gift for evil purposes.
If prophecy can no longer occur, when did this happen?
J: Judaism holds that prophecy ceased after the prophecies of Malachi around the Destruction of the First Temple.
C: Some sects of Christianity believe that prophecy continues to the present-day, like Mormons while others believed it has ceased since Revelations was penned.
I: Mohammed is the seal of prophecy. No-one can prophesy after him. Some minority sects like Ahmadiyya Islam say that prophecy has existed since Mohammed and are seen as heresies because of this belief.
If prophecy can no longer occur, is there a way to bring it back?
J: The Messianic Age will restore prophecy.
C: No. (Obviously, in sects where prophecy still occurs, there is no need to "bring it back".)
I: When Jesus returns (and the Mahdi comes in certain sects) at the End of Days, these individuals will be able to perform prophecy.
Is Adam's sin forgiven by God?
J: No. Adam's sin results in his being exiled from the Garden of Eden and having to work for his food. The presence of death is a direct result of Adam's sin. However, even though we are bound to that world, we are not bound to those sins.
C: No. Adam's sin has been passed down to all of humanity.
I: Yes. Before leaving Paradise, Adam is pardoned since he fully repented for his misdeeds.
What role does Moses play?
J: Moses is the primary prophet, responsible for receiving the Ten Commandments and the entirety of the Torah Revelation at Mount Sinai. His prophecy will never be surpassed.
C: Moses was responsible for the Old Covenant which, while important, has been superseded by the new covenant given to man on account of Jesus Christ.
I: Muslims believe that Moses was one of the great prophets of Allah (a Rasul). Moses brought divine revelation to the Jewish people, but the Jews neglected their duty to share this revelation with everyone. Slowly but surely, the law he gave out was corrupted and Mohammed had to come to clarify Moses' original intent.
What role, if any, does Jesus play?
J: In Judaism, Jesus is considered a False Messiah and Jews do not believe in him. He was branded as a heretic and has no religious authority.
C: The Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is Jesus Christ, whose claims to divinity are believed and celebrated in the mainstream Christian religions. As well as being part of the Godhead, Jesus is the Messiah and will be responsible for the bringing of the Messianic Age.
I: Muslims believe that Jesus Christ was one of the great prophets of Allah (a Rasul) but certainly he was neither God nor divine. Muslims also hold that Jesus is the Messiah, but pursuant to their definition of the term (elaborated in the question: What are the aspects of a Messiah?).
What role, if any, does Mohammed play?
J: None. Many Muslims believe that Jews hold Mohammed to be the Messiah and stubbornly refuse to believe in him because he is Arab, but the truth is that Mohammed does not figure into Jewish religious thought in any way.
I: Mohammed was selected by God to provide the final lasting revelation to the World (the Qur'an). It is through Mohammed that the first Islamic Community (Ummah) is formed, the first Islamic State is formed, and the Arab Tribes are cohesively united one behind one banner.
Messiahs and Salvation:
How does a person achieve Salvation? (These answers are overly simplified.)
J: By righteous acts and good deeds, provided he believes in the Noahide Laws (or if Jewish in the Torah Law).
C: By belief in Christ's saving power.
I: By righteous acts and good deeds, provided he believes in the Holiness of the Qur'an and the rules it specifies.
Does a person have the capacity to perform enough good in the world to achieve Salvation?
J: Yes, but it is not a set quantity. God is the ultimate arbiter.
C: No. Man is irredeemable without faith in Christ. In certain Protestant denominations with predestination, salvation is accorded to people ex ante and cannot even "choose" to have the faith in Christ necessary to enter heaven.
I: Yes, but it is not a set quantity. God is the ultimate arbiter.
What are the aspects of a Messiah?
J: The Jewish Messiah has the role of Divinely Sanctioned Monarch who by implementing God's will on Earth. He is entirely human, but of a high spiritual character (like Moses). His coming will bring about the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
C: The Messiah is an incarnation of God sent in two waves, the first coming reveals his glory and provides an avenue for the pious to seek salvation. In the second coming, he will be forced to wage a spiritual war on Earth against the Anti-Christ and only those deserving may enter the victorious Kingdom of God that he will head.
I: The Messiah is a prophet and leader of men. In his first moments of prophecy, he revealed the Anjil (the Islamic interpretation of Jesus' New Testament Ministry). He then went into hiding, where he remains to this day. At some point, he will be forced to wage a spiritual war on Earth against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and only those deserving may enter the victorious Kingdom of God that he will head. Some Muslims also believe in a second savior called the Mahdi who was a Muslim heir is also in hiding and will join the Messiah at the proper time.
Has the Messiah come yet?
J: No, but he is expected. A number of false Messiahs have been discredited.
C: Yes, and he is expected to return at the time of the destruction of this world in heavenly power, due since his humbled first appearance, where took place his ascension, which followed his resurrection and death on the cross.
I: Yes, and he remains in hiding. The Mahdi, for those who believe in him, has also arrived and is similarly in hiding until the moment when it is proper for him to join the Messiah.
If the Messiah has come, who is he?
J: There have been a number of false Messiahs such as Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Kochba, Shabbatai Tzvi, and Menahem Mendel Schneersohn (although a minority Jews still regard the latter as a quasi-Messiah). However, as there is no recognized Messiah, there is no name.
C: Jesus of Nazareth.
I: Sid al-Messih Isa (Jesus of Nazareth)
What does the End of Days look like?
J: The Messiah will serve as a peacemaker, abolishing all nations and bringing about the Prophecies of Isaiah (Lion will lie with the lamb, they shall beat their swords into plowshares, etc.). God will judge who is worthy and those who are worthy will come to live on an Earth without flaws (basically paradise).
C: Jesus Christ will be forced to wage a spiritual war on Earth against the Anti-Christ and only those deserving may enter the victorious Kingdom of God that he will head.
I: At some point, the Messiah will be forced to wage a spiritual war on Earth against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and only those deserving (by way of a Divine Judgment) may enter the victorious Kingdom of God that he will head. Some Muslims also believe in a second savior called the Mahdi who was a Muslim heir is also in hiding and will join the Messiah at the proper time.
What does the post-Messianic period look like?
J: Terrestrial Earth, but without its negative aspects.
Clergy, Saints, and Castes:
What are clergy called and what are their functions?
J: Rabbi: Generally a spiritual guide for the congregation. Interprets the tradition for the laity. Cantor: Leads the chanting of the liturgy. Sometimes, the chanting of the liturgy is delegated to a member of the laity.
C: Priest/Pastor: The title is Priest in Catholicism and Orthodoxy and Pastor in most forms of Protestantism. The person has the role of both interpreting the tradition for the laity and leading the chanting of the liturgy. Sometimes the chanting of the liturgy is delegated to a member of the laity.
I: Imam: The Imam has the role of both interpreting the tradition for the laity and leading the chanting of the liturgy.
What are the personal requirements to become clergy?
J: In Orthodox Judaism, a male Jew must attend Yeshiva or a Religious University where he learns sufficient material to become a Rabbi. In Liberal Judaism, a Jew (male or female) must attend an institution accredited to the movement he wishes to minister for.
C: In Catholicism and Orthodoxy, a male Christian must graduate an accredited theological institution and cannot get married after ordination. (Catholic Priests must also have previous marriages annulled prior to accepting orders.) As concerns the various Protestant denominations, some accept women clergy, while others do not and some have stringent requirements for ordination and others do not.
I: In Islam, a male Muslim must attend Madrassa or a Religious School where he memorizes the Qur'an and learns Islamic Jurisprudence. In some Islamic Countries, this can certified by the government.
Unfortunately, in the case of all three, in less developed countries, the requirement for ordination is not necessarily well-maintained and this results in off-the-street hacks.
Can women be clergy?
J: In Orthodox Judaism, No. In Liberal Judaism, Yes.
C: In Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and some Protestant denominations, No. In most Protestant denominations, Yes.
What are Saints and how does somebody qualify for Sainthood?
J: There are no saints.
C: Catholicism and Orthodoxy canonize Saints for those who give a lot themselves. They also must perform three proven miracles. Protestant Christianity does not believe in Sainthood.
I: There are no saints. Some Islamic Scholars believe that Sainthood is a form of shirk, the association of partners with God.
If there a hierarchy of clergy, what is it?
J: There are some Rabbis with a greater following, but all Orthodox Rabbis are on equal footing in their communities.
C: In Orthodoxy and Catholicism, Priests report to Bishops who report to a variety of more senior officials. In the Orthodox Church, this caps with the Patriarchs who have equal standing, but in different central locations. In the Catholic Church this caps with the one Pope in Rome. The various Protestant denominations have different organizations. The Anglican Church is like the Catholic Church while the Mormon Church has a sort-of-hybrid between the Orthodox and Catholic model. Evangelical Christianity has no universal leadership, just Pastors of incredible renown whose opinions carry a lot of weight.
I: There are some Imams with a greater following, but all Sunni Imams are on equal footing in their communities. Sufis have leaders of their orders who all of the Sufis of that order are bound to obey. Shiite Islam has a hierarchical structure where Imams are subordinate to the regional Ayatollahs. The Ayatollahs have equal standing to each other in terms of Islamic Law.
Are there different castes in the religion?
J: Yes. Jews are born into one of the three groups: Israel, Levi, and Cohen. The Cohens have a duty to help lead prayer and cannot marry outside of Judaism without forfeiting their place. The Levite duties have dissipated since the Second Temple Period. All converts become part of Israel.
C: No, all Christians are equal after baptism.
I: No, Islam does not recognize the superiority of one ethnic, racial, or tribal group of Muslims over others. The Nation of Islam was expressly repudiated by Malcolm X in his later life for betraying this belief.
Prayer and Holy Sites:
What are the holy sites?
J: Judaism has only one major holy site: the Western Wall in Jerusalem. There are assorted burial grounds and shrines across the world which have a lesser holiness as well.
C: Christianity has several sites in Jerusalem including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Dolorosa. Christianity also has a number of monasteries, nunneries, and burial grounds that have a certain level of holiness. Vatican City is also a holy Catholic city since the Catholic leadership resides there.
I: Islam has three major holy sites: the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. There are assorted burial grounds and shrines across the world which have a lesser holiness as well. Shiites have additional holy grounds devoted to the Infallible Imams.
If there are special requirements to pray at a holy site, what are they?
J: Women and men pray separately and must be properly attired. People may place prayers in the cracks in the wall.
C: People must be properly attired.
I: Only Muslims may go to the Muslim holy sites. Men and women pray separately and must be properly attired.
If praying at a certain holy site is required for a person of the faith, why is this required?
J: Judaism does not require prayers at the Western Wall. (For most of Jewish history, pilgrimages to Jerusalem were not possible.)
C: Christianity does not require prayers at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or at St. Peter's Basilica.
I: The Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) is required for all Muslims who can reasonably perform it. This is is one of the pillars of Islam that God gave to Muhammad and without which a person's religious commitment is incomplete.
If there are holy regions or territories (not just parts of cities), what are they?
J: The Jews consider the Land of Israel (which includes some of the State of Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan) to be the Holy Land promised to them by God.
C: Christians also claim the holiness of the Land of Israel, but to a lesser extent. The mini-states of Vatican City and Mount Athos is holy to Catholics and Greek Orthodox Christians respectively.
I: The area around Mecca and Medina is holy in Islam.
What is the house of worship?
J: Jews pray in a synagogue.
C: Christians pray in a church.
I: Muslims pray in a mosque.
How often does prayer occur?
J: Jews pray three times a day with extra prayers on Shabbat and holidays.
C: Christians have mass on Sundays and informal prayer throughout the week.
I: Muslims pray five times a day.
Is it preferable to pray alone or in a congregation?
J: It is much more preferable to pray with others, but worship alone is permissible.
C: There are benefits to personal reflection and worship as well as communal worship.
I: It is much more preferable to pray with others, but worship alone is permissible.
If the Liturgy is consistent, what defines it?
J: The Jewish liturgy is set by the Siddur or Prayerbook.
C: Christian liturgy depends on the sect and the local leadership. It oftentimes does not follow a proscribed format. Where it does, it is presented in a Hymnal.
I: Muslim liturgy depends on the sect and the local leadership. It oftentimes does not follow a proscribed format.
Can Men and Women pray alongside one another or is there a form of separation?
J: In Orthodox Judaism, women and men are divided by a barrier called the Mehitza. In Liberal Judaism, Jews have egalitarian seating.
C: Men and women pray together.
I: In Islam men pray in front of the women so that they do not see them.
Are Women allowed to lead prayer?
J: In Orthodox Judaism, No. In Liberal Judaism, Yes.
C: In Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and some Protestant denominations, No. In most Protestant denominations, Yes.
Are individuals outside of the faith allowed to lead prayer?
If there are Sacraments, what are they?
J: There are no sacraments.
C: There are seven sacraments according to Catholicism: Baptism (Christening), Confirmation (Chrismation), Holy Eucharist, Penance (Confession), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony (Marriage).
I: There are no sacraments.
What are the holidays?
J: There are numerous holidays including: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simhat Torah, Hannukah, Purim, Pesah/Passover, Shavout, Tisha B'Av.
C: There are numerous holidays including: Christmas, Easter, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Lent, Pentecost.
I: The most important holidays in Islam are Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Awal Muharram, and Wulidat an-Nabi.
Why and when do people fast?
J: Jews fast on the four fast days throughout the year for 25 consecutive hours each time. This is to strengthen their prayer and symbolize their internal mourning. Additionally, Jews may fast on other days at their discretion.
C: Christians do not fast unless they want to amplify their prayers.
I: Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day of Ramadan. This is done to purify their bodies and hearts. Fasting on other days of the year to amplify prayers is permitted.
If there is Ritual Bathing, please describe?
J: Jews have mikvahs which serve as purification baths. Women submerge in the water after their period.
C: Babies are submerged to baptize them into the faith or they have holy water sprinkled onto them.
I: No ritual bathing. However, Muslims perform wudu, or ritual ablutions, where they pour water over their extremities in order to purify themselves before entering a mosque.
Is there a Sabbath, and if so, when is it and what makes it special?
J: Jews have Friday night to Saturday night as their Sabbath and they are forbidden from performing a great number of labors on that day. This is in commemoration of God resting on the Seventh Day.
C: Christians have Sunday as their Sabbath and they are not recommended to work on Sundays. This is in commemoration of Jesus' resurrection on the Sunday.
I: Muslims gather together on Friday for communal prayer, but there is no prohibition on working on Fridays. This difference is because Muslims don't believe that God took rest on the Seventh Day after universe was created in 6 Days.
What are some foods consumed specifically on special days?
J: On Rosh Hashana, Jews eat apple and honey. On Passover, Jews eat Matza or unleavened bread.
C: Christians typically eat ham on Christmas Eve.
I: Muslims have special foods for the break-fast during Ramadan which include soups and dates. On Eid al-Adha, it is customary to slaughter a lamb and eat its flesh.
If there are some foods which specifically must not be eaten, what are the requirements?
J: Jews are forbidden from eating certain types of animals (including pork) and are forbidden from mixing white or red meat with any dairy product. Also land animals and certain fowl have to be killed according to certain procedures. Blood (from any animal) and human flesh are also prohibited.
C: Christians are allowed to eat whatever they desire except human flesh.
I: No humans, no pork, no alcohol, and for Hanafi Sunni Muslims, no shellfish. Additionally meat must be slaughtered in a particular way.
Holy Books and Religious Laws:
What are the Holy Books?
J: Tanakh or Jewish Bible of which the most important part is the Torah or Pentateuch.
C: The Bible composed of the Old and New Testaments. Mormons have additional holy books like the Book of Mormon that are not accepted as holy by non-Mormons.
I: The Qur'an is the central Islamic text, but Islam also holds the Torah (Pentateuch), Zabur (Psalms) and Injil (Gospels) to be holy.
By what method are the Holy Books read to extract moral principles?
J: The Torah or Pentateuch read with an attempt to extract legal principles combined with interpretations codified by jurisprudential scholars in subsequent books and writings. Each set of scholars is bound to the precedent of previous scholarship. The remaining books of the Jewish Bible or Tanakh have persuasive authority.
C: This is one of the fundamental divides within Christianity. Orthodox Christianity holds that each Patriarch has the right to determine the proper reading of biblical verses and their interpretation in his Patriarchate. Catholicism holds that each Pope determines the proper readings and corrects improper readings by the use of Papal Bulls or by invoking his Infallibility, which all Catholics are required to accept. In most Protestant denominations, each Believer is required to read the Bible and come to his own conclusions about its moral principles and holdings. In Mormonism, God continually updates the President of the Mormon Church with insights and understandings of the Holy Texts.
I: The Qur'an is read with an attempt to extract legal principles combined with interpretations codified by jurisprudential scholars in subsequent books and writings. Each set of scholars is bound to the precedent of previous scholarship. Hadiths or Mohammed's Sayings and the Biography of the Prophet by Ibn Ishaq have strong persuasive authority.
If there are traditional modes of presenting the holy books, what are they?
J: The Torah in its most holy form is written in Hebrew on a parchment scroll and it is read out of this scroll during prayer. There are other books of the Bible called Megillot or Scrolls that are also read and preserved this way. The remaining parts of the Bible are in book-form.
C: In Orthodoxy, the Bible should be read in Ancient Greek, but vernaculars are acceptable. In Catholicism, Protestantism, and Mormonism, the Bible can be read out of a book in the vernacular of the country.
I: The Qur'an should be read only in Arabic with the proper tajwid (grammatical marks). A Qur'an not in use should rest on a Rihal or Qur'an Stand.
How involved should religious individuals be in extracting information from holy texts?
J: Every Jew with access to Scripture has an incumbent order to interpret it for himself, but those interpretations need to be guided by the Rabbis of the past.
C: Orthodoxy and Catholicism require clergy to interpret the Scripture. Most Protestant denominations require the individual to determine meaning from Scripture.
I: It is proper to accept only the interpretations of texts as given by Imams and other religious figures. Individual interpretation is forbidden in most sects.
What are the additional religious writings which are critical to understanding religious laws?
J: Mishnah, Talmud, Shulchan Aruch
C: Nicene Creed, Several Ecclesia (not a particular writing but a group of them), 95 Theses (for Protestantism)
I: Collections of Hadiths, Biography of the Prophet
What are the canons of Religious Law called and why?
J: Halakhah: It comes from the verb "to go" and refers to the direction a believer must progress through life.
C: Christianity does not have religious jurisprudence and is guided primarily on creeds and Philosophies. The particular laws are not important (with orthodoxos being superior to orthopraxis).
I: Shari'a: It comes from the words for "path" and "legitimate" and refers to the proper path upon which a person must progress.
Which is more important: Orthodoxos (Proper Belief) or Orthopraxis (Proper Action)?
J: Orthopraxis (70%) Judaism practices many of the customs and honors the holy days that the Christian church has forgotten, such as Sukkot, Pesach (Passover), Hannukah, etc.
C: Orthodoxos (80%) "Faith alone will save"
I: Orthopraxis (60%) Islam has numerous lifestyle requirements, but a Muslim is required to have a lot of faith in Allah.
Proselytization and Conversion:
Does the religion seek new converts?
J: Judaism does not proselytize and turns away those who would convert unless they are absolutely sure that they want to do this.
C: All forms of Christianity actively proselytize.
I: All forms of Islam* actively proselytize. (*Druze do not proselytize, but are usually not considered Muslims)
What are the requirements of the convert-to-be?
J: A Convert-to-be must study Jewish Laws, Customs, and History with a Rabbi for an extensive period of time (usually years) and (if male) must be circumcised.
C: A Convert-to-be must profess the belief that Christ is his savior.
I: A Convert-to-be must truthfully and Honestly recite the Shahada or Testimony of God and Mohammed's Prophecy before a community of Muslims
What have been the historical methods of enlarging the faith?
J: Primarily Reproduction and the Conversion of those non-Jews who requested it.
C: Christianity has enlarged itself by becoming the official religion of nations (like Rome and most European countries until about the mid-1800s), forced conversions, missionizing to the unbelievers, conversion of those non-Christians who request conversion, and reproduction.
I: Islam has enlarged itself by becoming the official religion of nations (like the various Caliphates and most modern Muslim-majority countries), financially and politically incentivizing conversions, missionizing to the unbelievers, conversion of those non-Muslims who request conversion, and reproduction.
What are the presently-used methods of enlarging the faith?
C: Reproduction and Evangelism
I: Reproduction, Evangelism, and Legal Impediments to Apostasy
Can a person leave the faith via conversion?
J: No. According to Jewish Law, a Jew remains Jewish until death regardless of whether he renounced the covenant and chooses another faith. Functionally, however, a Jew who has converted out of Judaism no longer associates with the Jewish community.
C: Yes. A Christian who becomes the follower of a different religion makes that person no longer a Christian. While there are no longer laws about Christian apostasy, a de facto Excommunication still takes place in most religious communities for the Apostate.
I: No. A Muslim who leaves Islam is guilty of the religious crime of apostasy. Conversion to another monotheistic faith often results in beatings and attacks in Muslim-majority countries and conversion to polytheistic faiths often results in death. Only Liberal Forms of Islam accept conversion out of Islam.
Can a person leave the faith through embracing atheism?
J: An ethnic Jew who becomes an Atheist is still ethnically Jewish, but is no longer religiously Jewish. Judaism has no law to "deal" with apostasy, but religious Jewish communities have typically instituted Kherem (Excommunication) which forbids members of the community from interacting with the Apostate.
C: A Christian who becomes an Atheist makes that person no longer a Christian. While there are no longer laws about Christian apostasy, a de facto Excommunication still takes place in most religious communities for the Apostate.
I: A Muslim who becomes an Atheist is guilty of a religious crime and is the most serious form of apostasy. Rejection of God is punishable by death in all but the most liberal forms of Islam.
Sexuality, Marriage, and Children:
If Polygamy is permissible, what are the requirements?
J: Ancient Judaism endorsed polygamy, requiring that the husband must satisfy all of his wives and treat them equally. Currently Judaism does not permit polygamy.
C: Mormonism endorses polygamy, most other sects reject it.
I: Islam endorses polygamy, requiring that the husband must satisfy all of his wives and treat them equally. A man can have no more than four wives.
Are homosexual relations and marriage permitted?
J: No in Orthodox Judaism, but Yes in Liberal Judaism. It is less condoned in Conservative Judaism than Reform or Reconstructionist Judaism.
C: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Mormonism, and most forms of Protestantism condemn homosexuality and homosexual marriage. Some forms of Protestantism accept it.
I: Every sect and school of Islam rejects homosexuality and forbids homosexual marriage.
If Divorce is permitted, what are the requirements?
J: Judaism permits divorce after the couple fails to reconcile. The husband must issue a "Get" or "Bill of Divorce" for this to occur.
C: Catholicism forbids divorce. It is possible to have a marriage annulled, but this makes the kids illegitimate. In other forms of Christianity there may or may not be a form of divorce.
I: Islam permits divorce after the couple fails to reconcile or in cases of polygamy where it can be shown that the husband is treating one wife worse than another.
What activities does a newborn participate in?
J: Newborn males who are eight-days old are circumcised. Newborn females who are around a week old are brought before the congregation in a baby naming.
C: Newborn children are baptized, which is when the newborn is placed in holy water (or has holy water poured on it - depending on the tradition) and is made a member of the Church.
I: Muslims whisper the Call to Prayer in their newborn's ears and give the baby some date juice. In seven days, the baby's hair is shaved and from seven days until puberty, male circumcision may occur.
What is the coming-of-age ceremony?
J: Bar/Bat Mitzvah: A young Jew reads a portion of the Torah in front of the congregation.
C: Confirmation: A young Catholic or Protestant formally takes the Eucharist and participates spiritually in the Sacrifice upon the Cross in later childhood, whereas in Orthodoxy, the Eucharist is taken right after Baptism. In some Protestant groups, there is the Believer Baptism, where a consenting adolescent or adult becomes baptized again in the Holy Spirit.
I: Islam has no overall coming-of-age ceremony. However, the requirements to perform Salaat or Prayers come about at early adolescence.
Sin and Atonement for Sin:
What qualifies as sin?
J: Sins are violations of the Torah Law; when a person misses the mark.
C: Sins are acts of offence against God by despising his Person and his commandments, and by injuring others.
I: Sins are acts of disobedience against the commands of Allah or His Messenger.
What distinguishes different levels of sinfulness?
J: Different levels of sinfulness are fleshed out in interpretations of the Torah, referring to specific language and habits, and these are further clarified in the Talmud and later texts.
C: Biblical verses demonstrate that some sins are worse than others, however, all of them are equally distancing from a relationship to the Divine.
I: If a sin is directly mentioned in the Qur'an, it is a major sin, but if it is not, it is a minor sin.
Are individuals originally born with sin?
J: No. People are born neutral with a proclivity to do good.
C: Yes. People inherit Adam's original sin.
I: No. People are born neutral with a proclivity to do good.
What is the required recognition or conversion process for newborns to be recognized in the religion?
J: If a child is born to a Jewish mother, the child is Jewish. If the mother is not Jewish and the father is, the child should be converted as soon as practicable (assuming a normal family situation). At eight days, the male children are circumcised and the female children are brought to synagogue to be named.
C: The child must be baptized in most forms of Christianity. (There are some forms of Protestantism that believe in later-life baptisms.)
I: Any child born to a Muslim father is Muslim. If the father is not Muslim and the mother is, the child should be converted as soon as practicable (assuming a normal family situation). Male circumcision should occur at some point during the child's earlier years. Some Muslims engage in female circumcision and this is endorsed by the Shafi'i and Hanbali schools, but not necessary according to the Maliki and Hanafi Schools and Shiite Islam.
How does a person atone for sinful conduct?
J: Prayer and seeking forgiveness from the person wronged (if applicable).
C: Faith in Christ and Good Works.
I: Prayer and seeking forgiveness from the person wronged (if applicable).
Can a person know that God has forgiven their iniquities and transgressions?
J: No. Only God knows whether or not He has forgiven someone.
C: Yes. The Expiation on the Cross gives forgiveness for all who seek it through faith in Christ.
I: No. Only God knows whether or not He has forgiven someone.
Burial and Afterlife:
What is the method for disposing of the dead?
J: Immediate Burial.
C: Usually burial, but other methods may be considered.
How much time after death may pass before burial?
J: Less than 48 hours.
C: There is no time requirement, sometimes wakes and other funerary requirements may delay burial until two weeks after death.
I: The time is not set, but is usually less than 48 hours.
What is the afterlife?
J: In Judaism, there is no eternal delineation between good souls and evil souls as is common in Christianity and Islam. Judaism holds that the Satan is still in heaven, which further means that there is no King of the Damned or any form of Eternal Damnation. During the Afterlife period, there are different mechanisms by which the soul must come to spiritual fitness in order to be a part of the eventual resurrection of the dead. Some Kabbalists say that this comes by way of reincarnation, but the dominant opinion in Judaism is that souls must exert themselves painfully to open up new levels of holiness.
C: The Christian afterlife is based in a place above us, i.e. the Spiritual Heavens. There is an initial selection where those who did not join in with Christ's saving grace are sent to Hell, a realm of fire and brimstone over which Lucifer, the Devil, reigns supreme. Those who are Believers ascend to the Pearly Gates of Heaven and sit alongside God the Father in the majesty of Heaven for eternity. What Heaven actually looks like is not terribly developed, but it is believed to be a "good place". For those that are not clearly bound for Hell or Heaven, there is a third realm called Purgatory where Christians are challenged so that they can be properly resorted later.
I: Islam has a conception of Paradise or Jinnah, which resembles the Garden of Eden in many respects. This Spiritual Place operates very similarly to Earth in that there are gardens, people, food, beverages, etc. It is paradise in that all of these things come without their negative side effects. Jinnah has multiple levels, each designated for those who exist on different levels of holiness. There is also discussion of the presence of virgins for the deceased, although the number of virgins differs between traditions. Those who did not believe in Islam (or Judaism or Christianity) are sent to the Hellfire which operates quite similarly to the one described in Christianity.
Do people of other faiths have the opportunity to access the "good place" in the afterlife?
J: A Gentile will have a place in the World to Come by following the Seven God-given Noahide Laws. A Jew must follow the applicable 613 commandments of the Torah to have their portion in the World to Come.
C: A person must have faith in Jesus Christ or need to not be aware of the Christ sacrifice (such as random tribes in Papua New Guinea). Some denominations believe in faith, confession, and/or predestination.
I: A person who rejects Mohammed's message is bound for hellfire.
What are the roles of angels?
J: Angels are believed to be Divine Messengers or Agents of God's court. They have no will of their own and serve only to do as God commands them.
C: Angels are the members of God's court who serve and protect humans who follow God's will.
I: Angels are believed to be Divine Messengers or Agents of God's court. They have no will of their own and serve only to do as God commands them. Angels are also believed to be made out of light.
What is the role of the Satan?
J: Satan is seen as God's Loyal Opposition, speaking out against humans in the Heavenly Kingdom.
C: Satan is the Master of Hell.
I: Satan is the Master of Hell.
Are there other supernatural beings?
J: Judaism believes in some forms of demons and the dybbuk (which is a dead human spirit possessing a live human), but these beliefs are not often discussed or believed by most today.
C: Christianity believes in different types of demons.
I: Islam believes in demons and jinns (including ghouls, efrits, and marids), which are both believed to have been fashioned out of fire.
If there is a special holy language associated with the religion, what is it?
J: Yes. Hebrew and Aramaic.
C: It depends on the version of Christianity, but with few exceptions, Christianity does not have a holy language
I: Yes. Proper/Qur'anic Arabic.
If there are special vernaculars used by the religious, what are they?
J: It depends on the region. The most common Jewish language was Yiddish, which was popular between Germany and Russia and all lands in between. Additionally, among Sephardic communities in Spain and the Middle East, the Ladino language was prevalent. Jews in Arab countries developed a dialect of Judeo-Arabic as well.
C: Mostly No. Most Christians speak in the common regional tongues. There are some Syriac Christian groups which speak Syriac among one another and Maronites in Israel are trying to revive the Aramaic they spoke five hundred years ago. These Christians cumulatively represent less than 10 million people.
I: No. Muslims speak in the common regional tongues.
Charity and Alms:
What reason should someone give charity or alms?
J: Jews believe that money should be redistributed from those who have it to those who do not have it. Redistributing money has nothing to do with sympathy or empathy, rather it has to do with justice and equality, which is why Jews call it Tzedaka or Righteous Action.
C: Christian doctrine believes in giving alms to the poor in society because of sympathy and empathy for their plight.
I: Islam holds that giving out money to the poor helps to purify the believer and help to grow the believer's financial assets. The giving of alms or Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Zakat is supposed to be collected as a tax and redistributed to poorer Muslims, similar to modern welfare.
What percentage of income should go to charity or alms?
J: 10% of a Jew's income should go to the poor.
C: There is no set percentage, but a reasonable amount should be donated.
I: Sunni Islam holds that 2.5% should go to the poor. Shiite Islam holds that 10% should go to the poor.
What types of extremists and fanatics come out of the religion?
J: In Israel, deeply religious Jews called Datei Leumi or Religious Zionists live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories believing that all of the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish State. There are also Hasidim who are ultra-orthodox Jews who live both inside and outside of Israel. They are apolitical, but do not associate with non-Hasids. Some, but not all speak the local tongue.
C: There are a number of extreme Protestant sects like the Puritans, the Westboro Baptists, and some types of Evangelical Christians. Additionally, there are groups like the Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish), Mennonites, or Christian cults who live outside of the mainstream world and avoid contact with those whose opinions don't agree with them. There are various Christian fundamentalist communities across the USA.
I: There are several varieties of Islamic extremism. There are violent paramilitary and terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Ansar ed-Dine, etc. which are known for their massacres of civilian populations. There are political parties that embrace a repressive form of Islamism or Islam-based governance, like the Taliban, the Sha'ab al-Islam, and the Iranian Ayatollahs. There are also extremists who "peacefully" advocate for fundamental inequality between Muslims themselves and with non-Muslims as well such as Anjam Choudhry and numerous Wahhabists like Hizb at-Tahrir and Muhajirun.
Needless to say, these forms of extremism are by and large not endorsed by the mainstream community and may even be considered heretics by mainstream religious followers.
What issues do the above-mentioned extremists cause?
J: The Datei Leumi help to foster and grow the problem of cavalier Israeli settlements in the West Bank, making the establishment of a Palestinian State more difficult.
C: Extremist Christians generally make acceptance of more liberal social policies, like gay marriage unpalatable politically across the United States. In the past, extremist Christian groups were responsible for massacres, pogroms, and wars against unbelievers, even if those unbelievers were other Christians.
I: Extremist Muslims are responsible for major terrorist attacks, the destruction of historical monuments, and the denial of human rights in their countries. Extremist Muslims have also declared war on sovereign states in coups d'état (such as Somalia) or engaged in secessionist policies (such as Azawad/North Mali).
Religion and Science/Medicine:
Do religious individuals accept Evolution?
J: Orthodox Judaism rejects evolution and believes in Young Earth Creationism. Liberal Judaism accepts evolution and holds the Creation Story to be metaphorical.
C: Catholicism and Orthodoxy accept evolution and see Creation as metaphorical. Most Protestant groups of Christians reject evolution, but some do accept it. There is a plethora of varieties of Christian Creationism.
I: Islam rejects evolution. There are several types of Islamic Creationism.
Do religious individuals accept Modern Medicine?
J: Yes. Jews believe God helps doctors and healers to heal people.
C: Most Christians accept modern medicine, but Christian Scientists reject modern medicine since they hold only God can heal.
I: Yes. Muslims hold that the use of mental faculties to solve Earthly problems is permissible. God will assist those who help the sick.
Is Stem Cell Research permissible?
J: Yes, provided embryos are not created explicitly for this purpose.
I: Yes. There is no issue with using fertilized cells prior to their development into a human-looking creature.
Is Abortion permissible?
J: Allowed in cases of harm to mother up to the moment of birth, but less problematic in the first forty days. Otherwise abortion is forbidden.
C: Abortion is completely impermissible.
I: Allowed in cases of harm to mother up to the moment of birth, but less problematic in the first forty days. Otherwise abortion is forbidden.
in jeddah the eid in 2012 on sunday
Saya means "Shadow". It cannot be said it is an Islamic or non-Islamic name
It could be an Islamic or non Islamic name
Her name is Fatima bint Asad (in Arabic: ÙØ§Ø·Ù…Ù‡ Ø¨Ù†Øª Ø§Ø³Ø¯â€Ž). She is the mother of the Fourth Sunni Caliph and the first Shi'a Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him), and the mother-in-law of Muhammad's daughter, Fatima Al-Zahraa (May Allah be pleased with her) bint Muhammad (PBUH)
Islamic method of slaughtering animal
Zakkaytum is a verb derived from the root word Zakah (to purify). Its infinitive is Tazkiyah which means purification. The Islamic mode of slaughtering an animal requires the following conditions to be met:
a. Animal should be slaughtered with sharp object (knife)
The animal has to be slaughtered with a sharp object (knife) and in a fast way so that the pain of slaughter is minimised.
b. Cut wind pipe, throat and vessels of neck
Zabiha is an Arabic word which means 'slaughtered'. The 'slaughtering' is to be done by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck causing the animal's death without cutting the spinal cord.
c. Blood should be drained
The blood has to be drained completely before the head is removed. The purpose is to drain out most of the blood which would serve as a good culture medium for micro organisms. The spinal cord must not be cut because the nerve fibres to the heart could be damaged during the process
Name of the father of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Abdullah Ibn Abd elMuttaleb Ø¹Ø¨Ø¯ Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‡ Ø¨Ù† Ø¹Ø¨Ø¯ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø·Ù„Ø¨
We have reached the topic of prayer. It has been related from the Prophet (s.a.w.), "Prayer is the buttress of religion. If it is accepted, by Allah, the Most High, every other good deed by the faithful is accepted. And if it is rejected, every other good deed is rejected".
Prayer is an audience with the Creator, convened at prescribed daily times. Allah has outlined the times at which prayers are said and the manner which they must be conducted. During this audience you be fully absorbed in the experience. You talk to Him and invoke His Mercy. You come out of this encounter with clear conscience and serene heart. It is quite natural that you may feel the presence of Allah while you say your prayer.
It is no wonder that Imam Ali (a.s.) used to remove the arrows embedded in his body in battle while fully engrossed in the spirit of worship, for it used to help him take his mind away from pain.
When Imam, Zainul Aabideen (a.s.) used to do wudhu his face would turn pale. And when members of his family asked why he looked so haggard, his reply was, "Don't you know in whose presence I am going to be?". When he started prayer, it sent shivers down his spine. And when asked why he was shivering, he replied, "I want to have audience with my Lord and implore Him. That is why I tremble".
The story of Imam al-Kadhim's (a.s.) worship is a model for all devout Muslims. When the Caliph Harun ar-Rashid ordered him to be imprisoned in his dungeons, the Imam passed most of his time in worship, giving thanks to Allah for answering his prayer and availing himself of that golden opportunity.
Above all, payer is a manifestation of inner feeling that we all belong to Allah, the Most High, who has overall control over everything. And when you utter the phrase, "Allahu Akbar" at the start of every prayer, all material things should become insignificant because you are in the presence of the Lord of the universe who controls every aspect of it. He is greater than everything. As you recite the Chapter of "al-Fatiha", you say, "You do we worship, and You do we ask for help". Thus, you rid yourself of dependency on any mortal.
With that exquisite feeling of submission to Him, you enrich your spirit five times a day. And if you want more spiritual upliftment, you may perform mustahab prayer.
* Does this mean there are two types of prayer - i.e. wajib and mustahab?
- Yes, that is true.
* I know the wajib prayers. They are the ones we say five times a day - subh, dhuhr, asr, maghrib, and isha.
- No, those are not the only wajib prayers. There are more:
1. Prayer for ayaat (signs, or natural occurrences). (Please refer to the Second Dialogue on Prayer).
2. Tawaf payer that pilgrims say during umra and hajj. (Please refer to the Dialogue on Hajj)
3. Prayer for the souls of the dead. (Please refer to the Dialogue on Death Related Matters).
4. Any compulsory prayer not said by the father who had passed away. [It is incumbent on his eldest son to say it on his behalf]. (Please refer to the Second Dialogue on Prayer).
5. Any prayer that becomes compulsory because of hire (ijarah), oath, votive offering, or any other reason.
However, the five daily prayers should have the following:
a. The time of prayer.
b. The Qiblah.
c. The Place where prayer is said.
d. The clothes of the person saying the prayer.
e. The taharah necessary to saying prayer.
It should be noted, though, that these five prerequisites should be present in other types of prayer, except for the time of prayer, as will be explained in detail later on, inshallah.
Now, I am going to discuss each of these points in detail.
* So, you'll start with the time of prayer.
1. For each of the five prayers there is an appointed time that must not be taken lightly. The time for Subh prayer is from the start of dawn till sunrise. The time for Dhuhr and Asr prayers is from zawal to sunset. The first portion is confined to Dhuhr prayer and the second to Asr prayer in as long as each of which takes.
* How would I know the time of zawal?
- It is the midway between sunrise and sunset.
The time of Maghrib and Isha starts from sunset and lasts till midnight. The first part is confined to Maghrib and the latter part to Isha in as long as each of which takes .
[You should not start Maghrib prayer until the dusk, appearing in the East, disappears from the sky].
* Could you explain what Eastern dusk is?
- It is a reddish colour that appears in the East, opposite the direction of sunset, that disappears once the whole disc of the sun descends below the horizon.
* How can I determine midnight that heralds the end of time for Isha prayer?
- It is the mid point between sunset and dawn.
* Suppose, come midnight and I had deliberately not said Maghrib and Isha, what should I do?
- You have to hasten to offer it before the onset of dawn with the niyyah of alqurbal mutlaqah (The intention must be made with a view to seeking closeness to Allah, i.e. without stating whether it is being said on time "ada'" or in lieu "qadha'").
When saying any prayer, it is important to observe the appointed time of each prayer before you set out to say it.
2. The Qiblah: You ought to set your face towards the qiblah, which is the place where the Holy Qa'ba, in Mekkah, is situated.
* Should I fail to determine the direction of the qiblah, after exhausting all means, what should I do?
- Set your face towards the direction you feel the qiblah could be in.
* If I was still undecided as to where would the qiblah be?
- Say your prayer, facing any direction you think the qiblah is in, on the basis of probability .
* Suppose I said prayer, facing a direction I thought was, approximately, the right one, then I found out I was wrong, what would happen?
If the deviation from the direction of the qiblah is less than 45 degrees to right or left, your prayer is in order. If, however, the degree of tilt was greater than that, or you said your prayer facing the opposite direction, and there was still time to repeat the prayer, you should do so. Should the time of prayer elapse, you need not repeat the prayer.
3. The place where prayer is said, [Be aware that the place where you say prayer should be ownerless, i.e. not usurped, because prayer shall not be in order in a place that is maghsoub].
Among what is considered maghsoub are possessions, such as property and furniture, that although taxable, yet khums tax on them was withheld. I shall discuss in some detail matters pertaining to khums in another session. I just want to remind you against complacency and indifference when it comes to paying religious dues.
* And if the property or land was not maghsoub but the prayer mat, for instance, was?
- Likewise, [performing prayer on such a mat would render prayer invalid].
The spot where you do prostration must be tahir not najis.
* Is the spot of prostration where you place your forehead?
- Precisely, such as the clay tablet (turba) and similar objects.
* What about the rest of the place, that is where you stand or sit, etc.?
- Taharah is not a prerequisite, provided that the source of najasah, if present, is not wet.
However, there are few more points concerning the place where you say your prayer:
a. It is not permissible, during prayer and otherwise, to turn your back on the graves of the Infallibles (a.s.), especially when the act entails insularity.
b. [Both the prayers of a man and a woman would not be in order, if they were very close to one another and standing side by side, or the woman was slightly ahead]; the distance between the two positions where they say prayer should not be less than ten yards, if there is no barrier, such as a wall, separating the two.
c. Prayer is mustahab at mosques, and the most honoured ones are the Grand Holy Mosque at Mekkah, and the mosque of the Prophet (s.a.w.) at Medinah. Prayer is also recommended at the holy shrines of the Infallibles (a.s.).
d. It is strongly recommended that women choose the most secure (sitr) place, even within the boundaries of their own home.
5. There are certain conditions that should be met when putting clothes on for prayer:
a. The clothes must be tahir and [not maghsoub]. However, what is worn during prayer should have been acquired lawfully. This, though, only applies to that which covers the private parts. Also, we should take into consideration that there is a difference between what is acceptable for a man to cover himself with and a woman. For example, in a man's case, garments, such as a pair of knee-length shorts, would suffice. Whereas for a woman, wearing such a garment would not do, for she is required to cover her body during prayer.
b. It should not be a part of an animal, such as the skin of an unslaughtered animal even if it is not sufficient by itself to cover one's private parts].
* Would prayer be valid if the person who said it was wearing a leather belt, bought from a Muslim dealer or made in an Islamic country, albeit there was no information about the slaughtering of the animal from whose hide the belt was made?
- Yes, the prayer is in order.
* What about a leather belt acquired from non-Muslims or made in non-Muslim countries?
- The prayer shall be in order, [unless you knew that the hide used was that of an unslaughtered animal].
* If I was not sure as to the nature of the material of the belt, whether real or synthetic?
- Generally speaking, prayer can be said with such a belt on.
c. Products made from carnivorous animals are not allowed to be worn during prayer, even if they were of these which could cover the private parts. [And other products made from animals, whose meat is not permissible to consume].
d. Pure silk garments must not be worn by men during prayer. As for women, wearing silk clothes is allowed.
e. Pure, or adulterated, gold jewellery is not allowed for men. However, there is no harm in wearing fake jewellery.
* Even if it was a wedding ring?
- Yes, the prayer will not be in order with such a ring worn. Not only this, it is forbidden for men to wear gold at all time.
* What about gold caps on teeth and gold pocket watches?
- These are permissible and the prayer said with these things on is in order.
* Suppose I did not know that my ring was made of gold, or I knew but forgot to take it off before I said prayer. Would my prayer still be valid?
- Yes, the prayer is in order.
* And women?
- They are allowed to wear gold at all time, including prayer time.
I still have two more things on the clothes worn during prayer. It is obligatory to cover the private parts, i.e. the penis, testicles, and posterior.
Women have to cover their entire body including hair, but excluding the face, hands - to the wrists, and feet - to the ankles during prayer. They should do this even when they are alone.
These are the preliminary steps of prayer. Prayer itself comprises a number of parts and duties. They are, niyyah, takbiratul ihram, standing, recitation of some chapters of the Holy Qur'an, dhikr (remembrance), ruku', sujood (prostration), tashahhud, tasleem. The order, as well as continuance, of all these series of acts and utterances should be paramount, as you shall find out later on.
* Why didn't you start with adhan and iqamah (a shortened form of adhan, heralding the inauguration of prayer)?
- Before I answer your question, I should say that some of these acts and utterances are called the fundamental parts; they are niyyah, takbiratul ihram, iqamah, ruku' and sujood. Thus, they are set aside from the other parts of prayer in that if any of these five fundamental parts is not properly executed or missed out either deliberately or inadvertently, the prayer is rendered invalid.
And now to answer your question, I have this to say: Reciting adhan and iqamah in daily prayers is a strongly mustahab act. So, you shall be rewarded if you stick to reciting them prior to your daily prayer.
* What should I say for adhan?
- You can say the following:
Allahu Akbar (God is Great) - four times and each of the following phrases twice:
Ashhadu Alla Illaha Illal Lah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah).
Ashhadu Anna Mohammadar Rasoulul Lah (I bear witness that Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah).
Hayya Alas Salah (Hasten to prayer)
Hayya Alal Falah (Hasten to success)
Hayya Ala Khairil Amal (Hasten to the best of good deeds)
La Illaha Illal Lah (There is no god but Allah)
* And Iqamah?
- You should say each of the following phrases twice:
Ashhadu Alla Illaha Illal Lah
Ashhadu Anna Mohammadar Rasoulul Lah
Hayya Alas Salah
Hayya Alal Falah
Hayya Ala Khairil Amal
Qad Qametis Salah (prayer is being offered)
La Illaha Illal Lah (once)
* What about bearing witness to the vicegerency of Imam Ali (a.s.)?
- It is mustahab, i.e. it is not an integral part of either adhan or iqamah.
* So, the first part of prayer is niyyah.
* What is niyyah?
- It is your intention to offer prayer, that is you seek to be close to Allah and gain His favour and reward by way of submission.
* Could you explain to me what you mean by submission?
- It is the inner spiritual feeling that goes hand in hand with all kinds of acts of worship; this can be summed up as feeling of humility before the Creator.
* Is there a particular utterance?
- No, it is a mind set. That is why it does not have a particular utterance; its seat is the heart. If, however, you do not set your mind to performing prayer seeking nearness and submission to Allah in those utterances and movements, your prayer shall be rendered null and void (batil).
The second fundamental part of prayer is takbiratul Ihram.
* What is takberatul Ihram?
- In a still standing posture, facing the qiblah, you say: Allahu Akbar. You should say it in Arabic, stressing the sound of (hamza) in the word (Akbar). You should also clearly utter the rest of the letters of this word and the others. It is preferable, though, to pause between takbiratul Ihram and the start of the recitation of the Chapter of Al-Fatiha (Suratul Fatiha).
* You said I must say takiratul ihram while standing. How should I go about saying prayer, if I was unable to stand unaided due to illness, for example?
- You can say your prayer in a sitting position; if not, you can say it lying on your right or left hand side, with your face towards the qiblah. [Whenever possible, lying on the right hand side must be given precedence over the left hand side].
* If I was not in a position to do either?
- You could offer prayer while lying on your back with your legs pointing to the qiblah.
* Suppose I could only manage takbiratul ihram in a standing position.
- Yes, you could utter the phrase of takiratul ihram from a standing position and perform the rest of your prayer from a sitting one in any way possible.
The third fundamental part of prayer is the recitation.
After takbiratul ihram, you recite Surat (Chapter) of al-Fatiha [and another full chapter after it]. The recitation must be carried out correctly. You must also not forget to recite the Basmalah (an acronym for Bismillahir Rahman ar Rahim: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful) at the beginning of every chapter, except for Chapter of Tawbah.
* If I have not sufficient time to recite the second chapter?
- You could leave it out. You could do so, should you be ill and cannot recite the second chapter. The same goes for situations of fearfulness or when you are in a hurry.
* In what manner should I recite the two chapters?
- [Men have to recite them in such a manner that recitation is audible during Subh, Maghrib and Isha prayers. As for reciting the two chapters during Dhuhr and Asr, these should be done in an inaudible voice].
* What about women?
- They are not required to recite the two chapters audibly. [They should, though, adhere to reciting inaudibly during Dhur and Asr prayers].
* Suppose I was ignorant of the rule on reciting audibly or inaudibly, or I made a mistake in the manner of reciting, i.e. I got mixed up, would my prayer still be valid?
- You need not worry; your prayer should be in order.
* Now I know what I should recite during the first and second raka'. What should I read during the third and fourth raka'?
- You have the choice of either reciting the Chapter of al-Fatiha only, or utter the tasbihat (or dhikr) [inaudibly in both the cases] except the Basmalah where you can recite it in an audible voice.
* If I choose to read the tasbihat, what should I say?
- It suffices to say, in a lowered voice, "Subhanallah, wal Hamdu Lillah, wala Illaha Illal Lah, Wallahu Akbar": Glory be God, and Praise be to God; there is no god but God; God is the Greatest. These phrases could be said either once or three times, whichever you prefer.
* Are there any other requirements for the recitation?
- Yes, you must observe the correct pronunciation of the Arabic words, both individually and within the context of other words; when you stop on a word, you must always pronounce it with an ending tone (sukoon), i.e. you should ignore the accent on the last letter, be it fatha, kasrah, dhamma, etc. Conversely, you must pronounce the words with their full harakat (diacritical marks, such as shaddah, maddah, tanween, hamzatul wasl or hamzatul qat', appearing above the characters or below them that denote and aid the proper pronunciation of the words, both independently and in relation to other words in the sentence), usually found in the print of the Holy Qur'an.
In a word, you should master the rules of correct recitation, in the same way, you are required to do when reciting the verses of the Holy Qur'an, such as idgham (amalgamation or doubling of certain letters - after noon sakinah), qalqalah (resonating the sound of such letters as, qaf, taa', baa', jeem, daal, especially when you are stopping on them). Some of these can be found at the end of the words of (Ahad, Assamad, Yelid, Youled in Chapter of al-Ikhlas).
* Could you give me an example of hamzatul wasl and hamzatul qat'?
- Words in Chapter al-Fatiha, such as (Allah, Arrahman, Ihdina) start with hamzatul wasl which is not accentuated when these words are used in a context of the sentence, i.e. the way they are pronounced is determined by the pronunciation of words immediately before them. Thus, they are more or less silent. As for hamzatul qat', it is the one that should be pronounced very clearly. The way this type of hamza is pronounced is not determined by its proximity to other words. Examples of such a hamza are found in the words of (Iyyaka and An'amta) in the same Chapter.
And if I may add, to ensure that your recitation and other utterances during prayer are perfect, you should seek the help of those who have mastered prayer to enlighten you. This may sound somewhat stringent; yet you must endeavour to acquire the ability to guarantee that your prayer is correct.
The fourth fundamental is qiyaam (standing upright).
Although this is self explanatory, yet it is the only part or unit of prayer that carries a double message. It could be a rukn as in the case of uttering takbiratul ihram and the qiyaam immediately before ruku. Thus, it qualifies for the characteristics of and is governed by the rules of any other rukn. Or it could be a compulsory act (wajibat), not a rukn, such as the standing while reciting the two chapters or tasbihat, or standing up from a bowing position. Rules of wajibat should, therefore, apply.
The fifth fundamental is ruku.
* How should I do ruku?
- You bend your body, placing the palms of your hands on your knees, and saying (Subhana Rabiyal Adheemi wa Bihamdih: Glory and praise be to my Lord) once, or you say either (Subhanal Lah: Glory be to God), or (Allahu Akbar: God is Great), or (Alhamdu Lillah: Praise be to God) three times each.
You should then stand upright, saying as you do the movement (Sami'llahu Limen Hamidah: May God accept the words of those who praise Him), after which you prostrate.
The sixth fundamental is sujood.
You must do two prostrations (sujoods) in each ruku.
* How should I do sujood?
- Put your forehead, the palms of the hands, the knees and toes on the floor, forming an angle out of the torso and thighs. It should be noted, though, that you must place your forehead on the earth or what is grown in it, except that which is edible or can be worn.
* Could you give me an example of what cannot be used for sujood because it is of that which could be consumed or worn?
- Vegetables and fruits cannot be used for sujood, nor can cotton and flax.
* So, what are the other things that are permissible to use for sujood?
- You may use earth, sand, stone, shingle, wood, or inedible leaves. You may choose to do prostration on paper made of pulp, cotton, flax, or chaff.
You should not use grains such as wheat and barley for sujood, nor wool, tar, glass, and crystal. The best object you can perform sujood on is the earth taken from land of Karbala, Iraq where Imam Hussain (a.s.) is buried.
* Suppose I was unable to conduct sujood on any permissible object or matter because it was either unavailable or out of fear for myself?
- In the event of non-availability of any of the permissible things for sujood, you may use tar or bitumen. If not, you may prostrate on anything you deem possible, such as the garment you are wearing or your hand. If your well-being was threatened, you may act according to that which would be conducive to preserving yourself.
Moreover, do not forget to observe the requirement of symmetry and level of the places where you rest your forehead, your knees, and the toes of both feet, i.e. none should be higher than the other by the depth of a fist, i.e. with four folded fingers (about ten cm.). [Nor should the level of the spots where you stand and prostrate be].
* Having taken this posture, what should I do next?
- You should say (Subhana Rabiyal Al 'Ala wa Bihamdih: Glory and Praise be to my Lord, the Most High) once, or (Subhanal Allah), or (Allahu Akbar), or (Alhamdu Lillah) three times. Then, lift your forehead and sit down still and composed, putting the legs under the buttocks, crossing the right foot over the left one, and saying (Allahu Akbar). You should do the second sujood in exactly the same way you did the first.
* If I was unable to bend for sujood properly due to sickness, for example, what should I do?
- Try to bow as far as you can, placing the object of sujood on a raised place, provided that you position all other parts of your body during the posture of sujood on their respective spots.
* And if I was not able to do so?
- You may nod with your head to the place of sujood. Should you not be able to do so, you may use your eyes as a substitute; close them to denote performing sujood and open them to express the lifting of the forehead from the place of sujood.
The seventh fundamental part of prayer is tashahhud.
Tashahhud is compulsory to say after the second sujood of the second ruku of every prayer and after the last ruku of maghrib, dhuhr, asr and Isha prayers
* How should I go about uttering it?
- Say (Ashhadu Alla Illaha Illal Lah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah, Wa Ashhadu Anna Mohammadan Abduhu Wa Rasuluh. Allahumma Salli Ala Mohammadiw Aali Mohammad: I bear witness that there is no god but God, and that Mohammad is His servant and messenger; May peace be with Mohammad and his Pure Progeny). It is noteworthy, however, that you sit still and that your reading should be continuous.
The eighth fundamental is tasleem.
Saying tasleem is mandatory in the last ruku of every prayer. It is said immediately after tashahhud, while you are still in your sitting position.
* What should I say?
- The bare minimum is to say (Assalamu Alaikum: May peace be with you). It is highly recommended, though, that you add (Wa Rahmatul Lahi wa Barakatuh: and God's mercy and blessings), (Assalmu Alaika Ayyuhan Nabiyu wa Rahmatul Lahi wa Barakatuh: May peace, mercy of the Almighty and His blessings be with you, Oh Prophet), and (Assalamu Alaina wa Ala Ibadil Lahis Saliheen: May peace be with us and the good among Allah's servants. Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatul Lahi wa Barakatuh:May peace, mercy, and blessings of the Almighty be with you).
* Is there any reason why you did not mention qunoot (the raising of both hands for supplication in prayer)?
- Qunoot is mustahab once in every prescribed prayer and other voluntary ones [except Shefa' prayer]. If you wish, you can say it, with your both hands raised in supplication, after you have finished reciting the second surah of the second ruku, i.e. immediately before bowing.
* Is there any particular supplication I can say in qunoot?
- No, there is not. However, you could recite a verse from the Holy Qur'an, invoking your Lord; you may ask Him for anything.
* Now that you have explained to me how to say prayer, I would like to ask you if there are any actions or otherwise that invalidate prayer?
- Yes, there are:
1. When prayer is stripped of any of its fundamental units, such as niyyah, takbiratul ihram, ruku, and sujood, it can no longer be valid.
2. Whatever spoils ablution, such as breaking wind, is bound to nullify prayer, [even if it happens, unintentionally or out of necessity, after the last sujood].
3. The head or the torso should not be turned away fully from the qiblah.
* And if the turn is slight so much so that it would not spoil the actual facing of the qiblah?
- This does not invalidate prayer, although it is maqrouh.
4. Deliberate laughing nullifies prayer.
5. [Deliberate weeping or crying for worldly matters invalidates prayer]. Weeping for any matter relating to the Hereafter is in order.
6. Intentional speech, albeit pronouncing a single letter, other than utterances pertaining to prayer itself, renders prayer invalid. The only exception here is the response to a salutation, which is compulsory, by repeating that salutation.
7. Doing anything that spoils the movements or utterances of prayer, such as rocking or swaying, invalidates prayer.
8. Eating or drinking during prayer is not allowed, even if this does not spoil the acts and utterances of prayer.
9. [Deliberate crossing of one's hands, over the abdomen, while standing in prayer, in situations other than taqiyyah (dissimulation about one's religious beliefs in order to protect oneself, family or property from harm)].
10. Deliberate utterance of the word "Amen", after the imam has finished reciting "Al-Fatiha" [or the person who is praying alone says it after he has recited it], if there was no case for taqiyyah.
I should also, explain to you another important aspect concerning prayer, i.e. doubt about the proper execution of its acts and/or utterances.
* Does doubt render prayer invalid?
- It is not always the case. Some doubts do invalidate prayer. Others can be rectified and the third category can be ignored.
However, I should outline to you general principles you may observe, should you harbour any doubt about the proper execution of prayer.
1. Whenever you suspect the validity of any prayer after you have finished it, you need not worry; the prayer shall be in order.
* Could you give me an example?
- Suppose, you have just finished performing subh prayer. Immediately afterwards, you became suspicious whether you have done two ruku or more. In such a case, you should deem the prayer valid.
2. Whoever doubted the validity of any part of the prayer after he had finished it, they should deem that part valid and the whole prayer too.
* For example?
- If you grew doubtful about the correctness of your recitation, ruku, or sujood after you had performed them, you need not pay attention, and should deem the prayer in order.
3. Whenever you suspect that any part of prayer was not carried out properly, after you have entered into a subsequent part, you should deem the previous one in order, and the prayer shall therefore stand.
* I'd very much appreciate it, if you could give me an example.
- Suppose you were reciting the second chapter in a given ruku and the doubt crept into your mind that maybe you did not recite the first one, or forgot to recite it completely. In this case, you should deem the recitation of the chapter done. Similarly, if you were on going to bow, you should carry on with what you were about to do. Accordingly, your prayer shall be in order.
4. Whoever has a habit of doubting the correctness of the prayer, need not pay attention to such suspicion. The prayer shall, therefore, be in order.
* For example?
- Say, when you perform subh prayer, you frequently get mixed up as to the number of ruku you have done. You need not act on this suspicion and therefore render your prayer in order. Or suppose you have a habit of mistaking the number of sujood, e.g. whether you did one sujood or two. You should assume that prayer is in order.
* How can one reach a conclusion that they are prone to unusual level of doubt?
- He who has made a habit of being doubtful knows that shortcoming. It suffices to say that the frequency of their doubt is more than what is normally expected of the average person. For instance, they may doubt that they did something wrong in one out of every three prayers they had performed.
5. When you are unsure how many ruku you have done in subh, maghrib, or between the first and second ruku of every four-rak'a prayer, to the extent that you can not decide the number of ruku either way, the prayer shall be invalid.
* Could you give me an example?
- Say, you were praying Subh, and you became doubtful as to whether it was the first ruku you were in or the second. After a short pondering, you should make up your mind as to which ruku you were in. If this does not materialize either way, i.e. the first or second ruku, you must assume that your prayer is null.
* If I had a strong inkling that it was, the first ruku for example?
- In this case, you should act on that probability and carry on your prayer by doing the second ruku; your prayer should, accordingly, be valid.
* And what about the possibility of growing doubtful between the third and fourth ruku of a four-rak'a prayer?
- Should you make up your mind as to the number of ruku, you should act accordingly and do the remaining ruku.
* If I remain undecided?
- This needs discussing in some detail as each case has its own ruling. Here, though, are some of these situations:
1. If the doubt arises as to whether the ruku was the third or the fourth, no matter at what stage the doubt took place, you should assume that it is the fourth. You should, therefore, carry on with the prayer and after you have finished it, you either do two ruku from a sitting position or one ruku from a standing position. This is called salatul ihtiyat (precautionary prayer).
2. If the doubt arises as to whether the ruku was the fourth or the fifth, after having placed your forehead on the sujood spot for the second sujood, albeit before starting the utterance, you should assume that it is the fourth ruku. You should, therefore, carry on with your prayer; after you have finished it, you should perform sajdatay-as-sahu (two compensatory prostrations in lieu of any commision or omission in prayer due to forgetfulness).
3. If the doubt arises as to whether the ruku was the first or the second, at the time of executing the second sujood, you should assume that it is the third ruku. You should, therefore, carry on with your prayer, doing the fourth ruku. Once you finish prayer, you should perform salatul ihtiyat [in this case, it should be one ruku from a standing position].
* How should I go about salatul ihtiyat?
- Immediately after you have finished the prescribed prayer, you should begin salatul ihtiyat. That is, without any turning with your body to either side. In short, you should refrain from any action or saying which could invalidate prayer.
The way to say salatul ihtiyat is by starting with takbiratul ihram, then recitation of the Chapter of al-Fatiha [in a lowered voice]. There shall be no need to recite a second chapter. The subsequent movements and utterances would be bowing for ruku, sujood, tashahhud, and tasleem. That is, if the choice was for salatul ihtiyat to be said from a standing position. If it was for it to be said from a sitting position, there must be a second ruku before you do tashahhud and tasleem.
* What about sajdatay-as-sahu?
- After you do niyyah, immediately after you have finished prayer, it is preferable you do takbiratul ihram too. You should, then, do sujood. And as you are in a prostrating position, you should say (Bismillahi wa Billah. Assalamu Alaika Ayyuhan Nabiyu wa Rahmatul Lahi wa Barakatuh: In the name of God. May peace and blessings be with you, Oh Prophet). You should raise your head, go to a crouching position, and do a second sujood in exactly the same way. After you have finished the second sujood, you should do tashahhud and tasleem.
It should be noted, however, that sujood-as-sahu is a means of making up for other lapses that could happen during prayer. These are:
a. [When you inadvertantly speak, while you are praying].
b. [When you inadvertently utter any sentence of tasleem prematurely, i.e. while the prayer is still in progress].
c. Should you forget to say tashahhud, it is preferable that you say it first before you do sajdatay-as-sahu.
d. [If, after you have finished your prayer, doubt arises about omitting any act or utterance, or unnecessarily comissioning something, you should perform sajdatay-as-sahu]. It is also advisable that you perform sajdatay-as-sahu, if you have forgotten one of any two sujoods in your prayer. That is, after you do the sujood in lieu. You can also resort to doing sajdatay-as-sahu, if you have suspected that you were in a standing position instead of a sitting one. To sum up, it is advisable that you perform sajdatay-as-sahu if you realized that you either omitted and/or comitted any deed or saying during prayer.
e. You can perform sajdatay-as-sahu as many times as need be.
* Now that you have explained to me how prayer should be conducted and what to do when one realizes that they have made a mistake or an oversight during prayer, I'd appreciate it, if you could demonstrate to me how you say, for example, isha prayer. (My aim was to observe him while he was saying it). He agreed. The following is a description of what he did:
He first performed ablution (wudhu). After reciting adhan and iqamah, he set his face towards the qiblah, raised both his hands and put them close to his ears and, in a raised voice, uttered (Allahu Akbar).
He then started reciting the Chapter of al-Fatiha and followed it by the Chapter of al-Ikhlas. Immediately after he finished reciting the second chapter, he bowed, by placing both his hands on his knees, and said while in that posture (Subhana rabiyal adheemi wa bihamdih), and as he was going back to an upright position, he said (Sami'allahu limen hamidah: May God accept the words of that who chants His praise). From the standing position, he went down for prostration. After he placed his forehead on the sujood spot, he said (Subhan rabiyal 'ala wa bihamdih). Upon raising his head, he went back to a sitting position and said (Astaghfirul lahi wa atoobu ilaih: I seek forgiveness from God and declare my repentance in His presence). No sooner had he uttered these words, he went for a second sujood, after which he went back to a sitting position, uttering the same phrase while he was sitting. Thereafter, he stood upright again.
When he stood upright for the second time, he repeated the recitation of the two chapters, and before bowing, he raised both his hands for qunoot and recited (Rabij'alni muqeemas salati wa min thurayyati, rabbana wa taqabbal du'a. Rabanagh fir lee wa liwalidaya wa lilmu'mineen yawma yaqumul hisaab: My Lord! make me, and my offspring, keep up prayer, O our Lord! and accept my prayer. O our Lord! grant me protection, my parents, and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass).
On completing the supplication, he went for the bowing position for the second time now, repeated the same utterances while bowing (ruku). On raising his head, the two sujoods then followed in exactly the same way in the first ruku. As soon as he completed the second sujood, and in a sitting position, with his hands resting on his thighs, he pronounced tashahhud by saying (Ashhadu alla illaha illal lah, wahdahu la shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Mohamman abduhu wa rasuluh. Allahumma salli ala Mohammadiu wa aali Mohammad: I bear witness that there is no god but God, and that Mohammad is His servant and messenger. May God's peace be with Mohammad and his Pure Progeny).
My father then stood up for the third ruku. In his upright and still position, and in a lowered voice, he recited (Subhanal lahi, wal hamdu lillahi, wala illaha illal lahu, wal lahu akbar: Glory be to God, praise be to God, there is no god but God, and Allah is great); he recited these phrases three times. He then did ruku and sujood, and stood up for the fourth ruku, which he did in exactly the same way as the third one.
On going back to the sitting position after he performed the second sujood, he uttered tashahhud and tasleem (Assalamu alaika ayyuhan nabiyu wa rahmatul lahi wa barakatuh. Assalamu alaina wa 'ala ibadil lahis saliheen. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatul lahi wa barakatuh: May God's peace and blessings be with you, O Prophet! May peace be with us and the good among God's servants. May peace be with you).
It is worth noting, though, that I observed my father while he was praying dhuhr and asr, which are a four-ruku prayers. He said both in the same way he said isha prayer. The only difference, however, was that he recited both the chapters in a lowered voice, except for basmalah. In maghrib prayer, he concluded it at the end of the third ruku, by uttering tashahhud and tasleem after he completed the second sujood. As for subh prayer, he concluded the prayer at the end of the second ruku, for subh is a two-ruku prayer.
Having observed how my father goes about conducting prayer, I have noticed few points I would like to share with you:
1. He is very keen on saying prayers at their prescribed times. In this regard, he used to cite the hadith (saying or tradition) from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.), "The precedence of the onset of the time of a prayer, over saying it at the end of that time, is similar to the precedence of the Hereafter over this world".
2. At times, he used to say asr prayer immediately after dhuhr. He often does the same when it comes to isha prayer which he says immediately after maghrib. When I asked him as to why he used to do that, he said you have the choice of saying these prayers either consecutively or separately.
3. When he gets ready for prayer, his appearance assumes a dimension of humility and submissivenes; I often hear him recite the Holy Verse, "Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers". (23/1)
4. He made a habit of paying great attention to the proper execution of all actions and utterances of prayer, be it a pause, a stillness of posture, or the sequence and continuance of movements and utterances.
5. My father did his best in executing the recitation of the two chapters of the Holy Qur'an during prayer, by giving due attention to the proper pronunciation of the letters in a word and the word itself in relation to other words in the particular verses. He treated other utterances in the same way.
6. I have also noticed that he used to perform special prayers either before the time of the five daily prayers or after he had finished. When I asked him as to what they mean, he told me that those were voluntary prayers that are mustahab to offer.
7. Among other meritorious acts of worship he used to do after prayer, is asking God's forgiveness for himself, his parents, his relatives, and the brethren. Also, he often uses his rosary beads to chant the praise of the Almighty in a particular way, in that he chants (Allahu Akbar) thirty four times, (Alhamdu Lillah), and (Subhanal Lah) thirty three times each. He told me it is called Tasbihuz Zahra' (Praising of the Lord as used to be carried out by the daughter of Prophet Mohammad, Fatima az-Zahra' 'a.s.').
by Dr. Zakir Naik
Position of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam:
Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus (pbuh). No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh).
We believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt).
We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe.
We believe he was the Messiah translated Christ (pbuh).
We believe that he gave life to the dead with God's permission.
We believe that he healed those born blind, and the lepers with God's permission.
CONCEPT OF GOD IN CHRISTIANITY:
Jesus Christ (pbuh) never claimed Divinity
One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus (pbuh), where exactly is the parting of ways? The major difference between Islam and Christianity is the Christians' insistence on the supposed divinity of Christ (pbuh). A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (pbuh) himself says, "I am God" or where he says, "worship me". In fact the Bible contains statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in which he preached quite the contrary. The following statements in the Bible are attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh):
(i) "My Father is greater than I."
[The Bible, John 14:28]
(ii) "My Father is greater than all."
[The Bible, John 10:29]
(iii) "…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God…."
[The Bible, Mathew 12:28]
(iv) "…I with the finger of God cast out devils…."
[The Bible, Luke 11:20]
(v) "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
[The Bible, John 5:30]
The Mission of Jesus Christ (pbuh) - to Fulfill the Law
Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity for himself. He clearly announced the nature of his mission. Jesus (pbuh) was sent by God to confirm the previous Judaic law. This is clearly evident in the following statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in the Gospel of Mathew:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
[The Bible, Mathew 5:17-20]
God Sent Jesus' (pbuh)
The Bible mentions the prophetic nature of Jesus (pbuh) mission in the following verses:
"… and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
[The Bible, John 14:24]
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent."
[The Bible, John 17:3]
Jesus Refuted even the Remotest Suggestion of his Divinity
Consider the following incident mentioned in the Bible:
"And behold, one came and said unto him, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?'
And he said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' "
[The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17]
Jesus (pbuh) did not say that to have the eternal life of paradise, man should believe in him as Almighty God or worship him as God, or believe that Jesus (pbuh) would die for his sins. On the contrary he said that the path to salvation was through keeping the commandments. It is indeed striking to note the difference between the words of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and the Christian dogma of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus (pbuh).
Jesus (pbuh) of Nazareth - a Man Approved of God
The following statement from the Bible supports the Islamic belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet of God.
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."
[The Bible, Acts 2:22]
The First Commandment is that God is One
The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier:
"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad."
This is a Hebrew quotation, which means:
"Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord."
[The Bible, Mark 12:29]
It is striking that the basic teachings of the Church such as Trinity and vicarious atonement find no mention in the Bible. In fact, various verses of the Bible point to Jesus' (pbuh) actual mission, which was to fulfill the law revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh). Indeed Jesus (pbuh) rejected any suggestions that attributed divinity to him, and explained his miracles as the power of the One True God.
Jesus (pbuh) thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier prophets of Almighty God.
NOTE: All quotations of the Bible are taken from the King James Version.
CONCEPT OF GOD IN OLD TESTAMENT:
God is One
The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh):
"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad".
It is a Hebrew quotation which means:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord"
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4]
Unity of God in the Book of Isaiah
The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah:
"I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour."
[The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]
"I am Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me."
[The Bible, Isaiah 45:5]
"I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."
[The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]
Old Testament condemns idol worship
Old Testament condemns idol worship in the following verses:
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]
A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy:
"Thou shalt have none other gods before me."
"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth."
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]Concept of God in Islamby Dr. Zakir Naik The Most Concise Definition of God:
The most concise definition of God in Islam is given in the four verses of Surah Ikhlas which is Chapter 112 of the Qur'an:
"Say: He is Allah,
The One and Only.
"Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.
"He begets not, nor is He begotten.
And there is none like unto Him."
The word 'Assamad' is difficult to translate. It means 'absolute existence', which can be attributed only to Allah (swt), all other existence being temporal or conditional. It also means that Allah (swt) is not dependant on any person or thing, but all persons and things are dependant on Him.
Surah Ikhlas - the touchstone of theology:
Surah Ikhlas (Chapter 112) of the Glorious Qur'an, is the touchstone of theology. 'Theo' in Greek means God and 'logy' means study. Thus Theology means study of God and to Muslims this four line definition of Almighty God serves as the touchstone of the study of God. Any candidate to divinity must be subjected to this 'acid test'. Since the attributes of Allah given in this chapter are unique, false gods and pretenders to divinity can be easily dismissed using these verses.
What does Islam say about 'god-men'?
India is often called the land of 'god-men'. This is due to the abundance of so-called spiritual masters in India. Many of these 'babas' and 'saints' have a large following in many countries. Islam abhors deification of any human being. To understand the Islamic stand towards such pretenders to divinity, let us analyze one such 'god-man', Osho Rajneesh.
Let us put this candidate, 'Bhagwan' Rajneesh, to the test of Surah Ikhlas, the touchstone of theology:
The first criterion is "Say, He is Allah, one and only". Is Rajneesh one and only? No! Rajneesh was one among the multitude of 'spiritual teachers' produced by India. Some disciples of Rajneesh might still hold that Rajneesh is one and only.
The second criterion is, 'Allah is absolute and eternal'. We know from Rajneesh's biography that he was suffering from diabetes, asthma, and chronic backache. He alleged that the U.S. Government gave him slow poison in prison. Imagine Almighty God being poisoned! Rajneesh was thus, neither absolute nor eternal.
The third criterion is 'He begets not, nor is He begotten'. We know that Rajneesh was born in Jabalpur in India and had a mother as well as a father who later became his disciples.
In May 1981 he went to U.S.A. and established a town called 'Rajneeshpuram'. He later fell foul of the West and was finally arrested and asked to leave the country. He came back to India and started a commune in Pune which is now known as the 'Osho' commune. He died in 1990. The followers of Osho Rajneesh believe that he is Almighty God. At the 'Osho commune' in Pune one can find the following epitaph on his tombstone:
"Osho - never born, never died; only visited the planet Earth between 11th December 1931 to 19th January 1990."
They forget to mention that he was not granted visa for 21 countries of the world. Can a person ever imagine 'God' visiting the earth, and requiring a visa to enter a country! The Archbishop of Greece said that if Rajneesh had not been deported, they would have burnt his house and those of his disciples.
The fourth test, which is the most stringent is, "There is none like unto Him". The moment you can imagine or compare 'God' to anything, then he (the candidate to divinity) is not God. It is not possible to conjure up a mental picture of the One True God. We know that Rajneesh was a human being, having two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth and a white flowing beard. Photographs and posters of Rajneesh are available in plenty. The moment you can imagine or draw a mental picture of an entity, then that entity is not God.
Many are tempted to make anthropomorphic comparisons of God. Take for instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous body builder and Hollywood actor, who won the title of 'Mr. Universe', the strongest man in the world. Let us suppose that someone says that Almighty God is a thousand times stronger than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The moment you can compare any entity to God, whether the comparison is to Schwarzenegger or to King Kong, whether it is a thousand times or a million times stronger, it fails the Qur'anic criterion, "There is none like unto Him".
Thus, the 'acid test' cannot be passed by anyone except the One True God.
The following verse of the Glorious Qur'an conveys a similar message:
"No vision can grasp Him
But His grasp is over
All vision: He is
Above all comprehension,
Yet is acquainted with all things."
By what name do we call God?
The Muslims prefer calling the Supreme Creator, Allah, instead of by the English word 'God'. The Arabic word, 'Allah', is pure and unique, unlike the English word 'God', which can be played around with.
If you add 's' to the word God, it becomes 'Gods', that is the plural of God. Allah is one and singular, there is no plural of Allah. If you add 'dess' to the word God, it becomes 'Goddess' that is a female God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add the word 'father' to 'God' it becomes 'God-father'. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no word like 'Allah-Abba' or 'Allah-father'. If you add the word 'mother' to 'God', it becomes 'God-mother'. There is nothing like 'Allah-Ammi', or 'Allah-mother' in Islam. Allah is a unique word. If you prefix tin before the word God, it becomes tin-God i.e., fake God. Allah is a unique word, which does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Therefore the Muslims prefer using the Arabic word 'Allah' for the Almighty. Sometimes, however, while speaking to the non-Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word God, for Allah. Since the intended audience of this article is general in nature, consisting of both Muslims as well as non-Muslims, I have used the word God instead of Allah in several places in this article.
God does not become a human being:
God does not take human form:
Some may argue that God does not become a human being but only takes a human form. If God only takes a human form but does not become a human being, He should not possess any human qualities. We know that all the 'God-men', have human qualities and failings. They have all the human needs such as the need to eat, sleep, etc.
The worship of God in human form is therefore a logical fallacy and should be abhorred in all its forms and manifestations.
That is the reason why the Qur'an speaks against all forms of anthropomorphism. The Glorious Qur'an says in the following verse:
"There is nothing whatever like unto Him."
God does not perform ungodly acts:
The attributes of Almighty God preclude any evil since God is the source of justice, mercy and truth. God can never be thought of as doing an ungodly act. Hence we cannot imagine God telling a lie, being unjust, making a mistake, forgetting things, or having any such human failings. Similarly God can do injustice if He chooses to, but He will never do it because being unjust is an ungodly act.
The Qur'an says:
"Allah is never unjust In the least degree."
God can be unjust if He chooses to be so, but the moment God does injustice, He ceases to be God.
God does not make mistakes
God can make mistakes if He wants to, but He does not make mistakes because making a mistake is an ungodly act. The Qur'an says:
"…my Lord never errs."
[Holy Qur'an 20:52]
The moment God makes a mistake, he ceases to be God.
God does not forget
God can forget if He wants to. But God does not forget anything because forgetting is an ungodly act, which reeks of human limitations and failings. The Qur'an says:
"…my Lord never errs, nor forgets."
God only performs Godly acts:
The Islamic concept of God is that God has power over all things. The Qur'an says in several places (Al -Qur'an 2:106; 2:109; 2:284; 3:29; 16:77; and 35:1):
"For verily Allah has power over all things"
Further, the Glorious Qur'an says:
"Allah is the doer of all that He intends."
We must keep in mind that Allah intends only Godly acts and not ungodly acts.
PHILOSOPHY OF ANTHROPOMORPHISM
Many religions at some point believe, directly or indirectly, in the philosophy of anthropomorphism i.e. God becoming a human. Their contention is that Almighty God is so pure and holy that He is unaware of the hardships, shortcomings and feelings of human beings. In order to set the rules for human beings, He came down to earth as a human. This deceptive logic has fooled countless millions through the ages. Let us now analyze this argument and see if it stands to reason.
The Creator prepares the instruction manual:
Suppose I manufacture a video cassette recorder (VCR). Do I have to become a VCR to know what is good or what is bad for the VCR? What do I do? I write an instruction manual: "In order to watch a video cassette, insert the cassette and press the play button. In order to stop, press the stop button. If you want to fast forward press the FF button. Do not drop it from a height or it will get damaged. Do not immerse it in water or it will get spoilt". I write an instruction manual that lists the various do's and don'ts for the machine.
Holy Qur'an is the instruction manual for the human being:
Similarly, our Lord and Creator Allah (swt) need not take human form to know what is good or bad for the human being. He chooses to reveal the instruction manual. The last and final instruction manual of the human beings is the Glorious Qur'an. The 'dos' and 'don'ts' for the human beings are mentioned in the Qur'an.
If you allow me to compare human beings with machines, I would say humans are more complicated than the most complex machines in the world. Even the most advanced computers, which are extremely complex, are pale in comparison to the myriad physical, psychological, genetic and social factors that affect individual and collective human life.
The more advanced the machine, greater is the need for its instruction manual. By the same logic, don't human beings require an instruction manual by which to govern their own lives?
Allah chooses Messengers:
Allah (swt) need not come down personally for giving the instruction manual. He chooses a man amongst men to deliver the message and communicates with him at a higher level through the medium of revelations. Such chosen men are called messengers and prophets of God.
Some people are 'blind' and 'deaf':
Despite the absurdity of the philosophy of anthropomorphism, followers of many religions believe in and preach it to others. Is it not an insult to human intelligence and to the Creator who gave us this intelligence? Such people are truly 'deaf' and 'blind' despite the faculty of hearing and sight given to them by Allah. The Qur'an says:
"Deaf, dumb, and blind,
They will not return (to the path)."
The Bible gives a similar message in the Gospel of Matthew:
"Seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."
[The Bible, Matthew 13:13]
A similar message is also given in the Hindu Scriptures in the Rigveda.
"There maybe someone who sees the words and yet indeed does not see them; may be another one who hears these words but indeed does not hear them." 1
All these scriptures are telling their readers that though the things are made so clear yet many people divert away from the truth.
Attributes of God:
To Allah belong the most beautiful names:
The Qur'an says:
"Say: Call upon Allah, or
Call upon Rahman:
By whatever name you call
Upon Him, (it is well):
For to Him belong
The Most Beautiful Names."
A similar message regarding the beautiful names of Allah (swt) is repeated in the Qur'an in Surah Al-A'raf (7:180), in Surah Taha (20:8) and in Surah Al-Hashr (59:24).
The Qur'an gives no less than ninety-nine different attributes to Almighty Allah. The Qur'an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and Al-Hakeem (All Wise) among many other names. You can call Allah by any name but that name should be beautiful and should not conjure up a mental picture.
Each attribute of God is unique and possessed by Him alone:
Not only does God possess unique attributes, but also each attribute of Almighty God is sufficient to identify Him. I shall clarify this point in detail. Let us take an example of a famous personality, say Neil Armstrong. Neil Armstrong is an astronaut. The attribute of being an astronaut possessed by Neil Armstrong is correct but not unique to Neil Armstrong alone. So when one asks, who is an astronaut? The answer is, there are hundreds of people in the world who are astronauts. Neil Armstrong is an American. The attribute of being American possessed by Neil Armstrong is correct but not sufficient to identify him. So when one asks, who is an American? The answer is, there are millions of people who are American. To identify the person uniquely we must look for a unique attribute possessed by none except that person. For example, Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the moon. So when one asks, who was the first man to set foot on the moon, the answer is only one, i.e. Neil Armstrong. Similarly the attribute of Almighty God should be unique. If I say God is the constructor of buildings, it is possible and true, but it is not unique. Thousands of people can construct a building. But each attribute of Allah is unique and points to none but Allah. For example, God is the creator of the universe. If someone asks who is the creator of the universe, the answer is only one, i.e. Almighty God is the Ultimate Creator. Similarly, following are some of the many unique attributes possessed by none other than the Creator of the universe, Almighty Allah:
"Ar-Raheem", the Most Merciful
"Ar-Rahman", the Most Gracious
"Al-Hakeem", the Most Wise
So when one asks, "Who is 'Ar-Raheem', (the Most Merciful)?", there can only be one answer: "Almighty Allah".
One attribute of God should not contradict with other attributes:
Besides the attribute being unique, it should not contradict other attributes. To continue with the earlier example, suppose somebody says that Neil Armstrong is an American astronaut who was the first human to set foot on the moon and was an Indian. The attribute possessed by Neil Armstrong of being the first man to set foot on the moon, is correct. But its associated quality of being an Indian, is false. Similarly if someone says that God is the Creator of the Universe and has one head, two hands, two feet, etc., the attribute (Creator of the Universe) is correct but the associated quality (in the form of human being) is wrong and false.
All attributes should point to the one and same God:
Since there is only one God, all the attributes should point to one and the same God. To say that Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut who first set foot on the moon, but he was born in 1971 is wrong. Both these unique qualities belong to one and the same person, i.e. Neil Armstrong. Similarly to say that the Creator of the universe is one God and the Cherisher is another God is absurd because God possesses all these attributes combined together.
Unity of God:
Some polytheists argue by saying that the existence of more than one God is not illogical. Let us point out to them that if there were more than one God, they would dispute with one another, each god trying to fulfill his will against the will of the other gods. This can be seen in the mythology of the polytheistic and pantheistic religions. If a 'God' is defeated or unable to defeat the others, he is surely not the one true God. Also popular among polytheistic religions is the idea of many Gods, each having different responsibilities. Each one would be responsible for a part of man's existence e.g. a Sun-God, a Rain-God, etc. This indicates that one 'God' is incompetent of certain acts and moreover he is also ignorant of the other Gods' powers, duties, functions and responsibilities. There cannot be an ignorant and incapable God. If there were more than one God it would surely lead to confusion, disorder, chaos and destruction in the universe. But the universe is in complete harmony. The Glorious Qur'an says:
"If there were, in the heavens
And the earth, other gods
Besides Allah, there would
Have been confusion in both!
But glory to Allah,
The Lord of the Throne:
(High is He) above
What they attribute to Him!"
If there were more than one God, they would have taken away what they created. The Qur'an says:
"No son did Allah beget,
Nor is there any god
Along with Him: (if there were
Many gods), behold, each god
Would have taken away
What he had created,
And some would have
Lorded it over others!
Glory to Allah! (He is free)
From the (sort of) things
They attribute to Him!"
Thus the existence of one True, Unique, Supreme, Almighty God, is the only logical concept of God.
Definition and Categories:
Islam believes in 'Tawheed' which is not merely monotheism i.e. belief in one God, but much more. Tawheed literally means 'unification' i.e. 'asserting oneness' and is derived from the Arabic verb 'Wahhada' which means to unite, unify or consolidate.
Tawheed can be divided into three categories.
1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah
2. Tawheed al-Asmaa-was-Sifaat
3. Tawheed al-Ibaadah.
Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah (maintaining the unity of Lordship)
The first category is 'Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah'. 'Ruboobeeyah' is derived from the root verb "Rabb" meaning Lord, Sustainer and Cherisher.
Therefore 'Tawheed-ar-Ruboobeeyah' means maintaining the unity of Lordship. This category is based on the fundamental concept that Allah (swt) alone caused all things to exist when there was nothing. He created or originated all that exists out of nothing. He alone is the sole Creator, Cherisher, and Sustainer of the complete universe and all between it, without any need from it or for it.
Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (maintaining the unity of Allah's name and attributes):
The second category is 'Tawheed al Asmaa was Sifaat' which means maintaining the unity of Allah's name and attributes. This category is divided into five aspects:
Allah should be referred to as described by Him and His Prophet
Allah must be referred to according to the manner in which He and His prophet have described Him without explaining His names and attributes by giving them meanings other than their obvious meanings.
Allah must be referred to as He has referred to Himself
Allah must be referred to without giving Him any new names or attributes. For example Allah may not be given the name Al-Ghaadib (the Angry One), despite the fact that He has said that He gets angry, because neither Allah nor His messenger have used this name.
Allah is referred to without giving Him the attributes of His creation
In a reference to God, we should strictly abstain from giving Him the attributes of those whom He has created. For instance in the Bible, God is portrayed as repenting for His bad thoughts in the same way as humans do when they realise their errors. This is completely against the principle of Tawheed. God does not commit any mistakes or errors and therefore never needs to repent.
The key principle when dealing with Allah's attributes is given in the Qur'an in Surah Ash-Shura:
"There is nothing
Whatever like unto Him,
And He is the One
That hears and sees (all things)."
Hearing and seeing are human faculties. However, when attributed to the Divine Being they are without comparison, in their perfection, unlike when associated with humans who require ears, eyes, etc. and who are limited in their sight and hearing in terms of space, time, capacity, etc.
God's creation should not be given any of His attributes
To refer to a human with the attribute of God is also against the principle of Tawheed. For example, referring to a person as one who has no beginning or end (eternal).
Allah's name cannot be given to His creatures
Some Divine names in the indefinite form, like 'Raoof' or 'Raheem' are permissible names for men as Allah has used them for Prophets; but 'Ar-Raoof' (the Most Pious) and Ar-Raheem (the most Merciful) can only be used if prefixed by 'Abd' meaning 'slave of' or 'servant of' i.e. 'Abdur-Raoof' or 'Abdur-Raheem'. Similarly 'Abdur-Rasool' (slave of the Messenger) or 'Abdun-Nabee' (slave of the Prophet) are forbidden.
Tawheed al-Ibaadah (maintaining the unity of worship):
Definition and meaning of 'Ibadaah':
'Tawheed al-Ibaadah' means maintaining the unity of worship or 'Ibaadah'. Ibaadah is derived from Arabic word 'Abd' meaning slave or servant. Thus Ibaadah means servitude and worship.
All three categories to be followed simultaneously.
Only believing in the first two categories of Tawheed without implementing Tawheed-al-Ibaadah is useless. The Qur'an gives the examples of 'Mushrikeens' (idolaters) of the Prophet's time who confirmed the first two aspects of Tawheed. It is mentioned in the Qur'an:
"Say: 'Who is it that
Sustains you (in life)
From the sky and from the earth?
Or who is it that
Has power over hearing
And sight? And who
Is it that brings out
The living from the dead
And the dead from the living?
And who is it that
Rules and regulates all affairs?'
They will soon say, 'Allah'.
Say, 'Will you not then
Show piety (to Him)?' "
A similar example is repeated in Surah Zukhruf of the Glorious Qur'an:
"If thou ask them, Who
Created them, they will
Certainly say, 'Allah': how
Then are they deluded
Away (from the Truth)?"
The pagan Meccans knew that Allah (swt) was their Creator, Sustainer, Lord and Master. Yet they were not Muslims because they also worshipped other gods besides Allah. Allah (swt) categorised them as 'Kuffaar' (disbelievers) and 'Mushrikeen' (idol worshippers and those who associate partners with God).
"And most of them
Believe not in Allah
Without associating (others
As partners) with Him!"
Thus 'Tawheed al-Ibaadah' i.e. maintaining the unity of worship is the most important aspect of Tawheed. Allah (swt) alone deserves worship and He alone can grant benefit to man for his worship.
Definition:The omission of any of the above mentioned categories of tawheed or deficiency in the fulfillment of any criteria of Tawheed is referred to as 'shirk'.(Please note that the Arabic word 'Shirk' has the same sound as in the English word 'ship' and not as in the English word 'shirk',which means 'to evade'
'Shirk' literally means sharing or associating partners. In Islamic terms it means associating partners with Allah and is equivalent to idolatry.
Shirk is the greatest sin that Allah will never forgive:
The Qur'an describes the greatest sin in Surah Al-Nisa':
"Allah forgives not
That partners should be set up
With Him; but He forgives
Anything else, to whom
He pleases; to set up
Partners with Allah
Is to devise a sin
Most heinous indeed."
The same message is repeated in Surah Al-Nisa':
"Allah forgives not
(The sin of) joining other gods
With Him; but He forgives
Whom He pleases other sins
Than this: one who joins
Other gods with Allah,
Has strayed far, far away
(From the Right)."
Shirk leads to hell fire:
The Qur'an says in Surah Ma'idah:
"They do blaspheme who say:
'Allah is Christ the son
Of Mary.' But said Christ:
'O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord
And your Lord'. Whoever joins other gods with Allah -
Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire
Will be his abode. There will for the wrongdoers
Be no one to help."
Worship and Obedience to none but Allah:
The Qur'an mentions in Surah Ali-'Imran:
Say: "O people of the Book!
Come To common terms
As between us and you:
That we worship none but Allah;
That we associate no partners with Him;
That we erect not, from among ourselves,
Lords and patrons other than Allah."
If then they turn back,
Say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least)
Are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will)."
The Glorious Qur'an says:
"And if all the trees on earth were pens
And the Ocean (were ink), with seven Oceans behind it
To add to its (supply), yet would not the Words
Of Allah be exhausted (In the writing): for Allah
Is Exalted in power, Full of Wisdom."
Our analysis of Concept of God in various Religion shows that monotheism is an integral part of every major religion of the world. However, it is unfortunate that some adherents of these religions violate the teachings of their own scriptures and have set up partners to Almighty God.
An analysis of the scriptures of various religions, reveals that all scriptures exhort mankind to believe in, and submit to One God. All these scriptures condemn the association of partners to God, or the worship of God in the form of images. The Glorious Qur'an says:
"O men! Here is
A parable set forth!
Listen to it! Those
On whom, besides Allah,
You call, cannot create
(Even) a fly, if they all
Met together for the purpose!
And if the fly should snatch
Away anything from them,
They would have no power
To release it from the fly.
Feeble are those who petition
And those whom they petition!"
The basis of religion is the acceptance of Divine guidance. A rejection of this guidance has serious implications for society. While we have made great strides in science and technology, true peace still eludes us. All 'isms' have failed to provide the much vaunted deliverance.
The scriptures of all major religions exhort mankind to follow that which is good and eschew that which is evil. All scriptures remind mankind that good will not go unrewarded and evil will not go unpunished!
The question we need to address is, which of these scriptures provides us with the correct 'instruction manual' that we need to regulate our individual and collective lives?
I hope and pray that Allah guides all of us towards the Truth (Aameen).
No one has the right to expel anyone out of Islam and to consider him/her unbeliever (or Kafir) so far as:
As for Sunnis and Shiites, they, both, believe that there is no god except the one and only one God, the Creator with no partner, no father, no son, no companion, and no resemblance, and that the prophet is His messenger. They both believe in God's Angels, all Prophets sent from God, all of God's holy book, the Day of Judgment, and destiny. They believe in the five Pillars of Islam. They both face the direction of Kaaba when praying. They pray in any mosque regardless of whether the prayer leader is Sunni or Shi'ite. They may differ in some minor details of rituals but these details are not critical to neither the Shiites nor the Sunnis.
The major difference is historical. The Shiites did not agree on the elected Caliphs (who followed Prophet Muhammad after his death). They believed that the Caliphs should only be selected by God according to Koran and prophet has said all Caliphs after him are within Prophet Muhammad descendants and family. Accordingly, they were supporting Ali Ibn about Taleb (Prophet cousin and the husband of prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra) to be the first Caliph. they did protest against the elected Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Omar, and Othman). Ali supported and helped Caliphs and was adviser to the three Caliphs until he was elected as the fourth Caliph.
However, some Shiites (not all) have some minor practices and habits that do not go along with Islam's teachings, such as beating one's self on the day of Ashura (Qatl-un-Nafs, a major sin) and creating pictures of Hassan and Hussein. Some other Shiites (not all of them) wrongly (and against Islamic teachings) elevate Ali (RA) over the Prophet (S) and/or believe that Allah has the same powers as the Imams. they were called AliAllahi that Ali storngly opposed them and threaten them to burn them. Some other Shiites (as well as some other Sunnis) ask the deceased descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (S) for things as mediators to Allah according verse 5:35 of Koran saying seek the means of approach unto Him (Allah). These wrong practices, by either Shiites or Sunnis, are called Bid'ah (innovation in English) and is said that 'kulli bid'atin dalalatin, WA kulli dalalatin fin-nar' (in English: Each innovation is misguidance, and each misguidance will be in the hell fire). However, the basic Islam beliefs remain the same for both Sunnis and Shiites.
A majority of the Muslims are Sunnis. Sunnis constitute about 80% of all world Muslims. Shiites are majority mainly in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and some parts of Pakistan.Answer 2Both Sunni's and Shia's are Muslims, believe in the same One God (Allah), believe in His Prophet (Muhammd) and follow the same book (Quran).
The major difference comes in following the Hadith (Sermons of the Prophet). Since both the groups had their own historians, there were contradicting facts between the individual books. The Sunni's believe in the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith) whereas Shia's believe in the Quran, Sunnah and the Ahlalbayt (Prophet's Family). After the death of the Prophet, the two major sects were formed, one who followed Abu Bakr as Siddique and the other who followed Ali ibn Abi Talib. The major argument between the groups was that the Prophet had already chosen a successor in the place called Ghadeer al-Khum, which was Ali, and that, the future 2nd Caliphate bore witness and allegiance to him. But after Prophet's death, it was argued that a successor wasn't chosen and that the Muslim's had the right to chose the successor and thus Abu Bakr was chosen by the Muslims. However, the events leading to the succession led to a forming of groups. Some of the questions asked by the people were: Was it right to choose a successor if a successor was already chosen; was it morally right to choose a successor soon after the demise of the Prophet, choosing to be absent from his funeral to be able to select the successor; Was it right to have the elections withing close doors, without representing the major parties to the election (Ali being absent from elections as he was attending the funeral), and was it right to let just the elite and nobles to choose without the proper voting from the general public of the Arab World? Another question that came later on was that if successor is chosen by the people and thus Abu Bakr was chosen as the successor by the people, why was Omal al-Khattab chosen as successor by Abu Bakr, why didn't he let the people choose him if that's according to the Islamic tradition? These were some of the question that were raised at that time.
However, according to the main difference, Sunni's emphasize more on the companion of the Prophet for his way of living whereas Shia's emphasize on the Prophet's family (Ahlalbayt) for relying on the Prophet's life. The Shia's believe that the 12 Imams (descendants of the Prophet) were infallible, that is pure from sins, based on the hadith of the Prophet, and have lived life according to the way the Prophet led his life.
More details from Shiites view
Shia and Sunni have mainly conflict on Imamat (leadership).
shia say Imamat is one of 5 pillars of Islam and only God can select leader for people. but sunni say Imamat is not part of Islam and leader can be selected by people by any method like shura (for example for Abubakr) or by will of previous leader for example for Omar) or by people (for example for Ali).
the conflict of shia and sunni has been always amplified by world Imperialism to prevent Islam from spreading in world.
Shia believes in Allah, prophet and all fundamentals of Islam.
Shia pray 5 times a day but usually do the 2, 3 and 4, 5 pray together and so may seem they do only 3 pray a day. there is some differences in details of pray like genuflect (for shia should be on a stone or part of earth and for sunni on carpet or floor ).
shia believe after death of prophet God selected the successive for prophet who is the political leader of Muslim community and people can not and does not the right to selected it.
shia refers to many verse of Quran like: "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority" (Quran 2:30) or "O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth" (Quran 38:26) also other verses.
Shia believes such verses means only God can select an Islamic political leader (Caliph) and there is no mention in Quran people have the right to select leader. and shura is not allowed to be used for selecting leader and prophet himself always selected leaders of wars and other leaders by command of God.
In Shia Islam Caliphs after prophet are 12 infallible Imams who have inherited divine knowledge of prophet.
Shia Muslims do not consider selection of Abubakr as Caliph by people valid because God did not select him. They believe God ordered prophet to declare people that Ali is selected as successor of prophet and prophet did this mission many times during his prophet-hood and mainly in Ghadir event after last Hajj of his life at a 3-4 hour speech in front of 120,000 Muslims at Ghadir in hot desert after 2 days stop of long caravan for gathering and 3 days after speech for congratulations and homage of Muslims to Ali.
Islam at that time had high power in world and Some companions had high interest in leadership position after prophet. Muslims knew that it is the final Hajj of prophet (predicted by prophet) and were going along with prophet to hear what prophet says at end of his life.
Shia believes Ghadir event is the most important event of Islam and is mentioned in Koran in many verses like "Today" (Ø§Ù„ÙŠÙˆÙ…) in verse 5:3 of Quran is the day of Ghadir. Or Verse 5:67: "(O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guide not those who reject Faith)" is revealed at Ghadir day and is about declaring political and spiritual leadership of Ali S.A. after prophet.
Both Sunni and Shia Muslims accept happening of Ghadir event But different interpret. Some Sunni writers tried to reject the event of Ghadir as declare of leadership of Ali S.A. and said at Ghadir prophet only wanted to say Ali S.A. is my friend and no one should bother him.
Ali S.A. had 3 different missions to Yemen by prophet during 10 years and in 2 of them some companions of prophet had some conflicts with Ali S.A. and prophet said some sayings about Ali S.A. to solve conflicts and some sunni writers have mixed stories of missions of Ali S.A. to Yemen with story of Ghadir to prove Ghadir event is not about Leadership of Ali and is not important.
Shia scholars believe some Sunni writers who were related to Kings have changed and deviated historical evidences about political leadership of Ali S.A. in old historical books and republished them to destroy evidences of leadership of Ali from old Sunni books.
The famous Shia book Al-Ghadir (Ø§Ù„ØºØ¯ÙŠØ±) by Allameh Amini is a collection of evidences and proofs for Ghadir Events written all from sunni historical books by referring to 100,000 Sunni books and full reading of 10,000 sunni books. Allameh Amini is a famous Shia scholar and spent 40 years of his life in traveling to access original old Sunni books in libraries in different countries to write this 20 volume book only from Sunni books and not using any Shia book. Some Sunni scholars tried to reply this book but then said if we want to reply this book we should first destroy all sunni books.
Shia doctrine have root in Battle Karbala.
When tragedy of Karbala happened most of Iranians understood there is two different interpret of Islam that both can not be true. so most of Iranians became shia and followers of "Ahl al-Bayt" and forgive their lives for them like what they did in Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq War.
Shia Muslims have at least 120,000 Hadith (saying) from The Fourteen Infallibles that is the base of Shia Islam along with Quran.
Shia believes according to " Hadith of the two weighty things" The Fourteen Infallible are the only valid interpreters of Quran and sayings of them are from God because they are Representative of God in earth and they have inherited divine knowledge of prophet.
Shia believes 12th of them (Imam Mahdi S.A.) is alive and because people have killed all 11 Imams before him, he is in occultation like Jesus S.A. and will rise with Jesus S.A. when people become ready and want to accept his leadership. All 11 Imams have been killed and during their life they all have been in prison or under hard control of government to not have any political activity.
They never had enough serious followers to can get political power. Among them only the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was relatively free (for transition of power between Umayyads and Abbasids) to have only scientific activities and so only he is known in west because he established university and had students from all over the world. Westerns know him as a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, JÄbir ibn HayyÄn (Geber), and of AbÅ« á¸¤anÄ«fa, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He never wanted be a famous man and only shared his knowledge with seekers of knowledge. Some researchers consider his teachings the root cause of renaissance.
Sunni Muslims also accept Mahdi and his worldwide leadership as Caliph of God in earth at end of world. There is a famous Hadith from prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Mahdi at occultation is like sun behind cloud, he is hidden from people but people receive his benefits.
Shia Muslims say some faithful believers have connection with Mahdi and use his knowledge and at least 1000 persons have had connection and talk with Mahdi during his occultation but Any one having relation with Mahdi S.A. should keep it secret and does not declare it in public until death.Answer_3">Answer_3">Answer 3Both Sunnis and Shiites are just different Islamic schools. They mainly differ on the way the successor of the prophet (after his death) should be. Muslims elected Abou Bakr to be the first Caliph after prophet Muhammad (PBUH) death. However, some Muslims believed that the successor should be from the family of the prophet and hence should Ali Ibn Abou Taleb (the prophet cousin and husband of his daughter). However, after the election of AbouBakr, they joined the majority and even Ali Ibn Abou Taleb (God be pleased with him) supported the elected Caliph. The same scenario was repeated after election of Omar Ibn Alkhattab as the second Caliph and Othman Ibn Affan as the third Caliph. Ali Ibn Abou Taleb was then elected as the fourth Caliph.
However, Sunnis and Shiites are just two Islamic schools that differ in minor issues.The outsiders are trying to feed up assumed differences and conflicts between Muslim groups to gain control on Muslim countries and on their resources. The two main groups are Sunnis and Shiites. Both groups agree upon basic Islam pillars, believe in same and only version of Quran, believe and follow the sunnah of same prophet (PBUH), pray to same direction (facing Kaba in Makkah or Mecca in Saudi Arabia, go to same places on pilgrimage (or Hajj), and adhere to same Islam morals and ritual worships. They only differ on some side issues that are not critical.
While the differences between Sunnis and Shiites began simply as the political dispute over who the successor to Mohammed would be, over time, more and more distinctions developed between the two groups (without Western intervention - if I may add):
Imamat or Leadership: Shiites and Sunnis mainly have a conflict on Imamat (leadership).
Sunnis, the majority, believe that the first four caliphs, Mohammed's successors, rightfully took his place as the leaders of Islam. They recognize the heirs of the four caliphs as legitimate religious leaders. These heirs ruled continuously in the Arab world until the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following the end of the First World War.
The Shiites say that Imamat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and only God can select a leader for people whereas the Sunnis say Imamat is not part of Islam and the leader can be selected by people by any method they propose, including Shura - High-Level Elections (for example for Abu Bakr) or by will of previous leader (for example for Omar) or by people (for example for Ali) provided he is capable of performing the job. Shiites believe after death of Mohammed, God selected the prophet's successor who should be the political leader of Muslim community and people cannot and do not have the right to select such an individual.
Self-Identification: Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet's companions, that the new leader of the Umma (Islamic Community) should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and Mohammed's close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. The word "Sunni" in Arabic comes from a word meaning "one who follows the traditions [of the Prophet]."
The word "Shiite" in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people. The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical "Shia-t-Ali," or "the Party of Ali." They are also known as followers of "Ahl-al-Bayt" or "People of the Household" (of the Prophet).
Prayer Styles: Shiites pray five times a day just like Sunnis but usually do the second and third prayers and fourth and fifth prayers together. Thus, it may seem they do only three prayers a day. There are some differences in details of prayer like genuflecting (for Shiite should be on a stone or part of earth and for the Sunnis it should be on carpet or floor).
Doctrines of Karbala: Shiite doctrines have their roots in Battle Karbala.
When tragedy of Karbala happened most of Iranians understood that there were two different interpretations of Islam that could not both be true. So, most of Iranians became Shiites and followers of "Ahl al-Bayt".
Hadith Collections: Shiite Muslims have at least 120,000 Hadith (sayings) from The Fourteen Infallible Imams (who came after Mohammed) that form the base of Shiite Islam along with Qur'an. Sunni Hadith collections are much smaller as they do not contain volumes from people who lived after the Prophet. Sunni collections also differ based on the School of Sunni Islam. Abu-Hanifa, Ibn Hanbal, Ash-Shafi'i, and Ibn Annas of the Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi'i, and Maliki Schools each have their own collections.
The Imams and Infallibles: Sunnis do not believe in any of the following. Shiites believe according to "Hadith of the two weighty things" that the Fourteen Infallible Imams are the only valid interpreters of Quran and their sayings come directly from God because they are Representatives of God on earth and they have inherited divine knowledge of prophet. These individuals are the 12 Imams, the Prophet and his daughter Fatimah Zahra. All of them are without impurity and have no mistake and have knowledge of everything. (This knowledge is from God according to His will and is not absolute knowledge. Absolute knowledge is only for God and they still do not know many things, but they know anything a human may need to know.) They never died and they hear all sayings and even thoughts of all humans after their death by permission of God. They are intermediates between God and human.
Shiites do not accept that the Imam is to be only a political leader but they believe that they are literally 'manifestations of God', they are sinless, infallible and the bringers of true understanding to all humanity. They are referred to within the Shiite tradition as being masum, that is, free from error or sin.
Shiites believe that the 12th Imam (Imam Mahdi) is alive. Because people have killed all 11 Imams before him, he is in hiding like Jesus and will rise with Jesus when people become ready and want to accept his leadership. All 11 Imams have been killed and during their life they all have been in prison or under hard control of government to avoid them having any political activity.
They never had enough serious followers to allow them to attain political power. Among them only the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was relatively free on account of the freedom afforded during the transition of power between the Umayyads and Abbassids. He is primarily known in the West to have taken part in scientific activities, established a university, and had students from all over the world. Westerners know him as a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, JÄbir ibn HayyÄn (Geber), and of AbÅ« á¸¤anÄ«fa, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He never wanted be a famous man and only shared his knowledge with those who sought knowledge. Some researchers consider his teachings the root cause of the Renaissance.
Positions on the Mahdi: The Mahdi, according to Shiites, will bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth after an apocalyptic battle between the forces of Islam (those who believe in God) and the rest of the world. Sunni Muslims also accept Mahdi and his worldwide leadership as Caliph of God on Earth at end of world, but do not accept the Shiite teaching that this person is the twelfth Imam. There is a famous Hadith from Mohammed that the Mahdi in hiding is like sun behind cloud, he is hidden from people but people receive his benefits.
Shiite Muslims say some faithful believers have a connection with Mahdi and use his knowledge. At least 1000 persons have claimed to have had a connection and conversation with Mahdi during his period of hiding, but anyone who may have a relation with Mahdi should keep it secret and not declare it in public until death.
Seafood Consumption: Most schools of Sunni Islam permit the eating of any form of seafood. Shiites prohibit the consumption of any seafood which does not accord with the Old Testament requirement of having "fins and scales".Answer 5
Some think that the splitting between Suniis and Shiites is due to conflict on Imamat. shia Muslims say Imamat is one pillar of Islam and leader can be selected only by God and sunni say Imamt is not part of Islam and leader can be selected by any method like shura or will of past Caliph (like for Omar).
Shia and Sunni have mostly same beliefs and both believe in fundamental beliefs of Islam. Today there is up to 260 sects in Islam that are in two main categories of shia and sunni.
the conflict of shia and sunni has been always amplified by world Imperialism to prevent Islam from gaining power.
Shia believes in Allah, prophet and all fundamentals of Islam.
Shia pray 5 times a day but usually do the 2, 3 and 4, 5 pray together and so may seem they do only 3 pray a day. there is some differences in details of pray like genuflect (for shia should be on a stone or part of earth and for sunni on carpet or floor ).
shia believes Imamat is one of five pillars of Islam and leader can be selected only by God. shia believe after death of prophet God selected the successive for prophet who is the political leader of Muslim community and people can not and does not the right to selected it.
Shia believes the Caliph (Representative of God in earth) is selected only by God and can not be selected by people because God said in Koran: "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority" (Quran 2:30) or "O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth" (Quran 38:26) also other verses.
Shia believes such verses means only God can select an Islamic political leader (Caliph).
In Shia Islam Caliphs after prophet are 12 Imams and all of them are the same and have no mistake and have the knowledge of everything (not absolute knowledge like knowledge of God) and they hear all sayings and even thinks of all humans after even after their death by permission of God and they are intermediates between God and human Shia Muslims always support them and forgive their lives for them.
Shia Muslims do not consider selection of Abubakr as Caliph by people valid because God did not select him. They believe God ordered prophet to declare people that Ali is selected as successor of prophet and prophet did this mission many times during his prophet-hood and mainly in Ghadir event after last Hajj of his life at a 3-4 hour speech in front of 120,000 Muslims at Ghadir in hot desert after 2 days stop of long caravan for gathering and 3 days after speech for congratulations and homage of Muslims to Ali. Islam at that time had high power in world and Some companions had high interest in leadership position after prophet. Muslims knew that it is the final Hajj of prophet (predicted by prophet) and were going along with prophet to hear what prophet says at end of his life. Shia believes Ghadir event is the most important event of Islam and is mentioned in Koran in many verses like "Today" (Ø§Ù„ÙŠÙˆÙ…) in verse 5:3 of Quran is the day of Ghadir. Or Verse 5:67 (O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith) is revealed at Ghadir day and is about declaring political leadership of Ali after prophet.
Both Sunni and Shia Muslims accept happening of Ghadir event But different interpret. Some Sunni writers tried to reject the event of Ghadir as declare of leadership of Ali and said at Ghadir prophet only wanted to say Ali is my friend and no one should bother him. Ali had 3 different missions to Yemen by prophet during 10 years and in 2 of them some companions of prophet had some conflicts with Ali and and prophet said some sayings about Ali to solve conflicts and some sunni writers have mixed stories of missions of Ali to Yemen with story of Ghadir to prove Ghadir event is not about Leadership of Ali and is not important.
Shia scholars believe some Sunni writers have changed and deviated historical evidences about political leadership of Ali in old historical books and republished them to destroy evidences of leadership of Ali from old Sunni books.
The famous Shia book Al-Ghadir (Ø§Ù„ØºØ¯ÙŠØ±) by Allameh Amini is a collection of evidences and proofs for Ghadir Events written after referring to 100,000 Sunni books and full reading of 10,000 sunny books. Allameh Amini is a famous Shia scholar and spent 40 years of his life in travelling to access original old Sunni books in libraries in different countries to write this 20 volume book only from Sunni books and not using any Shia book. Some Sunni scholars tried to reply this book but then said if we want to reply this book we should first destroy all books of ourselves.
Shia doctrine have root in Karbala tragedy. When tragedy of Karbala happened most of Iranians understood there is two different kinds of Islam and after happening of Karbala tragedy most of Iranians became followers of "Ahl al-Bayt" and forgive their lives for them like what they did in Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq War. Shia Muslims have at least 120,000 Hadith (saying) from The Fourteen Infallibles that is the base of Shia Islam along with Quran. Shia believes according to " Hadith of the two weighty things" The Fourteen Infallibles are the only valid interpreters of Quran and sayings of them are from God because they are Representative of God in earth and they do not say anything from themselves. Shia believes 12th of them (Mahdi) is alive and because people have killed all 11 Imams before him, he is in hide like Jesus and will come out of hide toghether with Jesus when people become ready and want to accept his leadership. All 11 Imams have been killed and during their life thy all have been in prison or under hard control of government to not have any political action. They never had enough serious followers to can get political power. Among them only the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was relatively free in his life to have only scientific activities (but banned from any political action) and so only he is known in west because he established university and had students from all over the world. Westerns know him as a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, JÄbir ibn HayyÄn (Geber), and of AbÅ« á¸¤anÄ«fa, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He never wanted be a famous man and only shared his knowledge with who wanted to learn. Some researchers consider his teachings the root cause of renaissance.
Sunni Muslims also accept Mahdi and his worldwide leadership as Caliph of God in earth at end of world. There is a famous Hadith from prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Mahdi at hide is like sun behind cloud, he is hidden from people but people receive his benefits. Shia Muslims say some faithful believers have connection with Mahdi and use his knowledge. Shia Muslims believe that it is proved at least 1000 persons have had connection and talk with Mahdi during his hide period but Any one having relation with Mahdi keep it and does not declare it in public until is alive.Answer 6
As for Sunnis and Shiites, they, both:
All Muslims; although differ in minor side issues; are one unity and will never follow the exterior plans of the non Muslims who try their best to create conflicts among them to have stronger control on their mineral and energy resources and to brig them under their will and directions.
shiah believed in five principles such as prophecy , divine unity , ressurrection , imamah or successors of the prophet and divine justice . it is only in the imamah and divine justice that shia and sunni differ . in the question of the imamate , it is the insistence on the esoteric function of the imam that distinguishes the shiite perspective from the sunni .
in the question of justice it is the emphasis upon this attribute as an intrinsic quality of the divine nature that is particular to shiism . we might say that in the esoteric formulation of Sunni theology,especially as contained in Ash arism , there is an emphasis upon the will of God.whatever god will is just precisely because it is willed by god . and intelligence is a sense subordinated to this will and to the voluntarism which characterizes this form of theology.
in shiism the quality of justice is considered as innate to the divine nature .god cannot act in an unjust manner because it is his nature to be just .fa , him to be unjust would violate his own nature , Which is impossible .intelligence can judge the justness and unjustness of an act and this judgment is not completely suspended in favor of a pure voluntarism on the part of god . hence there is a greater emphasis upon intelligence in shiite theology and great enphasis upon will in scorn kalam ,or theology , at least in predominant asharite school .
shiism also differs sunnusm in its consideration of the means whereby the original message of the Quranic revelation reached the islamic community and thereby in certain aspects of the sacred history of Islam .there is no disagreement on the Quran and the prophet ., that is , on what constitutes the origin of the islamic religion .the difference in view begins in the period immediately following the death of the prophet .one might say that the personality of the prophet contained two dimensions which later to become crystallized into Sunnism and Shiism .each of these two schools was later to reflect back upon the life and the personality of the prophet solely from its own point of view ,thus living aside and forgetting and misconstruing the other dimension ecluded from its own perspective .for shiism the dry(in the alchemical sense) and austere aspect of the prophets personality as reflected in his successors in the Sunni world was equated with worldliness while his warm and compassionate dimension was emphasized as his whole personality and as the essence of the nature of the immams who were considered to be a continuation of him .for the vast majority of the islamic community the companions of the prophet represent the prophet's heritage and the channel through which his messge was transmitted to later generations .within the early community the companions occupied a favored position and among them the first four caliphs stood out as a distinct group .it is through the companions that the saying( Hadith ) and the manner of the living ( sunnah )of the prophet were transmited to the second generations of Muslims . shiism however concentrating on the question of the wilayah and insisting on the esoteric content of the prophetic message , saw in the Ali and the household of the prophet (ahi al -bayt),in its shiiate sense the sole channel through which the original message og islam was transmitted , although , paradoxically enough the majorty of descendants of the prophet beong to Sunnism and continue to do so untill today
All the five legal schools agree that there are three kinds of Hajj: tamattu`, qiran, and ifrad. They also agree that by Hajj al-tamattu` is meant performance of the acts of the `Umrah during the months of the Hajj. The acts of the Hajj itself are performed after getting through the `Umrah. They also agree that by Hajj al‑'ifrad is meant performing the Hajj first and then, after getting through the acts of the Hajj, getting into the state of ihram for performing the `Umrah and its related acts.
According to the Imamiyyah school, the Hajjal-qiran and Hajj al‑'ifrad are one and the aqiran brings the hady at the time of assuming the ihram. Then it is obligatory upon him to offer what he has brought. But one who performs the Hajj al‑'ifrad has essentially no obligation to offer the hady.
In brief, the Imamiyyah do not consider it permissible to interchange two different ihram's,1or to perform the Hajj and the `Umrah with a single niyyah (intention) under any condition; but the other legal schools permit it in Hajjal-qiran. They say that it has been named `al‑qiran'because it involves union between the Hajj and the `Umrah. But the Imamiyyah say that it is because of the additional feature of the hady accompanying the pilgrim at the time of ihram.
According to the Imamiyyah school, Hajjal-tamattu` is obligatory upon one living at a distance of over forty‑eight miles from Mecca, and he may not choose any other kind except in emergency. The Hajj al-qiran and Hajj al‑'ifrad are performable by the people of Mecca and those living around it within a distance of forty‑eight miles, and it is not permissible for them to perform except one of these two kinds. The Imamiyyah base their argument on this verse of the Qur'an:
فَمَنْ تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ
…if any one wishes to continue the 'umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque…..(2:196)
Moreover, according to the Imamiyyah school, it is not permissible for one obliged to perform the Hajjal-tamattu` to change over to something else, except for the problem of shortage of time available, or, in the case of women, due to impending menses. In those cases it is permissible to change either to al‑qiran or al‑'ifrad on condition that the `Umrah is performed after the Hajj. The limit of the shortage of time is failure to be present at the wuquf in `Arafat until noon.
The ihram is compulsory for all the various kinds of Hajj as well as' `Umrah, and is regarded as their basic element (rukn) by the Imamiyyah, and as obligatory by other schools. All the five schools agree that the miqat of the people of al‑Madinah from where they assume ihram is Masjid al‑Shajarah, also known as Dhu al‑Hulayfah; 1for the pilgrims of al‑Sham (which includes the Syrians, the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the Jordanians, noting further that the routes have changed from what they used to be in the past), Morocco and Egypt the miqat is al‑Juhfah;2for the pilgrims of Iraq, it is al‑`Aqiq;3for those from Yemen and others who take the same route, it is Yalamlam. 4
According to the Imamiyyah, Qarn al‑Manazil 5is the miqat for the people of al‑Ta'if and those who take their route towards Makkah. But according to the four Sunni schools, it is the miqat of the people of Najd. The miqat for those from Najd and Iraq according to the Imamiyyah is al‑`Aqiq. All the legal schools agree that these mawaqit also apply to those who in their journey take similar routes, even though they may not be natives of those regions.
For instance, if a Syrian starts on Hajj from al‑Madinah, it is permissible for him to assume ihram from Dhu al‑Hulayfah; if he starts on Hajj from Yemen, his miqat is Yalamlam; if from Iraq, then al‑`Aqiq, and so on. If one does not pass the mentioned mawaqit on his route, the miqat for him is the place parallel to any one of them.
If someone lives at a place nearer to Makkah than any of the prescribed mawaqit, then he assumes ihram from the place of his residence. For, someone who resides in Makkah itself, his miqat is Makkah. For one performing the al‑`Umrat al‑mufradah, the mawaqit, according to the Imamiyyah, are the same as for the Hajj.
Ihram Before Miqat
The four Sunni legal schools agree on the permissibility of assuming ihram before the point of miqat, but disagree as to which has greater merit. According to Malik and Ibn Hanbal, ihram before miqat is more meritorious (afdal). According to Abu Hanifah, the merit lies in assuming ihram while starting the Hajj journey from one's town: Two opinions are ascribed to al‑Shafi'i in this regard.
However, according to the Imamiyyah school, ihram before miqat is not permissible except for one who intends to perform the `Umrah in the month of Rajab and is afraid of missing it if ihram is delayed until miqat is reached, and for one who makes a vow (nadhr) to assume ihrambefore the miqat. (al‑Tadhkirah, Fiqh al‑Sunnah)
Ihram after Miqat
There is consensus among all the legal schools that it is not permissible to cross the miqat without ihram, and one who does so must return to the miqat for assuming ihram. If he does not return, according to the four Sunni schools, his Hajj is correct though he should offer a hadyin atonement. But if there be any impediment, such as fear of insecurity on the way or shortage of time, there is no sin. This, regardless of whether there are other mawaqit before him on his path or not.
According to the Imamiyyah, if he has deliberately neglected to assume ihram at the miqat while intending to perform the Hajj or the `Umrah, if he does not turn back to the miqat, there being no other miqat before him from which he can assume ihram, his ihram and Hajj are invalid, whether he had a valid pretext for not returning or not.
But if his failure to assume ihram at miqat was on account of forgetfulness or ignorance, if it is possible to return, he must do so; but if it is not possible, then from the next miqat before him. Otherwise he ought to assume ihramas far as possible outside the haram of Makkah, or within it; though the former is preferable. (al‑Tadhkirah, al‑Fiqh `ala al‑madhahib al‑'arba`ah)
Ihram before the Hajj Months
According to the Imamiyyah and Shafi'i schools, the ihrambefore the months of the Hajj is invalid if assumed with the purpose of Hajj, though it is valid when assumed for the purpose of the `Umrah. They cite in this regard the Qur'anic verse:
الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ
The pilgrimage is (performed in) the well-known months…(2:197):
But according to the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools, it is permissible with karahah. (al‑Tadhkirah, Fiqh al‑Sunnah)
The Mustahabbat of Ihram
There is no disagreement among the legal schools with respect to the ihram being an essential rukn of the `Umrah and all the three forms of the Hajj, namely, tamattu; qiran and ifrad. Also, there is no difference of opinion that ihram is the first act of the pilgrim, irrespective of whether his purpose is `Umrah mufradah, or any of the three forms of Hajj. There are certain wajibat and mustahabbat related to the ihram.
The legal schools agree that it is mustahabb for anyone intending ihram to cleanse his body, clip his fingernails, shorten his moustaches, and to take a bath (even for women undergoing hayd or nifas, for the aim is cleanliness). It is also mustahabb for one intending Hajj to abstain from cutting the hair of his head from the beginning of the month of Dhu al‑Qi'dah, to remove the hair from his body and armpits, and to enter ihram after the zuhr (noon) or any other obligatory prayers. It is also mustahabb to pray six, four or at least two raka`at. However, freedom from the state of ritual impurity (hadath) is not a condition for the ihram to be valid.
According to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, if water is not available, one is relieved of the duty to take the bath (ghusl), and tayammum as an alternative is not permissible. According to the Hanbali and Shafi'i schools, tayammum substitutes ghusl. The Imamiyyah jurists differ on this matter, some consider it permissible, others not.
According to the Imamiyyah school, it is mustahabb to leave the hair of the head uncut, but according to the Shafi'i, Hanafi and Hanbali schools, it is mustahabb to shave the head. (al‑Fiqh `ala al‑madhahib al‑'arba`ah)
According to the Hanafi school, it is sunnah for one who wants to assume ihram to scent his body and clothes with a perfume whose trace does not remain after ihram except the smell. According to the Shafi'i school, it is sunnah, except when one is fasting, to apply perfume to the body after the bath. Also, perfuming the clothes does not matter. According to the Hanbali school, one may perfume the body; and the clothes with karahah. (al‑Fiqh `ala al‑madhahib al‑'arba `ah)
According to the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi'i schools, it is mustahabb for the muhrim to pray two raka'atbefore assuming ihram after the noon prayer or any other obligatory prayer. If he has no obligatory prayer to make at the time of ihram, he should offer six, or four or at least two raka`at for the ihram. (al‑Jawahir)
Al‑Muhaqqiq al‑Hilli, the Imamiyyah scholar, in his work Tadhkirat al‑fuqaha', says that for one intending ihram it is mustahabb to make a condition with God at the time of assuming ihram, by saying:
اللهم اني أريد ماأمرتني به، فإن منعتني مانعٌ عن تمامه وحبسني عنه حابسٌ فجعلني في حل.
O God, indeed I wish to fulfill Thy command, but if any impediment keeps me from completing it or a barrier obstructs me from it, exonerate me.
Abu Hanifah, al‑Shafi'i, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal also consider it mustahabb. However, this ishtirat does not help in relieving one of the obligations of the Hajj if he were to encounter an impediment which keeps him from getting through it.
The Wajibat of Ihram
The wajibat of ihram, with some difference between the legal schools on some points, are three: niyyah(intention); talbiyah; and putting on of the clothes of ihram.
Obviously niyyah or intention is essential to every voluntary act; for every such act is motivated by conscious intent. Therefore, some scholars have pointed out that had we been assigned a duty to be performed without intention it would have been impossible to be carried out. However, when the question of intention is raised in relation to the pilgrim (of the Hajj or the `Umrah), what is meant is whether he becomes muhrim solely on account of the niyyah or if something else is required in addition, acknowledging that ihram is void if assumed frivolously or absent‑mindedly.
According to the Hanafi school, ihram is not considered to commence solely with intention unless it is accompanied by the utterance of the talbiyah (Fath al‑qadir).According to the Shafi'i, Imamiyyah and Hanbali schools, the ihram is assumed merely by niyyah (al‑Jawahir, Fiqh al‑Sunnah). The Imamiyyah add that it is obligatory for the niyyah to coincide with the commencement of ihram, and it is not sufficient for the act of niyyah to occur in the course of assuming ihram.
Also while making the niyyah it is essential to specify the purpose of ihram, whether it is Hajj or `Umrah, whether it is Hajj al‑tamattu; Hajj al‑qiran or Hajj al‑'ifrad, whether he is performing the Hajj for himself or as a na'ib of someone else, whether for the obligatory Hajj (Hijjat al‑'Islam) or for something else. If one assumes ihram without specifying these particulars, postponing their determination to future, the ihram is invalid. (al‑`Urwat al‑wuthqa).
According to the Hanafi text al‑Mughni, "It is mustahabb to specify the purpose of ihram. Malik is of the same opinion. Two opinions are ascribed to al‑Shafi'i. According to one of them, it is adequate if one assumes ihram with a general, non‑specific purpose of pilgrimage... without determining the exact purpose, whether Hajj or `Umrah. The ihram thus assumed is valid and makes one a muhrim.... Afterwards, he may select any of the kinds of pilgrimage." All the five schools agree that if one assumes ihram with the intention to follow another person's intention, his ihram is valid if the other person's purpose is specific. (al‑Jawahir; al‑Mughni)
That the talbiyah is legitimate in ihram is acknowledged by all the five schools, but they disagree as to its being wajib or mustahabb, and also about its timing. According to the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools, it is sunnah, preferably performed concurrently with ihram. However, if the intention to assume ihram is not accompanied by talbiyah, the ihram is correct.
According to the Imamiyyah, Hanafi, 6 and Maliki schools, the talbiyah is obligatory, though they differ about its details. According to the Hanafi school, pronouncement of talbiyah or its substitute‑‑such as tasbih, or bringing along of the sacrificial animal (al‑hady)‑‑is a provision for ihram to be valid. According to the Maliki school, the ihram neither becomes invalid if talbiyahis recited after a long gap of time, nor if it is not pronounced altogether. However, one who fails to pronounce it must offer a blood sacrifice.
According to the Imamiyyah, neither the ihram for Hajj al‑tamattu; nor Hajj al‑'ifrad, nor their conjugate `umrahs, nor for al‑`Umratal‑mufradah, is valid without talbiyah. However, one who intends to perform Hajj al‑qiran may choose between. talbiyah, ish'ar7or taqlid; ish'ar for this school being exclusively restricted to a camel, though taqlid may apply to a camel or the other forms of hady.
The Formula of Talbiyah
لبيك اللهم لبيك، لا شريك لك لبيك، إن الحمد والنعمة لك والملك لا شريك لك
All the legal schools agree that taharah is not a proviso for pronouncing talbiyah. (al‑Tadhkirah).
As to its occasion, the muhrim starts reciting it from the moment of ihram, being mustahabb for him to continue it‑‑all the five schools agree‑‑until the ramy of Jamarat al‑`aqabah. To utter it loudly is mustahabb for men (not for women), except in mosques where prayers are offered in congregation, particularly in the Mosque of `Arafat. According to the Imamiyyah school, it is mustahabbto discontinue reciting the talbiyah on sighting the houses of Makkah. A woman may recite the talbiyah just aloud enough to be heard by herself or someone near her. It is also mustahabb to proclaim blessings on the Prophet and his Family (s). (al‑Tadhkirah; Fiqhal‑Sunnah).
The Muhrim's Dress
All the five schools agree that it is not permissible for a muhrim man to wear stitched clothing, shirts or trousers, nor may he cover his face. Also, it is not permissible for him to wear shoes (khuffan) except when he cannot find a pair of sandals (na`lan), 8and that after removing the covering on the back of the heels from the base. A woman, however, should cover her head, keep her face exposed, except when she fears that men may ogle at her.
It is not permissible for her to wear gloves, but she may put on silk and wear shoes (khuffan). According to Abu Hanifah, it is permissible for a woman to wear gloves. (al‑Tadhkirah; Ibn Rushd's al‑Bidayah wa al‑nihayah).
The book al‑Fiqh `ala al‑madhahib al‑'arba`ah, under the heading `That which is required of one intending ihrambefore he starts to assume it', states, "According to the Hanafi school, among other things he wears izar (loin‑cloth) and rida' (cloak). The izar covers the lower part of the body from the navel to the knees. The rida' covers the back, the chest and the shoulders, and its wearing is mustahabb.
According to the Maliki school, it is mustahabb to wear izar, rida and na`lan; but there is no restriction on wearing something else that is not stitched and does not encircle any of the parts of the body.
According to the Hanbali school, it is sunnah to put on a new, white and clean rida' and izar together with a pair of na`lan before assuming ihram. According to the Shafi`i school, the rida' and izar should be white, new or washed ones.
According to the Imamiyyah school, the rida' and the izar are obligatory, preferably (istihbaban) of white cotton. The muhrim may put on more than these two pieces of clothing on condition that they are not stitched. Also it is permissible to change the clothes in which one commenced ihram, though it is better to perform the tawaf in the same rida' and izar as worn at the beginning.
All the requirements of the dress for salat apply to the dress of ihram, such as taharah, its being non‑silken for men, not made of the skin of an animal eating whose flesh is not permissible. Accord