Introduction to Islam


Allah (God)


Islam is the complete submission and obedience to Allah (God).
The name Allah (God) in Islam never refers to Muhammad (pbuh), as many Christians may think; Allah is the personal name of God.

What do Muslims believe about Allah?
1. He is the one God, Who has no partner.
2. Nothing is like Him. He is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation.
3. He is All-Powerful, absolutely Just.
4. There is no other entity in the entire universe worthy of worship besides Him.
5. He is First, Last, and Everlasting; He was when nothing was, and will be when nothing else remains.
6. He is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful,the Supreme, the Sovereign.
7. It is only He Who is capable of granting life to anything.
8. He sent His Messengers (peace be upon them) to guide all of mankind.
9. He sent Muhammad (pbuh) as the last Prophet and Messenger for all mankind.
10. His book is the Holy Qur\'an, the only authentic revealed book in the world that has been kept without change.
11. Allah knows what is in our hearts.

These are some of the basic guidelines Muslims follow in their knowledge of God:


1. Eliminate any anthropomorphism (human qualities) from their conception of Allah. His attributes are not like human attributes,despite similar labels or appellations.
2. Have unwavering faith in exactly what Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) described Allah to be, no more, no less.
3. Eradicate any hope or desire of learning or knowing the modality of His names and attributes.
4. Belief totally in all the names and attributes of Allah; one cannot believe in some and disbelieve the others.
5. One cannot accept the names of Allah without their associated attributes, i.e. one cannot say He is Al-Hayy - \'The Living\' and then say that He is without life.
6. Similarity in names (or meanings) does not imply similarity in what is being described (referents). As a robotic arm differs from a human arm, so the "hand" of Allah is nothing like a human hand, His speech is nothing like human speech, etc.
7. Certain words are ambiguous or vague in their meanings, and thus may be susceptible to misinterpretation. Only those meanings that are in accordance with what is specified by Allah and His Prophet (pbuh) are acceptable.

Cleanliness
Islam places great emphasis on cleanliness, in both its physical and spiritual aspects. On the physical side, Islam requires the Muslim to clean his body, his clothes, his house, and the whole community, and he is rewarded by God for doing so. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, for example:


"Removing any harm from the road is charity (that will be rewarded by Allah)." [Bukhari]


While people generally consider cleanliness a desirable attribute, Islam insists on it , making it an indispensible fundamental of the faith. A muslim is required to to be pure morally and spiritually as well as physically. Through the Qur\'an and Sunnah Islam requires the sincere believer to sanitize and purify his entire way of life.


In the Qur\'an Allah commends those who are accustomed to cleanliness:


"Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean." [2: 22]


In Islam the Arabic term for purity is Taharah. Books of Islamic jurisprudence often contain an entire chapter with Taharah as a heading.


Allah orders the believer to be tidy in appearance:


"Keep your clothes clean." [74:4]


The Qur\'an insists that the believer maintain a constant state of purity:


"Believers! When you prepare for prayer wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; rub your heads (with water) and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are ritually impure bathe your whole body." [5: 6]


Ritual impurity refers to that resulting from sexual release, menstruation and the first forty days after childbirth. Muslims also use water, not paper or anything else to after eliminating body wastes.


Prophet Muhammad )pbuh) advised the Muslims to appear neat and tidy in private and in public. Once when returning home from battle he advised his army:


"You are soon going to meet your brothers, so tidy your saddles and clothes. Be distinguished in the eyes of the people." [Abu Dawud]


On another occasion he said:


"Don\'t ever come with your hair and beard