ISLAMIC OBLIGATORY KNOWLEDGE
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said what means: "The best deed is the belief in Allah and His Messenger." (Al-Bukhariyy)
* What is Islam?
Linguistically, Islam means submission. According to Islamic terminology, Islam means a specified submission. It is the submission to what the prophet brought. This takes place by uttering the THE TWO TESTIFICATIONS OF FAITH. Belief, on the other hand, linguistically means certitude. According to Islamic terminology, it means a specified certitude. It is to accept as true what the prophet brought. The least of Belief is to belief in the THE TWO TESTIFICATIONS OF FAITH. Islam and Belief cannot be disassociated. One of them is not accepted without the other, although their original meaning are not identical. Imam Abu Hanifah said in Al-Fiqh Al-'Akbar: "Islam is not acceptable without Belief and Belief is not accepted without Islam. They are like the front of something and its back." Islam is the Religion of all the prophets.
* What are the Two Testifications of Faith?
The Two Testifications of Faith are: I bear witness that no one is God except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad the son of ^Abdillah is the prophet of Allah. The non-Muslim embraces Islam by believing in the Two Testifications of Faith and uttering them with the intention of leaving out blasphemy. The first Testification means that no one or thing deserves to be worshipped except God Who is the Creator of everything.The second Testification states that Muhammad the son of ^Abdillah who was born in Makkah about 1400 years ago is a messenger of God. He was sent to convey what God revealed to him so that the humans believe in and work with the Laws he received and brought. He is truthful in all what he conveyed. The Two Testifications reject the Godhood of anyone or anything other than God. They confirm the Godhood of God only with the acknowledgment of the message of prophet Muhammad.
* Basic Islamic Belief
One has to believe that the Creator, Allah, exists, and is not similar to anything. He is the only Creator and the only One Who deserves to be worshipped. He does not need anything and everything needs Him. God has Attributes of perfection that befit Him and any imperfection is not attributable to Him. Any imperfection, such as ignorance, place, direction, body, soul, organ, children, change or weakness, is not attributed to God. The rule is simple: Whatever you imagine in your mind, God is different from it. God sent messengers the first of them was Adam and the last one was Muhammad. All the messengers, including Jesus and Moses, were truthful, ordered their people to believe in One God, Allah, and not to associate any partner with Him. Hence, their Religion was the same: Islam.
* How Does One Become a Muslim?
One becomes a Muslim by believing in the Two Testifications of Faith and uttering them with the intention of leaving out blasphemy. The Two Testifications of Faith are: I bear witness that no one is God except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.
* Who is Prophet Muhammad the son of ^Abdillah?
Prophet Muhammad was born in Makkah in Arabia in 6th century. His father was ^Abdullah the son of ^Abd al-Muttalib, the son of Hashim the son of ^Abdi Manaf from the tribe of Quraysh- the head of the Arab tribes. His father died while his mother was still pregnant with him. He was raised by his grandfather, the head of Quraysh, after the death of his mother. His uncle Abu Talib, later on took care of him and supported him. He received the revelation in Makkah when he was 40 years old and stayed in Makkah after that for 13 years. He immigrated to al-Madinah and lived there for 10 years before he died there. His age was 63 years old when he died. He was buried in al-Madinah and it is rewardable to visit his grave there. Prophet Muhammad revived the call for Islam after Jesus was raised and after none of the Muslim followers of Jesus were alive. Prophet Muhammad conveyed that there will be no prophet after him, and Jesus will come back to rule according to his teachings. This was also revealed to the prophet in the Qur'an . Qur'an spoke about other prophets like: Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, and Jesus. All of those prophets were prophets of Islam. Prophet Muhammad exerted successful efforts in calling for Islam and was supported by God with miracles. By that, prophet Muhammad proved to others that he is a prophet and truthful. Before the death of prophet Muhammad his companions reached about 100,000 Muslims. Today, the Muslims are about 1 billion. Since the time of the prophet, Muslims have kept, one generation after the other, conveying the teachings and following the rulings of prophet Muhammad. Believing in Islam is not valid if one does not believe in prophet Muhammad and that he is the final messenger.
* What is the Qur'an?
The Qur'an is revelation from God to the prophet. Neither angel Gabriel, nor prophet Muhammad composed the Qur'an. The Qur'an was revealed by Allah and conveyed by the prophet. The Qur'an is a long-lasting miracle. The prophet challenged others, Arabs and non-Arabs, to bring something like it. The challenge is still valid. None was able to bring anything like it and no one will be able to do that.God promised to save Qur'an from perversion. This is readily noticed. Today, all over the world, Muslims refer to one Qur'an. Qur'an is written in the book of al-Mushaf. Al-Mushaf is one. Muslims follow today, as always, the same Mushaf. If one goes back in history, one will still see that Muslims had one Mushaf- the same Mushaf which we refer to it today. As a matter of fact, the original copies of the Mushaf which was written by the companions is still available in Muslim museums in Turkey and other countries. Muslim children and adults memorize all the Qur'an by heart. This is an Islamic tradition which was preserved since the time of the companions of the prophet. One generation of Muslims will convey Qur'an to the next generation. They keep following the methods for reciting Qur'an as these methods were originally conveyed by prophet Muhammad. The lineage to the prophet is extremely strong. From here, one realizes that it is impossible to tamper with Qur'an. The Qur'an is the evidence Muslims use to learn about and rule according to Islam. Muslims also refer to the traditions conveyed by prophet Muhammad called Sunnah which is also revelation. The Muslims also refer to the unanimous agreement of the top Muslim scholars on religious issues. Ruling on new issues is established based on proofs given by Qur'an, Sunnah and consensus following a particular method for deducing judgments. Only individuals who are highly qualified may deduce judgments in Islam.
* Some of the Attributes of Allah
God has Attributes of perfection which befit Him. Some of these are Existence, Existence without a beginning, Existence without an end, Oneness, Non-resemblance to creations, non-neediness to creations, Life, Will, Power, Knowledge, Hearing, Sight and Speech without letters, sounds or languages.
The Prophet peace be upon him said what means: "The person whom Allah willed to grant goodness, Allah makes him knowledgeable about the Religion." (Al-Bukhariyy)
* What is Islamic Obligatory Knowledge?
Islamic Obligatory Knowledge is the knowledge that every accountable person is obligated to know. It includes the knowledge of Islamic Belief, cases of Islamic Law about Purification, Prayer, Fasting and the like. It also includes knowledge of the rules pertaining to dealings and contracts. One has also to learn the Obligatory Knowledge about the sins of the heart and body organs like the tongue, stomach, hands, private parts and the like. Ask for your copy of: "The Summary of ^Abdullah Al-Harariyy Ensuring Personal Obligatory Knowledge of the Religion", by his Excellency al-Muhaddith, shaykh ^Abdullah Al-Harariyy.