|The Kalima||The Ka'ba||The 99 Most Excellent Names of Allah||A Brief Islamic Dictionary|
|The Salat||The Mosque||The 114 Surahs of the Qur'an||Who's Who in Islam|
This is the prescribed confession of faith:
"La llaha illa Ilahu: Muhammadun Rasulu llah".
"There is no deity but Allah: Muhammed is the Apostle of Allah".
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The Salat is the daily prayer cycle to be repeated five times every day. The content of the prayer is prescribed and has to be recited in Arabic. Each Salat consists of Rak'ats (pronounced Rak'ah). These are prostrations prescribed in every detail. With each the fixed prayer has to be recited. The number of Rak'ats is fixed to the prayer time:
Twice in the morning, once at noon, four times in the afternoon, three times in the evening and four times at bedtime. This makes a total of seventeen times a day, over 6 200 times a year, and 100 000 times in sixteen years. We have no idea what psychological effect this has on a person's life!
Here is the prayer for one Rak'at:
Allah akbar! (Allah is great).
Holiness unto Thee, O Allah! And praise be to Thee!
Great is Thy name! Great is Thy greatness!
There is no deity but Thee!
I seek refuge of Allah from the cursed Satan.
In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful.
"Praise be to Allah, Lord of all worlds!
The compassionate, the merciful King of the day of reckoning!
Thee only do we worship, and to Thee only do we cry for help.
Guide Thou us in the straight path. The path of those to
whom Thou hast been gracious. With whom Thou art not angry
and who go not astray. Amen".
"Say: He is Allah alone. Allah the eternal!
He begetteth not, and is not begotten, and there is none
like unto him". Allah is great!
I extol the holiness of the Lord, the most High! (3x)
Allah is great! (2x)
I extol the holiness of the Lord, the most High! (3x)
Allah is great!
The adoration of the tongue are for Allah, and also the
adoration of the body, and alms giving!
Peace be on Thee, O Prophet, with the mercy of Allah and
Peace be upon us and upon Allah's righteous servants!
I testify that there is no deity but Allah, and I testify
that Mohammed is the servant of Allah, and the messenger of Allah!
O Allah have mercy on Muhammad and on his descendants, as
thou didst have mercy on Abraham and on his descendants.
Thou art to be praised, and Thou art great. O Allah, bless
Muhammad and his descendants as Thou didst bless Abraham
and his descendants!
Thou are to be praised and Thou art great!
O Allah, our Lord, give us the blessings of this life,
and also the blessings of life everlasting.
Save us from the torments of fire!
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According to legends this cube-like building (approx. 14 x 18 m, 12 m high) made of stone blocks of varying sizes, was first built by Adam. It was destroyed by the flood and rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael. The famous Black Stone, fitted into the East corner, was allegedly given to Ishmael by the Angel Gabriel. It was white originally, but turned black because of the sin of the people.
History knows that the Ka'ba was definitely pre-Islamic and the centre of idol worship. The Ka'ba in Mecca was by no means the only one in Arabia, but probably the most important one. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times, once in the year 608 AD. Muhammad played a role in the rebuilding of it.
With Mecca falling into Muslim hands, the idols were destroyed. It is said to have contained 360 idols, but this is historically uncertain. Most of the idols worshipped in Arabia at that time were distributed over a number of places. The idols were largely family or clan deities. Hubal was kept in the Ka'ba, but was destroyed by Muhammad.
An interesting fact is, that at the time of Muhammad, the inside of the Ka'ba was decorated with pictures painted on the walls; "Pictures of the prophets ... and angels and one of Abraham, the friend of God ... and a picture of Jesus, son of Mary with his mother ...". The tradition continues to say that Muhammad went into the Ka'ba and ordered all pictures to be washed down with Zamzam water. He spread his arms protectively over Jesus and Mary, saying: "except these".
The worship in and around the Ka'ba, together with its rituals has, however, not been changed, though it was assumed that the original meaning was restored. The Ka'ba, with its black stone, which is set in silver and venerated by being kissed by all pilgrims, is the direction to which all Muslims pray when prostrating.
The Ka'ba has a door, but about 2 metres above the ground near the black stone, which is about 1,4 metres above the ground.
The Ka'ba is covered all over with a black draping (Kiswah) made of silk and cotton, which is embroidered with golden verses of the Qur'an. It is changed annually.
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In the TEXTBOOK OF ISLAM by Quraishy we read:
"It is not ... necessary to have a particularly consecrated place for the holding of divine service. One may say his prayer wherever he likes and this will not detract from the efficacy of the prayer. However, there is a need to have a masjid or a mosque in which Muslims can worship Allah comfortably. The mosque is the undying symbol of Islam. Where there is no adhan or prayers in congregation, there can be no Islamic community."
TBI, p. 67
There is a strategy in building mosques everywhere in Africa: to show that Islam is already there and has an impact on the community particularly in rural areas; to show the greatness of Allah in beautiful buildings; to proclaim the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad (a mosque often has the Kalimah written on the walls).
A former Imam explained: "First we got in contact with the elders in that village and established friendships. Then we helped with food, medicine and the like. We suggested to have a school built and to teach the children of that village. Swahili and its cultural background (and with it Islam) was part of the curriculum. Later some became Muslims and there was automatically a need of a worship place. Thats how we built a mosque and how we spread Islam."
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOSQUE
Only true Muslims should maintain a mosque because it is a place to worship and remember Allah. It is built for ritual purity and for moral and social development. Muhammad built the second mosque in Medina, the first one is believed to be the Kaaba in Mecca, built by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham. (see Surah 72:18 and 9:108)
The third holiest mosque is Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem from which Muhammad is said to have taken his journey to heaven (miraj).
The mosque is the centre of all Muslim activities. The Masjid al-Nabi in Medina presents Muslims with a good example:
"Teachers and missionaries were dispatched from this mosque to those tribes who accepted Islam. A shady place at the north wall was the home of shelterless Companions of the Prophet. Here some of them received regular training in the early Islamic sciences of the Quran and Hadith. The Prophets mosque was also used for consultation on important political and military matters. ... Deputations coming from outside Madina were put up in the Prophets Mosque . For instance, when the Christians of Najran sent a deputation, the Prophet made arrangements for their stay in the mosque. The Prophet also used to distribute the gifts of war booty among his Companions at the same mosque. It also served as a court of justice, for legal disputes were also settled in it. The Prophet himself used to spend ten days of Ramadhan in Itikaf (retirement) in his mosque."
TBI, p. 68 f.
Today a mosque may be used for administrative, political, social, educational and religious purposes. Especially in villages this is still the case. But Muslims lament that it is hardly done in towns like in former days. They wish to restrengthen the place of their mosque beyond a place of worship. Thus it often becomes a place of fundamentalist efforts.
Women may enter a mosque, provided they do not use perfume (men may use perfume and often do so on Fridays). Among the prohibitions were the pronouncement on stray animals, transactions of sales and purchases and administration of corporal punishment. (TBI, p. 70) Young children and unsane people should also be prevented of entering a mosque. But Christians can enter it, even though many Muslims do not like it and will not allow it.
ESSENTIAL FEATURES IN A MOSQUE
Mosque, by Rashid Ahmad Chaudhri, p. 36+37
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The 99 Most Excellent Names of Allah
These are the names and in brackets the number of times it is mentioned in the Qur'an:
The Merciful (169)
The Compassionate (114)
The King (6)
The Most Holy One (2)
The Peace (the Sound One) (1)
The Faithful One (who gives safety and security) (1)
The Protector (and guardian) (2)
The Unique and Mighty One (89)
The Super Strong One (who compels his creatures to obey) (1)
The Supreme or Proud One (1)
The Creator (8)
The Maker (Originator of all creation) (2)
The Fashioner (1)
The Forgiving One (5)
The Dominant (Irresistible Conqueror) (6)
The Bestower (giving freely and richly) (3)
The Provider (who provides all sustenance) (1)
The Opener (who opens all things and overcomes everything) (2)
The Omniscient (the Knower) (158)
The Restrainer (who takes hold and draws together)
The Abaser (for unbelievers)
The Exalter (for believers)
The One who exalts and raises to honour
The Destroyer (who humbles)
The All-Hearing One (46)
The All-Seeing One (44)
The Ruler or Arbiter
The Just or Righteous One
The Subtle One (7)
The Aware One (45)
The Clement (Forbearing One) (12)
The Grand One (8)
The Mostly Forgiving One (91)
The Grateful One (expressing thankfulness in rich rewards) (4)
The Exalted (Most High One) (6)
The Powerful Guardian (the preserver) (1)
The Strengthener (who provides his creation all their needs) (1)
The Reckoner (4)
The Majestic (Sublime One) (2)
The Pure and Generous One (3)
The Watcher of All (5)
The Approver (who responds to every need) (1)
The Comprehensive One (with unlimited capacity) (9)
The Ultimately Wise (95)
The One Who shows Sympathy (2)
The Most Glorious One (2)
The Raiser (who sends the dead to life)
The Witness (who is omniscient) (21)
The Right and the Truth (who is justice and the reality) (8)
The Advocate (and faithful trustee) (13)
The Strong (11)
The Firm (and Reliable One) (1)
The Friendly Protector (21)
The Praiseworthy One (17)
The Counter (who keeps exact statistics)
The Beginner (originator)
The Restorer (12)
The Quickener (2)
The Living (and absolute percipient one) (5)
The Subsisting One (who stands firm in himself) (3)
The Finder (who has no needs)
The One Glorified
The One and only (21)
The Eternal (1)
The Mighty and Powerful One (who does as he pleases) (44)
The Prevailing One (4)
The One who brings forward
The Deferrer (who keeps all at a distance from him)
The First (1)
The Last (1)
The Outwardly Manifest and Evident One (2)
The Inward (Hidden One) (2)
The Governor (31)
The Exalted (1)
The Righteous Benefactor (Dutiful One) (1)
The One who causes and receives (10)
The Pardoner (5)
The Kind and Indulgent One (10)
The Ruler of the Kingdom (who controls all possessions) (2)
The Lord of all Majesty and Honour (2)
The Equitable One (who hands out justice)
The Collector (who combines everything to accomplish his purpose) (2)
The Rich One (who is independent and needs nothing) (18)
The Distresser (who is responsible for evil)
The Profiter (who is responsible for good)
The Light (5)
The Guide (and leader) (10)
The Incomparable Magnificent One (2)
The Enduring One
The Director (who gives judicious guidance) (1)
The Patient One (who has perfect timing in all things)
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The 114 Surahs of the Qur'an
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A Brief Islamic Dictionary
|Ahlu'l-Kitab||The People of the Book - Jews and Christians|
|Ahl-i-Kitab||The People of the Book - Jews and Christians|
|Allah'u-akbar||Allah is great(er)|
|Alim||a learned person (pl. ulama)|
|Ansar||friends; those who assisted the Muslims in Medina|
|ar-Rahman||the merciful; title of Allah|
|ar-Rahim||the compassionate; title of Allah|
|Assalaam-Alykum||greeting (peace to you)|
|Aya||'sign' used for verse in the Qur'an|
|Azan||call to prayer|
|Bait'allah||actually house of God, but used for the Ka'ba|
|Bilal||the first 'muezzim'; caller to prayer|
|Bismillah||the formula with which each Surah (except one) begins: "In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful"|
|Da'wah||the missionary movment of Islam an 'invocation', an actual practice of the occult|
|Deen (Din)||the practices, duties in Islam|
|Fiqh||Islamic dogmatic theology; law|
|Furkan||that which distinguishes between good and evil; lawful and unlawful; used also as a title for the Qur'an or a Surah|
|Hadith (Hadis)||collection of traditions about the life of Mohammed|
|Hafiz||person who can memorize the whole Qur'an|
|Hajj||pilgrimage to Mecca; one of the pillars of faith|
|Hajji (Hadji)||Muslim who has been in Mecca|
|Hanif||'one who is inclined' to Islam; also for Mohammed|
|Halaal||lawful (food to eat)|
|Hamduli'llah||praise to Allah|
|Hazrat||title of respect|
|Hira||mountain near Mecca, in a cave in which Mohammed had his (first) revelation|
|Hijrah (Hejira)||the "flight" of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina; beginning of the Muslim calendar|
|Hijaz||the wider territory around Mecca and Medina; sacred area|
|Houris||beautiful maidens with almond-shaped eyes and fair skinned, who delight the faithful (men) in paradise|
|Hubal||an idol which was in the Ka'ba before Islam|
|Iblis||the devil (also 'Shaitan')|
|Imam||the leader who guides the prayers in the mosque|
|Insha'llah||if Allah wills|
|Islam||'submission' to God; correct name for Muslim religion|
|Isnad||chain of Hadith transmittors|
|Israfil and Israil||angels of resurrection and death|
|Jannah||paradise (actually 'garden')|
|Jihad||Holy War to promote Islam|
|Ka'ba||cube-like building at Mecca. On its Eastern corner the black stone, 'come from heaven'(meteorite), is located. The Ka'ba was allegedly built there by Abraham and was used for worship in pre-Muhammedan times. It indicates the direction to which every Muslim must bow in prayer.|
|Kafira||head covering of men|
|Kalima||Islamic creed: 'There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet'|
|Kalimatu'llah||'The Word of God'; Jesus, the Messiah|
|Khalif (Caliph)||successor of Muhammad|
|Kitab||book; used for 'holy books', also the Bible|
|Kitabi||one of the "People of the Book" - Jews and Christians|
|Khutba||sermon on Fridays|
|Mahdi||'the guided one'; the returning 'Messiah'|
|Malak||angel (pl. Malaika)|
|Malik||the angel presiding over hell|
|Mansukh||portion of the Qur'an which has been abrogated|
|Marwa and Safa||two little hills in Mecca|
|Maulana||teacher of Islam|
|Mecca||the 'holy city' of Islam; home town of Muhammad|
|Medina||Muhammad's city of exile after the hedjrah; formerly Yathrib|
|Mihrab||niche in the mosque marking prayer direction (Qibla)|
|Mimbar||pulpit in mosque|
|Minaret||tower of a mosque to call people to prayer|
|Miraj||a nightly journey 'in the spirit' by Muhammad to the 'seventh heaven'|
|Mirza||title of respect|
|Mishkat||a collection of 'most authentic' Sunni traditions; the full name is 'Mishkatu'l Masabi'|
|Mizan||great balances (scales) to 'weigh' a man's good deeds against the bad at judgment|
|Muazzin||a caller to prayer from the minaret (Muezzin)|
|Mujahid||warrior in the cause of Islam|
|Mullah||teacher of Islam|
|Mankar and Nakir||angels who examine the dead in the grave|
|Murtadd||apostate of Islam|
|Mushaf||original document of the Qur'an (pl. Masahif )|
|Mushrik||one who adds a companion to Allah (also Christians)|
|Muslim (Moslem)||one who submits (to Islam)|
|Namaz||Salat; an Indian expression|
|Nabi||a prophet; one who received direct inspiration by means of angels, dreams or 'in the heart'|
|Nasikh||portion of the Qur'an or Hadith which abrogates a previous one|
|Nazil||'sent down'; Islamic concept of inspiration|
|Purda||cloak which covers pious women|
|Qibla||direction of prayer|
|Qismat (Kismet)||acceptance of Allah's sovereign (arbitrary) action|
|Qur'an||'the reading' or 'reciting' , the holy book of Islam|
|Rak'at||prescribed prostration in prayer|
|Ramadan||9th month on the Islamic calendar; the fasting month|
|Rasul (Rasool)||messenger; apostle; one who brings a book to men|
|Sabaens||ancient inhabitants of South West Arabia; worshippers of sun and stars|
|Sahih||tradition collectors from Muhammad's companions|
|Salat||prayer recited five times daily|
|Shaikh||teacher of Islam (actually 'old man')|
|Shaháda||obligatory confession of faith|
|Shariah (Shariat)||law of Islam|
|Shi'áh||'division'; Islamic sect insisting that a Khalif must be a physical descendant of Muhammad|
|Shirk||the sin of adding a partner of Allah|
|Siratu'l Rasul||'The life of the Prophet'; a biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq, revised and edited by Ibn Hisham|
|Sufi||a Muslim sect seeking mystical experiences|
|Sunnat (Sunnah)||'path'; imitation of the life of Muhammad as recorded in the traditions of Islam|
|Sunni||'one of the path'; main group of Muslims|
|Surah||chapter of the Qur'an|
|Taqdir||'measurement'; actually predestination or measured out fate|
|Tasbih||rosary with 99 beads for prayer|
|Taurat (Tourat)||the five books of Moses|
|Tawaf||circumambulation (walking around) the Ka'ba seven times during the Hajj|
|Ulema||Islamic teachers (singular Maalim)|
|Umma (Umat)||nation; family; mostly used of religious congregation; the people of Islam|
|Wudu||ritual washing before prayer in mosque|
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Who's Who in Islam
THE FIRST FOUR KHALIFS
|Abu-Bakr||close follower of Muhammad and first Khalif (632-634 AD). He was also Muhammad's father-in-law (through Aisha).|
|Umar (or Omar)||second Khalif (634-644 AD). He was assassinated while in prayer.|
|Uthman (or Osman)||third Khalif (644-656 AD). He ordered the editing of the Qur'an. Thereafter documents were destroyed to keep unity of text. He was murdered.|
|Ali||nephew and adopted son of Muhammad, who married Fatima and became the fourth Khalif. He was murdered.|
NAMED WIVES OF MUHAMMAD
|Khadijah||first wife and only companion for 25 years|
|Sa'uda Bint Zama|
|Aisha Bint Abu Bakr||the only non-widow he married|
|Hafsah Bint Umar|
|Zainab Bint Khusaima|
|Zainab Bint Jahsh|
NAMED CONCUBINES OF MUHAMMAD
Miryam (Mary the Copt)
THE FOUR GREAT TEACHERS OF THE LAW
|Abdu'llah||father of Muhammad; 'a slave of Allah'|
|Abdu'l-Muttalib||grandfather of Muhammad; his first guardian|
|Abdul Cassim||the proper name of Muhammad|
|Abu Talib||uncle and guardian of Muhammad|
|Ahmad||'praised one'; same word root as Muhammad. It is claimed that Ahmad was prophecied in the Bible (Surah 61:6).|
|al-Baizawi||commentator (900 AH)|
|al-Baqawi||(or al-Baghawi) commentator (515 AH)|
|al-Bukhari||collector of traditions about Muhammad (810-870 AD)|
|al-Ghazzali||Islamic teacher (450 AH)|
|Allah||(from al-illah); apparently the chief deity in pre-Islamic Mecca; later the one god of Islam|
|al-Tabari||historian and commentator|
|al-Vaqidi||a later biographer of Muhammad|
|Amina||mother of Muhammad|
|Dawood||(or Dawud) David|
|Fatima||the daughter of Muhammad, who had an offspring through Ali|
|Halima||nurse of Muhammad|
|Ibn Ishaq||biographer of Muhammad|
|Ibn Sa'd||biographer of Muhammad|
|Ibu Hisham||Editor of Ibn Ishaq's biography|
|Isa||name used in the Qur'an for Jesus|
|Jalalu'deen||commentator (900 AH)|
|Moosa||(or Musa) Moses|
|Muhammad||(or Mohammed) the prophet of Islam (= the praised one)|
|Muslim||one who submits to the will of Allah in Islam, also name of a Hadith compiler|
|Quraish||Arab tribe from which Muhammad originated and from which all Khalifs were to be chosen|
|Yahya||John the Baptist|
|Zaid-ibn-Harith||Muhammad's adopted son, whose divorced wife Zainab he later married|
|Zaid-ibn-Thabit||compiler of the Qur'an (14 AD)|
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