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5: Islamic Beliefs and Teachings

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Islam
The name of the second largest religion meaning 'peace' and 'submission'.
Qur'an
The holy book of Muslims - meaning 'recitation'. 114 Arabic messages sent by Allah to Muhammad while he meditating in Mount Hira by the Angel Jibril. Gathered in length order. Muslims believe that this book is unaltered in any way and is the pure final revelation of God.
Hadith
The sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.
Tawhid
The Muslim belief that there is only one God and he has no equal.
Sunni
The largest group of Muslims - numbering about 1 billion. They have six core Beliefs - Tawhid, Angels, Books, Prophets, the End, Fate.
Shi'a
A smaller group of Muslims (approx 100 million) who have five core beliefs called the five roots of 'Usul ad-DIn'.
6 Beliefs: Tawhid
6 Beliefs: There is only one God, Allah, who has no equal.
The Shahadah
The declaration of faith - this is how you convert to Islam. You declare in good faith that "There is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet." (Shi'a muslims have an extra line about Ali)
6 Beliefs: Angels of Allah
6 Beliefs: Angels have been created by Allah to perform various tasks.
6 Beliefs: the books of Allah
6 Beliefs: Allah has given teachings to all humans which will keep them safe from judgement and live good lives.
6 Beliefs: the prophets of Allah
6 Beliefs: There are messengers who have been sent by Allah to call people back to the right way of life.
6 Beliefs: the Day of Judgement and life after death
6 Beliefs: There is coming a day of divine justice where all will be resurrected and rewarded or punished for their actions.
6 Beliefs: Allah's decree and predestination
6 Beliefs: Humans have been given free will but many things are predetermined or chosen in advance by Allah.
The six Beliefs
Sunni collection of key beliefs.
The five roots of Usal al-Din
Shi'a collection of key beliefs. They are like a tree providing the foundations for a healthy worldview.
5 roots: Tawhid
5 roots: There is only one God, Allah, who has no equal.
5 roots: 'Adl
5 roots: Divine justice. Allah will judge people fairly for how they have lived based on their free will.
5 roots: Nubuwwah
5 roots: Prophethood. There are messengers who have been sent by Allah to call people back to the right way of life.
5 roots: Imamah
5 roots: Successors to Prophet Muhammad - no prophets followed him but Imams were appointed to guide us. The was his son-in-law, Ali.
5 roots: Mi'ad
5 roots: Day of Judgement and Resurrection. Each individual will be judged then rewarded or punished for their actions.
Imam
Muslim leader
Severners and Twelvers
An internal debate among Shi'a muslims about how many Imams there have been after the Prophet Muhammad. (Guess how many Imams each group thinks there are?)
Monotheism
The belief that there is only one God.
Surah
The name of each chapter in the Qur'an.
Immanence
When God is close to the creation without being a part of it - he remains the creator.
Characteristics of Allah
There are 130 mentioned across the Qur'an and the Hadith. Mercy is the most important one because every chapter begins with a reference to this. Also - beneficence, fairness, Justice/Adl.
Transcendence
When God is beyond our physical world - a Creator being who is omnipotent and omniscient.
Beneficence
When Allah works for the benefit of humanity.
RiSalah
The channel of communication between Allah and people - the messengers or prophets (including Adam, Ibrahim, Isma'il, Musa, Dawes, Isa and Muhammad)
Number of prophets named in the Qur'an
25 (although Muslim tradition says there have been approximately 124,000).
Jibril
Gabriel - the Angel of revelation: responsible for sending messages to the Prophets from Allah.
Repentance
Changing your mindset, seeking forgiveness, acknowledging your sins.
Adam
First prophet to receive a message. Expelled from a beautiful garden after making a mistake but Allah forgave him.
Ibrahim
Abraham - led many away from idol worship and faced many tests of faith. Helped to rebuild a sanctuary called the Ka'bah in Makkah, the centre of Muslim pilgrimage. Given the Sahifah (Scrolls).
Ka'bah
A sanctuary rebuilt by Ibrahim in Makkah, the centre of Muslim pilgrimage.
Isma'il
Son of Ibrahim. Was willing to give his life to God. Model of obedience for Muslims. Helped his father rebuild the Ka'bah.
Musa
Moses - main founder of Judaism who led Jews out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land. The teachings given are called the Tawrat (or Torah).
Tawrat
The Torah or Law given to Musa.
Dawud
David - became King of the Israelites after defeating Goliath. He was given the Zabur (the Psalms).
Zabur
The Psalms given to Dawud.
Isa
Jesus - born to Mary without a biological father. Given the Injil (original Gospel). Muslims do not accept that he was divine or that he died on the cross.
Injil
What Muslims believe to be the original Gospel given to Isa.
Muhammad
The perfect example for Muslims. Called the 'Seal of the Prophets' Surah 33:40. Muslims believe that all the other prophets' words were corrupted and changed. His words remain pure.
Hafiz
A title meaning 'guardian' given to Muslims who successfully memorise the whole Qur'an.
Uthman
The third Khalifah (or spiritual leader) after Muhammad who had copies of the Qur'an made and sent to different cities.
Malaikah
Angels of Allah. They never die, reveal Allah's message to humans, are free from sin, have no gender, are created out of light, not physical (but have that option), have no free will.
Archangels
Jibril, Izra'il, Israfil, Mika'il - the most important angels created by Allah.
Izra'il
Azrael - the Angel of Death. Responsible for taking the last breath from humans and all living creatures when they die.
Israfil
Rafael - responsible for the Day of Judgement. Will sound the last trumpet.
Mika'il
Michael - the Angel of Mercy who is responsible for providing and maintaining life. Brings rain, wind and weather.
Al-Qadr
The belief of predestination - that the universe follows a divine master plan of Allah.
Free will
The power of self-determination. In Islamic thinking this doesn't undermine the fact that Allah has predestined our fate.
Predestination
The idea that Allah is the creator of the universe and knows everything, has a plan for the world and has the power to make it happen.
Shi'a predestination
Allah may have decided your destiny but your fate can still change depending on your actions. You may still be granted paradise if you are a good person.
Sunni predestination
Allah has set our destiny firmly in place and knows the choices we will make. We still have free will, but Allah knows what we will choose.
Akhirah
The belief in life after death. Paradise (peace) or Hell (punishment).
Al-Jannah
The garden or paradise. There will be a number of gates based on a person's level of faith.
Jahannam
A place of punishment - or Hell - there are a number of gates based on a person's level of sin.
Barzakh
The period between death and judgement.
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