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Shahadah (Faith)
Salah (Prayers)
Sawm (Fasting)
Zakah (Charity)
Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka'bah)
Questions you asked
1. What is Islam?
Islam is a religion. It belongs to the same traditions of Prophet Abraham, which guides Judaism and Christianity. There are more common beliefs in Islam, Christianity and Judaism than the differences between them.
Islam means submission to God. In it's literal sense, it means complete surrender to the will of God. Islam also means peace.
Formally, it means belief in the Unity of God and the belief in Muhammad S as the Last Messenger of God.

2. Who are Muslims?
  Muslim means obedient to God. A person who believes in:

The Oneness of God,

All the revealed books (Qur-an, Torah, Bible etc)

All the Prophets (Messengers) of God like Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Aaron, David, Ezekiel, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Zechariah, John and Jesus etc.

In Muhammad S as the last and Final (Prophet) Messenger of God

In the day of judgment and hereafter and wants to live in peace with himself and rest of the world

3. Is Islam an eastern religion?
  No, Islam is a universal religion, and its Messenger Muhammad S was sent for all mankind.
The Holy Qur-an declares:

Say (O Muhammad S), “O Mankind! Verily I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.”  (7: 158)

And We have sent you (O Muhammad S) not, but as a mercy for the entire Universe.

4. Can anybody become a Muslim?
Yes, anyone can become a Muslim.
All are welcome to  Islam, irrespective of  their color, caste, economic and social status, level of education and geographical boundaries. Anyone who wants to sincerely submit themselves to the will of God, and wants to live in peace with themselves and the entire mankind can become a Muslim.

5. What do the Muslims believe in?
  Muslims believe in:

Oneness of God.

All the Prophets (Messengers) sent to mankind by God from time to time, before Muhammad S, like Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Aaron, David, Ezekiel, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Zechariah, John and Jesus etc.

In Muhammad S as the last and final Prophet (Messenger) of God

In all revealed books like Psalm, Torah, Bible and the Qur-an.

In the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter.

6. How many Muslims are there in the world?
  There are more than 1.25 billion Muslims in the world. Every fifth person in the world is a Muslim.

7. Why are most Muslims Fundamentalists?
  Yes, a true Muslim is always a Fundamentalist.

Fundamentalist means one who faithfully and sincerely follows the fundamentals of one’s religion.

In this way even a true Christian, a true Jew, a true Hindu, are all fundamentalists.

The word fundamentalist should not be confused with the word terrorist. But the West has given a wrong meaning to the word fundamentalist. It equates fundamentalism with terrorism, and thus use the word, fundamentalist in a derogatory way, as an equivalent to terrorist.
This is a wrong connotation, which needs to be corrected.


8. Why some Muslim ladies dress strangely?
Muslim women are obligated to observe a special dress code. They are obligated to cover their bodies and hair properly. Muslim ladies usually wear a long, loose garment over their clothes, and cover their hair with a scarf. Wearing such a dress does not reveal the contours of their bodies.

The Christians followed a similar dress code also. The Roman Catholic nuns are still following a more conservative dress code

9. How often does a Muslim pray?
  Muslims offer five prayers in a day:

The morning prayer, after dawn and before sunrise. It is called Fajr Prayer.
The noon prayer, at midday, it is called Zuhr prayer.
The afternoon prayer. It is called ‘Asr prayer. It can be offered till a little before sunset.
The evening prayer is a prayer immediately after sunset. This is called Maghrib Prayer.
The night prayer is the last prayer of the day. It is offered before retiring for the day. This night prayer is offered when darkness covers the sky, it is called Isha Prayer. Its time lasts till mid night.

10. Do I have to go to Mosque to offer Prayers?

One must try to offer their prayers in a mosque with the congregation, but it is not obligatory. If it is'nt possible, one can offer them at home also. For the rest of the optional prayers ie. (Tahajud, Sunat, Nafil) one can offer them at home or wherever one likes. Because according to an authentic saying of the Messenger, the entire earth is a mosque for a Muslim. Therefore, a Muslim can offer prayer wherever he or she likes, provided the place of prayer should be properly clean.

11. Does Islam teach violence?
Islam never teaches violence. Violence is the worst crime in Islam. But Islam being a natural religion cannot afford to be a silent spectator of violence against humanity. Therefore, it has allowed using violent means (swords or any other weapons) only in self-defense or oppression. Self-defense and fighting against oppression cannot be termed as violence in any civilized society.

Islam is the first religion, which recognized, practiced and preached human rights. In Islam, all human beings are equal irrespective of the color of their skins, their place of birth or their social status. Many developed nations have yet to achieve true social equality.

12. How old is Islam?
Islam is the oldest religion. It is the religion brought by the first man and the Messenger of Allah, Adam (A). Many Messengers were sent to mankind at different times and places. According to Qur-an, all Messengers brought one and the same religion, i.e. Islam. Qur-an specifically states.

Nothing is said to you (O Muhammad S) except what was said to the Messengers before you. (Qur-an 41:43)

Hence, every messenger propagated nothing else than Islam.

But, historically the religion of Islam that we know now, is associated with Muhammad S, the last Messenger of Allah, because, it was perfected in his time.

Muhammad S was born on 12th of Rabi ul Awwal in the first year of elephant coinciding with August 20, 570 AD. At the age of 40 years, he was appointed as the Messenger of Allah.

13. Who founded Islam?

Islam is a divine religion. Historically, Muhammad S, the last Messenger of God, gave Islam to us.

14. Does a Muslim have to marry four times?

No, it is not at all necessary. Muslims are only allowed to have four wives at a time if they so desire. There are some very stringent conditions for having four wives; which can rarely be met in today's society. Muslims are not at all compelled by Islam to have four wives.

15. Does Science contradict Islam?
Science never conflicts with Islam. On the contrary Islam approves of scientific quests. Qur-an enjoins upon mankind to think and reflect over the mysteries of the universe.

“And thus Allah has made clear to you His signs so that you may reflect about this world and the Hereafter.” (2: 219-20)

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed signs for men of understanding.” (2: 164)

Muhammad S the Messenger of God is reported to have said:

“Acquire knowledge even if you have to travel to China.”

“Acquisition of Knowledge is enjoined upon every Muslim man and woman.”

All these are clear proofs of the fact that Islam never forbids Muslims from obtaining knowledge. In fact, the first revelation of Islam, which was revealed to the Messenger, was about learning.

It began with the word, “Read,” in the form of a command to an unlettered person, who was unable to read. But God taught him what he did not know so that he could enlighten the world with knowledge and wisdom. And that is the reason why the time before the advent of Islam is called the Days of Ignorance and the time after the advent of Islam is known as the Period of Knowledge and Wisdom.

Muslims have made significant contributions to the field of science and other fields of knowledge. The numerals we use are called the Arab numerals. Credit for the invention of Zero and the decimal system also goes to Muslims. They had made great contributions to the field of Mathematics. Algebra is the invention of Arab Muslims. They had also made significant contributions to the fields of Medicine and Astronomy. One of the biggest contribution of Muslims to the world is the preservation of Greek knowledge. All the work of Greek philosophers and thinkers was saved by the Arabs, by translating it into Arabic. That knowledge was passed back to the Europeans.

16. Can Muslim girls/women work?

Yes, Muslim girls and women are allowed to work. Islam never forbids them from working. In fact the first lady of Islam and the wife of the Messenger, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R, was a famous business woman of Arabia

17. What is fasting in Islam?

Fasting is a kind of worship for self-discipline and self-cleansing, in which Muslims abstain from all types of eatables, temptations, wrongdoings and sexual indulgence from dawn to dusk. Muslims are enjoined to observe month long fasting in the month of Ramadan.

18. Why do Muslims go to Saudi Arabia ?

Muslims usually visit Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and ‘Umrah. Hajj and ‘Umrah is a kind of worship enjoined upon Muslims. Muslims are enjoined to visit Mecca once in their lifetime to perform Hajj, if they can afford it.

19. What kind of food Muslims eat?

Muslims are allowed to eat all kinds of pure and clean food. However, Qur-an forbids them from eating pork and drinking alcohol, and anything that is impure and unhealthy.

20. Why can't Muslims drink Alcohol?

Alcohol is unlawful in Islam because its consumption leads to the imbalance of a person's mind. Islam tries to prevent a person to go out of his/her senses. Therefore, Islam has strictly banned the consumption of liquor

21. What is the difference between Muslims and Christians?
Muslims believe in all the revealed books and the Messengers of Allah right from Adam A to Muhammad S, and Muhammad S being the last and final Messenger of Allah. But Christians do not believe in Muhammad S as the Messenger of God, whereas they do believe in all other Messengers from Adam to ‘Isa (Jesus). Moreover, Muslims believe in ‘Isa (Jesus) as a Messenger like all the other Messengers from Adam A to Muhammad S, whereas Christians believe in ‘Isa (Jesus) as the only begotten son of God.

22. What is the difference between Muslims and Jews?

Muslims believe in Moses as the rightful Messenger of God, whereas Jews do not believe in Muhammad S as the last and final Messenger of God.

Can a Muslim marry a Christian?

Muslim men can marry Christian as well as the Jewish women because Muslims are allowed to marry people of the Book. However Muslim women are not allowed to marry the men of the people of the Book. If Muslim women marry men of other religions, they might be forced to live with a person who might not like their ways of worship. On the other hand they might force them to convert to Christianity. Christian women marrying Muslim men, need not worry about their religious practices and worships. They can safely practice their own religion in Muslims homes.