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Blogs for New Muslims – Islamic Education Blogs

The Role of Obligatory Alms (Zakah) in Social Justice

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Zakah, or obligatory alms, is the third pillar of Islam. It is a financial act of worship, whereby Muslims give a monetary devotion for God’s sake to those who are eligible to receive it. Through obligatory alms, a Muslim purifies themselves from selfishness and greed, as well as purifying their wealth by giving some of it away. It also purifies the recipient’s heart by fostering goodwill and gratefulness between them and those who give them obligatory alms. Read More

Islam – The Only Valid Monotheistic Faith

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Islam is the only valid monotheistic faith. Monotheism is the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. Many religions claim to be monotheistic.. Islam is exceptional. Islam’s monotheism is radical because it does not only teach that there is only one God. There is only One True God in Islam. All other gods are considered false gods. Belief in the One True God is not sufficient for salvation. Islam is the exclusive devotion to the One True God. It is not simply an abstract belief. In Islam, God does not have any equal or partners, no children or spouse. No messenger or angel is similar to or equal to God. Islam is to submit to the commands of God and  to hold onto and follow God’s laws, as revealed to His Messengers and in His divine scriptures. Read More

Brotherhood in Islam

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God states in the Quran, “The believers are brothers.” [49:10] This passage is the foundation of the concept of brotherhood in Islam. God reminds the disciples of the Messenger Muhammad of his favour upon them and how He united their hearts, “Remember the blessings of God upon you when you were enemies before Islam, fighting each other for the slightest reason, and He brought your hearts together through Islam, so that you became brothers in your faith through His grace.” [3:103] Read More

The Call to Prayer (Athan)

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The call to prayer is the announcement made before each of the five daily ritual devotions. It signifies that the time for Salah has commenced. It is typically given in mosques to announce the start of prayer time and to invite the believers to attend the congregation. It can be given wherever a Muslim wishes to perform the obligatory Salah, not limited to the mosque. In Arabic, the word athan means “to call” or “proclaim.” Read More

Family Bonds in Islam

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In Islam, there is great emphasis on family bonds and the whole institution of the family. Family is a unit that should be founded on the principles of faith, love, and seeking God’s pleasure. Family based on faith helps a person in this life and the next. God says, “It is God who has given you spouses from amongst yourselves, and through them He has given you children and grandchildren and provided you with good things.” [17:72] The Messenger Muhammad informed us that after one dies, the prayers of  righteous children continue to benefit the parents.

The family in Islam begins with marriage between a believing man and a believing woman. Muslims should only marry Muslims. The prospect should be chaste and modest. This too is from God’s favors, as He says in the Quran, “Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He ordained love and kindness between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect.” [30:21] The Messenger Muhammad encouraged us to choose spouses who value their faith and want to please God.

A husband and wife who build their family upon faith in God, mutual love, and respect will have a strong unit. The Messenger Muhammad encouraged us to have children and raise them on proper faith and decent upright character. Children throughout human history were viewed as beneficial for multiple reasons. Taking care of their parents in old age and affording their parents the feeling of pride in having a progeny. . Children are also beneficial for one’s faith and spiritual journey, when one does their role in parenting responsibly. This is why good and prophetic parenting is so important. When a husband and wife both seek to please God, work hard in their different roles within the family, and raise good children, God blesses their efforts.

Muslim parents are encouraged to teach their children about God, worship, faith, and other important matters from a young age. Teaching should be through modelling proper behavior. Parents are told to introduce worship and devotion to God to their children in a gradual way to help them form good habits and manners in worship. We are required to teach our children to have good conduct and manners and to know different etiquettes that they need in personal and public life, from respecting elders to eating and drinking. If this process is conducted properly, then the parents benefit, as they receive a reward from God each time one of their children does a good deed. Children too benefit because they are part of the next generation that will one day form marital and familial bonds of their own.

God says, “As for those who believe and whose descendants follow them in faith, We will elevate their descendants to their rank, never discounting anything of the reward of their deeds. Every person will reap only what they sowed.” [52:21]

Family bonds in Islam are not restricted to parents and children, the nuclear family, but extend beyond them. God commands that we join the ties of kinship and blood relations. One of the first commands that the Messenger Muhammad gave when he arrived in the city of Medina was to join the ties of kinship. God links faith to family ties in the Quran, “It is most probable that if you turn away from having faith in Allah and following Him, you will make mischief on earth by disbelief and sins, and you will cut family ties, just as you used to do in the period of ignorance (before the Quran came down).” [47:22]

With all the above, it should be abundantly clear that the family has an important place in Islam. If the family unit pleases God and possesses good character and conduct, other families in the neighbourhood and community will be positively influenced. It’s like a ripple effect when numerous families are like this, and ultimately society benefits and reforms itself. Strong family bonds decrease anti-social behaviour and crime and create a community in which members help one another.

Ritual Slaughter and Sacrifice in Islam

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The second annual Muslim celebration of the year is called Eid al-Adha, the Celebration of Sacrifice. Muslims across the world mark this day of celebration by worshipping God and glorifying Him. One of the major acts of worship highly encouraged on this day is the act of ritual slaughter of specific animals. The Messenger Muhammad would offer this ritual slaughter and encouraged his followers to do so, if they were financially able. Muslims may ritually slaughter certain animals throughout the year for a variety of reasons, like the feast for a wedding, or upon the birth of a child, in gratitude to God. One also may slaughter an animal for food consumption. Most people will not slaughter a whole animal for meat consumption, but rather will go to their local Halal or Kosher butcher and purchase whatever meat they need. Read More

The First Words From God to Muhammad

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The Quran consists of 114 chapters and over 6,000 passages. The scholars of Islam have always looked at the first revelation to see how the message of Islam began. We know that the first revelation took place in the month of Ramadan as mentioned by God in the Quran. As Muhammad neared 40 years of age, he used to go to the mountain of Hira for successive nights. He would go to a cave towards the peak of this mountain in order to worship God and show devotion. He did not approve of the evil practices of his people and the widespread paganism and this retreat practice became appealing to him. Read More

Celebrating Eid

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The month of Ramadan ends when the crescent moon is sighted for the month of Shawwal (10th Islamic lunar month). The first day of Shawwal is the day of Eid al-Fitr (lit. the celebration of breaking the fast). This is a day of happiness and celebration for the achievement of fasting and devotion the previous month. It is forbidden to fast on this day. There are a number of important acts that you can do on this day:

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