Islam: Known as a 1400 years old monotheistic and Abrahamic religion founded on the Quran, a religious text considered by its adherents to be the exact word of Allah. Muhammad is the prophet of this religion.
Muslim: A believer of Islam who follows the Quran, Sunnah and Sharia.
Quran: the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to the final revelation from Allah. It is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. Quranic chapters are called Surahs (114 Surahs are in Quran) and verses are called Ayahs.
Meccan and Medinan Surahs: 92 Surahs were revealed to Muhammad in Mecca and the last 22 were revealed to him when he moved to Medina. The very first surah revealed to him was al‑Fatihah (The Opening)
- The Meccan surahs are short, and the Medinan surahs are lengthy ones.
- The Meccan surahs are suggestive of the divinations of the fortunetellers which start with oaths involving holy objects such as stars. On the contrary, the Medinan surahs contain a short span of the history of the earlier prophets, laws, and criticisms against Christians and Jews.
- In Meccan surahs, Muhammad gave respect to the Bible. He had done so to attract the Christians and Jews during his stay in Mecca. In the Medinan surahs, his attitude changed towards Christians and Jews. In Medinan surahs there are numerous passages that warn Muslims to avoid the Jews and Christians.
Sharia (Islamic Law): literally means a ‘clear, trodden path to a source of water’. Since water is the source of life, it means a clear path to life. In religious terms, it is the path to the eternal life. It is the path that a person, in Islam, must walk as he toils and strives to reach his Creator (Allah).
Sharia is a collection of do’s and don’ts, the code of criminal laws prescribing punishments for certain crimes and it dictates to Muslims how to think, feel and live.
Jihad: A war or struggle against unbelievers and the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.
Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] – other than the disabled – and the mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward – Quran (4:95)
There are different kinds of Jihad – with one’s self, wealth, supplication, teaching, giving guidance, or helping others in good in any form. The highest form of Jihad, however, is with one’s life; then comes Jihad with one’s wealth and Jihad with teaching and guidance, and in this way Da’wah is a form of Jihad, but Jihad with one’s life is the highest form. – Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz (Fatawa Islamiyah Vol.8, p.24, DARUSSALAM)
Da’wah: an invitation’ to non-Muslims to Islam as well as the Muslims to the true understanding and practice of Islam.
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.” – Quran (41:33)
With regards to the reward, the Prophet has said: “Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it.” (Sahih Muslim)
“By Allah, if Allah were to guide one man through you it would be better for you than the best type of camels.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
A fatwa is any religious decision and rulling made by a mufti (Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law).
The most infamous fatwa is the one by Ruhollah Khomeini (Supreme Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran after the 1979 Revolution) sentencing Salman Rushdie (Muslim essayist) to death – that’s why most Western people see fatwa just as a death sentence, although it’s more than that. It covers any and all aspects of a person’s life.
Taqiyya: is a form of Islamic deception. The Quran and Hadith of Muhammad allow Muslims to lie in order to protect themselves or to protect the Muslim community and to help grow Islam.
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding. – Quran (3:7)
Hadith Narrated ‘Ali: Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah’s Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.” – Bukhari (84:64-65)