In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Discovering Islam is an invitation to learn about the fundamental message, spirit, and practice of Islam. This book covers an array of essential concepts, practices, and beliefs. It takes you through the core principle of the Oneness of God to the most contemporary concept of jihad.
The message of Islam is universal. Islam is not intended to be a faith of followers from a certain descent; nor does it belong to one geographical part of the world; nor does it belong to a different time era.
Islam is a progressive and adapting religion that transcends all racial, native tongue, socio-economic, and gender lines. It is open and free to be explored, challenged, accepted, and even rejected. God says in the Quran, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. Thus whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.” (2:256)
Islam is a faith that believes in the exclusive oneness, justice, and mercy of God and the sole purpose of this religion is to enlighten the hearts of people so that they may understand the message of God and then live by it.
This book Discovering Islam has been an instrumental tool for thousands of readers looking for a simple way of understanding Islam and Muslims.
This is the third printing of the book since 1999 and it is enlightening for first-time readers who are searching for a simple, general book on Islam, and perhaps may inspire the reader to search deeper into the faith.
This book would not have been possible without the sincere assistance and suggestions of Sister Fatma Saleh. My thanks are also extended to Shaykh Saleem Bhimji who took great effort in getting this work published.
To them both I am thankful.
Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini
Orange County, California
July 23, 2008
It is customary in Islam that when the name of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, prophets, or imams (descendants and successors of Prophet Muhammad) is enunciated, the following phrases are mentioned:
Allah - “Glorified and Exalted”
Written abbreviation - SWT
Prophet Muhammad “Peace be upon him and his family”
Written abbreviation - pbuh&hf
After the names of prophets, imams from the family of Prophet Muhammad and his daughter:
“Peace be upon him/her”
Written abbreviation - pbuh
With great respect, admiration, recognition, and praise, I have omitted the mentioned phrases for the sake of continuity.