Islam

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries.

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Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi... Answered 1 week ago

It is not forbidden

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 weeks ago

The claim of your non Muslim friend is untrue. He might be influenced by wrong anti Islam propaganda.
Quran is very clear that (No compulsion in religion)(2:256). The Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) never forced any one to become a Muslim inspire of being the head of the state in Madina. Non Muslims lived free in their faith during his government.

We never fight to force people to become Muslims and we believe that I forced faith is invalid. We fight just to defend ourselves, our community and our faith when there an attack on us. Allah says in Quran (And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but never transgress the limits, surely Allah does not like the transgressors)(2:190).

Muslims ruled over many countries e.g Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Egypt and African countries but never forced people to b4come Muslims. That is why you find after centuries of Muslim rule, millions of non Muslims are still existing and free in their non Muslim faith. Muslims ruled India for ten centuries and find till today the majority of people there are non Muslims. Those who became Muslims opted themselves by themselves to embrace Islam because of the great teachings of Islam with out any force. Egypt after 1400 years of Muslims rule have till today millions of Copts. Theses are living examples of the freedom of faith in Islam.

Wassalam 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 2 weeks ago

Financial trading is permissible as far as it is away from any forbidden dealing.

'Wassalam.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 3 weeks ago

Short answer: The Qur'an and hadith teach us to respect other people, regardless of what they believe. However, they do not give an equal place to all beliefs or practices.

Long answer: While the Qur'an and hadith recognize several different religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism, they do not recognize the custom of worshipping idols in Mecca or Medina as a distinct religion.

As for whether the Arabs who worshipped idols in Mecca and Medina saw their customs as a distinct religion, it is difficult to say for sure, but there is no indication in the texts that they saw themselves as united as a single faith community or a single religion; appealing to idols was simply customary practice. They focused on tribal and ancestral identity, not religious identity. I am fairly sure that the term "wathaniyyah" was adopted after their time. In contrast, the Qur'an encourages replacing ancestral/tribal identity with a faith-based identity.

The concept of "religion" as we have it today (and as it is used in the English language) is rather modern. In fact, it is heavily rooted ins secularism. Everyone is expected to follow the same way of life (national culture, national laws), and religion is seen as a private matter. Therefore, we should respect everyone's personal decision about their religion (that is, private beliefs); however, everyone must follow the same way of life (national culture and law). So, in essence, national culture and law has taken the place of religion in modernity in most nation-states. 

In fact, many languages historically have not even had an equivalent word for "religion" as it is used in English today. 

So, talking about religions during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (S) or the Prophet Ibrahim (A) should be done with the understanding that we may be accidentally projecting modern ideas onto the past, or onto other cultures, and then trying to avoid that.

The Qur'an, hadith, and classical Islamic literature tend to use words such as din, millah, and shari'ah to mean "religion". These could be translated as "way of life", "community", and "religious law". From this angle, the communities that were identified as having a specific way of life, scripture, communal identity, and law were Jews, Christians, Sabaians, or other established communities. 

For instance, in the classical model of the Islamic state, certain religious communities (in particular, the Ahl al-Kitab, including Jews, Christians, and some others) are allowed to follow their own religious law, abstain from military service in exchange for paying the jizyah, and enjoy protection of their houses of worship. [Of course this model is somewhat theoretical as what happens in practice tends to be more complicated, but this is how things were seen theoretically]

However, neither the polytheists of Arabia nor the polytheists of the time of Ibrahim are seen as having their own communal identity based on religion or what we would call a "religion"; they are simply seen as (a) deviating from the truth, and (b) following common custom. 

Conversely, neither the Prophet Muhammad (S) nor the Prophet Ibrahim (A) is presented as a prophet bringing a new or alternative religion to his people (in the same way that, for example, Christianity was seen as a distinct faith community coming from outside the Arabian Peninsula). Both prophets are seen as supporting the ancient message, not bringing a new idea.

This is why the bulk of the arguments in the Quran are not about accepting Islam as a specific religion. Rather, it focuses on why the idol-worshippers (who believed in God as well as demigods) should stop appealing to their demigods and worship only God instead. That is, the idol-worshippers tended to worship their demigods to placate them, with the belief that if they did not, a disaster might strike them. Or they would worship their demigods to appeal to them for wealth or sustenance. Or, they would worship their demigods with the belief that their demigods would appeal to God on their behalf. The Qur'an, basically, says that all of this is unnecessary and/or false since all power belongs to God and their demigods do not control matters of good and evil or sustenance, and that their demigods are not really intermediaries. 

They should also give up backwards customs and taboos which are socially harmful and which were passed on along with their customs regarding idols.

For instance, Ibrahim (A) is not telling his people to follow a new religion; rather, he is telling his people to stop supporting falsehood. 

Basically, there is a sense that these people should have known better than to be building and appealing to idols and had simply deviated from the truth. One way this is apparent is that the Qur'an does not explain everything anew; rather, there is an assumption in the text that the people hearing about the stories of the prophets are famliar with them and it is all part of a common cultural and religious context, even if some people were appealing to idols.

The Ka'bah, in particular, is seen as originally being a site of worshipping God, built (or re-built) by Ibrahim (A), but the practice in it became corrupted (for instance, through people performing the hajj in the nude, or placing false idols in it). So the job of these prophets is to remind the people of how they have gone wrong, and then to provide some new religious legislation and teachings (such as the shari'ah and Qur'an) to steer the boat in the correct direction in the future. 

This is rather different from, say, someone who grows up as a secular agnostic, has no real contact with organized religion, and then converts to Islam as a new faith.

So this is how the matter is understood in Islamic sources. 

In any case, that was then and these were prophets; today, there is no need to go around breaking people's idols. Also, most modern idols are invisible things, such as money, celebrity status, number of likes on Facebook, and so forth which cannot be broken even if one tried. 

In any case, it is a good question and good to think about.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 weeks ago

Islam encourages social co-operation to spread useful knowledge and uplift the quality of life of people. Social media helping the good cause is encouraged but when it spreads bad practices and harmful acts, then it should be avoided.

'Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 4 weeks ago

It is recommended to look like happy and smiling even if you are unhappy. The Hadeeth describes the believer as ( His sadness is inside his heart, and his face is always pleasant and smiling حزنه في قلبه وبِشره في وجهه

Wassalam.

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

Pleasae read the following answer to this question: 

https://www.al-islam.org/ask/does-the-verse-5-51-of-the-quran-say-that-we-should-not-take-the-christians-or-the-jews-as-friends-what-is-its-explanation

May Allah grant you success 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Teachers are highly respected in the Islamic tradition. 

The Qur'an does not talk about teachers too much, perhaps because part of the reform that Islam was bringing was an educational reform, and so, during the time of the Prophet (S), the society was transitioning to one with more focus on learning. However, one can see all the prophets discussed in the Qur'an as teachers.

Furthermore, the Prophet (S) emphasised teaching and learning, for instance, when he freed some literate prisoners of war, rather than requesting money in exchange for returning them, he requested that they teach others to read first. Islam has been referred to as 'the world's largest literacy program' and I think that is an apt description.

Additionally, there are many mentions in hadith of the importance of teaching, necessity and value of learning, and honour of the teacher, such as:
 
* It is narrated that the Prophet (S) said, ‘The best form of charity is for a man to gain knowledge and then teach it to his fellow brethren.'

* It is narrated that Imam Ali (A) said, ‘Everything decreases with giving away except knowledge.’

* It is narrated that Imam al-Baqir (A) said, ‘For the teacher of good, all the animals on the land and the fish in the sea seek forgiveness on his behalf, as do all creatures great and small in Allah’s earth and sky.’

* It is narrated that Imam al-Sadiq (A) said, 'Everything has a zakat, and the zakat of knowledge is to teach it to those who are worthy of it.’

If you have an interest in this subject, I would recommend the following book:

Desire of the Aspirant: On the Etiquette of the Teacher and the Student
by al-Shahid al-Thani [a classical Muslim scholar of the Shi'i persuasion]
translated by Alexander Khaleeli 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

Not at all. Blind faith with out evidence is not accepted in Islam.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

Yes, it is not only allowed but but also required to protect yourself and your family and friends. It can become obligatory if it is the only way to avoid a dangerous disease.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

1. Doubts can come to any one and it does not mean that you believe in it or you are a bad person just because of the doubts or thoughts in your mind as far as you do not believe in it. Doubts are from Shaitan who tries to disturb the believers or at least make them feel uncomfortable. 

2. Don't suppress any question comes to your mind and counter it by the strongest evidence which we have we have in every field and in any matter. Never feel frightened from doubts and be sure that it will vanish as soon as you look at the evidence.

3. Put your questions to reliable scholars who are able to respond properly.

4. Your feeling of uneasiness from the doubts is an evidence that you are a good person and you are not happy with these doubts. You just need to counter the doubts with the evidence which we have for every mater.

5. You should never neglect or postpone tackling your doubts to get them cleared as the best way do deal with doubts is to discuss them according to the evidence. You will easily see that doubts are based on misunderstanding or misinformation etc. Usually, those who respond with authentic evidence get out of the doubts with stronger faith and more clear surety in the True Faith of Islam.

6. Good deeds are always good, but it can never be enough if the faith is wrong, as we read in Quran always (Those who believe (in the Truth) and do good).

7. Always seek help from Allah (SW) to protect you from the whispering of Shaitans (And say: My Lord, I seek refuge with you from the whisperings of the devils) (Sura 23, Verse 97). Devils run away when you recite Estighfaar (ASTAGHFIRULLAH RABBI WA ATOOBU ELAYH) and (LA HAWLA WALA QOWWATA ILLA BILLAH) and (LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH).

Wassalam.