Muslims (Arabic: مُسلِم) are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad, may peace be upon him and his family. Muslims also generally follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah). Those who obtain these teachings primarily from his Companions (sahaba) are called Sunni, and those who take them from his family (ahl al-bayt) are called the Shi'a.
Our concept of day and night with us human beings, is not necessarily the same concept of day with Allah who Created every thing including the time before creating the earth and sky. Time was created before earth and sky and that time had got its day which is different from our day.
Shia Islam means following the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) narrated by the most pious and most knowledgeable who are Ahlul Bayt (AS) who are the Progeny of the Prophet. Allah (SWT) mentioned in Quran the term Shia for the followers of the Prophets. (And from his (Noah's) Shia was Ebrahim) Sura Al-Saaffaat, verse 83. Quran mentioned (in Sura Al-Qasass, verse 15) a follower of the Prophet Moosa disputing with a person from Moosa's enemies and calls the follower of Moosa as from His Shia.
We believe in the original Bible which was revealed on Prophet Easa (AS), not the claimed different Bibles which were written by people.
I think it is good to be honest about apostasy in Islamic law and thought. There are roughly three views that are espoused about this:
(a) The ruling that an apostate should be killed (except in certain cases) is correct and in line with the Prophet's teachings.
(b) In the past, in and around the Islamic regions, religious identity was like today's national identity. So, in times of war, apostasy was equal to defecting to the enemy's side and was equivalent to treason. This is why there was a strict penalty for apostasy, just like, in today's world, a person who commits treason to their nation-state is often considered worthy of death. However, today, identity is primarily based on nationality not religion, so this no longer applies to the world.
(c) The ruling that an apostate should be killed is incorrect and based on inauthentic material, and this idea goes against the Qur'an which says there should be no compulsion in religion.
One can also add factor (d): That, due to the challenges the Muslim-majority world has faced due to the legacy of colonialism and a sense of being under threat (politically, economically, culturally, etc), there is an increased sensitivity against people who might be seen as threatening the faith.
So, those are some of the possibilities, and I think it's worthwhile just to discuss them as they are.
In practice, apostasy law tends not to be practiced. Also, most Muslims tend to be uncomfortable with the idea of punishing apostates. Of course, this is not to diminish anyone's experience who has dealt with this.
Some opponents to Islam argue that it is only due to this law that Muslims remain great in number, but that is obviously not true since the vast majority of Muslims do not base their faith or religious practice on this law. Rather, they choose to practice voluntarily. It is very difficult to force someone to be genuinely dedicated to a religion.
Furthermore, if it were only due to fear that Muslims were remaining Muslim, then why would Islam have inspired such a vast outpouring of religious culture such as Islamic literature, mystical poetry, theological writings, Islamic art and architecture, and so forth? Physical manifestations of a person's faith suggest that their faith is genuine.
It is also quite rare to find a Muslim who wants to leave Islam but who says they are staying in Islam because of this precept of Islamic law. Possibly there are some, but it is certainly not the norm.
While conversion away from Islam is not extremely frequent, the vast majority of people who are believing Muslims tend to stay Muslims for their own reasons, not out of fear of this ruling in Islamic law.
Perhaps these non-Muslims can simply talk to Muslims, ask them about their faith and why they hold it, and this will give them more insight into what actually happens among Muslims.
Might I suggest as tactfully as possible that Islam does not have a history of an Inquisition or forced conversion (for instance, during the slave trade in the Americas), or Crusades, the same way that Christianity does. Historically, Muslims have tended to acknowledge and respect religious diversity reasonably well.
I don't wish to reduce this to a debate about whether Islam or Christianity is better or paint Christianity only with that brush. I am just saying that it is important to recognize that Islam and Christianity have different histories and sometimes there may be an erroneous tendency to project what happened in the history of one religion onto the other. Also, if some of these non-Muslims are coming from a Christian background, they might benefit from being more self-reflective about their own history rather than pointing fingers at Islam.
In fact, it can be argued that negativity against organized religion in some of the West is due to forms of suppression due to the Church in the past few centuries. Some people who have had a bad experience with the Church then also project that negativity onto other religions, assuming that all organized religions are exactly the same, but this is a myopic viewpoint. So, if this is a factor in the discussion, I would again suggest that they actually talk to real, living Muslims (not sensationalist websites or ex-Muslims seeking attention in the media) to get a sense of what actually tends to happen in the Muslim religious experience.
However, I have noticed a curious phenomenon about apostasy and Islam: one never seems to wholly leave Islam. That is, anyone who leaves Islam and formally converts to another religion perpetually seems to identify themself, and be identified as, an "ex-Muslim". In contrast, a Buddhist who becomes a Christian is usually referred to as a "Christian", not an "ex-Buddhist". I suppose this says something about the world we live in, or perhaps Islam just has a strong staying power when it comes to identity.
Most Muslims who follow a specific sect or ideology do so because they genuinely believe it is the correct one. Since we do not have the Prophet (S) here present with us today to tell us which beliefs and practices are the most authentic, everyone has to do their best to try to discover that. So it is less about making sects and more about following what one thinks is most true.
(Of course, what we consider to be true or authentic is strongly influenced by the ideas we live around or grow up around, the ones that are shared by people around us, etc. However, the sincerity is usually there.)
For that reason, it isn't possible to impose one view of what Islam "is" on all Muslims and expect them all to agree on it. There are some areas today where we just have to agree to disagree.
Of course, in some cases, sectarianism may also be due to other factors such as politics, national identity, racial factors, or personal agendas, as well as the influence of Shaytan, and this sort of thing would be condemned.
Yes it is true. Giving charity will never decrease your wealth, rather will cause more Barakah and brings more wealth. More charity you give for the sake of Allah, more wealth you will get from Allah. We have many Hadeeths in this regard.
Yes, we are not only allowed but also been encouraged to pray for the forgiveness of every Muslim sinner whether alive or deceased.
Our wishes are always more than our abilities, that is why we need Allah to help us and protect us. We need always to supplicate and seek help from Allah to grant us our wishes and avoid us any harm. Efforts only can never fulfill our wishes nor protect us from unexpected harm and risk. Non Muslims do supplicate especially during hardships, and those who do not supplicate suffer serious problems. Millions of them run miserable life despite having worldly materials, but they feel lost because they have weak link with their Creator.
All the Prophets and Infallible Imams used to put maximum efforts in the best way, still they used to pray Du'a. Du'a is the soul of worshiping Allah as the Hadeeth states. Du'a is our practical evidence that we believe in Allah, who is The Absolute Able, and the we as His creatures need His help in every moment and every matter in our existence. When the faith is string, the Du'a is more and those who do not supplicate and don't seek from Allah are the arrogant persons who ignore and deny their human nature and claim to be needless to Allah. Allah says in Quran: Seek from Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who feel bigger than worshiping Me, will enter Hellfire with humiliation.(Sura 40, verse 60).
Solar system scientific details are not the field nor the topic of Islamic texts. We read in Quran many verses about sun, moon and sky etc but we leave it for the specialised scientist to study and their findings to people. Solar system center and moon rotation are scientific issues which should be dealt with by the scientists.
Shrimp (prawn) is Halal. It is not Makrouh. It is the only sea food which is Halal beside the fish with scales. Shrimp is Halal according to Shia and Sunni sects.
Muslim is allowed to study any system of medicine as far as it is a medical science with out any additional non medical opinions. Non Muslims' opinions are not part of the medicine but their way in understanding or dealing with it. We study the medical science and leave the non Muslim myths. Our Muslim history has evidence that we take medical knowledge and other worldly sciences from any expert being Muslim or non Muslim. No doubt, we have great treasure of medical knowledge in thousands of narrations and sayings of the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS). That does not stop us from studying any other source of medical knowledge.
Allah (SWT) knows the fate of everyone after death. We are responsible to seek true knowledge about the message of Islam and follow it. Everyone will be asked in the Day of Judgement about his faith and practice. Muslims will be questioned whether they obeyed the Prophetic orders or not. Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) ordered all Muslims to keep following Quran and Ahlul Bayt (AS). This is in the authentic known as Hadeeth al-Thaqalain which is narrated in main Sunni and Shia books of Hadeeth e.g. (Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth number 4425, Tirmithi; 3718, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal ; 10681, Al-Mustadrak by Al-Nisabouri; 4576, Al-Sunan al-Khubra by Al-Nasaa'ee; 6921 and many other Sunni books.
Those who did not care to search for the truth will be questioned and those who knew but did not follow will face the result of their ignoring the orders of the Prophet (SAWA).
We believe that all Muslims who sincerely believe in Allah and the Messenger will ultimately go to Paradise even after they had to face results of their mistakes.This applies on followers of all Muslim sects except the enemies of Ahlul Bayt (AS).