What's Islam? Islam in Brief - Yusuf Estes

Uploaded by khalifahklothing on 29.05.2011

What's Islam? That is a question many people are asking today
And really Islam is the topic of many discussions,
yet very often people don't really have the essence of the meaning even Muslims themselves
are not really sure how to translate it. The word Islam is the only word not translated
from the Quran when they bring it to the English language.
And there is a reason for that when we go to the Arabic dictionary, we find that it
takes a series of words to represent the concept of what "aslama" means.
ASLAMA is the verb for the noun Islam. It carries a meaning of surrender, submission,
obedience, sincerity and peace. We understand about surrender to give in,
submit to go along with something. To obey the commandments and to be sincere and we
can stop right there for a moment and think about it.
If it requires sincerity then there is no possible way that you would be forced on anyway. Because
if anyone was forced to do anything, then it would no longer be sincerity.
Thus we realize the concept of Islam spread by sword or any type of force is impossible,
because Islam requires sincerity. Finally the word peace, this is the peace
that a person has in their heart, after they have done the other four.
Meaning that they have surrendered, submitted in obedience and sincerity and now they are
going to be in peace in whatever transpires or comes out of it.
There is another word related to it, "Muslim" for you and I we might not think the word
Muslim would be read Islam, but that is because you use in Arabic prefix "MU" before a
verb to denote the one performing the action where as in English we use "er" the letters
E R as a suffix in the end of the word to represent the one who does the action, like
walk walk-er , talk talk-er, think-er, and then in Arabic you put the "MU" ahead
of it adhan, Mu'adhin  one who calls the prayer . Salli, Musalli the one who prays.
Safar, musaafir the one who travels. This helps us to understand that word Islam.
 But what does Islam imply? We talked about the meaning the etymology of the word, but
what does it really imply? And what is it about? What does Islam have to do with Allah?
Is Allah "God"? Is there a purpose behind all of this? Who is this God? Who is the ILLAH?
And in fact in Islam the most important subject is Allah.
Allah does not exactly translate into the word God and that is because the word God
in English only has one form "God" where as in Arabic the word "Allah" comes from
illah, and illah is anything worshipped, anything can be a rock, a stick, a stone, a bone, things
made with the hand, things that u can put out on a shelf or carry a long with you and
worship, could be the stars, the moon, the universe, whatever a person worships that
is there "illah" even their position in life, who they are, their degrees, their job,
their wealth, their position as a human being, all of these things are illaha "gods".
But in English you don't have a proper noun for the one in only God, so what they do is
take the word God and make a big G out of it and say this is the proper noun, where
as in Arabic, you can take illah and then you have Allah and it doesn't just mean
The God because that would be al illah, but Allah is the actual name of the one and only
God and you don't have to worry about capital letters in Arabic, because there aren't
any, u can heart it clearly ALLAH, the one and only to be worshipped.
Now is this the God of the Arabs. As Muslims, YES.  What about Arab Christians? Did you
know there are Arab Christians, Arab Jews? They use the exact same word, in fact in the
Arabic bible, which by the way is much older than the English bible you find the word Allah
on page of genesis 17 TIMES, that is right. And in the new testament you will find it
very easily in almost every hotel or motel u go it because when you pull open the little
drawer by the bed, you will notice that there is a book in there the bible, you turn a few
pages and you see examples of the translations of bible into different languages. And the
second language is Arabic and the phrase is taken from john 3:16 " For God so loved
the world..." and the word for God there is used is ALLAH.
Now what about the belief in Mohammad (my God exalt his mention), Is that something
that is similar to Christianity or Judaism? Well for Christians who believe in Abraham
(peace be upon him) as Jews believe in Abraham as being the first or the progenitor of this
monotheistic belief, the belief in One God then the answer would be Yes, because this
is what Mohammad (my God exalt his mention) taught in fact many people don't know this
but Mohammad (my God exalt his mention) he is a direct descendent from Abraham (peace
be upon him), Yes by the way of his son Ishmael. So Ismail is well known to be the father of
the many Arabs today and it is from him through Abraham Ismail that we find others who come
all the way down to Mohammad (my God exalt his mention).
What about the other prophets that came by way of Isaac, from the other branch of Abraham
well we know Moses (peace be upon him) don't we?  And David (peace be upon him) and Solomon
(peace be upon him) and of course Jesus (peace be upon him) and we say peace be upon them
all, this is very important for Muslims to always say that Peace Be Upon Them.
What was it that Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus has in common with Mohammad (my God
exalt his mention), peace be upon All of them? Do you know what it was? It was the message
that they brought to their people, Abraham (peace be upon him) taught the people to worship
God directly and be involved in false worship or pagan worship.
Moses (peace be upon him) My Gosh that is very clear isn't it? When we look to the
10 commandments we find immediately the very first commandment is that you shall not have
any other worship except for the one God. Thou shalt not have any other Gods beside
me is the way God ordered to Moses to write it down isn't it?
And David (as) with his psalms and Solomon (as) of course they were on the exact same
thinking, their belief were just not similar they were identical.
And then Jesus peace be upon him, many people would tell you that Jesus said this or he
said that but when we look to the bible you know what we find, we find that it wasn't
Jesus who had these different opinions and ideas it was actually Paul.
The quotes from Jesus in the Gospel are so identical to prophets before you can't help
but notice it.  For instance in Mathew 5: 17, when Jesus says, "Think not that I came
to destroy the law, or the prophets, I came not to destroy but to fulfill." And not
until all things are accomplished shall a single dot or jot or iota or tittle being
any wise lessened. So we see right away that he was saying I am holding up there Torah
the law from before.
Then when we look further into the book of Mark we see what is the greatest of all commandments.
That is in 12:29, the book of Mark and look what it says when somebody is asking him what
is the greatest commandment? According to English translation I have it says that Jesus
responded it is to know " O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And you have to
love him with all your heart and your mind and your strength. So, obviously we know now
that this message was very important. Worshipping God alone without any partners.
And that is exactly what Mohammad (peace be upon him) was trying to do with his people
at his time in Mecca. Because they had strayed far away from their great ancestor Abraham
(peace be upon him). They still performed some of the rituals, but without the proper
belief. They still made a circumambulation around the very place that Abraham had build
along with his son Ismail. Or Ishmael in English. And do you know and this is an amazing thing,
think about it, these people were actually thinking they were doing exactly the same
as their ancestors, but their ancestors had strayed so far away that all they had was
the physical representation without any of the proper beliefs not in their worship and
certainly not the way they treated each other. These people had become alcoholics, they had
become womanizers, they had become very bad in their business. They were bad we will leave
it at that, because we want to come to something next you know our subject what's Islam?
What about this book called the Quran? What is that all about? In the very beginning of
the Quran itself it demands that the believers who believe in the Quran must also believe
in the previous revelations, to believe what is send to Mohammad (peace be upon him) and
what was sent before and then the Quran goes on to tell us about the Torah the Zaboor and
the Injeel, Torah is The Law or the Old Testament the Zaboor is this is the Psalms you know
about the Psalms and the Injeel this means the Gospel the New Testament.
So whoever would not belief that God was the originator of those what God is the one who
sent those down, if they wouldn't believe that then their belief in the Quran by itself
is not enough, because the Quran says that to believe in what was sent down before.
And what does Quran exactly mean?  In simple English. Well it doesn't mean book, the
word bible literally means book "biblios" from Greek but the word Quran is Arabic and
it means recitation that which is being recited and that is how the Quran comes to us today,
because did you know that the prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), He used to recite it
just as he heard it, he heard it from the angel Gabriel (peace be upon him) the way
that it was to be recited to him and that he used to pass it on, now I am going to take
a little break here and we going to come right back and pick up where we left off  talking
about these books Stay right there we will be right back.
What's Islam? Again we come back to the very same question. What does all of this
have to do with Islam? Well we talked about what the word meant and then we talked about
what the word Muslim meant, We talked about the word Allah we found that Allah meant the
name of the only God to worship we talked about the prophets of Almighty God and we
even talked about their message. Teaching people to worship only one God. We got into
the subjects of the book; we mentioned Torah, Zaboor, Injil and Quran. All of these came
from the same God Allah. And all of these carried the same message that your worship
is more than just your belief you have to put it into practice. But why is all of this
together? What are we talking about here? Well this is to help us solve a bigger problem.
The Purpose Of Life. A human being regardless of who they are or where they are or what
they do will have this curiosity that want to know why am I here? How did I get here?
And do I have a purpose if so then what is it? The only one who would really be able
to answer that question would be the creator himself, if there is a creator it would be
up to him to tell us why we were created? And what expects from us? And what this life
is really about? Allah has shown the people from the time of
Adam (peace be upon him) until right now has shown the people what he wants from them and
it is a very simple thing. And that is that Worship be for him alone without any partners.
In fact we know this life to be a test from Almighty God. That is why we are born and
that is why we die, because there has to be a beginning and an end for us to be tested
on. The next life after this life no one will
ever die again. A bad person or a good person both are brought
back and they continue to live in the next life either in good shape or in not so good
shape depending on how they did on the test. So we are going to be talking about test based
on worship. The worship of the God of Abraham that was
what was taught by these prophets and that the person who is doing this is a servant,
a worshipper a slave. After all consider the word Islam, what does
it mean? Surrender Submission Obedience Sincerity Peace, that is definitely a servant, one who
really worships. Now along the way we find that they are going to be some test based
on what is called rights and limits. There are rights. God has the first right of all.
The right to be worshipped alone without any partners.
The rights of the prophets to be obeyed by their followers. But then there are limits
that none should transgress just as you have rights, I have rights, women have rights,
children have rights, but nobodies rights would exceed the rights of other to the extent
that it would infringe or oppress others. And a very important part of Islam is to know
that no one can go beyond their limits, their limits they must stay within otherwise they
are an oppressor and look at what Allah had said about that he tells us that he forbids
himself to ever oppress and he forbids us to oppress. So whoever is an oppressor is
a bad guy a very bad word in Arabic language he is one who does "dhulm" or oppression.
Now let us think for a minute we are talking about the one God, The Creator. This is the
same creator the one that we know of from the bible that in six days he created all
the heavens and the earth and this is recorded and the old the new testament very well known
to Jews and Christians. Similar for the Muslims except there is an
exception he says that he is the one who created the heavens and earth " fi sittati ayyaam"
which means in six days, But he didn't rest on the seventh day, in fact there is no mention
of a seventh day he just said he rose above his throne and there he positioned himself
until this very day and will remain there. Now what about Adam and eve? Is there somebody
named Adam in the bible? Yes Did you know that it is the exact pronunciation of the
very first person according to Arabic language, his name is also Adam, his wife "Hawa"
or Eve as we call her in English language and they were both in paradise and they had
one simple test, their test was enjoy whatever you like in the paradise, enjoy as you like.
Drink what you like, eat what you like except one don't eat from this tree one particular
tree don't eat from this tree. So now that became their test. Now as we know
from the bible the old and new testament and of course in the Quran the same Adam and Eve
were in the paradise and they were told don't eat from this tree then who came along? Maybe
you call him the devil or Lucifer, Shaitan, Satan a Demon or in Arabic a jinn, there is
difference here though for the Muslims, because this guy is not a fallen angel No because
angel are made from light and they always obey. In this case he was from the people
that were made before humans they were made from something called a smokeless fire, you
don't see them but they see you and they exist today.
They are called jinn. Our word "genie" like the genie in the bottle is coming from
this Arabic word. You don't really see them but they are there.
 Now the angels always obey but the jinn had the very first of all to do as they chose,
because they have free choice. Jinn have free choice, but angels don't. Now when God created
Adam, God said this is my best creation I ordered the angels to bow down the angels
bowed down but the jinn didn't because he didn't have to bow he didn't want to,
he could choose to disobey and that is exactly what he did.
He disobeyed God and that is what put him in the bad way because of his pride and arrogance
he refused to bow down and that became his problem. And he then wants to challenge all
human beings and try to tempt them to go his way to disobey God. If they come to that if
they go for that then they wound up in hell with him because that is his last and final
destination.  So now we have a little bit idea behind the temptation of the devil and
what he is all about? So he goes to Adam and Eve and tempts them to eat from the tree,
they both ate according to the bible according to the Quran, they both ate. But in the Quran
it is a little different, because we know that they both repented and nobody is blaming
one or the other. There is no guilt being thrown on the woman extra than the man. Adam
did what he did, Eve did what she did. But the man does not blame her nor does she have
a curse on her or her descendants so the women are not guilty by the fact that Eve did anything,
nor are the children born in  guilt, that means babies are not born in an original sin,
they are born innocent. Innocent as a newborn baby.  So what is the
purpose of life? If again it is a test. What is the worldly life? According to Islam the
devil tempts us. Lets take a look at the oldest of the books in the bible according to some
of the scholars it is the book of "Job?" we find Job is also in the Quran in Arabic
his name is Ayub, whether you are a Jew Christian or a Muslim if you speak Arabic you will call
Job Ayyub. Now he lost his wealth he lost his health he lost his family he had very
serious trials and tribulations now I want you to think about it. What did he do? He
was tempted, he was tempted very much Just curse God and die that is what the bible says.
Somebody told him just curse God and die you give up, but he was patient and he persevered.
In fact we use that impression today the patience of Job " Ayyub" and so he had that patience
we find that in Islam as well. It is a lesson to teach us here is a great prophet and he
was so patient. And what did he do? Persevered and as a result he came out much better in
this life and the next life, the same is for you and I. If we will be patient very good
example. Lets take another example. From the prophets
you have a book of Jonah in the bible in the Old Testament. Jonah is also in the Quran
his name in Arabic is Yunus. Now what about blaming, this is a good example about blaming
other people of course we had the example about Adam and Eve. They could have blamed
each other, they could have blamed the devil, but they didn't they accepted they were
wrong and they repented but what about Jonah" Yunus (peace be upon him)"? He left his
position in Nineveh in Iraq, he went out to the sea in a boat. The storm came up they
threw him over board he went into a well and he went to the bottom of the sea.  Now according
to the bible he stayed there for a period of time three days and three nights and he
came out but it doesn't tell us the lesson, the real lesson comes when we read the Quran
we find that he would have stayed in that well until the day of judgment had he not
repented and blamed himself instead of anyone else. Because he had been blaming people where
he lived because they wouldn't accept the message of worshipping one God. So that is
why he left. But now he realized that it was his own mistake and look what he said in the
Arabic language. " La illaha illa ant Subhaanaka ini kuntu min adhalimin." There is no God
worthy of worship except you Allah The Glory and majesty is to you And for sure I did the
"dhulm" wrongdoing oppression to my self, I went beyond the limits and I am wrong and
I repent to that I am sorry in other words. So look at that another good lesson.
Lets come to some of the other prophets in fact I want to go to immediately to Jesus
right now. Jesus peace be upon him as according to the
Quran, He is the messih or the messiah, he is the chosen he is the Christ or Christos
if we know the Greek he was Christos, which become Christ.  He is the " logos" the
word, he is the virgin birth the immaculate conception. He cured sick healed the lame
even gave sight to the blind. And even brought a dead man back to life. This is in the Quran.
And it tells us he did all of this by the permission of Allah to show the people that
he was in fact the very one that they have been looking for, he was the messiah and he
was the chosen, he was the Christ to them. Why didn't they accept him? And many of
them rejected him. And only a few really followed him, but he was according to the Quran the
very person they should have been watching for. Now where is Jesus Now According to Islam
he is with God, God pulled him up and he is with God now. And he is coming back in the
last day, how? Alive. He left the earth Alive. He is with God Alive and he will return alive.
Similar to the way that Jonah went in to the well alive stayed in the well for a while
alive and came out alive. That is one of the signs that we know by.
Now lets come to the next prophet, prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). We know that
Jesus is coming back in the last day, but lets talk about the last messenger after Jesus
peace be upon him, there is on other final messenger who came from the other branch of
the Abrahamic faith the last of the ones from the Isaac is Jesus (peace be upon him) and
the last form Ismael is Mohammad (peace be upon him). And what did he teach us? He was
first of all a normal man a normal birth, lived and died. He had excellent character
no bad habits. He was not drinker and he wasn't a "stinker" and you what I mean. And the
time when those people all had these horrible habits. He did not have any of that so much
so they called him things like The Truthful one, The Honest one, The one the kept a trust,
he had many beautiful nicknames that they give him because he was so " Odd ball " to
them What we say Square, he was so odd to them because he didn't pre-take of their
mischief and madness. So the worship of the God of Abraham is exactly
what we were being told to do by Mohammad (peace be upon him), the same message that
came with the other prophets. Worship the God of Abraham One God with no partners, and
to believe in all of these messengers and believe in the books which they were sent
and especially you have to believe that Jesus is virgin birth did the miracles of God and
carried that same message. The message of there is no God to worship except The God
of Abraham and Jesus will return to the earth and he will bring peace when he comes. He
also warned us about Gog and Magog ya'juj wa ma'juj and mentioned they be in the very
last days in the world watch out for that also that the Antichrist in fact several imposters
would come claiming to be Jesus or the Christ back on earth, but don't buy it don't
go for that. This is not real. The temptations of the devil will continue
to the very end of life. That devil is not going to give up. He thinks he is goddess
and he will keep trying so we have to keep working and doing what believing in one God
doing righteous deeds, and repenting when we make mistakes. That is it. There is a couple
other little things I could mentioned and that is that since those days 1400 years ago
till now, we have been surprised to find out how many scientific proves there are. By taking
what is being taught in the Quran and the teachings of Mohammad (peace be upon him),
many of the things that could not be explained at that time are clearly now. Science improves
that the Quran could only have been from the creator of heavens and earth, The proves about
the universe it self and how it works and how the earth is turning and how it is round,
Proves about the human beings how they are conceived inside of the mother and how they
develop in the different stages and trimesters, things that were only known maybe in the last
50 to 60 years are mentioned in the Quran. And I would like to also mention there are
six beliefs, which Muslims have to have. Belief in God, his angels, his books, his prophets,
the day of Resurrection and the destiny of Almighty God.
And five actions these actions must be there or it is not complete. To bear witness to
your belief in the God and the prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), to perform the worship
or Salah five times a day, Fast the month of Ramadan, Pay the charity or poor due and
to perform the pilgrimage or Hajj. That sums up what's Islam.. For more visit our website: