Islam (To Be At Peace)
Islam worships One Universal God, who in Arabic is called Allah. I say the
God, that Muslims choose to call Allah, is the God of Humanity. Others only
choose to call Him in different names. Islam confirms the truths of the Old and
New Testaments of the Bible.
The word 'Islam' (Salam) means to have done ones duty, to be at peace. Islam
also means to submit (to the will of God) Islam could be understood as a
brotherhood of man, whose aim is 'to execute God's will.
The name of the Prophet of Islam, is Mohammed. It is believed that Mohammed
was born in 570 A.D. in a respected family of the Banu Hashim of Quraish.
Quraish was a well known tribe in Mecca. The Quraish were custodians of the
Kaaba. Mohammed was sensitive and gentle. He would wander into the hills to
meditate. Mohammed did not know a father's love, and a mother's care. He was an
orphan. As a child, he was gentle and loving. He grew up to be a thoughtful
youth , and progressed to become a faithful friend, and a devoted husband.
Mohammed thought deeply about how life should be lived, and also on its
deeper mysteries. He struggled and went through immense difficulties to achieve
what he believed in, but he never despaired…because he believed in God's
mercy. He was humble, even when he was widely admired, and considered a great
dispenser of justice. Despite his followers, he mended his own clothes, milked
his goats and often went without food…For days he would live on only, dates
and water… yet would share whatever he had, even during trying times.
Mohammed loved children, respected elders and tended the sick. He accorded
equal respect to the slaves and consoled those in pain. It has been 1400 years
since he walked on earth, yet he is without a doubt, a prophet who inspires
love, admiration and tremendous respect and awe!
One night the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mohammed in a vision and cried:
"Recite" It is believed that God chose him, so that He may speak
What Mohammed uttered is recorded in the Koran and is considered, what God
Mohammed's wife, Khadija was the first to believe in him and encourage him.
The teachings of Mohammed, enraged the merchants. Mohammed had to flee Mecca in
632. He fled to Yathrib, which was later renamed as 'Madinat an- nabi (City of
the Prophet) The year that Mohammed fled is called the year of the Hegira and is
considered the Year One in the Muslim calendar. Mohammed became the religious
leader and governor of Tathrib. In the year 630 Mohammed entered Mecca
The faith of Islam teaches how man should behave in this world. It also
concerns itself with what happens in the after life. Mohammed urged his
followers to observe, what is known as 'The 5 pillars of Islam'
There is only 1 God.
One should perform prayers 5 times daily, facing Mecca; and on Friday, in
The fast of Ramadan.
Pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Koran also provides other moral values. It also speaks about the delights
of heaven and explains the terrors of hell. What I find beautiful in Islam is
the binding force of Muslims around the world. Muslims come from different parts
of the world, to Mecca, as members of the same family.
The literal meaning of 'Haj' in Arabic is to set out towards a definite
objective, heading for an honorable person or place. Ka'aba means: The Sacred House. All pilgrims, in Mecca, wear
identical clothes, do not shave, cut their hair, and abstain from sex. Most
beautiful: No harm is done to any living thing!
Let us remember, that not only Muslims, we are all members of the same
family. We all believe in a higher power, even though we may give it a different
name. And why 'not harm any living thing' only when we go on a pilgrimage? Why
not abstain from any harm, the year round. I do not convey this message to only
the Muslim brothers and sisters, but to all the rest of us, all over this
wonderful beautiful world, that was given to us to enjoy, as long as we live,
until a natural death take us back to our Maker!
Some more information on Haj
The Haj is the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Pilgrims travel the nine miles from Mecca to the plain of Arafat and back
stopping at the sacred sites of Mina and Muzdalifa Haj.
The Haj begins on the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the twelth month of the
Islamic year, and lasts for as long as 6 days.
The Story of Haj:
Prophet Ibrahim brought his wife and son Ismail to Arabia from Palestine.
Ibrahim left them with some supplies of food and water as per the
instructions of Allah.
After the food and water was exhausted Ismail struck his foot on the ground
and a spring of water gushed forth. They then ran a profitable well.
According to the Koran Allah told Ibrahim to build a shrine. Ibrahim and
Ismail then built the Kaaba, the shrine in Mecca.
How is the Haj performed?
'Tawaf 'is performed which consists of circling the Kaaba four times in a
Then, in an anti-clockwise direction, three times at a leisurely pace.
Then pilgrims walk back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah seven
times in a rapid pace.
The above 'performances' complete the 'Umrah'
Not a compulsory part of the Haj
1) Pilgrims often travel to visit the city of Medina.
2) Performance of the final three acts of faith: Al Hajul Akbar:
i) Journey to the hill of Arafat
ii) Pilgrims travel to the city of Mina and participate in the stoning of the
iii) A second tawaf is performed around the Kaaba to complete the Haj
Stoning of the devil:
This consists of picking pebbles from the ground and throwing them at the
three pillars of Mina. The pillars of Mina represent the devil.