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About Islam

This section of our website gives a brief introduction to the religion of Islam, and suggests links for finding out more.

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.

The Qur’an, chapter 5, verse 3.

When Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) first received revelation from Allah (God) through the Angel Gabriel in about 570 CE, he became the final prophet; the culmination of a line stretching back to the first human being, Adam, which included Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus, to name just a few. Thus began the final revelation to humanity, ending almost 23 years later with the verse cited above.

Together with account of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ sayings and actions (known as the Sunnah), they define Islam, the religion and complete way of life that God has decreed for humanity for the rest of time.

This revelation, the Qur’an, is in the tradition of earlier books revealed by God:

  • to Moses – the Torah
  • to David – the Psalms
  • to Jesus – the Gospel.

Whilst the original texts of earlier revelations have been lost, the Qur’an remains pristine; the Word of God, which He has promised to preserve unchanged until the end of time

It means submission to the Will of God. The root of the word also means peace. A person who follows Islam is known as a Muslim – one who submits.

“Recite, what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.

The Qur’an, chapter 29, verse 45

Salah, the second pillar of Islam, is a form of prayer which must be performed in a prescribed manner, and at particular times. It takes the form of standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting in a given sequence, whilst reciting the words of the prayer in Arabic.

People can prayer wherever is convenient, so long as it is clean. This can be at home, or where you work. For men, it is preferred they make the effort to pray in congregation at their local mosque. This is why most mosques are open for the five daily prayers.

There are so many benefits in performing regular prayers. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “If there was a river at your door and you took a bath in it five times a day, would you notice any dirt on you?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet said, “That is the parable of the five prayers by which Allah removes sins.”

“The alms [Zakah] are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.

The Qur’an, chapter 9, verse 60

At the core of Islam is the duty to look after the poor and needy. Zakah is a compulsory act or worship, the giving of a portion of one’s wealth to those in the greatest need. It can only be spent on those mentioned in the above verse of the Qur’an; it cannot, for example, be used for other virtuous causes, such as building mosques.

The paying of Zakah is not seen as a burden, rather a blessing because it means Allah has been generous in giving us enough wealth; people below a certain level of wealth do not pay Zakah.

Zakah is not charity; charity (also known as Sadaqah in Islam) is the voluntary giving of one’s wealth, but this so greatly recommended in Islam, and so highly rewarded, that Muslims have a very strong sense of the need to give charity. The ICEC Battersea collects donations to help deliver its services.

You can find out more about Zakah from the National Zakah Foundation.

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous.(Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number of other days; and for those who can afford it there is a ransom: the feeding of a poor person – but whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him: and that you fast is better for you if you did but know.

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion between right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah intends for you ease, He intends not hardship for you; and (wants) that you should complete the period, and to glorify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be grateful.

The Qur’an, chapter 2, verses 183–185

Fasting is a virtuous act of worship, compulsory (with some exceptions) during the month of Ramadan, and optional at other times. Muslims fast by abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn to sunset.

There are many benefits to fasting, as it also requires us to make the effort to give up bad habits, such as harsh speech, and to think about the food we eat. It is a time to become more conscious of our Creator, and to try and become a better person.

“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway

The Qur’an, chapter 22, verse 27

Hajj, the fifth of the pillars of Islam, is compulsory for those able to undertake this pilgrimage to Makkah. It is at a set time each year, in the Islamic month of Hajj, and brings together about 3 million Muslims to this holy sanctuary.

The rites of Hajj, which we learn from the pilgrimage of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), commemorate some of the actions of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his family (peace be upon them).

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