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    ! A out Is am "

    2012

    What is Islam? The word Islam means to surrender oneself to the will of Allah ( ) alone. The people who follow Islam are known as Muslims. There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims all aroundthe world, comprising of different races, cultures and tr aditions. We, Muslims, believe that

    Allah ( ) is only one, there is no partner to Him and only He is the master of all thethings in the universe and beyond. This includes the belief that He neither begets, nor isbegotten i.e. He has no son, daughter, wife, etc.

    Moreover, Muhammad (May Peace and Blessings of Allah ( ) be Upon Him) is believedto be the last and final messenger of Allah ( ). Muslims believe that Quran ( ) isthe message of Allah ( ) and it was revealed upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 1400years ago. It has never been changed since its revelation, unlike other holy books, andremains in its original form, and provides guidance to all Muslims in their daily actions. Allah( ) says in the Quran:

    And the word of your Lord has bee n fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His words. And Heis the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (Quran 6:115).

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    The Five Pillars of Islam

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    1. Shahadah (Testimony) :"I testify there is no one worthy ofworship other than Allah ( )alone and I testify that Muhammad is

    the Messenger of Allah ( )."

    This testament is a foundationfor all the beliefs and practices inIslam. Muslims must repeat theshahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert toIslam are required to recite it as

    well.

    2. Salaat (Prayer): A ritualistic prayer that must beperformed five times a day atspecific times. Each prayer does

    not take more than a few minutesto perform. Salaat is intended tofocus the mind on Allah ( ),and is seen as a personalcommunication with Him thatexpresses gratitude and worship.

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    3. Zakat (Annual Charity):Zakat is a religious obligation anda way to help the poor and needypeople of the society. Anyone with any type of accumulated wealth such as assets, jewelry, etc.must pay 2.5% of that wealth topoor people. In addition toZakat, Qur'an also prescribes aMuslim to give even more as anact of voluntary alms giving.

    4. FastingFasting is the act of avoidingfoods, drinks, and sexualrelations from sunrise to sunsetduring the month of Ramadhanof the Islamic calendar. Itencourages spirituality towards

    Allah ( ), self control andgratitude for all the things wehave in our lives and othersdont.

    5. Pilgrimage to Makkah(Hajj): This annual pilgrimage isperformed in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Every Muslim withphysical and financial means totake this journey must do it at

    least once in his or her lifetime. Itconsists of many ritualistic worship methods which arecompleted by approximately 3.4million Muslims every year.

    You may visithttp://www.hajinformation.com/main/d21.htm for morecomprehensive information.

    (http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com)

    (http://www.islam-guide.com/)

    There are five Pillars of Islam, which are considered obligatory for all believers andspecifically mentioned in the Quran . They are described as follows:

    About Islam 2012

    Contact Information: To know more about Islam, you may

    contact the Islamic Union of Hong Kongthrough:

    Website: iuhk.org

    Phone: 852-2575 2218

    To contact the Muslim Students in PolyU whove organized this event, please contact:

    Name: Ibrahim Gorgec

    Mobile: 9852 7271

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    Festivals in Islam1. Eid-ul-Fitr (1 Shawwal)

    This marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, and is a community festival of great celebration.Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah ( ) for the help and strength that he gave themthroughout the previous month to help them practice self-control.Muslims start off the day with morning prayers, exchange greetings, and visit friends and relatives. Eid-ul-Fitr is also a time of forgiveness, making amends and share our happiness and wealth with poor people

    with less resources. It is pronounced as a public holiday in Islamic countries.

    2. Eid-ul-Adha (10 Dhul-Hijja): This is the festival of sacrifice in Islam. It marks the end of the Hajj (holy pilgrimage). The festivalremembers the prophet Ibrahims ( ) willingness to sacrifice his son when Allah ( ) orderedhim to do it. Ibrahim went t o sacrifice his dutiful son Ishmael ( ) despite repeated attempts by thedevil to dissuade them and at the final moment Allah ( ) stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrificeinstead. Ibrahims complete submission to the will of Allah ( ) is celebrated by Muslims each year.

    Each Muslim, as they celebrate, reminds themselves of their own submission to Allah ( ), and theirown willingness to sacrifice anything to Allah ( )s wishes. During the festival Muslims who can affordto, sacrifice domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The meat is distributedamong family, friends and the poor, who each get a third share.

    There are two festivals in Islam as described below:

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    Islam is a comprehensive way oflife and ethics have a greatimportance in our religion.Quran tells us to treat ourneighbors equally as ourselvesand be their companion in griefand celebration alike. Neverdiscomfort our neighbor in any

    way.

    Islam tells us to be kind to theneedy and poor and to help themin every way. Our religion alsoteaches us to be respectful to ourparents, and never misbehave orargue with them. Also, betruthful and honest. If someoneentrusts us with any work, weshould fulfill it honestly without

    anyselfishnessand greed. We should bethe trustee ofothers goodsand propertyand shouldnot use themfor our ownpersonaladvantage

    Islam does not allow profiteering,i.e. creating a shortage of goods inthe market so as to sell them at ahigher price in future to earnmore profit. Moreover, Islamdoes not allow the concept of

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    Interest ( ) on the loan.Earning income in the form ofinterest in loan is strictlyforbidden in Islam.

    Who is Muhammad(PBUH)?

    Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the last

    messenger Allah ( ). He is guidance and anexample not only for Muslims but for the wholemankind. Born in a noble family of Makkah in570 AD, he received the first revelation at the ageof 40 from Allah ( ) through the angelGabriel. He preached brotherhood, equality,

    simplicity in life and respect for all mankind. He clarified the real messages of Jesus,Moses, Abraham and all other messengers of Allah ( ) as messengers only, not sons.

    Muhammad (PBUH) believed in showing by example. He used to do all his work byhimself, lived in not palace, but a mere sand-made cottage, forgave those who persecutedhim and his followers and lifted women from being considered as usable toys (much liketoday in the modern world) to respected functioning members of the society. To find outmore about what non-Muslims say about Muhammad (PBUH), please v isithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0wXhVzaU0o&feature=related

    Ethics in Islam

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    At a time when the rest of the world, from Greece and Rome to India andChina, considered women as no better than children or even slaves, withno rights whatsoever, Islam acknowledged women's rights in a great manyrespects, so much so that women have been mentioned 112 times in the

    Quran itself. The Quran states about Mary ( ):

    " A nd among His signs is this: that He created mates for you from yourselves t hat you may find rest and peace of mind in them, and Heordained between you love and mercy. Certainly, herein indeed aresigns for people who reflect. " [Holy Quran 30:21]

    A nd (r emember) when the angels said: "O Mar yam (Mary)! V erily, A llah has chosen you, purified you (fr om polytheism and disbelief),and chosen you above the women of the whole world (Qur an 3 :4 2)

    A woman is to be treat ed as Allah ( ) has endowed he r, with rights,such as to be treated as an individual, with the right to own and dispose ofher own property and earnings, enter into contracts, even after marriage.She has the right to inherit from her father, mother, and husband.

    There is a share for men and a share for women from what i s l eft by parents and those nearest related, whether the property be small orlarge - a legal share. (Quran 4:07)

    She has the right to be educated and to work outside the home if she sochooses. A very interesting point is that in Islam, unlike any other religion,a woman can be an imam, a leader of communal prayer, for a group of

    women as well.

    One of the most common phrases in Islam is the 'Paradise lies underthe feet of the mother' . Allah ( ) has given great impedance to

    women an d for that reason He orders their children to address them interms of honor. The history of Muslims is rich with women of greatachievements in all walks of life from as early as the seventh century.

    Women in Islam

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    Concept of Halal inIslam

    The word Halal Literally means permissible and in

    translation, it is usually used as lawful. Within theIslamic religion, a strong emphasis is placed oncleanliness- both spiritually and in the context offood and drink. Under the Islamic Law, all sources offood are lawful except the following sources,including their products and derivatives, which areconsidered unlawful:

    1) Swine/pork and all its by-products or any derivatives.2) Animals not slaughtered according to the Islamic re quirements.3) Alcohol and intoxicants.4) Carnivorous animals, birds of prey.5) Blood and blood by-products.6) Foods contaminated with any of the above products.7) Food products and ingredients such as enzymes, gelatin, emulsifier, are considered doubtfuland must be verified before its application.

    Islamic Law also regulates the slaughtering procedure of lawful animal. All lawful animalsshould be slaughtered in compliance with the Islamic rules with the following requirements:

    1. The person should be a Muslim who is mentally sound and knowledgeable of the Islamicslaughtering procedures.

    2. The animal to be slaughtered should be lawful according to Islamic Law.3. The animal to be slaughtered should be alive or deemed to be alive at the time of

    slaughtering.4. The phrase "Bismillah" (In the Name of Allah ( )) should be invoked immediately

    before the slaughter of each animal.5. The slaughtering device should be sharp and should not be lifted off the animal during the

    slaughter act.6. The slaughter act should sever the trachea, esophagus and main arteries and veins of theneck region.

    All food that is prepared, processed, packaged, transported and stored in such a manner fulfillsthe halal definition mentioned above.