This is a script of a radio show interview where some Muslim brothers (from the Islamic Center of Westerrn Mass.) appeared as guests on STCC radio station on 04/07/2007. If you have any comments of suggestions, please feel free to leave them.
Host: With us is a group of young Muslim youth from our community who do speak different languages and come from different ethnic backgrounds, the only thing that unites them is La Elaha Ella Allah Mohammadon Rasool Allah which means that there is no diety worthy of worship except Allah and that Mohammed peace be upon him is his last prophet. They come here today with the intention to invite people to Islam and explain, clarify and reflect on some of the concepts in Islam as Muslims living in the United States.
Q: Can you summarize the message of Islam in simple words?
We will start with the first chapter of the Quran (translated as): (accompanied with an Arabic recitation)
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
Guide us to the Straight Way.
The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (i.e. those who knew the Truth, but did not follow it) nor of those who went astray (i.e. those who did not follow the Truth out of ignorance and error).
And with that chapter we have summarized the meaning of Islam (as you have discussed previously on your show). Islam is not a new way of life; rather it’s the same message sent to all prophets and messengers from Adam to Muhammed peace be upon them.
Q: As a Muslim youth living in the United States and going through life you must have asked yourself: why are we here?
The short answer is to worship God the creator who created us and all things. All humans go through life facing tests after tests from school to work and so on. So logically, this whole life is a test.
In Islam, the role of humans is also to build this earth and strive to be better and enjoy what Allah has created for us and blessed us with. Building this earth includes meeting people and getting to know them as the different languages and color of people is a sign of the creation and a guide to the creator.
Q: Let’s start by how to approach people who do not believe in god and invite them to Islam?
My first question to those who do not believe in the creator will be: “What is the definition of God?” For a person to say there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God. People would reject the idea is that God is human being or human-like characteristics. That he dies and sleeps and eats. So it’s not God that they are denying but rather their conception of God. The universe if a proof of a creator; the everything that came out of nothing is a proof of a creator. So a proof of a creator is in everything around us from ourselves to the universe.
Allah says in the quran: “Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most of mankind understands not (Quran 40:57)”. So in Islam; human beings are encouraged to use their instincts and nature and minds to know the existence of the creator.
Q: So who is Allah in Islam?
I have heard a very true statement which says: to see the value of any religion, one must see the concept of God in that religion. Thus God (Allah) describes himself in the Quran.
Sorat Al Baqara ayah 255: Allâh! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists). Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursî extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
This is my God; this is God in Islam.
Q: So what is the difference between Islam and Christianity?
Muslims think highly of Jesus (P) and his worthy mother, Mary. The Quran tells us that Jesus was born of a miraculous birth without a father. “Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then He said unto him: Be and he is” (Quran 3.59). He was given many miracles as a prophet. These include speaking soon after his birth in defense of his mother’s piety. God’s other gifts to him included healing the blind and the sick, reviving the dead, making a bird out of clay and most importantly, the message he was carrying. These miracles were given to him by God to establish him as a prophet. According to the Quran, he was not crucified but was raised into Heaven. (Quran, Chapter Maryam)
We talk to the christians as the Quran talked to them:
Is Soora Aal Emran verse 64: It’s translated as: “Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allâh (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.””
So bear witness that we are Muslims.
Q: So who is the man sent amongst you?
In brief, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael (P), son of Prophet Abraham (P). His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He was an illiterate man who did not read or write. As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At age 40, he was given the prophethood when the angel, Gabriel, appeared in the cave. Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were compiled in the form of a book called the Quran which Muslims consider as the final and the last word of God. The Quran has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah, the psalms and the Gospel.
He is a man and Muslims do not worship Muhammed as he is a prophet of Allah like all the prophets who have passed before him. But Muslims take him as an example. If you read the life of the prophet of Allah you would be amazed at the beauty and the manners and the morality. So I encourage you to read and if you like more links or information, email us at GotIslam@gmail.com.
Q: What is the Quran?
The Quran is a book of Allah revlealed to prophet Muhammed peace be upon him. Just like at time of Jesus peace be upon him, his people were known for medicine and at the time of Moses peace be upon him, his people were known in Magic. At the time of prophet Muhammed, his people were known for their eloquence in the arabic language. The Quran is a miracle that has stood as a challenge to all mankind. It came to people who used to be so eloquent in the Arabic language that no body was able to come up with anything like it and no one will. The quran is not a science book but it does contrdict science and it has many scientific facts that are a miracle in their own. We can send a free copy of the Quran if you contact us at GotIslam@gmail.com
Q: Islam is a religion of mercy and peace, how is this shown?
The prophet Muhammed peace be upon him used to say whenever an army was sent: Go with the name of Allah, do not kill a child or a woman or an old man. Do not cut a tree or torture a human being or an animal and do not cheat and break promises.
Not only that but in the Quran we are commanded not to transgress or oppress and to deal justly with people of all faiths as it says:
In Surat Al Momta7ena ayah 8: “Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity.”
In the chapter of the prophets (Anbeyaa’) verse107: it is translated as “And We have sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): not but as a mercy for the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).”
So he was indeed a mercy for all man kind by his behavior and his actions and delivering the full message.
Q: What kind of work do you carry around in the society?
We have distributing CDs and flyers at traffic lights and in stores and libraries and we are hoping to have an open house soon God willing and invite the listeners to meet with the Muslims. Also on our agenda is start some courses teaching Islam and Arabic in the Islamic Center in this area.
Q: Closing words:
I talk to all the listeners to have an open mind and an open heart to what has been said. The least that a person of just intellect can do is search for the truth. Read and listen and learn. Do not believe everything you hear but go and search and look for the truth. I believe that Islam is the religion of common sense to worship Allah alone with no partners, sons of wives. We do appreciate any feedback and questions. We have plenty of free material to for those who like to learn. Please e-mail us at GotIslam@gmail.com or call.