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In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Islam 101
A comprehensive but basic course
about Islam
Prof. Syed B. Soharwardy
Muslims Against Terrorism
Why Islam 101? - Background and Need
– Desire to know and understand Islam in the Western World
– Stereotyping about Islam and Muslims in the Western Media
– Stereotyping in Muslim Countries about the West
– Activities of interest groups “for” and “against” Islam
– Communication gaps between Islam and the Western World
Why Now?
– September 11 terrorist attacks on WTC and the Pentagon, and the backlash
against Muslims
– Countering Terrorism through rational approach NOT through terror or war
Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT)
– MAT was established on January 11, 1999 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
– Objectives of MAT
Islam 101 - Topics
• Module 1: Introduction to
• Module 7: Islam’s Social
• Module 2: Basic Beliefs
• Module 8: Role of Women in
• Module 2a: Jesus, Part of
Islamic Faith
• Module 3: The Five Pillars of
• Module 4: Dealings and
• Module 5: Jihad
• Module 6: Muslim World
• Module 8a: Relationship
between Man and Woman
• Module 9: Economic System
• Module 10: Political System
• Module 11: Judicial System
• Module 12: The Differences
• Module 13: Islam in the
Important Rules
• This is a class based course and requires class room discussion.
• Please consult the handouts for details. This presentation
requires explanation of all points.
• There is no such thing as stupid question. Please ask questions
or send your questions to [email protected]
• At the end of each class, there will be a Q & A session
• Constructive criticism is a part of this course
• We may disagree on some issues but we must respect each
other’s opinion
• This presentation can be copied or used by anyone but please
acknowledge M-A-T.Org
Module 1: Introduction to Islam
Islam, the most misunderstood religion in the western world
– The first man on earth (Adam,
peace be upon him) was a Muslim
– Famous Muslims
– Meanings of Muslim
– Highlights of Islamic History
– Meanings of Islam
– Contribution of Muslim scientists
and researchers for mankind
– First Muslims
• Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses,
Jesus and Muhammad (peace
be upon them)
• The followers of the
Companions (Taab-e-een)
Origin of Islam
Brief History of Islam
Attributes of Islam
– Islam is not a mere religion
– Islam is a way of life
– History of Prophets
– Islam is the most structured
– History of Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him)
– Islam touches and guides each
and every aspect of human life
– Early Muslims
• Prophet Muhammad’s Family
– Islam is a complete package.
There is no pick and choose in
• Prophet Muhammad’s
Companions (Sahabah)
– Islam requires complete
submission to Allah
Module 1: Introduction to Islam
– Islam is the religion of moderation
not extremism
The Last Book - Holy Qur’an
Sunnah / Hadith provides the details
and interpretation of Glorious Qur’an
Islam = Qur’an + Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Difference between Qur’an and
– Attributes of Glorious Qur’an
• Whose Book is this?
– This is Allah’s Book
• What’s in Holy Qur’an?
– Guidance for all humanity
• Every verse in holy Qur’an has
a context. If a verse is read or
understood without its context
then there is a huge possibility
of misunderstanding the
Qur’anic verses.
• How to read and understand
Holy Qur’an?
• Where to find the context?
– Context is in Sunnah /
– What is Sunnah / Hadith?
• Actions and sayings of Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon
– In holy Qur’an every thing is from
Allah. It’s words, taxonomy,
arrangements, chapters, indexing
are all from Allah.
– In Hadith, the message and the
commandments are from Allah
but the word’s are of Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him)
– Hadith is the most essential and
important source for
understanding Qur’an.
Module 1: Introduction to Islam
Introduction to Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him)
– Some Attributes of Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Attributes of Muslim defined by
holy Qur'an and Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him)
– Believes in unseen (Ghaib)
– Birth of Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him)
– Obedient to parents
– Family Background
– Caring and loving to all human
– Early childhood
– As a teenager
– As an adult
– Marriage
– Business
– Announcing Prophethood
• Life in Makkah
• Life in Madinah
– Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him) in the eyes of nonMuslims
– Best in manners
– Activist to promote good and stop
– Fears only Allah
– Completely submits his/her
desires to Allah
– Respectful towards elders, loving
and caring towards youngsters
– Does not harm anyone with his
tongue or hands
– Environmentally sensitive
Module 2: Basic Beliefs
religions in the world use or
associate the word “God” for
things / personalities other
than “GOD”, the Creator and
Sustainer of all things and
Basic Beliefs in Islam
– God, Prophets, Divine books,
Angels, Hereafter, Fate / Luck
Five pillars of Islam
Believe in ONE God?
• The Arabic translation of God is
• Allah is the deity who is
worshipped alone without any
partners and associates. He is
the Creator of all things. Allah
has no boundaries, shapes and
bodies. There is nothing like
Allah. Allah does not manifest
Himself into any person or
– Why Muslims call God Allah?
• Muslims prefer to call God
Allah because some of the
– Some most famous attributes of
Believe in Prophets and
• Allah sent His messengers and
Prophets to guide human
beings. The exact number of
Prophets and Messengers are
known to Allah. However,
according to one of the famous
Hadith, Allah did send from
time to time 124,000 Prophets
and Messengers towards
humanity. A Muslim must
believe and respect all
Prophets and Messengers of
Module 2A: Jesus, Part of Islamic Faith
– Every nation or region had
received Allah’s Messengers
– He is still alive and shall return to
this world to fight against evil. He
then will die in the Jihad (struggle
against evil) and will be buried in
in Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace
be upon him) mosque in Madinah
near Prophet Muhammad (Peace
be upon him)
– Five most famous Prophets of
• Noah (Peace be upon him)
• Abraham (Peace be upon him)
• Moses ((Peace be upon him)
• Jesus (Peace be upon him)
• Muhammad (Peace be upon
– Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him)
is the most mentioned Prophet in
the Qur’an. He is the only Prophet
whose life time events are
discussed in detail compared to
other Prophets.
– Muslims believe that Jesus did not
die. He was raised towards the
Heavens alive.
Jesus and Mary (Peace be upon
them) in holy Qur’an;
– Behold! the angels said: "O Mary!
Allah hath chosen thee and
purified thee; chosen thee above
the women of all nations. (3:43)
– "O Mary! worship thy Lord
devoutly; prostrate thyself and
bow down (in prayer) with those
who bow down.” (3:44)
Module 2A: Jesus, Part of Islamic Faith
Behold! the angels said "O Mary! Allah
giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from
Him: his name will be Christ Jesus.
Christ the son of Mary held in honor in
this world and the Hereafter and of (the
company of) those nearest to Allah.
"He shall speak to the people in
childhood and in maturity and he shall
be (of the company) of the righteous.
"And Allah will teach him the Book and
Wisdom the Law and the Gospel.
Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take
thee and raise thee to Myself and clear
thee (of the falsehoods) of those who
blaspheme; I will make those who
follow thee superior to those who reject
Faith to the Day of Resurrection; then
shall ye all return unto Me and I will
judge between you of the matters
wherein ye dispute. (3:55)
This similitude of Jesus before Allah is
as that of Adam: He created him from
dust then said to him: "Be" and he was.
And behold! Allah will say "O Jesus the
son of Mary! didst thou say unto men
`worship me and my mother as gods in
derogation of Allah"? He will say:
"Glory to Thee! never could I say what
I had no right (to say). Had I said such
a thing Thou wouldst indeed have
known it. Thou knowest what is in my
heart though I know not what is in
Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that
is hidden. (5:116)
Some important attributes of
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be
upon him)
• Relationships with other
• Last Messenger of Allah
• Prophet of Mercy and
Messenger of Allah towards all
Module 2:Basic Beliefs
Believe in Divine Books
– Muslims believe in all divine books
Divine Booklets
Psalms of David (Zaboor)
Torah (old Testament)
Bible (Enjeel) (new Testament)
– Holy Qur’an is the continuation of
the books before Qur’an and it is
the last book in which Allah has
completed His message for the
– Common message of all divine
– Qur’an verifies Torah and Enjeel
– Allah has completed His message/
guidance towards humanity
Believe in Angels
– Muslims believe in all angels.
– Angels are made of light (noor)
and do nothing but what Allah
asks them to do. They are very
obedient to Allah. The actual
population of angels is only
known to Allah.
– Some famous Angels
• Gabriel (Peace be upon him)
(Was responsible to bring
revelations to Allah’s Prophets
and Messengers)
• Mekaiel (Peace be upon him)
(Responsible for weather and
• Izraiel (Peace be upon him)
(Responsible for taking
people's soul and hence
causing them to die
Module 2: Basic Beliefs
• Israfiel (Peace be upon him)
(responsible to blow the Horn
in order to end this universe
and blow the Horn again to
make them alive in order to
face the judgment day.
– Kiraman Katebeen (Two
respectful writers)
• Every human being is
accompanied by two angels at
all times and in all situations.
Symbolically, one is on the
right shoulder and the other is
on the left shoulder. The angel
on the right side writes
whatever good is done by the
person and the angel on the
left side writes whatever bad is
done by the person. This whole
record of good and bad deeds
will be handed over to the
person on the Judgment Day.
Believe in Hereafter
– Life after death
– According to Islam every human
being is responsible for his/her
actions and he or she will be
accountable in front of Allah on
the Judgment Day about two
• Allah will ask, I had given you
life, where and how did you
spend it?
• I had given you means for your
life, where and how did you
spend those means (wealth,
resources, power, etc...)?
– Muslims believe that Allah already
knows everyone's deeds. The
above process is only for
reminding every individual what
kind of life they had in this world.
Module 2: Basic Beliefs
Once every individual pays his / her
accounts to Allah, then Allah alone will
decide who will be punished and sent
to Hell and who will be rewarded with
The Mercy of Allah will play a very
important role and Allah may forgive
whoever he wants regardless of the
numbers and quantity of sins.
Allah loves to forgive but the criteria of
forgiveness is defined by Allah alone.
No body else.
The entry into Heaven depends upon
the mercy of Allah.
Description of Heaven in holy Qur’an
– A very loving, peaceful,
unimaginable place where the
creation will be able to see the
Creator and worship Him
Description of Hell in holy Qur’an
A very horrible place in which
humans, Jinn and rocks will burn.
• Believe in Fate / Destiny
– A Muslim believes that no one
can cause harm or benefit
except Allah. Whatever good or
bad happens in this world, it is
according to the wish of Allah.
– But Allah does not force anyone
to choose certain beliefs or
lifestyle. It is the person’s
decision and the person will be
responsible for the decisions.
– The balance between the above
two points is critical
Module 2: Basic Beliefs
Cleanliness; is the most important
requirement for worshipping Allah
• Steps
• Conditions
• Steps
Cleanliness when using Toilet
Mosques (Masjid)
What is Shari’a? (Jurisprudence)
Sources & Principles
– Why intention is important?
Taking Shower
• Requirements
Celebrations in Islam
– Eid ul Fitr
– Youmul Arafa (Hajj day)
– Eid ul Adhha
• Animal Slaughtering
– Ramadhan
• Respect for Mosques
• The Night of Power
(Lailatul Qadr)
• Value of praying in the mosque
• Anniversary of Holy Qur’an
• Place for worship
Wudhu (Ablution)
• Requirements
Prayer in congregation
– Other Events
Module 3: Five Pillars of Islam
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him) said that Islam is based upon the
following five pillars. Anyone who
demolishes (does not practice) these
five pillars, in fact, he /she demolishes
the building of Islam.
Shahadah, testifying that there is no
God but Allah and Muhammad (peace
be upon him) is His last Messenger
Five mandatory prayers (Salat)
– Fajr (Morning prayers before
– Dhohr (Zohar) Prayer (Noon
Prayer but after the noon time)
– Asr (Afternoon prayers but before
– Maghrib (right after the sunset
– Isha (late evening prayers at
Movie on Salat
A person can offer optional prayers
and may remember (Dhikr) Allah at
any time
Zakat: A Muslim with certain amount
of savings must pay 2.5% of his
savings to the poors every year. This is
called Zakat. The optional charity
called Sadqah can be given at any
time and in any quantity
Fasting in Ramadhan, every Muslim
adult, men or women must fast
everyday from Dawn to Sunset in the
month of Ramadhan. During fasting,
the fasting person must avoid eating,
drinking, smoking and sexual
relationships. Certain people are
exempted from fasting, such as
children, sick, elderly (weak), travelers
and women in periods.
Module 3: Five Pillars of Islam
Module 3 (Continue)
Other Components (Continue)
In certain situations person has to
complete his / her missed fasts later
on or feed the poor to compensate for
missed fasting days
– Islamic Calendar
(Movie on Fasting)
– Other Optional Prayers
Hajj, Every Muslim adult, men or
women who has enough resources
and physically capable to travel to
Makkah must perform Hajj, at least
once in the lifetime.
– Optional Fasting
History of Ka’ba
Movie on Hajj
Other Components
– Adhan and Iqamah (call for
– Friday Prayer
• Significance of Friday
• Start, months, important dates
– Eid Prayers
– Optional Charity
– Umrah (Small Pilgrimage)
– Supplications
– Rituals performed at Birth
• Adhan & Iqamah in ears
• Aqiqah
– Rituals performed at the time of
death and burial
• Ghusl, Kafn, Salatul Janazah,
Burial, Grave, Graveyard, Du’a
for the deceased
Module 4: Dealings and Behaviours
– Anger Management
• What to do when one is angry?
– Stress Management
• Satisfaction of Heart and Soul
is in the remembrance of Allah
– Avoiding Violence
• The violence on the lands and
in the seas is earned by human
– Revenge
– Difference between Martyrdom
and Suicide
– Death
• No one has the right to take
someone’s or his / her own life
• Death, a call ONLY from God
– Repentance, most desirable action
– Forgiveness, a blessing of Allah
• Overcoming the revenge
– Life, an opportunity
• Forgiveness is better than
– Counter Terrorism in Islam
– Arrogance
• Dangers of arrogance
• Problems of arrogance
– Martyrdom, the most sacred and
desirable in Islam
Suicide is forbidden in Islam
• A person who will commit
suicide will go to hell.
– Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be
upon him) Journey to Taif
– Conquest of Makkah
– The Agreement of Hudaibiyah
– No compulsion in Islam
Module 5: Jihad
What is Jihad?
– Jihad means struggle for the sake
of Allah and must not include any
personal ambitions and interests.
Types of Jihad
– Jihad bin Nafs (Struggle within
against the evil desires)
– Jihad bil Qalam / Lisaan
(Struggle against evil through
writing or/and speaking)
– Jihad Bis Saif (Warfare to stop
• Conditions for Jihad (warfare)
• Can people make their groups
and announce Jihad (warfare)?
• Who is responsible for
declaring Jihad (warfare)?
– Kidnapping and hijacking innocent
civilians is a crime
Warfare in Islam
– The battles during Prophet
Muhammad’s (peace be upon
him) time
• Do not kill innocent civilians
• Women and children must not
be harmed
• Places of worship of other
religions must not be destroyed
• Water should not be
• Green trees should not be cut
• Elderly and sick should not be
• Those who surrender must be
• Forgiveness must prevail over
– Killing someone just because of
his/her nationality or religion is a
Module 6: Muslim World
Module 7: Islam’s Social System
Module 6: Muslim world
– What’s happening in the Muslim
– Impacts of colonial era on Muslim
– Continuation of imperialism/
dictatorships in Muslim countries
• Effects of Capitalism - IMF and
World Bank
– Stereotyping of Western Society
by Muslims
– Stereotyping of Muslims by
Western non-Muslims
– Communication gaps, insecurity,
and exploitation
– Characteristics of a model Islamic
Module 7: Social System
– Is Western Culture Christian?
– Islamic culture OR Islamic values
• The most important unit of
Islam’s social system is FAMILY.
• Islam wants to establish a very
strong moral and spiritual
• Marriage Vs common law
• pornography and nudity
– Local cultures in Muslim countries
compare to Islamic values
• Tribal systems and feudal lords
• Misinterpretation of holy Qur’an
and Sunnah for exploitation
Module 7: Islam’s Social System
• Food
• Male domination
– Halal and Haraam
– Social gatherings in Islam
– Dietary restrictions in
• Separation of Female from
Male in social gatherings
– No pig and alcohol
• Birth and Burial ceremonies
• Paintings and Statues
– Marriages
• Photography
• Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace
be upon him) marriages
• Jokes and picnics (Having fun)
• Arranged marriages
• Islamic way of weddings
– Divorce
– Clothing
• Male clothing
• Female clothing
– Arts & Craft
• Music and Dance
• Tourism
The effects of five pillars of Islam on
Muslim’s social life
Relationships with non-Muslims
Environmental sensitivity
Animal Cruelty
• Absolutely forbidden in Islam
– Some examples from
Islamic history
– Care for pets
Module 8: Role of Women in Islam
What Qur’an says about Women?
Those who slander chaste women
indiscreet but believing are cursed in
this life and in the Hereafter: for
them is a grievous Penalty. On the
Day when their tongues their hands
and their feet will bear witness
against them as to their actions. On
that Day Allah will pay them back
(all) their just dues and they will
realize that Allah is the (very) Truth
that makes all things manifest. (Surah
Noor, 24:23,24,25)
What Prophet Muhammad (Peace
be upon him) says about women?
– Woman as mother
• The highest achievement of
any men is under woman’s feet
– Woman as Wife
• Prophet Mohammed's
relationship with his wives
– Woman as daughter
• A Muslim who raises three
daughters with good education
and character will be in Heaven
with Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him)
– Woman as co-workers
– Woman as professionals
• Prophet Muhammad’s (peace
be upon him) own wife,
Khadijah (May Allah be pleased
with her) was the most
successful business women of
her time.
– Exploitation of women in the west
in the name of freedom
– Exploitation of women in Islamic
countries in the name of Islam
– Hijab
• What is Hijab?
• Bikini or mini skirt Vs. modest
Module 8B: Relationship between Man and
– Who is better or Superior?
• In Islam, the criteria of being
better or superior does not
depend upon;
– Gender, Colour, Language,
nationality, etc..
• The better person among you
is he or she who is more pious
among you.
– Relationship between husband
and wife in Islam
• They are like garments for
each other
– Mutual respect
– Comforting for each other
– Protecting each other
– Beauty of each other
– Trusting each other
– Satisfying each other
• Compromise
• Intimate relationship is sacred.
Not for display
• Marrying woman ONLY for
sexual pleasure is not sacred
– What is meant by “man is more
powerful over woman”?
– Monogamy Vs. polygamy
• Is Western Society
• Children out of wedlock in the
• No secret in Islam
• Islam prefers single marriages
• Multiple marriages allowed but
• Which way is better? Multiple
marriages with accountability
and responsibility OR have
multiple partners with no
accountability and
Module 9: Economic System
Module 10: Political System
Module 9: Economic System
Module 10: Political System
– Highlights
– The Constitution -
– Responsibilities of State
– Electoral System of Islam
Qur’an and Sunnah
• Welfare State
– Head of State
• Fiscal Discipline
– Consultative Council (Legislation)
• Taxes (Zakat & Jizyah)
– Responsibility & Accountability
• Social Security
– Freedom defined by God vs.
freedom defined by man
• Pension
– Employment
– Earnings
– Economic exploitation is
absolutely forbidden in Islam
• Interest vs. Profit
• Taking Loans
– Stay away from loans if you
• Challenges of modern
economic system
• Charities
(Ameer ul Mo’meneen)
The Best Charter of Human Rights
– The Last Sermon of Prophet
Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
– Protection of freedom and
• The event of Karbala sets the
– Every individual is important
– Is majority rule always perfect?
Module 11: Judicial System of Islam
Module 12: The Differences
Module 11: Judicial System
– Judiciary independent of
Module 12: The Differences
– Sunni and Shi’a Muslims
• No difference in basic beliefs
– Accountable to Allah
• No difference in Qur’an
– When you make decisions among
people, make decisions with
• No difference about Prophet
Muhammad (Peace be upon
him) and his family
– Some cases between Muslims and
Non-Muslims during Prophet’s
(peace be upon him) time.
• Differences on mostly political
issues such as succession of
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be
upon him)
• A Muslim Vs. a Jew
– Minor differences within Sunnis
• A son Vs. a Father case
– Minor differences within Shi’as
• Women Vs. Men
– Justice starts within the family
– Capital punishment
Some non Muslim groups
emerged from Islamic faith
• Pre-requisites
• Requirements
• Importance of witnessing
Ahmady / Qadyani
• Women’s witness
Module 13: Islam in the West
Islam in the West
– Freedom of Religion
– Mosques and Islamic Schools
– Muslim Students
– Muslim Population
– Muslims Born in the West
– Relationships between
Christians and Muslims
– Few extremist groups in the
West do not represent the
entire western community
– Sympathy and goodwill for
– Islam, the fastest growing
– Backlash against Muslims after
September 11 and support
from Christian community
– Laws to protect from
Discrimination and hate crimes
– Desire to learn and
understand Islam
– Muslim’s participation in local
politics and Activities
– Ignorance about the west in
Muslim countries
• Moving Forward
May Allah Guide Us and Open Our Hearts And
Minds, And Save Us From Evil. Ameen
Thanks for Participating in Islam 101
• Acknowledgment
We are very thankful to Islamic Supreme Council of Canada; Br. Syed
M. Buhari, National President of MAT, Malaysia; Sister, Farzana
Shahid, President, MAT Mississauga; Br. M. Farooq Khan, President
MAT Canada and Br. Afroz Ali, President MAT, Australia for their
suggestions and Support
Special thanks to the participants of Islam 101 classes and
Muslims Against Terrorism (M-A-T)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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