STUDIES OF RELIGION

The person that I have chosen to survey is Shehzad Salleem. This person is a Islamic believer and he has gratefully given up some of his time for me to survey him.

Good afternoon Mr. Salleem and thank you for giving up some of your time for this survey.

1. What is Islam?
The word "Islam" means peace and submission. Peace means to be at peace with yourself and your surroundings and submission means submission to the will of God. A broader meaning of the word "Islam" is to achieve peace by submitting to the will of God.

This is a unique religion with a name, which signifies a moral attitude and a way of life. Judaism takes its name from the tribe of Juda, Christianity from Jesus Christ, Buddhism from Goutam Buddha and Hinduism from Indus River. However, Muslims derive their identity from the message of Islam, rather than the person of Muhammed, thus should not be called "Muhammadans".

2. Who is Allah?
Allah is the Arabic word for "one God". Allah is not God of Muslims only. He is God of all creations, because He is their Creator and Sustainer.

3. Who is a Muslim?
The word "Muslim" means one who submits to the will of God. This is done by declaring that "there is no god except one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." In a broader sense, anyone who willingly submits to the will of God is a Muslim. Thus, all the prophets preceding the prophet Muhammad are considered Muslims. The Quran specifically mentions Abraham who lived long before Moses and Christ that, "he was not a Jew or a Christian but a Muslim," because, he had submitted to the will of God. Thus there are Muslims who are not submitting at all to the will of God and there are Muslims who are doing their best to live an Islamic life. One cannot judge Islam by looking at those individuals who have a Muslim name but in their actions, they are not living or behaving as Muslims. The extent of being a Muslim can be according to the degree to which one is submitting to the will of God, in his beliefs and his actions.

4. Who was Muhammad?
In brief, Muhammad was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael, son of Prophet Abraham. His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He did not attend a formal school since he was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle. 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.

5. Do Muslims worship Muhammad?
No. Muslims do not worship Muhammad or any other prophets. Muslims believe in all prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last of the prophets. They believe that God alone is to be worshiped, not any human being.

6. What do Muslims think of Jesus?

Muslims think highly of Jesus and his worthy mother, Mary. The Quran tells us that Jesus was born of a miraculous birth without a father. "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". 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.