Learn about Islam -
What is Islam?
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Indeed, one out of every five persons on this earth is a Muslim. There are over 3 million Muslims living in United Kingdom and the number is growing.
Islam means the active submission to the one God. It is strictly a monotheistic religion since it restricts worship to the one supreme Lord who is the Originator and Creator of the universe. Peace (the root from which the word Islam is derived) is attained through complete obedience to the commandments of God, for God is the source of all peace. Muslims are those who believe in one God and in Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the final Prophet of God. They devote their lives to the service of God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
Who is Allah?
Islam teaches that God (called Allah in Arabic) is the source of all creation and that human beings are the best of His creation. He communicates by inspiring them towards goodness and by sending Prophets who deliver God’s message. Muslims believe that the first Prophet was Adam followed by a long chain of Prophets to guide humanity.
Who is theProphet Mohammed – Peace be Upon Him (Pbuh)
Islam is the final religion revealed to human beings through the last Prophet who was called Muhammad(Pbuh). He was born in Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) in the year 570 A.D. Muhammad(Pbuh) was a very truthful and honest person. He was also very pious and detested the moral decadence of his society. At the age of forty, God asked him, through the angel Gabriel, to proclaim the religion of Islam publicly. God’s message to humanity was delivered in the Qur’an which was revealed to Muhammad (Pbuh).
What is the Quran:
The Qur’an, according to Muslim belief, is the word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It mentions many other Prophets like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jacob, Joseph and Jesus. All the Prophets brought the same message, i.e., belief in one God, upright human conduct and belief in the accountability of human acts at the end of time.
The Qur’an, which is the holy book for Muslims, contains 114 chapters (called Suras). Muslims believe that it is the pure word of God, unadulterated over 14 centuries. It deals with issues that affect human beings in their earthly lives; issues like piety, upright human conduct, worship, the creation of a just and virtuous society and the practice of ethics.
How to be Muslim:
To become is a simple and easy process. All that a person has to do is to say a sentence called the Testimony of Faith (Shahada), which is pronounced as:
I testify “La ilahailla Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”
These Arabic words mean, “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” Once a person says the Testimony of Faith (Shahada) with conviction and understanding its meaning, then he/she has become a Muslim.
The first part, “There is no true deity but God,” means that none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, and that God has neither partner nor son. The second part means that Muhammad was a true Prophet sent by God to humankind.
To be a Muslim, one should also:
– Believe that the Holy Quran is the literal word of God, revealed by Him.
– Believe that the Judgment Day (Resurrection Day) is true and will come.
– Believe in the prophets that God sent and the books He revealed, and in His angels.
– Accept Islam as his/her religion.
– Not worship anything nor anyone except God.
You are Not Alone
If you have followed the guidance above and converted to Islam by yourself, then rest assured that you are not alone, rather the same faith is shared by 1.7 billion people. We congratulate you on your decision, welcome you to Islam, and will try our best to help you in any way we can!
Please Contact Us if you are new to Islam and need any help.
How to Perform Wudhu / ablution:
Wudu, or ablution, is both a traditional ritual and a practical means by which Muslims seek to maintain good physical and spiritual hygiene. Traditionally, Wudu refers to the mental preparation and physical cleanliness of Muslims for the Salat (prayer), one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
1 Make niyyah (Intention) to perform washing.
Niyyah is the Islamic concept of performing an act for the sake of Allah. To truly perform Wudu, you should center yourself and quiet your thoughts, focusing seriously on what you are doing.
Niyyah doesn’t necessarily involve saying anything out loud, but focusing on the phrase “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah) is a good way to accomplish the centering necessary. Say it out loud or silently to yourself, whichever makes you comfortable.
2 Wash your hands.
Use your left hand to wash your right hand. Do this three times. After that, use your right hand to wash your left hand three times. Make sure to wash in between your fingers and all the way up to your wrists.
3 Take water into your mouth.
Use your right hand to cup water into your mouth three times. Swish it around in your cheeks and the back of your throat. Do this thoroughly to get all the remaining food in your mouth out.
4 Inhale water into your nose.
Use your right hand to cup water and inhale it into your nose three times. You can use your left hand to close one nostril and blow out if you need to. Snort sharply and abruptly without taking too much water into your nose and choking yourself. If you cannot inhale water into your nose, you can wet your fingers and put water on the lower part of your nostril.
5 Wash your face.
Wash your face three times by spreading your hands from your right ear to the left, and from the edge of the hair to the chin.
6 Wash your lower arms from wrists to elbows, leaving no part dry.
From your wrist to your elbow, wash your right arm with your left hand three times and then wash your left arm with your right hand three times.
7 Clean your head.
Using your wet hands, gently wipe your forehead from the eyebrow to the hairline. Also wipe down your hair, the back of your neck, and your temples. Do this one time.
8 Wipe your ears inside and out.
With the same water, use your finger to clean all the crevices of your ear. Use your thumb to clean behind your ears from the bottom upward. This is also done one time.
9 Wash each of your feet.
Clean up to the the ankles and be sure water goes between the toes. Use your pinky finger and go through each toe to eliminate anything between. Start with your right foot and scrub each foot three times.
10 While pointing the right index finger to the sky, recite a brief prayer of witness.
Generally, the prayer is as follows: “Ash-hadu anlaa ilaaha illALLAHu wahdahuu laa shariikalahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhuu wa rasuuluhu.”
In English, this is translated as “I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah alone; He is One; He has no partner and I bear witness that (Hadrat) Muhammad (sallallahu ala Muhammadu sallallahu alaihu Wasallam) is His (chosen) servant and (true) Messenger.”
11 Repeat Wudu after it has been nullified.
Actions that nullify Wudu include natural discharges, including urination, defecation, excessive bleeding, and gas. Deep sleep also nullifies Wudu.
After intercourse, re-performing Wudu alone is not enough to be able to perform Salat. There is another form of purification that must be performed known as Ghusul.
How to Perform Salah
Prayer is a Muslim’s Mairaj, or communication with Allah. Prayer purifies and cleans your mind five times a day, and serves to bring peace to your life. Prayer is a man’s way of thanking Allah, and reminds him that Allah is watching over his life, giving him the courage to face even the toughest of times. This article explains how the Islamic prayer, Salah, is performed according to one of the five major Islamic schools of jurisprudence, the Hanafi School. Other schools differ in many small details – which from their point of view, are very important.
1 Prepare for Salah.
Preparing for prayer includes cleaning yourself, wearing clean clothes, and finding a clean and pure place to pray.
- Perform the Wudhu, or the Ghusl, depending on your requirement. You must perform the Ghusl if you have had sexual intercourse, after discharge of any ‘sexual’ fluids, and after a woman has completed her menstrual cycle.
- Wear clean clothes. Men should cover at least the part of their body between the navel and the knees, but it is preferable to wear a (preferably long sleeved) shirt.The lower garment must extend to below the knees, but must be above the ankles.
- Pray in a clean place. The place where you pray must be clean and pure. If you are not sure whether the ground is clean or not, spread a clean cloth or prayer mat over it. Insure the area is not wet because it may contain urine.
2 Stand to face the Qibla.
The Qibla is the direction towards the Kaaba. Some compasses modified for this purpose are now available. Many hotel rooms also have the Qibla direction marked somewhere on the roof. You must be looking towards the spot where your head will touch the ground during the Sajdah and your feet must be evenly spaced.
3 Make the intention to pray.
You do not need to say it out loud, but you will need to know which prayer of the day you are performing, what will be the type of the rakaat, and the number of rakaats. An example would be to think, “I will perform 2/4 rakaat/fard/sunnat/nafil of the Fajr/Zuhr/Asr/Maghrib/Isha/ prayer”. Remind yourself that you are praying to Allah alone and not show off or for the sake of another person (i.e parents).
4 Perform the Takbiratul Ihram.
This starts the prayer. Raise your hands, palms facing forwards, up till your ear lobes (or to your shoulders if you are a woman). Say out loud “Allahu Akbar” (الله أَكْبَر) which means Allah is the greatest.
5 Perform Qiyam.
Qiyam is where you stand up, your hands folded across your chest. Begin reciting Surah Al Fatiha (the first chapter in the order of the Quran) and another portion (Surah) of the Qur’an.
6 Stand up straight, with your hands folded.
Your right hand should be over your left, and they should overlap till the wrists only. Men place their folded hands below their navel, and women at chest level. Three of the Sunni schools of Islamic law: the Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali groups pray with their hands folded. Malikis pray with their arms at their sides. If you are a Shia, stand with your arms at your sides.
7 Recite Surah Al-Fatihah Al-Fatihah.
Your voice can be audible to yourself, but if it is not, thinking the prayer perhaps in your brain or mind is also a valid method. If you are a new Muslim and have not yet learned Surah Al-Fatihah then praise Allah repeatedly. Until you memorize the Surah, you can start saying it.
8 Recite a short portion of the Qur’an, a ‘surah’ as Muslims call it.
It is helpful to have memorized small surahs of the Qur’an by heart. The last of the 30 parts of the Qur’an contains many small surahs that are easy to memorize. Commonly recited surahs are Surah Al-Ikhlas, Surah Al-Falaq, Surah Al-Nas, and Surah Al-Kafirun. Again, if you are a new Muslim and have not yet learned Surah Al-Fatihah then praise Allah repeatedly.
9 Perform the Ruk’u.
The ruku is basically a bow. You unfold your hands and bow, then placing your hands on your knees.Your back should become parallel to the ground, almost like carrying a glass of water on your back. It is essential to completely bow, not just tilt your body at 45o to the vertical. Say Allahu Akbar (الله أَكْبَر) as you perform this step. When you are in ruku, recite Subhana Rabbiyal al-Adheem (سبحان ربى العظيم) which means all praises to Allah, the great. Say this three times.
10 Rise up.
Rise up from the bow, while saying, “Sam’i Allahu liman hamidah (سمع الله لمن حمده) which means Allah listens to those who praise Him. Then say, Rabana walakel hummed (ربنا لك الحمد) which means “Our lord, to you is due to all praise.”
11 Perform the prostration.
Say Allahu Akbar (الله أَكْبَر) once again and prostrate on the ground. Make sure you have placed your forehead, palms, and knees all on the floor, touching the ground. The bases of the toes on both feet also need to touch the ground. Have your forehead be bare – a covered forehead invalidates prayer. Recite Subhan rabbi alAla (سبحان ربى الأعلى) three times which means “Glory be to my Lord, the Most high.” Everyone must keep their elbows raised above the ground.
12 Rise to a sitting position, saying Allahu Akbar (الله أَكْبَر).
When you are in this position, you must keep your eyes staring at your lap. Men must turn up the heel, and bend the toes, of the right foot. Women must keep both their feet and soles up under their body.
13 Prostrate again, saying Allahu Akbar (الله أَكْبَر).
The second prostration is exactly identical to the first one.
14 Rise up to proceed to the next raka’at, saying Allahu Akbar (الله أَكْبَر).
The second raka’at is identical to the first one up till the second prostration, but without the Takbiratul Ihram.
- Perform the Tashahhud at the end of the second raka’at. After the second prostration, stay in a sitting position and recite the Tashahhud (also known as Tahiyat) and then the SalawatAtta-hiyyatu mubarakatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu As-salamu ‘alaika ayyuhann-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuhu As-salamu ‘alaina wa ‘alaa ‘ibaadillaahiss-saliheen. Ash-hadu-al-la-ilaha illAllahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluh. meaning All worships – oral, physical and momentary – are for Allah. Allah’s peace be upon you, O Prophet, and His mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.
- If you are performing only two raka’ats, then this is the last raka’at. After saying the Tasyahhud and the Salawat, say the Durud,اللهم صلى على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيمو بارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم فى العلمين إنك انت الحميد المجيد
(Allahuma sali ala Muhammad wa ala Aali Muhammad kama saliet ala Ibrahim wa ala Aali Ibrahim ennak hameed majeed, wa barik ala Muhammad wa ala Aali Muhammad kama barakta ala Ibrahim wa ala Aali Ibrahim ennak hameed majeed) then recite “allahumma inne zalamtu nafsi zulman kasira wala yagfiru junuba inna anta fagfirulu magfiratam min indika war hamni inna kala gafirur rahima” or “rabbi ja’alni muqeemus salaati wa min zurriyati rabbana wataqabbal du’a rabbanaghfirli waliwalidaiyya walil mu’mineena yauma yaqoom-ul-hisaab”. then complete the prayer by looking over your right shoulder (where the angel who records your good deeds is) and saying the Salaam
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
and then looking over your left shoulder (where the angel who records your wrongful deeds is) and saying the same.
15 If you are performing more than two raka’ats, do not say the Durud or the Salaam, but rise after saying the Tasyahhud and Salawat and proceed to the next raka’at.
The third raka’at is performed just like the first one, and you rise directly after the second prostration without saying the Tasyahhud or Salaam, unless it is your last raka’at. After your last raka’at, complete the prayer after the second prostration by reciting the Tasyahhud, Salawat, Durud, and Salaam, as described in the step above.
and then looking over your left shoulder (where the angel who records your wrongful deeds is) and saying the same.