Muslim Beliefs

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  • Created on: 29-05-19 20:50

Sunni and Shi'a Islam

Two branches of Islam= Sunni which is the largest (90% of all Muslims) and Shi'a is the second largest.

Sunni Islam= when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) died, majority of his followers believed that only the Qur'an and the Sunnah had authority to guide them. They elected Abu Bakr to be their leader (Caliph) after the Prophet's death.

Shi'a Islam= some of Muhammad's (PBUH) followers believe that he had chosen his cousin Ali to be the leader afetr his death. Ali and his supporters believe that the true leader of the Muslims had to be a descendent of the Prophet (PBUH). Today Shi'a Muslims have their own interpretation of Islamic laws and only accept the saying of Muhammad that have been passed down through Ali or his followers.

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Six Articles of Faith in Sunni Islam

Tawhid- the oneness of God

Angels communicate the message of God to humans

The Qur'an is the most important source of authority in Islam

Muhammad (PBUH) is the most important prophet of God

Life after death

Predestination- that everyhting happens because that is God's will

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Five Usul ad-Din in Shi'a Islam


Muhammad (PBUH) is the most important prophet of God

God is just and wise and cannot do wrong= Adalat. God will reward the good and punish the bad

The immamate- accepting the 12 Imams that came after the Prophet (PBUH) and were his relatives are the true leaders of Islam. Shi'as believe the first 11 led the community of Muslims, but the 12th dissapeared after his father's death. He is still alive and in hiding and will appear again when God decides at the end of time

Resurrection- after death they will be resurrected and judged by God

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The Oneness of God- Tawhid

Tawhid= belief in one God- monotheoism.

In the Qur'an its says ' His is God the One, God the eternal, He begot no one nor was He begotten. No one is comparable to Him.' - Surah 112:1-4. Teachings means God was not produced by something else.

Muslims believe that God is the greatest and most powerful. Everything belongs to Him. Humans only exist because of God.

The belief in Tawhid influence Muslims by never worshipping another God or believing that something shares the power and imporatnce of God. Muslims are forbidden from producing any images or pictures of God- seen as shirk.

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The Nature of God in Islam

In the Qur'an + Hadith, there are 99 names of God. Each name describes a quality of God that He has revealed about Himself:

Omnipotent= God sees and hears everything and is able to do anything- ' He who is the All- knowing, the All- powerful, able to do anything ' - Surah 30:54.

Beneficence= All- loving

Just and fair= God treats people equally. God will judge people on their actions when they die.

Merciful= just, kind compassionate, forgiving

Transcendent= the idea that God is beyond and outside life on earth- He created the universe, is not effected by time like we are, has no beginning or end and is beyond our full understanding.

Immanent= the idea that God is present and involved in life on earth- is compassionate and cares for humans, gives guidance, acts in the world through answered paryers.

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Holy Books

There are a number of holy books in Islam, Qur'an being the most important one because Muslims belive it is the final message revealed to humankind by God and has remained unchanged.

Muslims also respect other holy books which were revealed before the Qur'an to different prophets. These are important because they are mentioned in the Qur'an, provide guidance and because the Prophet (PBUH) learned from them.

Muslims believe that overtime they have changed and has been altered from their original message from God and so are not as important as the Qur'an.

The Qur'an:

Thw most important source of authority

It is infallible

The actual words of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the Angel Jibril over a period of 22 years

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Holy Books

The word Qur'an means 'Recite' as Muhammad (PBUH) recited by heart each revelation that he recieved and passed it on to his followers.

The Qur'an contains 114 surahs with a mixture of histroical accounts and advice on how to follow God

The more of the Qur'an that is learnt off by heart, the highe the level of heaven the perosn will enter.

The Torah:

Muslims belive that it was given to Moses.

Muslims believe that it has changed over time from its original and so some of it is the word of God and some isn't

Revealed before the Qur'an

Referred to in the Qur'an

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Holy Books

The Psalms-Zabur:

Were revealed to King David

Are a collection of prayer to God

Revealed and referred to in the Qur'an

The Gospels-Injil:

The story and teachings of Jesus

Muslims believe that Isa is a very important prophet, but not the Son of God like Christians believe

The Scrolls of Abraham:

Believed to have been the earliest scripture revealed to Ibrahim

Scrolls are now lost

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Belief that angels bring the word of God to the Prophets

They are supernatural, are created by God from light. They have wings and can move at the speed of light, can also appear in human form.

They watch over humans and record every thought and action a human makes so that God can use this to judge each person when they die. Angels always complete their task given to them by God.

Angel Jibril= Most famous angel in Islam- he relayed relayed/ communicated the words of the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Angel Mika'il= Gives spiritual help to the soul and material help to the body. He gives guidance and help to believe in God and be a good Muslim. Also gives rain and earth so that humans have food to eat. He helped prepare the Prophet for his night journey when Jibril too him to see God.

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The belief in Angel Jibril influences Muslims to show full respect to the Qur'an as the direct and unaltered word of God as it expalins why Muhammad (PBUH) who was illiterate was able to recite the Qur'an.

The belief in Angels influences Muslims to do the right thing as they know their reactions are being recorded, for example Musloms will only eat halal food.

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Predestination and Human Freedom

Predestination= the idea that God knows or determines everything that will happen in the universe.

As God is so powerful, things only happen becuase He wants them to. In the Qur'an it says, ' Only what God has decreed will happen to us ' - Surah 9:51

Muslims belive that things happen for a reason- it's God's Plan

Belief that humans still have free will and are responsible for their actions- even though God knows what a human will choose to do, God isn't making that choice for them.

Belief in predestination influences Muslims to accept that everything is part of God's plan and so when something goes wrong, Muslims will try to help those in need.

Also influences  Muslims to do the right thing and follow the straight path in Islam. e.g. paying Zakat each year.

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Life after Death

Akhirah= eternal life after death through resurrection

Life on Earth= a test to see whether we desrve to be rewarded or punished in the afterlife. 

Belief that angels are recording their actions and thoughts + will be judged based on these- need to make sure they live a good life in order to be rewarded in the after life.

Muslims believe when they die and go to their grave, 2 angels will visit them and ask them questions- if they answer correctly, then person's soul waits peacefully in the grave until the Day of Judgement. but if answer wrong, person is tortured by the angels.

Belief that a day will come when the world will come t an end- Day of Judgement. On this day, everyone who has ever lived will be raised from the dead and God will judge them based on their actions in life.

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Life after Death

The belief in life after death influences Muslims to avoid doing haram such as taking drugs would result i being sent to hell. 

Belief in life after death influences Muslins to do good things according to the Muslim Law .e.g. to share wealth so they can enter heaven.

As Muslims believe in ressurection, and their bodies will be raised for judging, they will not be cremated after deatg as they neec their phyical bodies. Some Muslims avoid organ transplant and donation as they feel the need their bodies whole for judgement.

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Muslims believe that throughout history, God has chosen many prophets to bring the message of Islam to humankind.

Prophets are important for Muslims as they provide a method of commination between God and humans who lived according to the will of God.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the final prophet= the most important

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Prophethood- Adam

The first human God created. In the Qur'an it says ' I am going to create a human out of clay ' - Surah 38:71-72.

Was created as the caretaker of the earth. In the Qur'an it say ' Indeed I am going to set a viceregent on the earth.' Surah 2:30

God gave Adam understanding and knowledge of the names of all the things on earth

He is important as he id the father of humankind. He is also important because God taught him knowledge that he passed onto the rest of the human race, such as how to grow and cook food. He also built the Ka'aba,

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Prophethood- Ibrahim

Known as Abraham in Christianity and Judaism

Challenged people at the time he was alive for worshipping idols

Rebuilt the Ka'aba with his son Ishmael

Was prepared to sacrifice his son because God asked him to, remembered during Eid ul- Adha

Also remembered during Hajj.

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Prophethood- Muhammad (PBUH)

Believed by Muslims to be the final and greatest prophet who recieved the Qur'an from God- the Muslim holy book 

Was visited by the Angel Jibril on Mount Hira in 610 which was the start of the Qur'anic revelations.

More than 20 years, he continued to recive further revelations from God 

Taught thst there was only 1 God and is the perfect role model for Muslims

His message was not popular wth people of Makkah and was forced to leave and flee to Medina for safety

Returned to Makkah with an army and conquered it in the name of Islam

The Sunnah is the 2nd most important source of authority in Islam after the Qur'an.

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The belief in the prophets' influences Muslims by giving them a role model to follow, e.g. copying the action of Muhammad when completing Hajj.

Another way prophets influence Muslims is to inspire them to have complete trust in God just like Ibrahim did.

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The Imamate in Shi'a Islam

Shi'a Muslims belive that when he died, the prophet (PBUH) chose Ali his cousin to be the leader after him, the first Imam.

Shi'as believed that the leader of the Muslim people had to be from within the family line fo the Prophets,

When Ali dies, his son became the 2nd Imam

Majority of Shi'a Muslims believe that there were 12 Imams, the last one is being kept alive by God and is hiding somewhere on earth- will return with Jesus to bring justice and equality

Belief that Imamate are not just leaders but can also interpret the Qur'an without fault- able to perfectly guide people.

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