Article Title: Sharing Some Beliefs About Islam (from 'The Everything Koran Book' by Duaa Anwar)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words/tags): Islam, The Everything Koran Book, religion, Duaa Anwar, faith, beliefs, religious tolerance, spiritual unity, unity of religions
Web site: www.everything.com
The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com and http://craiglock.wordpress.com
Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig )

Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles may be freely published (with acknowledgment to the source, please). As I share, I learn myself.

"We share what we know, so that we all may grow."
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The following information was sourced from 'The Everything Koran Book' by Duaa Anwar Adams Media Avon Masachusetts www.everything.com. It is intended to perhaps be included as an appendix to Craig's manuscript 'A New Dawn'.
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ISLAM The word "Islam" literally means submission (to the will of God) and is derived from the word "peace". "Prophetic personalities have always been particularly illuminated souls guided by God and whose lives stand as exemplars of the heights to which the human spirit may ascend. love and respect. Mohamed, like Jesus was a man sent to teach us how to draw even closer to God. The words of the prophet Mohamed: "You will not enter Paradise until you believe. And you will not believe until you love one another." Prophets became more than mere spiritual guides - they became living proof of God's continued love and mercy for humankind. The message is in the teachings of Islam, rather than focussing on the messenger. "Muslims have no desire to turn their prophets into gods and our worship remains for God alone." All imparting the same essential teaching: a knowledge and love of God and a means by which we might live with one another in peace and justice. Muslims strive to retain the beauty and purity of the divine message and the 'sublime' personalities that have sought to exemplify it. The life of the Prophet Mohammed emphasised the unity of humankind. "Mohamed was entirely human, but saw that he had great spiritual, intellectual and social insight and was guided by God. We look to his example in ALL aspects of our lives - from religious observances through to the practical activities and realities of life: such as how we treat our families and friends, how we allocate our money and how we interact with our environment." Islam is a religion that espouses peace and teaches the importance of doing good work in the community.
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Islam allows Muslims to protect Holy land through Jihad and it is the duty of Muslims to protect their land. Islamic fundamentalism is the strict adherance to the teachings of the Koran and Sunnah. Some misguided terrorists think that they are committing an act for which Allah will reward them greatly. The suicide bomber, eg, blows himself up, thinking that he'll go straight to Heaven as a martyr for killing members of the enemy with him. They perhaps take this verse from the Koran out of context: "Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil" (4:76). Though there is no truth in this interpretation that this means killing leads to reward, as the rule regarding killing of the innocent is crystal clear in the Koran: "Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind" (5:32) Jihad is not all about violence, as many believe. The concept reaches beyond fighting. Children are taught 'jihad' as part of their Islamic education - the true meaning of 'jihad' is exerting an effort for the cause of Allah. It literally means "striving" (for the cause of Allah) or "struggling". This synonym for "holy war" as used my the media is inaccurate and misleading. Although Jihad can take the form of physical struggle, in Islam the word is more commonly used to describe different, non-violent forms of Jihad. It is within easy reach of any Muslim and they will be abundantly rewarded in Heaven. Based on the KORAN and Sunnah, Jihad can basically be divided into 4 categories: Jihad of the mind and heart tongue pen and Jihad in battle. In Islam a person who performs any type of Jihad is called 'Mujahid' (or Mujahideen in plural). The term most applies to soldiers in a defensive battle to protect Islam. If a 'Mujahid' dies in confrontation, he becomes a 'shaheed', a martyr. The Prophet Mohammed said: "He who is killed in defence of his belongings, or in self-defense, or for his religion is a martyr." 'Shaheed' in Arabic: A martyr's soul flies straight to Heaven according to the Koran. "Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision" (3:169). This promise by Allah that all shaheeds go to Heaven strengthens the will of soldiers in battle. They know that if they die, Allah will take their soul right up to Heaven. During wartime, many surviving Muslim soldiers report that they felt little fear, while they were combatting the enemy, because they had no fear of death. Because the Koran guarantees every martyr a place in Heaven. It's a defensive action only. The Koran forbids Muslims from being aggressors in Surah 2, verse 190; but fully pushes them towards battle in verse 191; "And slay them wherever you find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter."

Muslims are allowed to fight only under one of the following 3 conditions. There is a need for battle under certain occasions: When

* Muslims are being oppressed and are prevented from practicing their faith.

* There are efforts to eject Muslims from their property.

* A clear violent attack against Muslims is under way.

Information sourced from 'The Everything Koran Book' by Duaa Anwar Adams Media Avon Massachusetts

Web site: www.everything.com

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To end off... I love these inspiring words, so will share with you...

"It is time for people of good will from every faith and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside our international and partisan bickering and join to confront the danger that lies before us. Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged."

- Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, in the 'Wall Street Journal'

Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world."

"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance."

- Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (1947)

I hope that this information may be of interest to you (as it is to me)...
Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and 'informed' dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect. God's greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths. We can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, righteousness, justice, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph.

"Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others."

- John F. Kennedy

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE and with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.

So Let each one of us in our own 'little ways' attempt to build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of openness, acceptance of our differences, helpfulness, co-operation, mutual tolerance, respect, trust, peace and especially in a spirit of love, the most powerful force in existence. Let our leaders and each ONE of us look at the future with a vision - to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become. What divides us as fellow citizens on planet earth is not nearly as powerful as the force, the divine spirit that UNITES us: The Spirit of God, the Ultimate Source that let's us accept and even celebrate our differences ... and let's the Love of humanity within EACH one of us to conquer anything at all.

God's greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.

Shared by craig ("Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder... and a ‘passionate moderate’ for religious tolerance")

"People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion".

- Jahrulal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India"

"The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world... with the highest level of humanity ...and have great fun along the journey of life."

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
- author unknown

"There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity."

"Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision - to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become."

"When people's hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope" - craig

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let's plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

"God is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all... always

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Author's Bio: 

About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books/74-craigs-books http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock + www.lulu.com/craiglock
Craig is currently writing true stories of life in the Middle East. And as he writes, is posting extracts on his new blog at wordpress.com/ and buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let's plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.