01 December, 2021

25 Rabi al-Thani, 1443 H

"Silence saves you from regret"

- Imam Ali (as) -

Learning

God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction

Section 1

This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

problem-of-evil-suffering-pain
Topic 1.1
The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

The problem of evil is the greatest challenge to faith in God. This lesson attempts to answer both the intellectual and emotional problems of evil.

god-allah-and-religion
Topic 1.2
God, Allah and Religion

Are God and Allah the same? What are the characteristics of God in Islam? Here we look at the attributes of the Muslim God and His relationship to humankind.

introduction-to-islam
Topic 1.3
Introduction to Islam

Islam is the second largest religion in the world. In this lesson, we look at the basic beliefs and facts of Islam, including the purpose of divinely revealed religions and ...

what-is-religion-and-what-s-the-point-of-it-anyways
Topic 1.4
What is “Religion” and What’s the Point ...

 We look over the controversies on the various definitions of religion and its related function. We briefly introduce Islam’s definition of the term.  

a-brief-introduction-to-the-prophet-muhammad-s-the-prophet-of-islam
Topic 1.5
A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), ...

Here we briefly look at the Prophet Muhammad’s (s) cultural background and the circumstances in which the Qur’an was revealed in. 

  • God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
    Section 1

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

    The problem of evil is the greatest challenge to faith in God. This lesson attempts to answer both the intellectual and emotional problems of evil.

    God, Allah and Religion

    Are God and Allah the same? What are the characteristics of God in Islam? Here we look at the attributes of the Muslim God and His relationship to humankind.

    Introduction to Islam

    Islam is the second largest religion in the world. In this lesson, we look at the basic beliefs and facts of Islam, including the purpose of divinely revealed religions and submission to God.

    What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it ...

     We look over the controversies on the various definitions of religion and its related function. We briefly introduce Islam’s definition of the term.  

    A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet ...

    Here we briefly look at the Prophet Muhammad’s (s) cultural background and the circumstances in which the Qur’an was revealed in. 

  • Foundations of Islam - Theology
    Section 2

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    Entering Islam: The Shahada

    The shahāda is the Muslim testimony to faith. It is a witnessing to a fact and not just a belief. By uttering it, a person enters Islam.  By acknowledging that there is only one God who is worthy of worship and that Muhammad is His messenger, it is ...

    The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

    The usūl al-dīn, or the fundamental beliefs of Islam, are the foundational principles that necessarily come after the shahāda. Belief in them are needed in order for one’s Islam to be complete and in line with God’s purpose when He revealed Islam. 

    Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

    Tawhīd is the Absolute Oneness and Unity of God. It is the foundation of Islam and its most important doctrine. Without it, none of Islam makes sense since all beliefs are predicated upon it.

    Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

     ʿAdāla is divine justice in Islam. ʿAdāla stems from God’s Goodness, which is part of His essence. The God of Islam makes ʿadāla obligatory upon Himself out of His own goodness and makes it obligatory upon humankind. ʿAdāla is a balance, which means that if ...

    Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

    Prophethood in Islam is necessary for human salvation. Prophets provide humans with the blueprint or constitution for salvation in this world and in the Afterlife. Prophets are also role models that show us how to put this blueprint into action. 

    Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the ...

    Divinely guided leadership in Islam where Imāms are appointed by Allah to guide humankind and protect the correct interpretation of Islam after the death of the Prophet(s). It is also a spiritual form of guidance where an Imām does not need to be directly present but guides ...

    Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

    The nature of the Day of Judgment in Islam. When it begins, how we will be judged, and how we can be saved. The Day of Judgment is the culmination of all the other usūl al-dīn.

    The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

    Sharīʿa literally means “way” or “road” as in a way of life towards God. The purpose of the Sharīʿa is to discipline and test mankind in its obedience to God. Only through obedience to Allah can we reach salvation and closeness to Him.

    The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

    Here we discuss the nature of our “base self” or “base ego” called the nafs. There is a battle raging inside, one for good and the other for evil. Whichever one wins depends on whichever one we feed the most. 

    Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

    An outlook on the different kinds of spiritual beings that influence our minds and hearts. The two major ones are  Jinns and Angels. They both act in the battlegrounds of our inner selves and try to influence us for good or evil.

    The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

    The problem of evil is the greatest challenge to faith in God. This lesson attempts to answer both the intellectual and emotional problems of evil.

  • Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
    Section 3

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

    Islam is not just a religion of belief, but it is equally a religion of action. Without action and good works, one cannot be a Muslim. The two come together in ensuring the salvation of a person.

    Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

    The are two kinds of Jihad in Islam, one minor and the other major. The minor jihad is a war of self-defense against hostile powers. The major jihad is a struggle against one’s evil desires. 

    Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

    The five obligatory ritual prayers or salāt are the foundations of both Islamic practice and belief. Salāt is the primary means through which a relationship between a person and God is established. Without salāt, there is no Islam.

    Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najā...

    This is an introduction to the basic meaning and function of ritual purity (tahāra) and impurity (najāsa, janāba) in Islam and the basic practices that bring about states of purity. These are necessary for performing ritual duties like prayer.

    The Five Categories of Islamic Law

    The five categories of action in Islamic law. These are wājib, mustahab, mubāh, makrūh, and harām. These acts are there to guide our lives and set boundaries so that we may have healthy spiritual lives.

    Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

    Tawalla is love for the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as). Tabarra is disassociation from their enemies. These two principles of the furūʿ al-dīn give Muslims the measure between right and wrong association. They are central for any proper action in Islam. 

    The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

    The two obligatory forms of charity in Islam, zakat and khums, are part of the furūʿ al-dīn in Islamic law. These are meant to help the poor and sustain religious institutions at a grassroots level. 

    The Hajj Pilgrimage

    The Hajj pilgrimage is the most important pilgrimage in Islam. It is obligatory once in a Muslim’s lifetime. It is meant to reacquaint people with God and break tribal and geographic lines while promoting equality among all Muslims. 

    The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

    The Furūʿ al-Dīn: the fundamental core practices of Islam that all Muslims must heed after believing in Islam and accepting the usūl al-dīn.  

    Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

    Fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan is the most important Islamic practice after the obligatory salāt. The purpose of fasting is to instill God-consciousness and empathy with the poor.  

    Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

    Here we take a look at ten other important obligations and prohibitions in Islam that are not explicitly in the furūʿ al-dīn. This lesson explains how they play a critical role in maintaining Islam. Islam is a system held by pillars, and all obligations and prohibitions act as pillars.

    Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

    Niyya is intention. Good niyya is performing an action whilst wanting to gain closeness to God. Bad niyya is performing a religious action or duty for something other than God. 

    Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

    Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil (Amr bi al-Maʿrūf and Nahī ʿan al-Munkar) are the 7th and 8th items of the Furūʿ al-Dīn. As social duties, Muslims must enjoin what God has deemed good and discourage what He has deemed as evil.

  • Prophethood in Islam
    Section 4

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’...

    Here we briefly look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the qualities that distinguished him as a Prophet of God. This is part I of the biography.

    Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART ...

    Here we briefly look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the qualities that distinguished him as a Prophet of God. This is part I of the biography.

    A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’...

    Here we briefly look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the qualities that distinguished him as a Prophet of God. This is part I of the biography.

    The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

    The role of the Prophet Muhammad (s) as a Messenger and Teacher. As a teacher, the Prophet Muhammad (s) guided people through compassion and teaching, not forcing them to believe. 

    The Prophet and his Relationships

    This lesson looks at the Prophet’s relationship with God, his Progeny, the Islamic community and his companions and how these demonstrate his nature as the perfect man of God. 

    The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

    This lesson is an introduction to the meaning and importance of Sunnah and Hadith. It also introduces some of the different originators of hadiths (Companions and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)) and explains why the Ahl al-Bayt (as) are the best sources of Prophetic hadiths. 

    Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the ...

    Arafa and Ghadīr were the two most important sermons by the Prophet Muhammad (s). The sermon of Arafa addressed the social crises to come, and Ghadīr addressed religious guidance, successorship and leadership after his demise.

    Jesus and Mary in Islam

    Islam believes that Jesus was only a Prophet and not God Himself. Furthermore, Islam does not believe that Mary was the Mother of God. However, Islam holds both of them in high esteem and one cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus and Mary apostles and representatives of God ...

  • The Qur'an and Hadith
    Section 5

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    Islam and Other Religions

    Islam makes it clear that other religions are either totally false or only partly correct due to distortions they faced. Islam does not, however, allow Muslims to disrespect or be rude to people of other faiths.  

    What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’...

    The Qur’an is a book of guidance, not an encyclopedia. It is the constitution for the salvation of mankind. On its own, it is not enough but requires teachers which are the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Imams of his Ahl al-Bayt (as). 

    The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

    The Qur’an was revealed gradually and divided into a 114 chapters. Each verse was revealed within a particular context. This context shows us that the Qur’an is not interested in abstract thought, but concrete applicability of religion in human life.

    The Quran and Islamic law

    The Quran is the primary source of law. It sets the general principles (ethical and moral) of how Muslims should think and derive the law. The hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) are explainers of the Qur’an.

    The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

    The Qur’an is not just a book. The Qur’an is a relationship, As a relationship, it exists in a relational web on multiple levels. These include its relation to Allah, Islam as a religion, the Prophet, his Ahl al-Bayt (as), as well as Muslims and humanity ...

    Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

    The difference between hadith and Sunnah as well as the different kinds of hadiths and Sunnahs.  

    The Reliability of Hadiths

    This lesson discusses how the reliability of hadiths are assessed by Muslim scholars. It also examines some of the basic differences between the major hadith books among Sunnis and Shias.

    A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

    A brief commentary on Q12:16-18 of the Holy Qur’an and how the story of Yaʿqūb (as) teaches us on how to deal with children.  

    Hadith al-Thaqalayn

    A look at hadith al-thaqalayn and who the Ahl al-Bayt (as) are according to hadith al-mubahala. 

    Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

    A look Imam Ali’s (as) hadiths and Nahj al-Balagha, its history and importance in Islam. 

    Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

    This lesson is about the importance of taqlīd and whom one can do taqlīd of. It also delves into the nature of the Tawzīh al-Masā’il genre of legal literature.

  • Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
    Section 6

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    The Effects of Our Actions in this World

    Sins affect our happiness in this world. They ruin our souls, but they also ruin our families and society because sinful behavior is a contagion and is transferred to others either directly or indirectly.

    The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

    Halal and haram are clear in Islam, but mubāh (neutral permissible) and makrūh sometimes present their own difficulties as they are hard to categorize morally. This lesson looks at how categorizing them in moral terms may still be possible.

    Heaven and Hell in Islam

    The Qur’an’s main purpose of mentioning heaven and hell is to make people conscious of their actions and know that even if others do not see what they do, Allah does.

    Life and Death in Islam

    Life in this world is the farming field of the Hereafter. This world is a test and death marks the end of this test. Belief in the Hereafter gives meaning to people and helps them lead the proper moral life whereas unbelief inevitably leads to nihilism.  

    Guidance According to Islam

    Guidance, or being part of the Straight Path, is not just a matter of having correct beliefs, but just as importantly, it is to lead the proper moral life which means to chose what is morally right over what is wrong and evil even if it goes against one’s ...

    Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

    We have limited free will in this world. Even our limited choices have consequences that are often beyond our control. However, servitude to God allows us to vastly expand our freedom of choice.  

    The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious ...

    The culture and environment affects the religious choices we make throughout our lives. However, we also have free will. Based on the circumstances we were given, Allah judges each and one of us in our own unique way.

    Major Sins in Islam

    Islam has major and minor sins. Major sins are those which lead one to direct damnation. In this lesson, we look at four major sins, shirk, despair, disobedience to parents and murder. 

    Why Allah Allows People to Sin

    God allows us to sin and commit evil in this world due to His having given us free will in this world. Taking away our ability to do evil would inevitably result in taking away our ability to do good.

    Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

    Repentance means to turn back to Allah. It is not enough to ask God for forgiveness. Full and complete repentance is to have a change in the state of one’s mind and doing one’s best to stop disobedience to Allah. 

    The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

    Rights are a form of responsibility in Islam. Being a Muslim is to be responsible for oneself, for others as well as one’s duties and debt to God.  

    Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

    The worst sins are the ones we commit against others. They not only destroy our souls, but they ruin other people as well. God does not delay any of His punishments in this world, what He delays are their full punishments until the Hereafter.

    Kufr in Islam

    Kufr in Islam isn’t simply disbelief, it is a rejection of truth whilst knowing it. 

    Trivializing the Harām

    Our cultural assumptions are sometimes at odds with Islamic precepts. Our assumptions will tell us that a certain action is ok to do, but God in all His wisdom forbids it. Some make the presumption that God will forgive us no matter what. This tension is to be overcome by ...

    Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

    Islamic law services to order our lives in this world and give us discipline. It also helps balance our lives in various areas, including family relationships as well as keeping us away from harmful activities or substances, like drinking alcohol. 

    Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

    We need to be mindful of all of our actions. Our actions are based on choices. We cannot live without choice. Our choices either take us to God or take us away from Him. When we are distracted from God, God often allows us to suffer so that we may ...

  • The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
    Section 7

    This section looks into the major practices and religious rituals of Islam. As the previous section dealt with Islamic belief, this deals with the fundemental practices of Islam. Islam cannot be seperated from practice.

    Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

    Knowledge and education in Islam are primarily a means to transform one’s soul and attain closeness to God. Their value does not lie in the world, but in the Hereafter.

    The Ahl al-Kisa

    The Ahl al-Kisa are the people of the cloak, that is, the Prophet (s), Imam Ali (as), Fatima (as), Imam al-Hasan (as) and Imam al-Husayn (as)

    Imamah in the Qur’an

    Imamah in the Qur’an is a position of divine leadership through which one guides all of mankind.

    Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

    Fatima al-Zahra (as) was the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and wife of Imam Ali (as). All eleven of the Imams (after Imam Ali) are descendants of her. She was an avid supporter of the poor and the source of many of Islam’s great teachings.

    A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam ...

    A brief look at the lives of the second, third, fourth and fifth Imams.

    A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam ...

    A brief look at the lives of the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh Imams.

    A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam ...

    A brief look into the life of the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, the reasons for his long occultation and explaining how a person can live for over a thousand years.

    Salawat and Atonement in Islam

    The salawat is invoking God’s blessings upon the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as). The salawat are a means to gaining God’s pleasure and blessings in one’s life in this world as well as the next.

    The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’...

    The major difference between the Shia and Sunni schools of Islam is their view of the Prophet’s companions. The Shia believe that the companions (sahaba) were mostly problematic as present in the Qur’anic narrative. The Sunni on the other hand believe that all companions were just and faithful ...

    Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

    Clergy exist in almost all religious traditions. Islam has clerical hierarchy, however, this hierarchy is mostly based on knowledge and years of training which form the backbone of the religion's clerical hierarchy. 

    Mosques in Islam

    Mosques have various roles in Islam, they are places of prayer, marriage, funerals and all sorts of religious activities. 

    The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

    The purpose of Karbala was to instill a spiritual revolution in mankind and bring about the spiritual virtue of humility.

    A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

    Here we briefly look at Imam Ali’s (as) biography and the qualities that distinguished him as an Imam and successor of the Prophet Muhammad (s). 

    The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

    Imam al-Husayn’s (as) sacrifice during the Battle of Karbala was meant to delegitimize corrupt political rule and protest the hijacking of Islam at the hands of a small but powerful and corrupt group of rulers. 

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