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Subject: Intro to Soc.Religion.Islam FAQ
This article was archived around: 1 Dec 1998 18:17:41 -0800
Posting-Frequency: monthly (First day of the month)
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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Soc.Religion.Islam Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is SRI?
2) What is Islam?
3) SRI Administration and Guidelines
4) How to contribute articles to SRI
5) Frequently Asked Questions Concerning News Articles
6) FUT's (Frequently Used Terms)
7) Other Sources of Information on Islam
Subject: 1) What is SRI?
Soc.Religion.Islam (SRI) is a forum for discussions related to Islam.
People from all backgrounds and of all religious beliefs may
contribute to SRI, by asking questions or providing answers, comments,
or arguments. SRI is moderated to filter out irrelevant discussions
and abusive language.
Subject: 2) What is Islam?
"Islam" is the Arabic word for "submission." It is derived from the
root S-L-M, from which the word "salaam" or "peace" is derived. The
essence of Islam is the complete submission of one's self and life to
the Will of Allah -- the One and Eternal God and the Lord and Creator
of the Universe. One who submits to Allah is thus called a Muslim.
Muslims number about one billion, almost a fifth of the world's
population. Islam is thus one of the world's largest religions, and
its present rate of growth and vitality is probably unrivaled.
Muslims believe that the religion of Islam was revealed by Allah
through a long line of human messengers, starting with the Prophet
Adam and culminating in the revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet
Muhammad. Some of these Prophets are well-known to readers of the
Bible, such as Prophets Abraham, Jesus, and Moses (peace be upon
them.) They carried the same essential message of submission to
Allah, though some details of religious laws varied with time and
place. With the passage of time, however, much of the revelation sent
to these earlier Prophets was lost or changed. The Prophet Muhammad
was thus sent down by Allah to renew and complete the message of
Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him [pbuh]) (570 - 622 CE)
to humanity to teach the message of Islam. The first main source of
Islamic knowledge is the Qur'an, the Words of Allah revealed to the
Prophet, and the Holy Book of Muslims. The Qur'an was revealed
piecemeal by God to the Prophet Muhammad during the last twenty three
years of his life. The Qur'an has been preserved in its original form
to this day, and supersedes all other sources of Islamic knowledge.
Secondary to the Qur'an, but also an important source of Islamic
knowledge and law, is the example of the Prophet (pbuh) himself.
Reports purporting to describe the sayings and deeds of the Prophet
(pbuh) are extant and are called "Hadith." The hadith is to be
distinguished from the Qur'an. The latter was specified by Muhammad
to be the literal Word of God and was preserved from the outset with
great care. The Hadith, on the other hand, is not the Word of God and
vary in their degree of authenticity.
The six basic Beliefs in Islam are the beliefs in:
1) Allah (the one God).
2) Angels of Allah.
3) Books revealed by Allah (including the final, uncorrupted
revelation: The Qur'an).
4) Messengers of Allah, from Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them.)
5) Day of Judgement -- the Day when all our actions in this
life will be judged by Allah, and we will be rewarded or punished.
6) Al-Qadar or the Supremacy of the Divine Will and Knowledge.
A Muslim is to mold his or her entire life based on "submission to
God", Islam. The most essential practices are known as the Five
Pillars of Islam. They consist of the folllowing:
1) Shahadah ("bearing witness") - The sincere belief in:
"I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that
Muhammad is His Messenger".
2) Prayer - Performing the five daily prayers.
3) Fasting - abstention from food and drink from dawn to
sunset of every day of the month of Ramadan (a holy month
in the Islamic calendar.)
4) Charity - Giving a certain portion of one's wealth yearly
to the poor.
5) Pilgrimage - Performing the pilgrimage to Makkah at least
once in one's lifetime as long as one is physically and
Though the above constitute the basics of Islam, the "building" of
Islam consists of more than just the "pillars." Being a Muslim
entails constant God-consciousness and submission to God in all
spheres on life, spiritual and material.
Subject: 3) SRI Administration and Guidelines
SRI is a moderated newsgroup. There are currently two interim
Catherine Hampton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ahmad Hashem <email@example.com>
These moderators are currently working on writing a new charter for
SRI, and will hold their posts until the task is finished and new
moderators are appointed. Until then, the moderators will be following
the current guidelines and conventions of the newsgroup. This FAQ
covers these guidelines and conventions and will be revised once the
new charter is in place.
Articles submitted to SRI are forwarded by a "forwarding site"
<ariel.vip.best.com> to a moderator for review. If the article meets the
SRI Guidelines, the moderator approves and posts it. The sole
criteria for approving articles are the SRI Guidelines. The
Guidelines were established by the public vote that created the
newsgroup in November 1989.
3.1 The Guidelines of Soc.Religion.Islam
Any individual submission is to be accepted for posting in
soc.religion.islam provided it satisfies the following two Guidelines.
The submission must be:
1) relevant to Islam
2) free from verbal abuse, name calling, and insults
In addition to these guidelines, moderators reserve the right to return
copyrighted posts submitted without the copyright holder's approval, since
posting such material may expose the moderator to legal action.
3.2 When the Guidelines are not Met
An article that does not meet the two SRI Guidelines is returned to
its author with a detailed explanation outlining exactly how either of
the two guidelines was violated in the submitted article. Any article
satisfying these two conditions will be posted without regard to the
moderator's opinion on its contents. Therefore, the views expressed
in SRI do not necessarily represent the moderators' opinions.
3.3 Note on Asim Mughal's FAQ
There is a FAQ maintained by a person named Asim Mughal which falsely
purports to give the rules and procedures governing
Soc.Religion.Islam. You may have seen it floating around on the net.
Asim Mughal was a moderator prior to March 6, 1994, when he was
removed from the position by the unanimous decision of a consultative
group (shura) as a result of a variety of abuses that he committed.
The contents of his FAQ are outdated and do not represent the current
policies and practices of SRI and its moderators.
Subject: 4) How to contribute articles to SRI
You may submit articles to SRI through USENET (like submitting to any
other newsgroup), or by emailing them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles are usually reviewed within 2 business days of submission.
You will hear from a moderator within this time. If you do not,
resubmit your article with the words SECOND ATTEMPT in the Subject
line. However, do not post the same article repetitively without
giving the moderator enough time to review it. If even your SECOND
ATTEMPT article is unanswered after two business days, email the
article to moderators with a note on when and how earlier attempts
were submitted. Always keep a copy of your article until after you
know about its fate. Do ask about your article if you do not hear
If your article does not meet the SRI Guidelines, it will be returned
to you with an explanation. If you wish, you may request a review
>from the moderator who returned your article. However, chances are
you would be better off to edit your article so that it clearly meets
the SRI Guidelines.
If your article is rejected, you may request the moderators to post a
rejection report containing your e-mail address and the subject of
your article so that interested readers may obtain the article from
you if they so wish.
4.1 Recommendations to Consider When Posting
The following are suggestions on points to follow when submitting an
article. It must be emphasized that articles which do not satisfy
some of these points, but which are relevant to Islam and free of
verbal abuse, will still be posted (as is obligatory under the
fundamental guidelines of the newsgroup stated previously).
A. Please make sure every line in your article contains less than 72
characters. This keeps your article and follow-ups on it within the
the 80 characters-per-line limit.
B. Please choose descriptive Subject: headings. Subject headings like
"Question" or "Help" tell very little about your article.
C. If responding to an earlier article, please limit the amount of
quoted text that you include. The moderators' server does not allow
them to post articles that have more quoted text than new. You may
generally assume that readers have already seen the article to which
you are responding. Further, instead of responding to a previous
article point-by-point (including the greetings), please consider
summarizing the earlier viewpoint or quoting a statement that does.
D. Please do not include a lengthy .signature at the end of your
article. But since the From: line in the header of your article does
not always contain your correct email address, please consider
providing your name and correct email address at the end of your
E. Please try to limit your articles to 40 KiloBytes in length at
most. For lengthy articles, please consider posting a short
announcement instead, informing people about the long article and how
they can obtain it (by email or ftp). Also, it is good practice to
add the word "LONG" to the Subject: line of long articles.
F. Please remember, vigorous discussion and criticism are permissible,
flames are not.
Subject: 5) Frequently Asked Questions Concerning News Articles
The moderators are constantly getting the following questions from
posters looking for their articles. If you have one of the following
problems, please read on before complaining to the moderators.
1. I posted an article several days ago and received an
acknowledgement but my article never appeared. What happened?
Each site stores news articles on its own local machine. It takes time
for approved articles to propagate through the net and arrive at your
site. Be patient and your article should arrive eventually. Note also
that some news reader programs are configured to not show articles
that the user submits.
2. I saw my article on the newsgroup but it disappeared after a few
hours. Did you delete it?
Due to the increasing volume of Usenet news, many internet service
providers have reduced the "expiration" time for articles
considerably. On many systems, articles may last three days or less
>from the time that they are posted. You may even miss articles
entirely if you don't check newgroups regularly. If this is a problem
on your system, talk to your system administrator.
3. I discovered a mistake in my article. Could you please delete it?
Please consider submitting a follow-up to your original article
instead of asking the moderators to delete it, as it a hassle for
moderators to delete articles.
4. I submitted an article several days ago but never heard about its
fate. What happened?
This usually means that the moderators have not received your article,
due to any number of possible problems. These include problems at your
site, problems at the forwarding site (ariel.vip.best.com) or problems
at the moderators' sites. Moderators are not responsible for articles
they have not received. If you have not heard from the moderators
within forty-eight hours of submitting your article, submit it again
by mailing it directly to email@example.com with "repost" in the
You may also not be receiving acknowledgements if the e-mail address
in your From: header is bogus. You should list a known good e-mail
address at the bottom of your article, in your signature.
5. Are anonymous articles accepted for posting?
We review articles based on whether their contents meet SRI
guidelines and not based on who wrote them. Anonymous articles are
processed like any other articles. In general, moderators do not
"anonymize" articles. A user who wishes to remain anonymous should
submit the article anonymous, not ask the moderators to withhold the
6. I see a lot of material bashing Islam on soc.religion.*ISLAM*.
You should fear Allah and not approve this material!
Please note that approving an article does not imply approval or
endorsement of its content by the moderator. The moderators' job is
solely to ensure that the material is relevant to Islam (for or
against, and regardless of accuracy), and that its language is
appropriate. It is the job of readers like you to check the accuracy
of articles and to speak up if you think they are wrong or misleading.
Subject: 6) FUT's (Frequently Used Terms)
The following is a list of Islamic terms that are often used in SRI
articles, along with their meaning (spellings may vary slightly from
those given here):
Alhamdu lillah Praise be to Allah
Allahu Akbar Allah is Most Great
Assalamu Alaikum Peace be upon you--the "official" Islamic greeting.
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
"Peace and the Mercy and Blessings of God be
upon you" Extended form of the above.
Astaghfir Allah I seek forgiveness from Allah (used when
mentioning something that goes against the
standards of Islam)
Ayah/Ayat Qur'anic verse
Bid`ah Innovation, addition to the religion's essentials
Bukhari One of the most noted compilers of hadith. His
collection is known as Sahih Bukhari
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious,
Da'wa Invitation (for humankind to Islam)
Eid Islamic holiday
Fatwa Islamic legal ruling
Fiqh Islamic law as interpreted by scholars
Fitnah Corruption and disorder, also temptation
Hadith A report of a saying or deed of the Prophet
Halal Allowed (per Islamic law)
Haram Forbidden (per Islamic law)
Hijab Modest way of behavior and dress (including
head scarf for women)
In Shaa Allah If God wills. (Used when talking about a
Injeel The scripture sent down to Prophet Issa (Jesus)
Isnad Chain of transmitters, the list of people who
successively narrated a given hadith
Jazakallah Khair May God grant you what is good. (Often used
instead of "Thank you")
Jihad Striving for Islam, whether by peaceful or
violent means (NOT holy war!)
Jinn Unseen beings, who, like humans, are given the
power to choose between right and wrong
Kafir One who denies the truth. Literally, one who "covers"
the truth (sometimes applied to non-Muslims).
Khalifah Caliph: Leader of Muslim nation
Kufr Denial of the Truth, rebellion against God
La Ilaha Illa Allah There is no deity but God
Ma Shaa Allah What God has willed! (Usually used to express
wonder at Allah's creation)
Madhhab School of jurisprudential thought
Makruh Detested, but not forbidden (per Islamic law)
Mandoub Recommended, but not required (per Islamic law)
Mubah Neither forbidden nor commended. Neutral
(per Islamic law)
Mushrik One who commits Shirk
Muslim One who submits to Allah and is a follower of
Islam; also, name of one of the
most notable hadith scholars. His collection
is known as Sahih Muslim
Qur'an The Words of Allah conveyed to us by the Prophet
PBUH Peace Be Upon Him. Same as SAW
RAA (Radia Allahu Anhu/Anha.) May Allah be please
Rasool Messenger (Prophet to whom a scripture is revealed)
Rasool Allah Messenger of God (used to refer to Prophet Muhammad)
Sahaba Companions of Prophet. Singular is "Sahabi"
Sahih "Sound in isnad." A technical attribute applied
to the "isnad" of a hadith
Salaam Peace. An abbreviated version of the Islamic
SAW (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.) Peace Be
Seerah/Sirah History of the Prophet's life
Shahadah Bearing witness that there is no god but Allah
and that Muhammad is His Messenger.
Shari'ah Divine Law
Sheikh Scholar (or any elder and/or respected man)
Shirk Associating partners (e.g. helpers, other gods) with
Shura Consultation among Muslims
Subhan Allah "Glory be to God"
Sunna/Sunnah Tradition of the Prophet
Surah/Sura A Chapter in the Qur'an
SWT (SubHanahu Wa Ta`ala.) Glory be to Him. Used
only in reference to Allah
Tawraat The scripture sent down to Prophet Musa (Moses).
Ulama Religious scholars
Umma Nation, community.
Wassalaam And peace. It means "goodbye"
Zakat Required charity
Subject: 7) Other Sources of Information on Islam
7.1 Introductory Books
- "Islam", Fazlur Rahman. Univ of Chicago Press, 1979.
- "Islam and the Destiny of Man", by Gai Eaton. Allen & Unwin, 1985.
- "Islam", by Ismail al-Faruqi. Arugus Communications, 1979.
- "Islam: Beliefs and Teachings", by Ghulam Sarwar. Muslim Educational
- "Islam: The Straight Path", Oxford Univ Press, 1991.
- "Islamic History: A New Intepretation", M.A. Shaban. Cambridge Univ
Press, 1971, 1976.
- "The Life of Prophet Muhammad", by Husayn Haykal. North American
- "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources", Martin Lings.
A.S. Noordeen, 1983
- "Qur'an and Woman", Amina Wadud-Muhsin. Fajar Bakti Malaysia,
available through Oxford Univ Press, 1992.
- "Towards Understanding Islam", by Abul Ala Maududi. The Islamic
- "Struggling to Surrender", by Jeffrey Lang. Amana Publications, 1994.
7.2 Bookstores for Islamic Books and Audio/Video/Diskette/CD
Sound Vision. (800) 432-4262; (312) 226-0205 (Chicago)
Islamic Book Service. (317) 839-8150 (Indianapolis)
ICNA Book service. (718) 657-4090 (New York)
Halalco Books. (703) 532-3202 (Virginia)
Islamic Publications International. (800) 568-9814;
(510) 530-6394 (California)
Council on Islamic Education. (714) 839-2929 (California)
Sells Islamic educational materials.
7.3 Quran translations
- "The Holy Qur'an: Translation and Commentary" by A. Yusuf Ali:
probably the most popular
- "The Message of the Qur'an" by Muhammad Asad
- "Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an" by Marmaduke Pickthall
- "Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur'an" by Muhammad
Taqi-ud-din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan
7.4 Mailing Lists
Subscription request address Description
ISLAM-L@ULKYVM.BITNET Islamic history mailing list
firstname.lastname@example.org Muslim Student Assoc Net (MSA-NET)
News about Islam, Muslims, and Muslim World
Mailing list for Muslim sisters only.
email@example.com Mailing list for Muslim educators (incl.
teachers, parents, home schoolers.)
7.5 Quran Anonymous FTP Sites
7.6 World-Wide Web Sites
The following web sites have comprehensive hotlists and will lead you
to scores of more pages on Islam and Muslims. They are also store
articles and a lot of information.
Excellent source for all topics
related to Islam.
Pointers to many organizational
homepages, including pages for
MSA's, relief organizations,
and resources for Muslim
http://www.msa-natl.org Various resource guides for
MSA's and local organizations,
including lists of MSA's, mosques,
Islamic Centers, etc in North
http://www.wam.umd.edu/~ibrahim/ Contains on-line Qur'an and
Hadith with search capabilities
as well as numerous articles
concerning various aspects of
http://www.ummah.org.uk/ Large number of various
http://www.islamicity.org/ Links to many organizations.
http://www.mynet.net/~msanews/ Resource guides to news and
other information on Muslims.
7.7 Matrimonial Services
http://www.4you.com/MML Muslim Matrimonial Link
Internet Matrimonial for
http://www.db-connect.com/me Middle East Connection
---End of Frequently Asked Questions for Soc.Religion.Islam
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