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Subject: Intro to Soc.Religion.Islam FAQ

This article was archived around: 1 Dec 1998 18:17:41 -0800

All FAQs in Directory: islam-faq
All FAQs posted in: soc.religion.islam, alt.religion.islam
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Archive-name: islam-faq/intro Posting-Frequency: monthly (First day of the month) Last-modified: 1998/3/3 Expires: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 00:00:00 GMT Version: 1.12 X-Revisions: - Updated newsgroup forwarding site
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 Islam. 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 financially able. 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 moderators: Catherine Hampton <ariel@best.com> Ahmad Hashem <ahm@cbmi.upmc.edu> 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: sri@ariel.vip.best.com 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 >from moderators! 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 article. 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 sri@ariel.vip.best.com with "repost" in the subject heading. 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 user's name. 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 Allah God Allahu Akbar Allah is Most Great Amanah Trust 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, Most Merciful Da'wa Invitation (for humankind to Islam) Du`aa Supplication 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 Haj Pilgrimage Halal Allowed (per Islamic law) Haram Forbidden (per Islamic law) Hazrat/Hadrat Honorable Hijab Modest way of behavior and dress (including head scarf for women) Imam Leader Iman Faith In Shaa Allah If God wills. (Used when talking about a future event) Injeel The scripture sent down to Prophet Issa (Jesus) Isnad Chain of transmitters, the list of people who successively narrated a given hadith Jannah Paradise 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 Khilafah Caliphate Khutba Sermon 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 Nabi Prophet 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 with him/her 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 greeting Salaat Prayer SAW (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.) Peace Be Upon Him Sawm/Siyam Fasting 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 Allah 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 Tafsir Interpretation Tawraat The scripture sent down to Prophet Musa (Moses). Ulama Religious scholars Umma Nation, community. Ustadh Teacher 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 Trust, 1987. - "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 Trust, 1976. - "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 Foundation, 1980. - "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 msa-request@msa-natl.org Muslim Student Assoc Net (MSA-NET) msanews@faith.mynet.net News about Islam, Muslims, and Muslim World sisters-request@QUCDN.QUEENSU.CA Mailing list for Muslim sisters only. mhsnr@world.std.com Mailing list for Muslim educators (incl. teachers, parents, home schoolers.) 7.5 Quran Anonymous FTP Sites =============================== Site Directory/File ---- -------------- cs-ftp.bu.edu /amass/Islam/Quran/ ftp.uu.net /doc/literary/obi/Religion/ ftp.ocf.berkeley.edu /pub/Library/Religion/Quran/ 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. http://www.uoknor.edu/cybermuslim/cybermuslim.html Excellent source for all topics related to Islam. http://www.qucis.queensu.ca/home/fevens/ Pointers to many organizational homepages, including pages for MSA's, relief organizations, and resources for Muslim women. 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 America. 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 Islam. http://www.ummah.org.uk/ Large number of various articles. 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 http://www.webplaza.com/Pages/Institutions/Matrimonials/PlaceAds.Html Al-Zafaf Matrimonials http://www.ee.gatech.edu/users/khan/rishtay/rishtay.html Internet Matrimonial for Muslims (Rishtay) http://www.db-connect.com/me Middle East Connection ---End of Frequently Asked Questions for Soc.Religion.Islam -- ------hashem+@pitt.edu--------------------------serene@pangea.com------ PGP Key ID: 768/B88EEEB5 PGP Key fingerprint = 82 EC 18 DD 70 6D 74 40 54 2A C8 7A 0A 74 6E 53 PGP Key available through my .plan or public key servers