Learn About Islam
Mission: The IIOC Da’wah and Outreach Committee aims to fulfill the responsibility of delivering the message of Islam to all people in its sphere of influence through education and wise admonition.
What We Do
Education and socially driven group consisting of content and curriculum to teach the fundamentals and basics of Islam.
Mentorship program designed to help guide New Muslims through the basics of Islam and provide a social connection and introduction to the local Muslim community.
What is Islam?
Islam is a universal religion in that its Prophet was sent to all peoples of the world, regardless of their race, color, culture, traditions and geographical location; as the Qur’an states “We have only sent you (Oh Muhammad) as a mercy to all the worlds.” – Qur’an 21:107
Islam is a religion which balances the worldly life and the life to come. According to Islam, the worldly life is like a farm in which a Muslims sows the seeds of good deeds in all aspects of life in order to reap the rewards of his hard work both in this life and the hereafter. This requires an optimistic attitude, dedication, seriousness and determination.
What is the Purpose of Life?
Many philosophers and lay people alike find it puzzling to answer the most important question in our life: Why are we here?
The Qur’an has clearly and accurately stated the purpose of human existence as thus: “I have only created jinn and man to worship Me.” – Qur’an 51:56
It is worth noting that worship in Islam does not imply abandonment of the life of the world and its pleasures. Worship is a comprehensive term which includes acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, obligatory charity, and all human acts as long as they are done for the sake of God.
What is the Qur’an?
Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the words of God revealed through Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims read and memorize the Qur’an on a daily basis, and recite it in their prayers and outside as well. While the Qur’an is considered a source of Islamic Law, it also offers Muslims guidance in matters of ethics, finance, theology, spirituality, and other aspects of life.
Below are some unique aspects of the Qur’an:
- “And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, confirming the books before it and with final authority over them.”Qur’an (5:48) This verse makes it clear that the Qur’an agrees with and confirms the truth, statements and beliefs, amongst other things, contained in the previous divine books and serves as a witness over them.
- The Qur’an is a revelation for all times and places. Its message is universal and applicable even today. “This Qur’an has been revealed to me so that I may warn you by it, and anyone else it reaches.” Qur’an (6:19)
- While many previous texts have had modifications, the Qur’an is letter for letter in its original state as it was revealed over 1,400 years ago. God Almighty has taken it upon Himself to protect it, stating “We have sent down the Reminder (i.e Qur’an), and We will surely guard it.” Qur’an (15:9)
What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
- The Testimony of Faith – Muslims testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except for God, and the Muhammad is His last and final messenger.
- Prayer – Muslims perform five obligatory prayers each day. Islamic prayers are a direct link between the worshiper and God. There are no intermediaries in Islam, when we pray, we pray directly to God alone.
- Alms – Often referred to in Arabic as Zakah, Muslims are required to donate charity from their savings on a yearly basis to those in need.
- Fasting – During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from food, water, and intimacy with their spouse, from dawn until sunset. Fasting is an obligation that increases discipline and strengthens the connection with God.
- Pilgrimage – At least once in a life time, Muslims that are financially and physically able to undertake a pilgrimage to Makkah must do so. Many of the rites and rituals performed during the pilgrimage are taken from the accounts of Abraham.
Who is Muhammad?
Muhammad was born in 570 CE. He was born an orphan as his father had passed away before his birth while his mother passed away while he was young. He lived in a tribal society in a called Makkah, located in Saudi Arabia. He lived a wholesome life ensuring that the poor were fed, the weak were defended, orphans didn’t have their rights taken, and that truth was established. He became known in his society as “As-Sadiq, al-Amin” The truthful and trustworthy. While he lived in a paganistic society, he always lived a monotheistic life style, adhering to the pure beliefs of Prophet Abraham.
Revelation began to Prophet Muhammad while when he was at the age of 40, with the first verses revealed stating “Read in the Name of your Lord who created; created man from a clinging mass. Read and your Lord is the Most Generous. Who taught by the pen. Taught man that which he knew not.” Qur’an (96:1-5)
The tribes at that time used to take advantage of the weak, steal the property of orphans, and oppress women. As the teachings of Prophet Muhammad came to eradicate these evils, the Muslim community began facing violent and deadly persecution due to their beliefs.
Muhammad was a caring and loving person, and in the words of his wife Khadijah, he was “Good to his relatives, is true to his words, helps those in need, support the weak, hosts his guests, and answers the call of those in need.”
What do Muslims Believe in?
The belief system in Islam, commonly referred to as the “Six Pillars of Belief”, are as follows:
- Belief in One God – Allah.
- Allah is the Arabic word for God.
- Belief in the Prophets and Messengers
- While Islam teaches that Muhammad was the last prophet, Muslims believe in the prophethood of Jesus, Moses, Solomon, David, Abraham, Noah, Adam, and many more.
- Belief in the Angels
- Islam teaches that angels are a creation of God, fulfilling His commandments as He wills.
- Belief in the Revelation
- Islam teaches that there were many revelations sent down before the final revelation (The Qur’an), and that over the course of time these revelations have been modified. “Oh you who believe, believe in God and His Messenger and the Book which He has revealed to His Messenger and the Books which He revealed before.” – Qur’an (4:136)
- Belief in the Day of Judgment
- Islam teaches us that this life is not permanent, and that there is a life to come. “That day which neither wealth nor children will avail, except he who comes to God with a sound heart.” Qur’an (26:88-89)
- Belief in Divine Decree
- Islam teaches a combination of Divine Decree and Free Will. This means that everything that does happen, happens with the permission of God; and nothing happens without His knowledge of it. However, it is up to humans to follow or abandon His commands, and we are never forced by God to do anything against our own desire.
What about the American Muslim community?
There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, with about 3.5 million Muslims in America. The Muslim community is extremely diverse, with almost 1 billion of the Muslims originating from the Asia-Pacific region. To learn more about our community here in Southern California, please attend one of our monthly Open Houses!