Islam: Guidance to Humanity


Links to Educational Articles About Islam



The Earth Crescent
(Apollo 11)
This section is opened in response to a growing demand to understand Islam all over the world. Readers are encouraged to ask questions about Islam with the intention to understand it. Muslim readers are encouraged to contribute to this section by writing about the various aspects that aim at explaining and understanding Islam.

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The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which is visited by Haj and Umrah pilgrims out of love and respect for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). (AN Archives, 2/4/03).

A view of Alquds (Jerusalem) with Al-Aqsa Mosque in front, prominent is the golden Dome of the Rock. Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest Islamic shrine, after the Makkah and Medina shrines. It includes all the area between the walls, both buildings and courts, all are sacred and Islamic waqf.

The Grand Mosque in Makkah during Haj and the holy month of Ramadan. (Arab News, 11/6/02)

Pilgrims encircling Ka'ba, the most ancient House of God, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Snapshot of Muslims in America


Islam: A Brief Introduction

  Articles and links

By Hassan A. El-Najjar

     The word "Islam" means believing in Allah (God) to the extent of surrendering your will to Him. In this sense, the previous messengers of God such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ and their righteous followers are considered Muslims. It is one religion, revealed to people for thousands of years to guide them in this life and reward them in the hereafter. Muhammed, peace be upon him,  is the last one of these prophets and messengers of God.


Sources of the Islamic teachings:

1. The Holly Book, the Qur’an (Koran) is the first source of Islamic teachings. It was revealed, in the 7th century, to the Prophet Muhammed in 23 years, through the angel Jibril (Gabriel). It includes the basic teachings found in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It also includes clarifications about the differences between Jews and Christians such as the nature of Jesus and his message to the world. The Qur’an in its Arabic original version and its translations into other languages can be found in many libraries and internet sites.


2. The traditions of the Prophet, or the Sunna. It includes sayings, actions, and approval of the Prophet.

The Sunna explains the Qur’an in more details.


3. Research conducted by Islamic scholars concerning contemporary issues. Their discussions and arguments are guided by the first two sources.


Five Islamic Obligations:


A Muslim is obligated to perform the following five rituals. They are considered the pillars of Islam.


1. In order to be a Muslim, a person has to announce the testimony of faith, which says: "There is no other God but Allah, and Muhammed is his messenger."


2. A Muslim has to perform prayers five times a day, before the Sun rises, at noon, at mid afternoon, after the Sun sets, and at twilight (about one and a half hours after the Sun sets). Prayers include reciting certain verses from the Qur’an accompanied by doing certain movements that range between standing, kneeling, and sitting down on the floor.


3. A Muslim has to fast during the month of Ramadhan. This means that Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and having pleasures of life during the day time. This extends from about one hour before the Sun rises until it sets. The objective is to train one’s spirit to resist body desires and to feel for the hungry poor. It also has benefits to the body.


4. A Muslim has to give Zakat. This is an assistance to the poor in society. It is, at least, 2.5 percent of a person’s annual savings.


5. A Muslim has to go to Makkah (Mecca) in pilgrimage, Haj, at least once in one’s lifetime. This is a visit to the first House of God on Earth. It is now in Saudi Arabia. There, about two million Muslims gather to confirm their faith, remember, and act out the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) when he left his son, Ismael, and his wife Hajar (Hagger), there. Then, when Ismael grew older, Ibrahim came to slaughter him in obedience to God. They passed the test, and Ibrahim was given a sheep to slaughter instead. Then, the two of them built Al-Ka'aba, the House of the Lord, the most sacred place of worship for Muslims.


Articles by Hassan El-Najjar about Islamic issues:


Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews By Hassan El-Najjar and Andee Goldman

Food Islamic Rules and Teachings By Hassan El-Najjar

Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days By Hassan El-Najjar and Chris Hatcher

Are Muslim women second-class citizens By Hassan El-Najjar, Donna Jmsn, and Tim Symonds

The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf, an Interview with Hassan El-Najjar, By Paula Montebruno


A website intended to provide information and technical materials relating to the Hijri calendar, prayer times and the direction of qiblah with the Philippines as setting went online yesterday.

The site,, was put up by M. S. Mangorangca, a Philippine-based Hijri astronomer. Aside from downloadable prayer time guides for various Philippine cities, the site features background information on how the Islamic calendar works and provides links to other Hijri sites.


On the 27th of Rajab every year, Muslims celebrate Al-Isra Wal Miraj event, in which Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem and from there to the seventh heaven where he met with Almighty God. Muslims are saddened because  Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and its guardian Palestinians are still captives under Israeli military occupation.

To know more about Al-Isra Wal Miraj event and the prophecies about Al-Aqsa Mosque, read Al-Isra (Chapter 17), verses 1-8, of the Holy Qur'an.



A scene from one of the many Haj rituals. Here, pilgrims are throwing stones at the place where the devil stood trying to persuade Abraham not to obey God.


Some meanings from the Holy Qur’an, translated from Arabic by Yousuf Ali

About people of the Book (Christians and Jews)

"Of the people of the Book are a portion that stand for the right; they rehearse the signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration.

They believe in God and the Last Day; They enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten in emulation in all good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.

Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for God knoweth well those that do right."

They Holy Qur'an, III-113-115.


The Islam Project

The Islam Project is a National Campaign involving many Universities (esp. Harvard) and National Corporations and Foundations with American Muslim organizations to provide teaching tools for teachers (developed by teachers) in the US to teach Muslim and non-Muslim students the beauty and complexity of Islam.


Islamic sites

  Listening to Islam,


First American Muslim Television Channel Announced by Bridges Network.





Links to Islamic Topics 2007

Links to Islamic topics 2006

Links to Islamic topics 2005

Links to Islamic topics 2004

Links to Islamic topics, 2003

2002 Links to Islamic topics

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.