Christian Students told to ask any question on Islam…and they did!
Alright bismillahirrahmanirrahim So what we can do is as they are coming in we can start off by the way But I will just take any questions and then I will start off where I left off in the intro to Islam. So Go ahead a think you are asking some questions when I walked in here So any question based upon what you observed in there what the sermon was and anything regarding the prayer? Yes Okay, so the question is what about the children do they go up with the women or do they stay down It depends on the age by the way You know like a 12 13 year old boy they would be preferred to be with the dirts and with the men if they are like younger like my Verdict of my first grader. He usually plays with of my wife Yes, so it just depends on the age here Okay question Okay, that sounds good and uh, those are all good questions So the very first question was about the prayer itself the way that we pray So really important the way that we Muslims pray is the way we are following how the Prophet used to pray Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him and he was taught by God himself through angel Gabriel So angel Gabriel came in the form of a human a man and he taught Muhammad peace be upon him how to pray When to pray the actions the motions the recitation and also the way that we pray in the group prayer So all of those have been taught so we are just following what he used to pray, right? But just a footnote The way that we are praying as I mentioned before the lunchtime is that all the prophets are used to pray the same way And I’ll just give you maybe two or three examples from the Bible itself So it says the book of Genesis chapter 17 verse number 3 when the time for prayer came abraham He went to a secluded place Over there he prayed directly to one god and he was prostrating himself on the ground Exactly with the way that she have seen muslims pray The reason we are following that is because we also follow Abraham peace be upon him He rich his actions his prayers and especially his belief in the absolute oneness of God It speaks about in the Book of Numbers That Moses and his brother Aaron and their family when they went to the place of worship They prayed exactly the same way as you see a sprain So when it came to Jesus who we considered and we follow him and we say that he is a mighty prophet You know, he went one day to the Garden of Gethsemane So this is before the people were coming after him. So he escaped them. He went to a secluded place called the Garden of Gethsemane over there he placed his forehead on the ground and he was praying to God saying that Oh, God take this cup of death away from me not my will but your will and this is present in the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 26 verse number 39 you singing Okay, so in prayers that we do or in the in the call for prayer also It may appear as if it’s singing but we don’t say it is singing by the way We are just beautifying our voice just to recite those passages of the Quran and also the call for prayer So we don’t have hymns in our service We have the quotations or the passages from the Quran and the praises of God So just recall it from the memory, you know unlike in a Christian Church She may have for some books some pages or something in front of you that You look at it and you read from it or you sing from it, so Every Muslim we are supposed to memorize certain passages from the Quran So you’ll be amazed to find out that the whole Quran has been passed down from the time of Muhammad. Peace Be upon him up until our time in memory of humans. So He memorized the whole Quran by the way means Mohammed peace be upon him his followers memorized it Not a small book. It’s like a big book like hundreds of pages 6,000 plus passages in there and that memorization process is coming down from that time to our time and Amazingly there are 10 million plus memorizers of the whole Quran right now in the whole world So even my first grader, by the way, he memorized close to 20 chapters of the Quran in Arabic language he can stand up over here and He can start reciting and I can hold the book over here just to see if he’s making any mistakes of pretending though he memorized the whole I mean the the 20 chapters were the very So in that way the Quran, so there is a prophecy in the Quran that it is going to be protected God made the prophecy chapter 15 verse number 9 that it is God’s message and he’s going to protect it and we say this is a miracle This is the way it is protected So about the question of the convert So Islam is a faith in which anyone of their own choice. They can convert to Islam so It’s really important. The Quran says there is no force in conversion. By the way, if anyone is forcing anybody that’s not conversion so this is mentioned in chapter 2 verse number 256 It says that there is no compulsion in faith a person has the choice So in this mosque almost every week every month there are many conversions People they call over here and they say you know what? I have been reading about Islam. I have a few questions Can we can I come and sit down with the Imam with the scholar and we have them come over here? We have small sessions like these and after the sessions of their own choice majority of them they say You know what the oneness of God resonates with us the comprehensive guidance of the Quran resonates with us The concept of modesty of women resonates with us now we want to convert so About twenty four percent of the Muslims in the u.s say they are converse to Islam and in the USA Islam is the fastest growing faith, according to CNN and Fox and Chicago Tribune and different media outlets it is a fastest growing faith Which is paradoxical by the way Right based upon the number of misconception people have even then people are converting after they know what Islam is Even more amazing. Is that 60% to 40% Females to males ratio when it comes to conversion, by the way So really briefly about Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. So he was born in the city of Mecca in the year 570 So when he was born as he was growing up, he was just an ordinary person until the age of 40 that’s when angel Gabriel was sent by God and That’s when he was appointed as a prophet But before that time he was still an amazing person, by the way He was given the title of the most honest and the most truthful person in Arabic It is a Sadiq and alameen. So all of Arabia used to recognize him and he had the credibility That the best person the most credible the most authentic never lied never cheated uphold the promises You know like nowadays when the youth when they have to introduce each other they may say, you know I like basketball or I play video games. I’m good in fortnight and whatnot, right? In those days when they used to introduce him They used to say he is the most honest amongst us and he’s the most truthful amongst us. So At the age of 40 God started to reveal passages of the Quran to him So the whole Quran was revealed by God it took about 23 years So God could have given the whole Quran in one piece But he wanted the Muslims and the Prophet to know the Quran those Passages or to process them and to practice them and to share with them. So it just becomes more manageable so from the time of sixth nce all the way to 633 C II until he passed away the passages of the Quran they came sometimes our chapters used to come sometimes Some verses used to come so he memorized the whole thing he helped his followers memorized it and they wrote it down in his lifetime by the way in different bits and pieces and So from that time up until our time both in the memory and in the writing the Quran has been passed down to us So regarding the birthdays or just from the Islamic Thea logical point of view We are not supposed to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. Peace. Be upon him or Jesus. Peace Be upon him or any prophet not about not even our own birthdays, by the way, just from the religious point of view What as Muslims are living here? There is a cultural influx and whatnot some Muslims because of culture. They may celebrate birthdays Chuck-e-cheese and whatnot, right? People go there and help which is after you see it So yeah, just from the cultural point of view. We don’t but you may see in the media you may see in India Pakistan Malaysia some Muslims are doing it because You know, not every person practices Islam its fundamentals There’s many things that also has to do with the cultural influence based upon where you live So that’s important for us to have a demarcation between the cultural practices from the pure teachings of Islam Yes Sure sure, so again just as a follow-up on the celebrations Muslims do celebrate two important dates So the very first day comes right after the 30 29 to 30 days of fasting so the very next day after the month of fasting is a day of celebration yes to recognize the wonderful blessings that God has given to us in the form of the food and the health and the family and for all of humanity So that’s one celebration The second celebration is we have also alliance with our Jewish and the Christian friends that has to do with the person of Abraham Peace be upon him So the story of Abraham and his sacrificial son is also mentioned in the Quran, by the way so that that day in which that happened Muslims also recognize it and we celebrate it and we also remembered that how we should also sacrifice for God and for Humanity to make humanity in a better humanity, so How would people be resurrected when they would be eaten by shark So there is so a quick simple answer would be if God could create the whole universe from nothing He can create you or all of us from nothing even though we are eaten by a shark or burn or drown in the sea or Cremated if God could do that big of a creation bringing us from nothing or from something would be nothing in front of God Smart question, but Ok, who knows the five pillars bother with the five good actions anybody Yes to uh to testify verbally believing in our heart and then testifying that I bear witness No other God besides one God Allah, and I bear witness Muhammad is His Messenger? So there’s the very first and the most important pillar of Islam So when a person converts to Islam, we don’t have baptism. We don’t have dipping in the pool. There’s no basement here, brother oh there is but no but we don’t have baptism a Person has to recite the testimony of faith Understanding Islam and then reciting the testimony of faith to formally convert to Islam Okay, so we have four more pillars to go by the way take a guess. Yes, sir So let them know what is Hajj it’s a strange word for them There you go, it is a pilgrimage actually so once in a lifetime you guys knew that right Okay, so raise your hand next time so once in a lifetime was in a lifetime a Muslim is obligated to go to Mecca for the pilgrimage so again As I mentioned in Mecca is the first and the oldest house to worship on God build by two prophets I mention right over the two prophets Abraham and his older son Yes, so I went for my Hajj for my pilgrimage like maybe six years ago Amazing experience, by the way, just imagine all of Chicago three million people coming together Not speaking the same language Different races and cultures and nationalities all of us coming together But when the time for prayer comes everyone knows how to pray together There is no translator up there by the way Once the call for comes if everyone stands shoulder-to-shoulder and we pray exactly the same way the way that you guys see us over here So that’s the second pillar Three more to go. Yes Yes prayer. So praying five times a day is also let’s say there’s a third pillar Right. So you have seen the second player of the day by the way, right? Wonderful, yes, so We are supposed to share 2.5 percent at least of our shape of our saved assets Okay, so there are two different ways of donation right one is an obligatory donation So this 2.5 percent of the save assets? This is the obligatory donation now beyond the obligatory a person can donate you know, any amount So I think we have what two more to go. No, just one more pillar to go. Yes Yes, so fasting in the month of Ramadhan is what the fifth one right So these are not the only good actions a Muslim is supposed to do there are other good actions it is an obligation for every Muslim to gain knowledge and Gaining of knowledge does not stop a stop when your sophomore than you can drop out, right? No gaining of knowledge is continuous until you pass away until you’re in the grave So from cradle to grave, it’s gaining of knowledge, you know by gaining of knowledge That’s when I can realize maybe you can realize the wonderful majesty of God the Almighty nature of God a Muslim is supposed to be indulging in the society as the Imam mentioned you guys caught it or not. I’m not sure He mentioned that a Muslim is supposed to be a part of the bigger society to make the society better You know muhammad peace be upon him. He was the peacemaker in the society He was the ambassador a positive force in the society and every Muslim is supposed to you know Emulate that and we are supposed to also indulge in the bigger society. So there are many passages in the Quran that speaks about That how we should enjoin good and forbid evil if there is some goodness in the society We should multiply the goodness by joining it if there is any harm or wrong in the society We work with the good-hearted people to eradicate the wrong and last but not the least there are certain responsibilities that God has given to a Muslim a Responsibility that we have towards God knowing him worshipping him following his guidance. We have responsibility towards Muhammad Peace be upon him knowing him loving him following him into all the prophets Then a big responsibility Muslims have towards our parents. The Quran is big on it Muhammad Peace be upon him is big on it One time a person came to the Prophet and asked him this question That of all the people in the world who should be my love my kindness my compassion. My allegiance should go towards the Prophet said your mother and Then the person asked okay fine, then who next and the Prophet said your mother The third time the Prophet said your mother the four time the Prophet said your father right dad So if moms and dad if we are playing Spiritual Olympics the goal the silver and the bronze medal goes to the moms right in the poor – we come home with the car You know participation price All right Muhammad peace be upon him He said that paradise lies beneath the feet of your mothers means by obeying taking care of them Respecting them that is one of the ways to go to paradise So in Islam, there is no real concept of a nursing home the nursing home of the parents is the home of the child So this how big Islam is about parents then we have certain responsibilities towards our neighbors You know one of the sayings of Muhammad peace be upon him is That you are not a full believer. If you eat you’re full and if your neighbors are hungry, so In that way Islam has a set of belief system and a set of deed system That covers all the aspect of life of a person a family and yes humanity So in a nutshell that what Islam is, all right. So let’s take your question. Well their question right about the hijab So it’s really important when it comes to the hijab hijab means The covering right the covering of modesty as our sister is wearing the sister in the bag the sister in the bag as you’re wearing it’s important that Hijab, so that’s called hijab. By the way. Hijab is a dress code in anywhere that she goes. There is a dress code In the hospital, there’s a dress code My children when they go to school there is a dress code in certain times of certain days They’re supposed to wear like color socks certain times, you know white socks It’s annoying sometimes but they have to pick and choose in the morning time, but that’s the dress code If we go to the restaurant it is, you know, no shirt. No shoes. No service, correct? So this is the dress code of modesty that God has given to humanity Important so it is mentioned in the Quran two different time two different places about the commandment of wearing modesty But modesty is not only for the ladies by the way. It’s really important Modesty is also for the males for the guys So as a male, I cannot wait transparent or tight clothes as a male I cannot wear clothes of the opposite gender or extravagant clothes to waste my money So the concept of modesty is for both sisters and the brothers for the sisters more the brothers a little bit less Number four thing is concept of modesty is a holistic concept. It’s not just about what we wear It’s about the state of mind, you know Muhammad peace be upon him. He said When he speaks about the tongue the modesty of the tongue he said that say something good or remain silent How many marriages can be saved right I’m serious But people get emotional they say things and then they regret so it’s important modesty of our eyes We cannot be on, you know, looking and staring and lusting after people modesty of over years modesty of our actions Search the holistic concept is for both males and for females But some people they may have the misconception that you know, people are forced to wear the hijab But the husband by the you know fathers by the sons by the brothers That’s not the case any sister who is wearing the hijab? She is doing it to please the Creator really important even in the Jewish faith and the Christian faith You guys may know it based upon your background Jewish ladies Just if you go with the teachings once she gets married, she cannot show her hair. She has to cover her hair There’s part of the Jewish teachings even for the Christian sisters, it says in the first book of Corinthians chapter 11 verse number five and six This is the New Testament that especially when the Christian ladies when you go to the church It’s an obligation for the Christian ladies to cover themselves So Islam is not the first or the only faith modesty concept is also there in other faiths But last but not the least it’s really important the concept of modesty or the covering and the hijab It is not a hurdle for the Muslim ladies to let the world know that who they are they want themselves to be recognized by their spirituality by their talents by their Personality and not be objectified sometimes, you know some cultures objectify people. So modesty is a holistic concept for both males and females and we say if the society abides by it a Society would be chaste harmonious and a just society and that is hijab Any question on that? I know I took a little bit longer time because according to USA Today the number one misconception Our non-muslim friends have is about women in Islam Yeah, yes Okay, anything anything becomes obligatory for the Muslims from the age of puberty even like when we pray five times We encourage our children to pray with us. Obviously, they should get used to it. You know, my seven-year-old last year He fasted all the thirty days All right I mean he doesn’t have to but he did and we I mean we kind of encouraged him to some degree But he wanted by himself But it does not become obligatory until they reach the age of puberty Yes Okay, so the question is how do we manage a prayer And the work or going to school, right? Sure, a person can literally pray anywhere like suppose if I am in the hospital working in my lunch break or some break I can take like 10 minutes off. I can go to my office some nice clean place. I will pray up there suppose if I am Yeah, because all of us, you know, we get some breaks all throughout our day Correct even as a student you get break person who is you know going to any work gets a break suppose if I’m driving from here to Ohio and The time for prayer came in I will just pull over go to the rest area and I will pray up there Coming to the mosque and prayer and praying. It’s at 27 times more Bonus points more reward, but if the person cannot come in they can just pray anywhere. They we still get the reward But the bottom line is it’s an obligation and they are supposed to be praying What are the times for the prayer fine so the very first prayer is before sunrise So son Royce nowadays is for six 25-ish around that time. So before that time, so So these timings are not like exact times. These are like the periods. These are the time slots So the first prayer it ends by sunset, but it begins about an hour and a half before sunset So in that time slot I can wake up come to the mosque and pray the second time slot is early afternoon The one that you saw today, the third one is late afternoon The fourth one is right after sunset and the fifth one when it becomes dark Yeah Some people may ask. Okay. How come you have to pray five times? So the analogy which I give is, you know, we have to eat certain number of times a day to nourish our bodies So we pray certain number of times a day that God has obligated to nourish abour so We take break from the stressful life from the studies from the work and we connect with God This is a way to recharge ourselves and for us to realize that there is a God We have a higher purpose all the things that we do should align towards pleasing him and following his guidance Okay, so what happens if a person misses the prayer so we are not supposed to be intentionally Missing the prayers. So for example suppose if I like overslept for the morning prayer When I wake up I have to now quickly wash myself and I have to pray and I have to also repent to God So when we sow the concept of forgiveness in Islam is this right? So they are four or five different steps a person needs to know to be forgiven first and foremost We need to acknowledge that we have made that mistake The second thing is then we need to sincerely repent to God thirdly when we repent to God there should not be any mediator Not even Muhammad peace be upon him directly repenting to God number four three We need to make a sincere commitment not to make that mistake again I mean human beings we you know We are all the time, but still we have to make that intention and last but not the least We have to do some good deeds like extra good deeds, right? so in this way, the Quran says in Chapter number 33 And also in chapter four verse number one one six that God is going to forgive and willing to forgive all the same So we are perform that even when we make mistakes God can forgive us that’s one of the names of God that he is forgiving and he is a Merciful God so that is contrasting with the Christian faith in which somebody dies, you know Jesus Christ died for your sins or not in Islam. The concept of salvation is that it depends on though. It is a personal accountability So it says in the Quran chapter 2 verse number 25 if a person has the right belief and doing good deeds Then God is going to get indeed the person eternal paradise Language Okay, so there are two kinds of prayers one would be the four the five day at times of worship So those are in Arabic but besides the five prayers which are in Arabic. There are other prayers we can do in any language I mean I can pray right now in English saying that oh God bring justice and peace to the world in English for God can understand just the five Formal prayers are in Arabic. The rest of the prayers can be in any language I can sit in the car before I start driving I can pray to God for the safety of myself and the people around me So for those people who are new to Islam we have four classes in this mosque and many mosque to at least teach them the basics of Islam and the The initial parts of the Quran that they need to know they need to memorize so they can do the prayer There is only one version of the Quran Arabic But we have many translations of the Quran for those people who may not know how to read and write Arabic they can still get the main message of the Quran in any language and there are many apps – they can download those So there is a passage in the Quran chapter 49 verse number 13 and this kind of some sums up the whole thing that we have done today so in this passage of the Quran, this is the translation God is Addressing humanity, and this is how he addresses So god says that o humanity o mankind I have created you from one single made in one single female And made you into nations and peoples and tribes that you get to know each other Not that you may hate and discriminate and bias with each other you get to know each other and then God concludes by saying That the best amongst you is the one who is a pious and well-mannered person So I hope and pray that all of us as we came together together here as brothers and sisters in humanity We can work together on the common platform that we have so we can inshallah God willing You know eradicate all the ills and form societies which are based upon justice morality and peace for all Thanks a lot for coming