Here I will briefly list just a few other subjects regarding Islam that I think you might find of interest.
' Wish for your brother what you wish for yourself'
The crescent moon and star symbol
The crescent moon is commonly used as a symbol of Islam, but actually the crescent moon and star symbol pre-dates Islam by several thousand years. It is difficult to ascertain the information relating to it, but most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were used by the people of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of the sun, moon and sky gods. It is also reported that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana. Others indicate that it dates back to the battle in which the Romans defeated the Goths on the first day of a lunar month. The crescent moon was featured on the city's flag even before the birth of Christ.
The early Muslims didn't have a symbol. In the time of the prophet the armies used solid coloured flags (usually black, green or white) to identify themselves. Also in later generations the plain colour flags were used.
The crescent moon and star symbol was first used to indicate the Muslim world under the Ottoman Empire, when after conquering Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 the Turks adopted the city's flag and symbol. As the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Muslim world for hundreds of years, it is understandable how the symbols of this empire became linked in people's minds with the faith of Islam as a whole.
Some say that the five points of the star represent the five daily prayers in Islam but this is pure conjecture, as they were not standard on the Ottoman flags or even on today's flags.
Many Muslims (including myself) reject using this symbol as a sign of Islam, as it is essentially an ancient pagan icon. The star and moon symbol is not part of Islam, because Islam is very strict on the concept of no other Gods with Allah (swt); and no images of any kind; it is a mistake to consider that Islam authorized the general use of such things. Furthermore, Islam forbids the images and statues of any kinds of humans, animals or any of Allah's (swt) creations, so how about using a symbol of Islam?.
(some of this information is taken from Islamonline's fatwa section)
The real symbol of Islam
The greeting of salaam is the real symbol of Islam. Salaam exists since the time of Adam (as) and is the greeting of the people of Paradise. Allah (swt) chose salaam as greeting for his creation. The prophet said: 'When Allah (swt) created Adam (as) he told him to go and greet the angles and listen to how they greet him as that would be the greeting of his and the greeting of all his descendants. So Adam (as) said: Assalaamu alaikum and they responded: Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullah' (sahih Bukhari and sahih Muslim).
Salaam is a distinctive aspect of Muslim social conduct. When greeting someone with salaams you invoke blessings on the person you greet. It created a caring and strong brotherhood. A man asked Allah's (swt) messenger 'which part of Islam is best' and he replied 'That you should provide food and say salaam to those whom you know and those you do not know' (agreed upon).
The Islamic greeting of salaam cannot be replaced; one who adheres to the proper etiquettes of salaam has followed the sunnah of Allah's (swt) messenger and will be rewarded. Greetings such as "Ma'as-salaamah" (peace be with you) or "Fi amanillah" (may you be in the protection of Allah) and other usages should therefore not replace salaam.
One should hasten to greet with salaam and the complete salaam, which is "assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu". The prophet said: those who are near to Allah (swt) are those who are the first to give salaams (Abu Dawood).
It is the right of a Muslim on other Muslims that the greeting of salaam is returned. The greeting should be returned with something similar or better (as mentioned in the Quran 4:86).
If the people of the book (meaning Christians and Jews) greet a Muslim with salaam they are to respond with 'wa alaikum' (and on you).
The greeting of salaam is to be given by all Muslims to all Muslims, men to men, women to women, men to women and women to men, as all are Muslims and they have the right to the same greeting.
The arrival of a baby is a great gift from Allah (swt) and is welcomed with joy. The first thing to be done after the baby is born is to say or whisper the adhan (call to prayer) in it's ear. Some Muslims after this follow the example of the prophet and chew a date and then put some of the liquid in the baby's mouth. This is scientifically proved (in British Medical Journal no 6993 of 10 June 1995) to reduce pain feeling and return heart rate to normal quicker, also it is very helpful to the brain (dates are also very useful under labour as they make labour easier and more comfortable).
The child should be given a name as soon as possible without delay. Normally around the 7th day after the birth an animal is slaughtered and it's meat distributed amongst the poor and needy. Also the baby's head is shaved and the equivalent weight in silver or gold given to the poor and needy.
Boys are to be circumcised (as also should the Christian and Jewish boys, mentioned in their scriptures). It is NOT part of Islam to circumcise girls.
As a Muslim you are not allowed to eat pork (one example Quran 2:173) or anything which contains pork products. Also many other religions forbid the eating of pork. Christians and Jews are forbidden to eat pork in Leviticus of the old testament. Also Buddhists, Hindus, and the majority of Chinese books of rites forbid the eating of pork.
Pork is 91% fat, even lean pork contains 29% fat. Compared to others we see why it is high numbers as beef only contains 35% and lean beef 6%. Mutton contains 56% fat and lean mutton 14%.
The pig is lazy by nature . It dislikes sunlight and lacks the will to 'fight', the older the pig grows the lazier it gets. It eats almost anything, be it faeces or anything dirty. It prefers dirty places to clean ones. It eats and sleeps only and hates moving around. The pig is a carrier of many diseases to mankind, and is therefore not suitable for human consumption.
The illnesses humans can get from eating pork are many, including sterility, rheumatism, asthma, Trichina worms (terminal, has no cure), persistent diarrhoea, pneumonia, jaundice, typhoid, bleeding of the lungs, bronchitis, TB, anaemia, small pox and chronic invalidism.
The cooking, salting and smoking of the pig meat doesn't kill the bacteria which lead to disease, so to eat pork is a gamble with health with the life at stake.
Page last updated: 15/08/2011