My Journey to Islam
What is Islam?
With Azhar approval
Shaykh Ahmad Darwish
Founders of Allah.com Muhammad.com and Mosque.com
The authors of over 550 innovative references
The Arabic word 'Allah' is a proper noun of the Creator
In English, the Arabic word 'Islam' means 'Submission' to Allah
My journey to Islam started by the blessing of Allah, at the early age of nine.
It was in 1949, that my parents, who were practicing protestant Christians,
decided to send me to a Catholic private school in England which was
administered by the nuns of the Sisters of Mercy Order.
My parents sent me to that school for several reasons: first and foremost was
that I would receive a better education. Secondly, that I would learn the good
manners and code of ethics from the Sisters of Mercy. In fact our school
motto was "Manners maketh man"!
From the moment I entered the school I was captivated by all the statues I
saw; they were like brightly painted dolls.
I didn't have many dolls at home as the Second World War had not long
ended and they weren't available in the shops.
Each classroom had a table with a statue, some I was told were of Jesus,
some of Mary and the others were of saints - that is Christian Awlia - and
around these statues students placed flowers they brought from their gardens
at home to adorn them.
It was very attractive to me since I was only a nine year old.
There were only a few protestant children in my class and when it came to
the daily religious instruction we were separated from the Catholics by
sitting in the back row of the class, but of course we listened in.
In the meantime, my parents made sure I attended my own church's Sunday
School not far from our family home every week.
I was around ten or eleven, when Allah caused me to start thinking about
I had noticed that each day around eleven o'clock the school bell would ring
and everyone would stand and say the Angelis. The Angelis is a prayer
praising Mary said on a rosary (a rosary is similar to Muslim prayer beads).
The Angelis is the biblical quotation of Gabriel when he breathed into Mary
that reads, "Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with you, blessed are you
amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus".
The Catholics would also supplicate saying, "Holy Mary Mother of c pray
for us", this was followed by the lord's prayer which is a prayer Jesus
Not long after I started to notice many of the prayers in the morning
assembly were directed to the virgin Mary. I loved Mary, but I didn't think it
was right to be praying to her.
Some time after I started to question the validity of saying my prayers to
Jesus, who I really loved, but once again I thought it wasn't right to be
saying my prayers to him, even though he loved little children. The reason
being in my young mind was that it wasn't Jesus who created me, rather I
was created by God. I didn't mention my thoughts to my parents as I knew I
would get into trouble, so I kept them to myself.
The years passed I would go to the church and feel I was a bad person
because I just could not bring myself to say some of the prayers we said in
church each Sunday, especially the creed - the creed is the Christian articles
of faith (Akidah).
What really troubled me was that in the creed it says Jesus went to Hell for
three days after he had suffered so much on the cross and after all, Jesus told
us that Hell was a terrible place created especially for the punishment of
Remember, in my young mind I was still under the impression that God was
the father - may Allah forgive me - and my mind prompted me to think that
if I was a mother or father I could not let my son go to Hell. After all, the
Christian religion strongly preaches that God, "the father", is the God of
Love, and what parent who is all powerful and loving would let that happen!
I also thought to myself that if Jesus in all his purity and proximity to God
went to Hell for three days, what chance did I have to escape from it with all
my sins! The answer was a resounding "none".
Then one day at my church's Sunday School, I overheard a teacher
describing the parting of the sea by Moses to a new teacher. The teacher told
the newcomer that they did not teach the parting of the sea was a miracle but
instead a natural occurrence! I could not hold myself back, and said much to
the annoyance and shunning of the teacher, "But God can do anything!"
There was no reply, just a patronizing look as if to say, "she's too young to
Anyway, I had now reached my early teenage years and started to look into
other branches of Christianity, but none satisfied my heart.
Yes, I loved Jesus and all the stories I had heard about him, but still I could
not bring myself rate him as high as God who created me but I remained in
my ignorance and did not question his relationship to the Creator.
It bothered me a great deal that the creed said - and the statement was very
clear - that Jesus went to Hell and remained there for three days so that I
decided to write to the Arch Bishop of Canterbury - he's the same rank as
the Pope of Rome for English protestants.
A while later I received a reply from his Senior Chaplain with the title
"Prebendary" saying that as the Arch Bishop was away in Africa and he
was replying on his behalf.
The reply was even more confusing.
He wrote that "Hell" was just a place for departed souls, and does not mean
a place of torment and that what the creed says is that Jesus experienced
death as we do. If that is the case, why did Jesus warn us about going to Hell
if there is nothing to fear? I was even more bewildered.
In light of the reply to my letter, I decided to look up the words "died" and
"Hell". Webster's dictionary defines the word "died" as "the end of life, to
pass out of existence", whereas in Webster's larger dictionary it is defined,
"in theology, separation or alienation of the soul from God; a being under
the domination of sin, and destitute of grace or divine life."
As for the word "Hell", the dictionary read, "the realm of the devil in which
the damned suffer everlasting punishment, or a place, or state of torment."
By the way I still have the letter.
I was now twenty-two years old and went to a conference in London, and
during my spare time, I took the opportunity to go to music record shops, as
classical music was a great passion of mine, and in particular the music of
the Russian composer Rachmaninoff.
There weren't any cassettes, CD's or DVD's in those day, music was
recorded on large circular plastic disks 'records' and packaged in a 'sleeve'
- which is a kind of protective envelope - with a picture printed on the front
which often relates to the music inside.
Much to my delight, as I browsed through the records I found a collector's
item, a Rachmaninov symphony, not one of his piano concertos, but a
symphony! I didn't have time to test listen to the record in the shop so I just
paid for it, packed it in my bag ready to leave for home the following
It wasn't until the following Saturday that I had a chance to play the record.
I put the record on and settled down to listen and in doing so I paid attention
for the first time to the picture on the cover of the record.
The picture that took the shape of an arch inside a very high building struck
me immediately. In the top right and left hand corners on the picture were
two disks with writing I had never seen before, and I started to cry, but I did
not know why, however, I did know there was something spiritual about
them. I cried so much that when a friend came to visit me that afternoon they
asked why my eyes were so puffy, but that was my secret.
I tried to find out what the writing on the disks said, but no luck, and I didn't
have a clue which language it was; I thought perhaps it was Chinese!
Then again, there was another strange thing, it was usual to have information
printed on the record that says where the picture was taken - but there was
At that time, there weren't many Muslims in England, and there certainly
weren't any in my area or even a mosque. Every time I looked at the record
cover I still experienced the same very spiritual feeling - but what to do!
There was no one to help me.
Some years later, I went to work in the United Arab Emirates where I saw
the same strange calligraphy I had seen on the two disks all those years ago
and when I asked, I was told they read "Allah" and "Muhammad"!
I had never been exposed to either Islam or Muslims at that time and I kept
asking Muslims at work in Dubai about Islam, but the answers I got were far
from satisfactory - their real interest was in dating western girls!
The best answer I received was "Jesus is the same as Muhammad", I had
never questioned the status of Jesus and wondered what was meant by
"Jesus is the same as Muhammad".
I went to bookstores and libraries to see if I could find out more about Islam,
but the books were written in poor Indian/Pakistani English spoken during
the previous century. What a headache that was, they were often
incomprehensible and I remained in my ignorance.
What I did notice in Dubai, and it made a great impression on me, was that
when the time for prayer came I would see the poor laborers who were
tending the plants and trees in the middle of the road, stop and wash
themselves with their watering hose and then pray, as the owners of status
symbol cars passed by. It was as Heraclius, Emperor of Rome said, "The
followers of the prophets are the poor." (See our book, Heraclius, Emperor
of Rome Supported Prophet Muhammad)
I also noticed that the majority of people who went to pray in the mosque
were men, which is the opposite to England where the majority are the
women who go to church.
I reconciled myself that Islam had gone the same way as Christianity, that
there had been something once, but now only fragments remained. It seemed
as if Muslims had, like the Christians, exchanged spiritual values for
material values, however the Christians remained very charitable.
I also observed that many Muslims were attracted to western practices and
culture and as a result they failed to appreciate and realize the value of their
own pure heritage as they amassed wealth and possessions. Greed had set it.
It was only in later life when I read the hadith of the Prophet, praise and
peace be upon him, that warned, "I do not fear your reversion to idolatry,
rather I fear you will compete with one another for worldly gain" was in the
process of being fulfilled.
The English newspaper "Al Khaleej" published by the Kaladari family was
delivered each morning to my home.
One day by the blessing and mercy of Allah, I found a little booklet, about
twenty pages inside called "What is Islam?" My heart jumped as I started to
read it; the book was in good English - what a change! Then I realized I was
going to be late for work, so I put it inside my handbag, and caught a taxi.
That day there was little or no work to do, it was very quiet, and my boss
was away, so I had the chance to read the little book and read it from cover
to cover. I was so excited; it was answering many of the questions I had
asked but had not received the answers I was looking for.
I looked on the cover of the book for the name and address of the
organization that had sent it as naturally, I wanted to speak with them, but
once again - no information, just the name of the author "Ahmad Darwish".
What to do!
I could not let this opportunity fall through my hands, so I phoned the
newspaper and told them I wanted to contact the organization who arranged
for the booklet to be delivered. I was put on hold, passed from one office to
another, and eventually, Al Hamdulillah, someone gave me a telephone
number. I phoned the number, and it turned out to be a kindergarten school
that offered religious education to Muslim ladies after school hours. Much to
my delight, the school told me they met on a Thursday, so the following
Thursday, Al Hamdulillah, I took my first step to Islam.
At the school, I was made very welcome and met the author of the little
book who was giving lessons. He taught me a lot about Islam and told me
the Arabic Koran had never, ever been altered and that the first manuscripts
still exist! That really grabbed my attention.
Then he told me something I had never heard before which really shook me.
He told me that the actual disciples of Jesus did not write the Gospels of
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament, but that they were
people who came sometime after Jesus but had the same name! I had to look
into this, if what he said was correct, then that would explain why their
stories didn't always match up with one another.
I went home and looked in the telephone directory for the number of a
church in Dubai. There wasn't one belonging to the Church of England, but
there was one belonging to the Catholic church. I phoned and inquired about
the four Gospels, and yes, the priest confirmed that they weren't written by
the actual disciples of Jesus but rather "inspired" people who happened to
have the same name as the disciples! Wow, that's one of the best kept
secrets of the Christian religion, even my father didn't know about that.
At the school I met the grandmother of the Kaladari newspaper owner who
attended the weekly classes and discovered it was through her persuasive
kindness that the little booklet had been inserted in her grandson's
newspaper. May Allah reward her and the author of the little book.
I looked forward to Thursdays and not long after, under the guidance of
Ahmad Darwish I embraced Islam. It was like a big jigsaw puzzle coming
together, I had by the blessing of Allah found what I had been looking for,
for so many years and I felt I had come home Al Hamdulillah!
By the way, one day as I was in the souk, I saw the same picture I had seen
on the record cover all those years ago and discovered the picture was the
interior of the Blue Mosque in Turkey!
As I was writing this a thought just struck me about the name of the
composer "Rachmaninoff". I knew that "inoff is a Russian word for "son
of", but before now I had not thought of the first part of his name
"Rachman", could it be Rahman? So I wondered whether perhaps
Rachmaninoff was a Muslim - Allah knows - it's just a thought of mine.
Now, many years later, I live in Shah Alam, Malaysia where the late Sultan,
Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah built a splendid, truly imposing mosque and
the mosque is - smile - called the "Blue Mosque". The mosque is the largest
mosque in the far-east and it is heartwarming to know that Sultan
Salahuddin's son is very active in religious affairs and provides many
classes for all ages in the mosque.
Al Hamdulillah, Allah guided me to Islam.
I have just read through my little story, and thought that maybe it could be
taken as being self-promoting, but I assure you this was not my intention, it
is an attempt to tell of the Favor of Allah to me, a person who was
completely lost and found her way home by the Mercy of Allah.
By the way, Shaykh Ahmad Darwish asked me to marry him; he wanted an
English speaking wife to help him in his preaching activities and the
translation of Islamic material. As for myself, I wanted someone who could
teach me more about Islam, so we were married.
Our first major work was the translation of the meaning of the Koran in
which Shaykh Ahmad painstakingly researched the meaning and usage of
words, and the second was the seerah which I titled, "The Journey of a
Lifetime with Prophet Muhammad" that took many years to research and
As I mentioned before, at that time there was very little Islamic literature
written in good English, and I was worried about our children as there were
no nice stories available to attract them, and that, in my opinion, was a
dangerous situation. I remembered once hearing a Catholic priest say that if
you catch the children at an early age, they will remain attracted to religion.
So in between working on major Islamic references I started to write short
stories for our children. (A partial list of our work can be found at the end of
I am sure you will enjoy reading "What is Islam" which follows. Perhaps
you might like to pass it on to a friend or neighbor. As you know, anyone
who guides another to Islam receives a tremendous reward in the Everlasting
May Allah bless us and protect us.
The Arabic word 'Allah' is a proper noun of the Creator
In English, the Arabic word 'Islam' means 'Submission' to Allah
www.Allah.com www.Muhammad.com www.Mosque.com
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful
What is Islam
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH,
THE MERCIFUL, THE MOST MERCIFUL
FROM MUHAMMAD THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH
TO HERACLIUS: THE GREATEST OF ROMANS.
Peace be upon those who follow Divine Guidance. I therefore invite you to
embrace Islam, surrender to Allah to be in peace. Allah will doubly reward
you, but if you turn away the sin of the 'Arisiyin (those who he governed)
will rest upon you.
"'People of the Book, (Jews and Christians), let us come to a common word
between us and you that we will worship none except Allah, that we will
associate none with Him, and that none of us take others for lords besides
Allah.' If they turn away, say: 'Bear witness that we are Muslims (those
have surrendered to Him)'." Koran 3:64
The Prophets of Allah mentioned in the Holy Koran
Muhammad, Jesus, John, Zachariah, Elisha, Ellias, Jonah, Ezekiel, Job,
Solomon, David, Aaron, Moses, Shuaib, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Ishmael, Lot,
Abraham, Salih, Hood, Idris, Noah and Adam
To the reader:
First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time gain a better
understanding of Islam which is the religion of absolute submission to the
Creator of mankind and prophets alike, Allah.
We sincerely hope you will benefit from this authentic introduction to Islam,
and that it may deepen your knowledge and increase your interest.
People such as yourself with inquiring minds invariably have families and
friends of similar inclination, and we invite you to give them a copy of this
The Mosque of the Internet team
Everything seems to be turned upside down these days. Crazy things are
happening all over the world, we are fed with partial information,
misinformation and so on, that many of us find ourselves in a state of
complex ignorance, that is we are ignorant that we are ignorant, and do not
know the whole truth through no fault of our own, and we form our opinions
This brief booklet presents Islam in its true form and we stress that it is not
that of the fanatical Saudi Wahabi cult, responsible, since its inception for
terrorism and the murder of many innocent people as well as Muslims. Their
actions are totally against the principals of Islam and Islam rejects and
condemns their actions.
Islam is the religion of peace, brotherhood, and tolerant co-existence among
all mankind, not just amongst its followers.
The foremost principal of Islam is the belief in the Oneness of God, the
Creator of all, who has no partners, who is the sender of the Prophets to
whom he gave His guidance, who is the sender of the last prophet, Prophet
Muhammad who was sent for all mankind and not to one nation as were the
missions of previous prophets. Praise and peace be upon all the prophets of
Many people have the inherent desire for guidance. However, in this
complicated, fast moving technological society, the pace of life is so
consuming that one is soon distracted from his/her search. New religions are
born almost every day only to fade into oblivion soon after.
Many of us try to do good, but how many times has it turned out to be the
opposite? We have all heard the phrase, the road to hell is paved with good
intentions. So what are we to do? Without the correct guidance we are going
to keep falling into the same error time and time again.
Islam addresses each and every aspect of our life from conception to death.
It is a complete religion, both spiritually and materialistically that shows us
the right path to take, and Allah, the Arabic pronoun for God, confirms this
in the opening verses of chapter two in His Holy Book, the Koran, "That is
the (Holy) Book, where there is no doubt. It is a guidance for the cautious."
Muslims are no in doubt that the Arabic Koran recited today is the same as it
was when it was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad because Allah in His
Mercy promises in the Koran to protect this, His Final Word from alteration.
The Koran contains guidance for every age up until the end of time and
contains miraculous signs that await discovery in the appropriate centuries.
One such sign that awaited discovery was the developmental stages of the
fetus in the womb. This process only became known to physicians recently,
many centuries after the revelation of the Koran, and it is impossible that it
would have been known at the time of the sending down of the Holy Koran.
The Koran found in today's book stores can be compared to the first copies
ever to be written down, such as the one in Bukhara, USSR, there is no
difference between them. This in itself is a miracle as rabbis and priest alike
admit their books have been, for one reason or another, subjected to
alteration and/or parts deleted over the passage of time. Allah refers to the
alterations in the Koran saying: "Some Jews tampered with the words
(altering) their places saying: 'We heard and we disobey,' and 'hear, without
hearing,' and 'observe us' twisting with their tongues traducing religion c."
The Gospel given to Prophet Jesus by Allah is no longer found in the New
Testament, what remains, for the most part, are the teachings of Paul who
was not a prophet.
Islam is not a new religion. It is the completion of teachings of Prophets
Abraham, Moses and Jesus, all of whom preached that God is One and has
no partners. It is tolerant and respectful of all other heavenly religions and
their followers who share the belief in the One and only God. The Holy
Koran teaches: "There is no compulsion in religion. Righteousness is now
distinct from error. He who disbelieves in the idol and believes in Allah has
grasped the firmest tie that will never break, Allah is Hearing, Knowing."
THE MEANING OF ISLAM
It is false to call Islam Muhammadanism, as has been done so frequently in
the West. We have already pointed out that Muslims believe that Islam is the
eternal message which Allah sent to all prophets, peace be upon them, from
the dawn of mankind, and not a new belief which began with the Prophet
Muhammad (praise and peace be upon him).
Muslims call their religion Islam, and the Arabic word "Islam" implies the
attainment of peace through submission to Allah. The word "Muslim" is an
adjective derived from the noun Islam, and implies one who has peace
within himself from his submission to Allah.
Muslims believe in the One, Eternal God, who created the heavens and the
earth and all that exists. In Arabic, God is called Allah.
There is absolutely no difference between Allah and the God of Abraham,
Moses and Jesus. Muslims do not believe that Prophet Muhammad was
the only prophet; rather they believe that he was the last of the prophets
of the Old and New Testament. The Holy Koran is the revealed and sacred
scripture of Islam, and it teaches: "Say (O Muslims), 'We believe in Allah
and that which is sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham,
Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes; to Moses and Jesus and the prophets of
their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them, and to Him we are
submissive (Muslims.)" Koran 2:136.
SOME BASIC BELIEFS OF ISLAM
The most fundamental concept of Islam and the fountainhead of all its other
principles and practices is the Oneness of Allah. Islam is monotheism in its
purest form, and the logic of pure monotheism is the thread that runs through
the entire fabric of the Islamic way of life.
Islam teaches a fundamental difference between Allah, the Creator and that
which He has created. The sky, the moon, the stars, the harmony and
perfection of the natural world, the grace and beauty of the human body and
the excellence of the human mind, the alternation of day and night, the
change of the seasons, and the mystery of life and death all point to
something beyond, greater than themselves.
To the believer these are all signs of Allah. Islam teaches that Allah is not to
be likened to anything that He has created. He is All-Powerful, All-
Knowing; He is beyond any imperfection, and is the fulfillment of all
perfection. He is not a substance, nor is He like any of His creatures. Allah is
not a far away and distant God, nor is He unapproachable ideal. He is All-
Kind, All Merciful, and the Turner of hearts.
Islam teaches that Allah is eternal. He was not Himself born, nor has He
fathered a son or a daughter. Islam rejects the concept of the incarnation of
Allah, which is found in Hinduism, Christianity, and other religions, and
believes that the concept of incarnation limits the concept of Allah and
destroys the believer's conviction of the activeness and perfection of Allah.
The Koran describes Allah being perfect and active: "Allah, there is no god
except He. The Living, the Everlasting. Neither dozing nor sleep overtakes
Him. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is he that
shall intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what will be
before their hands and what was behind them, and they do not comprehend
anything of His knowledge except what He willed. His Seat embraces the
heavens and earth, and the preserving of them does not weary Him. He is the
High, the Great." Koran 2:255.
Islam rejects the notion that Jesus, peace be upon him, was the son of God.
Rather it honors and respects him as one of the great messengers and
prophets of Allah sent to the children of Israel. Islam rejects the Pauline
concept of trinity and considers it a contradiction of pure monotheism. It
also rejects the argument of some Christians that God made Himself
incarnate in Jesus, peace be upon him, so that God could be known by men,
and also rejects the argument that Jesus, peace be upon him, died on the
cross for mankind's sins.
To begin with, Islam believes that man can come to know Allah and feel
close to Him by means of proper prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, and
righteous deeds. The very practice of Islam is meant to purify the believer's
soul and to bring him/her closer to Allah. With regard to Jesus dying for our
sins, Islam teaches that no human being can bear the burden of another's
Allah is very aware of our human weaknesses and imperfection. He does not
condemn us because we are imperfect; rather He guides us to self-perfection
and He forgives us and showers His Mercy upon us when we fail and then
sincerely ask His forgiveness.
Muslims believe in the Divine origin of the Bible although Muslims doubt
the historical authenticity of some parts of the Old and New Testaments and
do not believe them to be exact representations of what Allah originally
The Koran upheld this view of the text of the Old and New Testaments
hundreds of years ago, and in recent years, this view has been upheld by
textual studies of biblical scholars. Muslims believe in the Angels of Allah,
and His Prophets, peace be upon them. They believe in the resurrection of
the dead at the end of the world; they believe in the coming of the Day of
Judgement and eternal life in Paradise or Hell.
Although Muslims believe that Allah is All-Powerful and maintains
complete control over His creation, they also believe that Allah has created
man with free will and the ability to choose and act, and that Allah is just in
making man morally responsible for what does during his/her lifetime. It is
false to say that Islam teaches its followers to resign meekly and passively to
their fate or destiny. Rather, Islam challenges the believer to fight against
wrong and oppression and to strive for the establishment of righteousness
FAITH IN ACTION
Faith without action is a dead letter. Islam teaches us that faith by itself is
not enough until it is transformed into action.
Prophet Muhammad said; "Faith does not depend on raising hopes, but
it is something which is firmly established in the heart and testified to by
action. Indeed, there are people who have been deceived by their hopes, so
that they finally leave this world without merit. They used to say, 'We have
good expectations from Allah.' Yet they only deceived themselves. For had
they truly placed good expectations in Allah, they would have excelled in
Each Muslim is taught that he/she is personally responsible for his/her own
actions. Islam teaches that every individual must carry the responsibility of
his/her own actions and that no one can carry that burden for them.
THE POSITION OF WOMEN IN ISLAM
Islam teaches that the woman is not inherently inferior to man; rather the
man and the woman are of similar nature. They both are equal in intellectual
and spiritual capacity. Furthermore, they are both equally responsible for
their deeds before Allah.
It is also true that Islam regards the woman as having a primary role to play
in the constitution and running of the family. Such is the importance of the
role of motherhood that Prophet Muhammad informed us that Paradise lies
under the feet of the mother, in other words one must respect, honor and be
good to one's mother. If you visit a Muslim home it will become very
noticeable how the entire family pivots around her and it is extremely rare in
Muslim countries to hear of a mother or father being farmed off into a
nursing home when they are elderly.
Islam places great emphasis on the role of the Muslim woman as a wife and
particularly as a mother, and Muslims are often of the opinion that the best
position for the woman is in the home with her children and family.
However, the Muslim woman is not prohibited from leaving her home to
pursue education, a career, or other worthwhile and constructive goals that
profit not only her but society as well. The Koran establishes the spiritual
equality and mutual responsibility of man and woman in verses such as the
following: "But whosoever does good works of righteousness, whether they
be a believing male or female, shall enter Paradise, and not be wronged a pit
mark of a date stone." Koran 4:124.
"And indeed their Lord answered them, 'I do not waste the labor of any that
labors among you, male or female, you are from each other." Koran 3:195.
The relationship of the Muslim husband to his wife is not that of master to
slave. Rather the entire responsibility of economic support is placed on the
shoulders of the husband alone. He cannot demand of his wife that she also
become economically productive to support the family, although she is able
to do this if she desires.
The Koran explains this responsibility of men to women in the following
verse: "Men are the maintainers of women for that Allah has preferred in
bounty one of them over the other, and for that they have spent their wealth.
Righteous women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has
guarded." Koran 4:34.
The important point that should be made is that the religion of Islam has
great respect for the woman. It does not teach that she is without a soul or
that she is the root of all evil, neither does it define a woman as being
inferior and must be kept in seclusion and subjugation.
We are often asked why Muslim women wear black and are completely
veiled. This practice is nationalistic and not from Islam. The attire of a
Muslim woman is that of modesty, where her figure is not apparent to
outsiders, not of veiling, however a scarf is a necessity. In this day and age
in particular where rape is a common occurrence in the west she finds
modest clothing to be a protection from unwarranted advances by the
opposite sex. Also, modest clothing has recently been advocated by cancer
physicians as a form of protection against the sun's harmful rays that cause
melanoma, skin cancer.
Both Judaism and Christianity preach that the fall of Adam from the Garden
of Eden was the fault of Eve and as such women are to blame. This is not the
teaching of Islam, the Koran directs all the responsibility to Adam himself,
while adding that Allah turned to Adam in mercy and forgave him his sin.
Therefore, Adam's sin stops with Adam himself, and Allah does not
hold mankind responsible for the sin of Adam and rejects the concept of
We cannot deny that the condition of women has at times been regrettable in
the Muslim world, but the same can also be said of the rest of the world at
large. We do not wish to justify these circumstances, but only to make the
point that they did not originate from the teachings of Islam itself. Rather,
they are the results of short sightedness, ignorance and human failure. Those
believing women who were unjustly treated will be recompensed for their
patience in the Hereafter because Allah is Just and does not love injustice.
BROTHERHOOD AND EQUALITY OF MANKIND
Islam teaches that the human family is one, that there is no superiority of
white over black or black over white. Islam rejects radically all notions of
racial prejudice and teaches that the only basis of distinction between human
beings is their belief and individual moral qualities.
The concept of Islamic brotherhood has two primary dimensions; the
relationship of Muslims to Muslims and the relationship of Muslims to non-
Muslims. As for the first category, Islam teaches that the brotherhood
between all Muslims is to be absolute and total and that the Arab has no
privileges over the non-Arab.
As for the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the teaching of
Islam is that this is to be a relationship of mutual respect and particularly of
tolerance. It is preferable that Muslims and non-Muslims live in peace,
protect each other, and cooperate with one another. As the Koran says:
"There is no compulsion in religion" Koran 2:256 and "To you your religion,
and to me my religion." Koran 109:6
Muslims consider their religion to be very rational and consistent with the
dictates of the believing and reasoning mind.
Furthermore, the Koran teaches that rational faculty is one of the greatest
gifts of Allah to man, and encourages us to use and develop this faculty.
Islam does not ask its followers to believe and then follow everything
blindly and unquestioningly. The Koran says, for instance: "If you are in
doubt of what We
(1) have sent down to Our worshipper (Prophet
Muhammad), produce a chapter comparable to it. Call upon your helpers,
other than Allah, to assist you, if you are true." Koran 2:23
(1) When pronouns are capitalized they refer to the Creator, Allah.
Examples: You, He, Him, His and, Own while pronouns such as Our, Ours,
Us and We denote His Greatness not plurality.
Islam encourages reasoning, thought and personal opinion. The Prophet
said: "The differences of opinion among the learned of my followers are
Allah's mercy." Islam has great respect for learning science and for man's
exploration of the secrets of nature and of creation. In fact Allah challenges
man on many occasions in the Koran to deepen his faith, knowledge, and
wisdom from study and contemplation of the natural world, its harmony,
symmetry, and beauty. For example: "(It is He) who created the seven
heavens, one above the other. You cannot see any inconsistency in the
creation of the Merciful. Then return your gaze once more and yet again,
your gaze comes back to you dazzled, and tired." Koran 67:3-4.
The individual capacities and unique abilities of people are the gift of Allah,
to be developed, perfected, and used for the benefit of humanity. Islam does
not try to crush the individuality of its believers, but rather to guide each
believer to perfection and purify his own uniqueness.
This multiplicity of expressive and developed personalities enriches society
and places it on a higher level, like the beauty of an intricate but unified
ISLAMIC ATTITUDE TOWARDS WAR
In the eyes of some commentators on Islam in the West, Islam has been
portrayed as a militant religion, a religion of blood, fire, and sword. We have
already tried to draw attention to the fundamental concern of Islam for
tolerance and religious freedom, and have also commented upon the
emphasis Islam places on peace and cooperation among mankind. However,
Islam is a practical religion, a religion which never ignores for a single
moment the complexities and demands of the harsh realities and facts of life.
Islam is fundamentally concerned with establishing societies in which the
rights of freedom of belief, human rights, and protection of life, dignity, and
property are secure from both internal and external threats.
Therefore, even as Islam teaches its followers to be merciful and inclined
toward forgiveness and peace even in times of war, it never teaches them to
turn the other cheek. The philosophy of "turning the other cheek" may be
appropriate for private individuals and small day- to-day affairs, however, it
spells social suicide if it is implemented by society as an absolute value.
Islam therefore stipulates principles that Muslims are to follow before,
during, and after war. Peace is to be established on the basis of justice.
Muslims are not to be aggressive or to violate treaties they have concluded
with others, but war is to be waged in defense of the Muslim community and
what it stands for. It is forbidden for Muslims to be the initiators of war or
During war, killing of civilians and those who do no participate directly in
the war is strictly forbidden. Prisoners are to be treated humanely.
Destruction of lands, fruit trees, animals, and towns and villages are also
forbidden where avoidable. Muslims are to incline to peace if the enemy is
truthfully inclined to peace, and make treaties and agreements to preserve
that peace and then observe those treaties as long as the enemy observes
them. The concept of "jihad" is one of the highest concepts in Islam. The
term has at times been translated as "Holy War". However, this translation is
incomplete for jihad also means by language "struggling." It is a concept that
places great emphasis on the struggle of oneself with the temptations of
satan; to do good and sacrifice.
Prophet Muhammad said, that the greatest jihad is the striving of the
Muslim to purify himself.
Jihad consists of all the striving the Muslim does in his external life, charity,
righteous living and acts, the constant effort to achieve the Right Path in his
dealings with his fellow men. This is true striving in the Way of Allah.
THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Islam sets down five principle duties that are obligatory upon all Muslims,
and form the structure, or pillars, of his/her life.
1. Belief in the Oneness of Allah, and the bearing of witness to this belief
with the words: "I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that
Muhammad is His Prophet and Messenger."
2. The five daily prayers at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and nightfall.
These five daily prayers help one to develop Allah consciousness in his/her
everyday life. The importance of these cannot be over emphasized. They are
a constant reminder to the worshipper of the Presence and Power of Allah
and help the worshipper to keep his/herself from deviating from the Right
3. The bestowal of charity on one's fellow man. Islam places great emphasis
on generosity and charity as a means of purifying one's soul and drawing
closer to Allah. The Muslim is enjoined to give voluntarily whenever he/she
can; however, he/she is required each lunar year to pay an obligatory charity
tax of 2 1/2% of his/her annual savings. This obligatory charity is then given
to orphans, the needy and the poor. The Zakat, which means obligatory
charity, enables the Muslim community to take care of all its members and
insures that no one will be deprived of his/her basic human right to exist.
4. Fasting during the ninth month of the lunar year called "Ramadan." This
fast is enjoined upon Muslims of good health and sound body who have
attained the age of physical maturity and are not prevented from performing
the fast by various circumstances like travel, sickness, mental illness, or
specifically in the case of women, menstruation, or childbirth. The fast of
Ramadan begins at dawn and lasts until sunset. During this period the
Muslim abstains from eating, and drinking, sexual activity and smoking.
Fasting teaches self-discipline and control, while purifying the soul and body
and strengthening one's consciousness of Allah.
5. The pilgrimage to Mecca. The pilgrimage is required of all Muslims at
least once during their lifetime, if they have the financial means. The annual
pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the greatest events of the Muslim world,
uniting Muslims from every race and from every corner of the world. This is
a great experience in the life of a Muslim that enables him/her to draw closer
to Allah. The greatest blessings of going on pilgrimage is that all one's
previous sins are wiped away and the pilgrimage returns as pure as the day
he/she was born. We would like to remind the reader that the Holy Mosque
in Mecca was built by Prophet Abraham and his son, Prophet Ishmael
WHO IS A MUSLIM?
Since there is no priesthood in Islam, no clergy and no official religious
institution, all one has to do to become a Muslim is to be personally
convinced of the truth of the teachings of Islam and bear witness that "There
is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Prophet."
One of the great beauties of Islam is its simplicity, naturalness, and lack of
formalities. Islam is the religion of Adam and of mankind in its earliest and
most advanced stages of development. Allah says in the Holy Koran:
"Therefore set your face to the religion purely, the upright creation upon
which He originated people. There is no changing of the creation of Allah.
This is the valuable religion, although most people do not know." Koran
A THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTION
Allah asks you, "Did you think that We had created you only for play, and
that you would never be returned to Us? Koran 23:115. Have you ever
stopped and asked yourself what is this life all about, what is the purpose of
being here, the purpose of your creation? The correct answer to this question
is that you seek the truth, worship Allah alone, do good deeds for which
there is the greatest reward, the reward of living eternally in Paradise.
THE BENEFIT OF EMBRACING ISLAM
Among the many benefits of embracing Islam are that once you bear witness
that: "There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet," all
your past sins are forgiven and are transformed into merits with an enormous
reward awaiting you in Paradise! In addition, you receive the reward of
believing the religion of the Prophet Jesus, if you are a Christian, or Prophet
Moses, if you are a Jew, and the religion of Prophet Muhammad, which
means that you receive two huge rewards, and you know that Allah loves
you because He guided you to Him.
Al Hamdulillah this brings to a close the end of the inspirational booklet
"What is Islam'
In 1975 an Islamic International Conference was held in Paris. Dr. Abdul
Haleem Mahmood, the Shaykh of Azhar of Egypt successfully arranged for
several thousands of this little book "What is Islam" to be printed and
distributed at the conference. Incidentally, "What is Islam" has been
translated into Italian, Urdu, Spanish and German,
Al Hamdulillah, we heard a heart-warming report about the little book's
success in Germany. Fatima Herren of the Munich Islamic Center in German
translated "What is Islam" into German and arranged for its distribution
nationwide. When we were in UK an Egyptian friend had a copy of an
Egyptian newspaper and drew Shaykh Ahmad's attention to an article that
told the story of a German priest in Berlin who had embraced Islam.
The newspaper narrated the story of how that priest had gone to a university
to preach Christianity to Muslim students. While he was there, he heard a
cassette of the recitation of the Koran and inquired about it. A student told
him it was the Koran and gave him a copy of "Was ist Islam". Al
Hamdulillah, not long after the priest converted to Islam and opened his
house to German converts!
We would really like to have this little book translated into Chinese so we
could distribute it amongst our Chinese neighbors. They have rights in Islam
and we fail miserably if we do not tell them about Islam and present it to
them with respect. InshaAllah, the translation of this little book into Chinese
will happen, can you help?
Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, said,
"Whosoever sees me in a dream has indeed seen me, because
Satan cannot emulate me."
As for my husband Shaykh Ahmad Darwish's journey to Allah and His
Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, it too started when he was
young when he had a spiritual dream in which Prophet Muhammad,
praise and peace be upon him, came to him smiling and gave him his
little finger to suck.
Later when my husband wrote his first Islamic booklets "How to recite
Al Koran" and the bibliographic guide "The Selected Islamic
Reference Library", he saw Lady Ayesha who spoke to him from the
Prophet's tomb saying 'Welcome, Ahmad son of Darwish'.
It took us over 30 years to realize these visions with our blessed
production that you are enjoying today. Al Hamdulillah.
In the 1980's the Darwish family started their production of authentic
Islamic material in Cairo, and continued thereafter in Dubai, London,
and also in Muhammad Ali, the boxer's villa near the University of
Chicago, USA. As they traveled for 28 years throughout the USA they
continued to produce their Islamic material and are currently
continuing their work with the same dedication in the most civilized
lands of Islam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
While the Darwish's were in Chicago, Muhammad Ali invited Shaykh
Ahmad's teacher the Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, Habib Abdullah
As-Siddiq Al Ghumari who was a direct descendant of Prophet
Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, to Chicago and was
captivated by his humble, spiritual demeanor. In an interview given to
the French newspaper "Figaro" Muhammad Ali expressed his love for
Habib Abdullah and said he wished he had a spirit such as his. When
the Habib returned to Tangier, he was inundated by French reporters
who came to discover this great spiritual person.
The Darwish family are not just regular spare time writers. They feel
that it is through Habib Abdullah's supplication that they have been
blessed to produce a complete bookshelf of over 350 titles and
growing in the languages of Arabic, English, Malay and Indonesian -
some of which are encyclopedic in size - with very little hired help,
and published by themselves. Al Hamdulillah, their production and
dedication to their work is highly acclaimed.
A few centuries ago, Malaysia and Indonesia were blessed by the
presence of many scholars some of which were Habibs that greatly
influenced their civilization. Amongst such Habibs were the children
of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al Haddad. These scholars led the way to
freedom from the UK and Holland and built an overwhelming number
of free private Islamic schools (pondoks) for girls and boys. For
example, the students of the late Habib Syed Muhammad Alawi Al
Maliki Al Hasani, the Muhaddith of Mecca, established over 300
schools in Java, Indonesia, some of which are free in keeping with his
spirit, whereas others are not.
Both Habib Muhammad Alawi Maliki and Shaykh Darwish were
blessed to share the same elite teachers, namely Habib Hafiz
Abdullah bin As-Siddiq Al Ghumari and Shaykh Muhammad Al Fateh.
In more recent years Shaykh Hasanayn Makhluff, a descendant of
Caliph Omar and the three times Mufti of Egypt explained the words
of the Koran and revived the books of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al
In this era there are only a few middle-eastern shaykhs who have
made an impact on Islamic education. Among those scholarly
shaykhs was the late Imam Sharawi of Egypt who wrote the highly
acclaimed explanation of the Koran and was also responsible for
building a large residency complex to house students from Malaysia
and Indonesia studying in Azhar.
Those who made a scholarly impact in the science of the
Jurisprudence of Imam Shafi'i are Shaykh Qaradawi and Shaykh
Wahbah Zuhaili both of whom received the prized Hijra award from
the Sultan of Malaysia.
As for the science of Hadith, Shaykh Ahmad Darwish renewed the
entire science and is the founder of Muhammad.com and
Mosque.com. He protected the Name of Allah from being misused
through attaining the domain name of Allah.com.
Shaykh Ahmad Darwish was the student and scribe of Shaykh
Hasanayn Makhluff, Shaykh Sharawi and the acclaimed grand
Muhaddith of this era, Hafiz Habib Abdullah bin As-Siddiq Al
Ghumari, a descendant of Al Hasan, may Allah be pleased with them.
It is by the blessing of Allah, that Shaykh Ahmad Darwish has
accomplished the tremendous, or perhaps one should say, the
breath-taking work of compiling all the authentic Hadith of the
Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, into a single reference and
by doing so he has brought the science of Hadith to its finale. It can
be said that Shaykh Ahmad Darwish is the modern day secretary of
all the scholars of Hadith throughout the fifteen centuries of Islam and
has finalized the Hadith agendas of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Imam
Shafi'i and Hafiz Suyuti.
It is through the brilliant masterpiece of his workmanship that the time
span between you, the Prophet and his Companions is attainable
through the renewal and simplification of the entire Islamic
educational system. This system has been developed with a concise
approach that bridges the gap between layman and Ph.D. and
eliminates the need to search any further.
THE KORAN: Shaykh Darwish and his English wife bring to us the
translation of the meaning of the Holy Koran.
1. As you might know, there have been over 40 attempts to translate
the meaning of the Koran none of which are by two people carrying
the mother tongues of Arabic and English. Al Hamdulillah, we were
humbled when the manager of Muhammad Ali's grandson said that
when he read our translation of the meaning that the Koran is no
longer guess work. Shaykh Darwish has produced a word-for-word
dictionary of the entire text of the Koran in Arabic, English,
Indonesian, Malay, and Chinese.
2. In another edition he assists its understanding with approximately
3. He also brings to us the explanation of Koran by the Prophet,
praise and peace be upon him, through the Prophet's authentic
Hadith with its commentary by Tabari the Shaykh of Tafseer, and the
Tafseer of the renowned contemporary commentator on the Koran
Shaykh Sharawi of whom the late President Sadat ordered the
Egyptian TV to record all his explanatory lectures so that they might
be preserved for future generations. Included in this work is the
explanation of the Ghumari scholars of Hadith and spirituality by ibn
Ajeebah. This explanation of the Koran also contains over 1337
authentic Prophetic Sayings, 900 Features, 830 Interpretation and
over 1700 subtitles and is very easy to learn, comprehend and
4. Shaykh Darwish, as previously mentioned has also produced a
unique Arabic dictionary of the Koran that reduces study time to a
tenth of the time of the legacy status quo. Incidentally, when we
counted the Arabic words of Koran, the total number amounted to
67267 words and from that total he removed the repeated words and
produced a dictionary that contains 18560 words. If you study the first
1000 words in his dictionary you will be able to recognize 60% of the
pages of the Koran.
5. Sister Siti Nadriyah of Surabaya, Indonesia is currently translating
the meaning of the Koran together with our other productions into the
HADITH: PROPHETIC SAYINGS:
1. As we mentioned earlier Shaykh Darwish extracted over 34000
authentic Hadith of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, from
1850 references - amongst which are the renowned 6 and 9 famous
books and of course Bukhari and Muslim. On account of his great
achievement, the Hadith are no longer scattered but presented as a
2. Among the features of his Hadith work is that Shaykh Darwish
organized the Hadith alphabetically.
3. He also classified these Hadith into 2500 subjects, one subject at a
time in a simple, handy manual and eliminated the false statements
attributed to the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him. Through this
accomplishment it is as if the reader were sitting directly before the
hands of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and learning
directly from him.
4. In conjunction with Shaykh Darwish's collection of Hadith he
produced the first Arabic Dictionary of Hadith. This dictionary is the
first of its kind and lists over 48000 words used by the Prophet, praise
and peace be upon him.
Shaykh Darwish's 2500 subjects commencing with:
THE HADITH MANUAL OF FAITH (1300 hadith);
THE HADITH MANUAL OF ISLAMIC MANNERS (ethics and
THE HADITH MANUAL OF SUPPLICATIONS (for each stage of
5. He has also produced the largest reference of fabricated Hadith
with a list of all their fabricators.
6. His HADITH DATA WAREHOUSE APPLIANCE is available for
governmental and departmental use.
SERAH/PROPHET'S LIFE :
After removing the unauthenticated statements from the two best
ever written books of Serah, namely those of Supreme Justice Eyad
and Supreme Justice Nabahani, Shaykh Darwish enhanced these
great works by adding auxiliary subtitles and produced a
chronological prophetic calendar. No one can claim they know the
Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, without having studied this
1. Shaykh Darwish has been blessed to produce a chart of over 4000
Koran verses and hadith as well as the quotations of the Companions
mentioned in Imam Shafi'is book "The Mother of Knowledge" (Al
2. Having accomplished that, he produced in a simplified fashion,
1000 jurisprudence Questions and Answers (Q&A) together with their
proofs from the Koran and Hadith (Daleels) in subjects with a full
cross reference index.
3. In addition he has added 88 years of jurist decisions (fatwas)
judged by the leading Muftis in Azhar, Egypt, as well as all major Fiqh
references in his FIQH/JURISPRUDENCE APPLIANCE for
governmental and departmental use.
Faith adhered to by Imam Shafi'i and the ulama (scholars) of the four
schools of Ahle Sunnat Wa Jamat is explained in Shaykh Darwish's
24 hours DVD. This DVD politely, yet compellingly confronts the hate
ideology of the Shi'ite of Safawi - Khomini, and the Khawarij of the
past and their modern day Wahabi offshoot with its IDOLology
attributes, money and fame marketing Salafia missionaries which
produce fanatics and terrorists.
1. Shaykh Darwish introduces the daily readings (Ratib) of the
Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, which should not be read
second to any other ratib.
2. He has also produced the first authentic celebration of the birthday
anniversary of the Prophet (Maulid), praise and peace be upon him,
and eliminated the false reports inserted into the readings that are in
current circulation. His authentic readings list 37 proofs that the
celebration is DESIREABLE/MUSTAHAB and not a forbidden
LESAN AL ARAB:
Shaykh Darwish has replaced the famous classical dictionary called
"Lesan al Arab" (The Tongue of the Arab) by the "Lesan of the
Prophet Dictionary" as well as a complete dictionary of the words of
Finally, he is very grateful for companies such as Amazon and Iphone
etc. who make the dispersal of such knowledge easy.
Shaykh Darwish was in Silicon Valley with Linus the founder of Linux
when Amazon had just started with a mailing list and Shaykh Darwish
was busy Arabizing the Linux Operating System.
Among our English translations and authorships are:
The Translation and Meaning of the Holy Koran
Imam Nawawi's Garden's of Righteousness
As Shefa - The Cure by Qadi Eyad (Seerah)
168 Children's stories and poems
Prophet Muhammad Describes himself (40 hadith)
Heraclius Emperor of Rome Confessed & Supported Prophet Muhammad
We Want a Christmas Tree!
Al Ghazali's work (several books)
The Jews of Medina
The Articles of the Sunni Islamic Faith
The Journey of the Lifetime with Prophet Muhammad (Seerah)
The Rare Sermons of Prophet Jesus
What is Hadith Terminology
Bukhari (in progress)
Imam Malik's Muwatta (in progress)
Tafseer of the Koran (in progress)
What is Islam?
Worldwide (C)2011 The Darwish family via Syeh Abdul Qadir Al Jailani Darwish