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The Faith & The Faithful

The word islam has several different meaning. In the traditional sense, as used by Muslims, it connotes the one true divine religion, taught to

mankind by a series of prophets, each of whom brought a revealed book. such were the Torah, the Psalms & the Gospel, brought by the prophets

Moses, David & Jesus. Muhammad was the last and Greatest of the prophets; and the book he brought, the Quran Completes and

supersedes all previous revelations.

In this sense Jewish prophets and Heroes before Christ, and the Christians before Muhammad, were all Muslims - apart from thees who had corrupted the revelation vouchsafed to Islam is restricted to the final phase of the Sequence of revelations - that of Muhammad and the Quran. Here again there is a

range of meanings,which should be, but are not always, distinguished. In the first instance Islam means the religion taught by Muhammad himself, through

the Quran and through his own precept and practice. By extension, it is used of the whole complex system of dogma, law and custom , which was

elaborated, on the basis of his teachings and of others ascribed to him, During the centuries after his death.

In still eider sense the word islam is often used by historians,and especially non-Muslim historians, as the equivalent not of Christianity but of Christendom,

and denotes the whole rich civilization which grew up under the aegis of the Muslim empires.

The basic religious precepts of the Quran are already contained in the early chapters, those revealed Mecca before the migration of the prophet and his

followers to Medina. They teach that there is one God, omnipotent and omniscient, creator of all that exists; that is the duty of men to submit

themselves completely to the will of God; that those who rebel against the prophets sent by God to guide them and who persist in their

unbelief are punished both in this world and the next; that after death there is heaven and a hell where the good are rewarded and the wicked chastised; that

at the end of time and the end of the world, there will be a resurrection of bodies and a universal Judgment.

the Quran may be supplemented as a source of guidance by hadith ('Sayings'), the technical name for reports concerning the actions and utterances of the

Prophet who is believed by Muslims to have been divinely inspired in all that he did and said. these were therefore handed down by oral

tradition and later committed to writing in collection which have an authority among Muslims second only to that of the Quran itself. Already in medieval

times, Muslim scholarship Questioned the authenticity of many of these tradition. western scholarship has done so in a much more radical form without,

however, seriously shaking the authority which the traditions still hold among Muslims.

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