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Islam

monotheistic religion founded by Muhammad and based on the teachings of the Quran
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Be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees Well all that ye do.

Islam is a Abrahamic monotheistic religion originating with prophet Muhammad and centered on the religious text known as the Qur'an. It is the world's second-largest religion and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with an estimated 2.1 billion adherents, known as Muslims. Linguistically, Islam means "submission", referring to the total surrender of one's self to God (Arabic: الله, Allāh), and a Muslim is "one who submits to God".

QuotesEdit

 
There are many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but generally we are instructed to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it. ~ Aga Khan IV‎‎
Alphabetized by author or source
  • Turks were a great nation even before they adopted Islam. This religion did not help the Arabs, Iranians, Egyptians and others to unite with Turks to form a nation. Conversely, it weakened the Turks’ national relations; it numbed Turkish national feelings and enthusiasm. This was natural, because Mohammedanism was based on Arab nationalism above all nationalities.
  • For nearly five hundred years, these rules and theories of an Arab Shaikh and the interpretations of generations of lazy and good-for-nothing priests have decided the civil and criminal law of Turkey. They have decided the form of the Constitution, the details of the lives of each Turk, his food, his hours of rising and sleeping the shape of his clothes, the routine of the midwife who produced his children, what he learned in his schools, his customs, his thoughts-even his most intimate habits. Islam – this theology of an immoral Arab – is a dead thing. Possibly it might have suited tribes in the desert. It is no good for modern, progressive state. God’s revelation! There is no God! These are only the chains by which the priests and bad rulers bound the people down. A ruler who needs religion is a weakling. No weaklings should rule.
    • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk :Harold Courtenay Armstrong (1932). Grey Wolf: Mustafa Kemal – An intimate study of a dictator , pp. 199-200.
  • Islam has a total organization of life that is completely different from ours; it embraces simply everything.
    • Benedict XVI, Tough-talking pope has history with Muslims, refuses to give in - Washington Times, September 20, 2006
  • Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of the fiqh, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer. ... [T]he study of Muhammadan law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of the fiqh) is of great importance to the world today.
    • Georges-Henri Bousquet, "Islamic Law and Customary Law in French North Africa," Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law (1950): 65. Fiqh
  • At the heart of Islam is its preservation of an integral view of the Universe. Islam - like Buddhism and Hinduism - refuses to separate man and nature, religion and science, mind and matter, and has preserved a metaphysical and unified view of ourselves and the world around us.
  • There is in Islam a paradox which is perhaps a permanent menace. The great creed born in the desert creates a kind of ecstasy of the very emptiness of its own land, and even, one may say, out of the emptiness of its own theology... A void is made in the heart of Islam which has to be filled up again and again by a mere repetition of the revolution that founded it. There are no sacraments; the only thing that can happen is a sort of apocalypse, as unique as the end of the world; so the apocalypse can only be repeated and the world end again and again. There are no priests; and yet this equality can only breed a multitude if lawless prophets almost as numerous as priests. The very dogma that there is only one Mahomet produces an endless procession of Mahomets.
  • How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
  • There are many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but generally we are instructed to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it.
    • Aga Khan IV‎‎, in an interview with Robert Ivy (FAIA), in Architectural Record (31 August 2001).
  • The loss of revenue from conversions was so serious that, in spite of protests, tribute was levied even from those who had embraced Islam. In fact, within ten years from the Prophet's death, by the conquest of great and wealthy provinces, Islam was faced with conditions which had never been contemplated and the attempt to reconstruct it so as to preserve the original purpose under these new conditions, was too artificial to last. History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races, is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.
  • But Islam has yet a further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of interracial understanding and co-operation. No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavour so many and so various races of mankind. ... Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition If ever the opposition of the great societies of the East and the West is to be replaced by co-operation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relations with the East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced — but if Europe, by rejecting the co operation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both.
  • Islam appears to me like a perfect work of architecture. All its parts are harmoniously conceived to complement and support each other; nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking, with the result of an absolute balance and solid composure. Probably this feeling that everything in the teachings and postulates of Islam is "in its proper place" has created the strongest impression on me.
  • In the hours of its political degradation, Islam has achieved some of its most brilliant spiritual conquests : on two great historical occasions, infidel barbarians have set their feet on the necks of the followers of the Prophet, - the Saljūq Turks in the eleventh and the Mongols in the thirteenth century,- and in each case the conquerors have accepted the religion of the conquered. Unaided also by the temporal power, Muslim missionaries have carried their faith into Central Africa, China and the East India Islands.
  • The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam. The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all. It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language. It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses like it.
  • Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan.
  • Neither the sword nor the work of an ecclesiastical order can account for Islam's continuous gains in new following. The phenomenon of growth, therefore, must be attributed in the last analysis to its powers of appeal and ability to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples adhering to cultures totally alien to the founders, the desert Arabians, but at a level of religious and sociopolitical development familiar to them at the time of their conversion. Continued growth can be explained also in terms of Islam's willingness to tolerate views and practices stemming from alien cultural norms brought into Islam by the converts which a more rigid system of religion would not countenance. Flexibility at this, the crucial stage, of conversion is an important factor contributing to Islam's success. What would ordinarily be deemed heretical at the instance of conversion inevitably drifts or is lured towards orthodoxy. The spread of Islam into Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa presents a vivid example of its dynamism while its ability to survive in areas once dominated by communism is a testimony to its remarkable resilience.
    • Caesar E. Farah, Islam : beliefs and observances, 7th ed - Barron’s Ed. Series, Inc - Woodbury - New York. 1968 - pp. 268-269.
  • [Islam] is essentially an obstructive, intolerant system, supplying just sufficient good to stand in the way of greater good. It has consecrated despotism; it has consecrated polygamy; it has consecrated slavery. It has declared war against every other creed; it has claimed to be at least dominant in every land… When it ceases to have an enemy to contend against, it sinks into sluggish stupidity… It must have an enemy; if cut off, like Persia, from conflict with the infidel, it finds its substitute in sectarian hatred of brother Moslems… By [only] slightly reforming, it has perpetuated and sanctified all the evils of the eastern world. It has, by its aggressive tenets, brought them into more direct antagonism with the creed and civilization of the west.
  • I like Islam, it is consistent [or consequential] idea of religion and open-minded.
  • In Mohammedanism the limited principle of the Jews is expanded into universality and thereby overcome. Here, God is no longer, as with the Asiatics, contemplated as existent in immediately sensuous mode but is apprehended as the one infinite sublime Power beyond all the multiplicity of the world. Mohammedanism is, therefore, in the strictest sense of the world, the religion of sublimity.
  • I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.
  • Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or "surrender as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.
  • You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?
    • Adolf Hitler, as quoted Inside the Third Reich : Memoirs by Albert Speer, p. 115.
  • The canon of the [sharia] and the Church, closely linked with the laws of the bourgeosie, treated women as a commodity, a thing to be bought and sold by the male... Just as the bourgeosie had made the worker into its proletarian, so had the savage ancient canons of the [shariah], the Church, feudalism and the bourgeosie, reduced woman to the proletariat of the man.
  • ...it is the duty of those who have accepted them [Allah's word and message] to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.
  • Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam. … Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of the world.
    • Bertrand Russell, “The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism,” (London, 1920), pp. 5, 114-115
  • The beliefs appropriate to the impulse of aggression may be seen in Bernhardi, or in the early Mohammedan conquerors, or, in full perfection, in the Book of Joshua. There is first of all a conviction of the superior excellence of one's own group, a certainty that they are in some sense the chosen people. This justifies the feeling that only the good and evil of one's own group is of real importance, and that the rest of the world is to be regarded merely as material for the triumph or salvation of the higher race. In modern politics this attitude is embodied in imperialism.
  • It was the duty of the faithful to conquer as much of the world as possible for Islam. ... The Arabs, although they conquered a great part of the world in the name of a new religion were not a very religious race; the motive of their conquests was plunder and wealth rather than religion.
    • Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy, Book Two, Part 2, Chapter X: Mohammedan Culture
  • The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.
  • We may summarize the Kalacakra tantra's perception of Islamic beliefs and practices as follows: from the Buddhist point of view Islam is demonic and perverse, a perfect anti-religion which is the antithesis of Buddhism.
  • Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet; as if the way to God was not open to every man alike.
    Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say, that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say, that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; and, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.
  • It is not the intention of Islam to force its beliefs on people, but Islam is not merely ‘belief’. As we have pointed out, Islam is a declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other men. Thus it strives from the beginning to abolish all those systems and governments which are based on the rule of man over men and the servitude of one human being to another. When Islam releases people from this political pressure and presents to them its spiritual message, appealing to their reason, it gives them complete freedom to accept or not to accept its beliefs.
    • Sayyid Qutb. Ma'alim fi'l-Tariq (Milestones). Maktabah Booksellers and Publishers. p. 70. 
  • Were the books of Islam all to be lost, excepting only the Ihya' (a book written by Al-Ghazali), it would suffice to replace them all.
    • Al-Nawawi, Joseph E. B. Lumbard, Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Essays by Western Muslim Scholars, p. 291. ISBN 0941532607.
  • Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was — and it remains — incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.
    • Islam is Christianity adapted to Arab mentality, or, more exactly, it is all that the unimaginative brain of a Bedouin, obstinately faithful to ancestral practices, has been able to assimilate of the Christian doctrines. Lacking the gift of imagination, the Bedouin copies, and in copying he distorts the original. Thus Musulman law is only the Roman Code revised and corrected by Arabs; in the same way Musulman science is nothing but Greek science interpreted by the Arab brain; and again, Musulman architecture is merely a distorted imitation of the Byzantine style.
    • Andre Servier, L’islam et la psychologie du musulman (1923).
  • Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: I was with the Prophet and we woke up one day and I said, “O Messenger of God, tell me about a deed that will enter me into Paradise and keep me away from the Fire.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: You have asked about an enormous matter, yet it is easy for one whom God makes it easy. Worship God and do not associate anything with Him, establish the prayer, give the charity, fast the month of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the House.
  • In a major encyclopedia, one reads phrases such as: "Islam expanded in the eighth or ninth centuries ..."; "This or that country passed into Muslim hands..." But care is taken not to say how Islam expanded, how countries "passed into [Muslim] hands." .. Indeed, it would seem as if events happened by themselves, through a miraculous or amicable operation... Regarding this expansion, little is said about jihad. And yet it all happened through war!
    ...the jihad is an institution. and not an event, that is to say it is a part of the normal functioning of the Muslim world... The conquered populations change status (they become dhimmis), and the shari'a tends to be put into effect integrally, overthrowing the former law of the country. The conquered territories do not simply change "owners."
    • Jacques Ellul, forward to Les Chrestientes d'Orient entre Jihad et Dhimmitude. VIIe-XXe siecle (1991); English translation in the preface to Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam (Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996), pp. 18-19.
  • Islam is very different, being ferociously intolerant. What I may call Manifold Monotheism becomes in the minds of very simple folk an absurdly polytheistic idolatry, just as European peasants not only worship Saints and the Virgin as Gods, but will fight fanatically for their faith in the ugly little black doll who is the Virgin of their own Church against the black doll of the next village. When the Arabs had run this sort of idolatry to such extremes [that] they did this without black dolls and worshipped any stone that looked funny, Mahomet rose up at the risk of his life and insulted the stones shockingly, declaring that there is only one God, Allah, the glorious, the great… And there was to be no nonsense about toleration. You accepted Allah or you had your throat cut by someone who did accept him, and who went to Paradise for having sent you to Hell.
  • For a vast number of "believing" Muslim men, "Islam" stands, in a jumbled, half-examined way, not only for the fear of God -- the fear more than the love, one suspects -- but also for a cluster of customs, opinions and prejudices that include their dietary practices; the sequestration or near-sequestration of "their" women; the sermons delivered by their mullahs of choice; a loathing of modern society in general, riddled as it is with music, godlessness and sex; and a more particularized loathing (and fear) of the prospect that their own immediate surroundings could be taken over -- "Westoxicated" -- by the liberal Western-style way of life.
  • I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age.
  • I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
  • Your religion, although it has some good points, such as worship of the great Being, and the necessity of being just and charitable, is otherwise nothing but a rehash of Judaism and a tedious collection of fairy tales.
  • If the people of this religion [Islam] are asked about the proof for the soundness of their religion, they flare up, get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with this question. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed. ... You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: "Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one." Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. ... By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: "Produce something like it"?!
    • Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Razi, in: Jennifer Michael Hecht - Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson (pg. 227-230) - HarperOne, September 7, 2004, ISBN 9780060097950
  • Some, indeed, dream of an Islam in the future, rationalised and regenerate. All this has been tried already, and has miserably failed. The Koran has so encrusted the religion in a hard unyielding casement of ordinances and social laws, that if the shell be broken the life is gone. A rationalistic Islam would be Islam no longer. The contrast between our own faith and Islam is most remarkable. There are in our Scriptures living germs of truth, which accord with civil and religious liberty, and will expand with advancing civilisation. In Islam it is just the reverse. The Koran has no such teaching as with us has abolished polygamy, slavery, and arbitrary divorce, and has elevated woman to her proper place. As a Reformer, Mahomet did advance his people to a certain point, but as a Prophet he left them fixed immovably at that point for all time to come. The tree is of artificial planting. Instead of containing within itself the germ of growth and adaptation to the various requirements of time and clime and circumstance, expanding with the genial sunshine and rain from heaven, it remains the same forced and stunted thing as when first planted some twelve centuries ago.
    • William Muir, Taken from the Rede Lecture he delivered at Cambridge in 1881) Asia. 2d ed., rev. and corrected. Published 1909 by E. Stanford in London. Page 458

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