Introduction to Islam

Does Islam oppose modern day science?


How does Islam view modern day science?

Some Islamic scholars argue that while advancements in science in the last two hundred years may have brought about great progress for many humans on the material level, this has come at the expense of spiritual progress and moral values. Do you agree with this?


Science is our means to understand the creation of God better. As the Quran is the spoken Book of God, the universe is the created Book of God. These two books which have the same author cannot go against each other.

The better we understand this created Book the more we recognize the power, the bounties, and the glory of God. Thus, science does not only not undermine faith, but rather it should increase our awe and reverence for God.

The more we explore the world of creation, the more harmony and knowledge we find in it. However, we should not forget that science does not itself create harmony, but rather finds the harmony placed there by God, and the more we advance in science, the more we learn about the omniscience of the Creator. He has left His fingerprint on everything.

The spiritual regression of the modern world is not due to the advancement of science. Rather, it is due to one or more of the following:

1- The arrogance created by modern technology which is a product of science.

كلا ان الانسان ليطغی ان راه استغنی
Nay! Verily, man does transgress all bounds. Because he considers himself self-sufficient (Al-Alaq, 6-7)

The feeling of power and needlessness wrongly produced in us by modern technology has made man rebellious.

2- The greed for more and more, which has been galvanized by the production of wealth, which is unprecedented in the history of man.

3- The transgression of the western world in the past couple of centuries over the human race by enslavement, mass murder, and the plundering of other people’s wealth.

ثم کان عاقبة الذین اساءوا السوءا ان کذبوا بایات الله و کانوا بها یستهزءون
Then the fate of those who committed misdeeds was that they denied the signs of Allah and they used to deride them (Al-Roum, 10)

4- It should also be kept in mind that previous nations also rejected faith as soon as they achieved some power. Certainly, the situation of the modern world with respect to faith is much better than some of the previous people like the people of Noah who rejected faith en masse.

Answered by: Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour

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What is the meaning of ‘Allahu Akbar’?


What is the actual meaning of the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’, which is usually written as ‘God is great’?


A man said in the presence of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s), a great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the 6th holy Imam within Shia Islam:

“Allahu Akbar (God is Greater).”
The holy Imam said: “Do you know what He is greater than?!”
The man said: “He is greater than everything.”
The Imam said: “Then you limited him (as you compared Him with everything).”
He said: “So what should I say?!”
The Imam explained: “Allahu Akbar means: God is greater than being described.”

Reference: (al-Kaafi vol 1. P.117)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Who is Allah?


Who is Allah?

I understand that he is the God of Muslims and the religion of Islam, but can you please give a short introduction, while explaining the meaning of the word ‘Allah’?


Who is Allah?

‘Allah’ is the Arabic term for the One and only Creator of the universe. It is NOT a name for a tribal Arabian God or the God of Muslims. Thus, both Muslim and Christian Arabs refer to God as ‘Allah’ although their concept of God may differ.

Etymology of the word ‘Allah’

Allah ( اللَّه‏ ) is driven from the root ‘Aleha’ (أَلِهَ) to mean ‘worshiped’. Thus, any deity – whether false or true, objects or humans – is called in Arabic ‘Elah’, whereas ‘Allah’ is a distinguished name to refer to the real Creator. The testimony of faith in Islam is expressed in Arabic as  )لا إِلهَ‏ إِلَّا اللَّه‏ ‘La Elaha ellAllah’ (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah).

It is important to note that as Muslims we do not worship the name of ‘Allah’. Thus, you may refer to the reality of the One and only Creator using any good name: “To Allah belong all the most beautiful names, so call on Him by them.” (The Holy Qur’an 7:180)

However, we believe the term ‘Allah’ expresses the monotheistic concept of the Creator more accurately than the English ‘God’. Literally speaking, unlike ‘god’ there is no plurality for ‘Allah’. Similarly, the term ‘Allah’ is gender free.

Divine Beautiful Names

Although the Divine Names and Attributes are countless, the Almighty God has manifested Himself in the Qur’an with more than 200 divine names, of which 99 Names are known as ‘The Most Beautiful Names’.  According to some traditions there is also a divine name that the Almighty Allah has kept to Himself often known as ‘The Greatest Name’. Each divine name introduces one of the attributes of the nature of God. For example, one of the divine names is ‘the Most Gracious’, which means His Grace is universally inclusive and infinite.

Thus Allah introduces Himself

The Almighty Allah has introduced Himself to His holy Prophet (s) in various revelations. The following are only some examples of divine names and attributes as revealed to the Prophet of Islam (s):

1. “Say (O Muhammad), He is Allah, the Unique, the Self-Sufficient to whom eventually all take their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (the Holy Qur’an, 112)

2. “He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Ibid, 59:24)

3. “And when My devotees ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed Near, I respond to the invocations of the supplicants when they call on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” (Ibid, 2:186)

4.  Allah! (is He  Who) there is no (existing) deity but Him, the Ever Living Ever Protecting (all that exists), (Who) no any slumber and (let alone) any kind of sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (i.e. who intercede, or His creatures) in this world and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. They (who intercede, or His creatures) will never compass anything of His information except that which He wills. His sovereignty and knowledge extends all over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in preserving them. He is the Most High, The Most Great.” (Ibid, 2:255)

5. “Proclaim (O Muhammad): O My Slaves who wronged themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah; verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Ibid, 39:53)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

For more Q&As on Allah (swt) please see here

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What is Islam?


What is Islam? Can you please give me a short overview?


In the ISLAMIC beginning…

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Islamic Greetings

Salamun Alaykum: Peace be upon you

What is Islam and who is a Muslim?

– Islam literally means: Submission or surrendering to God
– A Muslim is a person who believes in ‘Islam’

The Emergence of Islam

– Literally Islam began with the first prophet; Adam
– In its complete sense, Islam began with the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad on 25 June 610 AD at the age of 40 (Muhammad was born on 28 April 570 AD)

The Main Sources of Knowledge in Islam:

The Holy Quran
– The Hadith (sayings and practical life of the Prophet Muhammad)

The bedrock of Islam:

– In Theory: Faith in One God, the Hereafter and the Prophets.
– In Practice: Righteous Deeds

Main Beliefs:

– Monotheism: believing in (a) Unique God who does not beget nor is He begotten

Justice of God: believing that God is neither cruel nor unfair

Prophecy: believing in all God’s Messengers from Adam to Muhammad

Successors of the Prophet: Imam Ali and his 11 offspring

Resurrection: believing in the day of Judgment: Eternity in Hell or Heaven

Islam in Practice:

– Jurisprudence: Worshipping (Daily Prayers, Fasting, Charity (Zakat and Khoms), Pilgrimage to Hajj, Jihad, enjoining good and forbidding evil, befriending friends of God and dissociation from the enemies of God). Only Halal meat is permissible to eat, while all types of intoxicants are forbidden. Gambling is forbidden. Marriage is a very recommended act and divorce is permissible but detested.

– The noble social rule in Islam: “Repel evil with what is best.” (i.e. don’t repel evil with evil)

Two Main Muslim Denominations:

– Shi’a: Those who believe Prophet Muhammad (s) – by the divine command – appointed Ali; his son-in-law and cousin, and his 11 offspring ending with Imam Mahdi, as his caliphs

– Sunni: Those who believe the Prophet (s) did not appoint anyone after himself to lead the Muslim community

Islamic Calendar and Main Festivals:

– Muslim Calendar is lunar

– Holidays in Islam are holy days

– Eidul-Fitr (celebrating the successful ending of the Month of Fasting)

– Eidul-Adha (celebrating the successful ending of the Hajj pilgrimage)

– Eidul-Ghadir (celebration of the divine appointment of Imam Ali, by the Prophet, as the authority after him: 70 days prior to the Prophet’s demise.)

– Ashura (Commemoration of the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husayn, along with his loyal companions)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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If Islam is a religion of peace, why are so many terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims?


Islam is often called by Muslims a ‘religion of peace’ – but how can this be the case when so many terrible acts in the world today are being committed by Muslims?


It is easy to fall into the trap of Fox news and other mainstream news outlets to blame Islam and Muslims for terrorist crimes. However, I believe terrorism is a disease; a fatal and mental disease, which requires professional diagnosis and treatment. In your quest to diagnose the causes of contemporary terrorism please consider the following facts:

1. Islam is NOT the cause of most wars!

In their recently published book, “Encyclopedia of Wars,” authors Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod document the history of recorded warfare, and from their list of 1763 wars only 123 have been classified as involving a religious cause, accounting for less than 7% of all wars and less than 2% of all people killed in warfare. According to the authors, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%. (

2. Islam explicitly condemns terrorism

Numerous traditions from Shi`a and Sunni narrations quoted from the Prophet of Islam (s) state that terrorist activities are contrary to the Islamic faith. In a famous hadith narrated by Shi`a and Sunni narrators, it is quoted from the Prophet of Islam (s) to have said, “The faith (i.e. Islam) has handcuffed assassination, a believer does not get involved in terrorist activities.” [Al-Majlesi, Beharul-Anwaar, vol.28, p.359, Abu-Dawood, al-Sonan, Hadith 2388]. The practical life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his pure progeny, and even his companions and the companions of the companions, clearly prove that terrorism has been practically and theoretically denounced in Islam. Perhaps the tragedy of Karbala would not have occurred if the ambassador of Imam Husain (a.s) in Kufa had assassinated Ibn Ziad!

3. Under the guise of a religion!

I acknowledge that Islam as a faith is a powerful tool, like science for instance. However, just as the abuse of science does not justify condemning science, similarly it is unfair to blame Islam and mainstream Muslims for the insane acts of a group who act violently under the guise of Islam! Indeed, what right do we have to blame an entire religion of over 1.6 billion peaceful people because of the actions of a terrorist group who have hijacked Islam?

Let us not forget that the Crusaders of the past and present claimed ‘In God We Trust’! Even the Nazis had ‘God With Us’ on their belts!

4. Violence begets violence

Unlike the claim of President Bush in 2005 that the Iraq war will make the world safer, new studies have found that the number of fatal terrorist attacks have skyrocketed by over 600% since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Under no circumstances do I mean to justify the terrorist attacks. Nonetheless, let us not forget what Jesus said: “all who draw the sword will die by it”. (Matthew 26:52)

5. Political Agenda

A fair definition of terrorism might be one that describes it as violence against civilians irrespective of the terrorists’ cultural background. But that’s not what you hear on mainstream media. A few days ago a man named Larry Dawson opened fire in the Visitor Centre of the US Capitol. He was a pastor who called himself ‘a prophet of God’! But he was not called a terrorist because his name was ‘Larry’, not ‘Muhammad’! Do you ever wonder why Western media deliberately repeat the term ‘Islamic State’ instead of using the abbreviation ‘ISIS’, despite the fact that it is common in the English language to use acronyms? I believe this is part of their agenda to constantly sync Islam and even (the idea of an) Islamic state with terrorism, to detest people from Islam or any thought of creating an Islamic state. The media’s double standards confirm their political agendas of portraying Islam and Muslims as dangerous!

Please always cross examine the news. For example, in the most recent tragic terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, at least 70 people were reportedly killed, most of them women and children. Here, CNN portrayed the atrocity as ‘a religious war against Christians celebrating Easter’, whereas according to a Lahore Police statement; most of the 70 victims were Muslims, while only 14 have been identified as Christians. The Associated Press also reported that among the victims “10 members of one family were killed, all Muslims”.

6. Main victims of terrorism

Both in the past and the present Muslims have been the main victims of terrorist attacks. The mobilisation of more than 80 wars against the Prophet Muhammad (s) in less than a decade, the raiding of Muslims day and night, and the atrocities committed against all the noble family members of the Holy Prophet (s), are ample historical evidences that Muslim leaders have been the victims of terrorism.

According to a new report from the Institute of Economics and Peace, acts of terrorism killed over 32,000 people in the year 2014 -78% of all deaths and 57% of all attacks occurred in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria, countries where the absolute majority of the populations are Muslim! (

According to the British Daily Mail, in September 2015 ISIS executed more than 10,000 men, women and children in Iraq and Syria, people who were mainly identified as Muslims!

Finally, I urge you to carry out an independent research to find out who created al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, who trained them, and who has been arming them, and where their wounded are being treated?!

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei