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I am currently an incarcerated Muslim male. I recently came across an old issue of THE ISLAMIC BULLETIN. I am really impressed by it. The issue is: Vol. V. No. 14, Ramadan 1417 Feb. 1997. I am not sure if you are still in circulation at this time. If so, I am very interested in subscribing to your newsletter. Currently I have been blessed by Allah to give the khutbah for the Jumu'ah prayer in the absence of our Imam, Imam Dawud Abdus-Salaam. The information in your newsletter was invaluable to me, especially since the fasting season is upon us and I needed more information on Ramadan and fasting. I would also like to ask your permission to forward to you articles that I have written, some of which have been published in AL-TALIB news magazine. Being in the position of khateeb, I try to present Al-Islam in a more "universal" aspect, free from geographical, cultural, or racial bases. Your newsletter seems to be oriented toward this end. I would like to thank you and your staff for striving in the cause of Allah with what He has provided you with. I patiently await your reply.
Jazakum Allah Khairunn for the August/September issue. I was much moved by Omar Abdul-Salam's account of his condition and his determined decisive pursuit of truth. Br. Omar ought to consider writing regularly for the Bulletin on other topics as well.
The issue contained a good variety. Compilation of Manners of the Prophet (pbuh), and Islamic Diet & Manners serve an important purpose....that of reminders to shape our habits. That is equally true of the simple and well written article on Istikhara. The first sentence of the last paragraph on Istikhara: "Indeed the essence of this prayer is to test someone's trust in Allah..." powerfully concludes the message of the article. On a lighter note, thanks to the Cook's Corner, now I can finally find out for myself what this split pea soup is all about! And thank you for the updated list of prayer locations across California. Keep up the good work.
I have only just recently been introduced to Islam and must admit I am intrigued by it. One topic that does have me concerned though, is where does Islam stand on the issue of "Salvation". As a Christian, this is fundamental to our beliefs in Jesus as the Savior. If you could help out with this dilemma, I would appreciate it.
Thank you for your inquiry. This is indeed an important issue for many Christians that have embraced Islam.
Basically, Islam teaches that people must work out their salvation through the guidance of Allah. So the idea of the original sin is rejected in Islam. The Holy Qur'an states that Adam and Eve (Hawwa') repented to Allah after they disobeyed Him and that Allah accepted their repentance and forgave them. A Muslim has to combine his belief and practice in his daily activities. Hence, no one can act on behalf of someone else or even intercede between him and Allah. This is called "shirk" and is considered polytheism. At the same time Allah does not accept lip service from people. In Islam, there is no third party between people and Allah, nor are there religious men or people like priests or pastors. Muslims believe that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and it is only after they commit sins that they are charged for their mistakes. No soul is responsible for the sins of other souls. Nevertheless, the door of forgiveness through true repentance is always open.
Muslims also believe that Allah sent different messengers throughout the history of mankind. All came with the same message and teachings. It was people who misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Muslims believe in all the prophets like Noah, Abraham, Issac, Ismail, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad (saw). The prophets of Judaism and Christianity are also the prophets of Islam. Jesus in Islam is considered a beloved messenger of Allah. He is not considered a god or son of God. Muslims do not worship Mohammad; they revere him as a prophet.
Hope this answers your concerns and may Allah bless you and guide you.
- The Editor
Please participate in this Newsletter by sending us your letters, comments, or suggestions so we can make this newsletter your favorite. All correspondence should be addressed to:
Editor of the Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186
San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
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