Higher RMPS – Islam Revision Notes

These notes were provided by a former Higher RMPS student as their summary notes to aid with their revision. With his permission I can share them with you to help with your own revision.

Nature Of God

  • Tawhid refers to the idea of the unity and oneness of God
  • 99 names of God show Allah has different qualities e.g. Al-Khaliq – The creator
  • Omnipotence – All powerful
  • Omniscience – Allah knows all things
  • Omnibenevolent – All-merciful

How beliefs about God might affect Muslims?

  • Acknowledgement of Allah’s exceptional powers, might encourage greater submission to him on a daily basis
  • Respect for the environment e.g. giving to environmental charities, doing voluntary work with a ‘green’ organisation
  • Respect for humanity, e.g. concern for those who are suffering, concern about Human Rights issues, particular commitment to the Pillar of Zakat

Why is submission important?

  • Allah is above all other things – school, family, friends etc
  • The declaration of Faith (Shahadah) requires a commitment to submission to the will of Allah
  • Submission is the way to gain access to Paradise (al Jannah) on Judgement Day
  • They are following the example of the Prophet Muhammad who is a role model for Muslims
  • Allah is creator of all things including humanity itself

Nature of human beings

  • Pinnacle of Creation – Higher even than angels
  • Free will – Aspects of life are predestined, but humans use free will in how they respond to them
  • Separated from Allah by the actions of Adam and Hawwah
  • Humans are guided by Fitrah (moral compass)
  • We must avoid shirk (idolatry) which is the one unforgiveable sin

Khaliphas (Stewardship)

  • A stewardship role as guardians of the planet on Allah’s behalf.
  • To make the most of his creation
  • Particularly in sustaining the earth’s resources and other species
  • Look after others (especially look after the less fortunate)
  • Being the best person you can be

Why being a Khalipha is important to Muslims?

  • Shows submission to Allah
  • Respects his creation
  • Allah commands it – it is a requirement
  • It shows your faith
  • It helps look after the environment
  • It provides an example to others

Impact Of Khaliphas

  • Means they will need to look after the planet
  • Can’t be horrible to people
  • Shouldn’t destroy Gods creation
  • Shouldn’t litter or pollute

Free will

  • Allah has given everybody the responsibility to do the right thing
  • Ability to make several choices for ourselves shows we have a moral law within us because we have a conscience
  • An inbuilt sense of right and wrong ability to control our thinking

Why free will is important to Muslims

  • Shows the greatness of Allah & gives Muslims the opportunity to show their faith e.g. follow the 5 pillars
  • Demonstrates that Allah is compassionate allows Muslims to develop & become better people
  • Gives Muslims the opportunity to make the right choice shows that people know the difference between right & wrong

Sin

  • Muslims see sin as an act and not a state of being
  • Most serious sin is Shirk, which is worshipping anyone or anything in place of Allah
  • Difference between major and minor sins – Minor sins will be forgiven if repent
  • On day of Judgement Allah looks at good deeds and sins. He punishes those individuals whose evil deeds are more than their good deeds = Jahannum
  • Islam teaches that God is merciful & individuals can be forgiven if they repent

 

How Might Belief About Sin Affect Muslims?

  • Muslims will try not to lie or be dishonest in their everyday lives
  • They will make every effort to keep the five pillars
  • They will try to follow the example of Muhammad who was believed to live a perfect Muslim life
  • They will ask Allah for forgiveness and repent any minor sins
  • They will practice Ihsan which is living as though you can see Allah there with you

 

Muslim Belief About Muhammad (Seal of the prophets)

  • Chosen by God as prophet (Nabi) but also a messenger (Rasul). He was sent to guide people and to restore monotheist Islam which had already been revealed through other prophets like Adem, Ibramim and Musa
  • The Qur’an is revealed to Muhammad by Allah over a period of 22 years, and he memorises the messages because he was illiterate
  • Muslims call him the “Seal of the Prophets” because the messages he recited were the final words from Allah to human beings. This means Muhammad was the last prophet

 

Muhammed as a role model

  • Muhammad was a great spiritual example to Muslims as he was always searching for his own spiritual peace and understanding
  • He showed great trust, patience and faith in the will of Allah which shows Muslims how to follow the teachings
  • Muhammad was a fearless preacher and always preached the word of Allah when he could
  • It was his mission to spread the word of Islam, and this is an example all Muslims should follow
  • Muhammad proved himself to be a great leader in Madina and of the Muslim religion

 

Revelation of the Qur’an

  • Revelation is the idea that God has made known his special truth to humans
  • Islam teaches that the prophets received God’s divinely inspired message, instructing humans how to live
  • Gods final and perfect message was given to the Prophet Muhammad, sent down to him over the last 23 years of his life
  • Each passage was memorised and recorded by his followers and then later written down to form the Qur’an, the final revelation – Muslims believe that the Qur’an is therefore the best guide we can have in living our lives as Allah intended, and that this the way to salvation

 

Why Qur’an is important?

  • It is the word of Allah delivered to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad
  • It is the last and complete book of guidance from Allah – the final revelation
  • It offers moral guidance and how to live on the right path
  • It sets out the Five Pillars of Islam

 

Living according to the Qur’an

  • Islam is very concerned about looking after the welfare of poor people, and the Qur’an specifies that all Muslims above the subsistence level must pay up 2.5% of their annual savings to help people in need (Zakat). Paying Zakat purifies the 97.5% of your wealth that remains, and you can use this as you wish with clear heart
  • If you’re a Muslim, it’s not enough just to give money for the poor – you’re expected to understand what it feels like to be poor and hungry, and to go without food and drink – So once a year, for a month called Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sunset, abstaining from food, drink, sex and smoking. This fasting helps a Muslim understand the needy and acts as sort of ritual purification of themselves
  • When you become a Muslim you have to give up certain things like alcohol (khamr) and of course drugs for ever

Judgement

  • Most Muslims believe that when they die, they will stay in their graves until the Day of Judgement (Yawm al-din)
  • On that day, they will be raised from their graves & brought before Allah & judged on how they lived their earthly lives
  • Those who have performed more good deeds than bad will enter Al Jannah. Jannah is also known as paradise or garden in Islam. Jannah is the final destination in the afterlife for Muslims. It is an external place for believers in Tawhid. Presence of Allah. Everything you desire will be there
  • Those who have performed more bad deeds than good will enter Jahannam or Hell. This is hell & place of fire. Continuous torment. Without Allah. Those who go to hell will suffer forever. Punishment for those who turn away from Allah.
  • Allah will forgive those who have repented for their sins & done some good in their lives. However there are some sins Muslims believe to be unforgivable e.g. sin or shirk

Importance of judgement

  • Determines where you go after death
  • Shows actions have consequences
  • Encourages Muslims to live a good life
  • Shows how great Allah is
  • Encourages Muslims to submit to Allah

 

Five pillars of Islam/Worship

Shahadah

  • Declaration of Faith.
  • I believe there is one God and that Muhammad is his Messenger
  • Whispered into the ears of new-born children
  • Stating this declaration three times, in full sincerity, is all that is needed to become a Muslim

 

Salat

  • Prayer five times a day
  • In the direction of the Ka’aba in Makkah.
  • You can pray in the mosque or in any clean place – perhaps using a prayer mat
  • Wudu (ritual ablution) before prayer

 

Zakat

  • Charity
  • Donated once a year
  • Compulsory donation of 2.5% of your surplus wealth above the Nisab threshold to help the poor
  • Those whose wealth has not exceeded the ‘nisab’ are exempt

Saum

  • Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  • 29 days
  • No eating or drinking during daylight hours
  • Exempt if you are very young, very old, pregnant, ill, travelling etc.
  • End of Ramadan is celebrated by Eid ul Fitr

Hajj

  • Pilgrimage to Mecca
  • Must be completed once in a lifetime, if possible unless you belong to one of the exemption categories e.g. disabled, elderly, can’t afford to go etc.
  • Must wear Ihram – seamless, white garments
  • Must complete the required stages of the pilgrimage to be classed as a Haji (m) or Hajiya (f)
  • The end of Hajj is marked by Eid ul Adha, and lambs/goats are sacrificed

 

Reading/recitation of the Qur’an

  • Used during the prayer ritual of Salat
  • Read daily in the morning and at night
  • Read in old Arabic, which is the language in which it was received

 

What ways might worship affect Muslims in their daily lives?

  • Provide a rhythm for their day
  • Create a sense of closeness to Allah
  • Feel obedient to Allah
  • Appreciating God’s creation
  • Becoming spiritually stronger

 

Why are the five pillars important for Muslims today?

  • The metaphor of the pillars shows that Muslims see them as something that holds up and strengthens the faith
  • They enable Muslims to demonstrate their submission to Allah
  • They learn more about self-discipline, sacrifice, obedience etc.
  • Overcome greed and selfishness
  • Muslims believe that their faithfulness will be rewarded on the Day of Judgement

 

 

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