In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I think videos like below are still good to watch to help people like myself introduce Islam to others should they ask me to tell them what it’s all about in less than five minutes.

So here are some pointers from the video:

1) Islam literally means submission. Contextually, it refers to the submission of oneself to God, which places everyone in equal standing.

(Not in video: For example, I may be literate but it doesn’t place me on a higher pedestal when compared to someone who is illiterate because that person may be better than me in terms of his kindness and goodness.)

2) Islam’s followers are mostly into two general groups: Shia and Sunni. I am categorised under Sunni.

(Not in video: Shia Muslims believe that ‘Ali, Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, should be regarded as the rightful last leader of the Muslim community. Sunni Muslims on the other hand, believe that Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet, should be regarded as the only last leader of the faith. The Final Messenger.)

3) Even within these two groups, there are different schools of thought.

(Not in video: I’m not well-versed in Shi’ism so I’m unable to go into detail. The four main schools of thought within the Islamic Jurisprudence in Sunni Islam are taught by four Imams: Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi’i. Singapore is largely influenced by the Shafi’i school of thought, which relies mostly on the Quran and the Hadith in executing day-to-day Islamic practices. The Hadith is a record of actions and words of the Prophet Muhammad. In cases where the Quran and the Hadith both did not specify on a ruling, Shafi’i posits that the consensus of Islamic scholars, also known as ijma, is needed. And where no consensus is met, qiyas is employed. Qiyas is analogical reasoning. To me, the Shafi’i school of thought makes sense as what better way to live your life as a Muslim than to follow the direct words of God and the examples set by His Messenger? But to be honest, living in a contemporary world and as a city Muslimah, I find myself following the other schools of thought sometimes. For example in the treatment of dogs. You can read about it here and see:

4) Despite the differences, all Muslims believe in the five pillars of faith:

i) Proclamation of faith

ii) Praying five times a day

iii) Giving charity

iv) Fasting during Ramadan

v) Pilgrimage to Mecca

So that’s essentially the basics of the faith. It’s a lot to take in if I were to go on and on. I mean, heck, even my not-in-video notes are too much to condense. I tried my best but there is a lot to know about the faith and even for myself, I’m still struggling to get a good grasp on it and I’m always learning about it.

And Allah knows best. – MM