Noble Sanctuary Online Guide
Islam and the Noble Sanctuary
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Islam, Iman, Ihsan
"One day we were sitting in the
company of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon
him, when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white
clothes, his hair extraordinarily black. There were no signs
of travel on him. None of us recognized him. He sat with the
Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Resting his knees against
his and the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said, 'O Muhammad,
tell me about Islam'.
In this hadith related by 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, the basic aspects of the way of Muhammad are laid out. Islam is to observe the five pillars of Islam, which are the affirmation of the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, as well as the institutions of prayer, zakat, fasting and pilgrimage. Iman, or faith, requires belief in God, His angels, books, messengers, the divine destiny of good and evil, and the Day of Judgement. Ihsan, or excellence, is to worship God as though you see Him, knowing that He sees you.
These sciences, together with the study of the application of Qur'an and hadith to the needs of society, developed into a unified system of Sacred Law known as the Shari'a (the path leading to the source), governing all aspects of life. A great tradition of scholarship developed throughout the Muslim world for the study of Sacred Law and the religious sciences and many scholars travelled to Jerusalem to establish madrasas, religious schools, in and around the Sanctuary.
excerpt from The Noble Sanctuary: Al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem
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