The Message to Non-Muslims
By The LADO Group
What is the reason for this statement? Why do we need a message for non-Muslims? Why do we need a specific message to Latin Americans? In the first place, the purpose of being for the LADO Group (in English figures, Latin American Dawah Organization or The Organization for the Propagation of Islam to Latin Americans) is the propagation (or dawah) of Islam to any interested person. However, LADO’s emphasis is on teaching Islam to Latinos or Hispanics. Our basic mission is “… to promote Islam among the Latino community in the US and in our countries. We do this by becoming educated Muslims and working with other Muslims with such goals … “
Since the beginning of history, humanity has searched for the meaning of our existence – Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? Where did we come from? What happens after death? What is good and what is bad? Is there a supernatural world? What is the purpose of my creation? Islam gives answers to these and more questions. Let’s start with the basics of Islam.
Basic beliefs of Islam (Here)
Five pillars of Islam
1. The testimony of faith or the chaháda (šhahadah, شهادة) is the first of the five pillars of Islam. “Chaháda” means “witness” or “testify” in Arabic. The chahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and in Muhammad as his final prophet. The recitation of the chaháda is done publicly. It is said daily by Muslims. Saying this creed in public automatically makes one a Muslim. The statement goes:
أشهد أن] لا إله إلاَّ الله و [أشهد أن] محمد رسول الله]
“I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is his messenger.”
2. Prayer (Salat, صلاة) – The establishment of five mandatory prayers daily is the second pillar of the Islamic creed. It is the ritual prayer done by Muslims in supplication to God. In Arabic it is known as salát and in Spanish the azalá. The azallah is obligatory on all adult Muslims. In Central and South Asian languages such as Persian (from Iran), Urdu (from Pakistan), Hindi (from India) and several Turkish languages the prayer is commonly known by the term namaz (نماز).
The purpose of salát is above all to act as an individual’s communion with God. Prayer allows one to stand before God, thank and praise Him, and ask Him to show you the “straight path” (as mentioned in the opening chapter of the Qur’an “Suratul-Fatijah” which is recited in each I pray). Furthermore, the daily ritual prayers serve as a constant reminder to Muslims to be thankful for God’s blessings. It ensures that every Muslim gives Islam priority over all concerns, especially by turning his life around God and submitting to His will. The salát also serves as a formal method of remembrance of God.
The azala is also mentioned as a means of keeping the believer safe from moral deviation and social evil. (Quran 29:45):
Recite what has been revealed to you from Scripture! Make the azallah! The azala prohibits dishonesty and the reprehensible. But the remembrance of Allah is even more important. Allah knows what you do. “
3. Paying the obligatory tithe (Zakât, زكاة) or the azaque is the third of the five pillars of Islam. Refers to spending a fixed portion of your wealth, which is generally 2.5% of total savings, for the poor or needy, the people whose hearts need to be reconciled, the slaves, those who are in debt, those who are on the way. of God, and the travelers of the society. The basis of sazak is given in Qur’an 9: 103:
“Deduct an alms from their goods to cleanse and purify them with it! And pray for them! Your prayer calms them. Allah hears everything, knows everything. “
4. Fasting (Sawm, صوم) is refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and for the married, satisfying sexual needs from dawn to dusk in the month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is specifically mentioned in three consecutive verses of the Quran:
Believers! Fasting has been prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those who preceded you. Perhaps, thus, you fear Allah. (2: 183)
(Fasting for) counted days. And who of you is sick or traveling, an equal number of days. And those who, being able, do not fast will be able to redeem themselves by feeding the poor. And if one does good spontaneously, so much the better for him. But it is better for you to fast. If you only knew … (2: 184)
Es el mes de Ramadán, en que fue revelado el Corán como dirección para los hombres y como pruebas claras de la Dirección y del Criterio. Y quien de vosotros esté presente ese mes, que ayune en él. Y quien esté enfermo o de viaje, un número igual de días. Alá quiere hacéroslo fácil y no difícil. ¡Completad el número señalado de días y ensalzad a Alá por haberos dirigido! Quizás, así seáis agradecidos. (2:185)
The prohibitions during Ramadan include not eating, not drinking, and not having sexual intercourse between sunrise (fajr), and sunset (maghrib). During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, angry and / or sarcastic responses, and gossip. Muslims must go the extra mile to get along with each other more than normal. All indescent and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Purity of thought and action is important. Fasting is a deeply personal act of worship in which Muslims seek a level of closeness to God. The act of fasting directs the heart away from worldly activities and its purpose is to cleanse the soul and rid it of harm.
Fasting during Ramadan is not mandatory for various groups for whom it would be unduly troublesome. Boys before the onset of puberty are not required to fast, although some do. Also some young children fast for half the day instead of a full day so they learn how to fast. However, if puberty is delayed, fasting becomes mandatory for both males and females after a certain age. According to the Qur’an, if fasting is dangerous to health, for example people with a disease or a medical condition or certain people of legal age, they excuse them. For example, diabetics and pregnant or breastfeeding women are not expected to fast. According to the Hadith, observing the Ramadan fast is not allowed for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is generally considered acceptable not to fast are those who are in battle, and travelers who intend to spend less than five days away from home. If the condition preventing fasting is only temporary, it is required to make up the missed days after the month of Ramadan but before the next Ramadan arrives. If your condition is permanent or will be present for an extended amount of time, one can make up for the fast by feeding a person in need for each day that one misses the fast.
The Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fiter (عيد الفطر) marks the end of the Islamic fast of the month of Ramadan. Eid ul-Fiter is also known by other names throughout the Muslim world.
5. The pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca is called Hach (حج) and it is the fifth of the Islamic pillars. This is done during the Islamic lunar month of Zul-Hichah. It is mandatory once in a lifetime for every healthy Muslim who can do it.
Despite some physical difficulties, pilgrims who complete Hajj consider it one of the greatest spiritual experiences of their lives. Many Muslims regard Hajj as one of the great achievements of civilization because it brings together people from around the world and focuses it on a single goal: the worship of God without pretensions to race or social status.
The rites of Hajj have deep psychological significance for Muslims. The pilgrimage is generally a very profound experience for those who participate. When life is lived according to the precepts of religion and the mind is in suitable condition, the pilgrimage can transform the spirit of the individual.
Six Articles of Belief
In the Hadiths of Al-Muslim and Al-Bukari, Muhammad, the messenger of God, explains, “That (faith or al-Imam) is to affirm your faith in God (Allah), his angels, his holy books, his messengers and the last day, and to believe in divine destiny be it good or bad. “
The six articles of faith are:
1. The belief in God (Allah), the Only One. There is no one and nothing else worthy of worship (the concept of taujíd). Taujid (توحيد) means the unity of God. It is the most basic pillar on which all Islam rests. Such is the importance of the taujíd that the next chapter of the Qur’an (112) is said to be 1/3 of the scripture:
“ Say:« He is Allah, One!  God, the Eternal (on whom everything depends).  He has not begotten, nor has he been begotten.  And no one is like Him. “”
Fakhrud-Din Ibn Asakir, a prominent Islamic scholar, in his book Brilliance of the Minares wrote the following about the Sunni creed:
Know, direct us Allah, that it is obligatory upon every responsible person to know that Allah is the only God in His domain.
He created the entire world, the upper and the lower, the Arsh and the Kursiyy, the heavens and the earth, and what is in them and between them. (See al-Furqan chapter of the Qur’an, 2).
All creation is subjugated to His Power. No movement of speck happens except by His will. He has no manager for creation with Him, and He has no partner in His domain. (See Quran chapters al-An’am 110, at-Taubah 129, and Surat Az-Zumar 62).
They attribute him alive and He is the Qayyum (the Holder of all that exists). Sleep does not seize him or drowsiness (See Qur’an al-Baqarah chapter 255).
He is the one who knows about the hidden and unforeseen and what is evidenced by his creation. Nothing on earth or in heaven is hidden from Him. He knows what is on earth and in sea.
Not a leaf falls without Him knowing about it. There is no grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything that is wet or dry but is inscribed in a clear book. His knowledge encompasses everything. He knows the count of all things. (See the chapter of the Qur’an “the Geniuses” al-Jinn, 28).
He does what He wants. He has the power and energy to do what He wants. (See Quran chapters Suratul-Qaf 29 and Surat at-Takuir 29).
His domain belongs to Him and He needs none; Glory and omniscience belong to Him. He owns the decision and the creation. He has the names of perfection. No one hinders what He decreed. No one prevents what He gives. He does in His domain what He wants. He governs His creation with what He wants. (See Quran chapters al-Ma’idah 120, adh-Dhariyat 58, Surat Fussilat 12, ‘Ál `Imran 4, al-`Isra’ 23, Surat al-Qasas 68, adh-Dhariyat 56, and Surat Yunus 99).
He does not expect reward and does not fear punishment. (See Qur’an chapter adh-Dhariyat 57).
No one has a claim over Him, and no one rules over Him. Every endowment from Him is due to His generosity and every punishment from Him is just. He does not ask what He does, but He will ask others. (See Quran chapters al-`Anbiya ’23 and an-Nur 21).
He existed before creation. He doesn’t have a before or after. He does not have an above or a below, a right or a left, a front or a back, a set or a part (See Quran chapter ash-Shura 11).
It should not be said: Since when did He exist? Or Where is He? Or How is He? He existed without a place. He created the universe with his will created the existence of time. He is not limited to time and does not have a place.
Your management of one issue does not distract you from another. Disappointments do not apply to Him, and the mind does not encompass Him. He is not conceivable in the mind. It cannot be imagined or depicted with deception. He does not cling to disappointments or thoughts. (See al-Ikhlaas chapter of the Qur’an 112: 4, ash-Shura 11 and Yasin 82).
The goal of Muslims is to achieve perfection of worship. There is a very famous saying that we are told that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, gave us: that we should worship God as if we could see him. And, although we cannot see Him, we believe that He is in perpetual watch over us.
2. The belief in all the prophets and messengers of God is a standard of Islam. Islamic tradition dictates that God sent prophets to every nation. Every prophet, except for Muhammad (peace be upon him), was sent to convey God’s message to a specific group or a specific nation. Muhammad’s mission is one for the whole of humanity.
The concept of prophecy in Islam is broader than in Judaism and Christianity. Muslims distinguish between a “rasul” (a messenger) and a “nabi” (a prophet). Both are divinely inspired recipients of God’s revelation. However, the messengers are given a message for a community in the form of a book and, unlike the prophets, the success of the messengers is assured by God. While all messengers are prophets, not all prophets are messengers. All prophets are in high esteem and many are mentioned by name in the Quran. All the prophets received the wahi (revelation) from God. The revelations of the prophets who received a Charía (divine code for life) are collected and put together in the form of a holy book. These prophets are also messengers.
The first prophet is Adam and the last prophet is Muhammad. Many prophets have titles which are called or known that way. The title of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Seal of the Prophets. The title of Jesus (peace be upon him) is Messiah and Word of God. Jesus is considered a prophet like others before him. He is one of the greatest prophets and like many Christians, Muslims believe that he was the result of a miraculous birth. There are traditionally five prophets that are considered especially important in Islam: Noah (Nuh), Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), Jesus (Isa) and Muhammad. Together these special prophets are known as Ulul Azmi (or the Resolute). There are many incidents and narratives from the lives of many prophets mentioned in the Quran. The Qur’an has a special focus and rhetorical emphasis on the careers of the first four of these five important prophets. Of all the figures before Muhammad, Moses is the most frequently mentioned in the Qur’an.
Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet sent to mankind. He is the best example of the Muslim character. Much has been written about him. Everything written indicates that he was a sincere, truthful, wise, courageous, patient, humble, compassionate, pious, respectful, generous, patient, optimistic, and grateful man.
3. The belief in the Holy Scriptures (kutub) sent by God (including the Koran) is a fundamental doctrine of Islam. The Holy Scriptures are the expedients that were dictated by God to the prophets. They include the Suhuf-i-Ibrahim (the scrolls of Abraham), the Tawrat (the Torah), the Zabur (the Psalms), the Inyil (the Gospel), and the Qur’an.
4. Creencia en los ángeles. En el Corán, los ángeles se llaman “Malaa’ ikah” (la forma singular es malak, similar a la palabra en hebreo mal’ach). La creencia en ángeles es central al Islám. El Corán, por ejemplo, fue dictada al Profeta Mujammad (la paz sea con él) por el jefe de todos los ángeles, el arcángel Gabriel (Yibríl). Los ángeles son los agentes de la revelación en el Islám.
In Islam, angels are benevolent beings created from light and do not possess free will. They dedicate themselves totally to the worship of God and perform certain functions under His Order, such as recording every human action, putting a soul to the newborn child, maintaining certain environmental conditions of the planet (such as consolidation of vegetation and distributing rain) and taking the soul at the hour of death. Angels are described as being beautiful and having different numbers of wings (Gabriel is credited as having 600 wings in their natural form, for example). They have no gender. They can take on human form but only in appearance. As such, angels do not eat, procreate, or commit sin as human beings do.
According to most Islamic scholars, angels are incapable of sin and therefore cannot fall from the grace of God. Satan, who is described as a fallen angel by Christians, is considered a separate entity made of fire. These creations are called geniuses. Geniuses, such as Satan, can choose to do wrong because they have free will like human beings. In Islam, Satan is not considered a fallen angel. The following verse of the Qur’an indicates this succinctly:
And when we said to the angels: ‘Bow down to Adam!’ They prostrated themselves, except Iblis (Satan), who was one of the geniuses and disobeyed the order of his Lord. ” (Surat al-Kahf, 18:50).
Angels, unlike the fiery nature of jinn, are beings of quality and cannot choose to disobey God, nor do they possess the ability to do evil.
Angels have various functions. Archangel Gabriel is credited with sending God’s message to all the prophets (including the Psalms, the Torah, other books of the Bible, and the Qur’an). Other angels include Michael unloading control of vegetation and rain, Sarafiel (Israfil) will blow the trumpet on the Day of Judgment (Resurrection Day), and Azrael, the angel of death. The angels Nakir and Munkar are assigned to interrogate the dead before Judgment Day; and there are nineteen angels who fearlessly oversee the punishments of hell (Surat al-Muddazzir, 74:30). There are eight massive angels that serve as pillars of the Throne of God (Surat al-Haaqqa, 69:17). Each human being is assigned two angels to write a record of all the actions done by the individual throughout his life,
Human beings do not become angels after death as is commonly thought today. People will be resurrected physically with body and soul to be judged by God on the Day of Judgment. This brings us to our next point.
5. Belief in the Day of Judgment and in the resurrection (life after death). The day called Yaum al-Quiyamah (يوم القيامة literally “day of resurrection”) is the Last Judgment in Islam. The belief in Quíyámah is a fundamental doctrine of the Islamic faith. The trials and tribulations associated with it are detailed in the Qur’an and Hadith. There are many comments from Islamic expositors and school authorities such as al-Ghazali, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Majah, Mujammad al-Bukari, and Ibn Kuzaimah who explain Quyámah in detail. All people, whether Muslim or not, are responsible for their deeds and are judged equally by Allah (God) (see Qur’an 74.38). The Quíyámah is also the name of the 75th Surata (chapter) of the Qur’an.
Quiyamah is known by many names. It is called “Day of Resurrection” in the Holy Quran 71:18. It is also known as “the Hour” (Quran 31:34, 74:47), the “Day of Counting” (Quran 72: 130), “Day of Gathering,” “Day of Reckoning,” and “Day of Punishment. ”(Quran 74: 9).
In a time unknown to man but predetermined, when people do not expect it, Allah will give permission for Quyámah to begin. The archangel Israfil, designated the Caller, will sound a trumpet sending a “Blast of Truth” (Quran 50: 37-42, 69: 13-18, 74: 8, 78:18). This event is also found in the Bible and is known as “Chofar Blowing Day” found in Ezekiel 33: 6.
The Qur’an mentions the duration of the Quyámah Day as 50,000 years. Maulana Muhammad Ali interprets this verse (ayat) as, “… One day of man’s spiritual advancement is described as being equal to fifty thousand years to demonstrate the immense greatness of that advancement. Or, the day of fifty thousand years may be the day of the final triumph of Truth in the world, from the time when revelation was first granted by man. “
During the trial, the man or woman’s book of facts will be opened, and they will be informed of every action they did and every word they said (Quran 54: 52-53). Actions taken during childhood are not judged. The factual account is so detailed that the person will be in awe of how comprehensive the account is. Even minor and trivial facts are included. When the Hour begins, some will deny that the Day of Quíyámah is occurring and will be warned that the Quíyámah precedes the Day of Sorrow (Qur’an 30: 55-57, 19:39). If one denies an act that he has committed, or refuses to acknowledge it, the parts of their bodies will testify against him.
Through judgment, however, the underlying principle is one of complete and perfect justice administered by Allah. The accounts of the judgment are also filled with emphasis that Allah is merciful and forgives, and that mercy and forgiveness will be granted on that day as it is due.
The coming of the Majdi (“the divinely directed”) will precede the second coming of Jesus (‘Isa). Islamic scholars agree that Jesus and the Majdi will work together to fight evil in the world and cement justice on earth.
“Although the entire duration of the existence of the world has already been exhausted and there is only one day before Quíyáma (Day of Judgment), Allah will extend that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my family (Ajlul Bayt) may he be called by my name. He will then fill the earth with peace and justice as it will have been filled with injustice and tyranny before then. ” Sajih Tirmizi, V2, P86, V9, P74-75.
6. Belief in destiny (fate) (Qadar). Qadar is generally translated as “destiny.” It is a representation of the belief called al-qada wal-qadar in Arabic. The phrase means “divine decree and predestination.” This phrase reflects the Muslim belief that God has measured each person’s life, their portion in life whether good or bad, and whether they will follow the righteous and godly path or not. This is why when Muslims refer to the future, they will say the phrase “Incha’Aláh,” or “by the will of God.” This is also found in Spanish – “hopefully” and “if God wants.” The phrase recognizes that human knowledge of the future is limited and that everything that can or cannot happen is under God’s control.
Muslims believe that divine destiny was recorded on the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawhul-Mahfuz) by God and that everything that has happened and will happen and that will come to pass is written. Many non-Muslim people have a problem with this concept because it is misunderstood. According to this belief, the action of a person is not caused by what is written on the Preserved Tablet but the action is written on the Preserved Tablet because God knows what the person will do and what the nature of the person will cause it to do.
Another perspective claims that God is the All-Knowing and therefore has wisdom of all possible futures. With divine power, God then judges what future will be allowed and man’s choice is among those God-approved possibilities.
Is Islam an Arab religion?
Only about 12% of the Muslims in the world are Arab. There are more Muslims in Indonesia, for example, than in all the Arab countries combined. There are large populations of Muslims also in India, China, other parts of Asia, and in Africa. There are also significant Muslim populations in Europe.
Arabs belong to various religions including Islam, Christianity, the Druces, Judaism or others. There are other distinctions within each of these groups. Some religious groups have also developed new identities and practices of faith outside of the Middle East. One has to be careful to distinguish religion from culture. Although the Arabs are connected by language and culture, they have diverse religions. Some of the common ideas about Arabs is to think that Arab traditions are Islamic, or that Islam unites all Arabs. Most Arabs are Muslims but most Arabs in American countries are Catholic or Orthodox Christians, for example. However, in some areas, the majority are Muslim.
Islam and terrorism
When a gunman attacks a mosque in the name of Judaism, an Irish Catholic guerrilla sets a bomb in an urban area, or when Orthodox Serbs rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these acts are not used to stereotype an entire religion. These acts are never attributed to the religion of the authors. With all this, how many times have we heard the words ‘Islamic terrorists’ or ‘Muslim fundamentalist’ etc. linked to violence?
It should be clear that using the terms “Muslim terrorist” or “Islamic terrorist” or whatever is an oxymoron. A Muslim who kills innocent people is doing a huge sin. The very phrase is offensive and degrading to Islam. It must be avoided. When the general level of knowledge and understanding about Islam is increased, it is expected that people will keep the words “terrorism” and “Islam” separate from each other.
The Holy Quran, the word of God, teaches us many things about respect for human life:
“Do not kill anyone that God has forbidden, except for the right reason. If someone is killed without reason, we give authority to his close relative, but that this one does not exceed in revenge. It will help you. ” Holy Quran 17:33
“If, on the contrary, they incline towards peace, lean towards it too! And trust in Allah! He is the All-Hearing One, the All-Knowing One. ” Holy Quran 8:61
“Anyone who kills a person who has not killed or corrupted anyone on earth, would be as if they had killed all Humanity. And anyone who saved a life, would be as if they had saved the lives of all Humanity. Our envoys they came to them with clear proofs, but despite them, many committed excesses on earth. ” Quran 5:32
If one analyzes the situation, the question that must matter is: Is it true that the teachings of Islam encourage terrorism? The answer: Certainly and absolutely not! Islam unequivocally prohibits terrorist acts that are carried out by some deviant people. They are totally against the rules of Islam. It must be remembered that all religions have deviant sects and misguided followers. So it is his teachings that must be examined, not the actions of some individuals.
Muslims and the press
In many cases, the press seems to prefer to publish images of people who seem different or exotic. In trying to get a more interesting picture, they try to accentuate the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims. There is really a lot of variety among Muslims. Most Muslims outside the Middle East, for example, do not wear traditional clothing. This is also the case in the Middle East.
So there is also the problem of what they make out as news. Often times, it is the opinions of certain people that count as news. Some of these people include “experts” with an agenda. This is particularly the case since September 11, 2001. What Muslims would like to see in the press is fairness, accuracy, and accountability.
Like many groups, Muslims say reporters stay away unless there is a problem or if there is an international crisis to which they want a reaction. This keeps people out of sight except when there is a problem. The solution is to cover Muslim communities constantly and continually paying attention to what this community says is meaningful. In such a case, reporters can offer deeper and more comprehensive coverage. An example of this is the increase in hate crimes against Muslims and the destruction of mosques throughout the world. But this is barely reported to the news.
Andalusia (Islamic Spain)
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to those parts of the Iberian peninsula ruled by the Muslims from the year 711 to 1492. It refers to the mayor’s office (ca. 711-740), the emirate (750-929), the caliphate de Córdoba (929-1031) and the taifa.
Before the arrival of the Moors, King Rodrigo’s rivals had joined forces with the Aryans (followers of Aryan; an ancient Christian sect) and Jews fleeing forced conversions at the hands of the Catholic bishops who controlled the Goth monarchy. The Egyptian historian Ibn Abdul Hakim says that Rodrigo’s vassal, Julian, the Count of Ceuta had sent one of his daughters to the court of the Goths in Toledo to educate her and that Rodrigo had impregnated her. After learning of this, he went to Qayrawan (present-day Tunis) and enlisted the help of Musa ibn Nusayr, the Muslim governor in North Africa. Personal politics may have played a larger part, as Julian or other notable families were extremely unhappy with the existing state in the realm of the Goths. In exchange for land in Spain, Julian promised ships to carry Ibn Nusayr’s troops through the Strait of Hercules (the Strait of Gibraltar). So the ‘invasion’ was really an invitation.
Under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad, a small force landed in Gibraltar on April 30, 711 CE. After a decisive victory at the Battle of Guadalete on July 19, 711, Tariq ibn Ziyad was able to bring most of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim occupation in a seven-year campaign. They moved northeast through the Pyrenees and entered France but were defeated by the Frankish Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 732. The Iberian peninsula, with the exception of the kingdom of Asturias, became part of the Arabian empire Umayo, under from the name al-Andalus or Andalusia in Spanish. This was the beginning of almost eight centuries of Islamic rule in Spain from 711 to 1492. However, the direct influence of the Muslims in Spain lasted until at least 1614.
However, control of Spain did not remain in the hands of the Spanish Muslims. The Christian reconquest of Spain slowly took over. In 1236 the Christian reconquest carried out the conquest of the last Islamic stronghold of Granada under Mohammed ibn Alhamar from the Christian forces of Ferdinand III of Castile. After this, Granada became a vassal state to the Christian kingdom for the next 250 years. On January 2, 1492 the last Muslim leader Boabdil (Abu Abdiláh) of Granada handed over his complete control of the last Muslim stronghold to Ferdinand and Isabella, “Los Reyes Católicos.” The Portuguese reconquest culminated in 1249 with the domination of the Algarve (al-Gharb in Arabic which means the extreme west) by Afonso III.
At first, the remaining Muslims were promised the right to practice their religion freely. These Muslims were called Mudejars, which comes from the Arabic word Mudayyar (it means domesticated or manzo and was used for Muslims under Christian control or law). In 1499 a Cardinal from Spain, Ximénez de Cisneros, arrived in Granada and soon applied strong pressure to Muslims to become Christians. About 50,000 in Granada were forced by Cardinal Cisneros to baptisms and conversions. They were given the choice: either convert or leave. Many decided to leave but could not take their property. These refugees went to various parts of the world including the Americas (see below), various countries in North Africa, Mali, Sicily and Turkey. Soon after, there was an uprising now known as the first rebellion of the Alpujarras. In 1526 the Inquisitor General moved to Granada to make matters worse. But the process dragged on for many years with many Muslims feigning conversion (tachy) to survive. They were called Moriscos. Those who rejected the options of baptism or deportation to Africa were systematically eliminated.
Serious uprisings began in the mountains of the Alpujarras (this name comes from the Arabic language and means mountain region) near Granada. An uprising was so long and they fought so well that Philip II of Spain finally had to call in Austrians to put an end to it. What followed was a massive exodus of Jews, Muslims and Gypsies from Granada. They left the city and the villages into the mountain regions (and their surrounding hills) and into the rural countryside. Over time, Cisneros said that “Now there is no one in the city who is not a Christian, and all the mosques are now churches.” Finally, between 1609 and 1614, Spain issued expulsion orders to the Moriscos. Only six percent could be allowed to stay, most of whom were children and their mothers. Most, some 250,000 to 500. 000 of Moriscos were expelled. The Muslims in Spain were never heard of until recently. Today, the descendants of the Moriscos in Morocco still have the keys to the old houses they left behind in Spain.
Islam in Latin America
Islam came to the Americas via three routes. The first, which is debatable, was before Columbus. The second was the immigration of refugees escaping the Catholic Inquisition. The third was the bringing in of Muslim slaves, mostly Africans.
In his book, “They Came Before Columbus,” Professor Ivan Van Sertima argues that African and Arab Muslims or others knew of the Americas before Columbus determined to search for the Indies. In fact, he offers intriguing facts to argue his point such as linguistic cues within indigenous languages. The Taino Indians of Hispaniola (today the Dominican Republic and Haiti) reported that a people with black skin had come previously before Columbus. They came with spears with a metal alloy called gua-nin. The alloy was found to have a composition similar to those found in the African nation of Guinea. The very word, gua-nin, appears to have come from one of the West African tribes, possibly the Fula, Mandingo, Bambara, Mande, Kabunga, or others who share linguistic features.
Van Sertima or others also argue that cultural diffusion was facilitated because many indigenous people were not so different from Muslim explorers, allowing more than one wife, being very religious but at the same time tolerant, and wanting to learn new things. Some tribes are even said to have worn turbans and hijab dresses in the style of Muslim women. In fact, the myth of the god Quetzalcoatl who will return from a distant land in the west may have been inspired by Muslim explorers. Quetzalcoatl was described as being white or wearing white clothing (there are various, many contradictory traditions regarding this – white was and is a commonly worn clothing color by Muslims) and having a beard (which is a strange description since many tribes Indians are literally hairless).
Moorish Muslims came to the Americas escaping the inquisition. Many came absolutely legal as a lot were forced to convert to Catholicism. At first, their conversions were thought of as genuine and that is the reason they were allowed to travel. Later, his travels were restricted because many of the conversions were bogus conversions or conversions made to survive (tachy). Since 1503, Nicolás de Ovando, the royal governor of Hispaniola, asked Queen Isabela to ban slaves with knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish, specifically Jews and Muslims, who “were a source of scandal to the Indians and some their owners had fled ”to establish Cimarrones communities in the mountains. In 1543, a royal decree was passed prohibiting gypsies, Jews, Moors and Protestants from immigrating to the New World. In 1574, The Royal Laws and Ordinances of the Ocean Sea Indies insisted that “all Berber slaves, male and female, and Moors newly converted to Christianity, including their children, must be expelled from the Indies.” After such laws were enacted to prevent the free movement of people, Muslims came to the Americas illegally. The dissemination of these laws indicates that a significant number of Mudejars already lived in the Spanish colonies. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom. The Royal Laws and Ordinances of the Indies of the Ocean Sea insisted that “all Berber slaves, male and female, and Moors recently converted to Christianity, including their children, must be expelled from the Indies.” After such laws were enacted to prevent the free movement of people, Muslims came to the Americas illegally. The dissemination of these laws indicates that a significant number of Mudejars already lived in the Spanish colonies. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom. The Royal Laws and Ordinances of the Indies of the Ocean Sea insisted that “all Berber slaves, male and female, and Moors recently converted to Christianity, including their children, must be expelled from the Indies.” After such laws were enacted to prevent the free movement of people, Muslims came to the Americas illegally. The dissemination of these laws indicates that a significant number of Mudejars already lived in the Spanish colonies. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom. they must be expelled from the Indies. ” After such laws were enacted to prevent the free movement of people, Muslims came to the Americas illegally. The dissemination of these laws indicates that a significant number of Mudejars already lived in the Spanish colonies. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom. they must be expelled from the Indies. ” After such laws were enacted to prevent the free movement of people, Muslims came to the Americas illegally. The dissemination of these laws indicates that a significant number of Mudejars already lived in the Spanish colonies. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom. Many of these Muslims were aided by their Christian countrymen due to their superior naval knowledge. In a world hungry for knowledge, they were frequently sought after for their wisdom.
The Spanish administration brought to the New World a fanatical fascination with race. They called these Breeds. The so-called pure-blooded Spaniards were almost guaranteed positions or access to them but anyone of mixed blood had their chances limited. Various ethnic groups were viewed as dangerous, immoral, uncivil, and prone to sin. Gradually, a system of racial classification developed. They included common terms like mulatto and mestizo. The racial categories, however, also included Moriscos, albinos (the descendants of a Moorish father and a Spanish father), wolves (the descendants of various races) as well as several others that included the blood of Moors. The caste or racial system was systematized in the 16th and 17th centuries,
Various slaves also reinforced the Islamic culture hidden in the early colonization of the New World. Berbers, Moors, and Africans came to the Americas in chains. Of the African Muslims, several tribal groupings survived the treacherous migration to the Americas. Some such tribes were the Mandingos, the Hausas, the Bambaras, the Yorubas, the Mandes, the Kabungas, the Kanban, the Torankas, and you see them to name just a few. Royal laws and decrees were also enacted to prevent particular African Muslim tribes from coming to the Americas due to their unpleasant influence (to the Spanish) on other African slaves. Many of the slave rebellions that occurred in the colonies were due to these African Muslims organizing for their freedom.
Unfortunately, the Islamic practices of slaves, ‘New Christians’ and free castes were suppressed. Centuries of regularized assaults on the religious convictions of these people made it difficult to transmit Islamic knowledge step by step from generation to generation. Until recently, with the immigration of Muslims to the Americas again, knowledge of an Islamic distinction was lost. Some peculiar Islamic cultural keepings (such as the prohibition of eating the pig among certain people, the use of the kerchief and mantilla, going to church on Fridays, etc.) could remain until today. However, the eradication of Islam took centuries and the memory of Islam did not fade in a short time. As late as 1835, African Muslims from Brazil (known as Malis) led the largest slave rebellion in the Americas that culminated in more than 500 sentenced to death, imprisonment, flogging, and deportation. As late as 1910, the Brazilian government counted an estimated 100,000 African Muslims living there.
How did Islam benefit us and influence our lives today?
Various inventions and cultural innovations came to the West via the Muslims. This happened particularly in Spain where students from around Europe came to study. The idea of school graduation that we enjoy when we finish studying is an imitation of the learned Arabs even with the cap and gown. Another novelty was the use of symbols for numbers instead of the clumsy Roman system of letters. These symbols were adopted from India and recast by the Muslims. We can thank the Muslims for the use of paper. It was still invented by the Chinese, it was the Muslims who spread its use throughout the world. Who doesn’t get up in the morning to the smell of coffee? Some people cannot sustain themselves through the day without a drink of it. The use of coffee is a particularly ‘Saracen’ habit that the world has yet to recognize. A host of diverse topics never heard of in Europe were studied: zoology, sociology, algebra, and many more thanks to the Muslims. One notable effect in Europe that helped bring about the renaissance was the translation and transmission of the philosophical ideas and classical ideas of ancient Greece (and of India and China). The Muslims also brought foreign foods (fruits and vegetables) and spices to Europe. The list of things they did and brought to Europe is huge and can go on and on. They were directly responsible for bringing Europe out of the dark ages and into the renaissance that instead brought us to the industrial revolution and the modern age. A host of diverse topics never heard of in Europe were studied: zoology, sociology, algebra, and many more thanks to the Muslims. One notable effect in Europe that helped bring about the renaissance was the translation and transmission of the philosophical ideas and classical ideas of ancient Greece (and of India and China). The Muslims also brought foreign foods (fruits and vegetables) and spices to Europe. The list of things they did and brought to Europe is huge and can go on and on. They were directly responsible for bringing Europe out of the dark ages and into the renaissance that instead brought us to the industrial revolution and the modern age. A host of diverse topics never heard of in Europe were studied: zoology, sociology, algebra, and many more thanks to the Muslims. One notable effect in Europe that helped bring about the renaissance was the translation and transmission of the philosophical ideas and classical ideas of ancient Greece (and of India and China). The Muslims also brought foreign foods (fruits and vegetables) and spices to Europe. The list of things they did and brought to Europe is huge and can go on and on. They were directly responsible for bringing Europe out of the dark ages and into the renaissance that instead brought us to the industrial revolution and the modern age. One notable effect in Europe that helped bring about the renaissance was the translation and transmission of the philosophical ideas and classical ideas of ancient Greece (and of India and China). The Muslims also brought foreign foods (fruits and vegetables) and spices to Europe. The list of things they did and brought to Europe is huge and can go on and on. They were directly responsible for bringing Europe out of the dark ages and into the renaissance that instead brought us to the industrial revolution and the modern age. One notable effect in Europe that helped bring about the renaissance was the translation and transmission of the philosophical ideas and classical ideas of ancient Greece (and of India and China). The Muslims also brought foreign foods (fruits and vegetables) and spices to Europe. The list of things they did and brought to Europe is huge and can go on and on. They were directly responsible for bringing Europe out of the dark ages and into the renaissance that instead brought us to the industrial revolution and the modern age.
Other ways they influenced us, specifically people of Hispanic descent, is by culture and language. After 400 years of hearing from the last Moors, many Hispanics can still take pride in knowing that they are of Arabian descent as many of their last names tell us. Ancient Arabic names still survive with us, for example: Alameda (al-Muwatta), Baez (Bayás), Cid (Sayyid), Guadalupe (Wadi al-Lupus), Medina (Madinah), Toledo (Tulíta), etc. There are dozens of Arabic surnames. We also have customs that are (or were) Muslim customs, for example, the sayings and sayings’ my house is your house, ” olé !, ” go with God, ” God willing, ” hopefully, ‘ etc. Concepts of the Moors were also dispersed to our culture such as the idea of ’shame’ that comes from the Arabic idea “’ar. ”Other concepts of measurements such as the arrelde and the at sign come directly from Muslim usage (ar-Ratl and ar-Rub’ah). Still many believe that we are inventing this link, really where would we be without the Muslims?
Hispanic Muslims Today
There is a lot of variety among Latin American Muslims. Most choose Islam as a way of life because they see that there is no complexity in praying directly to God rather than in between. If you ask a Hispanic Muslim, “Why do you practice Islam?” they will tell you ‘because it’s the truth.’ Conversion is personal and there may be various reasons that influence the decision why someone chooses Islam.
Islam has a very long history among the Hispanics we have touched. Today there are approximately six million Muslims in Latin America. There are an estimated 1.5 million in Brazil or another million in Argentina. The rest are around Latin American countries. In the US, there are an estimated 100-200 thousand Latino Muslims. Among Hispanic Muslims there are converts and children of converts. There are also Muslims who are the children of Muslim immigrants from various countries.
Islam is a brotherhood – a brotherhood of believers. Islam is a universal brotherhood that transcends everything (see surata al-Huyurat 49:10). Islam is the truth. Furthermore, Islam is a guide and a mercy from God to all humanity. Islam teaches truth, justice, mercy, unity and equality (see Holy Quran 112: 1-4, 17:54, 59:10, and 16:97 respectively). The imperative of Islam is simple: belief in One God and obeying Him, the brotherhood of all humanity, justice and the protection of human rights.
In conclusion, this message is an invitation to Islam – an invitation for a better world. This message is not only for Latin Americans – this message is for all humanity. All problems in the world today (drug addiction, promiscuity, poverty, theft, corruption, etc.) have their solution with Islam. Look at your heart – are you missing something? Discover Islam – it can help you feel more complete. This message comes from our Creator – He does not need us but we are always in need of Him.
“Men! You are the ones in need of Allah (God), while Allah is the Self-Sufficient, the Praiseworthy. “Holy Qur’an 35:15.
Al-Djazairi, SE, “The Hidden Debt to Islamic Civilization” Bayt Al-Hikma Press 2005 ISBN # 0-9551156-1-2
Boyd Thatcher, John, “Christopher Columbus, His Life, His work, His Remains” GP Putnam & Sons 1903
Esposito, John L., “Islam: The Straight Path” Ed. Oxford University Press 2005
Esposito, John L., “Oxford Dictionary of Islam” Ed. Oxford University Press. 2003.
Gomez, Michael, “Black Crescent: The Experience and Legacy of African Muslims in the Americas” New York University Press, ISBN # 0-521-60079- 0
Harvey, Leonard Patrick, “Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. ISBN 0-226-31962-8.
Kennedy, Hugh, “Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus” Longman 1996 ISBN 0-582-49515-6
Latino American Dawah Organization, www.LatinoDawah.org and www.HispanicMuslims.com
Lovejoy, Paul E, “Muslim Encounters with Slavery in Brazil”, New York University, ISBN # 1-55876-378-3
Luscombe, David, “The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 4”, Cambridge University Press 2004 ISBN # 0-521-41411-3
Manuela, Marin, “The Formation of Al-Andalus: History and Society”, Ashgate 1998 ISBN 0-86078-708-7
Menocal, Maria Rosa, “Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain”, Back Bay Books 2002 ISBN 0-316-16871-8
Netanyahu, Benzion, “The Origins Of The Inquisition In Fifteenth Century Spain” Random House, Inc. 1995 ISBN 0-679-41065-1
Olson, Christa Johanna, “The Construction and Depiction of Race in Colonial Mexico”, http://institutohemisferico.org
Reis, Joao Jose, “Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia” John Hopkins University Press, London 1993
Sanchez-Albornoz, Claudio, “The Islam of Spain and the West” Madrid 1974
Saudi Aramco World, “The Islamic Connection” May / June 2004 www.SaudiAramcoWorld.com
Saudi Aramco World, “The Second Flowering: Art of the Mudejars”, January / February 1993, www.SaudiAramcoWorld.com
Van Buren, Thomas, “Transnational Music and Dance in the Dominican Republic”
Van Sertima, Ivan, “The Came Before Columbus” Random House 2003