I have received emails from an American Christian lady who is learning about Islam.
Since what I answer her might be of use to those with similar questions, I have asked her permission to share with you our exchanges here for the benefit of all.
Here are the contents of our online dialog:
I have been studying Islamic religious books and i find that some things need further explanation and what more better than to refer to the right person ie you!
I had the same questions and they are all answered in your reply to that chap in your blog link below. Thank you for that.
If it’s ok with you to accept another curious learner, do let me know if you could look in to my questions and hopefully provide me the answers so i can learn more about Islam.
I start with simple things i observe daily or that i have come across.
2) A friend mentioned Assalamualaikum is only meant among Muslims. the greeting cannot be said to non Muslims. Is this true?
3) I had a conversation with a Muslim Bangladeshi who works at an Indian Muslim restaurant. He says he as a Muslim can not be friends with non Muslims as taught by the Quran and insisted it is stated in the book. I decided to look for it and found this online. Is this what he was referring to and if so, Muslims are actually encouraged to do what is explained by the scholars in this link? i find it rather disturbing of a message to be said by God.
4) Why do females not attend Friday prayers?
5) What does the star and moon on every mosque represent?
These are the very basic questions i have been looking for answers. I will go more detailed as we go along. I have always tried asking Muslim friends but they always say the same answer ” i don’t know but there’s always an explanation”.
Thank you for your time and patience, looking forward to learn.
For all others of the 124,000 prophets and messengers of Allah, the salutation is ‘Alaihis Salam‘ which means ‘upon him be peace’. In general, we respect and honor each and every one of God’s prophets and messengers.
2. Not true. Assalamualaikum is the best form of greeting that we can give to one another as human beings. The prophets of Allah used to greet others with this greeting which means ‘Peace be upon you!’. This is called the standard ‘Salam‘.
Thus if a Non Muslim is to wish a Muslim with the Salam and says it with sincerity, the Muslim receiving the Salam is obliged to answer ‘Wa alaika’ which means ‘ and Upon you (as well)’. Depending upon the individual muslim, he or she is at liberty to answer in full ‘Wa’alaikumsalam‘ ~ ‘and (Upon you be peace) too!’
The Salam in actuality is a prayer. We wish the one whom we meet to be blessed with peace. Thus Islam is also known as the religion of peace because we wish well upon others.
The Muslim is encouraged to greet fellow Muslims with the longer version of the Salam which carries more prayers.
The one who receives such a Salam is enjoined to answer with ‘Wa’alaikumsalam Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh’.This is the best form of greeting and carries the meaning ‘And upon you be Peace with the Mercy and Blessings of Allah!’
Qatiloo allatheena layu/minoona billahi wala bilyawmial-akhiri wala yuharrimoona ma harramaAllahu warasooluhu wala yadeenoona deena alhaqqimina allatheena ootoo alkitaba hattayuAAtoo aljizyata AAan yadin wahum saghiroon
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.
Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
We need to take into account the varying circumstances with regards to the relations between those of us who areMuslims (Believers in Almighty Allah and carry out His Commandments and Way of Life Enjoined in the teachings of Al Islam) and the ones who are Kaffirs (Disbelievers in Allah the True God and live a life devoid of faith in Him and engage in idol worship, polytheism and commit such acts and practices which have been forbidden by the Almighty and goes against what He has decreed).