Questions of Faith, Part X

Here to give us a slightly different look at Islam is Ayesha. As always, feel free to post your questions here in the comments section.

What faith do you espouse?
I am of the religion known as Islam.

Who was the founder of your faith? When did he/she live?
The founder of our faith is Prophet Muhammed and he was born in 572 CE (I believe).

What are the sacred texts of your faith?>
The Koran.

What is the central teaching of your faith?>
The Koran is what we go by and also Hadiths (stories of the prophet).

How does your faith define sin? What are the major sins?
We don't take sins very lightly. A sin is a really bad thing that you have done. The major sins are having sex before marriage, drinking, eating pork or any pork product, and killing a person intentionally. Usually when you make the pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj or for Umra (the mini-Hajj), by the time you are done, you are just like a new born baby so any sin that you did in the past will be forgiven. Now, if you do the Umra and/or Hajj and then you do the same sins over and over again, then that means that you are going to be sentenced to hell.

Roughly how many adherents does your faith have?
Worldwide, I believe that there are 1.2 billion Muslims and we are still growing.

What does your faith teach about the afterlife? Is there heaven, and how do you get there?>
We do have an afterlife. Basically, we believe that our stay on earth is only temporary and the afterlife is for eternity. There is heaven and hell. After you die, you are sent up to God where he will question the things that you have done and if your good outweighs the bad, you go to heaven. If your bad outweigh the good, you go to hell. Heaven is paradise where you are transformed to your youth and you enjoy things like orange trees and date trees and milk rivers, whereas hell is fire and demons and the devil and bears and lions and snakes.

What are the practices of your faith? (Daily, weekly, etc.)
Practices of our faith is praying 5 times a day and also washing and cleansing yourself before each prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, reciting that there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is his messenger (the most important thing), paying charity, doing the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime. Also reading the Koran is a major practice.

How is your faith organized? Are there priests and bishops and archbishops (oh my!)?>
We don't have priests but we have people called Imams who lead us in prayer. They are very knowledgable about Islam and its practices.

Are there regular services available to you locally? If so, where?>
Yes, at the Islamic Center of Laramie located at the corner of 7th and Garfield.

How did you come to be a believer?>
By birth. My parents are Muslims and they taught me everything.

What do you wish others knew about your faith?
That Islam is a religion of peace and whatever is going on around the world, Muslims are very peaceful people. What happened on September 11th was an act of terrorism by a Muslim group but that doesn't mean that all Muslims are terrorists.


In other news:
Down below there is an update on those Lutino Macaws.


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