Sept 21: An Overview of Islam, the Religion of Love and Mercy

islamIslam is the most misunderstood and maligned of all the major religious traditions. It is mentioned in western media primarily in the context of violent conflict and terrorism. As a result, awareness of the true essence of Islam has been lost. This presentation elucidates the core of Islam, including its sacred practices and spirituality. A brief history of Islam is first presented as background, including description of the origins, key writings, and major sects. Links are provided for slides elaborating on these and other key aspects of Islam.

Core. The core of Islam is the love and mercy of God. God says in the Quran, “My Mercy encompasses everything.” There are 114 chapters in the Quran. All but one start with this sentence: “In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.” One of the best means by which a person can obtain God’s mercy is to be merciful with the creations of God, including all people, all living creatures, and all that we interact with in the universe, like plants, rivers, mountains, earth, moon, and stars. Islamic practices and spirituality revolve around these concepts.

Practices. There are two types of religious practices in Islam: 1) the rituals described in the Five Pillars of Islam: declaration of faith; obligatory daily prayer; compulsory giving; fasting in the month of Ramadan; and pilgrimage to Mecca; and 2) religious observances in day to day matters, like cleanliness, family, food, drinks, gender interactions, honest living, business dealings and interaction with other creations of God. Practices are complementary to inner spirituality, providing the practical means to grow internal faith and manifest it. But the Quran warns that mere adherence to religious practices without a deep sense of love and devotion to the divine is hypocrisy; the practices must go hand-in-hand with a deep spirituality.

Spirituality. Islam wants us to mold our entire personality based on the internal realization of self as servant of God, our master and the ultimate object of our awareness. Ultimately the goal of every faithful Muslim is to always be connected to the divine. The prophet has said “Pray as if you see your lord, for if you do not see Him, He truly is seeing you.” This deep and fervent connection to the divine is the basis of Islamic spirituality.

The presenter is Hadi Abdulmatin. Hadi hails from India. He is student of Islam and comparative religion. He acquired Islamic knowledge primarily from his father who was an Islamic Scholar, and he is well-schooled in a number of Islamic disciplines. He came to Colorado in 2000 and has made it his home. He lives in Boulder County with his wife and three daughters.

Where: Center for Spiritual Living Boulder Valley, 107 E. Geneseo St, Lafayette, CO
When: September 21, 2017; 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
More info: contact Dr. Jay Burch, 720-917-9303, jayburch333@gmail.com
Refreshments will be provided.