In the name of Allah, the Most Glorious, the Most merciful.
Alhamdulillah, all praises are to Allah, with help from many people, we can complete this frequently asked questions about being a Muslim in Logan. If you were new to the Center or Islam, kindly spend a time to read this document so you will have general ideas about the Center and Muslim. It is also beneficial for you to refer to our Islamic Terminologies (http://www.loganisc.org/islamic-terminologies) while reading the document. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
These are the frequently asked questions about visiting the Center:
- What are the differences between Islam and Muslim?
- What does it mean to be a Muslim?
- Did the meaning (of being a Muslim) change after we came to Logan?
- Are all Muslims Arabs?
- Can all Muslims speak Arabic?
- How do you become a Muslim?
- Can you practice your religion in Logan?
- What are the challenges in practicing your religion?
- Can you find Halal food in Logan?
- Where do your children go to school?
- What should I know if I wish to invite you to eat?
- Do Muslim women have more freedom in Logan, or the US - in general?
- Can you find Islamic attire in Logan?
- How do the people of Logan treat you?
- What are the most common misconceptions about Islam that you want people to know?
What are the differences between Islam and Muslim?
The word Islam refers to the religion, and Muslim refers to the people who embrace Islam as their religion. The religion and the people are not the same, which is why we have these two words. By understanding the people, does not mean knowing the religion, and vice versa. If one wants to learn about Islam, one must read the Qur’an and hadith i.e. the saying and actions of Muhammad (Peace Be Unto Him - PBUH).
What does it mean to be a Muslim?
The word Muslim in Arabic means someone who submits to the will and laws of Allah’. The word Allah in Arabic means God. The consequence of this submission is profound because Islam is a way of life. As a Muslim, we believe that everything in this world happens because of Allah’s permission, either it is good or bad. We believe that Allah knows everything that occurs in this world, what is inside our heart, and who we are. Allah has angels, and one of them is on our left side and another is on our right side, making a note of our good and evil deeds (https://islamqa.info/en/6523), and Muslims are aware of this. Islam provides guidelines for interacting with Allah, parents, family, brothers and sisters in Islam, and people in general. Islam also prohibits a Muslim to be excessive in practicing the religion. A Muslim must be a functioning part of society. Read more at https://islamqa.info/en/124611/.
Did the meaning (of being a Muslim) change after we came to Logan?
No, it does not change at all. Allah is our God, and Muhammad (PBUH) is His messenger. The teaching of Islam is applicable everywhere at any time regardless of geographic location.
Are all Muslims Arabs?
Islam is not Arab. The Qur’an uses the Arabic language, but you do not need to be an Arab to become a Muslim. It also does not mean that being a Muslim will make you an Arab. Different from the other Prophets (e.g., Abraham, Solomon, Noah, and Jesus), Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent for all humanity. He (PBUH) said: “Every other Prophet was sent only to his people, whereas I have been sent to all mankind.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî], which explains why Muslims are everywhere, and it reflects in our community – here in Logan. We have brothers and sisters in Islam from all around the world, such as America, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.
Can all Muslims speak Arabic?
No, not all of them can speak Arabic. However, it is our responsibility to learn how to read the Qur’an in Arabic. So most of us, if not all, can read Arabic.
How do you become a Muslim?
To become a Muslim, you must testify that you believe there is no Deity but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, which is called the "shahada" or the declaration of faith. After that, you just need to learn more about Islam and incorporate its teaching in your life.
Can you practice your religion in Logan?
Praises all to Allah, yes, we can. As a Muslim, we need to pray five times a day, and, fortunately, we usually do not face any issues in performing prayers. We heard reports that some supervisors allow our brothers and sisters to pray in their office. We also heard that people were praying in the park during their outdoor activities. However, we do face some challenges in practicing our religion.
What are the challenges in practicing your religion?
There are two biggest challenges, which are: interests and food.
Islam is a way of life. It provides guidelines to live our everyday activities. There are some subcultures in this country that contradict the Islamic teachings, such as consuming alcoholic beverages and having sexual activities prior to marriage. Some of these subcultures are very prominent. Moving against mainstream cultures are not easy for adults and, especially, children.
Managing halal food is one of the most prominent challenges in the USA, such as food processed without gelatin or vanilla extract. As Muslims, Allah has prohibited us from consuming certain types of foods, such as land carnivores, land carcasses, land animals that are not slaughtered in the name of Allah, pork, alcohol, and its’ derivatives (e.g., broth, or vanilla extracts that use alcohol during the process), which are commonly known as Haram food.
Can you find Halal food in Logan?
Sometimes we could found imported halal meat at Sam’s Club, but it is expensive. Some of us decided only to consume seafood; others will go to a halal market in Salt Lake City or slaughter the animals themselves.
Where do your children go to school?
Our kids go to the same school as other children. Each family is responsible for teaching their children about Islam. Most families face challenges related to culture and food.
What should I know if I wish to invite you to eat?
Providing halal foods is the best approach. However, since there is some easiness related to food rulings (i.e., fatwa or Islamic scholars’ opinions), and each Muslim follows different opinions, it is also a good idea to discuss your menu with your guests.
Do Muslim women have more freedom in Logan, or the US - in general?
As explained earlier, the behavior of Muslims does not always reflect the teachings of Islam. In Islam, it is clear that the leader of a family is the father. Islam acknowledges that males and females are different. They have different needs, rights, and responsibilities. Therefore, Islam also provides some different rulings, most of those give protection to women. Islam protects women rights. In Islam, the husband must protect and provide (i.e., food, shelter, and love) for his wife. If the wife have money, then the husband has no right towards it. About the head cover for women, it is mandatory for Muslim women to cover themselves appropriately. However, no one can force them to do so, which is why sometimes you can see Muslim women who do not wear a headscarf. However, please note that if a country or a family member has their ruling, it is their prerogative.
Can you find Islamic attire in Logan?
In Islam, we have rulings on clothes for both males and females. Muslims in each part of the world adjust their culture’s clothing to be compliant with Islamic rules. Alhamdulillah, we can find clothes that match our needs, either in stores or online.
How do the people in Logan treat you?
Alhamdulillah, the people of Logan treat us kindly.
What are the most common misconceptions about Islam that you want people to know?
Relation with Christians and Jews – Muslims believe in the teaching of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. However, we do not believe in the Trinity. We believe in the Bible, but not the current Bible.
Original Sin – Muslims do not believe in original sin. Therefore, we do not believe in the salvation through one man.
Please do not trust the media too much - The media discriminates against Islam. When someone who embraces Islam commits a crime, the media will associate it with Islam, not the person, which would not be the case if the criminal were a non-Muslim. This behavior is spreading worldwide, even in a most populated Muslim countries, such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Interpreting the Qur’an - To understand the Qur’an, one must understand the context of the verses. Each verse might have different circumstances. Therefore, it would be unwise to interpret the Qur’an literally, for both Muslims and non-Muslims. Sometimes people use a part of the Qur’an to show the bad side of Islam, but they do not understand the contexts surrounding that verse; people must stop doing so.
Revising the teaching of Islam - Some people also encourage Muslims to revise their religion. Allah told us, “This day I have perfected for your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion” [5:3]. In other words, we do not see the purpose of following such suggestion. Islam is the religion of Allah, not a human-made religion. We believe Muhammad (PBUH) did not write the Qur’an; it comes from Allah. Additionally, it is part of Muslims’ practice to have consensus (ijma’) and analogy (qiyas), when deciding the ruling of some matter that is not mentioned explicitly in the Qur’an and Sunnah. In the Qur’an, Allah mentioned, “So decide upon your course of action [fa ajmi‘u]” [Yoonus 10:71]. Nevertheless, when performing ijma’ and qiyas, the Islamic scholars will always refer to the Qur’an and Sunnah (see https://islamqa.info/en/202271).
Having misconceptions about other beliefs is a common things. Having a spirit to acknowledge and alter it is something that everyone should celebrate and aimed to, for all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims.
|Data Sources / References|
|71/PRED/LIC/VIII/2017 - FAQ: Being a Muslim in Logan|
*) The data sources/references are open for everyone upon request via email.