#1 Do Muslims Have Funerals?

Yes, Muslims have funerals for their dead, and it is considered a very spiritual gathering. It can be regarded as a community event, and it is not uncommon for an Islamic disciple to attend the funeral of a person they do not know.

Those that subscribe to the Islamic faith are known as Muslims. As a monotheistic religion (most popular in India, Iran, and Pakistan), Islamic funerals are composed of the following traditions, guidelines, and customs:

  • The dead must be buried within 24 hours of passing.
  • Bodies will not be laid without intention, rituals, and honor
  • Before being buried, a corpse will be washed then wrapped in seamless cloth (known as shrouding). Typically wrapped in a kafan, this is a sign of respect to the person that has passed on, as well as their family. The purpose is to respect the dignity of the body by covering it.
  • All dead be buried facing Mecca, the holy city
  • Prayers will be said throughout the service, directed at Allah, the one God they worship. Prayers will be read from the Koran (Qur’an)
  • The prayers performed at masque during a funeral are called Salat al-Janazah (sometimes known as Salah prayer)
  • Embalming and cremation are irrefutably forbidden

Death is not seen as the end of the soul’s journey.

On the contrary, death in Islamic culture is seen as a new beginning as the soul incarnates onward. People of this faith believe that the soul separates itself from the body upon death.

Muslims believe that the soul may visit loved ones on the 7th day after they pass, the 14th day after they pass, and 1 year after they pass. Regarding the timeline, the theology of Islam is that mourning should last for 3 days while a widow should mourn for 4 months and 10 days.

AMMA Muslim Cemetery – Janazah Funeral Prayer

Related Scripture(s):

  • “In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.” – How to Pray to Janazah (Funeral Prayer).

Related Video(s):

·         Funeral Prayer in Islam – Salat al-Janazah; Published by Prayer in Islam on January 30th, 2020.

 

#2 Do Muslims Use Toilet Paper?

Rather than using paper, it is customary in the Middle East to utilize water after having used the toilet.

In countries where paper is scarce, it is sometimes common to use water in place of toilet paper. Counties and cultures that you may see this in include Italy, Argentina, France, Japan, Spanish, and Muslim/Islam.

For these cases and cultural norms (most common in Europe), a bidet is used as a substitute. A bidet appears similar to a toilet but spouts out water to rinse one clean. As The New York Post put it, “Muslims Can Now Use Toilet Paper,” citing its recent evolution to becoming accepted by religious authorities in Turkey.

Despite this, it is highly unusual to see toilet paper in the home or business of a Muslim person (unless in America or a region that it would be expected of them for guests or patrons). Cleanliness is very important in the Muslim belief system, teaching that the body’s condition affects the spirit, so a person must take priority in their hygiene.

If a bidet is not used, Islamic disciples will keep a lota in their bathroom, often under the sink. A lota is a round watering pot, typically of polished brass, that is used to clean oneself after excretion.

Lota – Artisan’s Crest

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

“Once reserved for Europeans, bidets are now popular all over the world—except in North America. Thomas reports that 60 percent of Japanese households today have high-tech bidets made by Toto called Washlets, while some 90 percent of Venezuelan homes have bidets. Most people use a small amount of paper to dry their posteriors after the bidet has done its job, but more expensive air-drying models dispense with the need for paper altogether. Thomas adds that bidets provide important health benefits such as increased cleanliness and “the therapeutic effect of water on damaged skin (think rashes or hemorrhoids).”

On the public health front, bidet maker BioRelief reports that almost 80 percent of all infectious diseases are passed on by human contact and that only about half of us actually wash our hands after using the facilities—making hands-free bidets a safer alternative all around.”

Related Video(s):

#3 Do Muslims Drink Coffee?

Yes, Muslims drink coffee and only experience restrictions surrounding Ramadan, the month of fasting for spiritual growth. During the month of fasting, there is no food or drink consumed between dawn and dusk. Throughout these hours of the day, not even water is permitted.

There is no mention of the coffee bean or caffeine directly in the spiritual text of the Islamic denomination, The Koran (also known as the Quran). It is, however, recommended that one keep the body pure and regard it as a temple.

In this respect, Muslims avoid addicting substances, do not aim to intoxicate themselves, and tend to consume in moderation.

As social drinks, coffee and tea are perfectly acceptable beverages in the Islamic faith. What one wants to avoid is drinking caffeine or intoxicants to the point of indulgence or bodily harm, (for example, drinking six red bulls that lead to heart palpitations, could become Haram. Haram means sinful).

Muslim’s Drink Coffee Too – LifeTeen

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • The Islamic Research Foundation International Organization writes: “One should have the knowledge to distinguish between what is good and what is bad or evil.  Anything that produces harm, injury or death is bad, by definition.  Also anything that deviates or distracts a Muslim from performing his Islamic obligations or duties is also bad or harmful. Halal means lawful, permissible.  The acts of Halal are made by Allah (SWT) and revealed to man through Al-Qur’an. If one examines Halal in detail one sees that Halal is designed for the benefit and welfare of mankind.  It is designed to be for the “good” of mankind. Therefore Halal can be construed as good and could be synonymous with “good”.  Similarly Haram could be interpreted to mean bad or evil.  Whenever the word Halal is mentioned we invariably understand that it is applied to meat and other foods.

Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, three closely related alkaloids, occur in plants, which are widely distributed throughout the world.  From ancient times, water extracts of these plants have served as beverages for man.” 

  • “Let there arise out of you

A band of people inviting to all

That is good, enjoining what is right

And forbidding what is wrong:

They are the ones to attain felicity.”

  • Al- Qur’an, 3: 104
  • “Mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.” – Surah, Baqara 2: 168

Related Video(s):

#4 Do Muslims Eat Shrimp?

The Quran explicitly states that “all from the sea” or any body of water, is Halal (meaning acceptable and lawful). There is mild debate regarding this, with some subsects of Islam finding shrimp to be impure, but most find it perfectly acceptable.

The Quran states: “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water-game and its use for food – for the benefit of yourselves …” [al-Maa’idah 5:96].

There are four categories of food acceptability within Islamic law:

  1. Halal – Permittable, acceptable, and lawful (clean enough for the body if prepared correctly).
  2. Haram – Unlawful, forbidden (includes pork, cat, monkey, dog, or animals that died without proper Halal procedure. It also includes alcohol, tobacco, any drugs or intoxicants, as well as items like vanilla extract, as it may contain alcohol).
  3. Mashbooh (or Mustabahat) – Question-worthy and potentially unacceptable. A gray area.
  4. Makruh – Distasteful and frowned-upon, but not forbidden (includes shellfish, shrimp, prawns, crabs, soups which may have pig in them, etc.) It can also be considered impure to eat food that has rotted, which could fall into the category of Makruh.

Hence, foods from the sea are permissible but not always viewed as sanitary or clean.

For meat to be Halal in Arabic nations, it must be:

  • Slaughtered at a healthy time in their life
  • Not killed in a state of suffering or pain
  • The death must be merciful and honorable
  • The death will be made in the name of God
  • The action should be done in a swift knife stroke across the throat
  • One must not puncture the spinal cord but should cut through the windpipe
  • All blood should be drained from the carcass
The News Minute

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • Everything that can cause harm is forbidden as food, even if it comes from the sea, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you.” [al-Nisa’ 4:29] and: “… and do not throw yourselves into destruction…” [al-Baqarah 2:195].
  • AboutIslam.net – Eating Shrimp and Lobster, Halal?; Published December 10th, 2017. 

Related Video(s):

#5 Do Muslims Celebrate Birthdays?

No, most Muslims do not celebrate birthdays, yet there is not direct rule against them. Some argue that the decision not to celebrate one’s birthday is a cultural decision, not a religious one.

The main reason that most Muslims do not celebrate birthdays is that The Prophet, Muhammad, never celebrated his own birthday, his wives’ birthdays, nor his children’s birthdays.

Although Muhammad inspired others to live in their own way and never ordered them to follow his path, many want to remain within the jurisdiction of Islam in the same way that Muhammad did.

Beyond this, there is a birthday ban in certain areas, such as Saudi Arabia.

As described by the Los Angeles Times

“Elsewhere in the Muslim world, including in Egypt, Dubai, Lebanon and Iran, people routinely celebrate birthdays, especially for children. Among middle-class and affluent families, parties can be elaborate, with cakes, toys, clowns, ponies and many presents. In Egypt, the prophet Muhammad’s birthday is celebrated by handing out special sweets — in the shape of a doll for girls and a horse for boys. Even in Saudi Arabia, it’s not hard to find Saudis who celebrate birthdays or stores that cater to putting on parties, despite the ban.

The reasons that Muslims do not celebrate birthdays include but are not limited to the following:

  • A birthday can be seen as an excuse for vanity, self-indulgence, and self-importance
  • It can be a distraction of worship to yourself and others
  • One must avoid wasteful extravaganzas
  • Birthdays may have pagan roots or have been introduced by those that are polytheists, which opposes Islam’s innately monotheistic theology. It is taught that Islamic people should not imitate ‘non-believers.’
  • The Prophet, Muhammad, never celebrated his own birthday, his wives’ birthdays, nor his children’s birthdays.
  • Birthdays are contemporary and too innovative; many favor tradition
  • They could lead to Haram, evil, temptation, lust, intoxication, or sin

If an Islamic believer can avoid all of these unfavorable outcomes or non-believer traditions, birthdays could be celebrated in a permittable fashion.

Imam Christ Caras

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • Muslim Inspire: “We can conclude from the above discussion that most of the birthdays being celebrated nowadays could be categorized in the Makruh (disliked) category due to the various unfavorable reasons mentioned above (cakes, candles, music, dance, extravagant spending, etc).”

Related Video(s):

#6 Do Muslims Eat Shellfish?

It will depend on the branch of Islam. For Shafi’I, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali branches, shellfish, and all fish are considered halal (acceptable). In other areas or subsects, shellfish could be considered Makruh (distasteful but not illicit).

Based on the holy book, the Quran, shellfish are generally acceptable and seen as halal.

The Quran writes that the animals of the sea are yours to consume, but the interpretation of this scripture has evolved over time, leaving some to have a different perspective. Due to this, there are exceptions, such as some that believe if an animal lives both in the water and on-land – it is not permissible (for example, frogs).

The meats generally considered halal are:

  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Buck
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Rabbits
  • Birds

The only animals entirely forbidden in the Quran are:

  • Pork
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Monkey
  • Bloodied meat
  • Meat that is not killed in a state of halal, honor, and non-suffering
Muslim Menu

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • Muslimversity – “Majority of the scholars of Islam consider all types of shellfish to be halal. So Prawns, Shrimps, Lobsters, Crabs, and Oysters are all seafood that are halal to eat in Islam.”

Related Video(s):

#7 Do Muslims Believe in God?

Yes, Muslims are monotheistic, meaning they believe in one God and one God alone. Seeing Allah as their true leader, Allah is a God that is all-knowing and all-powerful. As a spiritual entity of divinity, Allah is not referred to as having a gender, possessing a race, nor having the human form of a body.

Allah is unaffected by the qualities of human existence.

Instead, Allah guides mankind by sending prophets as messengers to earth. Muhammad was the most recent prophet to visit earth, (c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) and is known as the founder of Islam. Muhammad received the revelations to write the Quran in 610 CE, then teaching it’s notions to the likes of Adam, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus Christ.

Although humans have free will, nothing happens without Allah’s awareness or influence. Allah greatly influences the day-to-day lives of Muslims, because Islam is a religion that not only requires faith, but action. One’s faith must be seen in their daily dedication, not solely their prayers or thoughts.

Muslims state, ‘God listens to the one who praises Him; to God belongs all praise.’

QuotesofIslam.com

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • “And He has made me blessed wherever I am.” – Surah Maryam 19:31.
  • “He knows what is within the heavens and earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare. And Allah (SWT) is Knowing of that within the breasts.” – At-Taghabun 64:4.
  • “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow that is a great attainment.” – Surah al-Buruj 85:11.

Related Video(s):

#8 Do Muslims Believe in God?

Yes, Muslims believe in Heaven’s existence, but not in the same way that Christians view it.

The Islamic belief system surrounding the afterlife entails the following:

  • Life after death is not the end
  • The soul continues on in the afterlife (known as Akhirah)
  • Death is an intermediary state before resurrection
  • Their bodies will remain in the grave until the Day of Judgement (Yawm al-din)
  • Upon judgment, you will be sent to Heaven or hell

Heaven is described as a garden and paradise where do-gooders will be sent. Translating to ’a garden of pleasure; (Quran 31:8), paradise can only be achieved if you have placed action behind your faith. Fundamentally, one must practice what they preach because Allah is all-knowing.

Islamweb.net describes of Jannat (paradise): “(In it are) Bricks of gold and silver, mortar of fragrant musk, pebbles of pearl and sapphire, and soil of saffron. Whoever enters it is filled with joy and will never feel miserable; he will live there forever and will never die; their clothes will never wear out, and their youth will never fade.” [Ahmad and others]… Almighty Allah Says (what means): {And when you look there [in Paradise], you will see pleasure and great dominion.”} [Quran 76:20]

The advised course of action to obtain the security of Heaven is to:

  1. Live according to the tenants of Islam
  2. Be buried properly, (facing Mecca)
  3. To ask for forgiveness for anything you may have done that could be considered Haram, shirk, or sinful.
Concept of Paradise, Just Dawah

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • “And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, ‘This is what we were provided with before.’ And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.” (Q. 2:25).
  • “Their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Him and approval and of gardens for them wherein is enduring pleasure. [They will be] abiding therein forever. Indeed, Allah has with Him a great reward.” (Q. 9:21-22).

Related Video(s):

#9 Do Muslims Believe in Reincarnation?

No, Muslims do not subscribe to a belief in reincarnation. The Quran explicitly rejects the idea of reincarnation, believing instead that the soul only receives one opportunity on earth to prove oneself to God (Allah). Regardless, Islamic disciples do hold great reverence to the notion of a soul.

In the afterlife, the soul is able to visit family and loved ones on the 7th day after their death, the 14th day, as well as 1-year after passing.

It is not necessarily that the soul is seen as floating around detached from the buried corpse, but the body will be awaiting the day of judgment, upon which the soul will either be decreed by Allah as worthy of Heaven or damned to hell. Life after death, known as Akhirah, will be a waiting period for this Day of Judgement (Yawm al-din).

The religions that believe in reincarnation are:

  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Jainism
  • Sikhism
Reincarnation; Medium

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

Related Video(s):

#10 Do Muslims Believe in Christ?

Yes, Muslims do believe in the existence of Jesus Christ (often interchangeably seen as a God in Christianity); however, Muslims do not see Christ as a God. Muslims believe that Allah is the one true God and Jesus is a prophet sent to teach, inspire, and restore justice. Holding Jesus in high regard, Islamic believers do see Jesus as one of the greatest prophets of all time.

Within the theology of Islam, Jesus Christ is seen as a:

  • Prophet
  • Teacher
  • Messiah
  • Miracle-worker

They believe that Christ will return someday before the Day of Judgement to destroy any sin, evil, and/or the antichrist (Muslims refer to the antichrist as al-Masih ad-Dajjal, or ‘the false messiah’).

Jesus is referred to as Isa in Arabic and is frequently mentioned in the religious text of the Quran (along with Mary, Adam, Abraham, and Moses). When Muslims refer to Jesus or Abraham (each considered prophets), they will recite ‘peace be upon him.’

Jesus’ birth is viewed as the first miracle, and the Quran writes:

“Behold!’ the Angel said, God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and in the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the righteous. She said: “My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: “Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.” [3:42-47]

Pew Research Center Organization found that:

  • 32% of Muslims believe Jesus will return during their lifetime
  • 32% of Christians believe Jesus will return during their lifetime
  • 49% of this study’s participants said that they do not believe Jesus will return during their lifetime
  • 18% of the study’s participants said they don’t know or don’t have an opinion
Jesus – Muslim Prophet

Related Scripture(s)/Resource(s):

  • “Whoever believes there is no god but Allah, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is a servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven.” [Bukhari].

Related Video(s):

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