Basics of Islam

Basics of Islam
Source: CAIR National


What is Islam?

Islam is not a new religion. It is the same truth that God revealed to all His prophets throughout history. Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness that should not be associated with acts of violence against the innocent.

Who are Muslims and what do they believe?

There are an estimated 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. No more than 20 percent of Muslims live in the Arabic-speaking world. In fact, the country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia. Muslims believe in One, Unique, and Incomparable God. They believe in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets beginning with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus, and that God's eternal message was reaffirmed and finalized by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on them all). One becomes a Muslim by saying and believing: "There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God." By this declaration, the person announces faith in all of God's messengers.

What is the Quran?

The Quran is the record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his companions. The text of the Quran was cross-checked during the life of the Prophet. The 114 chapters of the Quran have remained unchanged through the centuries.

What are the "five pillars" of Islam?

  • The declaration of faith - This consists of the two sentence declaration described above.
  • Prayer - Muslims perform five obligatory prayers at certain times each day. Islamic prayers are a direct link between the worshiper and God, as Islam has no hierarchical authority or priesthood. The obligatory prayers can be prayed privately or with others. When praying together, a congregation chooses a respected and learned Muslim to lead the prayer.
  • Zakat (charitable giving) - One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God and that wealth is held in trust by human beings. Zakat, or charitable giving, "purifies" wealth by setting aside a portion for those in need. This payment is usually two and a half percent of one's capital per year.
  • Fasting - Every year in the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from first light until just after sunset. The fast is another method of self-purification.
  • Pilgrimage - A pilgrimage to Mecca, called Hajj, is a one-time obligation for those who are physically and financially able.

What about the American Muslim community?

There are an estimated 6-7 million Muslims in America. The Muslim community in America is made up of people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins. There are almost 2,000 mosques, Muslim schools and Islamic centers in America. Muslims are active in all walks of life. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in this country and around the world.

Get Involved

Careers

CAIR-WA is now hiring! CAIR-WA, the Washington chapter of the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization, seeks to protect the civil liberties of American Muslims by building coalitions that advocate for justice and mutual understanding. The Washington chapter is one of the busiest and most dynamic of CAIR’s thirty nationwide affiliates.


Internships

Internships at CAIR-WA's office in Seattle’s historic International District offer students and activists a great opportunity to learn, interact, and grow in a fast-paced, diverse environment. Interns play a very important role in our work, undertake a considerable amount of responsibility and lead many projects and initiatives.


Volunteer Center

Volunteers play a very important role in our work, undertake a considerable amount of responsibility and lead many projects and initiatives. CAIR-WA welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds and faiths. All volunteer positions at CAIR-WA are unpaid. All positions are open immediately and we respond to applications year-round IMMEDIATELY as they are received, so apply now!


Be An Ally

An ally can show support for American Muslim friends, co-workers, classmates, neighbors, family members and others in a wide variety of ways. The best way is to take every opportunity to speak publicly and vocally – through letters to editors, Op-Eds, interviews, speeches, etc. – about the lives, contributions, hopes and dreams of American Muslim families and children they know.


CAIR-WA Event Calendar

CAIR-WA hosts many events throughout the year and participates in many more! These include workshops, trainings, banquets, protests, and parades. Follow our event calendar to stay update on all our events and activities!

Join our Volunteer 2016 Banquet Planning Team

Phone ticket sellers:

Call members and friends of CAIR-WA to have them buy tickets via phone from CAIR-WA office. Time commitment: At least 10 hours per week from April through June 20, 2016.

Ticket sellers:

Set goals to sell a number of tickets at mosques and community events, distribute event fliers and post posters, and ensure that event is properly announced at local mosques and community events. Time commitment: At least 2 hours per week from April through May 29, 2016.

To apply:

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and, in the subject line, please clearly indicate the titles of the position(s) in which you are interested, in order of preference. Please include in your e-mail an explanation of why you are interested in this position, all relevant experience or skills, the days and hours you are available, a and your complete contact information (full name, email address, and phone number). You may also include a résumé and two references who have supervised you in a past volunteer position, internship or employment.

Have Questions?

Contact us via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at 206.367.4081 with questions or to request additional information.

Become a Table Captain 2016 Banquet

Duties

Table Captains serve a critical role in the success of the event. By pledging to sell a full table of 10 seats, table captains ensure that the event is one of the largest and most successful fundraisers in the area. CAIR-WA also strives to assemble a diverse group of table captains in order to fully represent all communities.

There is no financial commitment to become a table captain. CAIR-WA provides resources and assistance to maximize the number of Table Captains who successfully fill their table.

Organizing a Table

Filling your table begins with extending the invitation. Invite friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, or whoever else you feel may have an interest. The best invitation for your guests is a personal one. Invite them in person, by phone, text, or e-mail. Use the sample letter below and either customize it to better match your tone and style or send it as is. The most important thing is to extend the invitation.

Start early! Don’t wait until the deadline. People’s calendars fill up quickly. Getting on their schedules earlier will give you the highest likelihood of successfully filling your table. Even if they don’t buy the tickets right away, your potential guests will be aware of the banquet and of your desire to have them attend with you.

Why Guests Should Attend

Let them know that our speakers with be Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Seattle Mariners announcer Tom Hutyler, and that this year is a vital one for American Muslim children and families. Come learn about the progress we've made in defending the rights of local Muslims and in mobilizing a broad coalition of support. Join us in taking action now to build the bright future our families and children deserve.

Attending the banquet not only reinforces a strong sense of pride in our communities, but also provides critical financial support for the CAIR-WA to continue its mission. The event serves as the primary fundraiser for CAIR-WA. Almost all of CAIR-WA’s funding comes from local individuals.

Beyond making an impact on our future, the banquet is a fun and energizing evening. The people at your table, and throughout the event, will be great company. And they’ll walk away from the evening knowing that they’re building the bright future our families and children deserve.

How Your Guests Choose to Sit With You

Have your guests buy tickets online at www.cairseattle.org/banquet or via phone by calling our office at 206.367.4081 and mention your name as their Table Captain. Or have them buy paper tickets from you! Or you can buy a full table yourself at www.cairseattle.org/banquet and then send in your guest list by May 1, 2017 at the latest by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. A seat is only “reserved” by buying and paying for a ticket.

Sample e-mail to send to your friends

I would like to invite you to participate in something really important to me and important to our community; I have signed up to be a table captain for the CAIR-WA fundraising banquet and awards celebration on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. If you’ve been to one of CAIR-WA’s banquets in the past, you know what a fun, inspiring, and empowering event it is, and I’m sure this year will also be great. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Seattle Mariners announcer Tom Hutyler will be two of the speakers this year. As a table captain, I have committed to filling at least 10 seats, and would love to have you join us.

As you know, CAIR-WA is a chapter of the country’s largest organization working to defend the rights of Muslims. You’ll find more information CAIR-WA’s newly re-designed web site www.cairseattle.org Almost all of CAIR-WA’s funding comes from local individuals (see: cairseattle.org/ourfinancials) and this event serves as the primary fundraiser for CAIR-WA.

Please join me. Tickets to the banquet usually sell out by the discount deadline of May 1, so please let me know as soon as possible if you’ll be able to join me. Tickets are available at a discount at $50 per person if you buy them before May 1 ($75 after May 1) and $20 per child for childcare if you buy them before May 1 ($30 per child after May 1). You can buy them through www.cairseattle.org/banquet or by calling the CAIR-WA office at 206.367.4081. Please make sure to mention me as your table captain during the check-out process online or on the phone so they can seat you on my table.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of our friends, families, and communities.

Best,

Have Questions?

Contact us via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at 206.367.4081 with questions or to request additional information.

Purchase tickets!

Purchase your tickets now to the CAIR-WA 2017 Fundraising Banquet and Awards Celebration, to be held at 5pm on SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA,

BUY TICKETS NOW

Banquet 2016

This year’s banquet theme: ‘Our Time to Shine’

Fulfilling the Divine promise that “Verily with hardship comes ease,” now is the time for us all to overcome the challenges and embrace our opportunities. Despite increased hostility and resulting hate attacks, we and all American Muslims now have more fair-minded allies than ever before, who are using their voices to vocally and publicly stand with us. Come learn about the progress we've made in defending the rights of local Muslims and in mobilizing a broad coalition of support. Join us in taking action now to build the bright future our families and children deserve.


Get Discounted Tickets Today!

Online sales are now closed.

Table Captains are the heart of our event attendance. As a “thank you”, Table Captains are listed in our event program books and verbally recognized by the MC at the event.

Become a Table Captain

Let us customize an opportunity to help your sponsorship shine.

Become a Sponsor

Banquet planning volunteers are needed starting immediately so apply now! There are many volunteer opportunities available to fit your skills and experience

Become a Volunteer

Sponsors

Amana Mutual Funds


Global Justice Law Group


Public Interest Law Group