A new book written to help Muslims live and practice their faith—to learn what Muslims believe, how we pray and fast, and worship our Lord in an appropriate manner.

It highlights both our spiritual struggles and aspirations; how we can, on a daily basis, develop a healthy relationship with God, through both devotions and in ordinary daily life. This book is not meant to expound on abstract theoretical aspects of Islam, but to give readers practical and useful knowledge that can help them understand what it means to be Muslim.

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Look Inside

Contents

  • Chapter 1: Starting Point
  • The Beginning
  • Islam in Context
  • Learning Islam
  • Chapter 2: Belief
  • The Testimony of Faith (Shahadah)
  • God (Allah) سبحانه و تعالى
  • Angels
  • Scriptures
  • Messengers
  • Judgment Day
  • Divine Decree (Qadr)
  • Chapter 3: Worship
  • The Legal Rulings
  • The Prayer (Salah)
  • Purifying Alms (Zakah)
  • Fasting Ramadan
  • The Pilgrimage (Hajj)
  • Other Components of Worship
  • Rulings Particular to Women
  • Chapter 4: Spiritual Refinement
  • Human Consciousness
  • The Path of Refinement
  • Destructive Vices
  • Saving Virtues
  • Noble Character
  • Chapter 5: The Prophet ﷺ
  • The Role of the Prophet ﷺ
  • An Introduction to the Prophet ﷺ
  • Blessings (Salawat) Upon the Prophet ﷺ
  • A Brief Biography
  • His Miracles
  • Chapter 6: The Quran
  • The Nature of the Quran
  • Major Themes in the Quran
  • Chapter 7: Islamic Holy Days
  • The Islamic Year
  • The Friday Congregational Prayer (Salat al-Jumu’ah)
  • Ramadan & the Festival of Completing the Fast (Eid al-Fitr)
  • The Festival of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha)
  • Chapter 8: Lifestyle
  • Living Islamic Law
  • Daily Life
  • Communal Life
  • Selections from the Quran
  • Recommended Readings
  • Glossary of Commonly Used Terms
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Dr. Asad Tarsin has provided an immeasurable service to both Muslims and members of other faith communities with this extremely insightful and important work. Being Muslim not only lays out, in balanced measure, the basic teachings of Islam, teachings related to both faith and practice, it also explains issues that are frequently neglected in introductory works. Those issues would include the relationship between faith and reason, the foundations of a meaningful spiritual life, the major themes of the Qur’an, and much more. Especially significant is his chapter on a healthy Muslim lifestyle. I would highly recommend this volume to anyone interested in knowing about Islam as the vast majority of Muslims have historically understood and lived it.

Imam Zaid Shakir
Co-Founder, Zaytuna College

Being Muslim is a great starting point for new Muslims or those newly committed to practicing their faith. While no description of Islam is completely inclusive, the manual describes the practices and beliefs held by the majority of Muslims. I encourage the leadership of mosques and Islamic centers to use this book as a foundation for teaching Islam at the introductory level.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson
Chair of Islamic Studies, Huron University College

Being Muslim is the perfect book for newcomers to Islam. Dr. Tarsin brilliantly reconciles tradition with context in this clear, accessible manual. Between the insightful translations of legal jargon, careful consideration of the process of learning and spiritual growth, and the comprehensive coverage of Islam’s essentials, Being Muslim is simply unparalleled. If there’s a book that should be standard curriculum in our Mosques and communities, this is it.

Usama Canon
Founding Director, Ta’leef Collective

I have been searching for this book ever since I became Muslim several years ago. Confusing information, contradictory advice, and a lack of clear guidance can easily overwhelm new converts. Being Muslim: A Practical Guide is a clear, concise, accessible guide to being Muslim – an excellent resource for those who seek to understand Islam, those who are new to the faith, or any Muslim who seeks clarity and confirmation about the fundamentals. Though I have been studying Islam for years, this book teaches me something each time I open it. Thank you, Dr. Tarsin, for this gift to all of us.

Krista Bremer
Author, A Tender Struggle

Being Muslim by Asad Tarsin is a comprehensive introduction to the practice of Islam. Dr. Tarsin takes the reader through complex topics with grace and accessibility. He points out instances of possible confusion, brings forth detail when extra information is needed for clarification, and suffices with a short paragraph when less is best for learning. The manual is accurately titled, as it is not a simple ‘How-to’ book, or an esoteric discussion of faith issues. It is, rather, a book of being. In Being Muslim, the reader will have a true companion on his/her path to living the faith of Islam; in thought, sensibility and practice. Being Muslim is set to become a classic textbook of learning across mosques, homes and schools. I congratulate Dr. Tarsin on this excellent resource for us all.

Anse Tamara Gray
Founder, Rabata

Sometimes there is a book idea that is so obviously compelling that everyone knows the book needs to be written, and yet no one seems to do it. The reason is simple: ideas are a dime-a-dozen; it is execution that counts. Dr. Asad Tarsin has managed to tackle an extremely timely and pressing, and yet timelessly relevant topic, and produce an excellent, original, elegant, and highly effective work. For new converts, those returning to practice of the religion after years of estrangement, and even lifelong Muslims searching for straightforward ways to explain Islam's most basic teachings, this book is a must read. It is our sincere prayer that Dr. Tarsin and his work are met with Divine approval and acceptance—Amen.

Azhar Usman
Comedian and Community Activist

Every generation must find the right language to convey the message of God to its people. As Imam al-Haddad states in The Book of Assistance, “People’s hearts are naturally attracted to everything new, and God gives them at each time knowledge clothed in the form best suited to the age.” Being Muslim flows from this tradition; articulating Islam to a people in their age and in their milieu. In a time where souls thirst for the knowledge of prophecy, we pray As’ad Tarsin’s work will begin to lead them to the gates of all that is good and enduring.

Mohammed Tayssir Safi
Chaplain, University of Michigan

Being Muslim: A Practical Guide is the answer to a dua (prayer) of mine. Asad Tarsin writes with affection, empathy, and respect for the new Muslim. This is the book I wish my parents had had in their journey to Islam forty years ago as they struggled to find quality literature on their newfound faith. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn more about the spirit of this beautiful faith tradition, as well as its history, practices, and customs.

Zaynab Ansari
Instructor, Tayseer Seminary

Being Muslim: A Practical Guide is a wonderfully written, comprehensive and invaluable guide for anyone looking to gain a broader understanding of Islam's most intricate beliefs and practices. Dr. Asad Tarsin provides a wealth of knowledge and information coupled with helpful illustrations and graphics which seamlessly flow together to simplify and make accessible subjects that would otherwise take a lifetime to master. Every Muslim home should have a copy of this wonderful resource in their library collection as its contents are timeless and relevant for practitioners of all ages!

Hosai Mojaddidi
Mental Health for Muslims

Dr. Tarsin's book is a great entryway for anyone interested in contemporary manifestations of the Sunni interpretation of Islam. He boils down over a millennia of complex religious discourse into a form that is accessible and practical for the English-speaking Muslims. It will be highly useful in a variety of contexts, most especially in classes for new converts to the faith.

Dave Coolidge
Associate University Chaplain, Brown University

Being Muslim served as my primary teaching tool for a group of Muslims, some who were recent converts and others who have been Muslim for 20 years. No matter his or her level, each student found the text to be relevant, accessible and practical while still providing wisdom and provoking reflection. This book is a must for every New Muslim support program or youth group.

Muizz Rafique
Community Activist

When I took the Being Muslim class I had been Muslim for about 9 years but the amount that I learned was immeasurable. I had never seen concepts organized in such a beautiful and succinct way, in a way that really made sense to me for the first time since my conversion to Islam. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to start getting serious about studying my religion, for myself and also for my children. Being Muslim acted as a wonderful starting point for me, after which I was able to study and better-implement what I was learning. I couldn't be more excited that Being Muslim will soon be published. I can't wait to buy it!

Liana Reading

About the Author

Asad Tarsin has been designing Islamic educational programs and teaching the basics of Islam for more than a decade. After completing his bachelor's degree in Islamic studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he continued his study of Islamic theology, sacred law, philosophy and spirituality with some of the country’s most prominent Muslim scholars including Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Sherman Jackson, among others.

He has served as the curriculum director for the Deen Intensive Foundation for the last ten years and has a particular interest in creating sustainable models of education for new and returning Muslims. He lectures and teaches courses on Islam across the country. Being Muslim: A Practical Guide is his first published work. He is an emergency physician by training and lives in California with his wife and three children.