Islam sprung from the life and teachings of Muhammad, who spoke the words of the Qur’an — the central Islamic holy text.
Originated around 600 CE
1.8 billion followers
Holy Texts: The Quran, The Hadith
Key figure: Muhammad
Here are some sources of Islamic wisdom:
Highlights from the Hadith
The Hadith contains stories and sayings attributed to Muhammad. Here are a few highlights found in Philip Novak’s The World’s Wisdom:
“No one is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”
“Do you love your Creator? Love your fellow-beings first.”
“All God’s creatures are God’s family; and they are the most beloved of God who do the most good to God’s creatures.”
“What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.”
“Feed the hungry and visit the sick, and free the captive, if he be unjustly confined. Assist any person oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.”
“That person not a perfect Muslim who eats their fill and leaves their neighbors hungry.”
“Actions will be judged according to intentions.”
“The best of all alms is that which the right hand gives and the left hand knows not of.”
“Say what is true, even though it may be bitter and displeasing to people.”
Islamic Wisdom Tales
A Boy of Courage
Once there was a boy named Salamah who was so fast he could outrun grown men and so talented with a bow and arrow he could shoot a pebble off a distant boulder.
One day he was practicing with his bow and arrow when he heard a commotion nearby — a team of bandits were in the process of stealing the prophet Muhammad’s camels.
Instead of running away, the boy decided to run nearer to the bandits. He hid behind a rock and shot arrows at them, stalling their efforts to steal.
The bandits turned toward where the arrows were coming from, and the boy took off in a flash, dashing for a tree, which he quickly climbed. From this vantage point, he shot his arrows at the bandits. His aim was so accurate, they didn’t dare get closer.
They were at a standstill. Just then, a group of the prophet’s defenders rode up to where the action was taking place, and the bandits took off.
From that day on, people celebrated the boy’s courage.
The Dog at the Well
Once there was a traveler who was in dire need of water during a long journey. His lips were parched and his throat burned. When he finally found a well he saw that it didn’t have a rope or a bucket, so he had to climb all the way down to get a drink. After feeling refreshed, he made the difficult climb back up.
That’s when he saw a dog that was lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground.
The traveler thought, “This dog is suffering just as I have suffered.” So he climbed back down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and held it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink.
This is a work in progress. We are regularly adding to it. Check our growing wisdom library.