Ali G Meets The Revival
Ali G: Boyakasha! Me Is ere with me main man from The Revival. Easy Now!
The Revival: Hello Ali. how are you man?
Ali G: Me is wantin to know about Islam, and me heard that you can elp me
The Revival: We will try to help you
Ali G: So is you a Muslim?
The Revival: Yes I am
Ali G: For real, so what is a Muslim, cos me eard you is all suicide bombers and can have 4 wives, me likes the 4 wives idea - Aiii.
The Revival: Well. you see the word "Muslim" means one who submits to the will of God. This is done by declaring that "there is no god except one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." In a broader sense, anyone who willingly submits to the will of God is a Muslim. So, if u follow the religion of Islam then you are a Muslim - its as simple as that. By the way there are 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.
Ali; So what do you have to do to be a Muslim? cos me heard you aves to chop off your thing, is that true? Cos there is no way me is letting anyone do that to me George.
The Revival: Yes Muslim children are circumcised at an early age. but that is not what makes you a Muslim. To be a Muslim you have to believe in one God (Allah). Angels. Divinely revealed books of God. Prophets of God. Day of Judgement, Destiny and Life after death. Once you have become a Muslim then these are the framework for Muslim life- they are known as the Five Pillars Of Islam:
- The declaration of faith: "There is none worthy of worship but God. and Muhammad is the messengerofGod."
- Prayer: Muslims perform five prayers each day.Islamic prayers are a direct link between the worshipper, and God.
- Zakat: 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.
- Fasting: Every year in the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
- Pilgrimage: A pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or Hajj as it is called in Arabic, is an obligation for those who are physically and financially able to make the journey. It has to be carried out once in a lifetime.
Ali G: So what is RamVanDamme.
The Revival: You mean Ramadan
Ali G: Yeah whatever. Cos me heard you's not allowed to do spliffing and get jiggy with the missus until it gets dark. Me is wantin to know what else does you have to do and why?
The Revival: Ramadan is a sacred month in the Islamic calendar. Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink or have sexual intercourse between sunset and sunrise. The fast is another method of self-purification. The purpose of fasting is to make you a pious and god-fearing person. It makes you realise what you have got and to also appreciate it more. by going through a little hardship.
Ali G: So what is Islam? Cos me uncle Jamaal says that you has to be from Bradford and run a kebab shop or be a taxi driver to be part of it, is this true?
The Revival: No, not really. You see the word 'Islam' means peace and submission. Peace is to be at peace with yourself and your surroundings and submission is to submit to the will of God. Islam is not just a religion it is a complete way of life, which deals with every aspect of life.
To follow Islam Muslims believe in the one God and believe in a chain of prophets beginning with Adam and including Noah. Abraham. Ishmael. Issac, Jacob Joseph, Job. Moses. David. Solomon and Jesus. God's message was reaffirmed and finalised by the Prophet Muhammad. Islam has got nothing to do with race, country or nationality. Anyone can be a Muslim. Muhammad Ali. Malcolm X, Cat Stevens, and not to mention the (former) Commonwealth and British heavyweight champion Danny Williams are some of the famous Muslims around.
Ali G: So who is this Allah, you is always bangin on about?
The Revival: "Allah" is the Arabic name for God. Allah is not God of Muslims only. He is God of all creations. It is exactly the same word. which the Jews, in Hebrew. use for God(eloh). the word that Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism. Christianity, and Islam Allah is the same God worshipped by Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Ali G: So who is Mohammed? Is he like Jesus cos me heard he could walk on water. me tried that but me nearly drowned.
The Revival: Mohammed is the last messenger of God. In brief. Muhammad was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael (P). son of Prophet Abraham (P). His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He did not attend a formal school since he was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle.
As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At age 40. he was given the first revelation, when the angel. Gabriel. appeared in the cave.
Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were compiled in the form of a book called the Quran which Muslims consider as the final and the last word of God. The Quran has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah. the psalms and the Gospel.
Ali G: Do you worship Mohammed? Most of the Muslims me knows is called Mohammed and they is always bangin on about him, is he the main man?
The Revival: No. Muslims do not worship Muhammad or any other prophets. Muslims believe in all prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last of the prophets. They believe that God alone is to be worshipped, not any human being. Basically Muslims believe Muhammad to be the best of mankind so that is why they follow his example and teachings.
Ali G: So what is the Quran? Is it a thriller or a bestseller?
The Revival: The Quran is the Muslim holy book. like the Bible is to Christianity. It is the record of the exact words revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorised by Muhammad and then dictated to his companions. The Quran has been preserved. unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah. the psalms and the Gospel.
Ali G: But I thought you had to mash up the Jews and Christians?
The Revival: What do you mean by "Mash up"?
Ali G: You know you must grab a priest and beat im up till he cries like a girl. cos me used to do that, mashin up little kids for their money and makin them cry. It was wicked; you should try it some time.
The Revival: No we cannot "Mash up" any body because of their religious beliefs. Islam tells us that Jews and Christians are "people of the Book". By the book it means those that also received divine scriptures. The three religions share the same basic beliefs articulated through the Torah. Bible and Quran. Muslims are told to treat them with respect and justice and not to fight with them. Muslims believe in Jesus and Moses as being prophets the same as Mohammed was a prophet and all the other prophets from Adam.
Ali G: So does you believe that Jesus - his mum was a Virgin?
The Revival: Yes Muslims do believe that Jesus was born from Mary. A chapter from the Quran is entitled 'Mary' and confirms prophet Jesus had a virgin birth. Mary is considered as the purest woman in all creation.
Ali G: So does you's also believe Jesus Is the Son of God?
The Revival: No, That is one of the main thing Muslims and Christians differ on. Muslims believe Jesus to be a prophet and not God or the Son of God.
Ali G: So you says you is a Muslim so is you also a terrorist?
The Revival: No I am not a terrorist, what makes you say that?
Ali G: Why not? Is you chicken?
The Revival: No I'm not a chicken Ali. Why do you think I should be a terrorist?
Ali G: Whenever me watch Trev on the Big Ben news at ten he is always bangin on about Muslim Terrorists. Me sees a guy with an AK47 who goes and blows imself up and mashes up loads of other people. Is that part of your religion?
The Revival: No. that is certainly not part of our religion. The MEDIA has portrayed Muslims in this manner. Muslims follow Islam and Islam does not support terrorism under any circumstances. Terrorism goes against every principle in Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism he is not following Islam, they may be using the name of Islam for political or financial gain Islam is a faith of peace and submission and stresses on the sanctity of human life. Our Quran says clearly:
'..anyone who saves one life. it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind and anyone who has killed another person it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind.'(Chapter 5 verse 32)
Ali G: So what is this Jihad thing me hears Trev go on about? Is it some kind of Jungle club that people is tryin to go to?
The Revival: You see the word "Jihad" means struggle, or to be specific, striving in the cause of God. Any struggle done in day-to-day life to please God can be considered Jihad. One of the highest levels of Jihad is to stand up to a tyrant and speaka word of truth. Control of the self from wrong doings is also a great Jihad. One of the forms of Jihad is to take up arms in defence of Islam or a Muslim country when Islam is attacked. This kind of Jihad has to be declared by the religious leadership or by a Muslim head of state that is following the Quran and Sunnah.
Ali G: Me also hears Trev go on about this Islamic Fundamentalist. is that a religion for the hardcore massive, and yous can only join if you has an AK47. cos me knows people who is in gangs like dat, they is well rough.
The Revival: There is no concept of "Fundamentalism" in Islam. The western media has coined this term to brand those Muslims who wish to return to the basic fundamental principles of Islam and mould their lives accordingly. Islam is a religion of moderation and a practising God fearing Muslim can neither be a fanatic nor an extremist.
Ali G: Me is tryin to get me Julie to wear a Burqa so we can rob the corner shop but she looks batty in it. Why does you make your women cover their faces? Is it cos they is well mingin and you is embarrassed to be seen with them?
The Revival: Islam emphasises upon modesty. No person should be seen as a sex object. There are certain guidelines both for men and women that their dress should neither be too thin nor too tight to reveal body forms. For men, they must at least cover the area from the knee to the navel and for women; their dress should cover all areas except the hands and face. The veil is not essential but if a woman chooses do so it is up to her.
Ali G: But does you not use your womaan - aii, cos me mate Dave he says they is not allowed to do anything otherwise theys gets a slap, is that right?
The Revival: No. On the contrary, Islam elevated the status of women 1400 years ago by declaring them equal to men, giving them the right to work. right to education to the highest level, right to vote. right to take public office. right to join the army, right to divorce, right to inheritance, right to marry who she wishes and so on. Women are equal to men in all acts of piety (Quran 33:32).
Islam gave women political rights including voting and taking part in political activities such as sitting in parliament and becoming MP's. Lets not forget that women only got the right to vote in Britain in the beginning of the 20'' century!
Islam allows women to keep their maiden name after marriage, their earned money and spend it as they wish. and ask men to be their protector. Prophet Muhammad (P) told Muslim men, "the best among you is the one who is best to his wife." Not Islam, but some Muslim men, do oppress women today- this is because of their cultural habits or their ignorance about their religion.
Ali G: A big shout out to you at The Revival. me is understandin a little more about Islam and that you is not the mad limb choppin terrorists me thought you was. Me is off to get me Julie to wear a Burqa and do that shop over. Respect.
This article was first published in The Revival; April 2002 as AliG in da House! as a spoof interview with Ali G. It has been edited to remove some controversial humour.