Islam: The Basics

Introduction and Resource Guide to Islam
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What does Islam mean? Who is Allah God? Muslims have six major beliefs: Belief in one God Allah Belief in the Angels Belief in the holy books sent to all the prophets including Torah that was revealed to the prophet Moses, Bible that was revealed to the prophet Jesus, and Qur'an Koran that was revealed to the prophet Muhammad Belief in all the prophets sent by God including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

Exploring Islam

Belief in the Day of Judgment and life after death. The best reward for performing good deeds is getting closer to God. Belief in divine decree. This means that God is all-powerful and nothing can happen without His permission, however, he has given human beings freedom to choose whether to be good or bad. In the end, everyone will be questioned about how they lived in this life.

What are the Five Pillars of Islam? These are guides for daily life for putting the beliefs of Muslims into practice: Shahadah declaration of faith —to bear witness or testify that there is no god except one God Allah and Muhammad is His prophet or messenger. Salat ritual prayer —the five daily prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and night.

The prayers are offered in Arabic language and facing the direction of Mecca. Zakah alms tax —Giving 2. Sawm fasting —Muslims fast during the daylight hours in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar called Ramadan. The purpose is to remind people of the goodness of what they have and to show equality with the poor.

Ramadan is a time for study and self-discipline.

Basic Beliefs of Islam

Hajj pilgrimage : Muslims believe in making a pilgrimage to Mecca to the Ka'bah at least once in their lifetime. These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true Muslim: A Declaration of faith: A statement proclaiming the belief in One God and that Muhammad is a prophet of God.

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May 11, Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, and if population estimates prove accurate, it will become the dominant belief system by the end of the twenty-first century. Traditions and practices within Islam vary, but a few benchmarks root most Muslims in a common faith. Islam: Basic Beliefs. Islam is an Arabic word which means "surrender, submission , commitment and peace." Thus, Islam can be defined as a path to attain.

To become Muslim a person simply recites this statement publicly, and in Arabic. B Formal prayer five times a day. C Poor-due tax: 2. D Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. E Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.

Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity, with about 1. Although its roots go back further, scholars typically date the creation of Islam to the 7th century, making it the youngest of the major world religions. Today, the faith is spreading rapidly throughout the world. Muslims believe he was the final prophet sent by God to reveal their faith to mankind. According to Islamic texts and tradition, an angel named Gabriel visited Muhammad in A.

The angel ordered Muhammad to recite the words of Allah. Muslims believe that Muhammad continued to receive revelations from Allah throughout the rest of his life. Starting in about , Muhammad began preaching throughout Mecca the messages he received. He taught that there was no other God but Allah and that Muslims should devote their lives to this God. In , Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina with his supporters. This journey became known as the Hijra also spelled Hegira or Hijrah , and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Some seven years later, Muhammad and his many followers returned to Mecca and conquered the region.

He continued to preach until his death in A series of leaders, known as caliphs, became successors to Muhammad. This system of leadership, which was run by a Muslim ruler, became known as a caliphate. Abu Bakr died about two years after he was elected and was succeeded in by Caliph Umar, another father-in-law of Muhammad.

Islam also spread throughout areas in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

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The caliphate system lasted for centuries and eventually evolved into the Ottoman Empire , which controlled large regions in the Middle East from about until , when World War I ended the Ottoman reign. When Muhammad died, there was debate over who should replace him as leader. This led to a schism in Islam, and two major sects emerged: the Sunnis and the Shiites. Sunnis make up nearly 90 percent of Muslims worldwide. They accept that the first four caliphs were the true successors to Muhammad. Shiite Muslims believe that only the caliph Ali and his descendants are the real successors to Muhammad.

They deny the legitimacy of the first three caliphs. Other, smaller Muslim denominations within the Sunni and Shiite groups exist. Some of these include:. It contains some basic information that is found in the Hebrew Bible as well as revelations that were given to Muhammad.

The text is considered the sacred word of God and supercedes any previous writings. Muhammad himself was never taught to read or write.

Islam: The Basics

The book is written with Allah as the first person, speaking through Gabriel to Muhammad. It contains chapters, which are called surahs. The Islamic calendar, also called the Hijra calendar, is a lunar calendar used in Islamic religious worship. The calendar began in the year A. The Islamic calendar indicates the proper days of Islamic holidays and celebrations, including the period of fasting and prayer known as Ramadan , which occurs during the ninth month of the calendar. As in many religions, there is no single image or symbol of Islam that is universally accepted by all Muslims worldwide.

The crescent moon and star has been adopted in some predominantly Muslim countries as a symbol of Islam, though the crescent moon and star image is believed to pre-date Islam and was originally a symbol of the Ottoman Empire.