Islam is a monotheistic religious tradition that developed in the Middle East in the 7th century C.E. Islam, which literally means “surrender” or “submission. Islam began in the Arabian Peninsula, the area now known as Saudi Arabia, and was revealed to humanity via the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). Those who follow Islam are called Muslims.
Muslims believe that there is only one God. The Arabic word for God is Allah & Muhammad (PBUH) is his last and final Messenger.It is a religion of peace and worship to one God; Allah. Those who practice the religion are known as Muslims. They are many different types of Muslims, but the two main groups are known as ‘Sunni’ and ‘Shia’.
Muslims are required to pray 5 times day, facing the sacred city of Mecca. Praying or ‘Salah’ is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
- Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith.
- Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day
- Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy.
- Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan.
- Hajj: an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Each Muslim is obligated to embark on this pilgrimage once in his/her lifetime if it is affordable and feasible to do so.
Muslim’s also believe in the Prophets Jesus (Issa A.S.) and Moses ( Musa A.S.). The Qur’an is the axial text of Islam and was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad as the word God, via the Angel Gabriel. The Qur’an was revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad over 23 years.
Qur’anic revelations are regarded by Muslims as the sacred word of God, intended to correct any errors in previous holy books such as the Old and New Testaments.
One of the unifying characteristics of Islam is the Five Pillars, the fundamental practices of Islam. These five practices include a ritual profession of faith, ritual prayer, the zakat (charity), fasting, and the hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca).
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