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Like two other religions today, Judaism and Christianity, Islam is thought to be an Abrahamic religion, because the three religions are believed to have been started by Abraham. In all three religions, Abraham is one of God's earliest messengers. Islam is currently the second largest religion in the world with just above 1 billion followers. It is also the fastest growing religion in the world.
Other than having religious laws Islam has laws on how the government should be run.
Muslims[edit | edit source]
Muslims, the people who follow the religion of Islam, pray in a holy place called the mosque. Most mosques have at least one dome and some have one or more towers. But a mosque does not need to have a dome or tower. Muslims take their shoes off before entering the mosque to pray. Prayer is one of the most important things that a Muslim does. The five most important things Muslims do in Islam are shown below.
The Five Pillars of Islam[edit | edit source]
- Testimony: The Testimony (al-Shaada in Arabic) is the Muslim testimony that there is no god but God Himself, and that Muhammad is His messenger.
- Prayer: Muslims pray five times at specific times of the day, which is one of the five essential practices of Islam.
- Alms: Muslims who have money must pay alms (Zakah or Zakat in Arabic) to help poor Muslims in the local community and for other purposes like making peoples' hearts warm to Islam.
- Fasting: Muslims fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. They do not eat or drink from sunrise till sunset for one lunar month. After Ramadan, there is a holiday called Eid al-Fitr (English: Festival of end-fast). Muslims usually have a party with families and friends and go to the mosque in the morning for a special oath service.
- Hajj: During the Hajj season, Muslims go to Mecca, the holiest city of Islam, which is located in Saudi Arabia. Muslims must make the hajj at least once in their life if they can afford to do so. There is no need if a Muslim does not have the money to make the Hajj. At the end of Hajj season, there is a holiday called Eid al-Adha (English: Festival of Sacrifice). Muslims who have made the Hajj must buy a lamb to sacrifice and cook as food, if they have the money for it. Muslims believe that Abraham, one of God's earliest messengers, was told by God on the day of Eid al-Adha to sacrifice his son in Jerusalem. But the angel Gabriel congratulated Abraham's obedience to God and gave him a lamb instead. Muslims believe that in this time, God never allowed human beings to kill people in His name ever again.
Meaning of the word "Islam"[edit | edit source]
In Arabic, the word Islam is a derivate of istislam wich means "submission". The word Islam comes from the Arabic word that means "surrender." By extension, Islam means specifically "submission to Allah". The way to submit to Allah is through worshipping him, obeying him, following the rules in the Qur'an, and trying to be like the prophet Muhammad. The Arabic word salaam also comes from the root meaning "surrender", although the word salaam actually means "peace".
Holy Sources[edit | edit source]
Koran[edit | edit source]
The holy book in the religion of Islam is the Koran (also spelled Qur'an and Quran). Islam teaches that the Koran was given by Allah, or God, to the prophet Muhammad. They also teach that the Koran is in heaven and that it is a perfect book. Muslims show respect to the Koran by washing their hands before touching it, trying to memorize it, to follow what it says, and by getting rid of it in a different manner to normal books. The Koran has a total of 114 chapters, each starts with "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful." (except only one). In each chapter there are also verses, going from 283 for the longest one to 3 for the shortest.
Hadith[edit | edit source]
The Hadiths are sayings by the founder of Islam, Muhammad, in the purpose of teaching things in Islam that aren't defined in the Koran. There are the "regular" Hadiths, and the qudsi Hadiths, reported to be said by Allah himself (then relayed by Gabriel to Muhammad). Nevertheless, when citing a Hadith, it is recommended to ensure if it is truly said in Muhammad's era (Hadith sahih) or not. If true, the Hadith must be cited exactly as it was originally said, unless the person citing it tries to make it more understandable, while explaining that he's doing it, so that it isn't felt that he's trying to rewrite Islam.