Followers of Islam believe: Islam existed before the birth of Mohammed. Islam dates back to the origin of the world. Mohammed is the last prophet.
Mohammed’s message from Jibril was to educate his countrymen, convert the pagans, and save man from materialism, hedonism and idolatry. Pleasure or happiness is the highest good; ego
Not all were receptive to Mohammed’s message and he used force and politics to establish Islam across Asia and Northern Africa.
Islam established roots in many areas (Middle East, N. Africa, Asia) and was battled in others. The Crusades pitted Muslims and Christians against each other and this legacy lingers even to this day.
Holy texts: The Qur’an (Koran) – “The Words of God” The Hadith – Sayings of Mohammed The Bible, the Torah, and the Psalms “If a monkey, a black dog, or a woman passes in front of a praying person, his prayer is nullified.” “The greatest Jihad is to say the truth in front of the king.” “The worst among you are your bachelors!”
Six Fundamental Beliefs of Islam: A single, indivisible God (Allah). The Angels The Holy Texts The Messengers of God (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammed) The Day of Judgement The Supremacy of God’s Will
Mecca Is a holy city to Muslims It is home of the Kaaba –A small shrine for Muslims
Major Schools of Thought within Islam: Sunni Muslims – 90% majority of believers; less strict interpretation of Islam; moderate. Shi’ite (or Shi’a) Muslims – leaders promote a strict interpretation of the Qur’an. Mostly live in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. Sufis – Mystics of Islam. Believers can be of either school of thought. It is more of a way to approach Islam; a way to seek a relationship with Allah through ritual, meditation, and dancing.
Muslim Holidays Giving to the poor is emphasized Islamic New Year (12/18/09) – usually quiet, special prayers, & readings –Celebrates Muhammad’s journey from Medina to Mecca Ashura (12/27/09) – 2 days of fasting, prayer, & meditation –Noah’s Ark ran aground –The Kaaba was built –The birth of Abraham Eid-Al-Adha (11/28/09) – A large feast to celebrate the sacrifice of Ishmael by Abraham –Sacrifice and devotion to Allah –Usually a lamb Mawlid an-Nabi (3/3/10) – Celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (570 A.D) –Not a “holiday” very subdued, unlike Christmas
Muslim Holidays continued Isra Mi'raj (7/9/10) – “the night journey and ascension” into heaven at the Dome of the Rock –Met Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Adam, the archangel Gabriel, and Jesus –Sweet foods and stories, no special prayers Ramadan (8/12/10 – 9/10/10) –Fasting throughout the day –Modesty, spirituality, & patience Eid-Al-Fitr (9/10/10) – end of Ramadan = celebrations
Islamic Food MuslimsMuslims follow dietary laws that are similar to Jewish kosher regulations.Jewish Foods that Muslims can eat are called Halal. Prohibited foods are called Haram and questionable foods are called Mashbooh. Swine and pork products, as well as meat not properly slaughtered or slaughtered in any name other than Allah are Haram. Carnivorous animals and birds or prey are also Haram. Haram animals include pig, dog, donkey, carnivores, monkeys, cats, lions, frogs, crocodiles, turtles, worms, flies, cockroaches, owls, and eagles. Alcohol, coffee, tea and other drugs are Haram. Halal foods that have become contaminated by contact with prohibited foods are also Haram. Fasting is also important. Fasting is a way to earn the approval of Allah, wipe out previous sins and understand the suffering of the poor. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan and voluntary fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is also common. Muslims are encouraged to only eat to two thirds of capacity.