Background The followers of Islam are called Muslims. The word Islam means “peace through submission to the will of Allah”. They believe in one God “Allah”. The religion was founded by Muhammad in 610 C.E. They also accept the prophets of Judaism & Christianity. Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Jesus
Holy Book Muslims follow the practices & teachings of the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book), The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad to him by Allah over many years. The goal of Islam is to reach Paradise.
Five Pillars of Islam Islam is a direct simple faith, stressing the need to obey the will of Allah. 1. Belief (believing there is no deity but the One God, and Muhammad is the messenger) 2. Prayer (performing the prescribed prayers 5 times daily) 3. Charity (giving parts of one’s wealth to the poor, “giving alms”) 4. Fasting (refraining from food or drink from dawn to sunset through the month of Ramadan) 5. Pilgrimages (making at least one pilgrimage to Makkah or Mecca in one’s lifetime. This journey is called the “Hajj”).
Shari’ah Law A set of practical laws to regulate their daily lives. It is based on scholars interpretations of the Quran and the examples set by Muhammad in his life. It regulates all aspects of Muslim life: family, business, government, and moral conduct.
Additional Information Sunnah – Example set by Muhammad Mosque – Islamic place of worship. Imam – Islamic prayer leader. Today: As of 2000 there were 1.1 billion followers of Islam.
Branches Split in Islam; Shi’ite – The Caliph should be a relative of Muhammad Sunni – The Caliph is chosen. Sufi – Belief in Islam through meditation and chanting.