Islam is the second largest faith on the earth after Christianity, with about 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. Though its roots return additional, students usually date the creation of Islam to the seventh century, making it the youngest of the main world religions. Islam began in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, in the course of the time of the prophet Muhammad’s life. In the present day, the religion is spreading quickly all through the world.
- The phrase “Islam” means “submission to the need of God.”
- Followers of Islam are referred to as Muslims.
- Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, all-knowing God, who in Arabic is named Allah.
- Followers of Islam purpose to dwell a lifetime of full submission to Allah. They imagine that nothing can occur with out Allah’s permission, however people have free will.
- Islam teaches that Allah’s phrase was revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.
- Muslims imagine a number of prophets had been despatched to show Allah’s regulation. They respect a few of the identical prophets as Jews and Christians, together with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Jesus. Muslims contend that Muhammad was the ultimate prophet.
- Mosques are locations the place Muslims worship.
- Some necessary Islamic holy locations embrace the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina.
- The Quran (or Koran) is the main holy textual content of Islam. The Hadith is one other necessary guide. Muslims additionally revere some materials discovered within the Judeo-Christian Bible.
- Followers worship Allah by praying and reciting the Quran. They imagine there can be a day of judgment, and life after loss of life.
- A central thought in Islam is “jihad,” which implies “wrestle.” Whereas the time period has been used negatively in mainstream tradition, Muslims imagine it refers to inside and exterior efforts to defend their religion. Though uncommon, this could embrace navy jihad if a “simply conflict” is required.
The prophet Muhammad, generally spelled Mohammed or Mohammad, was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 570 A.D. Muslims imagine he was the ultimate prophet despatched by God to disclose their religion to mankind.
Based on Islamic texts and custom, an angel named Gabriel visited Muhammad in 610 A.D. whereas he was meditating in a cave. The angel ordered Muhammad to recite the phrases of Allah.
Muslims imagine that Muhammad continued to obtain revelations from Allah all through the remainder of his life.
Beginning in about 613, Muhammad started preaching all through Mecca the messages he obtained. He taught that there was no different God however Allah and that Muslims ought to commit their lives to this God.
In 622, Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina together with his supporters. This journey grew to become generally known as the Hijra (additionally spelled Hegira or Hijrah), and marks the start of the Islamic calendar.
Some seven years later, Muhammad and his many followers returned to Mecca and conquered the area. He continued to evangelise till his loss of life in 632.
After Muhammad’s passing, Islam started to unfold quickly. A sequence of leaders, generally known as caliphs, grew to become successors to Muhammad. This method of management, which was run by a Muslim ruler, grew to become generally known as a caliphate.
The primary caliph was Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father-in-law and shut buddy.
Abu Bakr died about two years after he was elected and was succeeded in 634 by Caliph Umar, one other father-in-law of Muhammad.
When Umar was assassinated six years after being named caliph, Uthman, Muhammad’s son-in-law, took the function.
Uthman was additionally killed, and Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was chosen as the subsequent caliph.
Throughout the reign of the primary 4 caliphs, Arab Muslims conquered massive areas within the Center East, together with Syria, Palestine, Iran and Iraq. Islam additionally unfold all through areas in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The caliphate system lasted for hundreds of years and ultimately advanced into the Ottoman Empire, which managed massive areas within the Center East from about 1517 till 1917, when World Struggle I ended the Ottoman reign.
Sunnis and Shiites
When Muhammad died, there was debate over who ought to substitute him as chief. This led to a schism in Islam, and two main sects emerged: the Sunnis and the Shiites.
Sunnis make up almost 90 p.c of Muslims worldwide. They settle for that the primary 4 caliphs had been the true successors to Muhammad.
Shiite Muslims imagine that solely the caliph Ali and his descendants are the true successors to Muhammad. They deny the legitimacy of the primary three caliphs. In the present day, Shiite Muslims have a substantial presence in Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Different Forms of Islam
Different, smaller Muslim denominations throughout the Sunni and Shiite teams exist. A few of these embrace:
- Wahhabi: This Sunni sect, made up of members of the Tameem tribe in Saudi Arabia, was based within the 18th century. Followers observe an especially strict interpretation of Islam that was taught by Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab.
- Alawite: This Shiite type of Islam is prevalent in Syria. Followers maintain related beliefs concerning the caliph Ali but additionally observe some Christian and Zoroastrian holidays.
- Nation of Islam: This principally African-American, Sunni sect was based within the Thirties in Detroit, Michigan.
- Kharijites: This sect broke from the Shiites after disagreeing over how one can choose a brand new chief. They’re identified for radical fundamentalism, and at this time are referred to as Ibadis.
The Quran (generally spelled Qur’an or Koran) is taken into account crucial holy guide amongst Muslims.
It comprises some fundamental info that’s discovered within the Hebrew Bible in addition to revelations that got to Muhammad. The textual content is taken into account the sacred phrase of God and supercedes any earlier writings.
Most Muslims imagine that Muhammad’s scribes wrote down his phrases, which grew to become the Quran. (Muhammad himself was by no means taught to learn or write.)
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The guide is written with Allah as the primary individual, talking by Gabriel to Muhammad. It comprises 114 chapters, that are referred to as surahs.
Students imagine the Quran was compiled shortly after Muhammad’s loss of life, beneath the steering of Caliph Abu Bakr.
READ MORE: Why the Quran Was a Bestseller Amongst Christians in 18th Century America
The Islamic calendar, additionally referred to as the Hijra calendar, is a lunar calendar utilized in Islamic non secular worship. The calendar started within the yr 622 A.D., celebrating the journey of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.
The Islamic calendar signifies the correct days of Islamic holidays and celebrations, together with the interval of fasting and prayer generally known as Ramadan, which happens in the course of the ninth month of the calendar.
As in lots of religions, there is no such thing as a single picture or image of Islam that’s universally accepted by all Muslims worldwide.
The crescent moon and star has been adopted in some predominantly Muslim international locations as a logo of Islam, although the crescent moon and star picture is believed to pre-date Islam and was initially a logo of the Ottoman Empire.
In another functions, such because the Worldwide Purple Cross and Purple Crescent humanitarian help motion, a purple crescent signifies that followers of Islam are revered and handled accordingly.
The colour inexperienced can also be generally related to Islam, because it was reportedly a favourite shade of Muhammad’s and is commonly featured prominently within the flags of predominantly Muslim international locations.
5 Pillars of Islam
Muslims comply with 5 fundamental pillars which might be important to their religion. These embrace:
- Shahada: to declare one’s religion in God and perception in Muhammad
- Salat: to hope 5 occasions a day (at daybreak, midday, afternoon, sundown, and night)
- Zakat: to present to these in want
- Sawm: to quick throughout Ramadan
- Hajj: to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at the very least as soon as throughout an individual’s lifetime if the individual is ready
Islam’s authorized system is named Sharia Legislation. This faith-based code of conduct directs Muslims on how they need to dwell in almost each side of their lives.
Sharia regulation requires women and men to decorate modestly. It additionally outlines marriage tips and different ethical rules for Muslims.
If crimes are dedicated, Sharia regulation is thought for its harsh punishments. For instance, the punishment for theft is amputating an individual’s hand. Adultery can carry the penalty of loss of life by stoning. Nonetheless, many Muslims don’t assist such excessive measures.
The prophet Muhammad is credited with constructing the primary mosque within the courtyard of his home in Medina. Mosques at this time comply with a few of the identical rules he established in 622 A.D.
Muslim prayer is commonly carried out in a mosque’s massive open house or outside courtyard. A mihrab is an ornamental function or area of interest within the mosque that signifies the course to Mecca, and subsequently the course to face throughout prayer.
Women and men pray individually, and Muslims could go to a mosque 5 occasions a day for every of the prayer periods. Along with internet hosting prayers, mosques usually operate as public gathering locations and social facilities.
The 2 main Muslim holidays are:
Eid al-Adha: celebrates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah.
Eid al-Fitr: marks the tip of Ramadan—the Islamic holy month of fasting.
Muslims additionally rejoice different holidays, such because the Islamic New 12 months and the beginning of Muhammad.
Islam In the present day
In recent times, Islam’s supposed affiliation with terrorism and mass homicide has sparked a political debate in lots of international locations. The controversial time period “radical Islam” has grow to be a widely known label to explain the faith’s connection to acts of violence.
Latest surveys have discovered that in international locations with excessive Muslim populations, nearly all of Muslims have overwhelmingly detrimental views of terrorist teams like ISIS.
Whereas Muslims purpose to clear up misconceptions about their religion, the faith continues to unfold quickly. In the present day, Islam is the world’s quickest rising faith. Specialists predict Islam will surpass Christianity as the most important faith by the tip of the century.
Islam: The Second Largest World Faith…And Rising, Non secular Tolerance.
Islam Quick Details, CNN.
Fundamental Details About Islam, PBS.
What’s Sharia Legislation and How is it Utilized? BBC.
In nations with vital Muslim populations, a lot disdain for ISIS. Pew Analysis Heart.
Islam Rituals and Worship: Symbolism, The Faith Library.
The Islamic Calendar: TimeandDate.com.