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Islam

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

Part of a series of articles on

Islam

   
Islam

History of Islam

Beliefs and practices

Oneness of God
Profession of Faith
PrayerFasting
PilgrimageCharity

Important people

Muhammad

Abu Bakr • Ali
Household of Muhammad
Companions of Muhammad
Prophets of Islam

Texts & Laws

Qur'an • Sunnah • Hadith
Jurisprudence • Theology
Biographies of Muhammad
Sharia

Types of Islam

SunniShi'a • Kharijite

Muslim culture

Academics • History
Philosophy • Science
Art • Architecture • Cities
Calendar • Holidays
Women • … in the Qu'ran
Leaders • Politics
Islamism • Liberalism • Sufism

See also

Vocabulary of Islam • Islamophobia

Islam (Arabic:   الإسلام ?) is a religion. People who follow this religion are called Muslims. They believe in only one God. That God is sometimes called Allah but Allah is just the Arabic word for God. Muslims read a holy book called the Qur'an. Muslims also look at the Sunnah and Hadith as important guides to understand the will of God. They believe that Muhammad was the last messenger of God who first taught the religion in ancient Arabia in the 7th century, but according to Muslims, he was not the first messenger of God to teach Islam to mankind.

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 now the second biggest religion in the world.

[edit] Muslims

Muslims pray in a mosque, like this one in Jerusalem.
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Muslims pray in a mosque, like this one in Jerusalem.

Muslims, the people who follow the religion 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 or slippers off before entering the mosque to pray. Prayer is one of the most important things that a muslim does. The five most important things (Five Pillars of Islam) Muslims do in Islam are as followed:

1. Shahadah: The Shahadah is the Muslim testimony that there is no god but God Himself, and that Muhammad is His messenger.

2. Salat: They pray five times at specific times of the day, which is one the five essential practices of Islam. This prayer is called salat in Arabic and namaz in Farsi.

3. Zakat: This is the Arabic word for charity in Islam. Muslims who have money must pay zakat to the local Muslim community to help poor people.

4. Saum: 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 celebrate over dinner and parties with families and friends and go to the mosque in the morning for a special Eid service.

5. 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 obligation 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 kill 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-Fitr to kill his son in Jerusalem. But the angel Gabriel congratulated Abraham's obedience to God and gave him a lamb instead.

[edit] Meaning of "Islam"

In Arabic, the word Islam means "submission". The word Islam is derived from the Arabic word that means "surrender." By extension, islam means specifically "submission to 'God' (Arabic: Allah)". The way to submit to God is through worshipping Him, obeying Him, and to follow the commandments in the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad. The Arabic word salaam also comes from the root meaning "surrender," although the word salaam actually means peace.

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