Islam

by Soham Govande Period 8

Facts

Followers of Islam are called Muslims, and they live in the Middle East.

Prayer is one of the Five Pillars, which are concepts Islams must believe in. Muslims pray 5 times every day- morning, afternoon, late-afternoon, sundown, and at night. Before prayer, they thoroughly wash themselves, so that they are clean while worshiping their God. Another pillar is belief. All Muslims must believe in God, Allah, and that He is the one and only God. The third belief is in charity. Every year, they donate 2.5% of their money to the poor to decrease poverty. Fasting is another belief they have. In Ramdan, the 9th month. Muslims fast from daylight to evening, which encourages discipline and shows God that they believe in him. Lastly, all Muslims must visit the city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime (Annual Hajj). Additionally, All men are equal before God's eyes, as they were created by him.

Islam has many traditions, and one of them is Annual Hajj. Every year, Muslims visit Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, a city where only Muslims are permitted. A prophet named Muhammad, the messenger of God, was born there, making it the holiest city in Saudi Arabia. Secondly, the 9th month of the year is called Ramdan. Everybody performs fasting from dawn to sunset. It develops discipline and proves to God that they are loyal to him. Furthermore, they refrain from malicious or bad thoughts, all of which purifies them. After Ramdan, there is a festival called Eid al-Fitr, a three day celebration. Muslims visit family and friends and give presents to each other.

Muslims go to pray at a temple called a mosque, with no furniture nor paintings. Instead, there are geometric shapes because it is against Islam's religion to show paintings of Muhammad. Muslims pray 5 times every day, as described earlier. There is a Wall of Makkah in every mosque, which they face while praying. Fridays are reserved for prayer, and all Muslims travel to their mosques.

An imam is the prayer leader, so they are consulted for not only praying-related, but also secular guidance. A muezzin leads call to prayer and is the "leader" of the mosque. Hence, he has a respected position. Muezzins stand in minarets, which are high towers on the corners of a mosque.

The Islam holy book is the Quran or the Koran. It was revealed to Muhammad by Allah, and when he began to recite it, the Islam religion was spread. The Quran contains things such as the basic teachings of Islam, including the five pillars of faith, loyalty to God, and etcetera. For example, it says that Allah is the one and only God, and everyone must follow his teachings and commands. Furthermore, it states how prayer should be done, such as where and when.

In the Islamic religion, there are three major holidays or festivals- Hajj, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha. In Hajj, Muslims visit the city of Mecca, a holy place where Muhammad was born. Secondly, Eid-al-Fitr marks the end of Ramdan, the 9th month. In it, people share gifts, visit family and friends, and wear new clothes. Third of all, Eid-al-Fitr is the end of Hajj. People slaughter and sacrifice animals to show their faith to Allah. This is symbolic because it is like Muhammad's act of willing to sacrifice his son to God at His command. Overall, the main two holidays mark the end of certain times.

Mainly, the most holy place is the city of Mecca. Muhammad, Allah's messenger, was born there, marking it with holiness. Every Muslim tries to visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime, if they can.

Similarities

The religious figure Abraham is common to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; he founded all of them. All three of the religions are monotheistic, meaning that they believe there is only one God. Furthermore, all of their sacred books have figures such as Adam, Eve, Noah, and Moses. In the Islamic religion, they believe that all three religions are worshiping the same God, Allah.