The Religion [By Wyatt Clark 3rd Period]

The Muslim Religion

Islamic astronomy became highly advanced during the Middle Ages. Astronomy was important to Muslims because it could be used to figure out the direction of Mecca so that people knew which way to face during prayers. This is one example of how the Western world is still influenced by Muslim innovations. As so, the Islam religion has many viewpoints and standards.

One interesting fact about Islam followers are called Muslim; Islam: Arabic إِسْلَام (ʾislām, “submission (to the will of God)”). Muslim: Arabic مُسْلِمٌ (múslimun, “one who submits”). The religion of Islam was founded by Muhammad in the 7th century. Muhammad was born sometime around 570 C.E. in Mecca, an ancient place of worship on the Arabian Peninsula. According to Islamic beliefs, in about 610 C.E. Muhammad was called by the angel Gabriel to be a prophet, or messenger of Allah. Allah is the Arabic word for God. Two foundations of Islam are the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam. The Sunnah is the term for the example that Muhammad set for Muslims about how to live. The most basic acts of worship for Muslims are called the Five Pillars of Islam. The Qur’an provides general commands to perform these five duties. The Sunnah explains how to perform them, based on Muhammad’s. The two major Muslim holidays are Eid al-Fitr (eed AL-fitr) and Eid al-Adha (eed AL-adh’hah). Eid al-Fitr takes place when Ramadan ends. People attend prayers at a mosque. They wear new clothes, decorate their homes, and prepare special foods. They visit friends and family and exchange gifts. Eid al-Adha is a festival at the end of the hajj in Makkah that also is celebrated by Muslims all over Southeast Asia and the world. In honor of Abraham, some Muslims families sacrifice animals, usually sheep or goats, and share the meat with family, friends, and the poor. The festival lasts for four days, during which Muslims visit friends and family and exchange gifts. Muslim places of worship are called mosques. Praying at a mosque is preferable, although Muslims may worship anywhere. The main room in a mosque, where Muslims worship, has little or no furniture. Everyone sits on the floor to show their equality of status. A niche in one of the walls shows the direction of Makkah. All worshippers face Makkah during their prayers.On Fridays, Muslims gather at a mosque to pray. Women sit apart from the men. Although Muslims set Fridays aside as a special day of prayer, they do not observe Fridays as a Sabbath, or day of rest. Friday is the day of the weekly grand prayer, but Muslims may also gather for prayers during the times of the five daily prayers.