Islam

The Second Largest Religion in the World

The World of Islam

Islam is the second largest religion in the world, after Christianity. It was founded by Muhammad in the 7th century. Muhammad was born in Makkah (Mecca), an ancient place of worship. According to Islamic teachings, he was called by the angel Gabriel to be a prophet or messenger of Allah. Allah is the Arabic word for God. Followers of Islam are called Muslims. The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam. The Qur’an often provides only general commands. The Sunnah is the teaching set by Muhammad for Muslims about how to live. Thus, Sunnah explains how to perform these commands. The most basic acts of worship for Muslims are called the Five Pillars of Islam. These include declaration of faith in one God, praying 5 times a day, charity or donating to the needy, fasting and not to eat, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca the Holy City also known as the holiday of the annual Hajj. Another place within Mecca is the Kaaba. it is the focal point in which the Holy Mosque was built. Muslims places of worship are called mosques, though Muslims may worship anywhere. All worshipers face Mecca during the prayer as Mecca is considered to be the Holy Place. The Muslim priest is called as imam. The imam is a preacher, teacher and spiritual leader. The two major Muslim holidays are Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. During these festivals Muslims visit their friends and family and exchange gifts. Ramadan is the 9th month of Islamic year. In this month, Muslims fast in order to learn self-discipline. The sects of the Islam religion are Sunni and Shiite.Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have much in common. The followers of these religions are monotheists, which mean that they believe in one God. All three faiths trace their origins to Abraham. Their sacred writings all include Biblical figures as Noah, Moses, and Adam.

By S. Thorat Period 3