February 13, 2014
The religious faith of Islam, as it was practiced between about 650 and 1500 AD, was closely related toJudaism and Christianity. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believed that there was only one God, whom they called 'Allah'. Muslims believed that Moses andJesus had both existed, and that they were important holy men, and thatMohammed was another in the same line, also holy. Many of the stories in theKoran are the same as the stories in the Judeo-Christian Bible. After theIslamic Empire was founded, many Muslims lived in the old Sassanian Empire, and a lot of old Zoroastrian beliefs also became common among Muslims.
Muslims believed that if you did things which pleased Allah, you would have a good life on earth, and also a good life after you died. There were five main things Allah liked (the five pillars of Islam):
- Allah wanted you to have no other gods but Allah.
- Allah liked you to pray to him five times a day, facing toward his most holy place at Mecca, in the Arabian peninsula.
- Allah liked you to give charity to the poor.
- Allah liked you to make a trip to Mecca sometime in your lifetime (the Haj).
- Allah liked you to fast (not eat during the daytime) during Ramadan, the holy month.