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Islam

To Muslims, Islam is the original monotheistic faith from Adam to Jesus, with Muhammad as the last prophet of God, Allah. Muhammad collected the teachings of God in the Qur’an.¹ Islam is the second largest religion in the world.¹ There are five pillars of Islam, which include¹:

  • Testimony – there are no other Gods but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger.
  • Prayer – Salat (ritual prayer) is to be performed five times a day.
  • Alms-giving – Zakat is giving to those who are poor and in need.
  • Fasting – During Ramadhan no food or drink should be consumed from dawn to dusk.
  • Pilgrimage – at least once in a Muslim person’s life, during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, a pilgrimage to Mecca is expected.

Caliphs are the heads of state in Muslim communities and are considered the successors of Muhammad.¹

On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love. [19:96]

There are two main denominations in Islam²:

Sunni – The largest group, which believes that caliphs are chosen based on righteousness and not birth.
Shia – They believe that Muhammad chose his nephew to be his successor, who was the first Imam (leader of the Muslim people).

While Islam identifies Jesus as a prophet of God, it does not recognize the idea of the trinity that Christians believe in.  God is one, and he is a personal God that Muslims can call upon directly.² Muslim people believe in predestination; that Allah knows and controls all that happens.  They also believe in a day of resurrection, when all people will be judged on their actions, good and bad.² The Qur’an is a collection of God’s revelations to Muhammad, a guide to how Muslim people should live.

 

 

Image source:

1. Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil

References:

1. The Religion of Islam. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://www.islamreligion.com

2. The Economist. What is the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims? Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/05/economist-explains-19

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