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Islamic Facts

 

 


Islam: Key facts

   Islam is considered one of major world religions.

   Islam is strictly monotheistic, and its central teaching is that there is one all-powerful, all-knowing God who created the universe. God is referred by the Arabic name, Allah.

   In Arabic, Islam means "surrender" or "submission" -- to the will of God. Followers are known as Muslims, an Arabic word that means "one who surrenders to God."

   Islam says all Muslims are equal before God, and all Muslims belong to one community, regardless of ethnic or national background.

   Islam was founded by the prophet Mohammed, who Muslims believe was the last and most important in a series of prophets, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

   According to Islam, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mohammed and informed him that he was God's chosen messenger.

   Mohammed was born in Mecca around A.D. 570, and settled in Medina around 622. Islam rejects the idea that God was ever born, a key difference with the Christian belief that Jesus was born the son of God.

   The holy book of Islam is the Quraan, which means "the timeless words of God." It has 114 chapters and comprises the main teachings of Islam.

   The Quraan portrays Mohammed as a human being who sometimes makes mistakes but who never sins against God. Mohammed's humanity serves as a reminder that other humans can also aspire to lead a good life.

   The core practices of Islam are known as the Five Pillars: daily prayer, faith, fasting, pilgrimage and alms giving. For more information, go here.

   There are an estimated 1.2 billion Muslims world wide, with Malasia being the most populous Muslim country. The faith is considered the world's fastest growing religion.

   There are several sects and traditions within Islam, including  Sunni Islam, Shiaa Islam and Sufism. Sunni Muslims constitute the vast majority of the world's Muslims.

   Islamic law forbids the artistic representation of God, the prophets and -- sometimes -- of human beings in general.

 

 

 
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