Origin: Islam originated in 622 AD in the Arabian Peninsula. Muhammad learned from an angel that he was to be God's prophet.
Major beliefs: The Islamic religion is monotheistic. They believe in one god named Allah. The book they use to worship is called the Quran. They have five major beliefs that are known as the Five Pillars of Islam state.
The Shahadah - A statement of faith all Muslims recite that confirms their belief in Allah and his prophet Muhammad
The Salat or Salah - A daily ritual prayer of faith done five times a day.
Zakat - giving money to the poor and/or those in need.
Sawm - a fast done during the month of Ramadan.
Hajj - a pilgrimage every Muslim must do at least once in his/her life, if he or she is able to the Holy city of Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
Various sects of the religion: Those who follow the Islamic religion are known as Muslims. They fall into two major branches.
Shia -They believe that the rulers should descend from Muhammad.
Sunni -They believe that the rulers need only be followers of Muhammad.
Key holidays/ celebrations:
Ramadan - A month-long celebration in which Muslims believe fasting from dawn until sunset will help followers place more importance on spiritual matters, rather than on physical needs. It helps create empathy for one another. Muslims do this to show their devotion and to symbolize when Muhammad was given the Quran from Allah.
Eid-al-Fitr - A feast that celebrates the end of Ramadan. It is also known as the Feast of the Fast.