Sunni Islam Randolph Howe Brownell IV

Introduction

The basic beliefs of Islam is that Allah is the one true god and the Quran is the holy book. They believe in a heaven and a hell, and that Allah will judge them one day. Prophets are very important to the Islamic religion. Mohammad is by far the most important prophet, who held the word of God and was the founder of the Islamic religion.

Islam is monotheistic, and it applies to people all around the world making it a universalizing religion.

The crescent moon is the most widely used symbol to represent Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam are the most important rules to follow to be a Muslim (follower of Islam)

Shahada (Declaration of Faith)

First Pillar: The declaration that "There is no deity except God and Mohammad is the messenger of God." This is said during prayers and must be said in a mosque to officially join the Islamic religion.

Salat (Prayer)

Second Pillar: Praying five times a day. Muslims wash themselves and then pray towards Mecca.

Zacat (Charity)

Third Pillar: Muslims are required to give a part of their income to charity. How much is based on their income.

Swam (Fasting)

Fourth Pillar: Muslims must fast during the daytime in the month of Ramadan.

Hajj (Pilgrimage)

Fifth Pillar: A pilgrimage to Mecca, specifically the Kaaba, to worship God at the place where Islam originated. All forms of wealth or social status are abandoned for the pilgrimage.

Islamic Sects

The Islamic religion is divided into two major sects: The Sunnis and the Shias

The Sunnis are considered the orthodox sect, and they are the majority with 90% of Muslims identifying as Sunnis. Shia Muslims take up about 10% of the population.

Islamic Leadership

There hasn't been an official leader of the Islamic religion in a long time. However, many leaders of mainly Islamic countries claim to be. Previous leaders were descendants of the prophet Mohammad.

The Sunnis believe in more fundamental laws of Islam, such as only descendants of Mohammad should rule. However, the Shias believe that being a direct descendant of Mohammad shouldn't dictate wether or not that person should rule.

However, the divide isn't much between the Sunnis and the Shias. They share many customs, such as the pilgrimage to Mecca. However, many Shias are usually discriminated against because they are usually much poorer in Middle Eastern countries.

Hearth of Islam

Islam originated in Saudi Arabia, specifically at Mecca when Mohammad put Allah's words into the Quran and started the Islamic religion.

Diffusion of Islam

Islam mainly diffused through trade and military conquest. The diffusion started in the year 610 C.E. when Mohammad brought Islam to Saudi Arabia. The religion spread for years after to Africa and Asia and other parts of the world.

Distribution of Islam

In 2010 it was reported that there were 1.6 billion Muslims all over the world, and that number is still growing. The largest concentrations are in Asia, specifically India. Indonesia has a very large concentration. The Middle East only holds about 20% of the Muslim population despite being dominated by the Islamic religion.

Recently, there have been more Muslims in the U.S. and Europe, but the concentration is still small in comparison with Christianity.

The Cultural Landscape

The landscape associated with Islam usually is populated with large mosques for worship. Almost all mosques have dome shaped roofs and large pillars.

Citations

"Sunnis and Shia: Islam's Ancient Schism." BBC News. BBC, 04 Jan. 2016. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

"Library." Sunni Islam Origins, Sunni Islam History, Sunni Islam Beliefs. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

"Beliefs and Daily Lives of Muslims." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

"Origin Of Islam." AllAboutReligion.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

"Islamic Timeline." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

Lipka, Michael. "Muslims and Islam: Key Findings in the U.S. and around the World." Pew Research Center. N.p., 22 July 2016. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

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