Islam Austin Buroff

The origin of Islam starts in A.D. 610 when the spiritual founder Muhammad, began his teaching in Mecca. Eventually the religion spread throughout much of Asia, including parts of India to the borders of china, and a substantial portion of Africa. Muhammad dictated the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, which Muslims believe to be the preexistent, perfect words of Allah.

Muslims believe that god created nature and without his intervention, there would be nothingness. God serves four functions: creation, substance, guidance, and judgement. They also believe in one god who they call "Allah". Other prophets they believe in are Abraham, Moses, Noah, David, and Jesus. Muslims also believe that God revealed holy books or scriptures to a number of God's messengers. These include the Quran (given to Muhammad), the Torah (given to Moses), the Gospel (given to Jesus), the Psalms (given to David), and the Scrolls (given to Abraham).

Central to Islamic beliefs are the five pillars. The affirmation of the belief in Allah and his prophet Muhammad are; group praying; tithing; or the giving of money to charity; fasting during Ramadan; and a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime if physically and financially able. Also the believer worships God directly without the intercession of priests or clergy or saints.

The most popular holiday for Muslims is Ramadan. Fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam, so Muslims celebrate a holiday based on fasting. Ramadan is a month long celebration commemoration the time during which Muhammad received Quran from Allah. Muslims fast until sunset all month long. Muslims believe that fasting helps followers focus on spiritual rather than bodily matters. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Id al-Fitr that is considered one of Islam's major holidays.

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