A look into Islam Charlee Gerlach

Islam originated in the City of Mecca, on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, in modern day Saudi Arabia. The prophet Mohammad is a native to Mecca.

"According to Muslim belief, at the age of 40, Muhammad is visited by the angel Gabriel while on retreat in a cave near Mecca. The angel recites to him the first revelations of the Quran and informs him that he is God's prophet. Later, Muhammad is told to call his people to the worship of the one God, but they react with hostility and begin to persecute him and his followers. After enduring persecution in Mecca, Muhammad and his followers migrate to the nearby town of Yathrib (later to be known as Medina), where the people there accepted Islam. This marks the "hijrah" or "emigration," and the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad establishes an Islamic state based on the laws revealed in the Quran and the inspired guidance coming to him from God. Eventually he begins to invite other tribes and nations to Islam. Muhammad returns to Mecca with a large number of his followers. He enters the city peacefully, and eventually all its citizens accept Islam. The prophet clears the idols and images out of the Kaaba and rededicates it to the worship of God alone." (Timeline of Islam PBS)

Muhammad

Muhammad is Allah's prophet. He spread the word of Islam and created the Qu’ran based off of the messages he received from Allah. He's important to the Islamic religion because he basically made the religion. Considered by Muslims to be a messenger and prophet from God. He founded the religion of Islam by receiving revelations from God – which form the verses of the Qu’ran. Muhammad also unified various Meccan tribes.

Abu Bakr

One of the most well-known figures of Islam is Abu Bakr. Many Muslims up to the current day will name their children after this man, who was a very close companion of the Prophet Muhammad and after his death became the first caliph, according to Sunnis. Abu Bakr was also the father of Ayesha, one of the Prophet’s wives.

Some others

Within this group, the “four rightly guided caliphs,” who governed immediately after Muhammad, were particularly influential in guiding and shaping the early expansion of the faith: Abu Bakr (ruled 632-34), Umar (634-44), Uthman (644-56), and Ali (656-61). Another set of four individuals who had a tremendous impact on theology and social interaction were the founders of the Islamic legal schools: Abu Hanifah (d.767), Malik ibn Anas (d.795), Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi`i (d.819), and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d.855). Each of them helped to organize and formalize a legal system that continues to play an influential role in Muslim life into the present day.

The Qu’ran

The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God. It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters, which are then divided into verses.

610 C.E. is the earliest known origin of the Islamic religion.

The 5 Pillars of Islam

Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith.

Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day.

Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy.

Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca.

Sunni

include 84%–90% of all Muslims. Sunni means “tradition,” and Sunnis regard themselves as those who emphasize following the traditions of Muhammad and of the first two generations of the community of Muslims that followed Muhammad.

A number of movements to reform Islam have originated mainly in the 20th century. Some are limited to one country and others have a broader influence. Most are Sunni movements, such as the Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Jama`at-i-Islami.

Shi`ite

comprise 10%–16% of all Muslims. Shi`ites are the “party of `Ali,” who believe that Muhammad’s son-in-law `Ali was his designated successor (imam) and that the Muslim community should be headed by a designated descendent of Muhammad. Three main subgroups of Shi`ites are Twelvers (Ithna-`Asharis), Seveners (Isma`ilis), and Fivers (Zaydis).

Sufis

are Islamic mystics. Sufis go beyond external requirements of the religion to seek a personal experience of God through forms of meditation and spiritual growth. A number of Sufi orders, comparable to Christian monastic orders, exist. Most Sufis are also Sunni Muslims, although some are Shi`ite Muslims. Many conservative Sunni Muslims regard Sufism as a corruption of Islam, although most still regard Sufis as Muslims.

Practices

They pray towards Mecca wherever they are 5 times a day. They worship in Mosques but they pray wherever it just has to be facing Mecca. And at least once in every one's life who practices Islam must fufil Hajj or a pilgrimage to Mecca.

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