Islam originated in the city of Mecca which is located in the eastern side of modern-day Saudi Arabia. The founder of the religion, Muhammad, began teaching in 610 A.D. up until his death in 632 A.D. Since then, Islam has spread through much of Asia including India, China, and up to the border of Africa. One of the major similarities between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism is that they are all monotheistic religions, meaning they believe in a single god.
The crescent moon is a very important part of the Islamic rituals which are based on a lunar calendar
The followers of Islam, Muslims, believe in a single God known as Allah. Muslims worship from the holy book known as the Quran and believe that God serves as four functions which are creation, sustenance, guidance, and judgement. Muslim follow the five pillars which include the Shahadah (a statement of faith), the Salat (a prayer of faith done five times a day), Zakat (tax paid for the benefit of the poor), Sawm (fast during Ramada), and Hajj (pilgrimage that every Muslim must do). The most holy place for Muslims is the Kabba; a shrine located in Mecca. Most Muslims also follow the Sharia law which is a system of morals that they use as a basis for their laws.
The five pillars of Islam
The Islamic religion is broken down into multiple different sub-groups, but the two main sects are the Sunni and the Shiite. People who make up the Sunni believe that rulers only have to be followers of Muhammad, while the Shiite believe that rulers must be direct descendants of Muhammad. Most Muslims are Sunni. Most of the other sects of he Muslim religion are sub-groups of th Sunni and Shiite. These include the Wahabi (Sunni), the Alawite (Shiite), the Kharijite (broke away from the Shiite), and the Nation of Islam (Shiite).
The biggest Celebration that Muslims part take in is Ramadan. Ramadan is a month long celebration commemorating the time in which Muhammad received the Quran from Allah. During this time, Muslims fast from dawn till sun down all month long. They believe that fasting helps focus on spirituality rather than body matters. Ramadan ends with a big feast called Eid-al-Fitr also known as the feast of the fast. Muslims also celebrate the Islamic new year, Al-Hijra, on the first day of Muharram, which is the month in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina.