A Muslim can be from any country or race. However, the Islamic faith originates in the nation of Arabia. Their official language is Arabic. Their religion is called Islam. The word ‘Islam’ means the way of peace and submission to God. A Muslim is someone who obeys God. Muslims are people who obey God. They call God Allah. The religion of Islam teaches that a person finds peace in this life by obeying Allah. They commit themselves to God and pray for peace. They believe in one God. Islam teaches that people should love God with all their hearts and Jesus is seen as a Prophet among them. They teach about the final judgment. In the judgment, some will go to heaven and some will go to hell.
The founder of the Islamic religion is Muhammad, he was their prophet – and he said that the angel Gabriel came to him and gave him a message from God. He was born in the city of Makkah and died in AD 632.
The Holy book of Islam is called the Quran/the Koran. The worship of meeting place of the Muslim is called a mosque. The Holy City is called Mecca. Every 12th month, Muslims take a pilgrimage to Mecca which is called the ‘Hajj’. This means that they try to visit the Holy City of Mecca once a year or at least once in their life time. This is something that some would have to save for. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to fast and pray. They pray five times a day seven times a week.
The Pillars of Islam are as follows:
i. Creed of Islam (Shahada) ii. Prayer (Salat); iii. Alms giving (Zakat); iv. Fasting (Saum); v. Pilgrimage (Hajj).
There are no priests in Islam, but there are religious leaders call imams which means in front. There are two types of Muslims.
A. The Sunnis. Their name means path. They believe that they are following in the right path. People from major Arab nations like Saudi Arabia are Sunnis.
B. The Shi’ites. This group is made up of those who broke away from the Sunnis after Muhammad’s death. They follower the descendants of Muhammad. The Shi’ites are from Iran.
EXTRA VOCABULARY WORDS
Sunna : This is the writings that contain the customs for Muslims to follow.
Surah: Chapters of the Quran
Shahada: A summary of the Islamic faith which says: “I bear witness that there is no God but
God, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of God”