Did you know that Islam
is the second largest religion with over 1.6 billion followers? The
word Islam means 'to submit to the will of Allah.' Islam religion
originated in Saudi Arabia in the sixth century. Muslims (followers of
Islam), believe that Allah sent 25 prophets to spread his word. When
you mention any of their names, you must always add 'peace be upon
The most important Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him)
was born in Makkah, in 570 AD. He was always very honest and kind, as
well as spiritual. Even when he was 25, he used to meditate in a cave
on Mount Hira. At the age of 40, Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a
revelation from the angel Jibril (Gabriel). The angel told him to
spread the word of Allah. He did so, secretly first, but then openly.
who believed Muhammad (peace be upon him) were persecuted by the rulers
of Makkah. Through Muhammad (peace be upon him), Allah commanded the
Muslims to move to Madinah. There they convinced several tribal leaders
to become Muslims.
Eventually the rulers of Makkah attacked
Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers in Madinah. However, the
small army of Muslims over-powered the vast army of Makkah. In the next
war, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was defeated by an army that was
three times larger than the previous one. His followers survived by
digging a trench and hiding in it. They had to sign a peace treaty with
In 630 AD, the treaty was broken and an army of 20,000
Muslims captured Makkah, without any bloodshed. The sole purpose of the
assault was to destroy all of the city's idols. Muhammad (peace be upon
him) died in 632 AD.
All Muslims try to go to Makkah at least
once in their lives. On this journey, the pilgrims wear only simple,
white garments. There is a holy well in which they dip a white cloth.
This cloth will be used to wrap their bodies when they die. Pilgrims
also drink as much holy water as they can, and take back many bottles
Islam has many different festivals. Here are five:
Muslim calendar has 12 months, each starting on a new moon. Being a
lunar year, the Muslim year of 354 days (355 in a leap year) is shorter
than the solar year of 365 days.
- Malid Al-Nabi: the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
- Ramadan: the fast of 40 days
- Laylat-Ul-Qadar: the day Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first vision
- Id Ul-Fitr: the breaking of the fast
- Id Ul-Adha: the festival of sacrifice
Islam has five pillars, founded
by the Prophets. The first is faith, the second prayer, the third alms,
the fourth fasting, and the fifth pilgrimage. Muslims read the Qu'ran,
their holy book. Muslims pray in a mosque. A mosque usually has a dome.
There are no paintings or statues inside a mosque. Before praying, Muslims perform 'wudu.' This is ceremonial washing. They clean their
throat because they have to talk to Allah, and then the rest of their body to
be respectable before him. Muslims pray five times a day at home. They
always face Makkah when they pray, as it is the holiest city.
a Muslim child is born, the father whispers into his ear a prayer. After seven days, the head is shaved and gold, equivalent in
weight to the shaven hair, is given to the poor. If the baby has no
hair, money is still given.
Muslims believe in life after death. They believe that there are two angels with every person, and when the
person dies, the angels go and tell Allah about the person. Accordingly, the person goes to Paradise or to Hell.
meat Muslims eat has to be halal. They don't eat pigs, carnivores,
strangled animals, or animals that died of natural causes. For an
animal to be edible to Muslims, it must be killed with a sharp knife
and the blood should flow freely.