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Islam is the second largest faith on the planet after Christianity, with about 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. Though its roots return additional, students usually date the creation of Islam to the seventh century, making it the youngest of the key world religions. Islam began in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, through the time of the prophet Muhammad’s life. Right this moment, the religion is spreading quickly all through the world.

Islam Details

  • The phrase “Islam” means “submission to the need of God.”
  • Followers of Islam are referred to as Muslims.
  • Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, all-knowing God, who in Arabic is called Allah.
  • Followers of Islam purpose to reside a lifetime of full submission to Allah. They imagine that nothing can occur with out Allah’s permission, however people have free will.
  • Islam teaches that Allah’s phrase was revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.
  • Muslims imagine a number of prophets had been despatched to show Allah’s regulation. They respect a few of the identical prophets as Jews and Christians, together with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Jesus. Muslims contend that Muhammad was the ultimate prophet.
  • Mosques are locations the place Muslims worship.
  • Some vital Islamic holy locations embrace the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina.
  • The Quran (or Koran) is the key holy textual content of Islam. The Hadith is one other vital ebook. Muslims additionally revere some materials discovered within the Judeo-Christian Bible.
  • Followers worship Allah by praying and reciting the Quran. They imagine there shall be a day of judgment, and life after dying.
  • A central concept in Islam is “jihad,” which implies “battle.” Whereas the time period has been used negatively in mainstream tradition, Muslims imagine it refers to inner and exterior efforts to defend their religion. Though uncommon, this will embrace army jihad if a “simply warfare” is required.


The prophet Muhammad, typically spelled Mohammed or Mohammad, was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 570 A.D. Muslims imagine he was the ultimate prophet despatched by God to disclose their religion to mankind.

Based on Islamic texts and custom, an angel named Gabriel visited Muhammad in 610 A.D. whereas he was meditating in a cave. The angel ordered Muhammad to recite the phrases of Allah.

Muslims imagine that Muhammad continued to obtain revelations from Allah all through the remainder of his life.

Beginning in about 613, Muhammad started preaching all through Mecca the messages he obtained. He taught that there was no different God however Allah and that Muslims ought to commit their lives to this God.


In 622, Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina along with his supporters. This journey grew to become often called the Hijra (additionally spelled Hegira or Hijrah), and marks the start of the Islamic calendar.

Some seven years later, Muhammad and his many followers returned to Mecca and conquered the area. He continued to evangelise till his dying in 632.

Abu Bakr

After Muhammad’s passing, Islam started to unfold quickly.  A sequence of leaders, often called caliphs, grew to become successors to Muhammad. This method of management, which was run by a Muslim ruler, grew to become often called a caliphate.

The primary caliph was Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father-in-law and shut pal.

Abu Bakr died about two years after he was elected and was succeeded in 634 by Caliph Umar, one other father-in-law of Muhammad.

Caliphate System

When Umar was assassinated six years after being named caliph, Uthman, Muhammad’s son-in-law, took the function.

Uthman was additionally killed, and Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was chosen as the subsequent caliph.

In the course of the reign of the primary 4 caliphs, Arab Muslims conquered massive areas within the Center East, together with Syria, Palestine, Iran and Iraq. Islam additionally unfold all through areas in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The caliphate system lasted for hundreds of years and finally developed into the Ottoman Empire, which managed massive areas within the Center East from about 1517 till 1917, when World Conflict I ended the Ottoman reign.

Sunnis and Shiites

When Muhammad died, there was debate over who ought to exchange him as chief. This led to a schism in Islam, and two main sects emerged: the Sunnis and the Shiites.

Sunnis make up practically 90 p.c of Muslims worldwide. They settle for that the primary 4 caliphs had been the true successors to Muhammad.

Shiite Muslims imagine that solely the caliph Ali and his descendants are the true successors to Muhammad. They deny the legitimacy of the primary three caliphs. Right this moment, Shiite Muslims have a substantial presence in Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Different Forms of Islam

Different, smaller Muslim denominations throughout the Sunni and Shiite teams exist. A few of these embrace:

  • Wahhabi: This Sunni sect, made up of members of the Tameem tribe in Saudi Arabia, was based within the 18th century. Followers observe a particularly strict interpretation of Islam that was taught by Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab.
  • Alawite: This Shiite type of Islam is prevalent in Syria. Followers maintain comparable beliefs concerning the caliph Ali but additionally observe some Christian and Zoroastrian holidays.
  • Nation of Islam: This principally African-American, Sunni sect was based within the Thirties in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Kharijites: This sect broke from the Shiites after disagreeing over how one can choose a brand new chief. They're identified for radical fundamentalism, and at this time are referred to as Ibadis.


Islam Quran
The Quran.Nazaruddin Abdul Hamed/EyeEm/Getty Photographs

The Quran (typically spelled Qur’an or Koran) is taken into account an important holy ebook amongst Muslims.

It incorporates some fundamental info that's discovered within the Hebrew Bible in addition to revelations that got to Muhammad. The textual content is taken into account the sacred phrase of God and supercedes any earlier writings.

Most Muslims imagine that Muhammad’s scribes wrote down his phrases, which grew to become the Quran. (Muhammad himself was by no means taught to learn or write.)

The ebook is written with Allah as the primary individual, talking by Gabriel to Muhammad. It incorporates 114 chapters, that are referred to as surahs.

Students imagine the Quran was compiled shortly after Muhammad’s dying, beneath the steerage of Caliph Abu Bakr.

Islamic Calendar

The Islamic calendar, additionally referred to as the Hijra calendar, is a lunar calendar utilized in Islamic spiritual worship. The calendar started within the yr 622 A.D., celebrating the journey of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.

The Islamic calendar signifies the right days of Islamic holidays and celebrations, together with the interval of fasting and prayer often called Ramadan, which happens through the ninth month of the calendar.

Islam Symbols

As in lots of religions, there isn't any single picture or image of Islam that's universally accepted by all Muslims worldwide.

The crescent moon and star has been adopted in some predominantly Muslim nations as an emblem of Islam, although the crescent moon and star picture is believed to pre-date Islam and was initially an emblem of the Ottoman Empire.  

In another purposes, such because the Worldwide Pink Cross and Pink Crescent humanitarian help motion, a crimson crescent signifies that followers of Islam are revered and handled accordingly.

The colour inexperienced can be typically related to Islam, because it was reportedly a favourite coloration of Muhammad's and is commonly featured prominently within the flags of predominantly Muslim nations.

5 Pillars of Islam

Muslims observe 5 fundamental pillars which might be important to their religion. These embrace:

  • Shahada: to declare one’s religion in God and perception in Muhammad
  • Salat: to wish 5 occasions a day (at daybreak, midday, afternoon, sundown, and night)
  • Zakat: to provide to these in want
  • Sawm: to quick throughout Ramadan
  • Hajj: to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at the very least as soon as throughout an individual’s lifetime if the individual is in a position

Sharia Regulation

Islam’s authorized system is called Sharia Regulation. This faith-based code of conduct directs Muslims on how they need to reside in practically each facet of their lives.

Sharia regulation requires women and men to decorate modestly. It additionally outlines marriage pointers and different ethical ideas for Muslims.

If crimes are dedicated, Sharia regulation is understood for its harsh punishments. For instance, the punishment for theft is amputating an individual’s hand. Adultery can carry the penalty of dying by stoning. Nevertheless, many Muslims don't help such excessive measures.

Muslim Prayer

The prophet Muhammad is credited with constructing the primary mosque within the courtyard of his home in Medina. Mosques at this time observe a few of the identical ideas he established in 622 A.D.

Muslim prayer is commonly performed in a mosque's massive open area or outside courtyard. A mihrab is an ornamental function or area of interest within the mosque that signifies the path to Mecca, and subsequently the path to face throughout prayer.

Women and men pray individually, and Muslims might go to a mosque 5 occasions a day for every of the prayer periods. Along with internet hosting prayers, mosques typically perform as public gathering locations and social facilities. 

Muslim Holidays

The 2 main Muslim holidays are:

Eid al-Adha: celebrates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah.

Eid al-Fitr: marks the top of Ramadan—the Islamic holy month of fasting.

Muslims additionally rejoice different holidays, such because the Islamic New 12 months and the start of Muhammad.

Islam Right this moment

Lately, Islam’s supposed affiliation with terrorism and mass homicide has sparked a political debate in lots of nations. The controversial time period “radical Islam” has turn out to be a well known label to explain the faith’s connection to acts of violence.

Latest surveys have discovered that in nations with excessive Muslim populations, nearly all of Muslims have overwhelmingly destructive views of terrorist teams like ISIS.

Whereas Muslims purpose to clear up misconceptio