Islam is the submission to the will of God and derives from the word, peace. Those that practice the faith or submit their will to God through peace are called Muslims. As one of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam centers on the belief in the one Almighty God, or Allah in Arabic, and focuses on doing good by treating others with dignity, respect and kindness. There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world from varied ethnicities and nationalities.
The basic tenets include:
- Shahada, or Declaration of Faith is the Muslim belief that there is no God but the One God and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last messenger of God,
- Salat is prayer and mindful meditation that Muslims perform five times a day while facing towards Mecca, Saudia Arabia that includes reciting verses from the Quran, the Islamic text comprised of literal words of God conveying Divine guidance.
- Siyam is fasting in the month of Ramadan for 30 days from the break of dawn to sunset while abstaining from all food and drink in order to gain in spiritual strength, self-purification, and doing good for others.
- Zakat, or charity, is giving 2.5% of one’s savings accumulated within a year to those in need.
- Haaj, or pilgrimage, to the holy city of Mecca for those that are financially and physically able once in their lifetime.
The Islamic beliefs include the belief in the One God, the angels that God created, all the Prophets that brought the message and revelations to humankind, the revered holy books including the Torah and Bible however Muslims follow the Quran as the main source of guidance, the Day of Judgment, Life after Death and the belief in destiny that all good/bad comes from God.
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