What is Islam?

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Islam is one of the major religions of the world. The word comes from an Arabic word that means "peace" and "submission." In connection to the latter, Islam teaches that a person can only find peace by submitting to Allah (their name for God). A fundamental statement in Islam is: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet." And the typical greeting is: "salaam alaykum," which means "Peace be with you."

To get a better understanding of Islam, it is important to note that Islam has five pillars. They are as follows:

  1. Belief in Allah, as the one and only true God.
  2. Prayer (Salah) 5 times a day, while facing towards Mecca.
  3. Giving of Charity (Zakat) 2.5% of earning.
  4. Fasting (fasting sunrise to sunset) on the 9th month of the Islamic year. This is called Ramadan.
  5. Pilgrimage (Haj) to Mecca a least once in a person's lifetime.

Finally, it should be noted that Islam is a growing religion. Interestingly the largest Muslim country is Indonesia.

 

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