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5/31/17 – Islam and Muslims factsheet

What is Islam?

Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths. The word “Islam” comes from a root word in the Arabic language meaning peace. It also means submission to God. Islam is a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, whom Muslims regard as the last messenger of God and as the Prophet for humanity. A “Muslim” is someone who follows the religion of Islam and submits to the will of God Almighty.

What do Muslim’s believe?

Muslims believe in only one God. Muslims believe in 6 tenets of faith: (1) Belief in one God, (2) Belief in the angels that God created, (3) Belief in the revealed books / holy scriptures, (4) Belief in the Prophets of God (peace be upon them), (5) Belief in the resurrection and judgment day, (6) Belief in the predestination by God (destiny), both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad. There are 5 pillars of the Islamic faith: (1) Declaration of faith in one God with the Prophet Mohammed as His slave and messenger, (2) Fulfilling the 5 daily prayers, (3) Fasting the month of Ramadan, (4) Almsgiving – annual tax to assist the poor, (5) Performing pilgrimage in Mecca.

Do Muslims have scripture?

Yes, the Holy Qur’an is the sacred scripture that was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, when he was 40 years of age. The first words of the Qur’an that were revealed to him by the Angel Gabriel were “Read, in the name of thy Lord, who created” (Qur’an 96:1). The Qur’an has been preserved in the original Arabic for over 1400 years. Any translations of the Qur’an are considered to be interpretations, with the Arabic form as the one considered authentic. The Qur’an is read as an act of worship and is also used to perform the five daily prayers. The Qur’an is considered to be a book of guidance and light, covering all the topics for a balanced life from worship to doctrine to sacred law to cleanliness to spiritual soundness of the heart to stories of the Prophets and to the rights of women, orphans and children.

What do Muslims look like?

Muslims come from all over the world. They are one of the most diverse religions. They have several ethnicities, speak many languages and look different from one another. They are united by their faith. Muslims do wear traditional garb which can be a part of their national country’s culture or in fulfillment of Islamic guidelines. For example, some women choose to embrace the headscarf which they use to cover their hair, which they believe was ordained by God. Islam encourages followers to dress modestly whether men or women. 

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