Over 2 billion people, or about 25 percent of the world’s population, are Muslims. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. The word Islam means ‘submission to the will of God’ in the Arabic language.
Below are some interesting facts about Islam:
- Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
- Muslims believe that there is only One God.
- The Arabic word for God is Allah.
- According to Muslims, God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to His law.
- Muslims fast (from dawn to dusk for 30 or 29 days) during the Islamic month of Ramadan, the month in which the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago.
- Muslims believe that the final Prophet was Muhammad.
- Muslims base their laws on their holy book the Qur’an, and the Sunnah.
- Muslims believe the Sunnah is the practical example of Prophet Muhammad and that there are five basic Pillars of Islam.
- These pillars are the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca (at least once if they able to physically and financially).
- There are six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are belief in: A) the One God. B) all of the true prophets of God. C) the original scriptures revealed to Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad. D) the angels. E) the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter. F) destiny.
- The Islamic concept of God is that He is loving, merciful and compassionate. Islam also teaches that He is all-knowing and the perfect judge of affairs, and will punish (or forgive) accordingly. However, Allah once said to Muhammad, “My mercy prevails over my wrath”. So Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope, protecting one from both complacency and despair.
- Muslims neither worship Muhammad nor pray through him. Muslims worship the Unseen, Omniscient Creator, Allah.
- All Muslims are not Arab, Middle Eastern or of African descent. There are Muslims in and from virtually every country in the world. Arabs only constitute about 20% of Muslims worldwide. The countries with the largest Muslim populations are not located in the Middle East. They are Indonesia (over 200 million Muslims) and Pakistan and India (over 350 million Muslims combined).
- Mosques are places where Muslims worship.
- In 622, Prophet Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina with his supporters. This journey became known as the Hijra (also spelled Hegira or Hijrah), and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.