Islam is the religion of over 600 million.The Arabic word “Islam” dedication to God. Its followers try to live according to the rules for life set down by God and by the Prophet Muhammed. For this reason some people have called them Mohammedans and the religion Mohammedanism. But they prefer to be called Muslims (sometimes spelled Moslems), which means “people who give themselves to God.” This is because they worship only God, not Mohammed.
Abraham is mentioned in the Old Testament as a man who gave himself to God and as the father of people who believe in God. He had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Through Isaac, Abraham became the ancestor of Hebrew people, and through Ismael he became the ancestor of thhe Arabs.
God sent down a message to tell men what they needed to know in order to be happy in this world and in the next. He chose a man named Mohammed, from the town of Mecca in Arabia, to be His prophet. He olso sent the angel Gabriel to reveal the message, which later was written verse by verse and chapter by chapter in a book called the Koran, which means “recitation.”
Mohammed`s tribe, the Qorais, did not like the message of the Koran. They were afraid that it would bring too many changes in their way of life. At last Mohammed, with the people who believe in Koran, had to leave Mecca. They moved in 622 A.D. to the city of Medina, where they had friends. This “ Year of the Emigration,” or the Hegira ( from the Arabic word ‘hjra’), is the first year of the Muslim calendar.
Islam developed rapidly in Medina and many peole joined them. Meccans (the people of Mecca) sent armies to fight them, but Muslims won every war. Finally, the Meccans themselves became Muslim too.
By the time he died, in 632, Mohammed was the ruler of almost all of Arabia. His Abu Bakr became the new leader of Muslims and followed the same politicies.
Muslims try to live according to God`s book, the Koran, and by the rules Mohammed tought them. Their wise men or ulemas have made all this into laws, called the Sharia or “God`s Path.”
Every Muslim should pray five times a day; at down, noon, afternoon, evening, and night. He prays facing Mecca. He is expected to give some of his money every year to help poor Muslims. Once in the lifetime, if he can, he should to go to the holy city of Mecca on a pilgrimage.Once a year (according in the Islamic calendar). If he is well, he fasts. For one whole month, from every early morning until the sun goes down, he does not eat or drink anything. At night he is allowed to eat what he needs.
Most especially, a Muslim must never, never worship anything or anyone but God Almighty. He should not eat pork, drink alcoholic drinks or taste blood. He must not quarrel. He must not gamble. He must help orphans and must be kind to strangers and guests. He must never be stingy and he should treat other Muslims as his brothers. He must respect women, and especially his own mother.
In order thet every women would have some to take care of her. Mohammed allowed men to marry as many as four wives. However, they had to treat their wives equally. Islamics rules of polygamy are actually very strict and not easy; many have practiced polygamy without keeping to the exact rules.
On Friday at noon, Muslims go to the mosque to conduct a weekly common prayer. Before praying, they hear a sermon. There no priest or monk in Islam, only the leader of the common prayer, who is called the Imam. The mosque is so built that when the people pray, they face toward the Kaaba in Mecca. The Kaaba is structure made of solid stone and it was set there by Abraham; it was intended to be the central point for the direction of prayer—called the Kiblat—toward which all Moslems throughout the world should bow during their prayers.In a mosque there is a pulpit for preacher, who is called the Chatib.
There are no bells, but there is a tower called the minaret, from which five times a day a man called the muezzin, meaning the caller, calls the people to pray, thus:
God is greatest! God is greatest!
I testify that there is no god but God!
I testify that Mohammed is the God`s messenger!
Come to pray! Come to salvation
God is greatest! There is no god but God!
Before they pray, the people wash themselves. God is the greatest king of all and no one should stand before Him with a dirty face.