Five times a day, an enchanting cry echoes through the Islamic world. It is the call of the Muasin, or holy crier, signaling to Muslims that it's time to pray.
Islam in Arabic means complete submission to the will of God. A Muslim is one who submits. Muslims follow the teachings of Muhammed (PBUH-Peace Be Upon Him), a prophet who was born in 569 A.D. in Mecca, a city in present day Saudi Arabia. During his lifetime, Muhammed (PBUH) spoke out against poverty and injustice, and preached that there was only one God.
In the centuries after his death, Islam spread throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa, often through Arab conquests.
As the Islamic world grew, so did it's achievements. Muslim thinkers and scientists made their contributions to learning in philosophy, medicine, astronomy, algebra, art and architecture.
Today, Islam is the fastest growing religion with over 1.2 billion believers; a fifth of the world's population.
Islamic culture is more than just exquisite ornamentation and a spectacle of domes and minarets. It's a total system of living. It has unified countries as far apart as India, Spain and sub Sahara Africa for over a thousand years.
Islam is a way of life based on
The Holy Qur'an, and the teachings & practices of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), which are called
There are Five Pillars in Islam that every muslim must follow :
Iman, defined as the proclamation of faith.
- Shahadah, Declaration of faith. The shahadah in Islam is: "I
testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the
Messenger of Allah."
- Salat , Five obligatory prayers every day.
- Al-Hajj, pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca at least once during a Muslim's lifetime.
- Zakat, required charity that one should give based on a percentage of the individual's income.
- Fasting during the month of Ramadan
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