“Allah” written in Arabic, the language in which the Quran was written.
is a religion of monotheistic tradition, that is to say based on the belief in a single God. This religion appeared in Arabia in the 7th century.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world behind Christianity and ahead of Hinduism. The holy book of Islam is the Quran and the prophet of Islam is Muhammad.
General presentation of Islam
Islam is based on the Quran, the holy book of this religion.
For Muslims, the Koran contains all of the revelations made by God to Muhammed, an Arab prophet who then transmitted them to men. God's name is Allah in Arabic, but he has also been given 99 different names.
Origins of Islam
This religion was born in Arabia in the 7th century.
In the 7th century, the Arabs were nomadic breeders. Some are sedentary and live in cities like Mecca or Medina.
Islam is a religion which means “Peace”. Its calendar is lunar, which means that the days follow the cycle of the moon.
Who is the prophet Muhammed ?
Abu Bakr was one of the faithful friends of Prophet Muhammed. Muhammad was born around 570 in Mecca. Orphaned by his father at birth, his poor mother Aminah entrusted him to Abdal-Muttalib, his grandfather, but who, in turn, died in 579. The child was then raised by his uncle Abou-Talib.
At the age of twenty-five, Muhammed met Khadija, a forty-year-old widow, who would become his first wife.
In 612 (at the age of 40), in the cave of Hira where he used to meditate, Muhammed received the first revelations. The angel Gabriel (Jibrîl in Arabic) appears to him and announces that Allah has chosen him as a prophet and that he orders him to transmit the divine word to men.
For twenty-three years Muhammed then dictated to his relatives the messages of Allah transmitted to him through the angel Gabriel. All of these texts will be brought together in the Koran, the sacred book of Muslims, divided into suras.
Pillars of Islam
The five pillars of Islam are:
- the belief in one God and the recognition of Muhammed as his prophet, the profession of faith
- the 5 daily ritual prayers towards Mecca (salat)
- the fast of Ramadan (prohibited from eating and drinking from sunrise and from having relationships from sunrise to sunset)
- charity towards the needy (almsgiving)
- the pilgrimage to Mecca (the hajj) at least once in his life, if his physical condition and financial situation allow it.
The Quran consists of 6236 verses grouped into 114 suras (saar)
It constitutes one of the two parts of the revelation made to Muhammad, the other part being made up of the prophetic hadiths.
A hadith is a quote which refers to a practice or a saying of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), it is a reference for the Muslim, but on condition that it is authentic (truthful).
Important holidays in Islam
- Eid el-Fitr which celebrates the end of Ramadan
- the great festival (Eid al-Adha) where the sheep's throat is slaughtered to symbolize the act of Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic)
- the feast of the prophet Muhammed (Mawlid). It is not considered a party by everyone.
- Al-Hijira Moharam which celebrates the start of the new year is celebrated at the start of the first lunar month. The official date moves back 11 days each year (eg 2015 - December 16, 2016 - December 5). The meaning of the Muslim New Year is very simple, it marks the beginning of the Muslim community. Indeed, the day when the New Year is celebrated is the day when the Prophet Muhammad would have left the city of Mecca for the city of Medina in order to found a Muslim community responding to his wishes. The celebrations are very simple, families generally mark the beginning of the new year with a festive meal. Also, some leave colored candles burning all night.
Further read : Eid games toys and activities for kids and adults
Main Spirit Guides
- The muezzin calls the faithful to prayer from the top of the minaret.
- The imam is the main spiritual guide. He directs prayer and the community, accompanying them at each of the major stages of existence.
- The rector heads the mosque
- The mullah (or ayatollah) is the highest Shiite religious authority.
The Hegira year
The Hegira is the departure into exile of the Prophet Muhammed from Mecca to Medina. The Hegira happened in 622 AD.