Understanding Islam

I. Five Pillars of Islam

  1. Proclamation of faith
    • said in Arabic: "There is no deity but God (Allah) and Mohammed is his prophet."
    • once spoken, one is said to be a Muslim (one who submits to the will of God)
  2. Pray five times a day
    • at dawn, mid-morning, midday, early evening, after sundown
    • the muezzin calls Muslims to prayer from the top of the mosque's minaret tower
    AP News Photo for Ramadan
  3. Fasting at Ramadan
    • Ramadan or Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic year, according to the lunar calendar.
    • Siyam or Saum ("fasting" in English) requires fasting every day from sunrise to sunset during the 30 days of Ramadan.
    • One of the last five odd numbered days of the month is called the Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power), marking the date of the revelations of the first verses of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad.
    • The Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.
  4. Give to the poor
    • portion of salary
    • portion of food on religious holidays
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca
    • if the Muslim can afford it

II. Five major prophets

  1. Noah--builder of the Ark; survivor of the great flood
  2. Abraham--father of Ishmael (founder of the Arabic tribe of Israel)
  3. Moses--led Israelites out of bondage in Egypt
  4. Jesus--(discussed later)
  5. Mohammed--said to be God's last prophet; the Koran (Quaran or Qur'an)their holy book was revealed to him

III. Some other beliefs in Islam

  1. Women are to be highly respected and revered
    • foundation behind the belief in covering herself; modesty
  2. Polygamy
    • men can have up to four wives
    • they must all be treated equally in every way (emotionally, sexually, materially, etc.)
  3. Friday is the holy day
    • most important day to pray at the mosque; done around midday

IV. Some things forbidden in Islam

  1. Fornication: Sex is outlawed outside of the marriage bond
  2. Eating pork: Pigs are considered unclean animals as in the Jewish tradition
  3. Drinking alcohol

V. Jesus in Islam (from a Muslim point of view)

  1. Jesus is an important prophet who foretold of Mohammed
    • John 14:16 : "And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever..." (This verse is actually speaking of the Holy Spirit)
  2. Jesus was not God nor any special Son of God
  3. He never claimed to be God
  4. The New Testament Gospels are distorted by their writers
  5. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary
  6. He was to be crucified, but was replaced on the cross before the moment of his death with an angel or Judas (Some say God wouldn't allow the prophet Jesus to be killed by man so they created this theory).

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