Brief Summary of Islam

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Islam began in the 6th century on the belief that Muhammad, a highly respected businessman in Mecca, had received revelations from God in both Mecca and Medina. This religion began to grow when one of the first disciples, a twenty-two year old named Zayd, collected and edited Muhammad’s writings of his revelations and published them in one book, known as the Qur’an. The central beliefs of Islam, and the central acts of Muslim worship, can be summarized in the Five Pillars of Islam: shahada (bearing witness), which usually manifests itself in reciting “there is no god but God, and Muhammad is God’s messenger; salah (praying five times a day facing Mecca); zakah (giving to the needy); sawm (fasting during the month of Ramadan); hajj (a…show more content…
The human Adam was the only being, including all the angels, that could recite the names of everything, and this showed God that human beings could be trusted with much responsibility. Not all aspects of Muslim life, however, are encompassed by the Five Pillars. One important aspect, for example, is family and community life. This aspect of Muslim life is partially touched on by the Pillar of zakah (giving to the needy), but its weight is not expressed fully in such a command. When Muhammad left Mecca, he began a fully Muslim community at the oasis of Yathrib, which became known as the City of the Prophet or Medina. For those who made an affirmation of faith and joined the community, loyalty to the community was considered more important than loyalty to anything else, including family. This community set the standard for Muslim communities, as Islam today could still be considered a way of life more than a religion that is separate from other aspects of life. Many communities and states who adopted Islam made it a way of life rather than just a religion, and this practice even continues today in Muslim nations. Community is extremely important to Islam, but family is crucial as well. All life comes from God, so each child is also considered a precious gift from God. The family can express their gratitude for this gift of life by giving their child a name with religious meaning. This is why the most common name in
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