Islam


Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, with over 1 billion followers. It is a monotheistic faith based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad in 7th-century Saudi Arabia. The Arabic word islam means “submission,” reflecting the faith's central tenet of submitting to the will of God. Followers of Islam are called Muslims.

According to Islamic tradition, the angel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet over the course of 20 years, revealing to him many messages from God. Muslims recognize some earlier Judeo-Christian prophets—including Moses and Jesus—as messengers of of the same true God. But in Islam, but Muhammad is the last and greatest of the prophets, whose revelations alone are pure and uncorrupted.

The Prophet dedicated the remainder of his life to spreading a message of monotheism in a polytheistic world. In 622, he fled north to the city of Medina to escape growing persecution. This event marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Eight years later, Muhammad returned to Mecca with an army and conquered the city for Islam. By Muhammad's death, 50 years later, the entire Arabian Peninsula had come under Muslim control.

The sacred text of Islam, the Qur'an, was written in Arabic within 30 years of Muhammad's death. Muslims believe it contains the literal word of God. Also important is the tradition of the sayings and actions of Muhammad and his companions, collected in the Hadith.

Islamic practices center on the Five Pillars of Islam—faith; prayer; fasting; pilgrimage to Mecca; and alms—and include several holidays and rituals as well.

Islam and the Judeo-Christian West have had a challenging relationship for centuries and today's conflicts in the Middle East are religiously charged. Thus a focus on the facts and efforts towards mutual understanding are particularly important when it comes to Islam.


  • Muslim Beliefshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/beliefs

    What do Muslims believe? Beliefs are important in Islam. Right beliefs about God, the universe, and humanity is of primary concern to Muslims...

  • Books on Islamhttp://www.religionfacts.com/books/islam

    The following books are on Islam. The links go to Amazon.com

  • Islamic Sects and Schoolshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/branches

    In the religion of Islam, sects are not really "denominations," if that word is understood to mean various valid approaches to the same religion...

  • Islam Comparison Chartshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/charts

    Islam is a monotheistic faith that originated in the Middle East, like Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and the Baha'i Faith. Judaism, Islam and Christianity are often categorized together as "Abrahamic religions" because they all trace their history to the covenant God made with Abraham in the Hebrew Bible...

  • Islamic Ethics and Valueshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/ethics

  • Fast Facts on Islamhttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/facts

  • Glossary of Islamhttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/glossary

    All non-English terms are Arabic unless otherwise indicated.adhanThe call to prayer performed by the muezzin before each of the five daily times of prayer (salat)...

  • History of Islamhttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/history

    What is the story of the Muslim faith? The story of Islam starts with the prophet Muhammad. However, Islam rose in a certain historical and geographical context...

  • Muslim Holidayshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/holidays

    What are the sacred days in Islam? Islam has relatively few holidays compared to most other religions; nevertheless, their sacred days and times are very important to Muslims...

  • Library of Islamic Textshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/library

  • Islamic Religious Objectshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/objects

    Sacred Objects in Islam This section describes and explains religious objects, ritual items and other physical things related to Islam. Minaret A minaret (Arabic: “beacon”) is an element of Islamic religious architecture...

  • Islamic Sacred Sites and Placeshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/places

    Holy Cities of Islam Sacred places in Islam, like Mecca and Medina, are very important. These cities are important in Islamic history, in part because they were important in the life of Muhammad...

  • Muslim Rituals and Practiceshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/practices

    What are the rituals of Islam Certain sacred practices and rituals are very important to Muslims. They are a significant way that followers of Islam remember history, express conviction, and grow in devotion...

  • Islamic Symbolshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/symbols

    What are the symbols of Islam? Name: Star and Crescent The star and crescent is the best-known symbol used to represent Islam. It features prominently on the flags of many countries in the Islamic world, notably Turkey and Pakistan...

  • Islamic Textshttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/texts

    What are the sacred writings of Islam? In Islam, there are two main sacred texts: the Quran (also spelled "Koran") and the Hadith (or Hadeeth)...

  • Timeline of Islamhttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/timeline

    A Chronology of the Muslim religion Islam is a world religion that was founded by the prophet Muhammad more than 600 years after Christ. Followers of Islam, called Muslims, study and base their lives upon the Quran, the sacred text, which records the teachings of Muhammad...