Muhammad was born in 570 CE in the city of Mecca, Arabia. He was an impoverished orphan
who was raised by an uncle. While mediating in a cave one day, the Angel Gabriel visited him to relay God's instructions that he
had been chosen to bring the word of God to the people continuing what was started by the prophets of Judaism and Christianity,
only correcting errors which had deterred from the truth.
Islam means submission to the sovereignty of God and follows Six Articles of Belief:
- There is only one God
- The Qur'an is the holy book of God
- God's angels were created to serve God and are opposed to evil
- God makes no distinction between His messengers
- On judgment day, God will weigh the good and evil acts performed in each person's life
- God foreordains the lives of people, but they are free to do good or evil deeds. Those
who disobey God will be punished and those who obey will be greatly rewarded in heaven.
One who submits to the will of God is called a Muslim. Muslims believe in the Law of Moses, Psalms of David, Gospel of
Jesus Christ and that the revelations given to Muhammad supersede the previous scriptures. They also believe that Jesus
was one of God's prophets.
In the practice of Islam, the Five Pillars of Islam must be fulfilled:
- The recitation of confession (Shahadah) that there is only one God and Muhammad is the prophet of God
- Five daily prayers (Salat or Namaz) including genuflection and prostration facing the holy city of Mecca
- Giving alms (Zakat) to the poor regularly
- Fasting (Sawm or Ruzeh) from sunset to sunrise during the month of Ramadan for atonement of sins and discipline
- A pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) at least once in one's lifetime
In addition to the Qur'an, Muslims study Muhammad's teachings contained in the Hadith.