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Islam is a monotheistic religion based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century, which were later recorded in the Qur'an (Koran), Islam's sacred text. The faith spread rapidly and today Islam is the second largest religion in the world. The Arabic word islam means "submission," reflecting the religion's central tenet of submitting to the will of God. Islamic practices are defined by the Five Pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and alms.(cite)
The religious rituals of Islam are relatively few in number, but great in importance. The Five Pillars of Islam are five practices regarded by all sects as essential to the Muslim faith. Other notable Islamic practices include the mystical rituals of Sufism and various distinctive Shi'ite practices. (cite)
Famous religious quotes
So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.Barack Obama
America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, even eaten with people who in America would have been considered 'white,' but the 'white' attitude had been removed from their minds by the religion of Islam.Malcolm X
Purpose of life
Our life on this earth has a specific purpose; it is not the result of nature's accident, nor is it a punishment for eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. We are here according to God's plan: the worldly life is a test; it is a chance to prove ourselves as deserving of the eternal blissful life in the hereafter. God did not create us just for few years of this life. To be created just for this world's life would amount to a joke played by the Creator with the human species. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, said,” You have not been created to perish; on the contrary, you have been created for eternal life.” According to Islam, the final destination of mankind is the life hereafter. At the end of time, all human beings will be resurrected and will be held accountable for their worldly life. The life in hereafter will be an eternal life. However, whether it will be blissful or full of sorrow depends on how we spend our present life. It was to help mankind in achieving this objective that God sent various prophets and messengers to guide them. Muhammad is the last prophet, and Islam is the final and complete version of God's message.(cite)
Beginning as the faith of a small community of believers in Arabia in the seventh century, Islam rapidly became one of the major world religions. The core of this faith is the belief that Muhammad (c. 570-632), a respected businessman in Mecca, a commercial and religious center in western Arabia, received revelations from God that have been preserved in the Qur'an. The heart of this revealed message is the affirmation that "there is no god but Allah (The God), and Muhammad is the messenger of God." The term islam comes from the Arabic word-root s-l-m, which has a general reference to peace and submission. Specifically, Islam means submission to the will of God, and a Muslim is one who makes that submission.(cite)
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