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Islam


The enjoyment of this world is but slight, and the next is better for him who fears.
-- Quran (Yusuf Ali)

Muslim Texts:
Holy Quran (Yusuf Ali translation)
The Qur'an (also Quran, Koran, Alcoran;) is the Islamic holy book of Allah (Arabic for God). Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the literal word of God, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 22 years. The Qur'an consists of 114 suras (chapters) with a total of 6,236 ayats (verses). The Qur'an retells stories of many of the people and events of the Jewish and Christian Bibles, although it differs in many details.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran
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Holy Hadith (Bukhari)
Hadith (in English academic usage, hadith is often both singular and plural) are traditions relating to the sayings and doings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his companions, or sahaba. Hadith collections are regarded as important tools for determining the Sunnah, or Muslim way of life, by all traditional schools of jurisprudence. Muslim scholars classify hadith relating to Muhammad as follows: a) What Muhammad said (qawl) b) What Muhammad did (fi'l) c) What Muhammad approved (taqrir) in others' actions.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith
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About Islam:

Major world religion founded by Muhammad in Arabia in the early 7th century AD.

The word islam means "submission"--specifically, submission to the will of the one God, called Allah in Arabic. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, and its adherents, called Muslims, regard the Prophet Muhammad as the last and most perfect of God's messengers, who include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others. The sacred scripture of Islam is the Quran, which contains God's revelations to Muhammad. The sayings and deeds of the Prophet recounted in the sunna are also an important source of belief and practice in Islam. The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam.

The fundamental concept in Islam is the Sharia, or Law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God. Observant Muslims pray five times a day and join in community worship on Fridays at the mosque, where worship is led by an imam. Every believer is required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city, at least once in a lifetime, barring poverty or physical incapacity. The month of Ramadan is set aside for fasting. Alcohol and pork are always forbidden, as are gambling, usury, fraud, slander, and the making of images.

In addition to celebrating the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Muhammad's birthday and his ascension into heaven. The Id al-Adha festival inaugurates the season of pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims are enjoined to defend Islam against unbelievers through jihad.

Divisions occurred early in Islam, brought about by disputes over the succession to the caliphate. About 90% of Muslims belong to the Sunni branch. The Shiites broke away in the 7th century and later gave rise to other sects, incl. the Ismailis. Another significant element in Islam is the mysticism known as Sufism.

From the 19th century, the concept of the Islamic community inspired Muslim peoples to cast off Western colonial rule, and in the late 20th century fundamentalist movements threatened or toppled a number of secular Middle Eastern governments.
Taken from http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?p=islam
Important Persons:

Muhammad

Muhammad (also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, and sometimes Mahomet (Latin Mahometus), following the Latin or Turkish), is believed by Muslims to be God's final prophet sent to guide mankind with the message of Islam. Non-Muslims generally consider him to be the founder of Islam.

According to traditional Muslim biographers, he was born ca. 570 in Mecca (Makkah) and died June 8, 632 in Medina (Madinah); both Mecca and Medina are cities in the Hejaz region of present day Saudi Arabia.

Muslims believe that in 610, at about the age of forty, while praying in a cave called "Hira" near Mecca, he experienced a vision. Later, he described the experience (to those close to him) as a visit from the Angel Gabriel, who commanded him to memorize and recite the verses sent by God which were later collected as the Qur'an.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammed

Note: Pictures/Drawings of Muhammed are forbidden to discourage idol worship (in fact images of any object are forbidden in orthodox Islam). This image represents 'Bismillah' roughly translated as 'In the name of Allah (God)'.
Islam Symbol:

This [star and crescent] emblem, commonly recognized as the symbol of the Islamic faith, has actually acquired its association to the faith by association, rather than intent.

The star and crescent symbol itself is very ancient, dating back to early Sumerian civilization, where it was associated with the sun God and moon Goddess (one early appearance dates to 2100 BCE), and later, with Goddesses Tanit and even Diana. The symbol remained in near constant use, and was eventually adopted into the battle-standard of the Ottoman Dynasty, who are mainly responsible for its association with Islam. As the Dynasty was also the policitical head of the faith, it was inevitable that their symbol would be associated with Islam as well.

It should be noted that there is no mention of such a symbol in the Koran, the Holy book of Islam, nor is there any relationship between the crescent and star and the Prophet (whose flag was black and white, inscribed "Nasr um min Allah," "with the help of Allah.")
Taken from http://altreligion.about.com/library/glossary/symbols/bldefsstarcrescent.htm




 
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