150 Interesting Facts About Islam

Facts About Islam: Islam is an Abrahamic sect, a monotheistic sect derived from the Apostolic tradition. According to tradition, the beginning of its last apostle is in the Arabian Peninsula of the 7th century. According to Islamic tradition, the incarnated book transmitted to humans by Muhammad, the last prophet of Allah, is based on the teachings of the Qur'an, and includes Hadith, Seerat un-Nabi and Shariat texts. Sunni, Shia, Islam Sufi and Ahmadiyya communities are prominent. The religious places of Islam are called mosques.

Islam is the second largest sect in the world according to the total number of followers. There are approximately 1.9 billion (or 190 million) to 2.0 billion (200 million) Muslims in the world today. About 85% of these are Sunni and about 15% are Shia. Most of the Muslims live in the countries of Southeast Asia and South Asia. There are also many communities of Muslims living in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. There are about 56 countries in the world where Muslims are in large numbers. There are many countries like this in the world. Where there is no reliable information available about the Muslim population.

150 Interesting Facts About Islam

Mind-Blowing Facts About Islam

  • Quran (Koran) means “recitation” in Arabic.
  • Both alcohol and pork are forbidden in Islam.
  • Islam and Islamic law have consistently condemned terrorism.
  • Allah has 99 names, with each one having a different meaning.
  • Muhammad married his 40-year-old wife when he was 25 years old.
  • Islam is the second-largest faith community, after Christianity.
  • Algebra, from the Arabic al-jabr, originated in the Islamic world.
  • Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam originated in the Middle East.
  • Muslims believe God took Jesus to Himself in a manner similar to Elijah.
  • In Islam, as in Judaism, marriage between first cousins is quite common.
  • There are 25 countries in which more than 95% of the population is Muslim.
  • Arabic numerals, the numbers the Western world uses today, were developed by the Muslims.
  • Indonesia has the most Muslims in one country, followed by Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
  • Sunnis make up 87%–90% of the worldwide Muslim population. Shiite Muslims make up about 10%.
  • During WWII, the Grand Mosque of Paris gave the Jews Muslim IDs to help hide them from the Nazis.
  • The vast majority of Muslims do not speak Arabic as their native tongue. Most Muslims are not Arab.
  • Islamic advances in the use of paper are the primary reason we read books rather than scrolls today.
  • Indonesia has the largest number of Muslims (120 million), followed by Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
  • A 13th-century Islamic writer described the circulation of blood some 400 years before this was “discovered” in Europe.
  • Muslims believe that everything on earth that follows God’s natural law is “muslim,” in a sense that it follows God’s will.
  • The Quran states that “There is to be no compulsion in religion” and that God has created not one but many nations and peoples.

Fun Facts About Islam for Kids

  • Mother Mosque of America, the first mosque built in the U.S., is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Built in 1934, it’s still around today.
  • In former Yugoslavia, over 200,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed as part of a widespread ethnic-cleansing campaign in the mid-1990s.
  • Allah has 99 names. Each name has a meaning, such as Al-Rahman “the Merciful”; Al-Aziz, “the powerful”; and Al-Hafi “the Protector.”
  • Muslims believe that the Quran, as well as the Torah and the Gospels, is based on a tablet written in Arabic that exits in heaven with God.
  • The Islamic world produced the first skilled, specially trained pharmacists, who made their own medicines and worked closely with physicians.
  • Mary, Jesus’ mom, is mentioned more often in the Qur’an than in the New Testament. She’s also the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an.
  • The first skilled and specially trained pharmacists came from the Islamic world. They made their own medicines and worked closely with physicians.
  • In November 2013, Marvel announced that a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim American girl, Kamala Khan, from New Jersey will be one of their lead superheroes.
  • In Europe, Muslim trade goods were a sought-after status symbol. Arabic style, wealth, and power were similar to a Gucci logo or the Nike “swoosh” today.
  • The first mosque built in the U.S. was the “Mother Mosque of America,” which was built in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1934. It is still used for worship today.
  • In contrast to Catholicism, marriage is a contract in Islam, not a sacrament. Islam has always recognised the right to divorce under certain circumstances.
  • Mohammad’s flight (the Hegira) from Mecca in A.D. 622 is the beginning of the rise of Islam. It also marks the beginning of the Islamic, or Hijri, calendar.
  • Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths that share many of the same prophets, beliefs, and historical accounts as the other two: Christianity and Judaism.
  • Muslim caliphs would use thin, ultra-light “bird paper” attached to birds to quickly send and receive messages across the empire. It was the email of the day.
  • During the Islamic Golden Age, scientists and inventors made some great innovations. Because of this, scientists were paid as much as pro athletes make today.

Important Facts About Islam

  • The Islamic empire once stretched into modern-day Europe, particularly in Spain and the Balkans. Today, there are an estimated 12–20 million Muslims in Europe.
  • Keeping clean is important in Islam. Muslims burn sweet smelling incense after cleaning their homes. On special occasions, they sprinkle guests with rose-scented water.
  • Muslims believe they are members of a worldwide Muslim community, known as the ummah, united by a religious bond that transcends tribal, ethnic, and national identities.
  • The 15th-century Mongol warlord Tamerlane (Timur) created a richly decorated 5′x7′ Quran, with seven lines of type per page. Wealthy Muslims often used paper to show off.
  • Muslim scholars Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina were primarily responsible for saving the works of Aristotle, whose ideas would later dominate both the Christian and Muslim worlds.
  • Every Muslim tries to visit Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. This special visit is called a hajj. More than 2.5 million pilgrims visit Mecca during the annual hajj.
  • The pre-Islamic period in Arabia is commonly called Jahiliyyah, which means “the days of ignorance.” Before Islam, the main religion of the Arabian Peninsula was pagan idolatry.
  • Although Muslims are often associated with the Arab world, fewer than 15% of Muslims are Arabs. Muslims are found among virtually all ethnic groups, nationalities, and countries.
  • Muslims hold that there have been over 124,000 prophets sent to mankind through history, beginning with Adam and ending with Muhammad. Only 25 are mentioned by name in the Quran.
  • Muslims celebrate two great Islamic holidays. The first is Eid al-Fitr, the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast of Ramadan, and the second is the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice.
  • Jesus is mentioned in the Qur’an, but he’s not on Muhammad’s level. Even though Muslims believe he was born from a virgin, they believe he was a great prophet, second only to Muhammad.
  • The Islamic calendar is 11 days shorter than the Western calendar. Islamic calendars are based on the moon’s phases, while Western calendars depend on the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
  • Muslims believe that Islam, or peaceful submission to God, was the message of Abraham and, thus, Islam technically dates back to the Abraham, who lived before Muhammad (7th century A.D.).
  • Approximately 5–8 million Muslims live in the United States, and there are over 1,200 mosques. Muslims have been a part of the cultural landscape in America for the past two hundred years.

Cool Facts About Islam

  • The translation of jihad as “holy war” is incorrect. In Arabic, the phrase would be harbun muqaddasa tur, a phrase that is not found in the Quran or in any other form of Islamic literature.
  • We read books instead of scrolls because of Islam’s innovations with paper. They also tied ultra-light and thin “bird paper” to birds and sent them like Harry Potter’s owl across the empire.
  • A Muslim woman retains her own family name upon marriage, rather than taking the name of her husband. This symbolic act emphasizes that she remains her own person, with her own valid identity.
  • To become Muslim, a person of any race or culture must say a simple statement, or creed: the Shahada, which bears witness to the belief in the singularity of God and in Muhammad as His prophet.
  • The Islamic year is 11 days shorter than the year used in the Western world. This is because the Western year is based on the orbit of the Earth around the Sun instead of on the phases of the moon.
  • Mohamed left Mecca and traveled to Medina in the year A.D. 622. This event is called the Hegira migration. The Hegira marked the starting point of the Muslim calendar and years are counted from this event.
  • The Five Pillars (actions that all Muslims must perform) are: give 2.5% of all earnings to charity, fast during Ramadan, say the declaration of faith, pray five times a day, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
  • Islamic councils and jurists have ruled that there is nothing wrong with organ donation in Islam as long as the procedure poses no danger to a living donor and is performed respectfully on the deceased donor.
  • About 2.5 million pilgrims visit Mecca each year as part of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Each Muslim has to do this pilgrimage at least once in their life, as part of The Five Pillars of Faith for Islam.
  • There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, which is about 1/5 of the world’s population. Due to birth and conversion rates, Islam is considered to be the fastest-growing religion in the world today.
  • Muslim men are allowed to marry Christian or Jewish women because these women are “People of the Book,” or those who have divine revelation. However, Muslim women must marry a Muslim or someone who converts to Islam.
  • Mohammad ibn Abd Allah was born around A.D. 570 in Mecca, Arabia (present-day Saudi Arabia) and died on June 8, 632, in Medina, Arabia. He claimed that when he was 40 years old, he received his first revelation from God.
  • Although there are no denominations in Islam like those that exist in Christianity (Roman Catholic, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, etc.), like all faiths, Islam has developed divisions, sects, and schools of thought.

Random Facts About Islam

  • Islam is an Arabic word that means “peace,” “security,” and “surrender.” Muslim means “one who peacefully surrenders to God.” Anyone from any race could be Muslim; in other words, “Muslim” does not refer to a particular race.
  • A number of basic beliefs in the Black Muslim movement (which was in response to what was viewed as the “white supremacy” of Christianity) differ significantly from mainstream Islam, which teaches equality among all the races.
  • Contrary to the biblical tradition (Genesis 22:1-2), most Islamic scholars designate Ismail rather than Isaac as the intended victim in the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command (Quran 37:99-113).
  • Jerusalem is a revered city by all three of the great monotheistic faiths. For Muslims, Jerusalem was the original qibla (location that all Muslims face when they pray) and Mohammad’s destination in his Night Journey from Mecca.
  • Muslims do not describe Islam as a religion. Rather it is a deen, which comes from the Arabic for “way of life.” Muslims believe that Islam is more than a religious belief—it is a way of living in accordance with one’s religious faith.
  • If it weren’t for Islam, you wouldn’t be drinking coffee at Starbucks. Coffee is just one of the many inventions that came from the Islamic world. More inventions include marching bands, algebra, teaching hospitals, and the toothbrush.
  • The Quran stresses that there should be tolerance between Muslims and non-Muslims. Jews and Christians—people who, like Muslims, believe in the One God—are given particular respect in the Quran. Islam does not advocate forced conversion.
  • In 10th-century Cordoba, an Umayyad (Islamic dynasty) city in Spain with over 70 libraries, the palace library alone had over 60,000 volumes, all written by hand. At the time, the best Latin library in Europe had only 600 parchment books.
  • The religion started in 622 AD when Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina. The day he left Mecca is the day that starts the Islamic calendar. He left Mecca because he heard rumors that some of the tribesmen were going to assassinate him.
  • The absence of democracy in the Muslim world today has led many people to ask if there is something about the Muslim culture that is antithetical to democracy. The answer to this question lies more in history and politics than in religion.
  • There are many attributes of God mentioned in Islam. The two most common attributes used in the Holy Qur’an are “the Gracious and the Merciful”. According to Islam God is ready to forgive and pardon people rather than being vengeful and quick to punish.
  • Islam is the name of the religion. A person who practices Islam is known as a Muslim. The adjective “Islamic” usually refers to objects and places, not people. The term “Mohammedanism” is an outdated term for the faith and is usually considered insulting.
  • Dogs in the Islamic world are typically not allowed inside the house because they are considered to be unclean. Many Muslims believe that if anyone comes into contact with a dog’s saliva, that person must repeat the ritual ablutions (washings) prior to prayer.

Cultural Facts About Islam

  • Muslims accept the original and unaltered Torah and the original Bible as God revealed them; however, since none of their original texts is in existence today in its entirety, Muslims follow what they consider to be the final and preserved word of God: the Quran.
  • While the Quran does not address birth control, a few hadith (traditions) mention coitus interruptus. However, the majority of ulama (Muslim legal scholars) in the 21st century believe that temporary birth control is permissible as long as both husband and wife agree.
  • Discharge of blood, from a man or a woman, exempts a Muslim from prayer and fasting. This is not only a health precaution, but the presence of blood itself is also considered a violation of ablutions. The bleeding person is not considered unclean, only the blood itself.
  • Islam does not have an ordained clergy or representatives of a church hierarchy in the way that Christianity does. Any Muslim can lead the prayer or officiate at a wedding. However, every mosque has an imam, or the one who “stands in front” to pray and deliver the sermon.
  • After the death of Muhammad, Islam split into two major branches, Sunnis (85% of all Muslims) and Shiites (15%). There is also a small, radical branch called the Kharijites. The split occurred due to disagreements about who should be the successor to the Prophet Muhammad.
  • The Prophet Muhammad(sa) is a descendant of the Prophet Abraham through his son Ishmael. This makes the Prophet Muhammad(sa) a literal cousin, and all Muslims, spiritual cousins, to Jesus. Moses and all the other Semitic prophets mentioned in the Bible (peace be upon them all!).
  • Mary, the mother Jesus, is a prominent figure in Islam and is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran. Mary is mentioned more times in the Quran than in the entire New Testament, and more biographical information about her is contained in the Quran than in the New Testament.
  • Famous Muslims in America include Janet Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Mara Brock Akil (writer/producer of the series “The Game” and “Girlfriends”), Mos Def (Yasiin Bey), Mike Tyson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ice Cube, Akon, and Anousheh Ansari, the first Muslim woman in space.
  • While Islam does encourage simple living and shunning of extravagance, there are no monks, nuns, or lifelong prescriptions of celibacy. There is no requirement for a pious man or woman to remain unmarried their entire life. All Muslims are encouraged to marry and be part of society.
  • Many academic traditions, including the distinction between graduates and undergraduates began at the Islamic university Al-Azhar (“the resplendent”) University in Cairo. The university was founded in the 10th century and is renowned for its philosophical and theoretical scholarship.
  • The Quran emphasizes modesty, although there is no specific prescription. Veiling women did not become widespread in the Islamic empire until three or four generations after Muhammad’s death. It was originally a status symbol—not to separate women from men but from the lower classes.
  • Muslim scholars agree that after the “ensoulment” (infusion of the soul) of the fetus (thought by some to occur at fertilization and by others at 120 days), abortion constitutes homicide and should be punished. Abortions are generally approved when the health of the mother is at stake.

Historical Facts About Islam

  • While some blame Islam for the oppression of women, others see it as a means to reform. The status of women in Muslim countries differs as much as the countries themselves. Restrictions often originate not from Islam, but rather from cultural customs sometimes wrongly justified under Islam.
  • In Islam, homosexuality is considered abnormal. In some areas, it is treated as a crime punishable under Islamic law; in others, homosexuality is tolerated but homosexuals are still set apart socially. Today, some gay Muslims have pressed for recognition of their rights in their communities.
  • As in Judaism, circumcision for males is required in Islam according to both tradition and Muhammad’s example. Symbolically, circumcision represents the religious process of submission to God’s will and commands, and the submission of base passions to the higher spiritual requirements of Islam.
  • All religions rely on using personal faith to achieve certainty of belief. Islam goes beyond this approach and invites the believer to use reason and experience as well and not rely on mystery, myths and fables. It is a comprehensive religion that satisfies your intellect and the depths of your soul.
  • Islamic astronomy became highly advanced during the Middle Ages. Astronomy was important to Muslims because it could be used to figure out the direction of Mecca so that people knew which way to face during prayers. This is one example of how the Western world is still influenced by Muslim innovations.
  • The basic beliefs one must have in order to be considered a Muslim include a belief in 1) the One God; 2) all the prophets of God; 3) the original scriptures revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad; 4) the angels; 5) the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter; and 6) the divine decree or destiny.
  • Scholars such as Ibn Sina (980-1037), known in the West as Avicenna, developed the work of the ancient Greeks in both medicine and philosophy. When Christians came into contact with the Muslim world during the crusades, they brought back Muslim scholarship which, in turn, helped spark the European Renaissance.
  • The Prophet Muhammad(sa) is considered only a message-bearer and not God himself. Despite the great reverence accorded to the prophet by the Muslims, he is neither worshipped nor does any Muslim pray to him. No physical likeness such as paintings or statues of the Prophet Muhammad(sa) are permitted to be made.
  • Islamic law divides food and other products into three different types: 1) Halal (foods that are allowed), 2) Makruh (foods that may be eaten but that are discouraged), and 3) Haram (forbidden foods, such as pig, carnivorous animals, certain types of cheese, and anything that causes addiction, such as alcohol).
  • Muslims do not believe in vicarious atonement but, rather, the law of personal responsibility. In other words, Islam teaches that each person is responsible for his or her actions. On Judgment Day, Muslims believe that everyone will be resurrected and will have to answer to God for every word, thought, and deed.

Miracles And Amazing Facts About Islam

  • While the Chinese invented paper sometime before the 2nd century B.C., Muslims were the first to mass-produce paper on an intercontinental scale, developing a culture dependent on its abundance. As the price of paper dropped, literacy rose and booksellers and libraries became integral parts of every Muslim city.
  • Muslims believe there are five actions that they should perform. These are known as the Five Pillars of Islam: 1) Shahada (the declaration of faith), 2) Salat (the duty to pray five times a day), 3) Zakat (giving to charity), 4) Siyam (fasting during the moth of Ramadan), and 5) Hajj (making a pilgrimage to Mecca).
  • Islam teaches belief in angels, who are obedient servants of God. It was the Angel Gabriel, the angel of revelation that revealed Allah’s direct words, the Holy Qur’an, to the Prophet Muhammad(sa) over a period of many years. Muslims believe in many other angels such as the Archangels Michael, Raphael, and Izrā’il.
  • Most historians agree Columbus was not the first person to “discover” America and that explorers, including Muslims from West Africa, arrived several centuries before Columbus. In fact, when Columbus made his historical journeys, he relied on the maps and geography studies of the 12th-century Muslim scholar Al-Idrisi.
  • There is no middle man or intermediary between human beings and God. Islam states that we all have a personal connection with God and he is the only one who can absolve us from our sins. We do not need to make a confession to another human being. You need only to talk directly to God and that is what daily Prayers promote.
  • Islam’s tradition of oral recitation developed into an efficient vehicle for mass-produced handwritten literature. A single Muslim reciter would read a book out loud to a group of scribes, who copied his spoken words simultaneously. Europe, in contrast, used a much slower system: monks copied books, individually and one at a time.
  • Jesus is an important figure in the Quran. Like Christians, Muslims believe in the virginal conception of Jesus by God’s spirit; however Muslims do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. He is one in the long line of righteous prophets and second only to Muhammad in importance. For Muslims, the concept of the Trinity represents a form of polytheism.
  • Islam teaches and upholds the equality of all people, regardless of race or social status abolishing all systems that are against it including the caste system. Total brotherhood of mankind is symbolically demonstrated during daily Prayer at the mosque. Those who arrive first fill up the first rows and stand shoulder to shoulder in their supplications.
  • In Arabic, Mecca means “the place of the drinking cup” which, according to Muslims, was the place where a spring appeared to sustain Hagar and her son Ishmael. When Abraham later returned to visit his son Ishmael, they built a stone building together and dedicated it to the worship of the “one True God.” The building today is known as the Ka’aba, or “the cube.”
  • The word “Islam” literally means ”peace” and “submission” – meaning, peace with humanity and submission to the edicts of God. There are two concepts here: duty owed to God and rights owed to fellow human beings – regardless of race, religion, or colour. Muslims are duty bound to do good to others and sacrifice their own interests for the welfare of other people.
  • The Qur’an is the holy text of Islam. It has 6,236 verses, or suras. In the early days of Islam, religious leaders had to memorize the entire text and recite the Qur’an to multiple scribes at a time. That’s how the Qur’an was mass-produced; this is different from European monks transcribing the Bible, as they hand-copied the text, one word and one page at a time.

Unique Facts About Islam

  • Islam does not specify a particular form of government. Rather, it imposes the condition that, no matter what the form, the responsibilities of a government should always be discharged with equity, justice, and compassion – always fulfilling and upholding basic human rights. Islam does not allow any discrimination on the basis of colour, creed, wealth or social status.
  • While Christians cite the New Testament injunction to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God (separation of church and state), Muslims believe that their primary act of faith is to strive to implement God’s will in both their private and their public life. Through history, Muslims have believed in an Islamic state government by Islamic law.
  • Muslims do not believe in the concept of original sin, so there is no theological need for the all-atoning sacrifice of Jesus through his crucifixion and resurrection. Muslims believe we will be held accountable before God for our own actions and responsible for our own salvation. We will not be able to rely on anyone else, not even Jesus or Muhammad to save us from our sins.
  • Muslim scholar Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), who was born in A.D 965, formulated the scientific method and has been referred to as “the world’s first true scientist.” He is also often regarded as the first theoretical physicist. Additionally, he developed what is called celestial mechanics, which lead to the eventual work of Europeans such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton.
  • One famous hadith (Islamic saying) is “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty” Beauty has always been, therefore, very important to Muslims, and developments in the visual arts such as architecture, calligraphy, painting, textiles, metal work, and ceramics were encouraged. However, because of strict laws against idolatry, traditional Islamic art avoided images of humans or animals.
  • Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press (1450) was ill suited for cursive Arabic and was only slowly adopted by Muslims. However, when lithography was invented in Germany in 1796, which used drawing on stone with ink to produce illustrations, Muslims eagerly adopted this method of printing. It replaced hand-copying to make multiple copies of Qurans and Arabic newspapers and books.
  • Islam upholds loyalty to one’s country or nation as part of one’s faith whether the country is Muslim or non-Muslim. This is demonstrated around the world as we have legions of proud and loyal American Muslims, Canadian Muslims, British Muslims, Ghanaian Muslims, French Muslims, Pakistani Muslims, Indian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, Iranian Muslims and from various other nations too.
  • Muslim women are not prohibited from getting education, holding a job or participating in society in general. Islam prescribes different roles to both men and women. Furthermore, mothers are to be respected and daughters are to be cherished. Women are regarded with great respect in Islam. In its admonitions, the Holy Qur’an addresses both men and women equal, to do good and shun evil.
  • When it is time to pray, a man called a muezzin calls out from a minaret, which is a tower on or near the mosque. Sometimes his call to prayer is played through a loud speaker. He will turn to the four compass directions (north, south, east, and west) and at each turn will declare the Shahada, or Islamic creed: “God is most great. There is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the prophet of God.”
  • During the Middle Ages, the Muslim world had two enormous business advantages: 1) they had a huge range of contacts, so they could trade everything form African gold to Chinese porcelain to European amber and furs, and 2) Muslim craft workers were highly skilled, which meant their goods always found a ready market. Without Muslim merchants, Europeans would have had no rice, sugar, or coffee.
  • Islam talks about the creation of men and the universe in multiple stages over a period of time. In complete opposition to the popular notion, Adam was not the first man but the first prophet of God and Eve was his wife. Being the first prophet, he taught his people to worship one God and laid the foundation of DOs and DON’Ts on which the religious commandments of subsequent prophets were built.
  • Inventions that emerged from the Islamic world include the discovery of citric acid (Jābir ibn Hayyān), arabesque architecture, the minaret, the bridge mill, the vertical-axle windmill, teaching hospitals, marching bands, early torpedoes, the guitar, the lute, the water pipe (hookah, narghile,or shisha), early attempts at gliding, algebra, the pinhole camera, the laws of refraction, coffee, and more.
  • Islam explicitly teaches that “there is no compulsion in religion”. One is free to practice or reject any religion. Forcing someone to convert to Islam or killing a person who changed his faith from Islam to something else, is contrary to Islamic teachings. Also apostasy or leaving Islam is NOT punishable. Islam promotes total religious freedom for all peoples and total accountability for one’s actions.

Weird Facts About Islam

  • The word “Allah” is the Arabic word for God, just as Deus, Theos and Dieu are in Latin, Greek, and French. In Islam, God is One and Unique without any partners, family or companions. Islam is resolutely monotheistic. Muslims believe this is the same God Who revealed Himself through earlier prophets and other religions. The Arabic version of the Bible read by the Arab Christians also uses the word Allah for God.
  • The Islamic Golden Age, which is traditionally dated as being the 8th–13th centuries, was marked by the ascension of the Abbasid Caliphate. The Abbasids were influenced by the Quran’s injunction that “the ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.” During this time, the Arab world became an intellectual center for science, astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, and education.
  • The real purpose of life for a Muslim, is to find God. This is the real reward that Islam promises a believer. Hence, all our acts of worship are a means to an end and not the end in themselves. Those that strive on this path may see their reward in this very life, not just in the thereafter. In other words, Islam shows us a personal God – a God who loves His creation – and with Whom one can have a very personal relationship.
  • Islam teaches that there is no inherited sin. All children come into the world pure and innocent. It is our own actions and choices in life that can be sinful or virtuous. Salvation in Islam is achieved by following God’s Commandments. However the assignment of Heaven and Hell is up to God alone and decided after the death of a person. The Holy Qur’an places great importance on personal responsibility and continual self-improvement.
  • The Islamic declaration of faith is simple and states: “There is none worthy of worship except Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”. In fact, when someone becomes a Muslim, there is no elaborate ritual other than the acceptance of this belief and the recitation of this declaration of faith. It is the core in belief of all Muslims and is often written inside mosques as well as displayed as fine calligraphic art in the homes of Muslims.
  • There are no eternally chosen races, ethnic groups or favoured nation of God according to Islam. Each person and entire groups or nations have an opportunity to become the beloved of God by practising the best conduct and sincere faith. The best people in the world are those who are the most righteous regardless of any other traits. Hence, entire nations are not accursed. The opportunity to be the best is open to all of us if we work towards it with true sincerity.
  • In the United States, about 30% of Muslims are African-Americans and 33% are South-Central Asians descending from Indian, Pakistani, or Afghani immigrants. Muslims of Arab descent make up about 25%, and immigrants from the African continent make up another 5%. There are also sizable groups of American Muslims of Iranian, Turkish, Southeast Asian, and European descent. Between 17% and 30% of American Muslims are converts to the faith (nearly 2/3 are African-Americans).
  • Jihad (to strive or struggle) is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it has no official status. Its meaning is controversial, but most scholars agree it means both 1) the inner struggle that one endures in trying to submit their will to the will of God, which is the “greater” jihad, and 2) the physical struggle against persecution and oppression, which is the “lesser” jihad. Some scholars suggest a third meaning, which is the struggle to build a good society.
  • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—in contrast to Hinduism and Buddhism—are all monotheistic faiths that worship the God of Adam, Abraham, and Moses. They share a common belief in the oneness of God, sacred history, prophets, divine revelation, angels, and Satan. All stress moral responsibility and accountability, Judgment Day, and eternal reward and punishment. All three emphasize their special covenant with God—for Judaism, through Moses; Christianity, through Christ; and Islam, through Mohammad.
  • Islam is a religion that is compatible with modern times. A Muslim is someone who is concerned about good morals and behaviour. There is nothing that stops a Muslim from being part of a contemporary society according to the Holy Qur’an. Muslims drive cars, use smartphones and the Internet, vote in elections, have jobs and careers, invest in business, teach, travel the world, raise families, play golf, go sailing, pursue higher levels of education and are wonderful neighbours wherever they are found.
  • The classic rivalry between Science and Religion is not an issue with Islam. Scientific inquiry is promoted by the Holy Qur’an which encourages reflection and thinking. The Holy Qur’an incorporates religious truths, history, commandments, and the description of natural phenomena, such as the big bang theory, the development of the human embryo, and the creation of all life forms from water, just to name a few. There is no contradiction of any current scientific truth with any statement of the Holy Qur’an.
  • The Muslims created a House of Wisdom (Bait-ul-Hikmat), which was active during the 9th –13th centuries, where both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars sought to translate the world’s knowledge into Arabic. Many classic works of antiquity that might have otherwise been lost were preserved in Arabic and Persian and later translated into Turkish, Hebrew, and Latin. Here, scholars synthesized and significantly advanced knowledge gained from the Roman, Chinese, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, Byzantine, and Phoenician civilizations.
  • The Prophet Muhammad(sa) is the only religious leader whose life is known in great detail. He was born an orphan and could not read or write. In his private life he was a husband, father, neighbour, friend, and businessman. As a public figure was a prophet, leader, legislator, judge, statesman, and general. As the Messenger of God, he is a law-giver and reformer. He passed through every imaginable stage of human experience and left behind an example of perfect conduct to be emulated. Such a combination is not found in history.
  • While originally Muslims had an “un-guilty” approach to sex, this openness has been lost over time and discussions about sex have become taboo. Hoping to change this, Indian-American Muslim activist Asra Nomani has written an “Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Bedroom” to “uphold women’s right to pleasure.” Additionally, a new chick-lit novel called No Sex and the City features a Muslim heroine. Both books show Muslim women having open discussions about sexuality, its role in their identity, and their fears and aspirations.
  • Muslims are required to honour and respect the commandments in the previously revealed holy books such as the Scriptures of Abraham, the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Muslims are also required to honour, respect and believe in all earlier prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Solomon, David and Jesus of the Judeo-Christian faiths, as well as the prophets of other religions such as those of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism. According to Islam over 124,000 prophets have appeared in history to guide mankind.
  • The word “Jihad” in Arabic literally means “to strive” and does not hold within it the connotation of “Holy War”. This striving can be carried out both for the improvement of one’s own self as well as for defensive purposes, when the Muslims are prevented from practising their religion. However, when carried out in the form of armed defense, it must abide by very strict rules governing such activity with quick return to peace being among them. Islam explicitly forbids the spreading of faith through coercion or compulsion. The Prophet Muhammad(sa) never used the sword to spread Islam. None of the so called Jihad of present day falls under this strict definition, Therefore, killing innocent people as part of some kind of battle or suicide battle is a foreign concept in Islam and is wholly forbidden.
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