What is Islam and what are its characteristics?

Conscious TV

January 11, 2022

"There is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet."

Islam is one of the world's major religions, with more than one billion followers. It is a monotheistic religion based on the revelations received by the prophet Muhammad in 7th century Saudi Arabia. The Arabic word Islam means "submission," reflecting the main dogma of submitting to the will of God.

The followers of Islam are called Muslims.

Origin of Islam:

According to the Islamic religion, the angel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Muhammad over the course of 20 years, revealing numerous messages from God. Muslims recognize earlier Judeo-Christian prophets, such as Moses and Jesus, as messengers of the same true God.

In Islam, Muhammad is the last and greatest of the prophets and his revelations are pure and immaculate.

The Prophet dedicated the rest of his life to spreading his monotheistic message in a polytheistic world. In the year 622, he went to the city of Medina to escape 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. At Muhammad's death 50 years later, the entire Arabian Peninsula was under Muslim control.

What is the Koran?

The Koran, the holy text of Islam, was written in Arabic within 30 years of Muhammad's death. Muslims believe it literally contains the word of God. Also important in the tradition are the rules and actions of Muhammad and his companions, compiled in the Hadith.

Islamic practices focus on the five pillars of Islam-faith, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca and almsgiving-and also include various festivals and rituals.

In the Islamic religion, sects are not really "denominations" if that word is understood as a series of valid approaches to the same religion. The division between Muslim sects or streams - mainly Shia and Sunni - is deeply rooted in the history of Islam. Disagreements revolve around key historical figures and fundamental beliefs, which have profound implications for how Muslims should live in today's world.

Members of one Islamic group do not always recognize members of other groups as fellow Muslims, and it is not uncommon for conflicts to arise between different groups or sects. However, in numerical terms, Islam is arguably less divided than many other religions because the vast majority of Muslims are Sunni.

What do Muslims believe in?

The main belief of Islam, and arguably the central theme of the religion, is that there is only one God. The name of God is Allah, which in Arabic means "the (al) God (Ilah)".

  • Muslim beliefs about the prophets

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is revered as the "Seal of the Prophets," the last and highest of God's messengers. He is by no means divine, since the strict monotheism that characterizes Islam (and also Judaism) does not allow such an interpretation. There are other important prophets in Islam and all of them are shared with Jews and Christians.

  • Muslim beliefs about human nature

According to the Quran Allah "created man from a clot of blood" and at the same time created the jinn from fire. The human being is the greatest of creatures, created with free will to obey and serve God. Muslim beliefs about life and salvation For Muslims, the goal of life is to live pleasing to Allah in order to reach Paradise. It is believed that at puberty an account is opened to record each person's deeds, which will be used on the Day of Judgment to determine his or her fate.

  • Muslim beliefs about the afterlife

Like Christianity, Islam believes in the immortality of the soul and the change of physical form after death. When the Day of Judgment arrives, humanity will be divided into two eternal destinies: Paradise and Hell. Muslim considerations about other religions The Qur'an makes it clear that "there should be no compulsion in religion" (2: 256). However, Islam is not indifferent to conversion. Muslims consider their religion to be the true religion and invite people of all races, nationalities and religions to join it.

Six articles of faith

There is no official creed one must follow to be considered a Muslim. All that is required is to have faith and recite the Shahada: "There is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet." Beyond this basic belief, however, Islamic doctrine is often summarized in the "Six Articles of Faith." Many Muslims believe that one must follow all six articles to be considered a Muslim.