In AD 610, a businessman named Muhammad (570-632)
of Mecca in Arabia, began to preach submission to the one God Allah.
He attributes his religion to a vision of the angel Gabriel, who
gave him the Qur’an, Islam’s sacred
scriptures. The angel Gabriel was first mentioned in the
Judeo-Christian Bible. Today, Islam is the religion of about 20
percent of the world’s population.
The central confession in Islam is the shahada,
"There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his
prophet." Muslim means "one who submits." Islam
teaches submission to God in all things. It is a code of honor, a
system or law, and a way of life based on the Qur’an. The level
of devotion to this oral code determines one’s salvation.
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is considered
Allah’s last and greatest prophet. Muslims also believe that
Abraham, Moses, and Jesus are great prophets. Jesus is not
considered to be God’s Son or the Messiah.
Muslims live by the Pillars of Islam:
Confession of faith—"there is no God but Allah, and
Muhammad is his prophet"
Daily prayer—in the direction of the Sacred Mosque in
Mecca, Islam’s holiest city
Charity—giving two percent of their annual income to the
Fasting—at various prescribed times, especially during Ramadan,
the holiest month of the Muslim year
Pilgrimage—A pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, and the
birthplace of Muhammad, is expected of healthy and otherwise
qualified Muslim’s at least once in a lifetime.