Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over 1 billion followers. There are around 3 million Muslims in Britain, which makes up 5% of the population.
The word ‘Islam’ is an Arabic word which takes on the meaning of ‘submission’. This refers to submitting oneself completely to the will of God.
Followers of Islam are called Muslims. The fundamental belief of Muslims can be found in the testimony of faith:
“There is no deity except Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah.”
Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Makkah, Arabia through the chosen Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The Prophet Muhammad is believed by Muslims to be the last prophet sent by Allah as a guide. Muslims also believe that Allah sent other prophets to their respective communities to teach them how to live according to His law. Jesus (Isa), Moses (Musa) and Abraham (Ibrahim) are just a few of the Prophets that Muslims also believe in.
The Muslim holy book is called the Qur’an. It is believed to be the word of Allah as dictated to the Prophet Muhammad. (peace be upon him) This is followed and recited daily as an integral part of Islam. Muslims also follow the Sunnah, the way of the Prophet Muhammad and use his life as an example to live according to the will of Allah.
The religion of Islam can be summed up using 5 main tenets. They are an essential part of Muslim life.
These tenets are:
- The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah)
- Praying five times a day (Salah)
- Giving money to Charity (Zakah)
- Fasting (Sawm)
- Making pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in a lifetime (Hajj)