Allah is the Arabic word for God. He is the creator and the only divine being in Islam. He is the same God worshipped in Judaism and Christianity.
Muhammad was the original prophet to Allah. He is often referred to as "the Prophet" because he was God's messenger. He led the Islamic state to much expansion. He is not considered divine.
Muhammad was born, in Mecca, part of the Quraysh tribe. He lost his parents and his grandfather very young, so he was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib. He spent much of his early childhood helping his uncle in the caravan trade. He lived in a warring tribal polytheistic society.
Muhammad's message was that Allah was the only God. He was the first to really preach monotheism and he wasn't accepted too well in Mecca. ALLAH AND ONLY ALLAH!
Medina was the city that Muhammad and his followers moved to after he was kicked out of Mecca. Medina invited Muhammad over from Mecca to settle a difference among tribal leaders. He was accepted as a leader there and it became the new capital for the Islamic state.
Mecca was the city that Muhammad was born and raised in. He started to preach Islam there, but wasn't accepted very well, so he was asked to either stop preaching or leave and he chose to leave. He later returned to Mecca to take it back and succeeded. The Kaaba stone is there.
The Qur'an is the only holy text for Muslims. It is said to be dictated by God to Muhammad. It is literally the word of God. The Qur'an is basically the holy book for Muslims. There is only one version of the Qur'an and there has been for 14 centuries. The Qur'an is never translated out of Arabic for worshipping purpose because translation could distort the meaning or message.
Islam is the last, chronologically, of the three Abrahamic faiths. It is said to have been founded by Muhammad. Muslims must follow specific rules and submit themselves completely to God. They follow the Qur'an, which is the word of God. They are extremely monotheistic. There are no other divine beings in Islam other than Allah.
The Sunnis were one of the two groups that Islam was split into after the first three caliphs. The Sunnis believe that anyone can be caliph and that it should be based on behavior as opposed to heredity. Sunnis make up the majority of Muslims.
The Shi'ites were the other of the two groups that Islam was split into after the first three caliphs. The Shi'ites believe that the role of caliph should be passed down based on heredity, as opposed to election. They make up the minority of Muslims.
5 Pillars of Faith
The 5 Pillars of Faith are the five broad major laws that all Muslims must follow. They are Profession of Faith, Prayer, Alms, Fasting during Ramadan, and Pilgrimage. If one follows these things that they have to do, they are Muslim.
Jihad can be translated into many things. It means struggle in the path of God. It is often interpreted as the Islamic version of "holy war." Many Muslim leaders use jihad to justify their actions that were violent, even though it isn't a valid argument.
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock was built by the Umayyads as celebration of their great successes in expanding. It was built in Jerusalem on the same place that the Great Temple was built. The Dome of the Rock still exists today and is one of the greatest attractions of Jerusalem. It was built on the site where Isaac was supposedly almost sacrificed.
The Hijra was Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina. He fled Mecca after he found out that the Quraysh planned to kill him. It happened in September of 622, which marks year 1 on the Islamic calendar.
Spread of Islam
After Muhammad died, there was an extreme Islamic expansion. They used this concept of jihad to use military to force people to convert. They expanded using military conquest and conversion.
The Caliph is the ruler of Islam. They're sort of like the Pope of Islam. The first four caliphs were very successful.
Women and Islam
Before Muhammad, women were not nearly as respected. In Islam, women are not equal to men, but they are more respected than they were before Muhammad. Many Muslim women wear a hijab, which is a piece of clothing that covers their whole body, except for their eyes. The idea is that men choose women based on mind as opposed to looks.
Abu Bakr was Muhammad's right-hand man. He was the first person to convert to Islam that wasn't directly related to Muhammad. He eventually took over as ruler of Islam and first caliph. He was responsible for kicking off this major period of Islamic expansion.
A mosque is the place of worship that Muslims worship in.
Imams were heads of Muslim communities that knew many things about the inner meanings of the Qur'an. They are the equivalent of priests.
Muhammad's night journey is a legend passed down in Muslim culture. The story consists of him getting woken in the middle of the night and taken to Jerusalem to pray with other prophets. There, he is told to pray 5 times a day and is told the beliefs of Islam
The Kaaba is the stone that represents the area of trade during the tribal time. Muhammad rid the Kaaba of idol trading after he came back from Medina. Turned Mecca into a monotheistic city. It is the object of the pilgrimage to Mecca that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
The autobiography of Muhammad.
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