Islam is the name of the religion of Allah (God). The name stems from the Arabic word “Salaam” which means peace.
It is the world’s second-largest religion and, the fastest-growing major religion in the world with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims.
The followers of Islam are called Muslims (a male is called as Muslim and, a female is called as a Muslimah) or believers.
The non-muslims who do not believe in Islam are called disbelievers or Kafirs (who hide the truth). The people of books/scriptures (Christians & Jews) were the early Muslims.
It is a monotheistic religion which is being followed since Adam (the first man on earth sent down from the heavens) & Eve (the first woman and, wife of Adam) and, all the people till date.
It is a complete lifestyle which guides all the human beings (not only Muslims & Arabs) to lead a successful life in this world and, the life in the hereafter. Islam has been chosen by Allah for all the human beings.
All the prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and, Muhammad (s) preached & practised Islam according to the divine law & commandments (Sharia) received by them in the form of holy books for their times and the last one for all times.
The five pillars of Islam are: Tauheed (Faith), Salah (Prayers), Saum (Fasting), Zakah (a tax of 2.5% on excess savings given to the poor as alms/charity), and Hajj (pilgrimage of around five days to Makkah that too for those who are Muslim, an adult, possess a healthy mind, have enough strength to take the journey, has enough provision to support the expenses and all this just once in a lifetime)
Faith: To pronounce the oath, and believe in Allah, all His angels, and His books (4), and His messengers.
Shahadah (usually invoking a divine witness): “There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.”
Aside from the theological viewpoint, Islam is historically believed to have re-originated in the early 7th century CE in Makkah by Muhammad (s). The cities of Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.
The formal beginning of the Muslim era was chosen, reportedly by Caliph Umar (r), to be the Hijra in 622 CE. The Islamic calendar Months are:
1.Muharram 2.Safar 3.Rabi’ al-awwal 4.Rabi’ al-Thani 5.Jumada al-awwal 6.Jumada al-Thani 7.Rajab 8.Sha’ban 9.Ramadan 10.Shawwal 11.Dhu al-Qidah 12.Dhu al-Hijjah.
The most important Islamic festivals are Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) on the 1st of Shawwal, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha (عيد الأضحى) on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah, coinciding with the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.