Learn More About Islam - The Second Largest Religion in the World

The Islamic religion has approximately one billion followers and is the second largest of religions, after Christianity. The United Kingdom alone has over 1.5 million Muslims covering 2.7 percent of the population.

The Basics of Islam
Muslims believe in only one God, Allah and the religion dates back 1400 years. According to the religion, Allah sent several prophets into the world to teach His law. Moses, Abraham and Jesus were respected prophets of God, with Muhammad being the final prophet. While Christians trust in the Bible, Muslims follow the Qur’an.

The Islamic Faith
There are six main beliefs in the Islamic faith. Muslims believe in angels, believe that there is only one God, trust in the holy books, try to follow in the footsteps of prophets, believe in a judgment day and that everything is predestined with Allah knowing what is going to happen.

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Muslim Holy Events
Ramadan is when Muslims fast throughout daylight hours during the ninth Islamic calendar month. This is celebrated for several reasons and Muslims believe that this month is when the revelations of the Qur’an were revealed, when gates of heaven open and when the gates of hell close and there the devils remain chained up for all eternity. The popular tradition is to pray on Lailat ul Qudr, when the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad. Praying on this one night is considered the equivalent of thousands of months of worship.

Fasting occurs during Eid ul Fitr when Muslims thank Allah for the strength they gained in practicing self-control. Gifts of new clothes are exchanged, and Muslims decorate their homes. Services take place in mosques, on the street and through a celebratory meal. Eid also encourages forgiveness.
The four-day public holiday celebrated by Muslims is known as Eid ul Adha. The legend behind this festival is that God appeared to prophet Ibrahim in a dream and told him to sacrifice his son.

However, just before he was due to carry out the sacrifice, God stopped him and offered Ibrahim a sheep to sacrifice instead. Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah is celebrated each year. Domestic animals are sacrificed, but they must be killed in a professional slaughterhouse. The meat is then distributed to friends, family, and the poor. Similar to Eid ul Fitr, gifts are exchanged and Muslims pray.
To summarise, the Islamic religion is the second largest in the world and Eid and Ramadan are the festivals celebrated by Muslims. Prayer and the study of the Qur’an are a large part of the Islamic religion.

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Shireen Abdul
About the Author:

Shireen Abdul spends her Saturdays shopping with friends at the Islam Shopping Centre, she loves shopping for jewellery and fashions.

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