The word Islam means “Surrender to God”. Those who submitted to this concept became Muslims. The motherland of Islam is Arabia. Arabia was inhabited by nomadic tribes called Bedouin who roamed the desert with their flocks. Each tribe was divided into clan and each clan followed its own culture. However, all of them spoke a single language and went to Mecca for pilgrimage.

Prophet Mohammed was born around 570 A.D, in Mecca. He is believed to have been a descendent of Abraham, the founder of Judaism. Mohammed received the revelation of Allah, compiled in the Quran, which is the holy and sacred book of Muslims. It gives explanation of Quranic teaching in the Sunna, a collection of traditions. Both are reinforced by the principle of Ijma, which states the belief that a majority of Muslims cannot agree in error. The Quran, the Sunna and the Ijma are three foundations of Islam.

Islam does not profess to be a new religion for­mulated by Prophet Mohammed but is the continuation of all former religious principles. Islam is strictly monotheistic and believes in absolute submission to God's will. Every Muslim is expected to fulfil five duties: (i) believe in Allah, the God; (ii) Do Namaz five times a day; (iii) fast during Ramzan; (iv) give alms to the poor; and (v) visit Mecca at least once in his lifetime.

There are four main bases of the Muslim social institutions - family, marriage, divorce, and institution governing inheritance. Islam has given full importance to family and laid down certain rules and regulations to maintain its order. The main objective of family is the preservation of human society and civilisation. The whole socio-cultural stru­cture is based on it. The Quran and Shariah give basic guidelines for maintenance of social organi­sation.

Important Places of Worship

  • Kaaba and Al-Masjid al-Haram, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  • Worshipers flood the Grand mosque, its roof, and all the areas around it during night prayers
  • Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

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