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Al-Islam is not a new religion. It is the same truth that G-d revealed to all His prophets throughout history. Al-Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness that should not be associated with acts of violence against the innocent.
There are an estimated 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. No more than 20 percent of Muslims live in the Arabic-speaking world. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia. Muslims believe in One, Unique, and Incomparable G-d. They believe in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets beginning with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus (Peace be upon them all). G-d’s eternal message was reaffirmed and finalized by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on them all). One becomes a Muslim by saying, “There is no deity but G-d, and Muhammad is the messenger of G-d.” By this declaration, the person announces faith in all of G-d’s messengers.
The Qur'an is the exact words of G-d, revealed through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) who memorized it and then dictated it to his companions. The text of the Qur'an was cross-checked during the life of the Prophet (saws). The 114 chapters of the Qur'an have remained unchanged through the centuries.
1) Belief in Allah (G-d) - We believe there is only one G-d for all humanity, He neither begets, not nor is He begotten, and there is none like Him.
2) Prayer – Muslims perform five obligatory prayers each day. Islamic prayers are a direct link between the worshiper and G-d. Al-Islam has no hierarchical authority or priesthood. A learned Muslim chosen by each congregation leads the prayers.
3) Zakat – One of the most important principles of Al-Islam is that all things belong to G-d and that wealth is held in trust by human beings. Zakat, or charitable giving, “purifies” wealth by setting aside a portion for those in need. This payment is usually two and a half percent of one’s capital.
4) Fasting – Every year in the Islamic ninth lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from first light of dawn until sunset. The fast is another method of self-purification.
5) Pilgrimage – A pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, is an obligation for those who are physically and financially able once in a life time.
There are an estimated 7 million Muslims in America. The Muslim community in America is made up of people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins. There are estimates of almost 2,000 places of worship called Mosques, Masajids, Islamic Centers and Islamic schools in America. Muslims are active in all walks of life. Al-Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in this country and around the world.