The Muslim faith, Islam, is a monotheistic religion that worships the God of Abraham, the same God worshipped by Judaism and Christianity. The fundamentals of the Muslim faith can be found in the Qu’ran (Koran), a book that believers hold to be the literal word of God dictated to Mohammad.
The Prophet Mohammad founded Islam in 610 CE, after receiving visions from the Archangel Gabriel. Following the Prophet’s death, Islam broke into two main sects: Sunni and Shi’a. Islam is currently the second-largest religion in the world as well as the fastest growing. While Islam is largely concentrated in the Middle East, there are currently 57 nations around the world that are Muslim majority.
The Muslim faith is built upon Five Pillars: shahadah (creed), salat (prayer), zakah (almsgiving), sawm (fasting, especially during Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage). Muslims are encouraged to attempt to make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca at least once during their lifetime.
The Muslim faith also has a strong adherence to Sharia, or Islamic law. Much of the Sharia can be found in the Qur’an, although there is also a long tradition of rules and laws from Muslim scholars throughout the centuries. Islam also encourages believers to practice adab, Islamic etiquette. Included in these guidelines are dietary restrictions, such as refraining from alcohol and pork.