Introduction to Islam Islam is a religion that is believed to be around since the first day the first man walked the earth ("Islam Is Not A 1400 Years Old Religion", 2013). Most believe that Islam is a religion that came around after the Prophet Mohammed which was a little more than 1400 years ago. Mohammed is really just one of the many prophets that Islam believes in and follows, he just happens to also be considered one of the most influential prophets. Islam is much more than just a religion; there are many aspects from the history all the way up through some of the traditions and where the religion is today. The Qur’an, being the religious document that holds the traditions and teachings of Mohammed and the role that it plays for Islam.
During my interview I found that the Qur’an was not written by Mohammed as he was illiterate, but that it did come through Mohammed from Allah. Allah, or the name of their Almighty God, as referenced by Islam’s, Allah passed the information through the angel Gabriel to Mohammed who memorized the information and orally taught it to his companions. This was done as Qur’an means speaking or telling, was meant to be the way the information was to be relayed to their followers.
The seven stages of the life of Mohammed include The Seeker of light in a period of darkness, where he pondered over the society in which he currently lived in. The Warner and Exhorter in which he received a divine revelation affirming his celestial knowledge. The patient optimist, where he brought change to people’s lives by inviting them to Islam. Next he was a pluralistic leader in which he demonstrated where it took more than Allah but the need for self help. He was also the courageous, yet reluctant warrior where he fought in three wars over the course of three years. The statesman par excellence and teacher phase is where he showed compromise and used his foresight and wisdom to strive for peace and not violence. Last is the compassionate ruler and spiritual leader, which his final phase beginning with the conquest of Makah.
The religious institution in which Islam’s practice their religion is a Mosque, however if they are just praying they can do that anywhere. When Muslims pray they have to be facing Mecca, which is the city that Islam is believed to have come from and the gateway to Allah. A Mosque has a long history, from the first one being built in Mecca and designed with a large courtyard where all of Mohammed’s wives could live to being the first buildings built when the Muslim’s first conquered a new area, the Mosque was built before the military camp was set up. There are many Mosques around the world today and the rules for them vary, some are considered sacred and are closed off to visitors and others are open to non-Muslims. In some countries they are still the center of cities or neighborhoods and almost all are surrounded by something, none are built in the middle of open areas. When entering a Mosques shoes are to be removed, you enter with your right foot first and say a blessing to Mohammed and his family. During most days once inside, you talk softly so as to not disturb others who are praying and on Fridays people dress up and wear nice perfumes.
Muslim’s worship and respect all prophets, however they have a bigger respect for Jesus because he is the prophet who foretold the coming of Mohammed. He is so highly respected that they do not refer to him just as Jesus but add “peace be upon him” when they speak his name. Also, all the teachings that come along with Jesus are considered highly respected. The Virgin Mary, his virgin birth all has a chapter within the Qur’an.
Islam, as a whole does promote peace, even after the attacks on September 11th it has been told that Islam promotes peace. That being only one example, which is unfortunately a well known example, is not what