From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Islam is an Abrahamic religion that originated in the 7th century CE in Mecca, a city in present-day Saudi Arabia. It is based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, who Muslims believe was the last prophet sent by God (Allah in Arabic) to guide humanity. The religious text of Islam is the Quran, which Muslims believe is the word of God as revealed to Muhammad.

Beliefs[edit | edit source]

The core beliefs of Islam are encapsulated in the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the basic acts of worship that every Muslim is expected to perform. These include the Shahada (faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

Practices[edit | edit source]

Muslims are expected to pray five times a day facing the Kaaba in Mecca. They are also expected to give a portion of their income to the poor, fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able.

Sects[edit | edit source]

There are two main sects in Islam: Sunni and Shia. The split occurred due to a dispute over who should succeed Muhammad as the leader of the Muslim community after his death. Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs were the rightful successors, while Shias believe that only Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, and his descendants were the rightful leaders.

Culture[edit | edit source]

Islamic culture has greatly influenced the world, particularly in areas such as architecture, art, literature, and music. Islamic law, or Sharia, also plays a significant role in the legal systems of many Muslim-majority countries.

See also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD