What Is Islam?
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 6 to 8
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||adultery, al-Fitr, burag, hama, kebobs, kuch, unkindly, Zakaat, monotheism, pilgrimage, hasten, declaration, truthful, commit, widow, billion
||Saudi Arabia, Mount Hira, Archangel Gabriel, Arabian Peninsula, Night Journey, Five Pillars, During Ramadan, Their Call
Print What Is Islam?
What Is Islam?
By Colleen Messina
1 Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. in Saudi Arabia. He was kind, and his nickname was "the truthful one." The boy was orphaned, and his uncle raised him. Muhammad tended sheep on the dry hills like many young Arabians. Later, he became a successful merchant and married a wealthy widow. However, he felt as though something was missing in his life, so he went on a retreat.
2 Muhammad went up to Mount Hira to pray in a small cave. He wanted to find a deeper meaning for his life. He was also upset about the cruelty of his people. They killed baby girls to control the number of women, and they treated their slaves unkindly. Muhammad had a strong sense of right and wrong. He wanted change, but he had no idea that his prayers would lead to a new religion.
3 According to Islamic beliefs, Islam began in 610 A.D. when Muhammad said that the Archangel Gabriel appeared in the cave. Muhammad was amazed at the angel's first command: ï¿½Read, in the name of Allah!' He wanted to obey, but he tried to explain that he didn't know how to read. Archangel Gabriel still gave Muhammad the message. The messages from the archangel over the next twenty-three years became the Koran, or QurÊ¾ï¿½n. The Koran is the poetic, holy book of Islam.
4 Archangel Gabriel told Muhammad to preach about Allah. Muhammad began to preach three years after his vision. Mecca had 360 shrines to different gods, and the people didn't like the idea of just one god. They may have thought that more gods gave them a better chance of getting answers to their prayers. So the first Muslims became outcasts, and they moved to the city of Medina in 622 A.D. The Islamic calendar begins at this date. Medina later became the center of Islamic civilization.
5 By the time Muhammad died, he had united many people in the Arabian Peninsula. It is said that Muhammad met Archangel Gabriel again at the end of his life. The angel led the Prophet to a mysterious animal called the buraq. This animal had a human face, angel wings, and a horse's body. Muhammad ascended to heaven on its back. Muslims call this event the Night Journey. Muslims all over the world celebrate this event.
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