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The Islam Religion Explained

Mecca, Qu'ran


In this paper I will be talking about the Islam religion. The first part of this paper will cover some background information of the Islam religion. You will read about Mohammad who was the most important prophet to Muslims. Mohammad was given messages from Allah throughout his live and passed on these many lessons. The 5 pillars of Islam are the things a person must do in order to be Muslim. This paper includes an interview with a Muslim man who is named Mohammad about the Islam religion. This interview was conducted in person at the Mosque that I visited. The information about the Mosque is also included in this paper. The interview includes different aspects of Islam to include; Important holidays, rituals, and children’s religious education. After the summary of the interview I will compare the differences and similarities between Christianity and Islamic beliefs. After the compare and contrast section there will be a conclusion. The intention of this paper is to further understand Islam and help others understand it as well.


The Islam religion begins with the great prophet Mohammad. Mohammad was born in Mecca which is now known as the holiest place for Muslims. Fisher (2005) said “into a poor clan of the most powerful of the tribes.” (pg.362)To officially be a Muslim you must visit Mecca at least once in your life time. Mohammad’s father was not alive when he was born and when his mother and grandfather had both died he went to live with his uncle. Mohammad and his uncle went to visit Syria and they ran into a Christian monk who told him he was a prophet.

At first Mohammad felt a little overwhelmed with his new found responsibility. When Mohammad was 40 he went on a spiritual journey were he saw Gabriel who was an angel. The angel wanted Mohammad to recite something but, he refused and said he could not. Finally after the angel asked him 3 times Mohammad said he would. Gabriel spoke through Mohammad and what he said became the first words of the Qur’an.

After Mohammad’s journey he continued to get messages from Allah to help people understand the truth about Islam. When Mohammad was 55 he went to paradise and spoke with Jesus and Abraham. Mohammed continued to receive revelations from Allah until he died. In the Muslim religion they believe that Jesus son of Mary was a messenger of Allah. Jesus was given permission from Allah to heal people and bring a bird back to life. Mohammad went to the Jews and explained to them that Jesus had already come but, they did not want to hear it.

There are 5 pillars of Islam that every Muslim must follow in order to truly be a Muslim. The first pillar says that Muslims must pray to Allah and tell him he is the one and only true God. The second pillar say’s they have to pray 5 times a day. The second pillar covers the ritual involved before you pray. The third pillar tells them they must give to charity. Giving charity helps give them forgiveness for sins. The fourth pillar describes what a Muslim must do during the month of Ramadan. The last pillar says that you have to visit Mecca at least once in your life.

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The Mosque that I visited is the Austin Mosque and is located in Austin Texas. The building was very beautiful and appeared to be very clean. One of the requirements for praying is that it must be a clean place. You can pray at the Mosque or at home as long is the place is clean.” (personal communication, February 19, 2010) When they pray they must be facing the holy city of Mecca. The most important holiday for Muslims is Ramadan. This holiday is held during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The type of calendar they use is a lunar calendar. Since they use a lunar calendar Ramadan is actually at different times. For this year Ramadan is from the 11th of August to the 9th of September.

When I was deployed to Kuwait it was very hot during the month of Ramadan. I asked a Muslim if it was difficult to fast in such hot weather. He told me that it helped him melt away his sin. During this holiday you must not eat, drink, or smoke while the sun is up. They are also not a loud to kiss or hold hands in public during this time. Devout Muslims will even spit out their saliva so they do not consume any liquid. The reason why they celebrate Ramadan is because, they believe this is when the Qur’an was sent to a low part of heaven so Gabriel could prepare it for Mohammad.

Mohammad told his followers that during this month the gates of heaven are open and hell is closed. At the end of Ramadan there is a 3 day celebration called Eid ul-Fitr. This celebration is for the end of the fasting month. The man I interviewed was also named Mohammed and is 18 years old originally from Jordan. During the interview I asked him how religion has shaped his life.

According to Mohammad Seagal (personal communication, February 19, 2010) Allah has given him a good life. He did not know how to answer when I asked if there were any challenges to practicing his religion. I assured Mohammad that he did not need to answer all my questions if he did not want to. I was told that you must pray 5 times a day and before you pray you must clean your feet, arms, head, face, and ears.

(Personal communication, February 19, 2010) One of the most important rituals that they have is remembering a phrase by heart and saying it when they pray. The phrase used is “La ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammed-ur-Rasul Allah” (Al-Hilali & Khan, 1996, p. 16). “Say this by heart and you will enter paradise.”(personal communication, February 19, 2010) This prayer is part of the 5 Pillars of Islam. Women can worship Allah in the same place as men can. Women cannot expose any part of their body except their hands. They can show their face if they are married. In their society women cannot openly communicate with men in public. If they talk to a man that they were not introduced to they are considered to be prostitutes and can be stoned.

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Women are not a loud to talk to men unless the husband or another man in their family introduces them. Muslims do not believe in having sex for pleasure or before they are married only reproduction. In the Muslim culture you can’t show affection in public unless you are married. If you walk down the street holding the other sexes hand you can be stopped and asked for marriage papers. Christians also believe that sex is only for reproduction.

Compared to Christianity there are many differences. Christians have school for their children to teach them about God and Jesus. Muslim children learn all they need at the Mosque. If they have a question or need spiritual guidance they can talk to their parents or go to the mosque. Christians do not have any specific amount of times they need to pray. Muslims must pray 5 times a day.

The thing that catches my interest is that both Christians and Muslims believe in Jesus. What separates the two religions is that Christians celebrate Christmas because of Jesus but Muslims do not. Muslims do not believe Jesus was God manifested in flesh instead, Muslims believe Jesus was a messenger of God. Christians do not believe in Mohammed as being the most important profit. Christians attend church on Sunday while Muslims go to the Mosque almost every day. Both Christians and Muslims can go to their places of worship if they just want to pray.

Christians have to confess their sins to a priest as part of forgiveness for sin. Muslims only have to ask Allah for forgiveness and follow the Noble Qur’an. Muslims are required to give to charity once a year for less fortunate Muslims. Christians often donate to charity but they are not required to do so. Christians get involved in the community and usually have food drives and provide soup Kitchens for the poor.

Muslims are very alike in that way because, they try to take care of their own. If a Muslim is starving and knocks on another Muslims door during supper time they will invite them in to feed them. This is not really something they a required to do but, they are very kind people. Allah teaches Muslims through the Holy Qur’an to be kind and that we are all one people. Christians are also taught from the Holy Bible to be kind and that we all come from Adam and Eve.

In my home town of Auburn/Lewiston Maine many Muslim refugees moved in. There was a time when the Christian churches had difficulty understanding Islam and they did not get along. They finally decided to get together and learn more about each other. After communicating they realized that Christians and Muslims had much in common. They did a charity walk together to seal the deal on their new friendship.


Islam is a religion that is based on the prophet Mohammad. Mohammad had the mark of a prophet and was told about it by a Christian at a young age. When Mohammad was 40 he went on a retreat and received messages of the Qur’an from the Angel Gabriel. Mohammad then went to tell the rest of the world about the Noble Qur’an. Mohammad continued to have revelations until he passed away. He helped many Muslims truly understand Islam and the teachings in the Qur’an.

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To be a Muslim you must follow the 5 pillars of Islam. The five pillars of Islam teach Muslims to be kind and loving people. They tell Muslims how to pray and how many times a day they must pray. The pillars also tell Muslims that they must donate to charity. Muslims must wash up before they can pray and have to face Mecca. Muslims must visit Mecca at least once in their life.

Muslims celebrate the holiday Ramadan for one month. During the month of Ramadan Muslims can’t eat or drink anything while the sun is up. During the last month of the Islamic calendar many Muslims travel to Mecca to pray in masses. Women in their religion can only have their face and hands exposed.

Muslims have things in common with Christians. Both religious groups believe in Jesus however, Muslims do not see Jesus as the Messiah. Christians believe that when they get to heaven they will have to answer for their sins. Muslims believe when they get to paradise they will have to confess the good and bad things they have done.

If the two groups would come together and understand the similarities the world would be a more peaceful place. We need to understand each other in order for us to get along. Christians and Muslims both believe there is only one true God. It does not matter what name you give God he is still the only one. During the interview I conducted I quickly noticed how nice these people are. It was not difficult to find someone to interview. Mohammad was the first person I asked and he was more than happy to teach me more about Islam.

Everyone seemed very cheerful and smiled at me. When I introduced myself I used the Arabic language to make them feel more comfortable with talking to me. Before I left Mohammad I gave him the going away blessing in Arabic as well.

With the current uprising of Islam in America it is important that people understand the facts. I have heard so many rumors about Islam that are extremely wrong. When we do not understand things we tend to make assumptions that are not always correct. Muslims are very peaceful people and would love nothing more than to get along with other religions.


Fisher, M. P. (2005). Living Religions (6th ed.). : Prentice-Hall. Retrieved: January 31, 2010

Al-Hilali, M., & Khan, M. (1996). The Noble Qur’an. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam Publishers and Distributors. Retrieved: March 5, 2010