Islam at a glance

Minaret of the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, topped with crescent moon

The word Islam means ‘submission to the will of God’.

Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over 1 billion followers. The 2001 census recorded 1,591,000 Muslims in the UK, around 2.7% of the population.

* Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia.
* Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
* Muslims believe that there is only One God.
* The Arabic word for God is Allah.
* According to Muslims, God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to His law.
* Jesus, Moses and Abraham are respected as prophets of God.
* They believe that the final Prophet was Muhammad.
* Muslims believe that Islam has always existed, but for practical purposes, date their religion from the time of the migration of Muhammad.
* Muslims base their laws on their holy book the Qur’an, and the Sunnah.
* Muslims believe the Sunnah is the practical example of Prophet Muhammad and that there are five basic Pillars of Islam.
* These pillars are the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca (atleast once).

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