An Islam Primer
Everything you always wanted to know, from Islam's 'golden age' to the meaning of 'jihad.'
Islam is the second-largest religion in the world. Religion estimated followers:
There are two main branches of Islam:
Largest Muslim populations (in millions) by Country
Number of Muslims:
Followers of Islam share a core of basic beliefs on which they base their daily lives.
("shahadah," in Arabic) - "There is no deity but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger." Followers repeat this phrase several times a day to remind themselves of God's central position in their lives.
("salah") - Muslims are required to pray formally five time a day-at dawn, midday, afternoon, evening and night.
("zakah") - Muslims pay a specified amount of money, typically 2.5 percent of their accumulated wealth each year, to assist the poor and sick.
("sawn") - During the monthlong Ramadan, Muslims are to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activities from dawn to sunset.
("hajj") - Islam requires every believer to make at least one visit to Mecca in their lifetime if means are available. More on the Hajj...
More on the Five Pillars...