The Religion of Islam
Islam began in Arabia when the Prophet Muhammad (Mohammad, Mohammed) heard the word of God. Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570AD. When he was 40 he was called to become God's messenger. At a time when the Arabs had many beliefs and gods, Muhammad taught that there was only one god - Allah (which is God in Arabic).
The Angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad and taught him the verses of Holy Quran (Koran), the Holy Book of Islam.
The most important message of the Holy Quran is that God is the creator of the world and controls everything in it. Muslims are called upon to surrender to the will of God. They must live according to the rules of the Holy Quran and perform the five main duties of Islam - called the Five Pillars of Faith.
The word Muslim (Moslem) means "one who gives himself to God" in Arabic. Islam means "submission or obedience to God".
Islam gives guidance to all aspects of life. Muslims cannot eat pork. Other meats must be halal (allowed) - the animals are slaughtered in a way that gives the least pain, and "In the name of God" is recited before it is killed. Muslims should not drink alcohol. They should not fight except for Islam. They must not gamble. Muslims should give to the poor and less fortunate and must be kind to strangers.
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