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A Listing of Links, Articles, and Resources to Help us Understand our Muslim Sisters and Brothers as we Mutually search for God and for Peace in our World

In September of 2003, several of us from First Mennonite attended a meeting (and delicious mideastern dinner) at the Islamic Center (mosque) in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. This was held by a combined Muslim/Christian organization formed to promote unity and understanding in the wake of the terrorist acts of 9/11. Most of the information we include in this web page comes from a book distributed free by the Islamic Center of Cleveland. It is called "Discovering Islam and Muslims of the United States." A copy may be obtained free from Cleveland Islamic Center, 6055 West 130th Street, Parma, OH 44130, (216) 3620 0786. You may also email them. There is a copy on the Missions Table in the hallway of our church, and we highly recommend that you read it, or send for your own copy. We present this brief summary for those of us who have never studied comparative religions in any formal way, and might need a primer or a refresher about some facts of Islam.

The QUR'AN What the Angel Gabriel revealed to Muhammad were the direct words of Allah. These revelations were put into a book which has remained unaltered for 1,400 years. In addition, there is the Hadith of the Prophet, which chronicles thousands of his sayings, used by the devout to help them lead a righteous life.
The PROPHET Islam, in its fully revealed form, started in 610 AC in Makkah (Mecca) in present day Saudi Arabia when the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from Allah through the Angel Gabriel. The inhabitants of Arabia worshipped man-made idols, so Allah sent Muhammad to them as a messenger to teach them about their Lord and to show them the righteous path of faith. Mahatma Ghandi, in his book "The Young Indian", wrote "Muslims have never indulged themselves in bigotry even in times of greatest grandeur and victory...I have read the books telling about the life-style of the Prophet of Islam and of those who were close to him. I have arrived at the conclusion that Islam's spreading rapidly was not by the sword. On the contrary, it was primarily owing to its simplicity, logicality, its Prophet's great modesty, his trueness to his promises and his unlimited faithfulness towards every Muslim that many people willigly accepted Islam"

The foundation of Islam is built on five basic pillars that Muslims must adhere to if they are to be granted eternal paradise after death.
SHAHADA To believe and express that there is no god but Allah, and the Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
PRAYER Performings of prayers five times a day, i.e. early morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night. Each prayer takes five to ten minutes and may by performed individually or in a group.
ZAKAT The annual giving of 2.5% of ones wealth to charity.
FASTING Observed throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims who are physically able must abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex from dawn to dusk.
HAJJ Performed at least once in a lifetime by Muslims who are physically and financially able. The annual pilgimage to Makkah by some 2 million people from across the globe makes Hajj the world's largest, most diverse, convention.

The faith of a Muslim is built on six fundamental beliefs:
TAWHID Belief in the Oneness of Allah
MESSENGERS Belief in all of Allah's messengers, from Adam, Noah, and Abraham, to Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.
BOOKS Belief in the holy texts that Allah has revealed, i.e. the Torah, the Psalms of David, the Gospel, and the Qur'an.
ANGELS Belief in the angels of Allah.
DAY OF JUDGEMENT Belief in the Daay of Judgement, when man will be held accountable for his actions on earth.
DESTINY AND POWER Belief in the predestination of life, and Allah's power to do as He wills.