Muslims the world over honor one god, Allah, who sent the message of Islam to mankind through the Prophet Mohammed. By reading the Quran and praying, Muslims seek to understand, love and worship Allah. Islam makes many requirements of its followers, affecting everything from family life to bathing and eating, but obeying Allah is believed to bring great rewards in this life and beyond.
The Oneness of God
The existence of a single god who is the "creator and sustainer of the universe," is the primary belief of Muslims, according to the Islam Religion website. This figure is referred to as Allah, and is the same figured beloved by Jews and Christians. Only Allah may be worshipped and no other gods, saints or figures are to be given the same reverence. Worshipping anything besides Allah is considered a grave sin.
Allah and Mohammed
Muslims believe Allah selected a humble trader named Mohammed as his final prophet, who brought forth a new religion centered on a sole god. Allah revealed the Islamic holy book, the Quran, to Mohammed after a visit from the angel Gabriel when he was 40 years old. According to Religion Facts, Mohammed was "not an angel, did not know the mind of God, (and) did not work miracles," meaning he was simply a conduit for a divine message.
God is Unknowable
According to Islam, Allah is essentially unknowable. Though Allah is considered kind, merciful and generous, the actual nature of god is enigmatic. The Quran reveals Allah's love for mankind and his intended way of life and worship, but as to the character and identity of god, Muslims know little. However, Allah is not distanced from mankind, and exists everywhere and in everything and will help those who seek him during times of difficulty.
Muslims believe Allah obligates them to worship him by praying five times a day at select times. Before praying, Muslims must engage in "wudu" to cleanse themselves, ensuring they are pure for Allah by removing substances like dirt and blood. Each prayer is begun with a statement of intent and a declaration of Allah's greatness, culminating with the worshipper kneeling and touching their head to the ground to demonstrate their submission to his power and will.
Expectations of Allah
The Muslim faithful believe Allah has high expectations of them and holds them to a strict standard of conduct. Allah commands that his followers fully concede to his will and follow the laws written down in the Quran. Disobedience and immoral behavior, like committing adultery, murder or theft, will be punished. However, Allah remains kind and will reward believers in the next life, providing them with an eternal home in paradise.
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