Let’s learn something new today.

News has petered out a bit in regards to Trump’s Travel Ban, and I thought I would take the time to answer some questions that I’ve always had, but never really spent the time to research.

What is the difference between Islam and a Muslim?
– Islam is a religion (Christianity or Buddhism)
– Muslim is a person that follows the Islamic religion (“Christian”, or “Buddhist”)
– Arab an ethnic group (people that identify with similar ancestry, language, social, cultural experiences) that lives in Arab States (include North Africa, Western Asia and the Horn of Africa. arab-israeli_map.jpeg
Arab States.

What does Islam teach?
– similar to Christianity, Islam has a holy man named Muhammad that claimed the angel Gabriel visited him that taught him the words of Allah (Arabic word for “God”) and the in particular The Five Pillars (of Islam)
– these teachings were written into a holy book called the Qur’an
– a set of beliefs including Allah, angels, prophets, judgement day (resurrection) and predestination in the phrase of inshallah (God’s will)
– Islam means “submission” which is derived from a root word that means “peace”
– paradise can be earned through keeping to the Five Pillars (whereas in Christianity, Jesus died for our sins)

What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
1. There is no deity (god) but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
2. There are five ritual prayers that must be performed every day. (kinda like going to church every Sunday) Known as Salat.
3. Zakat. Donating money to the poor/needy via alms giving.
4. Fasting (Sawm). To observse Ramadan (special time of year in the Islamic calendar) where followers must not eat or drink from dawn until sunset.
5. If possible, a Muslim must make the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca in Saudi Arabia atleast once.
The Kaaba (“The Cube”). A building at the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque (place of worship) in Mecca. It has a similar role to the Tabernacle.

Does the Islamic faith promote violence?
– the word Jihad (a noun meaning “to strive, to apply oneself, to struggle, to persevere”) appears frequently in the Qur’an
– Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam
– its a conflicting definition between Muslims and non-Muslims; for it has two+ meanings: an inner spiritual struggle (fight against one’s own desires of anger, lust and hatred) and an outer physical struggle against enemies of Islam (when Osama Bin Laden declared Jihad against the West, it was in the name of religious oppression [among many other reasons and factors])
– The Qur’an is unclear as to whether Jihad is acceptable in defense of the faith or in all cases
– The Qur’an can be interpreted (high emphasis on ‘interpreted’) Β to glorify or endorse violence, but at the same time be interpreted as violence only for self defense (religious persecution).

For more information check out this websiteΒ or this one.