Jerusalem Muslim Religion
Know Muslim Religion roots in Jerusalem
All three monotheistic faiths are represented in Jerusalem. Muslim religion followers belong to the religion of Islam. Islam means ‘submission to God’. It is the second largest religion in the world and has 1 billion followers. The religion of Islam was started in the seventh century. Muslims believe that a message was delivered by the angel Gabriel. The message came from the one true God. It was given to Mohammed in a cave.
Mohammed is the prophet of Islam. He spent the rest of his life spreading the message. Most of the people living in Saudi Arabia at that time believed in many tribal gods. Mohammed’s message of one true God was strange to them. They found it hard to believe such a message. Many people turned against Mohammed. In 622 AD he fled from Mecca to Medina. This is a special celebration to Muslims and it is called hijira meaning flight.
Return to Mecca
For the next eight years Mohammed spent gaining followers for his new religion. He was so successful that he was able to return to Mecca. He returned with an army and defeated the city. When Mohammed died fifty years later the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had surrendered to Muslim control. This meant followers carried out religious practices called the Five Pillars of Islam:
Confession of faith
Fasting during Ramadan
Thirty years after Mohammed died the Qur’an or Koran was written down in Arabic. Hebrew is the sacred language of Jews in Jerusalem. Muslim religion believers have Arabic as their sacred language. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the word of God. They believe it was given to Mohammed over a period of twenty years. Islam also has a book called the hadith. This book contains the sayings and actions of the prophet and his companions. This is believed to be a very important tradition in Islam.
Place of Worship
Muslims gather together on Fridays to pray. This is a common practice amongst all Muslims around the world. They worship in a building called a mosque. In some countries only men gather in the mosques. There are countries where women are allowed to pray in the mosques. In mosques where men and women pray together the men are in the front and the women in the back. At one time the place Muslims faced to pray was Jerusalem. Muslim religion rules changed and followers now face towards Mecca.
The most famous mosque in the world is in the city of Jerusalem. Muslim religion architecture at its most magnificent is seen at the Al Aksa mosque. The view of the Mount of Olives and the Old City is breathtaking. The Dome of the Rock is gold and turquoise and was built in the seventh century. Islamic architecture was carried to Europe by the Crusaders. The Islamic influence can be seen in Medeval churches and cathedrals.
Symbols of Islam
The star and crescent is known throughout the world as a symbol of Islam. But it is not Islamic in origin. The star and crescent is a visually beautiful symbol but it is an icon of polytheism. It began to be used by Muslims as the religion spread. Historians are of the opinion that this symbol was the crest of the Ottoman Empire and not the whole of Islam. Since then the star and crescent has been linked with Islam. Its use is at times controversial in Muslim circles.
Within Islam there are colors that are regarded as important. Certain Islamic dynasties chose colors for their banners:
White – Ummavads
Black – Abbasids
Green – Fatmids
Red – countries of the Persian Gulf
The color green is special to the religion of Islam. It is often seen in mosques around the world. It is thought that green may have been Mohammed’s favorite color. It is even thought he may have worn a green turban and cloak. The Qu’ran promises that those in paradise will have ‘green garments of fine silk’. During the Middle Ages the Crusaders never used the color green in Jerusalem. Muslim religion soldiers wore green to fight against the Crusaders.
The greeting that is given by Muslims is salaam. Salaam is the Arabic word for peace. Peace is the greatest desire of all the religions in Jerusalem. Islam has spread to every part of the world. The word salaam is used as a universal greeting by Muslim whatever their country of origin.
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