Recognizing that many may be celebrating Easter this weekend, Chris and I chose to steer clear of anything Christian and instead we attended the Islamic Center of Rochester this past Thursday night. This was the first time that we attended somewhere during the week, which in itself was not bad; but it inadvertently created down time during the weekend (where we were forced to spend time with our families!).
Islam is the second-largest and one of the fastest growing religions in the world, with over 1.5 billion followers, which is over 22% of earth’s population. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims believe that Allah (God) is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve Allah. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets. They maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur’an to be the eternal, literal word of Allah. Muslims believe that the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, and that Muhammad is the last in a series of prophets beginning with Adam. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic or Sharia law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society.