Islam

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As of 2014, there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. That number is expected to grow to 2.2 billion by 2030. Islam, the religion practiced by Muslims, is the second-largest religion in the world.

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  • Why is the Hajj so important?

    Q: Why is the Hajj so important?

    A: The Hajj is important because it is one of the five pillars of Islam, and if Muslims have the ability, they are required to perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetimes. They are only excused if they are financially or physically unable to make the pilgrimage.
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  • How do you convert to Islam?

    Q: How do you convert to Islam?

    A: Converting to Islam requires only understanding of the knowledge that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and saying a sentence to that effect. The actual sentence that one who wishes to convert should say is, “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”
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  • Why do people make pilgrimages to Mecca?

    Q: Why do people make pilgrimages to Mecca?

    A: People, specifically Muslims, embark on annual pilgrimages to Mecca to show honor and respect for Allah. Muslims formally refer to the Mecca voyage as Hajj. Some Muslims make repeat trips to Mecca, but Judaic law requires all Muslims, physically and mentally able, to complete at least one journey to the holy city of Mecca during their lifetimes.
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  • Why is the Islamic year shorter than the Western year?

    Q: Why is the Islamic year shorter than the Western year?

    A: Because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar month, which is roughly 29 days, it usually ends up being about 11 days shorter than the Western calendar. The calendar used in the West, the Gregorian or Christian calendar, is a solar calendar that is based on the earth's 365-day year.
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  • Why is the Qur'an so important to Muslims?

    Q: Why is the Qur'an so important to Muslims?

    A: The Qur'an is the primary scripture of the faith of Islam. It is the single most important reference for all matters of faith, social practice, the contemplation of law and the understanding of the Divine. It is also a direct link to Islam's beloved prophet, Muhammad, the man who both received as well as first disseminated the holy message of the text.
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  • How many mosques are there in the world?

    Q: How many mosques are there in the world?

    A: As of 2010, statistics show that approximately 1.5 billion people practice the Muslim faith, and this makes it virtually impossible to calculate the number of mosques. Mosques are being built in Canada, France and other places. Therefore, it's hard to determine just how many mosques are currently being used.
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  • What is the largest mosque in the world?

    Q: What is the largest mosque in the world?

    A: The world's largest mosque is either the Masjid al-Haram, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or the Imam Reza Shrine, which stands in Mashhad, Iran. The al-Haram mosque is by far the largest mosque in the world by its total capacity, while the Reza Shrine covers the greatest area.
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  • Which foods are forbidden to Muslims?

    Q: Which foods are forbidden to Muslims?

    A: Pork and alcohol are the only two items expressly forbidden. The Quran, however, is somewhat open to interpretation about what other foods may or may not be permitted.
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  • How many Muslim countries are there in the world?

    Q: How many Muslim countries are there in the world?

    A: There are between 49 and 51 Muslim-majority countries in the world, according to estimates from 2010. The fluctuation is a result of the changing demographics in countries where Muslims comprise around 50 percent of the population.
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  • Why is Mecca so important to Muslims?

    Q: Why is Mecca so important to Muslims?

    A: Mecca is where Abraham built the Ka'aba, and some believe he did so in order to rebuild the Bait-ul-Allah that had originally been built by Adam. This is the building that every Muslim around the world faces in prayer up to five times per day. The prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 A.D., linking the city to Islam forever.
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  • Who is the main leader of Islam?

    Q: Who is the main leader of Islam?

    A: There is no single leader of Islam, but the prophet of Islam is Muhammad. According to the Qur'an, Muhammad received revelations from Allah about life and piety that he was to spread to the people of the world.
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  • Why do Muslims wash before they pray?

    Q: Why do Muslims wash before they pray?

    A: The purpose behind the ritualized washing, known as Wudu', or ablutions, is to cleanse the body prior to presenting oneself for worship or prayer. At the time of Islam's inception, the concept of hygiene was relatively foreign in most parts of the world, which made the Wudu' unique among most cultures.
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  • What is the holy book of Islam called?

    Q: What is the holy book of Islam called?

    A: The holy book of Islam is called the Quran. Muslims believe that the Quran is divinely inspired and was revealed over a period of 23 years to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.
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  • How long does Eid last?

    Q: How long does Eid last?

    A: Eid begins first day after the month of Ramadan in the Islamic culture and is a three-day celebration. Eid is short for Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast Breaking.
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  • What is a Muslim robe called?

    Q: What is a Muslim robe called?

    A: A robe worn by a Muslim woman is called an abaya or a jilbab, and men wear what is called a thwab. Generally, these robes are worn daily, over clothing.
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  • What foods do Muslims eat?

    Q: What foods do Muslims eat?

    A: Muslims eat foods that are permitted as per the Qur'an, and they avoid eating anything that is specifically prohibited within its text. They abstain from consuming dead meat, pork, blood and alcohol. They also shun meat of an animal sacrificed to idols or one that has been killed by strangulation.
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  • How many surahs does the Quran have?

    Q: How many surahs does the Quran have?

    A: The Quran contains 114 surahs, or chapters. The Quran is the religious text of Islam, the book that Muslims believe to be a revelation from Allah. The name "Quran" means recitation. The verses within each surah are referred to ayats. The number of verses varies from surah to surah.
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  • What is the Muslim place of worship called?

    Q: What is the Muslim place of worship called?

    A: The Muslim place of worship is called a mosque. Before entering a mosque, Muslims remove their shoes, leaving them outside the building. In addition, they wash their hands before entering the premises.
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  • What does a guest wear to a Muslim wedding?

    Q: What does a guest wear to a Muslim wedding?

    A: When attending a Muslim wedding, a guest should always dress formally and respectfully. Female guests are expected, though not necessarily required, to cover their neck and shoulders, due to the Muslim stance and attitudes regarding feminine modesty.
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  • Where do Muslims worship?

    Q: Where do Muslims worship?

    A: Muslims gather to worship at a mosque. It is also called by the Arabic word "masjid," which means "place of prostration." Muslims follow the religion known as Islam, which worships one god, known as Allah.
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  • Why do Muslim men wear turbans?

    Q: Why do Muslim men wear turbans?

    A: Turbans are not required of all Muslim men, but those who wear them do so for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most important reason is in emulation of the Prophet Muhammad, who is believed to have worn either a white or a black turban. Emulation of the Prophet is generally encouraged among Muslims even in seemingly superficial matters such as clothing.
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