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       Islam is one of the religions in India.  This religion is based on the belief that there is only one God, Allah, and Muhummad is his messenger.  Islam is basically complete submission to God.

This is Allah, or God written in the Arabic language. The little seal in the corner says Muhammad.

This is a masjid where Muslims come to pray and worship Allah.

This is the Muslim's holy book, the Quran.

         Islam was a religion that was born in the 7th century in Saudia Arabia.  Its basic belief is that there is one God, and Muhummad is his messenger.  The Quran is the book that Allah sent down to the prophet, and Muslims consider the Quran as God's word. 
       It all started when the prophet Muhummad was born in the city of Mecca around the year 570.  At the time, Arabia was a very difficult place to live in.  The prophet was chosen by God to lead these people who had strayed, back to the right "path".  Thus, the Quran was revealed to him and the religion of Islam was started.   

The Shahadah written in Arabic.

These are Muslims praying on Eid day (a Muslim holiday) in the city of Agra.

Islam consists of five important pillars.  Without these pillars one can not be a Muslim.  These acts are obligatory on every Muslim adult. The pillars are listed in the order of priority:
Shahadah (Witnessing)      
       The Shahadah is the first and most basic pillar.  All one has to do is publicly state "I bear witness that there is no God other than Allah, and Muhummad is His Messenger."  
  Salat (Prayer)
       The second pillar is Salat or prayer.  Prayer is when every muscle and joint in a person's body joins the soul and mind in worship of Allah.  Offering prayer is obligatory on every Muslim who is sane and mature.  Prayer is performed 5 times a day at certain different timings.  There are requirements for this prayer and things that must be done prior to starting such as performing wudu (cleansing oneself). 
       Zakah is another obligatory act of worship.  It is something that every Muslim who is financially able must do.  Zakah is given to the poor and needy.  This charity is supposed to purify the contributor's heart from greed and selfishness. 
Sawm (Fasting)
       Fasting is refraining completely from eating and drinking.  Muslims who are fit and able are required to fast during the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk.      
Hajj (Pilgrimage)
       Hajj is a pilgrimage that is made to Mecca.  It is required to make this pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime.  Muslims from all over the world assemble in front of the Ka'bah to worship God.  All social and financial differences are forgotten as everyone is equal in God's eyes. 

This vast multitude of Muslims are performing Hajj or pilgrimage in Mecca at the Ka'bah.

Holy Cities
       Two holy cities in Islam are Mecca and Medinah.  Mecca was where the prophet was born and is where all Muslims go to perform Hajj.  The prophet migrated to Medinah and it is where he first spread the religion of Islam.  These two cities are very holy and sacred to Muslims. 

Halal and Haram
Muslims are forbidden to do certain things in Islam.  These acts are called haram.  Things that are permitted are halal.  In Islam some things that are not halal include but are not limited to the following:
1.Eating pork
2.Drinking wine or alchohol
3.Eating meat that has not been slaughtered under the name of God (non-kosher meat)

       Islam is a religion of peace.   The five pillars are but an outline of Islam.  The rest is explained in the holy book, the Quran.  The Quran is the word of God and explains the right way to live a pious and pure life in this world.  Muslims believe in such things as life after death, and the day of judgement.  They follow the ways of the prophet.  Most of all, they believe that there is one God, and his name is Allah.