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Islam…It’s Allah or nothing. Well, mostly!

About 86% of the population of Indonesia is Muslim and about 9% is Christian. In fact, Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any other country in the world.

Islam is the second-largest religion in the world, with over 1.5 billion followers. It was founded by a camel driver named Muhammad in 7th-century Saudi Arabia.

According to Muslim belief, the angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in a mountain cave and delivered a message from the one true God. The Prophet Muhammad dedicated the remainder of his life to spreading a message of monotheism (belief in one god) in a world that generally believed in many different gods. His life's work is recorded in the Qur'an, the sacred text of Islam.

You hear the word “Muslim” a lot on the nightly news these days—usually in stories about terrorism or political unrest. But there’s a lot more to the Islamic religion and the people who practice it, called Muslims, than rioting in the streets. Islam is not only a religion but it is also a way of life.

Islam, which means “submission to (God)Allah’s will” was founded in AD 622 by Muhammad, who said Allah told him to write down his word and call it the Quran (Koran).

Muslims are supposed to spend their whole lives in jihad, or “struggle.” Many think that jihad means “holy war” but most Muslims believe it is a more of a personal war inside their own hearts against evil.

There are five main principles of faith that Muslims must follow :: confession of faith, daily prayer, fasting during Ramadan, making a pilgrimage to Mecca, and participating in charity. Committed

Muslims will pray five times a day and each time they are careful to bow and pray in the direction of their most holy city, Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

Muslims don’t believe that Allah (God) wants to be known by anyone. And they think that Jesus was the second greatest prophet of all time—behind their prophet Muhammad.

Even though Islam honors many prophets in the Bible, and they recognize Jesus as an important prophet, they do not accept him as more than a great prophet and a good man.

Who will tell them that this ‘great prophet’ is also the Son of God, the One who loves them and wants a relationship with us all? Who will tell them that God loves us so much that He gave us His son – that very same ‘great prophet’ – to die for our sins?

Who will help them understand that God lives IN us and not in a place – and that He is with us no matter what? What can we do make the Great Commission come alive in our hearts and in the hearts of Muslims we meet?

Muslims worship in buildings called mosques, and here are some interesting rules they have about their mosques:

  • It is a Muslim custom to enter a mosque with the right foot first and then exit with the left foot first.

  • Members of the opposite sex should never offer to shake hands upon greeting.

  • Do Not Point Feet: While sitting, avoid pointing your feet in the direction of the Qibla - the primary wall inside the mosque indicating the direction of Mecca.

  • Men and women should both cover as much skin as possible; women are required to cover their heads – ankle-length skirts or pants are required. Sleeves should reach to each wrist and the hair should be covered by a headscarf.

  • Sometimes men and women use separate entrances to enter a mosque.

  • The typical greeting in Arabic for those entering mosques is "Assalam Allaikum" which means "peace be upon you".

  • The correct return is "Wa alaikum-as-salam" which means "peace be upon you too".

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