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Early Islamic World


History for Kids >> Early Islamic World

What is Islam?

Islam is a religion founded in the early seventh century by the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of Islam believe in one god called Allah. The primary religious book of Islam is the Quran.
Kaaba at Mecca
Pilgrims on Hajj to Mecca
Source: Wikimedia Commons

What is the difference between Muslim and Islam?

A Muslim is a person who believes and follows the religion of Islam.


Muhammad is considered to be the Holy Prophet of Islam and the last prophet to be sent by Allah to mankind. Mohammed lived from 570 CE to 632 CE.

The Quran

The Quran is the sacred holy book of Islam. Muslims believe that the words of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad from Allah through the angel Gabriel.

The Five Pillars of Islam

There are five basic acts that form the framework of Islam called the Five Pillars of Islam.
  1. Shahadah - The Shahadah is the basic creed, or declaration of faith, that Muslims recite each time they pray. The English translation is "There is no god, but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God."

  2. Five Pillars of Islam
  3. Salat or Prayer - The Salat are prayers that are said five times each day. When reciting the prayers, Muslims face toward the holy city of Mecca. They generally use a prayer mat and go through specific motions and positions while praying.
  4. Zakat - The Zakat is the giving of alms to the poor. Those who can afford it are required to give to the poor and needy.
  5. Fasting - During the month of Ramadan, Muslims must fast (not eat or drink) from dawn to sunset. This ritual is meant to bring the believer closer to Allah.
  6. Hajj - The Hajj is a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca. Every Muslim who is capable of travel, and can afford the trip, is to travel to the city of Mecca at least once during their lifetime.
The Hadith

The hadith are additional texts that describe the actions and sayings of Muhammad that are not recorded in the Quran. They were generally gathered together by Islamic scholars after the death of Muhammad.


Mosques are places of worship for the followers of Islam. There is generally a large prayer room where Muslims can go to pray. Prayers are often led by the leader of the mosque called an "imam."

Sunni and Shia

Like many major religions, there are different sects of Muslims. These are groups that share many of the same fundamental beliefs, but disagree on certain aspects of theology. The two largest groups of Muslims are the Sunni and the Shia. Around 85% of the world's Muslims are Sunni.

Interesting Facts about Islam Activities More on the Early Islamic World:

Timeline and Events
Timeline of the Islamic Empire
First Four Caliphs
Umayyad Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
Ottoman Empire

Scholars and Scientists
Ibn Battuta
Suleiman the Magnificent
Daily Life
Trade and Commerce
Science and Technology
Calendar and Festivals

Islamic Spain
Islam in North Africa
Important Cities
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History for Kids >> Early Islamic World

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