Israel Yesterday and Today: A pilgrimage in word and image | Contents | Galilee | Jerusalem | West Bank | Desert | Sinai |
The Arabic word Islam means voluntary surrender to the will of God (Allah) and obedience to his commands.  Muslims are people who accept the Islamic way of life and who practice it. 

Three fundamental beliefs of Islam are: Tawhid -- oneness of Allah, Risalah -- prophethood, and Akhirah -- life after death.Islam  has it roots in revelations which Muhammad believed he received from the Angel Gabriel between 610 and 622 AD.  These revelations written down in the Qur'an (which means recitation) form the core of Islam.  Muslims believe the Arabic text to be the perfect, immutable, and untranslatable words of God embodied in human language.  

Muhamad is seen as the "seal of the prophets", the last in a series of God's messengers that include Jewish and Christian figures such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.  The Quran (Koran) incorporates many of the biblical traditions associated with these figures.  

The Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem is revered by Muslims as a holy place, third in importance to the Ka'bah in Mecca and the Mosque of Mohammed in Medina.

Islam teaches decency, humility, and good manners.  And the most valued virtues are keeping promises, honesty, justice, fair play, helping the poor and needy, respect for parents, teachers and elders, love for children, and good relations with neighbors. Islam condemns enmity, back-biting, slander, blasphemy, ridicule, rudeness and arrogance.  Muslims are obligated to pray five times a day, either individually or in congregation.  the word mosque comes from the Arabic word mesjid which means a place of adoration.

[photo on right - view of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem]

a hand-painted vase by a Palestinian youth


See also | Dome of the Rock | Muslim Quarter of Old City |

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager