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.
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.
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.
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 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
The Quran is generally given a high place in the Muslim home. There is sometimes a special stand where the Quran is placed. Items are not to be placed on top of the Quran.
Moses and Abraham from the Jewish Torah and Christian Bible also appear in stories in the Quran.
The Arabic word "Islam" means "submission" in English.
Worshipers must remove their shoes when entering the prayer room of a mosque.
Today, Saudi Arabia is an Islamic State. Anyone wanting to immigrate to Saudi Arabia must first convert to Islam.
Not all followers of Islam are required to fast during Ramadan. Those excused may include sick people, pregnant women, and young children.