Islam is a monotheistic religion originating with the teachings of
Muhammad, a 7th-century Arab religious and political figure. The word
Islam means "submission," or the total surrender of one's self to God.
Islam's adherents are known as Muslims, meaning "one who submits (to
God)". There are between 0.9 and 1.3 billion Muslims, making Islam the
second-largest religion in the world, after Christianity. Muslims
believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, God's final prophet,
and regard the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the words and deeds of Muhammad)
as the fundamental sources of Islam. They do not regard Muhammad as
the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original
monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.
Islamic tradition holds that Judaism and Christianity distorted the
messages of these prophets over time either in interpretation, in
text, or both. Adherents are generally required to observe the Five
Pillars of Islam, five duties that unite Muslims into a community. In
addition to the Five Pillars, Islamic law (Sharia) has developed a
tradition of rulings that touch on virtually all aspects of life and
society. Almost all Muslims belong to one of two major denominations,
the Sunni and Shi'a. The schism developed in the late 7th century
following disagreements over the religious and political leadership of
the Muslim community. Roughly 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 15
percent are Shi'a.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
La Noche Triste: Spanish Conquistadors under Hernán Cortés barely
succeeded in escaping from the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
The Union of Lublin was signed, merging the Kingdom of Poland and the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania into a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian
The British North America Act came into effect, uniting the Province
of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into the Canadian
World War I: The first day of the Battle of the Somme became the
bloodiest day in the history of the British Army, with 57,470
casualties of which 19,240 were killed or died of wounds.
The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved at a meeting in Prague.
Wikiquote of the day:
It is almost impossible to bear the torch of truth through a crowd
without singeing somebody’s beard. -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg