Volume 1, Issue 10 - November 7, 2004

"We are currently in the holy month of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar, the holiest time of the year for Muslims around the world. I wanted to take the time during this holy feast to share with you a collection of excellent resources on the religion of Islam, appropriate for use in the classroom.
Beginning as a small community of believers in present day Saudi Arabia in the seventh century, the core belief is that Muhammad of Mecca, a commercial and cultural center, received revelations from God that have been preserved in the Koran or Qur'an. The message is that "there is no god but Allah (The God), and Muhammad is the messenger of God (his prophet)." The term “Islam“comes from the Arabic and means submission to the will of God. A Muslim is one who makes that submission. The core of Islam is the Five Pillars: publicly bearing witness to faith; saying prayers five times a day; fasting during Ramadan; tithing for the poor; and making at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in one’s lifetime.

Muslims believe that Islam is the single faith proclaimed by prophets throughout history. The Qur'an is not seen as presenting a new religion but rather as providing a complete, accurate, and therefore final record of the message that had already been given to Abraham, Jesus, and other earlier prophets. Historically, though, Islam begins in Mecca with the life and work of Muhammad in the early seventh century.

As the world continues to grow smaller through advancements in technology, it is critical that we as educators help to build bridges of understanding between our own culture and that of the Muslim world. One out of every five people in the world is a professed Muslim, and it is the world’s fastest growing religion. While there were 450 million Muslims in 1982, the numbers have grown to a staggering 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide in the past twenty years! There is no place for ignorance and misunderstanding among our generation nor for our children. We all must work to know and value one another; to get along by celebrating our differences.

With this in mind, I offer you this week’s edition of the Digital Dozen on Islam ....."


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