On 5 April The Guardian Islam was reported to be the fastest growing religion in the world today and is predicted to be the majority religion in the world by 2075. Today Islam, the religion, and Muslims, persons who follow Islam, have been reported to be facing increasing discrimination and victimization of hate speech and discriminatory violence. Check out the answers to the Islam Crossword. You’ll learn more about Islam. If you missed the click on the link or check out the archives.
1. Muslims affirm the Quran is a book that holds all revelations to Prophet Muhammad from God. In early Islam it was passed down orally. The third Caliph, Uthman, is credited with releasing the first standard written Quran.
5. Eids include Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Adha, the day Prophet Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice to God. When Abraham and his son Ishmael were prepared to complete the sacrifice God instructed Abraham to sacrifice a ram, saying Abraham had fulfilled his task of showing loyalty to God. Muslims today often sacrifice a ram on Eid-ul-Adha.
8. The Shahada is used by Muslims to affirm that there is only one God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. The Shahada, “Ashandu-la-illaha-il-allah wa ashandun-muhammadur-rasullilah”, is Arabic for “I declare that there is no God but God and I declare that Muhammad is the messenger of God”
11. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Hijri Calendar, is considered the holiest month by Muslims being the month the Prophet received the first revelation from God. Sawm, more commonly known as fasting or abstinence, abstaining from food and other temptations is to help one increase strength to resist physical temptations and bring one’s spirit closer to God.
12. Din is an Arabic term associated with spirit or inner being. It is used in describing practices and rituals used to improve or strengthen the inner self and bring someone closer to the presence of God. Fasting is associated by many Muslims to strengthen one’s din, lessen a person’s attachment to the world and more in touch with the inner being. Practices to strengthen Din include meditation and personal prayer.
13. Mecca was the birthplace of Muhammad. The city’s name is often used in society to mark a central or the most important location (ex. “Montreal is the Mecca of hockey”). The Ka’ba is at the heart of Mecca, today a city in Saudi Arabia. Muslims state it was the first house of prayer built by Abraham and includes the holy Black Stone sent from God.
17. A close companion of the Prophet, Ali was among the first to accept Prophet Muhammad’s message. Ali is seen as the last of the four rightly guided caliphs, the leaders of Muslims after the death of the Prophet. Shia Muslims declare Ali as the rightful successor of the Prophet; they declare Ali and his descendants were appointed by the Prophet to guide of Muslims how to live Islam in the future.
18. The Adhan (pronounced Azan) is a ritual used to remind people of the time of prayer. The Adhan is made by the Muezzin. The first Muezzin was an African named Bilal. Bilal was a slave who was bought and freed by Abu Bakr. He was one of the first to accept the message of the Prophet and is an iconic figure in Islamic history.
20. Many refer to all head-coverings as Hijabs. A Hijab is a scarf used to cover hair and ears; a Niqab is a full face covering revealing one’s eyes; a Burkah is full body covering. Often seen as oppression of women these coverings were first introduced to protect women from gawking by men; they were often used as class symbols.
21. Khadija was a prosperous businesswoman in Mecca who employed Muhammad. When Muhammad was 40 Khadija offered him her hand in marriage. Muhammad often retreated to a cave in Mount Hira outside Mecca to meditate. After receiving his first revelation from God Muhammad is accounted to have returned home, shaking and showing signs of being overwhelmed. In response Khadija asked him what was bothering him and poured tea on his wrists to calm him, a common practice at the time. He revealed the event of revelation; she accepted the message – there is only one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.
2. Umma is used to refer to ALL Muslims. Regardless of belief (i.e. Shia, Sunni, etc.) all Muslims are considered part of a single community, members of the Umma. Having recited the Shahada, Muslims acknowledge a shared bond. They consider themselves brothers and sisters in the family of Islam.
3. From Arabic to English, Allah is translated as “The Divinity”. Rather than using God (English), Dieu (French), or other translations, Muslims commonly use Allah. It is used in prayers, rites and rituals. It is also used in common phrases such as “Ya Allah”, Arabic for “O God”.
4. Sufis, or Mystics, practice Sufism a form of practice in Islam associated with inner contemplation and seeking the truth. Sufis seek the inner or hidden meaning of Islam, the Quran, and faith. They devote themselves to being in or finding the presence of God. Sufis are credited with contributing to literature including “The Conference of the Birds” by Farid al-Din Attar and the works of Jalal al-Din Rumi, considered one the greatest poets in history.
6.In Shia Islam the Imam is considered the sole authority to lead the Umma and show Muslims how to live Islam according to the age and time. Among Sunni Muslims the Imam is the leader of the Mosque, the head authority. The Imam often leads prayers and presents sermons to members of the Mosque.
7. Known to Western Europe and North America as Avicenna, Ibn Sina is considered to be one of the greatest scientists and philosophers in history. He is revered in Muslims as well as non-Muslims for his contributions to science and passion for learning.
9. Similar to the Abbasid, Ottoman, and Umayyad Empires, the Fatimid Empire was based on a dynasty and ruled with Islam at its core. In its capital Al-Qahira, today Cairo, a dual mosque and university name Al-Azhar was built. Revitalized from what was previously a garbage dump the Al-Azhar Park opened in 2004.
10. Baya is the name of the ceremony in which a person accepts the faith of Islam, becomes a Muslim. It involves reciting the Shahada in the presence of the Imam. The Baya of a newborn is completed by the parents reciting the Shahada for the child.
14. Angels are named in the Quran. Jibrail or Gabriel is the Angel who delivered the messages from God to the Prophet. Similar to Christianity and Judaism, Islam names Iblis an Angel being expelled from Heaven for refusing to bow to Adam and sent to Hell. Iblis/Satan vowed to misguide humans.
15. The first Sura of the Quran Al-Fatiha, is translated as “The Opening”. It begins all prayers in Islam. Sura Al-Fatiha is often recited before meals and other beginnings.
16. Occurring in 622 CE, Prophet Muhammad’s migration to Yathrib from Mecca, or Hijra marks the start of the first year of the Muslim calendar. Dates after Hijra are referred to as AH (After Hijra). Facing persecution he was invited by the people of Yathrib and offered safety in return for acting as a mediator of conflicting tribes. Yathrib, renamed Medina (The City of the Prophet) after Hijra, remains an iconic city for Muslims.
19. Islam is considered by many as a way of life not just a religion. Dhikr (pronounced Ziker) is one way Islam is practiced. It includes reciting “Bismillah-hi-Rahman-i-Rahim” (In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful) before starting tasks. This phrase begins each Sura of the Quran and is used in all prayers. Arabic terms such as “Inshallah” (God willing) and “Shukar-Alhumdullilah” (All thanks and praise is due to God), and “Subhanallah” (All glory is due to God) are often used in regular speech and noted as Dhikr.
The Islam Crossword and Understand Islam are introductions. If you want to learn more about Islam talk to Muslims and visit Mosques, Masjids, and other places of prayer.