"I think it's so important for all of us to understand each others cultures. This Presentation is a wonderful way to introduce students to Islam. It's a fantastic presentation"
Teacher-Scott Elementary School

"I never knew I could learn so much about one culture in so little time."
Student-Hinsdale Central High School

"I thought the presentation was very imformative it was great to have clarification on topics related to Islam. Next time I will have my students prepared with educated questions."
Teacher-Lake Park High School

"The presentations were really interesting . It is nice for the students to hear about the culture/ religion of Islam from someone who closely follows the religion/ way of life. (The speaker) taught my students things that I could not, through sharing her experience."
Teacher-Lake Park High School

"I learned a lot from the presentation. It was a lot good information that was easy to understand."
Student-Lake Park High school

"Thank you for taking the time for to enlighten us. Knowledge erases fear."
Faith Lutheran Church

"I like that it opened my eyes to other cultures such as the Muslim and Sikhs."
Student-Northwest Indiana Law - Enforcement Academy

"I thought the presentation was very informative and explained and cleaned up many questions I had about Islam. It was good to listen to someone who knew and was from the culture."
Student-Lyons Township H.S



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About Islam

What is Islam?

Islam stands in a long line of Semitic, prophetic religious traditions that share an uncompromising monotheism, and belief in God’s revelations, His prophets, ethical responsibility and accountability, and the Day of Judgment.


Who are Muslims and where do they live?

There are an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, living in over 44 Muslim majority countries from Senegal to Indonesia, with significant minorities in such diverse environments as the Former Soviet Union, China, India, England and the United States. Only 18% of the world’s Muslims live in the Arabic-speaking world. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia.

Approximately 7-10 million Muslims live in the U.S. American Muslims are the most diverse group of Muslims in the world, representing over 60 different nationalities, languages, and ethnic groups accounting for nearly 2,000 masajid (mosques), Islamic schools and Islamic centers in America.

Muslim Population
©1998 Islamicweb.com

100 - 70%
69 - 50%
40 - 30%
29 - 10%
9 - 2%
less than 2%



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Famous American Muslims

Muslims in the United States are highly skilled, well-educated (over 65% having a bachelor’s degree or higher) and have been contributing to American life for decades.
Per capita, the Muslim community of the United States is one of the most talented and well-trained Muslim communities on earth.
  • Maryam Jameelah - Formerly Margaret Marcus; Jewish American essayist, poet, journalist and author of several books. She converted from Judaism to Islam in 1962.
  • Art Blakey, Abdullah Ibn Buhaina - American drummer and jazz musician. His contribution to jazz from 1954 to 1990 as leader of the Jazz Messengers established the sound Hard Bop, greatly influencing later generations of musicians and entertainers.
  • Hamdan Chris Eubank - In March 1997, after former super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank defeated Camilo Alocon of Columbia at the Dubai Tennis Stadium in a light heavyweight contest, Eubank embraced Islam and took the name Hamdan.
  • Queen Noor of Jordan - Born Lisa Najeeb Halaby to a prominent Arab-American family. Raised by Christian parents, she converted to Islam when she married the late King Hussein, a Hashemite and descendant of the prophet’s line, on 15 June 1978. When she converted, she changed her name to Noor al-Hussein -- the light of Hussein.
  • El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz - More popularly known as Malcolm X; black-rights activist and religious leader. In 1964, after a pilgrimage to Mecca, he announced his conversion to orthodox Islam and his belief in the possibility of brotherhood between blacks and whites.
  • Michael Wolfe – Author of The Hajj: An American's Pilgrimage to Mecca, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing About the Muslim Pilgrimage. Born of a Christian mother and Jewish father, he is most well known for his documentary on ABC’s Nightline which aired on April 18, 1997 called An American in Mecca.
  • Muhammad Ali – Formerly Cassius Clay; three-time Heavy Weight Champion of the World. He converted to orthodox Islam in 1965.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Formerly Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor. Before the 1971-72 season Alcindor converted from Catholicism to Islam and took the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He played 20 seasons in the league with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. By the time the 7 foot 2 basketball player retired in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time Most Valuable Player and is now one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.


1) One God (Allah) – Core of Islam is the belief in one God. “Allah” is the Arabic word for “the God”

2) Angels – Another form of God’s creation. Do not have free will as humans do. Most famous among them is Angel Gabriel

3) Prophets – Over 124,000 prophets sent to convey God’s guidance to the rest of humankind to each nation at each time starting with Adam and ending with Muhammed (peace be upon them). Included among them were Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus (peace be upon all of them).

4) Books – Among the prophets were messengers who received divinely revealed scripture or book, including the Scrolls to Abraham, the Torah to Moses, the Psalms to David, the Gospels to Jesus, and the Qur’an to Muhammad (peace be upon all of them).

5) Day of Judgment -- day on which people will be help accountable for their actions and deeds during their lifetime.

6) Divine Plan – Acknowledgement of God’s ultimate authority.

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“ Five Pillars" of Islam

1) The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) – Profession of Faith that “There is no god but God and Muhammad is His Messenger.”

2) Prayer (Salat) - Muslims perform five obligatory prayers each day. Islamic prayers are a direct link between the worshiper and God. Islam has no hierarchical authority or priesthood. A learned Muslim chosen by each congregation leads the prayers.

3) Almsgiving (Zakat) - One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God and that wealth is held in trust by human beings. Zakat, or charitable giving, "purifies" wealth by setting aside a portion for those in need. This payment is usually two and a half percent of one's accumulated wealth which is paid annually to the poor and the needy.

4) Fasting (Sawm) - Every year in the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to refrain from food, drink, and marital relations from first light until sunset. Since a lunar year is shorter than the Gregorian year by 11 days, Ramadan moves back each year and is not fixed during one particular season. The fast is another method of self-purification and compassion.

5) Pilgrimage (Hajj) - A pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, is once in a lifetime obligation for those who are physically or financially able. The pilgrimage includes a series of rituals which commemorate the life and trials of the Abraham (peace be upon him) and his family. It is a time of intensive spiritual rejuvenation, soul searching and prayer, and is a reminder of our humanity and equality as well as our morality.

Last updated Monday, January 30, 2006 1:03 PM
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